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Old 02-28-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
Sparkie
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From Winter Blues to Bahama Breeze

Last night as I cuddled up in a blanket and went on one of my many "virtual" vacations. I came across an opportunity that I just couldnt refuse.

So.....
I just booked my first DISNEY CRUISE!!!



Now the Questions????


Transportation to and from the port. Other than Disney transport what do you suggest or is Disney transport the way to go?

Flight.... Booking through Southwest. Arrival flight lands at 950 am- is that enough time to get to the port and check in or should I look for flights the night before. Departure flight there are 2 options- one leaves MCO at 10 am- really dont think we could make that one but the other one leaves at 330pm I like the 10 am flight because it arrives in Bham at 1040 and I have to work Sun night shift. The 330 flight lands in Bham at 405pm so I still have time to get to work but no time for a nap.

We will have a birthday while on board. My DD will be 14- what kind of special things can I arrange for her?

And lastly... My DGD age 1 is on Lactose free milk (lactaid) will Disney provide this for her or should we plan to bring it with us. Also I know we cant use our little blow up pool on the deck or castaway cay but will it be confiscated in the luggage if we are planning to use it in the shower as a mini tub?

Thanks for all your help.


We sail in 52 days!!!


Just a point of reference: 1 have done one carnival cruise - our first ever last year when DGD was 6 months and we have another carnival cruise planned for Oct. 2010. I am also looking at booking on the Disney Dream for October 2011. What are the advantages of booking while on board?
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
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Sparkie there are gift packages that you can order online before the cruise and they will decorate your room and such so its a big birthday surprise when you get to your room.

I don't know the answers to your other questions but I just wanted to say....

I THINK WE'RE ON THE SAME CRUISE!!!

This will be my 2nd Disney cruise and my husband's 4th! We're trying to get to gold member status LOL!
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:05 PM   #3
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April 22, 2010?



Do you think its too early to pack and arrive at the terminal and wait until its my turn to play on Mickey's boat? 52 days seems like an eternity.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
Angelhalo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
April 22, 2010?



Do you think its too early to pack and arrive at the terminal and wait until its my turn to play on Mickey's boat? 52 days seems like an eternity.
Yep April 22nd 2010!!! Wooohoooo! There isn't a meetup group for our cruise yet and I am soooo not an organizing. I'm hoping someone will come along and start one before then.

Too early? heck no! I say we get going right now! I just started our packing list tonight!

DH has been on two shoter cruises previously, I have only been on a 7 nighter on Disney and a 7 nighter on crappy Carnival so this will be my first shorter cruise. This will be DH's 4th cruise so we're trying to book one more short one later this year and then a longer one next year which would put us at the gold castaway level.

We're so stoked about this April cruise. We've just been doing nothing but looking at cruise pix online all evening!
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
Last night as I cuddled up in a blanket and went on one of my many "virtual" vacations. I came across an opportunity that I just couldnt refuse.

So.....
I just booked my first DISNEY CRUISE!!!



Now the Questions????


Transportation to and from the port. Other than Disney transport what do you suggest or is Disney transport the way to go?
Depends on how many people. A lot of limo cars are lower price in total if you have 4 or more people.

Flight.... Booking through Southwest. Arrival flight lands at 950 am- is that enough time to get to the port and check in or should I look for flights the night before. Departure flight there are 2 options- one leaves MCO at 10 am- really dont think we could make that one but the other one leaves at 330pm I like the 10 am flight because it arrives in Bham at 1040 and I have to work Sun night shift. The 330 flight lands in Bham at 405pm so I still have time to get to work but no time for a nap.

Yes, plenty of time to get to the port, but NO to the 10:40 return flight. You might be delayed getting off the ship, if you don't get off until 9, you have missed the flight, even if you get off at 8, depending on transport, you really don't have enough time to clear security at MCO, SW side is very long lines, I speak from many fights of experience.

We will have a birthday while on board. My DD will be 14- what kind of special things can I arrange for her?
Besides what a PP has said, make sure you tell the head server on the first night that it is her BD, and what night, they will bring a small cake and sing. You may also want to tell your server the night before.

