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Disney Cruise Line Tip Thread 2.0

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The old tip thread was a little long in the tooth.

Please post your DCL tips here.

Questions or non-tip comments should be put in the forum. Press the [New Thread] button.

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OK, I’ll start this off!

 

My tips for a first time cruiser are regardless of whether you are thinking of booking, or have booked thru a TA (Travel Agent) or online, visit the DCL website an explore it. And explore it thoroughly!

Know what you are buying before you buy or cruise!

 

You can find out information about your ship, which shows are currently showing, what restaurants are aboard each ship, info about kids clubs and age ranges, and what shore excursions you can book for your cruise is you wish to.

 

The Disney Cruise Line website is here:

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com

 

There is a FAQ that may answer your question immediately without you having to type out a post and await for answers that may have posters ask you more information in order to provide you with an accurate answer to your question.

 

The FAQ is currently found here:

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/faq/

 

Aboard a ship, they need to prohibit certain items for the safety and wellbeing of everyone aboard.

 

The items that are prohibited can be found here, and it is a long list! But not negotiable, is enforced and will be confiscated it found.

Check it out before you cruise!

 

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/faq/prohibited-items/list/

 

 

 

Bringing Alcohol or soft drinks or water aboard.

Guests 21 years and older may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750 ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and again at each port of call.

Yes! and again at your next port!

 

No hard liquor of any kind is permitted to be brought aboard for consumption whilst on the cruise.

It will be held until the last morning and you can pick it up from a desk in the terminal. The same policy applies to Duty Free sales from the ship.

 

You may bring as much water, personal choice of soda, energy drinks, juices as you wish, however, these beverages must be packed in carry-on (not checked) bags or luggage.

 

The water on the ship is mostly made by desalinating sea water thru reverse osmosis or flash evaporation and treated to make it safe.

Much like many bottled waters.

Many people are happy drinking the water from any tap on the ship, even your bathroom as it is the same water used in the drink dispensers, used to cook your food, ice etc. Some prefer to bring their own bottled water however.

 

DCL provide Coke products that are included in your cruise fare from drink stations that are on the pool deck, and in the restaurants aboard.

If you order a drink from a server, at a bar or from room service, there is a cost plus a automatic and compulsory gratuity added of currently 15%.

 

 

 

Tipping / Gratuities.

Cruising is different to staying in a hotel or resort. And it is a very HOT topic with many varying opinions!

There are 4 people that work very hard on board to serve you that receive a token small sum of money from most cruise lines, but their real pay is from tips or gratuities.

 

These people are your Stateroom Host/ess, your Server, you Assistant Server, and your Dining Room Head Server.

 

Therefore it is the norm and expected for every Guest, regardless of age (babies included) pay a gratuity that totals (currently) $12 per day for the services they provide to you.

 

DCL operate a auto gratuity system whereby your onboard cruise account will be charged the $12 per day, per Guest.

You may visit Guest Services on Deck 3 Midships at anytime to increase or decrease these tips as you see fit.

However unless you have really poor service, and this cannot be rectified after speaking to a crew member, these gratuities are expected and are in addition to your cruise fare.

 

A Cruise Tip calculator is found here and is an easy way to calculate your expected grats:

 

http://cruisetip.tpkeller.com

 

Ina addition, currently all bar or server purchases will incur a 15% auto gratuity, and Spa services an 18% grat. Be aware!

 

 

Kids clubs and the nursery.

DCL provide complementary child care for children and teens from ages 3-17.

Young adults that are 18 or on the day they turn 18 on the cruise can no longer utilize these spaces. Again non negotiable.

Kids 6 months to 3 years old are welcome to use the nursery, but this must be pre-booked and currently costs $9 per hour for the first child and $8 per hour for additional kids. There is a maximum amount of hours you can pre-book, but often more hours are made available once the ship sails.

They are flexible as much as they can if you need to change times.

 

 

 

Pools and splash zones.

DCL like every other cruise line follow a specifically made set of regulations for the safety and health of everyone aboard.

Children who are not toilet trained are NOT allowed to use the pools or hot tubs aboard, even in swim diapers.

This is not DCL excluding small children, it is per CDC and USPH regulations, and children not toilet trained are not allowed.

