So I’ve been mostly silent so far, letting Shawn do most of the blogging about the trip. That is because he makes most of the reservations. I then figure out how to get us and all the stuff we need packed…..
So if you’ve ever read a blog about cruising, there are a few things you already know. The first being- the staterooms are small! And if that isn’t hard enough, cruises have dress codes at dinner, formal parties and on the Disney ships- pirate night. Which means Ina given day you need 2-3 different outfits (and don’t even get me started on the shoes!
Packing for the trip is a challenge even for a veteran traveller (like me). And I can also tell you from experience that it isn’t fun furiously searching for a shoe when you are late for dinner. The way to have a stress free vacation is to get your stateroom organized.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way- bring hangars. I like to bring used dry cleaning hangars. The beauty to this- at the end of your trip you can leave the hangars behind to make room in your bag for a few more souvenirs.
I would plan to bring several, but if you runout and want more, check the laundry rooms on the ship. There is usually a collection from previous guests. And of course, you can always ask your room steward for more. You may also want to bring clothes pins to help hang pants, skirts, etc. Hanging will also help wrinkles fall out. But Imore on wrinkles later.
So I’ve learned that the walls on the Disney ship are magnetic. So this time around I’m bringing heavy duty magnetic hooks. Thea Weill be places to hang lanyards with our room keys, excursion backpacks, etc. also, I’ve read that Disney no longer allows over the door hooks due to damage to the stateroom. I was considering bringing padded shelf liner (or the stuff you can put under rugs to stop them from sliding). I’ll probably bring those as backup, but I’m planning on using the magnetic hooks for the shoe rack as well.
I’m actually bringing two. One I will oily use for shoes and I plan to put that on the door that can connect the rooms (since we aren’t traveling with extended family this trip). One will probably go on one of the walls and I can use it for things like clean socks and underwear. Or maybe other small things- water bottles, toys, and maybe sunblock.
I also have a hanging rack for the shower. Disney does provide shampoo etc. which is great, but unfortunately my super sensitive skin just doesn’t like it so I bring my own. It’s really too bad, because I love the Disney products. Shawn loves them too.
So my other packing tip- plan to do laundry. That is correct- I’m advocating chores on vacation. I used to go I incredible efforts to launder and pack every item of clothing for the kids so I could be laundry free. Only to then be stressed once u get home to get it all washed again. Now I bring about 60-70% of what I need and wash while at sea.
I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but it isn’t too bad. So, in order to do this, I pack a few laundry supplies. The laundry detergent packs are fabulous, but I have just brought powder or liquid. If I bring powder, I measure it out in snack size ziplock bags (buy quality freezer bags) and then put them into a outer bag- just to be safe from leaks. No need to bring quarters on the Disney ship- you scan your room key and charge to your account. And never fear- they do sell laundry soap on board of you forget. But supplies are limited and they at not have your favorite type.
So I wanted to give you a quick update on what we used and what we didn’t. I ended up not using the shoe racks. We just didn’t seem to need them. But the magnetic hooks were Fantastic! Each of us had hooks for our swim suits, goggles and sun shirts. I used a hanger to help hold the shirts and my suit. This allowed them to dry quickly in the cool, air conditioned state room. We also each had a hook for our stateroom lanyards. We couldn’t hang anything very heavy- far less than the 20lbs the magnets were rated for, but it still helped immensely with suits and lanyards. I think I’ll add a few more next time.
I also recommend packing a small bag to take to the pool to hold keys, phones, sunblock, kindle, goggles, etc. No need for towels- the ship provides those at the pool.
Overall, we were well packed. The bagged outfits for the kids was awesome. It helped them focus on getting dressed and they always had mom-approved outfits w/o a fuss! I will certainly do that again!