Disney Cruise Navigator App: Everything You Need to Know

by | Oct 5, 2021 | Disney Cruise Line

Learn how to use the Disney Cruise Navigator app before you embark.

A Disney Cruise is a magical experience for Disney fans of all ages. What better way to sail the high seas than with your favorite Disney characters? There is a lot to ‘“sea” and do onboard, and the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app can help you plan and manage your trip, explore offerings on the ship, and stay in touch with your family and friends.

We most recently used the app during our last Disney Cruise in 2019, and while some features have changed since sailings have resumed, the Disney Cruise Navigator app is still a useful tool for cruisers to make sure they don’t miss out on a moment of fun, especially as Disney casually moves us away from the printed versions of the daily Navigator.

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Disney seems to be phasing out the printed daily Navigator. Photo by Bill Ryan

Using the Disney Cruise Navigator App Before Your Cruise

To start using the Disney Cruise Navigator app, download it from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and create a login or log in with your existing Disney account.

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The Disney Cruise Navigator app offers helpful features before your cruise

As soon as you book your cruise, you’ll see a countdown to your sailing, featuring Disney characters. You’ll also have access to helpful features to manage your cruise, makeup payments, view and modify your stateroom, and view deck plans. 

You can also request to change your dining time, if spots are available, or manage travel options such as ground transportation and flights.

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Add your reservation to the DCL Navigator app

Once your cruise is paid in full and your booking window opens —based upon your Castaway Club stats—you can explore and reserve activities such as adults-only dining experiences.

Using the Disney Cruise Navigator App During Your Cruise

Once you’re aboard the ship, you’ll have access to additional features when connected to the free Wi-Fi (free when used only for the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app).

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Wi-Fi is free when using the app aboard the ship

The Onboard Chat is an easy way to connect with friends, family, and Crew Members—including Guest Servicesall from within the app. You can also view restaurant information such as locations, menus, and your table number.

Want to skip a meal to relax in your room? Check out the in-room dining menu for a sweet treat. Did someone say Mickey Bar? 

One of the new features is the ability to participate in the Mandatory Emergency Drill, aka Muster Drill, before you set sail. Just have a member of your party go to your assigned designated onboard Assembly Station and check in with a crew member.

This is a welcome change compared to waiting for everyone to arrive and check in before the drill could begin, especially if it was located on deck.

Other features include the ability to review the daily entertainment schedule—shows, fireworks, activities, Port Adventures, and character locations—and set reminders so you don’t miss out on a moment of fun.

You can also keep tabs on your onboard account so there aren’t any surprises on your last day. 

Several cruisers on recent sailings also mentioned you can now plan or put a deposit on a future cruise without having to visit the Disney Vacation Planning Desk.

Even when we had the option to check in on the app on our last cruise, we still had a lengthy wait to meet with a Cast Member to make a deposit to apply to a future sailing. This new feature can give you more time to enjoy the ship instead of waiting in line or rushing to the desk when your number is called.

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The Navigator app is really intuitive

Disney Cruise Navigator App Tips

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App:

  • Bring a phone charger—or two! You’ll want to keep the app open to receive notifications and reminders. Having a portable charger to carry with you through the day can be a big help; just remember to charge it each night.
  • Make sure you’re connected to the Wi-Fi. You don’t have to purchase an internet plan to use the app, though you will need to pay for Wi-Fi if you intend to work on vacation (boo!) or immediately share photos of your dinner on the ‘Gram.
  • Check for app and software updates before you sail. You won’t want to use part of your paid internet plan to download them during your cruise.
  • Review the app and the Disney Cruise Line Website before you sail for the latest information on availability and features.

The Disney Cruise Navigator App is a must-have when sailing on a Disney Cruise. From ship to shore, it’s the perfect companion for your adventure on the high seas. My family is looking forward to using the new features when we sail aboard the Wonder to Alaska in 2022!

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Written by Eric Freilich

Written by Eric Freilich

Eric Freilich is a former Walt Disney World Cast Member and lives in south Florida. As Annual Passholders, he and his family visit the theme parks throughout the year to enjoy all that Disney has to offer. When he’s not soaring over the landscape of Pandora on a Banshee or joining the Resistance to triumph over the First Order, Eric enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family.