From the royal welcome when you step foot onboard the ship, to the non stop action filling every moment of every day from before sunrise to long past sunset, debarking on a Disney Cruise ship is akin to having a personal host planning your schedule by your side minute by minute. It can be totally overwhelming at first to walk onto the ship and discover all there is to do and see. It can feel like at first you’ll never be able to understand the process, the acronyms, the layout, the unending list of discoveries that each new door brings. At first it can feel like you got more than you bargained for, but then you find your Navigator. The Disney Cruise Navigator is your daily guide to every activity on the ship organized by half hour, venue by venue. Not only does The Navigator list every detail of every happening on the ship, but it comes delivered to you nightly by your stateroom host. It will be your bible while on the ship.
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The Navigator & Key To The World
Disney Cruise Ships
The Disney Cruise Navigator is a standard sized sheet of paper covered top to bottom and front to back. It is a full schedule of events that happen all over the ship, in every venue, for all ages. It lists the movie times, showtimes, recreational activities, bingo times, DVC presentations, character meet and greets, and more. It has everything and it’s compartmentalized by location so there is no guesswork involved about where to go or how to find something. Just pick your activity and head to it.
On Port Days the Navigator will arrive along with additional sleeves of paper with information about the port, hours you need to be back on the ship, weather, shopping information and anything else Disney related to the port you’re stopping at.
Don’t think The Disney Cruise Navigator will be sparse on port days. In fact, tons of people – us included, swear that staying on the ship when docked is the best time to be on the ship. Most people want to explore the port which means the pools, lines for slides, restaurants, movie theaters and general ship is mostly deserted. You’ll have the entire vessel practically to yourself. But that doesn’t stop Disney from providing entertainment all day long!
You can also download a Navigator App for all devices and use it off line in tandem with the ships free wifi (wifi is only free for use with the app). On our last cruise, aboard the Disney Fantasy, we finally figured out how to really use the Navigator App to maximize our fun. The first thing you want to do is set up your chat capabilities. This will enable you to send and receive texts – including messages from the Kids Club.
Next, each night you’ll want to review the list of activities aboard the entire ship for the next day listed conveniently on the home page. Each activity will have a heart in the top right corner. If you tap on the heart it will turn red and be sent to your favorites list. The next day, you’ll get a reminder in advance for all the activities you want to attend. You’ll never miss an origami, towel folding or movie showtime again!
Your Key to the World is a plastic card, the size of a credit card, that you’ll want to carry with you at all times. You’ll also receive a lanyard (after your first cruise) with a perfectly sized pocket to carry it around your neck with ease. It is, effectively, your Key to the Disney Cruise Ship World. It has your cruise dates, ship name, emergency station, DCL number, number of cruises, and a few other pieces of information on it. It is your personal form of identification, your room key, your dining ticket and your entry on and off the ship.
Foremost, it contains your personal identification. When you leave the ship at port, you don’t have to take additional identification with you like your passport! Instead, your Key to the World will have your passport info and picture connected to it as well! You can’t debark or reenter the ship without it, so it is highly valuable and important. There will be some ports, where your passport is required, but as a standard, your Key to the World will contain all this info. What’s great about it, is if you misplace or lose it, Disney can deactivate it and replace it without any hullabaloo.
It is also your stateroom key, and you’ll scan it to get in and out of your room. Without it, no one can get in! Just like a hotel key card.
You’ll also use it to scan for your cruise ship photos. This little microchip is your Key to Disney’s World.
Lastly, your Key to the World will have your name, your dining rotation and table number. You’ll scan it every time you eat for ease of charging any additional items you purchase, like alcoholic drinks. It will also remind your servers of your preferences when it comes to less formal meals including breakfast, lunch and room service.
► For Kids: Kids will love searching the Disney Cruise Navigator for their favorite activities, particularly when it comes to the Kids Club. They can check out when Mickey, Captain America, or Elsa and Anna are visiting to make sure they don’t miss a single event. And, yes, each child will have a Key to World as well. You’ll only need one for dinner events and photos, but when getting on and off the ship you’ll need to have every single card.
We can’t imagine what we’d do on a Disney Cruise without these two items! We literally refer to The Navigator 10 or more times a day, and ensure that everyone is where they want to be when they want to be there! Plus, we love checking out the menu in advance so we know exactly what we are in store for come dinner time!
► Nap-Time Version: There is no navigating a Disney Cruise without your Navigator. It is aptly named. With The Disney Cruise Navigator and your Key To the World you’ll have access to everything your Disney Cruise has to offer!
Disney Cruises have something for everyone! Check out our full Destination Guide so you know what to expect around every nook and cranny.