Thursday, February 25, 2016

Disney Cruise Line Connect @ Sea Tips and Information

Sometimes taking a break from your phone and laptop on your Disney Cruise just isn't practical. There are times when you need to check your e-mail, send that very important text or you may just want to keep up to date in today's social media world.

Thankfully with DCL's Connect@Sea program, it's easy to keep in touch! Disney Cruise Line provides packages for every type of cruiser and after following just a few simple directions, you can get online.

Something DCL doesn’t often advertise is the free internet special they offer on the first day. When signing up for internet there will be an option for free 50MB.

Be sure to sign up for this right away as it is usually only available the first day. You can use your data throughout the whole cruise though.  Subject to change, of course.

Something we discovered is that each person in your cabin can set up their own account and use 50 MB each. (Unsure if children can do this or not)

Each person will need to have their own password and email to set this up. This may
change in the future, but worth a try if several of you from one room want to get online.

Important things to know

●Don’t forget to put your phone on airplane mode for the duration of the
cruise or you will rack up a huge bill with your cell carrier.

●Be sure to sign out each and every time you use it or it will continue to
run in the background and use up your data fast.

●When using the internet from your phone, as many of us do, be sure to
kill all running apps in the background and TURN OFF Photo Stream, iCloud (everything!)
software updates, and any apps that you will not be using during the cruise. Make sure to disable WiFi Assist and Background App Refresh for everything! Also be sure to close ALL tabs in both Safari and Chrome. These apps will try to sync and update as soon as you connect, which will make you use up the free (or paid) data in a matter of minutes.

●The DCL app does not use the data. That app and its features are free for
DCL guests to use onboard.

Even after doing all of the suggested above, some people still seem to have issues with their data being used up in a matter of minutes. If this is the case, there is a Connect@Sea help desk on each ship. Don’t be afraid to go there and tell them the issues you are having. Typically they will look at your phone (as phones seem to be the biggest issues) and turn things off for you that will use your data (be sure to take note of what they turn off so you can turn it back on later) and often they will reset or adjust your internet data package.

Using the DCL Navigator App

Make sure to download Disney Cruise Line's Navigator App before you set sail. This is a great app that provides you with detailed information for your entire cruise. You can see menus for every night, find out where to meet your favorite Disney characters as well as chat with your other cruisers!

The chat feature was particularly fun and easy to use. You will need to sign into your account where you will then find your unique number. Your friends and family can then enter that number into their chat and this will then open up a chat dialogue with them. It's just like texting, you can even use your own emojis from your phone as well as some great Disney and Star Wars ones that are included in the chat dialogue!

Keep in mind, you will need to log in each time to send and receive your chat messages.

Don't forget, there is a neat countdown feature in the app so make sure to download it as soon as you book your cruise!

If you have any questions about booking a Disney Cruise, please contact your Mouse World Travel agent today!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cars Land: Early Entry at Disney California Adventure

by Jennifer Dowling

I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland this year for the very first time for an Agent Education Program. I knew time would be limited so my co-agent, Cass, and I decided to come in a couple of days early so we could have some park time on our own.

On our first full day we went to California Adventure's Early Entry for Disneyland Resort Guests.
I am going to tell you about that experience here.....

First tip, when arriving at the park for early entry, the lines will be very long. Do NOT get in the first line you see, as often the lines further away or in the middle are shorter if you look.

Once you get in, you will be stopped by a rope. It isn't a free for all, so be mindful of the Cast Members and stay out of the roped off areas.

Once the first rope was dropped we quickly made our way towards Carsland to the next rope. The advice given to both Cass and I were to stay wide and right. When you go to Radiator Springs it will funnel all down to the right and those on the right tend to get in faster.

We went to the right side and just about the 2nd row back from the rope.

Here they come!!!!!!!!

That gas hose was going to be the new “rope” to take us back to Carsland.

And we are waiting!!!!

And waiting!

This is a good sign…the welcome committee is here!

Then they slowly walked us back towards Carsland. At one point we saw the people who used the Grand Californian entrance walking in too, but we were several steps ahead of that group. I have heard this is not always true, so keep in mind you will merge with another group.

As we walked, some people started pushing their way in front of us.

We kept walking fast and yes we tried not to let people in front of us if possible.

At one point some pushy ladies stepped on my feet to get by and I really thought if they needed to be that far ahead that they were stepping on people’s feet….then let them! In other words, be courteous as you walk, but keep in mind, not everyone else will be.

As we approached the ride, the fire truck came out and he basically made it clear to all those on the left that you had to go right and it got a bit more crowded then.

A CM led us into the queue so there was no running through it to get to the front. This part was orderly.

As we walked through we could see some empty cars going by. How exciting!!!!
Getting closer!

Time to start loading.

I believe Cass and I ended up being within the first 20 in line. We didn’t make it in the first set of cars, but we did make the first car of the 2nd set.

And we’re off!

We go out just a little ways and then stop again for a seatbelt check. I took a picture of Cass then! She always has cool poses on rides. Half the time I look like I am hanging on for dear life.

The ride starts out slow with a leisurely drive around the outside.

Once we went inside it was much harder to get pictures.

Someone went tractor tipping.

This part always made me laugh, the green jeep would call the van “hippie”.
Time for a new paint job.

