Archive for February, 2012

Disney’s Reservation System Outages

We received the following information concerning Disney’s reservations systems.  This affects all US systems, except for Disney Cruise Line.

Disney will perform a reservation-system enhancement beginning at 3 a.m. Eastern time (12 a.m. Pacific) on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, and lasting until the late afternoon that day. This enhancement will allow us to better assist you and your Clients in the future.

During this time, our systems will not be fully functional and we will not be able to process room-only or vacation-package reservations for the Walt Disney World ® Resort by phone or online. This includes making new resort reservations, making modifications to existing resort reservations, providing confirmations or taking payments.

We also will be unable to process reservations for dining, dinner shows, tours, recreation and children’s activity centers at the Walt Disney World Resort, as well as for Cirque du Soleil ® La Nouba ™, and Clients temporarily will be unable to access Disney’s Online Check-In Service.

In addition, we will be unable to process room-only or vacation-package reservations for Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, the Hotels of the Disneyland ® Resort or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa . We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

If you have Clients who need to make a payment or modify their Disney reservation, please make every effort to complete these prior to the morning of Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, or after our systems return to full operation. We expect to be back to full functionality on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 23, 2012, and will be glad to accommodate your requests at that time.

Please note that this enhancement project also will affect our systems one additional night this month. The next overnight impact currently is scheduled for Feb. 27 from 4-7 a.m. Dates and times are subject to change, so please check back for the latest information.

Ten Days Until the Fantasy Christening

Last year I attended the Disney Dream® Christening.  It was much different than the Disney Fantasy® Christening will be.

I remember in late December we were following the Dream on her journey across the ocean, hearing how those on the early January sailings of the Disney Magic® were treated to her site and sounds.  She then arrived in Port Canaveral for the first time.  Many gathered to greet her as she sailed down the channel toward the terminal.  It was certainly an exciting day!

After this followed several preview cruises where the crew “practiced” with Disney cast members and their families.  Photos emerged on many sites so we all had an idea of what they ship looked like inside.

Finally, on January 19 came the Christening.  It was a beautiful day in Port Canaveral when we gathered at the terminal on bleachers to watch the event.  We waited for a long time for the ceremony to begin then enjoyed the performance.  Afterwards, we had champagne and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate and pass the time until we would get onboard for our two night sailing.

The sailing itself wasn’t that remarkable.  We spent a lot of time exploring to see things that we hadn’t seen pictures of and to take more pictures of other areas.  It was a quick trip.  Set sail at 5:00 pm, at Castaway Cay the next day, back to Port Canaveral the next morning.  Don’t get me wrong, it was great to get onboard, it just was a quick cruise with nothing extra special, except of course the precruise event.

It will be much different with the Disney Fantasy.  Last week she set sail for her trip across the ocean.  We have seen some photos, but not a lot.  We haven’t seen any from inside the clubs of Europa.

On February 28, she will arrive in New York City.  Instead of this being the end of the Transatlantic Cruise and starting the “preview” cruises, this will merely be a four day stop and then continue on to Castaway Cay, followed by Port Canaveral and then the start of the “preview” cruises.

During this stay in NYC, there will be media and travel agent previews of the ship.  On March 1, 2012, an evening Christening will take place.  We have been told that there will be a small amount of time that we will be outside, but then we will be onboard for the remainder of the night.

So what do we expect for the evening?  What would you like to see happen?  What do you want us to check out on the ship?  Can’t wait!!

A Bit of Aulani in the Winter

Wouldn’t a trip to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, be great about right now?  While our winter hasn’t been that bad, a Hawaiian island paradise would be so much better!

Next week you can “visit” Aulani yourself, just by watching “LIVE! With Kelly”.  The show is currently taping at Aulani and the episodes will air next week.  They will be showing beautiful views of the Resort.  Check your local listings for the details.

Additionally, on May 6 and May 13 on “America’s Funniest Videos” will air episodes that were recently filed at Aulani.  Host Tom Bergeron took time during the shoot to slide down Tubestone Curl into Waikolohe Streem and joined the dancers of the “Starlit Hui”.

 

Thank You Travel On A Dream Agents!

On my recent trip to Peru I was faced with a big dilemma.  Traditionally, it is busiest for travel agents starting in January.  Additionally, it was rumored that Disney Cruise Line® would be releasing 2013 sailings on the Disney Magic® and Disney Wonder®.  I had a wonderful opportunity from Adventures by Disney® to go and experience their product in Peru.

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity, but had no choice in the dates of the adventure.  This was a great chance to share with so many people what Adventures by Disney was all about.  When I told people I was going to Peru with Disney, many said “I didn’t know there was a Disney park in Peru”.  This meant a lot of education needed to be done!  So I set out to show everyone all about Adventures by Disney.  I had an incredible time, but it was coming at a cost.

