When you think of cruising, you probably think about all the awesome destinations and ports that can be visited. Did you know, however, that sea days can be just as fun onboard Disney Cruise Line?
Disney Cruise Line ships are packed full of fun and exciting details, amenities, venues, and activities for guests to explore. Because of this, Disney ships are truly destinations in and of themselves. In fact, it can take multiple sea days to see and do everything onboard!
After sailing onboard Disney Fantasy for the first time, I quickly learned that sea days with Disney Cruise Line are a great thing! Here are some tips and recommendations for an awesome sea day that I learned!
#1 - Enjoy The Pool And Unique Water Activities
(Pool deck onboard the Disney Fantasy)
Disney Cruise Line features some unique water activities and attractions onboard their ships.
From the AquaDuck wrap-around waterslide onboard Disney Fantasy to the AquaMouse water ride onboard Disney Wish, nearly every ship in the fleet has something fun to explore for all guests. Even onboard Disney’s oldest ship, Disney Magic, passengers will find the AquaDunk waterslide, a drop slide that is sure to thrill.
(Quiet Cove adult-only pool onboard the Disney Fantasy)
Additionally, onboard every DCL ship, guests will find at least one family pool, a kids' splash and play area, and an adults-only pool called the Quiet Cove. While each ship’s kids' splash area may be themed differently, when it comes to pools and water activities onboard, guests will not have to look far.
Because Disney Cruise Line features something onboard for everyone when it comes to pools and water attractions, I recommend taking some time during a sea day to explore these great amenities onboard.
#2 - Try Your Hand At Trivia
Every ship allows guests to test their knowledge with trivia games and activities onboard.
For those who think they know a lot about Disney parks, films, music, and characters, there is often at least one trivia game and competition on sea days. Passengers who win a trivia game onboard will be awarded a complimentary medallion!
Keep a lookout in the Disney Navigator app for the ship’s schedule of when and where these trivia games will be held. Note that some trivia games are for the whole family, whereas others are just for guests 18 years of age and older.
#3 - Become A Detective
Onboard our Disney Fantasy sailing, one of our favorite activities was the Midship Detective game, which let us put our sleuthing skills to the test! You'll find this activity on Deck 5 near the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, as well as It's A Small World Nursery
It's a great way to explore the ship, as the game will have you running all over to unveil clues, rule out suspects, take notes, and crack your case! Because your badge's barcode will track your progress, you're able to start and stop as you please.
Something that I thought was a great feature of this activity is that there are several themed cases for guests to choose from. During our sailing, we picked the Mickey and Friends case. Some of the other cases available include a Muppets-themed mystery.
While doing this activity, guests will explore the ship and more than 20 enchanted pieces of art! Each of these art pieces will come to life, and it is a truly magical touch by Disney.
It is important to note that Midship Detective is not onboard every Disney ship. Currently, passengers can find Midship Detective only on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
#4 - Explore All The Magical Details
As I mentioned earlier, one of the coolest things about Disney is all the magical details that are completely unique to the line; one of my favorites is the enchanted art.
Much of the artwork on the walls scattered around the ship will change, move, and become animated when passengers walk by. The first time I saw these “paintings” onboard the Disney Fantasy I was truly mind blown! We had so much fun walking around the ship and seeing each enchanted piece of art onboard.
One of my favorite enchanted and interactive pieces of artwork is the ship’s wheel which can be found near Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. This interactive wheel allows guests to play a game of sorts, steering Captain Hook’s ship around a series of islands to retrieve treasure.
Additionally, Disney Cruise Line’s overall attention to detail is something that can be easily admired all around their ships. For example, the main atriums on Disney ships are full of fun things to see. Passengers can spend several hours wandering around the ship, exploring, and seeing all of the fun details onboard.
