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

ibouncetoo

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

Feb is a great time for WDW weatherwise. My first trips there were all in January and I loved it. Can be coolish once the sun goes down.

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

Both before and/or after and some trips just to shop and be at Downtown Disney if we aren't doing the parks.

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'.

She'll actually be 'floated out' sometime in October (I believe) for sea trials. She will be capitaned by DCL's lead capatin, Captain Tom, so no worries in that department. (Rumor has it Captain Henry...my favorite...will take over the Dream when Captain Tom goes back to Germany to oversee the building of the Fantasy)

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

The only way you can get anything less expensive than booking directly with DCL is if a travel agency has booked a block of rooms and can offer you one of theirs at their original rate, after the DCL prices may have increased. I'd recommend playing on the DCL website and looking at different Feb dates and room catagories. If you want to go with a travel agent, get one that specializes in DISNEY. Dreams Unlimited, a DISboard sponsor is highly recommended and there are a couple others also.

Now, different TAs will offer you perks from them, like an on board credit (OBC) for you to spend on the ship, or gifts to your stateroom, so you could shop around for your 'perks'.


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

Yes, she is!

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?

There are inside cabins, but not a lot of them, and possibly already booked up for any Feb cruises you may be considering. (Catagory 10 and 11 staterooms)

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?

Yes, you will.....go for four days! The sea day makes all the difference in your cruise experience.

Thanks!

That's my input!
 

KSDisneyDad

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2002
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!
Most of your questions have already been answered. I too just want to say that I believe 3 nights is way too short! We think 4 nights is too short.

We've been on 4 DCL cruises (33 nights total) and still haven't done everything that we want to do.

Our family loves WDW, but enjoys cruising even more.
 

mmouse37

DCL Diva!!
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
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!!
So you know how addicting it can be!!! We are also on the MV of the Dream and I know what you mean about not having enough time to explore the new ship...that is why I booked the cruise following the MV to make it a B2B...I need at least 8 days to experience it all!!

MJ
 

PacMan3000

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Hi everyone--thanks so much for your input.

I recognize that 3 nights is short, but it seems that an extra day is roughly an additional $600. And we are also doing WDW after, so we figure for a first trip, 3 nights is OK to get our feet wet and see if we like DCL.

But one more thing just to be clear--one the site, it says that "dining" is included in the price. Does that mean that, when we eat inside the restaurants, they won't bring us a bill?
 

Grandma4ever

One day closer and still counting!!!
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Hi everyone--thanks so much for your input.

I recognize that 3 nights is short, but it seems that an extra day is roughly an additional $600. And we are also doing WDW after, so we figure for a first trip, 3 nights is OK to get our feet wet and see if we like DCL.

But one more thing just to be clear--one the site, it says that "dining" is included in the price. Does that mean that, when we eat inside the restaurants, they won't bring us a bill?
The cost of your food is included in the cost of the cruise. You will pay for alcohol and specility drinks like smoothies and special coffees. There is a drink station on deck 9 where you can get coke products, coffee, teas, and milk all included in the price of your cruise. If you want to try to visit the adult only resturant Palo it is 15 dollars extra per person. You are also expected to Tip your stateroom host, and three persons in your Dining room team. The total of all tip for these 4 Cast Members is under 13.00 perday per person. The service I have recieved has always made me feel that they deserved twice as much as was recommended. I have not always had the funds to tip as much as I felt I should however. Also any gifts your buy are extra. Bottled water is extra but Tap water is good to drink.

That extra day would give you time to really enjoy the ship. Use care in this first cruise as DCL is very addicting. I am set for my 8th and 9th this fall. 7 days is no longer enough time for me.
 

ibouncetoo

<font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Hi everyone--thanks so much for your input.

I recognize that 3 nights is short, but it seems that an extra day is roughly an additional $600. And we are also doing WDW after, so we figure for a first trip, 3 nights is OK to get our feet wet and see if we like DCL.

