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

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
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.
Sounds like the tequila tasting we did in the Dream.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
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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.
Which is why we bought our own. Found a really good set at Costco - included a bag to carry everything in. Think it was $35-$40. Well worth it if you cruise on a regular basis. The only time a life guard made us wear a vest was when we went snorkeling on the family beach.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Which is why we bought our own. Found a really good set at Costco - included a bag to carry everything in. Think it was $35-$40. Well worth it if you cruise on a regular basis. The only time a life guard made us wear a vest was when we went snorkeling on the family beach.
The vest is a very good idea especially for those that only go into the water every other year when they take a cruise. It is shocking how quickly swimming will tap your gas tank if you don't do it all the time. The vests can take a lot of the work out of staying afloat and I am sure they save the life guards a rescue mission or two.

The US Divers kit you most likely got is a great starter kit and is pretty much anywhere that sells sporting equipment.

Another great option that is coming down in price are full face snorkel/mask combos. My wife is very claustrophobic and the full face mask where you can breathe normally was a big plus.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=full-face+snorkel+mask&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=178116825102&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7815989913707260472&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011543&hvtargid=kwd-6075638341&ref=pd_sl_490080ald0_e
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
The vest is a very good idea especially for those that only go into the water every other year when they take a cruise. It is shocking how quickly swimming will tap your gas tank if you don't do it all the time. The vests can take a lot of the work out of staying afloat and I am sure they save the life guards a rescue mission or two.

The US Divers kit you most likely got is a great starter kit and is pretty much anywhere that sells sporting equipment.

Another great option that is coming down in price are full face snorkel/mask combos. My wife is very claustrophobic and the full face mask where you can breathe normally was a big plus.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=full-face+snorkel+mask&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=178116825102&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7815989913707260472&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011543&hvtargid=kwd-6075638341&ref=pd_sl_490080ald0_e
You must remember I live in the same state you do with lots of swimming pools and beaches.

Yes, mine is the U.S. Divers set.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
You must remember I live in the same state you do with lots of swimming pools and beaches.

Yes, mine is the U.S. Divers set.
Oh I do remember and I am one of those people that only seems to hit the water when I go on a cruise. The beaches on the east coast of the state really suck until you get near the keys.:)
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
Oh I do remember and I am one of those people that only seems to hit the water when I go on a cruise. The beaches on the east coast of the state really suck until you get near the keys.:)
It's a 3 hour drive over to the best beaches in Florida. No need to go to the Keys. 😁
 

EOD K9

Well-Known Member
When it comes to souvenirs, buy when you see it. The shops on the ship are closed whenever the ships are in port. This includes Castaway Cay day. If you see something you like on the first night, just go ahead and buy it. Its a rare occasion, but they may run out of something and they can't replenish it. That being said, Castaway Cay items are only available on the island. Don't hesitate if you see something you like either on the boat or the island. You can always return it before the cruise ends.
 

AVeryDifferentDisneyDad

Member
Original Poster
So... I have been reading posts here, watching videos, reading blogs... trying to get myself prepared. Our window has opened, so I have booked a few things on port days that we wanted to experience. The whole crew is absolutely pumped and ready to leave.

I have another question to toss out to the group: we are driving in on departure day. When I booked, the woman helping my on the phone asked if I was flying in and I said no. When we received our packet in the email it said, "Transportation: Declined ". So, where do we park when we reach the docks? Is there a Disney terminal that we look for? Anyone have an address that I can put in my GPS to take us straight there?

Again, thanks in advance!
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
So... I have been reading posts here, watching videos, reading blogs... trying to get myself prepared. Our window has opened, so I have booked a few things on port days that we wanted to experience. The whole crew is absolutely pumped and ready to leave.

I have another question to toss out to the group: we are driving in on departure day. When I booked, the woman helping my on the phone asked if I was flying in and I said no. When we received our packet in the email it said, "Transportation: Declined ". So, where do we park when we reach the docks? Is there a Disney terminal that we look for? Anyone have an address that I can put in my GPS to take us straight there?

Again, thanks in advance!
Transportation declined means you turned down the paid transportation from the airport to the port. If you are driving, you don't need it. Yes, there is a parking garage at Port Canaveral. Look inside the back cover of your info packet for the address.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
So... I have been reading posts here, watching videos, reading blogs... trying to get myself prepared. Our window has opened, so I have booked a few things on port days that we wanted to experience. The whole crew is absolutely pumped and ready to leave.

I have another question to toss out to the group: we are driving in on departure day. When I booked, the woman helping my on the phone asked if I was flying in and I said no. When we received our packet in the email it said, "Transportation: Declined ". So, where do we park when we reach the docks? Is there a Disney terminal that we look for? Anyone have an address that I can put in my GPS to take us straight there?

Again, thanks in advance!
That means you're not taking Disney transportation from either a Disney World resort or the airport.

Disney has its own terminal and parking garage. If you visit the Port Canaveral website, it will give the terminal number and address, which you can put in your GPS.

When you arrive, you can either drive straight to the garage or drop off your tagged luggage first, and then go the the garage. Hint: park on Level 3 in the garage and take the bridge to the terminal. It has its own security check. You'll pay to park when you reach the garage entry.
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
There is also off-site parking at a considerably lower rate than the parking garage at the port. However, since this is your first visit, it would probably be easier to use the port parking.

