Disney Cruise, who has long been against last minute cruise deals, is joining the rest of the cruise industry, somewhat. Historically, if a cruise has not been selling well, and is close to the sail date, Disney will offer the cruise at substantial discounts to Disney Cast Members as a perk of working for Disney. This fills up the ships, gets cast members onboard experiencing the cruise line and keeps rates for normal guests high, as no last minute deals are made available. This is about to change (again, somewhat).
Beginning later in January, 2011, you may notice new stateroom categories when you go online to get a price or make a booking for Disney Cruise sailings within the final payment period (typically within 75 days of departure date).
When offered, these new categories will randomly appear with select sailings at the discretion of Disney Cruise Line operations. If offered, here’s what you will see online:
- Inside Stateroom with Restrictions (GTY IGT)
- Oceanview Stateroom with Restrictions (GTY OGT)
- Verandah Stateroom with Restrictions (GTY VGT)
While these categories may present a great rate for guests who are flexible with their stateroom location, it is important to ensure guests fully understand each and every restriction before confirming a reservation.
Due to the restrictions associated with these categories, guests with specific stateroom requests or unconfirmed travelling party information should book within the regular, un-restricted stateroom categories.
Here are important details you need to know about the Special Restriction Staterooms:
- You will not be able to select a stateroom number or make special requests as to stateroom location. The stateroom is assigned at the discretion of Disney Cruise Line within a week of cruise departure. The only guarantee will be Inside, Outside or Verandah (based on the bookable category code listed).
- This applies to new bookings only. Existing reservations cannot be modified to these new categories.
- Full payment is due at time of booking. Booking holds are not permitted.
- Reservation is non-refundable.
- Reservation and applied payment is non-transferable.
- Full legal names and birthdates for all stateroom occupants are required at time of booking.
- Name changes after the reservation number is confirmed will not be permitted.
- Sail date, stateroom category and cruise itinerary changes are not permitted once a reservation number is confirmed.
- Not combinable with any discount or promotional offers, with the exception of $25 onboard credit for bookings made on Disney online booking engine and Disney VISA benefits.
- The “Verandah – VGT” category allows for a maximum of four stateroom occupants.
- Restrictions and booking rules are subject to change. Please review the complete list of restrictions that accompany the category when it appears online.
No pricing or discount information is given at this time, but it appears, based on the strict requirements, that the prices offers will be substantially lower than other available staterooms. If you don’t care where your stateroom is located, or the exact stateroom type, this may be a great way to get a great deal on a last minute Disney Cruise. We will keep you updated with any further information and possible prices/savings once the room options start appearing.
What do you think of this change in Disney Cruise policy?
I wonder if this will be available on rooms that will hold a family of 5?
Kim – Based on the description, it looks like they will not, unless a category 8 on the dream opens up. They specifically say that the veranda rooms are only available for 4. At this point, I would say it is very unlikely that rooms for 5 will be made available.
WOW… maybe me and my daughter will be able to take a disney cruise after all someday… that would be awesome… I like this very much… : )
The fares are awesome. I do wish they would allow name changes though. If one member of the party can’t go for some reason, it would be nice to be able to take along another family member in his place.
Miki – Name changes with the cruise line are usually no big deal, as long as you aren’t trying to change the lead passenger.
Has anyone actually been able to get one of these? If so, did you book through DCL online? I’ve checked several cruises departing within the next 60 days and can’t find any such rooms listed for available staterooms. Are they only available to be booked by contacting Disney directly?
Susan – Yes, I have seen them quite a bit. They were available on most January Bahamian cruises. There is a VGT showing for the January 22 and 29, 2012 4-night cruise right now. These are typically only available during slow times, when the cruise is pretty empty. It is doubtful you will see them during Spring Break or Summer, where the cruises typically sell out.
Any decent Disney specialist will be able to find one of these for you.
We just booked on a Thanksgiving cruise and based on that alone, we saved a bunch. The rooms are nice and as much as I’ve been looking, we have a high likelihood of getting a decent cabin. We booked a VGT so we’re going to at least get that nothing less. On top of that we received onboard credit from our TA. Whether we get an excellent room or not so great location it really doesn’t matter because we saved a lot and on a Disney Cruise how much time will we really spend in our cabin anyways? The real ripoff would be if we weren’t experiencing the cruise and only hanging out in the cabin.
Rebecca – Thanks for the note. I have stayed just about everywhere on the Disney Cruises, yet to have a bad veranda room, they have all been fantastic. I am sure you will have a great room, and have a fantastic cruise!