Tigger Travels - Journal of Adventures. (not a travel agent)
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Hints for First Time Cruisers on the Disney Cruise Line Ship
More information than you can digest in one sitting gathered from our experiences on 11 cruises
Both Jennifer and myself will be sounding off on this article. It was started as a result of questions from a family next to us this morning at the Character Breakfast from Colorado (everyone should be sure to stop by their home and say 'Hi!' ;)
Jennifer: Arrive at port a day early. Plans to spent the night before the cruise near the port if your travel is more than a few miles. We always enjoy getting to the port early so we can get an early boarding time and enjoy the ship more. The first buffet opens at noon but you can always get coffee hot or cold in Cove Cafe on the pool deck forward near the adult only area.
David: Adults should not miss an opportunity to dine at Palo. This is the first rate dining experience that is in an adults only environment surrounded by top quality service and food. The extra cost is a minimal fee that is well worth the unique experience. All adult passengers are entitled to a dinner and brunch (if it is offered) but do not be afraid to ask for second seating. If the seating are not fully booked, you will probably get it. We have enjoyed as many as six seatings in Palo on a seven night cruise that included dinners, brunches and high tea. Currently, high tea is not offered but we hope they bring it back soon. It was discontinued due to lack of interest.
Jennifer: Adults should take at least one day's pass in the Rain Forest Room. For a nominal fee adults have access to an Italian designed steam room, saunas, aromatherapeutic showers and more. You cane spent as much time as you want in there for the day and makes a great activity for sea days. Normally, I go in there two or three times on the days I use my passes.
David: When you sit down to meals you will be given a menu. If you see more than one item on the menu you would like to try, order them all. This is especially easy on the shorter cruises. I remember one night on one of our 4 night trips we ended up with 12 plates of dessert on our table for the four over us. We did this because everything was just so interesting and sounded great!
On the Captain's Gala night, Jen and I both order two lobsters instead of the usual one. The kitchen even plated both lobster on a single plate for us.
Another of our favorites on the Disney ships is the escargot. I generally order two or three servings depending on the length of the cruise. Shorter cruises gets more servings.
Speaking of escargot, let me expand on that a little. If you have no interest in trying it, don't. However, if you are interested inthe experience once, the Disney Magic is generally the best escargot. One serving comes with six pieces smothered in a great combo of butter, oil and spices.
No matter how good it is "supposed to be" there always seems to be a chance of a "not so good one in the bunch". Now mind you, on this current cruise on the Magic we had three whole servings of perfect bites. They were nothing short of exquisite!
The escargot should be tender, not rubbery. The absolutely best will barely need chewing as it will nearly melt between your tongue and the top of your mouth. Good escargot will need a bit of chew but should feel like a good pasta. If it feels like a piece of rubber tire, discard it with a fork politely.
Even the best escargot may have a small bit of grit. I don't know anything about preparation but even the best I have had has contained a single bit of grit. Overall, though, grit is not a common occurance. Personally I have had several servings and not a single bit of grit.
Jennifer: Never leave the ship without another cruise booked. There are a lot of benefits; 10% discount on your next cruise, shipboard credit and your deposit is half. Also, if you are a little strapped for cash just book two on that cruise. Add the kids later and still get the same benefits. Make payments on the cruise at regular intervals and even pay off the cruise, all tips and your excursions before you even board the ship. It feels great when you get off the ship with no remaining dept from the cruise.
The nice part is that sometimes, if the rate goes down, Disney will automatically adjust your rate for you. Additionally, if you decide that the cruise you booked does not fit your schedule the just move the cruise time or even change the itinerary to something you like better. You will not loose any money or any benefits from booking onboard to begin with. Never cancel, just move it out. We have done this as many as three times for a single booking.
Alert: You can only move a reserved sail date as long as the final payment is not due. Once the final payment is due, you are pretty much locked in.
Recommendations for Cruise Ships
Date taken: 2012 10 31 14:15 Wednesday
Disney Cruise Line Official Web Site
Daily Navigator/Iwa Published Schedule