If you want to consider parking off-site, you can find several options with a quick Google search.
 

MaryJaneP

Well-Known Member
May we add that while the rental snorkel equipment is VERY beat, and that it is easy and cheap to get much better personal equipment, and that while we already own better equipment, we did not want to pack, unpack, dry, and repack, our own equipment. We used rental equipment, as sub-optimal as it is, because we had no room in our luggage to bring our own. We were happy to be issued it once we were at the spot, and to leave it there when we left. Whatever works for you and your crew. Have fun.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I will parrot what everyone else has been saying...parking is very easy. The port is well marked and Disney has a huge presence there so finding you way around will be easy.

All you have to do is pull up, drop off your checked luggage and then make your way to the adjacent parking garage. Once you park, it is a short walk to the terminal.

Parking is a bit on the pricey side, but it is close, covered and secured making it worth the extra coin.

This video is a little long and boring, but it takes you through the whole process.


When you get back, you will grab your luggage at the port. If you have a good deal of it, there are plenty of porters there waiting for you that will take your luggage all the way to your car. From the time we get through customs until we are in our car heading home is usually less than 20 minutes.
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
I will parrot what everyone else has been saying...parking is very easy. The port is well marked and Disney has a huge presence there so finding you way around will be easy.

All you have to do is pull up, drop off your checked luggage and then make your way to the adjacent parking garage. Once you park, it is a short walk to the terminal.

Parking is a bit on the pricey side, but it is close, covered and secured making it worth the extra coin.

This video is a little long and boring, but it takes you through the whole process.


When you get back, you will grab your luggage at the port. If you have a good deal of it, there are plenty of porters there waiting for you that will take your luggage all the way to your car. From the time we get through customs until we are in our car heading home is usually less than 20 minutes.
Ditto.

Once you get to the terminal, there are plenty of signs and people to direct you. And once inside, there are CMs to point you in the right direction. There's also a photo opportunity. And another just before you board. Once on the ship, more CMs to assist if you have questions or get lost.

We've NEVER had a bad experience on a Disney cruise. And I'm taking my 7th & 8th this year. Problem is, as soon as you get off, you wanna go again. So do the placeholder before you disembark. 😊

Don't stress, you'll have a fantastic time!
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
All you have to do is pull up, drop off your checked luggage and then make your way to the adjacent parking garage. Once you park, it is a short walk to the terminal.
Just to add to this, as the OP is a first time cruises. This is nothing like checking your bags at an airport. DCL has sent you tags for your bags with your room number on them. You put those on the bags you are going to drop off. DO NOT PUT THINGS LIKE YOUR ID, OR MEDICATION, OR ANYTHING IMPORTANT IN YOUR DROP OFF BAGS. Once you drop them off, you are not going to see them again until they get delivered to your stateroom. If you put your passport in your drop off luggage, then you are not getting on the ship (at least not without a MAJOR hassle).

Now, you have your tags on your bags to drop off, and nothing important in them. When you pull up to the curb, there will be a bunch of DCL workers there with luggage carts. they will take your bags, give them a cursory glance to make sure you have tags on them, throw them on a cart, and then .... that's it (It is nice to tip them). There is no receipt, there is no scanning of your document, there is nothing like that. You give them your bags, and you go away. Do not worry. This is how the process works, for all cruises,. and it works well. Your bags will show up at your stateroom as long as you put your tags on them.

It can be disconcerting for first time cruisers who are used to all that goes with checking bags at an airport.

-dave
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
DO NOT PUT THINGS LIKE YOUR ID, OR MEDICATION, OR ANYTHING IMPORTANT IN YOUR DROP OFF BAGS. Once you drop them off, you are not going to see them again until they get delivered to your stateroom. If you put your passport in your drop off luggage, then you are not getting on the ship (at least not without a MAJOR hassle).
GREAT point, Dave. Thanks for the reminder.
 

EOD K9

Well-Known Member
Ditto.

Once you get to the terminal, there are plenty of signs and people to direct you. And once inside, there are CMs to point you in the right direction. There's also a photo opportunity. And another just before you board. Once on the ship, more CMs to assist if you have questions or get lost.

We've NEVER had a bad experience on a Disney cruise. And I'm taking my 7th & 8th this year. Problem is, as soon as you get off, you wanna go again. So do the placeholder before you disembark. 😊

Don't stress, you'll have a fantastic time!
I'm doing my 9th, when are you going?
 

LAKid53

Official Member of the Mean Girls Cult
Premium Member
I'm doing my 9th, when are you going?
#9? One more and you're platinum. 👍 #7 in June, #8 in September.

Not doing the DVC cruise this year. Hopefully, they will do the Bahamian 4 nighter with 2 stops in Castaway Cay next year.
 

EOD K9

Well-Known Member
#9? One more and you're platinum. 👍 #7 in June, #8 in September.

Not doing the DVC cruise this year. Hopefully, they will do the Bahamian 4 nighter with 2 stops in Castaway Cay next year.
We are doing the Bahamian with two stops at CC in July of this year.
 
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