DCL however has splash areas that are suitable and provide great areas for them to have fun.

 

Nemo’s Reef on the Disney Dream and Fantasy.

Nephews' Splash Zone on the Disney Magic

Mickey’s Splash Zone on the Disney Wonder.

 

Guests who ignore this rule and take their untrained child into a pool often shut the pools down for many hours while they are drained and thoroughly cleaned after an accident, so please don’t!

 

 

 

Little ones in your Stateroom.

DCL will provide a complementary Pack-n-Play crib, diaper genie, bottle warmer and sterilizer on request.

 

 

 

Adult Dining.

Do not try to cram everything into your first cruise, just go with the flow and experience as much as you can. On a short cruise this is more prominent as you will not fit everything in, so speciality adult only dining is something you should save for your next cruise!

There are charges for Palo and Remy.

These are currently $30 for Palo, and $85 for Remy and have a dress code that is enforced.

 

Often these will be sold out when you try to book them in advance, however once aboard they open more spaces and even if still full, you are allowed to be waitlisted for any cancellations.

 

 

 

Dress code.

DCL have a very relaxed dress code on their ships for most areas. Another HOT topic!

Adult only restaurants have their own dress code.

 

MDR’s (Main Dining Rooms) have the dress code of no swimwear or tank tops, and something on your feet.

 

Palo currently requests:

Dress pants or slacks and a collared shirt for men, and a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse for women. Jeans may also be worn if in good condition (no holes).

 

Remy currently requests:

Men: A jacket (such as a sports, suit or tuxedo jacket) is required, with dress pants/slacks and shoes. Ties are optional. Please no jeans, shorts, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

Ladies: Cocktail dress, evening dress, pant suit or skirt/blouse are required. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

Brunch and Dessert

During brunch and dessert, the following dress code is enforced:

 

Men: Dress pants and a shirt are required for men. A jacket is optional. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

Women: A dress or pantsuit is required. Please no jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops or tennis shoes.

 

The full requests can be found by going to the DCL website and searching for each restaurant, Palo or Remy.

 

 

 

Search for social media or blogs!

The unofficial Disney cruise line blog can be found here and often has the most up to date information on any changes or special cruising offers and discounts for Florida residents, Military or Guarantee Staterooms.

http://disneycruiselineblog.com

 

 

Shore excursions.

Some prefer to book their own activities and some prefer to book with DCL and pay an increased price to have the comfort of knowing it is a DCL sponsored excursion.

Each to their own and opinions vary widely.

DCL have a minimum age for all of their excursions and this is non negotiable. They will know the age of everyone aboard and will not permit you to book an excursion or take anyone that does not meet the minimum age requirement. There is ZERO wiggle room.

 

 

 

Late back to the ship.

"If you are late, the boat won’t wait!”

All aboard times are printed in the daily Navigator and when you disembark the ship there is a BIG sign telling you the latest time you need to be back aboard. LATEST TIME!

It is best practice to be back aboard a minimum of 30 minutes and I recommend 1 hr as a minimum before All Aboard!

Island traffic can be a problem, so if taking a taxi, be sure to prebook a collection back to the ship and leave plenty of time for the chickens, goats, pigs and other animals to get out of the road! LOL!

 

 

 

The Navigator newsletter.

Each day a newsletter called The Navigator will be delivered to your Stateroom by your Host or Hostess.

This will feature important information about ports and All Ashore and the important All Aboard Times!

Also every activity that will happen the next day on your cruise, from shows, Character meet times, to pool and pool deck quick serve outlets opening times, all split up by time and age appropriate activity. Also important phone numbers incase of an emergency and when going ashore, the number for the Port Agent should you need to contact the ship if you are injured or need medical assistance. Take it with you just in case you need it!

 

A library of some past Navigators can be found here and will give you an indication of what to expect, but is subject to change from cruise to cruise:

http://disneycruiselineblog.com/personal-navigators/

 

 

Everyone have a passport!

Yes, it cost’s to get kids a passport, and while DCL do not require you to have one for a closed loop cruise (one that departs and returns to the same port), it there is a family emergency back home, or you or one of your party unfortunately medically have to return home before the cruise is complete, you will need a passport to fly. This can take time and be expensive to arrange when you are in a foreign country.

