The running joke in my house, and probably yours too, is to bring an extra empty suitcase with when traveling to Disney World for all the souvenirs you will buy. Every park you enter has carts, kiosks and stores, all for your shopping pleasure. If that's not enough, every resort has a gift shop or two, and for the heavy hitters...Downtown Disney!
But what if you are in need of a little retail therapy and you are cruise ship bound? Get ready for a shopping overload! Each ship has 3 distinct shops:
Mickey's Mates (Magic & Wonder) or Mickey's Mainsail (Dream & Fantasy) is what I call the souvenir stores. Here you find every type of character merchandise, pins, photo albums, pens, plush toys, pirate wear, tee shirts, swim accessories and more.
|Disney Cruise Line and Disney Dream patterns|
Treasure Ketch (Magic & Wonder) or Sea Treasures(Dream & Fantasy) is the more upscale shopping. You will hear many parent saying "Kids, don't touch anything!". Okay, maybe that's just me. Need a little bling for your outfit tonight? Look no further. Need the latest cruise inspired Dooney & Bourke? They've got you covered. Jewelry, watches, logo wear, collectible figurines, fragrances and more will have you stepping out in style.
Up Beat (Magic), Radar Trap (Wonder) or Whitecaps(Dream & Fantasy) is the place to stop and order your top-shelf liquors and tobacco items. The only drawback is your purchase will be delivered to your stateroom the last night of your cruise. Since open bottles can not be brought through customs, you have a great excuse for polishing off a whole bottle of wine. :)
Speaking of customs, did I mention your purchases are tax and duty free? The more you spend, the more you save in my book!
Outside of these fine shops, the Disney ships offer art auctions. Pieces are on display for you to obtain information and (just a suggestion) do a little research before the auction begins. You may just pick up a limited edition print that will make you the envy of your friends.
When you have a moment or two of down time, take advantage of lectures or in room broadcasts from the "Port of Call Shopping Experts". They will point you in the direction of reputable shops and good sales. You may even get a map of all the Port shops. Now that you are armed with all your information, grab your wallet (or newly purchased Dooney & Bourke wristlet) and head off the ship on your next shopping adventure. Keep in mind the shops on board the ship will be closed while docked in a Port of Call.
|Part of my beach towel collection.|
Are you shopped out yet? Hope not because we have one more stop. Castaway Cay! Where else can you do some open air shopping while watching crab races? Why at She Sells Sea Shells and Everything Else, of course! There's a great selection of beach towels, sand toys, sun screen, shirts, hats and Castaway Cay exclusive logo items. Be sure to stock up before you leave for the day.
The good news is there is something for everyone on a Disney cruise. The bad news is you have no excuse for not bringing home souvenirs. Let the shopping begin!