First Time Cruisers Questions Answered

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dreamWe are about to embark on a brand new magical adventure for us. We are heading out on the Disney Cruise Line. Our first cruise will be a Very Merrytime Cruise and it will also be a land and sea adventure. This will be, as mentioned, our first cruise and our first Disney cruise so I thought, what a great opportunity to talk about cruise prep for first time cruisers.

One of the questions we had when we first booked our cruise was should we or could we have water shipped to the ship?

dreaminThe answer is you can not have water delivered to the ship but you can carry a case of water, unopened, in its original packaging. If you are doing a land and sea adventure, as we are, you can have Amazon deliver water or other essentials to your resort prior to your cruise and then take that on the cruise.

Is there Wi-Fi on the cruise?

castaswayYes! It is expensive and we are not going to be getting it but you can purchase Wi-Fi packages. Disney uses the Connect@Sea system which was developed by MTN Communications. There are several package levels offered. The medium package of 300 MB costs $39, or about 13 cents per MB, while the heavy-use package of 1 gigabyte costs $89, or 9 cents per MB.

One thing we want to make sure we share with you is something we discovered but would not have even thought of. If you take your phone out of airplane mode in an international port and it connects to a cell tower you will get charged international roaming rates unless you have an international package with your provider. You could come home to a hefty cell phone bill, which most providers will work with you on if you add an international plan after the fact, but it is a lot of work to do at that point.

unplugWe recommend unplugging. There are very few opportunities to unplug in this day and age. Enjoy your friends or family or yourself and live your vacation. There are phones on the ship that can be used to locate and communicate with other party members throughout the ship.

Should you take ears on your Disney cruise?

whositsFrom everything we have read and watched, it is up to you! This is your cruise, you do you! I, as you might have guessed will be taking ears! In fact, I have made two sets of ears for the cruise and purchased a third set and I will be rocking those throughout our entire cruise. I found these ears on Etsy at the shop whoozitsandwhatzits1!

 

When should you start taking sea sickness medication?

dramaI do not suffer from motion sickness, Bryson has more of an affinity to it but we will both be taking Dramamine and other precautions prior to boarding the ship to ensure that we are both good to go however. We will begin taking Dramamine 24 hours prior to boarding the ship. We will be in Disney and the day before we leave for our cruise, we will start taking Dramamine to ensure we are not suffering from sea sickness once we get on board.

What is rotational dining and how does it work? 

dadsguide
Photo Courtesy of Dadsguidetowdw.com

Rotational dining is the system of dining used on the cruise ships to ensure that everyone is able to eat at each of the main dining locations. These are the sit down restaurant experiences that are included with the cost of your cruise. We are sailing on the Disney Dream and the dining locations included in rotational dining are Animator’s Palate, Royal Palace and Enchanted Garden.

When you check in and get your key to the world card which gets you access to your room and so much more, it will have letters signifying your dining locations. For example, if your card says AER you will dine at Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden and Royal Palace in that order. Along with your rotational dining, you will have the same waitstaff throughout the duration of your cruise as long as you are dining in the locations indicated on your key to the world card.

cabanas
Photo Courtesy of DisneyFoodBlog.com

Other dining included in the cost of your cruise (at least on the Dream) is Cabanas, which is a buffet, Flo’s Cafe which is a snack bar type location and Room Service. Yep, that’s right, room service is included in the price of your cruise and you can order anything off of that room service menu including, warm cookies and milk, Mickey ice cream bars and the cake of the day from that menu, free of charge. Please remember though, tips are NOT included in that price for room service, so tip your room service host.

remy
Photo of Remy courtesy of Disneyparks.disney.go.com

In addition, there are other dining locations that are not included in the price of your cruise and that do cost extra to dine at or get treats at. Palo and Remy are upscale dining locations that are adults only and do cost extra. Because this is our first cruise and we are only going on a three night cruise, we decided against doing either of these dining experiences so that we could enjoy each of the rotational dining experiences. Should we cruise again, we will definitely take part in one of these because we do love these types of dining experiences.

Also worth noting, you can take items from Cabanas into the theatres to watch shows or movies but if you get items from Preludes, the snack bar outside of the theatre, that is extra. Really good to note because that’s where they will get you.

van
Photo courtesy of disneycruiselineblog.com

Other extra dining or snack experiences are the Senses Juice Bar which is located inside Senses Spa and Vanellope’s Sweet Shop which is the gelato, ice cream and candy shop on board the ship. Cove Cafe, the coffee shop on board is also not included, alcoholic beverages are not included but you can get the drink of the day at many places throughout the ship for $5.

Is there a dress code at the restaurants? 

21Palo and Remy do have dress codes. Those are more dressed up and formal restaurants and do require you to adhere to a nicer code of dress in order to dine. There is no dress code for the other restaurants but we have heard varying accounts from different friends and folks on YouTube and other that give different responses to this. According to some, a lot of people are more dressed up than you would expect especially at dinners. Yet others say that most people are in shorts and t shirts all day and at dinner.

Bryson will likely take his Tommy Bahama shirts that he loves and also lives in when we are in the parks and his nice shorts and I will be wearing casual beach wear such as my swim suit and a cover up romper during the day and then at night I will probably put a little sundress on. It is winter in Colorado and any opportunity to wear a sundress will be taken advantage of by me. I don’t plan on wearing anything other than flip flops throughout the duration of our cruise but were we dining at Palo or Remy I would be taking nice shoes for that occasion.

What is a land and sea adventure? 

16A land and sea adventure is when you go to a Disney park, in our case Walt Disney World, and then follow that up immediately with a cruise. For our trip, we will be doing a three day Walt Disney World vacation followed by our 3 night cruise. We will be taking Disney’s Magical Express, which is always how we travel from the airport to our resort when we stay on property and then we will also be taking Magical Express from our resort to Port Canaveral for our cruise.

A Few other tips!

casr
Photo courtesy disneyparks.disney.go.com

You do not have to get off the ship at each port. When we first booked the cruise, we didn’t know that it was a thing to not get off the ship at a port but the more we research and watch our friends’ vlogs, there is so much to do and see and enjoy on a Disney cruise that if you get to a port where nothing excites or jumps out at you, stay on the ship because there will be a plethora of fun to have on the ship!

images
Photo credit unknown

There are a number of character meet and greets throughout the ship and some you have to sign up for in advance and others you do not. As long as you are in line within fifteen minutes of a character arriving, you will be able to meet that character.

Fish extenders are a thing on Disney cruises. There are Facebook groups and fish extender groups on Facebook where you can follow along with fellow cruisers who will be joining you on your cruise and you can sign up to be in a fish extender group. These are groups of people who bring gifts for one another. You hang a cute little gift receiving fish extender outside your door and receive gifts from other cruisers in your group and give gifts to other cruisers in your group as well!

wdwinfoDownload the Disney cruise app so that you can follow along with the daily navigator, know what events are happening where and when and keep on top of all the fun happenings all over your cruise ship.

Pack a carry-on because you will be on the ship for several hours before your luggage gets to your room. Just as we do when we travel to Walt Disney World, we pack a backpack each of stuff we will want or need or possibly want or need before our luggage gets to us. Sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, swim suit, change of clothes, whatever you think you might need in the first couple of hours of your trip pack in your carry-on, something small that you can easily carry throughout the ship as you explore.

59Our last tip is something we would have never thought of but are happy to now know as we will not be getting off of the ship in Nassau. When the ship is at port, the stores are closed. That’s right, whether you are docked at Port Canaveral, Nassau or any other port, the ship’s merchandise stores are not open for business. That is really good to know for us because that is when we were planning on doing a lot of shopping because we figured everyone else would be out exploring Nassau. As soon as the ship pulls away from port the stores will open and the money spending can resume. It’s fine Disney, take all my money.

Don’t forget to decorate your door! Magnets are a fun and popular thing to decorate stateroom doors on a Disney cruise ship. The doors are magnetic and decorating the doors are quite the thing. You can make your own magnets or find absolutely adorable ones on Etsy! This is a great way to personalize your door and maybe even interact with some other guests with a white board or other interactive display on your door! Here are some cute magnets we found!

Hidden Lily Boutique

Goldeelox Creations 

Goldeelox Creations

AlsIkKanDesigns

What are some of your top tips for sailing the high sees with Mickey? Have you been on a Disney Cruise? Are you planning a Disney Cruise? We want to hear from you! We hope this helped answer some of your cruising questions. Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.

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