Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Packing for a Disney Cruise

Our recent cruise on the Disney Magic was absolutely amazing (for help planning check out my Tips for Planning a Disney Cruise post), and a big part of how smooth it went was because I packed almost perfectly.  I am a habitual over packer, so to actually use almost everything I packed was quite the victory for me.  Here are some of my "musts" for your Disney Cruise as well as a list of of what kind of clothes I took for our family.  Keep in mind, we participated in all of the theme nights on the cruise, which I highly recommend doing, even though it does add quite a bit to your suitcases.  Our family of four took two large suitcases, one carry on size suitcase, and each of us had a back pack or bag that we carried on.

1.  Organize and Label the Kid's Outfits
This is where my OCD tendencies really paid off.  There are a lot of things you have to pack, and my kids never keep anything organized once we are on a trip.  I knew our stateroom was pretty small, and the thought of having clothes everywhere made me have a minor panic attack.  I put the kids stuff in ziplock bags and labeled each one with things like "Daytime", "Dinnertime", "Formal Night", "Swimsuits", and put all the matching accessories in each bag.  I kept the clothes in the bags in the drawers in our room so the kids could just grab one and get dressed quickly.  It made checking things off my packing list really easy as well.  We took the used ziplock bags to store wet swim suits or clothes on the port adventures we took.

2.  Storage Containers/Hanging Organizers/Clothespins/Magnetic Hooks
The staterooms are small and space is valuable.  I read a blog recommending that you bring a hanging shoe organizer attached to a hanger (you can't use any over the door type hangers), and this was very helpful!  There was a knob on the wall by the bathroom to hang it on and we kept our cups, kids shoes, sunglasses, and snacks in there.
Ladies, I also highly recommend taking your makeup/toiletries/jewelry in a hanging bag.  I found an awesome one at a local boutique for $7 before our trip and it was perfect.  I hung it on the towel rack in the bathroom.  You have almost no counter space in the bathroom, so a hanging bag is a must.
I also got a fabric pop up storage box at the Dollar Tree and used it on the desk.  We put all our Fish Extender gifts we received (check out FE posts here and here), tickets for port adventures, the kids journals, and anything else that would have cluttered up the desk.
There is a clothesline in the shower and I was so glad someone told me to bring clothespins to hang our swimsuits with!
I used magnetic hooks on the inside of our door to hang our lanyards from.  Oh yeah, bring lanyards too!  They hold your "Key to the World" which gets you in your room, on and off the ship, and is used to charge stuff to your account as well.  I found cute Mickey lanyards at Dollar Tree the day before we left.

3. Over the Counter Medication
One of the ladies from my cruise group mentioned that she packs something for almost any type of situation.  I threw in ibuprofen for kids and adults, Pepto for kids and adults, and kids cold medicine.  I didn't pack Dramamine because I learned that you can get it for free at Guest Services.  The family that we sat with at dinner each night had one of their kids encounter some stomach trouble and went to the staff for some Immodium or Pepto.  They were told he had to see the doctor, and then had his Key to the World deactivated and couldn't leave the ship for 24 hours because he wasn't feeling well.  If they'd brought their own, they wouldn't have had to miss out on one of the ports.

4. Water Bottles or Cups With Lids
This was another idea I got from all the pre-cruise research I did.  There are soda machines (they have water too) available all the time, but they only have small disposable cups.  I brought Tervis cups for each of us to use and one sports water bottle.  They also let you bring your own beer and or wine on the ship, so having a cup to make drinks in our room was really nice.  Make sure you check the Disney Cruise Line website to view their new policy regarding bringing alcohol on the ship.  It has changed since we last sailed.

5. Decorations for Your Stateroom Door
Lots of people decorated their doors and it was really fun to see what everyone did.  The kids loved having our door decorated because they could easily find our room.  You can buy decorations on Etsy, or make your own.  I found some templates and printables on Pinterest to make ours and had so much fun putting together things to show off our family's interests.  You can really do anything you want, they just have to be magnetic because no adhesives are allowed.  I somehow got home without ever taking a picture of our door.  I'll put together the things I made and take a picture and post it soon.

6. Laundry Bag
I didn't ever do laundry on the ship (although you can if you want to), but I found it really helpful to have a bag to put dirty clothes in.  Some things I read said to bring a pop up hamper, but that seemed like it would take up more space.  I got a drawstring laundry bag at Dollar Tree and hung it in the closet in our stateroom.

What kind of clothes to take?!?

I started making my packing list about a month before the trip.  At two weeks out, I started adding things to suitcases.  OCD tendencies aside, I am a professional procrastinator, so to have everything packed so early was nothing short of a miracle.  My husband likes to say "It wouldn't be a vacation unless you were up till 3am packing before we leave."  This trip was the first time I've ever been packed ahead of time and gone to bed at a reasonable hour. I attribute that to researching and knowing exactly what to pack, and also to knowing I'd be on a ship and forgetting things wasn't really an option.  That being said, I forgot to pack myself any pajamas and had to steal things from my husband.

Here is general breakdown of what I packed.  Hopefully this is helpful!

-Jewelry to match each outfit
-Casual clothes for each day on the ship
-Casual skirts and dresses for "Cruise Casual" dinners
-Lightweight sweater (only ended up wearing this in theater)
-Knit sundresses for Port Adventure days (our adventures required you to be in your swim suit as soon as you got there, so I just threw a matching dress on over it to wear afterwards)
-Dresses for Formal Night, Semi Formal Night, and our Palo Brunch
-Pirate Costume
-3 Swim suits (this was hard, I usually pack one for each day of a trip!), 2 Cover ups
-Shoes - 1 pair of heels that matched all 3 dressy dresses, 1 pair of nude color sandals, 1 pair of black sandals, 1 pair of flip flops, and the Converse that I wore onto the ship.  Again, so hard!  I usually pack way more shoes
-Workout clothes (One of the few things I never wore on the trip)

-Swim suits & Swim shirts (3 suits and a cover up for my daughter, 2 suits for my son)
-Casual clothes for each day on the ship
-Casual skirts and dresses for my daughter, and nice shorts and shirts for my son for "Cruise Casual" dinners.  My son could go from day to night in what he wore a lot of times.  I brought separate day and night outfits for my daughter.
-Formal Night outfits (dress for my daughter, slacks/vest/tie for my son)
-Semi Formal Night outfits (dress for my daughter, khaki pants, button down shirt for my son)
-Pirate Costumes
- Shoes - My daughter took 1 pair of flip flops, 1 pair of white sandals, 1 pair of black sandals, water shoes, and the Converse she wore onto the ship.  My son took 1 pair of flip flops, water shoes, 1 pair of canvas boat shoes (for dinners), 1 pair of dress shoes, and the sneakers he wore onto the ship.
-Sunglasses & hats

My Husband
-2 Swim suits
-Casual clothes for each day on the ship
-Nice shorts/shirts for "Cruise Casual" dinners
-Formal Night outfit - Slacks, button down shirt, tie
-Semi Formal Night & Palo Brunch outfits - Slacks, button down shirts
-Pirate Costumes
-Shoes - 1 pair flip flops, 1 pair dress shoes, 1 pair running shoes, 1 pair water shoes, and the Converse he wore onto the ship.
-Workout clothes
-Sunglasses & hat

1 comment:

  1. Your stateroom must have been more organized than my house ever is. :) I'm impressed!


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