Disney Cruise?

Question by inseaoffaith: Disney Cruise?
We may be planning to take our 10 year old son on a Disney Cruise in April…..any suggesstions? We have never taken a cruise before.
i.e……likes and dislikes from people who have gone on Disney boats…..best time of year to go…..(least crowded)……activities for a 10 year old…….and what deck to pick a cabin? We must have ocean view with veranda! Thanks for the help to anyone who responds……

Best answer:

Answer by AmyTrix
Go and register for free at www.cruisecritic.com. They supply reviews of the ships and voyages, from both professionals and people who have been on the cruises. They have a TON of tips that only insiders would know. I never, ever cruise without checking it out on cruisecritic first.

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6 Responses to Disney Cruise?

  1. great_travel_agent says:

    Another option that Disney offers is a Land/Sea package. 4 days at Disney/3 night cruise. Or 3 days at Disney/4 day cruise. It is a nice break between the two. You can enjoy the Disney Theme parks and a cruise in one vacation.

  2. catwoman says:

    i have been on 8 disney cruises. they treat their guest wonderfully. there is so much for your son to do on the ship. they have clubs for kids of different ages. there is also plenty for you and your spouse. make sure you see all the shows. go to the clubs and the coffee bar. they have excursions for families-kids -and adults. also visit the spa with your spouse. you are going to have a wonderful time. i suggest the 7 day cruise. the eastern is my favorite.

  3. Shanan D says:

    Disney Cruises are fantastic. Excellent service, fantastic foods (expect to gain some weight ), lots of activities for everyone. They have alot of stuff for kids. It really depends on what he/she likes to do and if it cost extra. (some things do)
    You can do as much or as little you want. They can keep a kid so busy that you don’t have to see your kid until dinner. I highly recommend having a veranda just for the little bit of square footage it provides.
    Since you are going in April (spring break, and they know it) you will be paying more for your trip since they consider that a peak time. If you look at their website you can get an idea of costs during various times of the year.
    January/February are usually cheaper. As well as September/October(hurricane season)

  4. tinkertoy says:

    Since you have never taken a cruise, I will give you all of my information, advice and suggestions. At first glance you may think Disney is the best bet, but I suggest that you consider all of the cruise lines because they all have programs and staff for kids. If you kid is crazy about seeing Disney characters then Disney is probably it. But if he is beyond being fasinated by the character, expand your options.

    Best Cruise Lines

    If you have the money to spend for the very top and best cruise lines try Crystal, Radisson, Cunard, Windstar, and Silver Sea. These cruise lines are a cut above the others because they run smaller ships (about 500 to 700 passengers) and have a higher staff to passenger ratio so you get top of the line service. They also have more amenities included in the much higher price, like all veranda/balcony cabins, tubs and shower bathroom, larger cabins, daily wine and/or champaign with meals, etc. These ships generally go to a port or two on a seven day cruise which may be
    different from the normal. Prices for a 7 day cruise on these top of the line ships may start at $ 2500 to $ 3000 (vs about $ 1200 on the next tier of ships.). These ships tend to have a more sophisticated and older crowd and more formal dining. They don’t pressure you to buy with art auctions and spa deals. You are more likely to see a celebrity or someone famous on one of these cruises because they are what you may call “exclusive”.

    Less Expensive

    Most cruises are done by the next tier of cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, and Disney. Consider also Cunard Cruise Line and the Queen Mary II. The ship is fantastic and the prices are comparable with RC, NCL and Princess. Most of the ships for these lines are now 1500 to 2500 passenger ships. The ships are big but things are so well managed that you really don’t feel crowded on them. Prices on these ship can be as low as $ 800 for a 7 day inside cabin and about $ 1200 for a balcony cabin. Most of these lines go to the same places, they are just in port on different days. When you dock there may be one or two other ships there for the day and some days there may not be any where you go.

    The first rule in getting less expensive cruises is book early. The second rule is go with the same cruise line multiple times because they do offer repeat customer discounts of $ 50 to $ 100 per person in a cabin. The third rule is shop around for specials. Some lines will offer specials on a date that does not usually sell out, like Christmas or Thanksgiving week. So don’t lock yourself in to one particular week of the year; be flexible.

