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Cruiser1969
06-24-2007, 08:32 PM
Hi!! I'm considering taking a 3-day Disney cruise next August. I know already that DCL is the not the best use of points and that is not my concern for this thread.

My questions:

Is there a certain stratgegy for booking cruises regarding timeline?

With the stiff cancellation penalties, is it wiser to wait until let's say about 6 months out or less to book, or will I be faced with restricted booking opportunities?

Is there only a certain number of DVC rooms available on each cruise, or are the rooms available the same inventory as cash reservations?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.:flower3:

CarolAnnC
06-24-2007, 09:15 PM
The nice thing about booking DCL with DVC points is that whether you book 11 months of 1 month ahead, your points will not change. If you book with cash you will be subject to booking tiers with the best price the sooner you book.

As far as inventory, it will vary. For example, I booked my Mediterranean cruise last November and although I had to book cat 6 and cat 11 as guarantee staterooms - there actually was available inventory on the DCL website. The DVC allowed rooms were in short supply though. Guarantee category means you are not assigned a room until closer to the trip and you will have at least the category you booked. You cannot choose your stateroom, however, only the category.

Here are the penalties.
Notice of Cancellation - Penalty per person

90+ days - all reservation points returned to appropriate use year or 100% of cash payment made.

89-45 days - 60 reservation points or $500 of the cash payment made.

44-8 days - 50% of reservation points or of the cash payment made

7-0 days - No refund

Cruiser1969
06-25-2007, 12:57 PM
Thanks for your reply . . . Is it standard practice to be given a guaranteed room, or was this just your experience when booking your cruise?

When you say "the DVC rooms were in short supply," does that mean that there is a separate DVC inventory and when those DVC rooms are all gone, a room cannot be booked with points?

I want to be able to book closer to the date but I don't want to risk not getting a room.

Thanks

dvcbrad
06-25-2007, 03:29 PM
Here are the penalties.
Notice of Cancellation - Penalty per person

90+ days - all reservation points returned to appropriate use year or 100% of cash payment made.

89-45 days - 60 reservation points or $500 of the cash payment made.

44-8 days - 50% of reservation points or of the cash payment made

7-0 days - No refund

Since we've been considering a cruise early next year with points, I'd like to point out there's actually a slighlty different schedule posted on the DVC member website. I'd cut & paste, but not sure if that's allowable, so anyone considering a cruise should check under Managing Reservations before they book. Here's another important point (no pun intended!) to keep in mind when booking DCL with points though, and that it that " restored points will be will be returned to the Use Year in which the reservation falls" and "restored reservation points may not be used for Disney Vacation Club Resorts or Interval International exchanges and will expire at the end of the Use Year." In other words, if one borrowed points to go on a cruise, and then cancelled, they'd have a 'boat load' of points to use up before the end of the Use Year in which they were going to cruise ... without being able to do it at a DVC resort! That could be difficult to do.

Dean
06-25-2007, 08:45 PM
As for strategy, here's one I've seen but not used for DCL points reservations. I have used the principle's for other travel ideas including DCL cash. It goes something like this. You book a cash room now and pay the deposit. As you approach the cancellation deadline, you determine if you're still going to make the trip. If you are, you make the reservation on points and you cancel your cash reservation. The risk is that you may not be able to get a reservations on points. But even then you could always rent them out to cover the costs if you go stuck. The benefit is you haven't risked your points and only have tied up the cash amount of the deposit.

I use this general idea for timeshare exchanges not infrequently. For example, we are going to HI in early 2008. I put in for an exchange through II. Once I had a week on Maui, I then altered my exchange requests to the week before and after the week I had already. I also made a Marriott points reservation at one of their hotels both the week before and the week aftery but could have done the same thing with hotel or condo rentals. Once I had the air fare set on FF miles, I altered my requests again to match our air travel dates. I later received a confirmation for an exchange through II matching my dates and will cancel the Marriott points hotel reservations. For DCL, we reserved on cash with the idea of canceling if a FL resident discount didn't come through. It did and I saved $600 over the early booking price plus got both the Disney Visa on board credit AND the AAA on board credit and free soda's (they were free then only with meals).

Cruiser1969
06-28-2007, 08:38 AM
Since we've been considering a cruise early next year with points, I'd like to point out there's actually a slighlty different schedule posted on the DVC member website. I'd cut & paste, but not sure if that's allowable, so anyone considering a cruise should check under Managing Reservations before they book. Here's another important point (no pun intended!) to keep in mind when booking DCL with points though, and that it that " restored points will be will be returned to the Use Year in which the reservation falls" and "restored reservation points may not be used for Disney Vacation Club Resorts or Interval International exchanges and will expire at the end of the Use Year." In other words, if one borrowed points to go on a cruise, and then cancelled, they'd have a 'boat load' of points to use up before the end of the Use Year in which they were going to cruise ... without being able to do it at a DVC resort! That could be difficult to do.