But one more thing just to be clear--one the site, it says that "dining" is included in the price. Does that mean that, when we eat inside the restaurants, they won't bring us a bill?
Correct! There are a few food related things that cost extra: booze (but you can carry on your own), specialty coffee from Cove Cafe, smoothies, some of the snacks sold outside the theater and some of the packaged snacks on the room service menu. All your meals (including lunch on Castaway Cay), anything from the poolside area (hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream, wraps and panninis, pizza, burgers) all included. Sodas are free in the restaurants and there is a 24 hour self serve beverage station with soft drinks, tea, coffee, milk, juice, hot chocolate. If you order a soft drink at at a bar or from room service, there is a charge. Those items, along with adult beverages also have a 15% tip on the bill (so be careful not to double tip).

Speaking of tips, they are the one additional expense you should put into your budget!. DCL's 'recommended' amount comes to $12 per day for each person in the stateroom.

.
 

joalexajeff

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 16, 2006
Our DD (13) wants to go on a cruise for her 8th grade graduation (June2011). It would be our first time cruising, and we definitely want to do a 7 day cruise. We are open to all suggestions for first timers and would appreciate any and all recommendations. DD checked out the Disney website and we are leaning toward Western. Any favorite land excursions? Also, she wants to bring a friend (whoa!), is that really necessary as she makes friends easily and it appears there are plenty of opportunities to meet new friends aboard ship! Thanks for any advice!!!!!
 

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  • ibouncetoo

    <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2003
    Our DD (13) wants to go on a cruise for her 8th grade graduation (June2011). It would be our first time cruising, and we definitely want to do a 7 day cruise. We are open to all suggestions for first timers and would appreciate any and all recommendations. DD checked out the Disney website and we are leaning toward Western. Any favorite land excursions? Also, she wants to bring a friend (whoa!), is that really necessary as she makes friends easily and it appears there are plenty of opportunities to meet new friends aboard ship! Thanks for any advice!!!!!
    Unfortunately there aren't any 7 Day Caribbean cruises in the summer of 2011. The Magic will be back in Europe from mid-May through mid-September. The Wonder will be doing Alaska cruises next summer though. You could do the Bahamas one the new Disney Dream, 3/4/5 day (or a combination thereof).

    .
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    Our DD (13) wants to go on a cruise for her 8th grade graduation (June2011). It would be our first time cruising, and we definitely want to do a 7 day cruise. We are open to all suggestions for first timers and would appreciate any and all recommendations. DD checked out the Disney website and we are leaning toward Western. Any favorite land excursions? Also, she wants to bring a friend (whoa!), is that really necessary as she makes friends easily and it appears there are plenty of opportunities to meet new friends aboard ship! Thanks for any advice!!!!!

    Well, it is more fun with a friend/cousin in your own group. Esp for doing excursions together, dining together, etc. We sailed with friends (ds is friends with their kids too) last Oct for our 3rd DCL cruise 7 nts, and it was great for kids to hang out together, get photos on formal night, and ds then 12 did an excursion with his friend and their family. Since both families brought their parents too we were seated with our families for dinner but 1 night all switched seats so adults at one table, kids at the other. Such a nice time for everyone.

    If your daughter is an only child it's not that much more to add 1 more child. Once you reach a group of 5 it's a lot more unless you're sailing on the Dream. They finally offered staterooms that sleep 5 without having to get a verandah.
     

    PacMan3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again to all. I have a few more questions--this time courtesy of the family:

    1) Regarding the Disney Dream--anyone know if the porthole windows will be capable of being opened? Any rumors or statements made about this?

    2) What decks would you recommend staying on? What decks should be avoided? Is one deck typically more noisy or quiet than the other?

    3) We are staying for three nights for our first trip, and the difference between a room with a window and one with a veranda is about $150. For such a short trip, is a veranda in the room worth it? Or should we stick to the window and put that extra money towards something else? There will be three people in our party.

    4) How much should we expect to pay out of pocket for specialty drinks--from a Margarita to a pina colada to a strawberry milkshake?

    5) We are going on a Bahamas cruise. Once we hit either Nassau or Castaway Cay, do we have to pay a shuttle bus driver or cab driver to transport us from the ship to the city? Or is everything walkable once you exit the ship?

    Is getting around the island easy without any type of transportation? Are there any trolley services that get you from place to place?

    6) Are there opportunities to jet ski at either Nassu or Castaway Cay?

    7) Do the Disney ships offer Wi-fi? And is it a free or paid service?

    8) I'm a little unclear on whether or not I will need to bring a formal outfit for one of the more upscale dining halls. Can someone please clarify?

