Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

Happy Wednesday! This week is halfway done and it's almost time for another weekend! For us here, that means another weekend closer to our next Disney Cruise!

Yes, I promise to stop harping on our canceled trip after this post, but I wanted to share the details of all that went into our cruise that was canceled by Disney Cruise Lines.

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

For starters, we were booked on the September 9 sailing of the Disney Fantasy, Eastern Caribbean itinerary. As Hurricane Irma grew closer and closer to the Caribbean islands, we all knew that some sort of change with our cruise was going to take place. There was no way we would be able to safely sail into the port of St. John or Tortola and my heart went out to all of the people of those islands. The devastation Hurricane Irma left in her wake was so incredibly sad to see.

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

At this point, my mind didn't begin to compute the possibility of a canceled cruise. I kept saying that I didn't care where we sailed - if we just got on the ship and sailed into nothingness for 7 days, I would be fine.

On Tuesday September 5 at 12:30 p.m., Disney Cruise Line released their first official statement regarding the storm and their upcoming sailings. In that statement, DCL mentioned both our sailing and the Disney Dream, saying both were still on as scheduled.

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

That evening around 7:30 p.m. however, another advisory was released, stating not only were the Fantasy and Dream cruises cancelled, but the current cruise ship out at sea would be returning to port 2 days early.

Was I sad? Yes. Did Disney Cruise Line try to make up for a decision that was completely out of their control? YES again. 

In that statement, they also graciously agreed to refund our trip by 100% and they offered us 25% off a future booking!

Considering the fact that I didn't have trip insurance...whoops...I was incredibly grateful for DCL. On top of the 100% refund, they also took the safety of their guest, cast members, and the ship into consideration. After hearing horror stories about things that happened with other cruise lines, I was definitely happy with the decision made by Disney (although not right at first).

When Disney Cancels Your Vacation

On top our cruise, we also had a one night stay booked at Caribbean Beach resort for the evening before our cruise. We planned to spend the day in Pandora and the evening at Food & Wine for dinner. Although I stayed on hold with Disney for a little over an hour, I was able to cancel my one night stay and receive a 100% refund on this as well, without penalty!

What about airfare? Well, Southwest was just as amazing. Since Orlando was in a high alert travel zone due to the hurricane, Southwest allowed us to change our itinerary over to new dates without any penalty at all, although our new projected dates cost about $300 more than we initially spent!

After scouring Jason's work schedule, we picked a new cruise date for October of this year and went with it (also WITH trip insurance this time)! We have a few friends sailing with us and we are so excited to share in our adventure with them!

Everything is booked as before minus Remy brunch (which we will try to book once we are on board the ship if possible).

I was excited about our original cruise for three reasons - Disney Fantasy, Halloween on the High Seas, and an Eastern itinerary - none of which I'd done on past cruises. I'm happy to say that our re-booked cruise has at least two of the three, although I'm not sure an Eastern itinerary will be doable for a long time and we will be on a Western itinerary for this sailing. We will continue to keep these guys in our thoughts and prayers.

So, despite the crazy situation, I feel as if Disney did everything in their power to take care of us and ensure our safety. Our 10th Anniversary cruise is still on, although not in the way we initially planned but that's ok with us!

Have you ever had to change travel plans due to a storm or event?

8 comments:

  1. I was supposed to fly United out of Houston right after hurricane Harvey; United was really good about changing my flight for free (although I had to get myself to a different airport to start the trip). Still, it's nothing compared to what those who were directly impacted by the hurricane went through, so like you, I can't complain.

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    1. That's good! I'm glad United worked with you!!

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  2. That is a huge disappointment but wonderful that everyone worked with you so you just wouldn't lose $$
    I hope this turns out to be a fabulous trip!

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    1. It really was disappointing but it also gives me something to look forward to a bit longer! :)

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  3. Disney & SW are both so awesome to deal with. I'm glad y'all were able to rebook so soon!

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    1. I couldn't agree more! Thanks, Traci!!

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  4. I was on that exact cruise last year! 7 day Eastern (Halloween) sailing on 9/10. We always knew we were taking a chance sailing during peak hurricane season! Disney was so generous offering refunds and the additional discount. Glad you were able to re-book and not have to wait too long! The Eastern ports were so beautiful, my heart goes out to all the people there. I have days 5 of 7 on my blog if you are interested in reading about my experience! https://runningdownmainstreet.blogspot.com/p/disney.html

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    1. I am SO sad for the people of the Eastern Caribbean! Such devastation! Thanks for sharing the link! I'll definitely check them out! :)

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