First time cruiser

ginny65

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
DH and I are going on our first cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We will be on the Dream. I have some questions...
1) We are staying at WDW and have DCL shuttle taking us to PC. They said we will be notified the day before what time they will pick us up at WDW. Does anyone know the approximate time is common? I would love to get on the ship earlier than later.

2) I know we can each bring 2 bottles of wine. My question is, if we are able to get a reservation at Palo, can we bring one of those bottles with us or do we have to buy theirs. I know at the other restaurants we can bring one but I wasn't sure about Palo.

3) Since this is our first cruise and we will be booking excursions, etc. 75 days out, is that midnight 75 days out or sometime in the morning (i.e. 6:00 am EST)?

I know I will have more questions, but this is a start. Thanks in advance!
 

PrincessShmoo

DIS veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
DH and I are going on our first cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We will be on the Dream. I have some questions...
1) We are staying at WDW and have DCL shuttle taking us to PC. They said we will be notified the day before what time they will pick us up at WDW. Does anyone know the approximate time is common? I would love to get on the ship earlier than later.

2) I know we can each bring 2 bottles of wine. My question is, if we are able to get a reservation at Palo, can we bring one of those bottles with us or do we have to buy theirs. I know at the other restaurants we can bring one but I wasn't sure about Palo.

3) Since this is our first cruise and we will be booking excursions, etc. 75 days out, is that midnight 75 days out or sometime in the morning (i.e. 6:00 am EST)?

I know I will have more questions, but this is a start. Thanks in advance!
1) Pick up times at the resort are anywhere from 10:30 to 1:30. They set the pickup schedule based on how many people need to go from which resorts so that the buses are filled up as much as possible. Boarding doesn't begin until 11:30ish, and you board by boarding numbers (tied to the Port Arrival Time you select during your online check in process).

2) Yes, you can bring your own wine to Palo.

3) Midnight eastern time (whatever time that is where you live). Although there have been reports that the check in window has opened earlier on occasion (like 3-4 hours earlier).
 

ginny65

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Thank you for answering my questions so quickly!

I guess we will select the earliest boarding number available at the time of check-in then with the understanding that we might arrive later than our requested time.

Any tips for us first-time cruisers would be greatly appreciated!
 

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  • PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    Thank you for answering my questions so quickly!

    I guess we will select the earliest boarding number available at the time of check-in then with the understanding that we might arrive later than our requested time.

    Any tips for us first-time cruisers would be greatly appreciated!
    Actually, I believe, if you're arriving via DCL transfers you won't be prompted to select a PAT, you'll be entering the terminal at whatever time the bus gets you to the port from the resort.

    DCL transfers typically arrive at the port between 12:15-2:00. By then the boarding process has gone to Open Boarding and boarding numbers are not in use.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    Any tips for us first-time cruisers would be greatly appreciated!
    waves hi, I'm also a first time cruiser, my cruise is on The Magic 5 Night Western Europe September 2020. These are some of my tips :)
    1. Buy a notebook and have it handy as you do your research. Write down the hints and tips and things to remember. You will find all sorts of great ideas and you wont remember them all
    2. Find the deck plans for your ship and familiarise yourself with the layout, where your cabin is and the different areas of the ship.
    3. Each day there is a daily planner, called Personal Navigator . There is an archive of Personal Navigators here https://disneycruiselineblog.com/category/cruise-planning/personal-navigators/ Find the Personal Navigators for 2019 for your ship, and you will get a huge amount of information. You will see the type of shows, entertainment and activities offered, as well as port information, and the opening times of pools, restaurants, bars and shops.
    4. Use the Personal Navigators to see which pre booked activities such as tastings, character meets and adult dining you might like to do. As a first time cruiser, these will open for you at 75 days before your sailing. However , depending on your ship and route, these may be booked out by 75 days. You can check on embarkation day once you are on the ship, as they usually keep some reservations.
    5. Join the Cruise Meets thread for your cruise here on Dis. This is how you connect with your fellow cruisemates
    6. You dont have to do Disney port excursions, many people do their own port excursions.
    7. You don't have to get off the ship in a port.
    8. Many many people put their cruise videos on YouTube. I have been watching mainly embarkation day videos to familiarise myself with my embarkation port and the boarding process.
    9. You can also find videos of just about everything and anything to do with Disney Cruising. I'm sure if you look you can find video room tours of the exact stateroom you have booked.
    10. I have a a cruise binder, which has print outs of all my notes, and my cruise documents.
     

    ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    Actually, I believe, if you're arriving via DCL transfers you won't be prompted to select a PAT, you'll be entering the terminal at whatever time the bus gets you to the port from the resort.

    DCL transfers typically arrive at the port between 12:15-2:00. By then the boarding process has gone to Open Boarding and boarding numbers are not in use.
    Oh! I understand now! I believe the DCL castmember was trying to explain that but you did a much better job. Thank you.
     

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  • cedricandsophie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2014
    Just remember if you bring a bottle of wine to dinner, whether Palo or an ADR there is a corkage fee. I think it is 25 but I’m not sure.
     

    ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    1) We ordered lanyards online to carry our Key to the World Card. Do most people wear the lanyards the whole time or put them in purse/wallet?
    2) I thought there were only three restaurants that were available for evening rotation dining. If that is the case, where do they assign you for the fourth night?
    3) Since we are first-time cruisers, what are the chances that we could even get a table at Remy's or Palos for evening if we so choose?
     

    Geomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    1) We ordered lanyards online to carry our Key to the World Card. Do most people wear the lanyards the whole time or put them in purse/wallet?
    2) I thought there were only three restaurants that were available for evening rotation dining. If that is the case, where do they assign you for the fourth night?
    3) Since we are first-time cruisers, what are the chances that we could even get a table at Remy's or Palos for evening if we so choose?
    1. We wear ours the whole time, except when we're in a port. I don't carry a bag around the ship.
    2. You'll be in one of the restaurants 2x, but you'll have the Pirate Menu that night. DCL has different menus every night, no matter how many times you're in one of the MDR's.
    3. No idea, we have no desire to do the upcharge dining at this point (going on 3rd cruise next summer)--still enjoying the included MDR's!
     
  • ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    Since this is an adult only trip, will they assign us a table with other couples?
     

    DynamicDisneyDuo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2009
    Since this is an adult only trip, will they assign us a table with other couples?
    That is how it normally works, yes. We have done 11 cruises and always do late dining. We have always either been with other couples or by ourselves. Could it be different? It's possible but unlikely. You might get a family, you might get a private table. Only time will tell.
     

    ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    2. You'll be in one of the restaurants 2x, but you'll have the Pirate Menu that night. DCL has different menus every night, no matter how many times you're in one of the MDR's
    On the fourth night, if we don't dine at Remy's or Palo, can we choose which restaurant (of the 3) that we want to dine at or do we have to dine at the one selected for us? I just asked a castmember, and they said that we will be in the same dining room on nights 1 and 2. Is that always the case?

    Also, online our cruise didn't show a pirate night. (4-night Disney Dream). Do they all have pirate night?
     
    Last edited:

    Geomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    On the fourth night, if we don't dine at Remy's or Palo, can we choose which restaurant (of the 3) that we want to dine at or do we have to dine at the one selected for us?
    The one selected for you. Your key to the world card will have your dining rotation. I believe for 4 nt cruises, days 2/3 will be the same MDR, but the second night in that MDR will have the Pirate menu.

    Yes, all the Bahamas/Caribbean cruises have a Pirate night. Our summer 4 nt cruise on the Dream has it for the 3rd night, our Castaway Cay day.
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    On the fourth night, if we don't dine at Remy's or Palo, can we choose which restaurant (of the 3) that we want to dine at or do we have to dine at the one selected for us?
    There are specfic rotations already set up. You will be assigned one of them. The typical rotation on a 4 night cruise is 1223 (but it can vary). That is, the whole passenger load is separated into thirds. One third starts in each dining room (that's their #1). Then the next two nights your in a different dining room, but the same one (2d night the rotational menu, 3rd night the Pirate menu). The 4th night you then dine in the 3rd dining room (the one you've not been in yet).

    The order of the rotations is:
    ERRA; RAAE; AEER
    Enchanted Garden/Royal Palace/Animator's
     

    ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    If you plan on wearing your lanyards the whole time, what do you do while swimming in one of the pools? We have one of those travel lockers (soft-sided locking bag) that locks to a lawn chair. Should I bring that and lock my lanyard in it?
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    If you plan on wearing your lanyards the whole time, what do you do while swimming in one of the pools? We have one of those travel lockers (soft-sided locking bag) that locks to a lawn chair. Should I bring that and lock my lanyard in it?
    When using the pool, I usually keep my KTTW card in the top of my swim suit (not in the lanyard). It's just a plastic card, it can get wet.
     

    ginny65

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2004
    Are your personal items safe on a lawn chair while you ride the water slide?
     


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