Disney Cruise Line

Video: 4 Must-See Disney Cruise Line Shows

by on October 28, 2015

must see disney cruise line shows

Pirates in the Caribbean fireworks, one of 4 must-see shows on the DCL Magic (videos by Seth Kubersky).

The Disney Cruise Line is famed for its live entertainment offerings, and the DCL Magic is no exception. Despite being the oldest ship in the fleet, the Magic has some of DCL’s freshest shows, which I was lucky enough to experience on my recent Transatlantic crossing. You can’t go wrong with any of the mainstage production in the Walt Disney Theater — I’m particularly partial to Disney Dreams, and am excited to see the new Tangled musical — but there are tons of other live shows around the boat that you shouldn’t overlook. If you are stuck on dry land dreaming of sailing the seven seas with Mickey, whet your whistle with these new videos of 4 must-see Disney Cruise Line shows from the DCL Magic.

 

Freezing the Night Away Deck Party

Ok, this first entry might be stretching the “must-see” moniker for most adults, but if your kids are still Elsa-crazed you aren’t going to want to skip this one. Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends is a relatively recent addition to the DCL deck party rotation, which debuted earlier this year on the Disney Wonder, and was subsequently added to the Magic. It serves as the capstone to a full day of Frozen-themed activities, including a chocolate scavenger hunt, maypole dance, and special Norwegian-inspired dinner menu.

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Early 2017 Disney Cruise Line Itineraries Released

by on October 6, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

If you’re planning a Disney Cruise Line 2017 vacation (the first part of the year anyway), you’ll have your chance to start booking Thursday October 8 (tomorrow if you’re a Gold or Platinum Castaway Club member). Remember that for the most part, your best rates are found when fares are released or at the last minute. So if you know when you want to travel, and don’t want to play fare chicken at the last minute, now is the time to book.

There are no big changes in what’s offered: Bahamas, Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean cruises sailing from Port Canaveral, Miami, Galveston, San Juan, and New York City in lengths of 3- to 8- nights are offered.

See Disney’s web site for more information.

 

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever October 1, 2015: Six Things to Do During a Transatlantic Disney Cruise

by on October 1, 2015

Transatlantic Disney cruise

What do you do with all those sea days once you’ve sailed past the Rock of Gibraltar on a Transatlantic Disney Cruise? You have the Best Week Ever! (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Howdy folks, I just swam in from Spain and boy, are my arms tired! <Rimshot> If you follow the Touring Plans twitter feed, you are probably fully aware of — if not fed up with — my just-completed voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on the Disney Magic. The 11-day journey was certainly a Best Week Ever and a half, but I’m certain some of you are wondering how you can spend 6 straight sea days stuck in a giant floating hotel without jumping overboard. I had some apprehension before going aboard about being away from dry land for so many days in a row, but now I’m wishing the Disney Cruise Line had cruises to nowhere out of Canaveral, because my week on the water was more wonderful than any port of call (with the possible exception of Castaway Cay), thanks to the jam-packed schedule of activities and events and events you’ll find exclusively on DCL repositioning routes and other extended oceanic cruises. So, at the risk of stealing Derek Burgan‘s gimmick, here are my top six ways to while away your sea days during a Transatlantic Disney Cruise.

 

6. See a Movie or Twenty

Who wants to spend an expensive cruise inside a movie theater? I do! If you love Disney, you probably love movies, and there are few movie theaters on land that can compete with the Disney Magic’s Buena Vista Theatre. Over our 11 day journey, we averaged two movies a day, many in eye-popping Dolby Digital 3-D (the same system used in Star Tours and Escape From Gringotts, and far brighter and sharper than any multiplex) including Avengers: Age of Ultron Inside Out, and Ant-Man.

 

The highlight of the cruise’s cinema schedule was the multi-day marathon of the first six Star Wars films. Though screened in release order rather than episode or Machete order, these were the most recent versions created for the Blu-Ray release projected in stunning ultra-high-definition, making it the best presentation of the classic movies I’ve seen since ’77.

