By Jennifer Stuart
There are many items that you can find on Amazon that will make your life easier for your next Disney Cruise. These can often save you time or money when you buy them ahead of time. Read on for our picks of the 11 things you should buy online before you go on your Disney Cruise to save money and make your cruise hassle free.
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This is definitely a plus if you are a soda drinker. The free soda beverage stations are on the pool decks (Deck 11 for the Dream and Fantasy and Deck 9 for the Magic and Wonder). An insulated cup of your own holds much more soda than a disposable cup and keeps it colder for longer. We like personalizing them for each member of the family by each choosing different colors.
Insider Tip: Don't forget to pack a mini bottle of dish detergent so you can wash out your cups. You will also want to pack this if you are bringing baby bottles.
You can buy bottled water on board ship but it is pricey. There are a couple of ways around this: you can bring your own bottled water in your carry on (not checked) luggage or you can bring your own re-fillable water bottle and fill it with cold water from the beverage stations, where you would also get soda (Do NOT fill from your bathroom sinks -- that water is not drinkable). This is great for around the ship but definitely a plus when you are off the ship on excursions or Castaway Cay.
This is probably my number one must pack item. A splitter is like a USB extension cord. You can plug a number of USB cords into the splitter which in turn can plug into a single USB port in the wall or a wall charger and then a regular plug. There is definitely a shortage of plugs on board ship (this is particularly true of the Disney Dream And Disney Fantasy). Normally I recommend that you pack an extension cord when travelling and staying in hotels, but these are not allowed on board the ship and will be confiscated. The answer is a splitter to charge all your electronic devices. I have found from experience that you can charge 2 phones, an ipad and a set of camera batteries all at the same time from a single splitter.
I never travel without at least one extra battery pack (to be honest usually more than one as I usually have one for the kids to charge their iPads too). I have been stuck in airports without access to outlets and on planes when the ports have been broken, or even just when I know I won't be able to plug in for the day (like a full Disney park day).
External packs have gotten much smaller and lighter in the past few years and you would be surprised how much charge you can get from a little pack. I have a couple of sizes. A larger one that I use mainly for travel days (it can charge 2 devices between 2-3 times each) and a smaller pack that I carry around daily (even at home) so that I am never scrambling for a charge - - it will fully charge my phone 3 times. I find that taking pictures and especially videos just eats through my phone battery and I would hate to miss capturing a magical moment because my phone died.
If you are on your second (or more) Disney Cruise you will be given a Disney Cruise Line lanyard at check in that matches your Castaway Club status (silver, gold or black for platinum members). First time Disney cruisers do not receive a lanyard , but it is one of those things that is really very handy to have. You can use it for carrying your Key to the World card. These cards are not just your stateroom keys but also the way you pay for purchases on board and must be carried every time you board or leave the ship. Read our post on How to Read Your Disney Cruise Line Key to the World Card for more information.
Pop Up Hamper
A pop up hamper is one of those items that I consider a travel essential and pack for every trip whether it is a cruise or not. It is such a great way to corral all those dirty clothes. A pop up hamper folds flat, is lightweight and I find fits easily into our medium and large sized suitcases. It is so easy to get the kids to put their dirty clothes in the hamper- I find it keeps the stateroom (or hotel) more organized and when it is time to pack up, or do laundry, I can easily deal with it all at once. Check out our post How to Do Laundry on Your Disney Cruise if you think that is information you may need for your trip.
Planning on meeting characters? Don't forget your autograph book. You can get one with just autograph pages or one that has one side for autographs and one for a picture with the character. If you want more information on meeting characters on your Disney Cruise - make sure to check out our blog post that details all the different places that you can meet characters, so that you don't miss any opportunities. Click to read How to Meet Characters on Your Disney Cruise.
Insider Tip: Don't forget a pen -- Sharpies or other bigger pens are easier for the costumed characters to hold.
Nightlight or Flashlight
Staterooms are dark at night. VERY dark. It doesn't matter if you have an inside cabin or an outside cabin, in the middle of the ocean at night it is dark. You know your kids best. If you think they are going to need a nightlight -- best to pack one. My kids are a bit older and preferred having their own mini flashlight for reassurance and to light their way to the bathroom as needed.
There are two kinds of bags that are useful to pack on your Disney Cruise. One is a tote bag, or beach bag, for Castaway Cay and other beach days. I like this larger sized bag to hold all of our family beach essentials (look for a post on what I pack in my Castaway Cay bag coming soon). For more adventurous excursions you may even want a backpack.
The other bag I like to have is a small purse to carry essentials around on board the ship. You don't need a wallet but you may want a bag for your phone and other necessities. Of course I like to carry a Disney themed bag. (If you can't carry it here where can you?)
One really fun tradition on Disney Cruises is for people to decorate their stateroom doors with magnets. Stateroom doors (other than concierge level) are metal. It is a fun way to express your Disney personality and as an added bonus makes it easier to find your stateroom in the long corridors.
We definitely recommend checking out Etsy as well, as there are so many creative people out there who have created fun magnets or who will work with you to customize something for you.
Insider Tip: Don't forget the sunscreen. Yes, you can buy some on board if you leave it at home, but you will definitely pay a premium for it.
To save weight when flying it can be worth looking into shipping your Amazon packages to your hotel. As always check with your hotel to make sure that this is possible, and to ask about any instructions or charges that may be required. Walt Disney World resorts will accept packages for you and hold them at bell services for a small charge.
If you are going on a cruise that includes a Pirate Night (most warm weather itineraries) and you are thinking of dressing up, then you will definitely want to check out Amazon for Pirate gear. Trust me, it is very hard to find outside of Halloween season otherwise. We have a post onPirate Night Dinner, that includes lots of food photos, and look for a post on What to Expect on Pirate Night coming soon.
If you enjoyed this post you may be interested in some of our other Disney and Disney Cruise posts.
Photos by Jennifer Stuart
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