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First Timer Cruiser - Any Advice / Tips??

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line' started by Lisa1976, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    We're going!!!!!!!

    Unfortunately in July we lost Simon's aunty to lung cancer :(

    On Christmas Day we were given a lovely surprise of a small amount of money which his aunty wanted to leave to each of them, the only stipulation was that we weren't allowed to use on the house or bills.

    As you know we had to cancel our original cruise due to a car accident :(

    Well we've just gone online and booked a 3 night cruise departing 31 Jan for the two of us for £533, am sooooo excited :)

    As we've never done anything like this before any help you can give us to ease our nerves would be appreciated :)
  2. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Are you going on a Disney cruise?
  3. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    Yup, sorry should have said that, lol.
  4. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Ok, first of all, don`t be nervous. My DW was very uneasy before we went on our first cruise, however now we can`t get enough of them....done 9 up to now! :yes:
    My DW was especially concerned about seasickness. The ships are equipped with the latest satellite technology and the captain will tend to steer around any seriously bad weather. However if the seas do get rough, the DCL ships are fitted with stabilisers which helps to remove the rocking motion. These are 25 feet long "wings" that are opened below the surface of the ocean and they really do help.

    When you get to check in at the cruise terminal you will be given your Key to the World card. On this will be a few letters printed at the bottom, eg PAL. This is your dining rotation [P= Parrot Cay, A= Animators Pallet, L= Lumieres...the names of some these restaurants apply to the Disney Magic only as the names are different on the other ships in the fleet.
    I find this usefull so that I can decide upon which evening to have dinner at Palos [an adult only restaurant] as of those I have listed, Parrot Cay is my least favourite! [Probably this won`t be an issue in your case as yours in only a 3 day cruise.]

    Unless you do it online before your cruise, as soon as you board the ship I would make a bee line to the excursions desk if you want to take part in any of the excursions or activities organised by Disney.

    Your stateroom will not be ready until around 1.00pm, so you can head up to the top deck for an excellent buffet lunch. [NB The elevators can be very busy during this period so it may be better to consider using the stairs if you can.]

    The servers you have for dinner will be with you throughout the cruise so you get to know them very well, and they also tend to get used to your likes and dislikes etc., however don`t be afraid to ask them any questions concerning the menu as they bend over backwards to help you and make sure that you have a good time.

    Make sure to be on the top deck in time for the "Sail Away Party"...if only to hear the ship`s horn for the first time.

    That`s about it off the "top of my head", but if you can think of anything specific then just holler!

    I reckon that [funds allowing], this may be your first cruise, but I bet it won`t be your last.
  5. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Nope. Can't ease your nerves at all. It'll get worse and worse until you're so excited that you think you'll burst. There's just no cure. :shrug:

    However, you will have the best time ever! :yes:

    Wait until you get that first view of the Disney Cruise Line terminal with the Disney Dream behind it at Port Canaveral. :shocked:

    It'll look something like this:

    DSC_0043.jpg

    In fact, that's exactly what it will look like since that's the Disney Dream at the terminal.

    I'm assuming you'll be sailing on the Dream to the Bahamas. Correct? What are your plans? Are you going to WDW before the cruise? Or just flying to Orlando and going directly to the port?

    Tom :)macwave:... are you excited yet?)
  6. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Oh! How sweet of his Aunty to leave something for you to use in a nice way. :yes: She sounds like she was a really wonderful person.

    You've nothing to worry about! I would recommend bringing some sort of air freshener for the cabin. The air can get musty if you don't have a balcony/veranda.

    Bring a sweater or some sort of shawl that will help you in the breezes at the evening time. I do believe Disney allows you to bring water on board, but that's really not necessary. They have all the water you'll want. :D

    Essentially, just bring your clothes, whatever you want for personal "first aid" (ibuprofen, sun screen, that sort of thing) and yourselves! They really do take care of the rest.

    Plan on a credit card for shipboard credit. That's how you function on board. No cash taken.

    Enjoy every minute! A three day is a great way to test the waters, so to speak. :D
  7. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    arghrhgrghrhgrhgrhgrgh like I say every time there's a Disney cruise thread, I HAVE to try it
  8. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    Thanks so much that really helps :)

    We've got a hire car so will be leaving what we don't need to take with us in the car at the port.

