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Need Advice Disney Cruisers.... Need info/advice. :)

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by smheese, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. smheese

    smheese New Member

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    We are taking our first Disney Cruise (on Magic) this spring break. I have a few questions I haven’t been able to find answers to online, hoping you can help. :) Note, this is also our very first cruise ever.



    Our reservation window opens in a couple days for booking spa or dinner reservations and excursions. While I would like to go to the adults only Italian restaurant, I’d hate to miss out on the dining at the main ship restaurants. How does the dining work? Do they give you a schedule as to where you are eating each night on the ship? Is there a way to get that in advance. I’d hate to book reservations for someplace only to cancel later because we’re scheduled at another fun restaurant I’m interested in eating at.



    How does the kids club (ages 5, 7, 9) work? Do you HAVE to book times in advance or can you just see how the day goes and drop them off there to play anytime they want to? Does it reach capacity during certain hours and if so, how often would you say is it hard to get into?



    Do most Caribbean excursions happen at a certain time during days in port or can you go at your leisure or have different time choices. Example: going to Rum Point in Grand Cayman. Do we get off the ship and get on a bus to go right away or can we get off the ship a few hours later and go for the afternoon? I have always pictured cruise ships in port as a mad rush for everyone to get off the ship and rush to busses and cabs to get somewhere. Is it really like this?



    Are there any particular shows or events on ship that you would say are a must do, (or a must miss). :)



    How bad is it really to get a pool lounge chair during days at sea or peak swimming hours? (assume the ship will be full due to spring break).



    We have the early 5:45 dinner seating. Do you REALLY have to get there at that exact time or is there a buffer? That seems a little early to have to rush to but now the late seating is full.



    Thanks so much for your time and sharing your expertise. Much appreciated,
     
  2. jdhauer

    jdhauer Active Member

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    I can't answer most of your questions but I can try for a few of them.

    As far as the kids clubs go, you do not need a reservation. Just show, drop & go.

    Excursions happen at certain times. They let the people with morning excursions off the ship first before the general public. Excursions are generally either first thing in the morning or in the afternoon.

    If you can't see a show, they are also on the cabin tv. Often they replay them too. They are fun to see. So are the events. It's personal preference what is a must see. The things people told me I had to see, I didn't really like but I liked the others they said to skip so no advice there from me.

    There is a little leeway on the dinner seatings but I prefer to be considerate to the servers. The kitchen is ramped up for apps, then entrees then dessert. I think it's kind of rude to show up 30 minutes into dinner when the kitchen has stopped serving apps and expect to be served. You will also miss some of the show at certain restaurants (Animator's Palette). That said, when we traveled with my brother, his family showed up late to every meal.
     
  3. tigger

    tigger New Member

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  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    You won't find out your dining rotation until you check in at the terminal.

    You can typically still get reservations on board so I recommend you make a fallback reservation now... And simply change it if you can on the first day. On disembarkment day they will be setup to do special requests and the reservations you can only do onboard.

    Only the nursey requires reservations for kids. The older ages are just drop n go whenever you want. You will not have any issues with capacity

    For the sit down dinner, you can still request late seating if you want on the disembarkment day. They try to accommodate requests if they can. When you board the boat they will have set meeting points for handling food requests, reservations for the mixology and other beverage events, child registration etc. take care of that stuff early on day 1

    Dining is on a set rotation. It just differs on which restaurant you start in. You should be on time if you are doing the sit down meal... But <15min late is no biggie. More than that and they probably figure you are not coming. Your servers follow you on your rotation as well so you always have the same staff

    Port excursions are fixed times. The times will be visible once your booking window opens. Make sure you are paid in full before your booking window opens! You can always book things outside of Disney... Buy Disney makes it pretty easy and turn key. They will stage you on the ship at fixed meeting points so you don't have to worry about chaos

    On the ship the kids pool area is always busy... But finding chairs isn't hArd

    For the adults, doing rely is recommended and doing some of the beverage things like mixology or the wine+chocolate things. They are small fee events but good fun

    Study your navigator well - lots of stuff to do! They will put it in your room each night for the next day
     
  5. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    There is an early and late seating and once you pick that....each night it is the same time and you rotate each night to one of several locations. It is possible to switch a night off the books if you work with the management.... and if you want to skip or miss one of those there are other casual locations for dinner or snacks. Looks like you have the early seating which I think it best.

    And I agree with the idea of booking things ahead as soon as you can if you think you have time preferences. You can always cancel or try and change later but popular times do fill up for the Spa. But times do open up once on the ship so you can always try then too.

    If you want to find a chair next to the pools, that can get hard after 10:00 am but generally, you can find something.

    And like Steve says... you can be a little late getting to dinner and they are all sit down style. You have the same staff with you for every dinner which is nice so the kids enjoy getting to know them and have fun with the magic tricks, jokes or stories that are typically shared. And you can really order anything and ask for anything special....as we figured out that my 10 year old son was a huge fan of the Oysters Rockefeller.... of all things. Our staff bent over backwards to get him a double order and even brought him some on another night off menu. And if you do not like something, just let them know and they will gladly bring you something else. You want 2 Apps, no problem.

