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EmilyJ517 07-26-2013 11:37 AM

Help me choose!
My first post in the DCL forum because we are planning our first cruise!

As background, we are Disney lovers - DVC members and have been several times, especially over the last 5 years since we've had kids. BUT, we are not cruisers. I've always wanted to take one, but have been nervous about crowds and seasickness, and my DH pretty much has said he wants nothing to do with a giant ship packed like a sardine can full of people.

We are giving it a try though because our kids will be old enough (5 and 3) to go together to the kids clubs, which they have been dying to do since seeing them online. And they begged us. Spoiled. ::yes::

We are staying at WDW before the cruise and are debating between:

3 Day Bahamas Disney Dream leaving 12/5 from PC OR
4 Day Bahamas Disney Magic (after refurb!) leaving 12/4 from Miami

At first glance it seems that a 4 day cruise would be better, and a smaller ship would be better esp. since its going to be so updated. But it takes a day out of our WDW time (we are travelling with friends for that portion of the trip), and it leaves out of MIA, which is over 3 hrs from WDW.

We are thinking of staying on the ship in Nassau because the kids aren't really old enough for most excursions, nor are the tall enough for 90% of the Atlantis stuff. But if we had a 4 day, we might get off. Also - they are doing the holiday/Christmas party stuff and I am wondering if its going to be too hectic on a 3 day.

SOOOOO I'm confused. WWYD?! :worship: Thank you DCL experts! :)

TwinPrincessMermaids 07-26-2013 11:43 AM

What a great trip to look forward to!

At first, I would say Magic all the way, 4 days and new. But Miami is 'eh' to me. However, it does tend to be a little cheaper out of Miami if you can swing it.

Our first (and so far only) cruise was a 3 day Dream and it was beyond spectacular. But is there a reason you couldn't do a 4 Day Dream?

If 3 is all you can do, I say definitely do it. But if you can do 4 Day Dream, I would do that. It's got all the great activities and excellent crowd management, and PC is a bonus to me.

If Miami is no problem for you, then Magic 4 Day should be great. I'm sailing her in May, and can't wait to hear about her upgrades!

For me, the least sea sick I have ever been was on our Disney Dream this year. I think cruising around the Bahamas helps because the water is sheltered a bit by the islands, but seasons have a lot to do with it too. December will be different then our April, but the Disney ships are much sturdier I think then other cruise lines I have sailed. Best to bring something for sea sick just as a back up since weather is unpredictable.

If you love Disney World, you can't not but LOOVE Disney cruising. I am happy for your family! Welcome to the addiction.


EmilyJ517 07-26-2013 01:47 PM

Thanks for your input - so glad to hear you loved your first trip!! I am deciding between those two simply because of timing - we are traveling with friends right after Thanksgiving (either the 29th or 30th) for that first week in Dec so the end of that week is our jump off point for the cruise.

yeah - I've heard so many good things about Port Canaveral that I'm hesitant to go to Miami, but then I think even if its the most stressful few hours of my life, its a very small portion of the whole cruise. Sooo..not sure. I guess I'd better ask my hubby his opinion so he can think it matters! :lmao:

TwinPrincessMermaids 07-26-2013 02:17 PM

It all depends. Sometimes additional stress just isn't worth it to save a few bucks, depends on the savings. This will be my 3rd consecutive PC cruise. We just love it. Its easy to get to, beautiful to sail out of, and very low key. Miami is a bustling city and embarkation isn't nearly as easy, altho I personally haven't done a DCL in Miami (but earlier cruises we did.) I think we personally would not choose Miami, my parents don't like it, I don't like it, and we are going to go to Orlando anyway so we might as well save the transport money and hassle. May be different if flying straight into Miami but we aren't. Also we can drive 12 hrs to Orlando if we want to save $800 (and so far, we have both times!) and its an hour on top of that for PC.

If you were taking a 7 day cruise, I don't think the port would matter. Miami is a 4 hour drive from WDW. If you are already going to be in the Orlando vacinity, think of it as additional 8 hrs of driving for a 4 day cruise. To me, that is NOT worth it. You would be better off saving that 8 hrs and enjoying your trip more, so I would take the 3 day if that's all you can do. That is me personally. We did a 3 day after WDW and it was spectacular and so have a few friends of mine. I'm not sure I could justify 4 hrs of driving just to add one day on to your cruise. But you have to make that decision.

Again, if you are flying straight to Miami, it would be different. If you have to drive there, it's not worth it to me. Stay on property another day and enjoy it and then embark. A 3 Day Dream is a GREAT introduction to Disney cruising. And while you are there, you can book on board for 10% off and only half your usual deposit (10% of the cruise) and then you can book longer or see what other itinieraries they have.

For instance, I'm happy because we got the new Magic AND it's going out of PC! Seems like a lot of cruise lines are starting to fight over PC. Carnival just moved its new signature Sunshine there and switched out the Dream to NOLA. Disney has moved a lot of theirs there (happy for me, although I would be thrilled with NOLA or Mobile for driving, but who knows.) Anyway I hope that helps you to plan!

Others may have other opinions too to consider.

jrabbit 07-26-2013 02:22 PM

My vote is for the four night.

3 night cruise is really only 2 1/2 days - and its board, rush rush rush and off the ship.
4 nights is a bit more relaxed in that you don't just get settled and then are off of the ship.

Magic is smaller, and the common areas are better sized for the number of passengers. the Dream / Fantasy common areas (nightclubs, Walt Disney Theater, dinning rooms) seem to be undersized for the number of guests.

The Classic ships are Magical and Wonderful. They don't have the mid ship detective agency activity (you won't have time on a 3 night cruise to experience this) and the clubs probably are not as "cool" as on the new ships - but the Magic is getting a major overhaul in this area - so it could have an awesome "wow" factor.

You will get to know a few cast members and they you on the Classic Ships, there are just to many people on the new ships to develop any connection.

Either way --- It's All GOOD!!!

Tinkerboy00 07-26-2013 04:32 PM

My first thought for first time cruisers is to do the 3 day, so you can do WDW, leave out of Orlando and not worry about transportation etc to MIA.

However, you will be sorry when its over and wish you had that one more day! That's why we now only book the 7 days:rotfl2: and even that is not enough.

jdb in AZ 07-26-2013 04:37 PM

The four-day will be easier for you to manage your young kids. When they need a rest, your stateroom is just down the hall. Plenty of kid-friendly food to choose from, at no extra charge.

We haven't sailed on the Dream, but the Fantasy (same size) is just so massive -- your kids would get worn out hiking from one end to the other. We really prefer the smaller Magic and Wonder.

Your kids will be ready to spend more days going commando in the parks when they're older.

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