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10 Mistakes First-Time Disney Cruisers Make

by on September 30, 2015

First-time cruisers have a lot of questions!  I totally get that, because I did too.  I was a seasoned Walt Disney World and Disneyland vet, and yet cruises were so foreign to me that I spent hours researching what to expect.  Well, here’s the good news.  You can’t really do it wrong.  You’re there, you’re going to have a blast.  There may be some things you would do differently the next time though!  Here are 10 examples.

1C4A19661. Overpacking – Guilty! It’s hard not to do! But you do not need as much as you think you will. My standard tip is, lay out the clothes you think you need and take only half. The benefits here are numerous – you could save on checked baggage fees with the airlines, you have more space in your stateroom, etc. etc. There’s laundry onboard should you run short! Disney-themed clothes are always available to purchase onboard as well of course.

2. Not Buying Insurance – I’m a huge proponent of insurance for cruises. It’s not like a trip to one of the parks where you can probably move your dates, arrive late, etc. If you miss the ship, you miss your vacation. If you get sick and are denied boarding, you miss your vacation. If you need medical attention at sea or in a port and your insurance doesn’t cover you when travelling abroad (check your policy because most don’t) you can be out thousands of dollars. I can tell you story after story after story of cases where insurance saved the day. The thousands of medical bills my healthy mom incurred after developing pneumonia halfway through a Disney Mediterranean cruise. The tens of thousands of dollars of medical bills a family occurred after their child’s appendix burst abroad. A simple broken arm on an excursion becomes anything but simple in a foreign port. Just do it! It’s worth it! It’s not worth taking the risk. If you are a frequent traveler, you should look into year-round insurance. It’s very reasonable.

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Traveling on Disney Cruise Line with a Party of Five or More

by on September 15, 2015

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World for a family of five or more can be tricky. Planning a Disney Cruise Line trip for a family of five or more can be downright mind-boggling. The choices feel simultaneously too few and too many. To make things a bit easier, I’m going to walk you through some of the things you need to know when planning a Disney Cruise for a larger party.

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Disney Cruise Line: Pompidou Dessert Experience at Remy

by on September 14, 2015

If you look at the topics of my blog posts, food comes up occasionally. Well, more often than not. Okay, I’ll take any excuse to review something that involves food. So when I heard about the Pompidou Dessert Experience which, in a nutshell, means a Remy dessert party with six courses of desserts in a row, I was signed up before the ink was dry on my Disney Cruise Line contract.

First, the details. The Pompidou Dessert Experience is available in Remy on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy on select sea days at 3:30 PM. It is an additional $50 per person (plus gratuity), and a wine pairing is available for $25. It must be booked in advance, although you may have luck booking it the day you arrive on the ship if there is availability. Remy is for ages 18 and up, and has a dress code that, according to Disney’s web site, means dress pants and dress shirt for men (ties and jackets optional) and dress or pantsuit for women (jeans, shorts, capri pants, sandals, flip-flops, or tennis shoes are permitted).

Now that’s out of the way, on to the desserts!

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DVC Member Cruise: Is It Worth It?

by on September 11, 2015

Any Disney Cruise is a good cruise, but is the DVC Member Cruise worth the extra cost? (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Any Disney Cruise is a good cruise, but is the DVC Member Cruise worth the extra cost? (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Two questions that I have been asked frequently about my Disney Vacation Member Cruise are:

  1. Should you pay cash or use points?
  2. Is it worth the extra cost?

Here’s some of my thoughts on that issue so that you can decide for yourself.

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Disney Dream 2015 DVC Member Cruise Review

by on September 9, 2015

IMG_1114Going on a Disney Cruise is special, but at least once a year a special event is held that makes Disney Cruise even more special: a Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise. This year, two Member Cruises were held—one to Alaska on the Wonder and one in the Caribbean on the Dream. Because a Member Cruise was an item on my personal bucket list, when reservations opened last year, I jumped at the opportunity to book the cruise on the Dream. Although I have been on a Disney Cruise several times before, I couldn’t wait to do a DVC cruise. What makes it special? There are really four reasons that I was excited for this one.

