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View Full Version : Never Been On A Cruise...I Have Some Questions!


mouseymommy
08-11-2012, 11:33 AM
I have so many questions, and I think some may be silly, so please be patient with me!

1: We have 3 kids, and DD2 is a bit high spirited. Some would call her naughty, but we are thinking positive! Is it safe to have her on a ship? Can she get over the railings?! I really want a veranda, but I don't know if it's safe.
2: I am thinking we should wait a couple years. (See above!) When do the dates typically come out?
3: We really want to sail on the Fantasy, do they ever do west coast with the Fantasy? If not, do you think they ever will?
4: After my cruise is paid for, what do I have to pay for on the ship? Food is covered except for special dining right? Like Palo?
5: How much can you feel the ship move? Is it constant and really noticeable?

Any help you can give me would be great. I have been reading these boards and I am really hoping to cruise in the next 2 years or so. Thanks Guys!!

TDC Nala
08-11-2012, 12:01 PM
We really want to sail on the Fantasy, do they ever do west coast with the Fantasy? If not, do you think they ever will?


No plans to take the Fantasy to the West Coast. Right now she can't fit through the Panama Canal, so it's going to be a no go for at least a couple more years.

After my cruise is paid for, what do I have to pay for on the ship? Food is covered except for special dining right? Like Palo?


Nursery time for the 2 year old if you want it
Photographs
Bingo if you want to play it
Specialty beverages (specialty coffee or smoothies)
Alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverage tastings
Arcade games
Pre-packaged snacks at the theater or through room service
Soft drinks ordered from bars or room service
Souvenirs
Shore excursions
Palo or Remy meals
Gratuities

Yokelridesagain
08-11-2012, 12:09 PM
1. No child has ever fallen off of a Disney cruise ship accidentally. (On one occasion, I think a teenager jumped into the water in port from a low level as a prank, and there has been at least one presumed suicide by an adult crew member.) As for the verandah, first, the door to the verandah has a latch at or above adult eye level, second, the door would be difficult to impossible for a 2 year old to open even with the latch off, and third, even if your child was out there alone somehow, she would still have to push the deck furniture over to the side, climb on it, and jump off to get over the side. Don't worry about it!:)

2. Recently, itineraries have been out about 15 months ahead of the year in question. 2014 will be out sometime this fall. It isn't a bad idea to wait until your daughter is three as she could then go to the kids clubs by herself.

3. The new ships (Fantasy/Dream) are contractually obligated to Port Canaveral in Florida for several years. They will not sail the west coast for the foreseeable future. But Magic/Wonder are nice too!

4. "Extra cost" items include port excursions, shopping in gift shops, photographs, specialty dining restaurants (Palo/Remy), alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages ordered from bars or from crew members outside the theatres, a minority of room service items (things like packaged candy/bottled water), and certain on board activities ('tastings' of alcoholic beverages, for example). Gratuities are also extra, of course. All other meals (including room service meals) and soft drinks from the drink station are free.

5. Movement depends on where you are and what the weather is--but cruise ships are really big boats with significant stabilizing technology to minimize movement. A cruise ship is far smoother than your average ferry boat. In sheltered waters (e.g., the Inside Passage to Alaska) the ride is smooth as glass. In open ocean, particularly if the swell is high, you will of course feel some movement.

deanimal
08-11-2012, 12:10 PM
I'm not an expert like some here, but I can offer a few tips.
1. I wouldn't worry about safety; I felt totally safe with my 3 year old and 22 month old. We had an ocean view but had access to my in law's veranda. We had to constantly stop the 3 year old from climbing on the furniture out there, so I don't think we would have used one much for just hanging out if we had one, but there's no way a toddler could get out there on her own, so safety wasn't an issue.
That said, I think two is a bit of an awkward age for cruising. They're too young for the Oceaneers club but my toddler was a bit bored in the nursery and it was a pain to have to pre book it. We booked our next cruise for after our son's third birthday for that reason.
2. Release dates seem to vary wildly. 2014 should come out this fall, but maybe not for all the ships. There are lots of threads speculating release dates, but no one ever knows for sure.
3. I think the Fantasy is contracted to stay in Florida for at least the next couple of years. It's not looking likely there will be any ships on the west coast for the next few years, but if there is it will be one of the older ones.
4. Most food is covered, but you still have to be careful. Packaged snacks and popcorn by the theaters costs more, as do smoothies and specialty coffees. Ordering soft drinks from waiters at the pools or lounges costs a premium, but is free at the fountains.
5. I felt the movement a fair bit on our sea days. It depends a lot on the itinerary and the weather. It never bothered me, but my husband felt a bit unwell some days.
Hope this helps!

