too much info seems almost toxic sometimes


Feb 8, 2002
I know I am babbling here......

Thousands of people cruise DCL every year who have never even heard of the DIS Boards and they do perfectly fine on their cruises and can't wait to take more trips. My brother-in-law owns a DIS shirt (because I assigned it as a uniform of the day on our last cruise--that became a running joke) and still has never been to the sacred DIS Boards...........he operates just fine.

Sometimes I just think all the info kind of builds expectations to unreachable limits. My sister is obsessing about every little thing and I am really regretting sharing the existence of the DISBoards with her. I thought I was sharing the Magic of the cruise with her, but right now I feel like it is a negative. I think she would have had a better time without all of the info....what if the servers don't do tricks? what if there isn't a jungle of towel animals? what if she doesn't have every single thing in the world in her goody bag? what if her kids don't fit in the beds? blah, blah, blah....... I hope I feel differently once our cruise passes.

Anyone else had this experience?

Okay....babble over for a little while.

I agree that sometimes people get very high expecations & then are really disappointed when they feel that their expectations werent reached. People have even admitted they have had this happen..

Just relax & enjoy the cruise!!!!!
Wait! There's goody bags? I didn't read that before. Now more stress.
Actually, I sort of agree with you. An overload of info, but I'm looking forward to exploring and learning some things on my own. After 30 trips to WDW, and our first cruise upcoming, it will be nice to learn new things.
I read these boards and I frequently think to myself that so and so is overplanning and over obsessing. To me it sounds like their vacation is going to be more of a death march than a relaxing trip.

But then I realize that everyone has different styles. They probably feel that my vacation is a disorganized unplanned mess and how could anyone enjoy that type of trip.

We all have different styles of planning and traveling. What's important is that we each find what works best for us.

The biggest mistake someone can make is to try to adopt a style that they are not suited for. Someone who is more laid back and take life as it comes sees someone on here who has a minute by minute plan for every second of the their vacation. The laid back person figures that this is the way a cruise should be planned and they try to adopt the highly planned vacation style and ends up having a miserable time. Some thing could happen in reverse if someone who tends to have things very planned out tried to adopt a take things as they come approach to a cruise.

That's one of the great things about DCL, it is a great vacation for all types of travelers.

I like to obsessively learn and plan for the first few months after I book a vacation. I read every guidebook, make a whole bunch of notes...and then forget it all and relax. I know that I know almost everything there is to know about the vacation so I can relax and enjoy what I want on the trip without worrying that I am missing anything.

Anyhow, I get so much fun out of learning and planning (which usually gets thrown out the window when I get there) that I get a year's worth of fun for a weeks vacation. What a deal!!
I think the whole idea is to use the info to make choices that you may not have known about. Not to plan every little detail. I know I read alot of info before our first Magic cruise, and put it to use. My family was glad that I had, because it really made for a better trip.
I guess like anything else, you HAVE to RELAX and enjoy. Whether you are over or under informed, you can have a great cruise either way.

I didn't find out about these boards until after our first cruise. I learned so much that it made our second cruise so much better. Take what you want from these boards and disregard the rest. It's not much of a vacation if you are stressing too much.

I guess I'm going to echo what most everyone else has said ... to each his/her own. I like to plan and have an idea of what to expect and I have been known to plan my trip minute-by-minute, but those minutes are usually only for a short period of time. I'm obsessive about the time I leave the house for the flight, the time to get the luggage and get to the rental car counter and drive to the hotel, and then again with what time we get up in the morning, what time we get to the port, etc. My obsession used to stop once the Palo ressies were made ... with the new ability to book on-line, my obsession should stop about the time the CM hands me my KTTW card :teeth:

I hope that your vacation ends up being the best experience for you all. And that you all find more magic than you ever imagined.
I agree completely. I love to plan trips. The last time we went to WDW (Feb 04), I had been reading a different Disney Board. The people on those boards were fairly negative, with a good bit of commenting (complaining?) on the fact that maintenance isn't what it used to be at the parks, customer service isn't what it used to be etc. I enjoyed my trip, but not as much as the previous trip where I didn't find myself looking for peeling paint and CM's who weren't smiling at all times!

