California Here We Come!

Traveling with ToaD
October 3 – 11, 2015

Disneyland is turning 60 in 2015 and we want to be there for the Celebration! We have traveled to Disneyland before as a group and wanted to get back there again, but why do the same trip over again when there is so much more to see and do? That’s why we have put together a custom group just for you! We are looking forward to traveling with past group members and new alike! We hope you’ll join us.

We have two groups to offer. For those that want to explore more in Disneyland and experience the Diamond Celebration at Disneyland Resort (not to mention the Diamond Anniversary for Disneyland Hotel as well), we have put together a three night stay at the Disneyland Hotel. We will have exclusive VIP tours along with other activities to celebrate both the Diamond Celebration and the Halloween season at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure! Your package includes accommodations at the Disneyland Hotel, park hopper tickets, transfers, most meals and gratuities. Pricing for this tour is $2000 per person for double occupancy. Single supplement is +$780, subject to availability.

Disneyland during its 50th Celebration

Disneyland during its 50th Celebration

For those that want to experience San Francisco, including some of the Disney connections to the area, we have a five night package for you there! Upon arrival in San Francisco, we will be whisked off to Sausalito and then continue our journey on to Napa Valley. While in Napa Valley for two nights, we will tour several wineries with Disney connections, including tastings and special activities, with a picnic lunch at one of the wineries. After returning back to San Francisco, we will visit the Letterman Digital Arts Center as well as the Disney Family Museum. For the next two days, we will have several exclusive tours and special activities, along with some private time to explore more on our own. Pricing for this tour is $2580 per person for double occupancy. Single supplement is +$890, subject to availability.

San Francisco from the Bay

San Francisco from the Bay

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Are you interested in both? For those participating in both tours, your transfers between Anaheim and San Francisco will be covered by Travel On A Dream! Pricing per person is $4580 for double occupancy. Single supplement is $1670.

Availability for these tours is limited so lock in your place today! Deposits are only $200 per person for each group ($400 per person for the combination group) and are fully refundable until 95 days prior (60 days prior for the Disneyland only tour). Fill out your request form here. We hope you will join us in October!

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Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice and Escape!

NORWEGIANS GET MORE CHOICES.

We’re taking Freestyle Cruising® to the next level with Norwegian’s Freestyle Choice, giving you the opportunity to go where you want with the offer you want. Book any destination in an Oceanview Stateroom or higher and get the Ultimate Dining Package, the Ultimate Beverage Package or an onboard credit up to $300. Soak up beauty in Hawai`i** or relive history in Europe and choose any two offers when booking an Oceanview Stateroom or higher. Or live it up in a Suite or The Haven while cruising any destination and get all three. Great things happen when you Cruise Like a Norwegian®. Book today! Offer ends January 31, 2015.

**Ultimate Beverage Package will be substituted for an Air Credit.

CHECK OUT NORWEGIAN ESCAPE!

Contact Travel On A Dream today to Cruise Like a Norwegian!

Traveling to the Land Down Under

Once upon a time I was a young girl. That should read “back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth…” but I digress.

While watching TV, I saw the “I hate Qantas” commercial with a Koala lamenting the airline bringing tourists to Australia. I instantly wanted to visit this faraway land but realistically I knew it was like so many other dreams and probably would never happen.

Fast forward a lot of decades and I get an email from Celebrity Cruise line inviting us to go on a “Reunion Cruise” from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. The “Reunion” part was for repeat cruisers and, since we reached the Elite level of their loyalty program, it was promoted as having special events just for us. I showed my hubby and we decided to go for it.

Naturally, I turned to Tracy at Travel On A Dream to help us plan our epic vacation. The cruise part was easy. Much as we travel frequently, the rest was like planning a trip to the moon. After researching airlines I never knew existed (Fiji, New Zealand, Emirates) I picked (take a guess) Qantas.

Since we live in New York, it would mean a whole lotta time on an airplane. The first flight was from JFK to Los Angeles. Let me tell you, flying to the other side of the planet isn’t cheap so we opted for coach. Qantas uses huge Air Bus planes and I was relieved to find the seats to be fairly roomy. On every flight each seat comes equipped with a headphone, blanket and pillow.

