Last week the Disney cruise itineraries were announced for Summer 2017. Within 48 hours I had received a quote from the travel agent, and 24 hours later I booked and paid the deposit. We’re really doing this!!
It hasn’t been an easy decision. It’s not a cheap holiday. I actually got a quote for the Dover-Barcelona and Mediterranean itineraries a couple of years ago but I didn’t proceed with either booking because I just couldn’t justify the cost. However, to be honest I’ve thought of nothing else since. I’ve priced up no end of cruise holidays. I’ve talked to the children about cruises – a lot – and they both said they’d really love to do a Disney one. My ex husband said “if you’re going to spend all that money, wouldn’t you rather just spend a bit more and go back to Florida?” Honestly… the answer was no. We loved Florida and I’d go again in a heartbeat, but there’s so much of the world that we’re yet to explore. Last year I looked after a little girl from a forces family – they spent 2 years in England and have since moved on. Honestly, that little girl saw more of Europe than I’ve even dreamed of. There were cruises, weekends away, road trips… I’d look at the photos on Facebook and think I want that. I’ve lived in Europe for all of my 35 years and I’ve never even been to Spain! This needs to be rectified.
I frequent a couple of Disney cruise forums and a lot of the regulars are up in arms about the sudden price hike. Many of them have been priced out of the market. I don’t know if they’re looking at very different itineraries and cabins to us, but I think our quote was around £300 more than the quote re received for August 2015, which doesn’t seem an unreasonable increase to me. I did price up a similar cruise on the Royal Caribbean line and it would work out around £500 cheaper… but I can live with that. It’s Disney!!
We’ll be sailing on the Disney Magic, the ship we all fell in love with after watching this video on YouTube (although it makes me feel a bit queasy watching it for some reason!). We’ll be departing from Barcelona and visiting the ports of Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno and Villefranche. We’ll also have two days at sea. We’ve booked an inside stateroom – the price hike for a window or veranda just isn’t worth it for us, much as I love the idea of chilling out on our own private balcony with a book and a glass of wine! Our lovely travel agent has suggested we go for an 11A category room, which is midship, rather than the slightly cheaper 11C rooms which tend to be at the far end of the ship (I really need to get to grips with the cruise ship lingo) and can be a bit harsher if you’re prone to seasickness (which, as cruise newbies, we may or may not suffer with).
I have 53 weeks to pay off the full balance, so I’m going to be saving hard. We also need to come up with a plan for the ports. I think it will could quite hard to find a good balance between port time and ship time. If we’re going to spend long days off the ship, surely it would be better to just holiday on land… and if we’re not going to see much of the ports at all, why are we bothering to do a cruise in the first place? However, I’m confident that with careful planning we can work out something that makes it feel like we’ve made the best of the ship and the ports. I plan to order Rick Steve’s book to help us achieve this. I hope not to have to shell out for organised tours at each port, but we may treat ourselves to one or two. The only thing I’m set on is a beach day at Villefranche, which just so happens to be my birthday! We also plan to spend a few days in Barcelona before we sail, so I’ll be looking at various hotels and airbnb properties.
I’m sooooo excited! Stay tunes for more updates as our plans develop.