Disney Cruise Questions From Someone Who's Considering Booking a DCL Vacation

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by PacMan3000, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. PacMan3000

    PacMan3000 Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone,

    While we are big time WDW veterans, we have never been on a Disney Cruise before. On the surface, we think it's a great idea--to go on a 4 or 5 night cruise.

    Here are my questions, though:

    1) My first thought is that a cruise sounds great, but a DISNEY cruise will be chock full of little kids. With so many kids on the boat, is the cruise full of screaming, crying, and just more noise than usual? I just have this image of kids in Mickey ears yelling and racing each other from one end of the deck to the other :rotfl:

    2) My second concern is that there just won't be enough to do. Disney is #1 in entertainment, but after a couple night's on the boat, does it get boring? Do you ever get the feeling that you've seen everything? With Disney World, there are countless rides, parades, restaurants, and theme parks. The Cruise is just...one single ship.

    3) My other question is...because everyone is on the ship together, is it hard to do things you want because everyone else is doing them too? Do restaurants fill up quicker, are spas more crowded, is the pool always packed, etc?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but wanted to get people's thoughts on these three for now.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. Dicecatt

    Dicecatt DIS Veteran

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    I'll answer the first one...we have four kids. However, my husband and I just sailed DCL to the Med by ourselves. There are adult only areas of the ship, and DCL is very good about keeping kids out of them. There is plenty to do, and when there are days at sea, there are adult only activities like tours, martini tastings, ect. You can do as much or as little as you want!

    You may want to consider a balcony if you want some extra private time.

    Yes, there are a lot of kids...but they are cute kids! And if you like WDW, the characters and the kids' excitement won't bother you. You can choose not to be in those areas.

    I'm surprising my husband with a quick 3 night in October, just the two of us:) Yes, the kids will be mad, but they've been on several too!
     
  4. JennyJ

    JennyJ Mouseketeer

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    I have to agree that there are plenty of places to get away from the kids, and everytime we went by the adult pool it was quiet and not crowded at all. Lots to do, new shows every day, so you won't get tired of seeing the same things. We didn't find crowds to be an issue much at all. I was quite shocked at times, thinking, where is everyone??? :D
     
  5. PearlySwan

    PearlySwan "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so

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    ^^^ My answers in blue above. :)
     
  6. ibouncetoo

    ibouncetoo <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi

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    Take a peek at some of the trip reports (more than one, becuase everyone has different experiences). The will also give you a feel for what the cruise experience is like.

    .
     
  7. PacMan3000

    PacMan3000 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks everyone. And Pearly, just to clarify, what do you mean when you say "you keep the same servers" when you go from one restaurant to the next? Are you referring to waiters?
     
  8. PearlySwan

    PearlySwan "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so

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    ^^^ Yes, the wait staff stays with you in the main dining restaurants throughout the dining rotation the entire cruise. That would be your Head Server, Dining Room Server, and Assistant Server (those are their titles ;)). Those 3 people will follow you from Animator's Palate to Parrot Cay to Triton's or Lumiere's each night. They will get to know your preferences almost immediately.
     
  9. clten

    clten DIS Veteran

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    We always used to go to WDW, now we cruise twice a year -- never with children. Our friends think we are crazy, why would two adults go on a ship that caters to kids. Well, two reasons: 1) they may cater to kids but that doesn't mean they don't cater to adults too; 2) they cater to the kids so well and keep them so busy, you don't really see most of the kids. I remember on one of our first cruises, we were leaving final bingo in the theater and the kids club graduation was already gathering for their big final show. We walked past lines and lines of kids. I turned to my sister and said "Have all these kids been on the ship all week???" Hadn't realized how many kids were really there because they spend so much time in kids club activities.

    We enjoy cruising because you can be as busy or relaxed as you want. As the PP's said, look over the navigators to see the type of activities that are offered. I think you'll find that there is certainly enough to keep you busy for a 4 or 5 night cruise. Keep in mind for 2011, the Dream will be doing those shorter sailings and we don't even know all of the great new things that will be offered there but there might be a line for the AquaDuck!
     
  10. PacMan3000

    PacMan3000 Mouseketeer

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    Wow, there is so much to read about...can't wait to dive into it all.

    A few more questions:

    1) When does DCL start celebrating Christmas/The Holidays? Are there dates that it begins and ends, and do they do anything special for the Holidays on the ship besides just decoration?

