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Old 12-04-2012, 08:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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DCL announces itineraries for early 2014!

Disney Cruise Line has announced itineraries for early 2014 - all ships will be sailing out of Florida in early 2014! Platinum and Gold Castaway Club members can book on December 5th, everyone else can book on December 6th. Disney Cruise Line Announces 2014 Itineraries « Disney Parks Blog


Sailing from Port Canaveral
3- and 4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Nassau, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Dream departures Jan. 2 - Aug. 31, 2014; Disney Magic departures Jan. 6 – May 16, 2014
7-night Eastern Caribbean
• Ports: Port Canaveral, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 11 - Aug. 23, 2014
7-night Western Caribbean
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures Jan. 4 – April 26, 2014
7-night Western Caribbean, including Jamaica
• Ports: Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Fantasy departures May 10 – Aug. 30, 2014

Sailing from Miami
4-night Bahamas
• Ports: Miami, Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 15 - April 23, 2014
5-night Caribbean
• Ports: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 10 - April 18, 2014
5-night Caribbean, including Castaway Cay
• Ports: Miami, Cozumel, Castaway Cay
• Dates: Disney Wonder departures Jan. 19 - April 27, 2014

They have not announced where the Wonder will be in Summer 2014 but I anticipate them going back to Alaska. The question is where will the Magic go for Summer 2014? We will have to wait a while to find out!
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Last edited by Belle*; 12-04-2012 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting this, Sara.

Of course the most interesting piece of information for me (Where will the Magic and Wonder sail during the summer 2014?) is still missing Oh well, more waiting for me then.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm with Sabine - that's the information I was interested in too. Will the Magic be back over here? I so hope so.... I'll have to see what happens when we're on board and whether we can make a dummy booking and then move it...
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Disneybine View Post
Thanks for posting this, Sara.

Of course the most interesting piece of information for me (Where will the Magic and Wonder sail during the summer 2014?) is still missing Oh well, more waiting for me then.
Same here! We're hoping for Alaska for our 10th anniversary in June 2014, so still waiting. I guess that's not a bad thing since I'd probably prefer to book after Christmas instead of before.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is a typical pattern for DCL itinerary announcements. We'll always learn about the first 4-5 months of the year before they announce the summer's special itineraries. Pretty much, Disney doesn't let us peek over the 18-month horizon.

I'm more intrigued by Galveston's absence from the schedule, and by the Magic's return to 3- and 4-night Bahamas cruises during the winter/spring season. Add to that the Wonder's 4- and 5-night Miami-based itineraries that will visit Castaway Cay (16 in the first part of 2014)... that's about 2.5 times the number of Bahamas-bound staterooms than Disney offered just three years ago. Castaway Cay will be visited 100 times in the first 120 days of 2014. Let's hope the maintenance crew can keep up.

Galveston is fairly impractical as a short-cruise home port - there's no port of call that can be visited on a 3-night itinerary (New Orleans may be close enough, but U.S. maritime law requires foreign-flag ships like Disney's to visit at least one foreign port as well, and that's not possible). Even 4-night itineraries can visit just one port, not two. That's not at all appealing compared to the short itineraries that visit Castaway Cay. And selling only longer cruises from Galveston? Clearly, Disney quickly tapped-out that demand. First-time cruisers far prefer shorter cruises, so Disney wasn't likely to make many new converts to cruising in a port that only offers longer cruises.

Disney sells most of its 7-night and longer itineraries to guests who got their feet wet on the shorter itineraries. Seen through that lens, both Galveston and Los Angeles were doomed as "permanent home ports" from the start - it's hard for Disney to build a firm base of long-term, local customers without short, starter itineraries. Two short cruises for every longer cruise seems to be Disney's magic ratio. And while I've been skeptical of Miami's long-term prospects as a Disney home port (especially considering its proximity to Port Canaveral), its ability to support quality, short itineraries apparently makes a whole lot of difference.

First-time cruisers who might have the budget for a 7-night cruise on Carnival (everyone else's "starter" cruise line) apparently won't spend more than that for a first cruise with Disney. We've read that over and over on these boards; "We'll try a short cruise, and see if we like it." It's only after that first, brief experience that folks understand the "Disney difference."
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I understand the value of shorter cruises, but I'm curious what differences there will be between the Magic and the Dream, beyond the advantages of the Dream being newer. Is the advantage of the Magic going to be a lower price? If so, will that make it harder to "convert" Magic cruisers to 7-nights on the Fantasy, or does Disney expect that once people do a cruise, they will be willing to pay more for the next one?

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I love how Dave can take a frenzy of information and turn it into a practical, analytical and statistical format that we can all understand. I would like to be on Castaway Cay 100x! Where do I sign up?! I'm already pitying the staff that lives on the island full time. They were having a hard time when the Fantasy got added into the itinerary so i'm sure they are all dreading the 4 ship combination.

I think there will be some more exciting "international" news for the remaining portion of the itineraries so don't lose hope on something exciting quite yet.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieMichele View Post
I love how Dave can take a frenzy of information and turn it into a practical, analytical and statistical format that we can all understand.
So do I.

