What to pack on a disney cruise
Disney,  Packing List,  Travel

The Ultimate Disney Cruise Packing List + What To Wear

If you are looking for the best packing list for a Disney Cruise you’re in the right place!

You have booked an unforgettable vacation on Disney Cruise Lines, and now you need to figure out what to wear on the cruise! It can vary depending on where your cruise is going and the season you are visiting.

What To Pack on a Disney Cruise and What To Wear On A Disney Cruise
What To Wear On A Disney Cruise: Cruise Casual

A cruise to Alaska may make a warm coat a top packing item, while a cruise to the Caribbean will make swimsuits a top thing to put on your packing list. Pirate Night replaces the traditional formal night on Disney Cruise Lines with guests sporting their best pirate attire!

The magic of Disney Cruise Lines makes this the ideal family vacation. Whether it is your first disney cruise or 20th it always best to be prepared. Let’s dive into what to pack and wear for your upcoming Disney Cruise.

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What To Wear On A Disney Cruise?

Consider The Weather

The first question to ask is, “What is the weather going to be like where I am going?” Disney offers a variety of cruises around the world so if you are opting for a Caribbean cruise vacation your packing list is going to vary from a family going on a European Cruise. I recommend googling the weather two weeks prior to your departure to get a feel for the climate during your trip.

Consider Your Excursions

Dressing for excursions outside of the ship always seems to be the hardest for me. I want to overpack the beach bag or backpack to bring more clothing, leaving little room for other necessities. The best advice I can give is to think about what you will be doing on your excursion and dress accordingly.

For beach excursions and water activities, I dress in my bathing suit, quick-drying shorts, and a tank top. I wear comfortable sandals and pack a cover-up. For walking tours, I typically dress in walking shoes, comfortable pants, t-shirt and pack a sweater.

Pack for shore excursions
Don’t forget to pack for shore excursions

Packing Tip: I always like to pack bottled water, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a small washcloth in my bag each time I leave the ship at a port of call. Don’t forget your cruise cards, credit cards, cash, and Photo ID.

Pirate Night

Pack your best eye patch and peg leg as you get ready for a swashbuckling night aboard the high seas. As evening falls, guests venture to dinner in their pirate best with many going out in full costumes for Pirate Night. That evening Disney hosts a Pirates of the Caribbean Deck Party which ends with a spectacular fireworks show.

Pirate Night
Pirate Night takes the place of Formal Night

Planning Tip: Disney does not want anyone feeling left out so every guest has a souvenir pirate bandana in their stateroom that they can wear. Pirate gear is also for sale onboard the ships for top dollar.

Easy Pirate Ideas: Utilize the bandana Disney gives with black leggings and a white shirt, and add in some eye makeup. I bought this Women’s Pirate Accessory Kit and paired it with black leggings. Many guests just buy a few Pirate Accessories to jazz up outfits.

Around The Ship

One thing I love about Disney Cruises is that they are mostly casual dress for all events and dinners. When I wasn’t in my swimsuit lounging by the pool, I was in shorts and a Disney T-shirt. You will find that a good majority of guests will be out in shorts and Disney gear for meals and activities.

During dinner men are typically wearing shorts with a nice shirt and women are in causal dresses or shorts and a nice top. Disney attire is always welcome and I loved seeing the variety of Disney outfits that everyone wore. I have this cute Minnie-themed dress saved for next time!

Packing List for a DIsney Cruise
Don’t Forget To Pack For The Kids

Kids will love dressing in their favorite princess dresses or superhero gear for dinner and meeting the characters. All throughout the ships, you will find little princesses and princes along with Marvel favorites such as Captain America and Spiderman.

Planning Tip: There is a more formal dress code at the adults-only restaurants, Palo and Remy. If you plan on dining at one of these restaurants it is best to wear pants and a collared shirt for men and a dress, skirt, or pants and a blouse for women.

Pro Tip: Dresses and costumes onboard are expensive. I recommend checking your second-hand children’s store for costumes. Especially look after Halloween for discounted costumes and dress-up gear! We packed a new dress for our daughter to wear to the bippity boppity boutique to prevent spending an extra $100 on a dress and $30 on shoes on the ship.

My Clothing Packing List For A Disney Cruise:

  • Tank tops and lightweight t-shirts. Disney shirts always add a little magic to the trip.
  • Swimsuit Cover-Up (I particularly loved this black beach cover-up.)
  • 2-3 Swim Suits- That way you won’t have to wear wet swimsuits while the others dry.
  • Flip Flops
  • A few pairs of shorts, capri pants, or casual dresses.
  • Pirate costume or accessories
  • A pair of water shoes if you are doing an excursion such as river tubing, climbing waterfalls, or an adventure park.
  • A couple of pairs of pants or leggings if going to Europe or Alaska.
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Casual shoes or flats to wear to dinner
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats, especially for kids.
  • A rash guard for kids since they will be spending a good amount of time in the sand and sun at ports of call.
  • Pack a set of fitness clothing.
  • A lightweight jacket or sweater. Bring one for everyone as the evenings can get cool or in air-conditioned spots.
  • Pack a pair of PJs. 
  • Undies and Socks.
  • Accessories for outfits such as mouse ears, headbands, pirate night, etc.
  • A coat, hat, and gloves may be needed if going on an Alaskan Cruise.

