A special thank you to Disney for inviting my family and I to participate in the 2020 Disney Creators Celebration, which included a stay at the Disney Riviera Resort, park tickets, and a hosted Disney Cruise. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Only one week ago, we just got home from our very first Disney Cruise. Y’all– it was everything you’ve heard and more. Talk about a magical vacation! But I came home with so much to share with y’all! What to pack, what not to pack, first-timer cruise tips– all the things! But we’re starting off with the biggest struggle I had: what to pack and of course what to wear on a cruise! So, here is our three night Disney Cruise packing list!
Three Night Disney Cruise Packing List
My family and I cruised the Disney Dream on their 3-night Bahamian cruise from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. Since this was my first-ever cruising experience and I was packing for a family of four, I was struggling, y’all! Thankfully, I was able to get some advice from a few cruise veterans in my fam. But I also learned a few lessons as a first-timer of what to pack, and what not to pack! I’m going to break it down by category and talk specifics here, but see the full complete list at the bottom!
Disney Cruise Day Bag Necessities
Let’s talk about day bags. One thing I learned quickly is that you will not have access to your luggage until as late a 6pm on the first night. We got into our staterooms around 1:30, but the luggage was not delivered until much later. So, having a day bag packed with things you’ll need for boarding and for your first few hours is a necessity! My husband and I each used a backpack to carry the necessities!
Do not forget to include all of your travel documentation (birth certificates, IDs, Passports, cruise documentation, etc, in your day bag!!) This is definitely the most important thing as you won’t be able to get into your luggage! If you require any medication, pack that too!
Secondly, we all included a swim suit (see my fav Amazon one-piece swimsuits here!), a cover up, a change of clothes (because you really never know with kids, right?!), and pool-friendly shoes for each of us. You may want your change of clothes to be dinner-friendly too. The restaurants were casual all nights we were aboard! Main Seating for dinner begins at 5:45 pm, so you may want to have an outfit you and your family will be comfortable in for dinnertime in case your luggage comes after you’ve left for dinner.
Disney Cruise Swim Gear
Part of the fun of a cruise is the pool and slides, right?! At least it was one of the things my daughter was most excited about! I 100% recommend packing more than one swimsuit even for a short 3 night cruise! I never like getting into a wet swimsuit and neither do my kids! We brought 3 but really only needed 2 swimsuits each. I’d also recommend 2 cover-ups, pool shoes/flip flops, and goggles for the kids. If your kids like to play in the sand, you also may want to pack a few sand toys! The shops at Castaway Cay had the cutest little Disney sand sets if you want to pick up one there. They are on the pricey side though, and we definitely did not have room to bring them home in our luggage! Of course, don’t forget sunscreen!
Disney Cruise Daytime Clothes
Your daytime clothes will really depend on what you have planned for your day activities! We left the ship for a few hours in Nassau to explore downtown, but I know many people chose to stay on the ship instead! In general, I’d recommend keeping it casual! I brought two pairs of denim shorts, a casual skirt, and a pair of jeans. I only ended up wearing the skirt when we explored Nassau and the jeans for Pirate Night.
For Castaway Cay, I wore a bathing suit and coverup off the ship. 2 pairs of casual bottoms and a casual tops per day + an extra or two should be more than sufficient. If you’re a dress person like I am, casual dresses are perfect for daytime and transition well into nighttime! I ended up wearing those more than the shorts and tops.
If you plan on doing a lot exploring, you may also want to bring a pair of good sneakers for walking! Also keep in mind that if you sign up for the Castaway 5k, you’ll want workout clothes and sneakers for that!
Disney Cruise Nighttime Clothes
For the 3-night cruise on Disney Dream, one night was Pirate Night and the other was a dressy-optional night. For two of the nights my girls and I wore sundresses. My husband just wore jeans or shorts and casual button down tops. Polos or tees are totally acceptable as dinner attire too! We saw a range. I’d just make sure you have 2-3 casual outfits for the evening that do not involve swimwear! These can be the same as your daytime outfits as long as you’re comfortable! For me and my girls specifically, I packed a sundress for each night. (One night is pirate night, so I had one extra backup dress for each of us!) I would also suggest packing a light cardigan or jacket. I brought a denim jacket to throw on over dresses, and it was the perfect weight for our February cruise.