 

 

 

Trip and medical insurance.

Buy trip and medical insurance for your cruise. DCL like most other cruise lines have private medical providers aboard their ships and your home medical insurance most likely will not pay for it if needed on the ship. And it can be very expensive! VERY!

Likewise, trip insurance to cover if you are delayed in getting to the ship on embarkation day, missing luggage etc.

 

 

 

Sunscreen.

The sun may be stronger than you are used to at home, so remember to bring sunscreen and apply it regularly especially if you have been in the pools.

There is sunscreen available in the stores aboard, but they are only open when the ship is in international waters, so not when you're docked, so be prepared!

 

 

 

Towels.

DCL provide complementary towels at the pool deck and for you to use on a shore excursion. For DCL sponsored excursions they will have a stack of towels for you to take before you leave. For private excursions, you are also able to take towels.

Please bring them back with you and thrown them in the dirty towel bin when reboarding the ship.

 

 

 

KTTW.

Your KTTW card (Key To The World card), is your ship ID card, your Stateroom access key, and also how you pay for goods and services aboard that are not included in your cruise. All the ships are cashless, so any purchases are charged to your KTTW card and to your cruise account

 

 

 

When going ashore.

When you leave the ship adults must bring photo ID and their KTTW card, and the same for returning to the ship.

Kids still need their KTTW card to be scanned as well.

 

That is all I can think of for now, but I hope others will correct me on any inaccuracies in my post, and also add to areas I have missed.

 

ex techie

Edited by Ex techie

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Techie, under little ones room service will also provide bed rails, half or double. The other extras we revieved may vary so I won't mention here, as I'm not sure they are standard.

 

Princess /character meet and greets. Bring your camera everywhere. Some of our best moments were just running into a character. Some character greetings or events do require tickets (free)- ask your TA or the service desk.

 

Room service is included, but most tip $1-2. I highly recommend warm chocolate chip cookies and Mickey bars.

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Great tips Gardeneroflove!

 

Some more I thought of.

 

 

Internet access.

Currently they offer 50 Mb’s of free internet access, but you must sign up by midnight on the day you first board the ship.

 

If you opt to buy a package after the free 50 Mb’s, DCL run their internet differently to some ships.

They charge by the amount of data and not by the time you are logged in.

 

Make sure all automatic updates and push notifications are turned off otherwise your internet package can disappear very quickly!

You can go to Guest Services on Deck 3 Midships to find out the location of the internet guru aboard who will help you turn these off if you are unsure how to.

 

 

Getting multiple drinks from the pool deck.

Pick up a few cardboard drinks carriers when you are home and pack them to help you carry them. Very lightweight and easy to pack and dispose of after the cruise.

 

 

Most quiet time for slides and the AquaDuck and AquaDunk.

Early mornings, during dinner service if you skip the main stage show, or on a port day if you stay on the ship.

 

 

Missing ports.

Yes it does happen from time to time, so be aware that sometimes the ship may skip a port if the weather or mechanical issues prevent it doing so.

Obviously the weather is something that DCL cannot control. And maybe in your mind it doesn’t seem too windy or the waves aren’t too high, but underwater currents can affect the ability of the ship to dock, and the Captain, the Master of the vessel knows his ship better than anyone and what is safe.

 

Mechanical issues are something that every cruise line does their best to prevent, DCL do a stellar effort, however cruise ships operate 24/7 365 days a year (apart from when they drydock) and things occasionally go wrong, and that can through a wrench in the operation of the ship.

 

If missing a port will leave you feeling devastated or heartbroken, then it is best that you not book a cruise as there is a chance it could happen.

Missing Castaway Cay is a port that depending on the time of year and weather cycles can be challenging for the ships to dock.

 

Be aware that your cruise contract has specific clauses in it that stipulate that the ship may miss ports or not even sail if a situation arises that prevents it from doing so.

DCL and no other cruise line are legally obligated to compensate you for missed ports or not sailing.

 

Be aware of these contractual clauses so that if it does happen, you are fully prepared to emotionally deal with it.

