Disney Cruise Line Tip Thread 2.0

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#21
Williamston, Michigan
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
First DCL cruise, why bring a plastic card for the KTTW card? Just asking.
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2008 Freedom of the Seas
2009 Freedom of the Seas
2010 Jewel of the Seas
2011 Majesty of the Seas
2015 Liberty of the Seas
2016 Allure of the Seas
2017 Disney Dream

#22
1,292 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by crancruzer
First DCL cruise, why bring a plastic card for the KTTW card? Just asking.
Not sure I understand the question. If you are referring to comments you may have seen about using credit cards instead of the KTTW card to keep the lights in the room on the Dream and Fantasy, people prefer not to tie up their KTTW card, so they substitute any credit card sized plastic card instead. This way they can keep it in the slot when they leave the room.
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Sandy

Carnival Fantasy 12/96
Disney Magic 8/98, 11/01, 7/03, 10/08, 9/12, 10/14, 10/14, 9/16, 9/18
Disney Wonder 7/00, 10/06, 9/15
Disney Fantasy 9/12, 9/13, 10/17, 10/19

Disney Dream 6/16, 5/17
Carnival Legend 9/06

QM2 11/09
Carnival Freedom 9/10
Sapphire Princess 6/13


#23
Williamston, Michigan
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by gometros
Not sure I understand the question. If you are referring to comments you may have seen about using credit cards instead of the KTTW card to keep the lights in the room on the Dream and Fantasy, people prefer not to tie up their KTTW card, so they substitute any credit card sized plastic card instead. This way they can keep it in the slot when they leave the room.
Yes, this is what I was referring to, so the KTTW card controls the cabin lights and A/C and removing the card shuts it all down. Thank you!
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2008 Freedom of the Seas
2009 Freedom of the Seas
2010 Jewel of the Seas
2011 Majesty of the Seas
2015 Liberty of the Seas
2016 Allure of the Seas
2017 Disney Dream

#24
Toronto
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by crancruzer
First DCL cruise, why bring a plastic card for the KTTW card? Just asking.
Do you mean the lanyard to wear around your neck so you can keep your card always on you, including the in the pools, etc.? They sell them on the ship, but we use some that we got from work (adults) and I bought one for a dollar at Party City for my daughter (it's shiny purple). This way, no one loses their card and it is much cheaper than buying a lanyard on the ship.
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Carnival, Western Caribbean
Carnival, Panama
Celebrity Summit 2006, Hawaii
Disney Fantasy 2013, Western Caribbean
Disney Fantasy 2015, Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Escape 2016,Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean, Allure of the Seas 2017, Eastern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean, Oasis of the Seas coming up this August!
#25
Michigan
10,464 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by p[INDENT
Originally posted by Denise&Paul STL Please advise if any or all of these are still effective tips at this date. It was posted on page one of this thread in 2008, and I went back to 2014 looking to see if any updates could be found, assuming more updates would be necessary.

Thanks!

1. Early arrival gets an early boarding pass number.

2. The terminal opens 10 a.m.

It's now 11 I believe and they won't let you in the terminal early in some cases.

3. Boarding starts around 11:30 to noon.

This varies

4. Keep a camera with you at ALL times, even in the terminal. characters will appear there for photos. There is an outdoor viewing area of the ship for photos.

5 Check in at kid's club table while waiting to board the ship. it saves you time on the ship.

I have found the lines long here and unless you have a late boarding number it might not be your best bet. Just play it by ear. I have signed my daughter up only once in the terminal. The other times we did it right on the ship.

6. Take a few ones. Some for room service tips and some to tip porters who take your bags at the termnal. $1 per bag is customary.

$1-$2 is customary

7. Take small bills for the islands. Many small shops don't have change.

8. If you're going to use your credit card on the islands, call your CC company first and tell them or you will have to wait on a phone call to OK all your purchases. This is a big hassle and can take 30 minutes or more.

9. Most shops who take credit cards require a $20 minimum purchase.

10 Take a camera to dinner each night, surprises happen all the time. You won't be alone. You will even see camcorders at dinner.

Take pictures of your food and post them here on cruise critic!

11. Arrive at all shows 20 minutes early for good seats.

And remember NO saving seats for others in your party

12. Arrive at character meets 10 minutes early.

Some characters now require a ticket to even get to meet them. Check at Guest service when you board to find out who requires one and then if anyone of interest set up your time and get your ticket.

13 Princess meets arrive 15 minutes early.

Princess meets now require a ticket and set time.

14. On Castaway Cay if you want your photo taken with Captain Jack Sparrow, do NOT ride the tram to the beach area. It does NOT stop near him. You must walk in to the beach. The signs say 20 minute walk in it takes us 10 minutes. He will be along the way in the sand and the photos have the flying Dutchman behind you, great photo! Check the Navigator for times that he will be there.

