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Old 04-04-2014, 09:37 PM   #1
nancy drew
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Questions about Back to Back Cruises on the Dream

We just got off the Dream and are Dreaming of our next cruise . We traveled with another family and they are as in love as we are with everything about the Dream, except the length of the cruise. The other mom was saying that she wanted her husband to come on their next cruise, but he would never do more than a 4 night (and maybe even that would be too much for him), but that she wanted to do at least 7 nights. So I mentioned back to back cruises and we both agreed that was the perfect solution. However, we need some more info to make sure this isn't going to be more work than it is worth.

FWIW, we like the fact that we already know the ship (felt like it took us at least 2.5 days to learn our way around, figure out which elevators went where, etc.), and that on a B2B we would have 2 days at CC, and either 2 excursion days at Nassau or an excursion and a ship day.

Now for our questions:

1) Assuming we can book the same room for both cruises, do we have to pack and bring our bags off the ship between cruises?

2) Do we have the same table seating for both cruises?

3) What do we do when we debark between cruises?

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back?

5) Is there a very different vibe on a 3 night cruise? On our 4th night there was a weird vibe in the dining room. Our servers seemed very hands-off, rushed, stressed, hurried, etc. It was really weird, and my friend thought maybe something had happened during the first seating, like they got yelled at or something. I think I have read that there is a "stressed" vibe on a 3 night, but I thought that was more within the family, as in "We felt stressed about cramming as much fun as possible into 3 nights". If we had already done 4 nights, we wouldn't feel that stress within our families.

Ideally they would just go on a 7 night with us and we wouldn't have to do this, but at least this way we would get 2 days on CC and a familiar itinerary and ship, and my kids would have their friends to sail with and I'd have a friend (and her husband for part of the trip) to sail with too. But I think a B2B is the only way we are going to sail with them again, unless we go to Alaska and I can't afford that on DCL.

All advice is welcome, even "Don't do it!!!!" I want to think this through before I drop the cash on this. Our other option is just doing a 7 night without our friends, but then I won't have adult company when the kids are in their clubs.
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Last edited by nancy drew; 04-04-2014 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy drew View Post
We just got off the Dream and are Dreaming of our next cruise . We traveled with another family and they are as in love as we are with everything about the Dream, except the length of the cruise. The other mom was saying that she wanted her husband to come on their next cruise, but he would never do more than a 4 night (and maybe even that would be too much for him), but that she wanted to do at least 7 nights. So I mentioned back to back cruises and we both agreed that was the perfect solution. However, we need some more info to make sure this isn't going to be more work than it is worth.

FWIW, we like the fact that we already know the ship (felt like it took us at least 2.5 days to learn our way around, figure out which elevators went where, etc.), and that on a B2B we would have 2 days at CC, and either 2 excursion days at Nassau or an excursion and a ship day.

Now for our questions:

1) Assuming we can book the same room for both cruises, do we have to pack and bring our bags off the ship between cruises? No. You may leave your "stuff" in your room. Be sure to bring your cruise documents (IDs and all) for the re-check in process.

2) Do we have the same table seating for both cruises? Typically, on B2B cruises you will be asked before the end of the first cruise if you wish to continue with the same servers/table for the second leg. Sometimes that won't be possible, due to vacations/end of contract/or table already being assigned to another party. Since your party makeup would be changing on the second cruise, you may be changed automatically.

3) What do we do when we debark between cruises? Wander around in the terminal until the ship is ready for boarding (for B2B people - earlier than "regular" boarding).

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back? If you have a new cruiser joining you for the second cruise, they will not be checking in and boarding with you. Unless you exit the terminal. In which case you will be checking in and boarding with the "new" cruisers.

5) Is there a very different vibe on a 3 night cruise? On our 4th night there was a weird vibe in the dining room. Our servers seemed very hands-off, rushed, stressed, hurried, etc. It was really weird, and my friend thought maybe something had happened during the first seating, like they got yelled at or something. I think I have read that there is a "stressed" vibe on a 3 night, but I thought that was more within the family, as in "We felt stressed about cramming as much fun as possible into 3 nights". If we had already done 4 nights, we wouldn't feel that stress within our families. I haven't done a 3 or 4 night cruise yet, but I think a 3 night would be, at least, the same vibe. It certainly is a shorter cruise.

Ideally they would just go on a 7 night with us and we wouldn't have to do this, but at least this way we would get 2 days on CC and a familiar itinerary and ship, and my kids would have their friends to sail with and I'd have a friend (and her husband for part of the trip) to sail with too. But I think a B2B is the only way we are going to sail with them again, unless we go to Alaska and I can't afford that on DCL.

All advice is welcome, even "Don't do it!!!!" I want to think this through before I drop the cash on this. Our other option is just doing a 7 night without our friends, but then I won't have adult company when the kids are in their clubs.
My responses in red.

Personally, I think a 3/4 night B2B would be not so much fun. As I said, I haven't done either, so I could be wrong. We've only done 7 night and longer cruises. A couple of things - the shows, and menus will be the same for 3 of those nights (you'll have the Pirate menu as an extra on the 4 night cruise); and the turn around day (IMO) really is a bit of a waste (based on our B2B that we did do)- you still have to get up early, even though you are staying on the ship, and there's really nothing going on onboard (except a lot of cleaning) until the next set of cruisers starts boarding.

All that being said, many people have done the 4/3 night B2B and enjoyed it. Any cruise is better than no cruise.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
My responses in red.

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back? If you have a new cruiser joining you for the second cruise, they will not be checking in and boarding with you. Unless you exit the terminal. In which case you will be checking in and boarding with the "new" cruisers.
We did a B2B on the Dream a couple of years ago. DH and I cruised the 4-night first and then our DS, DD, & DSon-in-law joined us for the following 3-night. DH and I followed the B2B instructions of debarking, going through customs, and then right back up the escalator to the terminal to check in for our second cruise. Our kids arrived at the port early and were one of the first inside with the new cruisers. They checked into their two different cabins and then were allowed to join us in the Concierge lounge in the terminal and board with us when the B2B cruisers were allowed.

On the same cruise, a mother cruised the 4-night with her two young children and then the father cruised the 3-night with the kids. Just as we did, the mother and children went through customs and then right back up to the terminal. The father also arrived early and was able to board with the children and the rest of us back-to-backer's.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:41 PM   #4
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I love that you loved it so much!!!!

The food stuff worked out well, I take it?


Quote:
felt like it took us at least 2.5 days to learn our way around, figure out which elevators went where, etc.
Oh that's so so true.


3 day felt just a touch more frantic than the 4 day we took. I personally wouldn't mind doing exactly that B2B (when are you going? ). Kind of like Groundhog Day (the movie) but in a good way. If you don't like a particular menu you can do something else that night. You can see the things you couldn't do the first part of the cruise. etc.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
My responses in red.

Personally, I think a 3/4 night B2B would be not so much fun. As I said, I haven't done either, so I could be wrong. We've only done 7 night and longer cruises. A couple of things - the shows, and menus will be the same for 3 of those nights (you'll have the Pirate menu as an extra on the 4 night cruise); and the turn around day (IMO) really is a bit of a waste (based on our B2B that we did do)- you still have to get up early, even though you are staying on the ship, and there's really nothing going on onboard (except a lot of cleaning) until the next set of cruisers starts boarding.

All that being said, many people have done the 4/3 night B2B and enjoyed it. Any cruise is better than no cruise.
The shows being the same is fine, it would give us the option of skipping them the 2nd time so we can have more time to relax, swim, get dressed, hang out, etc. We felt very rushed and often went to the show with wet hair and no makeup, and had crappy seats in the back because we were so late. I don't know that the menu being the same is a big deal, as my food is made to order, and my friend is fine with ordering from the menu or asking for something special (they made her some Indian food this time because I told them she loved it). I do agree that the "wasted" day at PC is kind of a downer, especially because we won't be able to sleep in since they are constantly announcing in your room that it is time to get up and get off the ship.

