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Old 02-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #1
DisGirl819
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New Cruiser…Questions

We are going on a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Dream. I have a few questions…

1. Is there a photography service similar to photo pass on the cruises?
2. We are a family of 4, DD has Aspberger's, we would be best seated as just our family…will we be seated with others? If so, how do I go about requesting that we be seated alone?
3. If we wanted a dinner at Palo or Remy what night would be best for that?
4. We have one at sea day, what are the best things to do on a sea day?
5. Should we do an excursion at Nassau? Kids are 4 and 6.
6. Can we see the fireworks from our verandah, room 7602…I think its starboard? Its too overwhelming for my kids to be in a large group of people with loud fireworks.
7. Any other things on the cruise that might be full of lots of people or loud noises so I can prepare DD beforehand or avoid?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DisGirl819 View Post
We are going on a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Dream. I have a few questions…

1. Is there a photography service similar to photo pass on the cruises?
Yes, it's called Shutters. Much more expensive than Photopass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisGirl819 View Post
2. We are a family of 4, DD has Aspberger's, we would be best seated as just our family…will we be seated with others? If so, how do I go about requesting that we be seated alone?
You, or your TA if you are using one, can contact DCL and make the request.

It is just a request but they are pretty good about taking care of it.
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3. If we wanted a dinner at Palo or Remy what night would be best for that?
That is a matter of personal preference, based on your Dining Rotation. Which you do not learn until you check in at the terminal.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:57 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that both Remy and Palo are adult only dining locations. It's not like Signature restaurants at WDW (with the exception of V&As) where kids are allowed. You'd have to plan a way to feed your kids and find a place for them to go for the few hours if you still planned on trying one of those restaurants.

As for Nassau, a lot of people like to go to Atlantis. We personally don't care for Nassau. At all. For a short 4-day cruise, we would much rather spend the time on the mostly empty ship and treat it almost like an extra sea day but without the crowd. It'll give you some extra time to explore the ship. That is just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by OhThePain View Post
Keep in mind that both Remy and Palo are adult only dining locations. It's not like Signature restaurants at WDW (with the exception of V&As) where kids are allowed. You'd have to plan a way to feed your kids and find a place for them to go for the few hours if you still planned on trying one of those restaurants.

As for Nassau, a lot of people like to go to Atlantis. We personally don't care for Nassau. At all. For a short 4-day cruise, we would much rather spend the time on the mostly empty ship and treat it almost like an extra sea day but without the crowd. It'll give you some extra time to explore the ship. That is just my opinion.
Oh I know its adult only. That is why I said IF my kids want to go to the kid's club then we would do it. DH is currently deployed and adult only time would be completely awesome on the cruise, but with DD, I have no idea if she would like or be freaked out by the kid's club on the ship.

Atlantis does sound fun, my kids love aquariums and it sounds like some of those excursions would be right up my kid's alley. We've never been to the Bahamas so we can't just stay on the ship that day, we need to go out and see if we like it/explore.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DynamicDisneyDuo View Post
Yes, it's called Shutters. Much more expensive than Photopass.



You, or your TA if you are using one, can contact DCL and make the request.

It is just a request but they are pretty good about taking care of it.


That is a matter of personal preference, based on your Dining Rotation. Which you do not learn until you check in at the terminal.
So…don't do Shutters…?

And where online can I make that request or do I have to call DCL? I made the reservation directly. I don't use TAs.

And you're saying I cannot make a reservation for Palo or Remy until we're on the ship? Why does it say I can do that online at 60 days (or whatever the time frame is…I can't remember)

The whole Disney Cruise is so foreign to me. I'm a pro at WDW and DL trips, but this is so new. I apologize for all the crazy questions!
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:15 AM   #6
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And you're saying I cannot make a reservation for Palo or Remy until we're on the ship? Why does it say I can do that online at 60 days (or whatever the time frame is…I can't remember)

The whole Disney Cruise is so foreign to me. I'm a pro at WDW and DL trips, but this is so new. I apologize for all the crazy questions!
What the PP means is that you asked which night would be best for Remy or Palo but there is no realy good answer to that since you don't find out your dining rotation until you are on the ship. DCL is not like WDW. If you can't get a reservation for a restaurant online when your booking window opens, DCL holds back many reservations that can be booked once on board the ship.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DisGirl819 View Post
We are going on a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Dream. I have a few questions…

