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View Full Version : First-timer reveals all from May 26 cruz


kirkone
07-06-2001, 11:09 AM
Well now that it appears that everyone from the Magic's May 26 voyage has posted a report (I apoligize for lagging behind computer has been in pieces since our return), I will give my brief tips and opinions of a great trip for our family.
Our family of 1st time cruisers (me-DW 35yo, DH 35yo, DS 8yo, DD 4yo) had a marvelous time and we will cruise again. There were many things we adored and much we were surprised about, quite a few laughs, and a few things we think we would do different next time. So here we go.
We took a limo through Happy Limousine to the port. We were traveling with another family of 4 so the $ was cheaper than the Disney bus. I highly recommend this option if the $ is right for you. The kids loved arriving in such style and it gave them the feeling that this was no ordinary vacation. The driver made a grocery stop for us and we picked up lots of beer, water, snacks, soda, etc. We used the infamous luggage cart with bungie cord to bring it all aboard. In review, I don't think I'll do this next time. We really didn't need as much as we bought. The water on ship was fine and the kids didn't drink more than 1 box of juice. DH did drink the beer of course, can't let that go to waste. So, maybe we saved a few $ because of him.
:rolleyes: Trip tip! If you separate from hubby at port like I did make sure whoever has the luggage has the luggage tags. This is not a concern if you used the bus, but if you use some other form of trans. make sure those 2 things stay together. I know sounds stupid but we had not had time to place the tags on and I got out with docs in hand to register us and hubby took luggage to different unloading area. This probably would not have been an issue but plane was 1 hour late arriving in Orlando and I was trying desperately to make sure we got on board by 12:45 to start the ressie dash. We did! but DH had to fill out new tags at unloading :mad: Oops!
This is not looking very brief. :( Sorry! I'll try to do better. Ressies went fine. I was the designated driver for our party and I had everyone's preferences on my list and I would just use the motorola to confirm with them as I got to each area. Don't get too bent out of shape about these ressies especially if you are onboard before 1:30. Unless, you are the heavily scheduled neurotic type of course. We found out later in the cruise that there are lots of cancellations and you can usually work something out if you are not to particular.
As 1st timers, we really enjoyed being up on the deck watching all the other boats wave to us as we left the port. I will never forget the excitement in the kids faces as they watched the characters dance and sing on deck and their frantic waving and yelling at all the passing boats. :rolleyes: Trip tip! Keep your eyes on your kids here. Lots of people and activity going on and we briefly could not locate 1 6 yo member of our party. Maybe we all should have worn the same hat or shirt that first day. When we found the child he was only 8 to 10 feet away from us but he had us sweating bullets for 15 minutes.
About all the people--having never been on a cruise before we were shocked at how many people you are with. All the pools except the Adult pool were packed like sardines. I felt lots of stress at times with the kids in those pools. Make it easy on yourself and try to use the pools at off times and put something bright on the kids. Have a designated place to meet on deck if you get separated. Make sure the kids can pick out the cast members if they get lost. The ship seemed very safe but I have to admit those first few days were unsettling until the kids knew the location of places on deck. By the end of the trip by the way the kids knew where to go better than I.
About the Kids Club--All in all they are a good experience for the kids but I have a few tips especially for 1st timers. Tell the kids as much as you can about the clubs but don't over sale it. My kids were dying to go as soon as we got on board. The way I had talked it up to them they had high expectations and I think they were let down the first day or so. I would suggest to Disney that they need more planned activities and not so much just general baby sitting time. Also, it would help if they broke any large groups up into smaller units for some activities so the kids would have a better chance at meeting or finding a buddy. In retrospect, I think DS 8yo would have had an even better time if he had taken a same age friend along. Also, next time I don't know that I will allow him to sign himself out because he was less likely to try to stay and find a friend when he knew he didn't have to. If he had to page us he would have been more inclined to stay after the scheduled activities and be social with everyone. I have to say my DH 4 yo had a better time in the club than he did which surprised me because she is shy. The only difference I could see was that her group had lots of really cute activities and it was smaller than DS's. They both warmed to the counselors and we didn't have too much trouble getting them to go but we did have to keep it low key. Once they realized they only had to go when we had the Palo ressies and the rest was up to them, they were more eager to find out what was going on in the club and ask to participate. While neither wanted to eat any meals in the club, they did ask to leave the early seating at dinner on several nights after finishing their meal to go to the clubs.This was terrific because the adults could leisurely finish the meal and have after dinner drinks and talk. I always hated leaving the sun early to get ready for that seating but if we had chosen the late seating I know the kids would have wanted to eat with us and then they would not have had the energy at 10:00 to do the club thing. You just have to know if your kids would prefer eating with you or not. Many times our kids did not go to the shows at 8:30 because they were in the clubs but that was their choice.