Archive for the ‘Mediterranean’ Category

Ready to Cruise in 2014?

Back in early December, 2012, Disney Cruise Line opened up bookings for the first half of 2014 sail dates.  Many guests were waiting for the rest of the year to open up to see what the classic ships would be doing for the summer.  While we don’t have any more information on when and where, there have been some interesting rumors that have surfaced in the last few weeks.

First we’ll start with the Disney Fantasy.  Port calendars seem to indicate that the Fantasy will be doing only Eastern Caribbean sailings starting in November, 2014.  For those that love the extra day at sea, you won’t have to make sure you are selecting a week that will visit the Eastern Caribbean.  What this all means for the Western Caribbean, we are not sure.  Some sites are speculating that the Disney Wonder will have 7 night sailings only to the Western Caribbean.  We are not sure if these will start from Miami or Galveston or somewhere else altogether.

Based on port calendars from Madeira and Villefranche, it does look like the Disney Magic will be going back to the Mediterranean for summer sailings there.  Initially, Villefranche revealed a large gap in the middle of the summer, but dates have recently been added making it more likely that the Magic will be staying in the Mediterranean all summer, rather than going to the Baltics as some guests had hoped.  This also would mean two transatlantic sailings.  It seems likely that the Eastbound Transatlantic will be in May while it looks like the Westbound Transatlantic will be in late September or early October.  After she returns to the US, the Magic may be doing alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings, or go back to the schedule that the Disney Wonder currently is sailing with alternating 4, 5 and 5 night sailings to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean.

The Wonder will likely go back to Alaska for the summer months.  This will mean a Panama Canal sailing.  One thing that was very interesting was a 9-night sailing that appeared on Disney Cruise Line’s website last week and Sitka, Alaska as a port of call.  One blogger also found an article indicating that Disney Cruise Line would be in Sitka for one sailing in 2014.

While we have no advanced knowledge of an announcement from Disney as to when these dates will be up for sale, we have seen in the past that once the ships are showing up on port calendars, the announcement is generally not far behind.  Some sites are saying February 11, 2013 will be the announcement so hopefully we will have more information next week.

Travel On A Dream agents are ready for the announcement and subsequent sale of these cruise dates.  Most of our agents have short waitlists for these dates so unlike the larger online travel agencies, we can get to your requests much sooner.  Contact us as soon as possible to get your place in line.  In addition to our quality service, we also offer onboard credits as a thank you for booking with us and referral credits as well.  If 2014 is not on your radar and you are looking to book for 2013, we have a bonus onboard credit offer for sailings through the end of the year.  Contact your Travel On A Dream agent or email info@travelonadream.com.

IMG_0431_2_3_tonemapped (1280x851)007

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.

Disney Cruise Line Opens New Options for 2013

On Tuesday, Disney Cruise Line® announced several new itineraries for the Disney Magic® and Disney Wonder®.  Bookings begin online today.

As we have previously suggested, the Disney Magic will return from her home port in Galveston to Barcelona, Spain for a summer of Mediterranean cruises.  This time though we are seeing some new itineraries including ports of call in the Eastern Mediterranean, a very desired option for many Mediterranean cruisers.  The Disney Magic will call on Venice and Dubrovnik on two 12 night itineraries and will call on Turkey and two Greek Isles (Athens & Mykonos) on two additional 12 night itineraries.  She will also offer two 4 night cruises from Barcelona to Villefranche, France and Palma de Malcora, Spain.  The summer will be filled with 7 night Western Mediterranean sailings from Barcelona.

The Disney Wonder will return through the Panama Canal in December 2012 and call Miami, Florida home for the Spring, offering a 6 night and 7 night sailing to complete the year followed by 4 and 5 night sailings to the Western Caribbean and Bahamas.  She will then return through the Panama Canal once again and reposition to Vancouver, British Columbia for 7 night Alaskan Cruises.

So which 2013 itinerary are you most looking forward to?  Have you or will you book one of these sailings?

