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Old 12-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
tpettie
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New to Cruise

So we have done 5 trips to disneyworld and are thinking we might want to try adding a cruise onto that.

What are the ins and outs... When is low season? how does cost work? what's included in the price?

Anything you can think of a total newbie cruiser should know...
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Depending on which trip you are on, there are any number of ins and outs. (check out my sig line I put a lot of the boards helpfull hints in a online document)

Low season is typically when everyone is in school, or the weather is cold. High season is times such as summer vacation, Christmas break, spring break or a 1 off itinerary.(Basically something that that particular ship never does such as the Dream doing a triple dip to CC or going to Key West and Costa Maya instead of Nassau)

Whats included in your cruise fare.
Your cabin of course, all meals onboard with the EXCEPTIONS of Remys and Palos which are the adult only rest, most entertainment (every once in a while there are pay for admission events such as champagne/wine tasting testing, etc), room service and sodas with your meals, onboard movies. Oh and Cast Away Cay is mostly free. Theres a few things on the island you pay for like cabanas, bike rentals etc

Whats not included would be things like most excursions, alcohol, gifts, or anything in a can or bottle, transportation to and from the port.

The way a cruise typically works is this:
Figure out what room you might want and what cruise. The 4 ships do 4 different itinerarys from different ports. On the Magic and Wonder, the inside rooms are standard rooms. On the Dream and Fantasy, they have Virtual portholes in the inside rooms, which shows live webcam images from outside the ship and a Disney or Pixar character may stop by.

Balcony rooms are more expensive the oceanview or inside rooms.

The ships themselves like the resorts and parks are cashless. You pay at the end or tell them put it on plastic.

Once you figure out 4 vs 7 days, Port Canaveral vs Los Angeles, your next step is to book. you can do this 1 of 2 ways.
1 Book directly thru Disney. If you use this method, they arrange for you airfare if needed, cruiseline busses (they are 35 pp 1 way 70 roundtrip. Not to be confused with the DME busses which are free) WDW or DL stay, and your cruise package. If something should go wrong with say a flight and your late, Disney will get you to the ship where ever it is.

2 Use a online or brick and mortar travel agent. Do some research. Some ta's will offer an upgrade, some a free or reduced excursion, or others an onboard credit which you can use while onboard the ship. If you happen to see a ta offer the same cruise for say less the 300 dollars then what everyone else is, be very afraid. Chances are that that ta didnt add in the port fees and taxes which everyone else shows upfront. You wont see it until after you go thru everything and then it will be there. If you use this option, and say bad weather delys a ship from coming home, your on your own to change and pay for your flight changes. They can also set up airfare most of the time, DCL transfers etc.

No matter which way you go, typically unless you are on a special cruise such as a Maiden Voyage, or concierge, the down payment is 20% of your total cruise cost, and yuo can get this money back, if you should cancel for any reason up to 75 days out. Concierge and special cruises usually have different rules and usually a non refundable deposit.

Go buy a book. Frommers, Birnbaums and Passporters guide to cruising are probably the most popular cruise books on the boards. Just dont rely on them for pricing. Prices can and do change at a moments notice. Same thing with booking. If you see a balcony cabin for your group and you like the price, dont hesitate, book it. Prices will go up as more people book that cruise and the cabin inventory goes down.

The only other things tha come to mind when deciding on which rooms you want, you want to stay at least 2 decks below the pool decks on any of the ships, and at least 2 decks over the theaters. (basically at least a 1 deck buffer) I have heard a lot of people that have stayed directly under the pool decks, restauraunt, or theater and heard every chair move, scrape or explosion from the movie.

If theres anything else you want to know, feel free to ask. Its what we are here for.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpettie
So we have done 5 trips to disneyworld and are thinking we might want to try adding a cruise onto that.

What are the ins and outs... When is low season? how does cost work? what's included in the price?

