I’ve been contacted by a few families this week planning their Disney cruises who have noticed special stateroom categories (IGT, OGT and VGT) cropping up on select Spring 2018 sailings and at what seems to be a deep discount. So what exactly are these rates, where can you find them and are they worth it? Here at Disney Addicts, we love a good bargain and that’s what these categories are frequently attached to. We’ll do our best to explain so that you can enjoy these special savings!
First, let’s tackle the acronyms, IGT is Inside Guarantee, OGT is Oceanview Guarantee and VGT is Verandah Guarantee.
So what are they used for? For those most part, when booking a Disney Cruise, it’s important to know that the earlier you book the better. When rates first come out, they are the cheapest they will be and fares increase the closer you get to your sailing date. As a travel agent, I see this all the time with families who book early paying considerably less than families who wait until a few months out.
The early bird strategy is the safest option for those looking to bag a vacation bargain. Because Disney has such a small fleet, sailings fill up fast and discounts are not that commonplace. However, there will be the occasional last minute sale and that’s where these special stateroom categories IGT, OGT and VGT come in.
IGT, OGT and VGT categories are applied to last-minute sailings where there are still quite a few staterooms in one of these categories that need to be filled. Rather than picking a specific stateroom or room category, Disney will release a deep discount to those willing to take a bit of gamble. For instance, if you booked under the VGT category, Disney Cruise Line would guarantee you a Verandah Stateroom, however, under the discount, they can put you in any Verandah Stateroom they have available on any deck and even possibly with view obstructions. You take a gamble but you get the savings. Under the IGT fare this means they could put you in any Inside Stateroom and for OGT in any Outside Stateroom.
How good are the discounts? Discounts under these offers can be pretty darn good. I often tell clients that rates are typically pretty comparable to those Early Bird discounts you get when you book a stateroom as soon as they go on-sale.
So how do I find these special rates? Last-minute is the key. For instance, I’ve seen several of these discounted rates on May 2018 sailings. They won’t really be offered any further out then a few months. However, if they’re out there they are easy to find. When you search online at disneycruiseline.com each stateroom category defaults to show you the cheapest prices at the top. If IGTs OGTs or VGTs are on offer you’ll see them right at the top of the list of stateroom categories and prices. Also, if you’re determined to lock in one of these fares, consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner who will be up to speed on what sailings are currently offering these discounts.
How much of a deposit do I need to pay to book these discounts? Because IGT, OGT and VGT discounts are usually offered AFTER the final payment deadline for these sailings, full payment is required at the time of booking. The discounts are also very limited and can book up quickly when word gets out. For that reason, agents are not able to put courtesy holds on these discounted rooms.
If I book under these discounts can I still request a specific room or category? Not under the discount, you have to be willing to be placed where there is availability. Stateroom assignment can happen relatively last-minute (usually around the one month mark). However, you are still able to request a “travel with” if booking more than one stateroom and can also make dining requests as you normally would.
What happens if I don’t like my stateroom? Them’s the breaks. If you’re the sort of person that wants a very specific room, or type of room then this offer is probably not for you. By agreeing to book under this fare, you are letting Disney pick the room for you in order to receive the discount. It’s important to go into this (as the rooms aren’t changeable) with a very flexible and open attitude regarding your accommodation as staterooms within categories can vary greatly. For instance, those in a Verandah category could get a normal verandah, a navigators verandah, an obstructed view verandah or a whitewall verandah. Any of those could be assigned to you under a VGT.
I’ve already booked my cruise, can I change to one of these special rates? Again, because these are last-minute rates, if you see these offered on your sailing, chances are it’s already past the final payment deadline, you’ve paid in full and would now be subject to cancellation fees (loss of deposit etc.). However, I’ve heard of frequent cruisers who have cancelled their existing rates, booked under one of these discounted rates and still saw some savings even after cancellation fees. But, if you’re new to cruising or are going to go this route, I would strongly recommend working with a travel agent who can guide you through the process.
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Why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you get the best discounts for your Disney World vacation package, assist with making dining, Fastpass and Christmas Party reservations and can even help you plan an itinerary filled with extra special Christmas touches. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE! Contact me at 1.800.801.4025 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and let’s get planning!
Images copyright Disney.
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