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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Disney Cruise Line: Getting Started

So, you're thinking about taking a Disney cruise on the Disney cruise line? Great idea! I highly recommend this form of travel. You will be surprised by how much money you can actually save versus a regular vacation, and you and your spouse can get time to yourself while the kids are endlessly entertained. There really is something for everything.

This is a guide to help you get started, and give you some tips on how to save money and have the most enjoyable experience possible. I would like this guide to be as brief and intuitive as possible, as in my experience most people posting advice on the web simply give way to much of it. So here are some general tips:

1) Plan ahead!

This is the most important part of saving money. If you plan far enough in advance you will find that there are loads of dates during off-peak season where you can save a lot of money. At Disney Main Street we keep an updated list of all of the Magical Rates Disney cruises. Check in frequently to see the best upcoming deals.

2) Use a travel agent

By using a Disney Specialist travel agent you can keep up to date on upcoming deals and often get rebates of up to $200 off already discounted prices. Make sure you don't go to just any Disney travel agent, go to a Disney Specialist. They are the only ones who have actually gone on these cruises and will be loaded with the best advice. For a great agent try out Small World Vacations (CLICK HERE).

3) Disney's Land and Sea Vacation

Want to save money on a complete Disney vacation? With Disney's Land and Sea Vacation package you can actually spend the first few days at Walt Disney World and then wind down with the last few days on a cruise. This is a great way to travel, though if you have never been on a cruise before you may want to just take the cruise first. This way you don't spend the Disney World portion of your vacation nervous about the cruise.

4) Do your on-board activities planning before you leave

Disney cruise line offers online options where you can book all of your on-board activities before you board. So things like Palo (the adults-only restaurant), excursion, the spa, Disney Kid's club, can all be secured and reserved in advance. CLICK HERE for more information.

5) Secret Porthole Staterooms

Here's a great little secret: if you want an outside room (ocean view) for inside view prices check out Secret Porthole Staterooms. They are sold as category 10 rooms (inside) but actually have a view (for more information on categories CLICK HERE).

A note about these: the view is often not that great depending on how much equipment is obstructing the port hole. Also, sometimes they are directly underneath the night club or restaurant leading to some unwanted noise. There is also the possibility of having a light on all night outside the porthole, so you will want to close the curtain really tight. On the flip side, there is little foot traffic in this areas so less extra noise, and they are also located near all of the kids' activities.

Ask your travel agent about these, or ask for cabins 5020, 5520, 5022 and 5024 (connected), 5522 and 5524 (connected). Book well in advance as these tend to go quick!

6) Saving money with larger families

If you want to save some money and have a family of four or five, don't get the "Deluxe Family Stateroom" (which will undoubtedly be suggested to you). Get two category 9 or 10 rooms that connect. This will save you A LOT of money.

For a virtual tour of the ships CLICK HERE.

And that's a great place to start! If you want more detailed information contact a travel agent, and stay tuned for more information coming soon on this blog. Happy vacationing!

Disney Cruise Line: Getting Started

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