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

PacMan3000

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
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.
 

Dicecatt

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
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!
 

JennyJ

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 2, 2007
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
 

PearlySwan

"I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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: Nothing on DCL could be further from this scenario. It just doesn't happen this way. We've sailed twice (7 nights and 5 nights), both times we had an amazingly wonderful experience. Disney knows how to disperse the crowds.

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. Have you checked the daily Navigators here under the DCL FAQs section? The Navigators will tell you what is happening each and every day of your cruise. If anything, we feel we have to go back in order to see/do all the things we've missed so far. There are tons of daily activities onboard the ships, not to mention the port excursions. There is simply too many too many things to enumerate here; but as a for instance, on our recent 5 night cruise the Walt Disney Theater had the following nightly shows: Night 1: The Golden Mickeys; Night 2: Once Upon a Song; Night 3: Toy Story 3 in 3D; Night 4: Toy Story, The Musical; Night 5: Disney Dreams. Each of those were shown twice each night. In addition, the Buena Vista Theater had several movies throughout the day. We saw Prince of Persia one night. There are also nightclubs, bar/lounges, 4 pools on board (one adults only), kids clubs and activities for all ages, character meet/greets, etc, etc, etc. As I said, people get dispersed.

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? No. As I explained above there are way too many activities scheduled/planned throughout the day to hold enough interest for everyone. As far as the restaurants go, you need not worry. Everyone gets rotated throughout the cruise. You keep the same servers with you from restaurant to restaurant. Each night of thecruise you'll get to experience Animator's Palate, Parrot Cay, and Triton's on the Wonder or Lumiere's on the Magic. DCL will give you the dining rotation upon embarkation so you don't have to think about where to go, you'll have that info. right in front of you. There won't be a situation where the restaurant is too full and you have to wait an hour to be seated. In addition, there are several other dining venues. For instance, Topsiders (on Magic) or Beach Blanket Buffet (on Wonder), are buffet styled family restaurants on Deck 9 (where the pools are located). There are also some quick service places on deck 9 for pizza, hamburger, etc. and there is always room service too. And let's not forget Palo, the adults only restaurant which is simply put a DCL Must Do.

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

Thanks in advance.
^^^ My answers in blue above. :)
 

ibouncetoo

<font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
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.

.
 

PacMan3000

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
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?
 

PearlySwan

"I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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?
^^^ 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.
 

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  • clten

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2005
    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!
     

    PacMan3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    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.
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    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?
    We cruised over Thanksgiving once, 7 nts. They made it a double dip, 2 stops at Castaway Cay (skipping KW) Besides the usual Christmas decorations throughout the ship, there's a giant Christmas tree in the atrium and a huge, decorated gingerbread house in the Promenade cafe. I mean huge like one of those Little Tykes play houses. Taller than me. It smelled soooo good. Made you want to break a piece off to eat. :lovestruc
    They served a traditional TG meal with dated souvenir menus we could take home.

    2) Does anything special happen if you go on the cruise that sets sail on New Years?
    sorry, can't help you there..

    3) Where did you go on your cruise (as in destination, such as Europe, Bahamas, etc).
    1. Eastern Caribbean, Magic 2/07
    2. Western Caribbean Double Dip, Magic TG08
    3. Western Caribbean, Magic 10/09
    4. Bahamas, Wonder 3/10
    future cruises scheduled:
    5. Western Caribbean, Magic 10/10
    6. Bahamas, Dream 11/11 (3 & 4 nts, back to back)
    Honestly, we don't care where we go. We could go way out in the ocean and just ride around. We love days at sea!




    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.
    Maiden Voyage is scheduled for 1/26 I believe. Her sister ship, the Fantasy is due out in 2012. Why not sail in Dec and rebook onboard? Great perks: 10% discount except on taxes/port fees and you get an onboard spending credit for your future cruise. $100 3/4 nt cruises, $200 for 7 nt cruises. DCl is highly addictive. One cruise and you're hooked!

