One of the new experiences for me on my recent cruise aboard the Disney Dream was the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. It’s a free essential app that helps you do everything from navigate the ship, scout upcoming eventsctivities and menus, and even stay in touch with your travel party while on board. It also comes with a nifty count-down clock to help you get excited as your departure date approaches.
Note: The Disney Blog was invited to experience the Disney Dream at a very reduced media rate. But all the opinions and editorial on the blog are our own.
The first thing to know is that the app doesn’t do much on dry land. You get to enter the date of your cruise and see a count down clock and that’s about it. It will also remind you of important dates, like when to start packing for your cruise.
The real excitement begins once you’re on the ship. Once you’re connected to the ship’s wifi (using the app via wifi is free, but full wifi with internet is an upcharge), you’ll have access to the app’s six main functions.
1) Onboard Chat
Online chat works similarly to a text app on your phone. The people staying in your stateroom will automatically appear in the app, but you can share your contact information with anyone on the ship and then exchange chats. Useful if you have friends in another cabin or meet someone while enjoying the ship’s amenities. There are also child privacy levels configurable, so you can be comfortable knowing they’re safe on board.
Each night you get a special printed Navigator newsletter with the lists of activities for the next day. However, you may prefer to look that up on the App where you can usualy find additional descriptions of the activity. Also included are the alternate times, if any, that activity will be offered. So if you can’t make the Disney Animation session on night one, you know how many other opportunities youll have ahead of you.
If you have a child in one of the kid’s clubs, having a list of activities on your mobile device is handy to text your child and remind them of something they don’t want to miss or to know when an event they’re interested in might be over, so you can plan time together (yeah, good luck with that).
Tip: Clicking on an activities location will bring up the map for the deck plan where you’ll find your location.
The app also has an alert function. So if you want to be reminded about that wine tasting at 4pm, you’ll get a notification ahead of time.
The dining tab will give you access to the menus for each night’s meals. If you like to know in advance what you’ll be ordering or want to prepare a particularly picky child, these are a great help. If you don’t like the menu, there’s always room service.
Here’s a tip: most of the dining rooms share a central kitchen. So if you see something at Enchanted Garden’s menu, but you’re dining at Royal Palace, you can request to have that item brought instead.
3) Locations & Hours
As you might expect, this gives you the operational hours of various activities and locations on the ship. Click on the location and a deck plan will open to get you going in the right direction.
4) Deck Plans Although a deck plan can be found at each elevtor bank on every floor, having the map of the entire ship in your pocket can come in handy. Need to know if you can get from aft to fore on Deck 3? Your App can show you how.
5) Debarkation Information
This is the sad tab, it’s full of the information you need to know to get off the ship at the end of your journey and go through customs. Good to know, but depressing none-the-less.
6) Daily Summary
The daily summary will have port information if it’s a port day, or day at sea activities. There’s also some important weather information on there, along with suggested attire for the evening’s activities.
Another advantage of the app is that its updated in real time. So if there’s a change in schedule, you’ll find the latest times in the app. Paper Navigators are often out of date even by the time you wake up in the morning.
If you’re wondering, your stateroom will still come with two wave phones. But we found the Navigator app’s ability to text one another perfectly fine. Plus if your smart phone has a camera, there’s a good chance you have it on you anyway to take photos. The only thing you need to watch out for is battery use. If you’re phone uses a lot of battery in wi-fi, you’ll need to keep recharging it throughout the day or bring an external battery.
The app is available to download on both Google Play and the Apple App Store. Once you board there are easy to follow instructions on how to connect to the wireles network. You won’t get internet access (that’s still an upcharge), but you will get access to all the app’s features
We can’t wait for our next opportunity to enjoy a Disney Cruise. The Navigator App was a great addition to the experience and now I can’t imagine a cruise without it. Have you had experience using the Navigator App? Did it make your cruise more enjoyable?