How To Plan A Land and Sea Getaway With Disney
If you’ve been following along with MickeyBlog then you know that Fall 2021 Disney Cruise Line Itineraries go on sale this week. This is fantastic news for those that postponed your 2020 vacation plans and have instead set-your sights on a magical getaway for next year!
We can’t think of a better way to experience “The Best” that Disney vacations have to offer than by combining a visit to Walt Disney World’s incredible theme parks with an all-inclusive sailing on one of Disney’s magical ships! However, we understand that planning a Land & Sea vacation has its own set of obstacles and can be daunting, so we’re doing our best to make it as easy as possible with this quick rundown!
Let’s Talk Logistics
Toughest part about a Land & Sea getaway is getting the piecesto come together. A great starting point is to think about how long you want your holiday to be. When I plan Land and Sea getaways for my clients we usually go with 3 different options:
- 3-Day Sailing With Time at The Parks – If you’re not sure how your family will “take” to cruising, Disney offers awesome 3-night sailings out of Port Canaveral that can be combined with a few days at the parks for a week of Disney magic! Best of all, these Bahamian sailings stop at Nassau and Disney’s Private Island Castaway Cay!
- 4-Day Sailing With Time At The Parks – 3-nights at sea sound a bit too short? The Disney Dream also offers a 4-night sailing, adding in an extra day at sea for your to enjoy all your ship has to offer. Combine it with a few days at the park for an 7-8 night getaway!
- 7-Day Sailing With Time at the Parks – If spending 10 days on a Disney getaway is more your style than consider one of the Caribbean Cruises that depart from Port Canaveral. You’ll enjoy multiple stops at breathtaking islands as well as a visit to Disney Castaway Cay. Combine this with a few days at the parks for a 10+ day ultimate getaway!
Walt Disney World Before Or After?
The next question you may have is whether to plan out the Disney portion before or after your sailing. Though I personally don’t think you could go wrong either way, most guests I work with like to visit Disney World BEFORE going on the cruise. The reason is that Disney World can be a bit more fast paced, with lots of walking and getting to and from the theme parks. Lots of my clients prefer to get the more active bit out of the way first and then kick back and relax on the cruise.
However, this can also come down to sailing dates. Disney usually has distinct arrival and departure dates for their sailings. These are as follows:
- 3-Night Bahamian Sailings typically leave on a Friday
- 4-Night Bahamian Sailings depart on a Monday.
- 7-night Caribbean Sailings tend to leave on Saturdays and come back to port the following Sunday.
So whether the theme park comes before or after may depend on your vacation days, school holidays or time off work.
Do I Book My Land & Sea Getaway Together or Separate?
This is one of the aspects of planning a Land & Sea getaway that can be the most daunting – thankfully that’s where I come in! By working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you are taking all of the guesswork out of packaging everything together perfectly. We liaise with both Disney World and Disney Cruise Line to seamlessly connect both components of your getaway into one cohesive magical vacation. However, for those wondering how to do it one your own there are two ways:
1. Book Both Elements Separately- For those wanting greater flexibility and the option of nabbing a discount, this is the way to go. This option is perfectly customizable allowing you to build the package just the way you want it. You can pick the resort you want, room category you want, park tickets, dining plans and may even be eligible for discounts like Free Dining or Play, Stay & Dine packages when they come out. However, the downside is that you have 2 separate reservations, deposits and payment deadlines. However, I think its a small price to pay for total flexibility!
2. Book The Walt Disney World Portion As An Add-On To Your Disney Cruise – For those wanting the convenience of having both elements of your vacation all in one place then you can add a Disney World stay onto your Disney cruise directly with Disney Cruise Line. This means one package and one payment. However, going this route does have its downsides. Only standard rooms are available, park hopper tickets must be purchased and you can’t use a dining plan with this option. In addition your add-on wouldn’t be eligible for discounts.
My advice? Book them separate! But use a Travel Agent to manage all of the logistics (and keep track of payment deadlines for you!)
How Far In Advance Should I Book?
Cruising: When it comes to cruising with Disney, the earlier you book the better! Disney Cruise Line rarely offers last-minute discounts. Instead, the cruise line will offer their cheapest rates as soon as cruises go on sale. The prices then increase the closer you get to your sailing date. Booking early means you may be saving hundreds of dollars over those that booked at the last minute!
With Fall 2021 itineraries being released this week, NOW is the perfect time to book!
Walt Disney World: The Walt Disney World portion of your stay works a bit differently. When packages are released they are usually non-discounted. However, discounts can be applied later should they come out. Booking for Walt Disney World tends to not open up as early as cruises. So, depending on your travel dates you may need to book the cruise portion first and then go ahead and book the Disney portion when pricing becomes available. But DON’T let that stop you from taking advantage of early booking pricing with Disney Cruise Line!
How Do I Get From Disney World To Port Canaveral?
Land & Sea getaways are such a popular package that Disney has streamlined the process of getting you between the theme parks and cruise port! Here’s a look at how this works:
- Magical Express – Flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO) means that you can take Disney World’s FREE Magical Express bus to your Disney resort!
- Disney Cruise Line Bus – On the morning of your sailing a cruise coordinator will meet you in the lobby of your Walt Disney World resort to take you to Disney’s Cruise Line shuttle that will take you to Port Canaveral. Guests should note that where the Magical Express is FREE, there is a charge for the Cruise Line Bus. As of going to print the cost is $78 round trip per person. Alternatively, guests cruising first can pick up the Disney Cruise Line bus directly from the airport. (See flight logistics below.)
- After Your Cruise – Disney Cruise Line buses can either take your directly to Orlando International Airport for your flight home or (for those booking the Walt Disney World vacation after the cruise) to your Walt Disney World Resort (fees above apply.)
What To Know If You’re Booking Flights
Unlike a Disney World only vacation, if you’re planning on linking up flights with your travel plans there are some details you’ll want to be aware of:
- For Those Cruising First – If you are going directly from the airport to Port Canaveral please make sure your flight gets into the airport NO LATER than 11 am.
- For Those Flying Out The Day Of Your Cruise Ends – On the return, you’ll usually disembark from the ship around 9am. Its advised that you book a departure that leaves AFTER 1:00pm.
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Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to assist you with everything from finding your perfect package to helping you plan lots of special touches to make your visit truly magical. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook