One of the best parts about taking a Disney Cruise is just enjoying being on the boat. And luckily, Days at Sea, allows you to do just that. Whether hanging out on the deck, watching the ocean or scenery pass by, or tackling a game of basketball, there is plenty to do onboard a Disney Cruise ship. And don’t forget the importance of just exploring the ship! With a rich nod to maritime theme-ing, detail-oriented decor, and plenty of beautiful areas to browse, you’ll be wishing you had more days at sea to discover it all. Here are our Best Things to Do on your Disney Cruise Day at Sea.
Character Meet and Greets
Part of the fun of any Disney vacation is getting to interact with the characters. Whether in the parks or on the cruise, you’re sure to run into a few. On a Disney Cruise, you typically get Mickey and Friends which includes Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale. You also get Disney Princesses, as part of the Royal Princess Gathering events, as well as individual photo ops. Disney Princesses typically found on a Disney Cruise include Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Moana, Tiana, and Aurora. Of course, depending on your sailing you can also get other princesses and characters too. We’ve seen Dr. Strange, and Thor in the past, as well as Sorcerer Mickey.
Watch a Movie
Hopefully, as a Disney fan, you appreciate the joy of watching movies with your family. And it’s even better when you can get a first-run film, currently in theaters, for FREE. One of our favorite things about any Disney Cruise is the promise of 2 first-run films in the Disney Cruise Theaters. In the past, we’ve seen Dr. Strange Multiverse of Madness, the Little Mermaid, and more. Whatever Disney films are currently in the theaters will most likely be playing simultaneously on your cruise. Available on every Disney Cruise Ship, the theaters are stocked with movie magic all day. In addition to first-run films, you can also find seasonal movies, Disney Channel original movies, and Disney Plus exclusives are also sometimes offered. While the popcorn at the theater kiosk isn’t free, you’re welcome to grab any of the free snacks and drinks across the boat to bring into the theater.
Ahhh, the joy of sitting by the pool. Whether you’re grabbing an ice cream, drink, or towel for your pool time, a Disney Cruise Day at Sea is the perfect time to FEEL like you’re actually on vacation. And pool time gets you fun in the sun, and time to relax. Even if you’re watching the kids, you’re still doing it from a Disney lounger…so that helps. Because, frankly, depending on the length of your Disney Cruise, there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling harried. From port excursions to island stops to a full schedule, there are many reasons why your Disney Cruise may feel busy. In truth, our most relaxing cruise was one where we were stuck at sea. As we were on a Disney Cruise during Hurricane Season, and got an extra two days of At Sea time. Our advice? Use your Disney Day at Sea to actually schedule in downtime. Plan to read a book by the pool, or take a dip in the hot tub. Or grab the Disney Cruise Drink of the Day. Lots of options for relaxation time.
Our most FAVORITE thing to do onboard a Disney Cruise Ship is to play Disney Trivia. Mind you, we don’t always know all the answers and the prizes aren’t anything to write home about, but if you’re in the mood to learn cool things about Disney films, hang out in a beautiful Disney Lounge, and have fun, then we highly recommend this Disney Cruise Day at Sea activity. In fact, it’s one of the first things we look for in the Disney Navigator on embarkation day. Honestly, if you’re adding this to your Day at Sea itinerary, we highly recommend grabbing a Disney Trivia Game or Disney Trivia Cards to help you brush up on your film knowledge. There are always die-hard Disney trivia fans on our voyages, and the surest way to have a shot at winning is to study! And if you’re really into trivia you can also head to a Pub Quiz or even Disney Tunes Trivia to guess your favorite songs.
Play a Game Onboard
If you’re sailing on the Disney Wish, the Disney Dream, or the Disney Fantasy, you are in luck! These larger ships in the Disney Cruise Line Fleet have interactive onboard Disney Cruise Games to play! On the Disney Wish, you can explore the boat and save the day with the Uncharted Adventure Game. This one features interactive elements you can access on your phone through the app. And is a fun addition to any day at sea. If you’re sailing on the Disney Fantasy or the Disney Dream, you can play the Midship Detective Agency Game which incorporates a game board and interactive screens across the ship, so you can track down the villain.
Head to the Recreation Area
Every Disney Cruise Ship has recreational activities onboard. Whether a basketball court, mini-golf, or ping pong, you can typically find the rec center areas all in one area of the ship. On smaller ships, like the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic, you can head to the top deck for the basketball court and indoor rec spaces. The Disney Wish offers an entire two-floor recreation area in which to play. On the Disney Fantasy and Dream, you can head to a goofy golf course. Located on the top deck to putt-putt your way through the 10-hole course. Of course, if you’re more about solo workout time, you can also head to the Senses Gym. They have weights, treadmills, and bikes. Either way, if physical activity is your goal, then any of the rec areas on your Disney Day at Sea work great.
On a cruise filled with Shore Excursions, like our Disney Cruise to Alaska, it’s good to give kids a break and time on their own in the kid’s clubs. Making a Disney Day at Sea, the perfect day to let them go on their own, while adults get much-needed relaxation. Kids do have to be registered for the Kid’s Clubs to take advantage of this activity, so be sure they’re signed up.
In addition to the Disney trivia and games, you can also try out great classes onboard. We’ve taken part in the Anyone Can Cook Class, learning how to make Apple Strudel. We mixed Drinks in a Mixology Class, and even learned how to fold Towel Friends, seen on all the Disney Cruises. A perfect Disney Day at Sea Activity, these little things are really what make your vacation extra fun!
Head to a Disney Lounge
Another favorite part of any day at sea is the chance to head to a Disney Cruise Lounge and take in the sights, sounds, and tastes. Often serving up drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Along with small plates, beignets, and treats, there is plenty of reason to add this to your day. Nothing completes a day of relaxation at a Disney Cruise Lounge like a Mickey pretzel and specialty drink. These spaces on the Disney ships also often house performers. So, you may be able to settle in for piano music, singing, and other performances during your sailing. Keep in mind too, that throughout the day, you can typically find trivia, crafts, and games. While at night the Disney Lounges turn into adult-only spaces, often featuring specialty acts and adult-only events.
It’s been said that a vacation isn’t truly a vacation unless you can spend some time at the spa. While we love the idea of Spa time on a Disney Cruise, this hasn’t been something we personally experienced. For one, the treatments get a little pricey. And for the other, they typically take a bit of time. Ah, the trials and tribulations of relaxation. But, if you’re a spa person and don’t mind the additional cost of taking Spa time at sea, then be sure to head to Senses. With body wraps, facials, smoothies, massages, the Rainforest room, yoga, and more, there is plenty to help get yourself in a place of relaxation.
Relax On Deck
Another Must Do on your Disney Cruise Day at Sea is Deck Time! From Shuffle Board to Scenery, there is plenty to be said for just heading to the decks and watching the world go by. We most like grabbing a coffee or treat and claiming a lounger. Perfect for reading, kitting, or chatting. And if you’re lucky enough to be on the Disney Wonder, Magic, Fantasy, or Dream, you have a seamless Deck 4 experience. This means a full walking track around the entire boat that allows you to take a walk, or run, on deck. And if you’re up for something active, there are shuffleboard games on the deck too. Just being out at sea is pretty magical. So be sure to take some time to enjoy it as you sail away on your Day at Sea.
Plan a Special Meal
Guests over 18 get the chance to dine at the Signature Restaurants on board, with a reservation of course. For example, Palo is a signature dining experience offering up 270-degree views of the ocean, as well as brunch and dinner options. While these meals are an extra cost, if you’re looking for a way to add something fancy, or special to your trip, this is it. Remy is another restaurant option on the Disney Dream and Fantasy, offering even fancier fare, and again, an experience you won’t soon forget. Perfect for anniversaries, engagements, or anything special. Planning a special meal for your day at sea just adds to the leisure. We highly recommend the Brunch at Palo, for a beautiful and sort of budget-friendly fancy meal to add to your trip!
Explore the Ship
Hopefully, all these ideas have gotten you excited for your Disney Cruise Day at Sea. And remember, as part of any Disney Cruise, so much of the fun comes in just learning the ship, meeting the people, and enjoying the activities. Be sure to take a look at your Disney Navigator app once onboard to see what activities you want to add to your days. We highly recommend the tours too when they’re offered. Ship Tours gives you an opportunity to explore the ship and learn all the details you never could have guessed. For instance, Disney Wonder has 150 different kinds of carpets. And did you know that on decks where the children’s activities are located, the ceilings are sometimes lower, to make them feel bigger? So cool.
Sailing on a Disney Cruise
There you have it, 10 Things to make your sailings magical. While choosing your destination and Disney Cruise Port Excursions is half the fun, remember that the experience you get on a Disney Cruise is unlike any other. Be sure to take advantage of all the extra magic onboard the ship during your sail. Enjoy your day at Sea!
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.