Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Shore Excursions (Port Adventures)

Shore Excursions (Port Adventures)

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Disney offers many “Port Adventures” (shore excursions) at each port-of-call, and some ports of embarkation (home ports). These activities incur an additional, per-person fee, anywhere from $11 for Castaway Cay float rentals to $9,999 for a private, chartered yacht. Most excursions are not run by Disney but by outside companies. The good news is that if you book excursions through Disney, virtually all details are taken care of for you; just reserve the shore excursion and show up at the designated meeting point to go ashore. Fees will be charged to your stateroom account.

A variety of shore excursions are available, from sightseeing, walking tours, and beach visits to snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. Check the last few pages of each port guide in the upcoming chapters for our detailed descriptions (for the ports visited most often) or our top picks for the port (for ports visited less often). You’ll also receive a shore excursion guide from Disney via e-mail, and you can check http://www.disneycruise.com (click “Cruises & Destinations”) for a list of the excursions and prices. Note that the excursion details, times, and prices given in this guidebook may change.

New! Disney Cruise Line is teaming up with the hosts of ABC’s The Chew to offer one-of-a-kind, culinary-themed Port Adventures that celebrate the stories, cultures and flavors of the various ports of call visited by Disney Cruise Line. DCL is calling these The Chew-Approved Port Adventures. These port adventures are available in Ketchikan, Nassau, Charlottetown, Cozumel, Alesund, Dublin, Invergordon (Loch Ness), La Spezia, Naples, and St. Petersburg.

Once you’ve read this chapter carefully, choose and reserve your excursions in advance. Popular trips can book-up quickly. To make advance reservations from 3 to 75 days before your cruise (up to 90, 105, or 120 days for Castaway Club members and 120 days for Concierge guests), reserve at http://www.disneycruise.com or call 877-566-0968 (see page 189 for more details). (Note: You cannot make reservations until your cruise is paid in full.) You can also e-mail excursion requests to dcl.shore.excursion@disneycruise.com, or fill out the form that comes with your cruise documentation and fax to 407-566-7031. In most cases, you can alter/cancel your shore excursion requests any time up to two days prior to sailing. After that time, all excursion reservations are considered final and cannot be changed or refunded. Some excursion reservations are never refundable—the cruise line will note that when you make the reservation. If you do not pre-reserve shore excursions, you can visit the Port Adventures Desk (deck 3/5 mid) to check availability and reserve excursions. Use the worksheet on page 227.

When you pre-reserve your excursions, fees are billed to your onboard account once you’re aboard, and your excursion tickets are waiting in your stateroom upon arrival. If you book excursions onboard, you’ll receive your tickets in your room the night before the excursion. When you get your tickets, check the time and meeting location printed on it. With each ticket is an excursion waiver form, which you should fill out and sign ahead of time.

On the day of your excursion, bring both the ticket(s) and the signed waiver(s) to the meeting location at the assigned time, where they are collected. You’ll receive a color-coded sticker to wear, identifying yourself as a member of the excursion group. When ready, a crew member leads the group off the ship and to the excursion.

You can sometimes book the same or similar excursions for less if you do it on your own. The excursion operators are locally known and most have web sites—CruiseCritic.com is a great place to read reviews, too. You may have to find your own transportation to and from the excursion (be sure to ask), but in return you’ll have more flexibility. Weigh these benefits against the peace of mind you’ll have when booking through Disney. We include “On Your Own” info at the end of many excursion descriptions. Then why book with Disney Cruise Line? First, it’s simple and easy. Second, cruise lines book blocks of excursion tickets, sometimes entire excursions—so you might have trouble getting a ticket on your own. Third, if a Disney excursion is delayed, they’ll hold the ship for you—do it yourself, and the ship may sail without you.

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