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Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

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  • Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

    Hi there,
    my family (4 persons) is planning to take a Mediterranean cruise on August 31, which is the Magic's last pre-renovation cruise, a thing we're really excited about. However, we have several questions:
    1.) Where can we see the different port adventures, that are offered by Disney? We would like to take a Disney tour of Naples, since we're a little afraid of going there alone. Also, things like snorkeling would be great.
    2.) Does anyone, who is going to take a similar cruise, have an idea which movies are shown? We're excited to see Iron Man 3, Monster U and the Lone Ranger, however, we'd wait, if we could see them onboard for free.
    3.) We're Germans and a little unsure where to book the cruise. So far I've contacted Disney,, dreamlines, e-hoi and fairy godmother travel. To the Europeans of you: Is there one of these, that you'd recommend or should I simply book it per Disney?
    4.) Do we need passports for the cruise, or do I. D. s count too? My passport has expired and I am not so sure, how long it would take to renew it.
    5.) I read that Disney's Bahamian and Caribbean cruises have a Pirates night with fireworks. Is there something like that on this cruise?
    I hope that some of you can help me with my questions. We're really excited to cruise for the first time, however we would like to know everything about the cruise before we start. I thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

    1. You should be able to ask who you booked through. Travel agents and Disney can book the Port Adventures. You can also get an idea here, Shore Excursions Search | Disney Cruise Line

    Keep in mind that this is late planning and some may be booked up.

    Also booking an official thing means if something goes wrong they get you back to the boat.

    Booking unofficial things have many perks, the biggest being much cheaper. The risk is the unexpected can mean you have to get a plane or train ticket to catch the boat in the next port. It's rare but happens.

    While you mention concern about Naples, if you otherwise feel comfortable traveling into the cities, I'd book your own stuff. Getting a taxi to a train station isn't terribly hard.

    2. They shows tons of movies. Good chance to see those. Just don't count on it as there is so much to do they may not fit your schedule.

    3. I'm American so my opinion may not be what you want. Basically for a first Disney Cruise any reputable company is fine. They earn commission so go with one that gives you the biggest onboard credit. They off the onboard credit as incentive but it comes out of their commissions. I go with Disney mainly to cut out the middle man, but having cruised with them more they give me incentives to bypass travel agents.

    4. I'm really not sure. I need mine as all cruises leave the US. But you are in the EU so it may be different.

    5.Yes that's how Disney ends its cruises, except in Alaska.

    If you go, have a great time.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.


    • #3
      Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

      Hi swampymarsh!
      Thank you for your quick answers. However I still have a few. If you or someone else could help me with them I would be extremely happy.
      1.) How many cast members are "working for us"? And what is the usual amount of tipping for them?
      2.) Is there any other crucial information that we should know? Included in the price is food, (non-alcoholic) beverages and the room and we dine at a different restaurant every day. Is that right?
      3.) We would like to visit Rome. Does Disney offer buses from the ports to the cities, even if you didn't book any tour? Or are you supposed to get along as soon as you step of the boat?
      I thank you in advance.


      • #4
        Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

        Oh, and two last questions.
        Could someone explain the idea of a dummy cruise to me? What I know so far, is that you pay around 1000 Dollars for a cruise somewhere in the future and when I find the right one for me, I transform the dummy cruise into a Disney Magic from Venice cruise for example, even if it costs four times the price I paid. Is that correct?
        And while looking for a stateroom with vernada I found a very cheap one, which has "restrictions" and is listed under category VGT. What I understood, is that I book a random stateroom with veranda, which could be anyone and I only find out, when I am onboard. Also does this mean that I get a verandah, that doesn't get fresh air, because it is covered by a plexi-glas window? Is that right?
        Thanks in advance,
        Last edited by Hawkeye07; 07-16-2013, 09:38 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

          1. Tipping is very easy. It's automatic. The room steward, Head Server, your server, and assistant server all get part of the automatic tip. On the final day you get a notice of this and you can adjust it up and down at guest services. This auto tip is added your bill. Here is the breakdown. Gratuities and Tipping - FAQs | Disney Cruise Line

          Also if you get drinks from a pool server or bar it has an autgratuity of $15 percent. You pay for these then or charge it to your room folio.

