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1st Disney Cruise! Heck, my 1st cruise EVER!

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
Again, thank you SO much for all your responses.

Next question: when we are at our Ports (Nassau and Castaway), are there any activities (snorkeling, jet ski, diving, etc) that are INCLUDED in the cost of the cruise? Or is everything (other than laying on the beach) an extra charge?
No, it's all extra - mainly to rent the equipment. Which is why I recommended bringing your own snorkel, mask and fins (found a nice set on Amazon). We have an old, battered suitcase we use to pack our gear. I'm a little leary of using a mouthpiece that's been used by others - not sure how well it's been cleaned. Plus, I'm cheap. 😁
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
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Castaway 5k is free and you get a bib and medal for participating in it. It will be the flattest run you ever participate in.
And hot. That part of the course through the hedges is awful. But I do it every trip.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
I also loved Beauty and the Beast. The LED backdrops alone cost about $9million. They're very cool. And I loved how they moved certain elements of the staging to make a "new" set.

We usually pack bathing suits in a carry-on bag and change in one of the Deck 11 bathrooms (or Deck 9 on the classic ships).


In my family, these two things go together. My wife insists on a verandah because her favorite thing on the entire cruise is to have coffee and chocolate croissants on the verandah in the morning.


I don't understand. Then, how do you wear pins????

View attachment 343762


If you don't have kids, go have lunch at the Serenity Bay BBQ. (That's at the adults-only beach.) They have everything that Cookies has on the family beach, but in addition, they have steak! Mmmmmm.


My family is Platinum and on our last cruise we splurged and got a cabana for the first time. Everybody absolutely loved it. It's a great way to get out of the sun, while still being right on the beach. There are some fun "free" treats in the cabana, like snacks and drinks and cool towels. The cabana includes a free bike rental for each guest. There's an outdoor shower, so you can rinse off after coming off the beach. It really was nice. My own opinion is that it was fun, but not really worth the money. But everybody else in my party absolutely LOVED it. I think my sister will probably get one every time she cruises now.

Don't panic if you can't get your meet-and-greet tickets online. They always hold back a few tickets for people to get once they board. Just go to Guest Services on Embarkation Day, and they will very likely be able to get you the tickets you're looking for.

The same is true of dining. If you can't get that Palo brunch reservation online, just go up to the restaurant on Embarkation Day. They will have several time slots held aside for people who couldn't make their reservations through the website.
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I noticed the black lanyard...and I was jealous.

We've gotten a cabana on our last 4 cruises. Love it. And was glad because 2 of them ended up with massive storms, causing DCL to close the island early. And we were trapped in the cabana until we could safely be driven to the team - very bad thunderstorm, with lightening hitting the water. The ship booked it back to Port Canaveral as we were on the edges of the outerbands of Hurricane Matthew. Made for a rocky trip back.

Question, since you have the same window as concierge, do you find cabanas available when the window opens or have concierge guests snagged all of them?
 

AVeryDifferentDisneyDad

Member
Original Poster
I am SO very happy I thought to come on here and start this thread. Y'all are answering questions that I didn't even think to ask!

Ok... next question. Seeing as I have never been on a cruise of ANY kind, and I have 2 teenagers who are growing more and more independent, is there cellular service or Wi-Fi on board to communicate with my kids if I let them "explore" on their own or hang out in Vibe?

I know, I know... I sound like such a newbie!
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
I am SO very happy I thought to come on here and start this thread. Y'all are answering questions that I didn't even think to ask!

Ok... next question. Seeing as I have never been on a cruise of ANY kind, and I have 2 teenagers who are growing more and more independent, is there cellular service or Wi-Fi on board to communicate with my kids if I let them "explore" on their own or hang out in Vibe?

I know, I know... I sound like such a newbie!
There are two Wave phones in each stateroom. Ships have their own Wi-Fi and through the Navigator app you can text.
 

KeithVH

Well-Known Member
There is service but I would categorize it as very costly, very slow, and, with the way most phones and their apps communicate with the 'tubes, VERY costly.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I am SO very happy I thought to come on here and start this thread. Y'all are answering questions that I didn't even think to ask!

Ok... next question. Seeing as I have never been on a cruise of ANY kind, and I have 2 teenagers who are growing more and more independent, is there cellular service or Wi-Fi on board to communicate with my kids if I let them "explore" on their own or hang out in Vibe?