    With the sit down restaurants that are on rotation, do you have o eat there, are they our only alternative? Hubby is such a fussy eater, we've looked at some of the menus and he is really worried about the choices.

    We've booked a 12-12.30 boarding time :)
  9. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    :toetap:

    Well?

    No. Not at all. Your normal dining rotation will include Animators Palette, Enchanted Garden, and the Royal Palace and is only for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are both at your choice of venues. However, you're really under no obligation to eat in your assigned dining room. You can, if you wish, choose to eat in Cabanas on Deck 11 aft. Cabana's menu varies so check the DCL website or your personal Navigator. Or order room service if you wish. It's entirely up to you.

    Disney seems to be willing to do their best to accommodate any special needs or requirements. Just ask your servers at dinner. We've been told on numerous occasions to go ahead and try something on the menu. Something new that you've never tried before. If you don't like it, no problem. They'll be happy to bring you a different entrée.

    Also, keep in mind that your servers at dinner will rotate through the three restaurants with you. So, if you have preferences, let them know the first night and they'll do their best to keep them in mind for the remainder of the cruise.

    Hope this helps!

    Tom :)macwave:... the excitement builds!)
  10. Esmeralda
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    Esmeralda Serious Forum Regular

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    Don't know if you're stopping at any ports but if you do... do NOT forget to get back to the ship in time to sail.
  11. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    Lol, I wouldn't do that. I'm one of these people that has to be at the airport the night before :)
  12. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Do you have your "before cruise" plans made? Know when you're flying in, where you're staying, how to get to the port? :unsure:

    That sort of thing.

    Tom :)macwave:... just checking...)
  13. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    I think so Tom. We are flying out on 25th Jan, staying at Art of Animation beforehand, then off to cruise terminal on 31st. We've booked the hire car in with a company we found recommended online for $5 a day.

    When we get back we've got 6 nights at OKW on our DVC

    Think that covers it all (I hope) :)
  14. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    $5 a day!!! spill the beans on that one please :D

    Love to hear EVERYTHING about your trip, art of animation and particularly the cruise... Im SOOOOOOO tempted
  15. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    Keith, they're called Park n Cruise. They come highly recommended on another board and drop you at the terminal. I didn't want to pay Disney's ground transportation fees so am glad I found this lot.

    I shall definitely be doing a trip report, probably more photos than words :) am taking the ipad this time rather than the mini laptop and with the free wifi you'll all be on photo overload :)
  16. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Ahh... so it's parking. I thought you had found a car rental company for 5$ a day. :shocked:

    Umm... free WiFi? :unsure:
    Not on the DCL ships. :nono:

    There's WiFi hotspots on board but you'll pay $0.75 per minute for internet access on the pay as you go plan or you can buy packaged internet access. Current package rates are:

    • 50 min for $27.50 ($.55 per minute)
    • 100 min for $40 ($.40 per minute)
    • 250 min for $75 ($.30 per minute)

    But from all accounts of those that have used it, it's rather slow.

    Tom :)macwave:... hope I didn't burst your internet bubble!)
  17. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Imagineer

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    Haha, sorry - now that would be a bargain!!

    That's a shame about the internet, I'll just have to bombard you all with photos and details once we've checked into OKW :)
  18. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah I was thinking the same :lol: STILL good to know how to do it without using disney transportation

    yeah hmmm I keep forgetting that too. I really HAVE to have a decent connection even when on holiday for work so that's something I'd have to consider.

    Anyway WHENEVER you get the chance, we'd LOVE photo overload please :D
  19. catrancher
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    catrancher Assistant Cruise Director Forum Host

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    It may have gotten better. I don't know. I haven't tried it. I think Terry has used it before though.
    Maybe he's got some teknikal insight that he'd share. :wink:

    Tom :)macwave:... 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.)
  20. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Yep I did use the internet on board a few years ago, using the small area next to the Promenade Lounge on Deck 3 on the Magic.
    Not only is it slow and expensive but the lighting in that area is very poor and unless you are a good touch typist yew eand uup tieping lowds of wrung woords. :lol:

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