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Old 10-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
hoosthatmouse
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Just paid the deposit and have some questions

Hi all - So we made the plunge and put down our deposit for the Feb. 2nd 2013 Western Carribbean cruise aboard the Fantasy for 7 nights. I thought I did a ton of research before booking but have a few questions

We booked a 5E Guaranteed rate - I understand that a stateroom will be assigned to us at a later time in the category we requested or an upgrade. Can anyone tell me what and upgrade could mean? and what those categories are? I saw several posts to people requesting to keep their 5E's in the hopes of having one of the extended verandah's. I guess I could go either way. Does this mean we will either get an extended verandah or an upgrade? ( sounds like either way I'll be happy)

Another thing- How do I know if I got a good deal on this cruise? I can't tell if we paid too much. It seems most people have been booking a year in advance. Would I have been better served by booking closer to the date? I foroged the use of a Travel Agent because I found a better rate through the disney ship site.

And along the lines of the last question -- what is the best way to find good deals on these cruises? I looked at the special offers but none of them applied to our situation. Is it worth opening a Disney credit card? These trips are expensive and I am in awe of the people that have been able to book so many. I'm kind of scratching my head at how everyone can afford this.

Anways, thanks for listening. I am new hear and so excited to bring my two daugthers and husband on our first cruise and first disney cruise. We are taking a look at tagging on a day at WDW before departure day but we will see. I want to see what kind of special hotel rates come out on Wednesday the 10th for Feb 2013.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #2
hoosthatmouse
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I also just realized we will be on the cruise ship during the Super Bowl -- Do you know if they will do anything special for it? Its being aired on CBS this year.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
moomy-san
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We were on the Wonder during Superbowl 2 years ago- you couldn't miss it. It was blaring through every speaker and screen on deck!! We were on the west coast and the game was on quite late and both seatings of dinner were oddly missing many dads and husbands!
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DCL Mexican Riviera aboard the Wonder February 2011 and February 2012.
DCL B2B Bahamas and West Caribbean aboard the Wonder February 2013
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Next up... DCL Eastern aboard the Fantasy with NO KIDS February 2015! And we're GOLD, Baby!
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
jahber
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosthatmouse View Post
Hi all - So we made the plunge and put down our deposit for the Feb. 2nd 2013 Western Carribbean cruise aboard the Fantasy for 7 nights. I thought I did a ton of research before booking but have a few questions

We booked a 5E Guaranteed rate - I understand that a stateroom will be assigned to us at a later time in the category we requested or an upgrade. Can anyone tell me what and upgrade could mean? and what those categories are? I saw several posts to people requesting to keep their 5E's in the hopes of having one of the extended verandah's. I guess I could go either way. Does this mean we will either get an extended verandah or an upgrade? ( sounds like either way I'll be happy)

We booked a 5E GTY on our last cruise and were "upgraded" to a 4E. It wasn't much of an upgrade, really, although they did give us the extra-long, extra-wide balcony (5150). We were happy with our room because we still ended up with an extended verandah. I do wonder if they purposefully gave us the extended verandah as an upgrade instead of "upgrading" us to a regular verandah room DCL has been extremely good to us in terms of upgrades on our three cruises so far.

Another thing- How do I know if I got a good deal on this cruise? I can't tell if we paid too much. It seems most people have been booking a year in advance. Would I have been better served by booking closer to the date? I foroged the use of a Travel Agent because I found a better rate through the disney ship site.

Others on the boards have said it, and I agree: if you think you got a good deal, you did! I thought I had a great deal on our first 4-night. We were assigned to a Family stateroom on a VGT (guaranteed verandah room), which made it even better. Then I booked a Florida resident rate for this month and paid half of our first cruise price AND have two adjoining rooms instead of one. It was the luck of the draw and I'll probably never top it...but I'll have fun trying!

You might reconsider using a travel agent next time. DCL prices are the same everywhere, and most TAs offer onboard credit or some other incentive for booking. They can also stay on top of the deals for you and let you know if a deal matching your criteria pops up.


And along the lines of the last question -- what is the best way to find good deals on these cruises? I looked at the special offers but none of them applied to our situation. Is it worth opening a Disney credit card? These trips are expensive and I am in awe of the people that have been able to book so many. I'm kind of scratching my head at how everyone can afford this.

We can't afford (well, OK, I can't bear) to pay full fare except on the random off-season cruises that are discounted more heavily than others. It's just the way it is and I'm fine with that. So we book last minute on special fares. We can do this because we live in Orlando and homeschool. If you need to book airfare and plan around school schedules, you'll need to get creative. Keep reading the boards and you'll see that people have different approaches to snagging a great deal. That's also how I find out about most discounts (Florida resident, kids sail free, etc). People post them as soon as they hear about them. Hooray for DISboards!

