FAQ: Buying Drug Store Items on Disney Cruise Line

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Imagine you’re on a Disney Cruise Line and you’ve forgotten something basic like toothpaste, or your child comes down with a fever and you don’t have Tylenol. Or what if you just didn’t feel like shopping for Dramamine before your vacation. What do you do?

One of the shops on each Disney ship stocks a range of basic toiletries, sundries, and over-the-counter medications that can remediate most personal care needs.

What types of drug store items are found on the Disney Cruise Line ships?

I’ve been on three of the four Disney ships in the past eight months (Fantasy, darling, I’m coming for you soon), and took photos of all the personal care items sold on board. The stock of items available is consistent across all the ship, with only the most minor of variations (different flavors of baby food, for example). Here’s what I found on the ships in 2019.

  • Aloe Vera lotion
  • Solarcaine spray and gel
  • Jellyfish sting relief lotion
  • Benedryl itch relief stick
  • Off insect repellant
  • Sunscreen: several versions of the Coppertone brand, including lotion, spray, waterproof, and face stick
  • Johnson & Johnson baby powder
  • Johnson & Johnson baby oil
  • Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo
  • Johnson & Johnson baby body wash
  • Balmex cream
  • Pacifier
  • Baby bottle
  • Gerber disposable nursing pads
  • Gerber Gentle baby formula, single serving
  • Gerber baby food
  • Gerber apple juice, single serving
  • Gerber puffed cereal
  • Huggies Little Swimmers swim diapers
  • Huggies Pull-Ups
  • Baby wipes
  • Huggies Diapers
  • Dawn dishwashing detergent
  • Claritin (adult and children)
  • Benedryl liquigels
  • Aleve
  • Advil (adult and children’s)
  • Tylenol
  • Aspirin
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Delsym Cough and Cold Liquid
  • Contact Cold & Flu
  • Halls Cough Drops
  • Afrin Nasal Spray
  • Mucinex (Children’s)
  • Little Remedies Fever Reducer (children’s)
  • Fever strip thermometer
  • Zantac
  • Tums
  • Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia
  • Midol Complete
  • Monistat
  • Hanes No-Nonsense panty hose
  • Nail polish remover pads
  • Goodie hair bands and clips
  • Kotex tampons
  • Kotex pads
  • Trojan Condoms
  • Gillette shaving cream
  • Disposable razor
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Degree Anti-Perspirant (men’s and women’s)
  • Toothbrush
  • Colgate toothpaste
  • Comb
  • Hairbrush (travel size)
  • Dental floss
  • Listerine Cool Mint breath strips
  • Blistex lip balm
  • Colgate Mouthwash
  • Cotton swabs
  • Vaseline petrolium jelly
  • Tissues (pocket packs)
  • Airborne
  • Sominex
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Clear Eyes eye drops
  • Mack’s ear drying aid
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Sewing kit
  • Contact Lens Case
  • Tide To-Go pen
  • Eyeglass repair kit
  • Luggage locks
  • Electric adapters
  • Cooling towels
  • Trim tweezers, nail clipper, nail file
  • Dramamine (original and non-drowsy)
  • Sea Bands
  • Swim goggles (adult and child)
  • Silicone ear plugs
  • Nose clip for swimmers
  • H2O brand shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion
  • Tresemme hair spray
  • Tresemme hair gel

That seems like a substantial list. Are there any major categories of drug store products the ships don’t carry?

From an OTC medication perspective, the main category of items the ships don’t carry is diarrhea remediation such as Immodium or Pepto Bismol. Many folks commonly get travelers’ tummy in any travel situation or when eating any unfamiliar food. If you know this is you, then come prepared and bring your own. The ships don’t carry these meds because diarrhea is a symptom of the highly contagious Norovirus, which they do NOT want on the ships.

The idea is that if you want diarrhea meds, they want you to go to the onboard health center so they can note your condition. They’ll give you what you need, often a few tablets for free, but they may also quarantine you if they think you might be any danger to the ship population at large. I traveled on DCL with a friend who went to the health center with an upset stomach and they made her stay in her stateroom for 24 hours of a three-night sailing.

The other common drug store item you won’t find much of is make-up. Depending on the sailing, there may be a few luxury items sold over in the duty-free perfume section of the shop, but in general, if you forget your eyeliner, you’re out of luck until you can buy more in port.

Why don’t they carry my preferred brand?

Disney has relationships with select providers. Coppertone is their suncare partner, for example. If there’s a specific brand you prefer that’s not on this list, bring your own.

How much do these thing cost?

No individual item will bankrupt you, but they are sold at a markup over what you would typically pay in a non-vacation situation. You’ll almost certainly pay less if you buy these items in your local supermarket, Target, CVS, or equivalent. Spot checking a few items:

  • Gillette Foamy shaving cream, 2 oz, is $2.99 on the ship and $1.19 from Amazon Fresh.
  • Degree Men Original Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant, Cool Rush, 0.5 oz, is $3.29 on the ship and $.70 on Amazon Fresh.
  • Advil Infants Concentrated Drops, White Grape, 0.5 oz, is $7.99 on the ship and $7.29 on Amazon Prime
  • Benadryl Liqui-Gels Antihistamine Allergy Medicine & Cold Relief, 24 ct, is $7.49 on the ship and $4.19 on Amazon Fresh.
  • Colgate Total Toothpaste Clean Mint, 0.75 oz, is $1.95 on the ship and $1.10 on Amazon Fresh.
  • Coppertone UltraGuard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70, 8 oz, is $13.99 on the ship and $12.83 on Amazon Fresh.

You get the idea.

Be aware that the prices for these items on the ships are exactly the same as the prices in the Walt Disney World resort gift shops. If you’re there prior to your cruise, it doesn’t matter where you buy things, but obviously if you’re on land in Florida you could go to any of hundreds of stores to save a few bucks. But when you’re at sea, you’re at sea.

If I need something in the middle of the night, can I get it?

The stores on the Disney ships have limited hours. They will only be open when the ship is at sea and they close overnight. If you’re spending a day in port at, say, Nassau, the shipboard shops will likely be open from something like 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. That’s it. On a day at sea, the shops will be open from 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

If you need something on a port day, you could leave the ship. But if that’s too much, or you have a need at night or some other time when the shop is closed, stop by the Guest Services desk, which is always open. They have a stash of “single serving” packs of many common personal care needs. If you want some aspirin, motion sickness meds, or a tampon, when the shops are closed, they’ll likely give you a small stash for free. Similarly, on rough sea days, we’ve seen them put out a basket of free motion sickness meds in front of the health center.

I see sort of what I want, but not exactly, do they have more options in the back?

What you see is what you get with the onboard drug store options. They don’t have more sizes/colors/flavors in the back. The one size of nylons on the shelf is the only size they have.

More importantly, the only size of diapers they have on the shelves are the only sizes they have. There are only 3-5 flavors of baby food. And only one kind of formula. The takeaway for for baby gear is always bring your own.

What other questions do you have about drug store items on the Disney Cruise Line? What have your experiences been? Let us know in the comments.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

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