Disney Cruise Line

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons To Go On a Disney Cruise

by on October 25, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons To Go On a Disney Cruise. Earlier this month I was fortunate to be able to take my first ever Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder as part of TouringPlans #Everywhere promotion. The experience was pretty amazing overall, and while before the trip I had a hard time understanding why people would pay so much for a Disney Cruise when there are some great alternatives (such as Royal Caribbean) for a fraction of the price, I now see exactly what draws people back again and again to DCL. In fact, I think for many Disney fans a sailing on the DCL is a Must Do as it provides an overall immersion in the Disney Brand that even many on-site WDW vacations can’t compete with. Today we are going to look at six of the reasons you should consider popping a Dramamine and sailing the high seas with Mickey and the gang. Remember that clicking on any picture will bring it up in full size, so grab that life jacket and let’s start counting down…

# 6 – The Characters

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Donald Duck on the DCL Wonder.

 

We knew that there was going to be characters on board the Disney ships that you could meet, but we were not prepared for how many. There were the Fab 5 of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. The ubiquitous Chip and Dale. Daisy Duck. Frozen‘s Anna and Elsa. Disney Jr. characters such as Sofia the First and Jake. Disney princesses including Ariel, Tiana, Rapunzel, Snow White, Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella. Lastly, there were miscellaneous characters such as Peter Pan, Capt. Hook, and Stitch. These were just the ones that I personally saw throughout the cruise, as we never looked to see where the characters would be, or at what time, which leads me to believe that there are even more that I didn’t see.

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How Much Do Toiletries and Sundries Cost at Disney?

by on October 24, 2014

Despite copious planning with packing lists, it’s all but inevitable that mishaps will occur when traveling. Little Billy gets a fever during your trip and you neglected to bring the Children’s Tylenol. You thought you husband was packing toothpaste and he thought you were, so now you have none. You accidentally left your sunscreen at the pool yesterday and are now about to be burned to a crisp by the thousand degree sun.

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All of these problems are easy to solve at Walt Disney World and on Disney Cruise Line. (Disneyland’s close proximity to the external world makes access to replacement items less of an issue there.) The ship and hotel gift shops are well stocked, with most categories of personal care items represented. So while you won’t be totally left in the lurch in any of the above situations, you will likely pay a premium purchasing these personal care basics at a Disney location rather than at home. But how much of a premium will you be pay? Let’s investigate…

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: Disney Magic Observations from a DCL First-Timer

by on October 23, 2014

Disney Magic observations

There’s nothing like your first look at your first Disney cruise ship! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

As part of the fantastic TouringPlans #Everywhere project, I recently had the amazing opportunity to experience my very first Disney Cruise Line vacation aboard the Disney Magic, on an unusual 7-day itinerary out of Puerto Rico. While I’ve previously stayed on-site in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and traveled with some of Disney’s competitors in the cruising and all-inclusive resort industries, this was my initial experience as a guest of DCL. Overall, I have to say that I went in with sky-high expectations, almost all of which I can happily report were met or exceeded. But that’s not to say there weren’t a few surprises along the way. Here are a handful of Disney Magic observations and advice from this first-time (but hopefully not last-time) DCL cruiser that may may your vigin voyage a little smoother.

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Disney Cruise Line: Merchandise Photo Report of the Disney Wonder (Pins, Plush, Shirts, Vinylmation and More)

by on October 22, 2014

As part of the recent TouringPlans Everywhere promotion, I was lucky enough to set sail on my first ever Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. As a whole, I was blown away by the experience, but one thing that stood out to me was how much fantastic merchandise was available onboard the ship. Last year I sailed on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and despite an incredible sailing, found absolutely nothing in their gift store worth buying. Recently, I have been making my way around various Disney resorts and finding there is very little unique merchandise within the gift shops. Whether at a value resort like Pop Century, a moderate such as Port Orleans – French Quarter, or even a deluxe like The Contemporary, it didn’t matter, everything was pretty much the exact same. This was not my experience on the Disney Cruise Line, and I’m glad to report that the ships have some of the best merchandise I have seen in any Disney store, ever. Below is a look at some of the fantastic merchandise you can only buy on a Disney Cruise.

 

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Remember that clicking on any picture will bring it up in full size.

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Canada Place: Vancouver Cruise Terminal Basics

by on October 15, 2014

Vancouver Cruise TerminalThis summer fellow Touring Plans blogger Erin Foster and I were lucky enough to take a Disney Cruise to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder with our families. We enjoyed some incredible Port Adventures like dog sledding, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad and viewing the Misty Fjords National Monument by float plane. Before my family and I set off on our trip of a lifetime, we spent a night at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel and a lovely evening exploring parts of Vancouver. After a good night’s rest, it was time to get up, get ready and head over to Canada Place – the Vancouver cruise terminal. In case you find yourself at the Vancouver cruise terminal about to embark on an amazing Disney Cruise to Alaska, here’s everything you’ll need to know.

