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Questions about Disney Cruises

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1. Does Disney ever change the prices on cruises? We were looking at a cruise several months ago and stuff happened and it got moved to the back burner. I just started looking again and the price was exactly the same as it was 4 or 5 months ago. So just wondering if they ever change or have sales. I was expecting the price to have gone up.

 

2. What is the daily gratuity on Disney cruises? Is it added to your account or do you tip each room steward/waiter separately?

 

3. On the Disney Magic does anyone know what would be below the 680 area rooms on deck 6. Any reason not to book that area?

 

4. Does Disney have anytime dining or is it all traditional assigned seating?

 

5. What is the Wi-Fi like on Disney ships? And what does it cost?

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Posted (edited)
1. Does Disney ever change the prices on cruises? We were looking at a cruise several months ago and stuff happened and it got moved to the back burner. I just started looking again and the price was exactly the same as it was 4 or 5 months ago. So just wondering if they ever change or have sales. I was expecting the price to have gone up.

 

2. What is the daily gratuity on Disney cruises? Is it added to your account or do you tip each room steward/waiter separately?

 

3. On the Disney Magic does anyone know what would be below the 680 area rooms on deck 6. Any reason not to book that area?

 

4. Does Disney have anytime dining or is it all traditional assigned seating?

 

5. What is the Wi-Fi like on Disney ships? And what does it cost?

1. Yes, as space onboard any given cruise fills up the prices rise. If the cruise doesn't sell particularly fast, the increase will be much slower than a cruise that a lot of people are booking (like a Panama Canal).

 

2. Gratuities are $12.00 per guest (each person in a stateroom is a guest) per night. That breaks out to $4.00 per guest per night to your room host; $4.00 per guest per night to your dining room server; $3.00 per guest per night to your assistant server; and $1.00 per guest per night to your head server. You may tip additionally at the end of the cruise to anyone who you feel did an exceptional job. The gratuities are added to your onboard account, and the second to last night of the cruise you'll get tip coupons and envelopes in your room to be handed out.

 

3. Not sure what the "680 area" is.

 

4. Disney does traditional (assigned) dining times. They really have to with the 3 Main Dining Room rotation plan they have. But there is a sit down table service in the buffet for dinner.

 

5. I've found the internet pretty much the same on all cruiselines I've been on. Slow, but it does work. The DCL plans are by MB:

 

Pay As You Go 25¢ per MB

Small Package100 MB $19/19¢ per MB

Medium Package300 MB $39/13¢ per MB

Large Package1000 MB $89/9¢ per MB

 

Edited by Shmoo here

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1. Disney has 4 ships, they fill up, so there is no deep discounts. Sometimes the Tuesday emails will have a deal, but it's from a travel agent the week or two before a cruise..

 

4. Traditional early/late seating. The rotational is unique from other lines, your dining team goes with you between the three dining rooms, they remember what you like to drink, allergies etc. We've done cruises where we were matched with other couple with no kids and had a blast. Never had a bad dining mate on Disney.

 

5. I use the internet for work, and ship board is slow. I have AT&T and try to do most work import where I can use cell phone data to run my laptop. AT&T has an international package that is $10 per day and you use you home data/text/cell rates.

 

We've done 6 Disney cruises and love it!

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The DCL internet does end up being less costly and more fair than other lines. Since you are charged by mb, if the service is faster or slower at the time you are on is irrelevant...as opposed to lines that charge by the minute so a slower time costs you more. There is also a free 50mb deal if you sign up before midnight on embarkation day. This gives you time to see what the service is like and to assure that all those pesky apps are turned off before you decide whether to purchase or not.

 

DCL cruises rarely go on sale. When they do, it is typically after the final payment date. Your best bet is to purchase as soon as you know what you want as prices do go up as the ship fills.

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“3. Not sure what the "680 area" is.“

 

 

Thanks to the above people for their replies. I guess I had a typo in my original post. By 680 area I meant an area of cabins numbered 6080, 6081, 6082, 6083 all on deck six. We’re just concerned about any live loud areas that might be below that those cabins.

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“3. Not sure what the "680 area" is.“

 

 

Thanks to the above people for their replies. I guess I had a typo in my original post. By 680 area I meant an area of cabins numbered 6080, 6081, 6082, 6083 all on deck six. We’re just concerned about any live loud areas that might be below that those cabins.

Below that area is Oceaneer's Club and the Nursery. I would doubt you'd have any particularly loud noise from those. You MIGHT (I emphasize "MIGHT") hear something, but, at least for me, I don't think it would be bothersome.

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We've never had any noise issues from the Oceaneer's Club....not that it might not be possible. Noisy activities do end there about 9pm when they transition to quiet time stuff, kids watching movies and falling asleep on their mats, etc.

 

We have had FAR more noise from rude or snoring neighbors than from anything built into the ship. Disney does try to make passengers aware of "Quiet hours" when they request no noise in the halls, but that doesn't stop some people or their offspring. I don't expect a 10 year old to read the notices in the Navigator, but I do expect the parent to do so and alert the child to what they should know. We had one cabin on deck 5 aft where my bed must have had just a thin wall between it and the bed next door. I've never heard such snoring. I should have used the phone to wake up the dude.

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We regularly book deck 6, in roughly in a range of the staterooms listed a few posts above this one. We have never had any noise from the children's activities below of deck 5. We used to book concierge, then we just booked deck 8, then we booked a cruise later than we normally booked, and ended up on deck 6. Plus, we found a number of table mates (all empty nesters traveling without children) prefer deck 6. It is easy to get anywhere on the ship from these rooms, and these rooms are the right size and price for the two of us traveling without children. Two things to be aware of: (1) the laundromat, which is on the other side of the ship, and (2) inside staterooms that are across the hall from some of these staterooms. The only noise you might hear will be from other staterooms, and we rarely have that problem.

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I have more questions and will probably have more as time goes on since we booked the Disney cruise today.

 

Our travel agent confirmed us for early dining and said it is hard to get and we were lucky to get it. I have never liked early dining. Is there any benefit to it? I have heard that the evening shows are very good on Disney so we want to be able to work around that. Also the youngest person in our party is 11 so there are no small children involved.

 

Does Disney offer trip insurance?

 

Does Disney give stockholder credit the way Carnival cruise lines do?

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I have more questions and will probably have more as time goes on since we booked the Disney cruise today.

 

Our travel agent confirmed us for early dining and said it is hard to get and we were lucky to get it. I have never liked early dining. Is there any benefit to it? I have heard that the evening shows are very good on Disney so we want to be able to work around that. Also the youngest person in our party is 11 so there are no small children involved.

 

Does Disney offer trip insurance?

 

Does Disney give stockholder credit the way Carnival cruise lines do?

No advantage/disadvantage to early vs late. You can switch the dining to late (either now or once onboard) if you feel it isn't working for you.

 

There are two showings of the main show in the Walt Disney Theater each evening. Basically at the same time as the dinner seatings. Early dinner goes to the show after dinner. Late dinner seating goes to the show before dinner.

 

Yes, they do. But it's generally better to look into 3rd party insurance. You can often get a better price for better coverage.

 

No stockholder discounts.

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If you are cruising with a child, many private insurance companies offer a complimentary child's policy with a parent or grandparent policy. That alone can save you a lot over the cost of purchasing thru DCL. We've always found private coverage to be a better value with better coverage, but private plans are based in part on the age of the cruiser. Older people cruising may find coverage thru the cruise line to be less costly.

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Regarding dining options, my experience is that is usually harder to get main dining rather than late dining. (We prefer early dining except when in the Med or places where excursions run late). On cruises where we have booked late, we usually end up with the later dining and have to wait list for early dining. Thus, if you want late dining, you should be able to get that. I would recommend you have your travel agent contact DCL and ask them to change you to the late dining.

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We will be on the Disney Magic in the spring. Could anyone tell me what Disney disembarkation is like? If there is anyone here who has been through Princess disembarkation how would you compare the two. We would like to be off the ship early but we are renting a car and driving to Walt Disney World so we do not have early flights. On Princess the people off the ship first are either those who can walk off with all of their luggage or people with early flights. We don’t really fit in either category so we’re just wondering how long it will take to get off the ship.

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9 hours ago, Sea Day Cruiser said:

We will be on the Disney Magic in the spring. Could anyone tell me what Disney disembarkation is like? If there is anyone here who has been through Princess disembarkation how would you compare the two. We would like to be off the ship early but we are renting a car and driving to Walt Disney World so we do not have early flights. On Princess the people off the ship first are either those who can walk off with all of their luggage or people with early flights. We don’t really fit in either category so we’re just wondering how long it will take to get off the ship.

 

I've only sailed Princess once (in Australia) and our disembarkation involved having to meet in a certain place at a set time, dependent upon baggage tag color - unsure if this is the fleetwide procedure, but Disney does it slightly differently. You are still given different colored baggage tags (themed with different Disney characters), but you don't need to meet in a specific lounge or anything. They do public announcements when it's your turn - for example "white Ariel tags can now disembark". It does mean the atrium area can be very full of people as they wait for their tag to be called. You can still walk off with your luggage and be amongst the first off, but if you don't mind waiting it can take a little while. Waiting to get off the Wonder last year, it took maybe half an hour before my baggage group was called.

Edited by ivanp91

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12 hours ago, Sea Day Cruiser said:

We will be on the Disney Magic in the spring. Could anyone tell me what Disney disembarkation is like? If there is anyone here who has been through Princess disembarkation how would you compare the two. We would like to be off the ship early but we are renting a car and driving to Walt Disney World so we do not have early flights. On Princess the people off the ship first are either those who can walk off with all of their luggage or people with early flights. We don’t really fit in either category so we’re just wondering how long it will take to get off the ship.

 

I believe it can be  as early as 7:15 AM. It depends if you want to attend breakfast or not. The usual is first dinner seating goes to breakfast first at The main dining room that you were at the previous evening. After breakfast you can leave as early as you want after that. I believe Cabanas, the buffet restaurant is also open from about 7am. Now this is typical unless there is a delay.

 

 We usually walk off with our luggage, but I believe most the luggage is there waiting. I think they just try to stagger the crowds for disembarking.

 

 My family is always at second seating dinner and nobody ever wants to leave the ship, so we take our time. But what I’ve read and understand as you can get off as soon as they’re ready. 

 

Good luck we we are leaving on the Magic this Wednesday  but it is out of NYC.

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I read recently that on a Disney cruise a child can only disembark the ship in the company of the person whose room they are in. Just want to check because we have a grandchild sharing the room with her grandmother who probably will not leave the ship in every port. Will the child have any problem leaving the ship with her parents?

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There is paperwork you need to fill out from Guest Services that will allow the child to come and go with the listed "approved" adults.  We did the same with our kids, putting a couple with the grandparents.

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Regarding trip insurance try looking into credit cards that offer it as a benefit. We have the Chase Sapphire which has a $95 annual fee, but it includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance along with primary rental car insurance. I hate annual fees but with trips once or twice a year the included insurance is a great deal. Check your cards and look at one with it included. 

Edited by abaci

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3 minutes ago, abaci said:

Regarding trip insurance try looking into credit cards that offer it as a benefit. We have the Chase Sapphire which has a $95 annual fee, but it includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance along with primary rental car insurance. I hate annual fees but with trips once or twice a year the included insurance is a great deal. Check your cards and look at one with it included. 

Also, be aware that cancellation/interruption insurance may not be all you need.

 

We buy travel insurance purely for the medical/evacuation coverage.  Many health plans here in the US do not cover "out of country" medical care.  And, once you board the ship, you are "out of country"

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8 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

Also, be aware that cancellation/interruption insurance may not be all you need.

 

We buy travel insurance purely for the medical/evacuation coverage.  Many health plans here in the US do not cover "out of country" medical care.  And, once you board the ship, you are "out of country"

Correct, but above the question was regarding Disney offering trip insurance which as far as I know is only cancellation (maybe interruption too) and never includes medical.This is why the credit card coverage is a good route, but also read the fine print to understand what is covered. Medical and evacuation insurance is cheap if not combined with cancellation insurance. Well at least for us in our mid 30's with no medical conditions. 

Edited by abaci

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15 minutes ago, abaci said:

Correct, but above the question was regarding Disney offering trip insurance which as far as I know is only cancellation (maybe interruption too) and never includes medical.This is why the credit card coverage is a good route, but also read the fine print to understand what is covered. Medical and evacuation insurance is cheap if not combined with cancellation insurance. Well at least for us in our mid 30's with no medical conditions. 

There are some medical coverages in the Vacation Protection Plan offered by DCL.  Not good coverage, but a little.

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If you don’t have little kids who absolutely have to be in bed by 8, I recommend the later dining.  It gives you time to return from excursions and relax before having to clean up for dinner.  

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On 10/4/2018 at 9:05 PM, Sea Day Cruiser said:

I have more questions and will probably have more as time goes on since we booked the Disney cruise today.

 

Our travel agent confirmed us for early dining and said it is hard to get and we were lucky to get it. I have never liked early dining. Is there any benefit to it? I have heard that the evening shows are very good on Disney so we want to be able to work around that. Also the youngest person in our party is 11 so there are no small children involved.

 

Does Disney offer trip insurance?

 

Does Disney give stockholder credit the way Carnival cruise lines do?

 We only do late dining which is always open because so many people prefer early, slthiugh I’m not sure why.  You go to 630 show, then there is usually 45 min to go to a fsmily dance party or game show, go to dinner and then go to late shows for adults,  and the teens and tweens tend to have more going on in their clubs later in the evening. We have done early dining once and hated it.  

 

For travel insurance, get your own.

 

never heard of stockholder credit,  

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On 10/22/2018 at 12:19 AM, Sea Day Cruiser said:

We will be on the Disney Magic in the spring. Could anyone tell me what Disney disembarkation is like? If there is anyone here who has been through Princess disembarkation how would you compare the two. We would like to be off the ship early but we are renting a car and driving to Walt Disney World so we do not have early flights. On Princess the people off the ship first are either those who can walk off with all of their luggage or people with early flights. We don’t really fit in either category so we’re just wondering how long it will take to get off the ship.

Totally different.  DCL uses terminals where all the luggage can be put out at the same time, arranged by cabin number so there is no need to have disembarkation groups.  Self-disembarkation is basically the same on the two lines--as soon as the announcement is made you are free to go (or any time after the announcement).  On Princess you have a group, location, and time to disembark. Then you wait at the location till your group is called.   There is none of that on DCL.  You do have a breakfast assignment based on your dinner assignment on the last night.  If that doesn't work for you, you can eat at Cabanas or ask your head server whether he can move you to the other breakfast time.  You are free to disembark any time between finishing breakfast and 9am.  Unless you are in a suite, there is no room service breakfast and you must vacate your cabin by 8.

You will get color coded luggage tags in your cabin--in the terminal, luggage is arranged by color/character code and within those groups, by cabin number  Of course, other cruisers may have messed up the cabin number order!

 

If you are on a participating airline and using DCL transportation, you are eligible for on board airline check in.  This is similar to EZ Check, but there is no fee and you must be using DCL transportation to the airport.  You will get luggage tags and boarding passes in your cabin and see your luggage at your home airport.  You must sign up for this in advance or at the terminal at check in.

One hint on DCL--there are long lines at about 8:45 to 9:00 of people who wanted to stay on the ship as long as possible.  Get off a little earlier (8:30 perhaps) and avoid the lines.

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40 minutes ago, cantgetin said:

DCL uses terminals where all the luggage can be put out at the same time, arranged by cabin number so there is no need to have disembarkation groups. 

 

41 minutes ago, cantgetin said:

There is none of that on DCL. 

Not exactly.  While what you've reported is how it happens at Port Canaveral, it's not like that in other ports.  We've cruised DCL where we had to wait until our tag color/character was called for debarkation.  Some terminals are pretty small and they put bags out for pick up in the terminal when space opens up.

41 minutes ago, cantgetin said:

You will get color coded luggage tags in your cabin--in the terminal, luggage is arranged by color/character code and within those groups, by cabin number

 

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True, Shmoo.  But we have disembarked at MANY different ports on DCL, and they do follow the Port Canaveral procedures as far as possible.  Barcelona, Dover, San Juan, and probably others followed the PC procedures re luggage totally.  

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2 hours ago, cantgetin said:

True, Shmoo.  But we have disembarked at MANY different ports on DCL, and they do follow the Port Canaveral procedures as far as possible.  Barcelona, Dover, San Juan, and probably others followed the PC procedures re luggage totally.  

 

What about disembarking in Miam?

 

And thanks to everyone for all the information.

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