Time is winding down before I give birth to the twins, and I wanted to do something special with my 3 year old daughter Ava – while she is still an only child. So, my mother and I decided to take an absolutely amazing Disney Cruise out of Miami on the Magic ship. We splurged and booked the much talked about concierge service aboard Disney Cruise Line ships and it was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Looking back on our Disney Cruise Line vacation, now that we are home, I am confident when I say that the extra money we paid for the Concierge upgrade was more than worth it. When families are booking their Disney cruise, they tend to try and pinch pennies, but the quality of service and perks you receive when you book concierge far exceeds the price you pay. If you are toying with the idea of going concierge on your next Disney Cruise Line vacation, this list will have you sold on the idea.
Check-In Is A Breeze
If you have ever taken a cruise, regardless of what company, then you know that check-in can be stressful…to say the least. There is nothing more nerve-racking than rushing through crowds of hundreds of people with your family, kids, and luggage in tow to get to your check-in point on time – only to have to wait in line for what seems like hours to actually board the ship. If you book concierge on your next Disney Cruise Line vacation, you can avoid ALL of that. We were able to avoid the crowds, and the Concierge host whisked my mother, myself, and my daughter Ava right in to a special lounge so that we didn’t have to endure any check-in drama while we waited. And, the concierge guests are the first ones to board the ship, so we weren’t stuck trying to keep my 3 year old occupied while we waited for everyone else to check in.
On the Disney Magic concierge rooms are on the eighth floor of the ship. The staterooms range from family rooms to various sizes of suites. We were able to enter our room before non-non-conceirge guests and because the room was a suite it was ready before the other rooms on the floor. I was truly in shock when we walked through the door. Our Conceirge One Bedroom Suite With Verandah was HUGE, and the décor was impeccable. Seriously, the two bathrooms together were bigger than my bedroom back home. One of my favorite perks of our one bedroom suite was that my mother, Ava, an myself were able to wind down AWAY from each other. The living area included a huge flat screen tv, a pull out couch, a dining table, a small kitchen and access to our verandah. Additionally, through sliding doors was a huge bed, with another flat screen TV and access to the verandah. This room connected to the main bathroom, which had a makeup / vanity area with a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, two sinks, a shower and toliet.
Also, we travelled during the holidays, so we ordered Mickey Christmas decorations to add to the décor of the room. We also ordered Christmas cookies and other treats that were waiting for us when we first entered the room.
Our room also came with some free internet – which was a huge plus because once you go over the allotted data per room, you have to start paying per GB.
When you travel Concierge with Disney Cruise Line, you are basically getting your own membership to a VIP Lounge on the ship. The lounge, which occupies and indoor and outdoor space is packed full of snacks and refreshments all day long. The snacks change throughout the day too – for breakfast, lunch and supper. You also have access to the most amazing machine that makes different types of coffees and hot chocolate. You can also take soft drink and water back to your room if you run out of the selection the concierge workers leave in your room at the beginning of the stay. Additionally, there is cocktail hour for the adults in the night! Talk about being pampered!
On top of the exclusive concierge lounge on Disney Cruise Line ships, Concierge guests also have access to a VIP sundeck on the ship that can only be accessed via key card. The decks get rather crowded and chaotic during the day – and I loved having access to the private sundeck. Ava and I loved sitting on the lounge chairs and checking out the ocean, without a ton of commotion. It was so relaxing and peaceful, there were even a few short instances that we were the only travelers on the deck and we had the place to ourselves.
Obviously, if you don’t travel concierge on your Disney Cruise the staff is still going to look out for you, and go above and beyond. But, the Concierge service is like none other I have ever experience on a cruise. The head staff – Andy and Julia took amazing care of us, we were on a first name basis with them, and they were constantly checking in to make sure we didn’t need anything. Julia even made bracelets with her one night in the lounge. In the meantime, my mom enjoyed a cocktail and I sipped on non-alcoholic sparkling cider that looked like champagne.
Julia & Andy left gifts in our room for us. One day, Ava came back to find a beautiful Elsa doll from Frozen left on our bed. Julia gave Ava two Mickey dolls for her unborn sisters and a Disney eraser board for herself while we were in the concierge lounge. At the end of the stay, we were also left with limited edition Disney print.
Early Booking of Activities (including Castaway Cay Cabanas)
When you book a Disney Cruise, you have a set window to go online and book all of the activities that you and your family want to partake in while you are on vacation. Of course, a lot of the events fill up rather quickly – like the luxurious cabanas in Castaway Cay. Everyone wants a cabana because of the private tropical oasis they provide, but there are only so many. If you’re concierge, you’re allowed to book cruise activities 120 days prior to sailing. This is ahead of all other guests besides Platinum Castaway Club members. This make your odds of getting a cabana almost guaranteed. You can also book dinner reservations, port excursions, spa appointments and other onboard activities in advance.
Your concierge team also books you’re meet-and-greets with Princesses and other Disney characters before other guests have the opportunity to do so themselves. Concierge guests don’t wait inline to book the appointment and receive the tickets on the first day of the cruise when meeting the concierge crew.
As a concierge guest, you can also request private dining and your dinner rotation order prior to embarking. This is done through the concierge email or telephone service after you book your cruise.
Cabana Rental on Castaway Cay
Getting off the boat at Castaway Cay is easy and travel to the cabanas is also smooth. You will have a golf cart escort you to your individual Cabana once you check-in to Cabana reception area. We had Cabana number four and it was absolutely fabulous. I suggest booking the lower number cabanas because their closer to the bathrooms and lunch station.
The concierge team takes care of the cabana guests, so non-conceirge guests get a taste of just how accommodating and efficient the concierge team is. Julia and Andy showed us around and they were on call all day if we need them. Julia made sure to check-in on us throughout the day and she even played in the sand outside our cabana with Ava for about thirty minutes. She also made sure that Ava found a couple of Captain Hook’s gold coins while digging in the sand!
The cabanas are huge and very private. Each cabana has an indoor lounge area, outside porch lounge area, hammock and designated area on the private beach in front of the cabana with beach chairs. The cabana’s come with fresh fruit, chips, soft drinks, water, cold towels, beach towels, a safe and tropical music playing in the background.
Character Lounge Visits
The highlight for most children on a Disney cruise is meeting their favorite Disney princesses and characters. For the princesses, you can book to meet them at a pre-set time of wait in line when their scheduled to be in a certain area of the ship. For normal Disney characters, you have to wait in line. The line is better than at the parks, but children have limited time with the character. That’s why I love that concierge guests get a special visitor to the conceive lounge during the cruise. We were lucky to get a visit from Captain Mickey and he spent a long time meeting with the kids. Ava got to meet him twice and was not rushed to move on, so she got a really personal experience with him.
If you’re thinking about splurging and upgrading to concierge I highly suggest it. I have cruised both ways and I would book concierge again in a heart if I had the money. I think it is worth doing at least once if you’re a fan of sailing with Disney Cruise Line.