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Old 10-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
amomma23
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Does the DIS make your head spin, too?

We recently decided to book our first cruise, so I started reading all of the informative posts in the DCL Forum. We thought we knew what we wanted to do for December 2014.

The plan was to stay at our usual park n' fly hotel (in Pittsburgh) and take the first flight out the morning of our cruise. We love the convenience of ME when we go to WDW, so paying for the DCL transfer was a no brainer. We were also going to save the almost $600 and travel with our birth certificates instead of getting passports.

Since I started reading, I am thinking we're nuts for not getting passports. I have no idea what to do about getting to the port. If we fly the day before (the Sunday after Thanksgiving $$$), I cannot figure out where to stay. We can't do the Hyatt MCO unless we lie and say we're four (really 5). If we stay at WDW it sounds like we'll be missing out by not getting to the ship early enough. We could stay at a cheap off-site hotel, but there goes the convenience of DCL transfers.

I know better than to read certain threads on the WDW forums. Honestly if I was a newbie there, I'd get the same impression. Staying anything less than Deluxe Club Level is going to be miserable, Park Hoppers are a necessity, and the dining plan is never good for any family, ever. Luckily, we have been there many times and know what works for us.

Do others second guess all of their decisions after reading, too? I know it will all work out, and I really do appreciate all of the information shared on this site, but sometimes it makes me crazy!

Rant over.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
lizabu
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Ignorance is bliss? J/k...lol. I'm sure you'll be fine.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
aymekae
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Yes, it does sometimes!

After reading what you wrote, my first impression would be to stay at a WDW resort and not worry about arriving later to the port.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:36 PM   #4
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I was on this form before my first cruise to it is a little bit too much information.
I say do what makes your family feel comfortable because each family has slightly different comfort levels. (We're perfectly happy staying in the park all-stars after all.)
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:42 PM   #5
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You just have to filter some information as it fits to your family. Yes, if I went by everything I read on the DIS -- I would alway stay Club Level at a deluxe monorail resort for two full weeks with 10-day hoppers, always eating at certain signature restaurants, have a rental car for convenience, etc. etc. etc.

As with any vacation, you have to weigh the options and decide what fits best for your family. Convenience of DCL transfers, or arrival time at port, or save money and rental car with a hotel near port? There really is no 1 "right" answer.

Enjoy your crusie!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
Carrie in AZ
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You should definitely do what works for your family!! But I would also say there is a difference between what I view as subjective choices (resort, where to eat, dining plan or not) and things related to cruising that could have a huge impact: Missing the ship because you choose to fly in the morning of the cruise and get delayed is something that could actually happen. Not being able to easily leave a foreign country for an emergency because you don't have a passport is something that could happen.

I view these two examples as things that could deeply impact your vacation and life. Where you choose to lodge and where you choose to eat and how you pay for it? Not so much.

There IS a ton of info here. I've been here for years, literally, and am cruising for the first time this Saturday, and I'm a bit overwhelmed wondering if I remember all the great tips I have read here!!

You know what is right for YOU. Have a wonderful cruise!
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
amomma23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
Ignorance is bliss? J/k...lol. I'm sure you'll be fine.


I'm sure it will all work out. Thanks to the DIS, we'll know to make an OBB and save some $$ on a "do-over" if need be.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #8
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amomma23 View Post
We recently decided to book our first cruise, so I started reading all of the informative posts in the DCL Forum. We thought we knew what we wanted to do for December 2014.

The plan was to stay at our usual park n' fly hotel (in Pittsburgh) and take the first flight out the morning of our cruise. We love the convenience of ME when we go to WDW, so paying for the DCL transfer was a no brainer. We were also going to save the almost $600 and travel with our birth certificates instead of getting passports.

Since I started reading, I am thinking we're nuts for not getting passports. I have no idea what to do about getting to the port. If we fly the day before (the Sunday after Thanksgiving $$$), I cannot figure out where to stay. We can't do the Hyatt MCO unless we lie and say we're four (really 5). If we stay at WDW it sounds like we'll be missing out by not getting to the ship early enough. We could stay at a cheap off-site hotel, but there goes the convenience of DCL transfers.

I know better than to read certain threads on the WDW forums. Honestly if I was a newbie there, I'd get the same impression. Staying anything less than Deluxe Club Level is going to be miserable, Park Hoppers are a necessity, and the dining plan is never good for any family, ever. Luckily, we have been there many times and know what works for us.

Do others second guess all of their decisions after reading, too? I know it will all work out, and I really do appreciate all of the information shared on this site, but sometimes it makes me crazy!

