Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 in Review

2020 has been a weird year.  The COVID-19 pandemic caused Disney and pretty much every other cruise line to cancel all of their cruises since March.  In normal years, severe weather like a hurricane is the only reason to cancel a cruise, so that first announcement of cancelations was a huge surprise for me.  So much happened this year, and to me, it felt like it went by really fast.  To end the year, I'm going to go over everything I posted about this year.

In January, I woke up from my four month blogging hibernation.  In 2019, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to contribute to the 2020 edition of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, and my first post of the year announced that I was featured in that book.

My second post of January was an announcement of my upcoming cruise on the Fantasy.  After that post, I went on the Fantasy and I had an amazing trip.

After that cruise, at the beginning of February, I wrote about the maritime signal flags on the Fantasy, on Castaway Cay, and one in Cozumel.  I really enjoyed hunting for them and seeing their hidden messages.  In that post,  I said that I missed a few flags on Castaway Cay, and I said I'd get them next time.  Little did I know that there wouldn't be a next time, at least not next January.  My family still hasn't decided what cruise to use our 125% credit on.

After that post, I wrote about my time on the Fantasy the previous month.  It was a great cruise, even though we could only stop at half of our planned destinations.  The extra time on the ship gave me time to take over a thousand photos, and going through all of them took a while.  In the future, I probably won't be doing any massive posts about cruises.  Instead, I'll break them up into sections that are more manageable.

Later in February, I wrote about my experiment with the Midship Detective Agency.  In that post, I tested my Midship Detective Agency badge from an unfinished game on the Dream to see if my game progress was saved.  I also closely examined the Midship Detective Agency Headquarters and found some cool details.

After that, I wrote about Quacks, the confusing poolside store.  It's not on the Dream or Fantasy anymore, and it might have been removed from the Magic and Wonder in their minor dry dock renovations in France earlier this year.

I also wrote about the Vista Gallery on the Fantasy.  It was moved from Deck 4 to Deck 2 to make room for the new Tiffany & Co. store.  The new location isn't bad, it just doesn't feel as special.  As I said in that post, "it's more of a Vista Hallway now."

My first post of March was about Star Wars Day at Sea 2020, the day when I went to a show that explained the basics of Star Wars two times.  It wasn't a waste of my time, no way.

On March 14th, Disney canceled all of their cruises through the month of March.  At the time, I didn't think the suspension would be extended very far past March, maybe until the end of April at the most.  Now I'm thinking the suspension will go until the end of April 2021.  Later that day, Disney extended the suspension!

My next post after that was about White Caps, a store that used to sell essential vacation items like sunscreen, but now sells expensive goods like jewelry.  Well, it sold expensive goods before March.  Since March, business at White Caps has been pretty slow.

Later in March, we learned that the Wish's construction had started!  Not everything that happened in March was bad.

My penultimate post of March was about the Wonder and its Alaskan cruises in the summer of this year.  It turns out that I had nothing to worry about, since there were no cruises in the summer.

My final post of March was the announcement that all Disney cruises were canceled until April 28th.  Cruises on the Wonder were canceled until the beginning of July.

April started with some unfortunate news, some of the crew on the Wonder got COVID-19.  That was probably a result of the Wonder's most recent cruise, a 14-night Westbound Panama Canal cruise.

The next suspension extension canceled cruises until May 17th.  This is when I started to realize that the world wouldn't just go back to normal quickly, and I knew even more cruises would get canceled.

The following group of cancelations was only for the Magic, canceling cruises on the Magic until June 7th.

My next post was a bunch of random facts I've learned about Disney Cruise Line throughout the years.  Do you know who the room 5148 1/2 belongs to?  Which ship has a piano bar that's made to look like an actual piano?

After that, I wrote about something I wanted on the Wish, a more reliable DCL Navigator App.  Maybe during the suspension, Disney has improved the Wi-Fi connection on their ships so it reaches everywhere on the ship, not just some places.  If not, I just hope they make it work better on the Wish.

April ended with a really long cancelation announcement.  All cruises on the Dream and Fantasy were canceled until June 18th and all cruises on the Magic were canceled until July 2nd.  Cruises on the Wonder were still canceled until July because of the Canadian government's restrictions.

I started off May writing about the Wish again.  This time, I wanted it to have an improved pool deck.  In this post, I said that I preferred the way that the Dream and Fantasy have the poolside quick service restaurants laid out compared to the Magic and Wonder, but after writing a later post, I changed my mind about this.

On May 6th, the Magic, Dream, and Fantasy were together in Port Canaveral.  If you thought this was cool, wait until you see them in France!

In my next post, I tried to figure out why the Magic was heading to Europe.  The Magic was the first of the ships to go to Europe during the suspension, and eventually the other three ships went to Europe as well.

