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Old 10-02-2013, 01:24 AM   #1
levenhopper
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Question Thoughts on our plans?

I'm getting ready to make our PTR, but before I jump into a full one I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on what we have planned:

Who: Me (Jordan, turning 25 three days before the cruise), DGF (Mandy, turning 22 three days after the cruise ends), and our mutual best friend (Cat, turning 23 in the middle of our cruise). This is Mandy and my first Disney Cruise, and Cat hasn't been on one in 10+ years. We're all current Cast Members at WDW, doing internships as part of the Disney College Program.
What: 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, Stateroom: 7505 (Which is a Cat 10A, upgraded from a 11C)!
Where: Departs Galveston, TX
When: Nov 30 - Dec 7
Why: Because we can!

So far, we have:
Nov 30 (departure, casual dining): Land in Houston at 10:14AM, using DCL transfers to the port. DCL lists the final onboarding time as 3:30PM
Dec 1 (at sea, formal dinner): Mandy and I have a couples massage booked for 2PM.
Dec 2 (at sea, casual dinner): nothing planned
Dec 3 (Falmouth, Jamaica 7:45AM-5:45PM, casual dinner, Cat's birthday!): Chukka Jungle River Tubing Safari (9:45AM-1:15PM)
Dec 4 (Grand Cayman 7:30AM-3:30PM, pirate dinner): Palo Dinner (7:30PM)
Dec 5 (Cozumel, Mexico 10:15AM-3:45PM, semi-formal dinner): Clear Kayak and Beach Snorkel Combo (10:30AM-2:30PM)
Dec 6 (at sea, casual dinner): Palo Brunch (10:30AM)
Dec 7 (dock at Galveston at 9:30AM): DCL transfer to Houston airport, flight departs Houston at 8:12PM

Random questions:
1) Any thoughts on our excursions? We want to have one day at port free to explore, but don't care which port. Are any excursions better than what we have booked? The only difficulty in scheduling excursions is that one of us is a little afraid of swimming with fish. That's why we're snorkeling in Cozumel...it's based at a beach so she can just lay on the beach if she doesn't like it (though she's promised us to try it for at least a few minutes).
2) Dining time: as of now we're booked for main dining, but heavily considering changing to late dining (pros: less of a rush to get changed and ready after returning from a day at port, more "adult". Cons: seeing the evening show before dinner seems a little weird to me, might be harder to get good seating at the adult areas after dinner since the second show typically lets out before the second dinner seating). Thoughts/opinions? EDIT: Changed to the second dining seating. Thanks for the advice and suggestions!
3) Palo: Do we have good days for our dinner/brunch? We did the dinner on pirate night because the MDR meals didn't look too good, but tried to book early enough to make the deck party. EDIT: We were originally booked for Palo on pirate night, but DCL changed the itinerary and moved the pirates back a night. Unfortunately, there are no openings for three people for Palo for the new pirate night (though there are lots of openings for two people). I'm now very torn...option one is to call DCL and see if they can make a reservation for three people on pirate night, option two is to leave it how it is and return to the ship in the mid-afternoon to relax and get ready for Palo and then see the second showing of the evening entertainment, and option three is to move back the time for Palo while leaving it on the same night so we can see the first showing of the evening entertainment before heading to Palo. Our last-call on-board time for the night of Palo is 5:45PM, but our excursion is over at 1:15 so we can head back early to get ready for Palo if we want/need. My gut instinct is to go with option two, but I'd love to hear what you think! EDIT #2 We were able to get a 7:30PM Palo Dinner reservation for Pirates night! It should work perfectly for us!!
4) Any other random things I've missed booking/planning for?

Thanks in advance for all the advice! I know this usually goes in a PTR, but I want to have things a little more planned before I write it up!

Last edited by levenhopper; 10-17-2013 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Dining changes
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
cris0809
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You've got a great list!

I'll start the feedback by saying that we always travel with only adults in our party. We much prefer second seating. Main is just too early and there are tons of little ones. It doesn't feel weird to go to a show first. Never had a problem getting a seat in the adult venues, even on our 14 night. Those types of cruises have an unusually high percentage of adults. We are also very relaxed stay-and-chat-awhile diners (think Latin or Euro style).

