When booking a cruise with Disney Cruise Line, you will see the Concierge Level Suites. Noticeably, there is a distinct difference in price. So what is the Concierge Level on Disney Cruise Line and what do you need to know before booking?
The Concierge Level promises signature Concierge services that start before you board the ship. These services continue throughout your vacation and beyond. Here’s our first-hand experience with the Concierge Level on Disney Cruise Line.
Once you have booked a Concierge Level suite, you have access to pre-arrival Concierge services. This is huge. Starting 120 days prior to sailing, you have first access to bookings. This includes all excursions, restaurant reservations, spa appointments and cabanas for Castaway Cay. You can also provide a list of things you would like to do via email to the shoreside Concierges. You can email beginning 125 days before booking opens up and they will make the bookings for you.
In addition, you can call a specific toll free number that goes directly to a concierge. The concierge provides personalized assistance to you over the phone. I found this extremely helpful. I used the dedicated concierge email address to clarify questions I had regarding carry-ons and embarkation. I also emailed to book reservations for our group of 8 although I was the only person in a concierge suite.
When you book the Concierge Level, Disney promises the best service offered at sea. When you arrive at the Port, there is no separate section for Concierge Level guests until you get through security. After that, you get to skip some substantial line ups. To say there is a Concierge Lounge in the Port is a little of a stretch. The staff ushered us into a small room with nothing to do. We ended up joining the crowds for a chance to meet Captain Mickey before boarding.
Boarding the Ship
One of the benefits of the Concierge Level is that you get to board the ship first. Disney guarantees your room will be ready by 12:30 pm. We boarded and were whisked away to a private reception with free cocktails and food. We then were able to hit the pools immediately before anyone else was onboard.
On Board Concierge
The moment you board, your concierge introduces himself to you. Next, they introduce their backup partner who is available when your Concierge is on break. Glenn, our Concierge, was a great guy. He immediately clicked with my kids. His backup partner was equally amazing.
Glenn provided tickets to us for each Princess Meet and Greet without me asking. He was able to get tickets for all the other families we were traveling with. He also scraped together two cabanas on Castaway Cay that we had previously had not been able to book online as they were sold out.
When one of the children in our party got sick, it was Glenn to the rescue making sure we could rebook the popular Anna and Elsa meet and greet. He also provided a get-well soon basket full of ginger ale, crackers, and popcorn.
Concierge Amenities on the Disney Wonder
On the Disney Dream, you are given exclusive access to Concierge dedicated areas on the ship. On the Disney Wonder, no such spaces exist. Instead of the promised stylish, modern setting where guests can enjoy complimentary food and beverages, you have a limited number of events in a coffee lounge for an hour a day.
The newer ships have an exclusive Concierge-only sun deck which completely steps which alone makes it worth booking the concierge level on the Disney cruise.
Concierge Cocktail Hours and Character Meet and Greet
Although it was nice to be offered a free cocktail, the timing of the concierge events don’t always make sense. On the evening of the Pirate Night, in particular, the Concierge invited Concierge Level guests to Deck 10 to enjoy free cocktails and canapés. The big issue was that you could not actually see the Pirate Night show from the party. A much more reasonable solution would have been a small roped off portion of the top deck overlooking the party.
The Concierge also offers an exclusive meet and greet with one character to all Concierge Level guests. I was told that the character is usually Donald, Goofy or Pluto. This was the best part of our Concierge Level experience. Donald went from table to table and spent time with every family. He joked with the kids and was a pleasure to visit with. The Concierges made sure each family had had a lengthy visit with the duck.
In Room Refreshments
If you are not a concierge level guest, you need to pay for refreshments in your room. Bottled water is never free and sodas are only complimentary when you are in the restaurants or by the pool.
When we arrived, our Concierge asked for our preferences. Our Concierge filled our fridge exactly as requested and refilled daily. This was a huge perk.
Disney promises in room food deliveries for all Concierge Level guests. During our cruise, Disney delivered a fruit basket, chocolate-covered strawberries, a cheese plate and the most delicious plate of olives and nuts I have had in a while.
A big part of booking the Concierge Level is having access to the Cabanas on Castaway Cay. The sell out quickly but Disney reserves some for Concierge Level Guests.
Is Concierge Level on Disney Cruise Line Worth the Cost?
Yes. Especially if you are traveling on the newer Disney ships (the Dream and Fantasy). Having Glenn on a board changed our whole cruise. When anything happened Glenn quickly explained the situation at hand. He always reminded me of our planned activities and Meet and Greets so we didn’t miss them. He was a pleasure to have around. I can’t imagine the cruise without his help and suggestions. Sometimes when I’m at home and something goes wrong, I still find myself looking around for Glenn.
For a take on the experience of the Concierge level on the Disney Dream, check out Luxe Recess.