View Full Version : Who cruises after visiting theme parks?

02-21-2004, 04:00 PM
I notice that most (or maybe I'm wrong?) cruisers on this board go to WDW AFTER their cruise.

I used to think I'd want to do the same, as I'd have something else 'Disney' to look forward to after disembarking. However, now I'm thinking in reverse. I think the cruise would be a great way to unwind and relax after the frentic, harried pace of the parks.

The 7-day land/sea packages are not long enough 'cruising' time for us. And we're thinking maybe farther down the road booking our own 3 days at WDW and 7-day DCL.

Who likes cruise first/parks second, or, parks first/cruise second and why?


02-21-2004, 04:07 PM
On the 3 cruises we have taken (all 7 day) only once did we do the parks - and it was before. That was a real WOW vacation as it was a week at BWV (DVC) and then cruising the week of Christmas for a family reunion. It was an awesome time.

We cruised with my parents in 2002 on the Magic and had tickets to Cirque the day we got off the ship which made getting off not quite so painful (but it still hurt). This year we are flying home on Saturday evening so will at least do some DTD before heading to the airport.

02-21-2004, 04:08 PM
We are doing this very thing this April. We originally had booked just the cruise week but when we found out that DD has 2 weeks off we went ahead and booked the WDW week as well. I like to have the parks first and cruise second so I can walk off those "extra calories" BEFORE I get on the cruise ship. We also decided to stay one more night when we disembark. So we actually get the best of both worlds, but for only one more night.

02-21-2004, 04:13 PM
We haven't done this YET... so no past experience. But our first cruise we have planned a few days at WDW beforehand. I had the same thinking that you did- that I'd rather have WDW before the cruise... since WDW with 3 kids can be kinda stressful. Not much if you don't let it- but still a little. It's the nature of going to theme parks/etc. I think I'd much rather go to the parks, stay in the resort, do all we want to do in that mini-WDW trip beforehand- and then go on the cruise and relax relax relax.... then straight home. I think it might totally ruin our relaxing cruise to then go to the parks and such at WDW!

We'll see how it goes... we'll see how I feel after doing it this way this first time. I might change my mind and regret not going to WDW afterwards- if so, I'll change it next time. :)

02-21-2004, 04:25 PM
We've done both but think that going to the parks first is best. It was a real shocker to get off the cruise and have to buy your food afterwards. I find it nice to look forward to the cruise while we are doing the parks because you eventually have to go home no matter what. The cruise is a great ending and so relaxing. One time we spent the disembarkation day in Animal Kingdom before we started the drive home. That was nice and then we were TIRED and ready to go home!

Whatever you do is great but personally we will always, if we can, go to the parks first and then cruise. Have fun!!!

02-21-2004, 04:42 PM

I've heard that Disney prefers you to do the land first. ???? Mom & I have always done the parks then cruise. I get so relaxed on the cruise, why would I want to rush around in the parks after that. I say rush first/relax after!!!

Allison an associate

02-21-2004, 04:43 PM
In 2002, we booked the land and sea package. 3 days on land.....4 days at sea....you know the drill. I thought taking the cruise 2nd was better because....

1. You were covered on food cost.
2. It was more relaxing than walking around the parks all day.
3. This was a little more like taking a vacation.
4. The service was pretty good and most all of the CMs were awesome. Not quite the same in the World.

However, we are planning a trip to Disney in June of 2005 and we will not be taking a cruise this time. When we got off the ship in Port Canaveral, I so wish we had the time and $$$ to go back to WDW. Though we spent lots of money in WDW, I felt I got my money's worth. I did not feel that way on the ship.

Sorry Disney Cruise fans, but the next cruise I take will be a Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival or Royal where the rates are better and there is a bit more entertainment. I really thought this would be the dream cruise for me too. Being such a huge Disney fan.

02-21-2004, 04:59 PM
We've done both. Here is what I see as the advantages to each:

Cruise first:
1) don't have to worry about cruise docs/birth certs/picture ID all week.
2) kids were well rested...easier to behave for long dinners, and could stay up later.

Cruise last:
1) a nice way to calm down at the end of the trip.
2) ending on Castaway Cay
3) a little adult time to look forward to all week (kids clubs)

As you can see none of these are huge, decison makers. If you can do a cruise and the parks in the same trip, you're in for one heck of a great vaccation no matter which order you do them in!!!


02-21-2004, 05:33 PM
Though we spent lots of money in WDW, I felt I got my money's worth. I did not feel that way on the ship.

Uhoh... what about the cruise didn't you like or didn't feel you got your money's worth?