We'd choose to do Palo exactly how you've listed here. Dinner on pirate night and brunch on day six. You'll have a nice special event on your last sea day before you pack up the fancy clothes (and almost everything else) that afternoon. Cruise casual for dinner that night means you won't have to worry about making sure a fancy dress makes it back into the suitcase before putting your luggage out for the night.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:00 AM   #3
Weedy
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Defiantly do the late dinner seating. You will be on cruise time. You will have a big breakfast 8-9am (at the earliest) than lunch around 1pm. I feel dinner at 5:45 is just too early with this cruise schedule.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:31 AM   #4
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questions

I can't really offer any advice with the excursions, we haven't sailed to the location you are.
I highly recommend the late seating for dinner (we have a 7 year old and she eats and goes to the kids club). The early one seems loud with kids screaming. I don’t see which ship you’re on? We’ve been on the Dream twice and we never had a problem with the bars being that busy at night, if one’s busy/crowded, you could just move on to the next.
Have fun!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
cris0809
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Originally Posted by crabby5 View Post
I dont see which ship youre on?
Since they are sailing out of Galveston they'll be on the Wonder.

I love Cadillac Lounge for piano music and a good stiff drink. Hit up Wavebands and say hi to your club host Simon, too.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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IMHO, one of the biggest drawbacks of the late dinner seating is feeling rushed to get to a show if you want any chance of a decent seat (referring to the adult shows).
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #7
k3chantal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levenhopper View Post
I'm getting ready to make our PTR, but before I jump into a full one I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on what we have planned:

Who: Me (Jordan, turning 25 three days before the cruise), DGF (Mandy, turning 22 three days after the cruise ends), and our mutual best friend (Cat, turning 23 in the middle of our cruise). This is Mandy and my first Disney Cruise, and Cat hasn't been on one in 10+ years. We're all current Cast Members at WDW, doing internships as part of the Disney College Program.
What: 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, Stateroom:11A GTY
Where: Departs Galveston, TX
When: Nov 30 - Dec 7
Why: Because we can!

So far, we have:
Nov 30 (departure, casual dining): Land in Houston at 10:14AM, using DCL transfers to the port. DCL lists the final onboarding time as 3:30PM
Dec 1 (at sea, formal dinner): Mandy and I have a couples massage booked for 2PM.
Dec 2 (at sea, casual dinner): nothing planned
Dec 3 (Falmouth, Jamaica 7:45AM-5:45PM, pirate dinner, Cat's birthday!): Chukka Jungle River Tubing Safari (9:45AM-1:15PM), Palo Dinner (6PM), Pirate Party (9:45PM)
Dec 4 (Grand Cayman 7:30AM-3:30PM, casual dinner): nothing planned
Dec 5 (Cozumel, Mexico 10:15AM-3:45PM, semi-formal dinner): Clear Kayak and Beach Snorkel Combo (10:30AM-2:30PM)
Dec 6 (at sea, casual dinner): Palo Brunch (10:30AM)
Dec 7 (dock at Galveston at 9:30AM): DCL transfer to Houston airport, flight departs Houston at 8:12PM

Random questions:
1) Any thoughts on our excursions? We want to have one day at port free to explore, but don't care which port. Are any excursions better than what we have booked? The only difficulty in scheduling excursions is that one of us is a little afraid of swimming with fish. That's why we're snorkeling in Cozumel...it's based at a beach so she can just lay on the beach if she doesn't like it (though she's promised us to try it for at least a few minutes).
2) Dining time: as of now we're booked for main dining, but heavily considering changing to late dining (pros: less of a rush to get changed and ready after returning from a day at port, more "adult". Cons: seeing the evening show before dinner seems a little weird to me, might be harder to get good seating at the adult areas after dinner since the second show typically lets out before the second dinner seating). Thoughts/opinions?
3) Palo: Do we have good days for our dinner/brunch? We did the dinner on pirate night because the MDR meals didn't look too good, but tried to book early enough to make the deck party.
4) Any other random things I've missed booking/planning for?

