There are a boat-load of tips and tricks out there for first timers and old seasoned Platinums like myself. Do they always work? No, but here is a general guide with some differences and tricks that have worked in the past. By the way, my disclaimer is that Disney loves to change things up and things change at the drop of an anchor, lol. Just like asking 2 different crew members the same question and getting 2 very different answers.
Navigating Uncharted Waters
First timers, you will be overwhelmed, but there are a ton of resources to help you navigate uncharted waters. What you forget to do, or can’t do all on one cruise, just allows you to book another on board at a 10 percent discount. If you don’t know when you are cruising yet, don’t worry! You can book a placeholder cruise and just sail within 2 years to get that 10 percent discount, and also usually get an additional credit as well when book onboard.
Castaway Club Levels
Depending on your castaway club level you will get different booking levels for excursions and booking things onboard. You become Silver after 1 cruise, Gold after 5 and Platinum after 10 cruises. Silver can book onboard activities at 90 days. Gold at 105 days and Platinum at 120 days .
Port Arrival Times
Another thing for first timers is PAT selection, which is Port Arrival Times. You pick when you’re arriving at the port, as to avoid a huge cluster of everyone coming all at once and spreading people out. You we get a boarding number, and when that number is called you get to board the ship.
Additional Perks For Being Gold or Platinum
A couple other perks you get as Gold and Platinum you get a 10% discount on purchases onboard. As platinum, you also get a free dinner or brunch at Palos, the Italian premium restaurant onboard. Also, at platinum, you get a cabin gift of your choice, a bottle of wine, plus something chocolate! The last cruise it was chocolate covered strawberries or fruit tray. Soda is free on Disney, as well as coffee, tea and hot chocolate at Aft of Deck 9 on all ships.
Let’s Talk About Restrictions
Everyone no matter what level you are have restrictions to what and how much alcohol you can bring onboard, as well as where and how it should be packed, and other things such as power strips, electrical appliances and cords. Check with the official do’s and don’ts before you sail as everything is subject to change . If you have something you’re not supposed to they will just take it and inventory it and you can get it back at the end of the cruise.
Remember To Relax
One biggest tip is remember to relax, too many people run all over the place, and do almost too much. They forget to just have down time. There is always a show or somewhere to be. All about balance, don’t stress, and take it all in.
A Couple Last Items ForFirst Timers
A couple last items for first timers is plan your character meet and greets the first day as the schedule varies and you don’t want to miss out on your favorites. If you are unable to get the dining you want, once you are onboard they will have a spot set up to make changes and you still have a chance to get what you want so don’t give up hope.
Lastly download the app and start a countdown and don’t forget to sign up for a call from a character to surprise the kids or even the kid inside! 😊