02-21-2004, 06:47 PM
Our first cruise was a 7-day and we spent 5 nights in WDW after the cruise.

Second and third cruise were 4-day cruises and we spent 2 nights at WDW pre-cruise and definitely prefer it in this sequence.

Next year's 7-day we will not be going to WDW at all.

We like to wear ourselves out at the parks and end with the grand finale -- A DISNEY CRUISE! :)

02-21-2004, 07:09 PM
We usually do the parks first...although DD is now lobbying for parks before and after!

I like doing the parks first because IF something were to happen en-route, we would miss a park day or 2 rather than missing the ship. Even if you have trip insurance, missing the ship would be horrible (in my mind). I figure if I'm in Orlando, there's got to be a way to get to the ship...car breakdown or whatever shouldn't hang us up. Whereas cruise first, a car problem, flight delay, or whatever could really mess us up.

Secondly, the cruise is MY vacation. At the parks, Mom is still "on duty." I have to be concerned with where we're going, where we're eating, etc. On the cruise, I can relax....although maybe I relax too much.....DD informed me TONIGHT (we've been home for a week) that she lost her KTTW card with it's attached lanyard and Mickey keychain on Castaway. Stupid me asked how she got back onboard the ship--"oh, I just told the man that I'd lost it and my name, cabin number...and then I told him a bunch of stuff that he didn't even ask like my birthday and your name and your birthday and our address and he finally let me get on the ship just to shut me up." Such is 13! I learned this when I asked where her keychain was!

02-21-2004, 07:47 PM
No answer for you yet....but in May we will be doing 4 nights at Coronado Springs and then the 3 night Disney Cruise......I can't wait.....we were just going to do the cruise and then DH got the week off so I said what the heck.
My logic was - I always feel hurried at the parks even though I know better and I thought the cruise would be a nice way to wind down!

02-21-2004, 08:04 PM
we like to do the parks first and "relax" second. one trip we went back to stay at POR and did the parks but found we were really to tired to enjoy ourselves. so we vote parks first and cruise second.:o

02-21-2004, 09:07 PM
On our April cruise we're doing the day before at Universal and 2 days after at Disney. We were just at the YBC last April - but we really want to do EPCOT again - especially Mission Space....

We'll see how that goes......

02-21-2004, 10:00 PM
For our first Disney experience, we did the MK first along with a couple days of relaxation at the ASMovie & DTDisney. The cruise was so wonderful & the kids got to spend so much time with the characters that the MK would have been a disappointment afterwards.

02-21-2004, 10:31 PM
For our 25th anniversary in 2001, we did 4 nights at the Contemporary Resort and went to all the parks, then we did the 7-night Eastern Disney cruise then had another week of traveling around Florida. It was one of our BEST vacations ever!! :teeth:

If we ever do the parks/cruise again in the same trip I would like a full WEEK at the parks then another 7-night cruise. 4 nights was just not quite enough at the parks, a week would be perfect!! And I would want to do the parks first, THEN the cruise, just like last time.

02-22-2004, 06:20 AM
We will actually do both :D

We'll first stay in the AKL for 6 nights, then do a 4-night cruise, and afterwards stay in the GF for 2 nights. This will be our first WDW visit and also our first cruise..

02-22-2004, 06:57 AM
We did a week in WDW and then did a 7 night cruise. I thought it was very relaxing. Especially after all the running aroun at the parks, the cruise was a great way to unwind.


02-22-2004, 07:22 AM
We did the 7 day western cruise last October and had such a great time that we rebooked for this coming June. In order to keep the MAGIC going we will be crusing first and spending a week at WDW afterwards.:Pinkbounc

02-22-2004, 10:20 AM

02-22-2004, 10:32 AM
We did park first, then cruise. What a relaxing way to end the trip. Would definitely do the same again. But then again, we stayed in a condo on the beach for one week in Deerfield Beach after the cruise, so it wasn't like the vacation was over when we got off the ship. Enjoy!

02-22-2004, 03:10 PM
Hello BibbidyBobbidyBoo

Love the handle by the way. :earsboy:

Since you asked, I will tell you. :)

We went at Christmastime, needless to say it was overpriced. There was nothing to warrant the "Christmas pricing" as far as we were concerned. There was a 20 minute visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause.

The lines to "meet the pricesses" were painfully long and they only allowed the meet-n-greets for about 15 minutes. Not nearly enough time for the seemed-like-millions of little princess on the ship dying to meet them.

