In less than a week Jason and I will be on board the Disney Magic cruise ship for the very first time! This is our second Disney cruise, and I’ve found that packing for a trip like this is different than a regular trip to Disney World. There are certain things you’ll want to make sure you have on the cruise that you wouldn’t use at the parks, as well as park essentials that you don’t really need for the cruise. To help out others who might be Disney cruising for the first time, I’ve decided to create this Disney cruise packing list. It also helps me keep myself organized! At the bottom of this post you’ll also find a printable version of my packing list.
I won’t detail all of the typical stuff that I would take on any vacation (shorts, t-shirts, phone charger, toiletries, etc.). But I wanted to highlight some “cruise specific” things below!
Get into the fun with some themed shirts! You’ll see lots of Disney outfits, as well as cruise specific shirts. My husband will be wearing an “It’s my birthday cruise!” shirt, and I have one that says “On cruise control.”
You might not think to bring a sweater on a cruise, especially if it’s in the summer and leaving from Florida. But the ship itself is air conditioned – sometimes so well air conditioned you can get pretty chilly, especially in the dining rooms.
Every Disney cruise has a fun event called Pirate Night. While dressing up is optional, a lot of people like to get into it and bring their own costumes. So if you think you’d like to take part, consider a pirate costume – here’s the one I got!
Longer cruises have a formal night on the ship, and shorter cruises have an optional dress-up night. If you’re not into dressing up you don’t have to participate (you can opt out if it’s optional, or hit the buffet), but if you want an excuse to dress up make sure to bring some nicer clothes.
Multiple bathing suits
I’m not normally a beach vacationer, so I don’t wear a bathing suit very often while traveling – maybe once or twice during a vacation for a quick trip to the pool in between all the other stuff going on. The cruise is a different story though. I found myself spending a lot of time in a bathing suit, whether it was for the pool or hot tub, on the beach at Castaway Cay, or at the spa’s Rainforest room. Multiple bathing suits is necessary so you have a chance for them to dry. (If you’re curious, both of my new ones are from Bare Necessities, my new favorite place to get bathing suits).
Fish extenders are unique to Disney cruises, and they are basically a fun little gift exchange. If you find the facebook group specific to your cruise before you travel, you can sign up for the fish extender. You get assigned a certain number of cabins and have to bring a little gift for each of them. People participating hang some sort of pocket or bag outside of their door, and the others in the exchange leave their gifts in it. It’s fun, and if you are participating you’ll want to remember to pack your actual fish extender (for holding your own goodies) as well as the gifts you’ve gotten for everyone else! I got my fish extender from Stitches N Bows on Etsy.
The doors on a Disney cruise are magnetic, so a lot of people like to bring fun magnets to decorate their doors. You can get customized ones on Etsy, you can make them yourself, or you can just bring fun Disney magnets! I also like to bring a magnetic white board so people can leave messages, as well as some magnetic clips so you can clip anything you’d like to the door.
Disney cruise line does allow you to bring alcohol aboard, so if you want to save a little money on drinks you can bring beer or wine. It’s 2 bottles of wine or 2 six packs per person, and you have to have it in your carry on. If you want to drink a bottle of wine during dinner there is also a $25 corking fee, so you’ll probably want to enjoy it in your stateroom.
If you’re a reader like me, you may find that the cruise is a great time to get some reading done! It can be relaxing vacation, and if you spend time on the beach or by the pool you could grab a book to read. I’ll be bringing some easy reading novels, but I’ve also packed my Hidden Mickeys Go to Sea book to have some fun on the cruise ship, as well as a book about my new camera so I can learn more about how to use it!
Phone with app downloaded
Even though you won’t have service for most of the cruise, your phone still comes in handy! If you download the Disney Cruise Line app you can have access to a number of features on board, including the ability to text other people on the ship, schedules and information on events, deck plans, etc. Before you get on the ship the app will display a countdown to your cruise.
Disney Cruise documents
Your cruise documents should be mailed to you about a month before sailing, and they have some important information in them, so don’t forget this little booklet. Especially important is the luggage tags, which go on your bags so they know where to bring them once you board!
Keep in mind that there are also items prohibited on Disney cruises. You can find the official list of Prohibited items here.
Below is your printable packing list – click the image to access a larger, printable version!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out My Disney Packing List and Decorating your Stateroom Door on a Disney Cruise!
What items do you make sure are on your Disney Cruise packing list?