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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:22 PM  
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Updated: Everything You Need To Know About Disney Cruise Line

This info is being updated all of the time, please pop back often to view any new details for DCL.

All cruise trip reports can now be found HERE

Latest DCL brochure, including the new itineraries can be found HERE

Post Number
1
INDEX AND BASIC INFO
Overview of ships

2 GETTING TO THE PORT
Transport options, boarding, lifeboat drill and sailaway!

3 ENTERTAINMENT
Shows, bars, nightclubs and what's onboard

4 SPA AND FITNESS

5 SHOPPING
Onboard shops and photography

6 CHILDRENS CLUBS
Clubs for all ages

7 TIPPING
A necessity in the cruise industry

8 FOOD
Restaurants, room service, deck and late night dining

9 MEDICAL/LAUNDRY, T'INTERNET, AND MISC

10 STATEROOMS
All the categories and the benefits of each one

11 READY TO BOOK?
Details on booking

12 FISH EXTENDERS & DOOR MAGNETS

13 DECK PLANS FOR ALL 4 SHIPS

14 DESTINATIONS

www.disneycruise.com
0800 028 3179

At present there are 4 ships in the Disney Cruise Line: The 'Classics' .. Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, plus the 2 new ones: Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

The Classics hold around 2400 guests and have 11 passenger decks and 877 state rooms. The Dream and the Fantasy hold around 4000 guests on 14 decks and 1250 staterooms.

Over the next few pages, we hope to set out some basic info for you about Disney Cruise Line, give you some top tips, some things to remember and maybe some personal experiences.

With thanks to all those who have contributed to this info section.

A 43 minute preview of the Disney ships can be found HERE
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:23 PM  
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TRAVELLING TO THE PORT AND YOUR FIRST HOURS ONBOARD

GETTING THERE
If you are sailing from Port Canaveral and are staying at a Disney Resort, you can travel by DCL coaches at a cost of $35 per person each way. You can also get picked up or dropped off to MCO Airport (not Sanford) and some Disney Parks.

Alternatively, you can do one way car rentals with numerous rental firms which work out cheaper normally than parking your car at the terminal. You return the car to Cape Canaveral, but all of the rental firms have transfer buses to take you on the 5 min journey to the Port.

Car parking at the official terminal car park, is $15 per day right now, but there are plenty of other cheaper ones nearby as you drive towards the Port ... you can't miss the signs for them!
Dibbers recommend www.parkcruise.com as it seems to be a good price and service.

If you are staying at a Disney resort pre-cruise and don't want to take all of your luggage with you, you are allowed to leave it with Bell Services until you return. Thanks to Geoffa for the info.

Disney Cruise Line buses (only for Port Canaveral departures)


If you are sailing from any other port, DCL will happily charge you $35 per person each way to transport you from airport to port. My advice is to seek an alternative as you can do it a lot cheaper, specially if there is more than 2 of you.
For Barcelona, try Suntransfers

EMBARKATION
At all ports, they have a new system in place to try to ease the conjestion often seen before noon in the terminals. This new procedure is only being used at some ports right now, but it's worth bearing in mind that they could initiate it at any point.
The new procedure is that when you complete your online check in (after full payment is made), you can then choose a port arrival time (PAT). These range from late morning through to mid afternoon. The idea is that you choose the time period of when you will realistically arrive (if the time is available). Once instigated, you may not be alllowed to enter the port area until your arrival time is reached.

As I said, it's really only being used at Port Canaveral now, but when you do online check in, you do choose a time still regardless of where you sail from.

Once inside the terminal, you can officially check in and get your boarding card number (directly linked to your PAT) and your Key To The World card (KTTW). They'll ask you to complete a health declaration for your party, show your passports and have your photos taken if you're first timers. There will be a line exclusively for silver and gold Castaway Members (those who have cruised with DCL before) and then one for Platinum (11 or more cruises) and concierge guests.
Guests staying in the Suites, platinum members, wedding parties and the chosen 'Family of the Day' get to board first. Boarding is very quick so don't panic if you get a card in double figures!

Once onboard, you'll be met by a crew member who will welcome your family and explain where you can grab some lunch.:pop: Be ready to give your family name to the CM at the gangplank door as he will announce you onto the ship to much clapping and cheering!

This is the time, if you're early and have children, that you should strip them down to their swimmers and let them take advantage of the empty pools or slides. One adult can grab lunch from the buffet restaurant while the other watches the children.

LIFEBOAT DRILL
Everyone has to do it, please don't miss it. Around 4pm on EVERY cruise (first day only), you will be expected to make your way to your designated muster station. Each muster station will be a letter, so, for example 'A' may be Walt Disney Theatre. The letter for you and the rest of your cabin will be on your KTTW cards.

