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Old 03-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #1
Sleepydormouse
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Lessons Learned

Some things I wish I had known...

1) Bring cash to all excursions AND to Castaway Cay. I really should have tipped the parasailing guide at CC, and the driver on my Nassau excursion. I also would have liked to tip the very nice cast member who carried my lunch to my table because I had a sleeping baby in my arms. Also the very nice cast member who had to go to serious effort to help me get my large stroller stowed on the tram.

2) If sleeping/ screaming kids prevents you from getting downstairs to the Walt Disney Theater for the shows, you can watch them live on the tv in your stateroom.

3) If you have dietary requirements, pre-order your breakfast the night before with your server.

4) Disney was absolutely right to insist that anyone with a plane leaving earlier than 1 pm be on the shuttle prior to 8 am. I got to the shuttle at 8 but didn't sit down at my gate until 11 am due to the congestion at the airport. Very very crowded.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Some things I wish I had known...

4) Disney was absolutely right to insist that anyone with a plane leaving earlier than 1 pm be on the shuttle prior to 8 am. I got to the shuttle at 8 but didn't sit down at my gate until 11 am due to the congestion at the airport. Very very crowded.
Thanks for the tips. Athough, I would have been saying 'why did they make me get here and sit for 2 hours?' I usually shoot for the 11:30 flight.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
woody73
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. . . 1) Bring cash to all excursions AND to Castaway Cay.
I agree. You just might need some cash for tips, postage, or other items.

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Old 03-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #4
Sleepydormouse
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My flight was at noon and they started boarding at 11:30, so I wouldn't have wanted to get there much later than 11.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:50 AM   #5
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We fly in and out of Orlando a few times a year as my IL's live down there, and it always takes FOR*EV*ER to get through that security line.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:01 AM   #6
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The security line at the airport gets worse and worse. After some of us spend hours at Disney waiting in THEIR organized lines, it just makes you want to pull your hair out when you get in the airport line. It took us an hour to get through last month, so you should get in line for security 2 hours before your flight to be safe.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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Ask your dining room staff for a cheese/and or fruit tray the first night.

Get warm cookies and milk from room service at least once

get the hot wings from room service
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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
3 Day Cruises = 4, 4 Day Cruise = 7, 7 Day Cruises = 8, 8 Day Cruises = 2, B2B Cruises = 4, Grand Slam (4 ships 1 year) = 1 (so far)

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DisneyDudet View Post
The security line at te airport gets worse and worse. After some of us spend hours at Disney waiting in THEIR organized lines, it just makes you want to pull your hair out when you get in the airport line. It took us an hour to get through last month, so you should get in line for security 2 hours before your flight to be safe.
isn't that the truth!! i have a love hate thing with orlando ariport. i love arriving..no lines, off to disney, but leaving orlando is a nightmare!
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyDudet View Post
The security line at te airport gets worse and worse. After some of us spend hours at Disney waiting in THEIR organized lines, it just makes you want to pull your hair out when you get in the airport line. It took us an hour to get through last month, so you should get in line for security 2 hours before your flight to be safe.
I agree with this, and I just don't understand it. We go at least once at year to MCO and last trip (Dec 2012), they had 4 ID check stations which funneled into ONE LINE, so people stepped on each other (literally)...and then the ONE LINE spread back out into 10 metal detector lines. WTH? People were grumpy, upset, and just outright mean. I had to ask someone loudly to stop stepping on my 3 year old in order to squeeze pass her. Other moms were actually asking him and his wife the same. It was like being in a 3rd world country airport--the line management was non-existent.

It didn't used to be like this? Right? I remember past trips....
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108

I agree with this, and I just don't understand it. We go at least once at year to MCO and last trip (Dec 2012), they had 4 ID check stations which funneled into ONE LINE, so people stepped on each other (literally)...and then the ONE LINE spread back out into 10 metal detector lines. WTH? People were grumpy, upset, and just outright mean. I had to ask someone loudly to stop stepping on my 3 year old in order to squeeze pass her. Other moms were actually asking him and his wife the same. It was like being in a 3rd world country airport--the line management was non-existent.

