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We took our first Disney cruise when my daughter was just a year old. She was so excited, we were so excited and I had read lots of articles online to prepare myself. My husband and I had been on a bunch of cruises before so I thought I had a good handle on things, but cruising with a little one and on a Disney cruise is a little different. Here are some of the top tips that I found from our experiences on the Disney ships:
- Never go anywhere without your camera – you never know what, or who, you will encounter. On our second Disney cruise, we were waiting for one of the shows and my daughter Peyton, who was a year and a half at the time, wanted to run around instead of sitting in a seat waiting for a show – big surprise right? Well, Mickey had just finished doing his photo appearance and was walking away when he spotted Peyton pointing at him excitedly. He stopped to wave at her and she was so excited. He extended his hand for her to hold while they walked down the hallway together – she only held it for a few seconds before running ahead and then looking behind her as if to say, Mickey, are you coming? This little pattern went on for nearly 5 minutes before it was time for Mickey to go and he gave Peyton a big hug. We were able to get a good portion of the interaction taped on our phone and the look on Peyton’s face was priceless. I still go back to watch it often almost 2 years later! It’s a moment we’ll never forget!
- Don’t skip the dance parties! I know what you are thinking, it’s another show where the characters dance on a stage and it’s fun for the kids to watch them. Not these dance parties! The characters are down on the floor, interacting with the kids! Peyton had all the characters pay her some special attention and hold her hand at various dance parties. My husband even has a selfie doing a conga line with Pluto!
- Use the Disney Navigator App on your phone – you can put your phone on airplane mode and use the app without using any roaming or fees for having your phone on. The app has all the days activities, what the menu will be that night and where the characters will be at what time. You can also set reminders of events! I’d go in the night before after Peyton was asleep and set my reminders for the next day. You can also look at the whole week at one time, which is helpful with the character meet and greets because some of the lesser known character, such as Disney Junior ones like Sofia and Doc McStuffins, are only out a couple times during the cruise so you don’t want to miss them.
These are some of the lesser known tips that I came across that definitely helped us when we did future cruises and I hope they helped you too!