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VA_mouseman
03-25-2005, 04:32 PM
In preparation for a hoped-for October 7 night cruise, I went out last month to get the Passporters Guide to the DCL and Ports of Call. Argh! The 2nd edition is off the shelf in anticipation of the 3rd edition arriving the end of this month.

So, I've been dragging my feet on making a reservation because I want get the book to do some research. Anyway, I think that 'ship may have sailed' since now my wife and I have learned today that our preferred 'first dining' seating option is fully booked on the cruise dates we're aiming for.

Based on recommendations here, I got a quote this afternoon from Dreams Unlimited for a Cat. 8 room (room number 6008). The DU rebate offer ends March 31, the date my local Borders is expected to have the new Passporter book. I'm debating whether or not to change the res. to a Cat. 6.

So, I'll fire off here some of my main questions so that maybe I can make an educated decision before next Thursday.

1) The current DU instant rebate offer expires 3/31/05. Does anyone with experience with this travel agency know if this offer might be extended?

2) We have the late (8:30 PM) dining option. Our initial thought is that this is too late for our kids, but then again we're on vacation and the rules are different. It's my understanding that the late dining option also means you have the late breakfast time. Is this correct? What is the late breakfast time? Also, I believe this means we have the late departure off the boat on the last day?

3) My preference is for a Cat. 6 room with a veranda, but with kids I'm worried about the safety of the sliding door. How secure is the lock(s) for it? The illustration of the room shows the day beds (where our kids will be) right by the verandah. Are we going to worry all night that the kids will be able to easily get out to the deck??

4) Front, middle or back of the boat? Our reservation is holding us a room at the front.

5) Kids decks - one DS will be just past (older) the cutoff for a kids deck by a month. I suspect he'll want to be on the same kids deck with his brother. Am I tilting at windmills thinking that I can get this request?

I realize that most of these questions are probably addressed in other posts, so apologies in advance!

crisi
03-25-2005, 04:38 PM
The DU rebate offer has existed for several years....I don't think it will go away (though it might change)

What ages are your kids? A lot of people like late dining. Other people don't and it doesn't work. There is a waitlist for early and a chance that you could switch on the ship.

We had a cat 6 room with a 4 and 5 year old. There is a lock high up, the rails are covered in plexiglass (or solid) for "no climbing" and the door is hard to open. I'd say a six or seven year old might be able to open it (I needed to have the room steward show me how).

We sail off the aft elevators. Mid ship is most popular. Restaurants are to the aft, the entertainment is forward.

Kids move groups pretty effortlessly if they are close to the cutoff age - but generally only once. You'll need to ask the counselors though.

RichNKatHolly
03-25-2005, 05:09 PM
2) We have the late (8:30 PM) dining option. Our initial thought is that this is too late for our kids, but then again we're on vacation and the rules are different. It's my understanding that the late dining option also means you have the late breakfast time. Is this correct? What is the late breakfast time? Also, I believe this means we have the late departure off the boat on the last day?

4) Front, middle or back of the boat? Our reservation is holding us a room at the front.



I have an opinion on these 2 quests only, sorry.

2- the last dining option nearly ruined our cruise in Jan. We have a 1.5 and 3.5 yo - they NEVER made it to dinner (as well as most of the other kids sitting at that time). If you don't make it to dinner, there is nowhere else to get anything decent to eat! No casual buffet like on other lines. You can get the limited room service (so,so) or go upstairs for pizza, tacos or chicken fingers. So, not what I paid this premium for. In hindsite I probably could've sent my DH off to order for us and take it back to the room, but what an ordeal that would've been. Many other parents at our dining time were quite upset too - all teh kids where either snoozing at the table or very cranky. This time we made sure we got the early sitting or we were NOT booking!

4 - we were at the very front on floor 7 (room 7500) and felt no motion. Also because we were that far front there was hardly no hallway action in front of our room. Very quiet!

HTH!

pdarrah
03-25-2005, 05:21 PM
The early vs late dining is really dependant on your family. We LOVED late seating with our DS5. He actually only ate with us once - he prefered to have room service or get food up near the pool and then go to the kid club for the evening. His plans would have been the same no matter what seating we had, but for DH and I the late seating was much more relaxing. We're from the Central time zone so eating at 8:30pm EST is like 7:30 for us and that's pretty close to our normal time - Eating at 4:30 for our time zone would have felt WAY too early.

Although dinner is "family time" at home - we had tons of family time during the day on the cruise and during DS5's dinner, so we didn't feel we had to require it at our dinner. Having "adult time" at dinner certainly has its plusses!

Good luck with your choices! If you choose the Oct 22nd Western, come visit the rest of us on the "meets" board.

pdarrah

two-foxes
03-25-2005, 05:32 PM
In preparation for a hoped-for October 7 night cruise, I went out last month to get the Passporters Guide to the DCL and Ports of Call. Argh! The 2nd edition is off the shelf in anticipation of the 3rd edition arriving the end of this month.

