The Disney Cruise Line ships are jam-packed with things to do, especially the brand-new Disney Dream. That’s a good thing because you’ll never be bored, but a bad thing because it’s virtually impossible to cram everything you want to do into one trip. That’s one of the reasons I’ve taken nearly 80 Disney cruises. As I was looking at the itinerary for the upcoming christening cruise itinerary (follow me on Twitter for live reports on Jan. 19), I realized that I would probably need some 5 Hour Energy shots to even see a small fraction of what I wanted to in less than 48 hours on board. The standard cruise is at least a little longer (3 to 7 days), but it’s still hard to cover everything. Here are some hints on getting the most out of your Disney cruise:
1) Book a longer trip if at all possible. The 3 night voyages are good “starter cruises,” but they go by very fast. You have to do a shorter trip if you want to sail on the Dream, so book at least four days so you get a day at sea.
2) Prioritize your activities. Websites like www.castawayclub.com have copies of the Personal Navigators, which are daily activitiy lists. They change regularly, but seeing former schedules helps you know what Disney typically offers so you can be prepared with a list of what you really want to do.
3) Book limited activities as early as possible. Disney lets you book the specialty restaurants, spa treatments and shore excursions online before your sailing, although availability is limited. Try to book as much as possible before you sail, and get to the port early to book the rest on board. There are other things, like the wine tastings, that also need to be booked ahead of time.
4) Try to eat light. Yes, yes, I know it’s a cruise, but too many meals bog you down and leave you wanting a nap. Keep the food consumption moderate and make time for some exercise to keep your energy level up.
5) Be prepare to go with minimal sleep. The Disney ships have activities going from dawn till dusk, so you’ll be awake long hours if you want to cram as much as possible into your day. That’s exactly why I’m packing the Five Hour Energy drinks. You’ll need a post-vacation vacation when you get home, but you’ll be confident that you experienced as much as humanly possible.
One of the best part of Disney cruises is the show. Click the video at left for a clip from “Toy Story: The Muscial” onboard the Disney Wonder. Click here to read more of my Disney Cruise Line articles, include trip reports from the christening cruise Jan. 19 to 21, and click here to read my theme parks column.