WDW after makes more sense...to us.
One of the many things I see on the DCL threads is that people enjoy going to WDW first then the cruise instead of WDW after the cruise. We booked our first Cruise/WDW trip for this September - 4 night aboard the dream. The WDW before or after issue got me thinking. So I analyzed it.
Cruise then WDW
Sat. - leave house about 6am and drive down to Downtown Disney. Do dinner and other things and then head to hotel by port.
Sun - cruise starts
Thur - cruise ends, drive over to WDW, check in and be to park by 11.
Friday and Saturday - parks
Sunday - a 2-3 hours in park then head home.
So in the above we do a 4 night cruise and 3 nights at WDW. We get two full days at WDW, one mostly full day and then one with a few hours. In this scenario I would only need to take 5 days off from work.
WDW then Cruise.
Thurs - leave house about 6am and drive to WDW. Check in and at parks probably about 3pm.
Friday & Saturday - parks
Sunday - park for 2-3 hours and then to port.
Sunday - Thurs - cruise.
Thurs - leave cruise and then head home.
So in the above we do a 4 night cruise and 3 nights at WDW. We get two full days at WDW, 1 half day, 1 day with a few hours. In this scenario I would need to take 6 days off from work.
Doing the Cruise then WDW seems less rushed and gives us more time plus that little extra time at DTD.
Love to hear comments and other people's experiences.
We are also doing our first cruise/WDW split this year. Option 1: Stay at WDW 8/31 until 9/5. On 9/5 leave for port and return from cruise on 9/8. Option 2: Leave port on 9/1, arrive back 9/5 and check into WDW until 9/8 or 9/9 (planning on going with 9/9 for right now). We chose option 2 in case we do not love the cruise at least we know we love WDW, lol. Plus, I wanted to do something different for our anniversary and we'll be on the cruise then so it works great!! Going to WDW afterwards just sounds better to me.
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This is the same conclusion we came to as well. The timing of the cruise answered the question for us because we only want to use 5 vacation days. I think I would prefer wdw first, but at least now I still have something to look forward to when I get of the wonderful ship.
I would do either (and we have done both before) but we prefer to do WDW first as we take WDW commando style and look forward to relaxing on the cruise.
Also, there was a reason that when DCL did the official land/sea combo package they ALWAYS had the WDW portion first. One of the main reasons was to alleviate your possibly missing the cruise due to late or delayed flights getting into MCO. If you do WDW first and your flight is delayed or cancelled the worse case scenario is that you miss some resort and/or park time (much less logistics involved)....if you have the cruise first and your flight is significantly delayed or cancelled you can miss the ship and that means a whole lot of logistics to get you to the next port.
So, as long as you book an early enough flight and or are driving it should be no problem but just something to think about.
We also did "surf & turf" rather than "land & sea" - it really was just the timing that dictated it for us. We wanted the 4-night cruise rather than 3-night, but had to fit it all into the same calendar week (plus weekends). So doing WDW first just didn't "fit" our parameters. I also had heard that cruising last was preferred, but we loved our vacation. As I have heard others mention, WDW after the cruise helps to prolong the Disney feel rather than the immediate let-down right off the ship. But then again, there is always that let-down whenever we head for home.
Enjoy your cruise!
Either would be fine I mean what could be wrong with a Disney vacation. We did a 5 night cruise in June and WDW after. It was our first cruise buy 7th WDW trip. The one thing I will say is that we were so relaxed after the cruise that it was a big adjustment to make. The cruise is nice because everything is an elevator ride away. WDW was lines, waiting for transportation, crowds and paying for our meals without our server waiting on us :rotfl2: So as long as you go into it knowing that you'll be relaxed and then busy, you'll be just fine!!
You don't say what kind of tickets you have. We only go to the parks on days we can stay from opening until closing. We use 10 day NE passes. You would be using four days worth of tickets but only spending three days worth of time in the parks.
For a Sun- Thurs cruise with a car for the OP that makes sense.
Out of driving range brings other considerations into play. for us:
First, travel allowances for any delays
Second, time change of 3 hours
Three, family in area (4 hour drive one way)
Four, maximizing the cost of airfare by including the family visit (need minimum of 2 weeks vacation to pull it off, plus weekends on both ends)
Our scenario includes a flight from Seattle and having to allow for any delays due to weather. Our cruise was Dec 8. We flew out the 6th.
