Disney Cruising as a First-Timer: Part 3 – Keeping Up the Excitement


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So, we’re booked and have done all our research to best prepare ourselves for our Disney Cruise Line vacation, but as of writing this, we still have 251 days to go! To say I’m restless is an understatement and keeping up my excitement has been difficult since it’s so far away. Due to this, I’ve been having to find lots of ways to keep myself busy and add a bit of Disney into my day. Here are a couple of the things I’ve done to keep myself from getting too restless:

Keeping Busy with Work/School:

My schedule tends to be pretty busy with my two jobs and being a full-time student. I’m also a theatre student, and with that comes my stage management duties for the show I was working on over the semester. It helps being so busy since I have homework and other responsibilities to keep my mind off of the cruise. Of course, I still daydream, but it’s more excitement rather than frustration that it’s still so far away.

Going to the Gym:

This one is a little weird, but if you plan to do the Castaway Cay 5K, going to the gym is not only a great way to train for it, but it’s also good for you. Working out is not only great for you health-wise, but it’s a great stress reliever (a big reason why I work out) and time killer. Plus, the 5K is a nice goal to get to if you’re trying to get in shape. My boyfriend and I have been working out more to train for the 5K so we’re in the best shape to run it. Of course, if running isn’t your thing and you still want to do the 5K, I’ve seen plenty of people talk about simply walking it. This is more of a fun run, so do whatever works best for you.

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DIS Boards/FB Groups:

I began using DISBoards when I was planning my trip to Walt Disney World. Not only did all the questions I had get answered, but there were also tons of threads that were really interesting to read. Since booking the cruise, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Disney Cruise Line Forum asking questions and reading some incredibly informative threads. There are also plenty of Facebook groups with people who are new to Disney Cruise Line and people who have vast experiences cruising with Disney. There are also specific pages belonging to the cruise you are going on, allowing you to meet those who will be cruising with you and even set up Fish Extender groups. The group I’ve joined for my cruise is awesome and everyone enjoys giving tips and sharing excitement, which of course makes me more excited for the cruise!



Explore Cruise Videos on YouTube:

During the planning of my Walt Disney World vacation, I was able to gather a lot of my planning information through YouTube. I mainly watched DIS Unplugged, who had a bunch of awesome tips on how to book. For cruising, I’ve gone back to looking at DIS Unplugged, but also their sister channel Dreams Unlimited Travel*. Some other channels I enjoy watching for cruise information are: Legg Life, The Tim Tracker, and Michael Kay. Not only are these videos insightful, but they’re very entertaining!

Fish Extender Shopping and Magnet Making:

Fish extenders is a gift exchange by cruise guests. You can read more about it here, but this is a great way to help the time until your cruise go by. I joined through the Facebook group for my cruise and I’ve had an awesome time planning gifts and going out to purchase them. Our group has also created an ornament exchange because we are on a holiday cruise and I can’t wait to give our group a little memento from Disneyland! I’m even planning on utilizing my sewing skills and making my own fish extender pockets.

Did you know the stateroom doors are magnetic? I sure didn’t, but it is a custom for cruisers to make or purchase magnets for their doors to be recognizable and give some flair to their stateroom. These magnets can share the cruisers’ names, celebrations, or favorite characters. My boyfriend has even gotten in on the fun and made us some awesome 3-D printed ones that I will definitely share when we put them up on our cruise door. They’re really cute and designing my own has gotten me really excited for the cruise! Here are the two I’ve designed:

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Disney Cruise Line App:

The Disney Cruise Line Navigator App is what you will use to see schedules and communicate with your company on the cruise. While you’re waiting for your cruise, the app doesn’t do much other than be a super cute countdown. However, it’s a fun countdown to get your excitement going!



Take a Quick Trip to Disney:

I live in California about 25 minutes away from the Disneyland Resort, which is extremely convenient. Disney really is my happy place, and while I want to go often, the price tag is a little steep for us, especially since we’re paying for this cruise. However, being so close allows me to take small trips to Downtown Disney, which is cheaper and gives me a taste of Disney magic. If you can afford it, definitely take a small trip to keep the magic flowing! I know I’m definitely going to pop into Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in September.

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Shop Disney and for Your Cruise:

If you can’t go to Downtown Disney (or even Disney Springs), simply going to the Disney Store or shopping through their website may quench your thirst for Disney. I know I keep “accidentally” going in and coming out with merchandise. Shopping for your cruise is also a perfect way to get your excitement going. I just bought a new lanyard to take with me on my cruise and have a list going of items I’m going to need.

Add Disney into Your Style:

Disneybounding” is an awesome way to bring Disney into your daily life and to express your love of Disney. I have a plethora of outfits that resemble Disney characters and love wearing them out because they make me happy. Simply wearing Disney shirts or carrying around a Disney bag is a fun way to show your Disney side as well!

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Research Activities and Port Adventures:

I, as a first-time cruiser, am not able to book activities and port adventures until 75 days before my cruise. Depending on how many times you’ve cruised, you get an earlier booking date. Because I’m a “Type A” person, I love to best prepare myself and already have what I want to do in mind. Researching will definitely bring excitement for your cruise as you know what to look forward to! There are so many port adventures and on-board activities to choose from, it may take some time to decide which you and your family want to do more. I already know that wine tastings and Palo Brunch is in our plan!

So there you have it, just a couple of ways to keep up the magic while you’re waiting for your sailing date to arrive. My next article will be coming soon!

Want to get to know me more? Follow me on Instagram (@princess_iliana_of_avalor and @princess_iliana_cosplays) or Twitter (@Disney_Iliana).



*The information contained in this article represents the opinion of the author, and not necessarily the opinion of the DIS.


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