You will hear numerous warnings about the drill, so once they start mustering, make your way to your designated station. You DO NOT need to grab your lifejacket (kept in the wardrobes in each cabin).

Once you get there, a crew member will tick your cabin number off of their list. Any missing will be called out once everyone is in place. If your cabin number is called, just yell that you're there .. they may have missed you turning up!

It only takes 30 mins but is vitally important. Please don't miss it.
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:24 PM  
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ENTERTAINMENT/WHAT'S ONBOARD

The shows onboard all of the ships are second to none so try not to miss them. They are mainly like Broadway shows, but DCL also has live acts such as comedians, magicians and singers.
My personal favourites are Alfred and Seymour (comedians), Buckets & Boards (comedian/musicians), JUNK (musical comedy) and the Disney show Believe.

You will have a show on each night of your cruise, a mix of the Disney shows and live acts on the longer cruises and just Disney shows on the shorter ones. Your dining time will coincide neatly with the shows, you wont miss anything. All shows are shown in the Walt Disney Theatre. The 'cabaret' style entertainers not only do a family show in the WDT, but will also normally do an adult only show. These are not adult in the terms of offensive or rude, but the humour can be a little more risqu.

Alongside the shows, you can also enjoy the cinema in the Buena Vista Theatre which shows old and new Disney films. On all of the ships, you can watch Disney films on your stateroom TV, but only on the Dream and Fantasy can you pause it then start watching it from the same place later or the next day ... a great new innovation.

More films are shown on Funnel Vision throughout the day (big screen on the funnel). You will find children love this as they mooch around in the pool while watching the film! It's quite nice late in the evening to grab a lounger, a hot drink (free don't forget!) and sit watching a movie while the world goes by.

If films and shows are not your thing, you could try some sport ... basketball, ping pong, shuffleboard, and even crazy golf and simulation golf on the Dream and Fantasy. The CMs also hold regular competitions such as Wii Sports, golf chipping, quizzes and a race involving vegetables, some toy car wheels and a few cocktail sticks (you have to see it to believe it!). For the really young ones, they have a Diaper Dash race ... Competitive parents screaming at their babies to crawl faster! lol

For those who like late nights, there are the nightclubs. I put it in inverted commas as in my eyes, they are not true nightclubs, rather bars with a dance floor and stage. You can still hear yourself think in most of them which is a bonus, but some are more bars and some are more nightclub.

On the Fantasy you have:
Bon Voyage: A small bar on Deck 3, open to all, all day.
Meridian: Quite a well to do bar which is between Palo and Remy, the adult only restaurants.
Europa District .. within this area, you have:
Skyline Lounge: Adults only, a chic cosmopolitan lounge with panoramic views of cities in Europe.
La Piazza: Italian inspired adults only lounge. Has those really freaky Venetian masks on display!
O'Gills Pub: Certain Dibbers spent alot of time in here! This sports bar shows baseball and American football mainly. Quite dark inside but after a few of their drinks, who cares?!
Ooh La La: Quite a sweet little adult only bar which is supposed to look like a elegant Frech boudoir .. has some great chairs!
The Tube: Adults only nightclub. This is where they hold the adult entertainment shows too. If you arrive late for a show and it's busy, they normally send you into La Piazza to watch on the screens there. The Tube is designed to resemble the London Tube system and if you ignore the fact that it's clean and people talk to each other, it is really good! The lights on the ceiling over the dance floor make up a Union flag which is pretty cool, the seats have large tickets printed on them and there are handles to 'hold on to' .. you'll need those after some of their cocktails!

On the Dream you have:
Bon Voyage: A small bar for families to enjoy snacks and drinks all day.
District Area has the following bars:
Bar 687: A sports bar and named 687 as the Dream was the 687th ship to be built at that shipyard.
District Lounge: All seating, no dance floor. Quite nice for evening chats over cocktails. Open during the day to all ages.
Skyline Lounge: Adults only cocktail lounge. Shows the skylines of many European cities as the evening progresses.
Pink: A very posh bar selling pink champagne.
Evolution: The nightclub and the only place you cant hear yourself think!

On the Classics:
The Magic has After Hours which encompasses:
Keys: A piano lounge
O'Gills : A sports bar
Fathoms: For dancing the night away!

The Wonder has Route 66 which has:
Cadillac Lounge: a piano lounge
Diversions :the sports bar
Wavebands: The nightclub

In addition to the bars and clubs above, the Magic and Wonder have The Promenade Lounge on Deck 3. It's open to all the family and is where you can find the internet cafe, bingo and sometimes the craft activities. It's also where most groups meet up as it's central.
The Dream, Fantasy and Magic all have the D Lounge which is a family friendly lounge and 'nightclub' which hosts family karaoke, quizzes, craft workshops and other activities.

