View Full Version : Anyone else had to move from Value to Peak Season?

08-22-2004, 09:52 AM
I am still feeling 'sticker shock' as I look at the prices of the cruise during peak season. We have been going in September for the past 4 years (leaving for our next one in less than 4 weeks).

Next year my twin DDs will be going to middle school and we can't really take them out for trips (so no more value season). We love the DCL so much, but OH MY! Those prices!

I asked DH last night what is the 'break even point' for cost per amount of enjoyment we get on the cruise (in other words, how much is he willing to pay for a cruise in order for us to be able to go). He couldn't answer. He said we would rather not no how much we are paying (he enjoys vacation more if I handle the finances and he never has to see the bills :confused: ).

Anyway, has anyone else had to do that? Go from paying value to peak? Do you still think it is worth the price?


08-22-2004, 10:24 AM
Westjones, I have not had your delima as of yet. My oldest is in 2nd grade this year. But I do agree, once they hit middle school it is very difficult to take them out of school. Have you considered trying out another cruise line? Don'e get me wrong, I love Disney. But, I've also cruised on Celebrity (my favorite), RCCL, and Costa. But most of the other cruise lines rates are so much better than DCL's during peak time. You can find a lot of great info in the chatrooms/boards at cruisecritic.com. I'm not trying of offend anyone, just giving you other options.

08-22-2004, 10:28 AM
The RCCL looks like a possible option. There is an interesting thread going on now on this board about it and I am looking into that as a possibility. I would really miss DCL though.

We have thought about just giving up our annual cruise and only going to WDW (we are DVC members, so we have to use those points).

I am anxiously awaiting for the 2006 rates to come out to see just how high they are if you book as early as possible.


08-22-2004, 10:48 AM
We've cruised end of October and first of Nov the first two times - we paid more for the first cruise because we booked in July. The 2nd cruise was by far our "best deal ever" because we rebooked onboard, we booked over a year out, etc.

Then we booked onboard last year for this year's New Year's cruise. For the price of this cruise we could have gone on two cruises (cruise price only, the tips/excursions, etc. would have been double). I went back and forth over moving it to a fall cruise again and the cost with a lot of heartburn.

However, we want to cruise with friends from FL and our kids don't have the same school schedules. Plus, our other vacation this year was a driving one where we rented a house in FL and did the beach for a week so it was inexpensive.

In all honesty tho, as nt kids get older and closer to where yours are, I would look at other cruise lines for the "peak" times - their prices are less than DCL and I think eventually my kids would like to experience a mega-ship w/other activities.

I also look at other vacation options. For example, we're planning on going skiing on Spring Break. Instead of CO with everybody and their brother, kids, extended family, we're looking at Canada. We have miles to use and flights are still open, the exchange rate is very favorable and there won't be as many crowds (and a lot more snow late in March if it's a warm winter in the states).

I don't think we're planning on re-booking on this cruise, but if we do, I'll be going back to the fall cruise - my kids get a Thurs/Fri off in Oct for Fall Break so I'd pull them out that week where they only miss 3 days.

08-22-2004, 05:10 PM
Before you make a definite decision be sure to check the school schedule to see if there are any teacher's inservice or other days when the girls will be out of school that you could "stretch" into a cruise without too much disruption.

Here in Plano the kids start in August but have a full week off in October. Makes it great for families that want to cruise and take advantage of the value season.

08-22-2004, 07:24 PM
I keep hoping they start having a week long fall break. So far they only do a Monday and Tuesday (if it were Thursday and Friday we could at least do a 3 night cruise then).

I guess we will just have to see what our budget is and what the prices are when the 2006 rates come out.


Grumpy's Mom
08-22-2004, 08:00 PM
Westjones, IMO the first time you go during peak it will definitely be more expensive. But, if you can plan ahead and go every other year, you can rebook onboard and save a huge amount.

We took our first DCL cruise in December, over Christmas break. I finally talked my husband into this at the end of August, and could not get a reservation for what we felt we could afford. I finally found one TA, by searching for "sold out" Disney cruise, and booked it.

We had a great time, again because of the great group of Dis'ers we met on our cruise thread, and we all rebooked together.

