TouringPlans #Everywhere: My Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

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Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet
Halloween on the High Seas has taken over the Disney Cruise Line info booklet. (Photos by Seth Kubersky.)

My first-ever DCL cruise on the Disney Magic is only weeks away, and I recently received the Disney Cruise Info Booklet that indicates your trip is just around the corner. The booklet arrived not long after I made my shore excusion reservations — and adventure in itself I’ll detail below — and seeing our selections in print only increased my anticipation.

If you’ve never been on a Disney Cruise, you may be interested in seeing what their welcome mailer looks like, since it’s the customer service touches like this that separate DCL from its competitors. And if you’ve sailed with the Mouse a million times, you’ll notice a change to the packet, just in time for the spooky season.

Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet: Halloween on the High Seas Edition

 

If the emails DCL sent out to guests didn’t get the message to you, the cover of the info booklet certainly will: the Disney Magic (along with all its sister ships) is celebrating Halloween in style this year. I worked at Universal back when J. Michael Roddy, who wrote and directed the Halloween on the High Seas entertainment, was helping create Halloween Horror Nights, so I can’t wait to see what he’s cooked up to creep out the cruise.

 

Disney Cruise Line Luggage Tags

This pouch is the first thing you see upon opening the info booklet. If you want to have clean clothes to wear, you’re going to need to affix these luggage tags to anything you’re not carrying aboard. Since this is a 7-day cruise with multiple dress-up events, I’m going to need more than an overnight bag.

 

DCL Welcome Letter

I’m pretty certain DCL president Karl L. Holtz wrote and signed this personally for me.

 

DCL Checklist and Overview

The next few pages have some handy (if obvious) reminders of things to do before your cruise

 

DCL Itinerary and Port Adventures

It isn’t until page 11 that we arrive at the good stuff: a list of our booked port adventures, and the timeline for our sailing itinerary:

 

Here are the port excursions that my wife and I will be experiencing on our cruise:

St. Lucia: Soufriere Island Delight (Adult Only)

Grenada: Amazing Sculpture Park Snorkel by Powerboat

St. Kitts: Essential St. Kitts with Fairview (Adult Only) for my wife; Sky Safari Zip Lining for me

 

In Antigua and Barbados we’ll be striking out on our own to test some custom walking tours, so please send in any sightseeing suggestions (or warnings) if you’ve visited those ports.

As a first-time DCL cruiser, I learned some hard lessons about making port excursion reservations, which I’ll summarize to save other newbies some grief:

  • Do your research ahead of time. Create a list with at least 2 or 3 alternate excursions you are interested in at each port. I didn’t get all our first choices, but always got at least our third.
  • You can log into the Disney Cruise Line website at midnight on the day you’re eligible to book excursions (assuming you’ve set up your account ahead of time), but don’t be surprised if you experience issues. I found the website completely unresponsive until the early hours, and ended up going to bed and getting up early to finally get through.
  • Double-check that your trip is completely paid up before trying to book excursions, because you can’t book any extras if you still owe money. Due to a snafu, it turned out that final payment was still pending on my cruise, which delayed my booking several more hours. Don’t let this happen to you!
  • Finally, brunch at Palo may be the hardest ticket on the Disney Magic, especially with only one “at sea” day on the itinerary. I was out of luck when trying to book a table, but I’ve been told if I make a beeline to the reservtions desk once on board the boat, I stand a better than even chance of being able to tweet out photos of crab legs and champagne on October 12 (please don’t hate me…).

 

Other DCL Cruise Documets

The remainder of the packet contains miscelaneous information and documents you’ll want to have handy.

 

I wasn’t certain how much the standard tips were on Disney Crusie Line, so this page was helpful. I’m not sure what the advatage to pre-paying gratuities (vs. letting them be charged to your onboard account at the end) is for the guest, though it lets Disney earn interest on your money sooner.

Tear out these contact cards and give them to friends and family staying home in case of an emergency…or just to make them insanely jealous!
You can also mail-order gifts and merchandise, but since the items are only listed online, you’re better off just using the website.

 

And finally, the obligatory photo of Mickey. You may note that the booklet’s final page confirms that the Disney Magic will indeed depart Puerto Rico from the Pan American Pier, as the Disney Cruise Blog had reported months ago.

Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

8 thoughts on “TouringPlans #Everywhere: My Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

  • September 23, 2014 at 9:34 am
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    We’ll be on The Dream from Dec 8th to the 12th. Are there any Christmas events on the ships that early?

    Reply
  • September 23, 2014 at 11:01 am
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    Sorry, I have no info on Xmas cruise events, but since the parks start celebrating Christmas around Thanksgiving I imagine they’ll do something.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm
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    Looking forward to the same cruise. It will be our 4th, 2nd on the Disney Magic (Disney Dream, Disney Wonder). We are looking forward to seeing her “reimagined”. We still have that ‘awe’ when we walk into the Atrium! Happy Cruising!!

    Reply
    • September 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm
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      We will host a touring plans meetup at 1:30pm at the Aquadunk on our sea day. Hope to see you there!

      Reply
      • October 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm
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        We’ll see you there!

        Reply
  • September 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this information. I will be a first-time DCL cruiser in 2015, so this is very helpful!

    Reply
  • September 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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    We will also be on this cruise, and are so excited for the new itinerary. We fly into Puerto Rico on Thursday afternoon, and will do a ziplining tour on Friday. This will be our 4th Disney cruise, and we have loved every one of them! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! And thanks for the Pan American Pier info – somehow I missed that thus far 🙂

    Reply
    • September 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm
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      Glad I could help! Hope to see you at our Aquadunk meetup (1:30pm on sea day)

      Reply

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