Let’s Focus On the Mediterranean

Since many of you are hoping for a Disney Magic® Mediterranean sailing in 2013, I thought today I would talk about some of the ports in the Mediterranean and explore possible options.  While none of the information we and others have found for the 2013 itineraries has been confirmed by Disney just yet, putting the information together gives us at least a partial picture of what could be.

If the Disney Magic continues sailings out of Galveston in 2013, which we do anticipate based on the port schedule at Grand Cayman, this will add at least another day to a Transatlantic sailing, which would be why we are not seeing enough of a gap between Madeira and Gibraltar to add a stop at Cadiz like she has done in the past.

Next comes the question of a home port.  Based on the surveys from Disney Cruise Line recently, this could either be Barcelona or Civitavecchia (Rome).  With a home port of Civitavecchia, we would expect alternating 7 night Mediterranean sailings from the West to the East.  However, the port schedule for Villefranche doesn’t seem to support this.  With a home port of Barcelona, we could see Western Mediterranean sailings, but we could also see a long cruise with both Western and Eastern Mediterranean ports.  Still this doesn’t quite support what we are seeing at Villefranche.  It’s possible that there will be a variety of different itineraries and the port schedule definitely supports this.  August definitely has the appearance of seven night sailings while July has some evidence of 12 night sailings.  Hopefully, this will all become clearer soon.

So lets assume that the sailings, whether originating from Barcelona or Civitavecchia, will include stops in both the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.  Where could the ship stop?  Here are some of the ideas, based on Disney Cruise Line’s surveys and other ship’s itineraries in the area.

  • Venice, Italy
  • Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Athens, Greece
  • Ephesus, Turkey
  • Marseille, France
  • Genoa, Italy
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Kusadasi, Turkey
  • Crete
  • Messina, Italy
  • Heraklion, Greece
  • Naples, Italy
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Piraeus, Greece
  • Izmir, Turkey
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Argostolion, Greece
  • Kotor, Serbia and Montenegro
  • Carthage, Tunisia
  • Ibiza, Spain

Please join in the discussion here or on our Facebook Page about where you would like to go!

Will the Disney Magic Return to Europe in 2013?

Many of our fans and clients are hoping to see a Mediterranean itinerary back on Disney Cruise Line®’s schedule for 2013.  Rumors that are circulating on Facebook and other discussion forums seem to support this idea!

Keep in mind that port schedules can be changed any time and until Disney Cruise Line announcing what is happening, these are just rumors.  We do not have any confirmation from Disney as to what has been found.

Here is what we are finding.

The Disney Magic® is on the port schedules in a number of European ports of call.  The first one to turn up was Madeira, Portugal.  The two dates showing on their schedule are May 28 and October 16, 2013.  Disney has used Madeira in previous Transatlantic crossings, plus as a stop for the new ships coming from Germany.

The next port showing the Disney Magic is Gibralter on May 30 and October 14, 2013.  This also coincides with a Transatlantic crossing.

Here’s where things are not clear.  The only other port showing the Disney Magic on its schedule is Villefranche with many stops between May 31 and September 2, 2013.  Some of the stops are only 2 days apart while others are up to 12 days apart.  This could mean that Disney hasn’t finalized the plans with other ports and wants to have options available in Villefranche.

Finally, we are seeing the Disney Magic on the port schedule for St. Maarten on October 22.  This also makes sense with a return Transatlantic sailing.  The Disney Magic is back on the schedule for Grand Cayman in early November, but then alternates weeks there.

As I stated at the beginning of this blog, these are rumors based on information from the ports of call directly.  Nothing has been confirmed.  We hope to see something official in the near future.

When Will The Rest of 2013 Come Out?

This has been the biggest question we have heard since Tuesday’s announcement of the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream itineraries for 2013.  Seasoned Disney cruisers are waiting for something new.  When I ask my clients what do they want to see, the number one response is “Eastern Mediterranean”.  I think the most important thing for many of these cruisers is that they have options for new itineraries.

