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pewing
03-24-2005, 11:50 PM
I was just getting comfortable in WDW...and now we are thinking about heading out to sea with DCL.

I'm 'clueless' and in need of help :crazy:

What is included when you book a cruise? What is not. How much should we plan to spend over the amount of cruise?

Am I insane for thinking about taking and almost one year old? Our boys will be 9 and 11, but our princess will be a couple weeks shy of her first birthday.

What have other families of 5 done about staterooms. What has worked...and what has not?


Is it really worth the $$?

Thanks! :wave2:

dizney-cruiser
03-25-2005, 04:39 AM
hello!! it is funny - but we recently had a very similar question to yours - do you possibly have a spouse that might have posted? i dont travel with children - but would almost guarentee that all would have a wonderful time!

as far as what is included - all your food and soft drinks (unless ordered at a bar), coffee, tea and juice - and your on board entertainment - you will pay extra for alcohol, excursions and any of the professional photos you want from shutters

well worth the money in my opinion!!

there are several options for a family of five and im sure someone with more experience then i will soon post some options for you - but right off hand i know that some of the upper category rooms can have five people in them - but i think that most either get connecting rooms or rooms across the hall from each other

hope you decide to go with the cruise! in my opinion it is the most relaxing vacation you can ever take!! plus a ton of fun!!

DrCavin
03-25-2005, 08:08 AM
Most families with 5+ book 2 cat 6 or less rooms. Sometimes they get connecting rooms, others get a cat 6 & lower cat across hall. In order to get your entire family into one room you have to book at cat 4 or higher = $$$$

Many people travel with little children, so either we have a bunch of insane cruisers or it is just the norm :-)

tkd lisa
03-25-2005, 10:18 AM
But since the youngest is so young, you can still go with a 4 person stateroom. For this trip, I wouldn't spend the extra money. Since your kids are so young, you probably wouldn't want them in a room apart from you, which would mean you and your spouse would have to split up.

I'm assuming the baby will need a pack and play, since she's probably too young for a regular bed.

A couple of other things not in the standard prices:
1) Tips. They can seem pricey, but that's the main source of income for many of the people who will be making your trip magical.
2) Child care for the baby. Children 3 and up have child care included (usually 9 am through 1 am every day), but if you and your spouse want dinner at Palo (see next item), you'll need to have the baby at Flounders, which is an extra hourly cost. I'm not sure what it is, since my kids were older.
3) Palo. On the 7 day, there are 3 options available. Dinner ($10 per person), champagne brunch (I think that's $10 also), and High Tea (I'm not sure, but I kind of think that one's free, but you have to reserve it). Palo is an adult only restaurant, and it's really great food, well worth the money.
4) Souveniers. This is a widely varying cost. I've spent as little as $50 for my family of 4 on a 7 day cruise, but some people spend a lot. Each of your ports will have a variety of souveniers, and of course, Disney loves to get that $!

Hope you have a great time!

LAMPSKIES
03-25-2005, 10:42 AM
We've done 4 DCL sailings the last 4 years and my DDs are 15 and 12 now. We got 2 staterooms last year for the first time and LOVED IT!! Ours were across the hall but we felt DDs were
"old enough". I'd get 2 for a party of 5.
Don't get scared but we almost ALWAYS spend 300.00 per day on our "shipboard account". That includes tips (we are very generous) shore excursions, drinks (I love my miller lite and DDs love their smoothies), unlimited internet pkg., and a little gift shopping. It's amazing how it always work out to be that dollar amount. We also always order out x-mas cards from shutters (we sail in Nov.) which is included in our "tab".

DrCavin
03-25-2005, 10:54 AM
But since the youngest is so young, you can still go with a 4 person stateroom. For this trip, I wouldn't spend the extra money. Since your kids are so young, you probably wouldn't want them in a room apart from you, which would mean you and your spouse would have to split up.


I have always understood that no matter what age a child, it is counted toward the capacity of the room. You may only pay tax/port charges for them, but you can't put 5 people in a room designated as capacity of 4. Can someone verify this?????

mmouse37
03-25-2005, 11:16 AM
I have always understood that no matter what age a child, it is counted toward the capacity of the room. You may only pay tax/port charges for them, but you can't put 5 people in a room designated as capacity of 4. Can someone verify this?????


You are correct....even if the child is under one and you only have to pay port charges....their body still counts toward cabin occupancy...the lowest cat the OP could get would a be a Cat 4 that holds 5 or two separate cabins!!

logan1_2000
03-25-2005, 12:31 PM
The OP can find excellent and extensive info on this board, but since the "newbie" aspect includes several basic Q's about cruises, not just Disney Cruises, you might also benefit from a good cruising book in the travel section of your bookstore, I think the latest one I picked up was Frommers, but not sure. I typically skip all the intro chapters, but those would answer a lot of your basic Q's. You have many genuine issues, like the fact that 5 travelers on DCL requires 2 staterooms or cat. 4 or higher, and that becomes a budget consideration. Disney is absolutely family friendly, but you know your 9 and 11 year old best, and perhaps they might also enjoy RCCL if the budget ends up drastically more manageable with them on their mega ships. Your little princess, in all fairness, will remember none of it, so perhaps she might appreciate the princesses on board the Wonder and Magic more when she is 5. I find that DCL can just about keep my DS now 9 occupied, because it is not the most "Active" ship for children--there is the one basketball court, and the programming can sometimes be a bit more story-telling and, well, Disney-ish , than a sportskid (his own term for himself) desires. But if y'all love Disney, it really is special, and though WDW is more expensive than several other vacations, the parks show no shortage of patrons...

It is fun to learn about cruises in general, and DCL cruises in particular, and the all-inclusiveness (while others can really spend spend spend on a ship-board account, we were under $100 other than tips for a 4 day wonder for 3 of us in january), so that ice cream and drinks and snacks and cookies and whatever and movies and all the shows are all included. Happy times to you in learning the answers to your newbie Q's, and i do hope that when the answers are found, the DCL option is a good fit (a good TA who specializes in cruises and takes the time to ask about you and your family is also worth finding).

daisy112878
03-25-2005, 01:27 PM
We are going on our first disney cruise in sept. You will learn a lot from this board. Definitly check out special travel agent prices before making your decision. We found Dreams Unlimited to be the cheapest when we booked our sept cruise. Also there's All Seasons, Costco (if you have a membership), and AAA. Almost any TA will be cheaper then DCL directly.