Disney Cruise Vacation – Western Caribbean – 7 Day Voyage

Disney Cruise – Western Caribbean Tips from 1/2007 Cruise:

  • If you want a spa service or massage, book it in advance for the Sea Days! My friend suggests the Private Time the first day you arrive to put you in the “mood”, I prefer the hot stone massage (the therapist I spoke with concurred it was the best massage). The rain forest is $15 a day and is a nice “sauna and steambath experience” great for relaxing but I got more enjoyment and relaxation from 15 minutes in the sun in the adults-only jacuzzi for free.
  • If you are in Cat 3 or higher – SEE PHOTOS, you will have “concierge” services, let them know immediately your preferences. I didn’t appreciate cookies and sweets that were delivered to my room complimentary – right before dinner, I let them know, and they delivered fruits and cheese platters instead. I also didn’t care for sodas and had them switch them to bottled waters.
  • Pin Trading, is a blast for the kids, they can trade with any cruise officer or store clerk for any pin that they don’t already have. Visit the stores frequently as they are the easiest way to find pins to trade prior to the “pin trading night” which is nice. Bring a lanyard if this is your first trip or you can buy one on board.
  • Sunscreens, bad for the environment but terribly convenient the sprays are great, none of my kids liked the Banana Boat, they preferred the CLEAR Panama Jack Spray (bring at least three as they don’t last long).
  • Tipping – for a Family of Five, runs about $600, so be ready, money flies on a Disney Cruise, they charge for EVERYTHING. Expect to spend at least $1000 more on a 7 day cruise for drinks, extras and tips.
  • Goggles and Masks – The pools are very chlorinated, bring eye protection.
  • Bring your own wine, not your own liquor: There is NO way to buy nice wines inexpensively at ports, so if you stop at a Publix before your trip, you can get nice wines (check out www.kenswineguide.com for ideas) so you can enjoy a glass on your veranda without spending $8 a glass! On the other hand, duty-free liquors are inexpensive and readily available at all ports.
  • BEST TIP: Playa Mia Beach Break at Cozumel: We did the Playa Mia Beach Break on our own and saved 50% with a family of 5 – it was easy and nicer (we thought) as we got of the ship when we wanted and not when dictated by the shore excursion. We took a taxi directly there (they are just waiting for you), then when we got there, our kids 2 & 4 were no charge, and our six year old was only $12. We did the “buffet and open bar” for $46 per adult but found it would have been cheaper to pay just for entry ($12) as beer and drinks were only $2-$3 and the food was reasonable as well. So if you are drinking less than 9 drinks, it’s a better deal to pay $12 to get in and pay for drinks individually, the food is better when ordered individually too rather than the food that comes with the excursion or the “open bar – buffet”. This is GREAT fun and easy to do, be adventurous and save your money for more toys!
  • In Mexico, you can barter, but don’t go to each shop to look for a better price as prices are “fixed” by unions. They are happy to barter, but each shop has the same prices as the other.
  • 7-Mile Beach – Cayman Islands: Know where you want to go before you head on your cruise, if you have little ones, the beach is great fun. The best part of the beach runs from the northern end to the Cayman Club in the middle of the 7 mile beach. It’s all good! If you are alone or have adventurous children, Sting Ray City is NOT to be missed.
  • Pirate Soul and Shipwreck Historeum at Key West: Again we highly recommend skipping the excursion and go yourself, you’ll save money and have your own schedule. It’s an “okay” museum, our kids under 6 were scared as were other “little girls” causing most families with more timid children to exit rather early. We raced through due to a nervous child and it took about 10 minutes. Then headed to a beach.
  • KEY WEST BEACHES: We were told “Fort Zachary Taylor” was the best beach, it was beautiful but VERY rocky. Our 4 year old was convinced the rocks were dinosour bones and spent hours finding the “best bones”.

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