Are you about to embark on your first Disney Cruise? While you may have cruised with other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line uses terms you may be unfamiliar with. Once you’ve been on a Disney Cruise, you feel more familiar with the terminology that is used, but until then, it can be a little overwhelming.
Let’s explore the different terms that you may hear while on board one of the five Disney ships, whether that be the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, or Disney Wish. We’ve arranged them into groups to make it easier to remember the different terms.
Aft – the back of the ship. Staterooms that are located towards the back of the ship are known to be in the aft, so Guests will generally use the Aft elevators on a Disney ship.
Bow – the forward part of the ship, where you will find a Disney character. This is a fun part to walk alongside when you are in Port. The Disney characters by ship are:
- Disney Magic – Sorcerer Mickey
- Disney Wonder – Steamboat Willie
- Disney Dream – Captain Mickey
- Disney Fantasy – Sorcerer Mickey
- Disney Wish – Captain Minnie
Stern – the very back of the ship, where you will find the name of the Disney ship and a 3D Disney character. You’ll definitely want to get a photo of the stern at some point when you are in Port during a Disney Cruise. The Disney character by ship are:
- Disney Magic – Botswain Goofy
- Disney Wonder – Donald Duck
- Disney Dream – Sorcerer Mickey
- Disney Fantasy – Dumbo
- Disney Wish – Rapunzel
Port Side – when facing towards the bow onboard a cruise ship, this is the side that is on the left.
Starboard Side – when facing towards the bow onboard a cruise ship, this is the side that is on the right.
Forward – the front of the ship. Staterooms that are located towards the front of the ship are known to be forward, so Guests will generally use the Forward elevators on a Disney ship.
Midship – the middle of the ship. Staterooms that are located around the center of the ship are known to be midship, so Guests will generally use the Midship elevators on a Disney ship.
Atrium – where you are welcomed onto a cruise with Disney Cruise Line. Located on Deck 3, this is where you will find the grand staircase and chandelier of the ship. Character meet-and-greets are often held here throughout your Disney Cruise. There is also a statue of a Disney character located in the atrium of each ship:
- Disney Magic – Helmsman Mickey
- Disney Wonder – Ariel
- Disney Dream – Admiral Donald
- Disney Fantasy – Mademoiselle Minnie
- Disney Wish – Cinderella
Assistant Server – the Crew Member who will greet you during each dinner service. They will also take your drink order and serve them to you throughout the evening. Don’t be surprised if they only ask you once what beverages you would like to order before remembering it!
Server – the Crew Member who will provide recommendations from the menu, take your dinner order, and serve it to you. Your Server and Assistant Server work together to provide you with exceptional service.
Head Server – while you may only see your Head Server once when sitting, they are the Crew Members that manage the dining room. Should you have any queries or if anything doesn’t meet your expectations, this is the Cast Member to speak to.
Dining Rotation – while cruising with Disney Cruise Line, you’ll rotate around each of the main dining rooms. This means that you won’t be in the same restaurant for two nights on the run. It’s a way of ensuring all Guests get to experience each of the three themed dining venues while on board.
Cabanas – the casual dining venue on board a Disney cruise ship- offers a buffet-style breakfast and lunch experience. For dinner, Cabanas is transformed into a table-service dining experience, where dishes are cooked to order. This is the perfect place to enjoy dinner when you choose and to enjoy dinner outside.
First Seating – the earlier time that dinner is served in the dining rotation restaurants. The first seating generally begins between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. You will choose your dinner seating when booking your Disney Cruise.
Second Seating – the later time that dinner is served in the dining rotation restaurants. The second seating generally begins between 8:15 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Cast Member Terms
Stateroom Host – this is the Crew Member that provides Housekeeping to your Disney Cruise Line stateroom. On board, you will enjoy twice-daily visits from your Stateroom Host: once in the morning, and later on, while you are at dinner.
Cruise Staff – the team of Cast Members who host all of the fun activities onboard, such as Disney trivia, deck parties, and animation classes, to name a few. Look out for them in white shorts and navy and red striped shirts during the day; in the evening, they don navy shirts and white skirts or pants.
Cruise Director – this is the Cast Member responsible for all of the entertainment that is provided on board your Disney Cruise. You will see them around the ship, introducing the shows in the Walt Disney Theatre, and providing information over the ship speakers and on your stateroom TV each day.
All Aboard – this is the time when all Guests must be on board the ship. From this time onwards, your Disney Cruise ship will begin departure from Port.
All Ashore – this is when all Guests can leave the ship and head out for Port for a fun day of adventure.
Port Adventures – shore excursions organized and recommended by Disney Cruise Line that are available for Guests to book when visiting a Port.
Concierge – the most expensive Disney Cruise Line experiences and Staterooms are known as Concierge Level. Concierge Guests receive several benefits while on their Disney Cruise, including a private sun deck, lounge area, and upgraded amenities in staterooms.
Back-to-Back – Guests who are sailing on two or more consecutive Disney Cruises.
Double Dip – Disney Cruise Line sailings that visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, twice.
Fish hook – located outside of each stateroom, just above the stateroom number. Any mail for a stateroom is left on this.
Fish extender – gift bags that Guests hang from their stateroom Fish hook that allows easy storage of gifts from other Guests onboard during their Disney Cruise.
Disney Cruise Line Terms
Castaway Club – Disney Cruise Line’s way of recognizing Guests who have sailed with them.
Silver Castaway Member – upon sailing with Disney Cruise Line, you become a Silver Castaway Member. On future cruises, you will receive a silver lanyard and a Castaway Club satchel in your stateroom as a ‘welcome aboard’ gift. Silver Castaway Members can also make a cruise reservation earlier than all other Guests upon cruise release dates.
Gold Castaway Member – after five sailings with Disney Cruise Line, Guests become a Gold Castaway Member. On your 6th cruise, you will receive a gold lanyard and a Disney Cruise Line Castaway Member luggage tag in your stateroom as a ‘welcome aboard’ gift. Gold Castaway Members are also able to make a cruise reservation earlier than Silver Castaway Members and all other Guests upon cruise release dates, as well as enjoy early arrival times for their future Disney Cruise.
Platinum Castaway Member – after ten sailings with Disney Cruise Line, Guests become a Gold Castaway Member. On your 11th cruise, you will receive a black lanyard and a ‘welcome aboard’ gift of your choice (a fruit tray, sparkling wine, or box of chocolate truffles). You will also enjoy a complimentary dining experience at Palo and a 10% discount on select merchandise while on board. Platinum Castaway Members are also able to make a cruise reservation earlier than Gold and Silver Castaway Members and all other Guests upon cruise release dates, as well as enjoy early arrival times to their future Disney Cruises.
Key to the World Card – this is your room key, as well as your Cruise ID, that allows you to disembark and embark on the Disney Cruise Line ship when in Port. Your Key to the World card will also detail your dining rotation to help you know where you are eating each night.
Placeholder Reservation – this is the Disney Cruise Line onboard booking offer, which secures 10% off a future Disney cruise and a reduced deposit on sailings of 7-nights or longer. Guests pay a $250 deposit while onboard, which is fully refundable should Guests not wish to book another Disney cruise within 24 months of the Placeholder Reservation being booked.
We hope you’re excited for your upcoming Disney Cruise. You’re in for a truly magical time and will have a Disney experience like no other. Bon voyage!