So, I've been dragging my feet on making a reservation because I want get the book to do some research. Anyway, I think that 'ship may have sailed' since now my wife and I have learned today that our preferred 'first dining' seating option is fully booked on the cruise dates we're aiming for.

Based on recommendations here, I got a quote this afternoon from Dreams Unlimited for a Cat. 8 room (room number 6008). The DU rebate offer ends March 31, the date my local Borders is expected to have the new Passporter book. I'm debating whether or not to change the res. to a Cat. 6.

So, I'll fire off here some of my main questions so that maybe I can make an educated decision before next Thursday.

1) The current DU instant rebate offer expires 3/31/05. Does anyone with experience with this travel agency know if this offer might be extended?

2) We have the late (8:30 PM) dining option. Our initial thought is that this is too late for our kids, but then again we're on vacation and the rules are different. It's my understanding that the late dining option also means you have the late breakfast time. Is this correct? What is the late breakfast time? Also, I believe this means we have the late departure off the boat on the last day?

3) My preference is for a Cat. 6 room with a veranda, but with kids I'm worried about the safety of the sliding door. How secure is the lock(s) for it? The illustration of the room shows the day beds (where our kids will be) right by the verandah. Are we going to worry all night that the kids will be able to easily get out to the deck??

4) Front, middle or back of the boat? Our reservation is holding us a room at the front.

5) Kids decks - one DS will be just past (older) the cutoff for a kids deck by a month. I suspect he'll want to be on the same kids deck with his brother. Am I tilting at windmills thinking that I can get this request?

I realize that most of these questions are probably addressed in other posts, so apologies in advance!

1) My experience with DU is they are pretty strict with their limited time offers. Although I have great things to say about DU (have used them to book 3 cruises), AAA or Costco may be worth checking out as well. AAA has a $150 stateroom credit offer.

2) I didn't see where you are from....we are from Colorado, so with the time difference, the late seating suited us fine as far as dining time. You do get to have "late breakfast" on the last day, which is, if I recall correctly 8:00 am...so not really late, but the early breakfast is at 6:30.

3) As a pretty strong 31 year old woman, I had difficulty opening the veranda door in our cat 6. So much so that I told them I thought it was broken, but it wasn't fixed in our two weeks on the ship, so I am guessing it is supposed to be not easy to open. The lock is probably about about 6 feet high or so. Talk with your kids about safety (easy to say that I am not a parent ;) ) but I'd think all would be okay.

4) Middle or back. We have not ever had front, mainly because I suffer from motion sickness and that is the portion that tends to feel the motion the most from what I've read. I'll let you know after our Sept cruise. We are WAAAAYYYYY up front :sad2:

5) No kids...can't help there.

Good Luck.

3redheads
03-25-2005, 06:37 PM
I am also from No Va :)

We had a category 6 and the beds turn into bunk beds, which we didn't know and are right by the verandah. We were aft and had no trouble with room location.

Kids loved the clubs and ate with us (early dining) then went to clubs until about 11:30, after the movie was over.

Hope this helps a bit.

Kim

aprilgail2
03-25-2005, 06:55 PM
The only day you would have "late" breakfast would be the last day of the cruise...other than that you can eat when you want (other than the character breakfast on the 7 day cruise). I have had verandahs twice now and both time the lock was broken...the first cruise it would not lock, we called and they came and "fixed" it but it broke again the next day....the 2nd time it wouldn't open and they had to jam it so it stayed in the unlock position the whole cruise...if we locked it they had to come back with a screwdriver to open it so we left it unlocked the whole time. My 4 year old could pull the door open but ONLY when we left it ajar, if it was closed all the way she couldn't budge it.

VA_mouseman
03-25-2005, 06:56 PM
Thanks all for the comments.

We're in the EST, so the time zone is the same for us.

We're looking at the 15 October Eastern cruise -- celebrating my big 4 Oh.

Good to hear that the veranda door is tough to open. The idea of having that private veranda is very appealing!

I belong to both AAA and Costco, so I should check out their quotes as well.

keishashadow
03-25-2005, 07:58 PM
Thought I was the only 1st timer waiting for the new passporter before booking. Don't hold your breath for a March release. I've had the 3rd edition ordered from Borders for a month, they called me a week ago and said it's delayed (again) until April 7th.

I, too, was getting nervous watching dates fill up. Hoping we'll get the necessary time off work next year, we picked a Land/Sea Pkg for February.

Actually got the confirmation in the mail today from DCL.

tvguy
03-25-2005, 08:24 PM
I have an opinion on these 2 quests only, sorry.

