View Full Version : Need Advice: Possible Disney Cruise for Thanksgiving
April 2nd, 2006, 12:17 AM
I originally posted a similar question on the RCCL board, but I have some questions that may be better suited for this board. I was originally considering a Disney 7 day caribbean cruise in the summer of 2007. However, Disney put a kink in those plans by moving one of its ships to Europe for that summer instead (can't afford that!!). So I started to consider a 4 night disney or an RCCL cruise on Explorer or Granduer, which sail from ports closer to my home in the summer. I have 3 kids who will be 9, 7, and 4 in 2007 (want to wait until my now 2 year old son is potty trained - hopefully by age 4 - to go on a cruise so he can better enjoy the kids activities). Since I posted on the RCCL board, I did some more research and found that a Thanksgiving cruise costs about the same as a summertime cruise on Disney. And now I am considering that option since the kids will be out of school for that week.
What I want to know from those of you who have sailed on a holiday/thanksgiving cruise -- what are these like? I assume they are crowded/full since it is a holiday time (and the fares are a bit higher than the rest of November). Would any of you recommend going at this time? I assume the weather in November is probably not as hot as during the summer. Are the Christmas cruises more expensive (just thought of that option as I typed this) than Thanksgiving?
Thanks in advance for your comments/opinions.
Nordic Empress 06/1995 - Honeymoon cruise
April 2nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
Christmas is absolutely the highest fare week of all Disney cruises. Thanksgiving is much better, but still higher than other fall weeks. But booking in advance, you'd be able to get the best fares / stateroom(s).
Disney cruises ALWAYS sail full (as do most other lines). If all staterooms are not sold, they open them to cast members and travel agents. Don't worry about the ship being full...it's not like when the theme parks are full. You can enjoy everything on board without challenges because the ship / crew are accustomed to always being at (or very near) capacity.
Weather in November is not as hot or humid as summer. It is still hurricane season, but at the very end, so you would be at little risk.
I haven't sailed Disney during the holidays, but my son has. He said that the ship was fully decorated and very festive. I'd expect them to offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but can't be sure.
What are you goals? Cruising when fare is lowest? Cruising during school breaks?
April 2nd, 2006, 02:18 PM
Disney is already almost completely booked for Thanksgiving. I know because we booked ours months ago and it was hard to get a room then and all that was available was late seating. Prices are very high for this time of year. Although the ship gets decorated for Xmas the day after thanksgiving and looks amazing, I really don't think the high cost is worth it. We just cancelled ours about 3 weeks ago and are going to try Celebrity for Thanksgiving. After just getting off the Magic's Western trip yesterday, I am glad that we did cancel. Although the ship is great, the service is not as outstanding as it used to be and really, to me, not worth the extra $$$ you pay for Disney. It is very hard for me to say that too, since my family are avid Disney fans. Hope this helps.
April 2nd, 2006, 02:27 PM
I just checked and found plenty of availability for Thanksgiving 2007. But the family stateroom will run you $3000 more than if you sailed the week after Thanksgiving.
April 2nd, 2006, 03:20 PM
These were on deck 5 forward and cost the same as an inside cabin. I think we were in cabin 5022. The kids are the right age to absolutely love the Disney ship enviroment.
April 2nd, 2006, 04:17 PM
Sorry, should have paid better attention to when i was reading! I was talking about this Thanksgiving and availability.
April 2nd, 2006, 05:35 PM
As cusyl notes, the secret porthole staterooms are an awesome choice. And there are two pairs of adjoining staterooms: 5022 / 5024 and 5522 / 5524. But they go very quickly and are already booked for Thanksgiving 2007.
April 3rd, 2006, 12:03 AM
Thanks for your advice, all of you. Out top priority would be to cruise during school breaks (either summer or Thanksgiving/Chistmas). I would also like to cruise when my now 2.5 year old son is potty trained, and going this Thanksgiving (while tempting) may be pushing that. Another advantage to waiting until November 2007 (wait another year!!) is if I book now, the cruise is $1000 cheaper than for Nov 2006. I am pretty much sold on getting two smaller cabins (preferrable adjoining) rather than the family suite (about $2,000 cheaper) plus you get twice as many bathrooms, twice as much closet space, and some privacy for mom & dad ;).
I think I will still consider the RCCL cruises during summer from ports closer to home (NJ or Baltimore) because they will be about $1000 cheaper (not including the travel costs to Florida I would need to do for Disney) for either the Explorer or Granduer. I have heard that RCCL's kids programs are very good, especially on their Voyager class ships, but this still don't come close to Disney. The only disadvantage I can see to going on an RCCL cruise would be that it's not Disney. And my kids would be at the perfect age for a Disney cruise then (in Nov 2007 my oldest would be a couple months short of 10 and the other two will be 7.5 and 4.5). RCCL is supposed to announce their 2007 summer schedule in the next month or two. At that time, my wife and I can list the pros and cons of each choice and make our decision. I don't think we would be disappointed with either cruise line, but I think we will have more fun on Disney. Heck, a bad day on a cruise is still better than a good day at the office.
April 3rd, 2006, 12:42 PM
For this Thanksgiving, I'd suggest the NCL Jewel - large new ship that offers children's programming starting at age two! Your cost would be less than half that on Disney and far less than Royal Caribbean.