Important Things To Do During Your Disney Cruise Online Check
A Disney Cruise is a lot more relaxing than a Disney World vacation. There isnt as much go-go-go, and you really can take it at a slow pace and just be zen for the duration of your sailing. Because of that, a Disney Cruise is a bit easier to plan, yet there still are things that you need to know about during the online check-in process. There are things that you can completely miss out on if you are not in the know.
If this is your very first Disney Cruise, then you will be able to do your online check-in 75 days before sailing. The window opens up at midnight online and I strongly suggest being ready to check-in as soon as it opens. Make sure that you are logged in to your disneycruise.com account before it hits midnight and be ready to go!
What youll need in hand:
- your disneycruise.com login and password
- passports for all cruisers
- pre and/or post hotel stay information
The very first thing you want to do before you click on Online Check-In is book the onboard activities. Those book up very quickly and if you dont do it quick enough, you could end up with no available times to book. Decide which ones are the most important to book and then go to book them in that order. Youll find the booking for those when you look at your daily itinerary. You can go to each individual day and then select Add Activities.
Here are the FREE activities that you need to book a time slot for :
Here are activities and/or experiences that you can book that are an additional cost:
You Can Request The Best Seat In The House
Always dreamed of sitting stage side at Tianas Place or enjoying dinner in those gorgeous Enchanted Garden booths? Well, its not entirely luck of the draw for who ends up at each table. Nothing is guaranteed, but requests for a certain table can always be added to your Disney Cruise Line reservation, and they are worth the extra phone call.
It’s More Than The Usual Shipboard Credits
Because the cruise industry aims to enforce pricing parity across all booking channels, discounts don’t usually appear in the upfront cruise fare. Instead, you’ll see discounts in the form of extra perks.
Common types of booking incentives include free beverage packages, specialty dining and shipboard credits — a rebate that shows up as a credit to your onboard bill at the start of your cruise and can be used for drinks, specialty dining, spa treatments or shore excursions. Costco offers these benefits to their customers on select cruises executive-level Costco members usually receive even greater credits.
Unlike a typical travel agent, Costco Travel also offers rebates issued as Costco Cash Cards. There’s no rebate form to fill out the cash card arrives in the mail two to four weeks after your cruise, to be used at Costco’s warehouses or for online orders.
While the disadvantage of a cash card over a shipboard credit is that Costco hangs onto your rebate for a month longer, the payoff is usually greater. And, as anyone who regularly shops at Costco knows, it doesn’t take long to blow through a few hundred dollars in gas fill-ups alone.
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Reserving Activities Online For Your Disney Cruise
August 3, 2017 by Disney Cruise Mom
I used to have a post about ticketed events on Disney Cruise Line, but I took it down because within the last year or two, the information had become outdated. In the past you would have to go to guest services after boarding to secure tickets/reservations for several things onboard, but this is no longer the case. So, this post is to bring you up to date on how DCL is currently handling the reservations of onboard activities that can be done online before your cruise. Some of these activities are an extra charge and some are not. It there is an extra fee, I will mark the item with a $$$. If you see red text, you can click on it for more information on that topic.
These are the activities that can currently be reserved online before your cruise:
This includes the highly-sought-after cabanas at Castaway Cay.
This includes brunch and/or dinner at these upcharge, adult-only venues.
Nursery Time $$$
For children 3 and under. Only a certain number of hours may be reserved in advance online, but more can be added onboard if available.
Tastings frequently offered include beer, wine, bourbon, champagne, chocolate & liquor, martini, whiskey, and mixology classes.
You can meet 3-5 princesses at once in the ships atrium. Individual princesses can also be met each day of the cruise without tickets, so if you cant get a reservation, dont despair.
Frozen Meet & Greet
Personal And Passport Information
You will be required to complete the personal information for each guest and provide passport information for everyone. They also have an option to sail with a birth certificate however a passport is strongly suggested given that you will be visiting other countries.
On the first page they will ask you if anyone sailing with you is 24 weeks pregnant or more. Its very important to pay attention to that piece of information because they do not allow anyone to sail if they are over 24 weeks. DO NOT book a cruise if you think you will be that late in a pregnancy.
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The Most Memorable Character Experiences Wont Be At Meet
The lines to meet Mickey and Minnie are short on Disney Cruise Line, but favorites like Daisy Duck are known to freely wander the pool and jogging track decks, playfully surprising guests and often sharing elevator rides for a once-in-a-lifetime interaction. Dont miss the character dance parties either, which allow kids and adults to line dance with Goofy and shake it off with Donald Duck for an experience that goes beyond a hug and photograph.
