Disney Cruise Line Drastically Alters the August 1, 2016 12-Night Disney Magic Itinerary Dropping Greek Isles

Disney Cruise Line is notifying guests booked on the 12-Night Greek Isles Cruise from Barcelona of a major itinerary change. The August 1, 2016 sailing aboard the Disney Magic will no longer sail to the Greek Isles. I am calling this a new itinerary rather than a revised itinerary due to the significant changes with the loss of calls in Piraeus, Kusadasi, Mykonos and to a lesser extent Valletta and La Spezia. It is now a Mediterranean cruise, not a Greek Isles cruise. At the time of publication, the sailing was pulled from DCL’s website. Around the lunch hour, the new itinerary named 12-Night Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona appeared online.

While the loss of ports may be disappointing, the new itinerary has one less sea day with the addition of OlbiaNaplesPalermoCannes and Palma. As was the case with the 7-Night Mediterranean sailings, La Spezia is being replaced with Livorno. It is important for any guests who are planning ahead, August 4th remains the only port day of the cruise unchanged with the stop in Civitavecchia. Well, ok, you got me. Embarkation day remains unchanged. The new itinerary is as follows.

12-Night Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona
Barcelona • At Sea • Olbia • Civitavecchia • Naples • Palermo • At Sea • Livorno • Villefranche • Cannes • At Sea • Palma

Map Magic 12 Night Mediterranean Cruise 2016

Disney Cruise Line is attempting to make this itinerary change hurt less for those who were hoping to visit the Greek Isles. Guests may change their dates or cancel for a full refund. For guests with non-refundable deposits, they will get a full refund. Guests who choose to keep the itinerary will receive a $1,000 onboard credit per stateroom, which can be used towards any services or merchandise purchased onboard, including port adventures and beverages. I cannot confirm, but I received another report that a $2,000 OBC was offered for guests in a 2-bedroom suite.

For guest looking to change to a different sailing they will be able to book at the pricing tier from when they originally booked the 12-Night Greek Isles cruise, not the current prevailing rate.

The previously submitted cruise meet Facebook group link has been relinked to the revised sailing on August 1, 2016.

Below is a copy of the notice DCL is sending out to agents with clients booked on this sailing. Disney states the change a result of their desire to provide the best possible experience for their guests. However, I feel it has more to do with the current situation highlighted by the US State Department’s travel warning for Turkey (pdf) which then had a ripple effect on the rest of the itinerary.

DCL 12N Greek Isle Modifed Med 20151215

Special thanks to Tracy from TravelOnADream.com for providing the new itinerary details.

28 Replies to “Disney Cruise Line Drastically Alters the August 1, 2016 12-Night Disney Magic Itinerary Dropping Greek Isles”

  1. Zora's Mom

    Can one really use a $1000 or $2000 credit in one cruise? I have never been on a Disney cruise (or any other cruise) but I have been doing research via your blog in anticipation of booking a cruise for March 2017. How much should I budget for extras?

      1. Kali

        Thanks, Scott. It will just be me and my daughter who will be 9. Do you have a sense of how much I should budget for extras? Our cruise will likely only be four or five days. Thanks!

        1. Scott Sanders Post author

          That is really hard to estimate without determining what you want to do in the ports. Plus, you will need to consider how much you might spend on laundry, merchandise and specialty beverages onboard.

      2. Ric R

        That was my thinking when I saw that large amount. Disney wants to make sure passengers get off the ship and have a good time in these new ports.

    1. Melissa

      We were on the 2014 Barcelona to Venice 12 night sailing and spend $2300 on port excursions (2adults, 2 children). We did not do excursions in every port and selected the less expensive offerings. We spend almost $0 on excurions in the Caribbean and usually walk into town or grab a taxi to a beach.

    2. rlopez2626

      I went on a 7-night cruise and I easily spent $1,000 on the ship. Mixed drinks really add up! Plus, don’t forget to buy Disney crap, I mean merchandise for the kids…just saying.

    3. Dennis C

      Easily. We’ve never walked off of a Disney cruise spending less than what we had originally budgeted. Specialty dining, cocktails, spa services, collectible mugs, shore excursions, assorted souvenirs and other items start to add up fairly quickly.

  2. Zora's mom

    Thanks. I am planning on a 4 or 5 day Caribbean cruise with my daughter who will be nine. How much should I budget for extras?

    1. LeoM

      As Scott replied to another post, it really is up to you. In the Caribbean you CAN have a lovely time spending exactly $0 extra beyond what you’ve already paid to Disney – the ships dock in the cities/towns you are visiting, are all walkable, and you can always come back to the ship for lunch. Or you can spend a small amount on shopping and lunch. Or spend somewhere between a bit more and a lot more on port excursions. And/or spend yet more on onboard activities like spa treatments. Look at the port adventures page on the disneycruse website to see what excursions look good to you – and their prices.

