I want to go on our first Disney Cruise in the Fall of 2018. I've read itineraries open up in Spring 2017. Is there a way to be notified when they are released? Or should I use a travel agent to book me ASAP the day they open itineraries so I have first choice of staterooms? If so, what agency is best for cruises? I've never used agent for WDW bc I use unique offer codes which are always better than agent prices. TIA!
we never use TAs either for WDW but used Alli and MVT that others use for WDW. Worked well so far will cruise in February and let you know
I'm not sure if there is anywhere to sign up to get email notification. If you have Facebook and Twitter, follow the Disney Cruise Line on social media. There is no harm in using a Travel Agent. If you know what dates, ship, or itinerary you want ahead of time, the travel agent can book you as soon as that is released.
As far as what agencies are best, everything I have read indicates that agencies don't get discounts on cruises but certain agencies may offer on board credit. You're better off finding a good agent than looking for a specific agency. If you want recommendations, let me know. I would be happy to share the info for the agent we used for our non-Disney cruise in 2016. She is also an experienced DCL cruise guest.
our cruise was perfect(weather for early February was 75 on CC and sunny). Our TA had the prefect order of restaurants but I did book the meet and greats myself online prior to her offering to as I read ALOT on facebook Disney cruise junkies. Very helpful with a ton of info but no TA's recommended. From what I gathered should book as early as possible as prices only go up. good luck
So my wife is "Platinum" and I am "Gold" on DCL and that gives us a little bit of a jump on reserving newly announced cruises. For example, they just released the Summer of 2018 schedule and we booked a stateroom in our favorite category for the Copenhagen - Norway - Iceland - Dover 10-day in August 2018. Gold, then Silver Castaway Club members will be able to book these most-recently announced cruises in a few days, and then the general public shortly after. As most of you know from studying the TouringPlan's FareTracker (R), the prices of Disney Cruises rarely go down, so booking early is often advantageous.
We could call up DCL directly, but we like working with a very competent and helpful Travel Agent, named Amber Vaughan from Small World Vacations. Depending on the cost of the cruise, she/they often will "kick back" some ship-board credit when the cruise actually sales. I have never been a big travel agent person, but using Amber has been very helpful in other ways, and I do not recommend lightly - she's good. A Disney-oriented travel agent would know what day they will announce the Fall 2018 cruises, and when you can book them (we jumped on a Eastbound TransAtlantic in 2008 at a very good price).
There are other "tricks" like booking a "place-holder" reservation while on your cruise that gives one a 10% discount on one's next cruise . . . but this is complicated and my wife understands this better than I do.
Remember, deposits, sually approx 10% of a cruise and are completely refundable. We actually had to cancel a planned Aug'17 Eastbound Canal cruise, and save our money for another day. Also, when I purchase with Disney Visa, there's another 2% discount, and I have 6 months to actually pay that portion of the CCard bill.
There are some very knowledge TAs right here in this group. Also ones that have their own personal experiences on DCL.