Top 5 “Must Buy” Items on the Disney Cruise Line

Last week was such a blur with all the Disney Parks Moms Panel craziness going on. It was difficult to pull myself away from Twitter or Facebook, such excitement and anticipation. So begins another year of applying to be the “Cruise Mom”. But now that the application time has ended, I still find my mind drifting off to the warm sands of Castaway Cay, or to sipping a cool drink served pool-side at the Quiet Cove. Much to my dismay, the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app on my phone still has 268 days left in the countdown.

Instead of dwelling on the 9 month wait, I’ve been reminiscing, looking through albums and at different mementos we have brought home. One thing has become clear, I have developed a shopping pattern, a number of things I purchase every cruise. Allow me to share with you my top 5 “must buy” items.

Photos – Even though everyone in our family brings a camera, we still ends up buying a photo package on the cruise. And why wouldn’t we? The professional cruise photographers are everywhere capturing your magical moments.You will never miss a shot of a character greeting, formal dining, or group boarding, plus they are always roaming around the ship and Castaway Cay snapping candid photos. Best of all, the facial recognition software makes it possible to have all your photos ready in an onboard album to pick and choose from. No more hunting down your photos hanging on boards in Shutters. You can also pre-order photo packages on My Cruise Photos before your cruise even begins, click here for more information.


Frames – Each cruise I seem to buy 20 plus pictures, where will I store them all? Why in Disney Cruise Line photo albums and frames of course. They seem to get cuter and cuter each year, which explains why collection keeps growing. One of these times I will take advantage of ordering a hardcover, bound album made right there on the ship. If you are counting down to your own Disney cruise, plan ahead, bring a piece of photo matting (to fit an 8 x 10 inch picture) and leave it at Guest Services at the start of your voyage. When you pick it up at the end of your vacation, the matting will be autographed by Mickey and all his friends on board. A little extra magic for your pictures.

DCL5pinPins – Any pin traders in the house? Even though our lanyards are overflowing, we always manage to pick up a pin or 2 that are exclusive to our ship. It’s fun to have a pin that’s a little harder to come by, and a great opening to tell non-cruisers hDCL5towelsow much fun it is aboard the DCL ships.

Beach towels – I can’t explain why I do this, but every cruise I come home with a beach towel showing the year of our trip. Sometimes they are from the ship and sometimes from Castaway Cay. Doesn’t matter. They are nice and large, colorful, and I assume very absorbent. Yes, I said assume. Truth is I don’t let anyone use them because I don’t want them to fade over time. Crazy, I know.

Drink of the Day Cup – When you first board the ship and are greeted by cast members with tall, colorful logo cups…grab one! While they are not free, they are quite useful. Everyday you will encounter a new fruity little rum concoction; Bahama Mamas, Yellow Birds, Paradise Punch and more. If you order these special drinks of the day, they will be served to you in a regular plastic cup. But, if you bought the Drink of the Day cup when you boarded, you can present that to the waiter or bartender to have refilled for approximately $5, and it is a bigger drink. Plus it makes a lovely souvenir when you get home.


If you enjoyed any of the daily drinks, Scott over at the Disney Cruise Line Blog has the recipes to create your own at home, and much, much more. Cheers!

Now that I’ve shared my top 5 “must buy” items every cruise, share yours with me in the comments below!


*Drink of the Day picture courtesy of Disney Cruise Line Blog

Kelly Shanahan-Carson
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Kelly Shanahan-Carson

Co-Founder at The Main Street Moms
Kelly is a mom to 3 teenage Disney fanatics and a Disney Cruise Line Gold Castaway club member. She can be found sailing the high seas with 3 generations of her family. Her ultimate goal is to blow the musical horn on any of the DCL ships, just needs to get Captain Mickey's approval. On dry land she can be found coaching softball, playing volleyball & racquetball or chauffeuring the kids to their various activities.
Kelly Shanahan-Carson
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One comment on “Top 5 “Must Buy” Items on the Disney Cruise Line

  1. elaine

    Being the grandma and “family historian” ,I go crazy with all the pictures and albums for each cruise. The kids never seem to tire of looking at them and reliving memories!