If you are anything like me, you overpack. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been on 12 cruises, I still take way too much. Luckily for us, we drive and there really is no limit to how many bags you can take onboard. But, there are some things I leave behind, either because they are provided or are prohibited.
1. Weapons of any kind, including pens that look like weapons or ammunition
This should be a no-brainer, but we found out that even a pen that resembles a weapon or ammunition can be considered dangerous and will be confiscated. My husband was a law enforcement officer and my daughter got him a Fisher Space Pen that resembled a rifle bullet engraved with his name for Father’s Day. We were on back-to-back cruises. My husband noticed between our cruises he could not find his pen. When we reboarded, he went to guest services and head of security brought him back to their office. Mousekeepers had seen it in a cup in the stateroom, turned it in, and the officers on the ship held an impromptu meeting. It wasn’t until my husband asked if anyone turned it in did they notice it was just a pen. Up until then they thought it was a real bullet. I’m glad Disney takes security so seriously! Needless to say this pen has been left at home for all vacations since then!
2. Hair Dryer
Every cruise line I have sailed on provides you with a hair dryer. They are usually located in the desk in the main part of your cabin. I have found that they seem to take a little more time to dry my long hair, but it saves me space in my suitcase, so I just get ready a few minutes sooner. Disney uses a European outlet, that way you can use the American outlets for other appliances such as a curling iron or straightener. Disney Magic now has 2 hair dryers in every room! One in the bathroom on the wall and one in the cabin.
3. Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion, Body Soap
Disney Cruise Line uses the good stuff (H20 Spa), not the cheap watered-down hotel-grade shampoo and conditioner. You can purchase them in the shops and other retail stores (I bought some from Marshall’s). There is nothing like coming home from a cruise and showering with Disney Cruise Line products to bring back the scent from your vacation. But, I have read where Disney is installing pumps into their showers now, so you might not get to go home with free bottles of the good stuff, but rest assured, you don’t need to pack shampoo and conditioner, soap, or lotion for your cruise. (Also, my daughter forgot to pack her toothbrush, so Disney gave her a toothbrush and a tiny tube of toothpaste each night at no cost.)
Don’t waste suitcase space by packing your own beach towels. Towels are abundant onboard, as well as at Castaway Cay. If you have an official Disney excursion that you would need towels for, Disney provides them at your meeting place. Don’t worry if you booked an excursion outside of Disney Cruise Line because you can pick towels up before you disembark. Just remember to bring them back! Other cruise lines require you to check towels out with your stateroom card and charge you for each towel you do not return. As of writing this post, Disney does not do that.
5. Extension Cords and power strips
You have chargers, hair dryers, camera battery packs, computers, and more you bring onboard a ship and need to plug them all in. With outlets being limited in cabins, it can be tricky to charge everything your family brings along. Luckily, hair dryers and razors (mens) are provided and have their own outlets. Disney has also installed USB outlets for cell phone chargers. As of now, Disney allows you to bring USB power blocks on the ships. If a cast member sees a power strip or extension cord, they will confiscate it and give it back at the end of your cruise.
If you are afraid you will go hungry on a cruise, rest assured you will have food available to you 24 hours a day, so you can leave your snacks behind! Room service on Disney Cruise Line is complimentary, but don’t forget to tip. You can also get snacks from the pool deck and various other locations throughout the ship to take with you into shows and movies. So grab that cookie, ice cream, soda, or slice of pizza and enjoy the show. Just clean up after yourselves! If you want popcorn or candy, you can purchase it onboard.
7. Iron or Steamer
Irons are available in the laundry rooms, but are not allowed in your staterooms because they are fire hazards. Disney Cruise Line will confiscate any found during the boarding process or when Mousekeeping turns up or down your stateroom. If you would rather not do ironing while on vacation, another option is to have Disney’s laundry service press your clothes for you. There is a price (usually per item) so check your stateroom for more information.
Candles are not allowed onboard as they, too, are fire hazards. Sure, couples want to be romantic and all while at sea, but leave the real fire behind and create your own sparks without putting the ship at risk!
9. Musical Instruments
Leave the practicing for when you are at home, when you are not on vacation. While you might be an outstanding performer, most people prefer peace and quiet when they are relaxing by the pool or hanging out in their stateroom. Imagine if cruise lines allowed musical instruments on board. Experienced and non-experienced (novice) musicians would be performing all over the ship. My daughter is an outstanding clarinet player, but I’d much rather enjoy the paid performers when I’m on vacation. She gets her practice in before we leave and doubles up when we get home.
10. Face Masks for the Pools
You are not allowed to wear full-size masks in the pools on the Disney ships. Only goggles that cover your eyes are allowed. Keep this in mind for your little ones who do not like to get water in their eyes! Plus, the smaller goggles take up less space in your suitcase. If you were hoping to wear them at the beach for snorkeling, rest assured there are masks and other snorkeling gear you can rent at Castaway Cay so you can still try to find the underwater hidden Mickey!