The 2010 Baltic Thread--Cruise Tips and Planning

TammyAlphabet

DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Hello all! I have been reading the Med Thread from 2006. It is very interesting since I am doing both the Med and Baltic in 2010. I thought it would be interesting to create a combined Baltic Thread so we could all exchange ideas and tips about our planning like they did with the Med in 2007.

I will start it off. I have not flown to Europe since 1987 so I have no idea what it is like nowadays. I want to be comfortable and have the Tv's for the kids. Any advice or information will be welcome. Thanks!
 

lbgraves

Little Cinderella's Mommy
Joined
Feb 25, 2003
Great idea! I have moved the thread to the meets board where the combined Med thread was located last time for trip planning. :)
 

TammyAlphabet

DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Thanks, that make perfect sense! Hopefully this can help us all with our planning.:thumbsup2
 
  • TammyAlphabet

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    I thought of something else. How were the Disney transfers? Does it give you a warm cozy feeling to have a Disney person meet you at the airport? Is that even what they do. Thanks!
     

    grizbuzz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    Hello all! I have been reading the Med Thread from 2006. It is very interesting since I am doing both the Med and Baltic in 2010. I thought it would be interesting to create a combined Baltic Thread so we could all exchange ideas and tips about our planning like they did with the Med in 2007.

    I will start it off. I have not flown to Europe since 1987 so I have no idea what it is like nowadays. I want to be comfortable and have the Tv's for the kids. Any advice or information will be welcome. Thanks!
    Great idea!

    We're booked right now for the June 24 Northern European cruise. We're not 100% sure we're going (mainly due to the pricing), but I do love planning!

    We went on the June 6 Med cruise and it was the trip of a lifetime! My kids were 2 and 4 at the time. Should be easier with a 5 and 7 year old, which is how old they will be in 2010. We flew into London for the Med cruise on British Airways which did have TVs on all of the seats. I have also flown Virgin Atlantic and they had TVs as well. My experience on Virgin Atlantic was better than British Airways, but this was a few years ago and I know airlines do change.

    As we flew into London, we did not get Disney transfers at the airport. We took the Heathrow Express train which was recommended to me by a colleague and was very convenient and fast. I will definitely use Heathrow Express again -- takes you straight to Paddington Station (where they those cute little bears and all:) ).

    We had 4 or 5 days before the Med cruise. We stayed in London a couple of nights at the Marriott County Hall near the London Eye - which I highly recommend. Only downside was the price. Then we took a train to Paris and stayed there a couple nights. We did not have enough time to make it to Disney Paris, so that remains on our wish list. From Paris we took an overnight train to Barcelona - got into the train station in the morning and went straight to the port to board the Disney Magic.

    I have been to some of the Northern European ports - as I lived in Moscow in the 90s and had the chance to visit St Petersburg and Tallinn and Helsinki.

    So where am I in the planning process? I'm just chipping away at the bill month by month to get this thing paid off, or close enough to paid off that my DH will be agreeable to going by the time the balance is due. Also have changed my primary credit card to Starwood to start racking up frequent flying miles. I'm not in the fun planning stages yet...just in the trying to make this financially doable stages. But I am hopeful!!! Once I get my mind on something, I can usually figure out how to make it happen!
     

    slg

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 18, 2005
    I started a similar thread like this a few months ago, but unfortunately, not many people see it. I wish they hadn't moved mine and I notice they've moved yours too. Sigh. More folks would be on it if they kept it on the general boards, personally that is where it should be I think as its not a "meet" thread but more of a question thread just like the other threads are on the general board.

    However, what I didn't do was go on to all the other meet threads for the med and baltic cruises and invite everyone. Perhaps if you do that, you will have more folks subscribe to this thread, which as I said, is a grand idea! (I even thought of it myself!)

    I have so many questions about the Baltics and with only 4 sailings , the four groups could really help each other in the planning process.

    I have booked my hotel in Dover(4 nights) for pre cruise and my b+B(7nights) in London post a few months ago. DCL was too expensive for our family of 5! I haven't decided how we are getting to Dover or back to London yet. Our b+b is by Paddington station so we could take the train back from Dover, but I've read its quite a hassle.

    We might take the bus or a private van taxi to Dover from the airport. The bus is much cheaper, but I don't know if the hassle is worth the price. Just seeing how our exchange rate is next year and what finances are like. Someone else said they took the bus and it was super easy, although it takes about 4.5 hours. I don't know how I'll feel about 4.5 hours after a 9 hour flight. Hmmmm.

    That's where are plans are.
     

    TammyAlphabet

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    Great idea!

    We're booked right now for the June 24 Northern European cruise. We're not 100% sure we're going (mainly due to the pricing), but I do love planning!

    We went on the June 6 Med cruise and it was the trip of a lifetime! My kids were 2 and 4 at the time. Should be easier with a 5 and 7 year old, which is how old they will be in 2010. We flew into London for the Med cruise on British Airways which did have TVs on all of the seats. I have also flown Virgin Atlantic and they had TVs as well. My experience on Virgin Atlantic was better than British Airways, but this was a few years ago and I know airlines do change.

