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PBenjung
03-30-2006, 07:01 PM
As a small token of thanks to all on this board whose wisedom helped us prepare and enjoy our first Disney cruise, here are some key points/observations from our cruise which ended today:

1. Radisson Resort Hotel - a good idea for those not on the Land-Sea packages. The rooms are beginning to show their age, but the staff are top rate and the shuttle worked well going/coming. Recommend taking the first shuttle - 10 a.m. - so that you can avoid the crowds later. Plenty of good restaurants nearby - recommend Fishlips, Mangoes, which are just by the Port.

2. Terminal - it does get a little crowded so I recommend an early arrival. There is enough to occupy most youngsters (videos, character appearances, etc.). Good spot to get that autograph book (at the convenience store to the right of the check-in) Note on the staff - Disney showed it is human as the trainee who checked us in incorrectly said our dinner seating had been switched to the late (8 pm) seating and the only option was to speak with Guest Services once on board. Acting as if on a business trip and running into last minutes airport problems, I went to the most senior, experienced looking Cast Member, and got things straightened out right away. (Key learning - the code"F2" on your Key to the World means First Seating, second time slot - 5:45 p.m.)

3. Scheduling - we found it best to mix a combination of scheduled activities - excursions, spa appointments - with down time liberally sprinkled in. Good common sense but at first we were tempted to try and do everything. Good tip for those looking for a quiet place to read/sunbathe - Deck 7 aft. If there are no chairs, just ask any Cast Member. It took only a few minutes for 4 lounge chairs to appear after asking!

4. Oceaneers Club - our 5 year old boy simply loved it! A couple activities actually took place at the Oceaneers Lab, where he got a taste of what to expect when he gets old enough for it. Very highly rated.

5. Pirates Night - the only negative as it took place from 9:45 - 11:30 pm Tuesday, after a full day at Castaway Cay. The Pirates did not appear at the start, greatly disappointing our son as he was prepared to defend his ship! I understand Disney has to schedule this around the meals and shows, but why not have the pirates - the big attraction for the kids - at least put in an appearance at the start of the show? I saw a number of young kids trying valiantly to stay awake during the show. We bailed out at 10:10, with no sign of the Pirates.

6. Palo - everything you hear is true. This is a truly world class restaurant. I travel extensively around Europe, and this compared very favorably with my favorite Italian restaurants in Milan and Lucca!

7. Staff - Since the 970 Cast Members on board are from 55 countries, a nice way to start a conversation is to wear a T-Shirts from a foreign country, if you have one, and see what happens. I wore an "Istanbul" Tee and almost immediately got into conversations with three Turks who were very happy to share stories from their country! Tip - there are a lot of Aussies and South Africans on board, so try these countries if you have anything from them.

8. Ship - exceptionally well-maintained, clean. Looked very good when compared with other cruise ships when we were in Nassau!

OUr first cruise and it won't be our last. Already booked on a 7 day Eastern Caribbean trip in January!
:yay: :cheer2: :3dglasses

yazee1
03-30-2006, 10:05 PM
Great report. I think it will be useful to a lot of readers.

jillane88
03-31-2006, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the great report. I hope my twin 5 year old boys love the club too! :thumbsup2

I like your suggestion about wearing a t-shirt with the name of a different country on it. Great conversation starter and way to meet new and interesting people!

VickynMickey
04-01-2006, 05:47 AM
Thanks for your trip report! I have a few ?'s we are going on the same cruise next year Mar 25th-29th. How was the weather in Castaway Cay? We have never cruised in March, hoping for beautiful weather :sunny:

PBenjung
04-01-2006, 07:22 AM
The weather on departure was cool as most of Florida was in the 60s with strong northerly winds. Onboard Sunday we wore light sweaters and avoided the pool. But by Monday in Nassau it was in the mid-upper 70s. Castaway Cay Tuesday was around 80, the water was cool at first. But the beach was crowded and many went in the water as you would get used to it quickly. I went snorkling and after the first minute never felt cold.

My wife monitored the 10-15 day forecasts online and packed accordingly. Always a good idea to pack a light sweater and maybe a windbreaker. Don't forget you are heading south and the odds are that the weather will only get better as you sail towards Nassau/Castaway Cay.

Remember that even if the weather is not perfect you need to pack good sun tan lotion ( we packed 30 SPF) as the sun is strong. Even my feet got burned on Wednesday!

Bottom line - the weather should be fine for you next year, just don't be disappointed if its not perfect weather every day.

:3dglasses party:

westjones
04-02-2006, 08:29 PM
We were just on the same cruise! I did not plan well for the weather (guess I thought it would be hot in Florida). I had a sweater, but forgot to bring a sweatshirt jacket. If I had had that and another pair of jeans (only brought one pair), all would have been well.

At CC, my girls didn't swim because they thought the water would be too cold, but it was a GREAT day for biking! Perfect weather for that! By afternoon we enjoyed laying on the beach and boating. We also walked from the ship to the biking area because with the nice temperatures, it just felt good to walk.

We are going in March again next year (but a couple of week earlier). I have written a note to myself to remember to bring a sweater, sweatshirt jacket, extra jeans and some sweat pants.

DJ

VickynMickey
04-03-2006, 07:13 AM
I have light weight sweaters and sweatshirt jackets on the list of packing things. :sunny: