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Friday, April 16, 2010

Disney Cruise Line Tips and Information!

 Advice, Tips, Info...your first time cruiser's S.O.S.
Since I've made it known that I am going on a DCL cruise for the first time, I have been really inundated with terrific info and tips from long time cruisers.  THANK YOU! 
I figured I would share some of that fantastic advice and info. 


Pre Cruise - 
Several people have mentioned the Passporter is the best guide out there for DCL.  I have several WDW Passporters and enjoy them...but I coulndn't find the DCL version - I bought a little Birnbaum book and found that handy, too.  Plus I love the Birnbaum's photos & small, easy to pack size. 

Buy '"pirate supplies" at Party City or other party supply store before you leave - LOL this is one I'll skip

Visit CastawayCayClub.com for useful info and links

Be sure to book your spa appointments asap or as soon as you're on board (we tried to book them online but they were very tight with availability - we're going to try and book asap once aboard the ship - we'll see if we have any luck with that!!  Also..another bit of a tip is to go for the "Rainforest Room session as they say it's economical and well worth it....not sure for me.  I don't care for steam rooms......but it's a combo of a few different things & many people love it.

Embarkation

Do your Palo and Spa reservations, then swim, then eat.  This will be the least crowded the pool will be the whole cruise - except when the ship is in port

Don't miss the sail away celebration!


Once in your Stateroom -

Order a daily wake up call (no thanks!)

The port holes are 4 feet in diameter - you can hang Xmas lights around the inside of the window 
(again - not happening!)

You can ask the cabin steward for matterss liners for the little ones (NA)

Entertainment

Check the board by guest services for the character schedule or call the hotline.  Be early for the princesses
(not sure if three adults care about this one - but if I had kids cruising with me I would be on top of it!)

Call 888-325-2500 to see what movies are showing during your cruise

For "Who Wants to be a Mouseketeer" sit near empty rows or seats to have more chance of being picked

See all the shows and don't leave early!

Kids

Allow kids to participate in the kids program at the end of the cuise - they usually get free t-shirts

Book Flounders Reef on your own rather than relying on concierge or some one else

Do-si-do with Snow White is at 645 pm in the kids club - ask your server to bring dinner first so you get there in time

Take a tee shirt or pillow case with sharpies in a ziploc bag to guest services with the kids' names, ages, and stateroom.  You'll get it returned all signed!

Laundry

Do laundry on port days or very early on sea days

Dryers will require 2 cycles.  Plan quarters accordingly

The laundry on Deck 7 provides more time than on Deck 6

 Meals

Be early at Palo for better seating location

Bring your own water on board - as long as you can contain it in a closed cooler or luggage

DCL is a Coke provider - bring your own if you are a Pepsi product drinker

Eat at least one lunch in Triton's or Lumiere's

Fruit and Cookies are available at Scoops throughout the day

Order the "All Hands on Deck" cheese platter at last once

Order the lemon meringue pie *yum* at the Palo brunch (several people have told me Palo brunch is better than Palo for dinner  - they don't offer the brunch on 3 night cruises, so we'll just have to settle for dinner)  At dinner - the chocolate souffle is suppsed to be fantastic - but must be ordered ahead of time!

Order the room service cake of the day (ok - sounds good to me!!!)

Room Service has Mickey ice cream bars even though that is not listed on the menu

You can get nachos at Pluto's even though they're not on the menu

Enjoy a glass of Fairy Tale Cuvee Champagne... or some Rosa Regale...
*advice from a friend*
Palo... Have the chocolate souffle... Also.. at ANY of the meals. and I suggest this at Palo.. they will bring you 2nd's... 3rds... etc. of ANYTHING... or... if you see more than one thing on the menu that you like as for it. I asked at Palo and got 1/2 servings of say the Rack of Lamb along with my Filet - we also shared several other things from the menu at our table.


Castaway Cay

Bahama Mamas are 2 for 1 (now there's some great info!)

Find the furthest seating away from Cookie's BBQ - it's usually the least crowded

Go to the far side of the Family Beach

Go to the food line at the far right at Cookie's BBQ - it's usually the shortest

Send yourself a postcard from Castaway Cay

Snorekel early before it gets crowded and cloudy

Wait until mid day and you may be able to get a free float by unclaimed owners (OK I don't care for this one....just what I want to get yelled at for taking somebody's float that was lying around lol)

Take the tram all the way out to the adult beach at Serenity Bay. You don't want to walk
Miscellaneous

Disney Dollars can be used at Guest Services toward your account but nowhere else on the ship

Red anchors point toward the back/aft and blue points toward the front 

Deck 4 chairs are comfortable and quiet

The Cove has the best coffee & also free pastries - different from elsewhere on board

Take a large rubber band (like you might get on your mail). If your shower head (hand held slips on a post) slides, you can twist the band and hold it up.

Something weighted (magnets, or even clothesline clips) are useful to keep the shower curtain
from floating in and sticking to you.
If your bathroom smells a little "septic", get really hot tap water and flush the vents in the floor (under the sink area - maybe hidden under a trash can)
Make sure you pack singles for Room Service tips
Get your Drink of the Day the 1st day because it will come in a DCL (plastic) hurricane glass - different colors - that's the only time I saw them serve them
If you see something at the shops that you want... BUY IT!!! 
They only carry just so much on the ships and that goes for the shop on CC, too!

On the Ariel screen up by the family pool.. .they show movies at night. They are fun to watch... sort of like a drive in movie... you can order drinks or get snacks up there.
If you are late dining... make sure you leave in time for the fireworks and the Pirate Party. It will be crowded. Watch them from the Port Side on Deck 10. (they go off on the starboard side and everyone wants to be there... but they ARE up in the air...)
Pack early on the last day because they will take your luggage at 10 pm
 Check your navigators and the screen in the main lobby - it will tell you when the characters are out. Some will be out before dinner and some after.
If you are a DVC owner - go to the reception

Future Booking

 (Now this is going to be important - especially if you have had the time of your life on this cruise!)

Check sailings and dates before you leave home so you have an idea of the cost & can compare


Be sure to book onboard for a future cruise.  You can always transfer that reservation to your favorite travel agent and you'll get onboard credits.  DCL will usually offer discounts for future cruises booked while aboard

Be sure they charge your CC for the deposit before you leave the ship - or it may create
some problems later on

If you do decide to bok onboard for a fruture cruise, do so early - it backs up toward the end of the cruise



And just think... after this first DCL cruise, you will be 
a CASTAWAY CLUB MEMBER!!!

 Thanks to everybody that sent me advice and tips! 
Happy travels!

If you are interested in a Disney Destination, please contact me at Channing@TravelWithTheMagic.com
 or 800-670-4312 ext 124 for a free no obligation quote


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Less than two weeks til our cruise!!!  I am getting very excited! 


Magical travels,
Channing
Channing@TravelWithTheMagic.com