He is not always there. I have seen him a few other spots now. And the Dutchman has been gone since late 2010.

15 There are characters along the way to the beach, it's OK to ride the tram for this. The lines are short and move quickly so it is a great opportunity to see characters without lines. Check the Navigator for times and places.

16 Characters also appear at the gazebo near Cookies BBQ on the island during the day.

17 The adult only beach has it's own area for lunch they often have steaks or lobster there as a special treat for the grown ups. But Cookies BBQ by family beach has more variety of other foods.

There are 2 Cookies now.

18 Dont miss the good-bye late the last night in the atrium. ALL of the characters will line up on the stairs and will pose for photos for you. This farwell party is really nice and fun.

It is often done twice so check for times. It can be very crowded too.

19 Check for photos every day at shutters. Buy a package deal and save $$ if you don't buy enough photos for the package deal they will refund you the difference at the end of your cruise. If you buy a photo and then decide the next day you see one you want more, just bring back the one you bought and the receipt and tell them you want to exchange it and they will be happy to do this for you.

You can now buy a package online before you go and currently there is a small discount on it.


20. You can order warm chocolate chip cookies or Mickey ice cream bars from room service even though it is not on the menu. The warm cookies are available in the evenings only.
(Don't forget the milk for heaven's sake, there's an extra charge for it. Host Mick)


21. Bring 2 white pillowcases or a matte style picture frame in a zip lock baggie with water proof markers and leave at guest services desk and ask for it to be autographed and it will be returned to you the last night all signed by the characters. I also add a card with my name and room number on it just in case their card gets lost. I like to use dark colored markers, the light colors don't show up as well.

No longer allowed, but you can take whatever you want autographed to meet the characters and have them sign it then.

22. If you need to change dining times or make a Palos reservation go to Wave Bands club directly upon boarding to take care of this. The sooner you do it the better your chances of getting what you want.

It varies where on each ship and even on sailing to sailing so check your navigator.

23. If you have kids, leave a wake up call and then let them answer the phone. It will surprise them because Mickey will be on the phone telling them it is time to get up.

24 Afternoon matinees of the shows are great to see. They are the exact same show, they leave out nothing but it is less crowded and kids aren't as tired, plus it makes for a more leisurely evening. No need to rush to or from the shows due to your dinner time.

Usually only on sea days

25. Pop is free in all restaurants and at the drink station on deck 9. But if you order it from waiter or buy it at a lounge or bar you will be charged for it plus a gratuity.



26. Stop by the drink station and grab a drink to take with you to the shows or movies instead of buying a can of pop there. If you want a snack, stop and grab pizza or hot dogs or fruit on deck 9 to take it with you. Again save money over buying a bunch of snacks for the kids.

Remember NOT to use your own cup for sanitary reasons. Always use a new cup from the station each and every time. It is posted but not clearly and many people ignore it.

27. At dinner kids can order from both the kid's or adult menus.

Or vice versa

28. No need to book floats and bikes ahead of time for Castaway Cay. They have tons of them. Wait until you get there to make sure you're really going to need the floats or have time to ride the bikes before renting them. We always just walk up and do it at the beach.

29. If you want to do the banana boat ride or the ski-doo (eco tour) I would book them ahead of time. They do often have last minute openings so dont be afraid to ask when you arrive if you didn't book it and decided you'd like to do it.

30. If you rent bikes there are 2 nice trails just off the runway. The first one will have an observation tower. It has a great view of the island and ship. Bring your camera for this!! While up in the tower be sure and look around the base area of the tower. There are some whimsical things to see there too.

31. All the trails have ice cold water in big yellow barrels in wooden framed stands, so there's no need to carry your own unless you want to.

32. Find a cruise meets thread for your cruise and post there to get acquianted with others on your cruise.
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=451 [/indent].

I was looking for tips and found this great list on the now locked first tips thread.
One thing not mentioned is how to find out what day pre-cruise new cruisers can start signing up for things on line.
Is it final payment day?
90 days pre-cruise?
Something else?

Thanks
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Karen

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Lee Ann Womack

#26
California
19 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We will be taking our first Disney Cruise 9/14/2019 for our daughter’s fifth birthday. Thanks for all the tips.


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#27
349 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
I only have experience with Fantasy. The minute you board the ship go straight to guest services and book a mixology class. So fun! If you can, try booking palo for a dinner and a brunch (not back to back though) ...both are great

Definitely do the mickey’s detective agency thing...(now I can’t rember what it’s called)...a fun family activity
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NCL Star- Alaska 2010
DCL Fantasy Western Caribbean 2013 and 2014

NCL Breakaway Baltic July 2018
(Trip report here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2663008)
#29
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by chamima
I was looking for tips and found this great list on the now locked first tips thread.
One thing not mentioned is how to find out what day pre-cruise new cruisers can start signing up for things on line.
Is it final payment day?
90 days pre-cruise?
Something else?

