Well, its 13 days til our cruise & we are so stoked! Thanks to Passporters Boards input, we wised up and obtained a passport for our dd (who was adopted from China) to make things easy and for the 'just in case' scenarios!!!!
So - here are my questions!!
* Regarding the 'No Shorts' issue in the main dining areas; I get it, but are nice dress khaki shorts/bermudas with a nice collared shirt STILL a no-no??? I will definitely respect the boat & the Mouse but just want to make sure and not make a faux pas on our first Disney Cruise!!!!
* I'm thinking our cruise is full as it no longer shows up on the web site; With that - on a "full" cruise in March - how IS the crowd??? I've only read a couple of poor reviews from the DISboards (sounded like someone didn't do their homework). I'm wondering (& hoping) that the atmosphere within crowded areas/times will be full of Disney Cruisers who are polite, flexible, humorous.....I can't imagine encountering rudeness, impatience.....but - ANY and ALL feedback is appreciated. As for our little fam, we just LOVE to have a great time, find a laugh in the worst circumstances and my husband and I are BIG...BIG kids!!!!!
* As first time cruisers, we actually scored a reservation at Remy on our 2nd night!!! SO - while our dd is already registered in the Oceaneer club, will we have to call them ahead of time and drop her off before our 6:30 dining time or just....drop her off before we go???? AND/or - can we drop her off around 6pm so we can have some cocktails before dinner???
* The rainforest - how convenient is it to go in last minute without a pre-paid pass? Can I pay for my time there at the Spa or do I have to go through guest services for that? I'm just sensing that we'll be doing ALOT of exploring onboard and whatever 'down time' Mom has will be a last minute deal.
Thanks SO much - love, love, LOVE this board!!! I've devoured my passporter book AND read so many threads and to think we board the Dream in 13 days is just...so surreal and exciting! Hopefully I'll have a PTR up in a few days!!!!
It could also be off the site because you are so close to your travel date, so i wouldn't fear that the ship is just going to be jammed to the gills with people. There are so many places to spread out you won't really notice even if it's full it won't be like you're stepping on people all the time. They are pretty good with crowd control, so positive thoughts i'm sure you'll be fine!
You will see people wearing a variety of different things in the dining rooms but it's always better to just go by the guidelines because as light as their rules are they do try to enforce them to keep the peace ("Why is HE wearing shorts and I can't?!") so to make it less awkward for everyone or having to change, etc just throw on some slacks. It's normally cold in the shows and dining rooms anyway so you'll want the legs from the knee down
The kids clubs are open and open drop off/pick up so you don't have to phone ahead to cheek your kids in. They'll just tap their mickey bracelet at the entry and go in and play. By all means drop your kids off early and have a drink at Meridian. Don't worry, once your kids are in time clubs they won't want to come out anyway...you will be yesterday's news!
They do limit the # of rainforest passes they sell because obviously they want the people who have paid for the passes to be able to use them without having to wait, etc so they won't oversell them. You can inquire at the spa when you get onboard, they should have a good idea of what kind of availability is open, etc. They will gladly take your money (well, key to the world card) at any time if they have an opening so no worries. Make sure you go to the spa raffle on the first day, you might get lucky!
Wow - AWESOME info Michele, thank you so much! I didn't even think of considering how close my cruise was and the lack of it showing up on the site - good to know! Thanks again for the feedback, it was truly helpful!!!
Have a great cruise! We are first timers leaving in a few weeks, and I agree that these boards are so helpful and love the Passporter books! I've downloaded the PDF version to my laptop and iPad so that it is always nearby.
Good call on getting your daughter her passport! Our son is adopted from Korea and it just makes things much easier than dealing with the certificate of a foreign birth!
The good news about the ship is that it only holds so many people. And DCL ships sail at or close to full all the time so you should be fine. And it sounds like you are ahead of the game by having a great attitude!
When it comes to things like crowding, a cruise ship is not like a theme park (a Disney park's daily attendance may be anything from 10,000 visitors to over 100,000 visitors) - while there's always a chance of an unpleasant encounter with fellow humans, no matter where you are, a full ship is nowhere near as stressful as a full theme park can be - cruises tend to bring out the best in people.
While there will certainly be cruises that have fewer passengers than others, the ships are designed to be comfortable with a full passenger complement, and they always sail with the same sized crew - enough to deliver full-quality service to a full ship.
Every cruise line tries to send out every cruise with every stateroom filled, and they do a remarkable job of it - figure any cruise will have 95% of staterooms occupied. If a full ship meant unpleasant crowding, cruising would be nowhere near as popular as it is.
DCL's ships' legal maximum passenger capacity works out to three guests per stateroom. During school vacation/holiday periods, it's likely the ship will come very close to that. When school is in session, there will be fewer families with kids, so the number of passengers will drop farther below the maximum, even though nearly every stateroom is occupied.
At certain times, full capacity or otherwise, you'll perceive crowding - during lifeboat drill on the first afternoon, outside the dining room just before dinner, the Walt Disney Theatre lobby before a show, the pools during at-sea days, and the deck parties. The rest of the time the crowds are very well dispersed.
Co-Author, PassPorter's Walt Disney World, PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line, and PassPorter's Disneyland and Southern California Attractions