Step 5: Plan Daily Activities

Step 5Planning your days on a Disney Cruise is a balancing act. On one hand you want to take advantage of the many activities and offerings available on land and sea. On the other hand, you want plenty of time to relax and let it all go.

I cannot stress this next point enough – Do Not Try To Do It All! Don’t try, especially on a 3- or 4-night sailing. Whenever I am tempted by one more fantastic event, I try to make mental notes of it so that I can look forward to on future voyages. Instead of over-programming, focus your energy on one or two must do activities each day. This allows time for relaxation and spontaneous fun.

There are two main categories of activities – those you reserve prior to sailing and activities which cannot be planned until you board.

Activities Reserved Prior to Departure:

You may book your Port Adventures, spa treatments, signature dining and an appointment to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique 75 days prior to departure – sooner if you are Castaway Club Members. Final payment on your cruise must be made before reserving activities, and many of these activities are not included in your cruise fare. An additional fee is required and will be charged to your on board account (often abbreviated OBO). Cancellation policies are in effect. Read the activity description completely.

Princess Gatherings, offered on select voyages, give guests the opportunity to meet several princesses at one party. Though this is included in the cost of your cruise, you need to reserve your place. DCL has begun to offer advance reservations via the My Cruise Activities area of your Disney Cruise Line account. If reservations are not available online, check with the Port Adventures desk upon boarding to see if the Gathering is offered during your cruise and to reserve your spot.

DCL Prep School Tip: If bad weather or rough seas cause a cancelation to an event or Part Adventure booked with Disney Cruise Line, your onboard account will not be charged.

Activities Planned On Board

While you may have a list of things of must do activities you  want to book ahead, there will still be plenty of time in the day for spontaneous fun and relaxation. Your Personal Navigator is a daily schedule of every activity scheduled on board every day. It includes deck parties, ship tours, wine tasting, movies, shows and on and on. The Navigator delivered to your stateroom each night and contains the next day’s schedule, most of which are included in your cruise fare. If an additional fee is required for an activity, it is clearly stated.

DCL Prep School Tip: I love The Art of the Theme Show tour. Odd name. Great tour. It is offered at least once on each cruise. Your guide leads you around the ship, pointing out details, decor and sharing story behind every decorating and theming decision made on the ship, many of which I can’t wait to share with you. This tour is for adults only and does not go into any “backstage” areas.