On the “short” four and a half hour flight to LA, we were served dinner. On the longer flights we were also served breakfast. On the return flights, the hot breakfast was scrambled eggs, sausage, roasted tomatoes and BAKED BEANS!! Oh Qantas, you have a cruel sense of humor serving people on a 14 hour flight beans. There were a few times where I was sniffing my scented hand sanitizer until the puffs of bean clouds disappeared.

And yes, that’s not a typo. It’s 14 hours from Los Angeles to Sydney. Fortunately there’s a big selection of movies, TV shows, games, radio and music. Between meals they serve a snack and there’s a shelf stocked with treats that you help yourself to. Periodically, the flight attendants clean the bathrooms so you don’t have to practice beating the world record for holding your breath.

The weird part is adjusting to the space/time continuum. We left New York at 6:30pm on October 30th and arrived in Sydney at 8:30am on November 1st. October 31st simply disappeared. Conversely, we left Auckland (an additional 3 hour flight to Sydney on the way home) at 8:10am on November 18th and got to New York at 5:30pm still on the 18th. I swear Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown were in the cockpit.

So after spending an eternity on planes we arrived in Sydney. It actually happened!! I made it to that distant land on the other side of the globe!! So did our luggage!! (We don’t have the best luck with that flying from JFK.)

Next installment, exploring Sydney.

Change to DCL Onboard Booking Limits

In addition to new itineraries and cruise dates, this week Disney Cruise Line also announced a change in the time limit for using an onboard booking and receiving the benefits.

Prior to November 2013, you could book a future cruise while onboard your Disney Cruise and use it anytime in the future.  This led to many bookings that would need to be moved to a new date before the penalties set in.  Some reservations had been moved many, many times!  At some point, there needed to be the realization that you weren’t going to use that reservation.

That’s when Disney changed the policy and added a limit.  Bookings made prior to November 2013 were given until November 30, 2015 to be used or the onboard booking benefits would drop off of the reservation.  Any future bookings, however, were only given 18 months to be used.

This arbitrary number of months caused a lot of problems for future cruisers.  We started hearing a new reason for cancellations – “I can’t use the booking before the benefits will expire so I might as well cancel.”  We also were hearing back from those just off cruises that they didn’t book onboard due to the new time limits.

We figured that 18 months was a problem from the start.  There are a different types of people who make an onboard booking.  I’m going to focus on just two types.  Both of them are trying to save money on their future cruise and therefore have done their research.  They know that booking onboard is one of the ways to get a discount and onboard credit.

The first group are those who cruise every couple years.  They cruise pretty much at the same time each year due to the kid’s school break schedule or vacation time from work.  The problem is that 18 months is not long enough for them so they wouldn’t book onboard.

The second group are those who cruise every year.  Clearly, 18 months should be enough, right?  No, because they understand how to get the best price with Disney.  You book as soon as the dates are released.  That means if you normally cruise in January every year, if you book onboard your cruise, you would have to book for the following year.  However, to get the best pricing, you should have booked as soon as the following year’s bookings opened.  By the time you get onboard, you already have the next vacation booked, so it doesn’t do you any good to book onboard as you would need to use that booking within six months of your next cruise.

It seems as though Disney noticed this was happening and this week modified the time limit to now be 24 months.  While I would have preferred to see three or four years like Norwegian Cruise Line allows, or at a minimum 25 months (to account for shifts in school breaks/holidays/etc.), I think this is a vast improvement.

If the reason for the change is the reduction in the number of onboard bookings being made, I do think they will see an increase now.  If it is due to the number of cancellations, I don’t thing this will help.  Remember, when the rule went into effect, everyone booking before the rule was given approximately 24 more months.  It was only the new bookings that were given 18 months.  That means the majority of those who cancelled due to the time limit, were doing so because the limit was 24 months, not 18.

I am happy with the change however.  There was a need for it to happen.  For those who are sorry they didn’t book onboard or cancelled existing reservations due to the limits, don’t feel bad.  You helped Disney to see that the 18 months was too short a time.  Without your actions, there wouldn’t have been a reason to change it.  You sent a message and it appears it was heard loud and clear.

