How To Save Money On Your Disney Cruise Line Vacation

in Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise

Credit: Inside the Magic

The Disney Cruise Line is known to be one of the top cruise lines in the world. Your Disney Cruise Line vacation will take place on one of the fleet’s four renowned ships — the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, The Disney Dream, or the Disney Fantasy.

Furthermore, in 2022, the latest addition to the DCL fleet, the Disney Wish, is slated for its maiden voyage. Don’t miss the teaser video below!

Disney fans and cruise enthusiasts around the globe dream of experiencing the ultimate Disney cruise vacation, with the magic of Disney, enchanting pools, world-class entertainment, upscale dining, port adventures, and relaxation all in one place!

For some, this dream becomes a reality and once they experience it, these Guests are often Disney Cruise line fans for life — they decide is the only way to vacation! For others, the idea of boarding a Disney ship is still just a dream.

Disney Cruise Line trips come at a price and fans who are considering vacationing with DCL often find themselves asking, “How do you get a good deal on a Disney Cruise?” and “Does Disney Cruise Line offer discounts?”

There are ways to find out all these questions and more if you put in a lot of time and research into it. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and are sprinkling a bit of Disney magic onto your vacation planning process by breaking down everything you need to know regarding how you can save money on a cruise — and if a Disney Cruise Line trip is really worth every penny.

disney cruise line deck and stack
Credit: Disney

What’s Included In The Cost Of A Disney Cruise?

The value of a Disney Cruise is exceptional. From the moment that you step into a Disney Cruise Line ship, you are immediately immersed in everything you and your family could dream of! If you choose to work with a travel agent for your vacation needs, you will find that one of the many services your agent offers is a breakdown of everything that is included in the initial price of your Disney Cruise Line booking.

Here, we’ve broken down each amenity to clarify exactly what you can expect when boarding your cruise ship.

disney cruise line staterooms
Credit: Disney

Spacious Staterooms

The Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and Disney Wonder feature 10 different room types that are organized into four categories and priced so that Guests can find an option that works with their personal budgetary needs.

Concierge

  • Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah, Concierge 1-Bedroom Suite with Verandah, Concierge Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

Verandah

  • Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah, Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Navigator’s Verandah

Oceanview

  • Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom and Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom

Inside

  • Deluxe Inside Stateroom and Standard Inside Stateroom

Amenities include split bathrooms to allow Guests to get ready at the same time (in most staterooms), Disney’s H20 bath and shower toiletries, a hairdryer, storage space including a spacious area under the bed for putting away your luggage, television and free in-room movies, a refrigerator, and a committed housekeeping team that visits twice a day (turndown service is available). Your stateroom also includes all applicable taxes and port fees.

Disney Dream Ship Stateroom
Credit: Disney

Dining

Disney Cruise Line offers an exceptional dining experience for Guests on every ship in the fleet. The cruise operator is committed to delivering incredible culinary experiences in the most upscale restaurants, quick-service dining establishments, snacks stands, and in-room service options.

remy dining
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included with the cost of your Disney Cruise Line vacation, though it is important to note that alcoholic beverages and certain restaurants, such as Remy and Palo, are an additional fee.

However, soft drinks such as soda, coffee, and tea are free in restaurants and conveniently located onboard beverage stations. For children — and the child in you — all you care to eat soft-serve ice cream is the perfect treat any time of day.

The official Disney Cruise Line website offers details about rotational dining:

Each night of your cruise, you and your personal wait staff will “rotate” to one of the 3 distinctly themed restaurants onboard the ship, ensuring you enjoy a delicious meal catered to your liking in a unique setting nightly. There are 2 dinner seatings each night of your cruise. Although specific times vary based on itinerary, dinner is served at approximately 5:45 PM (Main Seating) and 8:15 PM (Second Seating). Once on board the ship, check the dining tickets that can be found in your stateroom for assigned seating time, restaurant schedule, and table number. Please note that you are invited to select a seating time, depending on availability, when you book your cruise.

rapunzel character dining disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

With a total of 25 different dining options to choose from, it is best to review each cruise ship if themed dining in a specific restaurant is important to you. Many enjoy Rapunzel’s Royal Table and Lumiere’s located on the Disney Magic Cruise Line or Tiana’s Place and Triton’s on the Disney Wonder. Below is a list of restaurants and services you can expect on each Disney Cruise.

