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Old 04-24-2013, 11:23 PM   #196
taaren
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Originally Posted by Kidlette View Post
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. We've done it both ways, I think it just depends on how "all out" we go. The first or second time we did it we went all out - we had an entire extra large suit case dedicated to just FE stuff and it took us 1/2 a day to deliver our first day of stuff - so we spent the rest of the day delivering everything else so we wouldn't have to lose 1/2 a day every day. The next time we skipped it and we were happy we did, we didn't feel obligated to take time out if we were having a blast. We had no kids then though and our daughter will be 2 on the sailing, so we think she might like it. I'm kind of 50/50 on it right now. We'll have to talk about it some more and make a decision. Maybe we'll do it if we just scale back and do 1 gift per cabin (not per person) and only deliver once. If I'm completely honest, I'm also a little put off by the whole alcohol thing. I know I don't have to say yes to it, but it's more of a moral issue for me. I know that other people don't care, but my mind goes straight to thinking about the random 14 or 15 year old wandering the ship who could take (steal) them out of the FE's. I know that's bad on the kid for stealing, but leaving alcohol bottles for kids to find like that is not OK with me. I've done 5 or 6 Disney cruises and never heard of anyone doing this until now. I just don't know if I want to participate in an activity where I know this is going on. It's nothing against anyone else, it's just a moral obligation I feel to not participate. I think that we as adults should realize we're on a family oriented vacation, participating in a family oriented activity, and leaving alcohol where any kid/teen can walk up and take it is not something I think I want to be a part of. Maybe Ryan and Lorelai will participate and I'll just keep myself out of it. Ryan doesn't feel the way I do about it, so he would probably be ok with that. Anyway, I don't know, I have a lot of thinking to do on several levels. It will be a while before we decide, but we'll make a decision fairly soon. {sigh...what to do...what to do...}.
I feel the same way. I want to join ... but ...

We've been on 3 cruises. Participated in the FE all three times. The first and third cruise were great, the second I really wish we hadn't (although there was a secret Mickey exchange for that one that was great fun).

Here was the main difference, and what I'm going to wait and see before I sign up. The second cruise, we had joined the meet late since it was a last minute booking, and the group had previously decided not to split no matter how many cabins joined. There ended up being well over 40 cabins. That was just too many. It took us three days to deliver gifts. Generally we did one set of adult gifts, one set of kids gifts, and one cabin gift per cabin (for all three cruises).

If there's more than 20 or so cabins, it just becomes a burden IMHO. In that case, I would suggest splitting into 2 groups, a group "A" FE and a group "B" FE, perhaps even one with mainly adults vs mainly families, or something like that.

The two other cruises I went on, the first had about 20 cabins, the third there was a dozen of us DISsers (it was a 3-night cruise, which DISsers don't seem to favor a lot). That was a nice size, everything could be delivered in one day, and it wasn't horrendously expensive. Any more than that and you need a suitcase just for your FEs, then you have a full suitcase going home ... while that sounds fun, with luggage costs these days ...

I think the ideal sized group would be 15 or so cabins.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:04 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by taaren View Post
I feel the same way. I want to join ... but ...

We've been on 3 cruises. Participated in the FE all three times. The first and third cruise were great, the second I really wish we hadn't (although there was a secret Mickey exchange for that one that was great fun).

Here was the main difference, and what I'm going to wait and see before I sign up. The second cruise, we had joined the meet late since it was a last minute booking, and the group had previously decided not to split no matter how many cabins joined. There ended up being well over 40 cabins. That was just too many. It took us three days to deliver gifts. Generally we did one set of adult gifts, one set of kids gifts, and one cabin gift per cabin (for all three cruises).

If there's more than 20 or so cabins, it just becomes a burden IMHO. In that case, I would suggest splitting into 2 groups, a group "A" FE and a group "B" FE, perhaps even one with mainly adults vs mainly families, or something like that.

The two other cruises I went on, the first had about 20 cabins, the third there was a dozen of us DISsers (it was a 3-night cruise, which DISsers don't seem to favor a lot). That was a nice size, everything could be delivered in one day, and it wasn't horrendously expensive. Any more than that and you need a suitcase just for your FEs, then you have a full suitcase going home ... while that sounds fun, with luggage costs these days ...