 

ex techie

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Hopefully someone will explain the whole Stateroom Guarantee process vs. booking a specific room.

 

GTY, *GT, OGT, VGT, IGT and the differences in what you could be allocated.

 

Moki'smommy?

 

ex techie

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I guess that makes it my turn.

 

There are 2 types of guarantees. The first will have a category with a number attached, like 8BGTY. This means that when DCL has sold out all or most of the cabins in a certain category but wants to continue to offer this price point, they will sell you an 8B rate but you will not get to choose your cabin. DCL knows that a certain percentage of guests will cancel their cruise prior to the penalty date, and that they will assign you to an 8B or a more costly cabin. They will oversell a category but they never oversell the ship....so if an 8B doesn't open up, you may find yourself in a balcony cabin! You can get your assignment at any time. It could be the day after you book if a cabin opens. In general, it is assigned by 45 days or more before the cruise. You'll see your assignment on line. In all other ways, it functions just like a normal booking--you can cancel, add people, change categories, etc. as per any other booking.

 

The second type of guarantee is the *GT restricted booking. * stands for Inside, Oceanview, or Verandah (IGT/OGT/VGT). PLEASE read all the restrictions for this type of booking before you do it. Basically, this is a final booking as soon as you do it. NO changes are allowed. This type of booking is typically offered a bit after the "final payment" date on cruises that are not full. You choose only your type of cabin (inside, window, balcony) and you are agreeing that you can be put in any cabin on the ship of that type or nicer. If you book an IGT, you can literally be placed in any cabin on the ship. In exchange for accepting the restrictions, these cabins are sold at a discount--the amount of the discount can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. BUT, if you care about location, don't do this. If you do this type of booking, the only way you are allowed to change your assignment is if there is something wrong with the cabin...like the ceiling leaks or the shower doesn't work. They will try to fix it and if they can't, you can be moved. You can't be moved because you were placed on deck 2 and you hate deck 2. The typical cabin assignment is in the middle of the range that you booked; DCL doesn't use these to give out horrible cabins. For instance, if you book a VGT, you will most likely get a cat 5, but people do get cat 4 cabins....and you are paying less than a cat 7 rate. With this type of booking, you typically can see your assignment on line anywhere from 15-30 days before the cruise, but it can be as late as when you check in at the port.

 

You'll see your assignment on line. If you get luggage tags with no assignment on them and then see your cabin number on line, write it in on the tags. If you don't get an assignment on line, no worries--the bar code on the tags will tie your luggage to you and it will show up at your cabin.

 

With either of these bookings, your cabin assignment can be changed up to the time you check in at the terminal. It doesn't happen often but it can.

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This thread has a lot of great tips. I wish we had this before my first cruise. I missed out on many things because I didn't spend much time looking at the Navigator. We were busy the entire time, though.

 

I'd also like to suggest that you do another booking while on board for the 10% discount on a future sailing (if eligible). I'm sure someone else can explain how it works better than I can. Hopefully, they will. :)

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This thread has a lot of great tips. I wish we had this before my first cruise. I missed out on many things because I didn't spend much time looking at the Navigator. We were busy the entire time, though.

 

I'd also like to suggest that you do another booking while on board for the 10% discount on a future sailing (if eligible). I'm sure someone else can explain how it works better than I can. Hopefully, they will. :)

 

A good tip about onboard booking tinybiny!

 

ex techie

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Another tip,

 

Laundry and ironing.

 

Personal clothes irons and clothes steamers are prohibited aboard! Do not bring them as they will be confiscated!

 

All of the DCL ships have self service laundry's aboard along with a full service laundry and dry cleaning service.

For those that chose to pack lightly, or need to do some laundry and or press your clothes during the cruise, full service laundry services maybe more reasonable than you think!

Pressing is only 50% of the dry cleaning charge, so it is very reasonable to send your clothes out to be collected, pressed and returned than spend your valuable vacation time in the laundry room!

The price list below.

 

DCL_LaundryService.jpg

 

Price list courtesy of the disneycruiselineblog.

 

Self service laundry's are available on these decks and have washers and dryers along with clothes irons.

Payment for detergent and machine usage is via your KTTW card, so no coins are needed.

