The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016 was recently published and has been expanded by almost 75 pages from the 2015 release. The 2016 edition features returning authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, Laurel Stewart and Ritchey Halphen. Timeout… What about the 2015 guide? Ok, I never reviewed the book. I bought a copy, but honestly I never got around to reading it in time for a proper review. As a result, my review of the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016 will mention content added in the second edition remains in the current edition.
I think it is important to reiterate what I said in my review of the first edition. The Unofficial Guide is not a brochure for Disney Cruise Line. It is not a marketing tool created by Disney’s PR department; the guide is set up as an objective planning guide based on the authors’ personal cruise experience as fare paying guests. Personally, I find this refreshing.
One of the sections added in 2015 was a comparison between Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean based on various aspects of the overall cruise experience. Spoiler alert… DCL didn’t get picked in each category, so for anyone still undecided on which cruise line is ‘better,’ this will provide some things to consider.
The latest edition aims to help future cruisers find the best deals based on pricing trends. The authors provide some suggestions on how far out to book various stateroom categories for the various itineraries. The port of call sections have been enhanced and cover the ports of call for itineraries though the end of the year. Each port overview includes a bit of history of the port, key tourist highlights, weather and suggestions on what local foods to try, and tips on what is unique in terms of merchandise in the area. This sub-section alone should help save some money for the unique souvenirs unless you are adamant about keeing up with your keychain and magnet collection.
Given the fact that Disney fares are ever increasing, there is a section dedicated to pointing out what is and what is not included in the price of your Disney Cruise. To take it a step further, the authors included a ‘Top 10 Best Bangs for Your Buck’ list that will enhance your vacation while not breaking the budget.
One of the biggest decisions people have after they’ve booked their cruise is what to do in the ports. The Unofficial Guide offers the pros and cons of booking an excursion on your own or through Disney.
My favorite addition to the book was a section that debuted in 2015 – Walking Tours. These walking tours provide you with alternative to Disney’s port adventures and even the local tours. More so, the walking tours presented in the book help you get more of an immersive port experience and potentially will allow you to see so much more of the port than you would on a single port adventure for a fraction of the price.
We have long been fans of going out on our own, but it is always important to know the risks. The biggest is being left behind if you miss the all aboard time. The flip side is that we’ve found that we can save a considerable amount of money and in some cases, we can experience more of that particular port.
The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line has grown over 100 pages from the first edition. The guide offers everything you hope to find on this website but have not, plus it includes content for veteran cruisers. The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016 is an excellent resource for anyone planning for their first cruise. However, veteran cruisers will find value in the newer additions such as the expanded port descriptions, tips on finding a better cruise fare, and port walking tours.
The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016 is available now at your local book store as well the usual online retailers such as Amazon.com. Digital copies are available from the iBook store, Kindle, Nook, Google Play.
Although I preordered my own copy of the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2016, The Unofficial Guide series and TouringPlans.com authors were kind enough to provide us with some additional copies to give away. I would really like to give at least one of these away to someone who is considering or has booked their first cruise. Please remember to use a valid email address so that I can contact you in the event that you are selected.
There are a couple of ways to enter the giveaway:
How to Enter the Book Giveaway
- For anyone: Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entry period opens at 12 am on 2/16/2016 and will end on 2/24/16.
- For first time Disney Cruisers – let us know in the comments section below which cruise you booker or are considering booking for your first Disney Cruise and what you are looking forward to the most during your first cruise. When the Rafflecopter giveaway ends I will randomly pick from a winner from the comments section at the same time as the Rafflecopter giveaway.
@PirateMomPenny and Steve M were our randomly selected winners from the Rafflecopter giveaway. Jessie and Amy R were the winners of the comment giveaway. Emails have been sent to the winners. In the event, I do not hear back from all the winners I will draw another name.