If you have been following the details of the Disney Magic at Sea, UK cruise, then you’ll be aware of the difficulties we fans have faced already. From announcing dates, to retracting them and then seemingly cancelling them (it wasn’t exactly the case!!) – it has been a bit of a nightmare. At this point, all we knew is that covid was still playing a huge role in dictating how the cruise would pan out. Although not clarified, it seemed that there would be many changes to the usual cruises and I wondered as such what would we be able to do on a ship?
Initially because of all of the indecisive information leaked, we decided we would forgo the cruise and opt for Disneyland Paris instead. However, we discussed the possibility that we might not be able to travel over the summer and even now it seems like a trip to France is pretty unlikely. We ‘ummed and ahhed’ for a few hours on the day the staycation was released, but in the end we decided to book because we knew (prayed) Disney would come though.
The next stress having booked the cruise, was learning that the activities could not be booked until our total balance was paid. This was quite a big deal to be honest. Truth is even at this point, I wasn’t sure if we were 100% on going. The activities were important for us and having no information on what would be available for us to enjoy was making us anxious that we could be wasting a great deal of money. We knew there would be no Sail-a-Wave party nor any fireworks. We also knew that social distancing would remain in place and that this would affect character meets.
When I called Disney, the people at the other end of the phone seemed so lovely but they didn’t seem to know much either. Myself and others I have spoken to were constantly told that no one will know what Disney can offer until closer to sailing – I do get that, honestly I do. However it was really quite annoying and I couldn’t shake the worry that we might have spent a lot of money to essentially be quarantined on a fancy ship.
At this point the person I spoke to kindly let me know that I could cancel the reservation at anypoint and still receive a full refund.. this twisted my arm and so off we went and paid the full balance. We gleefully thought that this meant we could book activities and get a feel of what to expect! Well not quite, it turns out that everything had been booked out. As we had not sailed before, we were considered a general customer and there were a number of people with privileges above us. I cant even tell you how disheartened I felt because we had already cancelled a number of various Disney trips and Ita really wanted to experience the Bippidy Boppidy Boutique. I noticed also that we were unable to book the show and that this was also not a guaranteed activity.
We had so many conversations at this point whether it was worth holding on or whether cancelling would be the better option. Every step seemed so disappointing and totally un-Disney-like!
A few weeks later after checking the Navigation App daily, I saw that the BBB had availability! Securing this really helped change my anticipation because at least it meant we had something to look forward to. I really recommend checking the app daily (if not more) because when people cancel of move around their plans, activities come up but also get booked out almost immediately.
So far we have been lucky to have booked the BBB, a massage and reserve a mixology class – that one depends on how I feel about leaving Ita in the kids club and I’m just not sure I am there for that yet!
The next stress will be check-in. I have already heard some horror stories about the process and been warned to set my alarm to start the process at 5am. Once we check in we can reserve the show and kids activities too. So its quite a big day! Please Disney, no more stress?