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muppet23

Advice for First Timer Please

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We will be arriving in Orlando on a Monday morning and our cruise departs on Wednesday.  We're hoping to spend Tuesday at Magic Kingdom.  Assuming we should stay on the grounds, any advice as to where we should consider staying?  We won't have our own car but I assume if we stay at a WDW hotel we can get transportation from our hotel to the port, correct?

 

From a cruise standpoint, we have 3 kids ages 6, 4 and 15 months.  My husband wants to get off the ship in Nassau but I haven't had much luck finding excursions that would be fitting for a 15 month old.  Other than heading to a beach for the day, is there anything that you would recommend?

 

I understand that we should book nursery time in advance but I have no idea when we would need/want that service.  Is the nursery typically booked up if we don't schedule this in advance?  Any advice on when we should utilize the nursery? 

 

We fly home the morning after our cruise and the flight leaves super early out of Orlando.  Any recommendations on where to stay that final night?

 

I am typically great about planning but I'm overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on this so any general advice for a first timer would be greatly appreciated.

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It really doesn't matter where you stay relative to getting to the port.  The cruise line bus picks up at all the Disney Resorts, so choose based on your budget and what appeals to you. There is a charge for transportation to the port, so keep that in mind. 

 

Personally, I wouldn't get off of the ship in Nassau, but would stay on and enjoy the ship's amenities. Many like-minded poeple feel that Nassau does not have a lot to offer. 

 

For your flight home, look into the Hyatt at the airport. You can't get any closer than that.

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in WDW if you stay at the Comtemp' you can walk to the entrance of MK and eliminate the ride from Transport and Ticket Center (monorail or ferry) which may come in handy for a mid-day nap (otherwise you may find it takes 30 minutes or more to get back to your hotel!)

 

for the nite b4 your return, if the flight is EARLY consider staying at the Hyatt IN the airport .... no worries about catching a shuttle etc in the AM. And DCL transport can get you to the airport obviously. You have access to all the food options of the airport (outside security) as well as the hotel's and room service.  There is a pool but you may want to check with hotel for your specific daste as I believe there is a period soon where it will close for refurbishing. Kids are often entertained just watching the airplanes out the room window.

 

In Nassau you might consider taking a city tour by horse drawn carriage .... something different and no need to pre-book as they are lined up just outside the terminal. Price and length of tour is negotiable IME (30 minutes or so is typical and it won't really leave the downtown area.  You can ask to be dropped at the Pirate Museum at the end of the tour. This may appeal to the older children and is 'friendly' for the 15 mo.  It is just a few blocks from the ship so you can walk back down the 'main drag' of shopping just to say 'been there'.  http://www.piratesofnassau.com/

 

Did this with my 2 on their first cruise and subsequently they asked to go again ....

Edited by Capt_BJ

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23 hours ago, muppet23 said:

 

 

 

I understand that we should book nursery time in advance but I have no idea when we would need/want that service.  Is the nursery typically booked up if we don't schedule this in advance?  Any advice on when we should utilize the nursery? 

 

 

We found that using the nursery around dinner time was best for us. If possible feed the baby before your dinner time, early or late, then bring the baby to the nursery so you can enjoy the dinner a little more. If the 6 and 4 yo like the clubs you may actually be able to have a meal with just the 2 of you. Hopefully you remember what that is like.

 

We have found availability of the nursery to be pretty good. Depends on when your sailing is and how many under 3 yo there are

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What is your budget for a Walt Disney World hotel?  They are all fun so budget and location are the main concerns.  I like Port Orleans Riverside for larger rooms and a moderate price.  Pop Century is a value resort and was recently renovated.  The kids would love the theming there.

 

The bus will cost $35 per person, each way, to the port.  I've found that it is less expensive to rent a car and return it at the port, FYI, incase you are open to doing that.  I used to live in Florida so driving there is comfortable for me and I like having freedom to go to the grocery store, etc.

 

The Hyatt MCO is a nice place to stay the night before your return flight home.  You may be somewhat bored there if you have a full 24 hours before your flight.  If it were me, I'd go back to Port Orleans Riverside to relax, let the kids swim or use the playground and take the boat over to Disney Springs for some shopping and restaurants.  You can take Magical Express or a rental car back to the airport.

 

I can't offer much about Nassau because I've never been there.  The ship will be less busy so you may find it enjoyable to relax with the kids on deck and let them enjoy the pools.

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Thanks to all for the advice.  I booked the night at the airport Hyatt.  Our flight leaves around 6:00 a.m. so this will work great.

 

I think I may have waited too long to book because it seems like some of the WDW hotels are all booked up.  Our trip is mid-Feb.  We were planning on budgeting about $400 a night but it doesn't appear that we'll find anything in that price range at this point.  Is my best option to book via the Disney website?  It looks like there is availability at the Contemporary Resort.  It's quite a bit over our initial budget but I don't want to wait and not have a room available.

 

We will only be spending one day at the park.  Is there any benefit to purchasing tickets ahead of time?

 

Thanks again for the great advice!

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Booking direct with Disney is normally how I do it but there are some agencies that may have availability so look around online.  Check out Magical Vacations Travel.

 

You want to have your ticket and hotel hotel reservation in the My Disney Experience website ASAP so you can book fast passes to maximize your one day.  (60 days before check in)

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if you book at the Contemp

 

new and exciting options become available  since you are staying 'inside'

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3 hours ago, Capt_BJ said:

if you book at the Contemp

 

new and exciting options become available  since you are staying 'inside'

That’s where we ended up booking. Are these options listed on the Disney site?

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 8:26 PM, muppet23 said:

That’s where we ended up booking. Are these options listed on the Disney site?

I'm not really sure what options the Capt is referring to.  All Disney resort guests get the same perks (aside from come concierge level that I know nothing about because it is too rich for my blood).  You get Extra Magic Hours, Magical Express, bus/monorail to the parks, advance FastPass+ reservations, MagicBands.  You can find information about the last two specifically if you log in to My Disney Experience.

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In response to your question about what to do with the 15 month old - our youngest was 17 months the first time he was in Nassau. We did a glass bottom boat ride, and he thought that was the greatest thing in the world. He just watched the fish below him the entire time we were in the boat. I don't know if he truly understood that the fish were underneath us in the ocean or not, but it amused both him and my older one as well (3 at the time). We booked the glass bottom boat through Disney for this one, but we did one another time through a vendor on the island. 

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