6 Things To Book in Advance on Disney Cruises

by Sherri Eisenberg

6 Things To Book in Advance on Disney Cruises

by Sherri Eisenberg

Ever boarded a cruise only to realize that some of the activities you were most excited about were already booked? We have, and we want to spare you the same experience. This is especially possible on Disney Cruise Line, but for a good reason: No other line has quite the depth and breadth of activities available on every sailing. There’s a lot to choose from, and most of it you can select once you board. Read on for those exceptions you really need to address in advance, or risk missing out on.

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Princess Gathering on Disney Fantasy / Disney Cruise Line / Matt Stroshane
Castaway Cay cabana
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1. Castaway Cay Cabanas

Disney’s private island is home to our favorite cabanas. Check in at the rental area, and you’ll be whisked by golf cart to your home away from home. Your cabana is labeled with your name and includes a buzzer for when you need assistance. Inside, you’ll find snacks, a fridge stocked with drinks and fruit, and cold facecloths, towels, outlets for charging your phones and tablets, as well as plenty of comfy teak furniture, ceiling fans, and a deck with lounge chairs. There’s also a beachfront hammock and a walkway that leads to a stretch of beach reserved for cabana guests. In addition, when you rent one of the 25 cabanas, you get rental bikes, snorkeling equipment, and floats to use in the water. So how much are these gems? They cost a whopping $549 for the day, but we suspect most renters would agree they're worth every penny.

Ship Tip: These cabanas line both the family and adults-only beaches, so you can pick which one suits your gang the best — but if you’re not traveling with children, you definitely want the “no kids allowed” part of the island.

Disney’s private island is home to our favorite cabanas. Check in at the rental area, and you’ll be whisked by golf cart to your home away from home. Your cabana is labeled with your name and includes a buzzer for when you need assistance. Inside, you’ll find snacks, a fridge stocked with drinks and fruit, and cold facecloths, towels, outlets for charging your phones and tablets, as well as plenty of comfy teak furniture, ceiling fans, and a deck with lounge chairs. There’s also a beachfront hammock and a walkway that leads to a stretch of beach reserved for cabana guests. In addition, when you rent one of the 25 cabanas, you get rental bikes, snorkeling equipment, and floats to use in the water. So how much are these gems? They cost a whopping $549 for the day, but we suspect most renters would agree they're worth every penny.

Ship Tip: These cabanas line both the family and adults-only beaches, so you can pick which one suits your gang the best — but if you’re not traveling with children, you definitely want the “no kids allowed” part of the island.

"Frozen" meet and greet
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2. "Frozen" Meet and Greet

Each sailing holds only one of these Elsa and Anna meetups … in an otherwise closed dining room, with a "Frozen" backdrop and an opportunity for photos as well as autographs. Miss it, and face the wrath of any little fans in your party.

Ship Tip: A small number of tickets may be available at guest services on embarkation day.

Each sailing holds only one of these Elsa and Anna meetups … in an otherwise closed dining room, with a "Frozen" backdrop and an opportunity for photos as well as autographs. Miss it, and face the wrath of any little fans in your party.

Ship Tip: A small number of tickets may be available at guest services on embarkation day.

Remy on Disney Dream
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3. Dinner at Remy

This isn’t just the best restaurant on board — it’s also one of the best at sea. Here, modern French dining has a subtle “Ratatouille” theme and everything from gorgeously plated courses to a proper cheese trolley and a choice of wine pairings.

Ship Tip: If you miss out on a coveted sea day dinner reservation, consider reserving a table for Champagne brunch.

This isn’t just the best restaurant on board — it’s also one of the best at sea. Here, modern French dining has a subtle “Ratatouille” theme and everything from gorgeously plated courses to a proper cheese trolley and a choice of wine pairings.

Ship Tip: If you miss out on a coveted sea day dinner reservation, consider reserving a table for Champagne brunch.

Disney Dream's Spa
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4. Spa and Salon Appointments on Sea Days

This is actually a hard-to-come-by reservation on all cruise lines. Sea day appointments, the ones in between meals, and those not so close to dinnertime that you have to rush back to your cabin to dress for the evening are the most popular options of all.

Ship Tip: Disney is the only cruise line to have a salon, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, that’s just for kids. In addition to princess transformations by fairy godmothers — complete with frocks, shoes, and tiaras — children can also get makeovers for the Pirate Party Night.

This is actually a hard-to-come-by reservation on all cruise lines. Sea day appointments, the ones in between meals, and those not so close to dinnertime that you have to rush back to your cabin to dress for the evening are the most popular options of all.

Ship Tip: Disney is the only cruise line to have a salon, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, that’s just for kids. In addition to princess transformations by fairy godmothers — complete with frocks, shoes, and tiaras — children can also get makeovers for the Pirate Party Night.

Princess Gathering on Disney Magic
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5. The Princess Gathering

Located in the atrium of the ships, these meet-and-greet events include seven Disney princesses, from Cinderella to Snow White, and they’re the only opportunity to see these beloved characters all in one place.

Ship Tip: Many little girls come dressed as their favorite princess to this popular event. Make sure your little one is prepared.

Located in the atrium of the ships, these meet-and-greet events include seven Disney princesses, from Cinderella to Snow White, and they’re the only opportunity to see these beloved characters all in one place.

Ship Tip: Many little girls come dressed as their favorite princess to this popular event. Make sure your little one is prepared.

Mickey on Disney Magic
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6. Character Breakfasts on Sea Days

These special events only take place on cruises that are seven nights or longer and have at least two sea days, and they give children a chance to spend more time with their favorite characters.

Ship Tip: Some sailings also host afternoon teas, starring the princesses, and these book up way in advance.

These special events only take place on cruises that are seven nights or longer and have at least two sea days, and they give children a chance to spend more time with their favorite characters.

Ship Tip: Some sailings also host afternoon teas, starring the princesses, and these book up way in advance.

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