Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips

A culmination of our family’s best advice for Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips!
disney cruise line deals and tips Disney Cruise Line Deals and Tips

It was brought to my attention that all of our Disney Cruise Line deals and tips were not easily accessible all in one place. So if you want to know about everything from how we announced our Disney Cruise Line vacation to our kids to the secret tips we’ve learned while on our Disney Cruise family vacation, this is the place to find it!

I’ll continue to update these as I uncover more tips and continue to process more from our trip. Click on the hyperlinks below to read specific articles outlining each of my Disney Cruise tips below.

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Disney Cruise Departure: What to Do Beforehand

I’m still trying to process all the memories from our Disney Cruise Line family trip, but while they were fresh in my mind, I wanted to share some practical tips for what to do before your Disney Cruise departure.

IMG 9059 675x1024 Disney Cruise Departure: What to Do Beforehand

Being that you’re on a cruise ship, there aren’t as many “We’ll just take care of that once we’re there” moments (not to mention you’re also traveling out of the country!), so there are a lot of details to attend to before you even think of leaving on your fabulous Disney Cruise vacation.

I’ve tried to divide my Pre-Disney Cruise Departure Duties into practical segments for you:

Home related Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Call your cell phone company and ask them to put restrictions on your phone so you are not charged for international calling, data, or roaming
You will also want to place your phone on airplane mode if you plan on keeping it on to use the camera.

Make sure to make all your phone calls before you get on board because of the restrictions you’re going to put on your phone

Place your mail on hold with the post office

Credit Cards: Call and let them know you’ll be traveling outside of the country. However beware: most charge a transaction fee ranging from 2-5% for any purchases made on foreign soil.

***There is a phone number so that you can be reached on board the ship in case of emergency. Make sure to leave that with a friend or family member.

Personal Items for your Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Charge your cell phone and electronic devices before leaving for the airport

Keep vitamins, medications, sunscreen, gum, and motion sickness remedies close by.

Pack your most important items in a back to keep with you because it may be hours before you are reunited with your luggage

Trip related Pre-Disney Cruise To-Do List:
Contact Disney cruise in advance to let them know about anything you may be celebrating. You can have your room decorated by them for a small fee or even have cake, water, or alcohol delivered to your room throughout your cruise.

Order personalized items, like autographed pillowcases, door magnets, fish extenders, bags, water bottles, and T-shirts

Call ahead and see if you can find out your dinner rotation. It’s helpful to know so you can make alternative plans around your lesser favorite restaurants.

Have you gone on a Disney Cruise before? What Disney Cruise departure to-do suggestions do you have?

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Disney Cruise Kids Dining Options: Recreating Healthy Fun at Home!

IMG 9147 300x225 Disney Cruise Kids Dining Options: Recreating Healthy Fun at Home!

One thing that has always intrigued me about the Disney brand are their dining option…especially when it comes to kids dining.

So when I learned that we were going to get to be a part of a Disney Cruise, the first thing I wanted to learn more about was how they come up with their kids meals, how they keep them healthy while still making them fun, and how I could recreate that healthy fun at home!

Once on board, I got to hear first hand how the Disney Cruise Line does exactly that. Not only did the chefs at Lumiere’s lay out an amazing array of their kids’ dining offerings, but I got to hear from someone who has quite a bit of expereince when it comes to Disney Cruise kids cuisine: Marcy Galloway, the Disney Cruise Line specialist for the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
IMG 9138 225x300 Disney Cruise Kids Dining Options: Recreating Healthy Fun at Home!

Just take a look at all the different types of Disney Cruise dining options (and pay special attention to the end of the video to see whether or not kids really will eat what they serve…)

So what were the biggest takeaways for us when it comes to making healthy food fun at home?

Recreating Healthy Fun at Home with Disney Cruise Kids Dining:

1. Always encourage kids to try new things at every meal, just keep portions small and make sure there’s something else you know they’ll like on the same plate

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2. Keep food separated. Most kids don’t like their food to touch and it makes the plate more attractive to have distinct portions.

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3. Create fun shapes with kids’ food. While I’m not a proponent for over-indulging kids when it comes to mealtime by cutting of crusts and making things look like flowers, I will say that sometimes using a little creativity when it comes to presentation will get kids to try foods they normally wouldn’t, like fish & unique vegetables.

IMG 9139 300x225 Disney Cruise Kids Dining Options: Recreating Healthy Fun at Home!

