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Old 01-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
rdw
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Advice Please - Disney Wonder out of Miami in April - Grand Cayman and Cozumel

We are thinking about taking advantage of KSF and taking this cruise with our 5.5 DS and about to be 3 year old DD. I had been looking into the possibility of WDW (possibly staying offsite) for a less expensive Disney vacation. So, we really hadn't been thinking about this, but then I saw the KSF promotion.

It would be just under $2500 for the four of us in a verandah room - does this sound good? We might have been able to stay off-site and do WDW for less, but with additional cost of rental car and food, we might have wound up close ago the same.

So, I guess I'm just looking for general advice and info on this cruise. Any thoughts on Grand Cayman and Cozumel? The date of this sailing works better for us than the Cozumel/Castaway Cay, I think - plus a little less expensive.

Do we have to fly into Miami or can we get Disney transportation from FLL as well?

How is the character interaction? My kids are not as into the rides but VERY into the characters - at least DS. I'm hoping DD won't be too scared by them.

How often do you see them - and where? Do you get fireworks on every cruise?

Any other tips for a first time Disney cruiser? (DH and I have cruised before, pre-kids).

Kids have been to WDW once before, DS was 4 and DD 15 mos. DD will turn 3 a week before the trip, is very into princesses, and I'd like to celebrate her birthday on the cruise (a party would be less expensive - ha!)
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
brianvdb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdw View Post
So, I guess I'm just looking for general advice and info on this cruise. Any thoughts on Grand Cayman and Cozumel? The date of this sailing works better for us than the Cozumel/Castaway Cay, I think - plus a little less expensive.
We like Cozumel - lots of options for things to do, including for kids. Less impressed with Grand Cayman, but still is an OK port. Have you factored in the cost of port activities (either through Disney or on your own)? Staying on the ship is definitely an option, as is just wondering around on your own in port... but something to think about and budget for.

If you can make the itinerary with Cozumel and Castaway Cay work, I'd recommend that as the better option.

Quote:
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Do we have to fly into Miami or can we get Disney transportation from FLL as well?
Not sure about Disney transportation - I'll leave this to others to answer. FLL is about a 30-45 minute drive to the Port of Miami. Taxi is about $70, towncar about $85, airport shuttle around $25-30/person.

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How is the character interaction? My kids are not as into the rides but VERY into the characters - at least DS. I'm hoping DD won't be too scared by them.
You shouldn't be disappointed in this department. Especially on the Wonder and Magic, there are lots of scheduled character appearances all over the ship. The times/characters/locations are listed in the Personal Navigator, which is a daily newsletter that you receive in your room each night.

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Do you get fireworks on every cruise?
On the 5-night out of Miami, yes. I would imagine it is weather-permitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdw View Post
Any other tips for a first time Disney cruiser? (DH and I have cruised before, pre-kids).

Kids have been to WDW once before, DS was 4 and DD 15 mos. DD will turn 3 a week before the trip, is very into princesses, and I'd like to celebrate her birthday on the cruise (a party would be less expensive - ha!)
You didn't mention if you and DH have been on DCL before... but... It is not uncommon to see kids in princess costumes. There's also a pirate night. You might take look at other threads and learn a little about the kids clubs - just so that you know what to expect. The 5-night out of Miami is a new itinerary, but there are already Personal Navigators posted - check out what activities are planned and compare it with what you would be doing at WDW.

Whatever you decide to do, have a great time.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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To answer the one question no one else answered, Disney does not provide transport from FLL.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
rdw
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To answer the one question no one else answered, Disney does not provide transport from FLL.
Thanks. If cruising out of Miami, do y recommend flying in the day before - or is it ok to fly in day of? My TA said we could do day of and then use Disney transportation, but that makes me worried about delays.

If we fly in day before - I'm guessing we couldn't do Disney transportation? Any tips on how best to coordinate airport transfers?

I need to check airfare cost differences between MIA and FLL.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Thanks. If cruising out of Miami, do y recommend flying in the day before - or is it ok to fly in day of? My TA said we could do day of and then use Disney transportation, but that makes me worried about delays.

If we fly in day before - I'm guessing we couldn't do Disney transportation? Any tips on how best to coordinate airport transfers?

I need to check airfare cost differences between MIA and FLL.

Thanks!
Transfers from MIA to port are cheap. If you fly the day before, most hotels will have the option for transfers to the port.

Flying to FLL would cost you less in hotel but more in transfers to the port.

Although you must embark before 4pm, it would depend how far away you are flying from. Catching the first flight usually does not result in delays, except for weather reasons.

Finally, you should consider vacation insurance which will cover you for such delays.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:49 AM   #6
rdw
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How much are transfers from Miami? My TA recommended Magic Express, and that would be $160 for our family of four.

We'd be flying from Philly. I guess I was mostly concerned with weather, but also, whether I would find less $$ airfare into FLL than MIA.

Also, wherever we transfer from,I need to be cognizant of the type of vehicle, as my kids are still young enough to require carseats when traveling (other than on a bus like Magic Express).
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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We just booked this morning! Kids free was too good to pass up! I love Cozumel -- tons to do no matter what you like to do (shopping, beach/snorkeling, etc), and if you've never been to Stingray City in Grand Cayman it is soooo worth it! Swimming with a zillion stingrays in the ocean...an awesome experience.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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We are doing the 5 night out of Miami in March, and it was cheaper for us to fly to FLL. We reserved transfers for $13 per person each way from FLL to the port of Miami. We have a large group, so we got a little bit of a discount, but it would have been $15 each way per person otherwise. We used Howard's Transportation, but I have heard that SAS is good and reliable as well. I believe they are also somewhere around the $15-$16 range per person each way.

Also, we've done several cruises, and I have to say that we absolutely loved Grand Cayman! It has been one of our favorite spots so far. We always love Castaway Cay, but you won't go wrong if you choose the cruise with Grand Cayman either. No matter what, when you cruise with Disney, you'll have a good time and likely want to do it again.

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
rdw
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Thanks for the info and input!
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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Disney told me a couple of days ago that they do transports from FLL. Guess I'd better double check that, but I specifically asked that question.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:32 PM   #11
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Disney transfers to port of miami

I just booked 3 wks ago for March 2 Disney Wonder Cozumel & CC and was told by Disney they would only do trfs from Miami airport if flying into FLL we were on our own to get to the port.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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I just booked 3 wks ago for March 2 Disney Wonder Cozumel & CC and was told by Disney they would only do trfs from Miami airport if flying into FLL we were on our own to get to the port.
I'm not sure they quite know what they're doing in Miami yet. Anyway, if that's true, it unfortunate. So easy to skip the luggage and just get on a bus. Worth every penny. Seems like it would be a good money maker for Disney, too.
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