How To Save Money On A Disney Cruise
Ordinarily, a Disney cruise would fall well outside of my budget. However, with Disney Cruise Line introducing two-, three- and four-night cruises from regional UK ports in summer 2021, this may be a great opportunity for families like mine to experience a Disney cruise for a lower price.
If youre considering a Disney cruise on a budget, read on for some money-saving tips
Destinations And Private Islands
As noted above, our pricing comparison for the ships assumes an Eastern Caribbean itinerary out of Port Canaveral, Florida. While roughly similar, the routings that each of the vessels take are not identical:
- Carnival Breeze stops at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands San Juan, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos.
- Harmony of the Seas also visits San Juan, but substitutes St. Kitts and Royal Caribbeans private island in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, for the other ports.
- Like Carnival Breeze, Disney Fantasy heads to St. Thomas, but combines it with visits to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and Disneys private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.
When it comes to private islands, Royal Caribbeans Perfect Day is the most elaborate by far. The line is just finishing a $200 million overhaul of the getaway that has brought a major waterpark with 13 waterslides, including the tallest one in North America the Caribbeans largest freshwater pool the Caribbeans largest wave pool and a balloon ride that takes you up 450 feet above the island. Theres also an exclusive and expensive private beach club coming in December.
How Can I Save Money
If you are military personnel or one of your family members is serving in the military, you can enjoy some discount on the cruise packages. Take a look at the official Disney Cruise Line to see the current promotions they are holding.
Check for special cruise promotions or onboard credits. Many third-party websites will have a lot of deals that you can sort through.
Disney is just one of the many cruise lines you can book, and in fact, it tends to be one of the priciest. Royal Caribbean and Carnival, for example, can be up to 60 percent less than a Disney cruise going to the same destination.
Consider a combination deal. In some cases, you can book a few days at a Disney resort on land and the cruise at the same time to save a few hundred dollars.
If you qualify, the Disney Visa credit card can offer discounts and even more credits when used on board.
As with any cruise, try to time it right. Usually, when kids are in school, the costs will be a lot less than when they are on vacation. Play around with the quotes online, and if youre flexible, this is a great way to save a great deal of money. WDW Info recommends traveling during the hurricane season however, if you were to do so, just remember the itinerary could change because of the weather.
Book early. The sooner you know you want to take a cruise, the quicker you should take action. Since cruise liners will price their room by tiers, the earlier you book, the lower the costs are known to be.
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Edge Tween Club For Children Aged 1114
When your kid outgrows the fun in the main kid club, dont worry, Edge is waiting just upstairs. Technically, Edge is for kids 11-14, but you can get your 10-year-old in with permission and once they figure that out, its probably all over for the little kid club.
Edge is a much smaller space, but tweens have tons of fun here playing video games, having dance parties, doing crafts, playing trivia games, etc., with their newfound cruise friends.
This club does not utilize parent sign-in and -out, so you need to trust your kid if they are coming to Edge.
Disney Cruise Line Staterooms
Disney Cruise Lines staterooms are some of the largest in the industry. The decor is nautical with a Disney touch.
This will be your home away from home for 3, 4, or 7+ days, so be sure to explore the features of the different categories. You may prefer an inside cabin or one with a verandah. If luxury is your style, then consider the concierge level staterooms for your magical Disney voyage.
When you book your reservation, your room will be set up with the appropriate number of bunk beds or cribs to accommodate your entire party.
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How Much Is A Disney Cruise Ultimate Guide To Disney Cruises
So, how much is a Disney cruise, you ask? Today, were going to discuss that as well as everything else you need to know about Disney cruises. Disney cruises take two things almost everyone loves and mixes them together to create a family-friendly getaway that caters to both adults and children. With a variety of activities for every age group, Disney covered all its entertainment options for its guests. Today, well answer the question how much is a Disney cruise, as well as talk about individual cruise ships, the famous Castaway Cay, and more.
Disney Cruise Lines Summer 2021 Sailings A Look At Opening Day Prices
The recently announced Summer 2021 Disney Cruise Line sailings went on sale today for Platinum Castaway Club members as well as residents of Disneys Golden Oak. The good news, just like with previous releases we have opening day pricing available. The bad news is this information is not available to view online for Gold & Silver Castaway Club Members, and first-time cruisers.
Below, Ive collected the opening day pricing, lowest price per stateroom category, based on 2 adults for all of the Summer 2021 cruises to give you a general idea on where the cruises are priced. I realize this does not take into account onboard booking, or a more detailed quote for your sailing party. For a more detailed look at quotes, I would suggest the opening day pricing thread over at disboards.com.
