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KuffMUp

No Excursions for Newbies?

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We have been on quite a few cruises but first with Disney.  We looked at what excursions we might be able to do with the grandkids.  The excursion booking is now available. We signed on first thing this morning.  Unfortunately everything is sold out (well anything we can do with a 3 and 9 year old).   A coworker said she heard from others that new cruisers to Disney get to book their excursions last.  That the more you cruise with Disney, the sooner you can book excursions.  It sure seems to be that way since everything says in red letters SOLD OUT.  Is it really true or did everyone on the ship book everything this morning?  I am used to Royal Caribbean's website being on the fritz more often than not.  Is this an Internet problem or is it that the excursions are released early for some cruisers?

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17 minutes ago, KuffMUp said:

We have been on quite a few cruises but first with Disney.  We looked at what excursions we might be able to do with the grandkids.  The excursion booking is now available. We signed on first thing this morning.  Unfortunately everything is sold out (well anything we can do with a 3 and 9 year old).   A coworker said she heard from others that new cruisers to Disney get to book their excursions last.  That the more you cruise with Disney, the sooner you can book excursions.  It sure seems to be that way since everything says in red letters SOLD OUT.  Is it really true or did everyone on the ship book everything this morning?  I am used to Royal Caribbean's website being on the fritz more often than not.  Is this an Internet problem or is it that the excursions are released early for some cruisers?

Yes, the higher your loyalty status (Castaway Club) on DCL, the earlier you can book, making many excursions "sold out" early.

 

That being said, unlike most cruiselines, DCL does not require payment for excursions until you actually board the ship, so many people will book excursions "just in case" and then cancel them before the penalty date (3 days prior to cruise).  

 

I suggest checking frequently for those cancelled excursions.  And, if one opens (even if it's for a lower number of people than you have) book it.  And keep checking to see if you can add the rest of your party later.  If that doesn't work, you can cancel just prior to the penalty date and not lose any money.  Or you can keep the reservations you have and check once onboard if any more spaces have opened up.

 

 

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Just so you know, the Disney frequent cruise loyalty program is called Castaway Club. There are different levels and different perks for each of the levels. One of the main perks is the online checkin , port arrival time and excursion booking

 

Bookings open at midnight Orlando time. 

You need to be Paid In Full to access the online check-in and activity bookings. Paid In Full date is 94 days before cruise departure date  

Platinum Level - Starts after 10th completed cruise
126 days before cruise departure date 

Gold Level - Starts after 5th completed cruise
110 days before cruise departure date 

Silver Level - Starts after 1st completed cruise
95 days before cruise departure date

New Cruiser
80 days before cruise departure date

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I believe your dates are wrong. It should be:

 

Platinum Level - Starts after 10th completed cruise
120 days before cruise departure date 

Gold Level - Starts after 5th completed cruise
105 days before cruise departure date 

Silver Level - Starts after 1st completed cruise
90 days before cruise departure date

New Cruiser
75 days before cruise departure date

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9 hours ago, gometros said:

I believe your dates are wrong. It should be:

 

Platinum Level - Starts after 10th completed cruise
120 days before cruise departure date 

Gold Level - Starts after 5th completed cruise
105 days before cruise departure date 

Silver Level - Starts after 1st completed cruise
90 days before cruise departure date

New Cruiser
75 days before cruise departure date

Correct.

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Thanks for your replies.  Still trying but no luck yet.  We really wanted to take the grandsons to the character breakfast.  We are less at 51 days out (tickers on my signature isn't working).  So, I will keep checking online but I doubt at this point anyone is going to be cancelling.  Probably will have to wait till on board.  Do they keep a waitlist so we don't have to check incessantly on board?

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On 11/30/2019 at 4:24 PM, SoBaycruiser said:

Are most kids accompanied by a parent at the character breakfast or just the younger ones?

Yes, children need to be accompanied by an adult at the character breakfasts just as they would at lunch or dinner.  