The next suspension extension canceled cruises until July 27th.  This announcement meant that most of the summer cruises were canceled.

After that, I learned that Disney removes their cruises from their website before making a cancelation announcement.  I found out that the Magic wouldn't be doing any European cruises and the Wonder wouldn't be doing any Alaskan cruises in 2020 before there was an official announcement.

Later in May, I found some cool 360° photos of various areas around the DCL ships.  Some of the photos even let you move around a limited area, which was nice.

At the end of May, I put my favorite DCL photos together into one post.  My favorite was the one of the person walking through the AquaDuck at 7:26 in the morning.

June started with the cancelation of all cruises on the Wonder until September 14th.  I had already known this was going to happen, since the cruises were previously removed from DCL's website.

I noticed that while the Dream and Fantasy were docked in Port Canaveral, neither of them were docked at the DCL terminal.  This was probably because the renovations to the terminal had started.

Soon after that, Disney finally made the official announcement canceling cruises on the Magic until October 2nd.  It's funny, I didn't think these cancelations would be extended.

The next thing I wished for on the Wish was a larger variety of cruises in the Bahamas.  I'm sure Lighthouse Point will add some variety to the Bahamian cruises, when it is completed and ready for guests in 2022 or 2023.

On June 19th, Disney canceled all cruises on the Dream and Fantasy until September 15th.  This announcement didn't affect the Magic or Wonder, since cruises on those ships were canceled until October 2nd and September 14th, respectively.

Later in June, I looked really closely at a drawing of Lighthouse Point and thought about what it will be like.  I think Disney will announce more about Lighthouse Point in 2021 along with more Wish information.  Maybe we'll get a land plan, like a deck plan but for an island.  Wait, no, that's just a map.

I finished June detailing Disney's Cruise Date Flexibility Policy.  This policy is really consumer-friendly, and as the name suggests, flexible.  It lets people book a cruise and reschedule it up to fifteen days before that cruise with no penalties or fees.

My first post of July was a tutorial on how to leave a comment.  Nothing has changed about the commenting process, so it's still useful today.

After that, I took a look at the reopening practices and restrictions at Disney World and applied those to the DCL ships.  I'd prefer if there weren't any restrictions when cruises resume, but I know there will be some in an effort to make sure everyone stays safe.

Disney did another one of those remove-the-cruises-from-the-website-before-there-is-an-official-announcement things in July, this time with the remaining cruises in September.  Wouldn't it make more sense if they removed the cruises at the same time as they made the announcement?  It would be less confusing.

Next, I took a look at some of the potential restrictions on the dining options on the DCL ships.  One of my favorite activities to do on a cruise is to get an ice cream cone from Eye Scream before going down to my room or to dinner and eating it in the elevator.  It doesn't ruin my appetite.  Anyway, there will probably be designated eating areas on the ships when cruises resume, so I wouldn't be able to have an elevator snack.

On July 20th, Disney made the official announcement that all cruises on the Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy are canceled until the end of September.  The Magic wasn't affected by this, since Magic cruises were canceled until October 2nd in an earlier announcement.

At the end of July, Disney announced cruise itineraries for fall 2021, and I took a look through them.  When I first looked at these, I didn't think I would be going on any of them, but my family is looking through them and trying to decide on one, since our cruise in January 2021 got canceled.

During the first weekend of August, I watched Tangled:  The Musical at home with my family.  Disney posted it to the Disney Parks YouTube Channel to allow anyone with an internet connection to watch it.  It wasn't as good as it would've been if I was in the Walt Disney Theatre, but it was great, given the circumstances.

On August 6th, Disney canceled all cruises until Halloween.  I wasn't too scared by this announcement, I had a feeling that cruises weren't going to resume by October.

In my next post, I considered the potential restrictions that may be in place at the youth clubs when cruises resume.  There's so much to take into account when planning the reopening process, and I'm glad I'm not in charge of making the plan.

Later in August, my family and I went to a beach in North Carolina.  At our rental house, there were maritime signal flags on the wall of one of the bathrooms.  Of course, I figured out what they said.

My next post was about a video of someone riding the AquaDuck on the Disney Parks YouTube Channel.  Disney tried to make me think it was a video of the Fantasy's AquaDuck, but it was actually the Dream's.

Writing my next post, about the different classes of poolside quick service restaurants, made me realize that I prefer the poolside restaurants on the Magic and the Wonder over those on the Dream and the Fantasy.

At the beginning of September, the Wish was still scheduled to begin cruising at the start of 2022.  That was good news, since I was worried that it had been delayed due to COVID-19.

After making the post about the poolside restaurants in August, I decided to design my own version of the Wish's pool deck, complete with a deck plan.  I doubt my version is completely accurate to what the Wish's pool deck will look like, but I hope I'm right about some things.