Pink Lounge on the Dream


Walt Disney Theatre


Crazy Golf on the Dream/Fantasy


Funnel Vision. You can also see the Aquaduck around the ship


Golf Chipping in the Atrium


The new re-imagined areas around the elevators on the Magic near the adult only bars/club.
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:24 PM  
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SPA AND FITNESS

On all 4 ships, you will find a fully loaded gym with group classes, weights and cardiovascular machines. The classes range from Group Cycling to Detox and Wellbeing.
For those who prefer relaxation over workouts, there is the Vista Spa and Salon on the Wonder, and Senses Spa and Salon on the Dream, Fantasy and Magic.

All the spas offer a range of treatments including massages, seaweed wraps, couples retreats and of course the standard saunas, steam rooms and tropical showers. On the Dream and Fantasy, you have a much larger area for the different showers plus 2 hot tubs overlooking the sea.

The treatments are all payable as extras and spaces go very quickly. If you wish to just enjoy the sauna, steam and showers, you can buy a 1 day Rainforest Spa pass via the online shop. Once on board, you can also buy 'length of cruise' passes.
Vista and Senses are for over 18s only, but on all but the Wonder, teens have their own area called Chill Spa where they too can have spa treatments. Spoilt or what?!

In the salon, all the normal treatments are available for booking such as hair treatments, manicures, pedicures and make up sessions. If you want anything on a sea day or for formal night, please book it asap!

Here are some treatments as a guide to what you can get .. let's start with the teens:

Facials
Acne Attach Facial $94 - Kiss your pimple-popping days goodbye. If skin blemishes and spots are giving you a problem, we will help you blast them away with our revolutionary oxygen facial. (50 minutes)

Massages
Mother/Daughter Paradise Massage Half Body $99 or Full Body $195 - Learn the art of indulgence from mom with this gorgeously relaxing treatment. Be pampered together as you enjoy a massage side by side. (25 or 50 minutes)
Father/Son Chill Out Massage Half Body $99 or Full Body $195 - After shooting some hoops on deck, chill out together by enjoying an invigorating massage. With all that hard work you deserve it. (25 or 50 minutes)

Additional Services & Treatments
Tantastic Body Bronzer $92 - Get a rich, natural, colden tan without the worries of sun-induced skin damage. Start by exfoliating your skin until it is silky smooth and then a St. Tropezs paraben-free, Aloe Vera based formula which soothes, hydrates and nourishes the skin while evoking a natural sun-kissed glow will be applied. (50 minutes)
Me! Bath Ice Cream Manicure $45 - We all scream for ice cream! The delicious Me! Bath manicure uses an ice cream shaped bath product and other yummy ingredients to give your hands a sweet treat while you sit back and relax. You get to choose which soaking ice cream scoop to use in your treatment. and your favorite color of nail polish. (25 minutes)

And for the over 18's:
Womens blow dry - Price from $30 Add flair to your existing hairstyle or a completely new one with a professional blow dry.
Spa manicure $25 Beautify your hands with a full-service spa manicure. Moisturize, treat and nourish your skin, and top off your manicure with professionally-applied nail color. (25 minutes min)
Swedish Massage for Couples $242 This massage for couples seamlessly combines 10 exotic cultural touchesincluding Swedish and Deep Tissue techniquesto create a relaxing and beneficent experience for the each of you. The massage thats heaven for individuals becomes a shared journey into blissful relaxation for two. When booking this treatment, only one name from your party is needed to reserve. (50 minutes)

If spa treatments are not your thing, there is a running/walking track around Deck 4 which is a 1/3 mile long. It's a one way track and is strangely popular! Personally I like the shuffleboard on Deck 4 .. relaxing and a nice 'pass the time' activity.

Tropical showers in Senses Spa on the Dream


The private hot tubs for couples


Teen Spa on the Magic
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:24 PM  
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SHOPPING AND PHOTOS

You cant really shop till you drop onboard DCL, but you can give it a good go!
On the Wonder and Magic, you have a choice of 2 DCL branded shops ... all DCL goods and souvenirs, then you also have a small shop selling fine wines, champagnes, crisps and cigars. The shops selling Disney character merchandise are Mickeys Mates and Treasure Ketch on the Wonder and Mickey's main Sail and Whitecaps on the Magic.
On the Dream and Fantasy you get one extra shop called Sea Treasures alongside the same two as the Magic. The Dream and Fantasy also have another small shop which mainly sells merchandise associated with the Aquaduck.

