Disney Cruise Line finally made the announcement that has been a looming. As a result of Hurricane Irma’s wrath in the Tortola and St Thomas, the Disney Fantasy’s upcoming Eastern Caribbean cruises on September 23rd and October 7th are now Western Caribbean sailings with stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth.
7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Disney Fantasy
- Port Canaveral
- At Sea
- Grand Cayman
- At Sea
- Castaway Cay
For those booked on these sailings here are the Personal Navigators from a recent August Western Caribbean cruise to help get up to speed on what may be offered when you are on board.
This change was made to allow the the British and US Virgin Islands the appropriate time to recover from the effects of the hurricane. Any port adventures that were pre-reserved in Tortola and St Thomas will automatically be removed from your guests’ cruise activities. Guests are encouraged to explore port adventures for the new ports of call as soon as possible.
Disney Cruise Line provided the following statement at 1 PM on September 13, 2017.
Disney Fantasy – September 23 and October 7 Sailings
The September 23 and October 7 Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean sailings are being modified to include ports of call in the Western Caribbean. These two revised sailings will now visit Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica.
Please know that further changes may be needed as the Caribbean islands continue to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Irma and that we will notify Guests should additional changes be necessary. Western Caribbean sailings will continue as scheduled.
Should you have any questions related to a future reservation, please call us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054.
We will be updating the website with the revised sailings and will update this post with links.
DCL will notify guests if any further Eastern Caribbean sailings changes are necessary.
Below is a copy of the email DCL is sending to guests booked on the altered cruises.
I’m not sure how I feel about this.. One one hand, I’m happy our 9/23 cruise wasn’t cancelled, because it saves me the hassle of trying to cancel and seek refunds for everything else (hotel, transportation, etc.) On the other hand, I am *sorely* disappointed to be stuck on a Western Caribbean itinerary now, when I booked the Eastern Caribbean itinerary for a reason! One thing I *am* certain of.. the could not *pay me* to get off the ship in Falmouth! Nooo waaay Jose Cuervo!!
You should feel like a jerk after that comment. You’re going on a cruise, while the people in those ports where you would have gone have had their lives shattered by Irma. Yeah woe is you.
Agreed! truth! My cruise for the 9th was canceled. Thank god! Is it disappointing? Sure, however. I know that there are so many people who have much bigger problems than me. Pray for those people and be thankful its not you! Ill still get my cruise eventually, those people won’t get their homes so easily or in some cases, their lives.
Thank you. I cannot imagine what those people in the Caribbean are living through right now. Praying for them as they begin to piece their lives back together.
That’s a little rough, but hey, this is the Internet where we can all hide behind our screens. The problem is people are here to discuss Disney Cruises. We shouldn’t attack them if they aren’t properly acknowledging the widespread suffering caused by these horrific hurricanes.
Jamaica= Crime _do read newspapers?
@Katie what’s the concern with Falmouth?
I’m with you, Katie! One time in Jamaica was one too many for us! We’ll be enjoying the ship that day 🙂
You booked a cruise in the middle of hurricane season. That is the risk you take.
what about folks who booked the cruise specifically because of the 3 days at sea as well? why would they think passengers would want that extra stop anyway? hope they fix this for future cruises this year…there are other eastern caribbean ports that are available….
Then those people should be smart enough to realize they are getting an even better deal — they can choose one of the three ports to not get off the ship at all and instead of the decks and activities being overcrowded with other folks who can’t get off the ship (but would if they could) they get enjoy a nearly empty ship with no line for things like aquaduck and plenty of open spots in the spa and the gym.
It is hard to feel any sympathy at all for those people since they are in a better situation overall and they haven’t had their home and all their possessions destroyed in a hurricane – never mind the economic damage of all these ships being rerouted!
i never complain. take everything instride. its always 5oclock somewhere.
