According to the line, those booked on weeklong voyages leaving from Los Angeles on December 9, 16, 23 and 30 next year have a few options.
Change to another seven-night or longer Disney cruise by this Thursday, December 22, 2011, and qualify for onboard credit. Those who transfer from December 9 or 16 cruises will get $250 in onboard credit per cabin. Those who transfer from the December 23 and December 30 cruises -- the more highly coveted Christmas and New Year's sailings -- will receive $500 in onboard credit per cabin. (Note: If transferring, passengers would pay or be refunded the difference according to prevailing rates.)
Call and cancel the cruise for a full refund.
If passengers do not call to make the switch or cancel, they will be automatically moved to the December 2 Mexican Riviera cruise, a seven-nighter. They will still have the option to move to another date; however, they may not qualify for the onboard credit offer.
The line is mum on the reasons behind the cancellations. "We look forward to making an announcement regarding these sail dates when the time is right for us to do so," said Disney spokeswoman Rebecca Peddie.
Still, that hasn't stopped Cruise Critic readers from speculating on the message boards. Readers began posting on Monday after receiving letters about the canceled cruises from the line. Member vivapataca thinks a Panama Canal crossing could fit into the new gap. "Perhaps the Wonder is replacing the [sister ship Disney Magic in the Caribbean] while [Magic] is updated for a more friendly 'Hawaiian' experience," posted Diane&Duffy. Disney has a new resort, Aulani, in Kapolei, Hawaii.
Stewart Chiron, an industry expert known as the Cruise Guy, also weighed in. "It's obvious Disney is planning to begin its 2013 deployment of Disney Wonder earlier than expected," said Chiron in an e-mail. He added that, given the recent low demand for Mexico cruises, he "wouldn't be surprised" if Wonder ended up on a higher priced Caribbean itinerary when all is said and done.
Regardless of Disney's reason for the cancellation, the move is another blow to a beleaguered region that's seen numerous lines pull out over drug-related safety and security concerns. (Holland America is the latest.)
Wonder's other 2012 Mexican Riviera sailings, from January 8 to April 22 and October 28 to December 2, remain on the schedule. Stay tuned for the ship's future deployment.
--by Dan Askin, News Editor