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Old 11-26-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
lugnut33
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Cruise subject for the crew to discuss

I'd like the podcast crew to discuss a couple of subjects concerning Disney Cruise Line.

1. Why hasn't DCL released a 2014 schedule yet? Any idea when? Latest info. I'm hearing is Feb.

2. Any idea on what the 4 ships have been at for capacity? With some of the discounts being offered and changes to itinerary, it seems DCL is not filling up the rooms on their ships.

3. Has DCL got themselves into a christmas pickle by having their pricing so high for all 4 ships? Are they trying to figure out a way to increase guests by not lowering prices? Do they really think they can just use different ports to keep their prices so high?

Future thanks if you get a chance to talk about the above issues.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Some very interesting questions here.

I suspect that some of the information isn't available publicly from Disney for competitive reasons (occupancy/pricing). I know that Dreams books a lot of clients on DCL but I wonder if they are representative of overall trends either. Still, its an interesting thought.

I've also been wondering about how they are doing filling the fleet. Certainly adding two ships recently must be a lot to absorb. Seeing bigger discounts on the Galveston sailings for OBB tells me that those trips aren't being terribly well received.

I suspect that people are busy trying to figure out where to sail in 2014 to fill all those cabins. I'd be interested in a Southern Caribbean sailing - perhaps a 10-day from FL.

I'd also be interested in a west coast sailing - LA to Vancouver, with a subsequent Vancouver to LA trip. Actually, I'm already booked on a LA>Vancouver cruise in the spring. I'm thinking it could be made a regular sailing rather than just a repositioning sailing. Perhaps tie it into the Alaska sailings in the summer so that people can do B2B's.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
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I would think you are not the ordinary DCL customer because it sounds like you are able to sail when ever and where ever you want to. The ideas for sailings you bring up are great, but I couldn't imagine the costs involved. It would be well beyond the capability of a normal middle class family to be able to sail regularly. I hope what I said didn't come off as snarky because that's not what I intended.

While Disney cruises are fantastic, they are definitely on the high end of costs in the cruise industry. Then they added two new gigantic ships and raised their fares. Great if they can get away with it, but it seems to me they are trying to figure out how they keep costs up and keep the ships filled. I've never seen Disney lower a cost on anything have you? I guess they can just keep the costs up and continue to offer discounts.

What I dislike about discounts is punishes those people willing to book early. If you book early and then they start offering discounts, why book early? Eventually people will be trained to hold off on booking until discounts are announced. Same thing happens in the airline industry, nobody books right at the 6 month window because the prices are high. Everybody waits until that 6 week window opens up and the prices come down.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:58 AM   #4
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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Lugnut33 is certainly right that Val & I aren't the typical DCL cruisers. Yes, we can cruise anytime we like now that I'm retired. However, I don't think my itinerary suggestions are out of line for "regular people".

A series of west coast cruises would allow Disney to do a tie-in with some park time before or after. The price wouldn't necessarily be out of line as compared to their current 7-nigh offerings our of Port Canaveral. We're on a north-bound LA>Vancouver cruise in May and the price for that was very reasonable, at least by Disney standards.

I'm guessing that a Southern Caribbean itinerary would be a more difficult sell. There's no easy tie-in to a park and its going to cost most people a lot of money just to get to the departure port. On the plus side, it might get some repeat cruisers who are looking for a different cruise.

Good discussion. I'd love to hear what the crew has to say.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lugnut33 View Post
What I dislike about discounts is punishes those people willing to book early. If you book early and then they start offering discounts, why book early? Eventually people will be trained to hold off on booking until discounts are announced. Same thing happens in the airline industry, nobody books right at the 6 month window because the prices are high. Everybody waits until that 6 week window opens up and the prices come down.
This is exactly what has happened. It used to be that Disney gave the best price to the earliest bookers but that is no longer the case. I know I tell people to wait as long as they can to see if Disney releases discounts or free dinning or an on board credit or some other promotion that makes their trip to the parks or on the ships cheaper.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:00 AM   #7
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I'm guessing that a Southern Caribbean itinerary would be a more difficult sell. There's no easy tie-in to a park and its going to cost most people a lot of money just to get to the departure port. On the plus side, it might get some repeat cruisers who are looking for a different cruise.

