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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Experience speaks!

    Ok, after years of going to WDW and being AP holders, we are finally ready to take our sons on a cruise. They will be 17 and 13 this year. Iím counting on all of you cruise experts to steer me right. When is the best time to do a cruise along with what ship and all of that? We want a Caribbean cruise and I will be getting a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. We would drive to Port Canaveral and surprise our sons with it. Where are the best places to get a stateroom on the ship? We were contemplating during Christmas for those of you with experience during that time as well. We have never been on a cruise at all, and I value all of your experience and advice so I can make it the best possible experience for my family. My only limitations are from July to November because I work for 1st Air Force and I can be activated during hurricane season if we have bad ones like we did in 2017. Thank you all for your advice and input!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    A lot of this is personal preference. I, for one, love the personal quaint feel of the older smaller ships. My friend prefers the newer, larger ships. But we are both happy to sail any of the 4!

    Most people prefer to be midship. They say there is less movement there. I like to be aft, but will happily sail in ANY cabin on the ship LOL

    Christmas cruises I have no experience with, but I know they sail full. The time period right before Christmas, rates are usually lower and ships may not be quite as full. Anytime the kdis are out of school prices increase due to supply and demand.

    DCL books on tiers, so the sooner you make a reservation, the lower the cost. Military rates for sailings are normally not released very early though, and never for high occupancy sailings.

    You are going to love it!

    Nanc

    (and did you know Magical Journeys offers an on board credit for DCL?)
    Nanci Rossetti
    Vacation Specialist
    Magical Journeys
    http://www.yourmagicaljourneys.com
    The Magic begins with YOU!
    The Official Travel Agency of INTERCOT.com

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink1 View Post
    A lot of this is personal preference. I, for one, love the personal quaint feel of the older smaller ships. My friend prefers the newer, larger ships. But we are both happy to sail any of the 4!

    Most people prefer to be midship. They say there is less movement there. I like to be aft, but will happily sail in ANY cabin on the ship LOL

    Christmas cruises I have no experience with, but I know they sail full. The time period right before Christmas, rates are usually lower and ships may not be quite as full. Anytime the kdis are out of school prices increase due to supply and demand.

    DCL books on tiers, so the sooner you make a reservation, the lower the cost. Military rates for sailings are normally not released very early though, and never for high occupancy sailings.

    You are going to love it!

    Nanc

    (and did you know Magical Journeys offers an on board credit for DCL?)
    First of all - yes, book with Nanci and crew as they are the best in the business hands down and get your onboard credit

    I have been on all the ships (thank you Disney) and have to say, I don't really have a preference. There are advantages to the big and small ships alike and you really can't make a bad choice. It's all in where you want to go....

    Where to stay wise - like Nanci, I looooooove the rooms at the back of the ship. Have done it on Carnival and they really do have a better feel for me than any of the side balconies.

    Oh and balconies... I used to not care if I had one, till I had one. It's a must have for me. Nothing better than chilling in your own private space, looking at the ocean, or coming into port. I spend more time there than almost any other place on the ship.

    Also, Nanci can probably tell you on what deck these rooms are - but some have an extended balcony. To the point where the balcony was almost as big as the room itself. Had that one trip and it was AMAZING!

    Bottom line - go... enjoy... you won't regret it.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

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  7. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Well, it's good that you can't go in the fall, because I was going to suggest skipping that due to hurricane season. We really loved deck 8 on the Dream & Fantasy, although you may like Deck 5 which has larger Verandah's. The regular Verandah only fits two people. Since your boys are older, you may prefer the later dinner. This will give you more access to the pool & slides while everyone else is at the earlier dinner. We also have great memories of watching a silly Disney movie late at night from the pool area. With the ages of your boys, I would probably recommend the Dream or Fantasy for the Aquaduck. It's really fun!

    Thank you for your service! Have a great trip!

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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    It is very difficult to take a Disney cruise and not have a blast.