#5 - Take A Stroll Or Play Some Shuffleboard
The outer decks of Disney ships are some of my favorite onboard any cruise ship that I've been on! On Disney Fantasy, they had a certain certain that reminded me of the golden age of ocean liners. The design, layout, and features of these outdoor decks are truly timeless.
A great feature of the outer deck on the Disney Fantasy is that it is completely wrap-around, meaning that it makes for a great place for guests to go for a morning run, an afternoon stroll, or a relaxing place to enjoy a sunset.
There are many vintage-designed lounge chairs and seating along these outdoor decks, as well as the classic cruise game of shuffleboard.
During one of our sea days, we played a fun game of shuffleboard in the afternoon, and it was the perfect way to enjoy the ocean views!
#6 - Relax At The Spa
There is a spa onboard every Disney Cruise Line ship called "Senses Spa & Salon." One of the best features of the Senses Spa & Salon features is the rainforest-themed aromatherapy steam rooms. These various rooms allow guests to relax and enjoy a unique experience onboard.
Whether it is an access pass to the rainforest rooms or an individual spa service or treatment, there is something onboard each Disney ship for each person. This includes teen guests as well!
There is a portion of the Senses Spa that is reserved just for teenaged guests; this area is called Chill and is reserved for guests 13 to 17 years of age, while Senses Spa & Salon is for guests 18 years and older.
At the Chill Spa, teen guests can enjoy various treatments such as facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, and more. Both the Senses Spa & Salon and Chill Spa are located onboard every DCL ship.
Guests can stop by the spa as early as 1:00pm on embarkation day to reserve rainforest room passes, as well as book appointments and treatments during their cruise sailing.
#7 - See A Movie
Because Disney is first and foremost an entertainment and experience company, no Disney ship would be complete without a movie theater.
Something unique to Disney Cruise Line is the ability for guests to see brand-new releases onboard, sometimes even before a film is released in theaters or while a film is still in theaters.
During our sailing, we were able to see two brand-new Disney films still in theaters for free. I highly recommend checking to see which films are being played onboard your next Disney sailing. There are even screenings late at night, so passengers can enjoy a full day of fun and not miss any of the action onboard.
The theater onboard all the Disney cruise ships is full-scale and can accommodate up to 399 people during each screening.
#8 - Meet Disney Characters
When it comes to meeting, seeing, and interacting with Disney characters, Disney Cruise Line may have more opportunities than the theme parks.
Onboard all Disney ships, guests can meet a wide variety of their favorite characters. Whether it is a deck party, event in the atrium, or specified meet and greet, there is an opportunity to interact with characters just about every day.
Often before dinner time, there is an opportunity for guests to meet multiple characters at once in the atrium. For example, during our Disney Fantasy cruise, there were several times in which multiple Disney princesses were present in the atrium.
Passengers onboard Disney Cruise Line ships can meet some of the following characters onboard: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Chip ’n Dale, Goofy, Pluto, Cinderella, Captain Jack Sparrow, Mulan, Belle, Ariel, and many more.
Of course, there is no guarantee that guests will see a certain character, but passengers can check the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app for specific times and locations for characters.
#9 - Shop Till You Drop
Disney Cruise Line has some of the best shopping in the cruise line industry. From themed merchandise, ship and itinerary-specific items, to luxurious jewelry, passengers onboard each Disney ship are sure to find the perfect souvenir that is right for them.
There are a couple important things to know about shopping onboard Disney Cruise Line. First, due to local laws and tax laws, all of the shops will be closed whenever they are docked, meaning that guests can only do shopping onboard when the ship is at sea in the evenings or during sea days.
Second, many of the popular items, such as ship and itinerary-specific merchandise, tend to sell out early on in a cruise. Occasionally, items will be restocked throughout a cruise, but it is not always guaranteed. For this reason, I recommend stopping by the shops early on during your sailing if you have your eyes on a specific souvenir.
Because Disney Cruise Line ships have some unique shopping onboard and sea days are some of the best times to shop, I recommend taking these opportunities to do a little souvenir browsing.
