September 20, 2023


Ep. 347 - Bonus - Tick-tock: Booking a Last Minute Disney Cruise

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 347 - Bonus - Tick-tock: Booking a Last Minute Disney Cruise
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 347 - Bonus - Tick-tock: Booking a Last Minute Disney Cruise

Sep 20 2023 | 00:41:20


Show Notes

Pack your bags and prepare for an adventure as we take you on a thrilling journey of booking a last-minute Disney Cruise. With Leslie from Trips with Tykes and Disney Deciphered as our co-pilot, we share insider secrets, tips, and tricks on how to snag fantastic cruise deals even when timing is tight. Leslie, a seasoned Disney voyager, takes us on her spontaneous cruise from San Diego, providing firsthand insights on the thrills and potential pitfalls of a last-minute booking. Together, we navigate the cost, convenience, and potential deals on resident rates, offering you a comprehensive guide to chart your own spontaneous Disney voyage.

If you want to join the DCL Duo Inaugural Podcast Cruise aboard the Disney Magic for her three-night sailing on June 19, 2024 from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau and Lookout Cay, you can head over our to our booking page at My Path Unwinding Travel to secure your room today!!


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Episode Transcript

00:00.00 dclduo Welcome back, everybody to this week's episode of the series screwed it up. Welcome back. Everybody to this week's bonus episode of the Dc L Duo Podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel and it is just me this evening Sam is battling a little bit of. Bronchitis in our household. So I'm hoping that she is well enough to record again soon. But today it will just be me solo but that's okay because I am joined by a fabulous guest Leslie so let me start by welcoming Leslie to our show. Welcome Leslie. 00:30.29 Leslie Harvey And thank you so much for having me. 00:33.65 dclduo So for those of you not in the know Leslie is the brains behind trips with tykes a wonderful travel blog that Sam and I actually read from time to time and enjoy we got a chance to meet Leslie live and in person I think it was at alanni and did we also meet up at Disneyland at one point. 00:50.47 Leslie Harvey Both we ran into each other spontaneously at alanie realized we overlap for a day and I came and said hi at your cabanna and then we ended up at Disneyland for I forget what it was but um, there was some opening or something some reason I was there for for media now it was. 01:02.88 dclduo was it star wars was it star wars opening weekend. No or mickey a mininies. It might been Micke a Mininie East yeah Yeah, so yes, and then you too ah have a podcast along with your cohost Joe Disney deciphered which is a favorite of ours as well. So. 01:08.44 Leslie Harvey It was later than that. Maybe it was mickey and mannies. Yeah I think that was it. 01:20.68 dclduo Excited to have you on today and we're going to be putting our running shoes on I guess because we got to move fast because we're booking a last minute cruiser talk pros and cons of booking a last minute Disney Cruise line Cruise which you did recently before we dive into the topic though Leslie we always love to ask folks what their. Disney background is yours is extensive. So maybe I'll just ask what's your background with Disney Cruise line 01:47.20 Leslie Harvey Very little um I have a lot more background with Disney Land and Disney world and alani. But we have only taken one Disney Cruise before our most recent one it was in 17 it was actually just me and the 2 kids at the time with my aunt along to help 3 Night crazy you know just Castaway key and back. Um you know way too fast, especially with a toddler and we've been wanting to do one for years but covered intervened we actually had a booking initially ah for the summer of 2020 to Alaska that was not to be so we kept rescheduling and rescheduling and. Booking different kinds of cruises and then one of us caught covid and we had to cancel one I mean it was just a comedy of errors we have so many cruises that we canceled. But finally we may one happen for um, spring break of 2023. 02:25.12 dclduo But yeah. 02:32.53 dclduo Nice so three night in 2017 you said so that must have been the dream that you were on or was a different ship. Oh the wonder. Okay yeah, is it out of pork and averal or someplace else. Okay. 02:37.99 Leslie Harvey It was the wonder it I think it was yeah yeah, it was it was and it was just castway key and back and it I mean it felt way too fast way too fast just cast away. 02:51.92 dclduo Well so no stop at Nasa just cast away. Well, that's that's ah sometimes a blessing in disguise in our opinion. So that's that's great. Um, well so you decide to book a last minute Disney Cruise to to find. 03:00.55 Leslie Harvey That's what I hear. 03:07.98 dclduo Last minute here how close to ceiling were you when you booked this thing. 03:12.18 Leslie Harvey Oh less than sixty days but more than 30 if I'm remembering correctly. Um we had had a cruise booked for Thanksgiving week of 2022 that we had to cancel because of covid hitting the household and. 03:14.10 dclduo Okay. 03:27.20 Leslie Harvey We at the time didn't reschedule. Disney was wonderful. They let us actually just cancel gave us a full refund no questions asked and we thought okay the next chance we get will jump on it and you know we delayed making spring break plans that year and realized you know what there's a cruise out of San Diego right during spring break week. Which coincides with easter for my kids being in catholic school and we live in San Francisco very easy to get to San Diego and we've just jumped on it. 03:53.94 dclduo Those San Diego cruises are so nice out here on the west coast I'm so disappointed that they seem to be dwindling here in the recent itinerary release I'm I'm still hopeful that with the addition of 2 more ships in the fleet. We might see something come back because it was really nice to have that wonder kind of the wonder. Kind of permanently based out here on the west coast. Well what made you decide. You know I'm sixty days out from a ceiling and I want to do it I want to hop on hop on board. Ah, how did you? How did you decide to book a cruise. 