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  #1  
Old July 28th, 2007, 06:58 PM
kristieokc kristieokc is offline
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Default How far in advance to book?

I'm serving as a psuedo-group-leader for about seven families who are considering cruising Disney together in summer of 2009. My questions, to any of you who would be willing to answer, are three-fold:

1. How far in advance should we plan to book our cruise, and

2. Is there someplace on this board I can read summary of eastern v western cruises, and

3. Do most people cruising Disney book their shore excursions through Disney, or independently, or perhaps not do excursions, but hang on the beaches instead???

Thank you in advance to anyone who has the time and inclination to respond. We've cruised before, but never Disney, and are hopeful to make this vacation as wonderful as is possible .... which, from the sounds of the posts I've been reading, is pretty wonderful.

Thanks!!
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Feb 1997 - RCCL - W Caribbean
May 2002 - Carnival Elation - Mexico
June 2007 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
Sept 2008 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
July 2009 - RCCL Gandeur - E Caribbean
Jan 2010 - Carnival Celebration - E Caribbean
March 2011 - NCL Spirit - E Caribbean
August 2014 - RCCL Navigator of the Seas - W Caribbean
December 2014 - RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas
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  #2  
Old July 29th, 2007, 09:14 AM
mom x4,grandma x4's Avatar
mom x4,grandma x4 mom x4,grandma x4 is offline
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Book as far in advance as you can because after they post the dates the prices will creep up a little each month, so to get the best price book early.


We book all our excursons directly through DCL. That way there are No worries. Everything is done for you. But the best thing is if your excursion runs late the ship will wait for you. If you book a private excursion they don't have to wait fo ryou. We have seen people left behind.

You will save some $$ by booking privately but we like the peace of mind of booking through DCL.

If I had been to the island before so knew how far away things are I would not hesitate to take a taxi to a specific place, see it and then take a taxi back because I could go early and start back plenty early to make sure I get to the ship on time. because I could set the time myself.

Eastern VS western:
I would look for trip reorts to read for peoples experiences and post a thread and ask for people opinions on which they like best and why.
We love the Eastern best. We love the extra sea day to enjoy the ship and the islands just seem more tropical, people are so friendly and prices are better than on the western. Both places have great snorkeling and beaches.
If you go to DCL's web site and look at excursions for all the islands you may see something that peaks your interest. Maybe that can help you decide what you and your family like the best to do.

mom x4,grandma x4
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doodledoo9999@yahoo.com







12/5/02 Wonder 4 day room 6626
5/1/03 Magic Eastern 7 day room 5624
12/13/03 Wonder 3 day room 7124
3/20/04 Magic Eastern Spring Break
room 7624
5/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
10/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
1/2/05 Wonder 4 day room 5648
5/12/05 Wonder 3 day room 2560
10/6/05 Wonder 3 day room 8092
10/17/07 Magic Western room 5132
5/06 Wonder 3 day room 6634
8/5/06 Magic Eastern room ?
11/25/06 Magic Eastern Banana Head Group
room 6636
4/5/07 Wonder 3 day cruise room 6152
6/30/07 Western Carnival Cruise
11/24/07 Magic Eastern Banana head reunion cruise room 7624
1/24/08 3 day Wonder room 6137
11/29/08 Western Magic room 6132
11/7/09 Eastern cruise room 5640
11/5/2011 Eastern cruise room #5629
11/24/2012 Western Fantasy cruise, room 10654
1/31/2013 Dream Room 10108
2/28/13 Dream Cruise, Room 7032
5/27/2013 Enchantment of the Seas room 3018
2/7/14 Magic 3 day cruise, room 2056

Upcoming cruises.









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  #3  
Old July 29th, 2007, 09:59 AM
kristieokc kristieokc is offline
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Thanks so much for your reply, I'll make sure to troll the boards looking for trip reports. I went to the Disney web site but they don't have cruise dates posted for 2009 yet. Do you know about how far in advance those dates will become available for booking?

Again, thanks for you help,
Kristie
__________________
Been there; Happy to do that:

May 1991 - Carnival Elation - E Caribbean
Feb 1997 - RCCL - W Caribbean
May 2002 - Carnival Elation - Mexico
June 2007 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
Sept 2008 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
July 2009 - RCCL Gandeur - E Caribbean
Jan 2010 - Carnival Celebration - E Caribbean
March 2011 - NCL Spirit - E Caribbean
August 2014 - RCCL Navigator of the Seas - W Caribbean
December 2014 - RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas
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  #4  
Old July 29th, 2007, 11:40 AM
mom x4,grandma x4's Avatar
mom x4,grandma x4 mom x4,grandma x4 is offline
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Usually about 18 months in advance but the last couple of years they have been a little later. Most seem to think it was because of the speical summer itenaries they didnt have everything work out in time to post the dates as early as they usually do.

