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Old 07-14-2008, 10:47 AM   #91
fltink
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I'm loving the fact that summer sales are already taking place up here in New England. Swim wear, sunscreen and all other cruise necessities are already on clearance and I can start to stock up for the cruise! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! I don't know about anyone else, but I know that my family and I talk about the cruise every moment that we are together. We get prettty obsessive about it! We start looking through the most recent Navigators and menus and looking for changes (yes, we are crazy like that!), start planning where we are going to eat the night before our cruise while we are in Orlando (most likely Bahama Breeze or Buca di Beppo, and then Ohana on the night we get off the cruise), and what we're going to pack! I swear, we LIVE for cruising with DCL!!!!!
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Past Cast Member of The Disney Store, The Backlot Tour, The BoardWalk, concierge for the Swan and Dolphin, Disney Cruise Line, and now working at another dream job!
Past Cruises:
Sept '02 4 N Wonder
April '03 7 N Eastern Carib Bday Magic
Oct '03 3 N Wonder
Feb '04 7 N Western Carib Valentine's Magic
Sept '05 7 N Western Carib WEDDING Magic!!!!
Sept '07 7 N Eastern Carib 2 Yr Anniversary Magic
Jan '09 7 N Western Carib Magic
Sept '09 7 N Eastern Carib 4 Yr Anniversary Magic
July '10 4 N Wonder
Oct '10 4 N Halloween Wonder
Jan '11 3 N Preview Cast Dream

Next cruise.....
Sept '13 14 N Panama Wonder (8 Yr Anniversary!!!)
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:08 PM   #92
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I hear ya! Got my 60 can soft sided cooler for DH at ocean state job lot for $16.99 and Bath and Body had a HUGE sale last week and week before. 75%off! Stocked up on some xmas gifts too ! Disney online is also having a summer sale.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:44 PM   #93
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If you have kids, the children's place is having a huge outlet sale online right now with $5 flat rate shipping
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:36 PM   #94
fltink
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Yeah, I took advantage of the summer sale that disneyshopping.com had. We got a ton of beach towels, swim clothing, etc. Plus the stores are now having a big sale too! Yay!!!! )

And hooray to us for making it to the 6 month mark!!!!! Hopefully time will FLY by!!!!
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Jenn
Past Cast Member of The Disney Store, The Backlot Tour, The BoardWalk, concierge for the Swan and Dolphin, Disney Cruise Line, and now working at another dream job!
Past Cruises:
Sept '02 4 N Wonder
April '03 7 N Eastern Carib Bday Magic
Oct '03 3 N Wonder
Feb '04 7 N Western Carib Valentine's Magic
Sept '05 7 N Western Carib WEDDING Magic!!!!
Sept '07 7 N Eastern Carib 2 Yr Anniversary Magic
Jan '09 7 N Western Carib Magic
Sept '09 7 N Eastern Carib 4 Yr Anniversary Magic
July '10 4 N Wonder
Oct '10 4 N Halloween Wonder
Jan '11 3 N Preview Cast Dream

Next cruise.....
Sept '13 14 N Panama Wonder (8 Yr Anniversary!!!)
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:03 AM   #95
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Correction, 5 months 4 weeks and 1 day!!! Now that it's getting closer, I look at my countdown clock everyday. And yes, my husband thinks I am nuts! But, I am sooooo exited!
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:21 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fltink View Post
Where in Mass. are you originally from? I am from Watertown and my husband is from Quincy! We are flying down the day before as well, out of Logan. We're on Spirit Airlines. Congrats on the 1st cruise! If you have any questions, we're pretty much pros at this by now! Feel free to ask! Good to meet you too!
I do have a couple of ?'s for you about excursions. Do you always use Disney's excursions or have you gone off on your own? We aren't really the "group tour" type of people and are traveling with another family. We would much rather go off on our own, rent a van with a driver or something to show us to the shops and maybe a little beach time on St. Maarten, my kids would get a kick out of that beach with the planes flying over you. And with St. Thomas, I have my heart set on getting over to St. John because I hear it's absolutely beautiful. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #97
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Question for everyone ... we're doing a pre-stay ... coming in early (after a red-eye flight), on that Wednesday before the cruise ... we're wanting to stay onsite but don't know where the transports pick up at for the day of the cruise. Any suggestions on where to stay?? Also anyone have ideas on how to get discounted tickets to the parks?

CAN NOT WAIT!!!
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:54 PM   #98
fltink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgon76 View Post
I do have a couple of ?'s for you about excursions. Do you always use Disney's excursions or have you gone off on your own? We aren't really the "group tour" type of people and are traveling with another family. We would much rather go off on our own, rent a van with a driver or something to show us to the shops and maybe a little beach time on St. Maarten, my kids would get a kick out of that beach with the planes flying over you. And with St. Thomas, I have my heart set on getting over to St. John because I hear it's absolutely beautiful. Any suggestions?
I have done excursions on my own on the WESTERN Caribbean side. I am not very familiar with the Eastern side, but we will still be doing our excursions on our own. (We are thinking about going to the zipline park.)

