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Old 03-03-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
TJDisneymama
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What should we plan to do once we board?

This is our first DCL (and only me and DH's 2nd cruise ever, first being 12 years ago). We have an 11-11:30 PAT. Once we embark, what should we plan to do? I'm all about food so I'm sure I'll be ready for lunch (lol) and the kids will want to get on the Aqua duck...... do we need to go to the kids' club for anything (i registered them online)? Anything else we need to do??
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
iluvDisneyCruise
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If you want anything changed on your dining seating, or want to request particular servers, you will need to take care of that. Also you will have a mandatory safety drill shortly before castoff. Your cruise director will probably make all the announcements. Also, the tv in your stateroom has a channel devoted to things you need to know. I just got back from my first Disney cruise. BTW, aqua duck is amazing.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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I went on the Disney Dream in December for Christmas and I loved it! The Aqua Duck is really fun! Not just for kids but for adults too. Sometimes the line for it can be long. Like, really long. So I recommend going on it at night. They have shows on board too, and there wouldn't be a line at all if you didn't want to see it. They have self serve ice cream next to the pools. It's amazing. I probably had about 50 cones in 4 days! If you are planning to go to the shows, you HAVE to see the Villains show! I thought it was better than Disney's Believe. I didn't see The Golden Mickeys. Though I heard it was good. If you happen to miss a show, you can always watch it on the TV. There are tons of Disney movies on it. There is a pirates night where they shoot fireworks off the boat. I would highly recommend going. Especially for your kids. Everyone dresses up as pirates and there's a different menu at your restaurant. They have classes on how to fold towel animals, cooking, bingo, and more. So if you have extra time, those are fun. There is swimming with dolphins or seals you can do instead of going to Atlantis. I did petting dolphins and enjoyed it very much. I would give you info on Castaway Kay, but we never got to go because we couldn't dock. All of the restaurants are good, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Animators Palette. (I think that's what it's called) It has drawings and paintings all over. And it has Crush from Nemo talk to you like in Turtle Talk with Crush in Disney World. I might like it a bit more than you might because I love art, but its definitely the most colorful of the 3 restaurants! I hope this helped and that you have a good time on your cruise!
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
TJDisneymama
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thanks for the tips. I should add this is the 3 nt. cruise on the Dream.
With such a short cruise I don't want to waste time wandering aimlessly, not sure what to do, which I'm sure a lot of first-timers do, lol.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
MHTorringjan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJDisneymama View Post
This is our first DCL (and only me and DH's 2nd cruise ever, first being 12 years ago). We have an 11-11:30 PAT. Once we embark, what should we plan to do? I'm all about food so I'm sure I'll be ready for lunch (lol) and the kids will want to get on the Aqua duck...... do we need to go to the kids' club for anything (i registered them online)? Anything else we need to do??
Keeping in mind that my advice may be from a certain perspective (one as an adult who has only gone with his wife and has no children and has only gone on the older ships), the first order of business is food. They'll direct you to either of two restaurants (again, this may be different on the newer ships) that will serve buffet lunches. Your rooms will not be ready when you get on the ship (IIRC, they open up around 1:00), so be prepared to spend some time around the ship. Pack light in terms of carry-ons, or else you'll be lugging it around for a couple of hours. Many people pack a swimsuit in their carry-on so that they can hit the pools soon after eating. If you don't like your dinner seating, you can look into changing that after eating. They also will often be showing a movie on the Ariel View (or whatever they call it on the new ships, the big honking plasma screen over the pool).

Most activities don't start very early on the first day, so a lot of it will be unstructured activities, pools are very popular. The cruise staff will give you a Personal Navigator when you check in (and ask for it if they forget; you can also get it at guest services). This will list the time and place of all the activities that will take place on the ship. As mentioned in a previous post, there is the mandatory lifeboat drill at 4 pm, so that will take up some time. The cast-away deck party is pretty fun (although my wife hates it; it's very loud), which happens shortly after the lifeboat drill.

Anyway, that was probably more detailed than is really necessary, I hope it's helpful!
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TJDisneymama View Post
thanks for the tips. I should add this is the 3 nt. cruise on the Dream.
With such a short cruise I don't want to waste time wandering aimlessly, not sure what to do, which I'm sure a lot of first-timers do, lol.

Once you board if your kids want to swim before it gets to crowded be sure to pack their suites in a carry on bag because your luggage may not be delivered to your room until later in the day. Also the room are not ready until after 1:30ish.

