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View Full Version : Confirmed! Book Land/Sea Separately


felixdacat
03-20-2004, 09:38 AM
14 months ago, long before I found these boards, I booked a Land/Sea vacation for April 04.
My wife and I just figured that there would be conveniences in doing it all together. The only convenience is for Disney, not the guest. So far, the only positives have been my ability to get the cabins I wanted, and a small 'early booking' savings.
There have been numerous posts in this forum saying that you would save money by doing them separately. But itís much more than that.
You probably could save some money by just booking the land portion and the cruise by themselves. You can save even more by not being stuck with the level of resort that Disney decides you need for your cabin category.
My first hint that there were any problems was when I wanted to confirm a room at the Polynesian. They will not assign rooms to Land/Sea clients. You can only put in a room request with your reservation, and then fax them another request a week before checking in. What I understand is that they prefer to put all the Land/Sea guests in the same building (only garden view available) so that itís easier to collect the luggage for the transfer to the ship. However, I'm driving down, so there is no need for me to have these transfers.
If I had booked the 3 day stay at the Poly separately, I could have chosen lagoon view rooms.
The next problem is the Park Hopper passes. The Land/Sea guests get a type of pass that is not upgradeable. If you book the hotel separately, you can upgrade to a park pass that allows you reserved seating at the park shows.
Yesterday was the final straw. I went to my TA to pick up my documents. While there I wanted to add transfers to one of the bookings (I booked this vacation for 6 adults and 4 children). I also wanted to add the Romantic Escape at Sea package ($299) to my reservation. Disney refused to do it.
They said that because I purchased a Land/Sea vacation, the only option was for me to purchase the more expensive Romantic package ($599). Now, both last yearís brochure and their new one say that Land/Sea vacations can add on the REAS. They claimed it was a typo (two years in a row?). My TA went to a supervisor, and then a higher level manager, but they all refused to do it.
The good news is that she then contacted their Disney rep and they were able to add it to my vacation (although this will not be confirmed till Monday.
I can see no clear advantages for booking a Land/Sea vacation the way Disney wants you to. There have been numerous problems.
Take my advice, book them separately.

videogal1
03-20-2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by felixdacat

Yesterday was the final straw. I went to my TA to pick up my documents. While there I wanted to add transfers to one of the bookings

( I also wanted to add the Romantic Escape at Sea package ($299) to my reservation. Disney refused to do it.
They said that because I purchased a Land/Sea vacation, the only option was for me to purchase the more expensive Romantic package ($599). Now, both last yearís brochure and their new one say that Land/Sea vacations can add on the REAS. They claimed it was a typo (two years in a row?). My TA went to a supervisor, and then a higher level manager, but they all refused to do it.
The good news is that she then contacted their Disney rep and they were able to add it to my vacation (although this will not be confirmed till Monday.


That's very odd. I talked to my land/sea travel agent yesterday about adding a Romantic Escapades $299 to my solo land/sea reservation and could have done so...(I ended up not because of not having more than one sea day in which to take part in two massages...Unless my service dog got one of them.....) The TA didn't seem to have any problem with it...
I agree with your final advice to book land and sea separately, though....much more flexibility.

kelskars
03-20-2004, 10:52 AM
Could you tell me a little more about booking the land/sea package separately. I have booked a 3 day cruise 4 day land package for next year. We were able to book a room at the AKL for on land and a secret porthole cabin for the cruise. I included insurance in my package but I didn't include transfers. I have figured it separtely numerous time and I can't figure out how to get it cheaper by doing it separately. Is there a step I'm missing? Trust me if I can save any money I will do it.


Thanks for the advice.

two-foxes
03-20-2004, 11:05 AM
To each their own....

We booked the land/sea for our first cruise and it was perfect for us. We wanted the easiest trip with the least hassle and this package delivered it. We had no problems with our resort choices or any add ons (the included the silver package at that time). We knew we wanted a cat 6 stateroom and a deluxe on land so that cooridinated perfectly; all transportation is taken care of, as is lugguge pickup (we left it outside our resort room the morning of our sail date and we didn't have to deal with it until we saw it in our stateroom later that day.)

