OMG We have booked our first Cruise!!!! A DISNEY UK Staycation!!

Photo credit – Disney

I am beyond excited!

As a family that love everything Disney and who go as often as we can afford, be it Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland Paris, we have never considered a Cruise, even a Disney Cruise.

It was only once I started researching the UK Disney Cruises did I discover just how Disney they are!!

I had just wrongly presumed they were Cruise ships owned by Disney!!

But seeing as we have moved our 2021 trip to WDW to 2022 this was something for serious consideration!!

Based on the fact that we had only been on overnight ferries between the UK and France in the past and I hated sleeping in the stuffy inside rooms, hearing every creak all night, this was a perfect chance to test if a Cruise was for me.

Sadly, Disney don’t advertise their pricing until General Release day, so I had no idea on pricing, but looking online at future proper Disney Cruises, I decided that for the 2 of us, £500 per room per night was my ceiling price. I also decided that a Verandah (Balcony) room was the only choice for me and that we would only do the shortest Cruise, a 2-night Cruise in case we hated it.

Luckily, I came across a Facebook group – Disney Cruise Line UK Disney Magic, Summer Staycation 2021 – the admins of the group are experienced Cruisers as are many of the members of the group, there were also many newbies like me.

Photo credit – Disney

Next stage of the Magic at Sea Cruise booking process.

As many of the members of the Facebook group were regular cruisers, they have privileges allowing them to book before general release and they kindly shared the pricing to us all.

The pricing looked within my price range, but the next issue was, would there be any rooms left after 2 days of previous cruisers having booked their cruises?

On the Friday the phone lines were due to open at 9am (on previous days there had been reports of people on the phone for many hours to get through!!) For general release we would also we able to book online, but everyone was expecting the lines to crash ☹

But there were rumours that Disney might load the pages onto the website early 😊

So, I set my alarm and got up at 5am – nothing had changed. Had my shower checked again at 6am – still no change. Made a cuppa and checked at 7am, they had added the UK ports to be used on their UK Magic at Sea Cruises 😊. Checked again at 7.15 I think it was and it was all there 😊😊

OMG the panic set in, I needed to get this booked, presuming the prices were still good as they were over the previous couple of days, as Disney Cruise Line use dynamic pricing.

I had done a ton of research on room types, what was on each floor and pros and cons of the various locations, so had a short list to go by for booking.

My preference was:

  • A room with a Verandah
    • 1st choice plexiglass verandah
    • 2nd choice white wall verandah
    • 3rd choice navigator verandah
  • Location wise my 1st choice was AFT – the back of the ship, due to the closeness of the beverage refill stations.
  • Floor of choice was Deck 7 as there are Staterooms above and below, so would limit the noise against public areas.

What I got was 😊

  • A room with a plexiglass verandah 😊
  • The first AFT room after midship (the room next door cost £60 more!) 😊
  • And our room was on Deck 7.
  • With a total cost of £1048 including port fees for 2 nights, so just £48 over budget, but I got absolutely everything I wanted.
  • Just perfect 😊😊😊
Photo credit – Disney

So, what do I get for my money?

Obviously due to COVID-19 there are some changes to a normal Disney Cruise, this is what we are currently being told is on offer

  • Disney Magic!
  • Disney Cast members
  • A deluxe room with a verandah
    • King bed and sofa in the room.
  • Free unlimited food
    • Although there are some places you can choose to buy food from
  • Free unlimited soft drinks, tea and coffee from the beverage station and with your meal
    • There are speciality drinks which are to be paid for
  • Free room service
    • There are some items that are chargeable.
  • At least one of the evening meals will be a character meal with theming.
  • We will see at least one West End quality Disney show.
  • Disney and Marvel movies still on at the cinema will be screen in the movie theatre.
  • Socially distanced Disney characters
  • Amazing Disney theming throughout
  • Disney shopping including artwork.
  • Quizes, bingo, craft sessions and more.
  • A family pool with a long winding slide.
  • Adult only areas, including bars and a pool.
  • Did I mention Disney Magic??
Photo credit – Disney

What there also is but we won’t be using?

  • Themed kids clubs for all but the youngest children
  • Amazing Marvel and Disney theming in the kids clubs.

What difference will COVID-19 make on board?

  • There will be social distances measures in place.
  • The ship will be at about one third of its normal capacity.
  • We would need to book a slot at the pool and in the theatre.
  • Families wanting to utilise the kids clubs, would need to book a slot.

So, under normal circumstances what extra would you get for your money with a Disney Cruise?

  • You would usually stop off at various destinations.
    • Due to COVID-19 we will not be leaving the ship.
  • There would normally be a Sail Away party
  • There are often fireworks out at sea on a party night.
  • The spa would be open (extra cost)
  • We would likely get another West End quality show.
  • The buffet restaurant would be open.

There is the possibility that some of this may change nearer the time if things in the UK and US improve (it is a US ship, but sailing off the UK).

Do I feel I will be missing out due to COVID-19?

As the purpose of this trip is a tester, if we love it then it leaves us amazing experiences to look forward to in the future like the Sail Away party and fireworks at sea.

So, no I feel I have plenty to experience on this trip.

What have a learnt that I need to take with me?

As always Amazon is my friend, with a little help from eBay and Disney!! So have (so far) ordered the following 😊

From Amazon

International plug adapter including USB ports

The above Amazon links are affiliate links, if you follow the link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

From Disney

From EBay

  • Personalised Disney Magnets to go on the outside of our stateroom door! Not sure if this is just a Disney Cruise thing?!?!

These are the ones I ordered Disney Cruise Line Personalised Captain Mickey or Minnie Mouse Ears Door Magnet | eBay

What other bits of information have I learnt?

  • Tipping
    • It is suggested you prepay your tips (gratuities) that cover a certain range of staff like your server and room host. The suggested amount is $13.50 per person per night.
    • For room service the suggested amount is $1 per plate
    • Plus you may want to tip the bar tender and anyone in addition to your prepaid amount that has gone above and beyond that you may want to give extra to!
  • Currency
    • As it is a US ship the currency is Dollars.
  • Dress code for dining
  • Prohibited items
    • There is a long list on the Disney website and include items like plug extensions and many electrical items.
  • Plus on the Disney Cruise Line website there is masses of information about how we and they can ensure we stay COVID-19 safe.
Photo credit – Disney

Final bits

We’ve booked a hotel near our port for the night before, the dog needs to be booked into the kennels, I want to prepay our tips, I want to request to be on a certain restaurant rotation and we are just waiting for Cruise Parking details for our port from Disney. Phew!

Oh my!! I have learnt so much in these past few weeks!!

I CAN’T WAIT TO UPDATE YOU ON OUR EXPERIENCE LATER THIS YEAR!

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