#10 - Take A Tour
One of my favorite things we did during a sea day onboard was take a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney Fantasy.
On the morning of our sea day, we saw "The Art Of The Theme Show" tour shown in the Navigator app, and we were intrigued to see it was all about.
The Art Of The Theme Show tour is available for guests 18 years and older and is completely complimentary. The talented cast member guiding the tour will point out magical details and talk about how imagination and imagineering plays a large role in the making of Disney Cruise Line ships.
We learned so many interesting facts about Disney Fantasy during this tour that we would have not known otherwise. I highly recommend taking this complimentary tour during your cruise if it is offered.
#11 - Enjoy Ice Cream Oceanside
Located near the main pool deck onboard all Disney Cruise Line ships, guests will find complimentary self-serve soft-serve ice cream machines. Oftentimes throughout a sailing, the flavors will change, so keep an eye out for fun flavors during your cruise!
One of our favorite mid-afternoon pick-me-up activities was to grab a cone or cup of soft serve ice cream, find a comfortable lounge chair, and watch the beautiful ocean views pass by.
#12 - The Most Luxurious Meal At Sea
The absolute best meal I have ever had on a cruise was onboard Disney Fantasy at the luxurious adult-exclusive restaurant, Remy.
A sea day is a perfect opportunity to dine at one of the specialty dining restaurants onboard. Dining at one of the specialty restaurants onboard Disney Cruise Line is not just a meal, but an entire experience, so I recommend taking the time to enjoy everything and truly savor and enjoy these meals!
These meals can take quite a long time; we enjoyed our experience at Remy for 3 and a half hours, and it was truly the best cruise dining experience I have ever had.
I highly recommend booking a reservation for around sunset; it made this dining experience even more special.
#13 - Catch A Variety Act
Onboard our sailing, we saw some of the best variety acts we have ever personally seen, including a juggler and a ventriloquist performance.
I think a sea day is a great opportunity to see one of these performances. We were even able to see an adult-exclusive ventriloquist performance in The Tube Lounge during one of our sea days.
Guests can see when and where these performances will be held in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
#14 - Participate In Activities For The Whole Family
Because Disney is a family-centric company, they do a great job of having activities onboard for every member of the family. Whether it is family trivia, dance parties, or more, there is always some sort of activity happening onboard just for families.
One of our favorite family activities was Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash Race. This race for little ones is something that usually takes place in the main atrium and is available for all passengers onboard to watch. Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash is also complimentary for families to participate in; the winner even earns a prize!
I highly recommend checking the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app throughout a cruise for family-friendly events and activities onboard.
In addition to the Disney Navigator app, guests can request a printed copy of the daily schedule at Guest Services.
#15 - Dance The Night Away
It might surprise you, but there are nightclubs onboard Disney Cruise Line ships!
These adult-exclusive venues often host fun activities just for adults, including dance parties and events. After enjoying a tasty dinner onboard and catching a show, we enjoyed visiting the lounges onboard for their live music and dance parties.
A sea day is the perfect opportunity to enjoy an evening dancing the night away. One of our favorite late-night events was the silent disco dance party!
#16 - Sports Decks And Areas
They might be called different things, but onboard each Disney Cruise Line ship, guests will find a sports deck or area.
On Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, guests will find Goofy’s Sports Deck, an area where passengers can find ping pong, basketball, mini golf, and more. Onboard Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, guests can find basketball and ping pong alongside some great ocean views.
Onboard Disney Cruise Line’s newest vessel the Disney Wish guests will find the Hero Zone, an Incredibles-themed area that features action-packed physical challenges, as well as game-show-style competitions.
When it comes to sea days there is more than enough for guests to explore
We had so much fun during our sea days while onboard Disney Fantasy, and we are sure others will as well!
I hope that this list gives prospective Disney Cruise Line guests an idea of just some of the great things passengers can do onboard during a fun day at sea.