Experienced Cruiser, 1st Time Disney Cruiser
My husband an I have done our last three cruises on NCL. This is going to be our 1st disney cruise. We are absolute Disney freaks as we have been to disney at least 25 times. We are extremely excited about seeing the flying dutchman and the pirate party (we already have our pirate gear ready). Usually I do a lot of research before a cruise, but this is kind of a last minute trip for us. I have read the other posts regarding suggestions.
Does anyone have any specific tips regarding the disney cruise?
Also any suggestions for must sees or dos would be greatly appreciated. My DH and I are in our mid 20's, we like to drink so any information regarding wine tastings or martini clinic would be appreciated. We also would love some suggestions on excursions for Nassau. We have done Nassau once before and loved the swim with the dolphins but are looking for something difference. How is the excursion to Atlantis?
Hi, Atlantis excursion is very nice but if you want to stay and use the casino or enjoy one of the many tropical drinks I would suggest doing it on your own.
It is really easy, just catch a taxi at the port building to take you there and then there are taxis by the hotel to bring you back again with no problem. Just agree on the price before you get in the taxi.
You can then buy tickets to the aquarium if you want or gamble. and enjoy the decor of the hotel, it is awesome and plenty to walk around and see inside and outside the bulding.
Must do, dont miss the late night entertainment in the clubs, show like Match your Mate and such are hilarious.
Pirate party is also a must do.
All the shows are very good
here are are few tips doe DCL that I can think of and usually give to new cruisers. I hope you will find them helpful.
1.early arrival gets an early boarding pass number.
2.terminal opens 10 a.m.
3.boarding starts around 11:30 to noon.
4.keep camera with you at ALL times, even in the terminal. characters will appear there for photos. ourdoor viewing area of the ship for photos.
5 check in at kids club table while waiting to board ship. saves you time on the ship.
6. take a few ones. some for room service tips some to tip porters who take your bags at the termnal. $1 per bag is customary.
7. take small bills for the islands. many small shops dont have change.
8. if your going to use your credit card on the islands, call your CC company first and tell them or you will have to wait on a phone call to ok all your purchases. This is a big hassle and can take 30 minutes or more.
9. most shops who take credit cards, require a $20 minimum purchase.
10 take camera to dinner each night, surprizes happen all the time. You wont be alone. you will even see cam corders at dinner.
11. arrive at all shows 20 minutes early for good seats.
12. arrive at character meets 10 minutes early
13 Princess meets arrive 15 minutes early
14. on Castaway cay if you want your photo taken with Captain Jack Sparrow, do NOT ride the tram to the beach area. It does NOT stop near him. You must walk in to the beach signs say 20 minute walk in it takes us 10 minutes. he will be along the way in the sand and photo has the flying Dutchman behind you, great photo! Check navigator for times he will be there.
15 There are characters along the way to the beach, ok to ride the tram for this. Lines are short and move quickly so it is a great opportunity to see characters without lines. check navigator for times and places.
16 also characters appear at the gazebo near cookies BBQ on the island during the day.
17 adult only beach has it's own area for lunch they often have steaks or lobster there as a special treat for the grown ups. But Cookies BBQ by family beach has more variety of other foods.
18 dont ,miss the good bye late the last night in the atrium. ALL the characters will line up on the stairs and will pose for photos for you. This farwell party is really nice and fun.
19 check for photos everyday at shutters. buy a package deal and save $$ if you dont buy enough photos for the package deal they will refund you the difference at the end of your cruise .
or if you buy a photo and then decide the next day you see one you want more, just bring back the one you bought and the receipt and tell them you want to exchange it and they will be happy to do this for you.
20. you can order warm chocolate chip cookies or Mickey ice cream bars from room service even though it is not on the menu. The warm cookies are available in the evenings only
21. bring 2 white pillowcases or a matte style picture frame in a zip lock baggie with water proof markers and leave at guest services desk ask to be autographed and it will be returned to you the last night all signed by the characters. I also add a card with my name and room number on it just in case their card gets lost. I like to use dark colored markers, the light colors dont show up as well.
22. If you need to change dining times or make a Palos reservation go to Wave Bands club directly upon boarding to take care of this. The sooner you do it the better your chances of getting what you want.
23. I fyou have kids leave a wake up call and then let them answer the phone. It will surprize the because Mickey will be on the phone telling them it is time to get up.
24 Afternoon matinees of the shows are great to see. They are the exact same show, they leave out nothing but it is less crowded and kids arnt as tired, plus it makes for a more leisurely evening. No need to rush to or from the shows due to your dinner time.
25. Pop is free in all restaurants and at the drink station on deck 9. But if you order it from waiter or buy at a lounge or bar you will be charge for it plus a gratuity.
26. stop by the drink station and grab a drink to take with you to the shows or movies instead of buying a can a pop there. If you want a snack stop and grab pizza or hot dogs or fruit on deck 9 to take with you. again save money over buying a bunch of snacks for the kids.
27.At dinner kids can order from both the kids or adult menu.
