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Old 30 Sep 20, 09:31 AM  
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PENELOPE
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Tell Me Everything Please

So for a number of years DH and myself have thought about a Disney cruise as an add on to a trip but never got round to doing anything about it. We've now decided a few days R&R on a cruise in middle of one of our trips would be a good idea. I've started watching vlogs and looked at the itinerary's etc but seem totally lost with everything. Sorry but I have a shed load of questions:-
Dining: do you choose a package like at Disney or is it all included within the cost of the cruise ? Tips, are these paid as you go or do you pay a set fee (i've seen that you can buy packages with other operators that have everything all in)
Formal dining: do you have to choose a formal dining night or can you just do buffet style each night (hubby really doesn't want to do a formal night)
Drinks : Is there a separate package for drinks? I don't drink and wouldn't want a package but hubby would. Is it possible to just buy alcoholic drinks as you go along.
Adult only areas: are there any of these area's on a deck so we can just sit and relax without kids running around
Room: is it worth paying the extra for a balcony room or would you just go and sit on one of the decks
Thanks in advance
P
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Old 30 Sep 20, 11:27 AM  
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Ladyshopper
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I can try and answer your questions. I've done 8 Disney Cruises and they are fab. Bit pricey for me these days though!

Dining: It's all included. It is rotational dining, so on your key to the world card, which you get when you check in at the port, it will tell you which restaurant you go to each night, and your table number. Your servers follow the same rotation, so you will have the same servers each night which is nice as they get to know your preferences etc.

There are one or two restaurants (depending on the ship you go on) that you can pay extra for. Palo is the one that is on every ship, can't remember the name of the other one. There is an upcharge, but most people seem to think it is well worth it.

There isn't a buffet in the evening, the restaurant that they use for the buffet at breakfast and lunch is a sit down restaurant, but has menu choices from all the evening menus of the rotational restaurants I believe. It is a bit more casual and you can go whenever you want within it's opening hours. There are other places to eat, like the places round the pool (pizza, burgers etc) and also room service, which is also included (but it's generally a given that you will tip a few dollars depending on what you get).

For formal night they are not super strict, so you will see people in evening dresses and tuxedos, and you will also see people very casual. You won't be out of place if you don't dress up, but it is really nice to do so (and I'm really not a dressing up person usually!). On formal night they have a captains reception out in the lobby, basically all the officers are out in their formal gear and there are free drinks served. Well worth a visit to that!

There aren't any drinks packages on the Disney ship other than a wine package for dinner I believe. You can also buy a beer cup, which means you get a larger refill for the same price as a standard pint would be. Paying as you go is easy, don't forget there will be a gratuity already added to your drink, so you don't need to tip on top of that. You can also take some alcohol onboard, I think it's a 6 pack of beer or 2 bottles of wine (can't remember if that's per person or per cabin) and you are also allowed to restock at port and bring on the same. Saves a fair bit of money doing this. Your room attendant will be happy to provide you with glasses if required, or you can just go to any bar and ask for them.

There are adult areas with their own pools on all ships, and Cove Cafe where you can get coffee (that you pay for) and small cakes etc (free) is situated in these areas.

I have only ever had an inside cabin until our last cruise, which was our honeymoon, and we splashed out on a balcony. To be honest, I've always been more than happy with an inside cabin, there is so much to do onboard that you don't tend to be in it that long! Having a balcony was nice as a change, but I'd be more than happy to do inside again. Obviously depends on differences in price etc, and people's own preferences.

Tips are a set amount, lots of people add extra but you don't need to, totally up to you. I think it's around $12 per person in the cabin per night, may have gone up a dollar or two. This covers your stateroom attendant, dining room server, assistant server and also head server. So for example, if you were doing a 3 night cruise and there was 2 of you, there would be $72 added to your onboard account to cover gratuities for you both for the whole cruise. You don't need to tip when you go to the buffet restaurant or eat at places round the pool, as the dining servers also cover these places too (they work ridiculous hours!).

Hope this helps a little bit.
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Old 30 Sep 20, 12:44 PM  
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gismo1554
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Already covered on the most by Ladyshopper but going to add my 2 cents too as love talking about Disney cruises! Completely agree I'm on cruise 10 and the pricing is definitely turning me off them but they are amazing!