In all of the DCL branded shops you can by goods ranging from keyrings for under $3 up to Dooney and Bourke special design DCL bags for around $300! It must be said though that these beautiful bags have recently started being sold online through the Disney Store (US), so if youre tight on packing space, just order one online.

All ships not only sell DCL branded goods, but also everyday items that you may need, such as suncream, headache and travel sickness tablets, nappies, nail files and holdalls in case you buy too much!

On every cruise, you will have to add on a tax of some kind for your purchases. On the US cruises, add on US tax (as you would in Florida), but in the Med, you have to add on 21% for Spanish IVA tax instead.

Inside shop


Sea Treasures and White Caps (Dream)

Please note that all shops close while the ship is docked in a port due to US Customs regulations.

There are numerous photographers on each of the Disney ships and although none of them are professional photographers, they are able to point and shoot their cameras to catch that magical moment with the characters! The CM who accompanies each character will also be happy to take a photo with your camera.
On formal nights, you will find a photographer ready to capture you in your best frock and you can also get photos taken during your dinner on some nights.
Prices are a little steep, but if you want those moments captured, it may be worth it for your family.
Prices below are for a 7 night cruise and are just a few of the options available.

8x10 photo $19.95 each
6x8 photo $12.95 each
10 photo prints or digital photos on a disc $149.95
20 photo prints or digital photos on a disc $249.95
All photos on a disc $349.95. Add prints for $50.00
Photobook $149.95
Photo Cards (postcards 4x8)
40 cards for $39.95
100 cards for $69.95
200 cards for $119.95


To check how much a photo package will be on your cruise, please visit MY CRUISE PHOTOS. This is the company who run the photography on board DCL. If the link asks you for your ressie number, just put in any 8 digit number for now, but please ensure you put your correct one in when you come to order it. (Thanks to DeeSlack for the info above).
Bear in mind that some photos are only available in certain sizes, see below:
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:26 PM  
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Thanks to Bev for this piece.

Clubs for children (up to 21)

On all 4 of the Disney Cruise ships, there are fabulous facilities for children. My kids grabbed the Navigator, circled all the "must do" events at the Club and the Lab, and then disappeared and we never saw them again!

Flounder's Reef Nursery / It's a Small World Nursery
from 3 months to 3 years

This area is the only club for which a charge is made (Currently $9/hr), and reservations are required. It is suggested that you prebook before boarding the ship, however, you can also book on embarkation day.

You need to provide your own nappies, wipes and baby food.

There is a play room, and also a quiet room where babies can take naps.


It's a Small World Nursery

Oceaneer Club / Oceaneer Lab
from 3 years -10 years
There is no charge for these clubs and no reservations are required, however you must register your child when you arrive at Port and they will receive a wrist band.

The Oceaneer Club is for younger children, and the Lab for the older children, however there is no longer a strict age distinction and children in this age bracket can visit either club depending on which activities they are interested in. They can move between the clubs easily. On the Disney Dream/Fantasy the clubs are in one space, and on the Disney Wonder and Magic there is a private corridor the children can use to move between the two clubs.

Children in these clubs (if they are 8 or under) must be checked in and out by a parent who must provide a prearranged password.

If the child wishes to contact you, then the club will ring you on your wave phone (in each room for your free use) to let you know. I dropped my daughter off each evening with the instruction to tell the counselor when she wanted me. Some evenings it was quite early and others she stayed late, depending on which activities were happening.

If your child is in the Club or Lab at mealtimes, then they will be fed. On the Magic and Wonder they go to one of the restaurants (which is closed to other guests), and on the Dream they have an area where they can serve meals right in the kids club. The mealtimes are listed on the Navigator so you can decide if you want to collect your child for dinner, or let them eat in the kids club whilst you have a quieter meal.
Quite often my youngest daughter would join us in the dining room, she would have her meal whilst we had a starter, and then we would take her up to the kids club whilst we enjoyed the rest of our meal more slowly. On the later seating there are members of the club who will collect your child right from the dining room. Be sure to let your servers know that you will be taking advantage of the pick up service so they can bring the children's dinner out first.

Baking Cookies in the Lab on the Disney Wonder


The new slinky slide in the Oceaneers Club on the Magic


Andy's Room on the Dream


The wristbands each child must have


Edge
from 11-13
This is a more relaxed area for the 'tweens' to chill out. There are fewer structured activities here, and the kids can come and go as they please, they don't need to be checked in and out. These photos are from the Dream/Fantasy


Edge pre-teen club by insidethemagic on Flickr

Vibe
from 14-17
This is for the older teens, and is a coffee shop styled area for teens only. On the Dream/Fantasy, the teens even get their own sundeck and swimming pool!

Vibe teen club by insidethemagic, on Flickr
External Area for Vibe (14-17)


Here's a short trippie from the 13yr old daughter of Dibber 1972.
3 NIGHT DREAM CRUISE
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:27 PM  
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TIPPING

For those who have never cruised before, the shock of reading about the recommended tips can cause a few heart palpitations!

On DCL, the recommended amount (as of Jan 14) is $12 per person per day.

This includes ALL of your children, but before you decide this is unfair, please know the following ..

Your children will receive the same exemplorary service that you exepct and receive. Their beds will be made up in the morning and turned down at night, they will have their food cut up by the waiters (if necessary), they have the best childrens clubs on the high seas and seasoned cruisers will all agree that the stateroom hosts and servers are worth every penny of their tips.
Your dining room servers don't just serve you evening meals, they work all over the ship during the day too. They serve breakfast and lunch in the buffet or sit down restaurants, they work in the fast food outlets on deck and also on Castaway Cay if you're lucky enough to be going there.

There are 4 tipped positions on DCL, these are:

Head Server $1 pdpp (per day per person).
Server $4 pdpp
Asst Server $3 pdpp
Stateroom Host $4 pdpp


They automatically deduct the recommended amount from the credit card you have registered to your onboard account. On the last evening, you will come back to your room to find some receipts and envelopes. You put the receipts in the envelopes and hand to your servers/stateroom host. If you wanted to add or deduct from the recommended amount, you could still do this at GS before you hand the envelopes over. You could also just add cash which is what we tend to do.

If you dont have a credit card registered, you will need to go to GS to pay your tips.
It is a cruise industry norm to give tips as above, so please don't shy away from them. Just see how well you are treated and how hard these people work .. then see how you feel. Right or wrong, cruise staff get paid a pittance and their tips make up the bulk of their salary.

Non tipped positions include the club counsellors who also work very hard to entertain your children. I don't know the exact ruling on giving them money, but a little bird did tell me that the American counsellors really like getting chewing gum and the British ones, of course, want Cadbury's chocolate and Jelly Babies!

One last thing about tips is the compulsory ones added to your bar bill. Order anything from a bar and you should expect to see a 15% gratuity added on. You can add more to the bar staff if you want of course, but if you don't, be sure to write the total on your acceptance slip each time (you have to show your KTTW card and sign the chit).

Alongside the tips, at the end of your cruise, you will also be given a comments form. At your last nights dinner, you may be 'encouraged' to give ratings of excellent for the staff you have encountered. Don't feel pressured, they do this as it's the only marking that's acceptable to DCL. If you feel a particular member of staff has gone above and beyond their normal duties, then you must report this to GS on a comment card. Each time a member of crew gets a mention by a cruiser, it helps them get little perks such as one shift off. It means an awful lot to the crew, so please make it known to GS if someone has impressed you.

Equally, if you are disappointed with something or someone, please give GS a chance to sort it out. Don't keep quiet then moan about it when you get back ... they will sort it out if they can, give them a chance!
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:28 PM  
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DINING, or in the words of Angel .. Food, Glorious Food!

Your dining rotation on DCL will consist of 3 restaurants. Once you board, you will be told what your rotation is, but if you have a preference (as some do), you can request a specific rotation beforehand and keep your fingers crossed.

On the Classics, the rotation restaurants are:
Carioca's on the Magic or Parrot Cay on the Wonder (Deck 3 aft)
Animators Palate (Deck 4 aft)
Lumieres on the Magic or Tritons on the Wonder (Deck 3 midship)

On the Dream/Fantasy:
Enchanted Garden (Deck 2 midship)
Animators Palate (Deck 3 aft)
Royal Palace on the Dream or Royal Court on the Fantasy. (Deck 3 midship)

Your rotation will show on your KTTW card like this: EAREARE .. this would be Enchanted Garden, Animators Palate, Royal Palace and so on ... Some cruisers like to be in Royal Palace/Court/Tritons/Lumiere's for formal night, if there is one on your cruise. These places are the more 'dressy' restaurants.

Your servers will rotate with you, so you wont have to keep repeating that you dislike black pepper for example .. they should remember after the first night and not bother to ask again! Of course, this may be more difficult for the servers on the 3 and 4 night cruises as they have such a high turnover of guests.

Regarding your servers, you will have a Head Server who will introduce him/herself at the start of your cruise. Any special requests, compliments or complaints that you want to make, should go to the Head Server. They are also responsible for checking with you about food allergies and will work with you each day to make sure nothing you eat will be a problem. You may not see them every night, but they are there, in the background ensuring that everything is running smoothly, not just on your table, but on about 15 others too! So dont think theyre ignoring you, they work hard and also deserve your tips!

Working with the Head Server, will be your Server and Assistant Server. The Server will take your order and deliver your food, the Asst Server will be in charge of drinks and clearing the table. Both the Server and Asst Server should also have some neat games or tricks to play on you and your family! Dont be surprised when they start doodling with crayons on the table cloths and encouraging your children to do the same, its all perfectly ok and allowable!

Alongside the rotation restaurants, you can also enjoy some fine dining at the adult only restaurants if you prefer. These are bookable in advance, require additional payment and space goes quickly, so if youre interested, dont delay. They do keep some space back for the embarkation day, but these are also quickly snapped up by those who have missed out during the online booking process.
On the Classics, the adult only restaurant is called Palo and is $25 pp additinal fee. On the Dream/Fantasy, you have a choice of Palo at $25 pp additional fee or Remy and it's $75 pp additional fee.

If youre more into standard fayre than fine dining (like me!), you have plenty of choice too. All the ships have a buffet restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the Wonder, you have Beach Blanket Buffet and on the Dream/Fantasy/Magic you have Cabanas. For breakfast at these buffet restaurants, you can get everything from cereals to pancakes and they also have an omelette station (at the end of the 'food run' on the Wonder so don't miss it).

This from BevS97 regarding a visit to Nassau (Dream): My favourite spot was right at the front on the deck outside. Obviously not air conditioned but I just loved sitting in the sun eating my lunch with a view of the Atlantis Hotel. Felt very decadent, it was also very quiet, I think most people prefer to be inside.

It is important to note that ALL food is included within your cruise price (apart from the service fee for Palo and Remy as previously mentioned and also packaged snacks or speciality cakes ordered in advance). Also, all soft drinks (soda etc) ordered during meal times, or taken from the drinks station are free of charge. You are only charged for a soft drink if you order it from a bar so try to avoid doing that!

The drinks station has, among other drinks ... fizzy pop (sugary and non), milk, water, ice, coffee and hot chocolate.

On the decks, you have more choices for food. Serving such items as pizzas, burgers, chicken strips, paninis, fruit platters, sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs and even a self serve ice cream machine! Can I add here, that coconut ice cream and dark rum go together very well (thanks Manny)!

As an adult, you can also visit Cove Cafe .. a veritable delight for those who love coffee and cake. All speciality coffees are chargeable but the snacks available each day are not. You can get croissants, chocolate covered strawberries and cake here! It's a very peaceful place and you'll find lots of shade and comfy chairs available most of the day.
Please note that you can order coffee during and after your meal in the main restaurants also, but only the normal stuff is free!

Lastly, theres room service which is available 24hrs. Strictly speaking, room service is free but you are recommended to tip the person delivering approx $1 per plate (we generally tip $3-5 as an average). You have a varied choice on the room service menu from fries to pizza and mac cheese to veggie sandwiches. You can also order breakfast for your room, just make sure that your request is hung outside your door by 3am. You can have toast, cereal, fruit, muffins, pastries and the like.
Cariocas


Enchanted Garden


Drinks Station (on board and Castaway Cay - please note, Diet Sprite has now gone, replaced by a very saccharine heavy fruit squash )


Palo Brunch Selection



One thing you should never miss is the show that is available if you cruise on the Magic or the Fantasy for 7 nights or more (actually, it may be 5 nights or more). It is an Animation Show that requires you to do some colouring in whilst eating in Animators Palate. It is by far and away my favourite dining experience and I would highly recommend for you to not miss it!
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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Old 27 Aug 11, 07:28 PM  
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MEDICAL/LAUNDRY & MISC

Medical
On all of the disney ships, you will find a well equipped medical centre. It can deal with severe sea sickness through to heart attacks and has both a doctor and nurses onboard at all times.
If you have cause to use the medical facilities, you will be charged so please ensure your holiday insurance covers cruises and not just land based holidays.
One top thing they have in the med centre is Dioralyte in frozen popsicles for children. My niece (3 at the time) was quite poorly on our first cruise .. too much excitement, too much ice cream, too much sun etc etc. The doctor gave my sister a few of these popsicles and Isabelle was right as rain within hours. Thinking it was a sugary ice pop was obviously a great thing for her as I doubt she would have drunk a cup of it!

Laundry
There are numerous laundry areas on each of the Disney ships and in all of them you will find washers, dryers and ironing equipment.
Detergent and dryer sheets are available (current cost is $1 per box) in the laundry room and to get these, you just swipe your KTTW card and it will be charged to your onboard account.
A wash will cost you $2 on all but the Wonder ($1) and same for drying. Various options are available for timing and heat etc.