    There is a rubber, GPS style bracelet that the kids wear to keep track of them and use to check them in and out of activities. You get a cell phone or sorts to carry around ship too and you get calls or text messages about the kids as necessary.... very handy.

    As for the Adult dinner options, you really have to think of your interest level. My wife and I tried them both - Remy and Paolo. Knowing what we know now, we will not go back again. It was nice but expensive. Paolo is good, and it was nice to have dinner without the kids but the food is nothing so unusual. If you order a bottle of wine and look at the additional reservation fee... it is not too bad. But Remy is a different deal. Remy is truly a unique experience. If you want to see how the other half lives/eats then this is the place. You have a fleet of staff for each table, and the experience and food was incredible. It is something special but again, looking at the cost, I can say great we did it once.

    The shows that you can see, typically a Broadway style production are awesome and well worth it. Just look at the daily schedule for options.

    There is a rush to get off the ship for excursions.... and lines will form up and down the stairs. You can try and get in line early but it does not make much of a difference. Once they open the doors the lines move and you get off the ship just fine. Once outside there is plenty of room and never too much "crowd" in one spot. We tend to take the Beach excursions and there are always plenty of buses. We always book our excursions through Disney for security and piece of mind. You can find cheaper stuff yourself or just get off the ship and take a taxi etc. but we did not want to worry about that.

    The Spa is really nice but that is a personal preference. What I really like is getting the Collagen shave treatment and mini massage on the first day....it feels great and gets my trip started with a shave so I do not really need to worry about it for a few days.... and my wife really likes the manicure and pedicures.

    Also, if you have a daughter, take a look at the Boutique. It was an awesome experience to be transformed into a Princess, with hair, makeup and nails. You can buy a dress or bring your own (if you want Elsa). It is about $100 I think but worth every cent for the experience... and get this done early so she can wear the hair for several days.

    Sorry... just trying to add to what Steve said but ask more questions... and also as I think of it, Disney Cruise has a new App too for your phone. Once you get to the Port/ship, the App will work on their Wifi and load the ships navigator schedule in real time. Handy to look up while you are there.

    We drive down and stay over the day before so we typically board early. It will get crowded but you move pretty well. You can get the kids registered right away while waiting.

    Other thing to consider if it is something for you.... you can bring a small cooler/container with alcohol (wine/beer). If you want to have this available for your room and personal consumption, it is an option. Or purchase a wine package ahead of time so you get a bottle for each dinner, etc. Otherwise you can buy as you go but we find Disney Cruise is not for big drinking anyway.
     
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  6. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    The app for your phone is a huge addition, and this year they added texting to it as well.. which can be used in replacement of the wave phones. Ms flynn had a horrible experience with the app on this last trip, but I see in the app store they just updated this past week or so where they supposedly fixed one of our major issues where it would not work when the app was in the background. Hopefully it's sorted now.. as using your phone vs the navigator+wave phone is a huge value add.

    Quite note on the app.. it only works on the ship wifi.. so you download it BEFORE you go.. and once you are on the ship, turn on airplane mode on your phone, then turn wifi on... this way you turn off the celluar data, and it will only hop on wifi on the ship. You do not get general internet access for free on the wifi, but you can buy metered amounts if you chose.

    If you have special eating considerations, or want to consider changing your seating... seek out the Dining Staff meeting point on departure day and they will work with you on whatever angles you need. Like Dave said, they can work on alternatives, etc.. and on meal nights, you can always ask for duplicates of items, etc. can't chose which entree? They can bring both :)

    The spa is great - one tip of warning though - it is kind of pressure sales on buying the products. Just know that ahead of time and let them know you aren't interested, etc.

    Depending on the cruise make-up, seating at the main shows or adult shows can be competitive. You may want to get there 15mins early.

    Same with popular character meetings... getting there 5mins before they start can really cutdown on your wait.

    Be sure to look into the kids club dining arrangements if you want more time to yourselves, etc.

    The ship has lots of things going on... be sure to set your own pace and don't feel like you must do everything. You're on vacation :)
     
  7. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Yea that reminds me... if it is a big deal, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna are meetings arranged through special tickets so they can control access to a few families at a time so look for the announcement on boarding day to get tickets if you want (assuming they still do this). The character meetings that take place in the main atrium do get crowded but just plan ahead or keep looking for alternate times and places for the characters you want to meet.

    And yea, like Steve says that reminded me. The kids loved to eat in the kids club. Great for more free time but then they miss meals potentially in the dining room.

    And the free soft serve ice cream on deck all day/evening is a big hit. You really can't go wrong with your choices on activities. The one difference for us is that we always sailed on the Fantasy, so it is a little different...but I love the Aqua Duck water coaster.

    We are going back again this year but doing the Western Caribbean leg this time (first for us).
     
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  8. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    Frozen Duo isn't on the Dream yet AFAIK - only on the Fantasy. Dream also does not have the Biddi Biddi Boutique salon or the Aladdin show (or the extra water area behind the aquaduck). I'm sure they offer some degree of princess dolling up on the Dream, but not like the BBB setup.
     
  9. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Good to know.. and that means the family will not agree to take any other than the Fantasy I guess....but the service I am sure is still top notch!
     
  10. smheese

    smheese New Member

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    thank you all SO very much for all the detailed information. this is very helpful. :)
     
  11. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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