Sunday, September 25, 2011

East Coast, West Coast or someplace else?

Where does the Disney Cruise go and how do you pick?



       Ok so you have decided that you want to go on a Disney Cruise. So now where are you going to go? The main home port for the Disney Cruise is Port Canaveral, Florida. This was the only port the Magic and Wonder called home for many years. One major benefit of going out of Florida is a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s privet island.

As the popularity of the Disney Cruise Line grew Disney branched out and started taking one of the ships across the ocean to the Mediterranean and a visit to the UK for a couple of months out of the year. 2011 is the last scheduled trip to the Mediterranean. At this time they have no immediate publicized plans to return, not that they could not in the future.

Disney moves its ships around to give guests the best travel experience possible. Up until this year they would leave one ship in Florida during Hurricane season and move the other to a calmer location giving guests a choice. When the Fantasy comes into service in 2012 there will be two ships based in Florida at all times. Now that there is one ship on the West Coast they move her out of Los Angeles and stop going to Mexico during the hotter summer months and go to Alaska during those months instead where the weather is much more comfortable.

       A few years ago Disney decided that the West Coast needed a Disney Cruise ship. So during the 50th anniversary celebration of Disneyland the Magic came to take happy cruisers on a Disney Cruise to Mexico. Now the Wonder is permanently based at the Port of Los Angeles, California. For most of the year they go out of Los Angeles to Mexico. For a couple of months out of the year they relocate and travel to Alaska. For 2011 they moved the ship to Vancouver, Canada to do the Alaskan cruises. For 2012 the Wonder will be based in Washington for the Alaskan cruises.

       This year Disney added a two week cruise out of Los Angeles to Hawaii. This cruise was so popular it sold out in less than one week and Disney has changed its itinerary in October and added another two week cruise to Hawaii. I’m hoping they will add more next year and reduce the number of cruises to Mexico.

       These are the ports the individual ships will be going out of in 2011 and 2012 and the general areas they will be going.

       Disney Magic ~ Various ports check DisneyCruise.com for dates.

              Florida until the Disney Fantasy comes into service in May, 2012.

New York on 2, 3 and 8 day cruises for part of the year. From this port they will go to Canada and down the East Coast to Florida.

Galveston, Texas on 7 night cruise in the Gulf of Mexico to Mexico and other areas.

       Disney Wonder ~ Los Angeles most of the year with a short stay in Vancouver, Canada and next year Washington.

Los Angeles on 7 night cruises to Mexico. In 2011 they are doing 2 14 night cruises to Hawaii.

              Vancouver, Canada on 7 night cruises to Alaska. Summer 2011

              Washington on 7 night cruises to Alaska. Summer 2012

       Disney Dream ~ Port Canaveral, Florida

Disney Dream does 3, 4 and 5 night cruises in the Bahamas that always include 1 or 2 stops at Castaway Cay. On the 3 and 4 night you get 1 stop at Castaway Cay and on 5 night you get 2 stops at Castaway Cay.

       Disney Fantasy ~ Comes into service May 2012

At this time the published reports say the Fantasy will be based out of Florida with her Twin the Dream. She will do 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

       Now that you know where the ships go and where they go out of. Here are things to consider when choosing where to go. How long a cruise do you wish to go on? What countries are you most interested in seeing? Is cost to travel to the port a big factor in your choice? Maybe you can afford the cruise but the flight to get to the ship breaks the bank. What countries are you comfortable visiting? Is going to Castaway Cay an important part of your cruise plans and not to be missed?

       Here are is something to consider. Check out the US State Department travel warning website (http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html ) to see travel warnings for the area you are considering going to. There has been a sharp rise in violence in Mexico in tourist areas. This type of thinking is even more important to families with young children. My suggestion is if that is where you go and you are uncomfortable stay on the ship while in port. There is plenty to do on the ship. Also while in port the spa gives discounts so this is a good time to visit the spa!

       No matter where you go know that Disney will do everything possible to keep you safe and to make you feel safe while traveling. If a storm threatens the ports you are scheduled for Disney will alter the itinerary to stay out of the storms way. If a port is damaged by a storm shortly before you go Disney will find another port to go to. When violence increased near a port Disney was scheduled to go to they changed their itinerary and no longer go there but stopped at a safer port for two days instead.

       So go and enjoy yourself knowing Disney will do everything possible to keep you safe and insure you have a good time no matter where you go.

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