Planning your first Disney cruise can be exciting and stressful at the same time. There are so many options, categories, rules and regulations – what if I chose the wrong thing? Am I going to ruin my vacation?
Some mistakes are minor, while others CAN ruin your Disney cruise vacation.
Here are 5 big mistakes that almost every first time Disney cruiser makes
They Don’t Understand The Stateroom Categories
I don’t care how much you google it, you don’t know what it’s like to sleep in a tuna can unless you’ve done it. Do you know what it’s like to wake up and wonder if you’re at sea or docked? Do you love your family enough to hug them as you walk to the bathroom because there’s nowhere else to go?
I have stayed in a variety of staterooms on Disney Cruise Line from an inside cabin to a 1 bedroom suite and they range from “pretty small” to “I can fit a piano in here”. Each one had it’s own pros and cons, especially when working with a budget. How much is a split bathroom worth for an inside cabin? What about when you have 3 women getting ready for dinner? Trust me, it’s worth every penny!
Depending on the number of people in your stateroom, your budget and your need for personal space – these ALL have to be factors in your decision making. If you’ve spent all this money on a vacation, you want to make sure you enjoy it.
Not Considering The Stateroom Location
You might not think this is a big deal, I mean how different is it to stay at the back of the ship? There is a reason the staterooms are different prices depending on location. Did you know that you can feel the motion of the ship more in certain locations? What about the dance bar – do you want to have your room right next to it or under it? Location is definitely something to consider.
Underestimating The Amount Of Activities On Board
I have heard people plan a cruise primarily for the itinerary – what ports of call they are going to see and considered the ship as just a means of transportation. They didn’t realize how many things they would want to experience on board and hadn’t planned time to enjoy them all. From Character meetings to movie premiers, the kids were too tired after their full days on land to partake in the festivities the cruise had to offer.
Flying In The Morning Of Your Cruise
This is a BIG one, and any good travel agent will tell you, you MUST plan to arrive the day before! Freak storms, problems with the plane or being bumped from your flight – they are all things that will cause you to miss your ship. Make no mistake, cruises wait for no one…
What Documentation Do I Need?
I see this question a lot on Facebook – can I just use a driver’s license? Do I need a passport? That all depends on where you’re sailing from and to. While the well-meaning people in the Facebook group will give you all sorts of advice, do you really want to trust Dan from Iowa that you just need photo ID? I mean, the worst thing that can happen is you aren’t allowed to board the ship and forfeit the price of your cruise. Don’t trust random people on the internet to advise you on these things.
A Disney cruise is one of the greatest getaways for adults, families and solo travellers. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t enjoy their cruise when they planned it properly. When you’re ready to book, find a reputable Disney travel agent that can help you with the specific needs for your family. You can modify the questions I have listed here to help you find the right travel agent to help you.