Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tips for 1st Time Disney Cruisers

Tips for 1st Time Disney Cruisers (And All the Rest of Us too)


So what can make your 1st Disney Cruise better? Well I’ve gathered a few tips together for you.

Before you leave:
1.     Pick your cruise dates carefully. Are you willing to risk the weather interfering with your cruise? Hurricanes keep you from ports and give you a rocky ride. Snow at other times of the year can make travel to the port difficult.
2.    Tell Disney Cruise Line about any medical conditions and allergies.
3.    Look closely at your Cruise Documents! Make sure all names and information is correct.
4.    Make sure you know and understand all important dates in your Cruise Documents. This information will tell you when your cruise must be paid for, last date to cancel trip without penalty and when you can book your Port and Shipboard Adventures.
5.    Make sure you look at the Port Adventures ahead of time and know the first date you can book them. Book your Port Adventures the first day you are allowed too! The most popular Port Adventures fill up weeks before the cruise leaves.
6.    Make sure to book your Shipboard Adventures ahead of time. This is especially true for Palo’s and Remy’s adult only restaurants! If you wait until you get to the ship to book you most likely will not get in.
7.    Make sure to tell Disney Cruise Line about any special celebrations. Are you celebrating your Birthday or Anniversary months late or early? Tell them before you go! It does not have to be the actually date just the day you are choosing to celebrate.
8.    Decide if you want to be part of a Fish Extender Meet. This can add excitement well before the trip as you gather and make goodies to give. Do this months in advance. You can find Fish Extender groups on Facebook and on DisBoards and other fan sites.
9.    Decide if you will decorate your door with magnets. Will you purchase magnets at the park, have them made or make them yourself?
10.  Think carefully about what to pack. Leave room to bring home goodies! Consider shipping some things ahead to the port for Disney to load for you. Make sure you know what items are not allowed on the ship! (Listed in your Cruise Documents) This will save time and frustration when boarding the ship.

On the Way and On the Ship:
1.     Make sure all necessary items are in your carry-on bag. Cruise documents, identification, medication, medical equipment, camera, extra batteries, snack, change of clothing, swimsuit, valuables and pins if you trade are a must! You may also want to consider taking a book or ereader, deck of cards, games and other things to entertain yourself while you travel and wait to board.
2.    Look at all papers they had you in port right away! There will be a lot of information on that day’s schedule as well as the overall schedule for the cruise.
3.    Relax when you finally board the ship. Enjoy and be excited! Let the kids bounce around but be watchful. It may have been a hard/long trip to get there, now is the time to enjoy. Your cabin will not be ready until later in the day (usually by 2 or 3 pm) so grab a map of the ship, go for a swim, get something to eat and just look around. This gives you a chance to get familiar with the ship.
4.    If you have younger kids make sure you get to the Sail Away Deck Party! This is a great way for your kids to get to know the Kids Club Staff in a fun and non-threating way. They will be more likely to go to the Kids Clubs if you do this.
5.    Look at your Personal Navigator that is left in your room every night before going to sleep. This is your BEST FRIEND on the ship! This will allow you to plan your next day’s activities and keep you from missing things you would enjoy. It gives you times and locations for everything broken down by age group.
6.    For kids don’t force them into the Kids Clubs but highly encourage it. They will be sorry if they skip out. Maybe force a few hours during the first day or so to get them in.
7.    Just because it is a Disney Ship don’t think all activities/locations are for the entire family. Look at the Navigator to see if you’re hoped for activity is for Kids, Families, Teens or Adults. If it is for Kids then no Teens or Adults allowed unless stated. If it is for Teens no little Kids or Adults allowed. If it is stated as Family Fun Activity then the entire Family can enjoy together. If it is listed as Adult no Children or Teens are allowed.
8.    Just because it is a Disney Ship don’t think there is nothing for Adults to do! Look for the Wine/Ale tasting, Art of Disney Entertainment, Disney Behind the Scenes and Tours as well as doing some swimming at the Quite Cove Pool, Spa time, and meals at the Adult only restaurants and lounges.
9.    Give your family breaks! Make sure there is time for all of you together to just relax and do things together as well as time apart! Let the kids spend an entire day in the Kids Club so you can spend the day with each other at the Quiet Cove Pool or doing other things you enjoy.
10.  Get to know both your Dinner Serving Staff and your Cabin Host. They are the go to people to solve problems you may have on the ship. You start with them and if they can’t solve the problem they will know who can.
11.   Realize before going there is no way you can do and/or see everything on the ship or in the ports during one cruise! RELAX enjoy and plan another trip later!

12.  Book your next cruise while on the ship! This will save you money and you will get a shipboard credit on the next cruise! You may also get a reduced deposit. Don’t worry about the date. If you can’t book the dates you want then book the furthest dates out. You can reschedule later keeping the discounts and shipboard credits.

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