The least busy times are early mornings, late night, and during shows and dining times.

Please do not leave your clothes in the washers or dryers any longer than is necessary. The machines have a countdown display so you know when your clothes cycle with finish.

 

Other Guests waiting for use of the machines have been known to remove your clothing and then use the machine, so if that is a problem to you, set an alarm so you return before your cycle finishes.

 

Be aware that the laundry may have been empty when you started your laundry, but there may be a line when you return, and others may be waiting and needing to use that washer and dryer as well!

 

Self service laundry locations:

Dream and Fantasy:

Deck 2 Port Forward

Deck 5 Aft

Deck 6 Starboard Forward

Deck 7 Port Forward

Deck 8 Port Aft

Deck 9 Starboard Forward

Deck 10 Starboard Midships

 

Magic and Wonder:

Deck 2 Port Midships

Deck 6 Starboard Midships

Deck 7 Starboard Midships

 

Disneycruiselineblog has a full and complete explanation of how the process works here:

http://disneycruiselineblog.com/2013/01/onboard-self-and-full-service-laundry-and-dry-cleaning/

 

ex techie

Edited by Ex techie

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Even though The Disney Cruise Line says you only need to have a copy (your original is better) of your birth certificate and driver's license to cross the Canadian border... you should have a passport when getting through US customs prior to boarding the ship. I didn't have a passport, but I did get through customs. I think it was because I was with my sister who had a passport. It does mention, on the Disney Cruise website, that "If you're visiting any country other than the U.S., remember to contact the consulate of that country to ensure you have the documentation required to visit. Travelers can visit the U.S. State Department's website. Guests without proper documentation will be denied boarding." Well, I wasn't denied but questioned.I think everyone should get a passport which takes a long time to obtain one (sure you can get an expedited one, but it costs more money) because you never know when you'll need one.

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Even though The Disney Cruise Line says you only need to have a copy (your original is better) of your birth certificate and driver's license to cross the Canadian border... you should have a passport when getting through US customs prior to boarding the ship. I didn't have a passport, but I did get through customs. I think it was because I was with my sister who had a passport. It does mention, on the Disney Cruise website, that "If you're visiting any country other than the U.S., remember to contact the consulate of that country to ensure you have the documentation required to visit. Travelers can visit the U.S. State Department's website. Guests without proper documentation will be denied boarding." Well, I wasn't denied but questioned.I think everyone should get a passport which takes a long time to obtain one (sure you can get an expedited one, but it costs more money) because you never know when you'll need one.

Doesn't really take that long a time. I know the passport website says 6-8 weeks, but most current reports are running about 12-16 days from mail off to receipt.

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Wine Lists.

 

A poster on here was kind enough to post a link to his twitter feed as he was having trouble uploading the photo's to CruiseCritic in March 2016.

 

After problems trying to load these in an ample file size I gave up. All of them are on my Twitter account @bgnurick. Please favorite my Twitter posts so my wife thinks I'm cool for doing this. I had a hard time finding wine lists online so I thought I would contribute back to the community. Cheers. BN

 

To save time for others and for ease I have taken screenshot's of his twitter photo's.

Here they are, not mine but courtesy of Brian Nurick (twitter @bgnurick)

 

Remy Wine List March 2016:

 

Screen%20Shot%202016%20remy%20wine%20list%201.png

 

Screen%20Shot%202016%20remy%20wine%20list%202.png

 

 

 

Palo Wine List March 2016:

 

Screen%20Shot%202016%20palo%20wine%20list.png

 

 

 

MDR Wine List March 2016:

 

Screen%20Shot%202016%20mdr%201.png

 

Screen%20Shot%202016%20mdr%202.png

 

ex techie

Edited by Ex techie

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This thread has a lot of great tips. I wish we had this before my first cruise. I missed out on many things because I didn't spend much time looking at the Navigator. We were busy the entire time, though.

 

I'd also like to suggest that you do another booking while on board for the 10% discount on a future sailing (if eligible). I'm sure someone else can explain how it works better than I can. Hopefully, they will. :)

The onboard future booking is totally worth it unless you are Canadian and the dollar stinks. You can cancel and get a full refund up to 70 days before departure.

