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Old 12-29-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
Buzzfan1966
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Newbie Suggestions!!!!

I have never been on a cruise and certainly I want to start with a Disney Cruise. I'm just starting the process. I have started by requesting some quotes and lurking on the DCL site.

I don't even know where to start. I know I am going to pay more for a Disney Cruise and I'm willing to do that............but I want the best deal I can possibly get. I haven't even decided which one to go on.

I'm looking for the best starter cruise ever and I need help getting started on this journey. We are looking to sail in June of 2014 and we want a family suite. That's as far as I've gotten.

I need direction, guidance and HELP!!! Don't let me down! I'm headed to WDW on Tuesday and I got the best guidance from this board. I'm hoping you can help me with a cruise!
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
Bear3412
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Welcome to the Disboards.

How many and what ages does your party consist of?
When you say family suite, do you mean a suite?
June in a suite will cost.
Starter cruise, well our first was a 7 night. We will not book less. It goes by so fast. Half the time, the per/day cost is less for longer sailings. Also if we get all the way to port with aircraft, we want time onboard to offset cost of travel, if that makes sense.
Concerning deals, DCL occasionally offers last minute *GT rates. Lots of restrictions, offered generally within 2 months of sailing, pay in full then, no refunds, etc. They can work for some, but us, not likely.
DCL also has Military Rates sometimes. Sometimes Kids Sail Free. Etc.
Will you be using a Travel Agent or booking directly with DCL?
Have you given any thought to which class of ship?
DCL has two classes. Magic Class and Dream Class, both classes have two ships.
The Dream Class are the newer ships. The Dream Class sail from Port Canaveral, FL. The Dream sails 3 and 4 nights sailings. The Fantasy sails 7 night sailings.
The Magic and Wonder ... I cant keep track of.

That's my input so far. HTH
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
chris31997
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Where do you want to go?
Where do you want to leave from?
Do you want to go on the newer ships?

I would answer those. If you can answer those than picking your room and running from there is easy.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
Spurr002
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If you don't plan on sailing DCL again, sail the Fantasy (however you will find yourself wanting to sail again!); if you do plan on sailing multiple times, sail the classic ships first. You'll appreciate the new ships more once you sail on them, and you will be able to see how far DCL has came. Also, you can determine if you like the Magic or Dream class ships better by sailing the classics first.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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IDK, we like new ... and longer, so we booked Fantasy.
We were not disappointed. It does have more folks onboard, but we aren't crowd seekers. We were able to avoid the madness easily, since we had no desire to participate in deafening deck parties with our fellow 2000 passengers that showed up, as wonderful as they may be. We lasted 10 - 30 minutes occasionally at the majors. It would have been much more tolerable for us, if the volume was more respectable.

The Fantasy is awesome, and we had a great cruise. We actually had a once in a lifetime cruise experience. Unforgetable.
I highly recommend.

Last edited by Bear3412; 12-30-2012 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:53 AM   #6
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The biggest piece of advise I can share is: Consider two connecting rooms instead of a family room. It will cost less and offer more space. You will need to book one adult in each room but DCL does not care who sleeps where once on board. Adults can get keys to both rooms.

They must be connecting room. Do NOT book adjoining rooms. Connecting have a door inside the room to go between the rooms. Adjoining room are just next to each other but you must enter the room from the hall.

Keep reading the boards and asking questions. Each answer you get will bring more questions to mind. Good luck in your planning and I know you will enjoy the best vacation ever.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:16 AM   #7
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I am a big fan of the 7 day cruise. I did the 3-4 days ones when I lived in Southern California and went down to Mexico for a few days, being in your 20s without kids it was a good vacation. But now that I've done the Disney Cruises, did the 7 day.... I love it. It's a real vacation. You get to experience the boat, know your fellow cruisers, great. Plus if you're flying from anywhere the 7 day makes the airline travel worth it.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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We started small being our 1st cruise (Dec 2011/Dream) We loved it. We had a verandah.

