If you are planning to go on a Disney Cruise, you’ll definitely want to download the Disney Cruise Line app. This free Disney cruise app is extremely useful when you are onboard the ship, because you’ll be able to get information about activities on the ship as well as communicate with your family members.
If you don’t have pay for WiFi on the ship, and won’t want to use roaming cellular data, it can be the best way to actually communicate with friends and family on board. Here’s what you need to know about the Disney Cruise Line app. (note that this has been updated with the latest version of the app).
Disclosure: I have been on one complimentary media cruise, two cruises as part of Social Media Moms, and countless cruises at my own cost. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.
This post was updated in November 2019 after we experienced the latest version of the app on our last cruise.
The Disney Cruise Line App
Download the App Before You Go
Make sure you download the free Disney Cruise Line Navigator app from the app store before you head out on your Disney Cruise. Do it while you are on cellular data or WiFi, and make sure all of your family members have it as well. Don’t wait until you are onboard the ship.
If you already have the app, make sure you are using the latest version. It is regularly updated, so you’ll need to check if you don’t have automatic updates.
Using the App Before You Go
Originally, the app wasn’t very useful before you got on the ship. Now, however, there are several things that you are able to do right on the Disney Cruise Line app.
You’ll be able to log into your account, find your sailing, and make modifications and changes to your plans. You’ll find things like spa and fitness appointments, beverage seminars and other onboard activities, Port Adventures, and reservations for adult dining at Remy and Palo. You’ll also be able to see your current plans.
The app offers the same openings that you’ll find on the website, so it’s still a good idea to make those reservations as soon as possible within your booking window. Many of these experiences are very popular with limited openings.
When You Are on the Ship
Go to the onboard chat feature section and add each of your friends or family members. Those in the same stateroom will show up easily, but you’ll need to get a code from others to add them. If you have friends or family in other staterooms, you’ll want to set this up as soon as you can – while you are still on WiFi.
If you have kids in your stateroom, they can use the onboard chat feature, but will need your permission. Again, this is something that you may want to do while you are still on cellular data, if possible.
Make sure that you understand what coverage your phone will have before you leave. We turn off all cellular service to avoid charges – but check with your carrier to know exactly what you should do.
When you are on the ship, you can turn on airplane mode, and then enable WiFi and choose the DCL-Guest network. Even if you don’t purchase the ship’s WiFi, you can still use the app.
Recently (in 2019), guests have been able to use iMessage on the ship to communicate with other iMessage users (even those off the ship). To do that, you’ll need to connect to the DCL-Guest network but won’t have to pay.
Get Schedule Information
Paper Disney Cruise Line Personal Navigator with full schedule information, are no longer offered at the port or in your room. Paper copies are, however, available at guest services if you’d still like one.
You can also use the app to find everything you need. While I liked glancing at the paper Navigator, I find the Disney Cruise Line app more helpful since you can sort and view more easily. You can search by category and sort.
In addition, you can “heart” a specific event, and get a reminder for it, right on your phone. With the app, you can also see the ship’s schedule for every day of your cruise, making it easier to plan in advance. If you are interested in an event, but the timing isn’t perfect, you can use the app to see if the event is offered later in your cruise. You can also use the app to get operating hours of the shops and services on the ship.
Sometimes things do change with the schedule. For instance, one day, on our Castaway Cay day, there was a downpour and we had to leave the island. They ended up adding some additional activities on the ship, and having the app was a great way to stay informed of the changes.
The app also shows a schedule of the various ports of call during your cruise so you can stay organized during your trip.
Communicate With Family Members
Since you won’t be able to use the regular texting capabilities of your phone, it can be difficult to communicate with your family members who are at different places on the ship. While Disney does offer the complimentary in-room wave phone system, the app makes it so easy to send a text message rather than call.
I find that it’s especially helpful with tweens and teens, who always seem to be heading in different directions. My kids especially love the Disney emojis that you can use on the app. My son just kept sending messages filled with the various emojis.
It’s important to note, however, that once you are back in port, the app resets. As a result, you won’t be able to see your old messages. If you meet new friends on the ship, you’ll want to get their information before the cruise is over.
You can use the app to see menus for all of the restaurants you’ll be dining at during your cruise. We like looking at future menus, so we can plan out what we’ll be eating.
Find Your Way
The app shows maps and deck plans to help you find your way on your cruise. There are plenty of maps located near the elevators on the ship, but it’s nice to have everything right on the app.
Laundry on the Disney Cruise Line app
While I typically don’t love doing chores on my family vacation, sometimes I do like doing laundry on the Disney Cruise Line. That way, I don’t have to bring quite as much with me, since I can wash clothes and re-wear them during my trip. But when I take away vacation time to do laundry, I don’t want to hover over the machine.
Luckily, the Disney Cruise Line app will alert you when your washer and dryer have finished running. That way, you can go about your vacation, and just pop into the laundry room when you need to.
Check Your Account Balance
No one wants to be surprised with a big bill at the end of their trip. You can look up your account balance and charges at any time on the app. That way, you’ll know how things are adding up without having to make a trip to guest services.
Have you used the Disney Cruise Line app?
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