My family was on the Disney fantasy cruise Sept 2, 2017
Disney made the decision to endanger everyone in my family lives,
by making everyone evacuate the Disney ship in Florida, the place were the stage 5 hurricane Irma was to land with in 24 or so hours.
they should of taken us to a safe place were we could of got a car rental give us a chance to get an air flight , a hotel, Disney knew that all the Resident of Florida would have evacuated first and all flights would be taken. My family of eleven people with children ages 2, 6, 8, 10, 16 were Devastated and no help from Disney to show us where we could get shelter, we had no internet on the ship, we would have to stand in lines for hours to pay for internet, so we could not contact our airline or our family. Disney main concern was to get us out of their ship, so Disney could save their ship and their money after hours of searching we paid a large amount of money and our family of eleven people had to travel15 hours with minimal gas and no luck for hours before we found a gas station that had gas , no plane flights no hotels we had to drive to Atlanta Georgia to finally get a flight home to California. We are all so disappointed by Disney no concern of peoples life in case of emergency, Our family was devastate I’m still in shock of Disney Lack of safely in disaster, lack of communication with the passengers during a natural disaster, Disney gave us no resources no shelter.. I anger and I want an explanation from Disney
VICTORIA VILLEGAS [****phone number redacted****]
You can contact Disney at DCL.Guest.Communications@disneycruise.com
Your post mentions, “Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel” – the second Cozumel should be Falmouth.
Fixed – Thanks Alison!
Scott I saw your post about being sick of seeing people complain about their cruise when people have lost their lives and homes. I fully agree with you. All I can say to all the people complaining is WOW you really are full of yourselves.
I would have been happy that the cruise hadn’t been cancelled but would have had very mixed feelings about sailing while knowing of the devastation of surrounding islands. A change in itinerary is an inconvenience with no long-term life implications.
anyone going on the Oct 21st cruise?
Ummm actually I paid my hard earned money for a cruise and I’ll be a bit disappointed if the Oct 21st sailing is on an eastern itinerary. I personally wanted to sail on a Halloween cruise and we have already done an Eastern. Also passports are not required for getting on and off the ship in us territories….they are for the eastern cruise. Now I may need to expedite passports for my children. I do feel bad for the hurricane victims but there was damage here in the US too. Life goes on and we rebuild. I don’t know that I will have the time or money again to go on another Western Disney cruise….Disney should compensate in some way because this is the type of vacation that some only take once in a lifetime.
Passports aren’t required for a western cruise either. We went to Cozumel, Jamaica and Grand Cayman with our kids last year — and got off the ship in all 3 ports — and they only had birth certificates – no passports at all.
I can understand being disappointed about ports being switched around but lets not make up nonsense just to try to get people to feel more sympathetic. Never mind the fact that of all the ports the Fantasy visits Grand Cayman is hands down the best.
If something happens and you have to fly home, having a passport will make it a lot easier.
just enjoy the cruise. we are going to be on vacation. we already had 40 degree weather at night. there is not too much Disney can do. just relax and have fun.
Unfortunately, a few of you got “triggered” and “offended” over my assumed apathy about the Irma aftermath. Rest assured, I *do* sympathize with all of the people on the islands, and in Florida (where I have close family and a second home myself), who are suffering and have lost so much in Irma’s wake..
However, one *basic* economic rule is: “you get what you pay for” – and I did NOT pay over $8K for a “Western Caribbean” cruise. At the very least, Disney should allow those of us who do not want to embark on this altered itinerary cruise the option of rebooking and/or cancelling our reservation, FREE of charge and/or penalty fees, with the option of 100% refund compensation, on the simple principal that this cruise is no longer what we “signed up for”!
Disney should not be *allowed* to force us to forfeit our hard-earned/saved money by *not* allowing us to back out of a cruise itinerary we did not book. Those of us who do not wish to sail on this altered itinerary *should* be given the option to rebook or be refunded, at no additional charge. That is ALL I’m saying..
I also understand. I feel desperately sorry for all those who have lost everything and would love to support them by spending money in their islands as soon as possible.
We have an Eastern cruise booked for December. I have always wanted to visit Tortola and have bought all the guid books etc. We are very fortunate to have already visited the western Caribbean (Jamaica several times) and really don’t want to do it again. We booked our cruise just because we wanted to go to the Eastern Caribbean and would rather wait a year than go to the Western Caribbean again this year.
