I have booked the Magic At Sea Disney Cruise UK staycation. I share the booking process and why I am doing it.
Welcome to Mickey From The UK's Magic At Sea Disney Cruise Series. We share reviews, experiences, and more of the Magic At Sea Disney Cruise staycation happening in 2021. After you've read this article, feel free to click here to view all our Magic At Sea content or click here to signup to our email club to get these articles delivered to your email inbox.
Why Am I Going? might seem like a question with an obvious answer, but let's dive a little deeper.
COVID-19 has ruined Walt Disney World twice for me now, so sadly that's written off 2021 entirely. Many people still have bookings this late summer and autumn, and with many COVID-19 restrictions being dropped in the UK and abroad, you can be confident in a good time this year. Disney recently released their 2022 free dining credit 50th anniversary offer, and I intend to take advantage of that offer and go back in early 2022. Having not been since the end of 2019, to say I miss it is an understatement.
Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Disney announces they're doing a staycation cruise for UK guests throughout the summer of 2021. You know what? This just might do.
I've never done a cruise, let alone a Disney cruise. It's not something that has ever really interested me. However, I've always been fascinated and wanted to see the Disney cruise ships. When this Magic At Sea staycation was announced, I thought, this could be perfect. This is not your normal cruise, it's more akin to spending a few nights on a floating Disney resort. For me, that sounds awesome.
I am completely new to Disney Cruise Line (and cruises in general) and knowing how overwhelming Disney World can be to new people, it feels like I'm back being a Disney newbie again. There are room types, then there are categories, and then room differences within those categories - it can get messy. But you don't need to panic. Rooms range from "Inside" which is an inside cabin (no exterior view), "Oceanview" which is a room with a window or two, "Verandah" is a room with a balcony, and then there are the high-end concierge suites. If you're a first-timer like me, don't sweat too much about the position of the cabin on the ship (aft, etc), just choose the room type you want at a price you're happy with - you can't go wrong.
For a 3 night cruise in a Verandah room for 2 adults, it's costing me around £2000. Which works out at about £333/night per person. That really is quite good, especially as it's mostly all-inclusive. There are 3 differently themed fine restaurants you will eat at each night. Everything is included except alcohol and specialty drinks. There are also quick service options available onboard open all day for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. There's even room service that's included - all you have to pay is a small tip to the cast member. I might fancy a late-night burger delivered to my cabin while sitting on my balcony one evening. There are few extras you can pay for like the Palo restaurant, Spa treatments, and alcohol-based activities like beer tasting and mixology (which were all sold out by the time I got there so I won't be doing those). However, for me it's good to know the only things I will have to get my wallet out for are the bars and the gift shop. Prices on board are in the USD, so make sure you have a credit card that doesn't charge exchange fees. Although Disney is discounting all onboard pricing by 2% to make up for the people caught out by bank card fees. Just be sensible and get a card without fees and pocket that juicy 2% discount.
COVID-19 is still here, so there'll still be some health and safety measures in place. Which if I'm honest, for a cruise, a few of them are actually advantages. The ship will have lower capacity and even though you won't be able to hug Mickey, you will be seeing him (and dozens of other characters) a lot more. Disney will be making up for the lack of person-to-person contact in many different and exciting ways.
A setback to the super keen Disney fans wanting on the early cruises is that you need to be fully vaccinated to experience Magic At Sea. As a guy in my early-ish 30's, I was unfortunate (which now has worked out for the best) to need surgery earlier in the year, which made me eligible for the vaccine early. Many have been disappointed about this vaccine rule, but the ship needs to be as safe as possible. Not only for the safety of the guests but also for the reputation of the cruise. From what I've seen the cast members organising it are pouring their heart and soul into it. It can't go to waste by not keeping the ship as safe as possible. All guests 18+ must be fully vaccinated, and children under 18 require a negative PCR test. Lateral flow tests will be taken by all guests before boarding as well.
As most adults now have been offered their first jab already and the wait for the second one reduced, experiencing this Magic At Sea Disney Cruise will be available to most people. You can view the Magic At Sea Disney Cruise Staycation Cost And Prices for the cruises towards the end of the summer you can book worry-free.
It's nice to just be able to do something. What's better, it's something Disney.