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Old 03-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Mar 2013
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new to this forum

my husband and i want go on a disney cruise with our two boys ages 6,8
my kids love disney so i thought we try there cruises. We have never been on a cruise so i need the tip and ideas on how to plan our trip and what to be prepared for, like the extras that you have to pay like grattituity, and etc.
are these cruises really worth the money? And what are the best cruises to take we were thinking of bahamas or the eastern carribean and we were thinking of going around july or aug. i know this is the most busy time and more money but.
we want to go around nov.-dec. but weather can destroy it i live in the new england weather in connecticut and weather is very funny. which is the best ship and and what part of the ship is best soo we don't get sea sick and what deck i just have soo many question and the travel agents don't want to help they just want to make a sale. soo if anyone can help me that would be great thank you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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First Timer too.

I would suggest just pouring through the DCL board on disboards, and you will get all the answers to your questions. I have a great Travel Agent and would have no problems recommending him. He will answer every little question you have. The first time I spoke to him, we talked for nearly an hour and a half, because I am new to cruising as well. The nice thing is you get to speak with him personally and are able to call him day or night with questions. If you are interested in his contact information, feel free to private message me as we are not allowed to "advertise" for any particular TA's on here.

My family and I are heading on our first cruise in November and what I've learned is: if you want to avoid getting sick on a cruise, start taking a motion sickness medicine at least 24 hours before cruising, wear a "seaband" bracelet, stay towards the middle of the ship and the deck you stay on depends on your preference and what you would like to be near.

I am on a 3 night Bahama cruise. We decided to take a 3 night cruise because we weren't sure how any of us would do on a cruise. We were only able to go to the Bahamas on a 3 night, so that decision was made for us. Same with the dates, the port we were cruising out of, how many people in our party, etc.

As for the best ship, I simply can't answer that being that this will be my first cruise. Hopefully someone else can give you their perspective.

As far as "extras" go, I plan to prepay the gratuities, possibly purchase the portrait package, plan to put money aside for special drinks, and maybe money for an excusion in the Bahamas. Obviously we will plan on a set amount for souvenirs and cash for room service (as we plan to have snacks in between lunch and dinner delivered, while we get ready.) We also have a very large verandah that we may eat breakfast on, so we'll see

Hope I've helped a little.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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Well, first I understand your concerns about the weather. We flew out of Bradley on 2/16 and it was snowing and we took off late for de-icing. Still, it was nice to get out of the snow for a while.

It was also our first ever cruise, and we chose the 4 night Bahamian on the Dream. For us, it was a great first experience. We booked a deluxe oceanview family stateroom with verandah on deck 9, midship. The cruise line agent assured me this was an area where we wouldn't feel the motion very much, and I found this to be accurate. We discovered on the trip that my elder daughter got seasick, but with some dramamine she was able to sleep here. Next trip we will get a prescription for a patch for her.

The Aquaduck was a HUGE hit with my ten year old, and DH and I also enjoyed it.

You can pay the gratuities ahead of time if you want to, which is what I did to save time. The stateroom host, head server, server, and assistant server were the people who got tips. The night before the last night, our turndown service included envelopes and coupons to put in them to be able to hand the tips to those people. They were pre-printed with the person's name and the amount tipped. For us, tipping was around $200 total for those 4 people.

You pay extra for fancy coffee drinks at the Cove or Vista cafes, and you'd tip those crew members like you would any waitstaff in a restaurant. You also pay extra for bottled water or alcohol, though I don't know prices because I didn't buy water and I don't drink alcohol (you can get water in your cup at the free refill stations). While we had lunch before the ship left port, there were people walking around offering a special price for cases of water or beer if you ordered and paid for them before the ship left port.

As to whether the cruises are worth it, I would say yes. I have nothing to compare this cruise to since it was our first, but I was EXTREMELY happy with it, except having to leave. I rebooked our next cruise while we were still onboard to get the 10% discount and $100 onboard credits. I have been to Disney World 11 times and I wondered if the cruise would live up to my love of WDW...........I am happy to report that it did.

Good luck with your planning!
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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How to plan for your trip? Keep asking questions here. Everyone has an opinion.

Extra costs? The only extra cost that you really have to budget for is the $12 per guest per night for gratuities.

Best ship? That's subjective! Everyone has an opinion whether the classic ships: magic and wonder or the new ships: dream and fantasy are better. I like the classic ships. Have sailed on them a lot. Can find my way around them with my eyes closed. I prefer the fantasy over the dream mostly because they have the seven night cruise versus three or four night cruises. And I think they worked out the kinks of the dream when they built the fantasy. There are several features on the fantasy that are not on the dream

When to go? Well July and August are the most expensive like you said and by far the hottest in the Caribbean or Bahamas. I understand the concern about getting out of the north east during the winter time. All of these major major storms that have come through this year Have disrupted travel all across the nation. But I like the winter getaway

Other things to spend money on? Well there are the professional photos taken on board you can run up a big expense there in a hurry. Specialty drinks both adults and kids have an extra cost. You can get soda from the 24-hour beverage station up on the top deck for free. Shore excursions/port adventures always will cost you money. You can always get off the ship and wander around the port or the city on your own. For the adults there's the spa. Those treatments can cost some serious money. For the kids there's the arcade :-). And then there's shopping on board. Movies and the shows are free.

I hope this helps get you started
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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I would start by reviewing the FAQ thread to give you an idea of what you will encounter when planning for your cruise. Next read through each post on the first 5-10 pages on this forum. That will give you a good overview of the common questions asked here. Reading those will probably leave you with questions for you individually. Post those and go from there.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post
I would start by reviewing the FAQ thread to give you an idea of what you will encounter when planning for your cruise. Next read through each post on the first 5-10 pages on this forum. That will give you a good overview of the common questions asked here. Reading those will probably leave you with questions for you individually. Post those and go from there.
Great plan!

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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new to the board

thank you everyone who have reply to my post and i will look into all of your suggestions and if anyone has anymore information i can use please do tell.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Scott Sanders' Disney Cruise Line Blog has a nice tip calculator you can use for expected gratuities:

The blog also has many other resources you can research in addition to all the resources here in the forum and on the DIS (

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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Just adding my 2 cents - I'd go eastern over the Bahamas any day 8)

And, August is our fave month to cruise - we love the heat. I'd rather cool off at a beach than worry about whether the water will be too cold to get in!!

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