4. Keep your kids’ plate balanced. Make sure every plate consists of a good protein, some veggies/fruit and a small complex carb.

Of course, having fun plates, Mickey shaped pasta and great activity sheets to keep the kids busy while they waited on dinner didn’t hurt either icon wink Disney Cruise Kids Dining Options: Recreating Healthy Fun at Home!

What question would you ask a Disney Chef about feeding your kids and getting them to try new things?

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Our Disney Cruise Western Caribbean Photo Album (so far!)

Our Disney Cruise Western Caribbean Photo Album:
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20130130 140914 Our Disney Cruise Western Caribbean Photo Album (so far!)

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Our Disney Cruise Final Countdown: 1 more day!

It’s our Disney Cruise Final Countdown! I can’t believe there’s only one day to go!

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How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook

disney cruise kids sail free 300x94 How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook
Are you wondering how to make a Disney Cruise Lapbook?

Perhaps you’re wondering what a Lapbook is in the first place?

Our family is taking a 6 night Disney Cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Disney Magic (leaving out of one of their new ports – Galveston, TX where kids sail free right now!). While we’re super excited, we also realize that means the kids are going to miss a lot of school.

So I went to their teachers to ask how we can maximize their learning AND fun while onboard the Disney Cruise; their answer: a Disney Cruise Lapbook!

20130121 095651 How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook PinExt How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook

I searched the web and couldn’t find anyone who had made a Disney Cruise Lapbook, so for any of you who want to try something similar, I thought I’d share two videos on the topic:
1. How to Make a Disney Cruise Lapbook (which you can watch below)
2. How to Fill your Disney Cruise Lapbook (coming soon)

We’re making three Lapbooks to take aboard our Disney Magic Cruise:
1. At Sea (the biggest of our Lapbooks since that’s where we’ll be spending the majority of our time)
2. Cozumel (our first Port of Call)
3. Grand Cayman (our second Port of Call)

Before embarking (pun intended!) on making your Disney Cruise Lapbooks, make sure to gather all the necessary supplies (easy to find at most office supply stores or around the house):
*Colored 3-Tab File Folders
*Glue Sticks
*Scissors (adult & kid size)
*Tape (Invisible & Packing Tape)
*Pencils
*A clean, flat surface to fold and glue on

The decorative elements like stickers and mini-books will come in the next lesson, so don’t worry about those now.

This how-to video will walk you through how to make & fold a basic lapbook, as well as how to add pages to your lapbook, how to add a folder to your lapbook and how to make a multi-folder lap book:

(I know it’s long, but I wanted to be thorough for any of you who have never done it before. It’s also broken down into segments, so you can fast forward to special sections of interest if you like)

Make sure to stay tuned for more tips on how to prepare for a Disney Cruise, as well as reports from our Disney Cruise Line adventure!

 

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A Disney Cruise Line Kids’ Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

IMG 8588 225x300 A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day
This Christmas, after all the gifts were opened, we made a pretty big announcement to our kids that involved a scavenger hunt and the Disney Cruise Line.

<read our “Cone Family Year of Celebration” post here>.

If you know anything about us, you know that we love Disney and would rather be there than almost anywhere else, especially when it comes to celebrating something.

Though we spent half of our honeymoon at Walt Disney World, we didn’t get married there. Since then, I’ve always dreamed about being wealthy enough that we could fly our closest friends to Walt Disney World for a 10th anniversary vow renewal ceremony outside of the Grand Floridian Hotel.

While I am proud to say I have been honing my savings techniques over these past 10 years, I still have to work on the accumulating wealth part icon wink A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

So even though a Disney fairytale wedding wasn’t in the cards for us, we wanted to see if there was another way for our Disney wedding dreams come true.

We definitely wanted to make whatever we did a family affair, so at first we looked into an “Adventures by Disney” trip to London & Paris. While there’s no doubt in my mind that it would be truly amazing, and I have promised to take our children there at some point, I just didn’t feel like our kids were the right ages to fully appreciate a trip to Europe.

We weren’t necessarily looking for an ‘active’ trip either to kick off our year of celebration. Not to mention, we wanted a trip where we didn’t have to do a lot of thinking; as much as we love Disney World, I have yet to learn how to go there without feeling like I have to do EVERYTHING (no matter how many times we’ve been there!).

Then it hit me – the Disney Cruise Line! The magic and impeccable service of Disney coupled with a leisurely cruise at see around the Caribbean – PERFECT!