We had a Cat 8 this past Christmas. On our 12/05 cruise, we have a Cat 5 and a Cat 11 right across the hall (for our DD-17 and DD-13), and the two cabins are almost $1000 less than what we paid for the 12/03 Cat 8. We will probably continue to rebook every other Christmas, since with one in college next year and one in high school, I figure Christmas day is really the only day I can count on for a family vacation.

One of our group rebooked their same 2 cabins on Deck 2, and their bill is about 1/2 of what ours will be.

I would be hard pressed to give up my DCL cruise....I would drop down to one Cat 12, book 2 years in advance, go without vacation the other years, or do WDW on a budget, but I would really HATE to give up the Magic.

I have no idea how busy you are, but there is a thread on these boards somewhere about selling all the things we all have in our homes that we don't use on EBAY as a way to pay for a cruise. This thread has about 4000+ posts to it, and is very detailed in how you go about selling, best way to ship, postage meters, etc. I recall that there is also a thread that someone started last year "how do you afford your cruise" or something similar.


08-22-2004, 09:24 PM

I know how you feel. In '06 we are hoping to go on the Magic again but likely at a peak time versus a regular time like in the past. I wish DCL would release so that we can make a decision. If our family can't go, that's life, and we need to get on with our plans for something else.

08-22-2004, 10:05 PM
Westjones...I don't know when you start school. But we start after Labor Day and we sail next week oops This week:Pinkbounc

We took advantage of the prices on the 8/28 Magic.

08-22-2004, 11:13 PM
My next Magic cruise was originally value season, Feb. 5, 2005, booked about 16 months out, so myself, DW and DS were in a Cat. 8 for $2632. Then we added a WDW trip for this coming November '04 with my sister and her family, during Jersey week. That trip did not have date flexibility for her, and when we go with them we can stay at Shades of Green as she is a Department of Defense supervisor. We then had to admit that it is one thing to pull DS out of one week of 3rd grade, but doing so twice in one year was a bit much! So I called DCL in December '03 and moved cruise to April 2, 2005, peak spring break pricing compared to my past cruises, and the fare for the three of us went to $3,382.

Still worth it I felt. I saw mention of selling all your worldly possessions on ebay to pay for a DCL cruise. Not doing that yet, but I just got $100 back by transferring reservation to DU to take advantage of their current rebate promotion. And just applied 675 Disney Reward Dollars from the Disney Visa card to the cruise. And there is just over a thousand dollars in change in the giant plastic coke bottle piggy bank. So those painless sources cover about half the fare.

And I still have about 7-8 more months of Dsiney Visa reward dollars between now and when we cruise to apply toward the on-board bill for excursions, Shutters, tips, etc.

How much are people willing to spend? All depends if folks view DCL as a cruise, or, as I view it, everything else is a cruise, and the Magic and the Wonder are DISNEY cruises! When you tell someone you sailed RCCL or NCL or Celebrity, they say "that's nice", but tell someone you sailed DCL and they want to know all about it!

08-23-2004, 08:49 AM
Do you get a Winter Break in February?
I was pleased to find out that our Feb break for 2005 starts when it is still WDW's "Value" season. :)
So it looks like we will go to WDW in Feb (instead of a cruise during Easter Break).
Maybe we'll take our first cruise in Feb of 2006? :)

08-23-2004, 09:43 AM
Our only whole week off is at the end of March. We start school here this week (and this year we are going on the DCL in September---it is just that next year when they enter Middle School we are in a whole new ball game and we don't want to pull them out).

I am 'hoping' that the prices for the 4 day in March will be within our budget. We probably won't be doing 7 day cruises again. If the 4 day isn't too bad, we are thinking of doing that and then 2 days at WDW for spring break in 2006----BUT, I need to see the prices first.

We can cut back in other areas, if the whole family decides we want to do this, we need to give up some things to make it work. Also, if we drive instead of fly, that will help (although I just hate the 17 hours drive to Florida!--but this year airfares were very reasonable so we are flying).

Thanks for all the advice. Nice to see that we aren't alone in our sticker shock from Value to Regular/Peak season!

Until those 2006 prices come out I won't know just how difficult it is going to be for us to do this, so we are waiting. A CM at DCL told me to expect them in October.


Grumpy's Mom
08-23-2004, 10:32 AM
Logan 1 - how did you manage to get 675 Disney Dollars off your Disney Visa?? I have been trying to figure out how to get my house payment paid using my DV, but to no avail! At best, I can usually get about 10 - 15 per month..........