And lastly... My DGD age 1 is on Lactose free milk (lactaid) will Disney provide this for her or should we plan to bring it with us. Also I know we cant use our little blow up pool on the deck or castaway cay but will it be confiscated in the luggage if we are planning to use it in the shower as a mini tub?

What category of cabin are you in? Cat 10 and lower have a tub in the bathroom. There is a medical form you will need to fill in once you have paid in full. Make sure you do that and send it in. Also mention it to your servers, but it will NOT be an issue. DCL is very used to all sorts of food allergies and deals with them quite well.

Thanks for all your help.


We sail in 52 days!!!


Just a point of reference: 1 have done one carnival cruise - our first ever last year when DGD was 6 months and we have another carnival cruise planned for Oct. 2010. I am also looking at booking on the Disney Dream for October 2011. What are the advantages of booking while on board?
Booking on bpard may get you a discount and a nice on board credit. That is what is happening currently.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:15 PM   #6
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So far.... the rest of the family hasnt guessed where we are going in a mere 48 days. It has been so much fun being the "keeper of the secret".

I am beginning to piece together my plan. I will have them pack like a road trip, then when we get in the car and DH says, so where to.... I will announce to the airport. When we park at the airport, we can retreive swimwear and make sure our carry on is 3-1-1 safe. At this point they will assume we are going to Orlando and most likely Disney World..... So from here I am going to wait until we go to check in for the Cruise line transportation. Is the cruise line transportation in the same place as the regular magical express? Hopefully from here they will not realize it is a suprise Disney Cruise until we approach Port Canaveral. I'm so excited and I really hope the family appreciates the suprise trip. I was fortunate enough to get 8 extra shifts which will pay for our trip in full before we leave.....

Its so much fun being the KOTS!
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Yes, the transport check in is in the same area. It won't be as much of a surprise tho, the bus wil show the DCL Video. But maybe you can tell them it;s the wrong movie?
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
Angelhalo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
So far.... the rest of the family hasnt guessed where we are going in a mere 48 days. It has been so much fun being the "keeper of the secret".

I am beginning to piece together my plan. I will have them pack like a road trip, then when we get in the car and DH says, so where to.... I will announce to the airport. When we park at the airport, we can retreive swimwear and make sure our carry on is 3-1-1 safe. At this point they will assume we are going to Orlando and most likely Disney World..... So from here I am going to wait until we go to check in for the Cruise line transportation. Is the cruise line transportation in the same place as the regular magical express? Hopefully from here they will not realize it is a suprise Disney Cruise until we approach Port Canaveral. I'm so excited and I really hope the family appreciates the suprise trip. I was fortunate enough to get 8 extra shifts which will pay for our trip in full before we leave.....

Its so much fun being the KOTS!
Sparkie if you haven't done so already, come post in our Meet thread!
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyfan1 View Post
Yes, the transport check in is in the same area. It won't be as much of a surprise tho, the bus wil show the DCL Video. But maybe you can tell them it;s the wrong movie?

The teenagers will probably be too busy texting to notice the movie and I think i can convince DH that it is an advertisement. I am the DISNEY NUT in my house. Everyone just tolerates me and comes along for the ride.

Good to know that it is in the same check in area as magical express.

I am MASSIVELY EXCITED about my second cruise ever and my first Disney cruise. I intend on booking on the Disney Dream for October 2011.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post
Transportation to and from the port. Other than Disney transport what do you suggest or is Disney transport the way to go?
DCL transport is great, but you can do it a little cheaper privately. Personally I'd just take the DCL transfers for simplicity's sake.

Flight.... Booking through Southwest. Arrival flight lands at 950 am- is that enough time to get to the port and check in or should I look for flights the night before. Departure flight there are 2 options- one leaves MCO at 10 am- really dont think we could make that one but the other one leaves at 330pm. I like the 10 am flight because it arrives in Bham at 1040 and I have to work Sun night shift. The 330 flight lands in Bham at 405pm so I still have time to get to work but no time for a nap.
If you can fly in the night before that's always a bit safer, but 9:50am is early enough to get to port with no trouble. The 10am flight going home is way too early to make IMHO.

We will have a birthday while on board. My DD will be 14- what kind of special things can I arrange for her?
You can notify DCL beforehand that you'll be celebrating a birthday, and what night you'd like to celebrate it. Then you'd just remind the servers. Also, there is a fairly inexpensive birthday celebration package for the room (less than $40) which gives you decorations and a cake. The decorations will already be setup when you check in.