Direct flight to MCO (one per day) Leaves around 9am pacific time and arrives MCO 5:15. (Have to head to the airport from our house at 5 am)
Non direct flights left earlier and arrived later.
We flew out two days before just in case of flight cancellations, weather, snow or ice. Figured once in the air we have a good chance of both us and the luggage arriving on time. This plane basically flies there and then flies back in one day. Best chance of avoiding delays. Advised not to fly in with less than 24 hours before boarding the ship on the dis.
One time we did the overnight redeye (weekend only)and we were exhausted. That was a wasted day and everyone was cranky, not in true DIsney spirits.
For the cruise, with the time difference, we wanted one morning to sleep in and be rested. Fear of being too exhausted to hear an unusual alarm clock/non functioning alarm clock.
What we did
Flew in on Thursday for Sat 7 day cruise.
Post cruise 4 night WDW stay, then family 6 night (7 nights) stay
2 night post family stay WDW with late arrival
We were so spoiled on the cruise and had such fantastic servers that the parks were a let down in comparison.
On the pros of precruise stay
Excitement is high and everything seemed fantastic.
Allowed time for any lost luggage to catch up before boarding the cruise.
Taking the DCL transport from resort made the anticipation even better.
One con- maybe- being too excited about the cruise to enjoy it- the "Are we there yet?" concept
Pros of postcruise stay
Time to get your landlegs back.
Last minute shopping. Time to mail things home
Cons of postcruise stay
You notice the difference in food and cleanliness more. Fantasy was so new it had the new ship smell. WDW seemes old and tired in comparison afterwards.
For us, the best flight home is after 5pm. Flying home day of disembarkation would be a very long day. Leaving on a non direct flight gets us home at the same time. Makes for a nice leisurely lunch.
Our plan for next time.
Fly in, stay the night. Go to DTD. Sleep
Get rental car. Go see family.
Return to park do the vacation then.
Do the cruise.
Stay max 2 nights post cruise. (that gives us one full day and 2 partial days)
Hope that helps someone else process what would work best for them.
Definitely a let down to have to actually pay for everything in the park after you have had 7-days of just ordering it onboard. :scared1: Of course, you have already paid a lot for that to be included, but it gives the illusion while on the cruise. ;)
(have to add we were also there in September and are DVC)
We ended up purchasing annual passes.
In future we will plan that part better as well.
Of course you have to do what logistically makes the most sense for your family and situation.
Personally we wouldn't do WDW after the cruise again.
When we did the parks before, we were excited, and the lines didn't seems so long.
Afterwards there were a few things we noticed.
1) We still had sea legs and didn't feel great. Some of the rides weren't pleasant :goodvibes
2) We felt so relaxed and wonderful coming off the cruise, but 2 days in the parks and we were frazzled again!
3) We had never noticed before at wdw, but after the cruise the parks seemed dirty? I don't know...just not so sparkling!
4) The accommodation also seemed cheap and old. Guess we were just spoilt!
5) Suddenly you feel the food is really expensive! I remember having a counter service breakfast the first morning - kids had a waffle and it came with a couple of pieces of bacon. Our youngest said 'Please can I go back for some more bacon' But that was not an option! :goodvibes They'd got used to the cruising' style!
We still had a good time, but it was not as 'magical' immediately post-cruise.
Just our experience.
I have done them both ways we are DVC and the points are less during the week which has a big part of it. In Dec we did the 3 day dream and 1 day pre stay and 3 nights at post. Had a great time.
I've done both and before works better for me. We did a 4 night cruise and then 4 days in the parks in January. I was "landsick" for the first 2 days after the cruise and constantly felt like I was still moving. It made the parks a little less enjoyable!
We have done it both ways, and we prefer WDW then the cruise. When we did the cruise prior to the World, we were wondering where the kids club was on day 2:rotfl: It's difficult to go from the laid-back relaxation of a cruise to the running of the parks. I love the parks, but I think it's best to do them first and unwind on the cruise:thumbsup2 Have a great trip!
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