Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by breakingd_awn, Mar 7, 2010.
i brought the largest powdered flavored creamer i could find and i uised it all
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If you have NEVER experienced the fifferent dining rooms and the fun things they do, Your time will go quickly. But you can also have the childrens food brought to you first and send them to the kids club when they are done eating >>>> someone from the kids club will come to the dining area at a set time each evening to pick up all the kids.
Also if it is just your family at the table, you could possible let your servr know you want a shortened version maybe get just the main course and desert.. or desert to go.
Great thread! Getting so many great ideas!!! Quick question.....a lot of folks have suggested not getting to the ports early. We have an 11:30am check in time. Should we arrive at the port about 11am? No earlier? I thought you could only arrive at the terminal and check-in walk on at your scheduled time. Do they just let whomever is there check-in and go on no matter their scheduled check in time? Sorry I know this is a little OT. Not having done a cruise yet, I sadly can't add to the do/don't list yet....
Jayme..sent you a Private Message about your ?s
If we ever cruise again(DH and DS1 are not fans):
stay on ship on Nassau day
go to matinee viewing of the shows(made our night so much more relaxing, I wish they had matinee times for every show especially having young kids who can't stay up for the shows otherwise)
put toddlers and kids in nursery and clubs to enjoy some downtime.
try out the main restaurants for lunch
go to the main dining rooms every night(to stressful with 4 young kids)
have half of our party get the stomach flu while on board
get a verandah room(we didn't use it much)
Thanks for the info. I think we'll do one night at the main table and then one night like you suggested and have them eat first and then go to the kids club...and then we'll play it by ear on the 3rd night.
As a newbie, I'd love to know the answers, too, to the questions above. I've heard people say to get there early to board and enjoy the ship and others say to not get there early b/c you'll just wait in line.
I'd love some advice!
Oh, this is also a good idea ... I was thinking the same thing that my youngest won't be able to enjoy the show late at night b/c she'll fall asleep.
Add me to the people who would like to also hear the answers to this one!
For our cruise in August 2011, we got to the port at 11 AM. They won't let you park or go in before then. I don't remember what our boarding number was from online check in, but I think it was close to 10.
It could not have been easier. We had a rental car, and pulled up in front to drop our luggage - took about 1 minute - then we parked at the terminal. We walked in and got in the CC line. There was no line to speak of, and by the time we were done, they were boarding. There was no line at the kid's club desk, so I went ahead and registered my daughter, then we got on the ship.
My kids wore their bathing suit under their clothes, so we went straight up to the pool. I kicked back and had the drink of the day, while they swam. Had the place mostly to ourselves. It was a great way to start the cruise! I think it really made a difference that they no longer allow you in before 11 AM. It felt much less frantic than the cruise before that.
i just remembered...
adding to my Will Do Again list from above:
8. Have table service breakfast (royal palace on the dream)
9. Have table service lunch (royal palace on the dream)
i absolutely loved having a sit down meal served to me (not a buffet).
the service was excellent and the servers were wonderful.
And the food was good too!!
and you could eat as much as you wanted.
DH literally ordered everything on the breakfast menu. I'm not kidding. At least one of everything, and several of one item.
To him, a vacation is eating in mass quantities.
To me, a vacation is being served by a waiter.
It was great that both of us could get what we wanted at the same place!!
Thank you! That sounds good, and relaxing.
Unless it has changed, they will only pick your kids up from dinner during the late seating, thus your show times are earlier. My kids bedtime normally 7:30 but on the cruise they were able to do the late dining and in fact would beg to stay at the clubs late even though my DH and I were tired. Plus thier is usually time changes along the cruise if I remember correctly, that may affect sleeping schedules.I would make kids stay for animators palate for the shows and the other ones play it by ear. It is not something you have to commit to until they show up at about 9 to get all kids from the dining room. And really our dinners were never more than hour and a half TOPS.
I would pack differently. I brought entirely too many clothes. It's quite true that no one else on the ship or on excursions cares at all what you wear as long as it's decent.
I would definitely bring my extension cord again so I can charge all the gadgets.
I would get involved with the disboard forum for my cruise date and/or a Facebook group. Did the latter on my last cruise and made some FB friends who became friends for real on the ship.
Will do again:
watch all the stage shows (we loved these)
see a movie or two (we hardly ever go to the movies at home, so it is a treat)
eat at Palo (hopefully brunch)
use room service for breakfast and snacks
bring a photo mat (or two) to be signed, maybe a canvas bag this time
bring over the door hanger (invaluable, even for just the two of us)
get the Drink of the Day
relax and unwind on deck with my Kindle and the aforementioned Drink of the Day
Will do for the first time:
not get off the ship if the port doesn't interest us, plenty to do onboard
book a verandah (our first one is this June on the Fantasy)
bring a pop up hamper (there is never any room for dirty clothes)
pay more attention to the Navigator (missed some things because we didn't read it more carefully)
ride Aqua Duck
forget to bring more $1 for tips for room service
book too many excursions and forget to just enjoy the ship
stress about booking Palo brunch (OK maybe I will still stress out, because I want this brunch for my birthday)
Oh sorry was just trying not to clutter the thread wasnt trying to leave any one out
WE found that for the Magic they did not seem to beusing the system as i have heard they do on the Larger ships.
We had the earliest time and although we got there early (way before 11) we were allowed to park check our bags and enter and there were already people in the erminal when we got there an there was NO WAY all the people that showed up early were at there assigned times/
Oh, I had requested early seating so if they only do this for late seating, then we'll just see what happens.
Ok, thanks! We'll be coming from WDW so trying to decide how long to stay in WDW and when to go to the cruise ship.
Bumping - great thread!
We just returned from our first cruise ever, the 5 day double dip Dream that sailed on March 27. I learned much from these forums, so I wanted to give back a little if I could. Our kids are 6 & 8.
Things that did not work for us:
1) Arriving early at port. Everyone, and I mean pretty much everyone did this. We were there at 1120AM, and the port was packed. We were concierge so they worked us through a massive crowd of people waiting to get photos. There was some subtle pushing. All in all, not a pleasant experience. We were on board by 1130AM, and the pools were filled with more than 30 kids each, and the aquaduck was lined up with a 60 minute wait. Cabanas was packed with tables very difficult to find. We got up to get some food, and our table was taken within seconds. We ended up standing by the drink fountain and eating.
Our rooms weren't ready so we checked in our gear with concierge, but even that was chaos with the lounge filled with wall-to-wall people. If we had just slept a little longer and had a relaxing lunch on the way and then boarded at about 2PM, this would have solved many of these problems.
There were lots of opportunities for swimming and trying the aquaduck later in the trip. I wish we had just had a relaxing lunch at McDonald's on the way and showed up at 1 or 2PM when the port was probably a wasteland and we could have boarded more leisurely.
2) The aquaduck was disappointing. It is a very average or even below average slide as far as thrills go. If your kids have ever been on any other waterslide, they will likely be disappointed with this. We tried it at a point when the wait was 15 minutes, and it was definitely not worth that wait. I wouldn't wait more than 5 minutes. Fortuntately there were lots of times early in the morning or around supper time when the lines were very short and the kids rode it a few times, but were quickly bored with it.
3) The ship was very crowded. I know, it's a cruise ship, but this was much more than we were expecting. Unfortunately, crowding tends to bring out the worst in many people including us. Bright-eyed friendly casual faces making eye contact or even saying hi to each other become serious, head-down, rushing people when the crowds start to get under our skin. Overall, not a pleasant atmosphere, but only a problem on the first day and at-sea day.
4) I wouldn't go to the sailing away party again. Too crowded, and nothing very exciting about it. When we realized this, we quickly retreated to our verandah where we enjoyed the sailing away much more in privacy.
5) I wouldn't make a big deal about going to the pirate party. Again, too crowded, and the kids didn't get much out of it, and much too late for our little ones. It was not worth it for us, but it was nice to see everyone get into the spirit.
6) Staying on the boat in Nassau. We had just been to Atlantis a few months ago, so we didn't see anything else that caught our eye as far as shore excursions. While we love to relax, there is a limit before we need to get up and do something with ourselves. There is not as much to do on the boat as I was led to believe. We filled our time with the detective game (it only takes about 30-45 minutes for each one if you take the stairs), various classes in lounge D including an animation class and towel folding, a scavenger hunt, some karoake, lots of exercise and a healthy dose of kids club for our little ones. However, if we did another cruise, I suspect we would not be up for another day like this as we prefer a little adventure and lots of the on board activities are sort of once and done.
7) Animator's palate. We hadn't planned on going to all the evening dinners but worked our plans around going to this restaurant based on the recommendations as a can't miss experience. It was chaotic and distracting with the cartoons, and ended up not being very good family time. The chaos made the kids unsettled and unfocused. They ate poorly. Our kids don't watch TV, so the characters on the screen were mostly meaningless to them. Perhaps if they knew who the talking turtle was, it would have been more exciting.
8) Concierge. We just didn't really use any of the services provided by concierge. We don't drink much, so happy hour was not a priority. We're not big eaters, and only eat at meal times, so snacks in the lounge were not useful. We're do it yourselfers when it comes to booking our free time, and don't like to pre-commit to shore excursions or feel overscheduled. We would probably just book a non-concierge room next time as the value was just not there. Also we tipped the concierge $100 on our last night, and one of the guys was visibly disappointed. I thought the tip was generous given how little we used their services. His reaction left a bad taste in our mouths.
Things that worked well for us:
1) Castaway Cay. Wow. What an island. Words can't even put it into perspective. An absolute can't miss.
2) Food. We are picky about food, especially for the kids. We were worried there would be too much junk. We were surprised with the array of choices and many healthy options. Very well done.
3) A verandah. We spent a lot of our boat time on our verandah, especially while the kids were sleeping in the evening or early in the morning. Bliss.
4) Swimming/waterslide in the early morning on non-CC days. Quiet and peaceful.
5) Kid's club. Our kids loved this. We had to keep it to 3 two hour visits as this was a family vacation, but they never wanted to leave.
6) Detective game. Our kids enjoyed this more than a little bit.
7) The gym. Great equipment and hardly anyone ever in there.
8) CC 5K. Lots of fun.
9) Slides, Jungle gym, bikes, sandcastles on CC.
10) Mini-golf. This was okay for us, but the kids seemed to really enjoy it. I won twice against my hubby, so he may not have enjoyed it as much.
11) Basketball. The kids had lots of fun shooting hoops.
12) Believe. Fantastic show. The other shows were okay. We wouldn't go see them again though.
13) Palo. A very pleasant dinner. I wouldn't say it is a must do, however. Easily skipped if you prefer more family time.
Overall, a great first cruise for us. It may be some years before we go again as there are many other things in the world we'd like to do, and only so much time we can take the kids out of school. Thank you to everyone here for all the advice. It made a big difference in our experience.
Marking to read later
Thank you SSOOO much for this great thread! We are getting ready to leave for our first Disney cruise after many years of dedication to WDW. I will definitely be bringing the overdoor shoe holder Now I have to go find a WDW thread to post all MY advice for newbies!
Awesome thread! Subbing for future reading when I have WAY more time.
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