    5) Between The Wonder and The Magic, does one have an advantage over the other?
    They are identical. In fact, we just sailed the Wonder after 3x on the Magic and kept forgetting I wasn't on the Magic. :rolleyes: The Magic does the 7nt Caribbean cruises and the Med. also has Ocean Quest, a tween area on deck 2. Same space on Wonder is a conference room. If you don't have kids, this wouldn't matter to you. The Wonder recently had an area on Deck 10 enclosed in glass for viewing Alaska. Honestly the 3 nt cruise was so freakin short I never got up there. :sad2: Never again. Dh imposed a 7 nt minimum. :laughing: Wonder used to just do 3/4 nt cruises but next Jan will be sailing the Panama Canal from PC to LA and staying there for Alaskan & Mexican Riviera cruises. Rumors of HI someday too. Nothing official announced for that or for the Fantasy's itinerary.
    Thanks again, everyone.
    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
     

    PearlySwan

    "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2009
    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
    ^^^ I couldn't agree more!! ::yes::
     
  • mmouse37

    DCL Diva!!
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2001
    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
     

    Beauty & the Best

    Its all so magical!
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2008
    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!
     

    Grandma4ever

    One day closer and still counting!!!
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2006
    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:The kids have seldome been an issue unless I was cruising with them. Not only does DCL keep them busy but for some reason the parents who cruise DCL seem to do a great job of parenting. Love DCL to cruise without children.

    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.We are doing our 8th and 9th DCL cruise this fall. All but one has been 7 days and still there are activities we do not have the time to do. DCL is always adding new activities as well. There are a few itemns that we must do each time we cruise. You will not be bored. In fact you may need to force yourself to slkow down so you can really enjoy the cruise. Just remember if you rebook on board you can get an On Board Credit and a discount on the cost.

    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?The ship is designed for the number of people. You will have an assigned dining table and rotation through the three main dining room. The assign a team of servers to meet your every need and they will be with you throught all of your dinners. Breakfast and Luncxh locations are listed in the Navagator. You will see that your servers also work these meal but you may not be in the section that they are working for those meals. Spa treatments will be bvooked before you get on board with thge on -line system. You can book at 75 days out once the cruise ios paid in full. If you find that something you desire is no longer available Just try to get it once on board as many full activities open up. Poeple cancle and they save some of the slots to allow people to book on board.

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

    Thanks in advance.
    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? I have never cruised at Christmas so I can't really address that Holiday but I believe they begin to decorate right after Thanksgiving. I do know that if you cruise on Halloween that they offer some special activities for both the kids and adults. They do Trick Or Tricking for the kids and have both a kids and an adults costume contest

    2) Does anything special happen if you go on the cruise that sets sail on New Years? I have never been able to get past the very high prices that are carged for the holidays. So I have no clue

    3) Where did you go on your cruise (as in destination, such as Europe, Bahamas, etc).. We have completed one 3 day cruise and six 7 day cruises. The dates can be found in my signiture. We are doing a back to back in Octorber that will include two 7 days cruises one eatern and one Western.
    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.DCL will havw a total of four ships. When the dream joins the Wonder and the Magic the Wonder will be ported on the West Coast and will cruise Mexico and Alaskas. That transition begins in January of 2011. When the Fantisy is complete some believe that the Magic will then go to Europe to meet the need there. Right now she is spending her summers there. The new ships will be larger and there are some very neat design ideas included but I will cruise whatever ship is going to be traveling where I want to go.

    5) Between The Wonder and The Magic, does one have an advantage over the other?The Magic and the Wonder are pretty much the same. Only minor differences and a few name changes for the bars and resturants. The location is the same. The basic floor plan is the same.

    Thanks again, everyone.
    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.
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    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:
     

    Dicecatt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2006
    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.
    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.
     

    PacMan3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    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!
     

    BethC1952

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2001
    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
     

    disneyfool_1202

    The countdown has begun!!
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2002
    We were lucky enough to be on the maiden voyage of the disney Magic back in '98 and were hooked.
    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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