I am the same way.  I have been to the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean.  I’ve been through the Panama Canal twice.  Would I go again?  Yes, but only if the ports of call on the way are different than what I’ve experienced before.  This is why the Galveston sailings of the Disney Magic don’t interest me.  I have to travel to get to Galveston or Port Canaveral so that’s not important to me.  If I want to go to the Western Caribbean – specifically Grand Cayman and Cozumel – I will go to Florida and go on the Disney Fantasy before I’ll go to Galveston for the same ports of call.

Speaking of Galveston, I hope that Disney changes the itinerary for 2013 on the Disney Magic.  Galveston cruises were an exciting prospect until the itineraries were announced.  I think a lot of people felt the way that I did about that.  Some of the New York City sailings are popular, but I still think that more people would like to see the Disney Magic return to Europe with a new itinerary.

We have heard rumors of sailings to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean.  This was furthered by Disney Cruise Line’s own survey of past guests, asking their opinion of this possibility.  With both an Eastern and Western Mediterranean itinerary offered, there are possibilities of doing back to back sailings and not repeating the same ports of call.  A lot of cruisers have done the transatlantic sailing and either the first or last Mediterranean sailing, making for an extended European vacation without having to fly both ways to Europe.  Having a rotating itinerary throughout the summer will spread out the demand from just the first and last Mediterranean cruises.  Another disappointment in 2010 was when Disney Cruise Line chartered the last Mediterranean cruise.  This left one back to back option with different ports of call.  Hopefully that won’t happen again.

So the answer to the question – When will the rest of 2013 itineraries come out?  Your guess is as good as mine!  We have heard rumors with the release being as early as today to as late as “next Spring”.  We monitor all information and once we have more specific information about release dates, we will be advising everyone.

Here are some tips to get yourself ready though. If you are working with a travel agent, let them know what you want to do as soon as possible, even before the dates and itineraries are announced.  This will get you in line with the rest of their clients.  Not every travel agent has a waitlist though so be prepared.  What you want to figure out is the following:

  • Which itineraries you would be interested in – don’t just stick with your top choice, spell out what all you would be interested in doing.
  • Which dates you are interested in – be specific but also allow for other choices.  My clients will give me their first, second, etc. choices in dates.
  • Which categories you are interested in – again, either specify rooms or categories you want but also allow for alternatives if your choices aren’t available.
  • Make sure your agent has all of your information – if you just want a quote, your agent won’t be able to guarantee pricing without having legal names and dates of birth/ages at a minimum.  We can get you a courtesy hold, but not if you tell us “I have 2 adults and 2 kids, age 14 and 10”.  Prices can and do go up without holding the reservation so make sure your agent is ready to hold something for you.
  • Have patience but don’t expect miracles – if you email your agent on the day the itineraries are available, you will likely be at the bottom of their list.  You can’t expect them to move you to the top at that point.

I have heard that some people emailed their agents before the release on Tuesday and didn’t get a response back right away.  They waited to hear back from the agent only to find out that the agent wasn’t ready for the release.  You need to feel confident in your travel agent.  If you don’t, you will not feel comfortable waiting for them to get things done for you.

If you are a previous cruiser, you can check in your Castaway Club area on the web to see when your booking is made.  Of course, if your agent doesn’t have this information (they will need your date of birth and your Castaway Club identification number to book this online), it won’t show up in your profile, even if they have a reservation for you, until they are able to link up your Castaway Club number with your reservation.

We have a mailing list and as we get more information on possible itineraries or release dates we send out emails to the list.  To get on the list, please email info@travelonadream.com.

Where Do You Want to Cruise?

For those not familiar with cruising, you may think that cruises only go to the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera.  Most probably realize that ships also go to Alaska and the Mediterranean.  But where else can you go on a cruise?  Just about anywhere!

The most popular cruising destinations are the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska.  But there are so many more places to cruise.  The Bahamas and Caribbean cover a wide area with the Bahamian islands down to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, to the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands and Netherlands Antilles to the east and South.  To the West there is Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and even the Panama Canal.  Caribbean Cruises operate year-round, but fewer companies offer these sailing in the summer months.  Panama Canal sailings can be a half transit (roundtrip sailing) or a full transit (repositioning sailing).

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: