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New Cruiser, a few questions


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So my husband and I are surprising our 2 boys (6 and 8) with a Disney Cruise. 3 night on the Dream Feb 6. We have never cruised at all so opted for a shorter one to see how we all like it. We haven't told them we are just going to pull up to the port after visiting family for a day.

 

Any ways I have been reading and have gotten so many tips and advice on here I can't tell you how helpful it's been.

 

I did have 3 questions.

 

1. is the photo packages worth it ? how many photos spots area there ?

 

2. Being a short cruise I'm concerned about missing a main dining experience but hubby and I really have been going back and forth on whether to do Remy or not. So which restaurant, if we are going to miss, would you recommend missing ?

 

3. One of.our stops is Nassau, Atlantis or not to Atlantis is the question :) (they are big for their age so shouldn't have any height restrictions and are really adventurous)

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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So my husband and I are surprising our 2 boys (6 and 8) with a Disney Cruise. 3 night on the Dream Feb 6. We have never cruised at all so opted for a shorter one to see how we all like it. We haven't told them we are just going to pull up to the port after visiting family for a day.

 

Any ways I have been reading and have gotten so many tips and advice on here I can't tell you how helpful it's been.

 

I did have 3 questions.

 

1. is the photo packages worth it ? how many photos spots area there ? "Worth it" is up to you. You need to figure out whether the possible number of photos you may take is worth the cost to you. There are photo set ups in the atrium (particularly on formal/dress up/pirate nights. I think they may be there also on regular nights. There are roving photographers in the dining rooms. There are sometimes Shutters photographers at character meets.

 

2. Being a short cruise I'm concerned about missing a main dining experience but hubby and I really have been going back and forth on whether to do Remy or not. So which restaurant, if we are going to miss, would you recommend missing ? If you want, you could make a Remy reservation opposite to what your MDR dining time is (if you have early seating, make Remy ressie for late or vice versa). That way you can "visit" your MDR for that evening either before or after Remy and check it out. Just be sure to tell your regular server that you don't want anything to eat since you're either going to or coming from Remy.

 

3. One of.our stops is Nassau, Atlantis or not to Atlantis is the question :) (they are big for their age so shouldn't have any height restrictions and are really adventurous)

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

 

My thoughts in red.

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There are tons of photo lines, typically with characters. It depends on how many lines you want to stand in. Honestly, we carry our own camera. Character attendants are happy to take family photos with your own camera (NOT the ship's photogs, the character attendants). There are only a few places where you are not welcome to use your own camera.

 

Worth it is a personal question that only you can answer. I find the ship photos to be terribly overpriced...BUT if you want something like family lifestyle photos, it might be a good value for you.

 

On a 3 night cruise, I'd spend the time in the dining rooms with the family and leave Remy or Palo till your next cruise. On a 3 night cruise there won't be adult only brunch, which might be another alternative on a longer cruise.

 

Atlantis--again, personal choice issue. I'd skip it. I'd get off the ship, walk around a little, and get back on board to enjoy the ship without the crowds. And if I was going to book Atlantis, I'd do it thru the hotel, not thru the ship (hint!)

 

I see the ship as a destination unto itself. The kid programming will be in full swing on Nassau day. The aquaduck will have little or no line. You'll actually be able to see that the family pool has water in it (not just a sea of bobbing heads!) And if the kids do choose the programming for any part of the day, mom and dad can enjoy the adult areas uncrowded!

 

Please appreciate that these are personal opinions--others will feel very much the opposite.

Edited by moki'smommy
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For question #1, we found it wasn't worth it in the end. Our 7 year old (and my husband) became tired of standing in lines for photos so we only had about 64 on a 7 day cruise and several were photos in the dining room with a lot of dirty dishes and other people in the background. The photos are over priced, so unless you are willing to wait in a lot of lines, you may not want to do the package, but just buy a few individual pics if you have some taken and find some good ones.

 

You'll have a great time. Enjoy!

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Many photo spots are in the atrium before and between the dinner seatings. They will have different stations set up and you wait in the lines at the stations you would like. Many have characters and there are photographers at the character sessions during the day and also when you board.

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For first time cruisers, choices can be overwhelming.

 

My personal recommendation for a newbie on a 3 day cruise is don't.

 

Don't buy the photo package,

Don't go to Remy,

Don't plan a big expensive excursion that's going to take you away from the ship all day.

 

Use the facilities that are included in your cruise fare.

 

If you want to ride the aquaduck, use the aqualab or the kids/family pools, the Nassau day will be your best bet (on a 3 day, it won't be completely empty because lots of people will stay onboard at Nassau) but it will be manageable.

 

There's the movie theatre onboard (and there will probably be at least one new release you'll want to see), then there's the mid ship detective agency, plus scheduled family events, plus the kids club.