Disney Magic

  • Rapunzel’s Royal Table ( Character Experiences, Dinner)
  • Royal Court Royal Tea (Character Experiences, Dining, recommend for children age 3 to 12, specially priced experience)
  • Lumiere’s (Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch)
  • Preludes (Snack Bar)
  • Duck-In Diner (Quick Service dining)
  • Animators Palate (Dinner, Character Experiences)
  • Palo (Reservations only, Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)
  • Frozone Treats (Snacks)
  • Eye Scream Treats (Snacks)
  • Pinocchio’s Pizza (Snacks, Lunch)
  • Cabanas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Room Service (Late Night Meals, Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner)

Disney Wonder

  • Tiana’s Place (Character Experience, Dinner)
  • Triton’s (Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch)
  • Pete’s Boiler Bites (Lunch, Dinner, Snacks)
  • Daisy Delights (Snacks)
  • Royal Court Royal Tea (Character Experiences, Dining, recommend for children age 3 to 12, specially priced experience)
  • Animators Palate (Dinner, Character Experiences)
  • Preludes (Snack Bar)
  • Eye Scream Treats (Snacks)
  • Pinocchio’s Pizza (Snacks, Lunch)
  • Cabanas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Room Service (Late Night Meals, Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Palo (Reservations only, Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)

Disney Dream

  • Royal Palace (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats Shop (Dining Shop, Additional fees apply)
  • Flo’s Cafe (Snacks)
  • Enchanted Garden (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Senses Juice Bar (Additional fees apply)
  • Remy (Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)
  • Animators Palate (Dinner, Character Experiences)
  • Cabanas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Room Service (Late Night Meals, Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Royal Court Royal Tea (Character Experiences, Dining, recommend for children age 3 to 12, specially priced experience)
  • Palo (Reservations only, Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)
  • Frozone Treats (Snacks)
  • Eye Scream Treats (Snacks)
  • Preludes (Snack Bar)

Disney Fantasy

  • Palo Be Our Chef (Dining, Additional fees apply)
  • Sweet On You (Dining Shop)
  • Royal Court Royal Tea (Character Experiences, Dining, recommend for children age 3 to 12, specially priced experience)
  • Palo (Reservations only, Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)
  • Animators Palate (Dinner, Character Experiences)
  • Room Service (Late Night Meals, Breakfast, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Royal Court (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Cabanas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Remy (Additional fees apply, Brunch, Dinner)
  • Flo’s Cafe (Snacks)
  • Eye Scream Treats (Snacks)
  • Frozone Treats (Snacks)
  • Enchanted Garden (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Senses Juice Bar (Additional fees apply)
  • Preludes (Snack Bar)
Credit: Disney

Pools, Waterslides, and Recreation

Experiencing wild water rides on an actual cruise is a wild idea, but Disney Cruise Line has made it a reality. The company does it best with its freshwater pools, waterslides that reach the edge of the Disney Cruise ship, and onboard recreational centers. The Disney Cruise Line offers enormous wide screens right on deck and provides a relaxing sit back or swim while watching classic Disney films that we all know and love. These are just a few examples of what you’ll see when boarding a Disney Cruise Line vacation on select Disney Cruises.

aquaduck water slide disney cruise line
Credit: Disney
  • Mickey’s Pool or AquaLab, where kids can pretend to set sail and splash away at Goofy’s Pool or Donald’s Pool.
  • Quiet Cove Pool, for Guests 18 years of age and older in search of a more relaxed swimming vibe
  • Wild water coasters—AquaDuck or AquaDunk— for thrill-seekers in your family or group.
  • Safe water play areas and splash pads for young ones 3 years of age and under.
  • Satellite Falls, a relaxing adults-only splash pool with a cascading rain waterfall on the Disney Fantasy
  • A fully-equipped fitness center, including weight machines, cardio equipment, and many exercise classes to choose from.
Disney Cruise Line
Credit: Disney
cruise
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Entertainment

Your Disney Cruise Line vacation includes incredible musicals, amazing fireworks shows, and watching Disney movies on an enormous screen while sailing across the ocean.