The idea for this post was simply to get baseline pricing for each cruise and I felt 2 adults provided the baseline for double occupancy to help everyone plan for Gold, Silver, and first-time cruisers booking windows. The pricing is grouped by ship and itinerary for more of an apples to apple comparison.
One last note, the pricing below is representative of a snapshot in time on opening day. As cruises book, prices will increase and stateroom availability will dwindle. The pricing below includes taxes, fees & port expenses for 2 adults.
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Variety Of Dining Options
Enjoy upscale restaurants, buffets, poolside snacks, and 24-hour room service. Guests can dine at three sit-down meals a day plus casual buffets and snacks
Not only is the dining amazing, but its rotational. This means that not only guests brought to each incredible restaurant, but the wait staff will follow from restaurant to restaurant, giving guests the chance to try all of the no-fee dining rooms without any interruptions in service.
Tap water, coffee, tea, milk, juice, and soft drinks are also free of charge throughout the ship.
How Much Does A Family Caribbean Cruise Cost
A family cruise is often one of the most affordable ways for parents to enjoying visiting gorgeous Caribbean islands with their kids. When planning and budgeting for your family’s Caribbean vacation, it’s important to consider the value of what is included in your cruise fare…
- All meals and snacks
- Complimentary, supervised daily child care for kids ages 2-3 years old to 17
- Shipboard activities
- Evening shows & entertainment
- Taxes and port fees
Compare this to the price of a $150 hotel room in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Factor in $50 per adult and $35 per child average daily meal costs and you’re looking at $322 per night without any entertainment costs. .
So now that we have our baseline or starting price, what are some of the other factors that affect the price of what you ultimately pay for your family cruise to the Caribbean…
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Disney Cruise Line Travel Insurance
If you think theres a possibility that your vacation plans may change, you might want to consider travel insurance. Travel insurance costs 8% of each guests base cruise fare and port fees.
- Minimum cost per person: $29
- Maximum cost per person: $399
For more information on the Disney Cruise Line Travel Insurance Policy, . Prices are subject to change without notice.
We recommend that you also compare policies/prices through www.insuremytrip.com.
On The Sea: Quick Meals At Cabana Meet
COVID-19 restrictions, such as social distancing, were in place throughout the cruise. Guests were required to wear face masks when not dining. Social distancing was also in place for character meet-and-greets, something our 4-year old wasnt happy about: he wanted to run to Spider-Man and Thor and hug them.
Once on board, guests could access an itinerary on the Disney Cruise Line app. Our four-year-olds sole focus was to meet as many superheroes as possible. So we went through the app and added all the relevant events to our itinerary.
The cruise fare includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at the restaurants Cabana, Animators Palete, Rapunzels Royal Table, and Lumieres. The cruise boasts of rotational dining a concept that encourages guests to enjoy each of the three themed dining venues while on board.
Our servers Valentin, Mario, and Gian were extremely warm and welcoming, and worked with us to get a perfect three-course meal experience. The restaurants are grand with interactive storytelling experiences. Each has its own theme, with live music and character appearances to enjoy while eating.
Food was a big part of our cruise experience but we also spent a lot of time exploring the ship, meeting our favorite superheroes, taking a dip in the pool, and watching Disney Dreams, a magical theatre performance at Walt Disney Theatre.
I want to go back to the cruise again, said our 4-year-old as we got back in our car to drive back home.
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Are Short Disney Cruises Worth The Cost
Whether seasoned Disney travelers or neophytes, nearly all families take price into consideration when theyre planning trips with The Mouse. For the average family, Disney parks and resorts dont come cheap, and the companys cruises are no exception. Are short Disney cruises worth the price? We embarked on a three-night Bahamas sailing aboard Disney Dream to find out.
Prices Vary But It’s Not Cheap
Just like any cruise line, Disney Cruise prices will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. In general, Disney is far from the least-expensive cruise line out there, so expect to budget appropriately.
Depending on the time of year, stateroom you choose, itinerary and ship you choose, the price can vary widely.
In order to give you a ballpark estimate of prices, here are some rough numbers but keep in mind the price for your vacation will vary.
3-4 Night Cruises are the shortest cruises DCL offers, but the prices are somewhere between $2,500 – $6,000 for 4 people in a stateroom. These short Caribbean and Bahamian sailings are very popular, and prices will bounce around considerably.
A longer 7-night Caribbean cruise will likely come in around $5,000 – $10,000 for a family of four. If you are looking for the best value, these sailings will cost you less per-day than a shorter 3 or 4 nighter.
Alaska cruises are among the most expensive Disney Cruises available, with prices ranging between $6,000 – $18,000. Expect to pay higher if you want a verandah room because of the high demand for these rooms on Alaska sailings.
