Disney Cruise Questions Answered

I’ve combed through all of your questions on the Disney Cruise and provided answers below.  Keep them coming if there is more you need to know!!

June 2013 345

Q: Did you do the the fish extender activity? It’s all over DIS Boards and I didn’t know if was something that people really did or they just talked about!
A: We did not officially participate in the fish extenders.  I pinned a bunch of ideas before the trip but never got around to making the actual fish extenders.  We did see one (but only one) on a cabin on our deck.  We have a tradition of doing “Messages from Mickey” with little treats each day so we continued that on the boat.  Mother also packed little treats for each of her grands and delivered them each night at bedtime :-)

Q: Did you hear anything about the Castaway 5k?
A: We didn’t hear a thing about it until the night before on the Navigator (daily schedule of activities) left in our cabin!  It was at 8 or 8:15AM the morning that we docked at Castaway.  Honey wished he had known about it and definitely plans to run when we sail next time.  I saw a gal walking around Castaway with a darling big black Mickey first place medal and was super jealous :-)

Q: Where did you get the black striped dress??!!
A: It’s actually navy :-)  It’s Lilly Pulitzer scored at the end of summer sale last year.  It runs a little snug and I’ve heard there might be some on ebay from another reader.

Q: Where did you get Whit’s pirate costume?
A: I ordered it online from Disney Store for a STEAL after Halloween last year.

Q: Which Disney cruise ship were you all on?
A: We were on the Dream.  I dream of sailing the Fantasy one day too :-)

Q: Did you feel that your cruise was a good length of time?
A: It was a great length of time.  The Dream sails the same ports on a three night cruise and I’m so glad we did the four night and had the extra day at sea.  There was still loads of stuff we didn’t get to do and we look forward to sailing again and trying out different things.

Q: Did you need a passport to sail?
A: At the time we sailed to the Bahamas we did not.  My passport was still valid so I did use it.  Honey needed his drivers license and birth certificate.  The boys only needed birth certificates.  The process was seamless for all of us.  That being said, I’ve heard it can change so definitely check if/when you sail and know that it varies based on your ports of call!

Q: Is the kids club included in the price or do you have to pay by the hour?
A: It is included and is open from 9AM – midnight (1AM on Pirate Night).  Best babysitting EVER!

Q: Can you give some packing tips? Things you packed, wish you had packed and how you determined what you were going to wear? Like what clothes/shoes/makeup would be good to bring along the cruise?
A: The good news is that the beds on this ship were raised high enough that we could slide all of our empty suitcases underneath once we unpacked.  I was worried I’d be using them as pillows :-)  We packed normal toiletries but used their shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer.  Take plenty of sunscreen because it’s quite pricey on board.  I over packed on the clothes because I didn’t realized we’d spend most of the day in a swim suit.  Next time I’ll plan on having a swim suit (two would have been enough for the 5 days) and cover-up for the days and then something to wear at night.  I was glad I brought my pool bag because I carried that with me during the day and kept our camera and signature books in it for easy access.

Q: Did you feel the ship moving at all and did it bother anyone in your group?
A: I was worried about this because ever since my first pregnancy I’ve had trouble with motion sickness in the car.  It’s not terrible, but it’s there.  The first night at dinner I felt the boat move a few times – ever so slightly – but didn’t feel it a single time after that.  Nobody else in our party was bothered by it at all.

Q:  How crowded did the boat feel? In pictures from some people’s cruises it looks like the boat is full but it doesn’t look very crowded in your pictures!
A: HAHA.  Pictures can be deceiving :-)  The boat was crowded.  The pools were very crowded during the day and the AquaDuck line got up to 30 minutes at times.  The pics of only my littles at the pools were taken the first day we boarded the ship before most people had hit the pool.  That being said, the crowd didn’t deter from our fun at all and I didn’t hear anyone in our party complain about a line or a crowd even one single time.

Q: What are the rails like? Did they come up high? Did you ever worry about your children near the rails along the side of the boat?
A: Man, I worried about this many many nights before we boarded.  And then I didn’t give it a second thought on board!  I can barely even remember the rails but I didn’t ever once feel like they were in danger or could possibly fall off.  Now, I never had them out of my line of sight unless they were ensconced in the kids club but there was no way a kid could accidentally fall off the boat unless they were entirely unsupervised and quite the daredevil.

Q: Were there many older kids on the boat like teenagers or just younger ones like yours?? I wonder what age kids feel “too old” for the cruise??
A: This was one of the things we mentioned over and over on the boat… there were plenty of older kids and they seemed to be having a blast!  They were on a much longer leash than kids our age and pretty much ran in little groups enjoying the arcade, grabbing lunch, and hanging in their designated clubs (Edge and Vibe).  We found all of the tweens and teens to be extremely polite and considerate and made a mental note that this would be a fun trip for all for many years to come.

Q:  Any tips for what to do/not to do regarding the Pirate night?
A: I read online that the Pirate Night meal wasn’t the best, but we attended anyway and found it just as enjoyable as the rest of the meals!  Definitely dress up!!  It was fun and we saw everything from guys with a head scarf to ladies in full formal Pirate attire.  The deck party was SO crowded.  We didn’t go up until about 10 minutes before hand.  We did find a place to stand and we saw the fireworks but it was the crazies thing we did on the boat crowd wise.  I saw that a lot of people went up much earlier and laid down towels near the upper railings and just hung there until it all started.  That seemed like a great idea if you want to see the show and lay your claim.

Q: How about early or late dinner?
A: There are benefits to both!  Main (early) seating is at 5:45 and the show you will attend each night is at 8:30.  This was a good time for our families and everyone was sufficiently tired and hungry by this hour.  A few night we had our waiter bring out the kids’ meals first and then we ran them up to the kids club to play.  The late seating is at  8:15 (I think??) and they go to the show before they eat.  If you do the late seating and have kids, cast members will escort them to the kids club for you at a designated time!  All things considered, we would probably do the early seating again next time.

