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Old 02-10-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
Desnik
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We're going on our 1st cruise! I need help!

DD is turning 16 next year and she picked going on a Disney Cruise as how she wants to celebrate!

We are DVC'ers & WDW vets but cruising is new to us.

We have to go when the kids are out of school so holidays and the summer are my only choices.

Here is what I know now that I have done some research. We want the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral sailing on a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas. There are 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) and I have chosen a category 8C deck 8 AFT Deluxe Family Oceanview stateroom with large porthole window with seat.

We will be driving from NY.

Here are my questions and I would appreciate any help anyone is willing to offer!

Should we go in April during Easter break? How would the weather be then?

Should we go in the summer instead? If so which month?

Can we leave our car at the port? How much is that?

What time can we board the ship?

Will I feel the ship moving a lot in the location I have chosen?

Are there ever any discounts offered during April or the summer?

When should I book?

What special things can we do for DD's bday to celebrate on the ship? For example I saw I could order a cake. How are the cakes they offer? Can we personalize them?

Do we need passports?

Are there stairs easily accessible on the ship? DH doesn't go on elevators.

Thank you all very much for reading and helping me out!!
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Last edited by Desnik; 02-10-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:05 PM   #2
jdb in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desnik View Post
DD is turning 16 next year and she picked going on a Disney Cruise as how she wants to celebrate!

We are DVC'ers & WDW vets but cruising is new to us.

We have to go when the kids are out of school so holidays and the summer are my only choices.

Here is what I know now that I have done some research. We want the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral sailing on a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas. There are 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) and I have chosen a category 8C deck 8 AFT Deluxe Family Oceanview stateroom with large porthole window with seat.

We will be driving from NY.

Here are my questions and I would appreciate any help anyone is willing to offer!

Should we go in April during Easter break? How would the weather be then? Warmer than New York. cooler than during the summer.

Should we go in the summer instead? If so which month? Whichever is cheaper.

Can we leave our car at the port? Yes, but it's usually cheaper to leave it at the hotel where you stay the night before your cruise (assuming you'll be in Cocoa Beach by then.) How much is that?

What time can we board the ship? When you do your online checkin 75 days before your cruise you will be assigned a port arrival time.

Will I feel the ship moving a lot in the location I have chosen? Depends on the weather. The DCL ships have huge stabilizers that keep things from rocking as much as possible.

Are there ever any discounts offered during April or the summer? April and summer are so popular I wouldn't count on a discount.

When should I book? asap. The price will probably go up.

What special things can we do for DD's bday to celebrate on the ship? For example I saw I could order a cake. How are the cakes they offer? My cake was rather blech. Can we personalize them?

Do we need passports? This is a hot topic of discussion. Technically you don't "have" to have them. Unless there's an emergency and you have to fly home.

Are there stairs easily accessible on the ship? DH doesn't go on elevators. Yes, there's stairs by all the elevators. The elevator-goers will be happy not to compete.

Thank you all very much for reading and helping me out!!
Have a great cruise!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
Desnik
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Thank you so much!!!
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Relax ,stay calm and ask whatever questions you need. We are first time cruisers also, DVC'rs and veteran WDW visitors. As a first time cruiser Disboards members answered every question I had. They are very friendly and will answer any question you have.Be specific with your questions. One good source was the DIS FAQ in alphabetic order on the Cruise forum page. Also use the search option at the top and to the right of the forum. Put in a specific key word and you will get all kinds of answers.Also when you pick a cruise join a Disney Cruise Meet thread for your specific cruise. Just like WDW the cruises are also first class treatment.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
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I would get passports. I was reading on another thread about a mother who had to get off the ship with her daughter in the Bahamas to take her to the ER. She did not have a passport and was told that if her daughter required hospitalization, she would not be able to stay in the country with her daughter! They would accept her daughter because she was a minor, but not her. Can you imagine??? Luckily, they made it back to the ship just in time, but what a scare! I know these cases may be rare, but I would NEVER want to be facing that scenario.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Both of our DCL cruises were the first week of April (Spring Break). We found the weather to be a bit cool for us compared to Summer in Georgia but we swam etc. Most people who are from a southern state will call April cool and most people from a more northern state will call it warm.

That question has come up a lot. We have friends sailing next week for the first time and I am a bit worried that they will be cool.
Again - Georgia summers heat and all.

We did the Eastern and Western and were only a little cool on Castaway Cay not the more southern ports.

On Key West the girls complained about being too hot.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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I agree with mom2jcg passports are the definite way to go for a lot of reasons. They are the best form of ID in the world and when traveling outside the country in case of an emergency like she stated you will need it. Thy are quite easy to get and well worth it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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Definitely get the Passports. You never know when you will need it. Just ask all of the passengers on the Carnival ship that caught fire. They have to get home from Mexico.

Ship movement: I can feel the ship move from all points of the ship (I guess I am very sensitive to that kind of stuff. ) However, DH cannot. Just because I can feel the movement, does not mean I have an adverse reaction to it. I can just feel it. I did not get any kind of motion sickness.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:12 AM   #9
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We have swam in CC in May, over Memorial weekend, through Thanksgiving. I think swimming there would be OK in April for us, since I have snorkeled in Nassau in March during my spring break.

There are steps by each bank of elevators, lots of people use step climbing as their major form of exercise on a cruise!

I had a deck 6 aft cabin on the Member Cruise and it was an amazing experience! There were 4 chairs on our deck, and 2 were loungers. DSis took a 2 hour nap outside on that deck. It was an expensive cabin but worth it for the experience!

Disney cruise prices tend to go up, not down, so I understand. Book as soon as you can. I also would sail with passports.

Parking at port was expensive. I did book in the closest possible place, as it is hard for me to walk. It cost $80 for the 3 night Member Cruise. We were 3 gals in the room, car, so we split the cost.

I am glad you picked the 4 nighter, I think the day at sea is worth the experience!

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Old 02-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
Desnik
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Thank you all so much for all your help!

I will be getting passports for all of us, for sure!

I did some research and the parking at Port Canaveral for a 4 night cruise is $75. That's what it says on the Disney site. Is that not accurate? Someone mentioned they paid $80 for a 3 night cruise.

I can't book just yet because my kids schools haven't released the calendar for next year. I'm not exactly sure what their spring break dates are yet. They usually send out the info sometime in Feb so I'm hoping to get it soon!

A couple more questions if you don't mind!

How will I know if our cruise will be doing the pirate party or tropical party?

If we have to do the cruise over the summer what month is best?

What time do we have to be off the ship the day of disembarkment?

Since our car will be at the port, should we handle our own bags going on the ship and getting off? We will probably only have 1 bag each. (I'm a good packer )

Thanks again everyone!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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I have never personally had one of the cakes that you can buy but AFAIK they are quite expensive (like $50+) and aren't all that great. Plus you can't have candles, so that makes it a little less special.
When we had our anniversary a bunch of servers sang to us and brought us an extra special dessert. If I remember correctly it was a chocolate mouse of some kind.
If you do it this way there's no extra cost to you and everyone can just get the dessert they want. Even if you don't buy a cake, your servers and head server will go out of their way to make sure that particular dinner is special!
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