I think the ideal sized group would be 15 or so cabins.
My other points aside, I have to agree with you on this as well. The group where it took us 1/2 a day to deliver was about 25 cabins. It was NUTS! That group just got insane though - there were 3 families with guide dogs and they so much said that they expected guide dogs included so we included guide dogs in gifts! NEVER AGAIN! Sorry if we end up with anyone who has a guide dog, but gifts for the dogs was just ridiculous. It took an inexpensive gift idea and turned it on it's head because you had to buy a dog item for a dog. In my opinion, 25 was too many by about 1/2! I would say no more than 10 or 12 cabins per group. But then again, I don't even know if I'm participating yet. I agree though, the size of the group and whether or not the FE organizer decides to split the group will be a deciding factor for us as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:31 AM   #198
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We've got more than a year to go to our cruise and we are already stressing out about FE's! What I have seen done that I think seems to work the best is just to set either a cutoff date or maximum number of participating cabins. If a date is set and the quantity gets too high for some people, they can easily remove themselves from the list.

When the amount of participants gets too high for us, we just switch to giving one gift per cabin rather than something for the adults in the cabin to share and one gift per each child. Either way, it should be kept fun and stress-free!

I think the best solution to the dilemma of wandering teens seeing alcohol in the FE's and stealing it is just to make sure that if any is given that it is wrapped or concealed in something like a gift bag. I'm glad it was asked in the FE questions so people can opt out of it if they don't want to receive it.

We always enjoy the FE and it's my daughter's favorite part of cruising believe it or not. I can't see us bringing any alcohol on this trip as we always struggle with weight and size limits with our luggage. It might be different if we were driving in. With every cruise we have trouble coming up with something fun and creative that we can cram in a suitcase and still make it light enough to keep the airlines happy!

-steve
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:41 AM   #199
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Back to the Palo question - we have done both before. I had not heard anything about them not doing High Tea anymore. Major bummer if that's true. I do prefer brunch though. It's really fun and the food is excellent and the price is great.

Dinner is great too and we will be sure to book one of every trip to Palo that is available to us. The hard part of a rare itinerary like this is trying to figure out rotations and show nights. I would like to avoid booking Palo on Pirate Night or the night Animator's Palate does their show. Hopefully Disney posts more information about our itinerary before the Palo booking windows open to CC members.

I also want to recommend to anyone else with little girls is the tea party (apple juice and a cookie). We have done it twice and it had different themes each time so I don't know what it is currently called. One time it was a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter and the other time it was with Peter Pan, Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel. It's very interactive and there are great photo opportunities with the characters. You can get tickets for this as soon as you get on the ship.

-steve
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Kidlette View Post
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. We've done it both ways, I think it just depends on how "all out" we go. The first or second time we did it we went all out - we had an entire extra large suit case dedicated to just FE stuff and it took us 1/2 a day to deliver our first day of stuff - so we spent the rest of the day delivering everything else so we wouldn't have to lose 1/2 a day every day. The next time we skipped it and we were happy we did, we didn't feel obligated to take time out if we were having a blast. We had no kids then though and our daughter will be 2 on the sailing, so we think she might like it. I'm kind of 50/50 on it right now. We'll have to talk about it some more and make a decision. Maybe we'll do it if we just scale back and do 1 gift per cabin (not per person) and only deliver once. If I'm completely honest, I'm also a little put off by the whole alcohol thing. I know I don't have to say yes to it, but it's more of a moral issue for me. I know that other people don't care, but my mind goes straight to thinking about the random 14 or 15 year old wandering the ship who could take (steal) them out of the FE's. I know that's bad on the kid for stealing, but leaving alcohol bottles for kids to find like that is not OK with me. I've done 5 or 6 Disney cruises and never heard of anyone doing this until now. I just don't know if I want to participate in an activity where I know this is going on. It's nothing against anyone else, it's just a moral obligation I feel to not participate. I think that we as adults should realize we're on a family oriented vacation, participating in a family oriented activity, and leaving alcohol where any kid/teen can walk up and take it is not something I think I want to be a part of. Maybe Ryan and Lorelai will participate and I'll just keep myself out of it. Ryan doesn't feel the way I do about it, so he would probably be ok with that. Anyway, I don't know, I have a lot of thinking to do on several levels. It will be a while before we decide, but we'll make a decision fairly soon. {sigh...what to do...what to do...}.

