Questions - 1st Time DCL but not to cruising

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by tigger_ttfn, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. tigger_ttfn

    tigger_ttfn Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2008
    I've been to WDW and DL many times and have been on at least 10 cruises.

    BUT, this will be our FIRST Disney Cruise. We are super excited! :yay:

    We are doing the Canadian cruise out of NY in June on the Magic.

    A couple of questions since I know DCL is a little different from other cruise lines.

    1) We have a port arrival time of 12pm. What time will we be on the boat?

    2) Is there lunch in the dining rooms on embarkation day?

    3) If we have late dining and the show is at 6pm, how soon do we need to go to get seats? (we don't normally do the shows much on other cruise lines, but I ain't missing a Disney show)

    4) How does breakfast work on disembarkation day?

    5) What is the latest you can get off the boat? We have a 2pm flight.

    Thanks for all your help!! Feels weird being an expert on WDW but so naive about DCL. :rotfl:
  2. Sereina

    Sereina Mouseketeer

    Mar 8, 2012
    I can answer a few of your questions:

    2. Yes, they serve lunch at one of the dinning rooms and at the buffet when you embark.

    3. We usually went to the theater about 15-20 minutes before the show started and we were able to get good seats.

    4. You'll have breakfast in one of the dining rooms at a specific time. You servers will tell you when and where and it will also be on one of the debarkation papers they give you.

    Have a great trip! DCL is awesome! :goodvibes
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  4. Iceman09201

    Iceman09201 Mouseketeer

    Mar 31, 2012
    You should be on the boat by 1245-1:00

    The latest to be off the boat is 9:00am
  5. trimix

    trimix DIS Veteran

    Mar 23, 2008
    1) There will probably be a small crowd waiting to board when you arrive at the port, if you get there at 12. Get there closer to 12:30 and the crowd will probably be gone. Either way you will probably be walking on as soon as you finish checking in, so be sure to complete the online check-in - taking care of that paperwork in advance will make the check-in process a lot faster.

    2) Two restaurants are open on embarkation day; Topsiders, the buffet restaurant on the top deck, and Parrot Cay, the Caribbean themed restaurant on the same deck you'll be boarding onto. Both have the same buffet items; at Parrot Cay you'll be assigned a table and a waiter will bring you drinks, at Topsiders you have to find and guard your own table, and get your own drinks.

    3) I agree - 15 minutes is more than enough time. If you have a kid (or overgrown kid like me) who wants to be in the front row, get there 30 to 40 minutes early and wait for the doors to open.

    4) With late dining, you'll have breakfast at 8 AM in the same restaurant you ate dinner the night before. You also have to be out of your room by 8. Alternatively you can choose to go to Topsiders for a buffet breakfast; I believe that closes at 8.

    5) If you aren't off by 9, the crew will start helping you in the right direction.
  6. taximom00

    taximom00 Mouseketeer

    Mar 21, 2012
    We are also taking our first Disney Cruise, to Canada (July 8) and, like you, I've cruised before and have done more trips to WDW than I can remember.

    I'm curious though how you have a port arrival time already? I tried to check in online and I'm not yet able to do this. Said I have to wait until 75 days out. OK, I guess if I do the math, you are on an earlier cruise than us, so maybe your 75 days happened already??! Just wanted to make sure I"m not missing something!

    I am hoping to get as early a boarding time as possible (I know, like everyone!!) Traveling with my 78 year old mother and 13 year old daughter. Would like my mom to have time to not rush and be able to acclimate.

    Thanks for any tips!
  7. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    On the existing cruises, the buffet stops serving at 8:30 on disembarkation day (not 8:00 as above). Everyone is asked to be off the ship by 9; if you are not, about 9:15 they will start gently but firmly pushing you toward the doors. Of course, this assumes a normal Customs clearance.
  8. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family disney on my mind....

    Jan 31, 2002
    1) you're boarding in New York, so i don't know how it will work there. In florida you board pretty soon after your time, but i don't know if New York will be as organized.

    2) yes, as everyone has noted - in Parrot Cay (one of the main rotation dining rooms) and up on deck at topsiders

    3) we always get there for door opening (i think 30 minutes in advance).
    we like to get good seats - center center - so we come for when the doors open, which i think was 30 minutes before the show.

    4) on disembarkation day you eat in the same restaurant as you ate in the night before and you have the same seating as the night before - so if you're early seating, you eat first, if you have second seating for dinner, you have second seating for breakfast on disembarkation day - which means at 7:30 or 8 am (i can't remember). I believe topsiders is also open.

    5) as already noted, they want everyone off that ship as quickly as possible. At port canaveral, we were off the boat by 8:30 am and that was with 2nd seating.
  9. Mickeyhugger

    Mickeyhugger DIS Veteran

    Sep 6, 2003
    tigger ttfn, maybe you'll love DCL so much that you'll rebook a Magic cruise out of Galveston.:) (Notice you're from Texas, and the Magic will be there Sept-mid-May.
  10. tigger_ttfn

    tigger_ttfn Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2008
    Thanks everyone! Now, I can book my transfers to the airport and I feel more informed.

    taximom00 - on my 75th day, I booked our excursions but couldn't get Palo for the night I wanted. I kept checking daily and an opening came for Palo on my 5th night. Still no brunch or tea availability. :(

    I did the online check-in a few weeks after (not knowing about picking the arrival time) and was able to get 12:00pm as the earliest.

    mickeyhugger - yes, I've considered the Galveston DCL since it would save on airfare. But, I'm not too thrilled with Galveston itineraries as my first cruises were to those.

    Oh, I thought of another question. What is the best night for Palo? Since I've never done DCL before I don't want to miss out on anything. I would love to do brunch but it's sold out. So, is Palo a don't miss for dinner?

    BTW - It is just me and DH. We are in our 30's with no kids.
  11. scrapbookmomma74

    scrapbookmomma74 We love DCL!!!

    Jan 23, 2011
    We have done Palo for both dinner and brunch. I enjoyed brunch way more than dinner. We just don't eat enough to justify the dinner. I felt overly stuffed when we left, and while most people rave about the chocolate souffle, it's just not my thing.
    I did, however, LOVE the brunch. It is mostly buffet, but there are select items that you can order.
    It didn't seem too crowded for brunch, I bet there are plenty of onboard reservations available!

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