Ultimately, for some the land/sea package is perfect...it offers it all in one tidy package, one booking, one payment, one check in. We loved it. That being said, for some who want a cat 6 stateroom and a value resort with PHP's, it isn't for you. Or if you do not want to stay at the offered resorts, it isn't for you. Even if Disney made a few bucks off us, we were more than happy with the ease, offerings and overall value of our land/sea package. It was a heck of a lot less planning for us, and it allowed us more time to enjoy our vacation.

See what works out best for you when planning your cruise...take everthing into consideration, but for some the package will be the way to go.

NCRedding
03-20-2004, 11:09 AM
kelskars: I think alot of it depends upon when you are travelling. When we did the land/sea, I would have had to gotten the Poly for less than $100 per night to save money booking it myself. I think the lowest I've seen the Poly was $109 for SOG overflow, and those who were bumped from a moderate. The code rates for the Poly were about $169 per night. We loved having the UMPs for the trip. We flew in a day early, and then checked in at the Poly early, so we were at Epcot by 9:00. We also did MK the last day, and had a chance to visit some waterparks. I guess I am saying "trust your instincts--you probably are doing it right"

felixdacat: I hadn/t heard about upgradeable passes with reserved seating--where did you find out this info and how much is it?

Belle's Castle
03-20-2004, 12:01 PM
We had the same problem with REAS. Good luck on getting it worked out but I would not hold your breath. My SIL is a travel agent and she could not pull it off. We are doing the $599 package.......I agreed to it because my fiance really wants the whole thing for our honeymoon. Now, time for me to think of something I really want. Hmm...... (I love compromise)

felixdacat
03-21-2004, 10:06 AM
Thanks to all for their comments.
I would like to summarize my feedback to the other posters in one post.
1- I believe that if you are booking during a peak period, there is no savings in doing the Land/Sea separately if you want the level of land resort that the package gives you. There have been numerous postings about money savings in booking Land/Sea separately in these boards and I would suggest a search to find out more details.
The main savings seem to be in booking them separately for non-peak times, or by going to a less expensive resort (which Disney does not allow if you book land/sea together) or by doing the land portion at a hotel that is not on the Disney property.
2- Thanks to the poster who confirmed that Disney is saying "no can do" to the REAS if you booked a Land/Sea together. At this point I only have the word of my TA that they will 'allow' me to purchase the package.
I only wanted the REAS as a present for my wife. Since we are traveling with family the land portion of the more expensive Romance package would not have appreciated. Basically, it feels that Disney was just trying to grab an extra $300 from my wallet.
3- The only real advantages I can see with the Land/Sea are utilizing the transfers and the one stop check in for both hotel and cruise.
I'm not using the transfers, and my guess would be that if I had booked the package separately, I still could have checked in to the cruise at the hotel, as long as it was a Disney property.
4- If the 'exact' Land/sea package is what you're looking for, then you should go ahead and book them together.
My complaint is not even being allowed the option of getting what you want.
There are park hopper passes that allow you reserved seating at the shows. They do exist (They may be called Passport Plus). Itís just that Land/Sea guests are not allowed to purchase them.
There are lagoon view rooms at the Polynesian. But Land/Sea guests are not allowed the option of spending more to reserve them. If I just happen to have chosen a week where the hotel is not full, and they happen to have lagoon view available, and if they are so inclined to accommodate me, then maybe I'll get lucky and get what I want.
You can bet that when I walk into the Poly in 5 weeks, I will inquire about the reserved seating passes and the lagoon view rooms. Maybe I will get everything I want. I just wish that I could just pay for what I want and not be left to the whims of Disney staff.

One more example of how inflexible the Land/Sea package is. Some people may want to do the cruise first, WDW second. NO can do with the Land/Sea. You have to do the park first.