I respect your thoughts on this, but I guess I don't expect that there will be that many teenagers on the sailing as most schools will still be in session. And I guess I don't expect that there would be many kids that would stand there and rifle thru FE gifts looking for mini-bottles of liquor, especially since they wouldn't have a clue that any bottles had been given in the first place. We always deliver our gifts during the day, so I wouldn't expect them to be sitting there all night and available for anyone to take. Not trying to sway you one way or the other, just my own thoughts.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by taaren View Post
I feel the same way. I want to join ... but ...

We've been on 3 cruises. Participated in the FE all three times. The first and third cruise were great, the second I really wish we hadn't (although there was a secret Mickey exchange for that one that was great fun).

Here was the main difference, and what I'm going to wait and see before I sign up. The second cruise, we had joined the meet late since it was a last minute booking, and the group had previously decided not to split no matter how many cabins joined. There ended up being well over 40 cabins. That was just too many. It took us three days to deliver gifts. Generally we did one set of adult gifts, one set of kids gifts, and one cabin gift per cabin (for all three cruises).

If there's more than 20 or so cabins, it just becomes a burden IMHO. In that case, I would suggest splitting into 2 groups, a group "A" FE and a group "B" FE, perhaps even one with mainly adults vs mainly families, or something like that.

The two other cruises I went on, the first had about 20 cabins, the third there was a dozen of us DISsers (it was a 3-night cruise, which DISsers don't seem to favor a lot). That was a nice size, everything could be delivered in one day, and it wasn't horrendously expensive. Any more than that and you need a suitcase just for your FEs, then you have a full suitcase going home ... while that sounds fun, with luggage costs these days ...

I think the ideal sized group would be 15 or so cabins.
I agree with you on large group sizes, it becomes too expensive and takes too much time to deliver and too much room in the suitcase. I don't think any decisions have been made in our FE yet, but I know I will vote for smaller groups and those that wish to join all groups can do so.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by airtime247 View Post
We've got more than a year to go to our cruise and we are already stressing out about FE's! What I have seen done that I think seems to work the best is just to set either a cutoff date or maximum number of participating cabins. If a date is set and the quantity gets too high for some people, they can easily remove themselves from the list.

When the amount of participants gets too high for us, we just switch to giving one gift per cabin rather than something for the adults in the cabin to share and one gift per each child. Either way, it should be kept fun and stress-free! One cabin gift that the whole family will enjoy and maybe some candy, etc. for the kids is what I do anyway. My gifts are usually handcrafted (and no, I do not mean moonshine )

I think the best solution to the dilemma of wandering teens seeing alcohol in the FE's and stealing it is just to make sure that if any is given that it is wrapped or concealed in something like a gift bag. I'm glad it was asked in the FE questions so people can opt out of it if they don't want to receive it.

We always enjoy the FE and it's my daughter's favorite part of cruising believe it or not. I can't see us bringing any alcohol on this trip as we always struggle with weight and size limits with our luggage. It might be different if we were driving in. With every cruise we have trouble coming up with something fun and creative that we can cram in a suitcase and still make it light enough to keep the airlines happy! We have never brought liquor on board, but we do bring a couple of bottles of wine to enjoy in our cabin, but I plan to pick those up in San Diego, so there won't be a luggage issue.

-steve
I don't think anyone is stressing, but sharing their thoughts, and I think the early joiners should pretty much share their expectations and then once the guidelines are determined, others will know what the deal is when they sign up.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by airtime247 View Post
Back to the Palo question - we have done both before. I had not heard anything about them not doing High Tea anymore. Major bummer if that's true. I do prefer brunch though. It's really fun and the food is excellent and the price is great.

Dinner is great too and we will be sure to book one of every trip to Palo that is available to us. The hard part of a rare itinerary like this is trying to figure out rotations and show nights. I would like to avoid booking Palo on Pirate Night or the night Animator's Palate does their show. Hopefully Disney posts more information about our itinerary before the Palo booking windows open to CC members.

I also want to recommend to anyone else with little girls is the tea party (apple juice and a cookie). We have done it twice and it had different themes each time so I don't know what it is currently called. One time it was a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter and the other time it was with Peter Pan, Cinderella, Snow White, and Ariel. It's very interactive and there are great photo opportunities with the characters. You can get tickets for this as soon as you get on the ship.

-steve
I had read a couple of posts that said no more High Tea, but I haven't cruised since this supposedly happened, so I cannot confirm for sure. If anyone knows differently, please chime in.

We are doing a B2B with Alaska being the second sailing, so I guess that means we will have a pirate night on the San Diego sailing and a Pixar night on the Alaska one.

Do you guys think we will have a formal night on our 5-night sailing? I really don't want to have to pack much in the way of dress clothes. Guess I can skip the MDR, maybe that would be a room service or Topsiders night. I was not aware until recently that Topsiders is a sit-down service meal in the evening.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #204
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Sf

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Has anyone started formulating plans for their San Francisco day yet? Doing a cruise excursion or just doing your own thing. It has been years since I have been there, and I just love this city. My list so far includes to ride the cable car, have some crab on the warf, some sourdough bread, maybe the fortune cookie factory, lunch somewhere in Southbeach. I would love to go to the Disney family museum, but that won't be on the top of my SIL's list, so I will save that for another trip. I have done Alcatraz, but my SIL might want to do that, and I wouldn't mind doing it again.

Any other must-do ideas?
I've never been to San Fran and I want to see Alcatraz, Fisherman's Warf and China town. Can it all be done in one day? I'm completely fine with seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from afar!
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:14 AM   #205
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Splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by taaren View Post
I feel the same way. I want to join ... but ...

We've been on 3 cruises. Participated in the FE all three times. The first and third cruise were great, the second I really wish we hadn't (although there was a secret Mickey exchange for that one that was great fun).

Here was the main difference, and what I'm going to wait and see before I sign up. The second cruise, we had joined the meet late since it was a last minute booking, and the group had previously decided not to split no matter how many cabins joined. There ended up being well over 40 cabins. That was just too many. It took us three days to deliver gifts. Generally we did one set of adult gifts, one set of kids gifts, and one cabin gift per cabin (for all three cruises).

If there's more than 20 or so cabins, it just becomes a burden IMHO. In that case, I would suggest splitting into 2 groups, a group "A" FE and a group "B" FE, perhaps even one with mainly adults vs mainly families, or something like that.

The two other cruises I went on, the first had about 20 cabins, the third there was a dozen of us DISsers (it was a 3-night cruise, which DISsers don't seem to favor a lot). That was a nice size, everything could be delivered in one day, and it wasn't horrendously expensive. Any more than that and you need a suitcase just for your FEs, then you have a full suitcase going home ... while that sounds fun, with luggage costs these days ...

I think the ideal sized group would be 15 or so cabins.
I had it in my mind already that if it got over 15 cabins we would split it because over that is just too much.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:21 AM   #206
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FEs

Perhaps I should have explained what I envisioned happening with the FEs since I'm putting it together. I'm not going to stress out about it because it is fun.

1. There will be a cut off date in April 2014.

2. If more than 15 cabins participate I will split the list.

3. I brought up the alcohol question because it was brought up on my last cruise. It's not my place to tell people what they can or can't put in the FEs. I wanted to put the info out there.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #207
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I've never been to San Fran and I want to see Alcatraz, Fisherman's Warf and China town. Can it all be done in one day? I'm completely fine with seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from afar!
Well, we will sail under the Golden Gate when we arrive and leave San Fran, so you will have opportunities there-and that is going to be so cool. I definitely hope to be on deck to get some pictures when we arrive that morning.

