In the hospitality industry, competition is all about the perks.  From cloud-like mattresses to blazing wifi speeds to unique dining experiences, hotels, airlines, and the cruise industry are constantly searching for ways to attract and keep customers.

As I wrote a few posts back, Princess Cruise Line boasts the best wifi at sea (no joke, it is reliable and fast).  While some may scoff at staying connected on a vacation, for many, completely going off the grid is not a possibility.  Work, kids at home, even the desire to share your vacation via social media make reliable connections an appealing perk.

When it comes to comfort, I will literally choose a hotel, if even for a night, based on reviews of the bedding.

And as seen in my Alinea post, I am more than willing to build a trip around a single dining event.

So when services are frustrating, lacking, or nonexistent – no matter how much you may enjoy other aspects of a provider – it colors your overall enjoyment.

Which brings me to Mickey.  Having just completed my 20th Disney cruise, my love affair is pretty obvious and committed.  That does not, however, mean I have not groused about the Mouse in certain aspects through the years – namely communication onboard, their Navigator app, and the fact they have still stuck to calling and FAXING for preordering of gifts and amenities.

FAXING.  Hello, 1980 called and wants their technology back…

I am happy to report that my Mouse Spouse is finally catching up and cruising into new tech waters.

Navigator App – What was for so long a rudimentary feature on your cell phone, providing the very basics of ports, menus, and a texting feature that often delivered the text a day after it was sent, began making strides forward in the last year.  Several cruises back I was thrilled to see a more personalized approach – I could see my onboard account, scroll through all activities on any given day, and see my personal cruise plans/dining schedules.  With the upgrades in the laundry rooms, the app now alerts you when you load is finished in the washer or dryer.

Fast forward to this week.  The latest app update unveiled a whole new Navigator that is interactive ahead of your cruise (prior to this update, the app only served as a countdown to your cruise until you boarded the ship).

Signing into your DCL account reveals your upcoming reservation(s), booked activities, options to arrange more, and the ability to do your online check-in via your cell phone.  This is a great step forward as it increases the excitement ahead of your cruise and the ease of checking things as they pop into your head instead of having to access the full DCL website.

Apple iMessaging – some people may have stumbled upon being able to use their iMessaging to others in their party while onboard and in airplane mode.  This has been hit and miss, but occurs because texting is a very low data packet and sometimes slips through.  DCL is finally testing full iMessaging on the Fantasy.  If all goes well, expect to see it added to the other three ships quickly.  (Yes, the Navigator texting function still exists and is more reliable than past iterations, but still can be spotty.)

Ordering Gifts & Amenities – For YEARS and YEARS people have complained about not being able to simply order items for their cruise via the website.  Up to now it has been a process of view the items on the website, write down the codes for what you want, call DCL and sit on hold for varying times, or print out the order form, fill it out, and FAX it in, or ask your patient and lovely travel professional to do the dirty work for you.  I admit to feeling so guilty about the process and potential wait times, that several times I have not asked DeeAna to do my ordering and sat on hold myself.

Welcome to the 21st century Mickey!

Disney Cruise Line has finally updated to the ability to view items, place them in your cart, and checkout via their website – no lines, no waiting, and no searching out a fax machine.  Facebook pages and boards across the internet have rejoiced this past week at this latest convenience.

With all of these perks being rolled out in very short order, I am eager to see what is on the horizon as the new ships begin to come online starting 2021.  Happy sailing, everyone!

No matter where your daydreams may take you – Archer Luxury Travel can turn them into reality.  Your imagination is the only limit.  Whether it’s hiking in the mountains, sailing the deep blue sea, luxuriating at an all-inclusive resort, or indulging your inner child with an incredible package to Disney, let DeeAna help you plan your next great escape. Contact archer@archerluxurytravel.com