I am hoping that by December we may be able to visit the Easter ports but I am not holding my breath. Also, we have booked flights, hotels, car hire etc around our cruise (independently ) and most are not refundable, so we would loose thousands if the cruise was cancelled. I know there is no answer to all this and it’s not Disney’s fault, but we will have an anxious month or two until we know what is happening.
Katie try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back – no one was triggered or offended- though as a fellow american I was embarrassed by your brazen callousness. Google “first world problems” when you get a chance – you’ll see what I mean.
As to the rest of your post — Disney did not force you to sign a contract with them. You chose to book a cruise with them, you chose to give them your hard earned money, and as part of that transaction you chose to sign a contract with them in which they agreed to provide you goods and services in exchange for your money.
That contract you signed gives them the right to alter your itinerary at any time without your consent and without requiring them to offer you compensation. Even now that they have switched your cruise you could end up no even visiting one or more of the ports on your itinerary depending on conditions. There have been entire cruises that have been unable to pull in to castaway cay due to weather conditions for example and instead everyone just gets an extra sea day.
This cruise – western or eastern Caribbean – is in fact exactly what you signed up for when you actually signed a contract with Disney.
If you aren’t happy try calling them and talking calmly and rationally about switching to a different cruise. You should expect to pay the difference in price between your current cruise and the one you switched to but since you own a second house in Florida that shouldn’t be too much of a hardship.
Keith, if we are ever on a cruise together, I am buying you some beer! Your final comment was perhaps the best reply I have heard in my years of reading this blog. And you are absolutely correct, Disney goes out of their way to accommodate customers (e.g., some very good friends had to cancel the morning of the cruise in December ’16 due to a medical emergency – Disney moved them at no charge to December ’17 and they did not have the travel insurance).
I’m curious about December cruises. I heard best case that St. Thomas can handle tourists in January, and others said more like next spring.
First, Katie, let me say that I feel your pain. I, too, purchased an Eastern Caribbean cruise. It was chosen specifically for the 3 sea days and especially for the ports of St. Thomas/St. John (my most favorite country) and Tortola (because I’ve never been there).
That being said, unfortunately, you have signed a cruise contract that states that they can alter your cruise any way they want or need to.
Hope may not be lost because this was an unprecedented event as far as the cruise industry goes. They may well make some allowances, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Katie I completely understood your post because I too have an upcoming cruise. It isn’t that we want “sympathy” as someone said, it’s just venting because my cruise has been booked for 9 months and my family is looking forward to our yearly vacation. If the other posters were in our shoes they would have similar mixed feelings. I understand that this is beyond Disney’s control but cancelled cruise guests are being given significant discounts to rebook while me and my fellow group of eastern bound cruisers are being forced into a change we may not want. Disney is a billion dollar company and they can afford to make some concessions in this situation to keep their guests happy.
Have you tried actually calling them and trying to rebook to a later cruise or are you just venting? Every time I’ve ever called Disney they have gone out of their way to work with me and to accommodate what I needed.
Now you should expect to pay the difference in price between your current cruise and the cruise you are trying to switch to but I am sure they will waive any change fee or rebooking fee if you just call and talk to them in a calm and friendly manner.
@Katie Sorry. That is the contract you signed…during Hurricane Season. If you are so concerned over your $8k then maybe sell your second home. That will easily cover your 8k in taxes and insurance in 1 year alone. I am from South Florida and know the risks with hurricanes. Still in Florida and went through Irma and would not mind at all if my cruise got changed. Those poor people on the islands. Parts of Florida got lucky!
I am glad some of you understand the *true* nature of my post and discontent with this itinerary swap. I am not seeking “woe is me” sympathy, just *helpful* advice about my options and encouragement if we in fact go through with this sailing. Thank you!