 

For dining, there's Cabanas (buffet), the pool deck outlets (Flo's Cafe) and the 3 Main Dining rooms with different themes and menus.

 

My advice is enjoy the ship and all of the offerings. DCL commands a premium for their sailings - get your money's worth by focusing on what you've paid for and not what you can pay more for.

 

If you decide that cruising is for you and you book another (maybe using the onboard booking benefits), then you can think about what you'll skip next time to fit in some "extras".

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For first time cruisers, choices can be overwhelming.

 

My personal recommendation for a newbie on a 3 day cruise is don't.

 

Don't buy the photo package,

Don't go to Remy,

Don't plan a big expensive excursion that's going to take you away from the ship all day.

 

Use the facilities that are included in your cruise fare.

 

If you want to ride the aquaduck, use the aqualab or the kids/family pools, the Nassau day will be your best bet (on a 3 day, it won't be completely empty because lots of people will stay onboard at Nassau) but it will be manageable.

 

There's the movie theatre onboard (and there will probably be at least one new release you'll want to see), then there's the mid ship detective agency, plus scheduled family events, plus the kids club.

 

For dining, there's Cabanas (buffet), the pool deck outlets (Flo's Cafe) and the 3 Main Dining rooms with different themes and menus.

 

My advice is enjoy the ship and all of the offerings. DCL commands a premium for their sailings - get your money's worth by focusing on what you've paid for and not what you can pay more for.

 

If you decide that cruising is for you and you book another (maybe using the onboard booking benefits), then you can think about what you'll skip next time to fit in some "extras".

 

This is the best advice I have seen on CC.

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For first time cruisers, choices can be overwhelming.

 

My personal recommendation for a newbie on a 3 day cruise is don't.

 

Don't buy the photo package,

Don't go to Remy,

Don't plan a big expensive excursion that's going to take you away from the ship all day.

 

Use the facilities that are included in your cruise fare.

 

If you want to ride the aquaduck, use the aqualab or the kids/family pools, the Nassau day will be your best bet (on a 3 day, it won't be completely empty because lots of people will stay onboard at Nassau) but it will be manageable.

 

There's the movie theatre onboard (and there will probably be at least one new release you'll want to see), then there's the mid ship detective agency, plus scheduled family events, plus the kids club.

 

For dining, there's Cabanas (buffet), the pool deck outlets (Flo's Cafe) and the 3 Main Dining rooms with different themes and menus.

 

My advice is enjoy the ship and all of the offerings. DCL commands a premium for their sailings - get your money's worth by focusing on what you've paid for and not what you can pay more for.

 

If you decide that cruising is for you and you book another (maybe using the onboard booking benefits), then you can think about what you'll skip next time to fit in some "extras".

 

This is excellent advice for someone new to DCL & 3 a night cruise! We'll be getting off the dream (a 4 nighter) as you are getting on. Best wishes for a "Magical Cruise."

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I have only been on one cruise: Dream 4 night in 2013 but here are my thoughts…

 

~Photo package: Depends on how many pics you take or are planning on taking. We didn't get the package and even with a slight discount that we got on individual pics, it was well over $100 for 4 pics. If I had kids, I would probably buy it, especially if we took a lot of pics including the "formal" night ones.

 

~We were also torn with the dining on the 4 night and decided to do Palo for brunch which was great because we didn't want to miss the main dining as well since it was our first cruise.

 

~We did the beach day at Atlantis..my main reason is that I had never been on a cruise or to the Bahamas and the fear that they have issues docking at CC some days made me nervous so I hated to take a cruise and not get off and see/go in the water so that's why we did the beach day. Of course we did dock at CC and all was well…the water was very cold and that was in March. Needless to say we didn't go in the water very deep!

If I was going again with ppl that had been to Nassau, I wouldn't pay to do Atlantis but maybe walk around the area and get back on the ship…especially if it was a 3 night cruise. We did like that with the Atlantis beach day vs. Blue Lagoon..you have the freedom to go back to the ship when you want where as at BL, they only have two return times to choose from but I hear BL is a better beach location but has further travel time.

 

Hope that helps!!! I'm looking to book a 3 or 4 night cruise with my mom (her first time) for in March or early June! We are now torn to do a 3 or 4 night as she is nervous about how she will do!

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Thanks Everyone! All great advice and truly appreciated :)

 

We have decided to not do the pictures this time and see at the end how many and may purchase at the end, taking a risk not getting the discount but not sure how much they are going to want to do pics.

 

We also decided to not schedule Atlantis if we decide we want to do something that day we can always get off and go do it but didn't want to have it scheduled and have to pay f o r it but not want to go etc

 

The hubby and I ate still torn on Remy as we rarely get date nights so having the clubs to watch the kids would be great but we will see as we get closer

 

Again thanks for everything you guys are great :)

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