That is a vast oversimplification LOL. But much prettier.
Thank you! I’m going back through my photos now to make a video that I’ll post on YouTube! I’ll share it here when it’s done.
On our cruise, we had rain and wind on Pirate night and they went off -course to get out of the rain so we could have fireworks. Our cruise was opposite, as we went straight to Ensenada the first night and then meandered on our way back for our day at sea.
Rapunzel is one of my favorite princesses!
I had some thoughts about things I wish they had made clearer. These are things I had to learn by paying very close attention while on the ship, do a lot of google searching, etc.
- You can go to your stateroom around 1-2pm. They don’t tell you when your stateroom is ready. You just have to check. For us, boarding time (12:45pm) was so late that I think rooms were ready basically right after boarding for most guests. I wish I had known this because we changed into our swimsuits in a bathroom. Totally unnecessary.
- Luggage comes staggered and again, they don’t tell you when it’s there. I first arrived at our stateroom at 3:30pm after lunch and a run down the Twist’n’Shout. Three out of four of our “checked” suitcases were there. Our fourth arrived by the time we returned after Muster Drill around 4:15pm.
- Your Key to the World card is clipped to the wall outside your stateroom. Again, they don’t tell you when it is there. They don’t send you a notification of how or where to get it. If they mentioned this anywhere at all, I missed it.
- The Restaurant General Manager can change your seating or rotation (NOT guest services). I had to wait in a line at GS to find this out. The restaurant manager was found in the Scat Cat Lounge on the first afternoon of our cruise. You may want to ask a CM where the restaurant manager is rather than wait in line at GS. As with much of the info in this post, this may vary on various cruises.
- They close the pools / slides before the muster drill. For us, that means they did a hard shutdown at 3:30pm so everyone could get dressed and get to their stations. They also close at certain times – I think during docking and push back from port – other times it seemed random, possibly for cleaning.
- The first time you check your kids into Kids Club, you need extra time to confirm details and get wristbands. This can take 15 minutes or so of waiting. You can do it during the open house or skip it then (just pass by the folks in line and enter the club) and come back later. But once the club is open you must wait in the line. Most other times check in / out was pretty quick, except around meal / show times.
- You need to put your “checked” luggage outside your stateroom on your last night by a certain time that is announced on your cruise – for us it was 10pm. I had to watch a 20-minute loop of announcements on the TV to find the precise time, because there was nowhere else where they said the specific time. I looked online and most sources said “8-10pm.” I was also able to ask our Housekeeper and she confirmed the 10pm time.
- You don’t have to rush in the morning of debarkation day if you don’t want to. You can skip your dining room seating and just go to the buffet or coffee shop (or skip breakfast altogether). You can also probably show up a little late for your seating as long as you eat quickly (don’t push this, but ask at the restaurant if you have concerns). You just have to be out of your stateroom by the announced time (8am for us.) This time is the “real” deadline you need to observe. The other times are more like suggestions. A lot of things (like gift shops) will be closed on debarkation day, but you can still wander the ship if you want. You can also purchase a photo package at the photo shop.
- You need your Key to the World cards to debark on the last day. I very nearly missed this. I think it was buried in the app somewhere in the debarkation instructions (which I read thoroughly but I doubt everyone does) that said to make sure not to pack your Key to the World cards in your checked luggage. I would be surprised if at least a few people don’t make that mistake each cruise, and I wonder how they handle it. It should go without saying that you will need your passports as well, so always keep those with you.
- In general, CMs / crew don’t know the answers to every question. You have to find a specific crew member in the group that your question relates to: dining, kids’ clubs, crew, photos, spa, excursions, etc. Most can at least tell you directions on how to get around. If you ask the wrong CM, they could give you inaccurate info in the interest of being helpful.
I need to send this feedback to DCL cause all of this should be posted very clearly in the app if not on the ship – especially 1, 2, 3, 7, and 9. Maybe they need to send special bulletins as a message to all cruisers.
Chime in if you have other ideas of tips that I should add!
Oh no!! I swear I had posted this on the forums in my cruise-ramblings. I did search & see it was in response to someone else’s Palo reservations so easy to miss as being an answer for how to change anything dining related!
I definitely felt very grateful that we had my husband’s cousin and his wife who have been a handful of DCL cruises to help show us the ropes. A lot of the surprises like this were lessened/eliminated by having them there to help guide us. Oh! And I thought of one to add: you’ll need to know your table number at dinner. On our first cruise, DH’s cousin & his wife knew this & so I missed the detail of how they found out and just knew our table number after then.
Then, on our first night on our second cruise when it was just us they asked us “Table number?” as we arrived and I was like “Uhhh, I don’t know, do you know?” and I had to pull up the app to find it in the app for them to know where to take us. So that was another one for me.
It only cost me 2-3 minutes honestly. But there’s no way I would have had the mental capacity to remember no matter how many times you told me – I needed it posted somewhere right when I needed the info. That’s the problem with being a first-time cruiser! There’s too much info to digest.
Next time will be better, but hopefully at least one of the items on my list will help someone someday.
This is a good one! At least the table number is listed prominently in the app (for me at least, it was listed with our dinner seating on the home page of the app as an upcoming plan).
I get that! There is so much to know!
About the dinner table number. True, I think I assumed I knew everything there was to know about dinner so didn’t register a table # being there or that I needed to know it to tell the serving team. And totally missed how it was discovered because someone else did it for me the first time!
I think I found it out because as we were in line, one of the CMs said to get out our app and find our table number. So that was one situation where they did communication right!
All these things do seem daunting… I’ll probably never get to go, but I’ve bookmarked everything!!
Oh I hope you do get to go! It’s certainly chaotic the first time, but so much fun. And then if you’re lucky enough to do it again you know all the ropes and it’s so much more fun!
Agreed! I’m glad we did a shorter, cheaper, closer, lower stress option for our first cruise. Now I’ll feel more confident about everything that goes into a more ambitious itinerary.
You were soooo smart! I probably should’ve taken just my family on a SD sailing at some point before dragging DSIL & her family across the country to a 5 night with Cozumel. That was stressful trying to help her do it while doing it my first time. She is a busy person in general and would put off a lot of me saying “Ok, you should be doing your passport applications now” or “Make sure you have copies of everyone’s birth certificates for online check-in” etc, etc.
DS was in Yuma last week for work, $3.79. I bought gas yesterday for $4.89! And gas is usually cheaper in SoCal than northern CA.
As you can see, I’m behind again!
Finaly finished the first of two slideshows for our trip!
This one covers the Disneyland portion and is 22 min:
Now working on the DCL one which should be about 15 min.
Awww! That was lovely!
Thank you for watching!
I actually think they are not allowed to do this.
No dropping anchor I guess? In any case, it makes for a more exciting cruise to be moving.