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Old 07-01-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
Terapin
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Disney, thou art frustrating!

I'd like to share my frustration about something.

We are booked on the WBTA in September 2010. We are 3 adults, 3 children. I booked online and added a second stateroom to my reservation. The staterooms are divided with our family of 5 in one room and my mom in her room solo. It worked out to be only $40 more this way and for a variety of reasons prefer it this way. I paid the deposits with my credit card.

We'd like to use Disney for our flights and arrive 2 days earlier and stay at a hotel through Disney. (Yes, I know this will likely cost us more money than booking ourselves).

Well, the pre-stays are all booked. Yep, 15 months out they are sold out.

We have been waitlisted. But the policy is to book the hotel rooms based on the number of people in EACH cabin, as opposed to traveling groups - we'd have to book 3 rooms for the 6 of us, even though the room occupancy is 3 each room. I didn't ask to have my mom's cabin as a separate cabin (and in fact two of my kids were initially in that cabin), it was assigned that way. As far as we are concerned we are a party of 6 and would stay in one cabin if that were possible (at anything less than a cat 1 or 2). So that is about 600 bucks extra for that extra Barcelona room (I'm figuring $300/night)

If we put 2 of the kids on to my mom's reservation to only book 2 hotel rooms in Barcelona, her cruise is about $40 cheaper, but the kids will pay higher airfare ($1015, rather than the $885 they have as the 4th and 5th in our room). She also will be responsible for their room charges and signing them up for activities on board under her room assignment. We could also be sitting apart at dinner (theoretically).

So either way, the way Disney organizes things, we are either $600 higher with one option for airfare + hotel, or $260 higher with the kids assigned to another room.

If we don't get off the waitlist for the rooms, or decide to book a hotel ourselves, then we'll have to pay the deviation fee and any additional charges for the flights, to come in earlier. Again, a higher money option, at least $450 for the deviation fees alone.

All we want is to have the option to only book 2 hotel rooms with the pre-stay!

It looks like we'll have to do all or nothing. It seems unnecessarily bureaucratic, and not very family-friendly.
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Last edited by Terapin; 07-01-2009 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Terapin View Post
I'd like to share my frustration about something.

We are booked on the WBTA in September 2010. We are 3 adults, 3 children. I booked online and added a second stateroom to my reservation. The staterooms are divided with our family of 5 in one room and my mom in her room solo. It worked out to be only $40 more this way and for a variety of reasons prefer it this way. I paid the deposits with my credit card.

We'd like to use Disney for our flights and arrive 2 days earlier and stay at a hotel through Disney. (Yes, I know this will likely cost us more money than booking ourselves).

Well, the pre-stays are all booked. Yep, 15 months out they are sold out.

We have been waitlisted. But the policy is to book the hotel rooms based on the number of people in EACH cabin, as opposed to traveling groups - we'd have to book 3 rooms for the 6 of us, even though the room occupancy is 3 each room. I didn't ask to have my mom's cabin as a separate cabin (and in fact two of my kids were initially in that cabin), it was assigned that way. As far as we are concerned we are a party of 6 and would stay in one cabin if that were possible (at anything less than a cat 1 or 2). So that is about 600 bucks extra for that extra Barcelona room (I'm figuring $300/night)

If we put 2 of the kids on to my mom's reservation to only book 2 hotel rooms in Barcelona, her cruise is about $40 cheaper, but the kids will pay higher airfare ($1015, rather than the $885 they have as the 4th and 5th in our room). She also will be responsible for their room charges and signing them up for activities on board under her room assignment. We could also be sitting apart at dinner (theoretically).

So either way, the way Disney organizes things, we are either $600 higher with one option for airfare + hotel, or $260 higher with the kids assigned to another room.

All we want is to have the option to only book 2 hotel rooms with the pre-stay!
Can you book your air with DCL but your prestay hotel on your own? That way you can book the amount of rooms you want. I am booking my prestay for the WBTA on my own. Not sure what I am doing about airfare yet.

MJ
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
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Thanks - I just edited the post to include that if we book the airfare, but want to come earlier than the 18th, there is a deviation fee of $75 per person ($450 for the 6 of us - a terrible use of money), and then any additional charges for the flight cost difference.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Terapin View Post
Thanks - I just edited the post to include that if we book the airfare, but want to come earlier than the 18th, there is a deviation fee of $75 per person ($450 for the 6 of us - a terrible use of money), and then any additional charges for the flight cost difference.
Yes, DCL always charges a per person fee if you deviate from their scheduled flights.

I still don't know what I am doing. I may want to go to London for a few days before or Barcelona...not sure yet!!!

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Old 07-01-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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Oh, and if we do book the hotel stay through Disney there is no deviation fee to come in earlier.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #6
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Yup, your options are limited. Personally, I'd book things thru DCL right now, knowing that you can cancel them up to the penalty period. Meanwhile back at the ranch, shop around for a better deal doing it on your own. Then, if you find a situation that you are happy with, you can cancel your DCL air and pre-day package.