    9) I know there are pools, but are there Jacuzzi's on the ship, too?

    10) We are probably going to fly out to Orlando the day before our ship sets sail. Would you recommend us staying at a hotel near the airport, and then making the one-hour drive to the port the next morning? Or, are there hotels at Port Canaveral?

    Also, does Disney offer any shuttle service from Orlando's MCO airport to Port Canaveral?

    11) Are there any specific activities or tours that you would recommend we do at either Nassau or Castaway Cay?

    Thanks again in advance!
     

    BethC1952

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2001
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again to all. I have a few more questions--this time courtesy of the family:

    1) Regarding the Disney Dream--anyone know if the porthole windows will be capable of being opened? Any rumors or statements made about this?

    2) What decks would you recommend staying on? What decks should be avoided? Is one deck typically more noisy or quiet than the other?

    3) We are staying for three nights for our first trip, and the difference between a room with a window and one with a veranda is about $150. For such a short trip, is a veranda in the room worth it? Or should we stick to the window and put that extra money towards something else? There will be three people in our party.

    4) How much should we expect to pay out of pocket for specialty drinks--from a Margarita to a pina colada to a strawberry milkshake?

    5) We are going on a Bahamas cruise. Once we hit either Nassau or Castaway Cay, do we have to pay a shuttle bus driver or cab driver to transport us from the ship to the city? Or is everything walkable once you exit the ship?
    It's very easy to walk around in the main business area. Once you exit the port area through Festival Plaza, you are only a couple of blocks from the Straw Market, there's lots of shopping, a Pirate Museum and historical sites all within walking distance.

    Is getting around the island easy without any type of transportation? Are there any trolley services that get you from place to place?

    6) Are there opportunities to jet ski at either Nassu or Castaway Cay?
    I know there are jet ski excursions at Castaway Cay. I've never done it, but someone here can tell you more.

    7) Do the Disney ships offer Wi-fi? And is it a free or paid service?
    Yes, they offer Wi-fi. It's a paid service, and I haven't used it. Again, someone here can tell you a lot more!

    8) I'm a little unclear on whether or not I will need to bring a formal outfit for one of the more upscale dining halls. Can someone please clarify?
    The three-night cruises don't have formal night. You will need nicer clothing if you plan to have dinner at Palo.

    9) I know there are pools, but are there Jacuzzi's on the ship, too?
    Yes!

    10) We are probably going to fly out to Orlando the day before our ship sets sail. Would you recommend us staying at a hotel near the airport, and then making the one-hour drive to the port the next morning? Or, are there hotels at Port Canaveral?
    On our last cruise, we stayed at the Hyatt at the airport in Orlando. It was wonderful, and we took the DCL shuttle right to the port in the morning. On the cruise before that, I stayed at the Radisson at the Port, and took their shuttle in the morning. That was very nice too. In February, when we cruise on Dream, we will be staying at the airport Hyatt again. It's just more convenient for us!

    Also, does Disney offer any shuttle service from Orlando's MCO airport to Port Canaveral?
    Yes!

    11) Are there any specific activities or tours that you would recommend we do at either Nassau or Castaway Cay?

    Thanks again in advance!
    I answered a few of your questions above. We aren't really excursion people. The only one we've done was the Ardastra Gardens and City Tour in Nassau, and we really enjoyed it. We're thinking of doing it again with our granddaughter in February.

    Verandahs, portholes or inside rooms are a personal choice. We usually have an inside room, but because we got a good price we will have a verandah in February on Dream. For three nights, I wouldn't spend the extra money! You don't spend much time in your room anyway. There are lots of other ways to spend money on your vacation!

    I doubt the portholes will open. None of the ones on the other ships do. As for noisy decks and good rooms--no one has stayed on Dream yet to answer this yet. We'll have to wait and see what the early cruisers think!

    Beth
     
  • ibouncetoo

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

    Thanks again to all. I have a few more questions--this time courtesy of the family:

    1) Regarding the Disney Dream--anyone know if the porthole windows will be capable of being opened? Any rumors or statements made about this?

    Most likely not.

    2) What decks would you recommend staying on? What decks should be avoided? Is one deck typically more noisy or quiet than the other?