I know, I know... I sound like such a newbie!
So Disney cruise line has made this very easy. They have an app that you download and when you get on the ship you will put your phone on airplane mode so you dont use data. In this app you can text each other with no cost. You can also access the navigator, look up menus, etc. They will give you the information about the app when you get your cruise booklet. Or you can just go to your app store and download it now. Not much you can do now with it but you can see up a countdown.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Although reportedly not necessary for a "closed loop" cruise (one that boards in US port and concludes also in a US port), we are BIG proponents of always travelling with a passport for each traveler.
This is very sound advice.

While problems are rare all it takes is one little mishap for you to miss the boat and you are stuck in another country. This is a real pain with a passport. Without, it is an absolute nightmare.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Pairing bourbon with bacon...who knew.

We did the tequila tasting. One guest didn't show up. One of the tequilas was Patron's coffee/chocolate infused version. Needless to say, that extra glass was MINE.
Not a DCL event, but a WDW F&W.event. If you get a chance to do the food and tequila pairing during Food and Wine, do so. Just straight tequila, but good tequila. Oh, and the best margarita I ever had.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Mayday, mayday... just chatted with a co-worker who asked me if I had my Fish Extender stuff, yet. I said, "My, what?" Looked online... Oh, boy...

Emergency Question #3: what the heck is this and will people hate me if I don't spend 100's of dollars on a door decoration and gifts for all my neighbors?

Some people love it and think it adds to the cruise. Me, meh. It is totally up to you if you want to join a "fish extender group" or no. If you do, they have ones for all sorts of themes and price points. Don't worry if you don't want to do it. Lots of people do it, but many many many more do not.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Again, thank you SO much for all your responses.

Next question: when we are at our Ports (Nassau and Castaway), are there any activities (snorkeling, jet ski, diving, etc) that are INCLUDED in the cost of the cruise? Or is everything (other than laying on the beach) an extra charge?
Nothing in Nassau is free.

On Castaway Cay the food is free and the alcohol costs money - just like on the ship. In fact the ship "plugs into" the island infrastructure, so you can do things like charge drinks and stuff from the gift shop to your room.

There are some activities that are free on CC, like the hermit crab races and volleyball, but most activities aside from swimming, walking around, and laying in the sun is a charge.

Technically the snorkel area at CC is free. It just costs money to rent equipment. So, if you have your own, bring it. Even if you don't have you own, you may want to buy some and bring it. You can get a mask, snorkel, and shorty fin set pretty cheap. DCL makes you wear a float vest while snorkeling, but those are free to borrow. The DCL snorkeling equipment is pretty low quality too.

You can rent float mats if you want. However, I find them a pain to keep track of. Also, since there is no deposit, people do not return them. they just leave them behind when they go back to the ship. In the afternoon there are a lot of families leaving who are more than happy to leave their float mat for you to use.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
I am SO very happy I thought to come on here and start this thread. Y'all are answering questions that I didn't even think to ask!

Ok... next question. Seeing as I have never been on a cruise of ANY kind, and I have 2 teenagers who are growing more and more independent, is there cellular service or Wi-Fi on board to communicate with my kids if I let them "explore" on their own or hang out in Vibe?

I know, I know... I sound like such a newbie!

As was said, cellular service is VERY expensive on the ship. They can also only activate the on ship cellular when they are out to sea. It will be turned off in port, but you may be able to pick up cellular service from the carrier for the port you are in (I think Nassau is LIME, but don't quote me). I don't know who your cell carrier is, but I know Verizon has a plan you sign up for. When you use your phone in a foreign country, you are charged $10. You then have 24 hours to do whatever you want (data, calls, etc) at what would be your normal domestic charges, based on whatever plan you have. I don't know what other carriers do. We use the Verizon thing in Bermuda.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Even if you don't have you own, you may want to buy some and bring it. You can get a mask, snorkel, and shorty fin set pretty cheap. DCL makes you wear a float vest while snorkeling, but those are free to borrow. The DCL snorkeling equipment is pretty low quality too.
This^^^

The rental equipment that CC has is so bad that WalMart would not sell it.

You can but a decent mask, fins and dry snorkel for the same or less money than the rental fee.
 
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