This time knowing we all had a good time we booked on the Fantasy Oct 2013, in a porthole window room, we figured we didn't spend that much time in the room anyway!

No matter what, you guys will LOVE it!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:32 AM   #9
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There are a lot of things to consider.

1. Do you want a suite for the space or for concierge?
2. Is money a factor? As said above, a suite in June on a newer ship like the Fantasy may give you sticker shock. Or is money no object?
3. Would you prefer a modern, high tech ship with larger crowds, or a more intimate feel with less crowds?

I would suggest getting a copy of the passporter book (I got the Kindle version). Go ahead and pick it up now because by the time they release new versions, it's already too late for the port of call/excursion info. For example, the 2012 edition just came out in October BUT, it has the basic run down of how everything works with great descriptions. It's a lot easier to decide what you want after reading that.


For example, originally I wanted the Fantasy. We like high tech things and the aquaduck looks amazing. In the end, we ended up booking the Magic. It had an awesome itinerary and it was literally a 1/3 of what the Fantasy was going to cost. In the end, I am really glad we switched because we are not crowd people at all. I wish our sailing was a 7 night instead of 5 and I will miss seeing the wonders of the Fantasy. But for us, I think a more intimate ship makes better sense. Plus it's right after a drydock refurbishment so it will be cool to see what they do.

We will probably still try the Fantasy at some point too. But we would need a larger suite to escape the crowds and the royals are crazy expensive
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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Thanks it's a start........more opinions please!

I don't care which ship honestly. I don't have to have the newest and best. I would like to sail out of Port Canaveral or Miami............they are both within driving distance. I'm not going anywhere that would require me to fly anywhere.

We are a family of 4 with two boys ages 12 and 14 at the time of travel. They are 10 and 12 right now. One is 5'7" tall and the other is 5'3" wearing size 10 and 9 shoes. In two more years, they are going to be bigger. I need room.

Someone suggested two connecting rooms and I'll check into that one if that is better than a family suite. I'll put in a quote request for that.

Is there a "best" time to book? I won't wait until the last minute and hope I get a deal. I need to go ahead and get this started. I do want to stick to a budget, but I feel like I need a balcony. I at least have to have a window. Even in a hotel room, the first thing I do is open the curtains.

We were thinking of the short cruises only as a "starter cruise". Ultimately, my dream cruise would be to Alaska...........but that one is not in the budget right now since we would have to fly to the port for that one. We didn't even look at 7 day from Port Canaveral or Miami. I'll start researching that.

I requested a quote from dreams unlimited..............is that the best way to go?

I don't feel like my ball is rolling yet, but it is moving a little. Thank you so much!
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:07 PM   #11
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Question

I'm confused about the difference of a 3 and 4 day Bahamas cruise. They go to exactly the same places. Why does it take an extra day at sea on the 4 day?
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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It is just an extra vacation day and day to do stuff onboard
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzfan1966
I'm confused about the difference of a 3 and 4 day Bahamas cruise. They go to exactly the same places. Why does it take an extra day at sea on the 4 day?
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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I went through Dreams Unlimited. I already knew how much my cruise would be so there wasn't any money saved in that respect. However, they do a nice on board credit for spending so I figured I might as well use them. Other TAs had similar on board credits, but I went with DU figuring I use their boards enough, might as well give them the business.

I forgot how many were in your family. We are 5 with DH and I, 2 adult children, and a year old. Originally we wanted a family suite, but it was cheaper to do 2 separate rooms (not to mention the extra space ould have been better). In the end, we ended up booking a royal suite on one of the older ships. It wasn't THAT much more and we get all the space.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #15
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our first cruise was a 7 night on the magic, we loved it and look forward to our cruise on the fantasy in march. The 3 and 4 night cruises would be too short a time for me in fact 7 nights was to short!lol I could stay on those ships forever!
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