We are a small agency, so going away during a very busy time of year is difficult.  A good friend of mine offered to come in and handle the phones while I was gone.  Little did she know how busy it would be!  She is a retired travel agent so she knew the job, just not the new procedures, etc. that we follow.

One of my agents is my sister and she totally stepped up!  Maybe she felt she owed me, maybe she now feels I owe her, I don’t know, but it was great!  She hopped right to the challenge.  She took off time where she could with her other jobs and worked nights and weekends to make sure that all of our clients got the best possible service we could give, without noticing that I was gone!  It worked!  The feedback from clients has been great.  We managed to get everyone what they were looking for in terms of new dates, including many last minute requests and changes. She organized what had to be done and set up the appropriate agents to assist.

While Deb was the person who the clients dealt with, it was also the dedication from Deb, Regina and Debbie that got it all done.  I sincerely thank them for all of their hard work and from what I’ve heard, our clients thank them too!

Disney Fantasy About To Set Sail

Yesterday, the Disney Fantasy® was blessed and soon she will be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on her way to New York City for her Christening on March 1.  On Travel On A Dream’s Facebook wall, you can see a video of the Blessing of the ship.

We also found a photo of the Atrium on the ship, taken by a Crew Member.

I am really liking the coloring better than the artist rendering.  It looks much more subdued than the lime green suggested before.

Finally, we found some new photos posted on a German site with a slideshow inside the Fantasy.  You can find those photos here http://www.schiffe-und-kreuzfahrten.de/bildergalerie/disney-fantasy-160-bilder-des-neuen-disney-kreuzfahrtschiffs-waehrend-der-ausruestung/.

What we noticed is there aren’t many pictures of La Piazza, the entertainment district.  I can’t wait to see this area!

I wonder where this will be!  Can’t wait to find out — hopefully in a couple weeks.  What are you most excited so see on the Disney Fantasy?  Answer our poll on Facebook and join in the discussion!

What Does Valentines Day Mean To You?

I woke up this morning and said “Happy Valentines Day” to my husband.  He left for work, like he does every work day.  This afternoon, he’ll be home and we’ll have dinner, watch some TV then go to bed to get ready for another day.

I posted “Happy Valentines Day” on Facebook and the response was “only the card companies celebrate Valentines Day!!!”.  With further clarification, she said that you shouldn’t just celebrate your love one day a year.

I agree that most holidays have become too commercialized.  I don’t want candy, flowers or jewelry.  I also don’t want to go out for a special dinner in the winter on a day when everyone else is trying to go out to celebrate.

As with most gift-giving holidays, my husband and I have abandoned giving gifts to just enjoying eachother’s company then planning something else.  It might be a major purchase or a trip somewhere (maybe a cruise!).

So what are you going to do for Valentines Day?  Do you celebrate with traditional gifts of candy, flowers or jewelry or do you do something else or nothing at all?

Which Do You Prefer?

Some of you have never cruised on a Disney Cruise Line® cruise, while others have cruised many times.  This question is more for someone who has cruised at least once on Disney but we welcome opinions from others as well.

If you have cruised on the Disney Magic® or Disney Wonder®, which would you prefer to do for your next Disney cruise?

Cruising on the Disney Dream® or Disney Fantasy® will give you the option to see some of the new technological advances of these ships, new decor and features as well.  Cruising different ships in the fleet will also give you new entertainment options.  What you don’t get with the newer ships is new itineraries.  3, 4 and 5 night cruises to the Bahamas are what you will get with the Disney Dream while 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings will be offered on the Disney Fantasy.

If you choose the Disney Wonder or Disney Magic, there is a wide variety of new home ports and destinations to visit.  In 2012, you could sail out of Galveston, Texas or New York City on the Disney Magic.  You could sail out of Seattle on the Disney Wonder.  With destinations such as the New England Coast and Canada, Bahamas, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera and the Caribbean, there is something for everyone.  In 2013, you can go on a Transatlantic sailing to Barcelona or sail the Mediterranean sea with new ports of call such as Venice, Dubrovnik, and Mykonos just to name a few.  Or you could choose a Panama Canal sailing on the Disney Wonder in either direction.  For those with more time on their hands, how about a Panama Canal sailing followed by a repositioning cruise to Vancouver and finish up with a 7 night Alaskan sailing.  Can you think of a better way to spend a month next year?

So what will you do?  Will it be a standard itinerary of the Bahamas or Caribbean on one of the new ships of Disney Cruise Line or will it be a new, exciting itinerary on one of the classic ships?  Check out our Facebook page and vote on your choice.

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