View Full Version : Never been on a cruise before. Questions.
07-16-2005, 11:54 AM
Our family has never been on a cruise before & we were looking into going with Disney (of course!). We are family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids ages 4,6,9). I was checking out the Disney cruise website & they only offer category "4" staterooms. I read you could also get two category "9" or "10" but would that cost more than a "4"? Since my guys are still young we really don't need 2 baths or 2 rooms. We'd have to go when school is out sometime in the later half of 2006. Possibly Thanksgiving or after Christmas..even August would be o.k. but how do hurricanes affect a big cruise ship..do they cancel the sailing or not? Looking at the 4 day cruise (seems like a nice introduction to cruising if you have never been)...I literally do not know where to start as far as booking this...any advice for a first timer would be appreciated. :boat:
Category 4 might be the lowest one that accommodates 5 people.
You might want to compare the price of a category 4 with two lower category cabins. You might be able to get two connecting cabins in a lower category at a lower cost.
Check some of the online travel agents for better pricing than DCL offers. We use Cruise.com and Costco Travel (not online), but there are many other good ones too.
07-16-2005, 12:31 PM
The first 2 people in any cabin are charged as adults. So, if you do the 2 cabin routine, your 2 oldest children will pay adult rates. Technically, you must book an adult in each cabin, but DCL doesn't care where you really sleep. The point people were making is that it is sometimes cheaper to book 2 category 9,10,or 11 rooms rather than a category 4. Whether it is cheaper or not depends on the category you choose and the season you sail. The only way to know for sure is to price it out both ways.
We've sailed 5 times during hurricane season. Only in 2004 did it really impact our cruise. The captain will alter the course if needed to keep you in the smoothest waters possible. The ships have great stabilizers, so motion is usually not a problem. Motion is least in the lower parts of the ship and the more central parts.
At the ages of your kids, I'd seriously consider taking them out of school and doing an "off season" cruise. September, October, and January/February are relatively inexpensive. Sept. is my favorite because it is always warm, but I can see not taking them out as soon as school starts. Do they have any sort of fall break for teacher in-service or conference days? If you plan it right, you might be able to do the cruise and only miss a day or 2 of school.
07-16-2005, 02:58 PM
I was last on a DCL cruise when I was 10, and my two younger brothers were 8 and 6, just bumped two years ahead of your kids.
I believe that my family and relatives (there were 10 of us going) booked one category 3 room and one category 4 room with a family in each room (2 adults, 3 kids in each family). My family was in the category 4 room, and it was great. It was a great size, and there were enough spaces for us to sleep in (my brothers got the bunk bed, while I got the rollaway, but that's what you get for being the oldest and the only girl). It was also great because my then-8 year old brother was deathly afraid of heights, water, and boats and being on a cruise didn't help. So he did have some nightmares, but our parents were just a hop, skip and jump away from the bunk beds and could help him in a flash.
But if you do choose two category 9s, 10s, or 11s, make sure to get connecting rooms so as your little ones won't have to go in the hall and knock on your door or remember a room key in case of "accidents" or nightmares.
Also, our cruise was in April, during Spring Break time. Well, the general time anyways because there are different times for different schools. We went on the 7 day land-sea cruise, and the parks were extremely crowded. We waited in line for lines that we could wait in line for half the time at Disneyland on the same day (we've been to Disneyland on Spring break, and it was only half as crowded). The cruise and ports were crowded too, especially Castaway Cay, even though it was only our cruise. My suggestion is to go on a 4 day cruise on inservice days special to your district- mine has about 30 of those. That way, your kids only miss one day of school. And, as a word of advice, go in March or October, or another month that conflicts with no long breaks and isn't super cold or in hurricane season.
Hope this helps!
07-17-2005, 09:59 AM
My SIL, who has 3 kids had a problem booking rooms for our most recent cruise on July 2. We booked this cruise after our Carribean cruise last September 2004 and yet she was unable to get connecting rooms. Anyway, the bottomline is book early!
When we booked again for Oct 2006, she was told that it is always cheaper to book two cat 10 adjoining rooms that one cat 4 room. I'm not sure how much the difference was but I personally prefer the two rooms because you can spread out, you have two 1 1/2 baths, plus your kids can enjoy the extra bunk bed (kids always "fight" about this).
Christmas, Easter and summer rates are always more expensive. You'll always get the cheapest rates in September, followed by October and then January (after the holidays there is a little slump). Again, as an example when we booked for Oct 2006, we had a price quote for July 2006 and the difference is lieratally HALF! We've cruised twice during hurricane season before and have no problems doing it again.
BTW, I do not have to worry about booking like my SIL because I only have two kids. :goodvibes I have to agree wih kcashner that it comes out really more expensive either way because they have to book the first two people in any cabin, the price of an adult even though a child ends up staying there.
Good luck. You have made the right decision to consider Disney as your firsrt cruise! And you'll probably be hooked, like we have! :rotfl2:
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