Thanks in advance for all the advice! I know this usually goes in a PTR, but I want to have things a little more planned before I write it up!
I was the least impressed by the Pirate Night menu so I think it is well planned to put Palo there.

Just be careful about flying in the day of. But overall you sound like you have a good handle on things.

Have a great time!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:17 AM   #8
Makayna
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I was also going to say - flying in day of... YIKES! And I also recommend late dining if you just have adults. #1 - eating that early... no thanks. #2 - there will be a family with little ones who booked late and early dining wasn't available who will thank you for switching.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
levenhopper
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Thanks everyone! Glad to hear we're on the right track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k3chantal View Post
Just be careful about flying in the day of. But overall you sound like you have a good handle on things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makayna View Post
I was also going to say - flying in day of... YIKES!
I know, it's a little worrisome for me, too. I wish we could have flown in a day earlier, but there's no way we'd get the extra day off from work. The good news is that we're on a nonstop flight from Orlando, so we don't need to worry about connections.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Our room was assigned last week! We got room 7505, which looks to be a Cat 10A (as good of a room as we could hope for)!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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I guess you are in already - I would have say wait for *GT rates to come out...
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:32 AM   #12
levenhopper
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It looks like Disney just likes to mess with my planning!

We were originally booked for Palo on pirate night, but DCL changed the itinerary and moved the pirates back a night. Unfortunately, there are no openings for three people for Palo for the new pirate night (though there are lots of openings for two people).

I'm now very torn...
Option one: call DCL and see if they can make a reservation for three people on pirate night.
Option two: leave it how it is and return to the ship in the mid-afternoon to relax and get ready for Palo and then see the second showing of the evening entertainment.
Option three: move back the time for Palo while leaving it on the same night so we can see the first showing of the evening entertainment before heading to Palo.

Our last-call on-board time for the night of Palo is 5:45PM, but our excursion is over at 1:15 so we can head back early to get ready for Palo if we want/need. My gut instinct is to go with option two, but I'd love to hear what you think!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:44 AM   #13
cris0809
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I would leave it how it is for now. Then on the day I board I would go to the dining changes area (it will be listed on your Navigator, it can be in one of various places - last two times on the Wonder it was in Studio Sea) and try to move the reservation to your desired night. They hold back a good chunk of reservations for those that miss out/change their minds/book at the last minute and we have had success in getting exactly what we wanted by going on this day.

This way you will have yourself a guaranteed reservation, even if it's not your preferred night, plus you'll have a chance to get it right.
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:57 AM   #14
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All of your plans sound good to me. Trust me when I say you will figure it all out once on board. You can just take a look at the Navigator when it arrives and decide what you would like to do. It's easy and casual! Hard to expain but once you get there you will see what I mean. Have fun!
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:04 AM   #15
levenhopper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cris0809 View Post
I would leave it how it is for now. Then on the day I board I would go to the dining changes area (it will be listed on your Navigator, it can be in one of various places - last two times on the Wonder it was in Studio Sea) and try to move the reservation to your desired night. They hold back a good chunk of reservations for those that miss out/change their minds/book at the last minute and we have had success in getting exactly what we wanted by going on this day.

This way you will have yourself a guaranteed reservation, even if it's not your preferred night, plus you'll have a chance to get it right.
Thanks! The question now becomes, do I even bother trying to change it, or leave everything how it is and go into the pirate dinner with an open mind? I think I'm most inclined to just leave it and not bother trying to change anything...especially because celebrating Cat's birthday in Palo could be a really special experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carrie in AZ View Post
All of your plans sound good to me. Trust me when I say you will figure it all out once on board. You can just take a look at the Navigator when it arrives and decide what you would like to do. It's easy and casual! Hard to expain but once you get there you will see what I mean. Have fun!
Thanks! It's just my nervous excitement coming out! And I'm sure half the plans I make will change when we get on board and look at the daily Navigators, lol.
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