04:22.82 Leslie Harvey So we actually did have Disney Cruise booked again for Alaska for the summer of 2023 and we were just looking at pricing and value and what we wanted to get out of the Disney Cruise and we kind of kept coming back to. Why are we paying so much money for this Alaska sailing on Disney when what we want to do in Alaska is Alaska and what we want to do when we sail and pay the premium for Disney is Disney so we kind of. 04:51.90 dclduo Um, yeah. 04:52.98 Leslie Harvey But we started looking at other cruise lines for Alaska we ended actually ended up booking celebrity instead of Disney for this summer coming up soon and then we were like but we want to scratch the disney itch. So how can we do that and let's you know we saw this this chance that align with our schedule a lot of San Diego 04:58.15 dclduo Okay. 05:08.77 Leslie Harvey And it was so much cheaper. We actually got the five night disney sailing out of San Diego and the seven night celebrity sailing out of Seattle for less money than we just were going to pay for the Disney Alaska cruise 05:22.78 dclduo Wow, that's that's amazing. That's amazing. Yeah, the value for where you're going. So we we encountered this a bit after we cruised in Norway wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It was fabulous. But I did think you know we're spending most of our day not on board this ship. It's constant port stops and so you know what? what am I paying for to to your point. Um because the disney price is a lot more expensive I'll be have you sailed other cruise lines before or is this your first experience outside of Disney Cruise line 05:58.56 Leslie Harvey My husband and I have sailed princess celebrity I sailed carnival way back in the day so we've done and we've we sailed a small a small ship in french polynesia um, or Fiji Fiji was. 06:02.52 dclduo Sure. 06:11.29 Leslie Harvey And so we've done um seaborne as well. We've seen so we sell like a wide variety. We've kind of never done a cruise line twice but we like celebrity my kids have not been on any other cruise line other than Disney so this will be their first experience. Um, not with the mouse and all of the kids options that come with that so we'll see but. 06:19.10 dclduo Okay. 06:30.70 Leslie Harvey Yeah, and we we definitely felt like we had some experience but we were always booking cruises for the stops. Not for the crew cruise ah Cruise itself because we really like getting somewhere like someone moving us overnight while we're sleeping and then seeing new cities. So the point of Disney to me seems different. 06:36.39 dclduo Right. 06:43.11 dclduo Yeah, yeah, there's there's that sort of mentality of is the ship the destination or is the ports that are the ports the destination and I think when you start talking about places like Alaska Europe. You know those sorts of places the non-caribbean non mexicanxican riviera warm weather cruises I think those warm weather cruises. The ship is the destination because the beach is they're nice. They're lovely I don't want to discount any beach in the caribbean we've been to several that are perfectly. Lovely. But you're there for short periods of time and you want to see the ship and do this stuff on the ship. So yeah I can I can totally appreciate that we will by the way absolutely want to hear all about your experience on celebrity with kids because we sailed celebrity ages ago now and have not been back on but have heard such great things I'd be curious how your kids find it. Speaking of which so you your husband and sounds like sounds like 2 kids you want to tell folks the ages of your your 2 kids you're sailing with. 07:36.81 Leslie Harvey Yes, my daughter is 14 She actually turned 14 on this cruise which is going to be important for teen club purposes. But and then I have a son who's 9 So a little bit younger than yours I think. 07:45.18 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 07:52.73 dclduo Ah, yeah, Nathan is 9 He'll turn 10 in November but probably yeah, just a little bit. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so so yeah, um, yeah'll, be really interested to hear what your kids think of think of celebrity all right? So you decide to book at this you know something more than 30 less than sixty days out 07:53.83 Leslie Harvey Oh right at the same age. Yep yep. 08:09.60 dclduo Let's talk you. You know you mentioned in your email and you wrote in like pros and cons like what were some of the pros that you found it sounds like price is a big is a big pro here although would be interested in your thoughts because Disney Cruise pricing tends to just go up over time so you're paying kind of. Top dollar the further you get into the booking window. How how did you feel about the price of that Disney Cruise as compared to maybe what you could have paid on opening day I don't know if you went went back and did any sleuthing over what it would have cost an opening day. Okay, there you go. Ah. 08:36.86 Leslie Harvey I didn't ah you know, ah seen no evil here. No evil. Ah but it didn't seem that bad I'm trying to remember exactly what it was I feel like. 08:47.93 Leslie Harvey So for some reason like 5 or six five thousand high five thousand s was kind of about where it was um for a five night cruise so it didn't shock the conscience I mean the this sailing we were on for Alaska for the seven night Cruise was 14 ah for a balcony cabin. 08:52.51 dclduo Yeah. 08:58.97 dclduo Yeah. 09:02.96 Leslie Harvey Um, so it was quite a bit more on a per night cost and and it did seem like I mean I was surprised because it was an easter weekend cruise when it started and it's the only ship that's sailing out of California and there is a ridiculous amount of money and budget that. A lot of people in La and San Diego and San Francisco have and they're willing to pay top dollar for Disney I mean you see this in the the Disneyland hotels and the price escalation that's happened there so I was really surprised I thought it was actually quite the value. It ended up being cheaper quite a bit cheaper than Al Lani and 09:21.38 dclduo Yeah. 09:30.51 dclduo Yep. 09:37.80 Leslie Harvey That was surprising to me too because we're we've gone 5 times to alani and ah and I just don't feel like they're returning as much for the price and so this this felt like a value in comparison which is ridiculous to say but you know we've we've been paying used to paying that for alanni, especially with post. 09:48.52 dclduo Yeah. 09:55.10 Leslie Harvey Pandemic pricing which just got out of control. 09:55.57 dclduo Yeah I'd tell you that post pandemic pricing actually drove us to just become owners at Olani because then it's like okay the money is sunk and we can go for a week and I don't have to look at the ridiculous hotel bill. But yeah, all the Disney properties have just gone up up and up and I recently had the experience to your point about. Difference from the Alaska Cruise to the San Diego Cruise we decided to switch off or or in the process of switching off a spring break Week Cruise on Disney on the fantasy over to a royal caribbean oasis class ship. Same week. It's half the price and we're staying in a crown loft suite on board royal caribbean at half the price of what it costs to sale disney so I don't know my prediction is this disney is going to come under some increasing price pressure and the cruise line side with royal putting out these huge ships and putting more and more of them in Portrknaville. So. Check back in a year or 2 and see if that aged well or not but that's that's my prediction. Well what are what were some of the other pros of booking last minute or were there any other pros of booking last minute that you found. 11:00.79 Leslie Harvey Well I mean the location was really the the pro for us more than anything and we live 12 minutes from the Oakland airport and we could fly to San Diego not stop. So I mean it's really just about it was about looking for something that was close to us that was convenient where. We knew we wouldn't pay extraordinary costs for our travel as well. So you know if we lived in you know Texas we'd be looking at those galves and sailings if we lived you know in the deep south where I grew up in Alabama. We'd be looking at those Florida sailings. So so for me, it was more about, um. 11:29.00 dclduo Yep. 11:36.92 Leslie Harvey Finding that location that worked overall for the budget. 11:38.17 dclduo Yeah, and I would say to folks out there too if you live in one of these states that they sail out of it's not uncommon if the ship's not full for them to do some last minute I've seen them do California resident a couple of times and it's not as ubiquitous as Florida resident. Um, I think they've also done some Texas resident rates out of ah Galveston I've never heard of a Louisiana resident rate for the port of New Orleans but um, you know, look at the website. There's there's sometimes they put those last minute deals up for residents in those states to just try and fill a ship and so waiting until last minute sometimes not. Not anywhere near all the time can pay off there I will note. However, they've seem to have suspended Florida resident rates for some period of time here recently. There's just been nothing coming out or very little coming out so that may become harder and harder to find well, what are the some of the pitfalls. Leslie of booking last minute I can think immediately that booking onboard activities is just be super limited. But what were some of those pitfall considerations you had booking last minute. 12:40.90 Leslie Harvey I Mean it was really shore excursions and onboard activities and I mean I think we were to somewhat of an advantage because we purposely booked this as kind of a cruise to nowhere I mean it. It. That's not fair to The. The the ports that we went to but the the port stops were in Cabo and Incinata and we've gone to Cabo quite a bit. We'll go again. I didn't feel like I had to do something there and inscinata is a little bit of a throwaway. Um, you know so sorry Incinata. But. 13:01.15 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 13:10.47 dclduo Yeah, yeah, we sometimes call it the Nasa of the west. Yes, ah I mean ah kabo I totally hear you on kabo I actually like getting off in kabo but it's kind of a pain because it's a tender port and so sometimes it's nice to just sit on the ship and then. 13:24.58 Leslie Harvey Yep. 13:26.69 dclduo You know in Sonata we've gotten off a couple times I'd probably still get off to go grab tacos in a margarita or something but it's not I I I have heard of some people who had some really nice short excursions. There. So I don't want to degrade it. But if you've been a bunch of times. It's a great time to stay on the ship and experience the the ship. So. I Forgot to ask what kind of room did you have to book a Gt y that late or did you have were you able to actually pick a stateroom. 13:52.15 Leslie Harvey We were able to actually pick a stateroom and I'm trying to remember now what deck we were on six I think on the one which was not bad and we were towards the front of the ship. Um, but not all the way at the very you know tip I have a feeling that we got a room that somebody canceled. 