1. Is there a photography service similar to photo pass on the cruises?
Shutters is the photography service on a cruise. More expensive than Photopass at the parks. You can purchase a CD of all pics, package of 10 pics on CD, or individual. We honestly only purchase a couple shots, but I also don't use Photopass at the parks.
2. We are a family of 4, DD has Aspberger's, we would be best seated as just our family…will we be seated with others? If so, how do I go about requesting that we be seated alone?
Call DCL and request to be seated alone. It's only a request but they do try to accommodate. Most likely no problem if you have late dining, but possible for early dining as well. Once onboard, go to the "dining changes" location to double-check.
3. If we wanted a dinner at Palo or Remy what night would be best for that?
On a 4-night cruise, the only "duplicate" night is Pirate Night. If you are OK missing the pirate night menu, go for that. Otherwise, you will end up missing one of the MDRs. Another option is Palo Brunch since you have one at-sea day. Brunch ressies are hard to come by, especially as a new cruiser, but you may be able to get one onboard if none are available in advance.
4. We have one at sea day, what are the best things to do on a sea day?
LOTS of activities, check the Navigators. If you really want to do the pool and/or AquaDuck -- get up and do it in the morning. Way to crowded by late morning and through the afternoon on sea days.
5. Should we do an excursion at Nassau? Kids are 4 and 6.
We got off and walked to the Straw Market, then back to the ship. It's nice to get off and say you were there, but nothing exciting. This is another good time to use the pools and AquaDuck while most passengers are off the ship for excursions.
6. Can we see the fireworks from our verandah, room 7602…I think its starboard? Its too overwhelming for my kids to be in a large group of people with loud fireworks.
I'm not sure about visibility from that verandah. Some staterooms get a notice specifically instructing you to NOT be on the verandah during the fireworks. DD also doesn't like the crowds and we found a spot above the Cove Pool where we could see well, shared a lounger with her on my lap. It does get crowded, but nowhere near as bad as the main party area.
7. Any other things on the cruise that might be full of lots of people or loud noises so I can prepare DD beforehand or avoid?
The terminal at arrival -- if you plan for an early arrival, it will be crowded until boarding gets well underway. A good time to arrive is 12:30ish, early crowds have boarded and most of the buses from WDW haven't arrived yet. You can usually walk right on without waiting.
Also the muster drill (lifeboat drill) -- depending on where your muster station is location, it can be quite crowded and they are constantly asking people to squeeze in (lined up by stateroom). Very crowded and noisy. If she uses noise-cancelling or noise-reducing headphones, this would be a good idea to wear them.
Debarkation can be crowded. Depending on your schedule, you might be able to hang back and leave the ship around 9am, but there really isn't anything to do until then other than breakfast and you have to be out of your staterooms by 8am. The crowds do move fairly quickly, we didn't find it to be a long process, just crowded.
Welcome!

Responses above. Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:53 AM   #8
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Wow! Thank you!!! I will need to prepare DD ahead of time for crowds and noises and know where they are or when. So that info is awesome! I don't mid missing pirate night. My kids are afraid of pirates anyway so we may skip regular dining that night and eat elsewhere. There is a buffet right?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:09 PM   #9
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We've done this cruise twice now, and have had a blast both times! We loved it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisGirl819 View Post
We are going on a 4 day Bahamas cruise on the Dream. I have a few questions…

1. Is there a photography service similar to photo pass on the cruises?
Like everyone said before, the pictures are expensive. We bought one or two per cruise, but one of us didn't look very good in the other ones.
2. We are a family of 4, DD has Aspberger's, we would be best seated as just our family…will we be seated with others? If so, how do I go about requesting that we be seated alone?
Not sure about this one, but also like everyone has said, just request it. We had early dining the first cruise, and sat at a large table. Only one other family (two parents/one child) ate at that table each night. So our table was never filled. Not sure if there was another family assigned or not, but it was nice. On the last cruise, we had late dining, and always sat at a table for four (we had only 3 on the cruise with us). There were plenty of empty tables every night, so I assume they would be able to fulfill your request.
3. If we wanted a dinner at Palo or Remy what night would be best for that? We never did this, so can't help you there! Sorry!
4. We have one at sea day, what are the best things to do on a sea day?
We took DD to the nursery on the sea day and went to the movie. It was really fun! Also, the princess gatherings (one in the morning/one in the afternoon) were also that day, so we attended the afternoon one. Plan to get there early and stand in line for awhile. It's really fun in the end! Also, we noticed there are less people at the one in the afternoon due to kids taking naps and swimming on deck. On our last cruise, DD and I both caught colds, so we ended up taking naps most of the afternoon in our room. However, we left our balcony door open and loved the sound of the ocean and the sun pouring into our room. It was really relaxing!
5. Should we do an excursion at Nassau? Kids are 4 and 6.
Because DD was 10 months on our first cruise, and only a year older the next one, we left her at the nursery on the ship while DH and I went to Atlantis both times. The first time we snorkeled the ruins. We are from Nebraska, so it was our first time snorkeling. DH loved it, and I thought it was fun, but don't need to do it again. It is kind of pricy too. That excursion was only about an hour or so, and then we stayed at Atlantis for another 3-4 hours and swam and did the water park. The next cruise, we just did the Aquaventure part (water park/swimming) of Atlantis for much cheaper and had a blast. I know other people on here aren't huge fans of Atlantis, but we thought it was great! (Plus, we were/are hoping to vacation down there when the children are older sometime, so we thought for the price, it was a great way to check it out in person!)
6. Can we see the fireworks from our verandah, room 7602…I think its starboard? Its too overwhelming for my kids to be in a large group of people with loud fireworks. I'm not sure about your verandah and the fireworks. We watched them from the upper decks and had a great time. All the decks get crowded, just to warn you.
7. Any other things on the cruise that might be full of lots of people or loud noises so I can prepare DD beforehand or avoid?
The terminal is loud and crowded, but just stick together and you should be fine. When you board, you can go to the dining rooms or up to Cabanas (the buffet) to eat lunch. All of those places are crowded, too. You usually can't get into your rooms until later afternoon, therefore everyone is on deck either swimming or eating. Speaking of swimming, make sure to pack your suits in your carry-on, and you can go swimming as soon as you board the ship! That was our rookie mistake the first cruise! As a PP stated, the muster drill is loud and crowded as well, but you must do it.
Also, on Castaway Cay, there are BBQs on the island for lunch. Those tend to be crowded, but if you choose to eat a little earlier or later, there are usually less people, as well as more tables available to sit alone at.

Enjoy your cruise! You will have a blast!! Let us know if we can answer any other questions!!
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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Wow! Thank you!!! I will need to prepare DD ahead of time for crowds and noises and know where they are or when. So that info is awesome! I don't mid missing pirate night. My kids are afraid of pirates anyway so we may skip regular dining that night and eat elsewhere. There is a buffet right?
Cabanas should be open for dinner on pirate night, depending on when that falls. It is not an option on the first or last nights. However, Cabanas is not a buffet for dinner (it is for breakfast and lunch); it is casual sit-down service with selections from the MDR menus. Another option is room service. Or there is the fast food choices around the pool deck. Just let your serving staff know not to expect you if you opt to go elsewhere.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:46 PM   #11
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This is our first cruise too, so I can only speak about Nassau. We've been there 3 times now, all stays at Atlantis. Yes, the excursions are pricey there, but pretty much every excursion in The Bahamas is The waterpark is amazing, my kids are begging to go back this cruise. Even if you don't like the big slides, laying in a tube while you bump along the lazy river ride is sooo relaxing. That was my fav part There's a kids pool area too, my son had so much fun when he was a little guy! This year we're doing the dolphin encounter there. We'd previously done the one at Blue Lagoon Island and it was nice, but a choppy boat ride over to the island. The island itself is gorgeous, they all are mind you The straw market is great for cheap souvenirs You can walk around the downtown area, but stick to the busier parts. And, if you're a drinker, remember they make rum there, so you'll find all sorts of flavours
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:24 PM   #12
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We just got back from our first cruise ever on the Dream (4 nights) with our 2 kids.

DD has a disability & also has sensory issues & anxiety around crowds. For the pirate night we stood on the upper deck, right hand side of the big TV and there was a handful of people there with us. it was a great spot, but the fireworks are loud.

We stayed on the ship on the Nassau day. We slept in, had room service for breakfast, delivered our FE gifts, walked around the ship, and saw a movie. It was a great day! We didn't feel like we were missing anything by not getting off the ship that day and we have never been to the Bahamas.

As a family of 4 I thought we would be seated with another family, but we weren't. I didn't make any requests. I did notice a lot of families of 4 seated alone. But if it's a priority, I would put in the request by calling them now.

We didn't use their photography. It was very expensive & DH loves using his own camera to take pics.

The kids clubs weren't too crowded whe DS (10) went there & they weren't loud or anything. He was bored there though, go figure lol

You will have a wonderful time, it was the best trip we have ever taken as a family. We can't wait to go again!
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #13
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Cabanas should be open for dinner on pirate night, depending on when that falls. It is not an option on the first or last nights. However, Cabanas is not a buffet for dinner (it is for breakfast and lunch); it is casual sit-down service with selections from the MDR menus. Another option is room service. Or there is the fast food choices around the pool deck. Just let your serving staff know not to expect you if you opt to go elsewhere.

Enjoy your cruise!
Great info to know! I didn't know Cabanas was not a buffet at dinner. I'm sure we will figure out what to do that night instead of the pirate activities. I also didn't know we should let our server know we won't be there, but I guess that makes sense!

I'm so excited for this cruise, I can't wait!
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #14
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Thanks for this post- we, too, will be first time cruisers next summer! And a BIG thank you goes out to your husband (and your family) for his service! Enjoy your vacation!
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