Four Bears
08-11-2012, 12:12 PM
Just a few thoughts, from a mother with a two year old!

The pool is off limits to all non-potty trained children. There is a splash area, for these kids, but if your child will feel left out you may want to delay your trip a year.

The nursery for non-potty trained children is $6 per hour and must be reserved in advance. The kids clubs on the other hand are free and drop-in.

We are really pushing the potty training for DD2 so she can use the pool and hopefully the kids club in January. She will be 2 3/4 so I am hoping that she will be allowed to go with her older sister, provided that she is fully day trained. (That being said, I am going to reserved the nursery for whatever we need and then, cancel if we can bump her up.)

Also, two big expenses not listed above:
Transportation to and from the airport.
Tips ($12pp per day)

Room service is free for all non-packaged foods (soda is charged), but there is a small gratuity that is extra.

As for the safety of the verandah's all the PP are correct. You would never leave your children out there unattended and unless they are climb up on the furniture, there is no way since the rails have plexiglass to prevent climbing. And the latch is almost adult proof, it is up high and the door is HEAVY.

pharmama
08-11-2012, 12:17 PM
I have so many questions, and I think some may be silly, so please be patient with me!

1: We have 3 kids, and DD2 is a bit high spirited. Some would call her naughty, but we are thinking positive! Is it safe to have her on a ship? Can she get over the railings?! I really want a veranda, but I don't know if it's safe.
She could get over the railing by climbing on a chair or the table that are on the verandah. BUT- I don't believe this has ever actually happened. As long as you're careful about making sure she's never unsupervised out there you should be fine. The doors to the verandah have a lock at 'adult only' height so you can prevent her from getting access out there. The door is also pretty heavy.
2: I am thinking we should wait a couple years. (See above!) When do the dates typically come out?
I'm not sure how old your kids are. I just went with our 3 DDs (7yrs, 3yrs and 1yr). The 7 and 3 yr olds LOVED LOVED LOVED it. The 1yr old not so much. I will not consider going again until the 1yr old is at least 3 (old enough to go to the kids clubs- must be potty trained too). Dates usually are announced in the fall for year after next. So expecting at least most of 2014 to be released October-ish of this year. Some of 2013 was released as late as this summer though.

3: We really want to sail on the Fantasy, do they ever do west coast with the Fantasy? If not, do you think they ever will?
4: After my cruise is paid for, what do I have to pay for on the ship? Food is covered except for special dining right? Like Palo?

Both well answered by TDC Nala :)

5: How much can you feel the ship move? Is it constant and really noticeable?


On our recent 5 day Dream cruise it was noticeable at times but not horrible. That said, I did get sick once on our first night (I've never been motion sick before) and DD2 (the 3yr old and the only kid that's ever been motion sick) was incredibly sick starting middle of the first night and through the following day and half. Such a bummer. Will definitely get meds on board for her before the cruise starts in the future. Others in our party who have been seasick in the past were totally fine. :confused3

tvguy
08-11-2012, 04:37 PM
No plans to take the Fantasy to the West Coast. Right now she can't fit through the Panama Canal, so it's going to be a no go for at least a couple more years.


There may not be plans, but it isn't a "no go" because of the canal. Other cruise lines with megaships just do a repositioning cruise around Cape Horn.
My mom did a 14 day from Miami to Los Angeles, said it was the most amazing cruise she has ever done.

mouseymommy
08-11-2012, 05:04 PM
Thank you so much for all the responses! I think the best idea for us would be to wait 2-3 years. That way our kids would be 13, 8, and 5. It will also give me time to save up for what will probably be our most extravagant vacation yet. I am already so excited, it's going to be hard being patient. Thanks again for the help!