Unfortunately, with DCL it is all or nothing on the pre-day deals. The good news is that you have time to see what else is available. Yes, the hotel is technically full...but that is THE hotel that DCL has chosen, and people may cancel as the payment dates approach. There are lots of other hotels in Barcelona.

Also, if you put a kid or kids with your mother, you will be able to book their excursions, etc. All you'll need is her reservation number and birthdate. If the ressies are linked, you will sit together at dinner. We recently did a crazy cruise with 2 rooms, 6 people, 5 different KTTW/credit card linkages, and people didn't all sleep where they were booked. It all worked with no problems, and I was able to do all the on line stuff for everyone.

Unfortunately, you have to cancel all or nothing of your air/pre-day package. If you just cancel the hotel (and do that on your own), it makes the flights into an air deviation.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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FYI, if you link your reservations and put your kids in your mom's room, you will sit together, you can assume charges for anyone you want, and you can sign your kids up for excursions, etc. The initial reg must be done by an adult in that room if you do it online, but that's it.

On our med cruise we travelled with extended family and the grandparents assumed charges for everyone except my nanny who we assumed responsibility for. So we only had charges from a room other than ours to cover. And all of the adults had privileges to sign the kids in and out of the clubs

And your kids can sleep anywhere - they don't need to stay in the room they are assigned, the only restriction is the life boat drill and if you are next to each other it shouldn't be a problem. We have done this, just remember to tip the stateroom hosts where your child is registered and where they are staying unless it is the same person (at least I think that is only fair to the stateroom hosts who definitely know when you have moved people around)

I understand that you are venting and I don't want to lessen your frustration, but I want you to know that your concerns about booking your children with your mom are not really issues if that is the way you choose to go
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Yup, your options are limited. Personally, I'd book things thru DCL right now, knowing that you can cancel them up to the penalty period. Meanwhile back at the ranch, shop around for a better deal doing it on your own. Then, if you find a situation that you are happy with, you can cancel your DCL air and pre-day package.

Unfortunately, with DCL it is all or nothing on the pre-day deals. The good news is that you have time to see what else is available. Yes, the hotel is technically full...but that is THE hotel that DCL has chosen, and people may cancel as the payment dates approach. There are lots of other hotels in Barcelona.

Also, if you put a kid or kids with your mother, you will be able to book their excursions, etc. All you'll need is her reservation number and birthdate. If the ressies are linked, you will sit together at dinner. We recently did a crazy cruise with 2 rooms, 6 people, 5 different KTTW/credit card linkages, and people didn't all sleep where they were booked. It all worked with no problems, and I was able to do all the on line stuff for everyone.

Unfortunately, you have to cancel all or nothing of your air/pre-day package. If you just cancel the hotel (and do that on your own), it makes the flights into an air deviation.
I was going to say that if that's all the options you have- and it appears that you do- that I'd go with the less expensive option and it's really not that big of a deal to have your kids in the room with your mother "on paper". You can still put your card on their KTTW for their charges and you'd still be the one checking them in for everything. I'm assuming you are linked with your mother to eat with her anyway so that's not an issue either.
really if it's a choice between $260 or $600 more- I'd go with the cheaper price.

Alternatively- could you just pay the $75 deviation for your mother to fly in earlier, (no prestay booked for her though), book the prestay for your room/you and your kids... then she just stay with you in the 2nd room since technically 3 can stay each room? Possibly contact the hotel and see if she can be added to the one room that has 2 ppl in it- since doing it DCL's way is making her get her own room in addition to two for you guys? Just a thought.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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I agree with kcashner (as I often do ) I'd leave everything booked through DCL for now, but try to book the air and hotel separately. It could be that you can even book the same hotel DCL uses directly through the hotel, although I would be inclined to look for something less expensive. The only other difference this might make is that you'll need to arrange for non-DCL insurance instead to be sure your entire trip is covered. I'm taking the Eastbound TA, and air from Barcelona to JFK is only about $500.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
mmouse37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
Yup, your options are limited. Personally, I'd book things thru DCL right now, knowing that you can cancel them up to the penalty period. Meanwhile back at the ranch, shop around for a better deal doing it on your own. Then, if you find a situation that you are happy with, you can cancel your DCL air and pre-day package.

Unfortunately, with DCL it is all or nothing on the pre-day deals. The good news is that you have time to see what else is available. Yes, the hotel is technically full...but that is THE hotel that DCL has chosen, and people may cancel as the payment dates approach. There are lots of other hotels in Barcelona.

Also, if you put a kid or kids with your mother, you will be able to book their excursions, etc. All you'll need is her reservation number and birthdate. If the ressies are linked, you will sit together at dinner. We recently did a crazy cruise with 2 rooms, 6 people, 5 different KTTW/credit card linkages, and people didn't all sleep where they were booked. It all worked with no problems, and I was able to do all the on line stuff for everyone.

