My husband and I just returned a couple of weeks ago from our first cruise on the Disney Fantasy to the Western Caribbean. It was seven days of a truly lovely vacation. We are already discussing taking another longer one next year to a different location and taking our sons on a short one sometime in between. We were fortunate to have a friend who had been on several cruises to sit and talk with us and give us some handy tips and ideas. So, even though we probably have not met, I'll be that friend to you! :)
Post #1: Initial Planning
--Renew your passport
--Check your budget
--Look at the weather forecast and for women, plan your wardrobe and do whatever shopping is needed early. 2 suitcases per person are allowed to be checked. My husband and I each had one suitcase and we shared a third that had tennis shoes, umbrellas, jackets, snorkel gear. We carried my laptop on board primarily to upload photos each day.
--Take advantage of the planning center that Disney offers to get an idea of all of the excursions that are available and budget your $$ to do something fun at each port, even if it's as simple as just getting off the ship and walking around the new city, sightseeing and doing a little shopping. Don't plan to do too much each day. Our cruise had 2 days at sea, with stops at four ports. Day 1 debarkation is not until 4 pm, and we boarded at 11:30 a.m. so that was another day as well. Book your port adventures as early as you can.
--If this is an anniversary or special occasion, adults check out the fine dining (it's ALL good) and the special reservations-only restaurants on board the ship [Palo and Remy]. You pay a little more for one or more of these evenings but they are very elegant to celebrate a special time together. Make those reservations early.