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Old 11-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #1
DobieLover
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Several questions regarding Disney Magic Galveston 8 Day Bahamas cruise

My husband and I have cruised a couple of other lines a few times, our kids have never cruised... That said, we have booked an 8 day cruise to the Bahamas departing from Galveston on March 1st. Our ports of call are Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, and Key West. If it applies to any questions, our boys will be 7 and 10, our girl will be 4.

1. Are there any lanyard type things we can buy in advance for the kids to hold onto their room keys?

2. I read about some type of phone/text device that should be in our cabin, I think we get 2 of them. Is there a charge for using them?

3. Also a lot of confusion regarding passports... are they required? My husband and I have them, as does our 10yo, but the 2 younger ones do not as of yet...

4. Do we have to wait until we're on the ship to register the kids for the youth clubs?

5. For those of you that have done Port Canaveral as a stop, rather than embarkation/debarkation, a one day park hopper and transportation to WDW is included in cruise fare, correct?

6. Any "don't miss" things we should know about?

I know I've got a dozen other questions, but that's all I can think of right at the moment. Thanks in advance for any information you're able to provide
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DobieLover View Post
My husband and I have cruised a couple of other lines a few times, our kids have never cruised... That said, we have booked an 8 day cruise to the Bahamas departing from Galveston on March 1st. Our ports of call are Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, and Key West. If it applies to any questions, our boys will be 7 and 10, our girl will be 4.

1. Are there any lanyard type things we can buy in advance for the kids to hold onto their room keys? You can look at WalMart, I've seen them there. They also have them for purchase onboard ($8.00)

2. I read about some type of phone/text device that should be in our cabin, I think we get 2 of them. Is there a charge for using them? There are 2 Wave Phones in the room, no charge. You can get additional phones (for a fee, as long as they last) at Guest Services.

3. Also a lot of confusion regarding passports... are they required? My husband and I have them, as does our 10yo, but the 2 younger ones do not as of yet... For US citizens, on a closed-loop cruise (beginning and ending the the same US port) the minimum ID necessary is a CERTIFIED birth certificate and (for those 16 and older) a government issued photo ID.

4. Do we have to wait until we're on the ship to register the kids for the youth clubs? You can pre-register online. But you need to check in for the clubs either in the terminal or onboard. It's my understanding that it's quicker onboard.

5. For those of you that have done Port Canaveral as a stop, rather than embarkation/debarkation, a one day park hopper and transportation to WDW is included in cruise fare, correct? Yes. You will select a bus time to go to WDW, but coming back you just go to the bus pickup area when you want.

6. Any "don't miss" things we should know about?

I know I've got a dozen other questions, but that's all I can think of right at the moment. Thanks in advance for any information you're able to provide
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
DobieLover
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thanks so much as far as selecting a bus time, can that be done online pre-cruise? also, since march 1 is too early for spring break, no school holidays really, is that a fairly uncrowded time to go?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DobieLover View Post
thanks so much as far as selecting a bus time, can that be done online pre-cruise? also, since march 1 is too early for spring break, no school holidays really, is that a fairly uncrowded time to go?
Sorry, I don't know the specifics of picking the bus time, as we haven't done this itinerary.

Spring break next year (in some states) starts as early as March 2, so I'm not sure that it will be uncrowded. Less than later in the month, but still somewhat busy is my guess.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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Do kids have to keep their room card on them? What would they need it for if they won't be without us except in the kids play area?
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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Do kids have to keep their room card on them? What would they need it for if they won't be without us except in the kids play area?
I usually keep my kids cards with me so they don't lose theirs. Mine are 10 & 8, and they don't have charging privileges.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DobieLover View Post
thanks so much as far as selecting a bus time, can that be done online pre-cruise? also, since march 1 is too early for spring break, no school holidays really, is that a fairly uncrowded time to go?
If you haven't already done so, you need to book your transportation to the parks NOW. Times fill up quick, I called DCL to get my time. You will need to let them know what partk you want transportation too. We did Animal Kingdom and then took the tram over the MK. Just off the same cruise Saturday, if you have nay questions let me know. Also see my Pre-Trip report Magic our way to WDW.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:00 AM   #8
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You would need to book the hotel in advance. Rooms are not guaranteed to be ready at any specific time, but are usually casual else for check in at 3pm. If you decide to book a room, choose a hotel that it a close to the park you'll be visiting.

Starwood brands runs the Dolphin and Swan over at Epcot (equivalent to a Sheraton and Westin). They may offer day rates - might be worth a call over there.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:36 AM   #9
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Just want to clarify if you we're able to book a room right on the bus on the way to disney world? Did disney bring it up as a option while you we're on the bus? Right now the cost for pop century is about $90.
Read the promo and make sure there's not a deadline for booking that price.

I shot an email via my iPhone to my TA/friend while we were on the ship waiting for the gangway to open at 6:30 the morning of our WDW day. I knew she got up early and would get my email. I could've booked the room myself standing there on the ship. I give her all my Disney bookings so I'm paying the love forward for a fellow Disney-lover. We went back and forth with a few emails to get all the particulars in order. We were at Epcot and already rode Test Track when I called her to give her an updated credit card number. I'd say it was around 8:30 or so before the reservation was made. I had the confirmation email before 9. We went over to Pop probably around noon or so. We realized it was a bit of a crap shoot as to whether the room would be available for us. Technically it doesn't have to be ready until 4. When I approached the check-in desk I explained we had come off the cruise ship, had been up since before 5, and didn't care what they had we were just desperate for a pillow and a blanket. The CM was super nice. We only got 1 room key, no room charge, kept it simple as possible. The room was ready and we were all out solid within 20 minutes of check-in. We did this in January during a typcially "slower" time so that may have increased our chances of arriving early to a room clean, prepped, and ready. Like I said, best $80 spent ever.

Honestly, if the weather was warmer when we were there I'd have rather spent the $$ for a room at Yacht or Beach Club and hung out at Stormalong Bay for the better part of the day. The parks are like a whole different type of vacation for us, it's such a stark contrast to go from the relaxation of the cruise to the hectic nature of the parks then back to the cruise. It felt like a square peg being pounded into a round hole. Didn't fit so good for us. We've done the parks so much we don't really feel the need to go there but I know a lot of people haven't been the way we have and/or still love that opportunity to go hit up the attractions and shows. Wasn't our thing, that's for sure. Glad we went but if I had it to do again I'd definitely do things different.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenni View Post
You would need to book the hotel in advance. Rooms are not guaranteed to be ready at any specific time, but are usually casual else for check in at 3pm. If you decide to book a room, choose a hotel that it a close to the park you'll be visiting.

Starwood brands runs the Dolphin and Swan over at Epcot (equivalent to a Sheraton and Westin). They may offer day rates - might be worth a call over there.
We booked a room at Pop between 8:30 and 9:00 am and checked-in 3 hours or so later. We rolled the dice on whether or not the room would be ready early. Luckily it was. Part of the reason we chose Pop is because it is a large resort with more rooms so we figured that could help our chances. My logic was if a room wasn't previously occupied it'd be ready to go vs. a room someone checked out of and was waiting to be turned over by housekeeping. It worked out. Definitely important for folks to understand the rooms aren't always ready early.
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