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Old 09-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #16
Crown_princess
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Tips please!!!

Thank you for your detailed report.

My husband and I are doing the same cruise soon. Would love to read those tips you gave those newbies, since we are newbies too.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:37 PM   #17
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Loved your report!
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #18
delta0413
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Thanks

Thanks everyone. To tell you the truth, I was wondering if I was going into too much detail.

Crown_Princess- I'll share our hints with you a little later today when I get a chance.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:24 AM   #19
amazeen
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God no, that was not too much info! I leave in 2 weeks for a 4 night cruise on the Dream with the DW and DD. This will be our first time on DCL! so looking forward to it! It was a last minute desicion. So thank you for all your info!
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #20
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Our Insider Tips

Since a few have asked, here are the tips we usually give those who are new to DCL.

Consult the daily Personal Navigator – This valuable document will be delivered to your stateroom each evening by your cabin steward. Read it… study it… carry it. We are planners by nature, but we’ll also do things on the fly if the mood strikes us. Having the Navigator with you makes it easier to do both. Heck, I’ve been known to pull it out if I hear a fellow cruiser who’s unsure of when or where an event is taking place.

See the shows. They are of Broadway quality and are excellent. If you’re wondering if I’m being a bit contradictory about this since we didn’t see them all, I’m not. We’ve seen all the shows multiple times and we just choose not to see Golden Mickeys anymore.

Take all opportunities to meet people, both your fellow cruisers and cast members. When DW and I look back at all the cruises we’ve taken, the ones that stand out the most are the ones that we met some really nice people. It’s really easy to get caught up in doing family things and keeping your attention focused inward. Don’t. There are plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation with many people. And don’t forget the crew members. We always take a few moments to talk to crew members around the ship. They’re all wearing name tags that say where they’re from. Read them and if they’re from someplace that you’re interested in visiting, stop and ask them to tell you some things about their country. On our way into Royal Palace one morning, we noticed that the crew member who was handing out the sanitizing wipes before entering was from St. Lucia. DW and I have always wanted to visit so we paused and told her we wanted to visit. Her eyes lit up as she began telling us about the things to see and how friendly her fellow countrymen are. We learned some great things in just a 2 minute conversation and she had the chance to talk about her country which obviously made her happy.

Participate – There will be many chances for you to participate and have some fun. If they ask for volunteers… volunteer. If you’re at trivia, play along. Don’t be embarrassed. Chances are VERY low that you’ll ever see these people again. DW and I have been contestants on Match Your Mate a couple of times and shared WTMI with our shipmates. Everyone laughs and you’ll be a minor celebrity the rest of the cruise… Big Fun!

Sail Away – Be at the sail away party. You can be on Deck 11 dancing with the Cast Members or be on Deck 12 overlooking the action. Our preference is Deck 12, but that’s because we like to watch the show and watch as we set sail. And don’t forget to look out on the starboard side for the Cast Members who checked you in. They’ll be outside waiving farewell with their large Mickey hands on. Also, stick around on the starboard side as you head out to sea to wave at all the people who come out to watch you set sail. If you’ve got a good Captain, he’ll play several tunes that he has at his disposal on the ship’s horns.

Pirate Night – There will be a Pirate Night on your cruise. It’s cheesy and fun at the same time. Bring costumes if you’re so inclined and if you’re worried about being the only ones, you won’t be. We’ve noticed a steady increase in the number of people who dress up for the occasion. Arrrrrrrrrr!

Fireworks – At the conclusion of the Pirates In the Caribbean stage show, there’ll be fireworks shot off the ship. DCL is still the only cruise line who is permitted to do so. Be on the starboard side of the ship for best viewing. As I’ve learned from a ship’s officer, they are limited by maritime law as to how much they can carry onboard. They go to the max and make the most of it. It’s a pretty good show especially considering that you’re in the middle of the ocean and not at the Magic Kingdom.

Castaway Cay – By far the nicest private island in the cruise industry. DCL was the first cruise line to build a dock at their private island so you don’t have to tender to and from the ship. This saves a tremendous amount of time and hassle. It also enables them to plug into the ship’s computer system so your KTTW card works on the island too. Castaway Cay is absolutely beautiful and as usual with anything that Disney does, it’s first class all the way. The attention to detail and guest comfort and convenience are great.