I booked this cruise in April 2016, within hours of the new Fall 2017 cruise itineraries becoming available on the DCL website. At that time, I already knew I wanted a 7 day cruise, with as many sea days as possible, that would also stop at Castaway Cay, and visit the Eastern Caribbean islands (because I’ve already been to the Western Caribbean ports, and disliked them). Being my first *ever* Disney Cruise, and because we’re celebrating some significant milestones this year, we decided to splurge on a concierge suite (normally, we would be just fine with a basic ocean view/verandah stateroom). This cruise wasn’t even a confirmed “Halloween on the High Seas” event until about 6 months after we paid our deposit, which was an unexpected surprise, since we were just hoping to take a “standard” Disney Cruise. Once it became official, however, stateroom costs skyrocketed overnight; we saw an increase of about $3K for our exact stateroom alone! Luckily, we didn’t have to pay that, because our price was already “locked in” by having our deposit paid in full.. (TBC)
(C) Still, it seems to me that the longer a cruise itinerary has been “on the market”, the higher the booking costs become; which is not something we’re used to seeing from Princess/Royal Caribbean. This is also why we wouldn’t be keen on rebooking a substitute cruise for *next* year right *now*, because they BEST value is booking an itinerary when it’s hot off the press, as we did with this one back in April ’16. Just because we “can/could” afford it, doesn’t mean we *want* to pay more for the exact same thing that we *know* we could get a much better value on, by simply purchasing it within the best window of opportunity.
We are extremely frugal with our finances, every red cent of this cruise and its accompanying expenses have been strictly budgeted for. THAT is why I’m so frustrated.. because while we are still excited to be *going* on our very first Disney Cruise, it is no longer the cruise we “intended” on. THAT is why I have mixed feelings.. because what we are celebrating/commemorating on this cruise *is* a “once-in-a-lifetime” situation, and I am disappointed that it will no longer be what we had hoped for and anticipated for so long. We’re determined to *try* and have a great time if we still go, because the hassle and expense of cancelling/rebooking this entire vacation weighs more heavily on us than just going through with it, but it’s still frustrating and sad.
Katie … I get it. I was supposed to sail on 9/16 and had been planning it for months … my 10 year old was already partially packed when I had to tell her we were no longer going. Yes, we will rebook but now we have to wait again… and we will be sailing the Western instead of Eastern Carribean. All this to say, I understand your disappointment … but I’m curious … what would be your solution?
Oops … should have said was supposed to sail 9/9 – 9/16
Honestly, I think I would be happy if Disney had chosen to take us *anywhere* but the Western Caribbean. We specifically chose not to book that itinerary because it did not cover destinations we care to visit again in our lifetime. Especially Falmouth, Jamaica.. where they can only “guarantee” your safety within the heavily guarded and gated walls of the port. I would have preferred a Southern Caribbean itinerary, or even a Bahamian itinerary, possibly with double dips at Castaway Cay or 1-2 extra days at sea.
As it stands.. our lives are too uncertain to gamble on the possibility of being able to go on our “dream cruise” in another 1-2 years from now. We had planned on commemorating some deeply personal triumphs on this vacation, and it would be disheartening if we just gave it all up now. We’ve spoken with our wonderful shoreside concierge CM, and decided that we are going to GO on this cruise.. come Hell or high water.
There’s even *another* hurricane enroute across the Eastern Caribbean this week, and my heart is just SICK for all of those people having to continue living out their nightmares. I don’t know *how* they’re ever going to recover with all of this back-to-back devastation. I don’t know *how* they’re going to survive, with nowhere to go and little to nowhere left to shelter themselves.
If anything, this whole situation has further fueled our “mission” for this trip, to celebrate ALL small blessings and however many more days of this wild and *crazy* life we have left to make memories together. We can’t always “wait” for Tomorrow, or “plan” for the future, because we’re not even promised the next hour or minute of our lives. If we “can”, we will “do”.. even if it’s not ideal, we will keep making the most of whatever opportunities we have.
Looks like Maria is intent on destroying anything still left in the Eastern Caribbean.
We’re scheduled for the first week of January and although I would be fine with going to Grand Cayman especially, I honestly feel ok with whatever Disney needs/decides to do. To be very honest a huge part of me sort of wishes they would float around somewhere (where I am still not at work and sure not to be in the 10 degree weather they will have back home) and still give my port fees to Tortola and St. Thomas so they can rebuild. I’m sure I’m in the minority on that option, and they’d have some sort of mass mutiny but part of me thinks that I wouldn’t really mind the extra days at sea and the knowledge that the port fees to a port we didn’t even get to visit would help in some way.