Disney Cruise Line definitely delivers on its promise of an exceptional cruise experience. This is affirmed by top honors awarded from Travel + Leisure, USA Today, and U.S. News & World Report, as well as 12 number one awards from Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice awards.
” … it’s something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing, keep plussing and adding to … ” – Walt Disney
If you’re interested in seeing first-hand how Disney has been ‘plussing” their already-spectacular cruises, and wish to experience an unparalleled level of service, try cruising Concierge-level. Here are my top 10 reasons why …
1. Shoreside Concierge Team – Cast Members of the Shoreside Concierge Team are the unsung heroes of Disney’s Guest Services. Comprised of extremely knowledgeable teammates, they respond to inquiries quickly, accurately, and personally. Despite my often convoluted questions and requests, they’ve always understood and responded with custom and detailed information. For instance, this was a recent exchange when asking about booking a spa appointment for my husband’s birthday:
“The Senses Spa opens at 8:00am, with the final appointment times typically being around 8:30pm … The Swedish Massage, for example, typically has reservations available at 8:00am, 9:15am, 10:30am, 11:45am, 2:00pm, 3:15pm, 4:30pm, 5:45pm, and 7:00pm. That’s our most popular massage, so hopefully that gives you some planning help for your husband. On his actual birthday, being the day of embarkation, we only have the Swedish Massages at 5:45pm and 7:00pm. There is more availability though for the Hot Stones Massage, for instance.”
2. Making embarkation easy-peasy – With a separate check-in area and lounge at Port Canaveral, Concierge Guests are escorted aboard before other Guests. There are no assigned port arrival times, so Concierge Guests are allowed priority boarding whenever they arrive. On our most recent cruise, we found ourselves enjoying complimentary beverages in the Concierge Lounge by 11:20am.
3. The Concierge Lounge – With the recent opening of a Concierge Lounge on the Disney Magic, three of Disney’s four ocean liners now offer this tremendous perk. I hope at some point the Disney Wonder will make this addition as well. (Concierge Guests on the Disney Wonder are invited to a complimentary cocktail reception on the first afternoon and at least once again while sailing.) Open from 7am to 10pm, the lounge offers Guests a continental breakfast, snacks, and desserts throughout the day as well as bottled water, sodas, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. One of the biggest perks is the daily cocktail reception in the evenings with complimentary drinks. Our spectacular bartender, Rosanna, ensured I never left for dinner without a full glass of wine to go with me.
4. Priority everything and no waiting at Guest Services – Securing tickets to meet Characters, addressing questions about our bill, booking a future cruise, all of these can be handled by the Concierge Team so there is no need to stand in line at Guest Services. Stopping in the lounge for a quick breakfast one morning, we mentioned we were on our way to catch a tender into port. The Concierge Team insisted we be personally escorted and placed on the very next departing tender.
5. Breakfast in the stateroom – Continental breakfast is available to all Disney Cruise Line Guests, but Concierge Guests may order from the main dining room menus. This comes in handy on mornings with early shore excursions. Knowing we wouldn’t have time to visit any of the restaurants, we were able to get ready for the day and enjoy a full breakfast in our stateroom. Additionally, on the day of debarkation, standard room service is available only for Concierge Guests.
6. Dinner in the stateroom – In addition to breakfast and lunch, Concierge Guests (except those staying in category V on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream) may enjoy dinner from the main dining rooms in their suite. (Royal Suite Guests may even order from Palo!) On our last sailing, after a long day in port, our family was too tired to get dressed and head to dinner. No problem! We chose our favorites from the evening’s menu and were able to enjoy steak and lobster in the comfort of our stateroom.
7. The Concierge team – On hand in the lounges on the Disney Fantasy, Dream and Magic are the onboard concierge team members. I’m advised that on the Wonder, the Concierge Team is just a call away but they also regularly check in with Guests, seemingly anticipating a need. They assist in any way they can to make their Guests’ voyage as magic as possible. On our sailing, PJ (one of the team members), called all day until there was an opening for our party at Palo. On our last night, when I realized my garment bag had been torn at some point during embarkation, they sent the bag to “the upholstery team” for repair. I swear it came back as good as new … and within an hour!
8. Semi-private Character meets – During the voyage (on most sailings) Concierge Guests are invited to attend a special meet and greet with a Disney pal. On our sailing, Andrew was able to spend a considerable amount of time in the Concierge Lounge with Minnie Mouse who was sporting her best cruise casual look.
9. Daily treats – Treats and surprises await Concierge Guests daily. Every afternoon of our sailing, we returned to our stateroom to find various delectable treats – chocolate dipped strawberries one day, and an exotic fruit bowl the next.
10. The stateroom! – Wow! Seriously, just wow! Although Disney Cruise Line offers larger than standard staterooms across its fleet, nothing compares to the elegance of the concierge suites.
Our one-bedroom suite included two full bathrooms (one larger than my master bath at home!) a separate master bedroom, sitting area with sleeper sofa, a hideaway bed, two closets (one a walk-in), and a dining area.
All this, plus the veranda, made for an extremely comfortable stay for our party of four.
So if you get the chance, cruise Concierge for the vacation of a lifetime. But, one thing is certain, Concierge or not, you can’t go wrong sailing the high seas with Disney Cruise Line! I hope to see you aboard!