Is Now the Best Time to Book a Cruise?

After an almost two-year pause in cruising, there definitively is a demand for cruise vacations. Disney Cruise Line is fully operational with all four ships and will be launching a fifth ship, the brand new Disney Wish, this summer.

As you look at planning your family’s next vacation you might be wondering if this is a good time to book a cruise. Fresh off my own family’s Disney Cruise Line vacation, I want to share with you three reasons why now is a great time to plan a cruise vacation.

Lower Crowd Levels

The crowd levels are currently down across all sailings. A combination of some people who may be holding off on vacations as well as vaccination requirements are causing cruise sailings to launch well below capacity levels. On our recent spring break vacation, a Cast Member shared that the capacity of the ship was just above 50%. While this is not financially beneficial to the cruise line, it certainly made for an enjoyable cruising experience. Wait times for characters, snacks, or entry into shows were almost non-existent.

All Passengers COVID-19 Tested and Vaccinated

Due to CDC guidelines and Disney Cruise Line requirements, the majority of passengers on board a cruise ship are vaccinated. The only passengers exempt from vaccinations are those under 5 years of age who are not vaccine-eligible. These little ones must complete a COVID-19 test (a NAAT teset, rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test) between 3 days and 24 hours before their sale date. In addition, all guests, regardless of age and vaccination status, must complete COVID-19 testing and have negative results on embarkation day. Although vaccine requirements and even testing can be controversial topics, it does seem to provide the majority of cruisers confidence in being able to safely cruise at this time.

For our own personal experience with testing, I was actually exempt from testing at the port as part of Disney’s “90 Day-Recovered” policy. In a nutshell, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 11 to 90 days of your sail date you are considered “90 Day-Recovered.” If you can provide a copy of your positive test result as well as a doctor’s note saying you are healthy to sail then you can skip the testing at the port. On our embarkation day, both my husband and daughter had to complete the testing and then we were sent to the lobby area to wait for emailed testing results. About 20 minutes later we received an email confirmation that our party was cleared to sail.

Appealing Deals Available

There are some appealing deals available right now. Pre-COVID days it was rare to see a deal for Disney Cruise Line. Honestly, Disney did not need to offer deals to fill their ships. In an effort to build cruising capacity levels, you will often see a “Guaranteed” category offer at a discounted price. The good news is that this deal often represents a savings of $500 or more on a stateroom package. The “cost” of selecting this category is that you do not get to select your specific stateroom. This means your stateroom can be anywhere on the ship and Disney will select the room for you once the sailing date is closer. You are however guaranteed to receive a stateroom in the category you booked such as Inside, Oceanview, or Oceanview with Verandah. Sometimes you will receive an upgrade to a higher category stateroom. The not-so-great news for this special category is that if you are traveling with others and need more than one stateroom there is absolutely no guarantee your staterooms will be together. As a matter of fact, it is highly likely your rooms will not be together. If this is not a deal-breaker for you, then a “Guaranteed” category is a great offer to book.

Ready to set sail on a Disney Cruise but all the details seem a little overwhelming? I can help! Contact me at natalie@castleandcruiseadventures.com to get started.


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