Other Things You May Want To Wear On A Disney Cruise

  • If plan on using the fitness facility bring workout clothes and gym shoes.
  • Halloween on the High Seas has a costume night. If you are planning on dressing as something other than a pirate, be sure to bring a costume. Many guests double as pirates for both costume night and pirate night.
  • There is an optional dress-up night on cruises under 6 nights. There is a formal and semi-formal night on cruises over 7 days. Formal pictures are offered on the cruise if you wish to dress up and have a gorgeous professional photo taken.
  • Matching Mickey Shirts are always a crowd favorite!
  • Don’t forget to pack your Mouse Ears! Many shops on Etsy have darling customizable ears.
What To Wear On A Disney Cruise
Disney Magic

Packing For A Disney Cruise

While planning for your Disney Cruise, there is more to pack outside of your clothing and sunscreen. Coming prepared with the necessary documents, travel gear, and essential items will keep you from making a mad dash to the gift shop and paying higher prices for everyday items.

Putting together a travel plan can help in packing. Start by placing important items such as passports, government-issued ID, Disney Cruise Luggage tags, printed confirmations for hotels, transfers and cruise documentation, birth certificates, medical insurance, travel insurance, mobile phones, phone chargers, keys, money, credit cards, and wallets in a designated area in your carry-on baggage.

It is a good idea always to pack an extra pair of clothes, prescription medications, and contact lens/glasses in your carry-on as well in case your flight gets canceled or delayed.

When traveling to tropical destinations, I typically pack a swimsuit in my carry-on. In the event my luggage is lost, I have something to wear to the pool or beach.

Packing Tip: On embarkation day ensure you have a carry-on that has bathing suits for everyone and bedtime clothes for littles who go to bed early. While Disney tries their best to get your checked luggage to your room quickly, it can take awhile. Having a carry-on with necessities will be a life saver.

Planning Tip: When leaving the ship during port days, passengers are advised only to carry their driver’s license and Key To The World Card and leave their passports on the ship.

Currency To Bring On The Ship

Everything that you will be purchasing on the ship will be charged to your onboard account. Your Key To The World Card will act as a credit card onboard.

Tipping On A Disney Cruise

I recommend having a variety of bills available on hand for tipping. Disney Cruise Lines does charge each guest a set amount in tips per day, however, many guests will find that there are a few areas where having cash for additional tips is helpful.

  • Tipping the cast member who brings up a room service order.
  • There is no automatic gratuity at adult restaurants on a Disney cruise. However, you will most likely receive exceptional service at Palo and Remy. An additional 18% is the suggested starting point.
  • Tipping tour guides and having cash available for excursions.
  • Tipping the porters who help handle your luggage.

Guests will find envelopes in their stateroom on the final evening of their cruise with the opportunity to leave additional tips for your Server, Assistant Server, Head Server, and Room Steward. While it is not mandatory, many guests leave additional cash as the staff works extremely hard with long hours to make your vacation fabulous.

Planning Tip: Remember that 18 % gratuity is already added to spa services and 15% gratuity to bar purchases.

Vaccination Documentation

If there is one thing a pandemic has taught us is that things can change overnight. Ensure that you keep up to date on any vaccinations or testing protocols that may be required to get on the ship or country that you are visiting. As a safety precaution, we brought our vaccination cards with us, even though we didn’t need them for our November 2022 sailing.

I recommend checking the Disney Cruise Line policies and reading important emails they send you about any changing policies.

After packing your carry-on for travel, here is your general packing list for a Disney Cruise with a stop in Castaway Cay.  

  • Sunscreen, but check to make sure it is reef safe.
  • Insect Repellent, bring if you are venturing out on a hike, a zip line adventure, or anything outside of water.
  • A beach bag
  • Water bottle
  • Bring an Underwater Camera if you plan on going snorkeling or doing fun activities that involve water. We have this particular waterproof camera, fell in love with it, and ended up buying all the extra accessories that come along with it.
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Wellness Kit: This includes Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, stomach medications such as Pepto tabs and Pepcid, and decongestants. Epi-Pen if needed. If traveling with children ensure that you have medication for them such as children’s Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
  • Dramamine. I would pack this for adults and children. It is best to be prepared if sea sickness set in.
  • E-reader or tablet and charger
  • Portable Phone Charger
  • Headphones
  • Baby wipes
  • Toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant
  • Shaving Supplies
  • Hair products and accessories
  • Makeup
  • Body Lotion
  • Lip Balms
  • Aloe Vera in case of sunburn
  • Small travel towel
  • waterproof phone case allows you to take your phone in the pool, the ocean, etc. You can also keep cruise card in it!
  • Sun hat
  • Pre-packaged snacks
  • Special occasion supplies such as anniversary gifts, birthday decorations, etc.