If you plan on making reservations at Palo for the adults-only dinner, there is a specific dress code. Jeans are allowed as long as they are not distressed. Men are encouraged to wear collared shirts and slacks. Women should wear a slightly dressier top or dress. Honestly, I could have worn any of my sundresses and wouldn’t have needed anything extra.
Disney Cruise Pirate Night
One of the best nights on board was Pirate Night! It was so fun to see people get dressed up. I’d say that most participate in some way or another. Disney does deliver pirate bandanas to the room! I saw people just adding bandanas to their regular outfits all the way up to full-on costumes. I’d at least suggest bringing pirate outfits or accessories for the kids! My eldest daughter wore a Pirate costume and my youngest wore a striped onesie and tutu. I kept my outfit on the more low-key side: a striped tee, head wrap, hoop earrings, and an eye patch that I wore only temporarily! My husband ended up just doing the Disney bandana and eye patch with his regular clothes! Outfits for pirate night was one thing I ended up stressing about right before we left, but you can really do as much as or as little as you’d like!
Medicine to Pack
Take it from me: there is slim pickin’s when it comes to medicine on board! And for some (even over-the-counter) items, you even have to see the on-board doctor, which can be costly. Things I’d recommend bringing are motion sickness medication like Dramamine/Bonine and Seabands. Tums, Imodium, cold/cough medicine, pain reliever are all good additions too! My husband ended up needing meds for his stomach, and we had quite a time finding it in Nassau! It was also ridiculously expensive.
This is a no-brainer, but still important! I made sure to pack my girls matching pajamas– because I’m that mom. On some of the Disney Cruises there is a Pluto Pajama Party, so a pair of on-theme pj’s is always a good idea in my mind! I also packed an extra set for each of us. Don’t forget nighttime diapers if you use those for any of your little ones!
The quality of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash on board is excellent, so don’t feel like you need to pack those unless you use something specific. But you’ll definitely want sunscreen, toothpaste and your toothbrush, deodorant, makeup, contact solution/glasses, skincare, razor and shaving cream, tampons and/or pads, a hair brush and hair ties, etc.!
Organization for Your Disney Cruise Stateroom
With five of us in one stateroom, we tried to keep things are organized as possible. One quick thing that helped us do that was magnetic hooks (the walls in staterooms are magnetic!) and an over the door shoe organizer! Just put the hooks up on the wall, and hang the organizer from there! We put everything from shoes to hair brushes to diapers and wipes to toys in there and it really helped with clutter! We also hung hooks from the ceiling to hang our backpacks, purses, etc.! Not a necessity, but it was helpful!
I’d also highly suggest purchasing lanyards for your “Key to the World.” Your room key is a must-have at all times, so keeping it handy is a must. It was pretty easy for me since I was still carrying a diaper bag everywhere. But if I wasn’t doing that, I could’ve been hands-free with a lanyard.
I also 100% recommend packing cubes. They not only helped us pack, but they also kept us organized in the room. Each person had their own color, which kept us organized! I separated sleep wear, swimwear, and regular clothes into specific cubes. My daughter knew exactly where to get all of her things!
Disney Cruise Snacks to Pack
Trust me, food is readily available on the cruise. There is 24-hour room service, places to get snacks, unlimited soft serve… but I with my little ones, I still needed snacks. Make sure they are non-perishable items! We had 2 extra unopened yogurts from our breakfast and were asked to trash them before boarding. I suggest applesauce pouches, goldfish crackers, dry cereal, etc. Remember: non-perishable is key! Whatever your littlest ones love, bring that! My 18-month old is used to constant snacking, and we ran out of everything except pouches! I had really only accounted for travel snacks plus a few extras. Next time I’ll bring enough for each day!
Disney Cruise Extras You May Need!
Planning on scheduling a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment? You can bring your own princess dress! It’s a great cost-saving measure! We ordered Layla’s cinderella dress on Amazon and even the Fairy Godmothers in training commented about how beautiful it was! (And here is the one we bought for Ellie at 18 months! She was too young for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but it was still cute to see both girls dressed up!)
Disinfectant wipes were also a nice-to-have. Again, not a necessity, but with an 18 month old that touches everything, I still try to be mindful to wipe down tables and chairs, especially where she’s eating! And on that note: hand sanitizer!
3 Night Disney Cruise Packing List Printable!
Want an easy-to-print checklist? Click here to download it!
Want more Disney?! See all my Disney World outfits here!