I recently shared our Disney Dream Cruise experience and promised a dedicated post about Concierge level. This was definitely a vacation splurge and something we debated doing for our first Disney Cruise — partly because the price is much steeper and also because I feared I would never want to do another regular cruise again. Well, the latter is true. After Concierge, I think it will be nearly impossible to go back to normal.
Choosing a Concierge level vacation made sense for our family, but it may not be for everyone. So I decided to put together my Top 10 Reasons/Perks that I found with Concierge to help make your decision easier. I read a lot of blogs prior to going Concierge, and I hope this post is helpful to someone out there!
1. On-Shore Planning Support – The Concierge team is available to you via a dedicated phone line and email to answer any and all questions and help make your on board experience even better. We fully took advantage of this perk and had the Concierge book all of our excursions, along with securing a coveted booth at the beautiful Enchanted Garden restaurant (only 10 available) and even submitted our preferred mini fridge options (which is included). We even got to select our dining schedule, so I was able to ensure our family was at Enchanted Garden on formal night and dined there twice!
When I had a question or needed more details, the on shore Concierge team was always there to help! I felt more knowledgeable and better prepared for our cruise vacation.
2. Boarding & De-Boarding Simplified – This is HUGE! Boarding the ship usually takes a long time in a series of long lines. With Concierge we were able to board early and went straight to the dedicated check-in area where we were photographed, given the “Keys to the World” and escorted onto the ship. We got to go straight to the front of the “Welcome Aboard” photo and then walked onto the ship. It took less than 30 minutes. By Noon we were in the Concierge Lounge, sipping on champagne and in our room by 12:30pm. Luggage was delivered soon after. The de-board was just as simple. We were escorted off the ship and onto baggage claim in under 10 minutes. Now that’s Magic!
3. In Suite Amenities – There are a lot of perks within your suite including a Mini Fridge stocked to your liking, breakfast the morning of departure and room service upgrades like being able to order from the full service restaurant menus for any meal. On one rainy morning, we ordered a delicious breakfast spread and ate in our cabin, while watching movies. Another night, we ordered the incredibly delicious Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. It was so much fun!
4. All the Space – I love cruising, but they’re not usually known for having super spacious cabins. Disney cruises, in general, have larger cabins than other cruise lines, but the Concierge suite takes it to a new level. We had so much storage including a walk-in closet (I unpack and hang all clothing on every trip/vacation…I’m a weirdo…I know) and a hall closet. We also had a separate bedroom with en suite including shower and jacuzzi tub AND a second full bathroom. There’s also a desk area, living room and a dining room with an extra long and large balcony with floor to ceiling windows. Definitely did NOT feel cramped or claustrophobic in this space.
5. Dining Perks – On the first day of the cruise there was a special sit down lunch for Concierge guests at The Royal Court restaurant. This is awesome because restaurants are closed for other guests, so your only lunch option is a buffet. It was much more fun and delicious to kick off our vacation with an amazing sit down lunch paired with bubbles (free and straight from the Lounge)!
6. Cabana Time – Castaway Cay is an incredible island with white sandy beaches and turquoise water. On the island there are 26 cabanas available for rent, which provide a more exclusive experience with a private beach, sunscreen, snacks, bicycles, snorkel gear, etc. Because there are so few cabanas, they sell out fast and it’s nearly impossible to snag one unless you’re a Platinum Castaway Club member (lots of cruising to gain this status) OR you’re Concierge. We wanted a cabana BAD and Concierge made it happen! We were able to submit the cabana request via email on Midnight 120 days prior to setting sail and we landed the cabana. There is an extra fee for renting a cabana. And it was beyond worth it. The day on Castaway Cay was phenomenal. We were able to lounge, relax on a hammock, swim and explore — uninterrupted. For that alone, I would recommend Concierge!
7. VIP Meet n Greet – The dedicated Concierge Lounge also included a private veranda area and one of the evenings there was a reception with a VIP meet n greet. It was wonderful because Stitch came in and spent quality time with each family in an intimate space. Westley high-fived and hugged Stitch, we took photos and had a fabulous experience in the comfort of an outdoor space along with great apps and specialty drinks.
8. All the Drinks – Drinks are expensive on a cruise, so the free open bar at the Concierge Lounge was a huge perk. It’s open from 5-10pm nightly and it features premium liquors, wine and beer. We would grab drinks on the way to dinner, then re-fill before the show and then grabbed a night cap to enjoy on the balcony. We spent zero dollars on drinks, which is a first for us.
9. In Room Dining – One of my favorite Concierge perks is the ability to order dinner from your restaurant of choice delivered to your suite. This really came in handy when we wanted to attend the early showing of Beauty & the Beast, but did not want to miss out on a delicious dinner. We didn’t have to compromise a sit down dinner for the show. The Concierge took our order and a multiple course meal awaited us in our cabin once the show concluded. They set the dining room table, the server brought us wine from the Lounge and we opened the balcony doors and enjoyed fine dining al fresco. It was absolutely perfect!
10. Superior Service – The Concierge team is so hospitable and helpful throughout the cruise. The team goes above and beyond from going over your printed agenda and handling any special requests to closing out your final on-board bill and delivering the photo USB. It was such a pleasure working with them. They also left us a special, limited edition lithograph as a keepsake from our magical vacation.
While this may not be for everyone’s taste or budget, Concierge was a decision I’m glad we made as a family. It certainly elevated our Disney Cruise experience and I hope to do it again on another vacation!