Q – We are trying to plan ahead and I wish to take our family of five on a Disney cruise for a week over the Thanksgiving Holiday in 2017. When will we need to get reservations and which accommodation do you recommend? Quite frankly, we are not concerned about cost. I should point out that the travel agent we talked to on one of the discount sites kept trying to talk us out of Disney in favor of Norwegian. Why would they do that when I specified we wanted Disney?
A – The books opened up 15 months in advance of sailing this year. For 2017, Disney estimates that you should have your agent contact them in March of 2016 to place you on a priority waiting list.
You will probably want one of the Royal Suites which include Concierge Service. These have one bedroom and sofas that convert to beds. There are two bathrooms and a dining area as well as a larger-than-usual wrap-around balcony. Really perfect for a family of five.
An excellent cruise consultant will get to know you and your family well and will offer recommendations without financial consideration. You may have run into a situation where one line was paying the agency an override commission in exchange for referrals. The consumer needs to get a feel for the expertise and ethics of the travel advisor. Does your agent place your interests above those of the firm in terms of potential commissions earned? We would also point out that some agents just find Disney extremely difficult to work with and so off-sell them whenever they can.
They may pay lower commissions and they may be difficult to work with, but we are of the opinion that no other line even comes close to Disney in terms of understanding the needs of its most honored guests – all of whom are under 18 years of age. Stay with Disney and get something in writing showing your preferred position on the request list for the time when the books open up.