2- the last dining option nearly ruined our cruise in Jan. We have a 1.5 and 3.5 yo - they NEVER made it to dinner (as well as most of the other kids sitting at that time). If you don't make it to dinner, there is nowhere else to get anything decent to eat! No casual buffet like on other lines. You can get the limited room service (so,so) or go upstairs for pizza, tacos or chicken fingers. So, not what I paid this premium for. In hindsite I probably could've sent my DH off to order for us and take it back to the room, but what an ordeal that would've been. Many other parents at our dining time were quite upset too - all teh kids where either snoozing at the table or very cranky. This time we made sure we got the early sitting or we were NOT booking!

!

HTH!

RichNKatHolly, there is a buffet dinner at Topsiders, sorry you missed it, it is listed in the Navigators. We didn't use it, but many on this board mention the food is wonderful.

As stated by others, late versus early seating is a matter of personal preference. Getting ready for dinner in time for early seating can be tough, especially on port days. For some, keeping kids up for late seating can be tough.
We're west coasters, so late seating is really eating early for our body clocks.....however, we had last seating on our Alaska cruise on HAL and found it very relaxing....no hurry to get to dinner, no hurry to eat dinner. A late afternoon snack and a little nap can do a lot to help kids with late seating.

How anyone with a job and active kids who normally eats dinner as early as 6 pm at home is beyond me. By the time we get the kids home from soccer/baseball and everyone home from work it's usually 6:30, and only then can we BEGIN to prepare to fix dinner, unless we get lazy and go to McDonalds!!!

aprilgail2
03-25-2005, 08:28 PM
How anyone with a job and active kids who normally eats dinner as early as 6 pm at home is beyond me. By the time we get the kids home from soccer/baseball and everyone home from work it's usually 6:30, and only then can we BEGIN to prepare to fix dinner, unless we get lazy and go to McDonalds!!!

I work full time but when my daughter gets home from school at 340 she eats dinner then, either I leave something to heat up for her or my mom will be here and cook her something..She has activities starting at 5pm s if she didn't eat early she wouldn't eat until late..so 6pm dinner is even late for her..I don't know what I would do if we had to have late dinner at 830, no way could she eat that late. I couldn't eat that late either or I would be sick to my stomach trying to lay down and go to sleep wit hall that food in it.

RichNKatHolly
03-26-2005, 06:48 AM
RichNKatHolly, there is a buffet dinner at Topsiders, sorry you missed it, it is listed in the Navigators. We didn't use it, but many on this board mention the food is wonderful.

As stated by others, late versus early seating is a matter of personal preference. Getting ready for dinner in time for early seating can be tough, especially on port days. For some, keeping kids up for late seating can be tough.





Hi TvGuy. Were you on a 7 night cruise? The 3 and 4 nights do not have dinner buffets. We didn't even know until we tried to find one the first night. I have read that the 7 nights do have it and the 3 and 4 only have kid's buffets through the kid's clubs.

Again, I was just giving an opinion. but it did seem that several of the other parents in the late seating were sharing our problem but maybe they were like us and used to eating by 5 or 6pm. My kids are still young so our day ends fairly early. 8pm is bedtime around here :teeth:

jrabbit
03-26-2005, 12:25 PM
If you can't wait for the new passporter try this link to the Magical Disney Cruise Guide (http://www.allearsnet.com/cruise/mdcg.pdf). It's got a lot of info.

NOTE: This is a PDF file so you need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

VA_mouseman
03-26-2005, 07:41 PM
If you can't wait for the new passporter try this link to the Magical Disney Cruise Guide (http://www.allearsnet.com/cruise/mdcg.pdf). It's got a lot of info.

Wow! What a great article. Thanks for the tip.

jacobatt1
03-26-2005, 08:11 PM
Hi--we had late seating on our October cruise with a DD5 and DS9. This first night my DD5 fell asleep at dinner, and my DS9 wasn't far behind, but we were on a land/sea, and we had just done 4 days at WDW!!! The other nights we took a breather at about 4 or 5 (after swimming all day, my kids will nap or at least lie down for a bit) and then went to the 6:30 shows and dinner worked fine. If your kids like the clubs that would work out well for them too while you eat dinner--ours ate with us since we had never been on a cruise before. You could ask to be on the waitlist for early seating and you might get it. Breakfast time only matters on the last day (or character breakfast on the 7 day), and you'll appreciate late dining then!!! :cool1:

The room with verandahs are VERY secure--believe me, I am a worrier! I had bad dreams about my kids jumping off the ship before we went, but when you get there, I doubt you'll feel that way. I could barely even open the door! The verandah is all plexiglassed in, so you don't even feel weird out there. We were midship, so we felt almost no motion, and I am very quick to feel sick with things like that, but I was fine.

I haven't had personal experience with switching a child in the club, but have read that they are very willing to work things out for you, so I don't think that being a month out of an age range would be a problem.

HTH! :flower:

Amy