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  1. #1

    • Drunk On Disney
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    Smile What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Hi all,

    I just came back from a cruise on the Disney Wonder. It set sail from Cape Canaveral on Sat July 19th and returned on Thurs July 23. It included a day at Nassau, a day at Castaway Cay and a day at sea.

    Even with all of the research I did (online, with the Birnbaum book and with the Disney DVD) I still was in the dark about many things.

    I wanted to post some of the best tips I could think of for future guests.



    Here you go:

    1. Bring a watch. I use my cell phone as a "watch" but about 30 minutes after we left Cape Canaveral the time on it was no longer correct. I constantly had to ask people for the time and I heard from dozens of people that they had the same problem. So, stick a watch in your suitcase. You will need it to get to dinner, shows and events on time.

    2. Need lots of power? Bring an extension cord or a power strip (or ask for one as soon as you get aboard.) State rooms have less outlets than most hotel rooms and do not have one near the bed in most rooms.

    3. Early riser? You may have to wait for breakfast. The earliest time to get breakfast at one of the restaurants was 7am and the nicer sit down places don't open until 8am.
    There isn't much to do on the ship before 8am either (unless you like working out.)

    4. Like to work out? The ship has a great jogging "track" around one of the decks. It is a very cool feeling to run by the ocean as the ship sails. Also the ship has a very nice gym with tredmills that face the water.
    In addition, there are many activities. Yoga classes, spinning classes, a 5k race on Castaway Cay were among the many free events you could take part in.

    5. Tips? This felt a bit odd to me (a first time cruiser.) You can pre-pay all your tips in advance. It was $48 a person on my cruise. After that, no matter where you dined you didn't tip. I don't even think you COULD tip. You just show up at a restaurant, the waiter takes your order and you eat and leave. That's it (unless you order alcoholic beverages.) You didn't have to show a room card or anything. It felt so strange just getting up at the end of a meal and waving good bye to the waiter.

    6. No cash needed. They don't seem to accept cash on the ship anywhere. It didn't matter if you were buying a $5 drink by the pool or a candy bar at the movie theater. You had to charge it to your room.
    You would need cash for a Bahamas' excursion and to tip the guy who brings your bags ON the ship when you arrive.

    7. Don't watch Disney movies before the cruise! The ship has 2 great theaters. The Walt Disney Theatre (mostly used for elaborate Broadway style shows... but did show a movie during the day at sea) and the beautiful Buena Vista Theatre. During my cruise they showed the following films: Race to Witch Moutain, Disneynature: Earth, Bolt, Hannah Montana The Movie, The Proposal and Up.
    A few people in my party were sorry they had seen some of these films at the theater at home when they found out they could go see them on the ship.

    8. Safety drill. The only serious part of the cruise was the safety drill. It took place at 4pm on the day we boarded. Everyone (and they do mean everyone) has to grab a life jacket and go to an assigned spot. They know if you don't show up. Don't skip it. It's quick and painless.

    9. Disembarking. This seemed to shock a lot of guests. On the last morning you had to vacate your room by 8am. The late breakfast was at 8:15am. Then they needed you to leave. There were no activities on the last day.

    10. Photos. They don't have a convient "Photo Pass" system on the ship. They do attach some photos to your "room key" but many others (taken in the dining room, on Castaway Cay and in other places) were just taken and then put on the wall in Shutters (the photo store) if you liked them, you picked it up and took it to the counter.

    11. Soda. This was a bit confusing. On Deck 9 ( one of the top decks) they have free soda (and free paper cups) they also give you free soda at all meals.
    I found tons of conflicting info about this online (for example many posts said you had to buy a special soda mug like you do at the Disney Resorts.) I assume the policy has changed over the years.
    On my cruise soda was free and available.

    If you have any tips, please post them. If you see anything I got wrong, correct me!

    Have fun!

  2. #2

    • Drunk On Disney
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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    12. Sanitary hand wipes: The cruise line gives out hand wipes ALL the time. Every time you enter a restaurant they hand you one.

  3. #3

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Oh my goodness! Thank you soooo much! I'm going on a Disney Cruise in a few monthes and will have to turn my phone off but I always imagined myself looking at the time on my phone. Hahaha. I'm an airhead. I will definitely keep this thread in mind when it's getting closer to the cruise! Thank you!
    ...After a YEAR I finally was able to figure out my password again! I'm baaack! Woohoo!(:
    Disney is my life <3
    Thank Walt for all he did! <3
    Future Imagineer <3
    Keep Disney the way Walt intended it!!


  4. #4

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Then your phone probably takes its time signal from the network. Out at sea, the ship turns on their own network, which usually is from Bahamas I think, so they might have a different time signal.

    Depending on what kind of phone you habe, the time synch can be turned off. Or just switch your phone to airline mode, then it won't take the network time either.

    Been on many cruises, but never had a problem with this. It is strange though to use your phone in the Mediterranean for example and then have a bahamian mobile phone network show up on the bill later. :-)

  5. #5

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Good tips. You will want to contact your phone carrier to see if they can tell you general rates while at sea. We turn our phones completely off when we cruise. I don't want any surprise phone bills.
    On our first cruise, my husband bought a watch at the gift shop!

    Yes, it's a cash-less society. If you don't want to have everything charged to your credit card, go to Guest Services on deck 3, everyday and pay the balance that is on your shipboard account in cash before it charges to your card.

    The only place that soda is free is at the beverage stations and at your meals. If your kids want snacks for the show, get your drinks (with lids) at the beverage station, and then get some foods at one of the other venues that are free like Pluto's or Pinocchio's and avoid Preludes. It is tempting though, being right outside of the theater, and they offer candy. They also have waiters taking orders for drinks inside the theater. There is a charge for bottled water too.

  6. #6

    • Don't mess with the duck!
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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Good things to know. Thanks!

  7. #7

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    We take large plastic refillable mugs, bigger than the ones you can get at Disney World, because we love to sit in the hot tub with a soda, or rather, rum and coke, and the free soda bar is at the opposite end of the ship from the hot tub. We also bring out own coffee and percolator.

  8. #8

    • I Miss Carnation Plaza
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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Almost all cruise lines now operate cash-less. It's designed to make it harder for the employees to steal money.

    Many years ago, tipping was customary for your stateroom attendant, and your waiter. Partly because of people not tipping, and also due to the challenges of having that much cash floating around, most cruiselines have opted for the "pre-tip" option. Personally, I don't like it, and while I have no proof, I tend to believe the cruise line might be "skimming" some off the top of the tips. If I tip in cash, at least I know the staff is getting 100% of the money.

    Oh, and one good tip - pack swimsuits in the bag you carry onto the ship. If you board right as soon as they let you, typically noon, you will have several hours before you see your bags and you will want to use the pools. This is about as uncrowded as the pools get, and your kids will beg to have their swimsuits and jump in immediately!

  9. #9

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Great tips everyone! Thanks for adding them!

  10. #10

    • Cars Land Rocks!
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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Nice tips ... We haven't done a cruise yet, probably won't for few years until our son gets older, but good things to know.





  11. #11

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Quote Originally Posted by scillacc View Post
    We take large plastic refillable mugs, bigger than the ones you can get at Disney World, because we love to sit in the hot tub with a soda, or rather, rum and coke, and the free soda bar is at the opposite end of the ship from the hot tub. We also bring out own coffee and percolator.
    How big are the cups they provide? Are they normal fast-food sized with lids and straws. We do have a couple of big cups from La Salsa we could bring along with us, but I want to bring as few "extras" as possible.

    Also, thanks for all the tips about tips. I tried the tip calculator on another site and it figured we'd need about $300 for tips.
    <o>

  12. #12

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    15. Take a small sling purse. I use it for my room key, lipstick/gloss, kleenex, toothpicks, anti-acids & it will also carry the pager/phones the kid's club give you. Then you done have to keep going back to your room and it's small enough to not bother you.

    I'd also like to know how big their cups are too.

    04/11 - Mexican Riviera, 10nt - DCL :cheer2: 04/10 - GCH, 5 nt :littleangel: 04/09 - DLH, 5nt :flower3: 10/08 - Hawaii, 15nt cruise - RCL pirate: 12/07 - AKL, 9nt Savannah View princess: 04/06 - DLH, 4nt King Suite :cool2: 10/04 - Caribbean, 12nt cruise - Princess :yay: 04/04 - GCH, 4nt :woohoo: 11/02 - Jolly Roger, 3nt :banana: 10/01 - Caribbean, 7nt cruise - RCL :cool1: 1965-2000 - too many to count

  13. #13

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    OK I did all the set up for the trip but did not get to go. Grandma paid and took almost the whole family but we bailed due to husband deplying. She asked me to send some advice to you all here it goes.

    If you are traveling with a special needs family member tell them when you book your cruse. My family got a lot of help with a granddaughter on how to handle her needs on a ship from Disney cruse line. They also set up some things she could do at her level of ability for fun.
    They also worked very well with food allergies. Grandma was given a number and talked to a chef about the Family's allergies and his ideas to work around them. He did an awesome job!

  14. #14

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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Start think about vaccination SIX month before your Cruise.

    Tips
    you can do a tips card before or the last night of the cruise.
    you Use Phone card as tips, This was post by someone.

    Do all paper work and chargs the night before disembark.

    Non-US citizen need get up at 6:30 am to have all the US custom paper work done.

    do not disembark to fast there will be a long line for us custom desk.
    AKfandisney Have a Magic Disney day șoș 2010
    Alan





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  15. #15

    • Drunk On Disney
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    Re: What you should know before you take a Disney Cruise...

    Quote Originally Posted by akfandisney View Post

    Non-US citizen need get up at 6:30 am to have all the US custom paper work done.
    This is a GREAT tip! Thanks!

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