Packing Tip: The Cruise Line does offer shampoo, conditioner and soap in every stateroom for guests.

Extra Things To Put On Your Disney Cruise Packing List

Fish Extenders

Fish extenders (also known as FEs), are hanging gift bags, usually embroidered with the names of the family members traveling together, that are hung from small metal fish, used as mailboxes to receive information by the cabin stewards, located next to the cabin doors.

Disney Cruises families looking to participate in a fish extender gift exchange can reach out to other families on their cruise-specific Facebook Page or Disney board. Think of it as a secret Santa for fellow Disney-loving cruisers. You will need to sign up with a group so you get the room numbers of the families that you will need to surprise with a gift!

Gifts often are small in nature such as magnets, ornaments, etc. The Fish Extender group you join will have a limit and ideas on what to give. The beauty of the Fish Extender is that it is in no way organized by Disney. It is fellow cruisers making magical moments.

Personal Opinion: I felt that the fish extenders were just one additional thing to put on my to-do list. I didn’t have the space in our luggage to carry extra gifts so I opted to not participate. On the flip side, many guests love the surprise of getting fun trinkets throughout their cruise from fellow passengers.

Stateroom Door Decorations

Decorating your Disney Cruise stateroom door with Disney magnets is a long-time tradition on Disney Cruises. Many guests get personalized magnets with the cruise date and names of the guests in the room. You will see everything from Star Wars, and Marvel Comics to an array of Disney Movies themed doors.

Great Ideas: One family had a magnetic dry-erase board that the kids would indicate where they were going and leave messages. Consider using magnetic hooks as well to hang things from the door.

Get an autograph book
Don’t forget an autograph book

Autograph Ideas

A highlight of any Disney cruise is gathering all the signatures from the characters, including the infamous Captain Hook! I recommend getting an autograph book or an autograph photo mat to have the characters sign. Then print out the pictures of your family with the characters for a memorable souvenir.

You Can Bring Alcohol On Board

Disney Cruise Line Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port of call. These beverages must be packed in carry-on (not checked) bags or luggage.

Disney does charge a corking fee per bottle if you wish to consume wine or champagne in the dining room.

WHat to pack for kids on a disney cruise

What To Pack For Castaway Bay

Castaway Bay is Disney’s private island where many of the Caribbean sailings stop at. It is a great beach break with plenty of fun for the entire family. Keep in mind that there is a long walk from the ship to the beach. They do offer a tram but be sure you pack everything you need because you don’t want to make the trek back to the ship.

  • Bring a beach bag to carry all your beach supplies in.
  • Sunscreen/ Sunglasses
  • Disney Cruises provides beach towels for you to use.
  • Flip-flops
  • Hats
  • Dryer sheets to get sand off of little ones!
  • Sand toys
  • Phone/Camera
  • Snorkel Gear. They do rent it on the island but you can bring your own. I wish I had gotten the full-face snorkel for my daughter since she struggled with the traditional snorkel gear.
  • Water shoes
  • Portable Phone Charger
  • Water Bottle
  • Pre-Packaged snacks. Disney does offer lunch on the island but kids are always hungry.

What NOT to Bring on a Disney Cruise

Ensure that you are not accidentally bringing anything on board that is not allowed by reading the complete list of prohibited cruise items.

A few items you do not need to bring are:

  • A pack-n-play/ crib for baby (They are available onboard)
  • A hairdryer (Available onboard)
  • Electric irons and Steamers (all ships offer self-service laundry facilities equipped with irons and ironing boards)
  • Bottle sterilizers and warmers (A limited number of approved bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers are available upon request through Guest Services)
  • Firearms
  • Firearm replicas, including non-firing, imitations, toys, and their components
    • (Toy Exceptions)
      • Store-bought Light sabers
      • Plastic toy ‘pirate’ swords
      • Plastic store-bought toy “Mjolnir” hammers (Thor’s hammer)
  • Homemade food or snacks
  • Balloons and candles
  • Extension cords, power strips and surge protectors 
  • Inflatable Mattresses
  • Metal Detectors
  • Over-the-door hanging organizers
  • Drones

Note: The following electrical appliances will be collected for inspection by the Chief Electrician and if approved, will be returned for use onboard the ship.

  • Baby Monitors
  • Humidifiers
  • Portable fans
  • White Noise/Sleep Machine

We had our sound machine taken apart and given back to us. I recommend downloading a sound machine app on your phone to avoid this situation altogether.

Did you find our packing list helpful? Be sure to check out our other Disney Cruise articles!

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Ultimate Disney Cruise Packing List and What To Wear on a Disney Cruise