13:56.76 dclduo No, that's up bad you. 14:07.42 dclduo Okay. 14:09.46 Leslie Harvey Is my is my guess um because you know just given the timing of when we booked and when people had to make final payment, etc etc I have a feeling that it was fuller at the sixty day you know sixty one day Mark and then we um, you know swooped in there and and were able to able to get in. So. 14:14.81 dclduo Yeah. 14:27.17 Leslie Harvey But yeah I mean the cabin was great and we we did have. We just had a um ah porthole. We didn't have a bal because we just didn't think that we needed it for that cruise and I'm glad actually we didn't pay the extra money for the veranda because it was actually pretty chilly. You know I mean you know see go. 14:31.58 dclduo Okay. 14:43.13 dclduo Um, ah yeah, yeah. 14:45.58 Leslie Harvey Doesn't get very hot. A lot of the year and and you can have a heat wave but in April it's often you know 6 high sixty s low seventy s and when the ship is moving. You got a breeze and so we just didn't feel like we needed it and in fact, um, many got hot by the time we get out of cabo but incinata was quite chilly as well. 14:51.91 dclduo Yeah. 15:00.21 dclduo Yeah, yeah, yeah. 15:03.11 Leslie Harvey We didn't feel like missed out on having the veranda and we saved a lot of money that way from. And yeah. 15:05.71 dclduo What insigna is like a half hour car drive from San Diego so like whatever whether you're getting in San Diego is not gonna be too much different in incinata and I found that we found the same thing like c day from San Diego down to cabo cold. It wasn't until we got to cabo that we got decent weather and then we turned around and started heading back about halfway through the next day it you know was kind of turning cold again. So yeah, those? ah those mexican river rivia cruzs can be a little hit or miss in the the springtime in terms of the weather. Um, but good to hear you got a pick of room. It's another good tip buried in there by the way which is if you're looking at last minute cruising it's not a bad idea to wait until the pay in full date and just kind of see what happens the day after because that's when a bunch of people are going to either move a cruise or pay for a cruise and then some inventory might might open up last minute. Um, what did you end up being able to book on board last but did you even try. 15:57.56 Leslie Harvey So yeah, we did um, we were able to book Palo dinner. Not brunch. Um, and I'm trying to remember if it was on a c day or not but whatever it worked with the schedule we wanted. We were able to book a massage for my husband not at an ideal time but it again worked for our schedule. 16:00.50 dclduo Oh nice. 16:08.56 dclduo Um, yeah. 16:14.10 dclduo Yeah. 16:16.20 Leslie Harvey Which was good. We we looked at the Score Shore excursions but anything that was any good was sold out for sure and then we were like you know what we don't really need to do a short excursion so we ended up getting off the ship in both ports but just D I wide it and mean we've been to Kabo before so we knew how to. 16:20.77 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 16:33.93 Leslie Harvey To navigate there. Although it had changed quite a bit in the last. It's been about 5 years since we've been there last and just really built up and changed quite a bit. So um, some new things to to learn and see there. We did take one of the you know cheap glass bottom boat ah tour guys who are waiting right? there to take you out to see ah El Laco and we did that so that was nice, but ah. 16:38.56 dclduo Um, yeah. 16:53.92 Leslie Harvey Insnnata we um, hired a private driver to quickly whisk us down to the blowhole. Um, that's there and in sonata and it was a longer drive than I really wanted it to be just because of the traffic. So so we were able to die iy it we saved money over what we would have paid Disney although I did find that the shore excursions were. 16:57.75 dclduo Oh yes. No yeah. 17:13.58 Leslie Harvey Not as marked up as I feared and I'm seeing now that I'm currently booking celebrity Shore excursions that other cruise lines can have much bigger more markup. So I guess I'm grateful for that. 17:20.99 dclduo Yeah, yeah, I find the only way to avoid some of the markup is just booked direct. But that doesn't always work in your favor either. We're actually in kabo we're going to Cabo in November on a Disney Cruise for Thanksgiving week and we've been looking at resort day passes and I'll tell you. Day pass at a resort down There is about what I have to pay Disney to get me to the resort for four and a half hours right the only difference is I get a full day but I still didn't have to pay for the the transportation and some way to get there. So um, yeah I share um I share your observation that the port excursions may not be so overpriced as we tend to think. They are at least some of the time. Um, what? what else Leslie did you find to be kind of a were there any other issues you encountered kind of booking last minute or any pro tips that you have for folks looking at that. 18:13.78 Leslie Harvey I mean it really went quite smoothly all in all and I was grateful to see that I mean I don't think I would do it for a cruise where I really wanted to score some of the most popular shore excursions like the cruise we originally had booked for. November of 2022 was actually a seven night Mexican Riviera sailing so it went all the way down to Porto Varda and there's a really popular I don't know if you've done it the las collets hideaway that everybody wants to be on down in porto valarda and I had snagged that. Hard November sailing it sold out instantaneously and I had managed to snag that so I'm not sure that I would necessarily book that kind of a cruise if there was something I really wanted to do and there was really no other way to easily book it but it it worked out, especially for. 18:50.10 dclduo Ah. 19:06.53 Leslie Harvey Sort of these cruises to where you don't care as much about the ports I Highly recommend trying to snag something especially if you're have the flexibility to travel at an off time and we don't because I have a daughter entering high school so we are now firmly tied to the school schedule. But if we were not I'd be. 19:22.76 dclduo Um, yeah. 19:26.62 Leslie Harvey Booking last minute Disney cruises as early and often as I could because I love to find any excuse to travel and fit it fit it in. So for those of you who have young kids who are like elementary school. Not even yet in elementary school preschool. Just do it and I'm grateful that we did as much travel at that age as I you know as we did, But. We should have been done a few more Disney decreases then. 19:44.72 dclduo Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's nice. We can we still I think this year might be the last year we felt like we had the flexibility to just kind of yank our son out of school and take him on a trip. Um I guess we're doing it next year with the very end of the school year for him. Um. Yeah, but I share I always thought