Time for the big race.

We then raced another car, going back outside on some bunny hills and turns. This is so much fun. Better than Test Track at Epcot, but with a similar feeling. We laughed and giggled and our hair whipped all over.
I believe we won the race, though I am not positive, but it was so much fun.

We got stopped here, and then the cars take turns going to the unloading area.

And the ride was over, we exited and made our way out.

It was so much fun that we went back about 20 minutes later and rode it again, this time using the single rider line. I do suggest this option to you as well, if you would like to ride a second time in the morning. Many people are not aware this line even exists, especially in the morning, so wait times will be much shorter. Later in the day, the single rider line will get longer, but still faster than the standby line.

Contact Jen to book your Disneyland vacation and experience Cars Land firsthand!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five things to do on your next Disney cruise

By Cass Pettigrew

Have you been on a Disney Cruise before? Maybe even a few of them? You're not alone! On any given Disney cruise, about half of the passengers are returning guests. I can hardly blame them really. I've sailed with Disney 6 times myself and I don't plan on stopping any time soon!

For many reasons, Disney is the cruise line of choice for me and my family. One of those reasons is that there is so much to do on every Disney ship, even after 6 cruises, there are still places I haven't seen and activities that I haven't tried yet!

On our first Disney cruise, back in 2002, we followed the crowds, we dressed up in our finest for Formal and Semi-Formal Nights, we saw the evening shows, got our photos taken in the Atrium and then we headed to our assigned Dining Room for dinner every night. We did an excursion in every port, we attended as many of the activities that our schedule would allow and it was AWESOME! And believe it or not, our first two Disney cruises were adult-only ones since we didn't start our little family until 2006! That's right folks, Disney is not JUST for kids! We did what most other cruisers did on the next few sailings as well and we were very happy with our experiences as evidenced by the fact that we keep coming back for more!

Formal Night Pictures in the Atrium
Pirates IN the Caribbean Party

St Thomas, USVI, with Jet Boat excursion we took running in background

For our most recent cruise, in November 2013, we did things a little differently this time and it turned out to be the best cruise we've ever taken as a family. One of the many reasons why it was the best was because we did things our way. We really slowed down and took the time to enjoy things at our own pace. In all honesty, we didn't really have a choice as my health hasn't been the greatest these past couple of years, so I was sort of forced to slow down and I am so very thankful I did!

Here are some things that we enjoyed on our last cruise that I highly recommend trying yourself:

1- Skip the main dining rooms and have dinner at Cabanas. 
On most nights, (check your Personal Navigator for times!) Cabanas offers a sit-down dinner with a limited menu, served by Cast Members training to become servers in the Main Dining Rooms. This is a great option for those of you who don't want to dress up for Formal and Semi-Formal Nights but want something more than pizza, burgers or hot dogs from the fast food places. The service and food were superb and we wore shorts and tees!

Delicious steak and baked potato at Cabanas!

2- If you are on a 7-night or longer cruise, attend the matinee performances of the spectacular Disney shows performed in the Walt Disney Theatre. This will free up some time during the evening. Take advantage of this time to enjoy the empty top decks while everyone else is either eating or at the evening show. We did this 3 times on our cruise and the pools were almost empty every time! The other option is to skip the show entirely but I only recommend this if you've seen it before as the shows are truly amazing and are a must-do, at least once!

During the evening show, our daughter is the only one in the Mickey Pool!
Mickey Slide 8 times in a row, no waiting!

Aquaduck over and over again, no waiting!

3. Watch as your ship sails out of port. Most people hurry back on board and get cleaned up and then are onto their next activity and they miss one of the great little experiences of cruising. Next time when leaving a port, take some time to relax on your verandah or one of the top decks and watch as your ship sails away. This is especially fun if you are the first big cruise liner to leave as the guests from other ships often wave good-bye. It is really fun when the captain sounds the ships' horn, the best in the industry, and everyone else cheers! Also, keep an eye out for the Pilot, a local expert that comes aboard to help the captain navigate the ship safely out of the harbor, to return to his boat.

Norwegian Epic and Freedom of the Seas at Havensight Point, St. Thomas.

Hubby saw a few Canadian flags on this ship so he decided to show off ours.

Pilot ship coming to pick up the Pilot.

The pilot received a big cheer from those watching and waved back
in appreciation.

4. Skip a port and enjoy an empty ship! If you're sailing to a port that you've visited before or just one you don't particularly care to explore, stay on the ship and you will be rewarded with a lovely empty ship! Obviously, there are not as many activities scheduled during a port stop but there's still tons of things to do! Our daughter loved going to the kids clubs during this time because it wasn't busy and she got to do everything she wanted with no waiting.

Empty adult-only Satellite Falls while docked in St. Thomas!

5. Enjoy the pools and hot tubs at night! Most people visit the pools during the day but if you're like me and you can't handle the sun/heat/crowds, make sure to visit them at night. They are often empty and you can relax and enjoy a unique experience of swimming under the stars on the high seas!

Enjoy a movie while swimming!

So there you have it, a few different things to do on a Disney cruise. On your next cruise, be sure to try at least one of them and let me know how it worked out for you! 

Contact me for your free, no-obligation quote on a Disney cruise and cruise your way.