Itinerary Change and Embarkation Delays for Disney Cruise Ship

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Disney Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard Disney Magic that the ship’s first sailing from New Orleans must be modified.

Not only is one of the planned ports of call being swapped for another destination, but the ship’s embarkation will be delayed approximately three hours, requiring guests to adjust their scheduled arrival times. The early notification, however, can make it easier for passengers to adjust their travel plans.

Disney Magic Port of Call Change

Guests booked on the February 18, 2023 5-night sailing of Disney Magic – the vessel’s first departure from New Orleans, Louisiana – have been notified of a port change as well as embarkation changes for their sailing.

“We have recently modified your sailing’s itinerary to visit Progreso, Mexico, instead of Costa Maya, Mexico,” the email read.

The cruise had been scheduled to visit both Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, but instead the visit to Costa Maya has been swapped for Progreso.

As Progreso is on the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, the ship will need to travel approximately 580 miles (933 kilometers) to reach this first port of call, rather than the 800 miles (1,287 km) that would have been necessary to reach Costa Maya

Disney Magic Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Benson Truong / Shutterstock

Guests who have pre-booked Port Adventures for Costa Maya will automatically have those experiences refunded. Tours for Progreso and Cozumel are already available for booking online, or will be available for guests to reserve onboard Disney Magic through the cruise line’s app.

Embarkation to Be Delayed

This port of call change is likely related to another alteration to the ship’s sailing, a change in embarkation time. Previously, guests would have begun boarding the ship at approximately noon on February 18, but now passengers have been advised that embarkation will not begin until approximately 3 p.m., as the ship is not scheduled to arrive at the Port of New Orleans until 2 p.m.

The ship will be arriving to New Orleans empty of guests, as the previous sailing will conclude in Galveston, Texas the previous morning, Friday, February 17. It will take several hours for guests on that sailing to debark and for the ship to take on any necessary supplies, after which the ship will leave Galveston and make its way to New Orleans.

Because of the delayed arrival into New Orleans, guests are asked to arrive at their scheduled Port Arrival time, which will likely be automatically adjusted for the change in embarkation window.

Disney Magic Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: RaksyBH / Shutterstock

Now, because of the delayed arrival, it is less practical for Disney Magic to retain the call to Costa Maya, but Progreso is more easily reached without overtaxing the ship’s engines or running at higher speeds that reduce engine efficiency and require additional fuel.

Disney Magic‘s typical cruising speed is roughly 21 knots (24 miles per hour / 39 kilometers per hour). To travel the additional distance to reach Costa Maya instead of Progreso would take the ship approximately 10-12 hours. While the very first day of the cruise is a day at sea, ships typically reduce speed on those days to lessen wind speeds on deck to permit outdoor activities.

Disney Magic From New Orleans

Disney Magic will remain homeported from New Orleans through mid-April 2023, offering 4-, 5-, and 6-night Western Caribbean sailings. All sailings will visit Cozumel, and depending on the departure date, may also visit Grand Cayman or Progreso. No other sailings are planned to visit Costa Maya while the ship is sailing from New Orleans.

In early May, the ship will sail three cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico before being homeported from Miami for the summer and early fall. In early October, Disney Magic will sail a 14-night repositioning cruise through the Panama Canal from Miami to San Diego, where the ship will remain until early December, when it will return to Galveston.

Disney Magic is Disney Cruise Line’s oldest vessel, having debuted in 1998. Weighing in at 83,969 gross tons, the vessel can welcome 1,750 guests when booked at double occupancy, and as many as 2,713 passengers when all berths are filled. Onboard, 945 international cast members provide the magical Disney service the cruise line is known for.

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