New to Cruising - a few questions
We normally make our annual pilgrimage to WDW but this year we are thinking of taking advantage of the kids free promo, booking an inside stasteroom and doing a 4 day cruise in April from Miami. We have never been on a cruise of any kind. I have a few questions......
1) We are planning on staying at a value resort for 2 days prior to the cruise. Will we be able to take the DCL bus from there to the Port in Miami or is that just for airport to port etc. Then can we take it back to the resort.
2) It says dining, room, entertainment free but other than tipping are there any 'extra' hidden charges not included in the Cruise cost.I just like to be prepared and not nickle and dimed to death.
3) If we have to drive to the port in Miami, is there ample parking and how much is it?
4) We might fly down also but not sure how long a lead time from Airport to boarding or unloading to flight time I should consider.
DCL does not offer transportation between the WDW Resorts and the Port of Miami. They offer transportation between MIA and the port only.
2 - Alcoholic drinks, smoothies, bingo, port excursions, specialty coffees, Palo (adult-only dining), room service tips, spa services are some of the "extras" that pop to my mind.
3 & 4 - I can't help you at all
I'll try to help:
1) DCL does not offer transportation between WDW and the Port of Miami, only to Port Canaveral. I believe there are transfers offered from Miami airport to the port.
2) You can do a cruise with no additional "fees" beyond cruise fare, transportation, and tipping. You can pre-pay the tips and have no additional charges onboard. Other charges you COULD incur (at your choice) are for alcoholic beverages and related tips, special beverages (smoothies, kids' light-up drink cup, etc.), snacks sold at the theater (you can bring in snacks from the buffet upstairs), port excursions, spa services, souveniers, and room service tips (most room service food is free but a small tip is expected).
3) sorry, I'm not familiar with parking at the Port of Miami
4) Most domestic flights suggest arrival at the airport 1-2 hours prior to flight time. If it's a larger airport (like MCO or MIA) then you want to be on the 2 hour end of that as there can be long lines at security; if your local airport is small you might get away with arriving an hour prior. DCL recommends flight arrivals no later than noon on embarkation day a the start of your cruise, and departures no earlier than 11:30 on debarkation day at the end of your cruise - though most passengers are off the ship well before 9:00am but consider travel time to the airport and then time to get through security and to your gate.
Enjoy your cruise!
2) On our first four day, we had very few additional expenses. We brought on our own Disney gear, so didn't hit the on-board gift shop for souvenirs and Pirate night accessories. I did some pin trading, but only bought one pin onboard. We didn't buy any alcohol (but could have brought our own on-board for free). Soft drinks were available for free at the drink stations. We didn't do any spa services or specialty dining - we were too busy doing everything else, that we didn't miss it. We did Discovery Cove before the cruise, so we had our own snorkel gear with us to use at CC. We tipped a couple of bucks for room service Mickey bars while unpacking. I was so stuffed from the meals that I wouldn't dream of buying snacks at the theatres. Although this may sound like we were depriving ourselves, my bathroom scales told me otherwise when we got home.
The biggest expense items were some bingo cards and the standard tip rate. We were anticipating tipping more, but kept it to the standard tip since we had service that was average, at best.
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