28. The BBQ at the adult beach often has a fewer choices than Cookies BBQ on the family side but they often will have steak or lobster for the adults only BBQ. That is a nice perk.
29. No need to book floats and bikes ahead of time for Castaway Cay. They have tons of them. wait until you get there to make sure your really going to need the floats or have time to ride the bikes before renting them. we always just walk up and do it at the beach.
30. If you want to do the banana boat ride or the ski do(eco tour) I would book ahead of time. They do often have last minute openings so dont be afraid to ask when you arrive if you didnt book it and decided you'd like to do it.
31. if you rent bikes there are 2 nice trails just off the runway. The first one will have an observation tour. It has a great view of the island and ship. Bring your camera for this!! while up in the tower be sure and look around the base area of the tower. There are some whimsical things to see there too.
32. all the trails have ice cold water in big yellow barrels in wooden framed stands, so no need to carry your own unless you want to.
hope this gives you some new information to help with your cruise
Thanks for all the great information! I can't wait... I really need a vacation!
Your welcome Jennifer, hope it helps you to have a more magical cruise.
If I can help answer any other questions please ask or even PM me a question from this site. I try to check the threads and my mail at least once a day.
I am moving in 2 weeks across the U.S. and I am already wishing I was going on a cruise to recover :D
Hey Kathleen, Excellent advice and tips. I just booked Disney Wonder for Oct 2009, and I copied your great list of tips and placed them with our itinerary.
I'm sooooooo psched to finally be booked on the Wonder. People of all ages have raved about the ship to us. And, I'm thrilled to be finally sailing her...though a year and half out from departure I'll be counting down the days until we set foot on her :wink:
Thats great news, you'll have a blast.
I see your from Florida.
about a month before you cruise start watching for florida resident discount rates.
Nobody will tell you about them, you have to watch for yourself.
I go to www.allseastravel.com
Their site is easy to navigate, take a look now so you know how to use it.
about 4 weeks before your cruise start looking and keep watching until you see if they list your cruise. If so and you see your category room listed, call DCL or your TA and tell them you saw the Florida resident rates and want it.
i fyou see it call NOW! once the rooms are sold out the discount will be gone, often in one day.
they have to give it to you. they will adjust your price and refund the difference to you.
Now sometimes they will say you have to cancel and rebook and since the prices have gone up this wont save you any money,
ask for a supervisor at this point. tell them you do NOT want to cancel and rebook, you just want your florida resident discount you saw on line and you will receive it.
You must say you saw it on line!!
some of their people arnt too bright!! we have had the run around twice but always got it straightened out with a supervisor and got the discount.
we have got several 3 day cruises 1/2 price and saved up to $800 on a 7 day cruise. so it is really worth your time to check it out.
Thanks for the info Kathleen. The Florida resident rate won't save me anything for we booked catagory 11 rooms, 3 of them. But, what will save me some $$$$ is the premium deal for additional 3rd or 4th adults per room, so I'll be keeping my eye on the Florida resident deals as the clock ticks closer to departure.
I have found booking directly with the cruise line handy for the Florida resident rate. It's how we booked our Liberty Of the Seas Cruise. And, I've already gotten a better balcony room on the 9th deck, plus money back from Royal Caribbean by watching the FL resident deals. :)
Thats great. There are a lot of flroida residents that dont know about the discounts or how to find them, so I just thought I would share with you, just in case you didnt know.
we book direct with DCL too. I t is much easier that way and we often rebook on board for the discount that way too.
we sure got some nasty thunderstorm this afternoon.
I am near Leesburg in Fruitland Park, what part of Florida are you in??
we need toe rain too.
I was in Fort Myers 2 years ago. My husband almost took a job there, it seemed like a nice quiet area.
This area has been nailed worse than most by the falling real estate market. Good news is if a person wants to pick up real estate in paradise dirt cheap, now is the time. We've had a sharp increase of western European buyers of late......homes dirt cheap in sunshine paradise on the gulf. And, the euro is strong in comparison to the US dollar too.
I am an expert ont the housing problems.
my husband builds houses for a living, or at least he did before he got laid off recently. My oldest son too.
we are moving back to Oregon in a couple of weeks so they can have work. it is our home state and it is slow there but not as bad as here.
It took months but we finally managed to sell our investment home, but only made about 5 grand on it. we put 10 X that in on it when we bought it.
Now we are trying to sell our home. we have it down as low as we can for price, if nobody buys it by the time we move we will have to list it with a realtor and it will go way up in price. it is NOT in foreclosure but need to get rid of it.
we put over 100 grand down and if we sold it today we would make about 8 grand, plus we put another 60 grand in upgrades after we moved in. we planned on being here until retirement but it just didnt happen that way.
the entire state is really hurting, I feel badly for those who have lost their homes and jobs. we went through this in the 80's and it was devistating for alot of people.
Our next cruises will have to include hotel and air fare now and we will miss the resident rates.
well it is off to bed for me,
catch you later,
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