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Old 05-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
scrappinginontario
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What is your Best Tip for first time cruisers?

We are at the early stages of planning for a Feb, 2014 cruise on the Fantasy.

There will be myself, my 5yo DD and Nana.

What is your best tip for us? None of us has ever stepped foot on a cruise ship and we're super excited!! (Well....except for the 5yo since it will be a surprise that I tell her about in January so that she doesn't drive us crazy. )

We are Disney vetrans and visit WDW a couple of times each year but cruising is new to all of us. What better way to be introduced than on a Disney cruise!

TIA!
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Amazing Trips with DD: Feb 2014 (7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Fantasy), November 2013 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2013 (11 Mommy and DD days. Perfect!!), Nov 2012 (2 days AoA LM with grandparents and DN), Aug 2012 (10 awesome days with just the 2 of us!), Nov 2011 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2011 (8 days with DN and Nana), Apr 2010 (3 days), Nov 2010 (2 days with grandparents)
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappinginontario View Post
We are at the early stages of planning for a Feb, 2014 cruise on the Fantasy.

There will be myself, my 5yo DD and Nana.

What is your best tip for us? None of us has ever stepped foot on a cruise ship and we're super excited!! (Well....except for the 5yo since it will be a surprise that I tell her about in January so that she doesn't drive us crazy. )

We are Disney vetrans and visit WDW a couple of times each year but cruising is new to all of us. What better way to be introduced than on a Disney cruise!

TIA!
My #1 tip for cruising is - Don't try to do everything, you can't.

Use the Navigators (daily event paper) each evening to plan your next day's schedule. Don't stress about the things that you can't do, there will be lots of people running around like crazy trying to do it all. You can just sit back and enjoy the show. That's the next tip - take some time to just sit.

Plan on a second (or even third) cruise to do the things you have to skip the first time.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
iadizfans
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post

My #1 tip for cruising is - Don't try to do everything, you can't.
Could not agree more... Don't forget to relax. You're on vacation.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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Make sure you budget for a deposit for a future cruise when you go for this cruise. You're probably going to catch the "DCL bug" while on board.

Also, don't bring beach towels - I packed a ton of these for our first cruise not knowing they were provided.

Happy planning!
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
TwinPrincessMermaids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappinginontario
We are at the early stages of planning for a Feb, 2014 cruise on the Fantasy.

There will be myself, my 5yo DD and Nana.

What is your best tip for us? None of us has ever stepped foot on a cruise ship and we're super excited!! (Well....except for the 5yo since it will be a surprise that I tell her about in January so that she doesn't drive us crazy. )

We are Disney vetrans and visit WDW a couple of times each year but cruising is new to all of us. What better way to be introduced than on a Disney cruise!

TIA!
Get your passports and documents in order now and keep tight tabs on it.

Bring your own swim or snorkel gear so you don't have to pay to rent everywhere .

Sleep in the embarkation morning. You can't get thru the terminal much before 11am. You might as well sleep in til 9, get on the road by 10, you can still get to PC by 11. If you go for noon or one, you may not even have to wait to check in at all. If you get plenty of sleep, you can stay up late the night you embark and your trip is off to a good start.

If you have Golden Mickeys, that was our favorite show.

Make sure Animators isn't skipped for dinner.

Bring pirate outfits if you want for the pirate night. Many of us were dressed up.

Bring your own camera to Princess Gatherings if they are outside of the Atrium as they do not have pro camera crew. We didn't know. A nice lady took ours and emailed them to us!

Save room for pirate night buffet.

Take way more pictures than you think you will want.

Order a mickey bar for desert. I forgot to!

Hope I get to cruise the Fantasy sometime! Would love to do a 7 day! Our 3 day Dream was wonderful! Just fab.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post
My #1 tip for cruising is - Don't try to do everything, you can't.

Use the Navigators (daily event paper) each evening to plan your next day's schedule. Don't stress about the things that you can't do, there will be lots of people running around like crazy trying to do it all. You can just sit back and enjoy the show. That's the next tip - take some time to just sit.