    As we flew into London, we did not get Disney transfers at the airport. We took the Heathrow Express train which was recommended to me by a colleague and was very convenient and fast. I will definitely use Heathrow Express again -- takes you straight to Paddington Station (where they those cute little bears and all:) ).

    We had 4 or 5 days before the Med cruise. We stayed in London a couple of nights at the Marriott County Hall near the London Eye - which I highly recommend. Only downside was the price. Then we took a train to Paris and stayed there a couple nights. We did not have enough time to make it to Disney Paris, so that remains on our wish list. From Paris we took an overnight train to Barcelona - got into the train station in the morning and went straight to the port to board the Disney Magic.

    I have been to some of the Northern European ports - as I lived in Moscow in the 90s and had the chance to visit St Petersburg and Tallinn and Helsinki.

    So where am I in the planning process? I'm just chipping away at the bill month by month to get this thing paid off, or close enough to paid off that my DH will be agreeable to going by the time the balance is due. Also have changed my primary credit card to Starwood to start racking up frequent flying miles. I'm not in the fun planning stages yet...just in the trying to make this financially doable stages. But I am hopeful!!! Once I get my mind on something, I can usually figure out how to make it happen!
    Thanks for the info and thanks for ringing in on this thread.

    I started a similar thread like this a few months ago, but unfortunately, not many people see it. I wish they hadn't moved mine and I notice they've moved yours too. Sigh. More folks would be on it if they kept it on the general boards, personally that is where it should be I think as its not a "meet" thread but more of a question thread just like the other threads are on the general board.

    However, what I didn't do was go on to all the other meet threads for the med and baltic cruises and invite everyone. Perhaps if you do that, you will have more folks subscribe to this thread, which as I said, is a grand idea! (I even thought of it myself!)

    I have so many questions about the Baltics and with only 4 sailings , the four groups could really help each other in the planning process.

    I have booked my hotel in Dover(4 nights) for pre cruise and my b+B(7nights) in London post a few months ago. DCL was too expensive for our family of 5! I haven't decided how we are getting to Dover or back to London yet. Our b+b is by Paddington station so we could take the train back from Dover, but I've read its quite a hassle.

    We might take the bus or a private van taxi to Dover from the airport. The bus is much cheaper, but I don't know if the hassle is worth the price. Just seeing how our exchange rate is next year and what finances are like. Someone else said they took the bus and it was super easy, although it takes about 4.5 hours. I don't know how I'll feel about 4.5 hours after a 9 hour flight. Hmmmm.

    That's where are plans are.
    I guess great minds think alike. LOL. I am going to take your advice and make some invitations. I have been lurking on some of the other threads to glean information, but it would be easier if we all get together.

    I am really starting to lean towards the Disney transfers. I have booked a "Disney" hotel, on my own, in London for after the Baltic so the transfers off the ship would be easy. Maybe some others can ring in with info on the relatie advantages and disadvantages.
     
  • grizbuzz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    I have booked my hotel in Dover(4 nights) for pre cruise and my b+B(7nights) in London post a few months ago. DCL was too expensive for our family of 5! I haven't decided how we are getting to Dover or back to London yet. Our b+b is by Paddington station so we could take the train back from Dover, but I've read its quite a hassle.

    We might take the bus or a private van taxi to Dover from the airport. The bus is much cheaper, but I don't know if the hassle is worth the price. Just seeing how our exchange rate is next year and what finances are like. Someone else said they took the bus and it was super easy, although it takes about 4.5 hours. I don't know how I'll feel about 4.5 hours after a 9 hour flight. Hmmmm.

    That's where are plans are.
    4.5 hours bus ride after a 9 hour flight sounds brutal to me. 4.5 hours in a bus period sounds hard. Have you thought about staying in London the first night or two? What does one in Dover for four nights?
     

    slg

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 18, 2005
    We are staying in London after the cruise, and I hate the load in/load out of luggage out of hotel. Plus then I have to pay taxi to a hotel, and then get to Dover from the hotel.

    Its actually easier just to go straight there. If I take a van taxi its about 2 hours. But its quite a bit more expensive, so I'll have to see.

    It depends on finances, when my flight arrives etc.

    I just want to settle into our hotel and don't expect to do anything the first day. In Dover there is the castle to go to, the roman painted house, the white cliffs,and really, just a quiet, relaxing place to putter around and get unjetlagged so we can enjoy the cruise all the more.
     
  • jilljill

    <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2003
    I have booked my hotel in Dover(4 nights) for pre cruise and my b+B(7nights) in London post a few months ago. DCL was too expensive for our family of 5! I haven't decided how we are getting to Dover or back to London yet. Our b+b is by Paddington station so we could take the train back from Dover, but I've read its quite a hassle.

    We might take the bus or a private van taxi to Dover from the airport. The bus is much cheaper, but I don't know if the hassle is worth the price. Just seeing how our exchange rate is next year and what finances are like. Someone else said they took the bus and it was super easy, although it takes about 4.5 hours. I don't know how I'll feel about 4.5 hours after a 9 hour flight. Hmmmm.

