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View Full Version : For those of you who have gone with a big group...how do you handle embarkment??


IvyandLace
06-17-2004, 01:22 PM
Since I'll be travelling with 11 other people and have never cruised before (only my mom and younger sis have...last October on the Wonder), I'm still unsure how to handle embarkation day. We (Mom, younger sis, and I who are "in charge" and basically the Disney freaks of the family) have HIGHLY encouraged that each family get to Orlando the day before and will be providing hotel rooms for those who do courtesy of priceline. I am hoping that everyone does this as we will also be arranging transportation via van (Tiffany towncar or other) to port on Saturday, November 27th.

What I'm not sure about is this...what if the other families don't come in early?? Should we just have them arrange their own transportation?? What if they don't arrive EARLY and thus keep US off the boat and away from making Palo/Spa ressies?? For those of you who have gone with a large group, how did you handle this?? How should we handle getting Palo ressies?? We are interested in a large Palo ressie for all the adults to enjoy so I was going to handle that one...should I just let the adults handle their "own" Palo ressies if they choose to get them?? How should we handle spa ressies?? Would you recommend splitting up and letting the majority of the group eat and swim and just meet up with them after running around for ressies? The only snag on this one is that each room will have a child (niece, nephew) in it from my older sis...I know the kids will want us aunties to join them for lunch and swimming and might not understand the significance of splitting up and staying with mom and dad. Will it be too confusing to try to "do" things as a group that afternoon...ie. explore the ship or go swimming?? If we split up, should we have a meeting place? :confused:

WHEW!! I know I have a bunch of questions, but I definitely DO NOT want people to be confused that day. I want all to go smoothly and so am trying to find the answers to problems before they arrive! It's a bit tough as we are a large group and my older sis (newly remarried with older kids) and my brother and SIL are sensitive to the fact that mom, younger sis and I are very close. I want everyone to feel "involved"!! I know some people say "don't stress...it will all work out! Everyone can do their own thing on the cruise which makes it so nice!", but I know that I will have a tendency to do "Disney" things while my other siblings might feel like they are not "into" that...and thus are not "invited" to join. Does that make sense??

Thanks for any advice to this matter of cruising with a large group!
:p IVY :p

Ker-Bear
06-17-2004, 03:39 PM
I am interested in hearing your questions answered as well. So far we have approx 9 cabins interested in our reunion and I have all the same questions. Right now I think I will let everyone plan there own so no one can accuse me of not including them. My SIL and I are "in charge" as well and we have discussed arrangments for us and what we want to do. I plan on doing a newsletter that will give the knowledge that I have been receiving and will continue to receive from these boards. I thought a "helpful hints for a magical disney cruise" would be the ticket. that way if they went Palo's, spa or nursery ressie's they know they need to get there early.

TheWog
06-17-2004, 03:41 PM
if you do a group booking (8 or more cabins) you may get special priveleges and priorities. I would contact DCL. Good luck to ya.

gweeptrish
06-17-2004, 03:57 PM
We're travelling in Feb 2005 with about 16 people (5 cabins) and I'm the organizer.

I told everyone that they are on their own for getting to the terminal and on the boat, and that we'd see them at dinner that night. We're not even going to try to coordinate Palo and spa reservations, let alone transportation. Too much headache!

During the cruise itself, the only thing we're 100% planning to do together is eat dinner. Everything else so far is a "make it up as we go along" plan.

-GweepTrish

4nana
06-17-2004, 04:40 PM
Our family of 16, from 3 states, flew in the day before. Some arranged for a chauffeur, others rented cars at A/P. Your chauffeur will meet you in the baggage.

We had arranged to stay at the Radisson, where we had adj rooms, which worked out great. Upon arrival we arranged for their free shuttle in morn to go to port. That day and evening we all enjoyed unwinding, catching up, swimming and dinner.

The nx morn the bell hops picked up all our luggage and their 2 vans took us to the port. I recommend getting there early, before noon, as it can be a mad house with a group. To save time, be sure everyone has all their documents filled out, BC's, passorts, and CC's ready.

You will all board the ship, be announced, and have a group photo. Then the fun begins!! The ship is beyond your imagination!

Once on board, we split up to make ressies. The ladies made the ressies while the men entertained the kids. You can do it individually or have one person make ressie for another. I think it may require a CC #. After the mad rush...LOL, we all met up for buffet. Then we were excited to see our cabins and look around the ship. There is a mandatory boat drill, I believe 4pm, then the sailaway party 4:30-5ish.

If you are not arriving together or traveling together, to avoid a lot of confusion,
I would recommend each doing your own thing and meeting up at a certain time on the ship.

Best wishes, I know you are going to have a wonderful time making special memories!

~ Sandie

DaddioTN
06-17-2004, 06:57 PM
I am interested in knowing more about the "papers" you talk about that need to be filled out before embarktion. My mother is taking the family on the DCL in Dec. and she has made the reservations on the boat for everyone but she has questions. She won't call the 800 number cause you have to wait so long.

What is involved with these papers? What kind of questions? How much to fill out? When will she get these? Is there a group of papers to fill out for each person in our group? Thanks for any advice you can shed on this.

4nana
06-17-2004, 07:56 PM
Daddio ~

Appx. 4-6 wks before cruise, each passenger will rec what is called 'documents'. They may arrive seperately or all be sent in one pkg to the coordinator. It will include a booklet of papers containing info on: reservation #, stateroom #, embarkation, itinerary, rules and regulations, tipping information suggestion, 2 luggage tags, transpo and excursion info. You will also need birth certificate or passport, and to fill out credit card charge information and immigration form for the islands.

It saves time to have them ready before arriving at port. If you prefer, someone at the port will be glad to help you fill them out. If your Mom has questions and does not want to call, maybe someone in the group could help her or she could visit Disney Cruise site online.

By the way, our family went in Dec and it is a wonderful time to go. The ship is in her glory with Christmas decorations and the weather is beautiful! Enjoy your cruise!

~ Sandie :boat:

gratefulone
06-17-2004, 08:39 PM
I was in a party of 24 (14 adults & 10 kids) on the 5/15 Eastern. We had people coming from Chicago, Atlanta, Michigan, Jamaica and Tokyo. We all arrived in Orlando the day before and traveled together on the Disney bus to the Port.

The trick is to arrange ahead of time and get everyone in the time sync as far as timing goes. We all boarded together and while some went to check the ship out otheres went to make reservations, etc.

I would definately encourage everyone to get there the day before. You might not all be able to do everything together but find a meeting spot were everyone can gather for at least one afternoon. Good luck and have a great cruise.

CruisinPetey
06-17-2004, 10:24 PM
I traveled with 25 other family members on the cruise. We all had different travel arrangements getting to the port. We all got on at different times and got our staterooms, then did different things. We planned to meet on a certain deck during the sail away party. We also ran into each other before that since our rooms were close by. It worked out great, and there was no stressing out about when other people would arrive.

Petey