Good discussion. I'd love to hear what the crew has to say.

Southern Caribbean can be accomplished with 10 day itineraries out of Miami. I'd do that in a heartbeat and have no care whether Disney World was involved or not. If I were planning those, I'd look at sailing those in the Fall when kids are back in school. It would not be a year round proposition, but the Magic or Wonder with a smaller capacity could make wonderful trips down to Aruba and back with nice stops along the way.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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On our 2011 Med cruise, I booked at a certain price and then the price went down a couple of months later. I called DCL and they adjusted my price and my balance was adjusted to reflect the current pricing. A few months later after that, the price went back up but my balance remained at the lower amount. I think they're willing to do the price adjustment but only if you haven't paid in full yet.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #9
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As for the capacity question, Disney has been releasing some deep discounts due to the fact they are not selling certain sailings. Mainly the Galveston cruises and Miami cruises.
Also the cast member have been given incredible discounts on those sailings that have never been seen before.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:12 AM   #10
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Now my only cruise experience was the two nighter out of NY this past August, but it seems to me that a popular itinerary would be one that included 2 stops at Castaway Cay again. In fact, I wonder if it would be possible for the ship to dock at Castaway Cay overnight, so people could have two days B2B on the island. People could take advantage of the ship and Castaway Cay. When the ship goes to Nassau, so many people say that they just stay on the ship anyway. Why not stay on the island that people rave about?
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
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I don't watch every Saililng year round, but it seems to me DCL gets a bad rep for high prices based on those who are evaluating the typical peak times for DCL, namely anytime kids are not in school.

What I've witnessed are very reasonable rates being offered on all the ships pretty much anytime other than the above mentioned times. I also think their capacity is suffering as evidenced by the deep CM, military, FL resident, and Canadian discounts. The cold hard truth is Disney only offers things to CMs when no one else is around instead. Thus when I see CM rates being offered on sailings week after week, I tend to think they are having issues filling the ships.

Regarding 2014 sailings, it's definitely not expected until after Jan 1.

I really don't want to comment on strategy because I don't have the energy to defend my comments, but I will say this - they offer a premium product and charge for it. I don't see a problem with that until they are unable to fill their ships during peak times. It's the same strategy they use for WDW and aside from the boy wizard eating into their attendance a bit, they are still largely sustaining the model. Of course I think they should be offering a BETTER product for the cost of WDW, but that's a whole other topic.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Now my only cruise experience was the two nighter out of NY this past August, but it seems to me that a popular itinerary would be one that included 2 stops at Castaway Cay again. In fact, I wonder if it would be possible for the ship to dock at Castaway Cay overnight, so people could have two days B2B on the island. People could take advantage of the ship and Castaway Cay. When the ship goes to Nassau, so many people say that they just stay on the ship anyway. Why not stay on the island that people rave about?
Lots of reasons this does not occur. There are two ships jockeying for space each week and now the Magic and Fantasy are visiting as well, so space is not always available (the island can only hold one ship at a time).

Also - overnights won't work as the place gets full of creepy crawlers after dark, making it unsafe to be out and about.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:12 AM   #13
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Well, pricing and some itineraries have come out, so now you can discuss that also. Initial reactions on the boards are not favorable.

From my stand point I'm now contemplating canceling completely due to the pricing. The 7 day western cruise in June interested me, but it looks like it's going to come in at almost 7K for my family. That's pricing me out. I can take the family to Europe for that cost.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Lots of reasons this does not occur. There are two ships jockeying for space each week and now the Magic and Fantasy are visiting as well, so space is not always available (the island can only hold one ship at a time).

Also - overnights won't work as the place gets full of creepy crawlers after dark, making it unsafe to be out and about.
Yeah, I didn't think about the other ships competing for the same space. I didn't meant that people would stay late on the island itself, just that the next morning they could go back to the beach again. No one likes a creepy-crawly. Oh well. From the looks of things on the Cruise Board, people do not seem very happy about the 2014 itineraries or prices.
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