Excursions on your own are often much cheaper, and give you more variety. For example, on the Western side in Cozumel, the Dolphin excursion that Disney offered was more expensive and much more limited in the amount of interaction that you can have with the dolphins. We booked the same excursion on our own, payed less money and got a lot more time and more hands of experience with these beautiful animals.

What I would suggest, is start looking online. Simply Google "shore excursions in St. Maarten", etc. Look through some of the places. If you see something you like, trying checking some cruise related chat boards to see if anyone can give you a first-hand report on how they were. Some things that you want to look for are: What is the cancellation policy? If the ship were to be late, or divert it's course, would you get a refund? Will your excursion be over in plenty of time to return to the ship? Are there any age limits? How easy/expensive is the location to reach by taxi?

Hope this helps!
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Jenn
Past Cast Member of The Disney Store, The Backlot Tour, The BoardWalk, concierge for the Swan and Dolphin, Disney Cruise Line, and now working at another dream job!
Past Cruises:
Sept '02 4 N Wonder
April '03 7 N Eastern Carib Bday Magic
Oct '03 3 N Wonder
Feb '04 7 N Western Carib Valentine's Magic
Sept '05 7 N Western Carib WEDDING Magic!!!!
Sept '07 7 N Eastern Carib 2 Yr Anniversary Magic
Jan '09 7 N Western Carib Magic
Sept '09 7 N Eastern Carib 4 Yr Anniversary Magic
July '10 4 N Wonder
Oct '10 4 N Halloween Wonder
Jan '11 3 N Preview Cast Dream

Next cruise.....
Sept '13 14 N Panama Wonder (8 Yr Anniversary!!!)
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:07 PM   #99
fltink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georji View Post
Question for everyone ... we're doing a pre-stay ... coming in early (after a red-eye flight), on that Wednesday before the cruise ... we're wanting to stay onsite but don't know where the transports pick up at for the day of the cruise. Any suggestions on where to stay?? Also anyone have ideas on how to get discounted tickets to the parks?

CAN NOT WAIT!!!
I know that you can get DCL transfers from many of the resorts (Swan and Dolphin included).

Have you considered NOT doing DCL's transfers, though? Just a suggestion, for anyone who is interested. It's often much cheaper to rent a car. That's what we're doing, and we've done it on previous trips too. We rent a car right from Budget or Avis, which are located right at Orlando Airport. We stay in a hotel near the airport (which is often MUCH cheaper than staying on Disney property), drive to Disney for the day, return to the hotel, and then drive to the port the next morning. You can drop off your family at the port, and then drive the 5 minutes to return the rental car. The rental companies then provide free shuttle service to the port. Then, on disembarkation day, same thing....someone takes the shuttle to pick up the car, and comes back and picks everyone up. You can return the car right at the airport. We are getting our car through Avis. It is only $45 on each side of our cruise, so a total of $90. Disney Transfers are $35 per person, per way, so we're talking $70 per person!!!! The other nice thing about renting a car is that you can arrive at the port at whatever time you like, and avoid the long lines. On the DCL busses, you arrive at the time that Disney has established (which is usually after 12pm) and you arrive with a whole hoarde of other passengers, so check in lines can be very long.

Again, just a suggestion. DCL transfers work great and some people LOVE watching the cute little video that they show on the ride over. Plus you don't have to worry about driving or loading a car with your luggage.
__________________
Jenn
Past Cast Member of The Disney Store, The Backlot Tour, The BoardWalk, concierge for the Swan and Dolphin, Disney Cruise Line, and now working at another dream job!
Past Cruises:
Sept '02 4 N Wonder
April '03 7 N Eastern Carib Bday Magic
Oct '03 3 N Wonder
Feb '04 7 N Western Carib Valentine's Magic
Sept '05 7 N Western Carib WEDDING Magic!!!!
Sept '07 7 N Eastern Carib 2 Yr Anniversary Magic
Jan '09 7 N Western Carib Magic
Sept '09 7 N Eastern Carib 4 Yr Anniversary Magic
July '10 4 N Wonder
Oct '10 4 N Halloween Wonder
Jan '11 3 N Preview Cast Dream

Next cruise.....
Sept '13 14 N Panama Wonder (8 Yr Anniversary!!!)
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:39 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georji View Post
Question for everyone ... we're doing a pre-stay ... coming in early (after a red-eye flight), on that Wednesday before the cruise ... we're wanting to stay onsite but don't know where the transports pick up at for the day of the cruise. Any suggestions on where to stay?? Also anyone have ideas on how to get discounted tickets to the parks?

CAN NOT WAIT!!!

