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Thursday, July 3, 2014

AAA's On Board Gift/Benefit For Disney Cruise Line

An example of an 8X10 photo
Four 8X10’s and three 6X8’s—our AAA on board gift for our upcoming cruise.  That’s right, the moment we walk onto the ship, okay, into our stateroom, we will find a certificate honoring us with credits for the photos.  All we’ll need to do is provide Shutters, the on board photography headquarters, with the certificate and then pick out our photos.  But wait. . . (insert screeching sound).

Selecting seven photos from the hundreds that will be taken during our 7 night sailing will be difficult.  Not only because of the quantity but also because of the quality—and some photos only come in certain sizes. 

An example of a 6X8 photo.
Instead of lamenting over which photos to select, I have a different plan.  (This is where the husband would say, “of course you do.”)  I plan on using the photo credits towards the purchase of the photo CD from Shutters which would include ALL of our photos.  And, often, there is a special where the prints are also included as well—ALL of the prints.  I will happily pay the difference!

A "Lifestyle Portrait"
In addition to the character photos, there are photo opportunities with the ship’s Captain on formal night.  Also, “Lifestyle Portraits” are available each evening before and after dinner with various backgrounds.  Our packing list includes clothing for family photos with the idea of holiday cards in the future.  Ship’s photographers are also found on Castaway Cay and in the dining rooms to capture candid photos.  See what I mean about hundreds of photos?

Not purchasing photos was one of two regrets after our first Disney Cruise (the other was not rebooking onboard).  We won’t make that mistake again and recommend photo purchases to others—click here to read our top travel tips for Disney Cruise Line.

Now the bad news.  Bad news?  Yes, there is bad news.  Disney Cruise Line has discontinued its partnership with AAA and there is no longer a AAA gift or benefit when booking a Disney Cruise.  AAA and its agents can still handle Disney Cruise Line reservations and bookings, and our travel agent will continue to handle our reservations, it’s just that there will no longer be any benefits.  And, if you are a AAA member and receive AAA’s Living magazine, you will notice the lack of advertising for Disney Cruise Line amongst the pages of the magazine.  Walt Disney World—yes;  other cruise lines—yes, but not Disney Cruise Line.

The AAA gifts have varied over the years—free fruit basket in your stateroom, on board credits, drink credits, free float/tube rental at Castaway Cay, photo credits, etc. and were based on the length of the cruise and category of stateroom.  Each year, AAA negotiated with Disney Cruise Line about the on board gift/benefit. 

We are planning to enjoy this one last AAA gift/benefit and make the most of it!

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