Bon voyage! If you consider yourself a big Disney fan, then a Disney cruise is probably on your vacation bucket list. Like other Disney vacations, a Disney cruise is filled with enough magic and fun for everyone in your family. But unlike a trip to the Disney Parks and Resorts, a Disney cruise has some added pixie dust that new parents may be a bit cautious of: it’s a vacation aboard a ship.
Whether you’re a frequent cruiser eager to give Disney Cruise Line a try or you want to tick a cruise off your Disney vacation bucket list, a Disney cruise is an amazing vacation for families. And although the idea of bringing your young children along on your Disney cruise may seem daunting, don’t let the idea of a cruise ship scare you away. Disney Cruise Line ships have plenty of amazing accommodations that make Disney cruises just as enjoyable as trips to the Disney parks.
Read on to learn all of our top tips for vacationing with little ones aboard a Disney cruise.
Your child has to be 6 months or older to sail
First and foremost, you should make sure your child is old enough to sail aboard Disney Cruise Line. If you’re planning your family’s Disney cruise to be your baby’s first Disney vacation, take note: your baby must be 6 months or older in order to sail aboard a Disney cruise ship, or 1 year or older for Transatlantic and Panama Canal trips. For new parents, this may be a deal-breaker that causes them to book a Disney Parks vacation instead of a Disney cruise. But if you’re willing to wait until your baby is a bit older, a cruise will be worth it.
Meet all your favorite characters at sea
Okay, now that we’ve got the age restriction PSA out of the way, it’s time for the information you’ve been waiting for: characters. That’s right, your kids can meet all of their favorite characters at sea. You can get those adorable meet-and-greet photo-worthy interactions with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald, Goofy, and the rest of your kids’ favorite characters. Your toddlers will flip when they see their favorite Disney Princesses sailing aboard your Disney cruise ship, and you can get one-on-one time with characters by reserving meet-and-greet times with them or attending one of the on-ship dance parties. These at-sea interactions with Disney characters can be more intimate and less stressful than meet-and-greets at the Disney Parks, too.
There are complimentary baby-friendly amenities available for your stateroom
No room for a crib in your suitcase? No problem! You can order a Pack-n-Play, as well as many other baby amenities, straight to your stateroom by calling Guest Services once your cruise is paid in full or by visiting Guest Services once you board the ship. Available upon request on a first-come, first-served basis, there are plenty of amenities for families traveling for small children, including the following:
- Complimentary diaper disposal units, bottle warmers, bottle sterilizers, cribs and playpens are available upon request from the stateroom host/hostess.
- Complimentary strollers are available at Guest Services.
- Complimentary Pack-n-Play portable cribs are available. Your stateroom host or hostess can set the crib up and take it down for you each day.
- Complimentary high chairs are available at all of the restaurants onboard.
- Fresh pureed vegetables can be prepared at the main dining rooms and through room service, upon request.
- At Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, complimentary wagons are available to facilitate navigating the island’s sandy beaches.
- Essential baby supplies are available for purchase at the onboard merchandise shops, including diapers, training pants, rash cream, infant formula (ready to feed), bottles, pacifiers, baby food, baby shampoo, baby lotion and baby powder.
Disney offers babysitting services aboard each ship
Want to ensure you get some couple time on your cruise? Then you’ve got to take advantage of Disney’s babysitting services. Disney Cruise Line offers on-ship babysitting services for little ones. “it’s a small world” Nursery is located on all four Disney Cruise line ships (Magic, Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy) where kids from 6 months to 3 years can be cared for by trained Disney counselors. That means parents don’t have to miss out on the amazing adult experiences, activities, and excursions during your Disney cruise (keep those Remy reservations!). Be sure to call Guest Services for more information about the babysitting services available on your Disney cruise.
You can bring your own pre-packaged baby food
If your little one is used to their own formula or baby food, no problem. Guests may bring baby food and formula aboard a Disney cruise ship as long as they are prepackaged, unopened, and do not require any food preparation from the kitchen. If you are not planning on bringing your own food for your baby, that’s okay, too. You can purchase baby food and formula aboard the ship, as well.
Little ones can have fun, too!
While there are plenty of epic experiences aboard Disney Cruise Line (and not all are baby-friendly), there are also some amazing opportunities for your little ones to have fun. Nemo’s Reef, Dory’s Reef, and Nephew’s Splash Zone offer little ones plenty of fun in the water aboard the ships. So even though your children can’t wear diapers in the larger pools, you can still bring them to the awesome splash pads in these designated baby-friendly water areas.
There are so many fun experiences for the whole family aboard Disney Cruise Line, from incomparable dining to Broadway-caliber shows. Don’t forget to check out Academy Travel so you can book your next vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and take advantage of some amazing deals and experiences on your upcoming trip. We love using Academy Travel to make our Disney Cruise Line and other Disney vacations a total breeze.