    If you have not cruised before and don’t know the ropes it may be beneficial for you to use an agent; the agent does not charge a fee but is paid by the cruise line. But, also, do some home work on cruise line, itineraries, and ships. Use the cruise line web sites to look at what’s being offered. Try to have in mind some of what you want to do when you talk to an agent. If you feel comfortable doing it, you can do your own booking online, the price is the same and you can do everything you need right on the web sites. The sites usually have cruises listed for this year and next. I booked my last two cruises completely online, including making payments and booking port tours.

    The format and service on all of these is about the same. I have found that the food on Celebrity, Princess and RC is a cut above what I have been told is served on Disney and Carnival. Disney has good ships but is primarily for kids, and families with kids. It does have adults only areas on ship, but the kids are still there. The will have lots of kids’ activities on the ships, but they will still be all over the hallways, elevators and dining facilities. There will be lots of kids running around and looking for Micky, Donald, Minnie, Goofie, etc all over the ship. Carnival is the fun ship, but their accommodations are not the best.

    Carnival is the party cruise line that most young folks and first time cruisers take (ages 20 to 35) who want to party, party, party. If that’s what you are looking for then Carnival is the one for you.

    Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity, and Norwegian tend to have people who have cruised many times and are in the 40 and over age group; a more reserved crowd. All of these cruise lines may have some kids but not many. However, on these lines there are activities just for kids of different ages and staff persons assigned to supervise them most of the day. Another important factor to consider is, ships going to the Caribbean tend to have more young folks than those going to Alaska, Panama, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, or South America. People who go to the Caribbean are looking for fun things like beaches, jet skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving, parasailing, and a lot of other activities related to water and beaches. On the other hand, people who go to Alaska, Panama, the Mediterranean, etc., are looking for cultural and historic activities. These tend to be the older people (40+). That does not mean these cruises are dull, it just means that the passengers are more mature and reserved. You will find the 40+ crowd in the bars and disco and having as good a time as the youngsters, but you may not hear them across the room or deck.

    Ship Cabin Categories

    Sometimes people get confused by the categories on ship that agents or the web sites refer to. Categories are simply a listing of the different types of cabins on the ship by size, location and amenities. Categories are the price structure. What you need to know and understand is that the category designations DO NOT mean the same thing on all cruise lines. For example, a Cat “C” on a Carnival ship is NOT the same as a Cat “C” on a Norwegian or Royal Caribbean ship. AND, a category “C” is not necessarily the same across all of the ships in a cruise line. However, there is one exception to this. Some times cruise lines build TWO OR MORE IDENTICAL ships. So all of the cabins on both ships are the same and thus the categories for these two are the same. For example, a Cat “D”on the RC’s Jewel of the Seas is identical with a Cat “D” on their Brilliance of the Seas because the ships are identical. Same with
    the NCL’s Dream and its Wind ships. If/when you go to a cruise line web site you will see the various cabins listed by type, i.e., SUITE, VERANDA/BALCONY, OUTSIDE, and INSIDE. the category, and generally the square footage of each cabin type. The category will generally be listed next to the cabin type.

    The most expensive cabins (generally “Cat A and B”) are the penthouses and owners’ suites, which are like apartments and what you saw on the old TV program “The Love Boat”. Next are the jr and full suites (maybe “Cat C”). The next are the VERANDA or BALCONY cabins (you have your own private patio). The next lowest priced are OUTSIDE cabins (they have either a window or porthole). The cheapest cabins offered are always the inside cabins; those without a window or porthole. The inside, outside and balcony cabins are generally the same size on each ship, but may vary by ship and cruise line. I always ecommend the balcony or Veranda cabins because most ships these days tend to have many of them at a reasonable price (i.e., $ 1200 to
    $ 1500 for a 7-day.) and, frankly, you will enjoy your cruise more with a veranda/balcony cabin.

    YOUR CABIN

    First of all the terms “cabin” and “stateroom” mean the same thing; the cruise industry prefers stateroom. The standard cabin that most people get (inside/outside/balcony) are generally between 175 and 200 Square feet, about the size of a 9 by 12 ft home bedroom (balconies are about 45 to 55 sq ft). Suites and penthouses can be between 350 and 1300 square feet. Each cabin has a two beds which can be made into a queen, a bathroom with a shower stall, a closet and some drawer space, a TV and telephone, a safe for valuables, and a life jacket for each passenger. Its been my experience that Princess and Royal Caribbean have the best ship and cabin decor (also some of the best food.)

    What’s a Cruise Like

    They are one of THE best vacations you can take. Once you are on ship the staff caters to you, its whatever you want. There is something to do all day every day. When you arrive at the port to check in you (each passenger) will receive a key card which will serve as your room key, charge card for anything you buy on ship (i.e.,drinks, souvenir) and its your pass to get on and off ship in each port. Each time you get off ship you will need this key card and many times also a photo ID (passport or driver’s license). Infants and small children may be required to wear an ID bracelet (like in the hospital) in lieu of carry a card.

    Each day you will receive in your cabin a “newsletter” listing the time, place and particulars of everything happening for you on ship. There are generally activities like demonstrations of ice carvings, napkin folding and towel folding, and cooking demonstrations. Some ships may offer a galley (kitchen) tour or a tout of the bridge. There may be organized games and other activities around the pools. In the evenings there are generally shows, one show for those with an early dinner seating and another (same show) for those who eat late. There is always food available. Usually there is a place on ship where you can go get something. Or, you can always
    just pick up the phone in your cabin and order from the room service menu (food is free). If you want, you can order breakfast room service.

    All ships have a casino with slots and table games. Ships have movie theaters, generally small but nice, and you can also see movies in your room. They have ATM’s and a purser’s desk where you can cash a check or exchange currency if you need to. There is a tour and activities desk so you can schedule land tours and activities.

    Ships have free morning exercise programs, stretching and walking, etc, and on some you can pay for other things like Spinning. All cruise ships have gyms so you can go workout, usually any time from 6:00 AM to late at night. There is usually a walking/running track on one of the decks also. Some ships leave the gym open all night. They call the gyms Spa because they do promote getting pampered with things like wraps and massages with aroma therapy. They will also generally have a beauty salon to do hair and nails.

    There are always pools. Some ships have more than one and the newer ships generally have an indoor pool as well as outdoor ones and all of these have hot tubs. There is generally a basketball court on the top deck, a place for scuffle board, and a mini-golf course. The newer Royal Caribbean ships have a rock climbing wall and the newest one has a pool for water surfing.

    There are places on ships to play cards and board games and the games are provided. There are cocktail lounges that feature a variety of music. Some have a piano bar with jazz. There is usually a disco that starts after 10:00 PM each night and last until everyone leave. On certain days ships will have special activities like a chocolate lovers buffet, or a midnight deck party .

    I suggest that you go to the web site for the cruise lines and look at the cabin prices, port stops, the features for the ships and select a cruise that will do what you want to do. Then you may want to talk to an agent and see if they can find what you want. Finally, decide whether you want to book your self or have an agent do it for you.

    WILL YOU GET SEA SICK

    Some people worry about getting sea sick, but the ships being used these days have automated stabilizers which minimize the rocking. The larger ships cut through the water so easy that you don’t even feel like you are moving. When there is bad weather the cruise lines will steer around and away from it, sometimes changing the order of port stops. Also, the ships generally move overnight and dock in the mornings so you don’t feel much movement. Consequently, your chances of getting sea sick are minimal. There is generally less motion than on an airplane. If you do get sick, all ships have a doctor and they will dispense sea sick medicines. If you are prone to motion sickness, just get pills or a patch from your own doctor before you go, or go to a boating store and get a sea sickness bracelet.