    Generally the decks with staterooms above and below...at least they won't have theater, kids club, bar noise, but you can always just get a noisy neighbor! (decks 7-9 have staterooms only above and below)

    3) We are staying for three nights for our first trip, and the difference between a room with a window and one with a veranda is about $150. For such a short trip, is a veranda in the room worth it? Or should we stick to the window and put that extra money towards something else? There will be three people in our party.

    I'd skip the verandah on a three night...especially your first cruise on the ship.

    4) How much should we expect to pay out of pocket for specialty drinks--from a Margarita to a pina colada to a strawberry milkshake?

    There's a list on the FAQ thread at the top of this form. I HIGHLY recommend you read through that before your next round of questions! :lmao:

    5) We are going on a Bahamas cruise. Once we hit either Nassau or Castaway Cay, do we have to pay a shuttle bus driver or cab driver to transport us from the ship to the city? Or is everything walkable once you exit the ship?

    Is getting around the island easy without any type of transportation? Are there any trolley services that get you from place to place?

    I never get off the ship in Nassau. Castaway Cay has trollys taking you to the various parts of the island.

    6) Are there opportunities to jet ski at either Nassu or Castaway Cay?

    There is an 'eco-tour' on CC that is done on jet skis. You can book it to ride single or double.

    7) Do the Disney ships offer Wi-fi? And is it a free or paid service?


    8) I'm a little unclear on whether or not I will need to bring a formal outfit
    It costs, don't use it so can't tell you the price (info is in the FAQ thread)
    for one of the more upscale dining halls. Can someone please clarify?

    9) I know there are pools, but are there Jacuzzi's on the ship, too?

    10) We are probably going to fly out to Orlando the day before our ship sets sail. Would you recommend us staying at a hotel near the airport, and then making the one-hour drive to the port the next morning? Or, are there hotels at Port Canaveral?

    Also, does Disney offer any shuttle service from Orlando's MCO airport to Port Canaveral? Yes $35 per person each way.

    11) Are there any specific activities or tours that you would recommend we do at either Nassau or Castaway Cay?

    Thanks again in advance!

    .I also recommend you read some trip reports...especiall for 3 day cruises.

    .
     

    smartkim

    Kim
    Joined
    Jun 22, 2010
    Someone mentioned that food/drinks is sold just outside of the theater. Can you bring your own food/drinks in without having to buy it at the theater concessions? I wouldn't want to have to buy food from the theater each time we went in to see a movie.
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again to all. I have a few more questions--this time courtesy of the family:

    1) Regarding the Disney Dream--anyone know if the porthole windows will be capable of being opened? Any rumors or statements made about this?
    We usually get a window and never had one that opens. Not only on DCL but also Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

    2) What decks would you recommend staying on? What decks should be avoided? Is one deck typically more noisy or quiet than the other?
    Well, that's a matter of personal preference. We've always cruised DCL on Deck 2, Cat. 9 on the Magic/Wonder. Cats changed slightly on the Dream though. We've also sailed higher decks on RC and don't feel like we're missing out on anything on deck 2. There is more vibration during docking manuevers when they use the side thrusters but we're so rarely in the room we hardly notice it. In general, the higher the deck, the more you pay. It's all a matter of budget and what your priorities are for your cruise. Some want the best cat they can afford, others would rather spend more on excursions or shopping. It's up to you.

    3) We are staying for three nights for our first trip, and the difference between a room with a window and one with a veranda is about $150. For such a short trip, is a veranda in the room worth it? Or should we stick to the window and put that extra money towards something else? There will be three people in our party.
    We've only tried a verandah once in 9 cruises. It was nice but even though we were sailing w/o kids and thought we'd be sitting out there relaxing a lot, we probably used it a total of 1/2 hr. the whole cruise. So it was nice to try it but now I know from expereince this isn't a 'must have' for us and would rather put that $ toward excursions. OTOH, we have also tried connecting inside cabins (for 4 just for more space, 2 tvs, etc) and realized we REALLY missed being able to see outside, watch the ocean go by, even at night, and also missed not having natural light during the day. So a window is def. a 'must have' for us. For a 1st cruise, I would rec a window since you really will barely be in the room. jmho. Others would say they can't cruise w/o one. One factor to consider if any smokers in your group then might use verandah more or if you have a baby that naps. Then one parent is stuck in room for a few hrs per day and then would get $$ worth.

    4) How much should we expect to pay out of pocket for specialty drinks--from a Margarita to a pina colada to a strawberry milkshake?
    We're not big drinkers, only maybe 1 or 2 per cruise, so I don't remember prices. I think around $5 or 6 for a pina colada. Maybe I'm wrong there though.

    5) We are going on a Bahamas cruise. Once we hit either Nassau or Castaway Cay, do we have to pay a shuttle bus driver or cab driver to transport us from the ship to the city? Or is everything walkable once you exit the ship?
    Unless you book an excursion, you're on your own once you get off the ship. I'm not very knowlegeable about Nassau; we've only done 1 Bahamas cruise and didn't get off the ship in Nassau except to take a few photos.

    Is getting around the island easy without any type of transportation? Are there any trolley services that get you from place to place?
    Sorry, can't answer that one.

    6) Are there opportunities to jet ski at either Nassu or Castaway Cay?
    Def at CC. :lovestruc We've done that and loved it! It's a tad expensive but would still do it again. Last Oct that and all boating related excursions were canceled due to high winds. :sad1: Hopefully we can do it in Oct.

    7) Do the Disney ships offer Wi-fi? And is it a free or paid service?
    I think there's wifi but not really sure. We don't take our laptop on vacay.

    8) I'm a little unclear on whether or not I will need to bring a formal outfit for one of the more upscale dining halls. Can someone please clarify?
    I wouldn't bother for a 3 nt cruise. I think they call it 'optional dress-up' night. For 7 nt cruises, more get dressed up, men in suits, ladies in dresses, etc.
    9) I know there are pools, but are there Jacuzzi's on the ship, too?
    Hot tubs are on deck 9 by the Goofy pool and adult pool.

    10) We are probably going to fly out to Orlando the day before our ship sets sail. Would you recommend us staying at a hotel near the airport, and then making the one-hour drive to the port the next morning? Or, are there hotels at Port Canaveral?
    We usually stay at the Hyatt right inside MCO the night before. It's really convenient and except for our Thanksgiving cruise, we're able to get it on Hotwire for around $55-75 + tax. The nice part is that if you take DCL transportation, you can simply leave your DCL-tagged luggage inside your hotel room and don't have to touch it until you're on the ship and it's delivered to just outside your stateroom door. We usually take Happy Limo to the port so we can choose our own time to leave and do a grocery stop for bottled water but next cruise we'll have our parents with us too, some have heart or respiratory issues so we'd rather keep it simple.
    Last cruise, it was just 4 of us so we rented a car. I found it a complete PITA too much work for a vacay that would have otherwise been very relaxing. The drive itself was easy peasy. It's the luggage handling in/out of shuttles and waiting for shuttles. DCL transp makes it ultraconvenient.


    Also, does Disney offer any shuttle service from Orlando's MCO airport to Port Canaveral?
    Yes, it's $69 pp round trip or $35 pp one way.

    11) Are there any specific activities or tours that you would recommend we do at either Nassau or Castaway Cay?
    We loved the jetskiing at CC and also parasailing.

    Thanks again in advance!
    Have a great cruise! :goodvibes
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    Someone mentioned that food/drinks is sold just outside of the theater. Can you bring your own food/drinks in without having to buy it at the theater concessions? I wouldn't want to have to buy food from the theater each time we went in to see a movie.
    We've bought drinks from deck 9 drink station. I think the only snacks that can be brought aboard the ship (as in from home or FL) would be sealed, prepackaged things such as chips, pretzels, etc.
     

    ibouncetoo

    <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2003
    Someone mentioned that food/drinks is sold just outside of the theater. Can you bring your own food/drinks in without having to buy it at the theater concessions? I wouldn't want to have to buy food from the theater each time we went in to see a movie.

    Yes, you can bring your own. In the past you could take any food in, but recently I've seen posts where people were asked to not bring in a 'meal' :lmao:Some DISers bring packaged candy from home, but honestly for the nightly shows you have either just come from or are about to go to dinner. Even for an afternoon movie, I've never had 'room' for candy type snacks. FYI the popcorn they sell outside the theater is packaged popcorn like you would by in the grocery, it's not made on the ship.

    .
     

