Adrift with Disney: 75 – The Magic Number for First-Time Disney Cruisers

One week from today, I will be just 75 days from my cruise on the Disney Dream. If you are a first-time Disney cruiser like me, this number will be very important to you. Seventy-five days is the time at which your final balance is due (for stateroom categories 4-12), and it is also the day that you must register your passport information, you can book excursions, and you may book special dining experiences, spa treatments and kids club reservations. This is also the last day to receive a refund if you have paid for your trip but need to cancel (but I sure hope you won’t need to).

Since I will just be back from Walt Disney World, I would normally be drowning in PDTD (Post-Disney Trip Depression), but this year I will be hopping out of one magical experience while preparing for another. In order to be ready for it, I had to organize my thoughts ahead of time. I am very happy to share the same information with you today, so here are some of the things you can do to prepare for the “magical 75.”

Paying your Final Balance

There are several ways in which to pay off your balance: you may use one or more credit cards, a Disney gift card, a Disney Rewards Redemption Card or a Disney Rewards Visa Card (which gives you 6 months at 0% interest). If you have reserved through a travel agent, make sure he/she has your credit card information ahead of time so you don’t miss the deadline.

If you are booking multiple staterooms, you can pay for each stateroom individually or all staterooms together.

Note: If you did not book trip insurance when you booked your cruise, be aware that you must purchase it BEFORE your final balance is paid. Please allow at least a day ahead of time for this.

Registering your Passport Information

Disney Cruise Line asks that you provide your passport number 75 days prior to the start of your vacation. You can enter this information in your “Guest Information Form” in My Online Check-In. Again, if you are using a Disney Authorized Travel Agent, be sure to provide this information to your agent and he/she will take care of this step for you.

To prepare for my “magical 75,” I have made a small spreadsheet with all of our names, birthdates, and passport numbers in order to enter them easily when the time comes.

Booking Excursions

First-time Disney cruisers can begin booking their shore excursions 75 days before departure. My family and I have been researching our options according to our budget. We have decided that we will not book an excursion for Nassau, Bahamas and will save our money for an excursion at Castaway Cay. We will book as soon as possible, though, as we want to make sure we get what we want. Previous cruisers are able to begin booking these at 90 days out so we will need to be on the ball.

Reserving a shore excursion is easy in the section entitled “My Cruise Activities.” If you have small children, you can also select to reserve nursery time during the excursion and select the children in your party from the list of guests.

Booking Dining Reservations, Spa Treatments, Fitness Activities and Kids Club Reservations

Availability is limited for Palo dining, spa treatments, fitness activities and nursery time, so advance booking is recommended. Also, booking these ahead of time will help you to avoid long lines and paperwork on the first day of your cruise.

If you have children under age 18 in your party, you can pre-register them for the kid’s programs. With your activities reserved in advance, you can relax and enjoy your vacation. Guests who choose not to pre-reserve shore excursions prior to their cruise may do it on the ship at the Shore Excursion Desk, but we are not taking any chances.

Reservations are filled on a first come, first serve basis and some excursions, reservations and events do have capacity limits. It is important to note that shore excursions are final and non-refundable once you are within 3 days of your sail date.

I hope this information will help you plan your “magical 75.” You will want to make sure everything is planned ahead of time so you can just go and enjoy yourself without having to worry about it at the last minute.

If you have not yet planned a Disney Cruise, don’t wait! I have heard nothing but fantastic feedback about the Dream.

Find out how the FREE services of a Disney World travel agent can make planning your Disney vacation simple…and for a limited time, get a FREE Disney gift card when you book your trip with me! ($2000 minimum package cost)

Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

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