How come DCL isn't selling out?

Hey, I'm with ya! I just know that not every traveler is always very adventurous, or maybe they get overwhelmed by travel and going with DCL is one way they can at least guarantee that part of their trip is familiar. And I do think nervous-but-stepping-outside-their-comfort-zone customer is a core customer for DCL cruises in Europe. The economics and culture of Europe just don't make sense for DCL to be targeting Europeans, and for Americans, it's a fair question asking why you're spending time within the Disney bubble (one of the most American things possible!) while in Europe. I think for most American DCL cruisers in Europe, the answer is that they don't really want to be immersed into Europe the entire trip.



Agreed that many hotel options are expensive, but there are lots of modern hostel-like options that offer sleeping arrangements up to 8 in a room, with private bath(s) and great community spaces, laundry, etc (something like Ibis Styles hotels), and we've also found good Best Westerns, which I wouldn't have expected. Even if these have been somewhat expensive, I have to remind myself that I'm booking in the absolute middle of the city, close to everything, and then the prices make a ton more sense.

And I'd say that most luxury options in the mountains are cheaper than an equivalent option in California or Colorado. Still expensive, but I have not yet found the stratospheric pricing levels that you can find in CA.
You keep saying DCL, but I don't think people cruise Disney in Europe for the bubble. I think they just like the ease of a cruise and Disney is their first choice. Many people on here sail on other cruise lines because they like cruising. It's easy to go to sleep and wake up in another city. There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture and find adventure at every port.
 
Or…
1. The food is mediocre.
2. Cabanas is mediocre.
3. The shows are tired
4. There is no included nighttime dining option to avoid the dining rooms.
5. Maybe people are tired of being begged by servers for perfect 10 ratings?

We were on a Disney cruise in April and were very disappointed.
1,2, 5 are reasonable complaints. 3 I don't get the musicals are very good. 5 is hit or miss. I have not been asked for a rating by a server on every cruise. It seems to happen more on the Dream.

You have aired your grievances repeatedly. You are obviously not going on another DCL cruise. Do you like WDW?
 
We did DCL to Alaska. Honestly (please don't flame me). It was a great cruise, but if your kids are a bit older, and don't care for panning gold with Mickey, I would do Norwegian or another line. It is half the price and the scenery is the same. Castaway Cay is a different experience, and I love DCL and love going there.

There was also a Disney lumberjack show, that I booked direct through the venue, and paid the child price of 12 and under for my son (11 at the time). Booking direct through Disney, 9 is an adult.

FWIW, I am a Platinum cruiser.
I always appreciate honest opinions, so no worries. We chose DCL for a few reasons. One is we have a special needs child who can't be left in the kids clubs, so our family sticks together on a cruise. All entertainment needs to be family friendly, no casinos. The other reason was length of time in port. Friends who took the Bliss to Alaska last year told me it was the pits to have such short stops. Is it worth so much more? That's a good question.

Thanks for the tip about the lumberjack show, I'll need that upper age limit!
 
This thread is so timely! I am actively considering a DCL cruise for the first time in 10 years. Part of the reason is that four of my kids have graduated, I will only be traveling with DH and 2 DD's. But the other reason is DCL has some IGT/OGT/VGTs that are in my stratosphere. That said, we love Carnival (Blue Iguana and Guys!) and like NCL and RCCL, and some of the new ships have SO much to offer. I am worried that DCL will not have enough to keep us entertained on sea days.
 
Our August cruise to Alaska - which we booked at a discount/guaranteed rate for less than our 5 night Caribbean on the Magic a couple weeks later - is nearly sold out. Just looked this AM and there are less than 20 staterooms available across all categories.

We decided on RCCL out of Seattle. For me, an attraction was we’re visiting Mt. Rainier before the cruise and Olympic NP, staying inside both NPs.
Olympic NP is one of my favorite places on the planet… mountains, beaches, rainforest, lakes - just gorgeous!
 
