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You have decided that you want to do something other than going to one of the Disney parks! Your vacation group has decided to take the magic to the high seas, well here is everything you need to know about planning and booking a DCL vacation.

Throughout this guide, I will also be mentioning how an experienced travel advisor can help make your Disney Cruise Line trip as seamless as possible. When looking for an experienced travel advisor, I highly recommended a travel advisor that specializes in Disney Destinations specifically Disney Cruise Line. Planning a Disney Cruise trip is an entirely different experience compared to many of the other cruise lines. Let’s be clear, there are TAs that state “I am certified Disney Travel Advisor”, and that’s great but you may want to vet them a bit further. A certified Disney travel advisor has taken and passed a program called Disney of College Knowledge. Unfortunately, that does not make them an experienced Disney traveler. Many agents can also state that they are an “Authorized Disney Travel Advisor,” but this just means that they are a part of an agency that has achieved a certain level of sales for Disney Destinations. Do your research! Look for an agent who not only books Disney travel but also frequently travels to Disney Destinations themselves. A travel advisor who has firsthand traveler knowledge of Disney is much more valuable to you the client. They have navigated and experienced much of what you are looking to plan, which will place you far ahead of the “do-it-myself” Disney guest.

So how do you know the agent you are working with is the right agent or experienced enough for Disney World Travel? Here are some great questions to ask the agent:

When is the last time you went on a DCL trip?

If the answer is anything longer than a year, you may want to find a new agent.

How many times have you traveled on DCL?

The BEST agents travel at least once a year. You want real-time advice and with Disney

Destinations this is a must. If your agent saying “well an agent in my agency…” you may want to find a new agent.

What types of services do you provide?

Look for an agent that meets your level of need. Do you want them to make dining reservations for you? Be able to recommend the best excursions for your travel party? Do you want them to be available to you during your trip? You need to find the right fit for your desired level of service.

Before hiring an agent, get to know them, and THEIR DCL knowledge and experience. You will know during the conversation whether they are experienced and the right fit for you.

Let’s get to the planning!

STEP 1: You need to make a few choices. Where do you want to go? And what is more important to you, the destination, or the ship?

Disney sails to a number of destinations around the world and currently 4 different ships, the Magic, Wonder, Fantasy, and Dream. There is a 5th one coming in June of 2022, the Wish. There are major differences between each of the ships and it is important to know because it will affect your getaway.

How an experienced travel agent can help:

An experienced travel agent will have traveled on multiple trips and multiple ships. They will tell you about the different destinations and the different ships. This within its will is beyond helpful!

STEP 2: Once you decided on either a ship or destination you will need to know when you want to travel.

Disney offers trips year-round. If you have decided on a destination the destination might dictate when you can go. For example, the Disney Magic only sails Europe in the summer, and the Disney Wonder only sails the Panama Canal once in the Spring and once in the Fall. However, as of the time of this article, the Fantasy sails Eastern and Western Caribbean year-round alternating between the two itineraries.

How an experienced travel agent can help:

An experienced travel agent will know what seasons are best suited for your travel needs. Looking for a themed cruise, they know when they start and what is different. The travel agent can be extremely knowledgeable in avoiding hurricane season and other times that are “slower” for DCL.

STEP 3: Decide on a stateroom.

This step within in itself generates a whole host of questions. Mid-ship or Aft? Concierge or standard room? What deck? There is no one right answer, you are going to need a TA or do a whole lot of research.

How an experienced travel agent can help:

It goes without saying, they will answer most if not all your questions in this area.

STEP 4: Pay the deposit and make sure all your travel documents are in place or start getting them ready.

The most commonly asked question we get is, “what documents do we need to cruise?” Someplace you can get away with a birth certificate or places you will need a passport. Our advice is to get a passport, which is the gold standard in travel.

How an experienced travel agent can help:

An experienced travel advisor will help you navigate all the documents you will need for your cruise. Additionally, in a Covid world they will be able to talk about all the testing you will need before your cruise.

STEP 5: Complete online check-in and book special onboard activates.

Depending on what level castaway club level will determine what day you check-in. Special Onboard activates will include specialty dining, such as Palo and Remy. Other activities will be character meet & greets and character breakfasts.

How an experienced travel agent can help:

An experienced travel agent will be able to help you navigate this process ensuring you are all set for your check-in day!


This is a simple breakdown of how to prepare for your adventure on the high seas. If you never have been, you should consider going! It is a great way to experience Disney outside the parks!

Looking for help booking your next magical adventure, reach out to one of our expert agents for an obligation free quote.

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