Book Review: The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018

The Unofficial Guide Series is back with an update the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line for 2018. This latest edition will hit book store shelves in December. The 2018 edition features the return of the full crew Len Testa, Erin Foster, Laurel Stewart and Ritchey Halphen who have updated and expanded the guide once again.

UGDCL 2014 2018

Ok, here we go. Time for some perspective. The Unofficial Guide is not a brochure for Disney Cruise Line. It is not a marketing tool created by the PR department. The guide is set up as a no-nonsense, consumer orientated planning guide based on the authors’ personal cruise experience as fare paying guests. There are plenty of websites and other publications that will rehash the company line. The information and suggestions are what you’d expect to hear from a close friend or family member, not a salesperson.

The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018 corrals the the countless options and amenities from DCL offers and add each year and presents them in a way for readers to make educated vacation planning decisions to get the best bang for the buck.

The 2018 guide is an update to last years so I think it is prudent highlight some fo the notable additions:

  • How to decide between a Disney Cruise Line vacation and a Walt Disney World vacation
  • Details on the recent changes to DCL’s Castaway Club program
  • Tips on how to choose the best staterooms for your family
  • Changes to DCL’s Online check-in procedures
  • Information on the lates updates to the Disney Fantasy
  • Updated and detailed information on the ship’s pools
  • How to save money and take excursions of your own, using included detailed itineraries

I think one of the best sections of the book is the comparison between Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. Matt Hochberg from, offers a fair comparison of the differences as well as the similarities between the lines.

Tammy Whiting from offered her tips on the fleet’s staterooms.

UGDCL 2018 Tammys Tips

Ok, I may have lied, my favorite part of the 2018 Unofficial Guide are the Scott Says practical tips throughout the book. Sure, there is a bit of a conflict of interest going on here. I recently untied the constrictor knots to discover I am the monster at the end of the book.

UGDCL 2018 Scott Says

Seriously, the book is a great resource for anyone planning a cruise vacation, especially those planning their first Disney Cruise.

Over the summer, we had the chance to try a few of the walking tours during our Alaskan cruise and found them to be very helpful, especially in a few of the ports were we were just winging it.

UGDCL 2018 Walking Tour Skagway

The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018 will arrive at your local book stores in December as well the usual online retailers such as

4 Replies to “Book Review: The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line 2018”

  1. Deann Fleming

    The best and free walking tour of Skagway is thru the National Park service. The entire historical main Street of Skagway is park of the non fee park system. All you have to do is go to the park headquarters and get a ticket for the time you want, first come first served. They also have a great museum and bookstore.

  2. Doug

    Yes, I have purchased and I recommend getting an updated copy from time-to-time. First, because the info/perspective is scientifically gathered and unbiased (i.e., provided by folks who don’t want to sell you anything, except perhaps a subscription to “” – also well worth it). Second, because given the cost of a DCL vacation, any extra information one might garner is well worth it. Third, because it’s good to encourage providers of this kind of info to stay in business — they do good work and we all benefit.

    Also, this is a great book to give to prospective DCL’ers who won’t listen to your/my rants anyway.

  3. Fernanda Marney

    I got my book last night. I can’t stop reading & highlighting all the good tips. We are doing our first DCL on April 23rd (Dreams). I’m so excited!!!


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