Stagemaster
08-11-2012, 05:38 PM
I did the panama canal on wonder amazing they won't take the dream or fantasy west coast. The wonder barely fit and from what the

Stagemaster
08-11-2012, 05:39 PM
I did the panama canal on wonder amazing they won't take the dream or fantasy west coast. The wonder barely fit and from what the

Canal history guy was telling use horn is to dangerous to navigate would be over a 25 day adventure. The new canal
Did not look
Anywhere near completed

mouseymommy
08-11-2012, 06:23 PM
Canal history guy was telling use horn is to dangerous to navigate would be over a 25 day adventure. The new canal
Did not look
Anywhere near completed

Thanks for the info. Our dilemma is that we really like the Fantasy for the amenities, but we want to go to Alaska. We really want to do concierge, and have the concierge lounge. The kids are also really excited about the Aqua Duck. Guess we'll just have to go on 2 cruises!

kcashner
08-11-2012, 09:47 PM
Personally, I'd wait till the child was 3 and potty trained. That way he/she can participate in the kid program and use the pools.

The verandah doors actually have a sort of double lock system. The child would have to unlock the door (adult shoulder height lock), then manipulate the lock on the door handle and slide the HEAVY door to open it. And he would have to then move the furniture over to the railing and climb on it to go over the railing. Hasn't happened since the Magic debuted in 1998--I doubt that your child would be the first.

The newer ships don't fit thru the Panama Canal as it is currently in use as well as being obligated to remain based in Port Canaveral for several more years.

All food except Palo/Remy is covered. Most beverages are covered (alcohol, specialty coffees and smoothies are exceptions). You can do a cruise and not spend a penny beyond the cruise itself and tips....or you can spend literally thousands beyond the cruise ticket on spa, photos, shore excursions, shopping, etc. Your choice.

Motion is generally minimal.

Tonka's Skipper
08-12-2012, 06:44 AM
Canal history guy was telling use horn is to dangerous to navigate would be over a 25 day adventure. The new canal
Did not look
Anywhere near completed

Why would the trip be dangerous to navigate?. It can have rough weather, but I never had any problems!


AKK

TDC Nala
08-12-2012, 09:48 AM
DCL has never done a 25 day cruise - 15's the most they've done, I don't see them doing 25 just to get a bigger ship to the West Coast.

Leish
08-12-2012, 10:16 AM
Glad to see these responses. I have been wondering the same thing about the verandah doors. Not that I think it would be an issue with my kids, but the though still crosses my mind. I feel much better now.

tinkeramy
08-12-2012, 02:25 PM
We just came back from a 4 night on the Dream. I have a 4 y.o. and we had to watch him on the varandah b/c they have a small table and chairs out there. DS4 would climb on the table just to see over the rail. I don't know that he could have actually thrown a leg over but I didn't want to find out. The locks on the doors are all well and good, but if the child has older siblings who are in and out, you have to be A LOT more watchful.

We were surprised the most by the tips. For our 4 night, the suggested tips for room steward & dining room staff came to about $240.00 total. Go concierge and that's a little bit more since those folks probably really go the extra mile.

I am prone to motion sickness now that I am older but I never felt the slightest bit queasy on the ship once, nor did anyone in my family.

I would def. rec. waiting until the child is at least potty-trained and able to go in the Oceaneer's Club. Up on deck is kind of a madhouse and since you have other kids, too this means that you and your spouse are going to be split up when your older kids want to be in the pool. The toddler splash area is tucked away in a sunless, cave-like portion of the deck and it didn't look like somewhere I wanted to spend a lot of time!

Also, the dining rooms are a bit formal for a 2y.o. You could always go to the casual buffet, but since I was on a cruise I wanted to experience all the good food and different areas that came along with it, so we used the dining rooms for dinner but stuck to the buffet and counter service for bfast / lunch.

One last though on cruising with younger kids - be prepared to spend a lot of time away from your spouse, because with 3 kids of differing interests and ages, you will find yourself splitting up to take one or two to do something while the other spouse takes the remaining child to do something else. And, of course, rarely did they all want to be in the kid's club at the same time! :headache: