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Old 03-13-2019, 02:54 PM   #11
Quellman
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Originally Posted by beemertec View Post
We set sail June 28 for a 5 night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral with 2 Stops at Castaway Cay on the Dream for our first ever cruise!

I have some questions about logistics so I will list the schedule below with questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is going to be an epic trip for the family.

Me, DW, DS14, DD9 (almost 10). Early dinner time.

Day 1 - We fly in on the 27th and will take ME to CCV for the night. Since we are sailing concierge, we are thinking that we want to get to the port a little early so we can get on the ship sooner.

Is that a good idea or will we just be stuck at the port?

You won't be stuck at the port unless they delay boarding from some reason. It has happened. But concierge gets their own check in area and waiting space, and are first onboard (after back to back cruisers). If you can get to port early, then by all means take advantage of it. The concierge team will meet you onboard and take you to the lounge and get you settled in.

What is the best way to get to the port from WDW? By best, I mean easiest. I am not planning to pay for a stretch limo, but I want to simple. Is it best just to UBER?

I cannot comment on this as we have always driven. I am looking into options for November when we will likely fly for a cruise for the first time. You could book the Disney minnievan through the cruiseline. They have water and dvds that play in the suburban along the way. Not sure of the cost, but you essentially can set your pick up time with that. I wouldn't count on uber pricing for that distance.

After boarding is the small plate thing at Remy worth it? I know we can only book it once on board. We were not planning to eat any other meals there.

Day 2 - Nassau - We plan to stay on the ship since Nassau doesn't interest us and it seems like a less crowded time to explore. I am guessing that we will not get bored doing this.

We are also thinking of scheduling a couples massage if they offer a discount onboard. We have one scheduled for day 5 that we can cancel if they give us a deal. When I spoke to the CM via the phone, I was told that they don't discount the massage packages. Does anyone know if this is true?

The discounts will be advertised on board. Usually they are more on services, like pedicures, seaweed wraps, etc.

We are scheduled for the princess meet and greets this morning as well.

Good to have scheduled.

Day 3 - Castaway Cay - We have a family cabana and will do the 2 day rental of the floats, snorkel gear, and bikes. Any tips or hints as to where best to snorkel, bike, or float? Any must see items on the island?

You won't need the 2 day rental of floats, snorkel, bikes because this is included in your cabana rental. There is only one snorkel lagoon, in front of the cabanas. Do it early in the day if you can. Visibility often decreases as the day goes on. In fact, I would save the bicycles for the second day. Use the first day to literally enjoy the cabana and everything that comes with it. Then use the bikes the second day to go to the observation point and explore the runway some.

Day 4 - Castaway Cay and Pirate Night - No cabana for today. I didn't get my request in at exactly midnight on the 5 days early. I thought there would be enough cabanas for all the concierge customers but was told that is not the case. They put me on a waitlist.

We did get pirate make-up sessions for the 4 of us at 5 PM so we will be ready for pirate night. Hopefully, this will be fun. Is there anywhere, in particular, we should try to be during pirate night.

If you want to be down below near the stages for the dance part of the show stay to the port side. The fireworks shoot off to the starboard, meaning your view may be obstructed by the second level or the aquaduck. Fireworks launch from behind the second funnel.

Day 5 - Ultimate Indulgence package for DW and me. I am amazed at how much less it costs on the ship than at WDW. We also have Palo scheduled for dinner.

If you have time, go early and enjoy a predinner drink from the meridian lounge. It really sets the tone for the rest of the evening.

Day 6 - We are going to BLT for a few nights to finish off the week. I guess I will return via whatever method you recommend for me getting there.

What should we plan as must do or must see on the ship?
My must do on the ship, the adult areas at the front of the ship. Don't feel compelled to do the stage shows if they don't interest you. Typically the first night is a 'preview' of all the shows that week.


Should we book Remy for one night? I do want to eat at all three regular restaurants.
Never done Remy and it frankly doesn't interest us. We find Palo suits us well and we aren't food critics.


Should we book the brunch? It seemed expensive so I am not sure that it will be worth it to us. We did the CG Sunday Brunch once, and while we enjoyed the experience, we did not really find the value in it. We couldn't eat our money's worth.

We've done brunch, liked dinner better.

We want the kids to have fun on their own, but also with us. What types of things should we try to plan to do together?
If you want some alone time, make sure they do the kids clubs ice breakers the first night. As for things you can do together, there are family karaoke, trivia, arts and crafts, etc. A family bike ride or similar at castaway cay might be nice too, then turn them loose on pelican plunge or island activities.

I am sure that I will think of more questions, but this should keep my fellow MO's busy for a minute! Thanks!

My responses to the above are in red.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemertec View Post
We set sail June 28 for a 5 night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral with 2 Stops at Castaway Cay on the Dream for our first ever cruise!


Day 3 - Castaway Cay - We have a family cabana and will do the 2 day rental of the floats, snorkel gear, and bikes. Any tips or hints as to where best to snorkel, bike, or float? Any must see items on the island?
Don't need to do a two day rental if you have a Cabana Snorkel, Floats, and bikes are free to Cabana Guests.

Also we are Sailing on the Dream on that voyage also in Concierges.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:32 AM   #13
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I would suggest renting a car when you land in MCO and using that for transport to WDW and then to the cruise. Reason being, it will give you the flexibility to get to the port early and will be very cost effective if you have discounted pricing available. Most companies have convenient drop-off right at the port (National is what we used).

I would get to the port early and get on the ship as early as possible. I would avoid the flock of people heading to Cabanas and hit up the pools immediately. Wear swim-wear under your clothes or pack a day bag with swim-wear. It will be the only time on your cruise that the pools are not packed.

As for Nassau, there is plenty to do on the ship and you will not be board. If you wanted to get off the ship for an hour or two you can go checkout the port area or take a boat shuttle to a local Island right from the pier.

As a side note, we have not done concierge yet, but we plan to do it for Alaska next summer. I can't believe that people pay that much of an up-charge for concierge, and one of the primary reasons is so that they can spend an even more absurd amount of money on a private cabana on a private island.

All of that being said, I would jump at the chance to book a cabana and always go on the waitlist to add a cabana booking.

Have a blast, we love the Dream!
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:13 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Steamboat42 View Post
I would suggest renting a car when you land in MCO and using that for transport to WDW and then to the cruise. Reason being, it will give you the flexibility to get to the port early and will be very cost effective if you have discounted pricing available. Most companies have convenient drop-off right at the port (National is what we used).
I would disagree. OP defines best as easiest. No rental car company has convenient drop-off right at there port. Every company, you have to drop off at their location and take a shuttle. That means dropping your family off, finding the drop-off location, dropping off the car, getting on the shuttle and getting back.

Or, it means everybody going to the car drop-off location, and schlepping family and bags back to ship.

It's doable, and economical for larger parties. It's not "just drop it off and you're done" easy, unlike rental car return at MCO.

Quite frankly, having to deal with Port Canaveral three times now - Disney transportation, park own car, and private town car service - the extra 90 minutes of arriving early isn't worth a logistical hassle. You're dumped in with at least 1/3 of the ship's capacity trying to do the same thing. You wait in a crowded terminal for your boarding number to be called. And, at the end of the day, you get maybe 60-90 minutes more on the ship. Plus Cabanas is crowded as everybody runs right there!

The easiest time we've ever had was our first, arriving via Disney transport. We were on the ship at 1:30 - dropped bags in room, ran up to Cabanas for lunch, wandered around, and were unpacked by lifeboat drill. Same thing we do arriving first-thing, except we also have to schlep bags to Cabanas for lunch because rooms aren't available and stand in lines to check-in, wait in crowds to board, and take forever to board as photos are taken.

OP is concierge, I believe, so may do a bit better, but I still wouldn't mess with rental car drop off unless I needed to save money. I'm all about the easy.

Dirk
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:58 AM   #15
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I would disagree. OP defines best as easiest. No rental car company has convenient drop-off right at there port. Every company, you have to drop off at their location and take a shuttle. That means dropping your family off, finding the drop-off location, dropping off the car, getting on the shuttle and getting back.

Or, it means everybody going to the car drop-off location, and schlepping family and bags back to ship.

It's doable, and economical for larger parties. It's not "just drop it off and you're done" easy, unlike rental car return at MCO.

Quite frankly, having to deal with Port Canaveral three times now - Disney transportation, park own car, and private town car service - the extra 90 minutes of arriving early isn't worth a logistical hassle. You're dumped in with at least 1/3 of the ship's capacity trying to do the same thing. You wait in a crowded terminal for your boarding number to be called. And, at the end of the day, you get maybe 60-90 minutes more on the ship. Plus Cabanas is crowded as everybody runs right there!

