As we begin the countdown to 2015, I figured it would be a good time to formally announce the latest website features centered around Disney Cruise Line’s itineraries. This project has been in the planning stages for quite some time. Over the summer, I decided it was time to dedicate the time to get these new features on the website. In this case, it all started with florescent note cards.
The project’s main objective was to create a historical list of all itineraries for the entire fleet dating back to 1998 all in one place. This was quite a task as the Internet was not nearly as informative in the late 90’s as it is today. Thankfully, we were able to track down old itinerary information published by Disney Cruise Line either in the form of a pdfs, printed brochures, and online with the help of the Internet Time Machine! For the most part, I think we have a relatively accurate list of itineraries to date. Now, I am sure if you were to go through with a fine tooth comb, you would find some discrepancies. If you do, please let me know so we can correct the record and maintain an accurate, historic itinerary listing. To explore this new website feature, click on the Itineraries tab in the menu or in the sub menus of the ‘Ships’ tab.
For each ship, there is a list of the current and past itineraries grouped by cruise type. For example, below you will see the current Caribbean Cruises available for the Disney Fantasy, as well as an itinerary that is no longer offered, the 7-Night Western Caribbean with a stop in Costa Maya.
Clicking on the itinerary will take you to the summary page complete with an itinerary map, the daily schedule, all past & present sail dates, and links to Personal Navigators (if available). Itinerary maps are loaded for all current itineraries and over time, I hope to create maps for all previous itineraries. I am open to requests if there is map you would like to a map for something like a scrapbook project.
If you look close at the sail dates, there is a legend to denote special holiday sailings, such as Halloween on the High Seas as well as which sailings are blocked out of the onboard booking promotion. Please note – we do not have any Holiday sailings marked for 2015, as Disney Cruise Line has not announced those sail dates. Rather than assume the dates, we decided it would be better to just create pages that summarizes the Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime sailings if you want to guess when they may occur before DCL makes the dates official.
Ports of Call were an integral component to the itinerary project. Simply click on the port name to see a summary of the port complete with a brief summary (I am still working on the summary text) and some helpful links such as the port’s official website. The first view you will see is an interactive map showing the approximate location of each port.
Port webcams have been a website staple from the early days. The daily port schedule at the top of each webpage is limited to 2 webcams. Under the port’s webcam tab all cameras for the port will be listed with a brief description. Additionally, there is a link to submit webcam links to the website and a link to report webcams no longer in service.
The next two tabs list past and present itineraries that feature the port of call. For example, below are the itineraries for Tortola. On each port of call page, we are listing the port adventures offered by Disney Cruise Line. Although we most often book third party excursions, we have chosen to limit this list to only DCL port adventures. It would be impossible to keep an up to date and comprehensive list of excursions offered from the many third party vendors in each port. I am not ruling this out in the future, but for now the focus is on DCL port adventures.
There is a brief synopsis of each port adventure along with user submitted reviews which are similar to the stateroom reviews on the site. The reader reviews for the Port Adventures include a 5-star ratings for Overall Experience, Tour Guide (if applicable), Value and a simple yes or no whether they would recommend this port adventure. Aggregate ratings calculated as well as a percentage of reviews that recommend the port adventure.
Finally, each port of call includes the current and extended weather forecast.
I would like to thank everyone who helped test the pages, submit port adventure reviews, and provide constructive feedback over the last few months. A special thanks to Nick Cucerzan for suggesting a change to the port of call summary layout and Joe Tolley from CruiseHangout.com for for giving me the motivation to resolve a layout issue I was originally too lazy to fix. In the end it resulted in a improved layout! The point of these pages are to help plan your cruise, so I am open to ideas on how to improve content to make planning your next cruise that much easier.
As we close out 2014, I want to thank you all for your readership. Have a safe and Happy New Year!