Quote:
I think there will be some more exciting "international" news for the remaining portion of the itineraries so don't lose hope on something exciting quite yet.
I certainly hope so! Fingers crossed....
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MelissaL View Post
I understand the value of shorter cruises, but I'm curious what differences there will be between the Magic and the Dream, beyond the advantages of the Dream being newer. Is the advantage of the Magic going to be a lower price? If so, will that make it harder to "convert" Magic cruisers to 7-nights on the Fantasy, or does Disney expect that once people do a cruise, they will be willing to pay more for the next one?

Melissa
I'm not sure whether price will be the issue, though it's interesting to ponder. Rates have always been demand-driven. For the right itinerary, the price is going to be bid up, regardless of the ship. Demand has been high for the Dream and Fantasy as the new ships at the dock, as well as for their distinctive facilities and amenities.

The official announcement played-up the advantages of having departures on different days of the week:

The Dream's 4-nighters depart on Sunday and return Thursday, and the 3-nighters depart Thursday and return Sunday.

The Magic's 4-nighters will depart Monday and return Friday, and the 3-nighters will depart Friday and return Monday.

The Fantasy's 7-nighters are Saturday-to-Saturday.

The Miami-based cruises that visit Castaway Cay will be departing on Wednesdays and Sundays. (5-nighters are Sunday-Friday, 4-nighters are Wednesday-Sunday). The 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary is Friday-Wednesday.

The only thing missing from this schedule is a Tuesday departure.

In terms of appeal... I'm trying to figure out the advantages of the Magic's departure days. Perhaps they think they can book longer pre/post-cruise stays at WDW once they bump folks off a "normal" Monday-Friday vacation week - tempt them to take 6 work days off, rather than 5, with a marginally more affordable cruise fare? (Adding a day to the vacation does put more money in Disney's pocket.)

I'd think fares will be somewhat lower on the Magic than the Dream, but not because the Magic is a "lesser" ship - she will be getting a major dry dock in fall of 2013, just a little while before she starts this itinerary. I have a feeling that in addition to bringing many of the Dream Class ships' new features to the Magic, Disney will add something distinctive with which they can generate a bit of publicity - a further enhancement of Animator's Palate, Enchanted Artwork 2.0, Son of AquaDuck... something the other ships won't have (yet). No, the reason for the lower fares will be the less-desireable departure dates. Still, that can work to the cruise line's advantage, by luring more value-focused travelers. Once they've experienced the Magic... you really think they wouldn't want to trade up to the Dream or Fantasy the next time? As the old TV commercials used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!"
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just told the husband we are going to Jamaica!

We were worried the 2014 itineraries may not be out in time to take advantage of booking on board. Whew!

Ready to book a summer 2014, 7 night on the Fantasy while cruising on the Dream in December. Yeah!
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I love that the Magic is coming back to PC for 3 and 4 night cruises. We much prefer the smaller, classic ships (although we do love the Dream still) so it will be nice to have the option to sail her for a quick getaway.

As far as the Fri to Mon, Mon to Fri schedule for the Magic, put me in the camp that loves this! I much prefer Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas sailing schedule to the other lines that sail from PC on the short getaways. For me, breaking my two days off from work over both ends of a weekend just works better; as far as the 4-night getaways, we loved going on our Mon - Fri cruise on RCI a few years ago. There are those of us who do prefer this set-up! It's a bonus for me that this is the Magic's schedule now!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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...
I'd think fares will be somewhat lower on the Magic than the Dream, but not because the Magic is a "lesser" ship - she will be getting a major dry dock in fall of 2013, just a little while before she starts this itinerary. I have a feeling that in addition to bringing many of the Dream Class ships' new features to the Magic, Disney will add something distinctive with which they can generate a bit of publicity - a further enhancement of Animator's Palate, Enchanted Artwork 2.0, Son of AquaDuck... something the other ships won't have (yet). No, the reason for the lower fares will be the less-desireable departure dates. Still, that can work to the cruise line's advantage, by luring more value-focused travelers. Once they've experienced the Magic... you really think they wouldn't want to trade up to the Dream or Fantasy the next time? As the old TV commercials used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!"
Interesting points here Dave! We started with a 3 night on Magic in its inaugural year (1998), went back for a 4 night cruise on Wonder in 2010, and recently went on a 7 night on the Fantasy. I think in order for me to be excited about going back to Magic or Wonder, they would need some enhancements, as you suggest may be in store for Magic. Due to kids' school schedule, despite feeling 3 night cruise is way too short , we might consider a Friday to Monday so as to avoid too much missed time. But probably only if there was something new and interesting, as we fell in love with Fantasy, and returning to Magic or Wonder would now almost seem like downgrading (of course I realize Magic and Wonder are beautiful ships in their own right, but still . . .)

With all these cruises headed to Castaway Cay, would this make the limited # of cruises they had with two stops to Castaway Cay even more rare?

Thanks for all the info everyone! We booked a cruise for Dec. 2013 while on the Fantasy last month, but we are looking to reschedule the cruise to 2014.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not sure if we will make a 2014 cruise. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Dave (or anyone else!) -
Do you know when or have a hunch as to when the rest of the year might be released? (I'm thinking NOV 2014).

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If the 2013 announcements are any indication...

The Summer 2013 special itineraries were announced in late January 2012, and the fall season itineraries were announced in late June 2012.

Along with the recent announcement, that means DCL is releasing itineraries about 14-16 months ahead of the start of the season being released.
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