Later that month, Disney delayed the Wish.  It was scheduled to start cruises in January 2022, but this announcement didn't give a definitive time of when it will be rescheduled.  

After that, I attempted to solve the mystery of why Disney unlisted the video announcement of the Wish's name.  We still don't know why it was unlisted...

On September 15th, Disney canceled cruises until December 6th at the earliest.  The four ships were scheduled to resume cruises at various times in December, but that didn't happen.

My next post was about Wave Phones, everyone's favorite outdated technology on the Disney ships.  I'm predicting that they'll be replaced by an upgraded DCL Navigator App when the Wish starts cruising.

The post after that was special, it was my 100th post!  To celebrate the occasion, I wrote about the updated cruise payment and cancelation policy.  Like the Cruise Date Flexibility Policy, this is more relaxed than the normal DCL policy as a result of the strange year 2020 has been.

At the end of September, I found a petition that was intended to stop Disney from building on Lighthouse Point.  At the time of writing, it had around 319,000 signatures, but now, it has around 440,000 signatures.  As I said in the post, I don't think this petition will work, since Disney already has everything planned out at Lighthouse Point.

I started October thinking about what Disney will name the sixth and seventh ships.  I hope the Disney Seagull never happens.

October was when I started to think that my cruise in January 2021 was going to get canceled, and having almost no activities listed on the DCL Navigator App made this seem even more likely.

On October 14th, all four of the Disney ships were together for the first time!  This may never happen again, and it's a shame Disney didn't do anything to mark the occasion.

The next day, Disney announced that the Wish will start cruises in summer 2022.  This could mean as early as June or as late as September.

Next, I looked through the early 2022 DCL itineraries.  I was hoping this announcement would include the Wish, but since it got delayed, it doesn't.  Still, there are some pretty cool itineraries.

It was unfortunate Disney didn't do anything with the four ships together in France, but that doesn't mean other people didn't do anything special!

I started November questioning why part of the Dream was gray.  We also got to see another video of the four ships together in France, which was great.

I watched a video updating the Wish's construction, but I went overboard with speculating.  If you go back and read that post, be sure to read what me from the future said about me from the past.

Later in November, I found an old Arr-Cade card.  It's pretty much useless now, but it's a relic from DCL's ancient past (any time before 2017).  

In November, Disney delayed the sixth and seventh ships.  The sixth ship will now start cruising in 2024, and the seventh will start cruising in 2025.  In 2025, the Magic will be 27 years old.  I'm guessing it'll still look new.

After that, I wrote about the Dream's Disney Infinity room and how it will be replaced in the future.  It might have gotten replaced already, we just don't know.

Disney's next announcement canceled cruises until the end of January 2021.  This announcement meant that the cruise that my family and I were planning to go on was canceled.  We weren't too sad about it, since we knew it would either get canceled or be heavily restricted.

At the end of November, the Wonder came back to the US, and the others followed it.  The Magic is the only DCL ship still in Europe.

After that exciting update, I looked around the DCL website and found a hint that might mean the Wish's deck plans are coming soon.  

Next, Disney canceled cruises until the end of February 2021.  This is the latest general cancelation announcement, but I'm thinking it will be extended.

A few days later, I realized my mistake when I went overboard with speculating.  The big ship section I saw wasn't part of the Wish, it was actually the AIDAcosma.

The latest minor cancelation announcement came earlier this month.  Disney canceled three cruises that were longer than seven nights to comply with the CDC's Conditional Sail Order.  The Magic is still doing some cruises longer than seven nights in Europe in 2021, but this is fine, since the United States' CDC can't control what happens in Europe.

My biggest post of December was about the Disney Dream in Disney Infinity.  In this post, I explored all of the Disney Cruise Line content in the Disney Infinity game, unlocked with an Oceaneer Band.

After that, I looked through the updated Disney Cruise Line website.  Disney made some changes that are really helpful and convenient.  They also made their website prettier.

To celebrate Christmas, I got the entire Disney Cruise Line fleet together on my family's Christmas tree.  It wasn't quite as impressive as the real thing, but they looked great together.

To go along with that announcement, a website for the Wish was launched.  It doesn't reveal anything new, but it will be where new Wish information is first announced!

My last post of the year is this one, and you're already on it, so I won't link it.  I'm surprised that I managed to write 80 posts this year.  There was a lot of Disney Cruise Line news this year, and I'm expecting 2021 to have just as much or even more news than this year.  In 2021 we'll be able to say that there's a new DCL ship coming next year!

2020 was a great year for my blog and I, and I'm thinking 2021 is going to be even better!  I hope you have a fantastic 2021, and as my teachers said, "See you next year!"

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