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View Full Version : Ack! Please tell the truth about crowds


Mickey Fliers
01-19-2009, 11:24 AM
We set sail in less than one week and now my pessimistic DH says that he is "skeptical" and "wary" about how fun this cruise is going to be. :sad2: Mostly, he is worried about crowds. He doesn't want to feel like he has to rush anywhere and he is afraid that there is always going to be this mad rush to get seats at the theater, lounges at the pool, chairs at Castaway, etc. You get the picture? We went to Sandals several years ago and it always felt like you had to get up at the crack of dawn if you wanted to use a floating lounge. People would grab them in the morning and hoard them all day...even pulling them out of the pool when they wanted to lay in the sun :confused3 .

So, is there anything I can do or say to help allay his fears? He knows the deck parties will be crowded (that isn't a big deal), but I think he is hoping for a relaxing vacation without a whole lot of "I paid a ton of money for this cruise, I can do what I want" attitudes from fellow cruisers.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

DutchsMommy
01-19-2009, 11:28 AM
My only thought on this is that sometime our own (OK, my own) obsession with planning causes some of these problems. I am forever 'rushing' DH to get off the boat, get to dinner, get to the show early etc. because I have read on the boards about crowds and chair hoggers and such. In reality, when I have finally chilled out a bit we both tend to have a better time - and generally speaking have no issues with crowds. I guess what I am trying to say is, just rolling with it and not stressing about things we 'have' to do makes for a better vacation, and when I do this we always find somewhere to sit etc., and are a lot less stressed over it. This is my mantra for our upcoming cruise, and I am going to try my best to stick to it! :rolleyes:

mindelmouse
01-19-2009, 11:32 AM
There are 2000 people on the ship and you would have never known it. We always got a seat at the pool when we wanted it, we always had a seat in the theater (it helps that the entire theater is the size of an orchestra section on broadway...it was amazingly uncrowded.

dznymania
01-19-2009, 11:33 AM
We just got back off the Magic on Saturday. It was great!! the only time I felt like we had to rush was to take our DD to see the char. onboard. Going to the shows, or pool, or Castaway Cay is no problem. We got to the shows about 10 mins early and never had trouble getting a seat. As far as Castaway Cay goes, there are plenty of chairs. Just go and have a great time!!

ibouncetoo
01-19-2009, 11:34 AM
One trick, when you go to your evening meal, if you have, say 8:15PM seating, DO NOT SHOW UP before 8:15...there will be a line outside the door. So mosey down 5 minutes later and you will miss that standing about waiting for the doors to open.

As far as theater seating goes, unless you want a specif spot in the theater or are a large group you don't need to be there more than 10 minutes before show time. I actually prefer to sit in the back of the theater (beat the crowd out and it's closer to the rest room :lmao: )

There will be lines and a bit of congestion around the atrium around/between the dinner times, with folks lined up for pictures with the characters. If you need to traverse this area, you can do it from deck 4 instead of deck three to avoid the congestion.

For the family beach at CC....it does get crowded closer to the ship...just keep walking a ways down the beach to the less crowded area. There are PLENTY of floats, tubes, bicycles...only thing there is a shortage of is hammocks. Also, if you want a float or tube, pick those up on your way, as you don't want to have to backtract to get them once you've found a nice spot farther down the beach.

ibouncetoo
01-19-2009, 11:37 AM
....and how's THAT for some speedy responses...:thumbsup2 A lot of us must have the day off today! :)

Mickey Fliers
01-19-2009, 11:39 AM
You are all fabulous!! We are pretty laid back people and you have all just eased my mind completely! I am ready to go.

kcashner
01-19-2009, 11:42 AM
We've been on several cruises that were totally "full." It really isn't an issue. DCL has many activities available for all ages and knows how to get people to spread out a bit. Despite a capacity of nearly 3000, you don't feel that you are in a crowd most of the time.

Character lines--get there 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
Dinner--yes, there's a line to enter the dining room. Get there either 10 minutes early or 5 minutes late.
theatre--unless you want a certain seating area, 5 minutes before show time is fine.