Book As Soon As Your Window Opens Up For Disney Cruise Line Excursions
We have talked about the Castaway Club Membership before and this is where it really helps to have a higher ranking in the Disney Cruise Line loyalty program. When new itineraries and excursion bookings open up, the higher level Castaway Club members get first dibs.
Each level has its own booking window, and it opens up at midnight on the day of allowed booking. This booking window will allow you to choose your Port Arrival Time as well as your excursions. Being one of the first people to sign on during your booking window can literally mean you can board earlier or snag that coveted cruise excursion.
Some of these excursions go quick guys, so if you have your heart set on a specific excursion at a specific port of call, do not be late to your booking window. Many of the most popular excursions will be taken before they even reach silver level, meaning that first time cruisers really dont even have much of a chance at snagging one. That being said, its best to plan to stay up late on the date of your booking window so you can have the best chance at getting what you want.
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Disney Castaway Cay Snorkelling
Snorkeling is very popular on Castaway Cay. You can bring your own equipment. However, snorkel equipment is available to rent on Castaway Cay for $34 for adults and $18 for ages 5 to 9.
A Castaway Cay Double Dip 2-day rental is $45 for adults and $23 for children.
This is the price for an all-day snorkel rental. It includes a snorkel, mask, fins, and snorkel vest.
You might want to think about taking your own Snorkel Mask with you. You can get a decent set for less than the price of the rental.
You can find out more details at Castaway Cay Snorkeling.
Mistakes I Made On Our First Disney Cruise
Earlier this year, my family had the chance to take our very first Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. Im a travel planner by nature. In fact, some might say I overplan. I certainly planned many aspects of our Disney Cruise vacation. Being a newbie, however, there were a couple of holes in my planning knowledge. That meant I ultimately made a few first-timer Disney Cruise mistakes.
But there is no need for other first time Disney Cruise Line guests to do the same. Learn from my mistakes! Here are the things I did wrong to help you make the best choices for your own family on your first Disney Cruise Line vacation. Keep reading to the end to find out things I also ultimately did right so you can take away a few additional DCL tips.
The 5 Dates You Must Know Before Booking Your Disney Cruise
Before you book that Disney Cruise, there are 5 dates that you absolutely need to know. Make sure you figure out what these calendar dates are for the cruise you are planning to book and write them in your planner or type reminders in your phone.
Are you thinking about taking a Disney Cruise?
Additional Castaway Club Questions
Q: What happens if guests at different Castaway Club levels share a room? Which benefits will apply to the room?
A: The Castaway Club benefit level is determined by the guest with the highest membership level in the stateroom. All Guests staying in the same stateroom will enjoy that members benefit level for the duration of the cruise. Guests traveling with you, but staying in a different stateroom, will enjoy the benefit level of whichever member has the highest membership level in their stateroom.
Q: Is there a time limit for using Castaway Club benefits?
A: No, after achieving a particular Castaway Club level there is no end date to your status. When you complete the sailings needed to upgrade to the next level your benefits will increase, but they will never expire.
Ready to start planning your next Disney Cruise? 2021 and 2022 Disney Cruise Line itineraries are now available for booking. Please fill out the form below for a FREE, no-obligation quote, or email me at . Id love to help you plan your next Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, or Adventures By Disney vacation. My planning services are FREE when you book with me, and I can help you every step of the way. You can also follow me on or.
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Costco Cruises Can Be A Great Deal
The land of the $1.50 hot dog-and-soda meal is also a key source of cruise value for many Cruise Critic members.
“Costco is usually the best deal,” says KirkNC, who is careful to compare multiple outlets before locking in a fare. “We get around 8 percent back in onboard credits, which are refundable, so if we don’t use them we get a credit back on our credit card.”
Another member, RSF Cruiser, has booked about two Princess cruises a year for the past five years and has been “totally pleased.”
“They charge the going rate on the Princess website, including past guest discounts, but then ‘give’ you refundable onboard credit that is a percent of the fare paid. You also get any specials Princess is running, like included gratuities or all-inclusive beverage packages.”
“I LOVE Costco,” RSF Cruiser adds.
