1st Time Disney Cruiser

Hey Everyone ! I post about this in chat, too, but hopefully I can learn from the experts here.

We have cruised twice before, but not for 10 years. Now we have a DD10 and DD7, and are looking at cruising on the Fantasy in April, 2016.

Any advice or tips to get us started ? Should I book directly with Disney, or is there a better avenue ? Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated ! Thanks !

I’d recommend using a TA since it is your first time. Also, some agencies will offer onboard credit for booking with them. We chose Dreams Unlimited for that reason. (BTW, our agent Allison R was amazing.)

Tips for cruising:
Disney sells popcorn and snacks outside of the theater. You can get free food up at the CS on Deck 11 and bring it with you instead of paying extra.

Late dining is great. Yes, your dinner is a bit later but you also don’t have to eat breakfast at 7am on departure day.

Eat out on the deck at Cabanas. Beautiful view.

Spend the extra money for a veranda. It is worth it.

Think about signing up for a Fish Extender.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-cruise-line/meets.htm

Have fun!

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Thanks for the helpful advice, @daisykingdom91 !

We did early dining and would definitely do that again. We liked being done with dinner by 630-7p and having the evening hours to roam the ship. By 9-10p we were OUT! :wink:

If your kids are interested in princesses be sure to sign up for that ASAP when you board. Do the on-line check-in, and make sure right at the earliest mark you hop on to get any excursions/adult dining/etc. that you might like.

We had mid-ship deck 7 and really liked being towards the middle - both in levels and central ship area.

I think a travel agent is a good idea if you want help with all the details - it would have saved me so much time.

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My husband and I just did our first cruise in February 2015. The main things we felt were “lessons learned” were:

  1. Rent a car to get to the terminal. We felt like we got there quite late using the transfer from WDW hotels and barely caught the end of lunch. Our transfer was delayed by about 30 minutes, so that didn’t help and you really have no control. We will rent a car next time and return in near the port rather than paying for parking.
  2. Pack less in the day bag. I should have crammed more into the checked suitcase. We each had a backpack and I got rather tired of carrying mine.
  3. Stay on the ship in Nassau or go on an organized port adventure your first time. Our plan was to just wander around and it didn’t turn out to be very fun. I know this works for some people who are more familiar but I was worried about getting lost and such. We were on a short itinerary and will be doing the same one next year and I think we may just stay on the ship at Nassau; there’s plenty to do and see!
  4. Better not to check bag to airline from ship so toiletries can be put into luggage. Our onboard airline check-in got mixed up somehow, but I think that worked to our advantage. We didn’t realize until after our checked bag was taken on the last night that we hadn’t gotten the sticker tag for the airline. That meant we had to get our own bag while in the terminal but I was glad it turned out that way so we could put our items from the last morning (including liquids that couldn’t be carried on) into the checked bag before handing it over to the airline.
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Thanks, @armandl !

With kids I’d suggest early dining. Try not to overbook your day. I try to relax more on a cruise.

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