Anything you can think of a total newbie cruiser should know...
Set aside enough for a deposit for your next cruise because if you rebook onboard there's 10% off your future cruise as well as on board credit for your next cruise.
If you aren't sure of dates, rebook anyway and then move it anytime before your paid in full date. I wish I'd thought about it before debarking that first cruise.
So our third cruise is 20% off (the future cruise desk was running a sale) and we have $200 on board credit.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for that info it is a great help

So my understanding is that the price listed with Disney that does include port fee right??
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
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The price you pay includes all port charges and government fees.

No travel agent can sell a DCL cruise for anything other than the set Disney price. What they can do is offer an onboard credit or other "thanks for booking with us" perk. A good one will offer great service also.

What I'd look for--an agent who has been on the class of ship that you are considering AND at a minimum has been to the training that DCL provides for agents. A sign in a window proclaiming them a "Disney Specialist" can mean nothing--it can mean that one person in a nationwide agency attended training and they all try to claim the credentials. Go with an agency that books DCL cruises many times a week, not twice in a year! Remember that you are buying both the agent and the agency--be sure you are happy with both.

DCL does not charge for changing a cruise date or canceling a cruise until you reach the "penalty date," but some local agents do charge a fee if you cancel. Read the fine print before you sign.

Please understand--I'm not trying to scare you away from the many reputable and excellent agencies out there; I book with an agent. Just know what you are getting.

Low season is any time traditional schools are in session--September/early October and January/early February typically have the lowest rates. We love September--it is warm and generally sunny, but not the oppressive humidity of the summer. Hurricane season is 6 months of the year--don't let that talk scare you!

Cost includes everything you NEED. Most food and beverages in unlimited amounts (exceptions include alcohol, smoothies, virgin drinks, specialty coffee like Starbucks, canned soft drinks, and pre-packaged foods like theater candy/popocorn). You can eat 10 meals a day if you choose at no cost. Most on board entertainment is included--exceptions are tastings (like wine, martini), bingo...that's about it. Think of Castaway Cay as an extension of the ship when it comes to food and beverages.

What's not included--food on any island except Castaway Cay. Excursions on islands(you don't need to book excursions!). Nursery time (programming for kids age 3 and potty trained thru 17 is included). Photos, shopping, spa, adult dining. Tips! Budget $12 per family member per night of cruise for tips....for example, on a 3 night cruise, each person will be charged $36 in tips.

Don't overschedule and remember to have fun.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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What do you do with luggage while waiting for your flight time

Say you get back from your cruise at 7:30am... But you flight out isn't till 3pm...
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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another question comes to mind...

What time is second seating, can it be changed, or do I care if it's must my and hubby??
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Second seating can vary but typically is 830. On the ship if you have first seating dinner you have second seating show. Second dinner first show. Everyone has there own personal preferences but in the end its what you feel comfortable with. Can you change it yes/no. You can request a change but it doesn't guarantee you will get it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:28 AM   #9
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Wondering if I take a late flight back to Canada 3:00pm departure how much time can I take getting off the ship if I'm using DCL transportation.
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POP Sept 7-12 with Disney Dream 3 Night Cruise Sept 12-15
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpettie View Post
Wondering if I take a late flight back to Canada 3:00pm departure how much time can I take getting off the ship if I'm using DCL transportation.
Everyone needs to be off the ship by 9:30am, and by 9:00am they are starting to politely but firmly direct you towards the exit. Breakfast times are assigned in the MDR that morning, based on your evening dining, though you may also eat at the buffet until (I think) 8:00am. Everyone must be out of their staterooms by 8:00am and other than breakfast and Shutters (for last minute photo pick-up), there really is nothing open. If you leave the ship late enough to be on the last bus to MCO, you may sit on the DCL bus for a time while they make sure there are no more guests.

Another option is to use a car rental so you can take your time getting back to MCO - make a stop at DTD or anywhere else for a few hours.

Enjoy your cruise!
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