RookieCruise4Are you about to go on your first cruise but don’t know what to take with you?  The closest you ever came to a cruise was watching The Love Boat?  Here’s what I figured out after my first cruise on the Inaugural Voyage of the Disney Fantasy (highly recommended, by the way).

Fly In The Day Before:

Even though you will have to pay an extra night for a hotel, it would be a disaster if something went wrong with your flight and you missed the cruise.  Don’t skimp here!


Board Early:

The sooner you get on board the ship, the sooner your vacation starts, so don’t dawdle.  Get on the ship as soon as they will let you.

RookieCruise2Yes, you need a purse:

Not a big purse, but rather something that fits your room key (shape of a credit card) and your lipstick and point and shoot camera.  Small and with either a hand strap or a shoulder strap so that you don’t have to clutch it all the time.  I forgot to bring one and it was a pain.  At one point, I tried stuffing my necessities into a sunglass case.  Not recommended.

Pack Lightly:

If you will be staying with your family of four in one stateroom, it will be tight.  Luckily, there was plenty of room in all of the nooks and crannies around my stateroom.  The most room came from the space under the bed where I stored my luggage and my shoes.  Very helpful.

Magnet Hooks – Really:

The door to the stateroom is metal so if you bring magnetic hooks, you can keep things off of the floor or horizontal surfaces which could otherwise make you very disorganized and cranky.  Anything from robes, to towels to wet bathing suits can be hung up.  You could also bring a whiteboard with magnets on the back so that you could leave notes for family members in the room if you are off doing different activities  – but that might be overthinking it.


Pace yourself!  There are tons of fun things to do on the cruise, but know that you can’t do them all.  You would be best advised to check out the next day’s activities on the schedule they place in your room the night before. And remember: don’t eat everything in sight.  Ask yourself if you are hungry.  But alternately, since there are so many different tastes to sample, you also might want to consider ordering both entrees at your dinner – so that you can get a taste of both.  You don’t have to finish both.  (Am I giving you mixed messages?)

RookieCruise3Barf Bag?

Don’t forget to bring anti-seasickness medicine.  As sensitive to motion sickness as I am, I chose the behind-the-ear patch and even though I was aware of the swaying of the ship, I was not at all queasy.  Much better to plan ahead on this – ask your doctor.  Once you are in the midst of seasickness, you will become seriously incapacitated.  It can ruin your whole day. You don’t want to waste your time in the ship’s infirmary.  Put the patch behind your ear (every three days) and forget about it.  Alternately, there’s Dramamine and Sea Bands.

Cruising is a great way for the whole family to enjoy your vacation on equal levels.  If you remember all the things you need to pack, you’ll be that much more satisfied.  The Disney Fantasy is brand-spanking new.  It’s crisp, clean, ultra well-thought-out, impeccable service and frankly, the Garden of Eden for most kids. It’s a great way to ease into cruising!

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