I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase through one of these links may result in a small commission paid to us.
I love sailing on the Disney Cruise Line, and have spent many days and nights exploring the three ships that I’ve been on (I am still wanting to go on the Magic at some point). There is so much to see and do on the ships – you may even find yourself wanting to skip some ports of call so that you can stay on the ship and continue exploring and having fun. If you are planning a Disney Cruise, here are some must-dos on the Disney Cruise Line. Some are for only adults, while some are for families, so plan accordingly (my kids usually love being in the kids’ clubs, so we have plenty of time). In addition, not all activities are on every ship/sailing, so check your Disney Navigator for details. Be sure to check out these posts for information on the specific ships.
The Rainforest Room at the Senses Spa
Book a day or length of cruise pass to the rainforest room at the Senses spa on board the ships. Featuring rainforest-themed showers, a sauna, steam room, hot tubs, and more, the rainforest room is a great way to relax on your vacation. Senses is only open to those aged 18 and older, so settle the kids into the kids club before relaxing. I love to do this at least once during my cruise. Of course, you could also do a spa treatment, but the rainforest room is a nice way to experience the spa without getting a treatment.
Coffee at the Cove
Regular coffee is free on the Disney Cruise Line, but I always love to head to the adult-only Cove Cafe for some specialty coffee. While an additional fee does apply, the Cove Cafe is a relaxing oasis on board the ship. If my kids are occupied at the kids’ club, I often bring a book to the cafe and enjoy my beverage in solitude. The Cove Cafe also offers complimentary premium desserts. Ask for a coffee card, and you’ll get a complimentary coffee after filling the card.
When I cruise with my friends, one of our favorite things is to enjoy a beverage seminar (or two). You can find out about them through the Navigator that you receive at the port. I recommend booking one right away, so that you can get the type and time that you prefer. The booking location will be listed in the navigator, so you can head right there once you are on board. I’ve done many of the different beverage seminars, and my favorites are the martini, wine, and mixology. They are pretty short, but are definitely fun and informative.
If you are traveling on the Disney Dream or Disney Fantasy, don’t miss a chance to ride on the AquaDuck. On our first trip on the Dream, it was chilly outside so I skipped it, and then I regretted it for a year. Get in line early in the day, when it first opens, and then you’ll probably have the chance to ride it over and over again. We usually do that if it’s a port of call day when we’ve decided to stay on the ship.
On the Disney Magic, you can ride on the new AquaDunk, a three-story body slide. I haven’t been on it, but it’s apparently loads of fun.
My kids and I love playing Bingo on our cruises. It’s not about the winning (although that’s definitely great). The whole experience is fun. Kids can play, although they can’t win, so they do need to be with an adult. We try to play at least once or twice per cruise. Bingo on the Disney Cruise Line is an experience.
My kids are a little too old for characters, but they still cannot miss any opportunity to see their favorites on the ship. In general, the lines to greet the characters on board the ships are usually shorter than those in the theme parks, so it won’t take much time out of your trip. Check out the Navigator to see the specific times that the characters are greeting guests, and arrive a few minutes early. If your ship includes a stop at Castaway Cay, you’ll also find characters on the island, making for a great photo opportunity.
My son loves to draw, so we couldn’t miss the animation classes that are offered on the ship. They are free, and everyone – kids and adults – can learn how to draw a character while also learning a little bit about the history of Disney animation. As a bonus, ask the instructor if you can have her/his drawing. My son did that, and it’s still hanging in his room years later.
I love the food on the Disney Cruise Line, but Palo is extra special. This adult-only restaurant does require an extra fee, but it’s completely worth it. My husband and I usually make a later reservation, so we sit with our kids during their meal, and then they head to the kids’ club while we go to Palo. Make reservations as early as you can to make sure you get your time preference.
There are usually a few different trivia games scheduled during a sailing, and my kids love to do at least one. We usually try to do one during a day at sea, to help break up the day.
The family game shows are one of our absolute must-dos on the Disney Cruise Line. My kids love them, and we try to participate (rather than spectate) whenever we can. Get there early, sit in the front, and show your enthusiasm when the host is looking for participants.
What are your must-dos on the Disney Cruise Line?
If you are planning a cruise leaving out of Port Canaveral, you may want to stay at the Hyatt Regency Orlando airport (see reviews here). You may also want to look at Fish Extender information and Disney Cruise Line Door Magnet Info.