Early 2016 Disney Cruise Line Bookings Open Thursday

Disney Cruise Line has announced the itineraries for the first part of 2016 today. Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members can begin booking tomorrow with bookings open to everyone on Thursday, October 30.  Contact us today to get ready to book your date as soon as possible.  Or better yet, use this form to submit your request to us.

All four ships will be staying in the Caribbean and Bahamas for the spring months. Dates have only been released through the end of April. Here are the itineraries:

Disney Dream: Sailing alternating 3 and 4 night sailings from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas with stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay. 3 night sailings are on Fridays and 4 night sailings are on Mondays.

Disney Fantasy: Sailing alternating 7 night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings on Saturdays from Port Canaveral.

  • Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay – January 2, 16, 30, February 13, 27, March 12, 26, April 9, 23, 2016
  • Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Castaway Cay – January 9, 23, February 6, 20, March 5, 19, April 2, 16, 2016
  • Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth, Castaway Cay – April 30, 2016

Disney Magic will be sailing out of Miami and Port Canaveral. For Miami, the sailings will be:

  • 4 night Nassau, Castaway Cay, Key West – December 27, 2015
  • 3 night to Castaway Cay – December 31, 2015 and January 3, 2016
  • 4 night to Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West – January 6, 20, 2016
  • 5 night Western with Cozumel, Castaway Cay – January 10, 24, 2016
  • 5 night Western with Grand Cayman, Castaway Cay – January 15, 29, 2016

For sailings out of Port Canaveral, we have:

  • 3 night with Nassau, Castaway Cay – February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2016
  • 4 night with Nassau, Castaway Cay – February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, 2016
  • 7 night with Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Castaway Cay – April 10, 26, 2016
  • 7 night with Tortola, St. Thomas, Castaway Cay – April 3, 26, 2016

Disney Wonder will be sailing out of Galveston, San Juan and Miami! Here is what we have from Galveston:

  • 6 night repositioning from Galveston to San Juan – St. Thomas, Tortola – January 4, 2016

Here is what is showing from San Juan:

  • 7 night Southern Caribbean with ports of call in Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, Antigua, St. Kitts – January 10, 17, 24, 31
  • 5 night Southern Caribbean repositioning with ports of call in St. Kitts, Tortola and Castaway Cay – February 7, 2016

Here is what we are seeing from Miami:

  • 4 night with Castaway Cay, Nassau, Key West – February 17, March 2, 16, 30, April 13, 27, 2016
  • 5 night Western with Cozumel, Castaway Cay – February 21, March 6, 20, April 3, 17, 2016
  • 5 night Western with Grand Cayman, Castaway Cay – February 12, 26, March 11, 25, April 8, 22, 2016

Which itinerary are you most interested in?

 

“Can We Book 2016 Disney Cruise Dates Yet?”

We have been getting a lot of questions about booking 2016 cruise dates for Disney Cruise Line.  This started around the time that Disney released the remaining 2015 cruise dates.  The answer for the most part is that we have our suspicions when it will happen, but won’t know for certain until they are announced by Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Magic in St. Lucia

Disney Magic in St. Lucia

Based on the past few years, we do believe that Disney will divide the year into thirds again.  We think that the first part of the year, before the “Summer” season, will be released before the holidays this year.  This could be as soon as next week or as late as mid-December.  We do expect a release on Tuesday or Wednesday for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members with a general public release the following day.  We usually get a feeling when the release is going to happen and our feeling right now is that it will happen sooner rather than later.

What do we think we will see in terms of itineraries?  Probably nothing different than Winter/Spring 2015 with the Magic on Western Caribbean sailings, the Fantasy on Eastern (though we do expect Tortola to be added), the Wonder sailing out of Miami or Galveston with Caribbean and Bahamas sailings and the Dream sailing 3 and 4 nights to the Bahamas.

What does this mean for you?  If you are looking for a Winter/Spring 2015 sailing on Disney, let your Travel On A Dream agent know!  Don’t have an existing booking?  Use our handy form to request a quote.  Tell us when you want to cruise, who’s traveling, where you want to go and what type of room you want.  When the pricing is available, we’ll get you a quote right away.  Be sure to let us know which category of Castaway Club you are in so we also know which date to book your reservation!

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