For those who do Land & Sea vacations...

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Dallas_Lady, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Dallas_Lady

    Dallas_Lady I only work for the vacation money

    Dec 20, 2001
    Do you mind sharing your itinerary/daily schedule? The rates for 2012 look pretty good (well, for a Disney cruise, LOL) and I am debating doing both WDW and a cruise. Problem is, I am having a hard time coming up with a way to structure my days to maximize both. How do you do it to get the most out of both?
  2. Mackie Mouse

    Mackie Mouse Even my dog loves Disney

    Oct 14, 2008
    We did a "land and sea" for our honeymoon last summer and are doing one again this coming summer for our anniversary. Keep in mind that we don't have kids (from the looks of your signature photos, you do!) and can get our fill of WDW in less time than your family might.

    For our honeymoon we did three nights in WDW followed by a seven-night cruise. This worked out great for DH since he hadn't been to WDW since he was a kid and isn't as into the whole experience as I am. We arrived around 2 or 3 PM and spent the afternoon at Downtown Disney, then did dinner at the California Grill that night. We spent the next two days hitting every ride we could and running ourselves ragged like we were 12-year-olds again, knowing the cruise was coming up and we'd be able to relax. We loved structuring the trip that way - others will beg to differ, but I really like having the laid-back cruise after the excitement of WDW. Sometimes you can go so crazy in the parks that you want a vacation after your vacation...and that's just what the cruise is for me :)

    This summer we are giving ourselves a bit more time in WDW - five nights in the parks. Then we're doing a five day cruise on the Dream. I am a bit worried that both parts of the trip may feel a bit short, but since the trip overall will be the same length I think we'll be OK. With kids, I think a trip set up this way might be gives you at least one full day in each park (plus a half-day on your arrival day) and a slightly longer cruise than a four-day so you won't feel like you're getting off the ship as soon as you get on.

    Best of luck - have a great vacation no matter what you choose to do!
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  4. myolite

    myolite Mouseketeer

    Jan 12, 2009
    I read on the disneymoms webpage that doing WDW second works out better for a lot of people because you maximize your time--when you get off the boat you can be at your resort and in the parks by lunchtime. If you do it the other way the boat doesn't go anywhere until @5 PM so some say you've lost pretty much the entire day.
  5. amyren

    amyren DIS Veteran

    Nov 27, 2009
    Last month, we did a 4 night cruise followed by 3 days at WDW. Overall it was great. :thumbsup2 The only problem was we arrived at WDW way early. We got off the boat at about 7:45 am and arrived at our hotel at about 9:30. Our room wasn't ready until around 4. It may not have been a problem for others but we were traveling with a toddler :eek: We only had party tickets (MNSSHP) for the day we arrived at WDW so we had a lot of time to kill. Other than that, it was really fun I liked balancing the relaxing cruise with the busy schedule of the parks. I would definitely do it again.
  6. GuardMusic

    GuardMusic <font color=red>This is the most excitement we've

    Jul 18, 2005
    We've been to WDW enough that we only do just what we want/need. This Dec. will likely be:

    Thurs - arrive at Boardwalk by noon, lunch, enjoy EPCOT resort hotels, maybe mini-golf
    Fri - Downtown Disney shopping, resort hop for holiday decorations (only if Mom changes mind will we go to EPCOT instead)
    Sat - MK (I know - crazy! But it's the only night we're there that there's no MVMCP & we want traditional Wishes with the Dessert Reception)
    Sun-Thurs - DCL

    For us it's about enjoying the holidays & resting - not running. Of course I have that luxury because I was freakishly blessed with 3 other Disney trips this year.

  7. DLW8

    DLW8 DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2008
    We did 5 nights land and 3 night cruise last year (to test if we liked crusing). I definitely recommend doing WDW first and then ending your vacation by relaxing on the cruise.

    Saturday - Arrived at MCO, rented car and went to Sea World (our tickets for WDW didn't "start" til Sunday)
    Sunday: Hollywood Studios and then MK for MMVMCP
    Monday: Epcot and MK
    Tuesday: Animal Kingdom and Epcot
    Wednesday: DTD and MK
    Thursday: Head to port for 3 night cruise

    We had just been to Disney in January 2008 and this was December 2009, so I didn't feel we were running raggad the whole time as the kids knew their favorites and we got to do things we didn't get to in the first trip.

    However, this time, we are ditching WDW all together and just doing the 7 night cruise. We all loved the Disney atmosphere with more relaxation!
  8. KingRichard

    KingRichard DIS Veteran

    Oct 19, 2010
    You don't have to get off the ship that early?

    Didn't I read 10am?

  9. mousebrat

    mousebrat DIS Veteran

    Jan 4, 2004
    Greetings from Allen! We went last year when the boys were 1 and 3. Here is what we did, right after Thanksgiving:

    Friday - late afternoon/early evening flight to Orlando, stay at the Hyatt in the airport

    Saturday - Magical Express to the Poly first thing in the morning, check in, head to the Magic Kingdom

    Sunday - Hollywood Studios

    Monday - Animal Kingdom

    Tuesday - Epcot

    Wednesday - Magic Kingdom

    Thursday - DCL transfer to the port for a 3-night cruise

    Arriving late and staying at the Hyatt was great, particularly with little kids (though keep in mind the restaurants close early there). That gave us a place to get ready in the morning and have a full day at the parks. Hyatt was $135 with a stay certificate, so well worth it.

    Hope this helps!
  10. aanderson5

    aanderson5 DIS Veteran

    Mar 9, 2008
    Here are the plans for our upcoming trip.

    Jan 1, arrive MCO around noon. Staying off site (at inlaws), relax.
    Jan 2, outlet shopping, organize FE, relax.
    Jan 3-8, 5 day DD cruise.
    Jan 8, Arrive AKL CL. Spend the day hanging out, enjoying resort, dinner at Sanaa. May go to DTD in the afternoon if we decide to rent a car.
    Jan 9, Sunrise Safari at AK, stay to see the Lion King and then off to HS for the rest of the day.
    Jan 10, Boma breakfast, MK till 4pm then leave for airport.
  11. amyren

    amyren DIS Veteran

    Nov 27, 2009
    Well, we were given a 6:45 breakfast seating so after we ate we got off the ship. I guess we could have stayed on board a little longer but there wasn't anything to do. Also I had requested early check in at our resort so I thought we would arrive close to 10 and be in our room around 12 or 1. Unfortunately our room wasn't ready early or even on time. :confused: I shouldn't have planned on getting in the room early but on our last 2 trips to Disney we were in our rooms before noon! If we do land and sea again we will probably to WDW first and the cruise second! :thumbsup2
  12. kventventx

    kventventx Mouseketeer

    Oct 3, 2010
    We are planning a seven day stay in the parks and then a 7 day E. Carribean Cruise afterwards. This gives us lots of time to do the parks. We are also doing Universal. And then a relaxing cruise. It's just my husband and me so we don't really have anyone else with agenda's so we can take in what we like and let the rest go. This will be our first cruise and we wanted to make sure we felt like we had done something fun first in case we don't like cruising.
  13. discorsner

    discorsner DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2008
    I think there are 2 major questions to answer when doing a land and sea vacation.

    1) Which order to do them in.

    2) How many days do you need on either to feel satisfied?

    For the first question it seems like there is a lot of debate. Advantages for cruise first is that (as others mentioned above) you don't waste part of a day in between the two... when you get off the cruise you can get straight to WDW, have them hold your bags if your room is not ready and then head right to the parks. However the disadvantage to this is that most that have to fly in will spend the extra money for a hotel the night before the cruise because they do not want to chance flying in the day the cruise departs.

    Advantages for doing WDW first is that you get the more hectic and tiring part of your trip over with first. Some report that they enjoy the cruise last because they can relax more on the cruise. The other advantage as mentioned a second ago is that you will not have to pay for an night in hotel pre-cruise because you will already be there and it will be part of your vacation. Disadvantage is that the day between can seem wasteful for part of it as most will feel most comfortable heading to the cruise early and yet it will be some time before they can board and get going on their activities.

    The second question to think of is how many days you need on a cruise or in WDW to feel satisfied. For our family we could never do less than 5 nights at WDW as we would like to have at least one full day devoted to each park. Because of this we did a short cruise followed by a longer WDW stay last time but then we felt we weren't on the ship long enough. My fam would ideally want a 7 day cruise followed by full week of WDW but that is not usually possible for us. (wish it was) No matter what we will feel like we wanted more time I'm sure.

    Last time we did land and sea it looked like this...
    Day 1) Fly in. Get rental car. Drive to WDW. Check in to Port Orlean's French Quarter for one night... kids swam in pool, and we went to GF for dinner with Cinderella to kick off our trip in Disney style... then back to hotel for early bed.

    Day 2) Wake up drive rental car to Port. Drop off Rental car at Budget rental center and ride their bus back to terminal. Check in.

    Day2-4) Spent on 3 night cruise on Disney Wonder.

    Day 5) Get off ship. Go get rental car. Drive rental to WDW and check in at Polynesian Resort. Kids and I relaxed at resort and put our stuff away (room was ready early!) and DH went to return rental at a WDW location. Once he was back we started our park day at MK. We were in park by mid afternoon.

    Days 5- 11) Spend 7 nights at Polynesian Resort and doing parks. (this was a treat as we normally would not afford 7 nights in a deluxe but this was back when they did the 7 nights for price of 4 so we couldn't resist!)