    PacMan3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    Thanks again to everyone.

    Just a couple quick follow-ups, as I'm not able to figure this out after doing some research.

    1) Many have recommended the Hyatt, and that's what we're thinking of using, as well. Now, I understand I can book my cruise through Disney, or a travel agent, or what have you, but if I want to book the hotel separately through Hotwire, how do I "sign up" for the DCL bus/shuttle that will transfer me from the Hyatt to Port Canaveral? Or can that only be done if I book it through Disney's Cruise Line website? I can't tell if these are independent of each other.

    2) People are saying that your luggage will arrive at your stateroom if you use the DCL transportation. Sounds great, though I'd obviously have questions of my luggage being lost or taken to the wrong room/ship, etc. Can you choose to keep your luggage and maybe place it inside the cargo hold of the DCL bus?

    3) Lastly, regarding trip insurance--do you personally buy it? And if so, do you purchase it through Disney or elsewhere? Since we won't be sailing till Feb, I'm mostly concerned with insurance that would help reimburse me should me or anyone in my party receive news that forces us to be unable to go on the trip, thus resulting in a need to cancel everything and hopefully get some or all of our money back.

    Thanks!
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    Thanks again to everyone.

    Just a couple quick follow-ups, as I'm not able to figure this out after doing some research.

    1) Many have recommended the Hyatt, and that's what we're thinking of using, as well. Now, I understand I can book my cruise through Disney, or a travel agent, or what have you, but if I want to book the hotel separately through Hotwire, how do I "sign up" for the DCL bus/shuttle that will transfer me from the Hyatt to Port Canaveral? Or can that only be done if I book it through Disney's Cruise Line website? I can't tell if these are independent of each other.
    Booking the Hyatt is totally separate from the cruise. If you want to purchase DCL transfers to/from MCO, just add that on in the booking process. Once you decide on a cruise, either tell your TA to add it or can be done if booking online, same as choosing early vs. late dining. You could even go through a mock ressie w/o placing a credit card on it just to see how it works. No harm can be done as cc entry is last step. You can add ground transfer to PC up to 10 days prior to cruise. When you check in at the Hyatt, tell them you're booked with DCL transportation and they'll direct you. This process has changed recently so I don't want to tell you how it was for us. Back then, just saying you're on DCL got you a luggage transfer, even if you didn't book DCL transportation. No more.

    2) People are saying that your luggage will arrive at your stateroom if you use the DCL transportation. Sounds great, though I'd obviously have questions of my luggage being lost or taken to the wrong room/ship, etc. Can you choose to keep your luggage and maybe place it inside the cargo hold of the DCL bus?
    I've never taken DCL to PC, only to MCO. We've always taken Happy Limo to port so we can choose when we want to be picked up and make a grocery stop for bottled water. Next cruise we'll be using DCL transfers both ways. I'm totally "over" lugging 8 nts luggage for 4 ppl ourselves. Yes, there are porters there but DCL is just so convenient. There's only 1 Disney ship in port at a time and Disney is the one doing the luggage transfers, not the Hyatt. I have complete confidence in DCL getting our luggage to the ship. Airlines, that's another story. Of course quantities are huge difference too.

    3) Lastly, regarding trip insurance--do you personally buy it? And if so, do you purchase it through Disney or elsewhere? Since we won't be sailing till Feb, I'm mostly concerned with insurance that would help reimburse me should me or anyone in my party receive news that forces us to be unable to go on the trip, thus resulting in a need to cancel everything and hopefully get some or all of our money back.

    Thanks!
    Trip insurance is good to have any time of year. Compared to land vacation, cruises have to be paid in full much further in advance with hundreds to thousands of $$$ at stake if suddenly must cancel.
    DCL insurance is expensive and doesn't cover pre existing conditions if that's a concern for you. They don't even purchase it on your behalf until your paid in full date. Typically, for PECs to be covered, you must buy the ins. within 14 or so days from date of booking. The good part about DCL ins. is that if you have to cancel due to non-covered reason, the amount you would lose (varies depending on how close to cruise you cancel) would be applied as a credit toward a future cruise.
    Lots of TAs offer insurance too. Mine offers same insurance as DCL for half price and covers PECs. Also I've used www.************.com. I used them last time when I forgot to buy ins. when I made my final payment. (the ins my TA gets must be bought before PIF date.) My TA even recommended them. They offer many different policies and ins. companies. What's nice is that you can add the cost of airfare too whereas my TA simply enters the cost of the cruise; just found that out. ************.com even has policies that cover "cancel for any reason" job loss, work schedule changed, etc.
     