what in first and second grade. There's nothing that can't be made a point so I'm not too worried about it. Um, it's interesting because we just had a couple on not long ago who booked their crews like thirty one days out and so now I'm I'm trying to find if you're out there and you've booked. Earlier than or later than thirty one days I would love to hear how close you can get to a Disney Cruise before they won't let you book any longer I don't think you can walk into the port and ship and be there but I'd be curious how far out you can book a Disney Cruise before they'd say nope no more. We can't take your bookings. So. 20:31.43 Leslie Harvey There was some kind of conversation about that actually in our Facebook group. Some people were maybe I guess when he had to have some friends join and it's either three days or five days I can't remember because there's a list that has to get submitted I think to customs and immigration. But but yeah I'm curious to know who like who actually booked. 20:40.74 dclduo Yeah. 20:50.43 Leslie Harvey Last minute there was somebody in our group I think who booked um about seven days out so so but they were local. They were right there in either San Diego or orange county or something like that. 20:54.50 dclduo Wow, yeah, what I'm not sure did when you got on board. The ship did you ask about availability for anything because ah my percent aside from Shorescursions I really don't think they hold back too much inventory on shore excursions. But for things like Paulo. And the spa I mean it always seems like the spa is trying to entice people in so you know if you can't book your massage at 100 and you know whatever days out I don't think that's the end of the question I think when you get on. They've probably held back a bunch of inventory for onboard booking but did you ask anything like about maybe your Palo branch or anything like that to see if you could. You could get in. 21:30.68 Leslie Harvey We did so we actually ended up boarding quite late and the reason was we were staying at hotel Del Coronado which is a lovely hotel in San Diego that I've always ah had on my bucket list so we wanted to maximize our time there and so we booked. 21:34.43 dclduo Ah. 21:42.42 dclduo Yeah. 21:45.53 Leslie Harvey Purposefully a late boarding time because at that point we were like we were happy with what we had had secured. We had I don't love like adjusting on the fly I like having a plan in an itinerary and going with it. So I felt happy with what we had done and then actually so we didn't acquire about any of the shore excursions or anything like that. 21:56.63 dclduo Um, yeah. 22:02.51 Leslie Harvey But we did go check in with pao a little bit later in the cruise and there was tons of availability at pallo and I actually was surprised we were able to get a run reservation that we ended up not doing just because it didn't work ultimately with with our overall schedule we were able to move our dinner reservation to a better time. 22:06.81 dclduo Um, yeah. 22:19.96 Leslie Harvey So there was a lot of and then when we dined at Palo it was only half full I was very very surprised and I think it was in part because of the type of cruise we were on the length and I think it was a lot more families because of it being that easter weekend Cruise and a lot of. 22:23.68 dclduo Um, yeah. 22:34.33 dclduo We. 22:37.90 Leslie Harvey Parents of young kids who didn't want to leave the kids for that long of a dinner. So I think that may have been a little bit of a unique situation. But I mean there's certainly other cruises where this kind of ah thing is going to be replicated so it was far easier than we expected. 22:40.48 dclduo Yeah. 22:50.41 dclduo Yeah, yeah, I've always been every time we've had Paulo Brunch in the last year or so I so like it feels like there are tables available still so just highly highly encouraged like don't view it as oh I didn't get. Whatever when I was doing my pre-booking or a few book last minute I can't get it I know we know we know they are holding back some amount of inventory for onboard booking. So that folks who get on the ship and are like I never even knew there was a pallo they can. They can get a seat there or get a dinner there. Yeah, dinner seems to be really easy to get because it happens. Every night of the cruise brunch is the wildcard because it typically only happens on see days with you know a few exceptions here and there well so Leslie you've been on the wonder now twice if I understand correctly, yeah, um. 23:40.70 Leslie Harvey Yes, ah. 23:41.44 dclduo Which I don't hey the wonder is one of our favorite ships. So I think you've picked a fabulous ship to go on twice um, any thought on trying to get on board. The other ships I guess you you move the Alaska Cruise to a different cruise line but any other thoughts on trying to get on board some of the other ships. 23:54.77 Leslie Harvey Sure so I mean I guess if we had done the Alaska Cruise it would be the wonder again. So good in 3 different entirely different geographies and and destinations. So yeah, we would love to get on some other ships and I haven't really talked yet about the the 14 year olds but she. 23:58.80 dclduo Yeah, fair enough. 24:14.73 Leslie Harvey Loved loved loved the teen clubs and so much so that the first thing she said to us at the end of the cruise was you know I'm kind of in like the prime moment for um vibe and you know everybody in vibe is 13 141516 and she said I really want to do a lot more Disney cruises the next two years so we're on the hunt we have our deposit down. In fact, we're looking right now. Um, maybe it's some Christmas maybe some other break here. But again we kind of were more last minute people like I know the schedule was just released for. 24:38.10 dclduo Ah, nice. 24:52.21 Leslie Harvey Summers with like summer. No fall winter 2024 we're not even close to that we're like 2023 winter so it's just it's too hard, especially once your kids get into this you know high school and she didn't even know what high school she was going to attend. We didn't have a schedule a calendar until. 24:54.25 dclduo Um, yes, yeah. 25:02.60 dclduo Yeah. Yeah, well and after school activities and sports and clubs. Yeah, it's it's harder to get away for sure I will tell you though get on like the fantasy because that vibe club is one I Wish they would recreate for adults. It's amazing with these like. 25:09.90 Leslie Harvey April of this past year so that's what we're dealing with sports. 25:23.11 Leslie Harvey Okay, okay. 25:25.86 dclduo These like cool pods you can sit in and play video games and a juice bar and they have ah where the rainforest room is on the wish out on the front of the ship. That's where the teen club pool is on the fantasy and the dreams they get this like private little pool area where they can go lounge and sit outside and all that sort of stuff. So It's ah. Quite the ah the upgrade from the wonder and the magic if she enjoys those vibe clubs. She'd probably love the fantasy or the dream Even um and the the wish is the wish is good I think they really made strides in the little kids' kids Club. You know the one that your son would probably go to. Um, the teens clubs were nice but I just didn't feel like they were a significant upgrade to what they had on the dream of the Fantasy. So yeah, definitely get her to check those out. Yeah. 26:09.24 Leslie Harvey Okay I will that's that's really good to know one of the ones we're looking at I think is the fantasy that we've been sort of batting around for a couple of months and so we'll we'll finally ah pull it. Pull the trigger and make one of these bookings one of these days but you know honestly it wasn't as much about the physical location or the you know the offerings in the club itself. It was about the other kids for my daughter like she's super social and she wanted to meet other kids her age and then they all you know. 26:27.70 dclduo Um, yeah, yeah. 26:38.70 Leslie Harvey Her fourteenth birthday present which she got on the cruise was a cell phone so she was then you know able to use the cell phone and the the dcl app to communicate with people or text with people and meet up and and it was great. There was just a huge crew of them and they were all very. Good teenagers I have to say like they would go do their thing all day long and and and then they would come back meet their families at the appointed times for like dinners and shows and things like that. So it was. It was a really great group of kids all in all and she made a lot of friends. They have a group text that they still are on now. What are we three three months later that they all still. 27:05.42 dclduo Um, yeah. 27:11.27 dclduo Nice. 27:15.93 Leslie Harvey In communication all around the country. So very impressed by that. 27:17.97 dclduo Yeah, it's it's so fun to watch. It's been fun to watch our son grow up with on Disney Cruise line and how he has evolved like you know from going to the club and staying in the club to we've given him the freedom now to check himself in and out and he he messages us where he's headed and. You know makes friends and they go explore the ship together. it's it's it's nice to see that level of independence. Um, it'll be interesting when we finally hit the days. It starts like you're starting to hit where it's like I and we've heard this from guests on the show I don't I don't see my teenager except at dinner there. They're up. They have a curfew they come in. They go to bed I you know I see them at dinner time and the rest of the time is kind of adult time for us. So yeah, it's an interesting age to hit I'm sure. Um, well Leslie I'd be remiss because you have such a wealth of Disney experience outside the cruise line at least. Not asking you a bit of your favorites from the rest of the Disney experience. So I let me start with one of our favorites. It's the closest we can get to Disney Cruise line on Land which is El Lani um any pro tips for folks headed to alanie I know you've been quite a bit I think you said 5 times in the last ah year or so so. Yeah prot tips for folks heading to alani or thinking about doing on a lani vacation aside from go because once you're there it that is a resort that just sells itself I'll tell you what once you're there. It's amazing. But yeah, any pro tips you have for folks visiting alani. Okay. 28:37.77 Leslie Harvey Sure well let me first clarify. It's 5 times in my life. Not 5 times in the last year I don't have that kind of occasion time. Um my husband my husband works ah as an ah attorney at a big law in San Francisco there was no way he get that kind of time off. So um. 28:45.51 dclduo Ah, ah. 28:54.29 Leslie Harvey So in any event but we we actually went for the first time when I was expecting my nine year old. That was our first trip and that was only about a year after alani opened so it was very early on they were still building the final phase of the resort they didn't have the spa and that whole adults pool area which I know you know which now I guess is an adult's pool. But. You go. So I mean advice for all Lani I mean it's it's really extraordinarily expensive right now for a lot of families but a lot of Disney fans want to get that taste and so I really recommend if you're constrained by budget as we all are book a shorter stay at Al Lani and only stay on the resort for that period of time. Do everything there is to do get your value maximally out of that and then hotel hop to somewhere else either on another island or in Waikiki there's a lot of like you know, inexpensive time shares or just utilitarian hotels or. The rbos something like that. So I really do think it's the price has gotten out of control and made it out of reach for a lot of families. I mean you can save some money with dvc rentals if you don't aren't a dvc member but they're sometimes hard to get at peak times depending upon your schedule. so so I think you need 3 nights to really take value. 