INSIDER INFO – DCL Pro-Tips

Check out this list of Vacation Candice’s Disney Cruise Line PRO-TIPS

1. PRO-TIP:  Vacation Protection Plan – Make sure you add the Vacation Protection Plan to your reservations BEFORE you make the final payment.  Once the cruise is paid in full, you no longer have the option of adding the Vacation Protection Plan through Disney Cruise Line.

2. PRO-TIP:  Link your Reservation Online – Soon after you book your Disney Cruise Line vacation, before time to do online check-in and activity booking, go ahead and link your reservation to DisneyCruise.com.  You don’t want to waste time getting the reservation linked when your online check-in and activity booking window opens.  Don’t forget, your reservation must be Paid In Full, before you can complete online check-in or activity booking.

3. PRO-TIP:  Some Activities Book up Quickly – The activites that book up the fastest are the ticketed princess meet & greets, private Cabanas at Castaway Cay, adult only dining at Palo & Remy (especially brunch at Palo), Shutters Portrait Studio sessions, and Sports simulators.

4. PRO-TIP:  Check Availability with Guest Services – If you couldn’t book the activities you wanted ahead of time (due to availability), it’s a good idea to check at the terminal and guest services on board to see if any availability has opened up.

5. PRO-TIP:  Pre-Paid Gratuities – Adding pre-paid gratuities to a reservation will eliminate the need to stop by Guest Services to take care of this customary tradition.  This will save you a lot of time on the last day of your cruise!  Pre-Paid Gratuities can be added up until 3 days prior to your sail date.

6. PRO-TIP:  Photo Packages – If you plan to purchase a photo package, do it early!  If you book your MyCruisePhotos.com package online 1-60 days prior to your sail date, you will get a special discounted rate.

7. PRO-TIP:  Stay close to the port the night before sailing – I highly recommend starting your vacation the day prior to sailing.  There are too many factors that could cause  you to be late to the ship on your sail date.  The ship will not wait!  Walt Disney World, and Universal Orlando are only about a 1 hour drive from Port Canaveral.  Let me know if you are interested in quotes, and I can get you some prices for staying at either WDW or Universal for the night prior to your sail date!

8. PRO-TIP:  Port Parking – I can book your Park Port Canaveral parking ahead of time.  This is a cheaper parking option with shuttles to the port.  This parking service is cheaper when booked ahead of time.

9. PRO-TIP:  Signature Forms for Check-In – Have all of your cruise documents, and signature forms signed and ready to go before check-in.  The signature forms can be found in the back of your spiral bound Disney Cruise Line documents.  Having these forms signed, and everything in order will help speed up the check-in process.

10. PRO-TIP:  Bring Snacks – While you wait in the terminal for your chance to board the ship, it is a good idea to keep some snacks and entertainment handy for children (or adults for that matter).  There is no food available in the terminal.

11.  PRO-TIP:  Carry-On Bag – Most people pack a carry-on bag for their first day on board.  Make sure you pack any valuables (jewelry, electronics, etc.) in your carry-on bag.  Your checked luggage may not make it to your room until as late as 6:00 pm on that first evening.  Your checked bags are placed outside your stateroom door when they are delivered to your room.

12. PRO-TIP:  Spa Deals / Giveaways – On the day that you board the ship, take time to visit the on board spa.  The spa will be open for tours, and you will be able to enter to win giveaways.

13. PRO-TIP:  Water Slides – The best time (least busy time) to splash down one of the on board water slides, is early on embarkation day.  Plan to wear your swim suit under your clothes when boarding the ship so you can head straight for the slides, and get in a few rides before the crowds show up.

14. PRO-TIP:  Castaway Cay 5k – If your cruise will be porting at Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, you may want to run/walk the Castaway Cay 5k (weather permitting)!  You must sign up for this event at Guest Services on board the ship.  Do this early, as space is limited.  There is no fee to participate!

15. PRO-TIP:  Snorkeling – At Castaway Cay and other ports of call, snorkeling is a fun activity to partake in.  There is snorkeling equipment for rent at Castaway Cay, however you are also welcome to bring your own!  If you do bring your own snorkel equipment, there are life jackets available to use for free at the beaches, and at the snorkel rental hut.

16. PRO-TIP:  Pack a Cup – Each ship has a drink station located at the buffet.  The drink station has soft-drinks, tap water, juice, hot chocolate, and more.  There are small paper cups at the drink stations, however pro’s know to bring their own larger cup, so they can make fewer trips to the drink station.  A larger cup such as a Yeti or Tervis that is also insulated is a perfect choice to pack for the trip!

17. PRO-TIP:  Movie Snacks – At the movie theaters on board the ship, you will find popcorn and candy for sale.  Instead of spending money, make a stop at the buffet first.  Grab a few small items, and fill your cup at the drink station.  Then you can head on into the theater to enjoy a movie.  You can also bring your favorite candy items from home to take to the theater.

18. PRO-TIP:  Drink of the Day – Each day, there will be a special drink of the day.  There is always an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink of the day.  These drinks do come at an additional price, but are usually the cheapest option for paid drinks.  So go ahead, indulge in a fruity drink with a little umbrella!

19. PRO-TIP:  Pre-Dinner Appetizers – If you plan to visit your stateroom in the evening to dress for dinner and the evening show, then make a plan for a little appetizer while you get ready.  Room service can take some time, so call room service about an hour in advance, and request that it be brought to your room at a specific time (while you are getting ready).  The fruit and cheese plate is an excellent choice for a light pre-dinner appetizer.  And remember, room service is free!  However, it is customary to tip for room service.

20. PRO-TIP:  Quiet Lunch & Dinner Options – The buffet is open for breakfast and lunch daily.  If you are looking for a quieter breakfast or lunch experience, where you will be waited on, visit the dining room instead.  Check your Navigator app to find out which restaurant is serving, and the hours.  This does not cost you any extra!

21. PRO-TIP:  Navigator – Check your Disney Cruise Line Navigator app often for activity schedules on board.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

22. PRO-TIP:  Lanyards – If this is your first time sailing with Disney Cruise Line, you will want to purchase lanyards for your Key to the World card.  This will make keeping up with your card so much easier, and much more convenient.

23. PRO-TIP:  Light Card – Your Key to the World card needs to be inserted into a slot by your door in order to work the lights in your stateroom.  However, it can be easy to forget your card when it is in the switch!  Any other card (plastic & credit card sized) will work the same way.  Many people simply use a grocery store loyalty card, etc.

24. PRO-TIP:  Motion Sickness – If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to call your primary care doctor for a motion sickness patch prescription.  It is also recommended that you take a dose of Dramamine just before you debark the ship.  Some people experience motion sickness a couple of hours after getting off of the ship as their bodies adjust to being back on land.

 

 

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