    Any time is a good time. If you can go during the school year things are less crowded. School vacation times means there will be more people. Going at Christmas, things will be very crowded as this is the most popular time for everything Disney. Make sure your book your cruise as far in advance as you can, especially if you plan to go when kids are out of school. You can do it yourself on their website or go through a travel agent.

    Once booked, pay attention to the reservation windows, since you will be able to book seatings at the upscale restaurants, shore excursions, spa treatments, etc. in advance. If you wait until you are on board, you can still do it, but you have a better chance of getting what you want if you book as soon as online booking becomes available.

    Where on the ship? If you are prone to motion sickness, the conventional wisdom is high up amidships, but honestly, you can barely feel the motion as the ship moves. We try to get our rooms at some distance from the elevator lobbies since it is a bit quieter.

    There is a daily newspaper called the Navigator. It is worth your while to read it as soon as you get it, because it tells you everything that is going on, including where, when, and for whom.

    Make sure everyone wears a watch. Everything happens on a schedule. You'd be surprised how expensive international roaming charges are, so we turn off our phones and put them away as soon as we get on board and have to rely on "old-school" technology.

    That's the high points. Please let me know if you have any questions. We don't work for Disney, we've just been satisfied customers for years.

    Stitchfan
    "Vocatus atque non vocatus Deus aderit.". . .

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  11. #6
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    Sep 2002
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    It depends on your budget. A week long was our first, we loved it, our were 16, 12 and 10 at the time.

    Since then, our budget has allowed for shorter cruises 3 or 4 night to Bahamas.

    We always have blast. Check out DCL website and see what works with your schedule and budget.

    Good luck.
    Arlene<br />Jackson, New Jersey<br />1980 Day Trip<br />1986 Off site<br />1996 All Star Music<br />2003 Polynesian<br/>2006 WL, All Star Sports 2008, DCL - Magic 2010, DVC - 2010, Future - WDW - BLT 2011 and DCL/Dream 2011

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  13. #7
    Join Date
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    Love the Fantasy. April is a great time, great weather. We will be on in April. Can't wait.
    Eastern Caribbean is a great trip.

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  15. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    Panama City, Florida
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    Sorry John... I fat-fingered the dislike but I did like it and appreciated your input! Thank you!

  16. #9
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    Another vote of Magical Journeys! We did our first DCL on the Fantasy over Christmas, it was INCREDIBLE! We loved every minute of our cruise. We have done 3 more cruises since then, 2 more on the Fantasy and one 4 night on the Dream. As for the shorter cruise, we felt "cheated" not spending the full 7 days on board, So for us our next cruise is another 7 night one.

    Our boys are a bit older then yours but when they were your guys ages we booked CAT 4D, for not much more. This sleeps 5 instead of 4 but has a Murphy bed and a shower "stall" instead of the tub/shower. We went for the larger room since the bunk will only hold 200 lbs. The boys will thank you for the bigger beds.

    Another piece of advice, book your next cruise on board, you get a 10% discount and an on-board credit from DCL. You can put as little as $250 down for a place holder and make a reservation anytime over the next two years. What the place holder does is allows to book a cruise without reserving an actual date. You can then research the perfect cruise when you get home. We book a place holder as soon as we can once we board.
    Brian (aka CanadianWDWFan)
    INTERCOT Staff:Theme Parks, The Water Cooler & Trip Reports
    DVC-BWV

  17. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    My wife wants me to go on a cruise. Can I smoke cigars anywhere on board? Don't care if it outside or not. As long as I get a chair. I don't go anywhere on vacation I can't smoke a churchill somewhere.
    ===================

    2016 POR
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  18. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas211 View Post
    My wife wants me to go on a cruise. Can I smoke cigars anywhere on board? Don't care if it outside or not. As long as I get a chair. I don't go anywhere on vacation I can't smoke a churchill somewhere.
    My dad was able to smoke a cigar in any of the smoking areas on the Dream. So he was happy.

    Sent from my LG-H831 using Tapatalk
    Brian (aka CanadianWDWFan)
    INTERCOT Staff:Theme Parks, The Water Cooler & Trip Reports
    DVC-BWV

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