I suggest you head to the buffet on the pool deck fill your trays up and then head to seats by the pool. That way your kids can swim and you can eat. There is fast food available by the pool if the kids would like pizza, hamburgers or chicken fingers. The buffet had more adult goodies.

Enjoy your cruise and try not to stress about doing it all.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
TJDisneymama
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I appreciate any and all insight; I am out of my comfort zone when it comes to this cruise as my expertise is in WDW -- you can drop me in any park at any time and I know my way around like my own home, but I'm a little wary about not being 100% in the know on the ship!
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Weedy View Post

I suggest you head to the buffet on the pool deck fill your trays up and then head to seats by the pool. That way your kids can swim and you can eat. There is fast food available by the pool if the kids would like pizza, hamburgers or chicken fingers. The buffet had more adult goodies.
sounds exactly like what we'll be wanting to do. Is there seating where the aquaduck entrance is so DH and I can sit while the kids go on the AD?
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*4/2012: Mother/son trip ~ CBR *4/2013 - 2nd Family trip: AoA Nemo/Disney Dream *8/2013: Kid-Free trip ~ Yacht Club
*NEXT UP: 8/2014 - 2nd Kid-Free trip - WL *4/15 - 3rd Family Trip - CSR?*
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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We went right up to Cabanas for lunch (using the aft elevators because they were WAY less crowded than those at midship). We got onto the ship so quickly that I wasn't able to wait in the line in the terminal to get the kids' club transponder for my daughter, so after lunch I went and did that (had to do this part even with online registration). By then it was 1:30 and our stateroom was ready, so DH and DD (10) hit the Aquaduck while DD (16) and I explored the ship. I do better walking around to get the layout than looking at a map.

One of the nice things about that day was also going to a DISmeet in the Vista Cafe. It was nice to meet fellow cruisers with whom I'd been chatting online for months, and to see friendly faces around the ship for the rest of the cruise.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJDisneymama View Post
This is our first DCL (and only me and DH's 2nd cruise ever, first being 12 years ago). We have an 11-11:30 PAT. Once we embark, what should we plan to do? I'm all about food so I'm sure I'll be ready for lunch (lol) and the kids will want to get on the Aqua duck...... do we need to go to the kids' club for anything (i registered them online)? Anything else we need to do??
After I go to the bathroom, I like to go to the buffett to stuff my pie-hole full of yummy food.

Mike
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJDisneymama View Post
I appreciate any and all insight; I am out of my comfort zone when it comes to this cruise as my expertise is in WDW -- you can drop me in any park at any time and I know my way around like my own home, but I'm a little wary about not being 100% in the know on the ship!
I'm in the same situation.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #12
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We went in December. Our boarding time was scheduled for 1, but we arrived at the port around 9:30, got in line and were able to board the ship at 11. Think we were in the 16th group. There will be a long line you may choose to wait in for the kids club. We had done the online registration as well so I didn't see the point. It only took a few minutes to complete the registration once we were on board. Have your camera ready and take a few pics at the terminal with Mickey and Minnie. Then go eat once you are on board. You will be handed a schedule of events when you check in. If this is your first time on the Dream you may want to take the 20 minute tour which will be listed on the schedule. We would not have known about a few things had we skipped it (like the detective agency or clubs for family/adults.) Hopefully your room will be ready around 1 so you can set down some things and orient yourself. If your kids then want to get on the Aquaduck then you will be already for the cast off party up on deck. About 30 minutes before casting off they cover the pools so they can use the floor for dancing. Lines tend to get long on the Aquaduck after the party.

Hope you enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #13
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We traveled the Fantasy, but ships are almost the same. You need to get your kid(s) bracelet for the kids club. You can do this at PC, there is a station directly opposite the check-in counters. After this, I prefered going to the 2nd floor Enchanted Garden restaurant for lunch. Still a buffet, but less crowded. Then we went straight to the 11th floor for the pool and the Aqua Duck. The lines will be shorter until about 2 when the ship starts to fill up.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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If you are interested in Mixology, I would go to Guest Services and book that ASAP. Last week on the Fantasy, I went to book it at about 3 pm on the first day and it was already full. It's my understanding that they only do one of them each cruise.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:32 PM   #15
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Yes, if you are interested in the Mixology or any of the wine/beer/whiskey/champagne/margarita/etc. tastings they offer on board, it's best to sign up as soon as you get on the ship! Those fill up fast! When you arrive to the port and get your first Navigator it will tell you what tastings are available on your cruise and where you need to go to sign up for those!
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