    PacMan3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 26, 2007
    Thanks ruadisneyfan2!

    I'm also wondering where people opt to stay the night before the cruise? I know there are a lot of votes for the Hyatt, but what about the Marriott which I read is about one mile from the airport and offers a free shuttle to and from.

    The only thing left I am trying to figure out is how best to finagle both a hotel stay and the DCL transfers.

    We are thinking of flying in on 2/2, with our cruise sailing out on 2/3. I called Disney and was told that, since I'm flying in the day before and not the day of, they obviously couldn't take our bags (utilizing the transfer service) because we would need our clothes and stuff inside them for the night, and they have no place to store them overnight.

    So it seems our best bet is to stay in a hotel, wake up the next morning, and bring our bags to the motor coach and have them load it into the cargo section of the bus. Has anyone done this without any problem? And did you stay at the Hyatt or elsewhere?

    The Hyatt sounds great for convenience, but the Marriott also seems nice due to the free shuttle service and the ability to have a complimentary breakfast.

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
     

    ruadisneyfan2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 20, 2006
    Thanks ruadisneyfan2!

    I'm also wondering where people opt to stay the night before the cruise? I know there are a lot of votes for the Hyatt, but what about the Marriott which I read is about one mile from the airport and offers a free shuttle to and from.

    The only thing left I am trying to figure out is how best to finagle both a hotel stay and the DCL transfers.

    We are thinking of flying in on 2/2, with our cruise sailing out on 2/3. I called Disney and was told that, since I'm flying in the day before and not the day of, they obviously couldn't take our bags (utilizing the transfer service) because we would need our clothes and stuff inside them for the night, and they have no place to store them overnight.

    So it seems our best bet is to stay in a hotel, wake up the next morning, and bring our bags to the motor coach and have them load it into the cargo section of the bus. Has anyone done this without any problem? And did you stay at the Hyatt or elsewhere?

    The Hyatt sounds great for convenience, but the Marriott also seems nice due to the free shuttle service and the ability to have a complimentary breakfast.

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
    Yes, well Hyatt def isn't only choice. I'm just lazy when it comes to vacay and once I tried it, I'm too spoiled now. There are many hotels all around MCO. Some book direct, some Hotwire or Priceline. What I like about Hotwire is that it will show the shuttle icon so you know it has an airport shuttle. With PL, you take your chances that it might or might not, no guarantees. Also PL doesn't guarantee bedding for more than 2 so if you have kids, you may want to go with HW or direct.

    We've stayed at Wingate Inn and Fairfield Inn in MCO area and both were good, clean places with free breakfast. Fairfield would win for better breakfast. :thumbsup2

    I have followed advice on www.betterbidding.com for MCO area and also many times for my parents sailing out of Ft. Laud. They have been correct around 10x so far. They keep a list of HW and PL 'wins'. This is how I learned when it's the Hyatt before buying.

    Here is list of 'known' FL hotels:
    http://www.betterbidding.com/index.php?showtopic=67&

    They also have a forum similiar to here, where you can ask them to ID a hotel not on their list and they'll give their best estimate. Of course no guarantees and HW/PL are non refundable but let's face it, a 4* or 3.5* in MCO area will most likely be very nice and be more than good enough for 1 nt stay pre cruise. It's kind of fun, like a detective game, to figure out which is which and know you're getting a great price, usually around $40-60/nt + tax. Wingate is 3* on HW, Fairfield Inn is 2.5*.

    To take DCL transportation from an off site hotel, you have to take hotel's shuttle back to MCO (or taxi) and keep your luggage with you back and forth. This is why we opted for Happy Limo 1st few times so they just pick us up when we choose at our hotel.
    Next cruise is the 1st time we're taking DCL bus to PC.

    You could always book Marriott direct and if Hyatt shows on HW, cancel the direct ressie. Usually Hyatt shows 1-4 weeks prior. Only time I couldn't get it on HW was TG week.

    hth :goodvibes
     

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