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goindisney
02-07-2010, 04:08 PM
This will be our first family vacation that is is not a reunion or family event of some sort. We booked a 7 day cruise in March on the Magic after we found out that my husband is being deployed to Afghanistan. We will be traveling with our 2 daughter 3 and 7.

I have a bunch of questions:

1) We are arriving the day before. We want to try and get on the ship as early as we can. What is the best time to head over to the port? I want my kids to enjoy the whole experience but I don't want to deal with 2 hours of (insert whining voice) "when do we get to board??"

2) Because we booked last min we could only get Palo the first night. I am concerned about putting my kids in the kids club for a late night the first night. Is their other options? Can you hire a babysitter for your room? If so how?

3) Same issue with dining. We got late dining because we book late. What are our odds of getting that changed. If not any suggestion for helping the kids survive the late dinner?

4) We are thinking of mostly staying on the ship during the Ports of Call or just getting off for the morning (exp Castaway Cay). Is this a good idea..we were thinking it would give us some quite family time. Is there stuff to do on the ship then?

5) Any other general suggestion for enjoying this time together..creating good memories to last while daddy is gone?


Any suggestions appreciated. :-)

Thanks

AustinOO
02-07-2010, 04:40 PM
2) Because we booked last min we could only get Palo the first night. I am concerned about putting my kids in the kids club for a late night the first night. Is their other options? Can you hire a babysitter for your room? If so how?

3) Same issue with dining. We got late dining because we book late. What are our odds of getting that changed. If not any suggestion for helping the kids survive the late dinner?


Thanks

We also booked late and I chose a Palo dinner on the final night. That said, I *THINK* that you have a chance at changing that Palo reservation once on board. But I'm not sure as this is our first Disney Cruise.

Regarding '3', we had the same concerns but after learning about some things on here, like the Dine and Play option, we kinda' like the late seating idea. Our kids are 4 and 6 so not much different than yours. Our kids will be bright and alert for the shows. For dinner, request the Dine and Play option at dinner and they'll (in theory) get your kids' meals to them within 45 minutes and counselors arrive to whisk them off to the kids clubs while you enjoy the rest of your dinner.

su_kraft
02-07-2010, 04:43 PM
2) Because we booked last min we could only get Palo the first night. I am concerned about putting my kids in the kids club for a late night the first night. Is their other options? Can you hire a babysitter for your room? If so how?

Disney doesn't offer a sitter in your room, but the clubs do dinner, and they won't be alone. If it is a concern, and you wnat to avoid it - go to RBD right after you board and swap your Palo ressie. They hold some spots back, and you can always wait list if the night you want is full.

3) Same issue with dining. We got late dining because we book late. What are our odds of getting that changed. If not any suggestion for helping the kids survive the late dinner?

My kids (5 and 12) did pretty good with late dining. We did the shows before dinner and my little one loved that. We also made sure that or DD (5) had a snack before the shows. Something we didn't take advantage of this last cruise (that we hope to this coming September) is the club pick up from dinner! We didn't notice it until towards the end of our cruise, but what a great idea... Also, our DD managed to curl up into a ball on a chair in Lumieres 2 nights. Our head server, Zan, offered to hold her so we could eat. On our first trip, they made a bed for her (13 months at the time) and covered her with a table cloth. There are no limits to what they will do so that MOm and Dad get to eat dinner!

4) We are thinking of mostly staying on the ship during the Ports of Call or just getting off for the morning (exp Castaway Cay). Is this a good idea..we were thinking it would give us some quite family time. Is there stuff to do on the ship then?

We did excursions at each port - some through Disney and some on our own. If you are on your own, it is all family time, and you can make great memories! Each port of call will have shopping within walking distance, and many have beaches. Once on board, the CM's at the excursion desk can help you with that. If you choose to stay on board, there are activities planned, the pools will be less crowded and the clubs will be open. Either way, you will have a great time.

5) Any other general suggestion for enjoying this time together..creating good memories to last while daddy is gone?

If you can afford it, get a picture package. If you want to save - bring a camera and make sure that you hand it to CM that is with the photographer. They will then take a photo with theirs - and one with yours. I love to look at the photos we have and remember the trip!

Whatever you end up doing on the ship, and whatever happens, enjoy it! There is a lot to do, but remember to relax! You can't really do it all so you might as well build a list for "next time we are onboard..."

Have an awesome trip, and THANKS to your DH!!

Sue

MPwifey
02-07-2010, 05:17 PM
I don't have any tips for you, only wanted to say that we booked a 4 day cruise after finding out that my DH will be going to Iraq. We were going to visit family but DH said he wanted to have a vacation before he went to play in the sandbox.

I hope your family has a fun bon voyage of sorts.

goindisney
02-07-2010, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the replies, thats great to know about the dine and play option:

?

Also in the Oceaners Club..do they do nap time? What about at night???..what time do quite things down so the little one can go to sleep? IF you do the dine and play can your little ones go to dinner in their jammies??

Still curious if anyone has suggestion about the best time to head to the port?


Thanks again

AustinOO
02-07-2010, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the replies, thats great to know about the dine and play option:

?

Also in the Oceaners Club..do they do nap time? What about at night???..what time do quite things down so the little one can go to sleep? IF you do the dine and play can your little ones go to dinner in their jammies??

Still curious if anyone has suggestion about the best time to head to the port?


Thanks again

I read somewhere (maybe here or in the Passporters guide) that they will put on movies and take out sleeping mats for the kids to watch the movies on when it gets later. They keep the kids who'll be falling asleep near the entrance for easy retrieval.

Tondakea
02-08-2010, 01:36 AM
See notes in bold below.

This will be our first family vacation that is is not a reunion or family event of some sort. We booked a 7 day cruise in March on the Magic after we found out that my husband is being deployed to Afghanistan. We will be traveling with our 2 daughter 3 and 7.

I have a bunch of questions:

1) We are arriving the day before. We want to try and get on the ship as early as we can. What is the best time to head over to the port? I want my kids to enjoy the whole experience but I don't want to deal with 2 hours of (insert whining voice) "when do we get to board??"Can't answer this one since we stay in Cocoa Beach the night before, enjoy the hotel ammenities until departure, take Cocoa Beach Shuttle to terminal, and arrive at 1 pm for 4 pm departure. (ie we are not 'first' at terminal).

2) Because we booked last min we could only get Palo the first night. I am concerned about putting my kids in the kids club for a late night the first night. Is their other options? YES - Right after you board, go to the lounge where PALO is taking bookings/making changes. I believe it's on deck 3. They may be able to switch the date. Can you hire a babysitter for your room? If so how?

3) Same issue with dining. We got late dining because we book late. What are our odds of getting that changed. If not any suggestion for helping the kids survive the late dinner? We prefer late, so can't assist.

4) We are thinking of mostly staying on the ship during the Ports of Call or just getting off for the morning (exp Castaway Cay). Is this a good idea..we were thinking it would give us some quite family time. Is there stuff to do on the ship then? Yes- we have stayed on the ship. Lots to do. Castaway Cay has a tram/bus ... it's about 1 mile to the beach. You can do morning, then return to the ship.

5) Any other general suggestion for enjoying this time together..creating good memories to last while daddy is gone? Take your own photos. Lots of them. Disney characters are everywhere, and they will pose with kids. Disney photos ie their photographer tend to be expensive.


Any suggestions appreciated. :-)

Thanks