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Disney Cruise Info/Advice Needed

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by smheese, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. smheese

    smheese New Member

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    Hello
    Just got back from an amazing WDW vacation and I just can't get enough of the mouse, however my hubby not so much... Though he is into the idea of planning a Disney cruise... something more relaxing than park hopping but with the fun kid aspect to it while they are still young enough to enjoy it. Wondering if any of you have any advice on what ships are better (I know the newer one is bigger), how small are the rooms really, and anything else you can tell me. Is it hard to get the kids into the club when we want time alone with that many kids on one ship?

    I know nothing about cruising, this would be my first. All feedback welcome. Also timing..... too late to book spring break 2015 or not?


    ps- kids would be 5, 7 and 9

    Thanks much!!

    Stephanie
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    For a new cruiser I would make two general recommendations

    1) A travel agent to help guide you is very useful. You pay nothing to use them, and generally get some kickbacks for doing so. I can recommend - http://www.kingdomkonsultants.com/ . There is no drawback to using agents that are very customer focused and responsive like KK are.

    2) If you want to do some self-paced homework.. get this book as the PDF edition - http://www.passporter.com/dcl/guidebook.asp For the $15 or whatever you won't find a better consolidated resource for not just stuff on the boat, but the travel aspects, excursions, etc. CruiseCritics is another popular forum on the subject

    You can see availability right on the Disney website for future dates... so you can check that directly.

    With three kids, you probably would be interested in booking a Family Verrandah because it has the bed for the adults and three beds for the kids (a convertible, a murphy bed, and a bed that comes out of the ceiling :) ).

    Getting kids into the clubs is a no worries thing - and might be the favorite part of your trip :) Your kids are right in the sweet spot for the clubs.. the 9yr old may be right on the edge depending on their maturity level and interests. 11 is the cutoff for the tween club, but they will take 10yr olds with adult approval. The way they structure the clubs for the kids is great and gives you great opportunity to be both with the kids and away from them when desired.

    Our teenagers basically disappear for the cruise except for dinner time and curfew :)

    With ships there are personal preferences... many like the Magic/Wonder due to the smaller size and hence smaller crowds at the ports as well. But I can say we've never had issue with crowding at Castaway Cay or off the boat. The Magic just got an overhaul that added some of the features of the new ships. We've sailed both the Dream and Fantasy (both the larger ships) and will be sailing on the Fantasy again this fall. My personal preference is the Dream/Fantasy based on the amenities on board.

    For timing, with Disney cruise pricing... basically it tends to get more expensive the closer to the date... until the point where they try to do discounts to fill the remaining slots. There are also discounted opportunities to upgrade your state room on day of for the hardcore types.. gotta be there early. Expect pricing to be higher during holiday periods (up to 2x or more!!) so there are huge differences depending on when you go. The agent, book, and website can help with that. Getting quotes on the Disney website is pretty easy once you've put in your pertinent info.

    Ask away.. Disney is my hidden superpower :D
     
  3. luftinarr

    luftinarr Member

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    We are leaving on the Disney Dream on Sunday for a 4 night cruise. Will give feedback when we get back!
     
  4. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    We loved the Fantasy last year and booked another trip for later this year too. Your kids are the perfect age I think and the kids clubs were open till midnight I believe so that was great....and they LOVED going there... and often they wanted to eat there too. The ship is large for sure but we booked the first week in Sept right after school started so we were about 85% full. If the ship is full it can get crowded at the pools but generally, we never felt like it was a problem. The whole experience was awesome and we booked though Costco travel.

    The adult only dinners were nice but pricey, we won't be doing that again. It was great to eat at Remy and get 5 star treatment but the $500 bill was "memorable"....lol

    We are actually going on a Royal Caribbean cruise next week so we will compare...much cheaper. But I think your husband will love the ease of the cruise and it is easy to get kid and alone time without having the schlep every where. Ask more specifics if you want.
     
  5. sharse

    sharse TeamDonzi rocks!!

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    I would suggest calling our Ashburn neighbor, Esther Larson. http://elarson.cruiseone.com/travel/HomePage.html She is a travel agent who specializes in cruises. We haven't taken a Disney cruise, but Esther has hooked us up on a Royal Caribbean cruise and got us a fantastic price. :)
     
  6. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    How much wine did you buy?!? The upcharge is only $75 for dinner.. Palo is much more affordable at just $25/head
     
  7. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    FWIW with Disney pricing... basically no one offers different pricing for the cruise itself. Everyone is essentially tied to the pricing and specials Disney is offering for that sailing. What they do to differentiate themselves is give back a percentage of their commission to you in the form of on-board credits. The amount varies based on the price of your cruise... but you can see #s from $100-$300 commonly. The main exception to this is military pricing and Florida resident rates.

    For duration - I would not recommend anything less than 4 days. The longer the better. Do not fear 'sea days' - they are actually the most relaxing days of your trip!

    The real hardcore types try to find the special cruises were they actually make two stops at Castaway Cay! (very select itinaries..). Some people actually do back to back 3+4 day cruises to try to tweak that vs a 7 day cruise too.

    People are not as high on the western carrib cruises (Mexico) of late..

    Disney vs others.. Disney certainly costs a premium, but the operating models are a bit different. On the big Royal Carrib ships they have a lot more paid alternatives in addition to your baseline product. Some people like that freedom, some don't like the $$ always floating around.

    On a Disney cruise you need to budget for your tips, excursions, and any incidentals (souvenirs, alcohol, bar tabs) in addition to your cruise price and transportation. (parking too if you drive vs using disney transfers).

    It is more expensive then a comparable stay at a WDW moderate or value... but I would argue the quality of the product is much higher. DCL still knows what Disney service is.. while WDW has lost its way in that category.
     
  8. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Remy reservation was $75 per person extra I think it was....and you could have picked a wine pairing as well for extra but we opted for our own wine choices. I made the mistake of asking for the "special" cellar list and I felt inspired. They has wines on their list with prices plated in silver with 5 digits. Each table has a fleet of wait staff and the dinner takes like 3 hours. It was worth enjoying ONCE and now I can say I did it. We had an incredible dinner, 2 bottles of wine, after dinner cognac and, yes I walked out of there.

    I had a 4 year old girl who did the bippity boppity boop boutique too and that was an awesome experience...
     

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