OK, I don't hang around the Mickey pool any more......that's crowded.

ibouncetoo
01-19-2009, 11:59 AM
Amie....congrats on getting the little GIRLprincess:

lbgraves
01-19-2009, 12:33 PM
The ship is NOTHING like the parks as far as the crowds go. :)

frdeb1999
01-19-2009, 12:49 PM
It never feels crowded even though you know that the ship is full in most cases. You see it when you are in the terminal getting ready to board, and after that it just never seems that way any longer. It's never really been an issue even at the sail away and pirate night parties. Once he see's how relaxing and laid back everything is I think you'll have a fabulous time! :)

engle
01-19-2009, 02:20 PM
With all of this being said, do you find ADULTS ONLY areas to be less of a crowd issue? It will be just DH and I and we will be frequenting these spots!!

ibouncetoo
01-19-2009, 02:34 PM
With all of this being said, do you find ADULTS ONLY areas to be less of a crowd issue? It will be just DH and I and we will be frequenting these spots!!

That can vary cruise by cruise. Those areas are definately more crowded on the special itineraries (like the Panama and TransAtlantic cruises), as the adult to kid ratio shifts. Or if there happen to be some adult family groups traveling together. Have you been to the cruise meets thread for your cruise? Sometimes that can provide a microcosm of that cruise's breakout.

P.S. If you are on the Sept Tortola cruise....there are LOTS of adult cruisers...and we are FUN!

But generally speaking, no, not too much of an issue there.

CanadianDisneyDad
01-19-2009, 02:38 PM
::MickeyMo G'day

I am with your DH, I am not a big fan of crowds. We did spend out honeymoon in Disney World and in 2007 went to Disenyland. My whole philosophy is it's my vacation and it's going to be fun. If I find the crowds to big I'l stop, grab java, or rum :) and relax for bit or go grab my book and find a quiet spot somewhere.

Notwithstanding this is my first cruise :cheer2: so not 100% certain what to expect but it's Disney ::MickeyMo the happiest place on earth.

cheers

luv that cruise
01-19-2009, 05:16 PM
my husband HATES crowds - so been there, done that!

Getting on the ship kind of starts things off on the wrong foot as you start the cruise...in line. But it moves quickly. Once on board you can lunch at topsiders buffet (where you can eat inside or out or take a tray to the tables near the pools) or at parrot cay (also a buffet, but with table service for drinks). Parrot cay is popular and usually fills up. If that happens the staff will direct you to topsiders. They don't have the rooms ready until around 1:30. So people are hauling carry-on bags, etc. It can feel a little hectic with all the people in the public areas. Keep in mind that it won't be like this again for the rest of your cruise. This can all be avoided by arriving at the cruise terminal a little later. Ideally what works for us is getting to the ship around 1:30 and boarding at a leisurely rate, getting settled in our room, then a quick bite to eat and just explore the ship.

The lines for dinner are intimidating but they go away quickly once the doors open. The first night they take a little longer. you need to take dinner ticket or your key card as they have your table number on it and speeds the seating process. We go 5-10 minutes late.

Outside lumiers/tritons is especially crowded with character lines, photo lines and the dinner line. it can be overwhelming when you walk into the lobby.

On castaway cay - go all the way to the far end of the beach. Perhaps a recent cruiser can confirm if the second location for renting floats and tubes is still open at the far end of the beach. If i remember correctly it is the same place where they rent bikes.

the pool can be frustrating as so many people put their belongings on a lounge and then head off to the water. usually we can find a single lounge/chair and are content with that. dad lounges, kids swim.

We never have a problem with the shows. if you want lower section, center then you need to go 15 minutes early. we show up 5 minutes early and never have a problem getting upper section seats. There are no bad seats in that theater. On sea days there is sometimes an afternoon matinee. Don't miss Disney Dreams!

Enjoy your cruise! I wish I was going.

crzy4magic
01-19-2009, 05:25 PM
Most of the time, there is no problem with crowds - but there are a couple of places to be wary of:

Shutters before and after dinner - everyone wants to find their picture - now. The other bad time here is the last night of the cruise. It does not help that it is the principal way to get fore and aft on that deck.