If they do as they use to do, it should be any time now.

I know there are many people posting and wanting to know when the 09 dates will be out.

If I hear anything I will post it.

mom x4,grandma x4
__________________
doodledoo9999@yahoo.com







12/5/02 Wonder 4 day room 6626
5/1/03 Magic Eastern 7 day room 5624
12/13/03 Wonder 3 day room 7124
3/20/04 Magic Eastern Spring Break
room 7624
5/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
10/04 Wonder 3 day room ?
1/2/05 Wonder 4 day room 5648
5/12/05 Wonder 3 day room 2560
10/6/05 Wonder 3 day room 8092
10/17/07 Magic Western room 5132
5/06 Wonder 3 day room 6634
8/5/06 Magic Eastern room ?
11/25/06 Magic Eastern Banana Head Group
room 6636
4/5/07 Wonder 3 day cruise room 6152
6/30/07 Western Carnival Cruise
11/24/07 Magic Eastern Banana head reunion cruise room 7624
1/24/08 3 day Wonder room 6137
11/29/08 Western Magic room 6132
11/7/09 Eastern cruise room 5640
11/5/2011 Eastern cruise room #5629
11/24/2012 Western Fantasy cruise, room 10654
1/31/2013 Dream Room 10108
2/28/13 Dream Cruise, Room 7032
5/27/2013 Enchantment of the Seas room 3018
2/7/14 Magic 3 day cruise, room 2056

Upcoming cruises.









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  #5  
Old July 29th, 2007, 11:56 AM
honeydog714 honeydog714 is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: sunny calif :)
Posts: 656
Default I would contact a travel agent

Especially one who knows a lot about disney she can give you destination guides etc and if you have that many people you can probably qualify as a group which gets all kinds of extra goodies and you (the leader) sails free except for port charges. I didn't know anything about it when I was talking with our TA for a family reiunion cruise and it worked out great, we were able to give everyone a discount and all kinds of goodies! Plus travel agents can fax inventory control to put you on the list for future cruises so they will be notified as they are released giving you top pickings, that is how we FINALLY got the Roy suite, took two years and several faxes but it was SO worth it!
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  #6  
Old July 29th, 2007, 12:08 PM
kristieokc kristieokc is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 74
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Thanks so much --- I'll keep my eyes and ears open for the '09 dates, and try to keep my excitement under control in the meantime.
__________________
Been there; Happy to do that:

May 1991 - Carnival Elation - E Caribbean
Feb 1997 - RCCL - W Caribbean
May 2002 - Carnival Elation - Mexico
June 2007 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
Sept 2008 - Princess Sapphire - NB Alaska
July 2009 - RCCL Gandeur - E Caribbean
Jan 2010 - Carnival Celebration - E Caribbean
March 2011 - NCL Spirit - E Caribbean
August 2014 - RCCL Navigator of the Seas - W Caribbean
December 2014 - RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas
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  #7  
Old July 29th, 2007, 02:27 PM
Ivanova's Avatar
Ivanova Ivanova is offline
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Posts: 647
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If we're lucky we'll see 2009 dates between February and April of 2008.

2008 was released in January 2007, but that was rushed on Disney's part (some die-hard fans found irrefutable proof that DCL was returning to Los Angeles; once the cat was out of the bag then DCL sped up their timeline and opened 2008 for booking on 1/31/2007).
__________________
Susan
Ships 'N' Trips Travel

Ships sailed: Disney Wonder / Disney Magic / Carnival Elation / RCCL Monarch of the Seas / RCCL Liberty of the Seas / RCCL Radiance of the Seas / RCCL Enchantment of the Seas / RCCL Oasis of the Seas / Celebrity Solstice / Star Princess / Norwegian Sun
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  #8  
Old July 29th, 2007, 03:36 PM
lumpkin lumpkin is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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I booked my 4 night bahamas, double cast cay cruise for August 2008, in Feb 2007 (18 months prior). Money is tight for us so we always need the cheapest inside quad, and those often go first. I check prices periodically, hoping that maybe they will go down, and our TA will give us a refund, but I just noticed today that the rates went up around $300 for the total cruise, same cabin type.
So definitely, book as soon as your cruise becomes available.
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  #9  
Old August 17th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Fun@C Fun@C is offline
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Location: South Jersey
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Default

We are thinking of a group cruise as well in 2009. What kinds of discounts/ freebies do they offer. I didn't think Disney gave any discounts! It would be awsome if they do!!
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Mariner of the Seas 2008
Disney Magic 2009
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  #10  
Old August 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Majesty Fan Majesty Fan is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Panama City Florida
Posts: 1,201
Talking bookings

Last year on the Magic i booked a 3 night for Feb 07. We got onboard from DCL and our TA $100 from DCL and $50 from TA. We aslo booked a cruise for this Dec but when the double dip dates came out we changed that for Oct 08 with a rate of around $1600 for a catg 12 guarantee. In Feb we had a the same and ended up with an 11. Feb tends to be more busy so I hope Oct will be better chance of a better cabin. Plus for this cruise we will have $200 OBC and $100 OBC from TA. As far as shore excursions go. We do our own. In Cozumel we rent a jeep and stop at Mr. Sanchos for the day then play some mini golf and have lunch prior to go back to the ship. The jeep was about $50 for the day. Grand Caymen we just went to Eden Rock and snorkeled. Castaway Cay was a lot of fun. In Feb it was way too cold for us Florida people so we rented bikes! We did not know there was aan air strip.
We like Oct as we go to WDW prior to the cruise for the MNSSHP (Haloween) and it is a blast! We can't wait for next year!
Lexi
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  #11  
Old August 19th, 2007, 11:49 AM
honeydog714 honeydog714 is offline
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Default get a TA to help you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun@C View Post
We are thinking of a group cruise as well in 2009. What kinds of discounts/ freebies do they offer. I didn't think Disney gave any discounts! It would be awsome if they do!!
If you qualify for a true group (eight cabins or more) you get all kinds of perks, free berth, and amenity points to spend. I have been the "group leader" a few times and my TA lets me decide how to spend the points, usually everyone gets a gift or two, an on board credit and then we split the free berth to discount everyone's price but it is up to you to decide, it is much easier with a good TA helping you.
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  #12  
Old August 19th, 2007, 12:27 PM
S.S.Oceanlover's Avatar
S.S.Oceanlover S.S.Oceanlover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majesty Fan View Post
Last year on the Magic i booked a 3 night for Feb 07. We got onboard from DCL and our TA $100 from DCL and $50 from TA. We aslo booked a cruise for this Dec but when the double dip dates came out we changed that for Oct 08 with a rate of around $1600 for a catg 12 guarantee. In Feb we had a the same and ended up with an 11. Feb tends to be more busy so I hope Oct will be better chance of a better cabin. Plus for this cruise we will have $200 OBC and $100 OBC from TA. As far as shore excursions go. We do our own. In Cozumel we rent a jeep and stop at Mr. Sanchos for the day then play some mini golf and have lunch prior to go back to the ship. The jeep was about $50 for the day. Grand Caymen we just went to Eden Rock and snorkeled. Castaway Cay was a lot of fun. In Feb it was way too cold for us Florida people so we rented bikes! We did not know there was aan air strip.
We like Oct as we go to WDW prior to the cruise for the MNSSHP (Haloween) and it is a blast! We can't wait for next year!
Lexi
How is Mr. Sanchos these days? I haven't been since the hurricane a couple years ago and was going there in a couple weeks. Wondering what to expect?

Bill
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  #13  
Old August 19th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Ivanova Ivanova is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun@C View Post
We are thinking of a group cruise as well in 2009. What kinds of discounts/ freebies do they offer. I didn't think Disney gave any discounts! It would be awsome if they do!!
It depends on the time of year on whether Disney has group space ... peak season sailings typically do not have group space available, but if you are looking at off peak times you can get discounts and amenities for a group of 8 staterooms or more.
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Ships 'N' Trips Travel

Ships sailed: Disney Wonder / Disney Magic / Carnival Elation / RCCL Monarch of the Seas / RCCL Liberty of the Seas / RCCL Radiance of the Seas / RCCL Enchantment of the Seas / RCCL Oasis of the Seas / Celebrity Solstice / Star Princess / Norwegian Sun
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