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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Makes Adjustments to Itineraries Sailing From Galveston



Disney Cruise Line announced changes to the itineraries for the Disney Magic sailing out of Galveston, Texas.  While the Magic doesn’t arrive in Galveston until September 22—a month from now, DCL is making adjustments to itineraries for early 2013 sailings.

Three 8-night Western Caribbean itineraries are being replaced by six 4-night sailings that stop in Cozumel, Mexico and include 2 days at sea.  Six 8-night itineraries will visit Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay, Port Canaveral, Key West, and include 4 days at sea.  Cruise fare includes park admission and ground transportation to/from Walt Disney World during the stop at Port Canaveral.

Guests with current cruise reservations are being contacted regarding the changes by DCL and travel agents.  Reservations will open September 5, 2012, for new reservations for the revised itineraries.

While the Magic makes Galveston its home part for fall 2012 and early 2013, the Wonder will be coming to Galveston later in 2013.  Will the Wonder’s itineraries be adjusted as well?

When DCL first announced the Galveston and Miami itineraries, there was a glaring lack of inclusion of stops at Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private island in the Bahamas.  We’ve sailed on itineraries that didn’t include a stop at Castaway Cay and boy, did we ever miss it!  Adding stops at Castaway Cay on the adjusted itineraries is good news.

DCL is demonstrating that they can turn a cruise ship, or at least a cruise itinerary on a dime.  Looking at market trends and anticipating guest wants/needs and making adjustments to better meet guest demands is a smart move.  Both for the Disney Cruise Line brand and the bottom line. 

While we aren’t planning on sailing out of Galveston, we are familiar with the area.  When DCL first announced Galveston as a home port, we wondered about which airport ground transfers would serve—George Bush Intercontinental in North Houston, Hobby Airport in South Houston, or the smaller airport in Galveston.  I did find out on DCL’s web-site that ground transfers are $60 per person for the Galveston sailings vs. the $70 per person for ground transfers from Orlando International to Port Canaveral.  Also, DCL is advertising pre-cruise stays near George Bush Intercontinental Airport and in Galveston.  Nothing mentioned about hotels near Houston Hobby Airport.

Guests who may be flying Southwest or Airtran, take note, as both fly into Houston Hobby rather than Houston Intercontinental.  There may be other airlines in the same boat, so to speak.

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