Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Bubbaloo311

Just booked 1st Disney Cruise - Disney Wonder November 2nd Very Merrytime Galveston

Recommended Posts

Hey Cruise Critic Boards!

 

It's been a while but I am back.

 

So excited! I just booked our family's first Disney Cruise leaving November 2nd from Galveston - 6 nights on the Wonder.

 

Some background:

 

Mom (Ann) - 43

Dad (Michael) - 44

Twin Girls Riley (9) and Morgan (9)

 

We will be celebrating our 15th Wedding Anniversary. We were married November 14, 2003 in Disney World - so Disney holds a special place in our hearts. We will also be celebrating early our girls 10th birthday which is on December 8th.

 

Mike and I have been on several cruises - mostly on NCL - and have enjoyed them all. We took the girls on their first cruise last year on NCL out of Los Angeles of the Mexican Riviera - with 2 days in Disneyland before hand. It was a a fantastic trip with Grandma and Poppy along for the ride.

 

We moved from NYC to Dallas 4 years ago (We were the Recession poster family) - and this will be our first cruise out of Galveston.

 

So I am not a new cruiser - but new to Disney Cruise Line - and new to Galveston. I am really looking for tips to help us make the most of the trip.

 

Some questions:

 

- We just deposited and are waitlisted for early dining. Any tips on how we can get moved to early dining. My daughters will not do well eating at 9 pm.

 

- Do you think there will be a Character Breakfast on a 6 night cruise with 3 sea days (I know it says 7 nights and longer - but 6 nights is pretty close).

 

- Is there a certain dining rotation I want to request?

 

- Are there any tips to making the most of the Christmas cruise?

 

- Best excursions for our family in Cozumel and Grand Cayman - typically I don't book through the cruise ship.

 

- When to book character greetings?

 

And honestly - any tips you have to making the most of this much anticipated and long for trip - please send them my way!

 

I really appreciate it.

 

Have a magical day!

 

Ann

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, sign up on the roll call section for your cruise and on social media sites.

 

People think that main dining fills first and then late. That is WRONG. They alternate bookings between the two seatings to keep them relatively even. The way to get moved to main (early) is to call DCL and waitlist for it. Then call about once a month and check whether you've gotten it or not. Worst case, if you haven't been moved by the time you board, go to "dining changes" and ask to be moved. Late dining is 8:15, not 9:00.

 

There is no reason to prefer one rotation over another although some people make a big deal out of sitting in the fanciest restaurant on dress up night or the most casual on pirate night.

 

Grand Cayman--turtle farm. You can do this thru Disney or thru Captain Marvin's as part of an island tour. Bonus--we were offered the option of being dropped off at one of the main beaches or taken back to the tender port, so if you have time for a beach afternoon following the excursion, you'll only have to pay for transportation one way.

Excellent alternative--Stingray City, again combined with snorkeling, island tour, or whatever, also available privately.

 

Grand Cayman is one of the nicest, safest island we've ever visited. Beaches are free, and there are plenty of people to rent you beach chairs, etc.

 

Cozumel is just the opposite. DO NOT get off the beaten tourist path there.

 

You can do all your bookings at 75 days before embarkation since this is your first time on DCL. Any special events will be listed to book. Many are free but require tickets. There may be gingerbread house making on your cruise. I wouldn't hold my breath on a character breakfast, but with 3 sea days they could add one. If there is, it is Disney, Jr. characters and your kids are a bit old for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend trying to get a rotation that puts you in Tiana's more than the others :) I've been on the Wonder twice and its the best restaurant by far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most character meets to do have to booked ahead of time. The Personal navigator will list the meets time and places, so just show up a few minutes early to get in line. Frozen characters and the Princess gathering (usually 3-4 princesses you meet in a row) require free tickets that you reserve online. If they are “sold out” the first time you check, keep checking back as people change plans all the time.

 

Every time I have waitlisted early dining, DCL has been able to change us. Dining rotation doesn’t matter to me - we actually skip the main dining rooms a lot - but with a 6 night cruise, your family will be in each restaurant twice.

 

We have haven’t done a Xmas cruise, but your family will have a great time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would recommend trying to get a rotation that puts you in Tiana's more than the others :) I've been on the Wonder twice and its the best restaurant by far.

OP is on a 6 night cruise. She will be assigned to each dining room for 2 nights during that time.

 

Correct that most meet and greets do not require advance sign up, but the Princess Gathering and Frozen Characters do--free tickets on line can be reserved at the same time you can do your on line check in. in OPs case, that is 75 days before embarkation. Very occasionally there may be another special meet and greet which will be ticketed as well.

 

There are several special holiday activities...the ship and Castaway Cay will be decorated. Characters will be in winter/holiday outfits some of the time, etc. The terminal at Port Canaveral will be decorated, I don't know about Galveston since DCL shares this terminal with other cruise lines. There will be a tree lighting ceremony on the first night. There may be caroling. There may be gingerbread house making. There will be a huge, professional gingerbread house to photograph. The specific holiday cruises (Thanksgiving and Christmas) will add a few things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grand Cayman--turtle farm. You can do this thru Disney or thru Captain Marvin's as part of an island tour.

 

Unsure if DCL has reversed its decision, but I recall reading last year that they no longer offer excursions that include the turtle farm (it was rather disturbing reading some of the things that had been occurring there).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In grand cayman we took a bus to grape beach great time. We never felt unsafe in Cozumel but we stayed in the shopping area. We did a dolphin swim that we didn’t book through the cruise line as they didn’t offer the full encounter.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the turtle farm your girls should love it. They have built up the farm as them is more to do now. We also did the stingray island was great

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The turtle farm used to be owned or managed by a company called Boatswain's. It is now run by the government as a museum and education facility. We were there in April, 2018 and were totally surprised by the differences from our previous visit in 2009.

 

I don't know what DCL has done about excursions, etc. I can tell you that about the only similarities between our two visits were the location and that there were turtles both times. The buildings, tanks, guides, signs, etc. are all new and different with a much higher emphasis on conservation and education rather than animal exploitation.

 

On Cozumel, you are safe if you stick to the tourist track, whether thru DCL, private excursions, or taxi from the port. The problems have occurred when people have gone off on their own--renting a vehicle typically. The island is quite impoverished and tourists are easy targets. Many incidents have been reported.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...