Originally Posted by PENELOPE View Post
Dining: do you choose a package like at Disney or is it all included within the cost of the cruise ? Tips, are these paid as you go or do you pay a set fee (i've seen that you can buy packages with other operators that have everything all in)
So Disney cruise dining is included in the cost unlike a Disney holiday. Tips are not however paid but they charge a set amount to your onboard account towards the end of the trip that you can change if you want to or leave as the recommended. I think its something like $13.50 per person per day which is split between your main server as dinner (who moves around all the restuarants with you), your assistant server (brings you drinks), your head server and your stateroom host (who cleans the room each day). With the dining you get to experience all the non-upcharge restuarants for dinner in whats called rotational dining so you move around each restuarant during you cruise but your wait staff also move with you. You also have a set dinner time either early (5ish) or late (8:30ish). Breakfast and lunch can be taken whenever from whereever really. They have 1 sit down and 1 buffett open for both at least plus there are fast food type places up on the pool deck which are included in your costs.

Formal dining: do you have to choose a formal dining night or can you just do buffet style each night (hubby really doesn't want to do a formal night)
So by formal dining it depends what you mean. If you mean "formal" dressing up this is usually just one night of the cruise. They do however have set dinning each night in all the restaurants. There isn't really a buffett as such although you can skip the main dining room and choose to each at Cabanas instead (which is a buffett during the day but at night has a menu) or at any of the fast food type places.

Drinks : Is there a separate package for drinks? I don't drink and wouldn't want a package but hubby would. Is it possible to just buy alcoholic drinks as you go along.
Disney don't do a proper drinks package like other ships do. They do a wine package you can purchase and also do "drinks of the day" which are cheaper than usual drinks but you can just buy alcohol as you go along. In terms of non-alcoholic drinks these are included with meals and there is a drinks station by the pool where you can get them free. You do have to pay if you order a soft drink in a bar or a speciality drink (like a smoothie or a speciality coffee) but regular soft drinks are easy to come by and you can take them from one venue to another so no need to worry.

Adult only areas: are there any of these area's on a deck so we can just sit and relax without kids running around
Yes so there is a pool area for adults along with a coffee shop (chargeable drinks but they do nice cakes which are free) as well as 1/2 upcharge restaurants depending on the ship. They also do adult only activities including alcohol tasting sessions, spa seminars etc. At night the nightclub area also becomes adult only after a set time.

Room: is it worth paying the extra for a balcony room or would you just go and sit on one of the decks
In all honesty it depends 1. how long the cruise is and 2. what you are like. For me I always say no because I wont spend any time on it at all as always off doing things around the ship. For some people however this is a must and they really love it so I guess you have to think about how you feel on this one.

In terms of resources disneycruiselineblog has previous cruise navigators on there where you can look at all the activities etc that you could do on the cruise as well as things like how much tips cost.
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Old 30 Sep 20, 12:54 PM  
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duchy
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If your husband wants the option of buffet for dinner then most of the other cruise companies offer the choice . Celebrity for example or NCL .
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Old 30 Sep 20, 01:41 PM  
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PENELOPE
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Thank you everybody, at last I have a starting point, i'll probably be back with more questions as I try to plan but at least I now have a rough idea how much tips will cost me etc. Hubby will just have to like it and lump it as far as the formal dining goes but i'm sure the promise of him getting larger beer cup will help.
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Old 30 Sep 20, 04:18 PM  
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We’ve done a couple of Disney cruises and for entertainment and children they are absolutely brilliant.

That said we now prefer other cruise lines which are a fraction of the cost and much fewer children (ours are grown up)! NCL is our favourite, because their endless beverage package saves us a fortune onboard compared to Disney cocktails.
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Old 3 Oct 20, 11:10 AM  
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Don't worry about the food in the restaurants. They will give him whatever he wants, within reason. If they have it on the ship they will cook it for him.

The places around the pool do things like burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, pizzas etc.

The restaurants are all really good fun.

On the formal night when we were on the fantasy, we got dressed up as we like to do that, but the family we were table sharing with turned up in shorts and t shirt. "Formal" isn't forced at all.

Edited at 11:12 AM.
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Old 5 Oct 20, 11:10 AM  
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PENELOPE
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Thank You
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