This is the most elaborate (and expensive) vacation that I have ever planned. For the first time in my life I can afford to do something like this for my wife. I can't control if a kid gets sick or if it rains the day the ship pulls into Castaway Cay. But what I should be able to control, I want the option of being able to control. Let me decide if I should spend more money.
Thatís the most frustrating thing. They wanted $300 more for something I didn't want, and will not take my money for the things I do want.

kcashner
03-21-2004, 06:15 PM
As to how to save by booking separately, it depends totally on the season, what specials Disney may be offering (usually at the parks), and exactly what you will use. FOr instance, the land/sea includes the ultimate park hopper passes including the day you arrive and the day you sail. Will you go to the parks on those days? (There's no right answer--some people will, some won't?) If you won't, or if there are other features of the UPH pass that you won't use, it might be cheaper to buy Park Hopper Plus passes. Another thing we've done (again depending on which hotel, etc.) is to do "no park" days--like a day where we've just enjoyed the pool at Beach Club. If we have UPH, we've basically "wasted" a day of park admission, whereas if we have Park Hoppers, we have a day left over which never expires.

The advantage of land/sea is convenience. It's nice if you are a first timer, and/or if you really want and will use exactly that package. If there are things in the package that you won't use, you'll save $ doing it on your own. If WDW is in a slow season and offering hotel discounts, you can again save by booking separately. If you want to upgrade to something additional, you frequently can't do it on the land/sea package.

It's one of those things where each family has to decide...in part based on which counts more, convenience or $, convenience or choices.

mcorbo
03-22-2004, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by felixdacat

There are park hopper passes that allow you reserved seating at the shows. They do exist (They may be called Passport Plus). Itís just that Land/Sea guests are not allowed to purchase them.
There are lagoon view rooms at the Polynesian. But Land/Sea guests are not allowed the option of spending more to reserve them. If I just happen to have chosen a week where the hotel is not full, and they happen to have lagoon view available, and if they are so inclined to accommodate me, then maybe I'll get lucky and get what I want.
You can bet that when I walk into the Poly in 5 weeks, I will inquire about the reserved seating passes and the lagoon view rooms. Maybe I will get everything I want. I just wish that I could just pay for what I want and not be left to the whims of Disney staff.


There is no "pass" available that will allow you reserved seating at any shows. If you buy a Full Price Dream Maker package with the Disney Travel Company you get vouchers that entitle you to reserved seating (on an as available basis) for the fireworks and parades.

hydster
03-22-2004, 12:55 PM
When we went in Nov of 2002 it was MUCH cheaper for us to book the land/sea through Dreams Unlimited than it was for us to book it seperately. I think we actually saved about 550 dollars total and that was for the 5 of us in the Poly and then a family suite on the ship. Of course for us it was our first trip to WDW and on the Disney cruise so like two-foxes it was wonderful for us! I can see how it would be irritating however to not be able to upgrade, downgrade or change if you knew what you wanted. For us it was a better option of having it all in one place!

I'm very sorry felix that you are having those problems! We had the same kind of problems with RCCL once and trying to get them solved was a nightmare! I hope you have a good time no matter what!

Heidi

makaylee
03-22-2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by kcashner
FOr instance, the land/sea includes the ultimate park hopper passes including the day you arrive and the day you sail. Will you go to the parks on those days?



What a racket! Do they really expect people to go to the park on these days. I can see going for a while the day you arrive IF you fly in early, but going on the day you get on the ship. What a rip off! I don't care how convienient, I would never purchase a land/sea package. It seems it is usually more expensive and there are way too many restrictions. That whole REAS thing is a rip off, I cant believe they wont let people buy it...instead they make them pay $300 more for something they dont want....I dont think so! :mad:

NCRedding
03-22-2004, 06:24 PM
I didn't feel that I was getting "ripped off" by doing the land/sea package. We used our UMPS every day, including the first and last day, and I still managed to get on board ship in a timely fashion, and secure Palo reservations for exactly the day and time I wanted. As to the restrictions: you are purchasing a "package". There are set days for each phase of the package. If one does the homework, and decides that the package is right for them, so be it. I would not expect the cruise to shift dates for me because it would be more convenient to leave on a Friday, any more than I would expect the package to be changed because it is more convenient for me--IT IS A PACKAGE.

hydster
03-22-2004, 06:42 PM
NC-We didnt feel like we were getting ripped off either! We entered into the land/sea option KNOWING what the options were and what we received! I don't really understand what would make one feel like they were getting ripped off if they went in with any kind of knowledge of the package!


We too used our passes and went to AK the morning of the cruise, left about Noonish after we'd done everything we wanted to do and still got on the ship in plenty of time for a great lunch and some exploring. We knew going into it that our flight wouldnt arrive early enough the first day BUT the savings we received was great enough that it didnt matter!! We also knew we were going to go back after the cruise and that the money we saved by doing the land/sea together paid for the lost day when we arrived, the hotel cost after the cruise and park passes for 3 out of 5 of us.

I have no knowledge of the REAS package because I didnt check into it. And as far as getting a Lagoon View or a Standard View at the Poly I guess we just didnt care and weren't in the room long enough or often enough to mind where our room is. Of course we arent ones who have to always have the best of the best of the best and we actually preferred the POR over the Poly in every category!

I am totally in agreement with you NC---we found it convenient and it suited our needs and desires perfectly! We didnt find it to be a rip off nor did we get anything that we didnt want for an extra $300.00.

To each his own I guess but I'd do it again in a heartbeat if the price was right like it was when we priced it out.

two-foxes
03-22-2004, 08:39 PM
We also went to the parks the day we arrived at WDW (we flew in the night before and stayed at value for one night to get an early start and full benefits of our first day) and we enjoyed AK until noon on our sail date!

Who knew that so many sparky opinions would come out of an optional package! Like I said before...to each their own. That is why you research before booking so you can decide where your hard earned money is best spent!

Belle's Castle
03-22-2004, 08:46 PM
I have a quick question for someone...we have book the land and sea package (3 day land and 4 day sea), however we added four days onto the beginning of the trip to the land protion. So in reality we will stay at the AKL for 7 days and then cruise. That being said, in all of over pervious trips we have purchased the park hopper tickets. We found that these are the best tickets for our money. However with booking the land and sea package we are receiving the ultimate park hopper. Now I am not sure if I am thinking about this correctly but here is my question, this ticket appears to be almost worth the money. There are many times when we have thought about going into the parks just for the fireworks or for dinner and didn;t because it was a waste of a ticket. By using the ultimate park hopper we have that option on the day we arrive and don't feel we are wasting a ticket...This is just a though and my opinion. I guess I am just trying to ticket about the postive in the situation.

The second things is in regards to the Romance Plan. Now, if we were just doing the 3 day land than I would have to agree that the extra 300 dollars for the land portion is not worth the money because there is not the time. But because our land portion is 7 days it is a different story. First of all eating at a signature rest. could cost upwards of $150 dollars. We also wanted to go see Cirque del Sol (sp???). The better seats for this show are $89.00 x2 people. Now if my math is correct that alone is over $300.

As far as booking land and sea separatly...I would have to agree that for me it is worth it to pay a little more money to have everything taken care of for me. And this is only because I am planning a wedding and this trip is our honeymoon. I love everything that comes with planning a disney trip, but we have to much else going on with planning a wedding to take care of all the small details...So for me the package was worth the money...

So after the needless rambling...I have not actaully asked any question. I think I was just going through withdrawal for not psoting a question in 48 hours...

Just think no matter what the concern or problem is...disney will be what you make of it when you arrive...

kmc33
03-23-2004, 07:32 AM
I don't think you can generalize that it is better to book separately. As far as cost goes, it's not always cheaper (even though it might be the majority of the time). So, I think even when someone is looking for the cheapest way, they should price both separately.

When we went in April 2003, which was a peak time, my quote for the 4 day cruise was on the lines of $2000 for 3 of us. I had planned to book the hotel separately, but when I got that price, I also requested a land/sea quote and it was around $2100. I didn't even have to do the math to figure out that there was no point in pricing things separately. Now we only booked a few months in advance and the ship was filling up. That and the fact that it was spring break apparently contributed to the cruise only being so high. I even double checked to make sure the UPH were included because I couldn't believe there was only a $100 difference the in two quotes. So, at that point, it didn't even matter if we used the passes everyday. Although, we did decide to come the night before and add a one night hotel reservation so that we could go to the parks first thing on the first day of our package. Also, since we booked through DU we got a $75 rebate (I think it would have been $25 for cruise only). So, this brought the difference down to $50 between booking a 4 day cruise or a 7 day land/sea.

If we book another land and sea trip, I would price them separately again and I wouldn't hesitate to book the land/sea package if it were going to be cheaper than booking the components separately.

DutchsMommy
03-23-2004, 08:56 AM
It sounds like we are doing a similar trip. I originally started with the Land/Sea idea, and then decided that I wanted more time in WDW, so we are doing 6 nights WDW and 4 nights DCL in Feb of 2005. We opted for booking seperately, mainly because of the flexibility it offered - I couldn't decide btwn AKL and Poly, so we are doing 3 nights of each. I also decided that the UPH were a bit overboard for us, based on the time of year and our family (1 DS only 3 yo) that we wouldn't be doing any of the "extras" so we are going with 5 day PHs, and are planning on going to Boardwalk/DD our first day/night and starting our Hoppers the next day. We are going to go with a towncar for transfers (not 100% sure yet, but w/ DS, car seat, assorted kiddie junk, I think it might be less stressful to go this way. So....basically this worked for us, but to each his own. The only thing I was thinking when I read your post was to remember to check for discounts, codes etc for your AKL stay that is outside the Land/Sea so you don't pay rack on that portion, if at all possible. I have every finger and toe crossed that we can get a really nice discount for our travel in February.

Mysticalbeauty3
03-26-2004, 09:39 AM
Personally i think booking land/sea together is the best thing and easiest thing for the guests. Disney does everything for you so you have no worries. They provide all transportation to airports to disney to the ship etc. they pick you up even at different parks so you dont have to go out and find a taxi. Believe me riding the disney bus and watching the movies on the way passes the time more quickly than in another form of transportation. Also when booking together all disney cruise guests stay in the same part of the disney resort ( well in the poylnesian anyways). But i think a vacation is for relaxation and no worries disney provides this well.

mmouse37
03-26-2004, 10:12 AM
We have done it both ways and the separately worked out better for us....but, as said before....it is a personal decision and a lot depends on the time of year.

The only thing that really bothers me about the land/sea is that food is not included....now that would really be a no brainer to book the land/sea.

Hint...for those doing the land/sea package....IMO it is better to book 3 days in the park and 4 days on the ship because you get another day of food (cruise) included in the price.

MJ

makaylee
03-26-2004, 10:34 AM
Sorry to have upset you. I guess what I should have said is that the package would not be for me. The main thing that gets me is the REAS thing. Its not included in the package so I dont see why DCL cant let people have this instead making them pay for the more expensive one.

two-foxes
03-26-2004, 10:52 AM
Back in 02, they offered the option of adding either the gold or silver dream maker add ons to the land portion of the trip. We did the silver (our favorite!) and we used all our wishes for meals. Doing that, we definitely got our $$ worth with the add ons. (We also added on a few pounds that trip!) Since 02, Disney has stopped offering the add ons with the land portion...and they have increased the amount of 2 wish restaurants, making the plan not such a great value.....but this is a subject for another board, I suppose!

felixdacat
04-02-2004, 02:49 PM
Just an update.
I started this thread on 3/20. Today is 4/2 and I finally got a call from my TA confirming that they were able to add the REAS to my itinerary. She said she worked with somebody named Linda over at Disney. She hasn't yet confirmed my Palo & Spa reservations but I'm not too worried.
Those who have been told the same thing, take this as advice to fight for what you want. In another thread, a member of this board had a theory that the REAS is getting too popular and making it more difficult then ever to make Palo & Spa reservations, especially for those who do it onboard, and that is why Disney is tightening up on selling them. Sounds to me like a strong possibility of the truth.
I realize that some people disagree with the overall concept that booking the Land/Sea separately is better. However, both the Passporter book and the "General" consensus of these boards is that it is better for you. I never meant to imply that it is always better.
If you are flying into Orlando and want to take advantage of the transfers, if you like the idea of a one stop check in for both hotel and cruise, if the choice of resorts and their accommodations that come with it are acceptable to you, and if you are vacationing during a peak period, then the Land/Sea package would be right to you. My guess would be that these factors would account for a minimum of 25% of the people who look into the Land/Sea and perhaps as great as 45%.
I fall into the percentage that feels the package is too restrictive. I used to be in sales, and there is an old clichť about "Leaving Money on the Table". That is what Disney is doing. If at the time of my purchase of the package, when I requested Lagoon View rooms at the Poly, I was offered a guarantee of Lagoon View for an additional $120 a room (Lagoon View is usually $40 a night additional), I would have had a decision to make. Do I spend the extra money and guarantee it, or since itís off peak, do I wait and see if any are available. Since my 5 year old is in love with anything 'Princess', and would lose her mind to wake up to Cinderellaís castle each morning, I probably would have spent the money.
I will probably have a wonderful time no matter how this plays out. I'll give a full report when I get back (cruise ends on 5/6). I just find that most companies that give their customer the freedom to decide how to spend their money make more money. Considering some of Disney's recent issues, perhaps being more flexible could help.

two-foxes
04-02-2004, 06:10 PM
felix-
looks like your cruise time is coming up soon! You have done your homework, the money is spent, now just enjoy! I am glad to hear it worked out in your favor with the REAS! This will be an awesome trip for you! Enjoy, don't stress, and give us a report on how the REAS worked out when you get back!

Happy cruising!

talicskai
04-02-2004, 08:40 PM
could someone please decode REAS for me?
Thanks!

Hygiene99
04-03-2004, 07:14 AM
ROMANTIC ESCAPE AT SEA , THIS IS a package they offer
do a search there has beena couple of great threads about this package.. One person said They booked thru dreams and when they added on this package it brought them into a different tier for a rebate so they ended up geting $50.00 bucks off
so instead of being a $299.00 add on package they got it for $250.00 , they allow u to make reservations fr Palo and Brunch
and pick your dinning rotation.. BEFORE u board the ship .
also u get something at the spa for couples..

just the highlights .. im sure there is more...

Chattyaholic
04-03-2004, 09:47 AM
For our first Disney Magic cruise in '01 we went to our local TA and she booked everything with Disney and it was a "package deal" because we wanted a category 6 stateroom with verandah but could not stay at the resort of our choice at WDW, it had to be "in the same category." We wanted to stay at the Polynesian Village, but couldn't. We ended up with the Contemporary and while we enjoyed it, it wasn't our "choice." Plus, because we wanted to stay another week in Florida after our cruise they made us pay $50 per person for a "flight deviation fee." We went along with all of this as we were "greenhorns" but if we were to plan a similar vacation with our local TA again we would tell her to book everything separately, so we could stay in the resort WE wanted to stay at, and we could fly home when WE wanted to.

mousebrat
04-03-2004, 08:24 PM
I guess I'll join in the fray of people who are tight (cough), I mean prudent, about their Disney trip but who will have a blast once they get there nonetheless. When we were looking at package versus separate booking we priced everything out. To get our money's worth, and to feel well-rested, we are flying to Orlando the day before our land/sea package begins and staying at a moderate resort. One big factor in all this seems to be how many people are going. For two adults the package price came up cheaper for us, though you can toss some kids into the mix and get a different result. Also, Disney transfers are cheaper for two people than taking a town car or limo, though I understand that one more person would make the town car option cheaper.

As far as the REAS thing goes, I understand why it is so popular. You almost break even on the actual price of the services had you done them separately, plus you get the convenience of Palo and spa ressies before leaving. I can't say I would be totally miffed if we can't book the REAS with our land/sea package, but being able to book it would certainly make the trip more enjoyable and hassle free.

Oh well, my two cents...