Q: Do you have any new tricks or new links you have heard about for Disney’s Enchanted Call?
A: This special call is still offered for cruise goers through the planning center once your reservation has been made.  Sadly, I can no longer find the service available otherwise.  If anyone has a new link, send it our way!!

Q:  Did you guys stay in a hotel there the night before or drive and embark the same day?
A:  We spent two days in Disney World before heading over to Port Canaveral for the cruise.  It was an easy drive – no more than 1.5 hours.  Sister and her Mister stayed in Amelia Island the night before and Mother and Daddy-O drove in from Savannah the morning of.  So, anything is possible!  All things considered, I would definitely get myself somewhere within an hour or two of Port Canaveral the night before for a good night’s sleep, worry free travel to the port and as much time on the boat as possible.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn Lake Buena Vista this time for $89/night.

Q: Do you park at the dock or close to it? Or do you need ground transportation to and from hotel or parking deck?
A: When arriving at the boat, you pull up curbside and unload everything but your carry-ons right there at the curb.  You park in the parking deck and it is smooth sailing from there.  No other transportation is needed.  Parking at the terminal was $75.

Q: How did your parents enjoyed the cruise? My children are
grown, and we have no grands, but would still like to do a Disney cruise. My
husband is not that thrilled with the idea. Are there some adult only spaces?
How about some more adult activities? Would your parents do this cruise by
themselves, or stick to a traditional cruiseline?
A: I’m hoping they will weigh in, but they LOVED every second on the cruise.  There will definitely be kids in the restaurants and shared spaces but there is an adult pool, a spa, an entire “nightclub” space called the District and two adult restaurants.  Since our initial voyage, they have cruised 3 times without us (the horror!)  They love some of the seminars that are offered, like the mixology class.  They also love Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay and the adult only pool area on ship.  Another favorite is to purchase a Rainforest Room pass in the spa.

Q: Did you find it to be clean?

A: Immensely so!  We figured it was just as important to Disney to have it clean and prevent illness from spreading as it was to the passengers.  For example, at the entrance to every restaurant they had a cast member greet you and hand you a hand sanitizing wipe.  I also had mini hand sanitizers and wipes on me at all times, but that’s not out of the ordinary.  I did make a concerted effort to be sure to use them and make Honey use them as usually I’m pretty focused on just making the boys clean up.

Q: Where do you stay the night before the cruise?

A:  Since the Disney Dream is a 3 or 4 night voyage, we generally spend a couple of nights before the trip at Disney World.  It is about 1 hour from the port.  We usually don’t have park tickets on this short stays, but just enjoy the resorts and Disney Springs.  There is plenty to do without ever going in the parks!  My parents prefer to drive in and stay close to port the night before.  After trying a few places, they have settled on the Hampton Inn on Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach as their favorite based on price and other factors. They like it because it is close to the port, has breakfast included and offers a 40% discount on parking at port. (which is $75-85 usually)

I hope this helped clear some things up for y’all!  I was in a post cruise depression for a few days and everyone in our family keeps saying things like… “That was a great day at the pool.  It only could have been better if we were still on the boat.”  Truly the best vacation ever!!
xoxo

As an independent consultant with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise LineDisneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other delightful destinations.
Start designing your dream vacation today!

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9 thoughts on “Disney Cruise Questions Answered

  1. Hi! I was wondering how your parents enjoyed the cruise? My children are grown, and we have no grands, but would still like to do a Disney cruise. My husband is not that thrilled with the idea. Are there some adult only spaces? How about some more adult activities? Would your parents do this cruise by themselves, or stick to a traditional cruiseline? Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. Did you find it to be clean? I worry so much about cruises b/c of sanitation issues in the new, but they were not Disney vessels. Thank you!

  3. We have been on four Disney Cruises (our kids are now 17 and 14), and we have post-cruise depression EVERY SINGLE TIME that they are over! :) Even though our kids are almost grown, they always want to go on the Disney Cruise when we ask them where they want to go on vacation. Truly, it is the best trip ever. :) So glad that your family had a wonderful time….

  4. thanks for answering my question! this is SO helpful!! i appreciate it! living vicariously through your disney cruise posts! cant wait for the day i go on one!!! :)

  5. Thank you so much for all the information-we cruise in October and these posts were so helpful and have gotten me so excited!! Laura H

  6. Hi, love your Disney posts. Thank you. Thinking about a cruise for the kids 4 day break in February. How did you decide which destination you wanted? I see you did the cruise that stopped in the Bahamas and not one of the ones that went to the Carribbean.

  7. Hi Kelly – We went with the port and length of cruise more than a destination! We can drive to Port Canaveral so we knew we wanted to leave from there. And we thought the 4 night sounded like the perfect amount of time. We'd love to try some others in the future but our next one will be the exact same itinerary!

  8. Hello. I enjoy reading your blog…especially your Disney entries. My family and I are planning to spend a couple of days at WDW followed by a 4 night Dream cruise.
    I wanted to know why you book your own WDW vacations but use an agency for DCL? I have already booked the land portion for our family of 3 but remain undecided about which cruise stateroom to choose. We sailed a B2B on the Dream in December 2014 and stayed concierge, but I'm now looking at a more affordable option this time around for a June sailing.
    Also, we scheduled the Supracalifragi.. breakfast for the morning of embarkation and still wanted to use Disney Ground transportation..just not sure about the timing of when the buses leave the resorts and thought perhaps using an agency may avert any scheduling conflicts, as well as help with deciding on a stateroom.
    Thanks, Joy

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