And lastly... My DGD age 1 is on Lactose free milk (lactaid) will Disney provide this for her or should we plan to bring it with us. Also I know we cant use our little blow up pool on the deck or castaway cay but will it be confiscated in the luggage if we are planning to use it in the shower as a mini tub?
I know they have soy milk, but I'm not sure about lactaid specifically. You may want to check with DCL. All the bathrooms have tubs, so you won't need it. Categories 11 and 12 have one bathroom, categories 10 and up have split baths, where one room has the toilet and the other has the tub. Either way you won't need it, and it likely wouldn't fit.
Hope this helps!
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #11
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we didn't even have to remind disney about our sons birthday, they said when I booked over the phone, oh it looks like someone is having a birthday? and they must have flagged our ressie. The waiters brought him a delish cake.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #12
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Here is a good thread on milk alergies
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2408518

Your clothes might wrinkle if you pack now but shopping for a new outfit might be therapeutic. LOL

The earlier flight home it too early. I think they suggest not booking one before noon.

Have a great trip!
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #13
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30 Days until we CRUISE!!!

I'm getting really excited !!!

Operation SECRET DISNEY CRUISE is still underwraps. They have been guessing for ages but no one has even guessed Disney Cruise. I cant wait to see their faces when the suprise is revealed. My plan is to tell them to pack shorts/tees, swimwear, casual dress and one nice outfit. We have discussed going to Cancun before so I think I will hint that we are going to a carribean resort.... And we are.... its just a floating resort.

I went ahead and booked Disney transportation to the port. I know that the car rental thing is cheaper but DH has a bad sense of direction and I didnt want the stress of getting lost. My luggage is out and waiting to be filled... I know, I know, still too soon.

I was reading another trip report and watched the You Tube video from back in Feb 2010 when the Magic and the Wonder were in port together and there was the horn banter....

I must say... I was balling like a baby. Do you think if I cry when they announce my name and welcome me on the ship the crew will think I have really lost it? Or if I do the little 3 year old run in place cause I'm so excited dance- do you think people will stare?

Till next time.....
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:25 AM   #14
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We’re Back!!!
(actually I’ve typed this 3 times and lost them to cyberspace)

All I can say is WOW!!! We had a great time. So much of a great time that I left the ship with another cruise booked and a DVC member!

We left home at 5:30 am arrived at the Birmingham airport and were checked in and through security and waiting at the gate by 6:40am. The plane took off at 7:20am and landed in Orlando at 9:50 am. A quick dash through the airport (well as quick as you can be, lugging a carseat, a baby, a backpack, a blankie, 2 jackets, and 2 small bags for the baby- I felt like a pack mule- gotta get better at this) Anyway, a quick dash through the airport, down to the Magical Express area to check in for the DCL bus. Big perk… we not only checked in for the bus but checked in for the ship here as well. Got our KTTW card, our security photo, turned in the papers I had printed off the internet, did the illness declaration form, and got our Mickey boarding pass for the bus.

The bus ride was uneventful and really wouldn’t be that bad if you were an adult traveling with older kids, but traveling with an infant… next time I’ll use a car service or rent a car. She just travels better in her carseat.

Terminal Procedures: Show your KTTW card, photo ID, through security, up the escalator, then into the lobby. They had Disney employees waiting to help you at tables in the lobby if you already had your KTTW card. All we needed was a boarding group number…. We got… Group number 3!! We arrived at the terminal at 11:15 and was on the ship and having lunch at 12:10. I didn’t cry, I didn’t dance but I was smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

Parrot Cay Buffet: Very good, lots of variety. Quick service. You have to get the Peach Crumble Desert- YUMMY!

Sail Away Party: So much FUN!!! We sat on Deck 9 but if you don’t mind the sun, I think you could see better from Deck 10.

Pools: Mickey Pool was cute but wall-to-wall kids, the Splash Zone for the babies was great and perfect for our toddler. Goofy pool- seemed to be older kids and was still pretty full most of the time but I could see water between the kids, the Adult pool…. Ahhhh! Hot tubs were fantastic; pool was a perfect, cushion on the sunchairs… Paradise!

Pinocchio’s Pizza, Goofy Galley, Pluto’s Doghouse: Great for a quick snack. Burgers, pizza and hotdogs a little better than theme park but about the same. Yummy fruit plate from Goofy’s and good sandwich variety.

Animator’s Palate: Appetizers: Mushroom Risotto, Cheese Flatbread, Green Salad. Entrees: Penne Pasta and Beef Short ribs. Desserts: Warm Apple Crumble, and chocolate cake. All were delicious.

Parrot Cay: Appetizers: Baked Crab, Parrot Cay Salad and West Indies Salad. Entrees: Rib eye and Roasted chicken. Desserts: Lemon Meringue Pie, Crème brulee cheesecake. No special Pirate theme. But the food was good.

Tritons: My Favorite! Appetizers: Chilled Jumbo shrimp, French Onion Soup, Tomato and Basil Soup, Green salad with peppered goat cheese, and my 14yo-tried escargot- she ate one, didn’t throw up, but after that she was done. I guess it’s an acquired taste. Entrees: Sea Bass, Chicken, Beef Tenderloin, and Duck. Desserts: Souffle and Crème brulee. Appetizers were amazing. The sea bass was good but I wish I had gone with the Tenderloin, Duck was new for us. It was moist and tender. I didn’t like it but daughter and hubby did. Hubby wasn’t sure if he wanted the beef or the duck so the server brought him both.

Our dinner servers: FANTASTIC !! We hardly had to ask for anything. They were great at anticipating needs, glasses were kept full, they helped us keep the baby entertained, they brought the baby’s food out first and even helped cut up her chicken so we could enjoy our meal.

They were very at tentative to baby’s lactose intolerance. We were given a carton of milk each night to take to the room with us so she could have milk during the night and in the morning. One night the chicken finger batter contained milk so they made a special batter just for her.

Musical Production Shows: Don’t miss them! Dreams was my favorite. Kids would most like Toy Story. My girls have done musical theater and danced all their lives so we were impressed.

Flounders Reef Nursery: Our little one couldn’t wait to get through that door to the toys. She had a great time and this was her first nursery experience. The staff was very loving and you could tell that they truly enjoyed caring for the children. Book your nursery time EARLY! I did here them telling parents on the phone who were calling for last minute availability that they were full for the evening. So if you really want some nursery time… book early.

Aloft: Must have been great because I hardly saw my teenager. She made lots of new friends and couldn’t wait to get back to the teen club.

Nassau: We did the horse and buggy tour and the pirate museum and some shopping in the straw market. Next time, I think I’ll just skip it. It was ok, but not something I’ve just got to do again. I think the Atlantis excursion is probably the best. I didn’t feel unsafe like I thought I would. There were LOTS of police and military people around.

Castaway Cay: This can be as leisurely or active as you choose. We went for leisure. Just lounging on the beach, playing in the sand and wading in the water. My teenager went on the teen excursion and had a blast. For $35 she got to swim, snorkel, kayak and hang with her friends. They have teen beach time for free also but the activities are in the morning. Again, I signed her off the ship and didn’t see her again until dinner.

Staterooms: We had 2 Standard Inside rooms. They were adequate for 2 or 3 people but 4 would be crowded. The hairdryer… if you have thin hair, and don’t require much styling, it would dry your hair similar to putting you head under the hand dryer in the bathroom. So bring your hair dryer. If you are not shampoo particular, the bath products that they provide are fantastic. There is shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath soap. Our stateroom hosts were again, Fantastic! Very friendly, kept our room tidy, folded the dirty clothes left on the floor by the teenagers. We had a pack and play crib in one room but the baby wouldn’t stay in it so they took it out, it was crowded in the room with it anyway. No need for a diaper genie. The garbage didn’t stay in the room long enough to be a problem.

Debarkation: Very smooth process. Put your luggage out the night before. You can drag it to breakfast with you if you want but it was much easier to put most of it out, keep your clothes for the next day and just pack up your toiletries in one bag in the morning. Again, quickly loaded on the bus, back to the airport or on with the rest of your vacation.

We had a great time. Enjoyed some quality family time, had some adult time, and were filled with some Disney Magic to carry us until the next time.

Thanks for letting me share my story with you all.
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