Serenity Bay for Adults – If you’re traveling sans kids or if they’re enjoying their kids activities, head to Serenity Bay. It’s reserved exclusively for those 18 and older and it’s worth the extra tram ride to get there. It is sooooo peaceful there. Don’t worry about schlepping back to the family areas for food and drink. You have your own eating pavilion where there are a couple of menu items that are exclusive to Serenity Bay. As I said in my trip report, the grilled rib eye is my favorite. I don’t know what seasoning they use, but it’s awesome.

For adults – Take advantage of the adults only places and activities while onboard. If you’re concerned about your kids, you probably don’t need to be. When our kids were of this age, we used to have to drag them out of their areas when it was bed time. There are always adult only activities in Evolution on the Dream (each of the other ships have their adult only areas too). They are usually a blast so have fun while your kids are too.

Brunch at Palo – Another adult only item. Brunch is only offered on cruises 4 nights in duration or longer. The food and service are extraordinary. Be sure to ask questions of your waiter and take their recommendations. If you don’t like it, push it aside and have something else. Also, look online for the dress code before you set sail so you have appropriate attire. They are strict in their enforcement of the dress code and it’s a drag having to go back to the cabin to change. I’ve watched as guests are turned away and asked to change and yes, it’s usually guys that have to make the walk of shame back to their cabins. Yes, we’ve eaten dinner at Palo too, but our preference is brunch. To us it’s more special.

Avoid the lines at Aqua Duck – Check the Navigator for the times that it’ll be open. We hate standing in lines so we’ve learned when to enjoy Aqua Duck without lines. We did it as it opened before heading out to Castaway Cay, but we noticed that it’s open until midnight most nights and isn’t crowded later in the evening. The exception to this is Pirate Night because everyone is up on deck anyway.

Tour the ship on your own and take the Art of the Theme Show tour – Take your time and tour the ship. Our ritual is to tour the ship deck by deck after eating lunch on embarkation day. We don’t do it anymore because we know the ships like the backs of our hands. We’ve also enjoyed the Art of the Theme Show Tour offered at least once during the cruise. You’ll get to learn some insider secrets about the design of the ship and how some things that look like they’re just nice design actually have meaning. You’ll even learn how to tell which side of the ship you’re on and whether you’re heading towards the bow or stern just by looking at the carpet.

Look for the Open House at Lab and Club – As I said earlier, our kids are grown now so we never had the chance to tour the Oceaneers Club and Lab on the Dream. We were finally able to tour it and OMG is it cool. Check your Navigator for Open House times. You’ll even get to play some of the games that the kids play.

Expect to have fun – I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m amazed at how many people I overhear on the ship who seem to be going out of their way to have a miserable time. I feel like telling them WAKE UP… YOU’RE ON VACATION. If you run into a setback, make the best of it. If you travel very much you have to expect that stuff is going to happen. DW and I were once on a coastal cruise on another cruise line and due to some significant headwinds, we were very late getting into port in Vancouver, BC. The cruise line offered to put us up at a VERY nice hotel in the heart of downtown. Since our flight had departed and we couldn’t depart until the next day, we jumped at the chance. We had a great time at dinner that night with another couple we met onboard. What struck me was there were a couple of people who were grousing while we were in line waiting to check into the hotel. They were going out of their way to try to rally others to grouse too. I looked at them and politely said that if you travel, you have to expect the unexpected and make the most of it. That shut them up very quickly.

As they like to say on the Travel Channel, be a traveler, not a tourist. Truer words could not be said.

If I can answer any questions, I’d be happy to. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll direct you to the Disboards FAQs or the discussion boards. Trust me, someone will have the answer.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
Andrea_loves_Disney
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Great report!! Thanks for sharing! Hey was your server Ali...from Turkey?
We had "Ali from Turkey" on the Magic a few years back and we LOVED him!! I thought I heard he was on the Dream now but I wasn't positive.

We would love to sail again and request him!
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #22
delta0413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea_loves_Disney View Post
Great report!! Thanks for sharing! Hey was your server Ali...from Turkey?
We had "Ali from Turkey" on the Magic a few years back and we LOVED him!! I thought I heard he was on the Dream now but I wasn't positive.

We would love to sail again and request him!
Thanks Andrea.

I believe it may be, but there are 2 Head Servers onboard the Dream named Ali. The Ali that we're referring has a name tag that has the United States as his place of residence. He and his family live about 15 minutes away from the port so he's able to make it home for a quick visit between sailings.

As I said in my review, he's always taken very good care of us and recognizes us when we see him. He even remembered my alergy to shell fish.

I hope you're able to sail with him!
Lou
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