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myacuna

Short Disney Cruise question

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Hello Disney cruisers!

Although I am not new to cruising, I am new to Disney Cruising. I have a November 2020 7 nighter booked on Fantasy and barring any pregnancy/young baby things that may cause us to cancel before final payment we will be heading out with some family and friends on our first long Disney.

 

Looking as this is so far out, I am considering a 3 night (MAYBE 4) intro cruise on Dream out of PC in January or February. Usually we would be looking at RCCL again but thought I would throw this in the running. I don't care about Nassau and would stay on the ship. At Castaway, we would just do some beach things.

 

Is a quickie like this worth it to get our first cruise under out belts to make scheduling and whatnot on our longer cruise a bit easier? I am not terribly concerned about booking "extras" as I have a planner and I will leave that to her. But are there perks I am not considering by cruising something short as a getaway?

 

Also, is it even possible to get an inside room for 3 for under $2k for 3 (or even 4 night)?
 

I will be honest, Disney was/is a hard sell for me. I know what I know and RCL/Carnival is what I know. Pricing for Disney is high in my opinion but obviously has not stopped me from booking (though I am not convinced yet to keep this reservation).

 

To note: we are 37 (me), almost 40 (husband), almost 5 (son) and maybe a baby at some point.

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1 hour ago, myacuna said:

Is a quickie like this worth it to get our first cruise under out belts to make scheduling and whatnot on our longer cruise a bit easier? I am not terribly concerned about booking "extras" as I have a planner and I will leave that to her. But are there perks I am not considering by cruising something short as a getaway?

There's really no extras for having one cruise under your belt.  As far as the loyalty program goes, once you've completed one DCL cruise you are a Silver Castaway Club member.  Only benefit for a future cruise for that is that you can do you online check in/excursion bookings at 90 days out instead of 75.  Well, also get a silver lanyard (if that's important), and an in-room gift (in this case a bag of some sort).

 

If those things are important, then, yes, you should do it.

 

Only other thing I could think of is, while on an earlier cruise, you could re-shop the current reservation and see if rebooking onboard will save you any money.  The onboard booking discounts are taken on the prevailing price of the cruise, not the price you already have, so it's possible it won't.  Plus you will have paid for an extra cruise to get that discount.

 

 

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The only benefits to have a shorter cruise before your longer one is to re-shop the longer cruise with on-board booking perks and getting familiar with the Disney cruise routine. We usually cruise every other year to take advantage of the On-board Booking Benefits (OBB). However, we went to Japan this summer instead and our OBB expired this August. So we went on a short 4-night cruise this January with one that had the lowest price during the winter school break. It’s extra money out to make an extra trip but we had a wonderful time. We love cruising with Disney! And we are booked for a Northern Europe cruise next August with the OBB. Actually the extra cruise costs more than the discount. To me it’s an excuse to cruise more with Disney and it feels better to get a discount on a Disney cruise.

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Go to the DCL website to get some quotes to see if the price is right for you. We had OBB 10% off on a 4-night cruise sailing out of Miami to the Bahamas on January 1 and the cost was about $2320 including taxes and the 10% discount. This was an Aft extended verandah room category 6A. An inside room should cost less. We were on the Disney Magic. The DCL Dream class ships usually cost more though. Hope this helps!

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More DCL cruising is always better than less, IMO!!  I agree with the suggestions above.   See if an on-board booking would be cheaper, Silver status will get you a slight edge on booking port adventures and on-board activities and you can just get the lay of the land with DCL and with the Dream class ships.

 

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We are frequent cruisers who took our first Disney cruise aboard the Fantasy 2 years ago. It was a 7 night western Caribbean cruise, In retrospect, I see little value in booking a short “trial” Disney Cruise in preparation for the longer one unless you’re a Disney fan who would enjoy sailing on them multiple times. As first time Disney cruisers, we booked through a TA that offered us onboard credit and cash back equivalent to 10% of our cruise fare which we received after we returned from the cruise. 

 

With previous cruising experience, and some advance research, there were very few surprises for us. We had a very enjoyable cruise and Disney did live up to our expectations. Customer Service and entertainment were definite highlights. Interestingly, our children (5 and 7 at the time) said that they much preferred the kids club on Royal Caribbean and MSC. This came as a shock to me since Disney’s kids club and activities are so elaborate and well thought out, and it was one of the selling factors. 

 

The only thing that I hated about our Disney Cruise was the fact that, even though we booked on the day that the sailing date opened for the general public, we were stuck with late dining and were never able to change it. All early dining times had already been snagged by Disney frequent cruisers who had booked during their pre-sale window. Even once onboard, we were placed on a wait list for early dinner which never materialized. The rotating dining concept may be clever, but we absolutely hated being tied to a fixed late dining time. We are flexible time kinda people. This was the only negative surprise. Never, in all of my years of cruising, have I’ve been stuck with a dining time that I didn’t want, and more when booking so far in advance.

 

But overall, we had a great 1st Disney Cruise and I’m glad that we had a chance to experience what this cruise lune is about. They definitely offer a great product. But to be brutally honest, we didn’t think that the cruise experience delivered justified the cost, not even remotely. A large percentage of the cruise fare is for Disney pixie dust. If you’re a Disney fan, you may consider every extra penny spent well worth it. If not, then you may feel like I do. Taking the Disney element out, we have experienced similar or better quality aboard other cruise lines at a fraction of the price. But then we have friends who love everything Disney and will only sail on them no matter what. They have never sailed on any other cruise line. We tried to convince them to join us in February 2020 on a 7 night cruise on another cruise line, but they are instead choosing to pay 3 times as much to go on a 5 night Disney Cruise. Go figure. 

 

I’m sure you’ll have a great time, on your first Disney Cruise, but once again, I don’t see the need to spend money on a trial cruise, specially if you’ll be spending considerably more than for a comparable short cruise on another cruise line. 

 

 

 

Edited by Tapi

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Took a 4 day Dream about 8 years ago for granddaughter and family who had never been on a cruise before.  They were disappointed in how fast the cruise went.  We took them on their second a couple of years later 7 day Fantasy.  They enjoyed it MUCH more.  As long time cruisers we also didn't like the short cruise anywhere near as much.

 

Unless you can get a really good rate it wouldn't make any sense to us to take a short Disney again.  Can take two short or one week on either Royal or Princess for the same price.  And rotational dining on a short cruise is just confusing.

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