by Cruisin’ Diva
Do you have questions? We have answers! Each week, a diva or devo will share some of our best tips with you as we answer five of your questions. This week, Cruisin’ Diva shares with you her tips on five of your questions regarding cruising on the Disney Cruise Line.
What’s included and what costs extra?
I love this part of the Disney Cruise Line, because I have heard of other cruise lines charging for soft drinks! Fountain drinks on Disney Cruise line, which are located on the pool deck, are completely free 24 hours a day, every day!! Room service is also included 24 hours a day, every day!! The only thing extra for room service is a tip, which is optional. All food is included on the cruise except for two restaurants. Palo, which is on all four ships, is an adult only signature dining restaurant. It is $25 extra, per person, and will be added to your bill that is paid at the end of the cruise. Remy, which is only located on the Fantasy and the Dream, is $75 extra, per person, and is also a signature adult only dining experience. Alcohol and port adventures or excursions cost extra as well. There is also a coffee shop called Cove Café in the adult only pool area of the ships. These are specialty coffees that are an extra cost. No money is handled on board except at guest services. All extra costs will be added to your room bill. Two other things that some people don’t think of are parking and gratuities. These are not included and can be pre-paid! Port Canaveral charges for parking and it can be pre-paid through their website here. Gratuities can be pre-paid by calling the Disney Cruise Line and giving them your reservation number. I recommend pre-paying as much as you can up front so you don’t have to worry about it at the end of the cruise!
Do they have fireworks on a 4-night cruise, or just the longer ones? Will there be trick or treating on board on our October Cruise?
Yes! Fireworks are on all the cruises, weather permitting, and who doesn’t love a Pirate Party?? Pirate night is, by far, my favorite night on the ship. I mean, dancing, characters and fireworks! You can’t get much better than that!! Get your groove on with Mickey’s friends….
But don’t head back to the room too early or you’ll miss the best parts of the night…
Starboard Side Deck 10 on the Magic and the Wonder and Starboard Side Deck 12 on the Fantasy and Dream are the best places to view the magic.
And don’t miss out on the buffet immediately following the party! It’s a Tex-Mex theme on steroids!! Tacos, Nachos, desserts and much much more!
“Halloween on the High Seas” have been confirmed but the actual dates have not been released yet. If you are lucky enough to be on one of the cruises, you don’t want to miss out on the extra fun activities they will have in store for you and don’t, I repeat, don’t forget to pack your costume(s)!! “Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party” which will be located in the atrium, and this is in addition to pirate night! There will be games, dancing and trick-or-treating! There will be Halloween-themed activities throughout the entire cruises for all ages. “Haunted Stories at Sea” which is a campfire-style storytelling experience on the deck. “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing & Scream” which is an interactive movie experience followed by a meet and greet with Jack and Sally! Last, but certainly not least, “Halloween Isn’t Just For Kids”, an adult only party and costume contest!!
What’s the maximum size/comfort of a room without spending an arm & two legs for a more comfortable room & not a tiny bunk under the bowels of the ship. Would a state room really be worth it? Are the small rooms comfortable enough without feeling claustrophobic?
Let me start by saying that I have stayed in all different types of room aboard these ships. We travel with our kids and have stayed in the inside stateroom, (which is the smallest) and we traveled when they were in diapers and it was a tight fit, but honestly, you are not in the room as much (especially if you have older children), except to sleep. Our problem is storage, especially storage of suitcases. There is not much drawer space in any of the rooms, unless you have a suite, but the wonderful thing about the Magic, Dream and Fantasy is the storage under the bed. This is where most of our suitcases go, and can easily be pulled out to grab clothes. They do have two closets in each room where clothes can be hung. The Wonder will get its update soon enough, even though it is long overdue. Would we stay in an inside stateroom again? Yes, but unfortunately, they only fit up to families of 4. So we have to opt for the more expensive rooms for the space. No matter what room you choose, it will all be worth it in the end.
What are those fisher things? I don’t even know what they are called! What’s the best way to meet characters on the ship? Do you need to bring “fancy” clothes for anything I have a ton of cruise questions since I’ve never been on one!
The “fisher” things are called fish extenders! The purpose they serve via Disney Cruise Line is a place where they can put reminders for reservations and things like that, but that they have taken on a whole new meaning. If you have joined a cruise Facebook page, then you may be well aware of the Fish Extender Exchange. This is completely not Disney related, but it’s so much fun to get involved with. It’s sort of like a Secret Santa, but you can put your name on the gift. There are usually no rules for the exchange except at least one gift per stateroom. You can do more, such as one for each person. Some people do candy for the kids, shirts or something specific from the area that you live. We were lucky enough to be on a cruise with Australians and they brought us stuffed rugby balls and things native to Australia. It was really neat! The fish extender is usually handmade, but I bought mine through an Etsy store. Here’s a video that includes the Fish Extender and another fun craft I did for our stateroom door.
There are several ways to meet characters. First and foremost, Princesses and Anna and Elsa require a ticket (don’t worry, they’re free), but you just have to obtain one once you board the ship.
All the characters make regular appearances all over the ship. Check the Navigator each day to see where and when the characters are located, but I have found the shortest wait happens by the pool.
“Fancy” clothes are only “required” at two events. Captain’s night, which is formal night and is only included on the 7 night or more cruises, and if you are going to a signature dining restaurant. Now, to be honest, I normally don’t dress up for either, and it is not required on formal night. But there is a certain dress code you have to adhere to when going to Palo or Remy. No jeans, shorts, Capri pants, flip-flops or tennis shoes are allowed. You can read my full review of Palo here.
How does it work if you’re driving to Disney World or going on a Disney Cruise… like what do you do with your car if you have the land/sea package and where does your car go if you drive to your port location?
Driving is the only way we travel to Disney. It’s more convenient and more cost effective in the long run. If you are driving to the port, whether you are doing a cruise by itself or a land/sea package, you will need to park your car somewhere. I have only parked at the Port because it is the most convenient. You receive luggage tags and will drop off your luggage next to the terminal at the curb where porters take your bags to the ship. I recommend tipping these awesome dudes, who know how to stack some bags, let me tell you. Once you park, you take your carry-ons with you to the terminal. There are two ways to pay for the parking. You can pre-pay via their website, here, or you can pay when you get there. As I stated earlier, I like to pre-pay as much as I can beforehand, because that is one less bill I have to worry about when I get there!
So, the most obvious question on everyone’s mind is, it is worth it?? I have to throw out a big resounding YES!! I will be embarking on my 11th Disney Cruise this upcoming January and I can not wait! We strive to cruise once a year, or at least that’s how the stars have aligned the last several years. Once you go on a Disney Cruise, nine times out of ten, you get hooked and have to go back for more. Stay tuned for many more articles coming your way about Disney Cruising!!