I think you can do all the other stuff in one day. Definitely buy your Alcatraz tickets on line ahead of time, they do sell out. Fishermans warf is very near to where we will dock. I don't remember how long Alcatraz takes, but I do remember that when you have seen enough, you can catch any boat back, not a specific time. I am fuzzy on the Chinatown distance, but I am betting you could include that with no time problems at all. We will have 13 1/2 hours in port, iirc, enough to get a lot done.

Don't forget a ride on the cable cars as well. That is so fun.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by kew423 View Post
I had it in my mind already that if it got over 15 cabins we would split it because over that is just too much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kew423 View Post
Perhaps I should have explained what I envisioned happening with the FEs since I'm putting it together. I'm not going to stress out about it because it is fun.

1. There will be a cut off date in April 2014.

2. If more than 15 cabins participate I will split the list.

3. I brought up the alcohol question because it was brought up on my last cruise. It's not my place to tell people what they can or can't put in the FEs. I wanted to put the info out there.
This all sounds good to me.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #209
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I've never been to San Fran and I want to see Alcatraz, Fisherman's Warf and China town. Can it all be done in one day? I'm completely fine with seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from afar!
I believe you can definitely do Alcatraz and Fisherman's Warf in one day but it all depends on how long you want to spend at Alcatraz since it's a walking self guided tour. I am not sure if you will be able to squeeze in visiting China town as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:45 AM   #210
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Hey all - I'm not going to quote everyone, just going to type some responses

High Tea:

First - I also read that high tea was being cancelled. With that said, it kind of doesn't matter because it was only on 7 night or longer sailings anyway. Here's a blurb from the article I read though . . .

"High Tea aboard the Disney Cruise Line’s four ships is about to high-tail it out of town.

DCL has decided to ditch its High Tea offering in its high-end Palo restaurants, beginning this summer.

High Tea has been offered on seven-night or longer cruises from 3-4 p.m. while the ship is at sea; traditional, herbal and flavored teas were featured, along with finger foods and desserts at an extra cost of $10 per person.

The last High Teas in Palo will be served July 22 on the Disney Dream, August 10 on the Disney Magic and August 13 on both the Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy.

The elimination of High Tea will allow the line to beef up its already extremely popular brunch offerings in Palo.

According to Jason Lasecki, DCL’s public relations director, "Palo brunch is one of the most popular dining events across the fleet.""

FE's:

Steve - I'm not stressing, promise Just thinking out loud/expressing my opinion and deciding what I want to do. In the many, many Disney cruises I've done I've never heard of that, so it took me by surprise and it's just taken me a couple of days to process the thought. I suppose when all is said and done, I shouldn't care about other people's kids. If they are "naughty" enough to steal from FE's - and they DO - I know because we've had stuff taken out of ours before, then that's on the kids parents. Heaven forbid a teenager is diabetic and they drink the alcohol, but again, I suppose that's not my problem.

With that said, kew - we will participate. I will email you our info shortly. Thank you for being patient while I thought things through.

Shore Excursions:

I went to SFO once as a kid and don't remember it. We visited family anyway - no activities. lol, Steve - we're relying on you and Amy to help us with this one! I've noticed no one has mentioned the Walt Disney Museum. Is no one going to that? I know I'd like to ride a cable car/see a cable car museum, and I've heard a walk around Fisherman's wharf is a must. Alcatraz sounds neat, but I'd rather do some whale watching or something. Steve - do you think you and Amy will want to tour the city, or do something on a boat? Are you guys still wanting to whale watch in Vancouver or Seattle after the cruise is over? We are DEFINITELY staying a day, probably 2 days in YVR/SEA to do some whale watching and sightseeing.

Pirate Night, formal Night, and Schedule:

I'll go back and find it and re-post it when I do, but I posted something a couple of months ago about the schedule for this. There WILL be a formal night and a pirate night on our cruise. Right now all 5 nights are basically the same so we can kind of figure it will be that same schedule - the Disney cruise line agent just said that it "could change" - so we're really just waiting for the official release of the info. She said it should be released between May and the end of June.

Let me look for the current pattern/schedule and I'll re-pots it
__________________
Jessica M.


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