We're taking a DCL cruise - starting the countdown!!!

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crazycatperson's picture
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We're taking a DCL cruise - starting the countdown!!!

Our day for online check-in and booking excursions is tomorrow. What time can we start booking? Midnight? Sometime in the morning?

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Tried at midnight and it let us book! So it's done.

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So exciting! yay

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We're going to spend 10 nights on the Wonder for our 25th anniversary. The cruise will include 5 days at sea and 4 in port at various Hawaiian islands. For our actual anniversary, which will be a day at sea, we've booked a couples massage and dinner at Palo. Excursions include volcanos, a plantation tour and train ride, a day at the beach, and a visit to the Pearl Harbor memorial. This will be our first cruise ever and we're both a touch apprehensive - hubby isn't comfortable around large bodies of water and I have problems with motion sickness. We've booked an ocean view cabin; I'm kinda hoping for a free upgrade to a verandah room, but I think hubby would be happier without having a door to the ocean, so perhaps we'll be better off with what we actually booked.

If this were a WDW vacation I would be in major planning mode right now, but there really isn't much more for me to do for the cruise - we just show up and go day by day, I guess.

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Awesome! Congrats! And I eagerly await your trip report! Only 2-1/2 months to go! yay

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crazycatperson wrote:
We're going to spend 10 nights on the Wonder for our 25th anniversary. The cruise will include 5 days at sea and 4 in port at various Hawaiian islands. For our actual anniversary, which will be a day at sea, we've booked a couples massage and dinner at Palo. Excursions include volcanos, a plantation tour and train ride, a day at the beach, and a visit to the Pearl Harbor memorial. This will be our first cruise ever and we're both a touch apprehensive - hubby isn't comfortable around large bodies of water and I have problems with motion sickness. We've booked an ocean view cabin; I'm kinda hoping for a free upgrade to a verandah room, but I think hubby would be happier without having a door to the ocean, so perhaps we'll be better off with what we actually booked.

If this were a WDW vacation I would be in major planning mode right now, but there really isn't much more for me to do for the cruise - we just show up and go day by day, I guess.

Yep that's basically all you can do right now! It's very frustrating, I know!! LOL. Could you see on the cruise planner what shows will be happening during your cruise? I found it somewhere for ours. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll look for it again.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Sounds like a nice cruise, I would love to do the Hawaiian islands.

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alicemouse wrote:
crazycatperson wrote:
We're going to spend 10 nights on the Wonder for our 25th anniversary. The cruise will include 5 days at sea and 4 in port at various Hawaiian islands. For our actual anniversary, which will be a day at sea, we've booked a couples massage and dinner at Palo. Excursions include volcanos, a plantation tour and train ride, a day at the beach, and a visit to the Pearl Harbor memorial. This will be our first cruise ever and we're both a touch apprehensive - hubby isn't comfortable around large bodies of water and I have problems with motion sickness. We've booked an ocean view cabin; I'm kinda hoping for a free upgrade to a verandah room, but I think hubby would be happier without having a door to the ocean, so perhaps we'll be better off with what we actually booked.

If this were a WDW vacation I would be in major planning mode right now, but there really isn't much more for me to do for the cruise - we just show up and go day by day, I guess.

Yep that's basically all you can do right now! It's very frustrating, I know!! LOL. Could you see on the cruise planner what shows will be happening during your cruise? I found it somewhere for ours. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll look for it again.

I don't think that info is available yet, but I'll check again and keep checking until it is posted.

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yay yay yay
How exciting! I'm super jealous.

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Veteran DCL cruisers, I have a few questions...

1. Hubby is concerned about packing suitable clothes for Palo - we'd rather not bring a garment bag just so he can pack a suit. Can he get by with nice slacks, a dress shirt, and a necktie? Or does Palo require a jacket?

2. We missed out on seeing Tomorrowland at our local theater, and now it's gone. Is this the sort of movie that will likely be showing during a cruise this September - a recent movie but not a new release?

3. Also pertaining to movies, I know that movie snacks like popcorn are not included in the price of the cruise, and I'd rather save my extra cash for adult beverages. Is it possible to grab a snack from the counter-service places up on the pool deck and carry it down to the movie theater?

4. Since our cruise is extra long, will there likely be additional shows and entertainment options? Or will they just have the regular shows on more than one night?

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Hey, here's a question on tipping:

I know we can either pre-pay our tips or wait till the end of the cruise to settle up. No cash required to tip our regular wait staff, our cabin attendant, etc. and I know a gratuity is included in the price of spa services.

What about room service? Bartenders? Palo? How do we leave gratuities in those cases? Should we carry a lot of small bills for room service and bartenders? How does tipping work at Palo? And what about the buffet and counter service places on the boat?

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If memory doesn't fail me wheelchair , in most tabs (bar/lounges, etc.) if gratuity is not included, there will be a place on the tab to add gratuities (charged to your cabin if credit card is on file). I recall writing-in gratuities at a bar, only to notice later that it was already included on the tab. But the service was good so he earned it Party

But you may want to carry loose cash during your shore excursion, for tipping (driver, local tour guide, etc.).

Bon voyage

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crazycatperson wrote:
Veteran DCL cruisers, I have a few questions...

1. Hubby is concerned about packing suitable clothes for Palo - we'd rather not bring a garment bag just so he can pack a suit. Can he get by with nice slacks, a dress shirt, and a necktie? Or does Palo require a jacket?

2. We missed out on seeing Tomorrowland at our local theater, and now it's gone. Is this the sort of movie that will likely be showing during a cruise this September - a recent movie but not a new release?

3. Also pertaining to movies, I know that movie snacks like popcorn are not included in the price of the cruise, and I'd rather save my extra cash for adult beverages. Is it possible to grab a snack from the counter-service places up on the pool deck and carry it down to the movie theater?

4. Since our cruise is extra long, will there likely be additional shows and entertainment options? Or will they just have the regular shows on more than one night?

1. Palo - I am desperatly trying to remember what Joe wore that night. Believe it or not, I don't have a pic of us in our attire for the evening. I know I wore white dress pants, low heels and a blue silk top. I want to say Joe had on slacks, a buttondown and a tie... I don't remember him having a jacket. I will ask him when he gets home.

2. I would think they would have it. When we went in Feb they had GotG and BH6 which had come out 6 months and 3 months prior to our cruise.

3. We didn't make it to a movie so I am not sure about this one...

4. Ours was a 4 day so I have no idea....

I don't feel like I helped a lot lol

crazycatperson wrote:
Hey, here's a question on tipping:

I know we can either pre-pay our tips or wait till the end of the cruise to settle up. No cash required to tip our regular wait staff, our cabin attendant, etc. and I know a gratuity is included in the price of spa services.

What about room service? Bartenders? Palo? How do we leave gratuities in those cases? Should we carry a lot of small bills for room service and bartenders? How does tipping work at Palo? And what about the buffet and counter service places on the boat?

We pre-paid all of ours and then we tipped extra to our main server because well, he was AMAZING!!! The others we checked first to see if it was included and went from there. It was a write in and charged to our room.

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If gratuity is not included, there should be a line on the bill to add it just like at a restaurant. You'll have a "key to the world" type for card that will allow you to enter your room and will have charging privileges if you set them up. (Sadly, no MagicBands yet, but I'd be willing to be that they're on their way!)

__________________

Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Veteran DCL cruisers, I have a few questions...

1. Hubby is concerned about packing suitable clothes for Palo - we'd rather not bring a garment bag just so he can pack a suit. Can he get by with nice slacks, a dress shirt, and a necktie? Or does Palo require a jacket?

Slacks and a nice shirt with a collar are fine for Palo.

crazycatperson wrote:
2. We missed out on seeing Tomorrowland at our local theater, and now it's gone. Is this the sort of movie that will likely be showing during a cruise this September - a recent movie but not a new release?

Quite possibly. They do both first run Disney movies (often opening the same day at sea as in theaters) as well as some of the older movies. The mix is decent.

crazycatperson wrote:
3. Also pertaining to movies, I know that movie snacks like popcorn are not included in the price of the cruise, and I'd rather save my extra cash for adult beverages. Is it possible to grab a snack from the counter-service places up on the pool deck and carry it down to the movie theater?

I seem to recall that Tori and I stuck food in our purses and carried it down to the movie, as well as bringing in something to drink.

crazycatperson wrote:
4. Since our cruise is extra long, will there likely be additional shows and entertainment options? Or will they just have the regular shows on more than one night?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "additional" shows. However longer cruises do have other entertainment options planned for guests. Often there will be guest performers doing variety acts in addition to the shows that are in standard rotation.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Veteran DCL cruisers, I have a few questions...

1. Hubby is concerned about packing suitable clothes for Palo - we'd rather not bring a garment bag just so he can pack a suit. Can he get by with nice slacks, a dress shirt, and a necktie? Or does Palo require a jacket?

At night I would say you can get away without a jacket as long as you have the tie. Remember there will also be a formal night though if its a longer cruise and you might want the suit for that as well but again you can get away without it. I've seen people in just a shirt and tie quite often in Palo at night. For brunch you don't need a tie

Quote:

2. We missed out on seeing Tomorrowland at our local theater, and now it's gone. Is this the sort of movie that will likely be showing during a cruise this September - a recent movie but not a new release?

More than likely! They are still showing Cinderella and that's been out longer.

Quote:

3. Also pertaining to movies, I know that movie snacks like popcorn are not included in the price of the cruise, and I'd rather save my extra cash for adult beverages. Is it possible to grab a snack from the counter-service places up on the pool deck and carry it down to the movie theater?

Yes you can. I also took boxes of rice crispies from breakfast with me too and you can sometimes get chips from the quick service places that are good for in there - plus remember free soft drinks on deck 9!