I am currently planning for our Eastern cruise in November of this year, and I'm trying not to overdose on the DIS, but I find it hard to stay away. However, I plan on having several excursions planned and spa and palo reservations made, and then just leaving the rest of the decisions until we are on board. I have done something similar on WDW trips, and it has worked out well. I usually make PS's, and try to figure out what will be the best days to visit each park, but after that I let the chips fall where they may. It works for us. It assures that we get to do the things that we really want to do, but allows us to relax and enjoy ourselves too.
I love to plan our trips. I get so much enjoyment out of it and it really does expand the vacation experience.

Having said that, however, I do think there is a percentage of people who overplan everything and they are setting themselves up for disappointment. These same people also don't think for themselves and let everyone else guide them. They do Palo because "everyone" does Palo - well Palo isn't for everyone. They do a certain "excursion" because everyone says it is the one to do - but then they report back that their family didn't care for it.

The key to good planning is to know what you and your family like and to plan your vacation around that.

Best wishes to all those planning trips - may be they as magical as can be. Just be sure you "plan" some time just to relax and have fun. :)
ITA with the OP.

I spent a lot of time planning using the DIS boards. While on board, I felt that I missed out on a lot because things didn't go as planned. Half way through the trip, I had to let that go. If I had done that sooner, I would have had an even better time.

Personally we love the boards, most of the time, and being an obsessive planner I really like the up to date information. I plan and plan, so that once on board I don't have to think. I don't think the boards can be held responisble for unmet expectations, we are each responsible for our expectations and how we react to the eb and flow of life. Nothing comes off just as planned, see our trip report for this past January. It's is what you make of the situation and how you choose to let things affect your attitude that can dimish your experience.

We have really enjoyed this community and the inforamtion has helped us get the most out of our cruises. So long live the boards!
jeast said:
I like to obsessively learn and plan for the first few months after I book a vacation. I read every guidebook, make a whole bunch of notes...and then forget it all and relax. I know that I know almost everything there is to know about the vacation so I can relax and enjoy what I want on the trip without worrying that I am missing anything.

Anyhow, I get so much fun out of learning and planning (which usually gets thrown out the window when I get there) that I get a year's worth of fun for a weeks vacation. What a deal!!

Hey, that's me exactly! The planning and learning just add to the excitement for me. I at least like to know at little of what to expect when I get there, but still leave room for the surprises.

I could see how this could happen if the reader only reads the bubbly, happy, elation-filled posts (and I admit there are many), but fortunately threads of a different mood are not censored, and there are enough of those for the readers to get a balanced perspective.

It may have also been said (I read this thread quickly) already, but it was by reading this board religiously prior to our first Disney Cruise that I was spared the deflating experience of setting expectations too high. Thanks to the many people who shared all of their experiences -good, bad, and unexpected- I knew things could happen that were less than idea. While some families loved their servers so much they stay in touch other people are going to get less than stellar service in the dining room. One family gets a surprise upgrade from ocean view to veranda while another finds their room was too small for the comfort of their family. It can go either way. What was reassuring though was reading that while one aspect of the trip was a disappointment (weather, food, a particular service, missed port,etc.) the vacation was still a blast.

These boards and the Passporter made a huge difference in our family's quality of experience. The boards didn't make the sun shine for us, provide us with our upgrade, or bless us with a great cabin host, but it did facilitate us in so many practical ways. Many families we met, including our tablemates who were on their second cruise, even though they had a good time, didn't know a fraction of the things I (first timer) learned here. Things that would definitely improved their experience, saved them money, and would have prevented the minor, but many, stressful situations they had to deal with.

I hope your entire family has a blast on your cruise!
GritsGirl said:
I know I am babbling here......

My brother-in-law owns a DIS shirt (because I assigned it as a uniform of the day on our last cruise--that became a running joke)

Yes, but his doesn't :sad2: have his screen name in pretty letters on the front and dh and I do::yes:: . It was a great uniform of the day and kept us from getting lost. All we had to do was look around like we were lost and someone would point out "the rest of your group went that way".:laughing:

Don't worry Grits.:hug: She will have a good time - if she doesn't, it isn't your fault.
The Kids were right when they told her that it was Aunt Grits job to take care of details. It isn't like you are keeping secrets from her - she just doesn't need to obsess
I am babysitting Hannah tonight while everyone goes to see REO Speedwagon at Jubilee so I will be busy tonight but call me tomorrow if you want and we can talk about it.
Sometimes I just think all the info kind of builds expectations to unreachable limits
Around here it's called "Expectation Inflation" and it can cause some people to have a disapointing experience because everything that has happened to others here did not happen to them.

