5 Things to Buy Before Your First Disney Cruise

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Congratulations, you’ve booked your first cruise with Disney Cruise Line! Now that you’re counting down the days until you sail away, what do you need to buy to make your trip as easy and as fun as possible?

The following items are our personal recommendations to make your cruise as smooth as possible. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments below.

Cruise Lanyards

If it’s your first cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you won’t have a place to put your very important Keys to the World card. This card does everything for you on the ship, similar to Magic Bands at Disney World. You’ll need it on you all the time as it opens your stateroom door, it can be used for anything you may buy, and it helps you with other things around the ship.

Returning cruisers on Disney Cruise Line will receive their own Castaway Club lanyards, but unfortunately you won’t have one if it’s your first trip. Instead of lugging around a bulky purse or wallet, a lanyard is the ideal way to carry your Keys to the World card and an ID with you wherever you go.

Click here to find Cruise Lanyards.

Motion Sickness Items

As first-time cruisers, we were extremely worried about motion sickness during our trip. Thankfully, Disney is widely regarded as having some of the best ships for people with motion sickness. Still, we planned ahead and brought some Bonine to assist with any issues we may encounter.

Whether you want to go with Bonine, or try one of the bands or patches, plan ahead just in case the motion of the ship doesn’t agree with you or your family. Pro tip: You can find motion sickness tablets just outside the ship’s infirmary.

There are items available in the stores on the ship, but you’ll pay a premium to buy them.

Click here to find more items for preventing motion sickness.

Door Decorations and Magnets

Passengers on Disney cruises take pride in helping create the fun and magical atmosphere on the ship. That extends to the stateroom doors, where you’ll find many families have decorated with magnets, pictures and even marker boards.

Thanks to the doors being metal, magnets are a perfect way to personalize your door. Most families will customize their doors with their names or with their favorite characters. The extra items not only make your door a bit more fun, but it makes it easier to find when you get turned around on the ship.

Click here to find more cruise door decorations.


This one may seem a bit obvious, but it’s amazing how many people board a cruise without sunscreen. It’s particularly surprising how many can be seen buying sunscreen from the ship’s store during a trip to the Bahamas or Caribbean. As you might imagine, it costs way more to buy sunscreen on the ship than it does before you board.

Cruises are all about rest and relaxation, and a sunburn doesn’t fit into that mix. We recommend sunscreen with a high SPF, especially in the Caribbean. However, please be aware that some locations require reef-safe sunscreen. Other generic sunscreens can damage the coral in the area.

Click here to explore the fascinating number of Sunscreen options.


Most Disney cruises have at least one themed night where guests are encouraged to dress up in costumes. Whether it’s Pirate Night, Halloween, Star Wars or something else, there’s an opportunity to wear something crazy at least once on your trip. Make the most of it! No matter what your age, you’ll be surprised to find just how many cruise guests participate with costumes.

During our trip on the Disney Dream, we were shocked to see just how many people, young and old, took Pirate Night to heart. We made a mental note to step our game up for our next cruise.

Click here for more Disney costume ideas.

David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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