Thank you for you response. This is exactly why I need to know how close to my dates I can book and still get a room . . . I want to be sure this is what we want before I risk my points on a cruise!!

So, the question remains . . . is there separate DVC room inventory or will I be able to book inside of the 7 month window?
Does anyone who has booked a DCL vacation with DVC points know? :confused3

Is it standard to be given a guarantee room with DVC point cruises?

TIA

Cruiser1969
06-28-2007, 08:44 AM
As for strategy, here's one I've seen but not used for DCL points reservations. I have used the principle's for other travel ideas including DCL cash. It goes something like this. You book a cash room now and pay the deposit. As you approach the cancellation deadline, you determine if you're still going to make the trip. If you are, you make the reservation on points and you cancel your cash reservation. The risk is that you may not be able to get a reservations on points. But even then you could always rent them out to cover the costs if you go stuck. The benefit is you haven't risked your points and only have tied up the cash amount of the deposit.

This is a great idea, and I think I will do this when I know for certain that I want to go on a specific cruise!! For now, I am playing around with different vacation scenarios and don't know for sure which cruise will work for me.

The bolded part of your post is my main concern now . . . what is the concensus for "cutting it too close" and not being able to find a room on DCL:confused3

Anthony1971
06-28-2007, 09:45 AM
If your main concern is booking on points then you should book as soon as possible I know DVC does have travel insurance now I am not sure what it covers and how it works but you may want to consider it. I have purchased insurance on cruises paying cash and we did need to use it one time.... you may wnat to give MS a call and see if it can be apllied to DCL the price and what it covers.. Or if anyone knows????

dvcbrad
06-28-2007, 09:49 AM
Thank you for you response. This is exactly why I need to know how close to my dates I can book and still get a room . . . I want to be sure this is what we want before I risk my points on a cruise!!

So, the question remains . . . is there separate DVC room inventory or will I be able to book inside of the 7 month window?
Does anyone who has booked a DCL vacation with DVC points know? :confused3

Is it standard to be given a guarantee room with DVC point cruises?

TIA

We've taken two cruises using our points - and had a guaranteed room both times (2003 & 2005). Don't know if they still do it that way, but I've never seen anything in these forums that would lead me to believe otherwise.

As to specific inventory for DVC points, I don't know that answer, but I always had the impression - maybe right, maybe wrong - that there is no specific DVC-type inventory, and that a DVC "exchange" for the DCL can always be done - as long as there's availability on the cruise in general. I'd like to know the definitive answer to that question myself if anyone has it, though!

jodifla
06-28-2007, 02:16 PM
Since we've been considering a cruise early next year with points, I'd like to point out there's actually a slighlty different schedule posted on the DVC member website. I'd cut & paste, but not sure if that's allowable, so anyone considering a cruise should check under Managing Reservations before they book. Here's another important point (no pun intended!) to keep in mind when booking DCL with points though, and that it that " restored points will be will be returned to the Use Year in which the reservation falls" and "restored reservation points may not be used for Disney Vacation Club Resorts or Interval International exchanges and will expire at the end of the Use Year." In other words, if one borrowed points to go on a cruise, and then cancelled, they'd have a 'boat load' of points to use up before the end of the Use Year in which they were going to cruise ... without being able to do it at a DVC resort! That could be difficult to do.


Really, I didn't know this. What CAN you use the points for then?

dvcbrad
06-28-2007, 03:14 PM
Really, I didn't know this. What CAN you use the points for then?

Good question ... I would guess for any of the exchanges - Disney Collection, World Passport, etc. I think it basically means anywhere other than 'your seven Disney Vacation Club resorts' (or does it say eight now?)

Dean
06-28-2007, 06:34 PM
This is a great idea, and I think I will do this when I know for certain that I want to go on a specific cruise!! For now, I am playing around with different vacation scenarios and don't know for sure which cruise will work for me.

The bolded part of your post is my main concern now . . . what is the concensus for "cutting it too close" and not being able to find a room on DCL:confused3The problem appears to be that DCL only gets so many spots so there could easily be an open cabin but you couldn't get it with points. As long as your prepared to go on cash, you should be OK. If there's no way you will go on cash, no reason to go through the exercise.

Dean
06-28-2007, 06:36 PM
Good question ... I would guess for any of the exchanges - Disney Collection, World Passport, etc. I think it basically means anywhere other than 'your seven Disney Vacation Club resorts' (or does it say eight now?)they are reservation points and can be used for CC, DCL, DC and the like but not for DVC resorts or II/BCTC exchanges.