Part of the "knowing everying" about your upcomming cruise is that there is no place for the "magic to happen here" because it's expected and there are no surprises.

I've read every post on the Live from the May Repo cruise. I'm glad that there are not tons of details about what happened every day (50% of the posts are "thanks for posting" posts and 25% are "I can't see the locks web cam & picture not refreshing-is yours?" (this is a bulletin board not a chat room!)) because I'm going on the August repo and I want room for surpises and Magic on the Magic. I'll probaby book mark everyones trip reports to read later and then I'll compare my experience with the May experience and my fellow August cruisers experiences.
I have never been on a Disney or any other cruise, but we are going on the 4 day Wonder on October 23, 2005. I have gotten a wealth of information on these boards, but "file that info" as reference only material. I do not to make up my mind on every little detail. Hey, what the heck, this is life and things happen/change. I wonder about all those who comment that things have to be "just perfect" for their families. Nothing is perfect, and to expect that level of perfection is to be in for a BIG let down if it doesn't happen. DH and I (and in the past, our 2 kids) travel expecting to make a good time for ourselves. If special things happen, thats great, if not, it's OK, we're having a good time anyway. We don't rely on others to make our life perfect for us.

Kris :wave2:

146 days till we leave for our 30th Anniversary Cruise & PO-R/WDW stay.
We didn't know about these boards until a few mos before our 3rd DCL trip, and still had a blast on our first two.

I don't obsess over every detail when it comes to trip planning. When I do that, it starts to wear me down and takes the fun out of what's supposed to be enjoyable.

I do find these boards very informative though, as well as the WDW boards. However, I agree with OP that sometimes too much info can sometimes seem toxic. (Obsessing over dining rotations, not getting suggested servers, not seeing shows, etc.) Relax, the trip is supposed to be fun. Most likely you'll still have a great time even if you're unable to 'do it all.' :earsgirl:
After cruising I get why you'd want the servers you had back if available. But I always figure that the folks who have never cruised before who ask "what servers would you recommend" have hit overplanning stage and are "cruising for a brusing." When the menu changes unexpectedly, and the Navigators isn't exactly the one you looked at last and that throws you plans for a loop (but we had planned to learn to draw Mickey at 3:00, and its scheduled for 2:00! And I was going to have the creme brulee for dessert and they took it off the menu!) and sends you into overplanned meltdown.

On the other hand, the occational negative posts are helpful to keep expectations in line. Not every kid loves the kids club. Not every cruise stops at Castaway Cay. The weather isn't always wonderful.
I worried about the same thing with our first DCL on 5/15/05. For two years I've planned this trip,and in the begining I researched and researched until I couldn't type or read anymore. Then a month or so before my cruise, I stopped. I had gathered all my info, and I just didnt do much more research. I still visited the boards of course!! It really did help reading the negative posts as well as the positive posts. Examples...the All hands on deck so much about it...(luckily some were posts that they weren't all that great) and when I ordered one, the cheese was horrible (not the kind I like). I may have been dissapointed, but since reading about it on the boards, I took it in stride and just ate the crackers. And then the Mickey Bar :rotfl:

Also, our wait staff did NOT do any magic tricks for our kids, had I not read the negative I would have been upset, but I learned not EVERY server does/knows magic tricks. Our servers were great, and my ds really liked them. I learned not to go in with high expectations!

However, I learned that you could get in line to get off the ship at Castaway Cay, and before they even announced we were cleared, we were in line and getting off the boat, maybe one of the first 15-20 people off of the boat. I also learned that Mickey Bars are available for room service, even if they aren't on the menu! :earseek: Yummy!!!

There is SOOO much info out there that you have to just realise that everyones experience is different. We are more laid back, and didn't do nearly half as much as what I had read other families have done. We still had a WONDERful time!!!

I really am glad I found the Dis!!


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