Unfortunately, you have to cancel all or nothing of your air/pre-day package. If you just cancel the hotel (and do that on your own), it makes the flights into an air deviation.
I just read this on the DCL site.....wondering how this will or won't effect any pre booked air with the hopes of cancelling if better rate is found on your own?? Seems like if you cancel the air you will now be charged a cancellation fee...or am I interpreting it wrong? I bolded the section in question.



Air Transportation

View your flight details within 30 days of your embarkation date by visiting My Online Check-In or by calling Disney Cruise Line® directly at (877) 566-0967†.
After you've received your flight details, be sure to contact the airline by phone or via the airline's website to arrange your seat assignments and ensure the best seating for you and your family. You can also arrange special meal requests, receive frequent flyer information and make other airline related arrangements.
Disney Cruise Line® reserves the right to designate any air carrier and schedule from each originating city offered. However, you can request specific airlines, flights, times, or other specific aspects of your air itinerary through our Special Air Request Department for an additional fee. To change the details of your flight, you are invited to complete and submit the Flight Modification Form available to you in My Online Check-In up to 45 days prior to your departing flight. Upon receipt of this form, a Disney Travel representative will contact you to discuss alternate flight arrangements, usually within 2 business days. For more information, please contact dcldeviations@email.disney.com.
As of June 2, 2009, changes such as gateway changes/cancellations, flight date changes and name changes/corrections are considered cancellations and applicable air cancellation fees will apply. Air taxes and fees are refundable. See the Airline Cancellation Fees table below for additional details.

Domestic air cancellation fees apply for sailings where both the embark and debark port are in North America. International air cancellation fees apply for all other sailing itineraries that include a cruise with embark or debark ports outside of North America.

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Old 07-01-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmpets View Post
I agree with kcashner (as I often do ) I'd leave everything booked through DCL for now, but try to book the air and hotel separately. It could be that you can even book the same hotel DCL uses directly through the hotel, although I would be inclined to look for something less expensive. The only other difference this might make is that you'll need to arrange for non-DCL insurance instead to be sure your entire trip is covered. I'm taking the Eastbound TA, and air from Barcelona to JFK is only about $500.
Actually, I would recommend no one use DCL's insurance for a trip like this. It is not purchased until final payment is made...which is 105 or so days for the longer cruises. This means that any PECs are not covered if they exist before that date...so it includes any condition that may start between the time that you originally booked the cruise and the time that the final payment is made.
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DCL 2016 Opening Day Pricing Thread Pt 1: January - April
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmouse37 View Post
I just read this on the DCL site.....wondering how this will or won't effect any pre booked air with the hopes of cancelling if better rate is found on your own?? Seems like if you cancel the air you will now be charged a cancellation fee...or am I interpreting it wrong? I bolded the section in question.

As of June 2, 2009, changes such as gateway changes/cancellations, flight date changes and name changes/corrections are considered cancellations and applicable air cancellation fees will apply. Air taxes and fees are refundable. See the Airline Cancellation Fees table below for additional details.

MJ
Well, looks like they have changed it. Now the question is if you made your reservation before that date...as many did...and were told the old policy of being able to cancel it before the date which policy will apply to your reservation? Sounds like another FS mess. I have asked for clarification about this.
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DCL 2016 Opening Day Pricing Thread Pt 1: January - April
DCL 2015 Opening Day Pricing Thread #3 August - December
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Last edited by lbgraves; 07-01-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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Thanks - I just edited the post to include that if we book the airfare, but want to come earlier than the 18th, there is a deviation fee of $75 per person ($450 for the 6 of us - a terrible use of money), and then any additional charges for the flight cost difference.
I would just try to book on your own. We are using DVC points, so we have to do our air and hotel stays on our own anyway. Haven't even started yet!
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #14
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As long as the air cancellation is made 90 days out, there is no penalty. With 6 people to fly and hotel, we certainly will have our plans settled by then.

Oh, and the DCL rep told me that more hotel rooms will be available for our cruise in January - so I guess we will leave it with the air booked, and our names on a waitlist for the hotel portion, and if/when it comes through, decide what we will do - still giving us a few months to decide before that 89 day window begins.

Thank you all for your opinions - it has been really helpful.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:56 PM   #15
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Actually, I would recommend no one use DCL's insurance for a trip like this. It is not purchased until final payment is made...which is 105 or so days for the longer cruises. This means that any PECs are not covered if they exist before that date...so it includes any condition that may start between the time that you originally booked the cruise and the time that the final payment is made.
I find the insurance pricey for what it covers. Here I can get an unlimited medical policy (truly unlimited) with nice high limits for everything, and cancellation/trip interruption insurance, for less that DCL's poor plan.
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