A lot of us love Disney. And with that love of Disney comes Disney Cruise Line (DCL for short). A lot of people have tips or tricks that people know about already when it comes to DCL, but here are some lesser known hacks that I hope will make your Disney cruise more enjoyable.
#1. Make your own Disney ice cream sandwiches for free-ish!
Yes, I said ice cream sandwiches for “free-ish,” and here’s how in three easy steps:
First, order 2 cookies (per person), either chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin — my personal favorite — from room service or grab them from a lunch or buffet area. Second, have someone from your stateroom grab a couple cups from the free soda area and go to the ice cream area and fill those cups up with the ice cream flavor of your choice. Third, bring them back to wherever you are and put the ice cream on a cookie and put the other cookie on top.
Voila!- ice cream sandwich.
*If you order from room service (which is free), please tip — which is why I say “free-ish.” Everyone works hard on the boat and if you are extra nice to housekeeping or room service or whomever then you just might get a little bit of pixie dust in your stateroom!
One time we ordered room service and later that day we found a box of chocolates with a note thanking us from the room service staff.
Oatmeal cookies from housekeeping.
#2. Decorate the inside of your stateroom door:
We all want to have the best-decorated stateroom doors; however, we’re all worried about someone taking our magnets. One trick you can do is to decorate your stateroom door on the inside. Leave your magnets on the inside and then you don’t have to worry about them being taken. Another trick you can do is after you have your magnets printed out — before you laminate them — write or place address labels on the back of them. That way if someone does take them your name and address will always be on the back and then someone can either try and find them on the boat or those people will always have them even if they try to cross it out.
Decorated door on the cruise
#3. Save money on costumes:
Everyone wants to dress up for Pirate Night, Star Wars or Marvel Day at Sea, Halloween on the High Seas, or Very Merrytime — especially kids. However, unless you have money to burn Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is expensive. One way you can save money and get the kids dressed up is to go shopping after Halloween when costumes are on sale. Even if your cruise is in July, buy a size up after Halloween when everything is on sale and you’ll be set for the cruise. The kids will be happy and feel like a part of the festivities when they are dressed up, and you’ll have more money to spend on other DCL-related things.
Another way to save is to go to the Disney outlet stores. They have a lot of cheap Disney things and even if your kids can’t get a full costume they can get a crown or get a pirate sword or Mickey ears or whatever they want. Another great idea is instead of a full costume just get special pirate Mardi Gras beads, temporary tattoos, a special bandana, or a glow sword from the dollar tree. They will still be dressed up but not the full cost of a costume.
Our pirate gear: bandana, stickers, and Mardi Gras beads
#4. Network for cabanas:
Desperate to get a cabana on Castaway Cay? Make friends with your cruise group either on the DIS Boards or Facebook groups. Cabanas are very hard to get even if you’re a Platinum Castaway Club member; however, one way to get a cabana is to make friends with people in your group. Someone in the group might cancel and private message you to sign up when they do. Or if you make friends they might invite you to join them and split the cost of a cabana. We were blessed once when someone contacted us on Facebook after we posted that we wanted a cabana and they were moving to a family beach. It was worth it! Another possible way is to get on the waiting list at guest services on board right away. You just might get a call!
The sign by the cabanas on Castaway Cay
#5. Get more Palo in your trip:
We love Palo — we try to do Palo at least three times every trip. We love both dinner and brunch. Now there is a way to get twice the Palo dinner. Book Palo the first night of your cruise and you can book Palo another night of your cruise. If you are worried about missing a restaurant or a menu in your regular rotation then either book Palo 2 hours before your dining assigned time or 1 hour after your dining assigned time. That way on the first night you can still meet your other dinner mates, your wait staff, and check out the restaurant but still go to Palo.