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Old 10-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
disneybound08
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Tips for Canadian Disney Dream cruisers?

We will be setting sail on our very first cruise on March 10th! We are sailing on the Dream! We are getting so excited as the time gets closer. Any Canadian DISers have any tips for us? I've been searching the boards but can't seem to find many Canadian perspectives. I'm wondering specifically about how arrival and disembarkation will vary for us. I'm also wondering what to pack, because it seems the weather can be so variable in March. We will also be staying at Disney before (POFQ) and after (POP) so I'm still trying to decide between booking Disney transfers to Port versus hiring a car service. Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
grantclaire
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We will be on the same cruise! Our 5th on DCL. For the first cruise we took the Disney shuttle to the port. It was fine and took some of the worry away. Now we rent a car and stay the night before at the port. The Disney transfers are more expensive then some other options. The Dream is a beautiful ship! You will love Castaway Cay. Been on 2 cruises in March and the weather in the Bahamas has been great. One tip I have is pack your swim suits in a carryon and hit the pools and the Aquaduck as soon as you can. The pools can get very busy!
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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The check in and departure procedures are the same. Although I believe Customs at the port had a separate line for non-US citizens. (once upon a time non US had to get up early to disembark but no more)

We have cruise the last week in Feb and needed sweatshirts to be out on deck at night so plan on some layers.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
darwinsrule
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Three DCL cruises and we have used the resort transfers for every single one. Yes you can get cheaper by booking a town car service, however we are always willing to pay for convenience. For us we love the fact that we can check the bag in Buffalo when we get to the airport and have the bags show up in our room at WDW. Same thing with the DCL transfer. They show up at your room around 8 am to collect your bags and the next time you see them they are outside your cabin.

We are on the Fantasy leaving on the day before you. We get into MCO late Friday and plan on staying at the airport and then using the transfers Saturday morning.

Wish I could provide advice on weather but this will be our first March trip. Just go, take it easy and enjoy the experience. Don't try and do everything, just go at your pace and enjoy the cruise.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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We are on the same cruise and it is our first as well! We have never really had a lot of interest in cruising but we were looking for something different this year. We are driving through the Florida Keys and staying in Key West for five nights before our cruise so I can't help with the transportation. We will be renting a car and staying at the Residence Inn at the port.

Now that it is booked, we are so excited! I'm not sure why we waited so long, lol. I'm a planner so I'm also checking for any tips and useful info I can find. Can't wait until March!
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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We did this same thing this March break! Stayed on property @ Universal before and POFQ after our dream cruise.

Previous poster is correct on the convenience of transfers from the airport. When transferring from a resort though, it's a little different.

The coaches leave a lot later. Although I wasn't anxious to be the first at the port, I did want to get on board as soon as possible! When researching this,before we decided to do Unversal beforehand, we discovered that the transfers don't leave the Disney resorts until about noon, sometimes later, and often have to stop at a number of resorts.

Also for 4 of us the transfers were more expensive than booking a town car.

One other point that I thought I'd share, that I read on these boards before we went....
If you get to the port and it's busy, there is actually a Non-Us Citizen check-in line. Just ask one of the cast members directing you. There was no-one in that queue and check-in was a breeze!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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We cruised with Disney in January 2011 and stayed at the POFQ afterwards. We rented a car and drove to Cocoa Beach the night before. We used Budget (lots of good online discount codes) and it was probably half the cost of the Disney transfer. The added benefit is that we then had use of a car the evening before our cruise, so we made a run out to Target to pick up some last minute things for the cruise (Bonine, for example).

We dropped the car off the next morning at Budget and caught their free shuttle to the port. Super easy.

We did elect to use the Disney transfer after our cruise to take us to POFQ. Thought we would be on one of the nice coaches but got stuck in a crappy shuttle van. For $120, I thought it was a rip off.

Enjoy your trip! We loved the Disney cruise (our kids still talk about it). POFQ was lovely too - the rooms had just been refurbished when we went and everything was brand new.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
grantclaire
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Getting on the Dream and Fantasy can be a challenge sometimes at Port Canerval if too many show up at the same time before 11 am. One plus with the DCL bus is they know when you will be arriving. Some cruisers like to arrive early to get an early boarding number and get on the ship as soon as possible(totally understand) others would like to arrive after 1 PM when the lineups are shorter. Not much to do in the terminal while waiting, not enough seats. Make sure you do online checkin and have all the forms with you. Also there is a security check at the port, will check carryons etc. Once they call your boarding number you can board the ship. there will be pictures taken if you like and your family will be annouced as you enter. Staff will let you know about lunch options and away you go!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantclaire
Getting on the Dream and Fantasy can be a challenge sometimes at Port Canerval if too many show up at the same time before 11 am. One plus with the DCL bus is they know when you will be arriving. Some cruisers like to arrive early to get an early boarding number and get on the ship as soon as possible(totally understand) others would like to arrive after 1 PM when the lineups are shorter. Not much to do in the terminal while waiting, not enough seats.
We did b2b on the Dream last summer and saw both sides of this. First leg we were on the bus from Beach Club. We got to the port around 1:20, the were no lines and it was walk on once you checked in. We spent the morning at BC swimming and generally relaxing. Second leg of a b2b you basically go straight back upstairs to check back in and you do get to board first once the ship is clear. By that point they had openned the doors to the terminal and it was a complete zoo. I get the desire to get on the ship asap, given the two choices (esp if you have kids), my vote is for the resort pool and arriving later.
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