Disney Cruise Line’s brand new ship, the Disney Wish, has been delayed from its Summer 2022 debut date. This post will share details about the postponement of the Wish, impacted sail dates, discounts and what to do if you’re impacted, plus our commentary on this and why it’s happening.
Let’s start with the key dates: the Disney Wish was previously scheduled to sail its maiden voyage on June 9, 2022, followed by a season of 3-4 night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay, from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Bookings opened to the general public last year on May 27, and the opening season booked up incredibly quickly. In fact, we couldn’t even book the maiden voyage, despite being Castaway Club members eligible to make reservations prior to the general public. Unlike most other Disney Cruise Line sailings over the last several months, the new Disney Wish has been–or was–selling like hotcakes despite the higher prices.
Unfortunately, Disney Cruise Line has been forced to delay the maiden voyage of the Disney Wish by approximately 6 weeks, which will impact the first 12 sailings, through mid-July 2022. This is due to construction challenges by the company’s partners at the Meyer Werft shipyard.
Guests who were booked on the original maiden voyage will be automatically shifted to a new sail date of July 14, 2022 at a 50% discount. If those sailing on the maiden voyage are unable to move to the new July 14 itinerary, they will have the option of either a 50% discount on a future cruise departing by December 31, 2023, with any originally paid funds converted to a future cruise credit or a full refund.
Guests originally booked on the other affected sailings will have the option of either a 50% discount on a future cruise departing by December 31, 2023, with any originally paid funds converted to a future cruise credit, or a full refund. However, these guests will not automatically be rebooked, meaning they’ll have to find (and compete with one another for) availability on other sailings, many of which are already quite limited or sold out.
All impacted sailings are as follows:
June 9, 2022,
June 14, 2022 (Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise)
June 17, 2022
June 20, 2022
June 24, 2022
June 27, 2022
July 1, 2022
July 4, 2022
July 8, 2022
July 11, 2022
July 15, 2022
July 18, 2022
The Disney Vacation Club sailing will be automatically moved to July 19, 2022. The regular sailing schedule of the Disney Wish resumes on July 22, 2022.
Additionally, Disney Cruise Line has temporarily paused the sale of all Disney Wish sailings while processing these changes. As a result, all affected sailings will no longer be visible online or in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
On February 8, Disney Wish sales will resume and new sailings may be booked online. The Disney Cruise Line contact center will also be available to assist in booking new Disney Wish sailings beginning February 8, 2022.
Below is a revised list of Disney Wish itineraries for 2022-2023 that will be bookable when reservations resume:
When it comes to commentary, this is a really big blow for the biggest budget project of the year at Disney’s Parks & Resorts (or whatever they’re calling it now) division.
There’s a lot less reader interest about Disney Cruise Line as compared to Walt Disney World–for those who haven’t been keeping close tabs on things, the Wish has been a bright spot, with a lot of excitement for what looks like a spectacular new ship.
We are booked for one of the impacted sailings, and we’d 100% rather this be done right than on time. The delay is disappointing, but it’s absolutely the correct course of action rather than trying to rush things.
That happened with one of the ship reimaginings several years ago, and paying guests were understandably upset. The same people who are annoyed by this delay would almost certainly complain if they set sail on an unfinished or rough-around-the-edges ship.
Even setting aside the realities of the present environment–when delays are occurring on everything from construction of new homes to video games I wanted to play last year–this kind of thing happens sometimes. Obviously, it’s going to be a letdown for a lot of people, and we’re not trying to suggest anyone be “happy” about this. Just not angry or unreasonable.
Unlike some projects at Walt Disney World that have intentionally had their timelines prolonged, work on the Disney Wish has been moving as quickly as possible. In short, we’re accepting and understanding of this delay–and the 50% discount as guest recovery is very much appreciated. Dealing with the call center will probably be a hassle, but thus far, Disney Cruise Line appears to be handling this appropriately.
Beyond that, we take this delay at face value. Meyer Werft, the shipmaker behind several Disney Cruise Line ships, has had to delay its timetables before, so this would hardly be unprecedented. On top of that, issues have occurred around the world as a result of Omicron, which has caused work stoppages and delays due to sickness-related staffing shortages.
We’re not suggesting that’s what has happened with the Disney Wish–we have no clue. This could be a garden variety construction delay that’s totally unrelated to Omicron illnesses or more stringent workplace rules. (UPDATE: Disney Cruise Line confirmed that this is *exactly* what happened.)
What we are suggesting is that this is almost certainly a bona-fide construction delay, not Disney Cruise Line using construction as a pretense for pushing back the maiden voyage. To our knowledge, Disney Wish bookings for opening season have been incredibly strong, so there’s no reason for the company to voluntarily postpone. This delay will be a big financial hit that is detrimental, not beneficial, to Disney.
Interestingly, just earlier today, Schiffe-und-kreuzfahrten reported that the Disney Wish is expected to be undocked at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany this weekend. Per that, the undocking schedule is unofficial, depends on various factors, and is subject to delay.
On a tangentially-related note, some of the reason I’m okay with the delay might be because I’m not exactly enthusiastic about setting sail with DCL at this point. I shared this in a post last week, but I’m in “wait and see” mode, wanting a greater return to normal. (This has nothing to do with safety. To the contrary, as someone vaccinated and boosted, I’m totally comfortable doing anything now.)
To each their own, but from my perspective there are too many hoops to jump through, compromises to the on-board experience, and the potential risk of being denied boarding erroneously. I realize many of these policies are beyond Disney’s control, but the “why” of the rules matters less to me than their existence. I’ve felt this way about recent deeply-discounted itineraries on the classic ships, and feel even more so that way about setting sail on the Disney Wish, which is going to cost us exponentially more money.
For what it’s worth, Sarah vehemently disagrees with my perspective on hoops and compromises. She got a great rate on a cruise and did it with girl friends instead of me, and said the ship was practically empty—they had a blast. (It’s definitely worth looking at rates if you don’t mind the rules or risks–or are a Floridian–and want to take advantage of uncrowded sailings and lower prices.)
With that said, I am also really, really excited for the Disney Wish. It’s actually a bit difficult to reconcile my general indifference towards cruising right now with my hype for this new ship. Everything that Disney has revealed about this new ship (except the price points) makes me more enthusiastic about the upcoming ship.
The Disney Wish looks amazing, like the next generation of cruising. It’s as if Imagineering took a huge leap forward, iterating on past designs to make technical, functional, and storytelling improvements in the process. It’s still early, but the Disney Wish looks significantly better than its predecessors, which is really saying something since those ships are exceptional.
The dining slate looks formidable and unique, the already-great rooms look even nicer, and AquaMouse is exactly the type of attraction (at sea) that is perfect for Disney Cruise Line–something only Imagineering could do. Reasonable minds may differ, but I’m personally pleased that Disney hasn’t gone over the top in adding crazy recreational options that impinge upon the classic aesthetics of the ship’s design.
In short, I love what Disney Cruise Line has shown of the Wish thus far, and am incredibly pleased with both its style and substance. I’m also fine waiting another month or two if it means a more polished experience and, maybe, a more normal one, too.
What do you think about this news that the Disney Wish will be delayed by over a month? Are you impacted by the ship’s delivery being postponed? Excited for the Disney Wish, or is it too expensive/not for you? Do you plan on booking a cruise aboard this ship, or are you awaiting early reviews and more details? Do you agree or disagree with our advice and assessment? Any questions? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!