With less than 29 days to WDW Marathon Weekend, most Run Disney runners are prepping just for their Walt Disney World race-cation, but some runners are preparing for both their WDW vacation and a cruise aboard the Disney Cruise Line. Last year, I boarded the Disney Dream ship after the Princess Half Marathon to run the Castaway Challenge. The turquoise waters and soft white sand make it an unforgettable experience for runners.
The Castaway Challenge is so much fun since you have the opportunity to run on Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. But with all of the Marathon Weekend training and hype, it’s easy to forget about preparing for the Castaway Challenge!
Here are my 5 tips to preparing for an amazing Disney Cruise Line Vacation and race on Castaway Cay:
- Pack 2 Separate Sets of Luggage
With so many Run Disney race costumes for Marathon Weekend, it can be easy to forget about packing for a Bahamian cruise. I packed two separate sets of luggage for each of the trips. I had running shoes and clothes for the WDW portion that was different than my DCL luggage. That way you don’t have to transfer anything or repack and risk forgetting something for the cruise.
- Bring Your Passport or Photo ID and Birth Certificate
Disney Cruise Line will send you all of the information, in a guide, you need to board the Disney Dream ship. In that guide, be sure to double check the proper ID necessary to board the ship. We brought along our photo ID and birth certificate, but that means we couldn’t fly home in case of an emergency. You’ll need to decide if a passport or photo ID is best for you.
- Don’t Forget to Pack Race Essentials
On race morning, it will still be dark when you depart the ship for the 5k. But as soon as the sun comes up, it shines right on you with the glare from the ocean. Pack sunscreen and a visor so you are prepared for the 5k. Some people ran in costume, but many opted not to. Running essentials can’t be purchased on the ship, so if you need something like Body Glide or your favorite fuel, be sure to bring it!
- Download the Disney Cruise Line App
When you get onboard, the Disney Cruise Line app with be your guide to adventure with the daily “Navigator”. They also leave a hard copy of the Navigator in your cabin daily. This has a schedule of ship events, character locations and port of call information. Download the app a few days prior to boarding so you’ll be ready for fun!
- Join Your Cruise Facebook Page
Most cruise dates have a Facebook community page where ship guests exchange tips, photos and group information. We joined the Facebook page prior to our cruise for Princess Half last year and got great tips from the group. We even took a private mixology class that somebody from the Facebook page arranged for us. Search “Disney Dream” and the dates of the cruise in Facebook to find your group.
- Door Decorating
If you have plenty of time and feel packed for the cruise, you can craft decorations for your cabin door. DCL lets you use magnets to decorate your cabin door. It’s so easy to create some too! For an easy design: just purchase magnetic printing paper (like this) and print out a pattern. Then use a Mickey shaped silhouette and cut around it! BAM! You have a magnetic Mickey head to put on your cabin door!