Counting Down to A Disney Cruise

Planning and Prepping for a Wonderful Trip

There are so many exciting things that will happen throughout the cruise. If you want to make sure you can see and do as much as possible, there are certain things you can prepare for and reserve in advance. If you are looking for all of the little (non-Disney Related) things I do before a trip, check this page out> Over Planning! Enjoy!!!

As Soon as Possible:

  • Decide what dates you would like to cruise
  • Check out which ships are sailing during those dates and to which ports they are headed
  • Choose the ship, itinerary, and budget that best suits your needs. Keep the departure port and how you will get to it in mind
  • Reserve your cruise and choose your stateroom

Once Reserved:

  • Reserve your dining time. If the early seating is important to you because of your children’s schedule, you will want to do this right away, as it books first. We opt for the late dining because it makes our day at the pool or port longer.
  • Make your own itinerary of port days (days you are on land) and sea days (days the ship is sailing and you stay aboard)
  • Research the ports you will be at and decide if you would like to explore it on your own or take a Port Adventure. I always recommend Port Adventures directly through Disney. This way, you know you are getting what it says you will, you will be safe, and the ship WILL NOT leave without you
  • Look into what activities can be done onboard while that you would be interested in
  • Register at with your reservation number
  • Make sure each member of the family has proper travel documents to fly and cruise

75 Days in advance (or sooner depending on Castaway Club): Final Payment & Activities:

Final payment for your cruise is due before you can plan any activities. If you are a first time cruiser, your activity reserving window opens 75 days in advance. This is also when you can Check in. If you are a Castaway Member and have cruised before, you will have more of an advantage and get to reserve/Check in sooner. The date will depend on your status.

Things you can Reserve:

  • Port Arrival Time – This is big, as most guests want the earliest time possible
  • Character Experiences & Breakfasts
  • Spa appointments
  • Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique
  • Port Adventures
  • Babysitting
  • Dining Reservations (Palo & Remy)
  • Cabanas at Castaway Cay

2 Months Out:

  • Plan transportation to port
  • Plan accommodations for night prior to cruise near port ( we highly recommend this, as so many things have contributed to guests missing their whole cruise and its not just winter weather)
  • Sign kids up for clubs – one less thing to do after you board
  • Order any gifts you would like to be in your room upon arrival from

1 Month Out

  • Purchase or make your own Fish Extender and the gifts that you will exchange
  • Think about decorating your door as well! It is fun and makes your door so much easier to find.

1 Week Out

  • Download Navigator App for onboard communication between phones

Hopefully this will help you prepare so you can take advantage of any of the things you would like to do and be less overwhelmed! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like a FREE no-obligation quote for a Disney Cruise. All qualifying reservations receive our famous Minnie Box prior to their departure. A magical box full of goodies tailored to your family. Happy Sailing! Free Quote