Where to start?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by MapleGirl, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. MapleGirl

    MapleGirl Perpetual Planner

    Jul 31, 2007
    My mother has asked me to research the DCL. She wants to take my two mentally challenged adult foster brothers in February. (I know... she's not too big on planning stuff far in advance. :confused3 ) I'm a WDW devotee and I've recently taken a Carnival Cruise with DH.

    Where should I start? I have all the normal newb questions:
    What's included? What's not included?
    Where to book?
    How to get the best deal?
    How to divide up 3 adult women and 2 semi-adult boys cabin wise? (Mom, Ed, Joe, Heather (care giver) and me)
    Where and when should we go? Should I steer her away from February?

    All the normal stuff. So far I have the DIS, Cruise Critic, Mousesavers and Allears.net open on my browser.


  2. cmclaura

    cmclaura How many more days til our next cruise?????

    Aug 12, 2007
    My best advice is to get a copy of the Passporter DCL guide (www.passporter.com) and hand it to mom (after checking through it yourself!).

    It has everything anyone needs to know in one place and it's portable.

    Then, you can get specific answers to any other questions you may have on here.

    For me, it saves the most time (and I Google for a living).
  3. MapleGirl

    MapleGirl Perpetual Planner

    Jul 31, 2007
    That's a great idea. I have the passporter for Disney World and it is wonderful.
    Thank you.
  4. aseyrick

    aseyrick DIS Veteran

    Sep 6, 2010
    Where should I start? www.disneycruise.com. The other sites you've listed are great resources as well. You'll get a ton of info just asking questions here at DIS board.

    What's included?
    Meals - Breakfast/lunch/dinner/some snacks.
    3 main dining rooms that are included with DCL's "rotational dining"
    Quick/casual eateries (pizzeria, burger/hot dog, salad/sandwich, etc.)
    24 hr room service
    Pastries from Cove Cafe, a specialty coffee shop
    Snacks & tap water from the bars
    24-hr self-service soft serve ice cream station
    Drinks - Milk, water, juice, coffee & tea with meals & room service.
    24-hr self-serve drink station on the pool deck that offers coffee, tea, hot chocolate, sodas & water.
    Entertainment - Most of the entertainment on the boat is included.
    Misc - Drammamine & ear plugs

    What's not included?
    Adult-only restaurants
    Bottled water, alcohol & soda (except at the 24-hr self serve drink station)
    Specialty coffees in Cove Cafe
    Certain snacks (peanuts, M&M's, etc.) from room service
    Booked excursions when in port
    Certain onboard activities (i.e., bingo, wine/beer tasting)

    Where to book?See below

    How to get the best deal?
    1. Figure out exactly what you want (i.e., the dates, the ship, the room category ... even down to the room if you have it).
    2. Go to www.cruisecompete.com and input your information and then wait for the best deal. Give it at least 3 days for all the travel agents to respond.

    How to divide up 3 adult women and 2 semi-adult boys cabin wise? (Mom, Ed, Joe, Heather (care giver) and me)
    2 options: 1) Book a suite 2) Book 2 rooms. Depending on the room category, option #2 can be cheaper, and there are several that are connected. Meaning, there's a door between the 2 rooms so you don't have to go out in the hall to get from 1 room to another.

    Where and when should we go? Should I steer her away from February?This depends on her preference. February will be colder and the waters chillier, regardless where you go, esp. on the Mexican Riviera. With that said, some prefer it cooler esp. if you're doing a lot of sight-seeing versus water activities. Plus, the ship will have less passengers/crowds and generally you can get a better deal, so long as you don't book Valentine's week.

    Good luck!
  5. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    February isn't far away. I'd start with an EXCELLENT travel agent who specializes in DCL and will talk to you on the phone before booking.

    As to your sleeping arrangements, you can get connecting cabins on the Wonder and Magic in cat 10 and nicer. This means that you have an interior connecting door between the rooms. It sounds like the best answer in your situation. Sorry, but I don't know which categories on the Dream will allow this.

    I'll make a few corrections to the above post listing what is included. Soft drinks are included from the 24 hour beverage station and in the dining rooms. There is a charge when you get them from a bar or roving server.

    The soft serve ice cream station is not open 24 hours.

    As to the best deal--DCL requires all TAs to sell Disney for the same price. The only place you'll see a difference is in the quality of service you'll receive and any onboard credit or other "thanks for booking" gift they may provide. A good TA will get you all the same credits you could get for booking thru DCL directly--an onboard credit in each cabin for using the Disney Visa to pay for the cruise, a credit for booking on line, etc. in addition to any gift the TA provides.

    You can cruise spending almost nothing except your cruise ticket price and tips....or you can spend thousands of dollars more. There are lots of posts about saving money on the cruise.

    If any special services will be required (HA cabins, refrigerator for medications, special diets, etc.) your mom will need to download the medical form from the DCL web site, have the boys doc sign it, and fax it to the number indicated on the form.

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