In addition, DCL sails in Europe, where prices will again vary between $6,000 – $17,000. There are very limited Disney Cruise options in Europe, so price shopping is limited.
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Tips For A Family Of 5 Disney Cruise
At Vacationkids, we’ve always been crusaders of family of 5 vacations – You know, parents who are frustrated trying to find vacation options with their 3 kids.
Of course, if you are looking for a Disney Vacation, the parks offer PLENTY of family of 5 room options at just about every price point. Did you know Disney Cruise Lines offers plenty of family of 5 options too?
There are 4 Disney Cruise Line ships – The Disney Magic, The Disney Wonder, The Disney Dream & The Disney Fantasy. The wonderful thing about Disney Cruise Line is the Disney difference…Disney KNOWS hospitality. Each of these ships offers the perfect blend of activities for guests of all ages. There are supervised, age appropriate Children’s activities from babies of 12 weeks of age up to teens. There adult only spaces and places when Mom & Dad need a little alone time. Best of all there are plenty of fun activities and magical events that will bring the whole family together.
The good news is, ALL of the Disney Cruise Line ships have been built with family of 5 cabins. but surprisingly, these are not always the best best for families of 5.
For example, if you’re looking to sail on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, Disney will offer up their Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Verandah. This room is large enough and outfitted to comfortably sleep a family of 5. You DO get a balcony or a “verandah” with this stateroom along with 1 bathroom.
Written by Sally Black
Book In The Off Season
If your travel plans are fairly flexible, you can save a lot of money by booking during the off season. Typically, you can expect cruises to cost more when kids are out of school holidays, school breaks, summers, etc.
If you can travel when kids are normally in school, you could nab some huge savings. And its often worth it to pull the kids out of school to save money!
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Book While On A Cruise
You can book your next cruise while on a cruise, and this is a great way to save. Disney generally offers a discount on future sailings if you rebook onboard.
And this also ties into booking early youll end up with the discount that comes with booking onboard, as well as the lower prices that come with booking early. Its a win-win.
Although Disney Cruises can be expensive, when you consider everything that comes with the price of a cruise, they can be as affordable than a trip to Disney World. And there are ways to save money, and we hope that this helps you in figuring out your budget for your first or next cruise.
When You Book Your Cruise
In the old days, the cruise lines used to offer plenty of last minute discount deals. What they discovered is that this trained the public to wait to make their reservations which in turn created HUGE financial risks for the cruise lines. Now the cruise lines offer the best deals and incentives early! This means you should plan to deposit your cruise approximately 2 years in advance. Planning ahead pays in many ways. First Vacationkids offers free vacation layaway which can save your family a ton in credit card interest. We can also “babysit” your reservations and apply and last minute deals or perks that you do qualify for to your existing reservation. Of course nobody has a crystal ball when it comes to the future, we can protect your investment with travel insurance.
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Whats Included In A Disney Cruise
When assessing the cost of a Disney cruise, youll also want to know whats included and what isnt included in the price of the cruise. Its important to calculate the total cost that youll expect to spend.
Things included in your Disney Cruise cost include Disney character interactions, shows on the Disney cruise ships, the kids clubs, meals in the main dining rooms, unlimited ice cream, many snacks, most room service, soda, standard coffee, and iced tea.
While many cruise lines do include these items , its important to look at how your family will use these inclusions.
My kids love the kids clubs and the shows, so we usually do that daily. Its completely worth it for us. On the other hand, we dont drink soda, so we dont really care if its included.
What’s Included In Your Disney Cruise
With those prices, you might want to know what you get for that price.
Your cruise fare will include much of what other mainstream cruise lines include, plus a few extras:
- Stateroom cabin
- Food, including most room service
- Non-alcoholic beverages, including soda
- Activities: mini golf, basketball courts, etc
- Castaway Cay private island
- Kids Club
Your cruise fare includes a good amount of value, although there are plenty of extras you should factor into your vacation budget.
While you could theoretically spend nothing more on a cruise, it is very unlikely that will occur.
Here is a look at what is not included in your cruise fare:
- Transportation & accommodations before and after the cruise
- Specialty dining
- Alcoholic drinks & bottled beverages
- Kids club for kids under 3 years old
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Souvenir photos
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How Much Are Gratuities On A Disney Cruise
The suggested gratuities to pay on a Disney cruise are $13.50 per person, per day. In addition, a 15% gratuity will be automatically added to your bill for each drink and an 18% gratuity will be applied to all spa services. You may tip extra if you wish.
On a 7-night Disney cruise, a family of four would be expected to pay $378 in gratuities. These are split between dining room servers and stateroom hosts. Tips for drinks and spa services will be extra and you may also wish to tip for room service and shore excursions.