8/12/2012 01:17:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses
Since deciding that a Disney Cruise was the perfect vacation for our family and getting everything “set on go”, I’ve spent an absurd amount of time online scouring and searching for anything and everything we NEED to know.
I’ve found tons of useful information from Squidoo and AllEars, but the majority of my time has been spent reading through the Moms’ Panel on Disney’s own site.
Here are things that I’ve made note of and found most interesting and helpful so far:
· Upon the reservation being paid in full, you may make online reservations 75 days before the sail date (this window extends the more you sail with Disney so you get first dibs at the goodies!). Slots fill extremely quickly, so I’ll be sure to enroll the girls in the Oceaneers Club, make a reservation for an adult only anniversary dinner at Palo, book our desired shore excursions, and even “check-in” ASAP.
· Because we are leaving the country, I thought that I would need to get the girls a passport, but I’ve since learned that the only time a passport is necessary is for air travel. Since we’ll be arriving and leaving the foreign places by ship, all they’ll need is their birth certificates! Whew! That’s a time, head ache, and money saver!
· A day or so before we leave, I will call our bank to notify them that we will be traveling. I actually already knew to do this because I used to work at a bank, but it’s a tip worth mentioning since I can’t imagine anything much worse than getting on vacation and having your bank account frozen for fraud alert!
· Another great precaution to take against fraud, theft, or loss of property while you travel is to make photocopies of the front and backs of all your important things. Passports, driver’s licenses, credit/debit cards, travel documents, insurance cards, etc. Leave one copy at home and make sure someone you trust knows where to find it and also take one copy with you to lock in the safe in your cabin. If something tragic were to happen, you’d have everything you need to call, notify, and/or cancel anything of importance!
· In making preparations to leave, emptying my camera’s memory card will be on the “to-do” list, as will be charging the battery.
· With just a quick visit or call to Guest Services on board the ship, you are welcome to request extra copies of the “Daily Navigator”-agendas that are delivered to each stateroom daily that outline the day’s activities-to keep for souvenirs. And in conjunction with this thought, I’ll be taking along a medium size mailing tube to keep papers safe and wrinkle free.
· There are no irons aboard the ship for fire safety purposes. Good. To. Know. I’ll either have to figure out how to pack better than I normally do to avoid wrinkles or, if necessary send dressier items to the laundry service on the ship. It’s only about $1 per shirt, so that’s not so bad!
· If you give items to Guest Services on the first night of the trip, they’ll have all of the characters onboard sign it and it will be ready to pick up by the last day. I plan on taking a frame, possibly like this one! However, there is a limit of two items per stateroom.
· You don’t have to worry about buying individual photographs and/or photo packages too early, because as long as you have your receipt, you are welcome to exchange, upgrade, downgrade, or whatever you like, and they will sign over copyrights so you are free to reproduce their images.
· Temperature differences inside and outside the ship vary greatly, so to avoid a foggy camera lens you should set your camera on your verandah, if you have one, for at least 30 minutes to defog before you head out.
· Room service is available for FREE 24 hours a day! I plan on taking full advantage of this posh perk ;) If you’d like to be one of the first passengers off the ship on shore excursion days (I’ve read that this is highly important at Castaway Cay because the number of chairs, umbrellas, and such are limited) you can order breakfast to your room to beat the crowd! And, you’re also welcome to order a lunch to pack and take on shore with you to save on food costs (which doesn't apply at Castaway Cay since it is an extension of Disney, so all your food and drinks are covered there)!
· According to all my sources, dinner is absolutely fantastic-no matter which restaurant you’re in-and usually more than you can eat. If you’re too full to stomach dessert right away simply ask your server to box it for you! They’ll be happy to do so and it will keep just fine in the mini-fridge in your stateroom. (Mid-night snack anyone?!) AND, as if that wasn't cool enough, you're also welcome to order AS MUCH as you want, so feel free to try different things!
· Sodas are only free when you serve them yourself. Note taken. I’ll be taking reusable cups/bottles with lids so we can serve ourselves soda whenever we like.
· Stateroom doors are metal and I’ve heard through the grapevine that lots of passengers decorate them! This kind of throws me into cheerleading camp flashbacks, but I’m glad I know beforehand just in case, on some wild whim, I decide to decorate ours too. Disney has recently requested that door decor be kept to magnetic items only to preserve the appearance of the paint!
So far these are my favorite Disney Cruise insider tips and secrets! I’ll be on the lookout for more from now until we leave though :o)
If you’ve been on a Disney Cruise and have anything you think new cruisers should know, please share!