Live shows and entertainment every night of your cruise

When you’re feeling for some entertainment just outside your room, the Disney Cruise Line holds award-winning live productions. Some of these mesmerizing shows include Disney’s Aladdin- A Musical Spectacular, Tangled: The Musical, Disney’s Believe, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular.

beauty and the beast disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

Check the official Disney Cruise Line website for the latest details about which stage productions are available on each ship in the DCL fleet.

Kids clubs for every age with specially trained cast members

Disney Cruise Line is the perfect family getaway, and nothing screams “FUN” more to a child than their own personal club! Children age 6 months through 17 years will be able to play in amazing clubs inspired by Disney storytelling. Disney has provided trained counselors and children can join in on all the fun with character greetings, games, arts, crafts, and exclusive themed parties.
Inspired by the Disney attraction, the “it’s a small world” nursery is an adorable daycare center that provides a magical and soothing space for little ones under 3 years of age.
disney cruise line oceaneer club
Credit: Disney

The Oceaneer Youth Club is every kid’s dream! Children age 3 to 12 can explore the wonders and magic of these clubs with various themes — MARVEL Super Hero Academy, Andy’s Room (hang out with your favorite Toy Story friends), Disney’s Infinity Game Room, Pixie Hollow (play dress-up in a forest filled with your favorite pixies, including Tinker Bell), and Star Wars: Millennium Falcon (where children can pretend to be Han Solo, flying the Falcon in a galaxy far, far away).

Children will be able to interact with their favorite Disney characters, read, and enjoy movies. Be sure to pre-register your child for Disney’s Oceaneer Lab when planning your Disney Cruise Line vacation — or you can register once onboard your ship.

edge club disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

Edge, a club for the older crowd, is geared for tweens, age 11 to 14 years old. These kids have a cool place to hang where they can enjoy movies and shows on their own private flatscreen TVs, engage in their favorite computer and video games, and have their own special place to meet other friends and engage in fun activities for their specific age.

Adults-only nightclubs and lounges

Disney Cruise Line trips are not just for children! When your kids are enjoying hours of play in the Oceaneer Lab or Edge, be sure to relax and unwind in a space designed just for you! If you’re planning an adult-only date night, the Disney Cruise Line fleet offers numerous nightclubs and lounges to choose from including Crown and Fin Pub, Cove Cafe, and The Tube. Check the 24 options you can choose from right here on the official Disney Cruise Line website.

the cove disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

Again, as with onboard restaurants and entertainment, bar and lounge experiences differ from ship to ship.

Variety shows, trivia, and karaoke

Fathoms is lounge and a nightclub where adult Guest to drink cocktails and dance the night away. During the day, enjoy participating in a gameshow-style trivia match, show off your vocal skills in karaoke, or watch a comedy show that is good clean fun for adults, kids, preschoolers, teens, tweens alike.

D Lounge allows families to join in the fun at this one-of-a-kind family club and lounge. Parents and kids can enjoy singing, dancing, family games, and live entertainment all in one area.

d lounge disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

Disney Characters meet and greet throughout the ship

The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy start the party right with a Sail Away Celebration This grand deck party is celebrated with all your classic Disney friends including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and more as they dance and sing and prepare you for the vacation of your dreams. And what’s more magical than hearing the sounds of Pinocchio’s classic song “When You Wish Upon a Star” from the ship’s blow horn!

cruise
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Mickey’s Sail-a-Wave Deck Party on the Disney Wish and Disney Magic also surprises Guests with all their favorite Disney friends as confetti and streamers shoot off in the air to begin a celebration that will be remembered forever. You can find many more exclusive character meet-and-greets seasonal parties and special offerings including Marvel Day at Sea, Star Wars Day at Sea, Halloween on the High Seas, Very Merrytime holiday cruises, the Frozen Deck Party, and more.

Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay

Disney Cruise Line includes a port of call on many Bahamian and Caribbean select sailings, Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and reserved for Disney Cruise Line Guests only. It includes:

  • A barbecue lunch
  • Coffee, tea, and soda
  • All-you-care-to-eat ice cream
  • Beaches, (family beach, and adult-only beach)
  • Beach chairs and umbrellas
  • Beach towels
  • Entertainment
  • Clubs for kids and teens
  • Hiking trails, 5k trail for walking and running
  • Beach sports
  • Yoga
  • A splash zone
  • Pelican Plunge waterslide
  • Tram transportation

 

castaway cay
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

Ways to save money when booking a Disney cruise

There are several ways to save money while booking a Disney Cruise Line vacation. Here, we hit the high points.

How is onboard credit applied on Disney cruises?

Onboard credit — also known as shipboard credit — comes standard with many Disney Cruise Line trips. However, it is not always included and is sometimes added as a special offer.

Speak to an authorized Disney vacation planner or Disney travel agent if you have questions about all things Disney — including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and more.

disney cruise line shopping
Credit: Disney

Onboard credit can be applied to purchases on the ship which would be added to your stateroom expenses. For example:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Port Adventures booked through Disney Cruise Line
  • spa and salons
  • Adult dining
  • Gift shop purchases
  • Photo purchases
  • Laundry
  • Nursery (no extra charge for kids under 3)
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  • Certain room service items, ice cream shops on the Dream and Fantasy, coffee shop, smoothies, and treats
disney cruise line
Credit: Disney

Does Disney Cruise Offer Discounts and Deals?

How do you get a good deal on a Disney cruise? Always check the Disney Cruise Line website! From time to time, you can find 25% off on select Bahamian cruises.  Right now, Florida residents can save up to 35% off select Bahamian cruises. It is important to remember, though, that these discounts are not guaranteed and can change at any time.

If you’re willing to book last minute (21-75 days before your trip) Restricted Guarantee fares are another great way to save. If you don’t mind what stateroom is chosen for you, you can usually save quite a bit of money. Disney does assure Guests that, in most cases, they will be given their desired staterooms — and sometimes even an upgrade!

How do you get a special U.S Military Discount?

Active duty and retired military personnel are able to obtain discounts on their Disney Cruise Line vacations.

cruise
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

According to the official Disney Cruise Line website:

Special Military rates are available to all retired and active U.S. Military personnel (or spouse), including U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, U.S Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Department of Defense personnel. Active and retired members (or spouse) of the U.S. military must provide valid identification at time of check-in. This offer is limited to a maximum of one stateroom per military member (or spouse), per sailing. A U.S. Military service member (or spouse) is required to sail to take advantage of this offer. Activated members (or spouse) of the U.S. National Guard or the U.S. Army Reserve must also show active duty orders (active duty papers must be dated as of January 1st of the previous year to qualify).

Government taxes will vary by itinerary and are in addition to the below rates. Third and fourth Guest prices valid with 2 full-fare Guests in the same stateroom. Rates may vary by sail date and category. Other restrictions may apply. Other categories and sail dates may be available. Valid for new bookings only.

Rates are per person based on double occupancy in the categories noted. Availability is limited to 50 staterooms per category per sailing. Rates are in U.S. dollars and are not combinable with other discounts or offers. Prices exclude government taxes and fees, gratuities, and Port Adventures.