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On 10/18/2019 at 1:00 AM, KuffMUp said:

Thanks for your replies.  Still trying but no luck yet.  We really wanted to take the grandsons to the character breakfast.  We are less at 51 days out (tickers on my signature isn't working).  So, I will keep checking online but I doubt at this point anyone is going to be cancelling.  Probably will have to wait till on board.  Do they keep a waitlist so we don't have to check incessantly on board?

 

Try booking the character breakfast for only part of your party.  DH and I wanted to go and try it  (no kids) and I had to book it at 9:40 and then I had to book him at 9:50.  When we showed up we told them we would like to sit together. LOL  You may only be able to book it for one of you and one grand child, then when you get on board you can see if they might be able to accommodate the rest of the party. 

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3 minutes ago, Bonnie1222 said:

 

Try booking the character breakfast for only part of your party.  DH and I wanted to go and try it  (no kids) and I had to book it at 9:40 and then I had to book him at 9:50.  When we showed up we told them we would like to sit together. LOL  You may only be able to book it for one of you and one grand child, then when you get on board you can see if they might be able to accommodate the rest of the party. 

I'd say OP has already departed.  She said they were less than 51 days out on Oct 17.  That would be Dec 6th.

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40 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

I'd say OP has already departed.  She said they were less than 51 days out on Oct 17.  That would be Dec 6th.

 

The information is still helpful if someone else reads it.

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Thinking about booking a 4 day Disney cruise on the Magic, but!  We can only book 75 days out, and only a “chance” grandkids will do the events important to them?!  How small or big a chance? 

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3 hours ago, sa4 said:

Thinking about booking a 4 day Disney cruise on the Magic, but!  We can only book 75 days out, and only a “chance” grandkids will do the events important to them?!  How small or big a chance? 

Generally, a pretty good chance.  What events are you talking about?

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I do not think shore excursions should be provided to loyalty first.

It sends a negative message to new customers.

I do not believe other lines do this.

And DCL should have  bigger quantity of excursions to give newbies a chance too.

Otherwise why even try DCL in the first place.

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23 minutes ago, Oceansaway17 said:

I do not think shore excursions should be provided to loyalty first.

It sends a negative message to new customers.

I do not believe other lines do this.

And DCL should have  bigger quantity of excursions to give newbies a chance too.

Otherwise why even try DCL in the first place.

Have you cruised on DCL?

 

Even when we were new DCL cruisers, we were able to get all the excursions we wanted.  Now, maybe, we don't go for the more in demand excursions, I don't know.  But there certainly seems to be a large enough variety/availability to me.

 

As to returning cruisers getting that perk, that's part of the loyalty perk on DCL.  Each cruise line sets their loyalty perks as they deem productive.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shmoo here said:

Have you cruised on DCL?

 

Even when we were new DCL cruisers, we were able to get all the excursions we wanted.  Now, maybe, we don't go for the more in demand excursions, I don't know.  But there certainly seems to be a large enough variety/availability to me.

 

As to returning cruisers getting that perk, that's part of the loyalty perk on DCL.  Each cruise line sets their loyalty perks as they deem productive.  

 

 

 

Yes I have and did not do any tours. I enjoyed the ship since it was so dang expensive but wanted to try.

Can you imagine if WDW opened up fastpasses to the high end hotels first?

 

BUT on this forum shore excursions seems to be a topic I see popping up more often.

 

I dont think perks should ever include early tour bookings. Either that or DCL doesnt book enough to allow for all passengers equal chance.

I did encounter on my 2nd DCL cruise way more return passengers than I have on other lines. And some of them were a bit haughty too saying never any other line would do besides DCL. Thst in itself is sad.

 

Of course each line has return passengers but I feel DCL does have a larger amount and justifies very high prices that frankly a lot of folks do not accept and say no to DCL. I hsve tried twice knowing their rules. I think selling new releases by order of loyalty is wonderful, but I stop short of including shore excursions

 

One might feel that it could take years to move up in pecking order. 

 

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On 12/21/2019 at 10:23 PM, Bonnie1222 said:

 

Try booking the character breakfast for only part of your party.  DH and I wanted to go and try it  (no kids) and I had to book it at 9:40 and then I had to book him at 9:50.  When we showed up we told them we would like to sit together. LOL  You may only be able to book it for one of you and one grand child, then when you get on board you can see if they might be able to accommodate the rest of the party. 

 

Sorry to "hijack" the thread, but I had a question about booking "part" of the group.  Well, a few questions.

So we're all newbies, except for ONE person who had ONE prior Disney Cruise.

 

Party1 - dad & wife (wife is silver Castaway)

Party 2 - sister, husband, 2 kids

Party 3 - me and buddy

 

Party 2 would like to schedule one of those character breakfast/lunches for each child.  Given that we're traveling on Fantasy in January, it's high season with bigger ship.

 

How would one go about trying to book at the 90 days out for the kids to do the breakfast/lunch thingy?

 

I've only ever done bookings like when we were at Disney last year so I could book for others, so not sure if I can book for the Silver person, or if she has to login and book as herself to get the 90-day part?

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by mjonis

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3 hours ago, mjonis said:

 

Sorry to "hijack" the thread, but I had a question about booking "part" of the group.  Well, a few questions.

So we're all newbies, except for ONE person who had ONE prior Disney Cruise.

 

Party1 - dad & wife (wife is silver Castaway)

Party 2 - sister, husband, 2 kids

Party 3 - me and buddy

 

Party 2 would like to schedule one of those character breakfast/lunches for each child.  Given that we're traveling on Fantasy in January, it's high season with bigger ship.

 

How would one go about trying to book at the 90 days out for the kids to do the breakfast/lunch thingy?

 

I've only ever done bookings like when we were at Disney last year so I could book for others, so not sure if I can book for the Silver person, or if she has to login and book as herself to get the 90-day part?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Sorry, I am not sure.  I have only ever booked for me and DH.

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4 hours ago, mjonis said:

 

Sorry to "hijack" the thread, but I had a question about booking "part" of the group.  Well, a few questions.

So we're all newbies, except for ONE person who had ONE prior Disney Cruise.

 

Party1 - dad & wife (wife is silver Castaway)

Party 2 - sister, husband, 2 kids

Party 3 - me and buddy

 

Party 2 would like to schedule one of those character breakfast/lunches for each child.  Given that we're traveling on Fantasy in January, it's high season with bigger ship.

 

How would one go about trying to book at the 90 days out for the kids to do the breakfast/lunch thingy?

 

I've only ever done bookings like when we were at Disney last year so I could book for others, so not sure if I can book for the Silver person, or if she has to login and book as herself to get the 90-day part?

 

Thanks in advance!

The room that has the Silver CC member in it can book activities at 90 days, for those people in THAT room.  First time DCL cruisers can book activities at 75 days out.

 

The only way that the Silver CC member could book the kids for any activities at 90 days is if the 2 kids were registered in that room.  

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Thanks Shmoo for the reply/info.

Guess we'll just take chances at the 75 days out, which sounds like pretty much everything will be booked (if I'm reading other posts correctly). But fingers crossed.

 

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14 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

The room that has the Silver CC member in it can book activities at 90 days, for those people in THAT room.  First time DCL cruisers can book activities at 75 days out.

 

The only way that the Silver CC member could book the kids for any activities at 90 days is if the 2 kids were registered in that room.  

 

Picking up on what Shmoo says, what a lot of people do is register the parties in the one room with the highest status and then once on board, rearrange the rooms to the way you really want it to be.  Another use for this is Platinum cruisers who want to take advantage of the free Palo Perk. Let's say couple a is platinum and they are traveling with two adult children who are not.  They would book two rooms with each member of couple A registering for a room and splitting the adult children. Once onboard, they move the people around so that couple A is in one room and the adult children in the other room. 

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