First Timer! Any tips you wish you knew before your first DCL?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mmfinn, May 14, 2013.

  1. Lisa Lisa

    Lisa Lisa DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 2011
    If you haven't already checked out the thread for your meet group, I would get over there ASAP! We took our DD on the Dream last year when she was a few months shy of her 9th birthday. She had seemed really excited about the Lab before the cruise, but once we were on the ship she got really skittish about it. We went in with her for a little while on the first afternoon, but she never went back. Fast forward to this year on the Fantasy. I reached out ahead of time to a couple of parents with daughters my DD's age. She met one of them early in the cruise and they hit it off and ended up spending a lot of time together. My DD was willing to give the Lab a try because her friend was going. From that point on, she spent a couple of hours there each evening after dinner.

    One other tip: Make sure you take your camera to character meet & greets. You can take your own photos or ask a CM to take photos of your family.
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  3. abbiep

    abbiep Mouseketeer

    Jul 1, 2009
    I had a photomat cut out to allow me to put 2 5x7 and 2 4x6. I figured I would have more than one picture to put into the mat. Have one of each cut for vertical and horizontal.
  4. Scoundrellv

    Scoundrellv Earning My Ears

    Jan 22, 2013
    We went the pillowcase route and used fabric markers. what ever pillow they put it n is now their favorite pillow.

    Also make sure at least one night order room service and get a mickey dream bar. Before going on excursions off the boat the night before order some uncrustables and ask to NOT open them that way the next day you have snacks for DD while off the ship.

    30 minutes prior is the mantra to any major character meets. I'm only talking about princess meet and greet and see ya real soon (the last day).

    Find your cruise's meet and greet and sign up and do the fish extender. It was like Christmas every day they found something inside. The kids are still playing the all the kazoos and magnets on the fridge.

    Don't think you can do it all. you won't just enjoy you're vacation

    Hope this helps.
  5. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Our first cruise (non DCL), we did 2 long walking base days at the parks, embarked for a week, debarked and went right back and hopped all day. So my vote is actually for BOTH before AND after the cruise! (Aren't I greedy?)

    Assuming that that isn't an option (like this last DCL), we fit in one long wild and crazy hopping day and then enjoyed our cruise. I feel like it's a great way to get it started, under the fireworks at Cinderella's castle. In the end, some land and some sea, however you work it, it is great! great!
  6. VAB2013

    VAB2013 Earning My Ears

    Feb 25, 2013
    Like a pp said, always bring your camera to character meet and greets. Two reasons:

    1) Sometimes there is no DCL photographer. We went to a Mickey meet and greet and were surprised to find there was no photographer. So glad we had our camera. Originally I didn't and had gone back to the room to get it and was happy I did.

    2) The DCL staff are happy to use your camera to take pictures. This kept us from having to buy all of the professional shots. We bought a few but were grateful to have some of our own pictures also.
  7. SoozCruise

    SoozCruise Earning My Ears

    Apr 22, 2013
    On the first day, my DD7 got halfway up the steps and then came down crying because she was scared. We gave it a couple of days, and then I told her if she went with me on it, she could get two ice cream cones from Eye Scream. She agreed, we rode the duck, and she got off the ride beaming and said, "I want to do that again - after I eat my two ice cream cones!"

    I don't always bribe my kids, but when I do, I make it a good one. :thumbsup2
  8. buddy2k9

    buddy2k9 Earning My Ears

    Jul 10, 2012
    Good use of "Dos Equis" quote! LOL
  9. supercrossfox21

    supercrossfox21 Mouseketeer

    May 2, 2013
    That is a great idea! I never thought of "customizing" my own photo mat. Was just going for the standard 8x10. (we are also doing a pillowcase). What size frame did you end up having to buy to fit the mat that had the two 5x7 pics?
  10. huffjoann

    huffjoann DIS Veteran

    Jun 10, 2010
    search for navigators and give them a look now so you can see what kinda things interest you and when the timing is so you can plan accordingly,,, but you absolutely cannot do it all,,,, we tried and failed, LOL,, play goofy golf, that was one thing we missed but wished we did, kinda cheesy but where else can you play golf with a wonderful view
    expect crowds to all the main deck gatherings, depending on how u feel about crowds this may influence your positioning at the gathering, ie up front and close or on the fringe
  11. TwinPrincessMermaids

    TwinPrincessMermaids DIS Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Ha! Got a good laugh out ta that one. Hey Dad raised us on the biggest roller coasters in the world at CP Sandusky and every yr a bigger one came out. (Talking 200 ft). We would get to buy the T-shirt if we rode it! It pretty much worked! Now he has go get em girls although funny enough him n mom were convinced we would be drowned or eaten by a shark when we were the only ones snorkeling the reef at BL! He whistled and pitched a fit til we came in, and we now are 31!! What happened to the good ol days of adventure dad... Sheesh...

    Anyway good job bribing mom. It does work! (Don't have kids, but my four legs will do literally anything for treat treats! Guess its about the same thing.)
  12. swimfly

    swimfly Mouseketeer

    Jul 6, 2010
    Here! Here! I realized after our 3day Dream cruise it was just as much work to prepare for a 3 as a 7. Won't make that mistake again.

    THIS! I'm just going to keep rebooking every cruise until DH catches on to my scheme. He can't turn down a good "deal."

    Love your suggestions! I marked quite a few as things we need to do on our next one. Agree with all of the above. Thought I was the only one checking out the different bathrooms. Too funny! Dh thought I was preggers again I was peeing so much! :-)

    Yes. This is our absolutely favorite vacation swag.

    We loved doing this! Found this suggestion on the boards before our trip and DH was hooked the first night. So yummy!

    I'd also recommend bringing a highlighter to mark up the Navigator. Bring a bottle or some sort of mug for the drink station.

    You need small bills to tip room service, porters, etc.

    Pack ziplock bags of varying sizes. I thought this was just silly and I did it this time around and I can't believe how useful this was. Our DD is 16 mths so this may have something to do with it.

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