    Day 12) Check out and ride Disney's Magical Express to Airport. Fly home. : (

    Hope this helps some!
  14. momto2inKC

    momto2inKC DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2005
    Our first land/sea trip was just me and the kids.
    Monday-flew in, stayed at CBR, swam
    Tuesday- hung around the hotel/Downtown Disney
    Wednesday- checked in at AKV, all day/night MK
    Thurs-Sun- cruise
    This next time is just DH and I. Our plans are-
    Sat- fly in, dinner at 'Ohana, check in at CIS at the port
    Sun-Thurs- cruise
    Thurs- MVMCP
    Fri- Epcot
    Sat- Downtown Disney then home
  15. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    Our split land/sea trip was like this:

    4 nights AKL (went to DHS, AK, and EP)
    3 nights DCL
    3 nights Poly (went to MK and EP)

    We had a great time and I would plan another trip like that one again.;)
  16. Minniemouse07

    Minniemouse07 DIS Veteran

    May 4, 2007
    We haven't cruised yet but our plans for our trip next summer are to drive down from PA (our first time driving...we decided to drive instead of dealing w/ transfers to/from the cruise), do a 5 night Dream cruise then 5 nights at WDW.

    Saturday - Leave PA
    Sunday - Arrive Port Canaveral
    Monday - Kennedy Space Center
    Tuesday - Sunday - Cruise
    Sunday - Arrive at WL
    Monday - Friday - WDW
    Friday - Leave WDW for PA
    Saturday - Arrive PA
    Sunday - Recover/Do Laundry
    Monday - School Starts!!

    We went back and forth about doing WDW before or after the cruise but this schedule worked out best w/ driving and leaves 10 days that dh and I have to take for vacation.

    Also, we figure the relaxation on the cruise will be canceled out by 1.5 days in the van on the way home! ;)
  17. Elangen

    Elangen Mouseketeer

    Sep 21, 2010
    I am amazed that people can get so much time off of work. lol.

    For our family, we would get a bit uncomfortable and tired away from home for that long anyway and, we are using the vacation to slow down and not be hurried all the time, since that leads to our biggest meltdowns! So, we have planned:

    Saturday: Fly in to Orlando. Check in, enjoy the resort, maybe downtown disney
    Sunday: WDW
    Monday: head to Port Canaveral for 5 day cruise
    Saturday: disembark, head home.
    Sunday : Leaving one day for laundry recovery.

    Our kids are fairly little though (2) and (5).
  18. jblrn2b

    jblrn2b DIS Veteran

    May 10, 2004
    In the past we have done; 4 days at the Poly/WDW then 4 days on the WOnder; and 3 days at the Poly 7 days on the Magic. We usually like the cruise after because we like the fast pace of the parks then relax on the cruise.

    This trip we are doing:

    THurs - afternoon flight to MCO get on ME to Bay Lake Tower eat at Calif. Grill go to bed
    Friday MK
    Saturday Epcot
    Sunday eat at Chef Mickeys get on the DCL buses

    SUN-Thurs The Magic

    Thursday use DCL buses to go back to Kidani.

    Thurs - Kidani and HS night for Fantasmic
    Fri - HS
    Sat AK
    Sunday leave early to come home.

    Can't wait!
  19. PearlySwan

    PearlySwan "I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread so

    Jul 15, 2009
    ^^^ I see you've already received some good advice here. Did you see Karen's advice in the Disney Parks Blog? If not go here:

    We went did a WDW/DCL vacay this past summer. However, we went to WDW before going on DCL. Here's a rough itinerary:

    1. (Day 1): Arrive in AKL. Downtown Disney & Resort Day.
    2. (Day 2): AK & DHS.
    3. (Day 3): Epcot.
    4. (Day 4): Magic Kingdom.
    5. (Day 5): Take transfer to PC. 1st Day of DCL. Enjoy the Disney Wonder!
    6. (Day 6): Castaway Cay.
    7. (Day 7): Nassau Day.
    8. (Day 8): Day at Sea.
    9. (Day 9): Castaway Cay.
    10. (Day 10): Return to PC.

    Next time, we'll take Disney Mom Panelist Karen's advice and go on the Disney cruise before going to WDW. Either way I hope you have a magical vacation! :goodvibes
  20. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

    Jun 29, 2001
    DCL wants everyone off the ship by 9:00-9:30 the LATEST! They only have until about 11:45 before the new set of guests arrive onboard so no lingering that last is very rushed.

  21. darwinsrule

    darwinsrule DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2010
    Schedule? Our kids were 6 and 2 this past summer. We did 5 nights at WL followed by a 4-night cruise on the Wonder. We did a lot more planning for this past summer in terms of ressie's and where we would be then we did the year before. That was more a product of going on vacation with my FIL and my BIL and his family. The result was we really didn't enjoy the land portion of the trip. For next summer we will go back to keeping it simple and going at the pace of our girls.

    It really does depend upon how you vacation. My DW and I have always been the relaxed wandering types. We may plan one or two things for the day but really we just go with the flow. Two years ago we would get to the Disney Transportation bus area at AKL and just hop on whatever bus happened to be there. Works for us, won't work for everybody.

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