But you are right that any cruise is better than no cruise . So it is still an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnOurWayToDL View Post
We did a B2B on the Dream a couple of years ago. DH and I cruised the 4-night first and then our DS, DD, & DSon-in-law joined us for the following 3-night. DH and I followed the B2B instructions of debarking, going through customs, and then right back up the escalator to the terminal to check in for our second cruise. Our kids arrived at the port early and were one of the first inside with the new cruisers. They checked into their two different cabins and then were allowed to join us in the Concierge lounge in the terminal and board with us when the B2B cruisers were allowed.

On the same cruise, a mother cruised the 4-night with her two young children and then the father cruised the 3-night with the kids. Just as we did, the mother and children went through customs and then right back up to the terminal. The father also arrived early and was able to board with the children and the rest of us back-to-backer's.
Good to know!! I don't think it will matter much whether her husband can or board early with us. I think we will be fine either way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
I love that you loved it so much!!!!

The food stuff worked out well, I take it?

3 day felt just a touch more frantic than the 4 day we took. I personally wouldn't mind doing exactly that B2B (when are you going? ). Kind of like Groundhog Day (the movie) but in a good way. If you don't like a particular menu you can do something else that night. You can see the things you couldn't do the first part of the cruise. etc.
We LOVED it! I was a little green the first night and 2nd morning, but I think the morning thing was more a result of the champagne the previous night.

The food worked out GREAT! Our head server was from Bulgaria, and had a chef from a similar country (I didn't see his name tag) making my food, and it was SO GOOD! Twice I was able to modify menu items, but the rest was special order. He made these red peppers and zucchini stuffed with rice, veggies, mango (one time it didn't have the mango), and served with tomato sauce, and it was just sooooooo good! My friend hates garlic, and it was loaded with garlic, but she kept taking bites (with my blessing, as it was FAR too much food!).

And that last bit about Groundhog Day is one of the things that draws us to this idea (that and that her husband would be able to go for part of the trip). We can see the shows once, skip them once. We can take more time to see a movie, or meet characters, or go to the adult area (never went there).

Right now this is still just an idea, but we were thinking either end of March next year ($$$$) or very early next June ($$$). I'll keep you posted, as I know all our kids would get along (friend has 2 boys the same age as my kids). It would be SO much fun to cruise with you guys!!
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nancy drew View Post
Right now this is still just an idea, but we were thinking either end of March next year ($$$$) or very early next June ($$$). I'll keep you posted, as I know all our kids would get along (friend has 2 boys the same age as my kids). It would be SO much fun to cruise with you guys!!
Aw, so sweet! It would indeed be amazing, and I know Eamon would love to have buddies there, no matter how brief our MK time was!


I love that your friend ate Indian food. I tell you, that made our first Disney cruise so great. I felt weird asking about it on the second one; the first time seemed really easy because our server was from India and it just sort of came up. But having those tasty curries to look forward to? YUM.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy drew View Post
We just got off the Dream and are Dreaming of our next cruise . We traveled with another family and they are as in love as we are with everything about the Dream, except the length of the cruise. The other mom was saying that she wanted her husband to come on their next cruise, but he would never do more than a 4 night (and maybe even that would be too much for him), but that she wanted to do at least 7 nights. So I mentioned back to back cruises and we both agreed that was the perfect solution. However, we need some more info to make sure this isn't going to be more work than it is worth.

FWIW, we like the fact that we already know the ship (felt like it took us at least 2.5 days to learn our way around, figure out which elevators went where, etc.), and that on a B2B we would have 2 days at CC, and either 2 excursion days at Nassau or an excursion and a ship day.

