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Old 02-14-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
CyprusEve
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Smile Is 2 yrs too early to start planning a Cruise?

My family and I (husband, 4 yr old daughter, my mom & me) are hoping to go on our first Disney Cruise after my daughter turns 6. I had not realized how much there is to do on one of these trips. I also hadn't realized there were so many activities that aren't included in the price of the trip. So I am trying to get as much info as early as possible. It would be great to get any tips and advice from those who have cruised before us. Especially those of you that have a daughter(s) around 6 yrs old what did they like most or dislike. I don't want my baby girl to miss out on anything so it would be nice to know all that is offered. Also any thoughts on the best time to travel, which trip you like best (I'm thinking one that includes Castaway Cay) and which trip length is best? I guess I just want to know everything even what the staterooms are like and which ones are best. I'd love to hear anything you want to share. Jeni
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
Justacruiser
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There are so many questions you need to answer.

1) Where do you want to depart from?

Most of the time we use Port Canaveral. Have used Galveston once, and using it again tomorrow!

2) If Port Canaveral, are you going to combine with WDW?

We have done that a couple of times. I prefer to do WDW on the front side of the cruise.

3) How long of cruise?

DO NOT TAKE A THREE DAY CRUISE FOR YOUR FIRST CRUISE!!!!!!
People say they want to get a 3 day cruise to see what it is like. Then you pile on a boart with 4,000 other folks and try to see the world in 3 days.

I strongly recommend a 5-7 day cruise. You will get time to do alot of stuff on board, while at the same time not overdoing it.
* check out the trip report section of this sight. It is pretty interesting and lets you know what others do while preparing and cruiseing.

My daughter is now 25 and still loves cruising. Can't talk alot about a 6-year old, but pretty sure a lot of fun is waiting for her.

I prefer the Eastern Carribian or the Alaska cruise, but any for your first will be great. NOT 3 DAYS! lol
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Total: 21 DCL Cruises / Total Nights on Board: 117 / Favorite Ship: Magic

2014 - 3 Cruises: 2-Dream (B2B), 1-Fantasy
2013 - 7 Cruises (Grand Slam): 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 2-Dream (B2B), 2-Wonder (B2B)
2012 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 1-Fantasy, 1-Dream (non-traditional B2B Fantasy/Dream)
2011 - 4 Cruises: 2-Magic, 2-Dream
2010 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2009 - 1 Cruise: Wonder
2003 - 1 Cruise: Wonder

MAGIC - 6, WONDER - 5, DREAM - 7, FANTASY - 3

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(22) 7 Night Southern Caribbean - Magic 2014
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
CyprusEve
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[QUOTE=Justacruiser;47505034]There are so many questions you need to answer.

1) Where do you want to depart from?

Most of the time we use Port Canaveral. Have used Galveston once, and using it again tomorrow!

2) If Port Canaveral, are you going to combine with WDW?

We have done that a couple of times. I prefer to do WDW on the front side of the cruise.

3) How long of cruise?
...................

Congratulations! Have a wonderful & safe trip.

1) Galveston is the closest to us, San Antonio. I have so many questions about this part as well. What's the best way to get there? Do we fly, drive, arrive the day before and get a hotel or just show up early on the day of?

2) I haven't thought of WDW yet other than seeing that it's in one of the itenirerries that also includes Castaway Cay. I could be mistaken but it's the Bahamas trip, I think.

3) At first I was set on the 12 day European trip, I would love to get a taste of some of the places I've always wanted to go and I thought it would be great for my daughter to see them as well. Once we watched the DCL dvd it was clear that the Bahamas or Caribbean trip would be more entertaining for her. Besides 12 days could turn out to be too much for her. So 4 days aren't enough for a first trip, I can see that, so 7/8 days then. There aren't any trips set for the year we'd be going of course but are the lengths always the same? Is there always an 8 day cruise offered?

Thank you for responding and the advice you've given. If your 25 year old enjoys DCL I can't see my Baby not enjoying it. I am so excited for you I can only imagine I'll be over the moon once we actually book a trip.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
CyprusEve
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[QUOTE=Justacruiser;47505034]There are so many questions you need to answer.

1) Where do you want to depart from?

Most of the time we use Port Canaveral. Have used Galveston once, and using it again tomorrow!

2) If Port Canaveral, are you going to combine with WDW?

We have done that a couple of times. I prefer to do WDW on the front side of the cruise.