          If you haven't cruised I would let these auto tips be final and not worry about adjusting them. In that list I would give the dining manager $2 to anything, depending if he just says hi to you table, or visits often and helps out. I would give the room server about $1 for single items, like a tea, to many dollars for a full meal.

          2. You do rotational dining which means you are assigned a different restaurant each night. Your same waiter will be with you at each night as he/she follow the rotation too. There are 3 restaurants so you will rotate through each more than once. You don't have to stick to your rotation each night as there is Palo, buffet and counter service options, but if you don't it's little harder to get seated quickly and you lose your server. If you really like your meal at your second restaurant you can get it at the other locations. It's really easy to order outside the menu, and the kitchens are shared.

          The is a 4th location called Palo. It's upscale so it's adults only and has a dress code(dresses, slacks, dress shirts and jacket is optional, at the others t shirts and shorts are ok.). It's $20 extra and serves brunch and dinner. Reservations can be hard to come by, and this is perfect for brunch on "at sea" days.

          Besides Palo with it's surcharge and the cost of alcohol, if you get cans of soda or bottle watered through room service that's extra(prepackages versus prepared on the ship like a muffin or coffee. Other than that the snacks for the shows are extra, bring a cookie and cup of soda with you to skip this charge.

          It's very easy to only eat what is included as part of the cruise.

          Also you can carry on to the ship with you, if it fits in your carry on. A bottle of wine, vodka, case of soda or beer is easy to carry on and drink it in your room. Tip the steward if they open your wine, they usually wave the $15 corkage fee.

          3. Rome as you may know is called a port but is inland. Your port adventure may take you to Rome. It's really easy, to take a train, from really close to the port to the city center. There are shuttle buses from the ships to the port train station. It's really simple to do.

          4. A dummy cruise is where you put a deposit down on a cruise, without being sure you can take that specific cruise. Before final payment you transfer the deposit to another cruise. When you know what cruise you are doing you transfer your deposit to it, and pay the balance. It sounds like you know the cruise so don't do this.

          As you will find at the end of your cruise you become a member of the Cast Away Club. You get 10% off your next Disney cruise when you book onboard. This is why you would want to use a Dummy Cruise, to retain that discount.

          5. VGT rooms. These are discounted rooms, guaranteed a category, this one being Veranda type rooms, or better. You could end up with an obstructed view, that's the trade off for this discounted option. And you can't select a room, such as away from elevators or near the stern of the ship.

          The railings have plexiglass in them, so stuff does not fall off. Some balconies have large ovals cut in the steel siding of the ship.

          Generally but not always people booking lower category rooms get upgrades to those obstructed views.

          Take the discount and gamble or pay for the room you want.
          Be Cool Stay in School!
          Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.


          • #6
            Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

            Dummy dates are great. They pick a 2 or 3 day cruise WAAAAY out on a discounted fare so you put a deposit down. You then can use that number and change the specifics of the cruise. You get the discount and the onboard credit that you got for the dummy date. I did this last July for a cruise. I came home and told my mom "I don't have a souvenir so you can pick your own." We changed the dates and she loved it.

            Have fun!


            • #7
              Re: Help!!! Mediterranean cruise in August for first-timers

              Quick FYI on the passport thing, they are required, even if you aren't technically leaving the Schengen area of the EU. I think they will be required for you to board the ship at the start of your cruise as well.

              Some countries local laws may require you to carry your passports ashore and to show them for re-boarding as well as your ship ID.

              I had to show mine to re-board in Italy (in Schengen) but didn't have to in Croatia (not part of Schengen yet).

              Guess its best thing to do is keep an eye on the information for each port before you arrive.

              Hope that helps, and happy cruising!

              EDIT: D'oh, just noticed that this thread was for August....:shy: oh well, I hope it could come in handy for anyone else wondering.

              "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
              Walt Disney