Quote:
4. Since our cruise is extra long, will there likely be additional shows and entertainment options? Or will they just have the regular shows on more than one night?

They only do the shows once on the cruise. They tend to have other shows on the other nights. For example on last years transatlantic on the Magic we had:
-Let the Magic Begin
-Twice Charmed
-Villians Tonight
-And the Dream Goes On
-1 drum act
-1 movie night
-2 singers
-4 different variety acts
-talent show
-Last night show
Some of these were better than others but every night was something different.

During the day they also have more activities and other options on longer cruises compared to the shorter ones like cookery demonstations, dance classes, adult time in the kids spaces and guest lecturers

And gratuity is included automatically on bar drinks but there is a line on the bill for additional gratuity. In Palo you pay a fee for the meal but then its discretionary tip on top (although any alcohol will have automatic gratuity). There is debate as to whether the nominal fee is a tip or not so I do tend to tip here as always have great service anyway.

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We've got a couples massage booked on our anniversary. Do we also get access to the Rainforest Room? Or should I book a day pass for another day? Or both, lol?

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you get use of the rainforest room included I believe

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crazycatperson wrote:
We've got a couples massage booked on our anniversary. Do we also get access to the Rainforest Room? Or should I book a day pass for another day? Or both, lol?

That's a good question and I'm not sure I know the answer. However I do know that if you pre-buy the pass online ($16 per person, per day through the stateroom gifts area) you can use it on any day of the cruise you would like, you don't have to book a specific day or time for it.

Honestly, on my first cruise I only had one day there, on the second cruise I booked two days, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get a length of stay pass for my next cruise. I really love how relaxing and luxurious it is.

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Is it possible to buy a rainforest room day pass on the ship? Then if the massage doesn't also give us access, we can buy day passes while we're there.

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You can buy day passes or week long passes on board. If you pre buy the day passes online I think it's $1 less than the onboard price. The webpage doesn't offer the week long pass. I'm not sure that massages come with rainforest passes as they are not in the same areas. The massage rooms are outside the rainforest area.

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Thanks very much for all the advice, folks. I think I'll wait till we board to ask about the rainforest room. The week pass sounds pretty tempting.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Is it possible to buy a rainforest room day pass on the ship? Then if the massage doesn't also give us access, we can buy day passes while we're there.

Yes, Tori and I bought one of our Rainforest Days onboard in February and it was still $16 per person.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Hey, here's a question on tipping:

I know we can either pre-pay our tips or wait till the end of the cruise to settle up. No cash required to tip our regular wait staff, our cabin attendant, etc. and I know a gratuity is included in the price of spa services.
we bring more cash in case we want to add more to the tip envelopes on the last night. We usually add more. I've never had horrible service.

What about room service? Bartenders? Palo? How do we leave gratuities in those cases? Should we carry a lot of small bills for room service and bartenders? How does tipping work at Palo? And what about the buffet and counter service places on the boat?


Bars/lounges automatically add gratuity. I usually add more because it's a very small amount. Palo can be added just like a normal restaurant, when you sign your tab at the end you can add gratuity. It's pretty much a cashless system except for room service tips. We tipped them cash per delivery. We use room service a lot Smile

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One month from today hubby and I will fly to Los Angeles, where we will check into an airport hotel, catch an Uber ride to Koreatown for an early dinner, and then call it an early night so we can get our beauty rest before catching an early flight to Vancouver.

Tomorrow the really fun countdown begins!

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Awesome and bon voyage clapping

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yay I am so excited for you both!

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"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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yay One month until cruising day!!! clapping congrats

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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alicemouse wrote:
yay One month until cruising day!!! clapping congrats

OMG yes it's just one month till we get on the Wonder and sail the seas! Hard to believe it's so close now since we started planning this trip over a year ago.

Can't wait. Hope we don't hate cruising.

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crazycatperson wrote:
Hope we don't hate cruising.

LOL Me too!!! eek I suspect that you'll be having to much fun to remember that you're on a boat! cool

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Be good at something. It makes you valuable. Have something to bring to the table because that will make you more welcome. --Randy Pausch

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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It's single digit day! Actually, it's 8 days till we leave home and 9 till we board the Wonder.

We still have no idea what we'll do day by day aside from our shore excursions, Palo, and the couples massage we booked. Lots of R&R, I guess, along with whatever shipboard activities appeal to us each day. We also have no firm itinerary for our two days at Disneyland, but I will get over to touringplans.com and put something together. World of Color and Fantasmic are must-see, of course, and we'll be sure to get those FPs early. Beyond that, the priorities are attractions exclusive to DL and favorite attractions from WDW - got to see how they're different at DL.

There will be no live trip report, since a good chunk of our time will be spent out to sea with only shipboard wifi available, and I am NOT paying for that. I'll probably pop in now and then once we reach Hawaii and, later, DL, but the real trip report will have to wait until we return home.

Anyway, this will probably be my last post here - next up, the trip report.