Anways, thanks for listening. I am new hear and so excited to bring my two daugthers and husband on our first cruise and first disney cruise. We are taking a look at tagging on a day at WDW before departure day but we will see. I want to see what kind of special hotel rates come out on Wednesday the 10th for Feb 2013.


See my answers in red. I hope you have a wonderful first cruise! It IS addictive, as you can see from my signature. I'm a relative newbie, but DCL keeps posting these insanely good rates, which makes it impossible for me to resist. We are just resigned to the idea that while our kids are little, we will sail DCL as good rates come up.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
kcashner
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Booking a 5EGTY means that you will cruise in a cat 5 something...or a 4 or perhaps (unlikely, but) even a concierge cabin. It means that the "worst" cabin DCL can place you in is a 5E. It does not mean you will have an extended balcony--you could get a 5A!

As to not using a TA because you got a better deal on your own--this is not possible. There was something included in the TA's quote that wasn't on your booking (transfers?, insurance?) With DCL, the price is the price regardless of who does the booking. You might consider transferring your reservation to an agent who gives an onboard credit or gift card as a "thanks for booking with us" gift.

As to a good deal--see above. You got the current price. That's it. There could be last minute specials on your dates, or not. There could be a kids sail free special or not. A Disney Visa won't help you now as in order to get that $50 credit you need to make ALL payments with the Visa. You would be accruing reward dollars if your current credit card doesn't do some sort of rewards.

IF a special from DCL comes out before your final payment date, you may be able to cancel your current booking and rebook on the special rate.

How people can do multiple cruises....I'd rather have 2 cruises in an inside cabin than 1 in a balcony, but that's personal preference. I've had both. And it helps if you are only booking for 2 people rather than for a big family. On the other hand, there are KSF specials for big families. And honestly, we sometimes choose our cruises based on price. If I feel they are too much, I won't cruise.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosthatmouse

We booked a 5E Guaranteed rate - I understand that a stateroom will be assigned to us at a later time in the category we requested or an upgrade. Can anyone tell me what and upgrade could mean? and what those categories are? I saw several posts to people requesting to keep their 5E's in the hopes of having one of the extended verandah's. I guess I could go either way. Does this mean we will either get an extended verandah or an upgrade? ( sounds like either way I'll be happy)
Just to add: our GTY was upgraded. When we looked at our reservation on the websites, and in our cruise documents, it said our room number, then the category that we booked, even though that wasn't the category we ended up with. We were on the Wonder, and booked a navigators verandah GTY. we were upgraded to a regular verandah, but all of our reservation info still said "7a navigators verandah" because that's what we booked. So when you check your reservation and notice you have been assigned a room number, make sure to search what category that room is, to check if it's an upgrade!

As far as taking multiple cruises, I don't know either. we did Alaska last month (a higher priced cruise), and our original plan was to sail again in 2014. Well, we loved it so much, we couldn't wait that long. So we picked a cheaper itinerary (LA to Vancouver repo) and stayed on the west coast to save on airfare (we can fly to LA for $100/person). We set a monthly savings plan, and now we are booked for May, 8 months after our last one! Now... If dcl does not return to the west coast in 2014, we will not get to do this every year... So we hope that doesn't happen!
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
hoosthatmouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
As to not using a TA because you got a better deal on your own--this is not possible. There was something included in the TA's quote that wasn't on your booking (transfers?, insurance?) With DCL, the price is the price regardless of who does the booking. You might consider transferring your reservation to an agent who gives an onboard credit or gift card as a "thanks for booking with us" gift.
Thanks! I'll look into switching the reservation over to a TA. I should clarify, I Held the 5E cabin on the DCL website and then received a quote from a TA that they were no longer available and the next cabin (going upwards) was slightly more expensive so I just booked the held reservation through DCL.

This cruise is in Feb so it is slightly offseason. That makes me feel a little bit better about the price.
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Feb 2013 - AKL, 3 Night Bahamian Cruise on Dream, POR
Jan 2013 - WDW Half Marathon

Feb 2012 - Polynesian
Feb 2011 - Polynesian, Wilderness Campground
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
hoosthatmouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moomy-san View Post
We were on the Wonder during Superbowl 2 years ago- you couldn't miss it. It was blaring through every speaker and screen on deck!! We were on the west coast and the game was on quite late and both seatings of dinner were oddly missing many dads and husbands!
that's good to know and will make my husband happy...unless his team is in the super bowl in which case I might have to find another cruising partner!
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Feb 2013 - AKL, 3 Night Bahamian Cruise on Dream, POR
Jan 2013 - WDW Half Marathon

Feb 2012 - Polynesian
Feb 2011 - Polynesian, Wilderness Campground
Oct 2006 - Wilderness Lodge

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