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View Full Version : please help me choose a cruise!


annabug
12-27-2010, 04:41 PM
hi disney friends!! i am starting to think about a disney cruise! i need help!
we are a family of 4 ...me, DH, my 6yo DD, and my 2 yo DS. we would like to go this summer...we have been to disney 3 times before, most recently this past may.....we love it!!
i am thinkig of bahamas or carribbean, with a total of 5 nights.
what do you guys think????
when to go
what ship
what room
what itinerary
thanks so much for your input and advice!!!
annabug:cutie:

luvndizny
12-27-2010, 05:32 PM
Hello! :)

Okay, I haven't been on a cruise yet either, but personally, from what I've researched over the past few months, everyone loves the 'double-dip' cruises that involve you going to Castaway Cay twice. I have searched reviews on this over-and-over and every single one I've read says Castaway Cay is their favorite port. Plus, if for some reason you weren't able to dock there on your first day scheduled to go there (rare, but weather could cause this), chances are you would be able to on that second time. If we go this summer vs. during Spring Break, that's what I'm picking. :-)

Also, I've also read it is cheaper to book through a travel agent or online TA vs. directly booking with Disney. For instance, I got a quote for one cruise we're looking at taking during Spring Break that was $100 cheaper than Disney website (and yes it includes all taxes, fees, etc.) PLUS they're offering us a $200 on-board credit!! That can go a long ways if you make it! (That was through dreamsunlimited- listed on this page up top.)

Have you watched any videos yet on youtube? There are a bunch of videos passengers have taken of the different ships. There is a really cool video showing the brand-new 'aqua-coaster' on the new Disney Dream ship. Now, especially since this will also be our first cruise ever, I don't care what ship we go on, BUT if I did have the choice to go on the new Dream I would take it! If not anything else but because of that awesome looking water ride! Plus there's a video showing you about the new 'virtual portholes' on the new inside staterooms on the Dream. I am not sure if you can find an inside stateroom now though for the summer cruises as, so far for me at least, I haven't been able to find any cruises with those staterooms left. Of course, you could always call and ask if there are any left.

Again, this is also not from personal experience, but from what I've read/researched.... Summer is hurricane season. I've read that the earlier you go in the summer, the better your chances are of avoiding a hurricane. So ya might want to see what's available in June, etc.

As far as what room, DCL has a virtual layout/pictures of the rooms, ship plans, etc. on their website. With little ones that young, I personally would try to choose a room closest to where all the little kids' stuff is located.;)

Also, and I know you said you wanted to do a 5-nighter, but since yours are still very young, have you considered maybe going in the fall or later in the year? There are a few good deals left for other cruises that are longer, but would cost a good bit less...the only drawback would be that the 6-year-old would have to miss out on some school. We have taken the kids out of school for a week both this year and last and we didn't have a problem. (We arranged that though WAY ahead of time with their teachers, etc.) After this year though, it is getting harder to do because of the amount of classroom learning time they miss, even though they did their homework, etc. while we went to Disney those times. So you might want to take advantage of that while they're younger....Prices would be cheaper and the cruise should be less crowded, etc. because most everyone else is in school. I would love to go on the cruise to the Mediterranean mentioned here:

http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/special-offers/

However it is too close to hubby's proposed deployment time so we have to pass, plus I do believe our kids will be starting school again and we're probably done with taking them out for longer than a day at this point. (Mine are 10 and 9 years old.)

Like I said, none of this is based on personal experience, but I wish you the best of luck finding the cruise that is the one that fits your family well! I know I'm excited about going on our first cruise too!!!:woohoo:

kcashner
12-27-2010, 05:37 PM
If you wish to go this summer, and sail out of Port Canaveral you are limited to the Disney Dream (the Magic will be in Europe and the Wonder in Alaska).

A 5 night cruise will be great. As to what level cabin--your choices are inside, oceanview, or verandah (balcony). With a little one who will nap, a verandah gives you a wonderful place to hang out while he/she sleeps. The difference in the cabins is as above and price. I've cruised in all cabin types; you'll have a great time whichever cabin you choose.

As a first timer, I would suggest that you use a great TA who specializes in DCL and will answer your questions before, during, and after booking. In addition, many will give you an onboard credit or other "thanks for booking" gift.

As above, summer is prime season--HOT. Your rates will be much better if you can cruise either in the spring or fall, and the weather will be more pleasant. I personally LOVE September cruises as the weather is warm but not opressively hot, the water is warm, and the rates are low.

annabug
12-27-2010, 05:47 PM
hey guys..thanks so much for your thoughtful repiles!!! many good ideas....maybe i should think about october/november??
is that still hurricane season?

dthogue
12-27-2010, 09:02 PM
Is price an consideration? If so that will affect what cruise you take.

If I had the choice, I would chose 7-night Western Caribbean. But with schedules and costs, that's not always possible. My second choice would be a 4-night on the new Dream. Not everyone likes cruising, and 4 nights will give you a taste to see if you like it. You could always add nights at WDW either before or after the cruise to extend your vacation. I wouldn't suggest the 3-night, its just too short.

You can price out all the options on Disney's website. I would also suggest using a TA to book. We use Marla at Dreams and have always had FANTASTIC service - although they are internet based and questions are typically asked and answered through email.

If at all possible, I would avoid the summer months - too hot and VERY expensive. We had crusied in May, Feb, March and December. I would suggest then middle to end of October through end the middle of November, December was ok, and any time in May.

Good luck with your decision - you can't go wrong with any of the cruises.

Tammy
princess:

kcashner
12-27-2010, 09:08 PM
Technically hurricane season is June - December. However, that won't affect your cruise normally. If the ship is supposed to go to where the hurricane is, the captain will take the ship to somewhere else wonderful! Seriously, in 7 or more cruises in September/October, we've only been negatively impacted by a hurricane once. We've had 2 "mystery cruises" where we went to places other than where we were scheduled to go.

annabug
12-28-2010, 08:04 AM
i looked at the 5 night itieraries.....i like going to castaway key x2......i think going to bahamas and castaway will be the easiest ports to navigate with little ones.....we are not lookng to explore islands at this point....just a nice safe beach, maybe a visit to atlantis??/ what do you think aout that?? is it a nic day trip to atlntis for little kid?
what is castaway key like?? what do they have there?? do they have cabanas for shade?? when i looked at june 26 departure, it seems only suites with verandah are left??:confused3
thanks so much!