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Never cruised, many questions

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Zooshoveller, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Zooshoveller

    Zooshoveller WAR EAGLE

    Sep 4, 2012
    DH and I have been talking about taking a cruise just the two of us Oct '14 (3 nights to the Bahamas on the Dream), but we have so many questions!

    1. We would like a veranda, maybe even concierge. Which are your favorite decks and why? What exactly does concierge get you?

    2. It says dining is included. Is that every meal/snack? What about drinks (regular and alcoholic)?

    3. Do we need passports for Nassau?

    There are more, but I'll save those for another time! LOL

    Thank you!
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  3. tcrowley

    tcrowley Mouseketeer

    Jul 13, 2012
    First 3 days is NEVER enough go for 4 some times you can get a 4 day cheaper than a 3.
    Second I love the veranda and dont ever see dh and i cruising with out one. We loved having our own private deck and enjoying us time while watching the waves roll against the ship and the wonderful background noise as you sit there and fall deeper in love ok sorry about that (we have 7 kids between us) and close out all the noise and other ppl on the ship
    Third dinning is included all food it includes all your beverages except booze
    Fourth Concierge nah you really wont need it I have never had it but i have read alot about it and would pass on it
    Fifth NO PASSPORT needed for Nassau its a closed loop cruise you will be fine
    Any other questions ask away
    If i can survive my daughter getting married on the Dream Oct 2012 You can ask a million questions it needed
  4. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    2. All your meals are included (except for adult dining venues). Also, snacks. Sodas, water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water are available 24/7 at the drink station on the pool deck. And included in your meals. Sodas from room service, bars/lounges, and from poolside servers have a cost. Alcoholic drinks have a cost.

    3. For US citizens on a closed loop cruise (beginning and ending in the same US port) the minimum requirement is a certified birth certificate and (for those 16 and over) a government-issued photo ID.
  5. tcrowley

    tcrowley Mouseketeer

    Jul 13, 2012
    I forgot we were on deck 9 room 9028 port forward it was incredible Next May 2014 we will be on deck 9 room 9652 starboard aft . The right side of the ship over looks Castaway Cay FYI when you dock
  6. mecllap

    mecllap <font color=limegreen>"Skamps"<br><font color=mage

    Apr 3, 2006
    You can go to www.state.gov to read up on passports and passports cards. It's a good idea for travelers leaving the U.S. at all to have at least the card. There's lots of good info about cruising in general on cruisecritic dot com (including about Disney). I just recently signed up for my first one on DCL and it's not soon enough! Cruising is great! You have to work at it NOT to enjoy a cruise. 3 nights will definitely not be enough to get a good feel for it (but it's better than nothing).
  7. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2009
    If you're not going to get the full passport book, there's really no reason to get the passport card for a closed loop cruise. There are no benefits that the passport card gives you that you won't have just using the BC & photo ID. And it costs.

    Now, before you flame into me, I have a passport book. I recommend passport books. I'm just pointing out that the cards don't really do anything more than just the BD & photo ID will.
  8. mom3girls2000

    mom3girls2000 Mouseketeer

    Jul 10, 2010
    Having just completed a 3-night on the Dream, and a 5-night+4-night on the Wonder (B2B), I must agree with the other posters, a 3-night is just too short! Especially on the ginormous Disney Dream! There was WAY too little time to see and do everything. But alas, it IS better than nothing ;). Although the concierge level is amazing, if money were the main factor, personally, I would pick a cheaper cabin to cruise for a longer length, but that's just me.

    1. I lay no claim to answer your first question, my DH and I make our choices for our own reasons and we don't always have a veranda. I will say that as far as seasickness goes, the lower and more central you are, the better.

    2. Your meals at the main dining rooms and counter-service venues are included. (Counter service is usually on the pool deck - burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, salads, sandwiches/wraps, fruit, ice cream, fountain soda as well as coffee and hot chocolate.) Also included is .... ROOM SERVICE :D! For that you only need tip your room-service deliverer. There are some items you can get from room service that are not listed in the menu - premium Mickey Bars, cookies, uncrustables - those are all included. BTW, you can also request a Mickey Bar for dessert with dinner :). You can also request sorbet but not a specific flavor.

    2a. What's not included are soft drinks from room service (except coffee and tea), alcoholic beverages as pointed out, meals in the surcharge restaurant (Palo, Remy), and snacks and drinks from the coffee café. Lunch on Castaway Cay is also included - it's an expanded barbecue featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, ribs, and chicken (and I think sometimes fish), potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw, a cold couscous salad, a Greek tomato-feta-olive salad, sliced fruit, cookies and cake, soft-serve ice cream, sodas.

    FYI, you can also bring your OWN alcohol onboard! If you want your own bottle of wine with dinner, they will charge a corkage fee. But you CAN put your own alcohol into a travel cup and carry it with you and can get around it that way ;). My DH brings his own tequila and rum onboard, and I get tired of the same old Diet Coke, Sprite Zero and unsweetened iced tea, so I bring a 12-pack of soda (usually Diet Barq's, Cherry Coke Zero, or Fresca Black Cherry), keep it in the room, and just get ice from our cabin steward. You just can't bring it in a cooler. We use a wheeled carry-on for our beverage bag lol.

    3. When reboarding the ship after a port-of-call, you will need your Key-to-the-World card and a photo i.d. The only time you don't need the photo i.d. is when reboarding after Castaway Cay. The reason to have a passport at any other port is if something were to happen (God forbid!) to make you miss the reboarding and you would need to have i.d. with you - at least IMHO.
  9. jadedjojo

    jadedjojo bouncing off the walls

    Aug 30, 2007
    This thread is something to consider with passports or no passports.

    As for the rooms- we've been over all decks, all room types (minus concierge). If you're able to spend the $$, a verandah room is an exceptional experience. But that being said, DH and I are super thrifty (less frilly rooms, more cruises!) so we spend most of our time in oceanview or inside rooms. You don't spend a lot of time at all in the rooms, so to us it's not any big deal to not have a balcony. As someone mentioned, for those who are prone to seasickness, the closer to the center of the ship the better. I have terrible seasickness but now rely on ginger root capsules. I've also done Transderm-Scop which works great but has some negative side effects. Since it's your first cruise I would definitely recommend having something on hand just in case (esp if you are like me and Dramamine does nothing).
  10. nanaoften

    nanaoften Earning My Ears

    Jan 25, 2013
    3. RE passports. Normally you would NOT need a passport for a closed-loop cruise. However, it is my understanding that should you have to leave the cruise (illness, accident, etc.) and return to FL, you need a passport (book form) to re-enter. You may want to check into this. (We're "seniors" going on our first cruise in September and are getting a passport just in case!) Hope this helps.
  11. lovetotraveltx

    lovetotraveltx DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2011
    Definitely go for the passport! Just safer and you'll have it for 10 years!

    Our first DCL cruise was a three-day. Then we did a four day. The extra day makes such a difference because you get one sea day with the 4. Sea days are a lot of fun and also offer Palo brunch, etc!

    Primarily we do inside deluxe, (split bathrooms). They are more than fine. And, my older daughter who gets sea sick prefers no window!

    We hope to do Alaska some day with a balcony but with the short cruises you are so busy there is really no need.

    We wound up with a balcony on our 4-day, didn't want but had no choice, and we were on it twice!

    Just my 2 cents!
  12. MDennis28

    MDennis28 Mouseketeer

    Oct 10, 2006
    Cove Cafe. True the yummy coffee's are extra (think Starbucks at sea) but they have a punch card with a free one (any size/flavor/kind) after 5 or 6 and you can bring it on every cruise and keep using it till it is full. Also, all day the snacks at the Cove ARE free. Chocolate covered strawberries, croissants...yummy.
  13. TLSnell1981

    TLSnell1981 Tiny bubbles... make me happy... make me feel fine

    Sep 15, 2006
    I will not leave the country without a passport. We can't predict emergencies.

    A verandah is a must and concierge is our preference. I just got off the Dream..3 day on deck 9. This was our first non concierge cruise. It was okay for a short, heavily discounted fare. Although, I really missed the concierge team. They really do everything for you.
  14. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2008
    For a first time, a 3n cruise is too short. Remember is really a 2 full days, which you'll spend one at Nassau and one in CC. Day of embarkation is half a day, and debarkation is just breakfast.

    Regarding concierge, I think it's a waste, specially for a first cruise and a 3n one. You won't be able to use the benefits of it at all... On the newer ships, you have access to the concierge lounge and the concierge outside. There's more food available in the lounges and some additional perks which I'm not too familiar with. But without sea days, I don't see the point. Unless of course you go for a suite. On the new ships, the concierge verandah rooms (OOV I think) are a tiny bigger than a category 4 and have a bigger size TV.

    All food on the ship is included, with the exception to Palo and Remy (adult only, which require an up charge). This means, breakfast, lunch, dinner, late buffet, fast food by the pools, even room service. Snacks from room service or by the theaters is not included, nor are smoothies. But snacks at Cove cafe, or ice cream by the pools are included.

    Dining is all you can eat. Be it at the dining rooms or the buffet.
  15. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    We were Disney Cruise first-timers until the 7th of this month. :)

    We did a 3 night on the Dream, because that's what my cousin's family was doing. I knew it would be too short, but it was what it was. We ended up doing Concierge because my MIL dropped out of our traveling party and I came across an 00V fare that was just $300 more than what we were already paying for our verandah room.

    concierge thoughts

    00V is a fairly normal family oceanview verandah room, but on the Concierge floors, by the way. It's not a 1 bedroom suite or a suite at all. But it sure is pretty. Our stateroom was 12528. My cousins were on deck 6 and their room was laid out pretty much the same, but it wasn't full of glossy wood and the hallways weren't as pretty IMO also.

    3 nights is too short, there is no getting around that. But it was still good. We were trying to coordinate with 5 other family members who had different interests and purposes, and that made things more challenging, time-wise, than if we had been alone.

    The sundeck was very pretty, though you don't get to see anything else; there are opaque walls around it so you don't see the ocean, etc. The non-concierge area beyond it is adult only, in case that matters to you.

    There are receptions each day in the concierge lounge where alcohol is, in fact, free.

    EVERYTHING about the lounge is laid out for you, in writing, when you first go in there upon embarkation. When we got to the terminal and went back to the special concierge area, after they took pictures and gave DS his kid's club band and all, we were escorted through the side way (not through the big Mickey head you see in pictures of the terminal), escorted through the first pictures they'll take (besides the keycard picture you just took), and onto the ship. Then they will escort you all the way to the lounge. Then you'll be met by a staff member, you'll be able to sit down and have a cappucino, etc, and they had free alcohol at that reception as well.

    They lay it all out for you; how to get the ipad rental, how to get the free 100 minutes of internet, etc etc etc. It's all written and given to you in a folder.

    There is different food out all day, ever-changing. If you are at all a fan of egg salad sandwiches, I would highly recommend that you find out when they will have those, and eat a couple triangles of them. It was the most delicious egg salad I have ever had in my life, and I have had some egg salad sandwiches. :)

    You can get water (bottled Evian) whenever you go through the lounge. It might be different for the suites, but as an 00V fare we had a few bottles in our stateroom fridge along with some sodas, and it was NEVER restocked at all. So we just got them from the lounge, easy peasy.

    They have games to play in the lounge (or you can take them to your stateroom) and there's a TV.

    We had gone back and forth on getting a cabana and decided to not (because we would have felt guilty not including family, but to include family would mean paying for an extra 2 people), and then we saw online that the cabanas were sold out. But while on the cruise they had 3 cabanas available, and were offering them to concierge guests. We still didn't do it (our reasons hadn't changed), but it was interesting to see how many were available, when they had been sold out online. We now wish like anything that we had rented one, and if we ever do the 3 or 4 day cruise again, we WILL make room in our budget for the cabana.

    We now cannot imagine NOT doing concierge on the Dream. The problem is when we price out the longer cruises and concierge. ha ha ha. So much money. Short cruise, long cruise, having that level of service just made it all so very pleasant....

    passport thoughts

    We have passports. We have them for general purposes, because it just feels wrong for our family to not be able to travel if the mood and money strike (DH has one because he travels for work, but even before that he has had one since childhood). So it's a moot question for us. If an emergency hit while we were away, I would rather be able to get home as soon as a flight could be arranged, not after the emergency passports are arranged AND the flight.

    I blather a lot and go off topic, but there's a link in my sig to my cruise report that I'm still working on, and there are some pictures of our stateroom in there, if you'd like to take a peek.

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