      We’ve been in Nassau, walked all around the town, spent just a few dollars on lunch, and had a great time. Another voyage we did the Disney excursion to Atlantis, spent a good bit more, and also had a great time. It is all up to you.

    2. Dennis C

      This always a pretty safe bet when you hop off:

      – Figure $10 if you want a t-shirt or other trinkets.
      – Food at a local restaurant can run you about $20 (or less) per person depending on the venue.
      – Museums are always a bargain at $10 or less
      – Excursions can vary, of course, but checking Disney’s offerings will give you an idea.

      Things only start to get pricey when you book dolphin experiences, spend a day at Atlantis and other such excursions. On a Disney cruise the ship IS the experience so when you leave the ship just walking around or heading to a local beach is often more than enough to get the experience of the port you are visiting.

    3. LeoM

      There are in my mind three reasons to book excursions through DCL. The first and most important is that they will hold the ship for you (or transport you to the next port). On an Alaska cruise our family took an excursion out of Skagway down to Haines. But when it was time for to return to the ship high winds closed the Taiya Inlet to watercraft. They opened up a museum for us after hours, bought us dinner, and held the ship until our excursion was able to return to Skagway.

      The second is that occasionally Disney is able to arrange special excursions. In Rome they got us into the Sistine Chapel on a Sunday. And in Kirkwall, Scotland they arranged a tour and luncheon to Balfour Castle – usually only ‘visitable’ if you rent out the entire thing for an event.

      Lastly, and most importantly for a Caribbean cruise, there are places that do sell out. In particular, on holidays (e.g. President’s week) Atlantis has been known to ‘close’ to outside guests.

  3. Gene

    This change is breaking my family’s hearts. My daughter is a huge Percy Jackson fan and we were so looking forward to the greek isles. We are considering other cruise lines now, will save a fortune if we go with another line.

  4. Lynda Carswell

    Understand the reason for the changes, but would be so sad to have booked this cruise. About as disappointing not to see Greece and Turkey as it was for the 2015 EBTA to have Iceland pulled two days before sailing. Glad to see that DCL will be giving a generous OBC and will allow people to rebook at the rate their new cruise would have been the date that they booked this one. We just got 6 poorly planned (ie, no activities in the afternoons) sea days in a row. Sea days are great, but 6 in a row is not my husband’s cup of tea.

    1. Melissa

      I agree. We were also on the EBTA and while we understood the reason for canceling Iceland, it was one of the main reasons we selected that sailing. We looked into cancelling completely when the change was made but since it was only 2 days notice, we didn’t have time to look into the conditions of our travel insurance. An onboard credit would have been nice considering we ended up spending a lot more on excursions in our replacement ports due to the lack of time we had to plan.

  5. Marion

    Gene, you may want to research the unrest in the region before changing cruise lines and loosing that $1k; Turkey is so close it can be seen from some of the ports in Greece, and they and Russia are currently exchanging a very heated debate/fire over Syria. When Disney makes a decision this monumental, it’s usually for good reason. Just a heads up to look around at the news, especially Putin’s most recent address (a couple of days ago). Reuters has some good information.

  6. mobile73

    Hi. Can anyone confirm if the credit can be used to pay for gratuities and photo passes? It is annoying the cruise being changed but also appreciate the current environment and why the decision was made.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Unless there are specific restrictions added to this OBC you can use the credit to pay for any onboard charges including gratuities and photos from Shutters. I would suggest calling DCL to discuss the specifics of your OBC just to make sure there are no restrictions.

  7. Angeli Yenko

    Hi! Has anyone been able to change their cruise to a different date at the pricing tier when they orginally booked the 12 night med? I called DCL to ask about the changes, and the person helping me was not aware of that option. He believed I would be paying the current rate if I changed cruise dates, but would be eligable for the $1000 OBC if I kept the orginal cruise. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We did not receive the email about the changes because it was going to an old email account.

    1. Gene

      We ended up switching to a 7 day Mediterranean cruise with DCL (sailing Aug 13). When discussing our options with the operator they did say we could book the new one at the same rate as the date we booked originally, but in our case there had been no intervening change in cost so that was a null benefit.

      We did end up having to change flights to match the new itinerary and Disney paid for the actual costs for the extra charges we incurred (in my family’s case approximately $1500). We had to supply proof of the actual charges from the airline. My mother and aunt also were booked on the original itinerary and switched with us to the 13th and got the same deal, but for the two of them it was only about $600.


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