Now for our questions:

1) Assuming we can book the same room for both cruises, do we have to pack and bring our bags off the ship between cruises?

2) Do we have the same table seating for both cruises?

3) What do we do when we debark between cruises?

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back?

5) Is there a very different vibe on a 3 night cruise? On our 4th night there was a weird vibe in the dining room. Our servers seemed very hands-off, rushed, stressed, hurried, etc. It was really weird, and my friend thought maybe something had happened during the first seating, like they got yelled at or something. I think I have read that there is a "stressed" vibe on a 3 night, but I thought that was more within the family, as in "We felt stressed about cramming as much fun as possible into 3 nights". If we had already done 4 nights, we wouldn't feel that stress within our families.

Ideally they would just go on a 7 night with us and we wouldn't have to do this, but at least this way we would get 2 days on CC and a familiar itinerary and ship, and my kids would have their friends to sail with and I'd have a friend (and her husband for part of the trip) to sail with too. But I think a B2B is the only way we are going to sail with them again, unless we go to Alaska and I can't afford that on DCL.

All advice is welcome, even "Don't do it!!!!" I want to think this through before I drop the cash on this. Our other option is just doing a 7 night without our friends, but then I won't have adult company when the kids are in their clubs.


1) Assuming we can book the same room for both cruises, do we have to pack and bring our bags off the ship between cruises?

We did back to back on the Fantasy and we had the same room we kept our clothes there that day and our host did the deep clean on Castaway cay day.

2) Do we have the same table seating for both cruises?

This depends! You have an option, your servers might change rotation ours did, so it's either keep the same table and rotation or keep your servers on the rotation they are on, we kept our servers and went on a different rotation and it was good to have an expirance a different way.

3) What do we do when we debark between cruises?

Good news! We didn't have to get up early, we slept in till 8am had breakfast then disembarked.

You get off at 9am, go into the terminal, and back up to embarkation terminal They have go get everyone off turn the computer system to the new cruise check you in , you were kept in the concierge area as the terminal was not open, do not wonder off! and we were back on at 10.15 most ship services are closed, pools Aquaduck is closed Cover cafe was open you could walk decks or go to your room if ready and use laundry.

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back?

You get a letter with instructions last night, it is two cruises so tips and photo packages are per cruise so with photos do them all first week, Internet however I could use up on the turnover dsy from cruise 1 on cruise 2

Note each ship can be different we have done B2B on the Fantasy and we had eighteen cruisers doing the same the system has changed in the last couple of years do people posting from a time earlier things have changed.

5) Is there a very different vibe on a 3 night cruise? On our 4th night there was a weird vibe in the dining room. Our servers seemed very hands-off, rushed, stressed, hurried, etc. It was really weird, and my friend thought maybe something had happened during the first seating, like they got yelled at or something. I think I have read that there is a "stressed" vibe on a 3 night, but I thought that was more within the family, as in "We felt stressed about cramming as much fun as possible into 3 nights". If we had already done 4 nights, we wouldn't feel that stress within our families.

Short cruises are rush rush a four dsy gives you time to explore the ship on the sea day.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:07 AM   #8
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We love doing BB cruises on the Dream. We have done a bunch of them. In fact we will be doing our first BBB this year! I feel that the crew goes out of their way to make you happy if they know you are BB.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:49 AM   #9
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We love doing BB cruises on the Dream. We have done a bunch of them. In fact we will be doing our first BBB this year! I feel that the crew goes out of their way to make you happy if they know you are BB.
My dream would be to forever do B2B cruises and live on the ship!
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:01 AM   #10
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Now for our questions:

1) Assuming we can book the same room for both cruises, do we have to pack and bring our bags off the ship between cruises?

You can leave your bags in your stateroom. You don't have to repack. We did a b2b in different rooms, and we had to repack but the stateroom hosts moved our bags to our new room for us.

2) Do we have the same table seating for both cruises?