The following places are the resorts that use the DCL transport:
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin
Disney's Board Walk Inn & Villas
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort.
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside (Dixie Landings Resort)
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
Disney's Beach Club Resort/Villas.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Animal Kingdom Lodge/Villas

As for discounted tickets use uncovertourist.com or mapleleaftickets.com they are usually the cheapest and most reputable in the business. They are both highly recommended and I have used both of them.

As for a place to stay, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices up there. I have not stayed at Poly, Contemp, Swan/Dolphin but have stayed at the others. They are all deluxe resorts except for POR so if you want to save a little dough to use on the cruise then stay there. Most people like the French Quarter resort a tad better.

Last edited by Bytor01; 07-20-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #101
Bytor01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgon76 View Post
I do have a couple of ?'s for you about excursions. Do you always use Disney's excursions or have you gone off on your own? We aren't really the "group tour" type of people and are traveling with another family. We would much rather go off on our own, rent a van with a driver or something to show us to the shops and maybe a little beach time on St. Maarten, my kids would get a kick out of that beach with the planes flying over you. And with St. Thomas, I have my heart set on getting over to St. John because I hear it's absolutely beautiful. Any suggestions?
I am also fishing around and have just started to look into the excursions. While I do not have any suggestions just yet I can tell you a couple of things that you should be mindful. 1- You will probably pay less money in booking the excursion on your own than with Disney, BUT...2- If you do and your excursion is late and does not get back in time then you will miss the boat, literally. The ship will depart without you. If you book with Disney and your excursion is late, the ship will wait. So, depending upon what you are doing, what time it is, and where it is may all play a factor in who you book with. Honestly, the couple of bucks that I may save never outweighs the factor of knowing that I can always get on the ship. Would that piece of mind be worth maybe and extra 30-50 dollars or less? To each his/her own. Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:08 PM   #102
Georji
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fltink View Post
I know that you can get DCL transfers from many of the resorts (Swan and Dolphin included).

Have you considered NOT doing DCL's transfers, though? Just a suggestion, for anyone who is interested. It's often much cheaper to rent a car. That's what we're doing, and we've done it on previous trips too. We rent a car right from Budget or Avis, which are located right at Orlando Airport. We stay in a hotel near the airport (which is often MUCH cheaper than staying on Disney property), drive to Disney for the day, return to the hotel, and then drive to the port the next morning. You can drop off your family at the port, and then drive the 5 minutes to return the rental car. The rental companies then provide free shuttle service to the port. Then, on disembarkation day, same thing....someone takes the shuttle to pick up the car, and comes back and picks everyone up. You can return the car right at the airport. We are getting our car through Avis. It is only $45 on each side of our cruise, so a total of $90. Disney Transfers are $35 per person, per way, so we're talking $70 per person!!!! The other nice thing about renting a car is that you can arrive at the port at whatever time you like, and avoid the long lines. On the DCL busses, you arrive at the time that Disney has established (which is usually after 12pm) and you arrive with a whole hoarde of other passengers, so check in lines can be very long.

Again, just a suggestion. DCL transfers work great and some people LOVE watching the cute little video that they show on the ride over. Plus you don't have to worry about driving or loading a car with your luggage.
Thanks TINK! I had just been thinking that waiting for the transfers would be kind of a bummer since I like to be at the port for cruises like the second they're open ... even if it's a little wait I'd rather be way early than miss a minute of being on the ship!! How long is the drive?? Also, it will be 6 of us traveling with all our stuff ... suggestions on that? Do they have vans??
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:14 PM   #103
Georji
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bytor01 View Post
The following places are the resorts that use the DCL transport:
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin
Disney's Board Walk Inn & Villas
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort.
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside (Dixie Landings Resort)
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
Disney's Beach Club Resort/Villas.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Animal Kingdom Lodge/Villas

As for discounted tickets use uncovertourist.com or mapleleaftickets.com they are usually the cheapest and most reputable in the business. They are both highly recommended and I have used both of them.

As for a place to stay, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices up there. I have not stayed at Poly, Contemp, Swan/Dolphin but have stayed at the others. They are all deluxe resorts except for POR so if you want to save a little dough to use on the cruise then stay there. Most people like the French Quarter resort a tad better.
Thank you so much for the info! We definitely want to stay onsite! Thanks for those websites ... I think my mom just found out that she can get cheap tickets because my dad works for the airlines. I'm not sure yet, but either way I'm so super excited!! I'll still check out those websites! You all are the bestest!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:15 PM   #104
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Does anyone know how to pre-pay for gratuities?
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:34 AM   #105
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Does anyone know how to pre-pay for gratuities?
I just had my travel agent do it- she said she called DCL and had them add it to my reservation. It feels better to pay as much ahead of time since new airline fees and increased fuel charges keep adding to the expense of vacations these days.
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