3) How long of cruise?
...................

Congratulations! Have a wonderful & safe trip.

1) Galveston is the closest to us, San Antonio. I have so many questions about this part as well. What's the best way to get there? Do we fly, drive, arrive the day before and get a hotel or just show up early on the day of?

2) I haven't thought of WDW yet other than seeing that it's in one of the itenirerries that also includes Castaway Cay. I could be mistaken but it's the Bahamas trip, I think.

3) At first I was set on the 12 day European trip, I would love to get a taste of some of the places I've always wanted to go and I thought it would be great for my daughter to see them as well. Once we watched the DCL dvd it was clear that the Bahamas or Caribbean trip would be more entertaining for her. Besides 12 days could turn out to be too much for her. So 4 days aren't enough for a first trip, I can see that, so 7/8 days then. There aren't any trips set for the year we'd be going of course but are the lengths always the same? Is there always an 8 day cruise offered?

Thank you for responding and the advice you've given. If your 25 year old enjoys DCL I can't see my Baby not enjoying it. I am so excited for you I can only imagine I'll be over the moon once we actually book a trip.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyprusEve View Post
My family and I (husband, 4 yr old daughter, my mom & me) are hoping to go on our first Disney Cruise after my daughter turns 6. I had not realized how much there is to do on one of these trips. I also hadn't realized there were so many activities that aren't included in the price of the trip. So I am trying to get as much info as early as possible. It would be great to get any tips and advice from those who have cruised before us. Especially those of you that have a daughter(s) around 6 yrs old what did they like most or dislike. I don't want my baby girl to miss out on anything so it would be nice to know all that is offered. Also any thoughts on the best time to travel, which trip you like best (I'm thinking one that includes Castaway Cay) and which trip length is best? I guess I just want to know everything even what the staterooms are like and which ones are best. I'd love to hear anything you want to share. Jeni
Personally, I love to plan. I plan all of our family vacations, primarily because I love to research options, compare prices, consider time of year and other variables that need to be considered when planning a trip. I'm prepping for my first Disney cruise (and first cruise in general) as we speak. The first thing I did was educate myself on the itineraries, the ships, the type stateroom, activities on ship, and activities in the ports. There's a lot of information to collect but these boards are fabulous for that. Plus I'm preparing documents for my family members to read based on what I've learned on this board because I know they won't get on the board and research. I'm a big geek about trip reports! They give such great advice and it's interesting to read about peoples' experiences.

To answer your specific questions, here's the order I planned:
1. Time of year to cruise - chose fall because of kids' fall break at school and travel costs are much cheaper.
2. Destination - narrowed it down to the Carribean or Bahamas because I wanted my husband to be able to snorkel since he loves tropical fish. Went with Bahamas so we wouldn't take kids out a week early.
3. Stateroom - how much space would we need? Initially I considered a Deluxe Family Stateroom but because we're also celebrating my husband's birthday and it's our first cruise, decided to splurge and get a suite.
4. Trip length - the more I read the more I realized I wanted to take a 7 day to be able to get the full effect and not feel rushed.

After that it's now researching the details like activities on the ship, in the ports, and then prepping for things like passports and the FE, which we want to do. So I've got to start making my FE gifts now so I'm not stuck at the last minute.

Sorry, that's a lot! I hope I didn't overwhelm you!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
CyprusEve
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sCatDenver, no not overwhelming at all. Thank you for sharing. Both responses I've gotten have made me feel better about starting now. I felt like I was maybe overdoing the planning but there is so much involved that I'm glad I'm starting now. We haven't taken any family vacations since before I had my daughter and even then all we really did was go to Corpus or South Padre. I've never even been on one of these dis boards before so I'm still figuring this out but it's proving to be a great help. My Mom has always handled everything for us so this will be the first time I take charge and make the decisions. I realized if I want this to happen I'll have to be the driving force so I'm trying to do as much research and get as much advice as possible. It's nice that so many people are kind enough to share. I kind of had an idea of the trip I wanted but it wasn't until I got my first response that I decided what I wanted. And of course if I hadn't decided on a specific trip I wouldn't have been able to plan correctly. I even read one trip report that was so detailed it gave me an idea of how to surprise my daughter when the time comes. There is just so much info on here from the smallest thing to the biggest. I feel like I'm just repeating myself but I'm just so grateful to all of you who share your experiences, tips and advice. Thank you.
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