Plan on a second (or even third) cruise to do the things you have to skip the first time.
The Princess is absolutely correct . The GOOD thing is you booked a 7 day cruise you'll have more time, than a 3 day for example, to see & get the "feel" of cruising "Disney" style. We found cruising to be the most relaxing type of vacations available. So don't sweat the small stuff, don't over plan (like we did on our 1st cruise) just get the basics down. Read these boards for all kinds of other tips. Have a wonderful cruise it will be here before you know it.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
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Bring bonine for seasickness. You never know how you will react to the motion of the ocean. Take before you get on the ship, and maybe for the next day and then see how you all are feeling. Nothing worse than to have to stay in your cabin not feeling well. You can also get it on board, but I would take it right away!
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo View Post

Use the Navigators (daily event paper) each evening to plan your next day's schedule. .
That would be my number one tip. As a veteran cruiser I didn't do that on Disney and missed our show the first night. Never imagined the late seating show would be before dinner instead of after like the 4 other cruises I had been on.

Second tip is for at home before you go. Laid out what you are taking, and then leave about 25% of it at home. You'll never wear it all. For example, 3 pairs of shows should be enough for a person, dress, tennis shoes and flip flops should be enough.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
scrappinginontario
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Thank you so much everyone! Keep the great tips coming!
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Amazing Trips with DD: Feb 2014 (7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Fantasy), November 2013 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2013 (11 Mommy and DD days. Perfect!!), Nov 2012 (2 days AoA LM with grandparents and DN), Aug 2012 (10 awesome days with just the 2 of us!), Nov 2011 (2 days with grandparents), Aug 2011 (8 days with DN and Nana), Apr 2010 (3 days), Nov 2010 (2 days with grandparents)
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
JacksonFamily
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Something we learned the last night of our first trip was to have the pro photographers take as many pics of you as possible. On the last evening you can purchase a photo album full of all the images they take. We didn't realize until it was too late, so our album has basic ship pictures throughout rather than pics of us. It is a little pricey, but makes a really nice keepsake. We sail again in July and can't wait to purchase another one. Anywhere you see a line with a photographer, get in it, and have a pic taken:-)
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #11
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  1. Leave the electronics at home and lock the cell phone in the safe in the stateroom. This allows you to forget about the world and relax.
  2. Read the DIS boards but take it with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
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We too are WDW junkies. We go at least twice a year. We took our first cruise in March and are going again in September.

1. The one thing that I read on this board that I did was use room service to order coffee in the morning. You fill out the card the night before, mark what time you want coffee delivered, and then hang in on your door. We requested 9:00 am and our coffee was there right at 9. If you are not a coffee drinker you can order tea, pastries, and I think there may be juice. It was a great way to start our morning and not have to leave our room for that morning cup of coffee.

2. Use the navigator left in your room to plan your days.

3. We, after our last trip, decided that we want late dining. We had first this last trip and by the time we had breakfast we did not have time before dinner for lunch so maybe had a piece of fruit. We want to eat lunch this time so we thought that late dinner would allow us time.

4. Read these boards for great tips.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrappinginontario View Post
We are at the early stages of planning for a Feb, 2014 cruise on the Fantasy.

There will be myself, my 5yo DD and Nana.

What is your best tip for us? None of us has ever stepped foot on a cruise ship and we're super excited!! (Well....except for the 5yo since it will be a surprise that I tell her about in January so that she doesn't drive us crazy. )

We are Disney vetrans and visit WDW a couple of times each year but cruising is new to all of us. What better way to be introduced than on a Disney cruise!

TIA!
Get travel insurance that will cover your expenses in case of that emergency you think and hope will never happen.
Order Mickey bars and big island cookies from room service.
Don't try to do everything. Relax!
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:58 PM   #14
NickAndAnt
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I second what MikeAndNick say. Leave the phone in the safe and don't even think about purchasing wifi. Being disconnected was so relaxing.

Also, bring a really, really, really big bottle of sun screen at least 45 SPF and reapply 4-5 times a day. We did, we tanned, we look great com our 5 day cruise on the Dream that ended last Thursday. But we saw soooooo many badly burned people on just the second day!

Don't rush to dinner. We had second seating and had to wait in a long time if we arrived at the assigned start time. One night we ran behind and got there 15 mins late. No line and the wait for food was shorter.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:34 PM   #15
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The first time a character is scheduled for pictures will be the busiest, they are usually scheduled for more than one time.

Also, we figured out the secret of Castaway Cay. Everyone goes to the beach first thing, if you go to the boat pools, you will have them all to yourself. Then everyone starts going back to the boat around 2 and the family beach clears out.
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