Feature Article: Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before My Disney Cruise - Part 1 - A Disney Cruise Line Review - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |   follow us on


Forums Closed
As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.

So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.

Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.

And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.

We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm​. You made it all happen.

There are other changes as well.

Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:

We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.

It's time to move on and move forward.

PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.

So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.

And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.

That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!

If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.

So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!

Best wishes for a wonderful and magical new year!

Go Back   PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums > Welcome! > Using Your PassPorter: Tips and Answers > PassPorter News
Register


Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.

To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.

If you think you've already joined, log in below now. If you don't remember your member name or password, please visit our Member Name and Password Recovery page. You are also welcome to contact us.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2014, 05:10 PM   #1
PassPorter News
PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Globetrotter
 
PassPorter News's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3,041

Post Thanks / Like
Feature Article: Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before My Disney Cruise - Part 1 - A Disney Cruise Line Review

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before My Disney Cruise - Part 1 - A Disney Cruise Line Review
by Lori Ketcherside

After already selecting a Disney Cruise Line (DCL) ship, choosing the best date and itinerary for your dream vacation, after all of the major travel arrangements, hotels and airfare are booked, and after port adventures, spa appointments and adult-exclusive dining reservations are secured, you may wonder ... what's next?

A friend of mine recently spent a bit of time picking my brain about Pirate Night and Port Adventures and eventually reached a point where she asked me, "What would you want to know if it were your first Disney cruise?" I pulled up short. What would I want to know? Where would I start? In short, what next? I love lists, so here is a list of the top ten things to know before your first cruise.

1.) What do I wear? Ball gowns and tiaras, of course! (Kidding...) Formal, Semi-Formal, Cruise Casual, Optional Dress-Up, or Pirate will be noted as the evening attire on the front corner of your Personal Navigator each day. Although Disney lists limits on dress (no swimwear in the dining rooms, etc.) on their website, what exactly do people "normally" wear? The answer really is whatever you find comfortable, since Formal ranges from ballgown to Sunday Best and Cruise Casual everything that is more casual than that. No matter what end of the closet you pack, I recommend at least one of the outfits features elastic. If you are prone to overeating, these may come in handy after several days of buffets and room service. 2.) Booking Port Arrival Time: When you do your online check-in (which is available after you've paid in full, but before you cruise) you can select a Port Arrival Time. That's the time you are able to enter the port, hand over luggage to a porter, head through security and begin check-in. It is NOT a boarding time. Boarding begins up to an hour after the first port arrival time (usually sometime around Noon). Note that if you use Disney transportation to the port, a port arrival time is not assigned and you are allowed into the terminal whenever your bus arrives.

3.) Dine in Style: Make sure to reserve any adult-only reservations in advance of your cruise. All booked? Don't worry, they hold some of the tables back until the cruise. You can make reservations in person on embarkation afternoon (check your Navigator for location and hours).

4.) Travel Agents: If you have a Disney Authorized Travel Agent who is knowledgeable about DCL, they can help you manage reservations, look out for promotions that pop up and give you the inside scoop. Some from larger agencies offer gift baskets or onboard credits as a perk of booking with them. The travel agent will retain control of the reservation until after it is paid in full and until then, reservations for adult dining, Port Adventures, spa, and the like can be made through them or on your own. Regardless of whether you book through an agency or Disney directly, you will receive the same rate on your cruise. I've done both and both work great!

5.) Bathtubs and Split Baths: Almost all DCL staterooms feature a bathtub, with the exception of some of the handicap-accessible rooms. As an average (short) adult, these are not large enough for me to take a bath, with the exception of the Jacuzzi tub in the royal suites. Some staterooms on the Dream and Fantasy have round bathtubs rather than the standard squared-off tubs. Conveniently, most of the staterooms feature the restroom in a separate "split bath" so soaking does not interrupt another person preparing for the day.

6.) Mini-fridges, Soda Fountains, and Beverage Policies: Each stateroom contains either a cooling box or a mini-fridge for you to keep cold things cold. The pool deck features a complimentary drink station (sodas, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water). Sodas are included at meals as well. Disney offers several alcoholic beverage packages onboard and allows a very lenient carry on alcohol policy. A few things to keep in mind, the drinking age is 21, no hard-sided coolers can be brought on board, and drinks you bring aboard must be in your carry-on, rather than with your checked bags.

7.) Day Bag Dos and Don'ts: The bag you carry with you when you first board the ship, your "day bag," must fit through a standard airport security-style scanner. (The maximum recommended dimensions are 22 inches wide, 14 inches high and 9 inches deep.) What goes in your day bag? Passports or other allowed proof of citizenship, travel documents, completed and signed cruise documents, medication, valuables (jewelry, cash, purse), and anything you would like to have during your first afternoon on board. Ideas include swimwear and sunscreen, cameras, chargers, phones, anything your kids cannot cruise without (favorite snack or their favorite stuffed bear, for example), necessary toiletries (contact lens solution), makeup or anything else delicate or valuable. My day bag contains one large Ziploc bag containing our cruise documents and passports, medication, makeup, pin trading lanyards, some granola bars, the kids' travel journals, and pens. One backpack is enough for the four of us. Keep in mind you will be toting it with you until your room is available around 1:30 or so. As far as don'ts, there is an extensive list on the DCL website. Some of the more innocuous items that should stay at home include balloons, irons, tape, over the door shoe holders, food that is open or homemade, Christmas lights, and portable fans. If in doubt, check with Disney.

8.) Bandwidth, Reception and Free Wi-Fi: There is internet available online, but it costs quite a bit (currently $0.25/MB, discounted packages available) and is considerably slower than land-based connections. The best internet reception onboard is generally in the internet cafés and on the uppermost decks. If you want to take advantage of free Wi-Fi in ports either look for Starbucks or ask a crew member before going ashore, many of them are familiar with places in each port to find free Wi-Fi.

9.) One on One Time: We catch opportunities for whole-family gatherings at meals and shows, and really enjoy one-on-one time with the kids in between meals. So after we draw with our daughter at an animation class, she’ll hit the kids' club while we play shuffleboard or shoot hoops with our son.

10.) You Can Enjoy an Awesome Cruise on What's Included (How to Not Spend More Than Your Cruise Once You Board): While almost all food, entertainment, snacks, ice cream, room service, and activities are included, there are a couple of things you need to plan into your vacation budget. Shore excursions (Disney calls these Port Adventures), spa services, salon services, internet and phone, video arcades, photo packages, alcoholic beverages, packaged candy or soda cans from room service, non-alcoholic specialty drinks, specialty coffee drinks from the café, and any drink you get from a server around the pool is not included. Souvenirs aren't, either.

Full disclosure, on our first cruise our "extras" bill cost approximately the same amount we paid for cruise fare. In fairness, we got an awesome deal on the cruise fare and enjoyed cabana massages on Castaway Cay and adult dining. The Cove Café barista knew our names and our regular drinks. Worth every penny. Still feeling a bit adrift? I highly recommend Passporter's Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. It helped us plan our first cruise and I still give copies to family and friends heading on their first voyage.

Added to PassPorter's Article Collection on 06-03-2014 10:06 AM

What do you think? Please add your own comments, experiences, or news related to this article in this thread! Reader feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

Last edited by Belle*; 06-13-2014 at 08:54 AM..
PassPorter News is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feature Article: Celebrating a Birthday Onboard Disney Cruise Line - Disney Cruise Line Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 12-05-2013 08:20 PM
Feature Article: Celebrating a Birthday Onboard Disney Cruise Line - Disney Cruise Line Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 12-05-2013 08:10 PM
Feature Article: TransAtlantic Sailings on Disney Cruise Line - A Disney Cruise Line Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 06-13-2013 08:40 PM
Feature Article: Lessons Learned From Our Cruise on the Disney Dream - A Disney Cruise Line Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 06-14-2012 08:00 PM
Feature Article: Adult Oases on the Disney Cruise Line - Disney Cruise Line Review PassPorter News PassPorter News 1 12-30-2011 06:16 PM








Please login or register to hide these ads -- it's free and easy!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:36 AM.

-->

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.4.0 Patch Level 1 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) 1998-2017 PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc.
Celebrating 19 Years of Making Dreams Come True
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger