Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hardest Decision When Booking a Disney Cruise

Hardest Decision When Booking a Disney Cruise

            You have decided to go on a Disney Cruise, congratulations!! You have chosen one of the most relaxing and fun vacation choices! You can do as much or as little as you wish and everything you need is right there. The epitome of a no hassle vacation!
            Now, the crucial question is what category cabin is best for you. There are three basic categories of cabins, Inside, Oceanview, Oceanview with Veranda. Inside each group are subcategories.
            If price is your major concern I suggest an Inside cabin. There are two subcategories, Standard Inside Cabin and the Deluxe Inside Cabin. The major difference between the two is that the Deluxe Inside Cabin has a split bath while the Standard Inside Cabin has a more traditional bath.
The major drawback to Inside Cabins is there is no porthole/window. If you have problems with enclosed spaces this could become difficult for you. Disney solved the problem when they installed Virtual Portholes on their two newest ships the Dream and Fantasy. Virtual Portholes or video screens placed in each Inside Cabin that are linked to a camera on the outside of the ship that shows the view you would have if a porthole could be placed there. These cabins are also smaller ranging in size from 169 sq. ft. to 214 sq. ft. and can accommodate three people. This is the full range of sizes on all four ships. Size and availability depends on the ship you choose.
            Oceanview Cabins on Disney Ships may have one large or two small portals. Some Oceanview Cabins are less expensive because they may have obstructed view, something normally hangs in the way of the window. The Oceanview Cabins are 200-214 sq. ft. in size and can accommodate 3 to 4 people.
            The only “negative” thing I have to say about an Oceanview Cabin is the fact you cannot open the porthole. If you suffer from claustrophobia I highly recommend an Oceanview Cabin. If you can’t afford a veranda this is a great option. It is a pleasure to wake up in the morning and sit and look out “Your Porthole” and see the spectacular views of ocean and ports.

            Oceanview Cabins with Veranda have three major subcategories, Oceanview with Navigator Veranda, Deluxe Oceanview with Veranda and Family Deluxe Oceanview with Veranda. You may wonder what a Veranda is. Simply put it is a private balcony.
            The Oceanview with Navigator Veranda has a private veranda with nautical touches and a large open–air porthole in the solid white wall of the railing. These range in size from 246 sq. ft. to 268 sq. ft. depending on the ship you are on. These cabins can accommodate three people. The verandas in these cabins are not very wide but have plenty of room for two chairs placed sideways.
            The Deluxe Oceanview with Navigator Veranda cabin is wonderful for those that need “fresh air”. This can also give you a nice quiet place to spend a few private moments. Be aware some of these cabins may have obstructed view from the porthole. Just think, start the day sitting on your private veranda with a cup of coffee or ending the day with a nice drink as you watch the stars come out.
            The Deluxe Oceanview with Veranda can accommodate up to four people. These range in size from 246 sq. ft. to 268 sq. ft. depending on the ship you are on. These cabins can accommodate four people. The veranda is wider in these cabins than the Navigator size. Also there is no “wall” above the rail. The veranda is more open getting a more unobstructed view.
            The Deluxe Family Oceanview with Veranda can accommodate up to five people. These cabins range in size from 299 sq. ft. to 304 sq. ft. depending on the ship you are on.
            There is a fourth category of cabin called Concierge Level. These have special lounges reserved just for them along with other privileges. There are Family Oceanview, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and Royal Suite. They range in size from 304 sq. ft. to 1,781 sq. ft. The Concierge Level Cabins have DVD players, TVs, wet bar and even games for the family to play. These cabins can accommodate between five and seven people.
            Besides choosing what category cabin you want you need to take into consideration the location of the cabin. Location of the cabin is as important if not more important than the category for your comfort. You may have a beautiful large cabin with a large veranda but it’s at the back to the ship. That may not be the best for you!
If you have problems with motion sickness the center of the ship is where you want your cabin to be. To make it even better the lower decks are more stable. Simply put if you suffer from motion sickness you want mid-ship lower-level.
Once your travel agent books you on a cruise or you book online and you have your cabin number go to the Disney cruise website (see link at end of post) and look at the deck plans. See what is above and below your cabin. Having your cabin a deck below a lounge/bar may not be the best. I’ve heard guests complain of hearing the music and the “stamping of dancing feet” when staying in cabins below lounges and kids clubs. Also be aware of the kid’s areas. You may not want to be above or below those either.
Once you’ve checked their cabins location if you decide you wish to change it go ahead and call your travel agent, if you used one or contact Disney if you booked yourself and request a change of cabin location. The success of getting your room change depends on availability. I always recommend booking cruises early so you have the best chance of getting the category cabin you wish and having time to change cabin and staying within the same category if needed.

No matter what category cabin you have unless it is Concierge Level you have the same privileges as everybody else. Everyone is treated like royalty on a Disney cruise. Your access to shipboard amenities is not related to your cabin level. So if you cannot afford that cabin with a veranda enjoy the inside cabin and being on the ship.

Links for Disney Cruise Ship deck plans:

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