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10 Reasons to Take a Holiday Cruise on Disney Cruise Line

by on October 9, 2014

It’s that time of year! Holiday sailings for the Disney Cruise Line! I just returned from a Halloween on the High Seas sailing on the Dream and we enjoyed our Thanksgiving cruise on the Disney Fantasy so much last year that weve booked another on the Disney Magic this year! The Halloween sailings for 2014 started in September and continued through the end of October. The Very Merrytime sailings start November 8th and go through the end of December. All Disney cruises are magical for me, but the holiday cruises have something a little extra. Here are 10 reasons to try one!

1. No Cooking Holiday Dinners – Oh, yes! This is my favorite part. If you are onboard for one of the big holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas – you do not have to cook!!!!!! Equally exciting – you do not have to clean, so you get to enjoy the holiday as well!!!! Win win win. We had a choice of seven entrees for our Thanksgiving dinner. And I can testify firsthand that the turkey was delicious. On our Halloween sailing, our servers even brought us an absolutely adorable cake in the shape of a spider.

2. Gorgeous Decorations – The ships are gorgeous any day of the year, but they are really done up for the holidays. For the Halloween sailings, there are four different Halloween trees decorated with pumpkins. Actually, they usually start off with just leaves and by the end of your sailing it’s covered in pumpkins. And don’t miss the portholes on deck 4, they have adorable Jack-o-lantern faces. During the Very Merrytime sailings, there will be Christmas trees everywhere! In the restaurants, in the atrium, in the terminal, even on Castaway Cay! There is also a giant gingerbread house in the lobby which they start constructing in early November and finish around the last week of November.

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Limited Time Offer – Onboard Credit for DCL Wonder and Fantasy 7-Night Cruises

by on October 8, 2014

Mt. Rustmore at Castaway Cay. Photo - Laurel Stewart

Mt. Rustmore at Castaway Cay. Photo – Laurel Stewart

Yet another discount to pass on today. This one is for a $100 onboard credit on certain 7-night cruises sailing from Port Canaveral on the Disney Wonder and Fantasy. Because this offer is sponsored by an industry group (CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association), we recommend that DCL subscribers check our Fare Tracker to see if the cost of the cruise is going up or down and ask your travel agent if the onboard credit is the best possible deal you can get. This offer is for new bookings only and the booking window is now through October 13.

Information comes via Small World Vacations:

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What To Do The Night Before Your Disney Alaska Cruise

by on October 7, 2014

Canada PlaceJust in case you haven’t been following along, let me take a moment to catch you up! Fellow TouringPlans Blogger Erin Foster and I went on an amazing Disney Alaska Cruise this summer with our families. We had an incredible time aboard the Disney Wonder and in Alaska experiencing some fantastic Port Adventures like dog sledding, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, and viewing the Misty Fjords National Monument by float plane.

Before we set off on our exciting voyage, we each spent the night in Vancouver; Erin and her family at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and my family at the Fairmont Waterfront. My family arrived early on the day before our Disney Alaska Cruise so we had some time to check out Vancouver. Please read on to find out all about our adventures exploring Canada Place, walking the Sea Wall and touring Gastown!

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: I’m Going on my First Disney Cruise Aboard the Disney Wonder!

by on October 7, 2014

Over the past few weeks and months you’ve probably read several articles on the upcoming big October event - TouringPlans #Everywhere. If not, here’s the skinny: during Columbus Day weekend, TouringPlans is sending its staff across the world to Disney destinations in order to collect content, meet our subscribers, and if we can squeeze it in, have some fun, too. Brian McNichols, my cohost of the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast, is going to Disneyland. Gerelyn Reaves is going to the Aulani resort in Hawaii. Guy Selga is going to Tokyo Disneyland. And I’ll be going to the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Just kidding, I’ll actually be taking my first ever trip on the Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Wonder.

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Spoiler Alert: This is NOT the Disney Wonder, this is the Disney Dream.

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Disney Cruise Line Changes Its Cancellation Policy

by on October 1, 2014

DCLThe Disney Cruise Line has changed its cancellation policy for sailings booked starting today. The updated policy includes new restrictions on cruises that include major U.S. holidays, plus changes to concierge and suite staterooms. Thank you to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for the heads up on this news.

MOST CRUISE RESERVATIONS REQUIRE A DEPOSIT equal to 20% of the cruise’s price (not including taxes) for each passenger age 3 and older on that reservation. Some DCL promotions, such as booking a follow-up cruise while you’re already on a current cruise, require only a 10% deposit. Booking a future cruise while you’re on the ship almost always includes an onboard credit for the cruise you’re booking too.

DCL’s full cancellation policy can be found online at the DCL website; click “Terms and Conditions” at the bottom of the home page. You can cancel a reservation in writing or by phone; also, moving the date of your cruise or changing the name of someone on your reservation is considered a cancellation.

If your cruise starts or ends in the United States and your cruise is fewer than 10 days long, your refund amount depends on the kind of stateroom you’ve booked, your cruise dates, and how much advance notice you give Disney. The following table summarizes the criteria used for bookings made on or after October 1, 2014:

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