Disney: Children sail for free on select Mexico cruises

Disney: Children sail for free on select Mexico cruises

Here’s an eye-popping offer, and another sign of troubled times for tourism to Mexico. Disney Cruise Line is letting kids sail for free on select cruises to Mexico next year. What makes this so unusual is that, unlike many lines, Disney’s target audiences are children and families.

Deal: The Kids Sail Free offer, as advertised on the Disney Cruise Line website, applies to children 17 years or under who travel with two full-fare passengers in the same cabin (categories 4 through 11 only) on certain seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises.

The cruises, aboard the Disney Wonder, are round trip from Los Angeles, with Mexico port calls in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Availability is limited; here’s the fine print on cancellations and other rules for Disney bookings. You must use the booking code “KFMR” at the time of booking.

When: Good for select cruises from Jan. 23 through March 20, 2011. Note: You must book by July 31.


Tested: This was tricky to find online. When I tried to book the deal for the Feb. 6, 2011, cruise by following the links from the “Kids Sail Free” page on the Disney Cruise Line website, I couldn’t find a place to input the booking code “KFMR,” and the reservation turned up regular pricing.

So I called Disney’s toll-free number, and “Dave” at the “website resolution desk” (I love that term) talked me through it. Instead of going through the offer page, he directed me to the Disney Cruise Line homepage, where I clicked on the “Book” button at top and got the regular reservations page.

I highlighted my destination, trip length, departure port and ship; filled in the number of passengers and ages; and put “KFMR” in the “Booking Code (Optional)” box at the bottom. I hit “search” and presto! It called up the free-kids cabins. For a Category 11A cabin, the Feb. 6 cruise would cost a family of four $1,764.92, including fares for two adults ($799 each) plus $166.92 in government taxes and fees.

Caveat: So that’s a pretty inexpensive family trip with a great company. But do you really want to go? That’s a judgment call. So far, tourists have mostly escaped the drug-related violence in Mexico. The U.S. State Department, in a travel warning, states in part: “Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year. … Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.”

Contact: Disney Cruise Line (800) 951-4137; or contact your travel agent. I always recommend booking cruises with a travel agent. It should cost you nothing because cruises are usually sold on commission, and an agent’s help can be invaluable.

– Jane Engle, assistant Los Angeles Times Travel editor

Photo: The Disney Wonder ship at sea. Credit: Disney Cruise Line

By LA Times

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