Rant over.

Truthfully, I'm glad I never found out about DISboards (or any other cruiseline boards) until after our first cruise. There is soooooo much "you gotta do this" and "don't forget that" on the boards, that I would have been a basket case trying to filter out what really applied to us and our group.

If you can remember back to when you started doing WDW, you probably just researched the information necessary in other places and, as the years went by, you learned which things were important for you to know/do. And which things to skip.

It's the same with cruising. Just take the information you feel is important to you, and plan on those things.

Our attitude when we started cruising was hammered quite a bit because our first cruise was a 15 night cruise. Many people felt that we were setting ourselves up for trouble since we had never cruised before and would be "stuck" on the ship regardless of whether we were enjoying it or not. However, our attitude as we prepared for the cruise (as well as when we boarded) was "whatever happens - we planned it that way". We're very much "go with the flow" type people and the cruise was great.

So, take with a grain of salt all the opinions here and just enjoy your cruise. Work out whatever plans for pre/post cruise you want and be happy with them. A cruise isn't a "one size fits all" event. Everyone can have a different experience and still enjoy it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:08 PM   #9
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I came to DIS after my first Disney cruise, to try and find some pictures a lady took for us. I have the pictures, but I stayed to relive the experiences until my next cruise, and now I"m hooked!

I was going to say, we got on board a lil later than we wanted, but staying at Disney WOW that would be awesome. If that is your only concern, then I wouldn't hesitate one minute. We weren't staying with Disney, we got to port around 1:30 and checked on the boat at 2. We still had a great, great, day. If you can make that or earlier, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute.

That's my own personal view point. That's how you have to take DIS. There are some good suggestions, but much of it is very subjective to personal opinion, so take what helps, workout the rest as best for you and don't sweat it.

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Since I started reading, I am thinking we're nuts for not getting passports. I have no idea what to do about getting to the port. If we fly the day before (the Sunday after Thanksgiving $$$), I cannot figure out where to stay. We can't do the Hyatt MCO unless we lie and say we're four (really 5). If we stay at WDW it sounds like we'll be missing out by not getting to the ship early enough. We could stay at a cheap off-site hotel, but there goes the convenience of DCL transfers.
Well... If you fly in the day of the cruise and the flight is delayed so much you miss the ship, without passports you won't be able to fly to meet it. So to me it feels like if there's just one thing you can do, choose one. Fly in that day but have passports. Or fly in the day before and use BCs. The latter doesn't help IF you encounter a reason to fly home from the cruise (I'll start including the phrase "as unlikely as that would be" from here on out when I say this stuff), but at least you'd make the cruise.

You could stay at a right-nearby airport hotel with a shuttle to/from the airport. Shuttle back to the airport for your DCL transfer?



As overwhelming as it can be, I find info gleaned from message boards to be invaluable. I started using cruisecritic when we were planning our honeymoon, and without the info we got it wouldn't have been anywhere near the cruise it was. I find *learning* to be head-spinning, and that's what we are doing when planning a trip. Same as learning linear algebra and organic chemistry, I suppose.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #11
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something I was thinking of doing before we got they Hyatt MCO for free (points) was to book an off-site hotel that had free MCO transfers and then just get an early bus back to MCO and catch the DCL transfer from there. I am sure there is probably someone out there that has done this. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Our first cruise we stayed at the Hyatt Place right by MCO. It was a free shuttle and only a 5 minute ride. We could've shuttled back the next morning to catch the Disney transfer, but we chose to have a car service take us to port instead. Just another option to consider. We also used birth certificates our first cruise and will for our next cruise this week. We booked at 39 days out and although we now have passports, we didn't think we would have enough time to renew them since they expired this year.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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It's always been cheaper for us to rent a car then it is to take the DCL transfer. 125.00 a week is usually what we pay. We have to pay for parking, but it still comes out cheaper. Just something to consider, and driving from WDW to PC is very easy. The travel time is about an hour. Good luck.

Just to add we always cruise with birth certificates. We have never had a problem.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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Thanks for the positive ideas to all! We have over a year to mull over our decisions. If it was in the budget, I think I'd just go now so I didn't have time to think about it! We are totally go with the flow and easy to please, so I know we'll have a blast!
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:08 PM   #15
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Fly in the day before, do a one way rental (rental company will have shuttle), and no passport is fine. You'll read about what COULD happen (missing the ship and getting stuck), but not many instances where it actually did. Also, the ride to PC is just an hour. You'll have no problem getting to the ship early. We've stayed at WDW, took a leisurely drive to PC at 8am and made it there with more than an hour to spare.

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