In just over a week I’ll be leaving on my annual Disney Cruise! I’m very much looking forward to it and thought this would be a great time to revisit last year’s cruise with some tips and tricks to help make the most of your time at sea. One of the big perks of being a Jungle Cruise Skipper is that there is never any shortage of travel buddies! This time last year I was setting sale with 14 Skipper friends on a 5 night cruise on the Disney Wonder with stops in Cozumel and Castaway Cay!
Tip #1- Arrive in style. The whole boat already knew what they were dealing with. Love us or hate us and advise your kids to stay away from us.
Tip #2- Bringing a white board makes the entire cruise like your freshman dorm
Tip #3- Verandah rooms are so worth it! (especially for longer cruises)
and really great when you get adjoining verandah rooms
Tip #4. This one is hardly a secret, but Disney is one of the few cruise lines that allows you to bring your own alcohol onto the ship. Drinks on board are expensive, but sodas and juices are free…take advantage.
Tip #5. If you are going to buy drinks, sign up for the alcohol classes. These classes run $15-$20 each and come with plenty of booze.
(That’s us in mixology class, and yes, we each have 5 drinks)
As an added bonus, depending on your cruise length, you can do back to back classes. We followed mixology with a tequila class that left just enough time for a minor costume change and a top deck hot dog palate cleanser.
These classes took place throughout the entire cruise, but it’s a great way to kill time on a “day at sea”. Another day, we took advantage of the beer tasting class.
In case you’re wondering, the mixology class was by far the best of the 3 I tried (and the boys that tried the bourbon class also agreed).
Tip #6- Book an excursion! You can have fun on your own, but Disney’s excursions are very well planned out. We went on an excursion in Cozumel to see Mayan Ruins and visit a Tequilera.
The ruins were great and pretty lax on rules like not climbing on centuries old artifacts.
They did have one rule however,
The tequilera was even better. We met Rooster who taught us about the tequila making process.
Best of all, after the tour we were each handed a small plastic cup and let loose in a room full of various types of tequilas with hand soap pumps in them. All you can drink! (Though one of us was technically cut off.)
This excursion also included a stop by the beach, in a cab that didn’t care about open containers.
In fact, here’s what I learned by exploring on our own without the safety of excursion…
those beaches can be dangerous!
and even if things start off great, one wrong turn and they get “authentic” pretty quickly.
Tip #7- Take in a show (or all of them). The Toy Story Musical was particularly entertaining, by which I mean upsetting.
Tip #8- Enjoy all of the restaurants! Every one of them is great and the extra charge for Palo is absolutely worth it. Plus, Palo is adult only, which can be pretty welcome on a Disney Cruise. If you are able to swallow your pride (and 7 entrees) this is the perfect place for you. You don’t have to choose what to eat. Try it all! In fact, last time we were at Palo, the chef came out and told us to reel it in a bit. I’ve never been prouder!
Of course, the only downside to this is you always leave feeling like this.
Tip # 9- This kind of goes along with #4, but while you can bring your own alcohol onto the cruise ship, due to customs, once it’s been open you can’t take your alcohol off! This means a really rough last day tequila breakfast.
Tip #10- Get your paperwork in order. Make sure your passport, birth certificate, etc. are all legit. This may be an isolated incident, but one member of our party found out he was not actually a citizen the hard way… while being detained at the port in Miami indefinitely after the cruise. He ended up being released after about 45 minutes of questioning, but it was touch and go for a bit.
Those are just a few tips that worked for me. There’s really no wrong way to take a cruise. In fact, I challenge you not to have a good time on a Disney Cruise. I’m pretty sure it can’t be done. After all, how bad could this life be?