Disney Cruise Line announced itineraries through Summer 2023 for the Magic, Wonder, Dream, Fantasy legacy ships, plus the brand-new Disney Wish! There are sailings to popular ports of call in the Greek Isles, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean. This post covers the destinations, followed by commentary on pricing, our recommended destinations, and why we’ll be booking on opening day instead of waiting for a deal.
Note that “opening day” booking for the general public will begin on May 9, 2022. (Do not call today–these itineraries cannot be booked yet by anyone.) Prior to that, there will be a staggered advance booking period beginning next Monday. Here’s the eligibility timeline:
May 2, 2022 – Platinum Castaway Club Members, Golden Oak Club Residents
May 3, 2022 – Gold Castaway Club Members
May 5, 2022 – Silver Castaway Club Members, Disney Vacation Club Members, Adventures by Disney Insiders
May 9, 2022 – All Guests
If you’re an existing member, Disney Cruise Line recommends that you log in to your account now to verify your Castaway Club status, so you’ll be all set to book on your designated date. You can also call (866) 784-1592 starting at 8:00 AM Eastern Time, or contact your travel agent.
Disney Dream Marks Inaugural Season in Europe – For its first-ever summer season in Europe, the Disney Dream will call on a wide variety of destinations among the most treasured in the world. With sailings anywhere from 4 to 11 nights, the Disney Dream will sail from Barcelona and Rome to picturesque ports of call throughout the Mediterranean, including a first-ever seven-night sailing to the Greek Isles with stops in the ever-popular ports of Santorini and Mykonos.
Starting in late Summer 2023 and continuing through early fall, departures of the Disney Dream from Southampton will feature cruises to a wealth of destinations including Spain, France, the British Isles, Norway and Iceland. New ports of call include the picturesque La Rochelle, France and two new ports in Norway, Skjolden and Sandnes.
Summer 2023 sailings to Alaska aboard Disney Wonder – The breathtaking natural beauty of Alaska will combine with the magic of Disney on 5, 7 and 9-night sailings on the Disney Wonder from Vancouver, Canada. Beginning in May 2023, cruisers will be invited to discover exciting ports like Ketchikan and Skagway, with their prehistoric glaciers, gold mining relics and spectacular land- and sea-life.
Three Alaskan itineraries call at Icy Strait Point, home to a coastal rainforest, wilderness tours and ziplining above the treetops.
Tropical Escapes to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida – Sun-splashed tropical isles throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean will await guests on three Disney Cruise Line ships from Florida in summer 2023.
For its first full summer of sailing, the Disney Wish will homeport in Port Canaveral near Orlando for a series of three- and four-night Bahamas cruises to Nassau and Disney’s private island oasis, Castaway Cay. The Disney Wish will feature exciting new additions including Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience and AquaMouse, a wild water adventure and first-ever Disney attraction at sea.
Port Canaveral will also be the departure point for the Disney Fantasy for sailings ranging in length from five to 10 nights. In addition to seven-night cruises to popular ports in the eastern and western Caribbean, guests will also be able to experience a five-night Bahamian sailing with back-to-back calls at Castaway Cay, a 10-night southern Caribbean itinerary to the islands of Aruba and Bonaire, and an 8-night cruise featuring two days on the beautiful pink sand beaches of Bermuda.
The Disney Magic will make its summer home in Miami for an assortment of destinations. Starting May 27, the Disney Magic will sail 4-night Bahamas cruises and 5-night western Caribbean voyages, followed by two 7-night sailings in July 2023 to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Select summer voyages aboard the Disney Magic will include double days at Castaway Cay.
When it comes to commentary, I don’t have a ton to offer that is unique to the Summer 2023 itineraries. Most of it would be rehashed from the last couple of years, even though I haven’t taken a cruise since late 2019. (Sarah has done a couple, but she’s not the one writing this.)
I know we definitely will be booking one of these, as we have a 50% off future cruise credit from one of our Disney Wish itineraries that was cancelled. Which cruise we choose is subject to, ahem, internal debate, but we’re both in agreement that “going big” makes sense given the size of the savings. Leading candidates as of right now are to the Greek Isles or Northern Europe; both have many ‘new to us’ destinations that are on our travel bucket lists.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, pretty much everyone who has done one will shower the Alaska itineraries with praise. To be sure, that’s one of the better trips we’ve taken. It’s also pretty approachable.
However, our all-time favorite cruise is the Norwegian Fjords itinerary–by a pretty wide margin. We cover the similarities and differences in Norway v. Alaska Cruises, but the bottom line is that for us, Norway was much better. Others we know who have done both give the edge to Alaska–you really can’t go wrong either way.
Much like Walt Disney World on discount drop day, Disney Cruise Line’s phones will be jammed and the online system will likely slow to a crawl at peak times. Please do not exacerbate this by calling on a day before you’re eligible; they won’t make an exception and let you cut the line. It’ll just waste everyone’s time, including yours.
It’s always a good idea to use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to do the work for you, but especially for opening day bookings. For one thing, using them to book your cruise is a great way to save time and stress. For another, their services are free to you since they’re paid commission by DCL on the reservation.
Every year opening day price-points make waves on social media once they’re available to book for Platinum Castaway Club members, as prices always jump. This is not really a surprise at this point, but it’s nonetheless easy to be taken aback when first seeing each year’s prices…especially if you remember what prices were 5 years ago.
With that said, it’s worth noting that opening day stateroom rates are largely on the lower end of the historical pricing spectrum. As itineraries start to book up and stateroom inventory becomes more scarce, rates invariably increase. Pricing is demand-based, with cruises in recent years rarely decreasing in price–increases are far more common.
We’ve scored some good deals on Disney Cruise Line over the years (and cover how you can do the same in our How to Save Money on Disney Cruise Line Sailingspost), but have had less luck since 2018 (with the exception of last fall and winter, when Sarah scored some exceptional deals).
With the sailings out of Florida–especially Port Canaveral–the odds of prices dropping are stacked against you. Normally, there’s a high probability that opening day prices are the cheapest that those sailings will ever be. Of course, this is assuming pent-up demand and the global economy remain strong heading into 2023, and that’s hardly a sure thing at this point.
Ultimately, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Disney Cruise Line, just like all other aspects of travel. With that 50% future cruise credit, we’ll likely hedge our bets and book as soon as we’re eligible on May 2 (assuming we can settle on an itinerary between now and then).
If we didn’t have that, I think we actually might wait this time. Not because I necessarily think a recession is on the horizon, but because I think that–at minimum–the bulk of pent-up demand, excess household savings, stimulus money, and so forth will largely be exhausted by next summer. Even if that’s correct, it doesn’t mean the return of deep discounts, but it could spell some relief from the high prices of travel. Or perhaps all of that is simply wishful thinking on my part, and this summer’s stratospheric pricing will be even worse in Summer 2023.
What do you think of these Summer 2023 Disney Cruise Line itineraries? Any that appeal to you? Any thoughts on pent-up demand given nearly two years off from cruising? Will you be booking on opening day, or taking a wait and see approach hoping to score a deal later? Do you think Disney Cruise Line is worth the premium pricing? Any other tips to add or recommendations? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!