Thanks
Brand-new to DCL cruisers it is 75 days out - which in most cases is final payment.
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beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#30
349 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
Originally posted by IsabelG
Can anyone give advice about an Oceanview room vs a Verandah with a young child?


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We really never spent time on the verandah when we had one. Maybe if your child will go to bed early and you want to hang out on the veranda? But we never did that. I like the ocean view bc they have a nice window seat
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NCL Star- Alaska 2010
DCL Fantasy Western Caribbean 2013 and 2014

NCL Breakaway Baltic July 2018
(Trip report here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2663008)
#31
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by KittyloverCA
We really never spent time on the verandah when we had one. Maybe if your child will go to bed early and you want to hang out on the veranda? But we never did that. I like the ocean view bc they have a nice window seat
Not all. Only the Deluxe Family Ocean View cabins have the huge windows with the seat (The Cat 8b-8D on the Dream and Fantasy). The other OV categories are windows only (some of the 9Cs on the Magic and Wonder in the very front of the ship have a "shelf" under the window because of the curvature of the ship, but it's not a true seat like the Cat 8s on the Dream and Fantasy.)

Just as a note for the verandah - you are not supposed to keep the door open as it a) creates a vacuum effect and b) affects the a/c system for the whole block of cabins which can include OV and Inside where they have no alternative cooling option. So I'm not sure I'd use it as a conversation spot while a child slept unless you were ok with the door being closed.
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beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#32
19 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by WrittenOnYourHeart
Not all. Only the Deluxe Family Ocean View cabins have the huge windows with the seat (The Cat 8b-8D on the Dream and Fantasy). The other OV categories are windows only (some of the 9Cs on the Magic and Wonder in the very front of the ship have a "shelf" under the window because of the curvature of the ship, but it's not a true seat like the Cat 8s on the Dream and Fantasy.)



Just as a note for the verandah - you are not supposed to keep the door open as it a) creates a vacuum effect and b) affects the a/c system for the whole block of cabins which can include OV and Inside where they have no alternative cooling option. So I'm not sure I'd use it as a conversation spot while a child slept unless you were ok with the door being closed.


Thank you for the info about the window seat categories- when it’s time to book it will make it easier to determine what is available. I would either do verandah or those window seats, probably depending on price. Our son will be 5, so I think I’d be ok with him sleeping inside while we relaxed on the verandah. Might be nice to have coffee out there in the mornings as well?


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#33
3,216 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by IsabelG
Thank you for the info about the window seat categories- when it’s time to book it will make it easier to determine what is available. I would either do verandah or those window seats, probably depending on price. Our son will be 5, so I think I’d be ok with him sleeping inside while we relaxed on the verandah. Might be nice to have coffee out there in the mornings as well?


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I don't know. I'm an Ocean View girl myself. Hare to justify the extra cost of the veranda for myself.
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beth
*~*~*~

Past Cruises ~ 4/1983 - SS Emerald Seas, Bahamas; 7/2013 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 2/2014 - Disney Dream, Bahamas; 7/2014 - HAL ms Westerdam, Alaska; 2/2015 - Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean; 7/2015 - RCCL Radiance of the Seas, Alaska; 7/2016 - RCCL Brilliance of the Seas, Mediterranean/Venice; 12/2016 - fathom Adonia, Cuba; 2/2017 - Disney Magic, Bahamas; 4/2017 - fathom Adonia, Cuba and Dominican Republic
Future Cruises ~ 7/2018 - Jewel of the Seas, Greek Isles; 8/2019 - Disney Wonder, Alaska
#34
Michigan
10,464 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Originally posted by IsabelG
Thank you for the info about the window seat categories- when it’s time to book it will make it easier to determine what is available. I would either do verandah or those window seats, probably depending on price. Our son will be 5, so I think I’d be ok with him sleeping inside while we relaxed on the verandah. Might be nice to have coffee out there in the mornings as well?


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Having my morning coffee on the balcony is one of my favorite parts of cruising.
My only concern with a 5 year old would be if he's a climber.

(Full disclosure - I'm a worrier)
I would worry about him pulling the chair over to the railing and climbing up on the railing.
That said - we just cruised with our 7 grandchildren (and their parents) - ranging in age from 2 -12 and no one ever did that.

I think I would feel slightly claustrophobic in an ocean view.
So each to his own.
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Karen

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

Lee Ann Womack