Booking Onboard Activities And Adventures:
You should already be logged in to the Disney Cruise Line page from check-in. You will then want to select My Plans or Book Now to begin selecting activities:
If it is too early to book activities you will see this error page:
Otherwise you will see your itinerary:
Then click on Add Activities the right. I recommend starting with Onboard Fun or Dining:
You will then be able to see the availability for that day:
And what is not available:
When you find something you would like to book you will have to click Select. On the next screen you will choose the guests that will participate in the activity and then click Check Availability:
Popular activities can often sell out while you are in the process of booking.
The website wont let you book activities that overlap, and you can only book Remy, Palo, and special meet and greets once each.
Your plan page will show you what you have booked and on what days:
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Choosing Amazing Port Adventures For Your Disney Cruise
Youve booked your Disney Cruise and now it is time for the fun to really begin its planning time! Cruises are a really special type of vacation. You only need to unpack once, and the beautiful ship you are aboard becomes your mobile hotel bringing you to a variety of destinations. Deciding how you are going to spend your port days is a crucial part of planning your cruise, and I have tips on how to choose the best port excursions for your family.
There are three main options for approaching port excursions:
These three approaches to selecting port excursions depend on your comfort level as a cruiser and as a traveler in general. No worries no matter how you decide to proceed, you can easily find amazing port adventures that deliver all that your cruise ports have to offer.
Choosing port excursions that are booked directly through your Disney Cruise Line is the safest option and a good choice if this is your first cruise or you are a more tentative traveler. Referred to as Port Adventures, these have been selected specifically by Disney to offer options suitable for a wide variety of travelers, little ones through adults.
Some examples of the variety of Port Adventures offered in Nassau, the port stop on their Bahamanian cruises are:
The Travel-Savvy Adventurer
Be Open to Unexpected Magic
Facebook Groups And Fish Extenders
- Almost all of the Disney Cruise Line sailings end up with their own private Facebook Group. To find the Facebook Group search your ship name and sail date on Facebook. If nothing shows up, you could start one! A Facebook group is a fun place to connect with other families that will be on your ship. This could be a way for you to help your children and teens meet children and teens from other families that will be sailing with you. A Facebook group is also a great place to find a Fish Extender group to join.
- What is a Fish Extender? A Fish Extender is a way to exchange gifts between cruisers on a Disney Cruise. On a Disney Cruise, each stateroom has a metal fish next to the door. During the cruise, the Disney crew leaves information for experiences, reservations, and excursions in envelopes on the fish. A Fish Extender is something you can make or buy to hang on the fish to extend its use. The Fish Extender has pockets that fellow cruisers can leave gifts in during the cruise. If you sign up before the cruise to be in a Fish Extender Group, you will give and receive gifts through the Fish Extenders. Fish Extenders are NOT REQUIRED, however it is fun for the kids to give and receive little surprises each day of the cruise. We found this article on mamacheaps.com on Fish Extenders with ideas and free printables to be very helpful: The Ultimate Guide to Disney Cruise Fish Extenders.
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Costco Travel Is Not For Everyone
If you’re new to cruising or unsure of what you want, Costco might not be the best travel agency for you. “I think a first time cruiser would be better off using an agency that walks them through everything,” says , who books all her cruises exclusively through Costco. “Costco does not do that. Many of their reps have not even been on a cruise.”
First-time cruisers who need a little more handholding to understand cabin and dining options might benefit by working with a traditional travel agent. Costco does not assign a specific agent to your booking, so you’re unlikely to talk to the same call center representative twice. And despite what sounds like a solid training program, cruise experience is not a requirement to work at Costco Travel’s call center .
“They aren’t active travel agents, they don’t proactively check for price drops,” noted kleptn. However, Costco does have pre- and post-travel support departments, as well as an after-hours phone number for travel emergencies, to assist travelers once they’ve booked their cruise.
But for experienced cruisers who have a good idea of the ships and cabins they want, Costco Travel is worth checking out. The company does not sell some of the more upscale or boutique lines, such as Oceania, Silversea and Windstar, but Costco is definitely looking to expand its selection of cruise lines, according to Zegers.
Castaway Cay Watercraft Ski Adventure
This is the only way to rent a jet ski on Castaway Cay. It is a timed, guided excursion. The cost for 1 hour is $183 and you need to be at least 18 years old to drive a Wave Runner. Passengers must be 8 and up.
The guide will take you out to open waters before returning to Boat Beach after about 1 hour. Guests must weigh less than 375 pounds.
This activity is suspended right now.
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