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mommb

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  1. Your assigned time is a Port Arrival time. Once you arrive and check in, you will be given a boarding group number. I haven't been on the Wonder recently, but boarding for the Magic typically starts around 12 noon. Concierge guests will board first, then other guests starting with boarding group number 1. New groups will be called every 5 minutes or so. You can arrive at the port earlier, but your boarding group number will still be based on your assigned Port Arrival time. By 1 pm, the ship may have moved to open boarding, though.
  2. It is unlikely that standard rates will drop. It is possible that if the cruise doesn't fill up Disney Cruise will offer a *GT rate that is lower than the current rate but with some restrictions. For one, you would book an Inside (IGT), Oceanview (OGT) or Verenda (VGT) cabin but wouldn't get your exact cabin assignment until close to your sailing date, and the cabin could be any room within that category. *GT rates also require full payment at time of booking and do not allow changes or cancellations. If you want a last minute cruise deal, keeping your eyes out for announcements of special rates is your best bet. They will show up on the Disney Cruise site here if they become available: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/special-offers/
  3. Disney does not offer post-cruise excursions from Port Canaveral. However, I did find a listing on the DCL website for a bus tour in Miami that can bring guests to the airport: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/port-adventures/miami-florida-hop-on-hop-off-city-tour-with-airport-transfer-onboard-bookings-only/ This excursion can be booked only onboard. I am not sure whether it will show up on your list of excursions when your booking window opens. If it doesn't, you will need to have a back-up plan in case it isn't actually available on your cruise.
  4. A family of 5 on the Wonder can be in a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Veranda (Category 4) or in a concierge suite. All of the Concierge Family Oceanview Staterooms with Veranda (Category V) sleep 5, and all of the 1-Bedroom (Category T) suites sleep 5, except, as DFMW mentioned, the Handicapped-accessible suites. To my knowledge, it is not possible to have 5 people in a room that sleeps 4, even if one is a baby, but as suggested, you could call and ask.
  5. Disney Cruise Line accepts Disney gift cards as payment for the cruise. If you're using a travel agent, you would need to check with that agency to see whether they can handle payments using gift cards and if they have any limitations as to the number or value of cards that can be used. I have never done this, but I have read that it is possible to combine gift cards at https://disneygiftcard.com/ so that you or your travel agent don't need to read off several dozens of digits when making a payment.
  6. As Shmoo describes above, if you are sailing with children ages 3-12, you can do most of the check-in (including listing people who are authorized to pick up your child, and the password they must use to do so) online before your cruise begins. Then, either while waiting in the terminal before boarding or by going to an open house onboard the ship, you will need to verify that information and pick up a wrist band for each child. Throughout the cruise, at any time during operating hours, you can bring your children to the Oceaneer's Club or Lab and sign them in. (If one of the spaces is having an Open House, you will need to either stay with your children in that space or bring them to the other space for secured programming.) If you were able to book a cruise with a party that includes children, then there is enough space to register them for the Club/Lab -- when the number of age 3-12 children who will be onboard reaches a certain capacity, Disney Cruise Line won't book any more parties with children in that age group. There is a very slim possibility that at a particular time, the Club or Lab will be at capacity, meaning the number of children currently in the space is the maximum permitted given the number of staff in the space and DCL's required staff ratios. If this happens, you won't be able to drop off a child until another child leaves, which will probably be within a few minutes. I never saw this happen during 9 cruises with kids in the 3-12 age group, and have not heard of it happening at all in the past 4 years.
  7. When our cruise stopped in Salerno last month, we booked a gastronomic tour through Joe Banana Tours that took us to an olive oil farm (with tastings of at least 20 types of olive oil), a limoncello factory (with tastings of 3 kinds), and a restaurant where we prepared our own pizzas with our choice of fresh toppings. We also stopped at Pompeii, but Joe Banana has a similar tour from Naples that goes to a mozzerella farm instead. There was very little walking, except during a 1/2 hour free-time stop in Sorrento (and of course at Pompeii). We had great views of the area while being driven from place to place.