    OTHER TIPS

    The shorter cruises are 4 or 5 days, and the normal ones are either 7 or 14 days. If you are not sure whether you will like cruising, go on a short one first. To save some money, consider driving to the port; Miami, Ft Lauderdale, N.O., Houston, LA, NJ. Most ports have plentiful and safe parking (I have driven many times to Miami and Ft Lauderdale) at both places that costs about $ 12 a day. Driving can save money over the cruise line “add-in” for airfare. We generally drive most of the way on one day from NC and stop about an hour or two from the port for the night. Then continue the short trip the next day to the port.

    Most ships start boarding between noon and 1:00PM. If you are a cruise club member you generally get to go on first, or early. If the cruise is for a honeymoon, anniversary, or birthday be sure to tell them, they will do special stuff for that. Most 7-day cruises have two formal nights when you can wear your best stuff and get pictures taken. Cruise lines charge a lot for the photos they take so take your own photos around the ship when you get the chance, especially on the formal nights. Ask other passengers to take photos for you, they generally are very willing. Review the listing of tours offered on your cruise and decide whether you want to pay for a tour or go on your own. The one big advantage of going on ship sponsored tours is THEY WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU if your tour is late getting back to the ship. If you will be in a port for 12 to 16 hours you are probably safe to go on your own for most anything. But if you are only there for six to eight hours you may want to stay close to the ship or go on the ship tours.

    Freestyle Cruising

    I have been on many Norwegian ships and at one time NCL was my favorite cruise line until the line. However, after NCL was bought by Star Cruises and they instituted the “Freestyle Cruising”, I do not recommend NCL, especially for people who have been on a number of cruises before because of the “freestyle” cruising. Since Star Cruises took over NCL the line it has an Asian flavor; Star is an Oriental company. Some of the performers and musicians were Asian and they had Karioke every evening. Not my cup of tea. It means that you do not have to specify a dining option; don’t have a table and waiter assigned to you.

    “FREESTYLE” means you can go to dinner in the main dining room any time of the evening. It means you don’t have to “dress up” for dinner ,but just go “sports casual”. But it also means that you may be standing in line awaiting a table on some days (like we had to a couple times); not what you want on a cruise. Since you go when you want, you rarely get the same waiter and so never really get to know your waiter and he/she never learns what you prefer. The option to this being pushed on NCL is their optional dining restaurants. However, these dining options can cost $ 10 to $ 20 a person for dinner each night. This is not what you want after paying for a cruise which is supposed to be all inclusive.

    The optional restaurants are nice, including French, Chinese/Sushi, Tex-Mex, Italian, and steak house restaurants. But who wants to go pay to eat on a cruise ship where all the meals are supposed to be included. We always skipped the optional restaurants and just got to the main dining early. That worked fine, except on “at sea” days when everyone wanted to go eat early.

    Hidden Costs

    The hidden costs on a cruise are your tab after the cruise for drinks (alcoholic and sodas),tours, and gratuities. Many ships now add the recommended gratuity to your onboard tab. The gratuity is about $ 10 to $ 12 a day per person. You can give more if you want. Tours can add hundreds to your final bill, depending upon how many stop the ship makes and what you want to do. Study the tours carefully; some places you may want to just go on your own.

  5. dannyborga says:

    My only advise is to get this baby booked!
    You are running out of time if you are going to be traveling during school vacation week.
    My sister-in-law just came back and they stayed in a Cat 5 w/ verandah, they loved it.
    you can also try these 2 links:

    http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/dcl/en_US/onboard/staterooms/detail?name=DeluxeStateroomWithVerandahDetailPage
    or http://1cheapcruise.com

  6. tacogirl4959 says:

    I went on the Disney Wonder, I had the most amazing time, it was so much fun! There are hang out places for the kids and a pool for adults only! You are only allowed in if you are over 18 and there is a private bar there. You feel very safe on that ship, you can let you child go off with a few friends and not have to worry, there are free drinks(soft drinks) 24/7 and free pizza and icecream during the day. There are port parties everytime we left a port and a midnight buffet. It was awesome and the cabins are sapcious for a cruise. You will love it! Even the food is excellent.