I thought the character meet-n-greets were poorly planned. They really did not spread them out. They would have Snow White, Alice and Cinderella in the Atrium, Belle on the 4th floor, Mickey outside of the gift shop and Minnie on the other end of the ship all at the same time. Fifteen minutes later and they all had to go away. Same thing when "Santa Goofy" came out. He sat in a window before Promenade Lounge and was gone in 10 minutes. So many disappointed children. I will give Disney the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe the poor planning was because of the Christmas season. We were on the ship Christmas day and this was not the first time this was ever done, however.

The only character meet-n-greets that were well planned were the AM ones on the last day. All of the characters were in the lounge signing autographs. This was scheduled for 45 minutes. Can't remember the name of the location. The place where you make your Palo reservations, with the old LPs all over the place.

I could not go to the ESPN skybox because it reeked of smoke and alcohol. A fumigation was certainly in order. If I still smoked (haven't in 6 years), I still would not have been able to hang out in there for more than 30 seconds.

Our trip already cost over 5K (going in December mind you) and I did not care to pay spa charges for a little personal R and R. I really did not want to pay more than I already did because I guess I was a bit disappointed in the cost for what little entertainment there was.

The food in the evening was wonderful, but certainly did not warrant the cost of the trip. The breakfast and lunches were nothing to get excited about. I cook better than that and could have had a wonderful homemade breakfast. Cookie's BBQ was not all that either. I live in Texas and I know BBQ. ::yes::

I enjoyed Disney Dreams, the comedy show, Buena Vista theatre is nice (a movie costs $7 per person at the Imax theater here at home) and of course the ship is beautiful. I just did not feel like there was enough to do on the trip. Castaway Cay was beautiful, Nassau was dirty. That is no discredit to Disney, but perhaps they could come up with a nicer tour. :earseek:

Many other cruise ships, which are only 1/2 the cost or maybe 2/3 of the cost of a Disney Cruise do offer more, the meals are better, the entertainment lasts longer, etc.

I don't want to seem like I am whining because I did have a nice time, but I did not feel like it was worth the price they charged because of all of "the extras at Christmas." The extras were more ship decor and crew members.

Would I ever do it again? Yes! Aboard the Magic on a 7-day Caribbean cruise, when the rates are more competitive.

02-22-2004, 03:39 PM
did not feel like it was worth the price they charged because of all of "the extras at Christmas.

Truthfully, I don't think you were paying for Christmas extras. You were paying more because you went during a school holiday. There's more demand so they can and do charge more. We're booked for the Easter Wonder and we're certainly paying more for going during a peak time. I wish we could take advantage of the "off" season pricing but we have kids in school and my DH is a teacher. For you, obviously, you didn't feel it was worth the extra cost to go in peak season. For us, when we measure paying more vs not going at all, we find the level of entertainment for every member of our family (from 3 yrs to 41 yrs old) worth it.


02-22-2004, 04:01 PM
I've never done another cruise, and I have many friends who have.

From what I've read on these boards, and from what my experienced cruise buddies have said, DCL food is superior to what is served on other ships.

I love forward to breakfast and lunches almost as much as the dinners.

To each his own, I guess.

Belle's Castle
02-22-2004, 05:04 PM
We are doing six nights at the AKL and then cruising for 4....I am wondering if we should have done it the other way around...

02-22-2004, 09:55 PM
We are still cruise newbies, having only cruised once before -- last July's Alaska cruise on RCCL's Radiance of the Seas. I think the the preference re cruise-first then WDW parks or cruise-following WDW parks decision depends largely on how busy you plan to be at the parks and whether you are prong to get hit by the "cruise blues." For us, it was easy to decide to do our next WDW trip planned for May 2005: 4 day Wonder (first DCL cruise) followed by 4 nights in WDW. Why? Two reasons.

First, for the next trip we don't plan to do a full-on park hopping -- we'll be visiting WDW for the first time with our baby and we plan to just visit one or two parks max and spend the rest of the time strolling in Downtown Disney and relaxing at the resort. Thus, the "need cruise at the end to relax" after busy days at the park reason won't apply to us.

Second, we were both so bummed after our RCCL cruise ended last year -- that "cruise blues" really hit us hard after having such a wonderful time. We would really prefer a 7 night DCL cruise (because we wished our 7 night RCCL cruise lasted longer) but we can't afford it for 2005. So when I proposed trying the 4 night Wonder in May 2005 as an alternative to waiting for 2006 (and having more time to save the $$), hubby would only agree to it if we plan to spend a few days in WDW afterwards so he would "have something to look forward to when" (not "if") he "starts feeling sad that the cruise was coming to an end."