Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rumors Abound About Disney Wonder and Canceled Cruises to Mexico

Rumors Abound About Disney Wonder and Canceled Cruises to Mexico

            The Disney Cruise sent notices out to people that had booked cruises on the Wonder to the Mexican Riviera in December 2012. The notice stated that people who booked Mexican Riviera Cruses on the Disney Wonder for the dates Dec 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th will need to make other plans.

            Here are the three options Disney is giving guests booked to sail on these dates.

1.     Book on another 7 night Disney Cruise. For those scheduled on the Dec 9th and 16th cruises they will get a $250 on board credit for changing dates. For those on the more coveted Christmas cruise dates, Dec 23rd and 30th they will receive a $500 shipboard credit.

2.    Call and cancel the cruise for a full refund with no extra incentive.

3.    For those who do nothing they will automatically be rescheduled for the Dec 2nd cruise. They can change to another date later with no shipboard credit given for the change.

            Guests will be charged or refunded the difference between the cruise they had booked and the cruise they end up on.

            In my opinion it behooves you to make the change quickly! This way you can still book a cruise on a date you wish and you will get the shipboard credit for your troubles.

            No reason has been given for the changes but several message boards are buzzing with thoughts. The reason can be anything from the Magic going out of service for refurbishment before the 2013 schedule to Disney leaving the Mexican cruise market altogether and returning the Wonder to the East Coast. It may be that the Magic is being refitted for going to Hawaii. Whatever the reason if you are booked for those dates you need to deal with it quickly.

            Here are my thoughts. I'd like to see the Wonder stay on the West Coast but alter direction and sail North instead of South. I'd like to see the Wonder hit San Francisco or San Diego, Oregon and Washington maybe going into Canada instead of going to Mexico. I feel more people would book going in that direction because of the increasing danger associated with travel to Mexico. Many other cruise lines have left Mexico due to the dangers. Holland America is one of the more recent ones to pull out of Mexico until the violence calms down. People will think more than twice about taking young children into an area that is considered as unsafe as Mexico. They could also do more of the very popular Los Angeles to Hawaii two week cruises. When DCL offered its first Hawaiian cruise from Los Angeles it was book full in four days! It was so popular they scheduled another one shortly after that. It also filled up quickly.

            I was on the Wonder in the Mexican Riviera in March of this year. In our first port there was Mexican Army dressed in full battle gear guarding the port! They had fully loaded AK47s at the ready! This made us, and many other guests reconsider getting off the ship. We chose not to leave the port and in fact returned to the ship quickly. Our stop at Mazatlan was canceled all together due to safety concerns before we sailed. Cabo was beautiful and had Mexican Navy personal stationed all over. They were in full dress uniforms instead of battle gear and had their side arms holstered. We felt safe enough in the port but once again did not leave the port area. We enjoyed a quiet day on the ship enjoying all the amenities a Disney Cruise ship offers. We did not take our teenage daughter with us this trip and we were glad of that. I would really think hard and long about taking a child of any age to Mexico at this time. More drug related violence is happening around and in what in the past were considered the safe zones of tourist areas. Since our cruise a drug cartel homemade sub was found off the shore of Cabo making that once thought untouchable spot suspect for more danger.

            I love the idea of a Disney Cruise ship in the Hawaiian Islands! I think it fits perfectly with the new Aulani, in Kapolei, Hawaii. People could do a land/sea package and stay at the resort before or after an Island Hopping cruise. The resort also would give the cruise line a possible private beach to let the cruisers play at. It could be the Hawaiian equivalent of Castaway Cay.

            Once the Fantasy is in service in just a few months I'd love to see the Magic in Hawaii, the Wonder stay on the West Coast doing West Coast US cruises into Canada and Alaska. At this time I know the plan is to keep the Dream and Fantasy in Port Canaveral, Florida doing Bahamian, Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. The reason I'm sure the Dream and her sister ship the Fantasy will be staying on the East Coast is the fact neither ship can fit through the Panama Cannel at this time.

            So hang tight West Coast Disney Cruise Line fans!! Keep your ears open for more information on the happenings with the DCL.

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