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Mom2Joce
02-12-2009, 03:57 PM
Never cruised Disney (2 carnivals cruises in the past) but have a last minute opportunity to go east and cruise. We're coming from California and have to stop off in North & South Carolina to visit family. We thought we'd have them drive us down to Fla spend a day or 2 at Disney World (never been and will JUST go to check out THAT park for this trip) and then hop on a Disney cruise. I never thought this day would come!!!

We're a family of four and have a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Mom and dad just want to have spa/relaxing days and spend time with the kdis.
A few questions as I get started:
1. What cruise is best for March or April?
2. What/which way is the best way to book? Where should I be looking? The travel sites (expedia...etc.) or the Disney Cruise site or another 3rd party site?

Any help would be appreciated and I will read this board as much as I can...just want to get some help getting started so as to not waste time!
Many thanks,
Kelie

trimix
02-12-2009, 05:46 PM
Never cruised Disney (2 carnivals cruises in the past) but have a last minute opportunity to go east and cruise. We're coming from California and have to stop off in North & South Carolina to visit family. We thought we'd have them drive us down to Fla spend a day or 2 at Disney World (never been and will JUST go to check out THAT park for this trip) and then hop on a Disney cruise. I never thought this day would come!!!

We're a family of four and have a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Mom and dad just want to have spa/relaxing days and spend time with the kdis.
A few questions as I get started:
1. What cruise is best for March or April?
2. What/which way is the best way to book? Where should I be looking? The travel sites (expedia...etc.) or the Disney Cruise site or another 3rd party site?

Any help would be appreciated and I will read this board as much as I can...just want to get some help getting started so as to not waste time!
Many thanks,
Kelie

Hi Kelie,
First off, not to be snotty, but Walt Disney World is a collection of four theme parks, two water parks, and a shopping/dining/entertainment district called Walt Disney World. From your post I infer you want to visit the Magic Kingdom theme park; if so, if you can afford a nicer Disney resort I would suggest staying at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or Contemporary resort. With a two year old you will probably want to take a little break back at the hotel in the afternoon so you can relax, 2yo can nap, and dad and the 7yo can hit the pool. Other Disney resorts have bus service, but I find a hotel on the monorail is faster and more convenient to get to and from.

Regarding when to cruise, March or April, look at cruises you are interested in and see if you find a low point in pricing - it looks like late April is a bit cheaper, falling after most Spring Break weeks have passed.

Regarding which cruise, how much time and money do you have? I prefer the idea of a 7 night cruise, but if time were an issue I would jump on a four night cruise. The three night cruise seems too short for me to enjoy, but it is a bit cheaper and is all the time some people can afford.

Finally, how to book - it's up to you. If you book online through the DCL website you get a small onboard credit and have total control over your reservation. If you don't mind giving up that control to a travel agent, you can have them book it - some will give you a bigger stateroom credit. Dreams Unlimited, the travel agency that sponsors this board, is popular. You can find their links at the top of the page and elsewhere. If you are a Costco member, they will not give you an onboard credit but they do issue a cash card to you several weeks after you return.

Just remember - if you book through the DCL website you will initially get a price quote that includes ground transfers and trip insurance. Other travel agencies don't include those options by default. So be sure you are comparing apples to apples if you compare prices at different sites.

Deb T.
02-12-2009, 06:06 PM
Hi Kelie - I'm not sure where in NC/SC your family lives, but I thought I'd mention that it's at least a 10-hour drive from the Raleigh-Durham area to Orlando, longer if you're making frequent bathroom and meal stops. You might want to confirm that your family is up for that long of a round-trip drive for just a day or two at the Magic Kingdom.

Good luck with all of your planning! You and your children will love :lovestruc cruising on Disney!

jilljill
02-12-2009, 08:14 PM
Another thing about the WDW resort area, the parks are very spread out. The parks are not at all close like they are at D'land and can not be walked between. If taking the buses between parks you have to allow at least 30-45 min. transfer time between waiting for a bus/monorail/boat and travel time.

The port is then an hour away from WDW resort.

You might want to talk with your relatives about your plans to see what they think about making the drive down for you.

ruadisneyfan2
02-13-2009, 08:46 AM
Hi Kelie - I'm not sure where in NC/SC your family lives, but I thought I'd mention that it's at least a 10-hour drive from the Raleigh-Durham area to Orlando, longer if you're making frequent bathroom and meal stops. You might want to confirm that your family is up for that long of a round-trip drive for just a day or two at the Magic Kingdom.

Good luck with all of your planning! You and your children will love :lovestruc cruising on Disney!

Wow, this is the 1st thing I thought too! It's not like saying, "hey, would you mind dropping us off at the airport?" It's a long drive. Are they aware you're planning this? and still willing? This is like your relatives coming to CA and saying, "Would you mind dropping us off in Sedona, AZ? We've always wanted to visit and now that we're out west....."

Anyhoo,
Just wanted to also add WDW is so huge (49 sq. miles I believe) you could easily spend a week and not see everything. You should do more research and narrow down exactly what you want to do in the day or 2 precruise so you are not disappointed.

I'd start by choosing the cruise length/price that works best for your family. March/April is spring break/Easter; peak time. Not to mention that most guests have started booking years ago so you will def. be paying top dollar to cruise with such short notice. That is, unless they are offering Magical Rates for any dates you want. To see if they are, click on Special Offers from DCL's home page. Maybe with the economy being so bad, you might get lucky.
Then check out disneyworld.com to see what hotels you like to stay at. There are something like 18 Disney hotels onsite plust DVC villas.

We tried Carnival a few times before switching to DCL. You will love it!!:cloud9: Have a great trip!:goodvibes