One of the laundry areas:


T'INTERNET
DCL do have computers onboard each ship, but you have to be fairly desperate to use it. Not only is it very slow (dependant on satellite positions while at sea), it is very expensive at just under $30 for only 50 minutes.
Very often, you can get free wifi for your mobile at the ports, but please ensure that you pick up the port signal and not the ships one or your bill will show you've been accessing the internet from the Bahamas even when you're in the Med (ship is registered in the Bahamas!). o2 made me aware of this after returning from the Med cruise one year and being shell shocked at my bill.
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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STATEROOM CHOICE

If you ask 10 people what their choice of room is, you will probably get 10 different answers.

1. COST
First consideration is normally to select a category (or Cat) of cabin according to your budget.

There is a significant difference in price between the lowest cat 11c inside cabins and the highest cat R suites and so the cost will, for most people, be the most important selection criteria.
Note however, that until you reach a cat T or above there is not a great deal of difference in cabin size between these lower Cats ... cost differences in the lower Cats largely reflect room features ie. whether there is a split bathroom (whether or not the toilet & the shower/bath are in 2 separate rooms within the cabin), a porthole window/a verandah (there are two different types) etc etc and how high up you are on the ship. Generally, the lower the Cat the higher you will be up the ship's decks.

For parties of 4 people or more, sometimes it is cheaper, or no significant difference in cost (and roomier!) to book two of the same cabin grades, or two of the cheaper cats that connect (via a connecting door). Certainly this is often cheaper than booking one higher Cat cabin, such as a Cat 4 and above, that will sleep the whole party. Remember that when booking 2 cabins, you must have one adult aged 21 or above registered in each cabin. Sleep where you want once onboard, but for booking, you must have 1 adult in each room.

Another alternative would to be to book an outside cabin, and also a cheaper inside cabin in the hallway directly opposite (the hallways are only 3ft or so wide, so they are in close proximity).
People with older kids often prefer to book two cabins in this way to gain more room and access to their own TV channels!
It is often debated as to whether it is more sensible (and its cheaper) to put older children in an inside cabin opposite your porthole/verandah cabin - people with verandah cabins may also argue they don't want an interconnecting verandah cabin as they would not be happy with their kids having their own balcony - though it should be pointed out that in over 13 years of sailing DCL has never lost a child over board!
Cost, peace of mind and the character of your children, will probably already dictate the right choice for you.

Apart from the relative costs between each cabin category, three other factors have a major bearing on cost;

a) The time of year you cruise (value seasons are: end Sept to beginning Dec and Jan to March. The major holiday periods excepted).

b) How early you book. The earlier you book, the cheaper it normally is. DCL usually release bookings about 18 months before sail date. From that date on, prices (according to demand) will normally rise steadily and some Cats may even become unavailable.
NB. DCL cruises are rarely discounted (and usually only to Florida residents) - most sail full! In the unlikely event of a price decrease, you can actually ask your TA (if you've used a US one) to apply the lower price to your booking, but you do have to ask, it would not happen unless you point it out to them! Some of the good US TAs will keep an eye on this for you too.

2) OUTSIDE v INSIDE
Having daylight and a view, or not having daylight and a view, may also be another big consideration in your choice of cabin.
You may want to consider how much time you think you will be spending in your room, how much daylight hours there will actually be to enjoy (ie there will be a lot less in winter than in the summer), how claustrophobic you might feel, how long is your trip (ie are you going to get enough time to appreciate the views/daylight on a short 3 or 4 night cruise?), would you actually benefit from no daylight, if you have young kids requiring afternoon naps?
On the Dream and Fantasy, the inside rooms are now approx the same price as an Oceanview cabin .. this is because they have virtual portholes. Every 30 mins or so, an animated Disney character will pop up on the 'window'. When the character is not dancing about on the window, it shows a real time view from the Bridge. You can switch it off too for complete darkness. (photos at bottom of thread)

3) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
With a bit of prior thought, choosing a cabin location that suits your needs and interests will make your trip all the more enjoyable.

Some popular location considerations to be near when selecting a cabin:
Midship - allegedly better for the sea sickness prone / central to all activities
Kids clubs - if you have kids - less hassle collecting them, and getting them back to your cabin for bedtime!
Free drinks station /buffet restaurant - for ease of bringing consumables back to room if desired
Elevators - less walking down corridors
Laundry facilities - could be handy, but could be noisy
Pools or other leisure facility - depending on personal preference
End cabins - less corridor traffic/less prone to noisy and/or (in the case of verandahs) smoking neighbours
'Secret Deck' - there is a small secluded public deck on the Wonder, deck 7 aft - this is little known/used, and can form a handy annex to any cabin located nearby.
Larger verandah - Careful study of the DCL deck plans show that some of the verandah cabins near the back of the boat have slightly larger verandahs than normal.