    That's where are plans are.
    We took the bus from London Victoria Station to Dover and the ride was 2 hours 15 minutes. But you still have to get into London from the airport and if you don't take one of the Express trains then it's about 45 min to an hour. So no matter how you look at it, once you get thru customs at the airport and to your hotel in Dover it will take 3-5 hours if using public transport. If you are looking for the quickest way to get to Dover than booking a private transfer will drastically cut down your time.
    What airport are you flying into? That makes a difference on what would be the best way to go directly to Dover.

    I have no clue how you are going to occupy yourself with staying that long in Dover without your own car. You would be better off staying in Kent or Canterbury for a couple of days and then going over to Dover for a couple of days.
     

    jilljill

    <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2003
    Be sure to get your friends from the Ballyhoo to come over and consort with us. LOL.
    I'm one of the Ballyhoo'ers. If you look at the first post on any of our threads we've put lots of info links for most of the ports and London.

    My family and I did a Baltics cruise last summer and we are really looking forward to this one as well.
     

    ladyvet

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2007
    Chiming in as a "Ballyhooer" so I'll be subscribed to the thread. I'm a big planner. We also did the Med cruise 2 years ago. We flew British Airways, and ALL our luggage was lost in London at Heathrow :scared1:

    We did the first 5 days with NO luggage. You can bet your buns we're making a different plan for this cruise!

    Beth
     

    TammyAlphabet

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    Chiming in as a "Ballyhooer" so I'll be subscribed to the thread. I'm a big planner. We also did the Med cruise 2 years ago. We flew British Airways, and ALL our luggage was lost in London at Heathrow :scared1:

    We did the first 5 days with NO luggage. You can bet your buns we're making a different plan for this cruise!

    Beth
    :scared1:Okay, this is what I am talking about! No luggage for days! I am seriously thinking of driving to Atlanta so I can fly round trip, nonstop for both legs on Delta or Air France.
     

    TammyAlphabet

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    I'm one of the Ballyhoo'ers. If you look at the first post on any of our threads we've put lots of info links for most of the ports and London.

    My family and I did a Baltics cruise last summer and we are really looking forward to this one as well.
    This is a link to the Ballyhoo thread which is packed with useful info:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2107781

    Thanks jilljill!
     

    grizbuzz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    :scared1:Okay, this is what I am talking about! No luggage for days! I am seriously thinking of driving to Atlanta so I can fly round trip, nonstop for both legs on Delta or Air France.
    Now I have had much better experiences on both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic than on Delta or Air France. Flights were much more comfortable, service better, TVs with each seat and didn't lose any luggage on any flight. Well, come to think of it, there were a few bumps on my intra Europe (Barcelona to London) British Airways flight, but in the end connections were made. Oh yeah, maybe I didn't get my luggage on the British Air flight on the way home. But I was alright with it, as I had an excuse not to unpack right away. So my vote right now is for Virgin Atlantic. We have a non stop Virgin Air light from SFO to London which was so easy when I took it some three years ago.

    I have a question for all of you...How long are your trips to Europe going to be? What are you doing other than DCL Baltic cruise? Visiting any other cities? How much time are you taking off? I would love to visit Ireland and/or Paris while I'm on that side of the pond. Interested to hear what people are planning!
     

    TammyAlphabet

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Life Member - "excl
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2004
    Now I have had much better experiences on both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic than on Delta or Air France. Flights were much more comfortable, service better, TVs with each seat and didn't lose any luggage on any flight. Well, come to think of it, there were a few bumps on my intra Europe (Barcelona to London) British Airways flight, but in the end connections were made. Oh yeah, maybe I didn't get my luggage on the British Air flight on the way home. But I was alright with it, as I had an excuse not to unpack right away. So my vote right now is for Virgin Atlantic. We have a non stop Virgin Air light from SFO to London which was so easy when I took it some three years ago.

    I have a question for all of you...How long are your trips to Europe going to be? What are you doing other than DCL Baltic cruise? Visiting any other cities? How much time are you taking off? I would love to visit Ireland and/or Paris while I'm on that side of the pond. Interested to hear what people are planning!
    Well, I am doing the med, then repo and then the first baltic. So I am flying into Barcelona and then flying out of London. I am going to spend a few days in Barcelona pre-Med and then a few days in London post-baltic.

    I thought about going to Paris too, but I think I will wait and go with my DD later when she is older.

    The only reason that I am looking at Delta and air France is because they have nonstop flights from Atlanta. With two kids in tow, I might appreciate that.
     

    jilljill

    <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2003
    Oh my gosh! You Ballyhoo'ers are already on your 4th thread!
    Definitely will check out all the useful info here. Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup2
    Yeah, we are really slacking on this thread. Most everyone has too much going on right now to be 'chatty' on the DIS. We occassionally do cruise chat as well. :lmao:

    In the info that is posted in the link I have shared some of our pics from our Baltics cruise last year. I still need to post more and will update our info thread as to where they are posted.
     

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