Packing and avoiding onboard laundry

MAmama78

First time cruiser in 2020
Joined
May 4, 2019
We are headed on our first cruise in February (5-night Caribbean). What is a good plan for packing and daily showering? Casual clothes during the day, back to the room for shower and nicer dinner attire in the late afternoon? My daughters are 8 and 11 and I figured shorts and tees during the day, change into sundresses for dinner? I'd probably be business casual for MDR (capris and blouse, etc.). Is husband ok in khaki shorts and polo? (My father-in-law will be a challenge. He's taken to dining in sweat pants since my mother-in-law, who was a tad controlling, passed away...)
 

_auroraborealis_

I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
MDRs on Disney are very casual. So long as you aren't in swimwear or a tube top, you're acceptable. Sweat pants are fine. Even on formal night, dress code is suggested, not enforced. Only place dress code is taken seriously are at Remy and Palo.

I think changing clothes post-excursion is a good idea, but don't feel you need two outfits every day.
 

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
We are headed on our first cruise in February (5-night Caribbean). What is a good plan for packing and daily showering? Casual clothes during the day, back to the room for shower and nicer dinner attire in the late afternoon? My daughters are 8 and 11 and I figured shorts and tees during the day, change into sundresses for dinner? I'd probably be business casual for MDR (capris and blouse, etc.). Is husband ok in khaki shorts and polo? (My father-in-law will be a challenge. He's taken to dining in sweat pants since my mother-in-law, who was a tad controlling, passed away...)
Perfect plan. That is what we do. Just nice to dress up a bit for dinner even if others don't.
We had a couple on our DCL cruise that wore nothing but sweat suits to dinner. I think the whole cruise experience was different than they were used to. He was a bit loud and apparently was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He ordered Beef Wellington and then was very vocal about "why would anyone ever put pastry on beef??!!?!"
 

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  • Rob1872

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2015
    While my wife views a Disney Cruise as an opportunity to wear a new dress each evening, for most evenings I reuse the same pair of dress slacks and tie with a different shirt. (And a suit for semi-formal and my Dinner Dress Blues for formal night. Heck, how often do I get a chance to wear my Dinner Dress uniform?) My kids usually end up wearing the same thing they wore during the day except for the semi-formal and formal night when my wife makes them change into a shirt with a collar and pants.

    However, the answer for DCL is to wear whatever makes you comfortable. As the PP said, as long as you aren't going into Palo or Remy, the range of what is acceptable is pretty wide. If you have room in your luggage for extra changes of clothes and you want to dress up for your optional dress up night and bring an outfit for pirate night, then do so. If you don't want to, you won't stand out. (Heck, on our last 4 night, on the optional dress up night, my wife was the only person we saw in a fancy dress other than 8 year old girls who were in their princess costume. Who cares? We had a great night.)
     

    3 Hobbits 2 Disney

    Working Our Way Home
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2005
    Another option is bring 2 sundresses/outfits and swap/launder. We just came off the Fantasy in Nov and I had 1dress cleaned and 2 pressed for wrinkles for less than $10. Enjoy!
     

    lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2016
    My dd (11 yrs old) and I do exactly like you are planning. My dh usually wears casual pants and a polo. On the first night we usually just wear whatever tops and shorts we wear onto the ship. We've done five 7night cruises and I've never done laundry. We also use packing cubes. I can get lot clothes in our suitecases by using the cubes. Also makes unpacking on the ship easy and quick. I just take the cubes out and toss them in the drawers. We all have our own color set of cubes.
     
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    Travel60

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2012
    I think you are on the right track. If you pick a couple of solid neutral colors, you can probably get by with 3 pair of shorts/capris for daytime and 3 pair dressier pants/capris or skirt for evenings. Take tops that go with all bottoms, one pair casual shoes and one pair dressier. I often put on a fresh top for dinner then that is my top for the next day's activities. Even with my minimalist packing, I often come home with unworn clothes. You will be in swimsuits a lot on sea days. Throw in light sweater for each of you as dining rooms can be chilly and decks outside at night can, too. Have a great trip.
     

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  • dlin2011

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2011
    How does this work for kids (ages 7-12 ish) that go to the clubs after in the middle of dinner? They just end up in the club dressed a little nicer? I’m thinking they won’t be too out of place in leggings and a play dress at dinner. They’d still be comfy but not overdressed for the kids club.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    How does this work for kids (ages 7-12 ish) that go to the clubs after in the middle of dinner? They just end up in the club dressed a little nicer? I’m thinking they won’t be too out of place in leggings and a play dress at dinner. They’d still be comfy but not overdressed for the kids club.
    As noted, pretty much anything goes for dinner onboard, as long as it's not swimwear or a tank top.
     

    lklgoodman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 25, 2016
    How does this work for kids (ages 7-12 ish) that go to the clubs after in the middle of dinner? They just end up in the club dressed a little nicer? I’m thinking they won’t be too out of place in leggings and a play dress at dinner. They’d still be comfy but not overdressed for the kids club.
    My dd often goes to the club after dinner. The only time she changes clothes is on formal and semi formal nights when she is wearing nicer dresses.
     

    kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    If you only dress for dinner and then go back to casual after dinner (or go to bed if you do late dining), you don't need a new dress or outfit every night. You can easily wear the same one. It's only about 2 hours or so and it's not hot in the dining room (I find it cold) so you're not sweaty and gross. I usually have a couple of nice tops, lightweight knit or linen pants and maybe one sundress for a 7 day cruise and that works fine. During the day is light pants, shorts, or khakis and t-shirts (plus swimwear). I've pared down what we pack for 7 day cruises to about half of what we used to pack and that includes a nice dress for Palo/Remy and suit for DH. And we do not do laundry. If we had to, we'd also send it out rather than do it ourself and waste time in and out of the laundryroom. It's not very expensive and fairly quick. We've used the service at WDW though not on the ship but the prices look similar.
     
  • ColoradoMom12

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2016
    I’m impressed with anyone who goes on vacation without doing laundry! For all but two or three night trips, we always end up doing laundry on vacation. It saves room in my luggage to only pack three changes of clothes and just do laundry and rewear things. It’s kind of a hassle, too, but worth it to bring a smaller/lighter suitcase. We’re going on our first cruise later this month. I was kind of excited when I discovered the stateroom I selected is really close to the laundry room, lol!
     

    FigmentSpark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    Its not the big things I end up washing, its the socks and underwear. Sure, I could pack enough for myself, but the teen boys and their (smelly) socks? Well, I don't want those in the suitcase for a week and a half.
     

    monkeydawn

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2019
    The laundry rooms on DCL are not too much of a PITA if you time it right. My makeup for Pirate Night was extensive and I knew it would be hard to get off so I had planned to do it while removing my makeup and it worked wonderfully. I did it after hanging out at the PN buffet for maybe 45 minutes, plenty of people were out and about but the laundry room was only about a quarter full. I was down the hall just a bit so I had everything ready to go before I went out for the night. Upon getting back to my room I immediately brought my stuff down to the laundry and got it started. Then I went back to my room and got to work on makeup removal. I got a text about 45 minutes later that it was time to move my stuff, so I went down and did that. Then I went back to my room and finished up the makeup removal, brushed my teeth, showered and then it was time to collect my dried laundry. It worked out just about perfectly for me. Now I know most wouldnt need more than an hour to remove makeup but I am sure there are little tasks that could fill the time for the wash and the dry time could be filled with getting ready for bed.
     

    coast2coastmickey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2018
    Not going to lie, on my cruise a couple weeks ago, I did some late night laundry. It was quite nice to put the wife and kid to bed, throw in a load, grab a drink and walk around a very empty ship. It was quite peaceful to lay out on a Deck 4 lounger hearing the ocean water and seeing the moonlight, only stepping in once to throw everything in the dryer once the washer stopped.
     

    Cruising Engineer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2018
    We pack light, even on the EBPC. Two weeks on the ship and one carry-on for each of us. I do laundry on the ship because, one time, customs decided we were the chosen ones because we had nothing to declare (we didn't buy anything). They dumped our luggage on the table (in front of everyone) including the dirty laundry bag. They went through every piece, frisked the luggage, found nothing and said we could go. They walked away and we had to organize the mess. Never again, I do the laundry before the last day.

    So pack light, reuse everything several times, and hope you are not the chosen ones.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    We pack light, even on the EBPC. Two weeks on the ship and one carry-on for each of us. I do laundry on the ship because, one time, customs decided we were the chosen ones because we had nothing to declare (we didn't buy anything). They dumped our luggage on the table (in front of everyone) including the dirty laundry bag. They went through every piece, frisked the luggage, found nothing and said we could go. They walked away and we had to organize the mess. Never again, I do the laundry before the last day.

    So pack light, reuse everything several times, and hope you are not the chosen ones.
    Seems to me, if they want to sort through my dirty laundry, I'd let them. Seeing someone pawing through my newly washed, folded laundry isn't appealing to me.
     

    Cruising Engineer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2018
    Seems to me, if they want to sort through my dirty laundry, I'd let them. Seeing someone pawing through my newly washed, folded laundry isn't appealing to me.
    True, they had gloves on so they didn't care. Just the fact that both suitcases were dumped on the table in front of everyone in the custom's area, rummaged through, and they walked away. It wasn't carefully checked like TSA does it, they were dumped. Anyway, chalk that up to one-to-remember.
     

    bakerworld

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 24, 2010
    I can pack a weeks worth of clothing in a carry on, with shoe options, so not sure why people do laundry. When we traveled with kids we had all 5 of us in one very large suitcase. Now my legs went south in 2003 so no dresses here. I will say our clothes are fairly well ironed. I use an expanding piece of luggage that I pack a day ahead and then compress so I have the extra 2 inches for re-entry. LOL
     


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