Comparing deals on Disney cruises

On the Disney Cruise Line website, Guests can compare various itineraries, ports of call, stateroom pricing, and more. If you would prefer to work with your travel agent, he or she can provide you with specific Disney Cruise Line vacation details, booking deals, and general Disney cruise tips.

sail away party disney cruise line
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

How do payments work on a Disney Cruise ship?

So, you found the cruise of your dreams and you’re ready to add to your cart! After you’ve chosen your itinerary, you’ll be guided through the booking process where you can choose your stateroom(s). Paying in full is an option or you can put down a desposit (which is usually 20%) to hold your reservation.

You can pay for your cruise package with several currencies — U.S. dollars (USD), British pounds (GBP), or Euros (EUR).

marvel day at sea
Credit: Disney Cruise Line

The Payment Authorization Form under My Online Check-In lets you set up a convenient “Key to the World” account. It’s an easy way to charge expenses to your stateroom!

Once you’ve input your credit card information and listed which Guests are allowed to charge items to your account, you’re all set. You won’t even have to carry a wallet with you if you don’t want to!

10 tips on ways to save money when booking a Disney cruise

We know that when booking any Disney vacation, it’s always good to research ways to save money  before booking. Here are some important tips on how to save lots of money before boarding your Disney Cruise Line vessel.

Disney Dream Kids Star Wars
Credit: Disney Cruise Line
  1. Compare dates to find the best deal.
  2. Check special offers daily.
  3. Start with a two-, three-, or four-day Disney Cruise Line trip.
  4. Use a travel agent to discover the latest discounts and perks.
  5. Choose inside staterooms to save money.
  6. Book early (12 to 18 months in advance).
  7. Skip alcoholic beverages.
  8. Plan insurance before your cruise. It could save you a lot of money and trouble in case of emergency.
  9. Book a future cruise while on your current cruise to get a discount.
  10. Purchase Disney gift cards at your local grocery store every time you shop. By doing so, you can either call Disney Cruise Line to apply your gift card amount to your upcoming cruise balance or wait to use them while onboard for any extras you decide to purchase.
Disney Wonder Pool
On the Disney Magic, the most daring guests can take an evening plunge down the AquaDunk. Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line, photo by Kent Phillips

What is not included in the cruise price when you book a cruise on Disney?

If a Disney Cruise Line trip sounds like your next vacation, keep in mind there are a few optional services and activities that do require an additional charge, including port excursions, spa and salon services, babysitting in the ship’s nursery, photography service, phone calls, video games, alcoholic beverages, and adults-only dining venues, Palo (aboard all ships) and Remy (aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy).

Image copyright Disney

How much does a Disney vacation cost?

The best way to check is on the official Disney Cruise website. There are currently over 300 cruises available, starting at $1,400 USD for two Guests. There are also easy filters to personalize your cruise according to your budget. Some of these filters are:

  • Themed or holiday cruise
  • How many nights
  • Which ship you wish to sail on
  • Which port you wish you to leave from
Magic at Sea Sweepstakes
Credit: Disney

The Disney Cruise Line is the perfect combination of adventure, relaxation, and Disney magic all in one place. With all the amenities and activities, this cruise will accommodate adults, teens, kids, and families.

Destinations including the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, Bermuda, Canada, Hawaii, and more will immerse you in cultures and adventures you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re planning on visiting any of these places, we advise you to speak with a Cruise specialist soon.

With all of these ways to save on a Disney Cruise Line trip, we hope you can experience one in the near future and share your experience with us!

Disney Cruise Line rating
Credit: Disney

Please bear in mind that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that Disney Cruise Line is currently not sailing. Stay tuned to Inside the Magic for the latest Disney Cruise Line news and remember that certain experiences may be limited or unavailable when itineraries are once again available.

Guest and Cast Member health and safety is of the utmost importance to The Walt Disney Company.

Have you been on a Disney Cruise yet, Let us know in the comments below your best Disney Cruise experience! 

Do you need help planning your Disney Cruise! Our friends at Academy Travel is EarMarked Diamond! Click here for more information. 

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