We were presented an opportunity to either take a 3 night cruise that stopped at several ports in the Eastern Caribbean or a more leisurely cruise around the Western Caribbean with more time at sea. The only other Disney Cruise we’ve been on was a 3 night, and though it was a blast, we were exhausted at the end because we tried to pack so much in at the ports and on the ship. The thought of having several days at sea to simply enjoy all that’s on board sounded delightful, so we opted for a 6 night voyage on the Disney Magic leaving from Galveston, TX!

Here’s how we decided to break the news to our kiddos on Christmas morning:

So there you have it! We’re kicking of our Cone Family Year of Celebration with a 6 night Disney Cruise departing from Galveston, TX on January 26, 2013 that will makes its way through the Western Caribbean with stops at Cozumel & Grand Cayman.

If you’re considering an equally exciting announcement of your own with your family, I took pictures of each of the clues you heard on the video since I realize they were not all read accurately icon wink A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day I came up with the clever rhymes myself, but I took help by ordering official Disney Cruise Line merchandise from DisneyStore.com to sprinkle along the scavenger hunt.

***A word of advice: if I were to do this again, I would print the clues out from the computer instead of handwriting them in cursive.
I also would have kept the TV off until the actual announcement to minimize distractions.***

Disney Cruise Line Kids’ Scavenger Hunt Clues:

Scavenger Hunt Clue #1: The kids started in our dining room to have the first clue run to them, that lead them to the family room:

20121230 161433 A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

Scavenger Hunt Clue #2: After finding the Silver Mickey Disney Cruise Line ornament hanging on our Christmas tree, they received clue #2 that led them to their little Disney tree upstairs in the loft:

20121230 161457 A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

Scavenger Hunt Clue #3: After finding Disney Cruise Line lanyard wallets hanging from their Disney tree, A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day
they received the following clue that led them back downstairs to our guest room:

20121230 161514 A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

Scavenger Hunt Clue #4: After discovering their Disney Cruise Line autograph books hiding in the dresser of the guest room  A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day
they read the clue below which led them to our mud room:

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Scavenger Hunt Clue #5: After finding a Disney Cruise Line travel pack  A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day
they received their last clue that led them back to dad in the family room:

20121230 161541 A Disney Cruise Line Kids Scavenger Hunt Announcement on Christmas Day

My husband was waiting there with phone in hand, ready to play the free Disney Cruise Line character call that we had scheduled so Mickey Mouse himself could announce to the kids how excited he was that they were going to be coming aboard the Disney Magic with him! If you heard, we were even able to personalize the call with our ship, the date and itinerary.

If you couldn’t tell, we are beyond excited to take this Disney Cruise Line Adventure with our family! Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I’ll be documenting each of our steps as we prepare to embark on our first trip to kick of our 2013 Year of Celebration!

If you’d like to learn how your kids can sail free on a Disney Cruise, keep reading…

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Disney Cruise Line Miami: Kids Sail Free 2013 Inaugural Season!

Disney Cruise Logo Left 300x85 Disney Cruise Line Miami: Kids Sail Free 2013 Inaugural Season!

For those of you who just found out about our Disney Cruise Line Scavenger Hunt Announcement, I have great news to share if you want to try to make the same Disney Cruise memories with your own family:

KIDS SAIL FREE!

That’s right, to celebrate their inaugural season sailing out of Miami, FL, Disney Cruise Line is letting kids sail free on most of their sailings out of Miami from January 14 – February 27, 2013. The Kids Sail Free deal is good for up to two children (17 & under counts as a kid!) when staying in the same stateroom as two paying adults.

This is an especially great deal for all of my Florida friends who can drive to the port of Miami!

I also just learned that kids can sail free on select Disney Cruise line trips out of their Galveston, TX port, including the exact same itinerary we’ll be taking through the Western Caribbean!

This offer is available for select 4-night and 6-night Western Caribbeanitineraries and 8-night Bahamian itineraries sailing from Galveston, Texas on these dates:

  • 8-night Bahamian Cruises aboard Disney Magic—valid for most sailings departing between February 15 and April 26, 2013.
  • 6-night Western Caribbean Cruises aboard Disney Magic—valid for most sailings departing between January 12 and April 20, 2013, excluding March 9 and 23, 2013.
  • 4-night Western Caribbean Cruises aboard Disney Magic—valid for most sailings departing between February 1 and April 16, 2013.

I hope this helps some of you to make your magical Disney Cruise Line dreams come true icon smile Disney Cruise Line Miami: Kids Sail Free 2013 Inaugural Season!

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