It didn't used to be like this? Right? I remember past trips....
No, it wasn't like this before. In fact, they moved so many people way better than any airport I had been to. Now that's history.

In December, there was no organization. There was only one line that started to the left of the ID checks, so if you were in the right side of the IDchecks, everyone from the left of you would get in line in front of you, making it impossible to move. I had to shove my way in because no one let us through. In feb, we thought it was better because they funneled people who checked in on the right to the right,and left went to the left. Little did we know the left snaked around 5 time to enter one screening area. They opened another screening area right next to it where you just walked up to it without a queue,so that clogged up the ID check because everyone wanted in that line, so that left the far right for those in the right side ID lanes, but they weren't moving because they closed a screening area and only had 1 over there.

It's a complete nightmare.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Justacruiser View Post
Ask your dining room staff for a cheese/and or fruit tray the first night.

Get warm cookies and milk from room service at least once

get the hot wings from room service
Are the hot wings good? That sounds like a yummy snack. Is the cheese and fruit tray delivered to your room? Or is it for dinner?
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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I actually ordered the fruit/cheese tray beforehand, online, choosing to pay than deal with room service the first onboard afternoon.
It's a tradition for DH & I to sit on our verandah, sipping, usually a Prosecco,and having appetizers, while leaving the dock.
We're not fuddy-duddys,but we've come to enjoy that initial moment of quiet down time, while watching the sunset and seeing the dock slip away.

I'm only stating this so I can say,at least for the platter I ordered online, it was absolutely perfect. There was so much, I had to put the leftovers in the fridge for munching later. I don't know how the room service platter compares. I was going to order one to see the difference,but I forgot all about it.
It had blue cheese,smoked gouda, camenbert, brie,the little round ones with the red wax coating and a kind of allouette.
There were walnuts (pieces,in a bowl), strawberries,grapes,an apple,cantaloupe and kiwi, with those last two cut very pretty for a nice presentation. There were two or three kinds of crackers,but they ran out long before the cheese did.
The platter took up the entire outdoor table. It was BIG.
I felt I got exactly what I paid for and expected.
I would not hesitate to order it again. But I will definitely try to remember to order the room service one on our next cruise =WBTA, 9/6/14, for comparison
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Are the hot wings good? That sounds like a yummy snack. Is the cheese and fruit tray delivered to your room? Or is it for dinner?
hot wings and warm cookies and milk at bedtime are great.

I actually request the cheese tray at dinner the first night. it is not as grand as the previous poster that pays for the cheese to be delivered by room service.

The last 3 cruises, upon my request the first night, they volunteered to bring one every other night during our cruise. We were able to request certain types. very good.
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Total: 21 DCL Cruises / Total Nights on Board: 112 / 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
3 Day Cruises = 4, 4 Day Cruise = 7, 7 Day Cruises = 8, 8 Day Cruises = 2, B2B Cruises = 4, Grand Slam (4 ships 1 year) = 1 (so far)

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Old 03-19-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
GladysP
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I completely agree with bringing cash for various tips. My problem is that I always remember to bring plenty of $1's for room service, but I am famous for forgetting the larger bills for extra tipping. we end up paying and tipping cab drivers etc with $1 bills.

My husband and I are going on the Dream in Sept. and I have already written on my packing list in bold marker 'large bills for tip envelopes etc'.

On our last cruise on the Dream this past January, I was so thankful to have had lots of extra ones (more than we needed) 'cause this is what we ended up putting in the tip envelopes above and beyond the recommended tips for all of our servers. Boy were those tiny envelopes fat with $1 bills!!! They saved the day. We have been known in the past to have to add the extra envelope tips to our credit card on file which is fine but could totally be avoided with a bit of forethought on my part
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #15
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The thing I learned is that there was no reason at all to leave more than the tip amounts that were charged to the room. I guess that I felt that I had to do so after reading all of the tipping threads on this board.

My husband and I never made any special requests (we never do), are extremely tidy, and while the service was very nice there was never any instance of above or beyond that would have necessitated an extra tip but we gave it anyway. I also gave our stateroom host a box of candy. It was just not necessary.

On our next cruise in December we will just give the standard tip.
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