30:00.25 dclduo Yeah. 30:11.56 Leslie Harvey Maximum value out of it if you can do 4 all the better but don't plan to take a lot of excursions because I do see a lot of people going for like a week or ten days and then they have left the resort for the full day and unless you know you're printing money. It's just not a great value and and we. This was a problem for us actually because we loved alani so much we would go and we'd never leave the resort and then we were like we've been to a wahu you know 3 times and we've never seen anything other than the Honolulu airport and all onie resort. So. 30:29.42 dclduo Um. 30:40.90 dclduo Yeah, yeah, yeah. 30:43.34 Leslie Harvey And so we did start expanding you know take we take one day to be a day trip or something like that and then more recently about a year ago we did go finally stay at a Waikiki hotel which fairly disappointed and and well but we were back to alanie but it did get us to do all the things on a waho that we. Had always wanted to do Pearl Harbor and diamond head, etc, etc. 31:03.80 dclduo Yeah I mean I would echo that look at the rental as well for dvc because you can save yourself some money with the dvc rooms not just the the price of the room itself but they've got like full kitchens in them and there's a nice little grocery right across the street from alani or a Costco on the way from the airport and you can you can kind of save yourself a little money. On meals there and also the other nice thing is it's not like going to Disney world where you are you know fundamentally if you want to have a good experience. You're kind of stuck on property and paying Disney prices for food. Alania is surrounded by some great restaurants across the street or you know just like a mile or two up the road. In a car you can go to not coalna I forget to stop right before Coalina but they've got a ton of restaurants in that area that you can. You can go to and save a little money. so um so yeah that's that those are great tips leslie um Disney World ah that vacation seems like it's out of control. Not just from price but complexity. Any big. Any big pro tips to unlock. Ah the Disney World vacation because we're we're in the middle. Well and not in the middle we have planned one. We've got one later this month. We've got a whirlwind star cruz or Disney World Disney Cruise for some friends wedding. 32:05.62 Leslie Harvey Ah, and. 32:16.16 dclduo Ah, in Orlando and I'll tell you what juggling all of the window we have to be up at midnight to do this stuff and and everything has been kind of a nightmare I don't know do you feeling like it's gotten so complex and so expensive that it's really gotten itself out of reach or any tips you have. 32:28.37 Leslie Harvey I mean it has gotten so complex and anything I say here now is going to change you know and we we know that there's going to be changes coming to Genie plus probably at the turn of the the new year and 32:33.89 dclduo Yeah, yeah. 32:43.81 Leslie Harvey You know it's already so complex and they've added this extra layer of complexity recently by having different prices for the different parks genie plus I mean oh my gosh, but it is a lot I mean if you you guys go to Disneyland so you have the base level of knowledge that you need. But I mean for me and I hate. Ah, hate saying this but like you've just got to stay on property at while Disney World if you if you care about doing the rides and maximizing the value of your ticket I mean not not being on property not having that transportation not having that 7 a m lightning lane purchased for individual lightning lane. You know it it just it's too much of a pain point. So Disney's going to get your money I mean I alwaysll almost always say off off property at Disneyland but I never stay off property at Disney World because I think you just need those perks and the early entry that you know come with that. So I mean I guess you could stay at one of like Swan dolphin. So it's sort of those hybrid places that. 33:23.28 dclduo Now. Okay. 33:41.76 Leslie Harvey Have some of the perks. But I think you've got to got to pay Disney for the the upcharge but I think it does think help to think about your logistics at Disney World far in advance. So on my last trip with my son um about my last trip I took kids to was about a year ago and it was. 33:50.57 dclduo Um, if. 34:01.24 Leslie Harvey Peak Summer It was miserably miserably hot and I just wanted to like maximize the park time with minimally like walking and dealing with non-aconditioned places so we stayed at a skylineer resort which was great and we could hop very quickly back to our hotel. 34:16.11 dclduo Um, yeah. 34:19.26 Leslie Harvey We could go easily then to um, epcot or Hollywood studios in the afternoon super quickly without getting too hot. So I mean we got hot because it was was late June but I think think about those logistics like you know if you have young kids you're going to spend a lot of time at Magic Kingdom Monorell resort. So think about what. 34:29.67 dclduo Ah, yeah, yeah. 34:39.16 Leslie Harvey You want to do and get out of um you know and I think that does help minimize the pain a lot but I agree with you Brian it's it's a lot of work and you know Iger's got to got to make some changes make this this not be quite so painful. 34:54.21 dclduo I think it's starting to show. We've been hearing we heard at Disneyland this past weekend when we went or I think it was his past weekend that we went and we heard from a cast member that like the hotels he could book cast member rates any resort any level including club level any room tech category available. And you know that park attendance seem to be sort of way down this summer and we're hearing the same thing about sort of Disney world that park attendance seems to be um, hurting a little bit so ah, it may be that the complexity and the costs have finally kind of come around to bite Disney a little bit and we may see some. Ah. We've seen a lot of discounts I feel like I mean I feel like I'm seeing where discounts come across my email for passholders and visa card holders and dvc members and all of this sort of stuff. So maybe it will start to abate a little bit. Let's say I'm curious. You know what what Disney property do you think right? now actually has good value for the dollar or the the best. Value for the dollar in Disney is it. The cruise line is it alani is it going to one of the parks like where do you think people can get the most bang for their buck these days. 35:58.94 Leslie Harvey I mean for me this year based upon what our family needs in once out of a vacation. It was cruise line and that was surprising because I always considered Cruise line to be a price step above the parks. 36:06.79 dclduo Okay. 36:16.77 Leslie Harvey And it is if you're you know you can do the parks on the cheap you can stay at a value resort in Florida you can stay off property at Disneyland for sure and you can do those cheaper but in terms of of what you what you got for that price increase the value to me was more with Cruise line right now and that that surprised me and like I say you know my daughter's. Hooked and and we're hooked and um I promise though your job is safe I'm not coming for you I'm not doing a Disney Cruise line podcast. Ah, but. 36:43.75 dclduo Ah, right? the more the merrier come join the conversation now. It's funny because we heard that recently from another guest too. We heard that you know if you start to pray if you if to your point if you stay at de luxe resorts or moderate resorts and you tend to eat on property and you're buying genie plus like those costs quickly add up and suddenly. Disney Cruise doesn't seem so out of reach. Ah, in fact, in some ways I think it will pencil out as ah as cheaper. Um because you have very few things you add on for the cruise I feel like so. 37:10.52 Leslie Harvey That was what surprised us most of all is you know the upcharges were minimal for what we were doing. We actually went to target and you know bought my my Disney gift card before the trip just to save a little 5% 37:27.29 dclduo Um, yeah. 37:27.33 Leslie Harvey With the red card and I only I was like how much you know how much am I actually going to spend on this cruise like what do I need to put on my or on board account and I think I only bought like a $400 gift card and we ended up I think spending more like 6 or $700 because mainly because the massage but in terms of everything else. The Palo dinner. 37:42.89 dclduo Um, yeah. 37:46.33 Leslie Harvey Couple of drinks that we bought. Um, we really didn't need to pay for any extras and we were so entertained the entire time I mean we we were heavily into the trivia. Um I have 3 members of my family not myself who can sing so we did a lot of karaoke and I was cheering in the audience. Um, happily so but we we were able to. 37:58.76 dclduo Nice. 38:05.90 Leslie Harvey Feel like we filled our calendar from wake up until late late night and didn't have to pay for anything so that was great. So. 38:11.94 dclduo Yeah, yeah, that is great that is great to hear well Leslie I super appreciate you taking time today to come talk with us. Um I mentioned your your blog and the podcast up front but you want to tell folks a little bit more about that and how they can find you and and ah. Hear more of your great tips and tricks. 38:29.42 Leslie Harvey So sure. Thank you. So my blog is trips with tikestykes and mine as you can tell aren't really tikes anymore. So I've been blogging for ah gosh eleven years now so it's been a long time coming. But. A lot of Disneyland um, and then all sorts of Disney destinations on there as well as lots of you know California and wherever our family happens to go which is a lot of other places as well. So you can find me there and at tripps with hikes everywhere on social and then Joe and I have the Disney deciphered podcast and that's. Everywhere find podcasts are sold and then I also have a Facebook group the Disneyland with kids Facebook group that I share with 3 other fabulous bloggers and we talk a lot about family travel to Disneyland because that that is the Disney destination I get to the most so it's much much but quicker I flew in recently about a. 39:16.25 dclduo Yes, yes. 39:21.71 Leslie Harvey About ten days ago for just a day trip which was crazy but. 39:24.59 dclduo Yeah I love that we have Disneyland on the west coast because it's one our favorite park out of the entire Disney system now we haven't been overseas yet but still our favorite park. Ah thus far and it's just it's so nice to be able to like go to a park in our own times California though. The weather gets hot but it doesn't get quite as oppressive as it does in Florida um, and we love to do the I think the routine you were suggesting which is we get up early. We get our rides in at 1 of the parks and then we lays by the pool for the afternoon benefit from the resort that we're paying so much for and then head back in for dinner. What's your ah you know Leslie what's your favorite What's your favorite spot at Disneyland these days I'm just curious. 40:02.53 Leslie Harvey Who I mean I love the disneyland hotel I always have I'm a history geek I feel like when I step into the lobby there that you feel kind of the presence and the weight of the Disney history there and um. Yeah, so that's really my favorite place I mean it's not a great hotel. Objectively I mean it's it's nice, but it's not a super luxurious hotel objectively. But that's not why I love it. I love it for the legacy that it sort of embodies and um, it's just it. 40:21.56 dclduo Um, yeah. 40:32.57 Leslie Harvey It's magical with a light up headboard. You know that's that word is overused in Disney but it really is. 40:32.75 dclduo Yeah, yeah, well I just hope they bring back another restaurant to the disneyland hotel I think they need 1 more restaurant there that closure of steakhouse 55 still hurts. So I'm hoping they're not just planning to expand goofy's kitchen. They bring back some sort of unique offering there. But. 40:39.82 Leslie Harvey I know. 40:51.18 dclduo Ah, we were at the chef's table recently at Naparo and we couldn't tease anything out of the stuff there but we're hoping we're hoping especially with that new tower opening in September I feel like they're going to need another restaurant to service the hotel so well. Leslie thank you once again for taking the time today. We really, really appreciate it. 40:56.18 Leslie Harvey Ah, keep turn. 41:05.16 Leslie Harvey Thanks so much for having me Brian.

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