No. We didn't even have the same servers, but many people have reported they did have the same servers.

3) What do we do when we debark between cruises?

We had an assigned meeting time in the atrium, around 9.15 or 9.30. You get taken back into the terminal and will check in for your next cruise. We were back on the ship at around 10.30. We were told that we could go to our stateroom and either collect anything we would need for that morning, or we could stay in there, but they didn't want us to keep going back and forth between the stateroom and the public areas because it looked bad for the other guests. We took a much needed nap!

4) What else should I know about doing a back to back?

I enjoyed doing a b2b because I didn't have to think about going to a show after along port day when I was tired. We had two chances to see each show. If you have been on the Dream before, they will be the same shows though.

If you want photos, go to Shutters and explain you are doing a b2b. They will keep the hard copies for you, so you can buy the 10 package with photos from both cruises. (They cannot access the digital files from both cruises, ONLY the printed copies.)


5) Is there a very different vibe on a 3 night cruise? On our 4th night there was a weird vibe in the dining room. Our servers seemed very hands-off, rushed, stressed, hurried, etc. It was really weird, and my friend thought maybe something had happened during the first seating, like they got yelled at or something. I think I have read that there is a "stressed" vibe on a 3 night, but I thought that was more within the family, as in "We felt stressed about cramming as much fun as possible into 3 nights". If we had already done 4 nights, we wouldn't feel that stress within our families.

The three night cruise was SUPER rushed for everyone. Everyone feels the need to try and do as much as possible in their short three days. Everything was busy. The line for the Aquaduck was crazy at some points. Our servers for the three night didn't seem rushed though.
If you have done the Dream, I would SERIOUSLY recommend doing a 7 night either on the Fantasy or Magic. We did the b2b because we wanted to see the Dream. I wouldn't do another one on the Dream where you repeat the identical itinerary.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:11 AM   #11
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If you have done the Dream, I would SERIOUSLY recommend doing a 7 night either on the Fantasy or Magic. We did the b2b because we wanted to see the Dream. I wouldn't do another one on the Dream where you repeat the identical itinerary.
This is where a B2b is better on the Fantasy is better as it goes East and West and has different ports and by using Remy and Palo you cut repeat meals.
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Disney Fantasy 8/11 and 8/18 2012 back to back, Eastern and Western, Two weeks in concierge!
Disney Magic 8 cruises, inc 12 night Baltic, 11 night Med, 14 & 15 night Panama, & 7 night Caribbean cruises.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:54 PM   #12
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We did back-2-back in 2011 on the Dream

3 and 4 day, I believe (cheaper than 7 day) with TWO scheduled visits to Castaway Cay.
.
Didn't quite work out as planned as Hurricane Irene encouraged alternative plans. While we missed Nassau (no big deal) and CC on the first cruise, the folks at DCL/CC worked very hard to give us a great visit on the second cruise

There are some benefits to two short cruise as one gets to "Gold" a bit faster, and like others have written, we were able to choose what we wanted to do a lot more intelligently. For example, we thought we could make do with an interior "magic porthole" room, but I get claustrophobic and we were able to upgrade to a disability, corner room with a window on the 2nd cruise for a reasonable charge.

I am not a huge fan of the Caribbean go-in-a-circle cruise with 3,000 other sunburned, drunken idiots .. but I do love DCL and how their team delivers such an exceptional experience. The TransAtlantic was an awesome experience and extremely reasonable on a per-day basis.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:40 AM   #13
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The touringplans.com blog recently had a nice post regarding a Dream B2B....

http://blog.touringplans.com/2014/05...ck-procedures/
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #14
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In February we did a 7 day on the Fantasy, a week at the parks and then
B2B, 3 and 4 days, on the Dream. We had the same cabin, same everything, at our request. It was great. We didn't mind that they had the same menu, we didn't feel the 'need' to experience the duplication which allowed us to do alternatives. It also was much cheaper, at least that month.
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