I spend a lot of time focusing on all the elements we need to make our Disney vacations magical, but have you ever thought about the things you don’t need? It is especially important to know what not to take on a Disney Cruise.
I am a habitual over-packer. All the outfits must have all the shoes and all the accessories. Packing light is an art that isn’t always necessary, but it is vital to enjoying the small space of a cruise ship cabin.
What NOT to Take on a Disney Cruise
To help those of you out there who are habitual over-packers like me, I’ve made a short, but sweet, list of things you definitely do not need to take on a Disney Cruise Line vacation.
There is even less room in a ship cabin than in a Disney Parks hotel room, so you really only need to bring the necessities.
Before anyone brings up objections, hear me out. I know there are extenuating circumstances or children with disabilities who need this particular item. But from my experience? I saw way too many double-jogging strollers clogging up the hallways on board.
Yes, the ships are large, and yes, there is a lot of walking, but I bet your kids can manage better than you think they can. I would suggest if you really just have to have a stroller, a cheap little umbrella stroller is the perfect way to go.
A little walking will be good for all, and there are plenty of places to stop and sit if you need to. Also, there is literally no room to store those huge jogging strollers in your cabin anyway, so just leave them in the car.
Outfits for Every Occasion
A typical Disney Cruise Line vacation makes stops in exotic locals, oftentimes with a beach. There are at least 3 pools (1 kids only, 1 for everyone, 1 for adults) on board every ship. Most cruises typically go to tropical climates (unless sailing to Canada, Alaska, or Europe during the summer months).
We were in our swimsuits for 75% of our trip. Even when not personally wearing a swimsuit, I was dressed very casually because I was by the pool with my kids.
I packed three sundresses for dinner, and I don’t think I wore but one of them. Start the packing process by picking out an outfit for every day of the trip, then go back and check out the itinerary to see what can be cut.
Are you spending all of one day at Castaway Cay? You’ll want to change for dinner in the dining room, but otherwise, that’s a swimsuit day. Are you spending a day at sea? Probably also another full day in your swimsuit with one change for dinner. Go through each day and remove the outfits you won’t wear. Pack smart.
Completely, 100% unnecessary. At Castaway Cay, beach towels are provided for you. In fact, other than souvenirs, smoothies, and alcohol, everything on Disney’s private island is provided for you (yes, even lunch and dessert).
Freshly cleaned towels are at every turn by the pools and hot tubs. A beach towel will take up too much room in your luggage and is a big waste of space.
BONUS TIP: Toys and Money are also Unnecessary
Don’t be tempted to bring beach toys or other “entertainment” items for small kids. Don’t do it. Extra, unnecessary luggage takes up precious space in the cabin.
As far as not needing money, you may want to bring a little cash to tip room service if you wish to utilize it. For the rest of your trip, it is completely unnecessary. Set up an onboard account and provide a credit card number.
The bill for all onboard purchases (and purchases at Castaway Cay) are itemized and totaled on the day of debarkation. No cash is necessary. It’s exactly like providing a credit card for Magic Band purchases in the park. Save yourself the hassle of carrying around your wallet and set up an onboard account before you sail.