2018 Halloween & Very MerryTime Sailings Quietly Revealed

Today, the fall 2018 sailings appeared on Disney Cruise Line’s website to price and book after three days of phone booking only for Platinum, Gold, and Silver Castaway Club members. Typically, when DCL puts the sailings online pricing is the only revelation. However, this time around the September-October and November-December sailings were marked as Halloween on the High Seas and Very MerryTime cruises.

This is a drastic departure from the norm, as DCL typically puts the sailings on sale without the holiday cruise moniker only to later put out a Disney Parks Blog post or a press release to illicit a bump in bookings for these special sailings. For example, the Fall 2017 sailings went on sale in May 2016 and the Halloween/MerryTime dates were not official until the end of September 2016. For the Fall 2016 sailing release, the sailings went on sale release in May 2015 and the holiday dates were announced in April 2015. I’m not sure if this was a mistake to denote the sailings early, or if this is a change in the sales and marketing strategies for the line. The dates are not listed on DCL’s respective pages from Halloween on the High Seas and Very MerryTime, but they are noted when you search for cruise.

Fall 2018 Halloween on the High Seas Voyages

Disney Magic Sailings

Disney Wonder Sailings

Disney Dream Sailings

Disney Fantasy Sailings

Fall 2018 Very MerryTime Cruises

Disney Fantasy Atrium Lobby Christmas DecorationsDisney Magic Sailings

Disney Wonder Sailings

Disney Dream Sailings

Disney Fantasy Sailings

With this change in sales strategy, it leaves me wondering what could be done to boost sales in say a year. Based on historical offerings the only known option to add on would be Marvel Day at Sea since the Star Wars Day at Sea sailings have only been offered during the first few months of the year.

What do you think about the change in marketing strategy?

9 thoughts on “2018 Halloween & Very MerryTime Sailings Quietly Revealed

  1. Erin

    We booked the Nov. 10 sailing on the Magic during Castaway Club booking, and the DCL rep also told us it was a Merry Time cruise. Unusually, the same sailing a week before was significantly more expensive, despite not being Halloween or Merry Time.

    Reply
  2. Sam

    This new strategy might fill up the cruises faster. People booking specifically for a Merry Time or Halloween theme don’t have to wait for a later announcement to book, and those of us who book based on scheduling availability will also know to expect a fuller boat when booking if it’s a themed sailing.

    Reply
  3. Rachelle

    I love it that they have let us know sooner. I also booked the Nov 10, 2018 sailing on the Magic, hoping that it would it become a Very Merry Christmas Cruise. What a nice surprise when I went on the DCL website this morning. The DCL rep explained that the week of Nov 3rd has some school holidays in New York, and the week of Nov 17th sails through American Thanksgiving to explain the higher prices. We are Canadian, so hadn’t realized all that.

    Reply
  4. Jenn

    I have a Sept 8th Fantasy cruise booked and I was so surprised it would be a Halloween cruise. I thought this would be too early, but it’s a nice surprise.

    Reply

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