  8. When my kids were young (3 and 7) they enjoyed the Ardastra Gardens zoo. It's not large, but it has a cute "marching flamingoes" show. We visited as part of an excursion that included a stop at the Queen's Staircase (during which I stayed on the bus with my sleeping daughter) but you could probably get to the zoo on your own.
  9. As you can see from the menu above, Palo has many vegetarian and fish options on the menu. (The same is true for brunch -- many meatless options, especially if you eat fish and shellfish.) The Remy menus may look less accomodating, but you can get a meal made just for you. If you choose to dine at Remy, it wouldn't hurt to stop by before your meal (such as the evening of embarkation day) and make sure that your dietery restrictions are noted on your reservation. That will give the chef time to think about what to make you. My husband and I don't eat meat or shellfish, he is allergic to bell peppers, and I don't eat mushrooms. When we dined at Remy on the Dream, we each got meals that were perfect for us. For most of the courses, we each had different dishes. We both left fully satisfied. For a special occasion, my vote would be Remy because it is something special. You wouldn't go wrong with Palo, either, though. (We have dined at Palo on every one of our 12 cruises except the 3-night when we dined at Remy.)
  10. If there are characters at dinner, they will probably be "face" characters such as princesses. It is much less likely to see "costumed" characters at dinner (except at character breakfasts), although some years ago Mickey did show up briefly at dinner at Animator's Palate. It would be difficult for characters with limited visual acuity to walk between the tables.
  11. Choosing dining time is really a matter of your family's preference. All shows are scheduled so those with early dining see the show after dinner (during late dining) and those with late dining see the show before dinner (during early dining). Because most of the ship will be at either dinner or a show at any given time, there won't be a significant difference in the kids' club activities offered during each dining time. There may be slightly more activity during late dining, because more families opt for early dining. However, if you have late dining and there is an activity your child really wants to attend at the kids' club, you can ask your server to expedite your child's dinner.
  12. The recommended gratuity on Disney cruises is $13.50 per person per day, which covers gratuities for the cabin steward ($4.50) and the dining room server ($4.50), assistant server ($3.50), and head server ($1.00). The recommended total will be charged to the stateroom account for each guest, but can be adjusted by going to Guest Services. A day before departure, each stateroom will receive a set of tip envelopes with cards for each tipped position that can be given to the staff. The gratuities on the room account are actually “paid” electronically, so it is not essential to deliver the envelopes. Gratuities can be paid in cash instead of or in addition to the amount charged to the room.
  13. Disney transportation from the airport to the ship is on a bus that doesn’t have appropriate seat belts for car seats or booster seats. If your are taking private transportation, such as a rental car or van, you will need to either bring a car seat or make sure the company provides one. Most excursions buses can’t handle car seats or booster seats. Private cars probably will not have car seats. I don’t know if it is possible to bring your own, since we did only bus excursions when my kids were young enough for car seats.
  14. Children ages 8-12 can be given permission by parents to check themselves in and out of the Oceaneers Club and Lab. Children registered in Edge must have self check-out permission, because Edge sometimes has activities in other places around the ship. When either the Club or Lab is having an open house (meaning anyone can attend, including adults), the other area will have secure programming (meaning only registered children and counselors are allowed). At least one area will be open throughout the day, from morning through after dinner (11 or 12). If you want to make sure your children eat, it’s best to get them food before they check into the club. That’s easy to do from various places on the pool deck as well as from the buffet and main dining room.
  15. If there is space in the parent’s room, having the child actually stay in the parents’s room will not be a problem. You should be able to get a Key to the World card to allow the child access to the parents’ room. There are a couple of minor effects. The official lifeboat station will be the room in which the child was booked, which could be different from the station for the other room. This should affect only the lifeboat drill. In order for the child to leave the ship without the grandmother who is in the booked room, she will need to sign a release allowing the child’s parents permission to take the child off the ship.
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