    2) Does anything special happen if you go on the cruise that sets sail on New Years?

    3) Where did you go on your cruise (as in destination, such as Europe, Bahamas, etc).

    4) I just read that a new Disney ship, the Dream, is set to sail next year. Is this supposed to be above and beyond the current ships? Wondering, because we were thinking of planning a December, 2010 trip.

    5) Between The Wonder and The Magic, does one have an advantage over the other?

    Thanks again, everyone.
     
  11. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    After doing a few cruises, WDW feels like work. Crowds, lines, etc. I still see the appeal but really prefer cruising. It's all the magic of Disney without the stress. At dinner, we walk into the dining room. Our servers are ready and waiting for us with warm smiles. They cut my son's meat and crack his lobster. They even put the ketchup on his plate shaped like a Mickey head. Some do magic tricks. They learn your name by the end of the 1st night and use it the rest of the week. It's service like nothing you've seen at WDW. :cloud9:

    This sums it up well:
    http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=53177

    Ask away! We love chatting about DCL here! :lovestruc:love::cloud9::goodvibes
     
  12. PearlySwan

    PearlySwan "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so

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    ^^^ I couldn't agree more!! ::yes::
     
  13. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    Our family were WDW fanatics....multiple trips a year for many years (heck, hubby and I had our honeymoon back in '79 at the Poly), but once I set foot on the Disney Magic I was transformed to a DCL cruise junkie. We still enjoy the parks but my favorite is DCL.

    We were lucky enough to be on the maiden voyage of the disney Magic back in '98 and were hooked. We have since been on a total of 19 DCL cruises with 4 more booked over the next year. We have cruised with our 3 children but also cruised many times just hubby and I.

    It is so vastly different than the WDW trips. With DCL there is no planning and stressing about making dining reservations for 7 nights. As mentioned already on DCL you are assigned a dining rotation. A third of the ship each starts off in one of the 3 main dining rooms. Each night you go to a different dining room and your dining room staff magically shows up at your same table in the different restaurants.

    WDW does have a capacity but their capacity can make your experience at WDW less than desirable), DCL has a maximum capacity that they are well equipped for. They have planned all the spaces and activities to accept the max amount of people so it never seems overcrowded. We have often sailed on a ful ship and never felt crowded.

    There are tons of character interactions, Disney themed broadway style stage shows, comedians, performers, deck parties, etc. Service is outstanding.

    The adult only venues are just that...adult only. They strictly enforce the 18 and old rule in adult venues.

    I will admit that the Mickey kids pool and the Goofy family pool do get crowded as the nature of cruise ships are smaller pools than what you would find in WDW resorts.

    We have cruised on many of the different itineraries.

    I say go for the 4 day at least. The 3 day is way too short. Keep reading these boards and you will get a great sense of what DCL is all about. Also check out the DCL website.

    MJ
     
  14. Beauty & the Best

    Beauty & the Best Its all so magical!

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    I just wanted to pipe in and say that there is no way you will get bored on a Disney ship. We did a transatlantic sailing and had around 6 days at sea - we did not get bored even once.

    Enjoy your cruise!
     
  15. Grandma4ever

    Grandma4ever One day closer and still counting!!!

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    Great question. Keep asking. Use care however as DCL is very addicting. I live for my Disney now and although I still enjoy the parks I cannot get enough of the cruise. I will Never again do anything less than 7 days.
     
  16. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to add, if you're worried that there's not enough to do, our friends/neighbors cruised with us last Oct. They are Disney junkies: APs and go many times per yr. Also have cruised Carnival and RC so they know cruising. This was their 1st DCL cruise.
    By Tues she said, "Don't they ever expect you to sleep here!?" Her 3 kids are usually late sleepers but were so busy they were up early and up late. They range in age from 17-13. They were completely blown away by the evening shows in the WD Theater, even teary-eyed too.
    They're booked for Oct with us again.