  1. Special experiences and guest presentations.
  2. A double dip at Castaway Cay. (For Member Cruises out of Florida only.)
  3. Special member gifts
  4. The ‘Ohana factor.

Here’s what my experience was like.

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The 10 Steps of Online Check-In for Your Disney Cruise

by on August 19, 2015

You’re going on a Disney Cruise!  Woohoo!  I am often asked what you need to do to get ready for your cruise.  Well one of the big things is your online check-in!  Checking in online is important for a few reasons.  It will save you time at the port once you arrive, it gives you a chance to make sure all of your information is in the system correctly so there won’t be any problems when you arrive, it’s a chance to address any special needs you may have, and you’ll get to pick an arrival time at the port!

Online check-in opens on different dates depending on your Castaway Club level and the category you are sailing in.  If you are a Platinum level Castaway Club member, meaning you have sailed more than 10 times, or if you are sailing concierge, you can check-in online at midnight, 120 days before you sail.  If you are a Gold level Castaway Club member, meaning you have sailed more than 5 times, you can check-in online 105 days before you sail.  If you’ve sailed at least once you are a Silver level Castaway Club member and can check in online 90 days before sailing.  Everyone else can check in 75 days before you sail.  It will be available online until 4 days before you sail.

Pro-tip – You do NOT have to be paid in full to check in online.  In order to book excursions, adult restaurants, etc. when your booking window opens, you must be paid in full.  That is not the case for checking-in online.  You can do that at midnight when your booking window opens, regardless of whether you are paid in full.

Here is a step by step description of online check-in, so you will know exactly what to expect!

1. Retrieve Reservation – Your very first step will be going to DisneyCruise.com and retrieving your reservation. At the top of the screen on the far right, you will see a tab called Planning Center. Hover over it with your mouse and you will see My Reservations.  Click on it.  You can click on the Online Check-In as well to login and retrieve your reservation, but if you click on My Reservations you can do it all on the same screen.

Retry

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When “book early” saves money on a Disney cruise – and when it doesn’t

by on August 18, 2015

The conventional wisdom for getting the lowest price on a cruise is to book as early as possible.  But is that advice really true for all destinations? After all, there’s enough competition in the cruise industry to make a 4-night Bahamas cruise almost a commodity, but less competition for extended Alaska and Mediterranean cruises.

To answer this question for the Disney Cruise Line, we gathered more than 5 million prices from DCL’s website over the past two years, for every combination of family size, stateroom category, ship, and cruise. (Yes, that’s a lot of data. Try it out yourself on our DCL Fare Tracker page.)

To simplify this discussion, we’ll looked at the prices for 2 adult/2 child families in Disney’s Deluxe Family Ocean View Stateroom with Verandah staterooms, for sailings in July and August 2015 as follows:

  • 4-Night Bahamas cruises on the Dream
  • 7-Night Alaska cruises on the Wonder
  • 7-Night Western Caribbean cruises on the Fantasy
  • 7-Night Mediterranean cruises on the Magic

Disney charges different prices for its Deluxe Family Ocean View Staterooms with Verandah (DFOVSV); staterooms on higher decks usually cost more than the same room on a lower deck. In the charts below, we show the price trends for the highest- and lowest-priced staterooms in that category, along with the average price of all DFOVSVs on all decks. We’re using a 20-day rolling average for the prices, to smooth out tiny variations in price over time.

For Bahamas cruises, “book early” is a great strategy, as shown in the chart below. Our typical family would save about 13% – over $600 – by booking 8 months in advance or more, versus booking 90 days out. And because the price goes  up consistently the closer you get to the cruise date, it’s always cheaper to book this kind of cruise as soon as you can. And that’s true regardless of whether you’re booking a stateroom on a high deck or a lower one.

4N-Dream-Bahamas-Jul2015

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