The easiest time we've ever had was our first, arriving via Disney transport. We were on the ship at 1:30 - dropped bags in room, ran up to Cabanas for lunch, wandered around, and were unpacked by lifeboat drill. Same thing we do arriving first-thing, except we also have to schlep bags to Cabanas for lunch because rooms aren't available and stand in lines to check-in, wait in crowds to board, and take forever to board as photos are taken.

OP is concierge, I believe, so may do a bit better, but I still wouldn't mess with rental car drop off unless I needed to save money. I'm all about the easy.

Dirk
Agree with Dirk. To me renting a car only makes sense if you're going to park it at the port and then drive it back to MCO or WDW afterward. You may or may not save money (I don't know or care), but the point would be convenience. No need to deal with buses or other 3rd party transport. When you get off the boat, you just roll your suitcases out to the car and take off. This works especially well with a WDW stay before or after.
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:37 AM   #16
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An amazing trip awaits ...
We got to the Port at 1pm and were escorted straight to ship and a concierge welcome meeting , in the private welcome lounge .
We have only ever took our car to park at the port and have done so with no problems.

If they still do it . concierge guests get a happy hour drinks package each night, the bar tender was fab at getting us to try lots of different whiskies !!
The private sun deck - I was the only person up there !!! They were putting in a splash pool I heard, If you want quiet and peace then a great spot to sneak off to .

Nassau is a fab place to get off the ship even for a couple of hours, still time to explore the ship when quieter . The ships have never seemed to packed or busy to try everything on offer .
Every ship , every cabin we have tried they all have advantages .

Enjoy its Disney !!
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:10 AM   #17
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The issue with Disney Transport to the port is you then are subject to their times...which for us is later than we want to arrive. We like to get on the ship and have lunch in one of the restaurants.

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You have some wonderful plans.

Easier - I would take Uber or Disney Transportation to the port - whichever is less/and/or time with Disney transportation is good for you. We have rented a car to take us to the port/save a few $ for a family of five but it's not the "easiest" way to get there - my opinion.

I am not sure - but I don't think you can enter the port before 10:00 am? - We like to get there early and usually have an early POA time anyway. The wait will go quick and you might take some pictures with the model ship, etc.

For me, for my first cruise, I would only book one - Palo or Remy. I bet you will be cruising again before you know it.
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:47 PM   #18
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The issue with Disney Transport to the port is you then are subject to their times...which for us is later than we want to arrive. We like to get on the ship and have lunch in one of the restaurants.
While the dining room may stop serving at 2:00, Cabanas stays open until 3:00. It's not crowded at all if you arrive late and they have the shrimp and crab.

If you really want to dine in the dining room, then you should still be able to do so arriving by bus, but you may have to go straight there. I don't they throw everybody at 2, but stop admitting people at 2 so that they can close and get ready for dinner (as well as the lifeboat drill).

At any rate, I'll sacrifice a dining room lunch (limited menu, indoors) in favor of Disney transportation if it keeps me from having to rent a car and go through the hassle of returning it.

Cost factors may be different for larger families.

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Old 04-13-2019, 07:28 PM   #19
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Default Concierges Lunch

As some have mentioned it doesn't really matter what time you get to the Port as Concierges Guest your can board at any time. If the Concierges Guest have already boarded they will escort you in and bypass the lines when you get there. I do recommend getting to the Port early to take your Concierges Perks out for a ride. No advice how to get there as we are FL residents and always Drive ourselves.

A relatively new Perk is a Special Lunch for Concierges Guest. Usually Held in the Royal onboard the Dream until 2PM. This Lunch Service includes Adult Beverages.

What we have done in the past is go upto the Concierges Lounge and grab some snacks and beverages. Secure any additional reservations that you might want and if you need to change things do that too !

We lighten our load by dropping carry ons in our room which Concierges Guest can do right at boarding time. Then we do some exploring before the ship gets really Crowded ! If your kids want be the 1st to ride the Aquaduck have them wear their bathing suits and head that way 1st it is pretty cool getting there 1st and getting the 1st rides.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:18 AM   #20
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Great info for us as we are planning our first cruise. Thanks
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