    My point is, you can be as busy as you choose, just like WDW. Do you tour MK commando from rope drop and stay for Wishes? or do you take breaks to go back to your room to nap? Same principles of pacing yourself apply here. You can be as busy as you like or just veg. You can't do it all in 1 cruise. There are so many things we still haven't done even with our 5th cruise coming up.
    Dh teases me that my DCL addiction is an illness and needs professional help yet he works lots of OT so we can keep cruising and he's the one saying no other line but DCL and 7 nt minimum. :laughing:
    Maybe he's still in denial? :lmao:
     
  17. Dicecatt

    Dicecatt DIS Veteran

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    1: Decorations are awesome during December...and I've cruises early December (first weekend)...they decorate early.
    2: I would imagine that New Years Eve on a Disney ship would be quite fun, just think, fireworks at sea on New Years Eve!
    3: I've done several Bahamas, with the kids, and an 11 day Europ with just my husband.
    4: The Dream will be super cool, no doubt. But don't delay if you are thinking of December this year...you'll want to book another one...make the second one on the Dream :thumbsup2
    5: No. They are nearly identical, with only minor differences.
     
  18. PacMan3000

    PacMan3000 Mouseketeer

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    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for sharing your trip experiences!!
     
  19. PacMan3000

    PacMan3000 Mouseketeer

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    Hi guys--wanted to give a little update and ask more questions.

    It looks like we might be going on the cruise in early February, and then staying in Flordia for a week to do Disney and Universal. So here are my questions...

    1) Has anyone cruised in February? Good time to go? Has anyone been to WDW in Feb within the past few years? How's the weather?

    2) Has anyone done a Disney Cruise, and then stayed in FL to do the theme parks for a few days?

    3) We are thinking of booking the Disney Dream in February, which I know is the brand new ship. Should I be concerned that I'll be on a brand new ship that doesn't have a lot of sailing experience? We have someone in our party who's a little leery because the ship is a youngin'.

    4) Are there websites you'd recommend that offer nice deals on Disney cruises?

    5) Anyone know if Princess Tiana is now incorporated at both WDW and the Disney Cruise Lines?

    6) In looking at the Disney Dream, it seems that even the most basic room comes with a porthole/window as standard. Is this true or did I read it wrong?

    7) We are thinking of doing a 3 night Bahamas cruise (it would be our first Disney Cruise) and then staying at WDW for a week. In your opinion, is a 3 night cruise too short to be enjoyable? Will we feel rushed?

    Thanks!
     
  20. BethC1952

    BethC1952 DIS Veteran

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    We're cruising on Dream in early Feb. (2/6/11). Last year we cruised on Magic in February, but don't have time for a seven-night cruise this year, since we always tack on a WDW stay!

    As others have said, it's addictive. Please be careful or you'll be hooked forever!;)

    1. Our Feb. cruise last year had some unusual weather, so we just won't talk about that. It was very cool and rainy, and we had a wonderful time!

    2. I would never go back home the day I leave the ship. We always stay at least two or three days at WDW afterwards. It's the perfect ending to a vacation.

    3. I (obviously) would have no hesitation sailing on a new ship. DCL has lots of cruise experience. This ship will be just awesome, and will still be new and fresh when I board her!

    4. I use Dreams Unlimited Travel -- http//www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com . Shop around and see who suits you best.

    5. She was on our February 2010 cruise, but I don't know if she's still there. We didn't go to the parks on that trip, so I can't answer the second part! We just stayed at our resort (Pop Century) and did all the fun stuff that we never get to do, like resort-hopping and shopping, and an awful lot of eating.

    6. The inside rooms have "virtual portholes". Not a real window, but, as I understand it, a real-time view from cameras mounted outside the ship, with occasional visits by surprise guests. We will have a verandah on this cruise.

    7. I think a three-night cruise is way too short. You don't board until around noon on the first day, and you have to be off no later than 9 AM on the last day. That really gives you only two full days on board. I think a four-night cruise is good, and, of course a seven-night cruise is even better!


    Good luck making your choice. It's a tough decision, but whatever DCL cruise you select will be more fun than you can imagine.

    Beth
     
  21. disneyfool_1202

    disneyfool_1202 The countdown has begun!!

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    We were also on the maiden voyage of the Magic and it was before DH and I were married- we walked off that ship saying "if we ever get married, this is where we are taking our honeymoon" and in 2001 we took our 2nd DCL cruise (yes, our honeymoon).

    Our last cruise was our 1st with kids - and it was magical in a whole other way. All 3 cruises there was so much to see and do - whether it was just some adult time without kids, or family time with them.

    Our next cruise will be a 5night on the Dream - and I'm already worried we aren't going to have enough time to experience it all!!
     

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