Pointers on a Disney Cruise

Pointers on a Disney Cruise

by Koren
(Northern NJ)

We're taking our first Disney cruise this July out of NY and want some pointers. We're a party of 12 with the kids ranging from 5-16. A logistical question first-do you receive your key to the world card on a lanyard or do we need to purchase something waterproof to carry it around? Also, are the children's ages identified somewhere to permit entrance to the different age-specific locations? ANY and ALL advice appreciated!!

Inside the Dream

The atrium of the Disney Dream cruise ship

Photo by Christian Lambert

Dad’s It’s a Breeze Answer


the Key to the World cards were first introduced at Walt Disney World to streamline the number of things you have to carry on vacation – combining your room key, park tickets, charge card, and now even your dining plan. It makes perfect sense that the Disney Cruise Line has adopted this handy solution for their guests on board. But, as important as this one little card is, it’s even more important to keep track of it!

Each member of your family will receive their own Key to the World Card, which will allow them to have access to their rooms aboard the ship. You can also choose whether or not you’d like charging privileges added to each card.

Your Key to the World cards will identify the adults in your party versus the kids for purposes or access to the adults-only sections of the ship, and to limit alcohol consumption to those 21 years or age and over. While they will not identify the specific ages of your children, their cards will be coded to grant them age-specific access to the various toddler/child/pre-teen/teen areas of the ship.

Dad’s Disney Cruise Line Page

So, what’s the best way to keep track of those Key to the World cards? Well, that varies from family to family. When our family goes to Walt Disney World, Mrs. Mom is the keeper of the cards, and FASTPASSES too (thank you Dear). When the two of us take our Disney Cruise this fall, she’ll probably do the same.

BUT (yes, there is a “but”), a Disney Cruise is a totally different ballgame from a trip to the Walt Disney World parks. While Mrs. Mom holds on to our keys when we’re at the most magical place on earth, that’s because we’re all together throughout the trip. On a Disney Cruise, there are so many activities geared to different age groups that families often end up spending time apart – so it’s a good idea for everyone to keep their keys on them.

Which brings us back to your lanyard question. No, the folks at Disney don’t provide you with a lanyard when you arrive, but you can buy them on board, buy them at home before you leave, or recycle lanyards from previous Disney trips! You don’t need lanyards, but they can sure be handy, and if you decide against them I strongly encourage you to find another way of keeping track of everyone’s keys.

Dad's Bottom Line

Koren, Disney does a great job of keeping your kids’ information organized on their Key to the World cards, and provides them with safe, age-appropriate activities. All you have to do is take care of making sure everyone has their own card, and your cruise will be a breeze!

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