Worried about 3 night cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by candfandm, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. candfandm

    candfandm Mouseketeer

    Aug 12, 2009
    I am getting a little worried now as we are booked for our first Disney cruise and it will be a 3 nighter on the Dream with our 7 yr old granddaughter. I have read the posts where it was explained that the 3 night cruises can be a madhouse and not enjoyable. We have been on a Carnival cruise for 4 nights. For those who have been on both Carnival 4 nights and Disney 3 nights, which did you prefer?
  2. 3Mickeys

    3Mickeys Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2010
    I can't comment on comparing it to Carnival, but I think what you are reading are comments by people who have done 3, 4, 7 and more nights. So they actually have some experience on what it all means. A 3 and 4 night there are only so many hours in the day to do the things you want. Swim, try the water slides, go to shows, character photos, etc. From what I hear people try to do everything and the end result is people rushing around trying to do it all. A good friend of mine did a 3 night and she said the same thing. The kids barely got to the kids club because they were in Nassau one day and CC the other. By the time you figure out where everything is, it's time to get off. On the other hand, longer cruises people tend to relax more. Take their time. Take advantage of sea days, etc.

    I don't think the 3 night will be disappointing, rather it may whet your appetite to bring your granddaughter back again for a longer cruise. Either way you will have a magical time with her!
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  4. Conservative Hippie

    Conservative Hippie Ravenclaw

    Apr 26, 2006
    I have not been on Carnival (or any other cruise line), but I have done two 3-nights on the Dream. You can definitely have a great time! You just need to think of it as only having 3 days at WDW - you won't be able to do everything. So pick a few things that are a priority and save the rest for next time.
  5. 4butlers

    4butlers DIS Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    I think whether a 3 night cruise is enjoyable or not is very subjective and what types of things annoy or bother you. Our first cruise was a 3 night cruise and we enjoyed it very much. Sure, it can get crowded, but what would you expect with almost 4,000 passengers? The only complaint we had was that is was too short! We definitely would have liked more time on the ship. But honestly, I wouldn't be too worried. You should just see for yourself and make your decision based on your own experience and not someone else's experience. Your granddaughter will have the time of her life!:wizard:
  6. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    I did not do a 3 night until I had done MANY longer cruises on DCL. At that time we did a 3/4 B2B. There is a huge difference between a 3 and a 4 night cruise. The biggest difference is in the attitude of the guests. On a 3 night, they are crazy! Many are convinced that they have to do "everything" in 2 1/2 days on the ship. This is, of course, impossible, but they will go nuts trying!

    OP had it right--choose a few things that you want to do and concentrate on those. Book them ahead if at all possible. And stay out of the way of the crazies!:goodvibes

    The other big thing we experienced was lack of supervision of the kids on the 3 night. It was like the parents decided that their children were DCL's responsibility and the parent was on vacation...end of discussion. We had a large extended family across the hall from us. THe kids would bang on OUR door looking for their cousins (didn't they know that the cousins didn't have fancy magnets on their doors??? and where were the parents while the kids ran the halls screaming?) There was a 6 year old in the Quiet Cove pool--ultimately removed by a CM after many guest complaints. Actually there were kids all over the adult areas.

    You can have fun on a 3 night cruise. However, having seen the difference between a 3 and a 4 night, I'd opt for at least a 4 if possible.
  7. Zim

    Zim Meow meow

    Jun 30, 2004
    We took our very first cruise on a 3-day Disney cruise mainly because we weren't sure we'd enjoy cruising when my DD was 8.

    I never felt rushed or part of some unmanageable crowd of people. It did feel like a short trip, but it was our first experience on a cruise ship, and really enjoyed the whole thing. There was enough time for the kid activities on the boat in the evening, and the excursions during the day. Having cruised since I probably would have enjoyed a day at sea, but it didn't take away from the first trip. In fact I'm signing up for a 3-day cruise for my DD 16!
  8. mjaclyn

    mjaclyn Currently in Wonderland

    Dec 2, 2003
    I think if you have a choice between a 3 night or a 4 night on the Dream I would do the 4 night. If it's either a 3 night on the Dream or a 4 night on Carnival, do the 3 night on the Dream. Also, another way you can kind of extend the amount of time you have on the ship is not to get off at Nassau. You really aren't missing anything at the port and you'll have more time to explore and enjoy the new ship.
  9. BeeTeacher

    BeeTeacher Mouseketeer

    Nov 15, 2011
    Most people dont get off in Nassau so the pool area is still very crowded from all accounts. If pool time is what you want, book a day room at a Nassau hotel and swim there. You cannot really swim in the ship pool.

    But there is PLENTY to do, she will have a blast!

    We enjoyed the 3 night.
  10. RileyMom08

    RileyMom08 Earning My Ears

    Oct 27, 2011
    I completely agree!
    We took our first ever cruise on the 3 night Dream sailing in October and had a blast. It really is all about expectations and what you do with your time. We stayed on the ship in Nassau to enjoy the amenities and lower crowds. It wasn't overly crazy at any point except for a few deck parties but we expected that. We hit the kids' pool Thurs, Fri and Sat without craziness. Also, our daughter enjoyed the kids clubs for a few hours. Honestly, we just enjoyed being together as a family and making memories together. I REALLY enjoyed taking a break from cooking, cleaning, etc. :)
    In fact we had such a pleasant experience that we've booked another 3 night cruise next year with a group of our friends. This actually says a lot considering we all live in Orlando and not all of us are Disney nuts!!
    I hope you can put your worries to rest and enjoy the time with your family!
  11. Anal Annie

    Anal Annie at least I KNOW I'm a kook...I just can't help it

    Dec 8, 2006
    Although we haven't done nearly as many cruises as kcashner this was our experience as well. Our first cruise was a 7 night then we did a 4 n / 3 n back-to-back on the Wonder. Being on the ship one cruise right after the other the differences were night & day. While the 4 night was pretty casual compared to the 7 night the 3 night one was full of WILD children running the ship with no supervision. They were turning cartwheels in the hallway and our dry erase board on our door was filled with profanity more than once. The people dressed for dinner like they were at Applebees and it was in general a very different crowd from our previous 2 cruises. When we were at the re-booking desk the CM said that all of the 3 night ones are pretty much like that. We prefer the longer cruises and I personally don't want to do anything shorter than 4 nights again unless it's almost a give-a-way. If this is your first DCL then you won't have anything else to compare it to so maybe it won't bother you.
  12. BigRed1

    BigRed1 If life gives you limes, make margaritas!

    Jun 22, 2004
    Kcashner has it nailed. I had the same experience, and reached the same conclusions anyway. After four 7 nights and one 4 night on Disney, we did our first Disney B2B 4/3 night this past October, 4 night first. The difference in the 4 and 3 night was night and day. Never say never, but it will be a LONG time before I agree to a 3 night cruise again. If you can at all afford it, go with a 4 night.
  13. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

    May 21, 2005
    Prior to my Disney cruise, I had done two 7-night cruises--one with Royal Caribbean and the other with Norwegian. Price and schedule were two of the main reasons why we did a 4-night with DCL. It still came out to more money than any of our longer cruises, but we really wanted to try DCL and so took advantage of a VGT. I was afraid the 4-night would be way too short and it definitely was. However, we had an amazing time and I was traveling with my parents alone! We (or at least I) were definitely rushed to experience all the Dream had to offer, although swimming was a very low priority since we have a pool at home. When you spend the premium price, understandably you want to utilize everything available! I cannot fathom taking a cruise less than 4 nights; even if you've never cruised and you're afraid of motion sickness/etc, I would still recommend at least the 4-night voyages.

    3-night cruises take place over weekends, so you're bound to have more children and more parents who think they can let the kids "loose". I was fortunate to be on a sailing with primarily well-behaved children and responsible parents, which was such a refreshing thing to see after a lifetime at the theme parks where kids cry more often than laugh and parents defy common sense. There were a lot more kids than I expected for a mid-January cruise, but I suspect that the type of crowd on board were a bit more respectable for one reason or another. If you can swing it, both on your budget and schedule, consider moving to a 4-night. If not, I'm sure you'll still have a fantastic time. Just know you won't be able to do everything. I'd also try to time yourself to do things at off-hours when most of the crowds are off doing something else.

    Don't worry and have fun!
  14. my2disneyboys

    my2disneyboys DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2008
    It was probably my review that made you worried! I am so sorry- I am sure you will have an amazing time. If you read all the great tips that people sent in about avoiding the crowds on my review I bet you will find the 3 night way nicer than I did! I want to be clear that we have an AMAZING vacation.... I do not feel like my money was wasted. And that is even with a rainy castaway cay day! I just felt like I couldnt escape the crowds. I get very nervous around a million screaming kids, falling all over the place with no adults watching them so for me it just made me nervous the whole time. People have some great ideas on here to escape some of that madness!!

    Make sure to post when you return! I want to hear about your experience!:goodvibes

    I am writing a full trip report so if you are interested, follow along and you will see where the stressful situations came into play and where there was some really fun times!
  15. ravensilverlight

    ravensilverlight I reject your reality and substitute my own.

    Oct 6, 2011
    I've done a Carnival 4 night and a Disney 3 night, so I can definitely compare the two. Which do I prefer? Disney, hands down. If it were Disney for 3 nights vs. Disney for 4/5/7/10/14 nights? The longer the better!!!

    That being said, the DCL 3n cruises are definitely intensive. As above, the difference in clientele from a 3 night to a longer cruise is HUGE. People are trying to run around and see and do everything - and it just isn't possible. If you go into it knowing that, you'll have a much easier time.

    Being on the boards here is a great way to be prepared to make the most of your 3 nights. Book what you can ahead of time, get to the port as early as possible if there are things you want or need to book on board (special spa services, Palo, etc.), and take advantage of everything you learn from others here. It is TOTALLY possible to have a fantastic time on a 3 night cruise and not be bothered by the crazies on board. You just have to know what to do!

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