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tarazandra
11-04-2010, 06:09 PM
Forgive me while I ramble.

I love planning WDW trips. We use TGM and get pretty detailed. But mainly I do that to help avoid crowds and be sure we do all we want to do. Is it really necessary to plan a cruise? I mean, do I need to know all that is offered on the trip before we get on the ship? Aside from Palo, which I'm at least aware of. We're taking our first Disney cruise (well, first any cruise) and I'm feeling overwhelmed. Is it conceivable to simple send my kids to the clubs and find stuff to do with the hubby and not need to worry about pre-booking? One thing I should mention, I am by no means a laze around the pool kind of vacationer. I can do that at home. I want to do, but I don't want to plan. Doable? :confused3

Maybe my real question is what is the bare minimum I should research ahead of time? That in and of itself seems like a big question though!

Thanks for any insight. :goodvibes

jfs9900
11-04-2010, 06:28 PM
If you don't want to plan, it's VERY much an option. Personally my recommendation is to just spend some time researching and or reading what is available on your specific cruise. This way you can get a general idea of things you might want to do or avoid completely.

Let me put it another way, I don't think there is ANY vacation that requires ZERO preparation.

I spend a lot of time researching, if there is something I really want do I may pre-book it (this goes for any vacation, DCL aside). The first DCL cruise I pre-planed the entire cruise. Each of the next 5 cruises have been 'on the fly'.

I would suggest reading some of the Personal Navigators for your specific cruise and maybe research online some of the ports of call you will visit, just to get an idea.

Weedy
11-04-2010, 07:39 PM
A little planning:

Very Important: Pack a small bag to carry on the ship with bathing suites so the kids can swim ( your luggage goes to your cabin and you can't get in the cabin until 2ish?

Excursions - If you want to do something in a port you may need to preplan it(swim with the dolphins) these tend to book up

Best Room tip - Buy (Target) a clear over the door shoe holder, hook it on the outside of the bathroom door, store all of your supplies, toothbrush, hairbrush, makeup in this. This keeps things organized and easy to get to.

There is lots to do on the ship movies, tours of the ships gally,napkin folding class. You will get a paper called The Navagator it will in detail tell you what is happening on a daily basis. You can search this website and see some old ones to get an idea of whta happens.

Other than that relax and enjoy!!

Mommb
11-04-2010, 08:02 PM
It is best to preplan anything you can book in advance. This includes shore excursions and meals at Palo and Remy, as well as spa treatments if there are any that you really want to have. These all can be booked onboard, but times do fill up. For other onboard activities, you won't know exactly what will be offered in advance anyhow so you do not need to plan. If you want, you can look at Navigators and trip reports and think about what you might want to do onboard, but it is not necessary.
A cruise is quite different from a WDW visit where planning what park to be in, which order to visit attractions, where to eat and when, and so on, can save you lots of time. Even a full ship has fewer people than a WDW park on a typical day. I fully understand the feeling that if you are not planning you will not be prepared to have a great time, but it is definitely possible to have a great cruise without scheduling each day beforehand. My family looks at the next day's Navigator each night and discusses what we might want to do. We then adjust the plans the next day depending on what we're in the mood for. Most activities require no commitment in advance, and even arriving late is often OK.
Have a great cruise!

tarazandra
11-04-2010, 08:08 PM
Thanks all! Shore excursions, Palo, and spa treatments are the things I will research. I think everything else, I can see what happens. Thanks for the little tips too, very helpful :)

Tower
11-05-2010, 06:19 AM
The greatest aid to allow me to plan was that I joined the Cruise meets thread of our cruise. We had the opportunity to meet people online that we are cruising with. You'd get the veterans of DCL and newbies asking questions. Questions will be asked that you never even thought of and add insight to your cruise. Since you can't book Palo or excursions until your cruise is paid off and maximum 90 days out from your cruise, you'll have lots of time to plan then.
Pre-cruise booking, you'll just have to get a feel of where the best place to get a cabin by taking in the observations of others. Then once you've booked, go meet your future friends onboard!
You'll love it!

MinnesotaMouseketeers
11-05-2010, 06:50 AM
Thanks all! Shore excursions, Palo, and spa treatments are the things I will research. I think everything else, I can see what happens. Thanks for the little tips too, very helpful :)

These are the things we reserve in advance. Everything else is planed day to day as we look over the Navigator.

cmclaura
11-05-2010, 11:01 AM
I can't imagine not planning. I wish I could be like that but I must have this crazed planner gene from some ancestor.....

That being said, I would still encourage you to look over something like the Passporter book or a number of these forums, not to plan things to do, but just to know what's available/what to expect.

On our first cruise, my husband, an avid sports fan, purchased his beer mug and learned about the ESPN bar. He turned to me and asked, "Why didn't you tell me about this?!" My reply was, "You should have read the guidebook."

I think it's helpful to know what to expect because you can very easily become overwhelmed by all the things that are offered on the Navigators. This way, you'll know about things you'd like to do, wouldn't like to do, and won't waste time trying to figure it out on the day.

But perhaps that's just me. I also have an "I don't like surprises" gene!