preparing for a disney cruise

Preparing for Your Disney Cruise

The following information from MouseHunters Travel will provide valuable information on how to best prepare for taking a Disney cruise. 

We’ve never been on a cruise. What do we need to know? 

First, relax – that’s the point of your vacation. With Disney Cruise Line®, you’ll find your ticketing, air transportation and transfers (if you choose our air program), your stateroom accommodations, meals and entertainment on board have all been arranged. All you need to do is pack – and you don’t need to bring much, because the atmosphere is casual and informal. And if necessary, you can purchase almost anything you need right on board.

Should I buy travel insurance? 

We strongly recommend the purchase of the Disney Cruise Vacations Protection Plan that provides baggage, trip cancellation/interruption and medical expense coverage for your vacation. Remember, most major medical policies do not provide coverage outside the U.S.

What documentation do I need to bring? 

All U.S. and Canadian citizens must travel with proof of citizenship, which is a valid passport, or certified birth certificate with a picture identification, or a certified naturalization certificate with a picture identification. Acceptable forms of picture identification are state or provincial driver’s license with a picture, or federal, state, province or local government photo I.D. card. Children 17 and under who are U.S. or Canadian citizens are only required to have proof of citizenship, excluding picture identification.

All guests who are non-U.S. citizens residing in the United States will be required to travel with their Alien Registration Card (Green Card) and valid passports. All other guests must have valid passports and necessary visas at time of embarkation. Travel documents required throughout the vacation are the responsibility of the guest. Please consult with your travel agent, government agencies, embassies or consulates to determine documentary requirements.

Any guest traveling without proper documentation will not be allowed to board the vessel and no refund of cruise fare will be issued.

For all non-U.S. citizens including Canadian citizens, travel documents will be collected at check-in by a Disney Cruise Linerepresentative and a passport/Alien Resident Card receipt will be issued for presentation to Immigration Inspectors upon return to Port Canaveral.

Should I bring cash? Credit cards? Foreign currency? 

Transactions aboard the ship are in U.S. dollars. In The Bahamas and the Caribbean, U.S. dollars and major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. But you won’t need much cash (except for shoreside purchases), because Disney Cruise Linehas a convenient “cash-free” system on board the ship. When you arrive at the Walt Disney World® Resort or at the Disney Cruise Line Terminal at Port Canaveral, your signature will be requested for check-in. At this time you may also present a credit card (American Express®, MasterCard®, Visa®, Discover Card®, Diner’s Club®, Japanese Credit Bureau or The Disney Credit Card) which will give you charging privileges at both the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard the ship.

Any purchases on the ship, including beverage services, spa, salon services, photography, medical and laundry services, purchases from our retail shops, gratuities and any item of service of a personal nature must be charged to your room. All charges must be settled before your Resort departure and debarkation from the ship by cash, travellers checks, Disney Dollars, Disney Gift Card or by the credit cards mentioned above. (Any other expenses are payable on demand.) Note: Credit card payments are subject to credit clearance.

What should I pack? 

In short, the less the better. The Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line offer a casual, informal resort atmosphere. During the summer months, lightweight shorts, slacks, sundresses, jeans and tops are all appropriate daytime attire in The Bahamas, the Caribbean and Central Florida. In the winter, a light jacket, sweater and socks may be needed for cooler days and nights. Bring comfortable shoes – like boatshoes, sandals, or sneakers. And don’t forget swimwear, sunglasses, a sunhat or visor and sunscreen – especially for the kids.

Shipboard evening attire for the Animator’s Palate and Parrot Cay dining rooms is casual. Button-down, open-collar shirts or polo shirts and slacks are recommended for men. Pants and a blouse or a casual dress are appropriate for ladies. For Lumiére’s and Triton’s restaurants and our adult-only alternative dinner restaurant, Palo, it is suggested that men wear jackets, or a button-down shirt and tie, and ladies wear dresses or pantsuits. We kindly request that no shorts, T-shirts or jeans be worn in any of our restaurants in the evening.

Aboard the 7-Night Caribbean Cruise there is one evening dinner which requires more formal or “black-tie-optional” attire. Tuxedo rentals are available in advance for this special dinner. For those guests sailing on our 7-night cruise, we will celebrate the spirit of the Caribbean with a special deck party. You are invited to join in the fun by wearing festive island wear including colorful shirts, dresses, shorts or pants.

Also remember to bring prescription medicines in original containers, an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and your camera. Of course, if you do forget something, you can buy it on board. Please note that strollers are available for rental on board.

What food or food storage containers are not permitted?

Food coolers containing personal snack foods and drinks may not be brought onboard. They are only permitted if needed for medications, baby food or items related to special dietary needs.

Homemade, pre-cooked or other perishable items plus any open snack containers cannot be brought on board. Limitations on permitted food items are directly related to concerns for food safety and contamination prevention.

Disney Cruise Line regrets that the crew members on board are unable to provide food preparation, refrigeration or storage for personal food or beverage items. Disney Cruise Line cannot verify the cleanliness of the environment in which pre-cooked or homemade food items were prepared, and so for the safety of all Guests and crew, these items are not permitted aboard the ship.

Personal bottle warmers are not permitted on board due to safety concerns. However, a limited number of approved bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers are available upon request through Guest Services. In addition, Guests can request hot water to be delivered to their stateroom at any time from Room Service.

Please be advised: Disney Cruise Line reserves the right to remove fragile items (including beverages) from checked luggage. In such cases, any alcohol will be discarded with no remuneration offered. Beverage containers are considered fragile and have previously caused damage in checked luggage. All fragile items must be transported inside carry-on luggage.

What time should I arrive at Port Canaveral?

For our Bahamian and Caribbean cruises, the Port Canaveral cruise terminal and parking facility opens at 11:00 a.m. Guests should arrive at the Port based on the arrival time selected on ‘My Online Check-In.’ Embarkation begins at approximately 1:00 p.m. Please note that all Guests must board the ship no later than 4:00 p.m.

I’ve heard reports about the stomach flu affecting passengers on cruise ships. What do I need to know? 

Stomach flu-like symptoms have recently been reported on cruise ships. There have also been similar reports of the stomach flu throughout North America and Europe. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has conducted extensive lab tests on cruise ships and determined the stomach flu has been passed through person-to-person contact and is not tied to food or water aboard. In fact, a flu bug going around a cruise ship is no different than one being passed around a school or office building. Nevertheless, guests aboard our ships will observe precautionary measures being taken to promote their well-being.

(Courtesy of Walt Disney World)

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