The Atrium on formal night (on the Magic) - everyone wants their professional pictures with the ships Captain - plan ahead.

Topsiders on boarding day early afternoon

Waiting to disembark on the last morning when US Customs is late/slow.

There are some events that by their very definition are crowded - th CMs are looking for a crowd to get the spirit going - Sailaway, Pirate Party, and Atrium parties. But being part of the crowd is what makes some of these events special.

Don't worry - you will not feel crowded 98% of the time and will have a great time.

SILLYANDI
01-19-2009, 05:50 PM
With all of this being said, do you find ADULTS ONLY areas to be less of a crowd issue? It will be just DH and I and we will be frequenting these spots!!

DH and I spent several hours at night on different nights ALONE in the jacuzzi or diversions with NO ONE else around. No joke, not one other person in the pool area or bar!
We laughed about it because we were actually looking forward to meeting other adults, we love to meet people from other places and backgrounds-but there was no one else to talk to!:sad:

SILLYANDI
01-19-2009, 05:52 PM
Most of the time, there is no problem with crowds - but there are a couple of places to be wary of:



The Atrium on formal night (on the Magic) - everyone wants their professional pictures with the ships Captain - plan ahead.




Or because they are looking to score complimetary drinks!:thumbsup2

Soccermom-Cheri
01-19-2009, 07:01 PM
In 6 cruises, I have yet to get a sun loungers by the pool. But that's ok because the pools are so crowded (and sometimes dangerous) that my kids won't go in them. But there are so many other things to do I don't think they feel cheated. Other than that, I think the ship handles the large number of people quite well. I, also, have been in Diversions where it's only our DIS group. OP: you will have a great time.

cdndizzylizzy
01-19-2009, 07:07 PM
If you are ever feeling cramped or crowded, head out to Deck 4 and a lounger chair. I can't imagine anyone being able to stay stressed out after taking a walkabout on Deck 4.

Waltworshiper
01-22-2009, 08:57 AM
We went on our first curise in Nov and my husband absolutley loved it. He goes along on all of our DW trips being dragged from park to park waiting in lines, keeping his opinions mostly to himself. He was worried the cruise would be the same way. He was pleasantly surprised, we didn't rush anywhere. We always got a seat at the theater, and didn't rush to arrive super early. We too like sitting in the back as we have a handicapped child who doesn't do steps very well. We arrived for dinner just after 8:15, letting the people who lined up at the door in and just strolling to our table. My brother in law loved the fact the adult pool opened at 6am(I think) He had it all to himself. He and his wife have no children, are in their 50's and are frequent cruisers. He told us this was his favorite cruise out of all of them and Disney knows how to cruise, he especially love Palo's brunch! My husband enjoyed the first cruise so much that we are going again on the Eastern Aug 29th.

orlandothebeagle
01-22-2009, 09:22 AM
Most of the time, there is no problem with crowds - but there are a couple of places to be wary of:

Shutters before and after dinner - everyone wants to find their picture - now. The other bad time here is the last night of the cruise. It does not help that it is the principal way to get fore and aft on that deck.

The Atrium on formal night (on the Magic) - everyone wants their professional pictures with the ships Captain - plan ahead.

Topsiders on boarding day early afternoon

Waiting to disembark on the last morning when US Customs is late/slow.

There are some events that by their very definition are crowded - th CMs are looking for a crowd to get the spirit going - Sailaway, Pirate Party, and Atrium parties. But being part of the crowd is what makes some of these events special.

Don't worry - you will not feel crowded 98% of the time and will have a great time.

That is all very true, but on the flip side, it always amazes me how quiet things can get, One day I woke up on deck 9, I was the only one around, the guys had cleaned up all around me, how can it get THAT quiet? I just LOVE that time (4.30pmish-late ) around the decks, it is so quiet, I just love it.

orlandothebeagle
01-22-2009, 09:24 AM
Oh yes, and I should say, we spent a whole year persuading my Dad to go on a 7 day western, he said it would be too busy,too many crying kids,not enough to do.

He is booked to go on a transatlantic next year;)