 

Sonia

 

Disney Fantasy 2013+2015

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For those of you who are traveling with young ones, I cannot stress enough the wonders of traveling with more than one stateroom with adjoining doors. Our first cruise, we took both grandmas. They had one room and we had the next. When the kids needed a nap, one adult would stay in the room next door with the door opened and watched tv or something while the kids napped and the rest of the adults enjoyed the ship! Same for night time.

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Pool and Splash Zones

 

I love that they have life jackets for kids to wear in the pools. They have them for many different weights. You don`t have to bring your own.

 

Great post about the life jackets!

 

Life vests for Kids Pool and Castaway Cay Use:

 

To expand on that, all DCL ships have life vests available to use without charge, on the pool deck on a first come first served basis.

They can be found on racks around the kids pools like these.

 

Disneycruiselineblog photo:

DCLBlog_IMG_5923_Disney-Magic-Childrens-Life-Vests.jpg

 

They are optional, but recommended for ship pool use.

 

On Castaway Cay, DCL also provide life vests without an additional charge. (snorkelling equipment is BYO or rent from DCL on Castaway Cay.)

 

They are MANDATORY for swimming in the snorkelling area regardless of ability.

 

They can be collected at either Gil's Fins and Boats or Flippers & Floats without charge. And possibly other areas around the beach.

 

The vests from the ship must stay on the ship, and cannot be taken ashore.

If you wish to bring your own life vest, they must be Coast Guard approved for use on Castaway Cay.

 

ex techie

Edited by Ex techie

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Stateroom Safe:

 

The Disney Dream safes are the same ones that you find in most hotels nowadays.

 

We fit the following with room to spare:

 

1 Laptop 9.5 x 13.5 x 0.5

2 iPads (in cases)

2 iPad minis (in cases)

4 Passports

1 Envelope with cash

2 Wallets

1 Binder 1 inch thick with trip documents

 

ex techie

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OP here -

We fit the following with room to spare:

1 Laptop 9.5 x 13.5 x 0.5

2 iPads (in cases)

2 iPad minis (in cases)

4 Passports

1 Envelope with cash

2 Wallets

1 Binder 1 inch thick with trip documents

 

I tend to skip the wallets altogether--Which I already do on the WDW trips, but is even more a priority on international tourist destinations where pickpockets may be more of an older tradition.

Since most of the cruise expenses are paid for on the card, the only wallet staples to bring along on land apart from local cash are a debit/credit card for port purchases and a photo-ID to get through airport and security. (Unless you're bringing passports.)

 

I managed to find one binder at a travel store that was a small 10"x 4" zipup travel case for documents, which included an around-the-neck lanyard wallet for cash, cards, ID, and passport. Easier to conceal, and harder to lose in a crowd or bus, where a hip pocket might be in reach.

If you really want to be nasty, carry an old empty hip wallet you want to get rid of, containing only a "Sorry!" for anyone who might pick it. :p

Edited by EJanss

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I highly recommend not waiting till the last day to book your next cruise on board. The system on the Wonder is you check in with your kttw card, then are placed in line. A message will be sent to your wave phone when you are 3rd, then next in line.

 

At 5:30pm on our last day, the screen showed 37 names waiting. As we passed the desk I heard 'I'm sorry, the system crashed.' (The system crashed on Dh when he attempted book a few days earlier.)

 

Cabana's has real ice cream, if you don't want soft serve, and you can get Mickey Bars or chocolate chip cookies from mdr.

 

You can now set up meet and greets (princesses and frozen) and character breakfast online (Wonder, I'm not sure if on the other ships.) Gingerbread house tickets (merriment cruises) are only available at Port Adventures.

 

The Wonder now has two splash pads. Dory's Reef for 3 and under/not potty trained (so if your 4 year old needs a swim diaper, they can play in Dory's). The Aqua Lab is a splash zone for potty trained kids (same filtration as the kid pool, but separate from slide and Dory's).

Edited by Gardeneroflove

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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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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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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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[quote name=p

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!
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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.

.

 

 

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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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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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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Can anyone give advice about an Oceanview room vs a Verandah with a young child?

 

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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