4) CABIN REPORTS/REVIEWS
Check the unofficial individual cabin or stateroom reports that exist on many websites. Make sure you are not going to be in a noisy cabin or one that has had problems with fixtures & fittings. Find out how previous occupants have rated the stateroom you intend to book.
Remember that DCL do not recognise any cabins unofficially deemed 'bad' or noisy by its guests.

5) SECRET VERANDA/PORTHOLE ROOMS (CLASSICS)
Magic and Wonder only.

If you are looking for value for money, There are six cat 10a cabins that are actually a cat 9a with a porthole, but have been reclassified because they have a partial obstruction to the view. These are all located on deck : #5020, #5022, #5024,#5520,#5522 & 5524

There are also four cat 7a navigator's veranda's that are reclassified cat 5s with perspex verandahs, also due to partially obscured views ; #6134,#6634,#7120,#7620
We have stayed in 6634 and it's such good value that we have booked it again for our cruise in 2014.

These are difficult to bag ... but represent excellent value for money if you can get them... remember people often book cruises, and then cancel or transfer them due to the generous refund terms, so they can become available at any time up to 75 days out. Always worth asking about them if you are interested!

Dream/Fantasy only
:
Categories 7A have the steel obstructing part of the balcony opening. Categories 6A & 6B have the steel railing so you can't look through the railing part. Category 5E also has the steel railings and some of these rooms do not have split bathrooms. There are some rooms that have single bathrooms. They are the wheelchair accessible rooms and most of the corner rooms on the back of the ship.

The category 4E is on deck 5 and has very large balconies. The rooms are the same size as the rest of the category 5 staterooms (except 5E). The only difference between 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D is the deck they are located on. Categories 4A, 4B, 4C and 4D are all the same size as each other and the only difference is the deck they are located on. The category 4 rooms are larger than the category 5 rooms as they have an extra bed in them (a Murphy bed at the end of the sofa). They can sleep up to five people.

An inside cabin on Magic/Wonder


Veranda on Magic/Wonder (Cat 6 .. perspex veranda)


Oceanview Stateroom Cat 9a on the Dream


A Virtual Porthole Stateroom on Dream/Fantasy (inside rooms)


Video of the character popping up ... main appearance is at 30 seconds.
http://s244.beta.photobucket.com/use...e8c75.mp4.html

And then there's Concierge!
For the well off, or those celebrating something really special, you can choose to stay in the Walt Disney Suite (light coloured wood) or Roy Disney Suite (dark coloured wood). On the Magic and Wonder, the Royal Suites are both 2 bedrooms, with lounge and dining areas, 2 bathrooms, a wet bar and kitchen. On the Dream and Fantasy, they're only 1 bedroom but you do get a private hot tub on your massive balcony!

There are also 1 and 2 bedroom 'normal' concierge available on the Magic and Wonder, but on the Dream and Fantasy, you have a choice of 1 bedroom or a veranda room in concierge.

Walt Disney Suite on Dream



Concierge Stateroom 12506 (larger balcony as on a bump out part of the ship (Fantasy/Dream). Other 1 beds on bump out are: 12006, 12012 and 12512. Family concierge rooms on bump out are: 12008, 12010, 12508 and 12510.

The 1 bedrooms all have a queen size bed, double sofa bed and single pull down from wall bed. The bedroom/lounge are separated with slide doors.

And the Concierge sundeck on the Fantasy/Dream .. sorry Magic/Wonder cruisers, you don't have one! You can get sunblock (spray), bottles of water, ice cold flannels and posh towels up here!
__________________
QII Apr 03 - Villa Sept 06-HK Disney Jan 07- Villa & Disney Wonder Bahamian Cruise Oct 08 Photo Report
Villa Feb 09 - Villa Sept 09 - DLP Nov 09 - California Disney Apr 10 - Disney Magic Med Cruise Jul/Aug 2010 - SSR Sept 10 - Maiden Voyage on the Disney Dream Jan 11 Photo Report - Disney Magic Med Cruise Aug 11 - OKW Sept 11 -AKV & Disney Dream Bahamian Feb 12 - Fairfield, SSR & Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean Sept/Oct 12 - Back2BackDisney Magic Med Cruises Aug 13 - Disney Magic Med Cruise May 14 Photo Trip Report - Disney Magic WBTA Wedding Cruise Sept 14 - Disney Magic Fjords, Iceland, Orkney Jun 15 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 15 - Disney Dream New Years Eve Dec 15 - Disney Fantasy Western May 16 - Disney Magic Med Aug 16 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 16
- Disney Magic Key West Feb 2017 - Disney Wonder Back2Back San Diego & Alaska May 2017 - Disney Magic WBTA Sept 17

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