Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tips for the First Time Disney Cruiser

Tips for the First Time Disney Cruiser

So what do you need to know for your first Disney Cruise? You have booked your trip and dream of days at sea with Disney Characters but what is the reality? What do you really need to know?
First off there are lots of things to do on a Disney Cruise Ship and at the Ports of Call you will stop at. I recommend you start looking at Shipboard and Port Adventures (things you can do both on the ship and in ports) around 4 months before your trip if not sooner. You can look at the Disney Cruise Line website to find this information. Be aware you can start booking your Adventures 75 days before your first cruise. I suggest you book your Adventures as early as possible because the most popular Adventures fill up quickly. The most popular and quickly filled Shipboard adult Adventure is dinner at Palo or Remy’s. Do not wait until you get on the ship to book these if you want a romantic get away from the kids! Don’t worry if you don’t get your first choice of Adventure. There are many things to do. I also suggest you familiarize yourself with the layout of the ship by looking at the deck plans. You will be given a map of the ship when you board.
Once on the ship be ready for fun relax and go with the flow. Most likely your cabin will not be ready for you when you first board the ship. That’s no problem you can go have something to eat at one of several restaurants that will be open serving lunch and then look around the ship. I highly recommend you do not take a lot of carry-on bags when you first board. I also suggest rolling bags so you do not have to carry things around until your cabin is ready. This way you can look around the ship and enjoy. Once your cabin is ready drop your stuff off, do the mandatory life boat safety drill and get ready for the Sail Away Party.
The Sail Away Party is a good way to set the tone for the rest of your trip, the entire cruise is one giant deck party! I feel the Sail Away Party is especially important if you have young children. It lets them get a look at the youth counselors and hear an overview of what’s available for them. Instead of you dumping them off at the kids clubs the kids will be drawn in an excited.
As you board along with your map you will also be given a Personal Navigator. Your Daily Personal Navigator is your best friend during your time on the cruise. Inside your Personal Navigator you will find out about that days evening entertainment, where the ship will be that day (at sea or at port) and what other entertainment, character meet and greets, movie theater schedule and special events. On our first cruise we hardly looked at the Personal Navigator and missed many special things we would have enjoyed.
We all know about the kids programs that the Disney Cruise Line has available (maybe not in exacting detail but we do know they have a full-time kids program) but not much is said about what is available for adult entertainment. This is where the Personal Navigator becomes crucial. If you are interested in learning more about Disney, the company, the movie studio, the man and people who it make it all happen at Disney check out Disney Behind the Scenes. These offer everything from documentary movies discussing Disney history in the development of the animation and film industry to lectures by Disney Imagineers and others important to Disney. There is also the Art of Disney Entertainment. Here you may learn such things as towelgami were cooking Disney dishes. We were fortunate enough to have Chef Marcel of Club 33 teach us how to cook three different dishes served in Club 33. There are also various ship tours focusing on different things along with wine and ale tastings. All but the wine and ale tasting are free!
Another important reason to check your Personal Navigator is to look for sales. Here you will be notified of sales at Shutters (photo and camera shop) and the other shipboard shops. You will also find classes that give helpful hints on how to shop at your next Port of Call.
The two most important people on the ship for you to get to know are your Stateroom Host/Hostess and your Head Dining Server. You can go to either one of these people and ask any question you need answered. What they don’t know they will find out. If they cannot find it out immediately they will call you in your state room or on your wave phone when they have the answer. If you can’t find either one of these wonderful people and have a question you can either call or go to the Guest Relations Desk. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. No question is a stupid question unless it is the question you don’t ask. Then it is stupid because you did not ask it.
I know I’ve said this before but it is important that this be restated again. If you have any allergies make sure you let Disney Cruise Line know! If you tell them about your allergies they will go above and beyond to protect you. If you do not tell them they can’t help you. This could ruin your entire trip! Neither you nor the cruise line wish that to happen.
This may seem like a simple thought but maybe something easily overlooked by some. Make sure you take plenty of batteries for your camera and other electronic devices. Make sure you take chargers for things like your phone. You most likely will turn your phone off when you get to the ship and leave it in your stateroom safe but you will still want to charge it up for your trip home. If you bring rechargeable batteries bring chargers to recharge them. With all the modern electronic devices that we all carry daily I highly recommend bringing a power bar or two along with an extension cord. There are not many outlets in your stateroom. The extension cord is doubly important on the Magic and Wonder if you use a medical device at night that needs to be plugged in near your bed. The Magic and Wonder do not have electrical outlets near the beds and you will need an extension cord to plug things like CPAPs in. While the Dream and Fantasy have outlets next to the bed you will need to unplug something (the clock or iPod docking station) to plug anything in next to the bed. This is where a power bar will come in handy.
The most important thing to remember on a Disney Cruise is to just relax and have fun. Let the kids be kids and run around having fun! Let the kids go off to the Kids Clubs while you enjoy yourself either sitting in the pool, going to the spa or enjoying one of the adult adventure options. There are plenty of family fun things to do to this many as you want!

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