I recently cancelled a 4 day inside next spring break for a 7 day balcony on Princess with Plus and still saved $700. Hard to justify DCL pricing sometimes.
Yep, similar experience. A few years ago we booked a verandah room for us and an inside state room for our late teen daughters. Total cost was about $1,000 less than Disney which we prefer.

Now that the daughters are in university, my wife and I will take a Disney cruise off season while they’re at school. Way better on the pricing.
 
This thread is so timely! I am actively considering a DCL cruise for the first time in 10 years. Part of the reason is that four of my kids have graduated, I will only be traveling with DH and 2 DD's. But the other reason is DCL has some IGT/OGT/VGTs that are in my stratosphere. That said, we love Carnival (Blue Iguana and Guys!) and like NCL and RCCL, and some of the new ships have SO much to offer. I am worried that DCL will not have enough to keep us entertained on sea days.
How old are your kids that are traveling?
 
Similar comments keep getting repeated in this thread, but they’re not true. Industry prices are falling and it has been blamed on capacity increases outpacing demand. But just the other day cruise stocks had their worst day on over two years as several analysts asserted the problem is much deepest than capacity outpacing demand. Instead they believe demand is softening.

The cruise industry struggled for years to reach younger audiences. Post-pandemic, there was a surge in first time / younger passengers. It looked like all the money cruise lines invested in youth and family activities paid off. But now data is showing many of these people aren’t cruising again. Hence the growing concern.
Our family has several of us that fit into this coveted demographic….

One group started and never stopped. Fly down from NY and do a cruise 1-2 times a year - usually RCCL with C&A benefits.

Another two groups went once, enjoyed it just fine, but are in no hurry to do it again. Lots more exciting things to do and travel in their minds.

Another group lives in FL, so it is actually a nice quick weekend getaway, and otherwise would probably not cruise if they had to fly from NY…

The other two groups have taken cruises, and are not inclined to ever doing it again.
 
1,2, 5 are reasonable complaints. 3 I don't get the musicals are very good. 5 is hit or miss. I have not been asked for a rating by a server on every cruise. It seems to happen more on the Dream.

You have aired your grievances repeatedly. You are obviously not going on another DCL cruise. Do you like WDW?
5 (the begging for high ratings) happens on Royal and Celebrity too. It's not exclusive to Disney.
 
Just an observation...why aren't Disney cruises selling out anymore? There are still tons of availability on all of there summer sailings. I remember just a few years ago when DCL would sell out a year in advance. You used to have to call the day sailings opened to the public and be on hold for hours to get a cabin. Now they are cutting prices on sailings and trying to fill the ship with Florida residents and cast members. Is it due to the economy? Prices of the cruises? Other cruise lines seem to be selling out all the time.
My guess is where things are at this point in time: life is fully back into normal patterns, and what else is available at that price point.

For a while there our family seriously looked at booking our first DCL. It’s back off the table for some combo of price, already doing other Disney things (DVC), and reasonable costs of fantastic experiences elsewhere. Someday maybe just not anytime soon.
 
We're booked for a 7 night Alaskan next year and the cost is starting to bother me more and more. It's just so much money, and I haven't even calculated our travel and hotel costs for Vancouver yet.
We just got back from a DCL Alaska trip and it was amazing. Yes, it was expensive, but we pay for everything we can with discounted gift cards to help offset the cost. That makes a difference and also helps with cash flow, as these were paid for incrementally over the last few months instead of paying for everything all at once.

Vancouver is pricey but wonderful. We took an excursion up to Whistler with a couple of other stops along the sea to Sky highway. It was great.

We love DCL and plan to continue to sail with them if the itinerary and price makes sense. But those are very personal decisions.
 

GET UP TO A $1000 SHIPBOARD CREDIT AND AN EXCLUSIVE GIFT!

If you make your Disney Cruise Line reservation with Dreams Unlimited Travel you’ll receive these incredible shipboard credits to spend on your cruise!


















DIS Tiktok DIS Facebook DIS Twitter DIS youtube DIS Instagram DIS Pinterest

Top