Tips for Making a Disney Cruise More Affordable!

Tips for Making a Disney Cruise More Affordable!

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ve probably started looking into prices for a Disney cruise already. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor after seeing some of those prices! While it is true that a Disney Cruise can be quite expensive, more so than many other cruise lines, the old saying it true here, “You get what you pay for”.

In my opinion (and the opinion of many other Disney fans out there), Disney is a class above when it comes to service and family entertainment! You may be paying more, but you are getting more included for that price along with high-quality service. But don’t be discouraged about that price tag, because there are a few tips that will help to make that cost a little bit more manageable.

Tip #1: Book using a travel agent that specializes in Disney.

Travel agents might not be able to get you a lower price than if you booked directly (no one is allowed to give a discount on Disney Cruises), but they can offer cash back in the form of an On Board Credit. Essentially what this means is that the travel agent is using a portion of their commission and giving it back to you as a shipboard credit. You can use this credit once you board the ship for many things including using it to pay for gratuities, purchases on board, excursions, etc. So while an On Board Credit may not lower the actual cruise price, it will lower the amount you are paying out of pocket for onboard expenses.

A good travel agent will also check for any current promotions that Disney might be offering to make sure you are getting the best price available. They will also keep an eye on any promotions that become available after you book, to see if it can be applied to your booking.

*I would be happy to get you a free no-obligation quote for your next Disney Cruise. And yes, I do offer On Board Credits to all of my Disney Cruise clients! Please visit me at

Tip #2: Re-book while still onboard

This tip will only apply for your 2nd or later cruises with Disney. When you book another Disney cruise while still onboard your current cruise, Disney offers a discount and usually an onboard credit too! You can also pair this with tip #1 by letting the booking agent onboard the ship know that you are working with a travel agent and let the know the name of your agent and what company they are with while making your next booking. So while this won’t bring down the cost of your 1st cruise, it will certainly help lower the cost of your next cruise afterwards.

Tip #3: Choose a cheaper itinerary

There are some itineraries that are always going to be more expensive. One of those is Alaska, because it is a seasonal itinerary there is more demand than supply, thus a higher price tag. Instead stick to more common itineraries such as the Bahamas or the Caribbean. Mexican Riviera itineraries can be fairly reasonable as well. You can also reduce your costs by choosing a shorter itinerary. A 3 or 4 night cruise is still just as much fun as a 7 night cruise.

Along a similar thought is WHEN you choose your itinerary. You can usually find reduced pricing on September/October cruises as well as mid January and early February cruises. If your looking to save some money, I would recommend avoiding sailings in the summer months, during Spring Break and any of the holiday time cruises.

Tip #4: Choose an older ship

Disney’s has two classic ships, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Magic which are both awesome ships with some nice upgrades. But, because they are older than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy they are also usually cheaper. Now there are some exceptions, for instance the Disney Wonder sails the Alaskan itineraries, which as we know from the previous tip, is going to be more expensive.

Tip #5: Choose a more affordable stateroom category

Sure, a balcony stateroom is nice to have, but it certainly isn’t necessary. You are on a ship after all, there are open decks all over the place to get a good view from. Many cruisers don’t spend a whole lot of time in the cabins anyways, so the lack of a balcony, or even a porthole won’t ruin your vacation. In many cases choosing an inside stateroom will save you thousands over the cost of an outside (porthole) or balcony stateroom!

Another tip that kind of falls in line with this one is that sometimes Disney will discount some staterooms at the last minute (a month or two before the sail date) in order to fill the ship. These give you a great rate for a certain stateroom category (inside, porthole, balcony), but with some restrictions. These restrictions are usually that the booking is non-refundable, must be paid in full and you cannot choose the stateroom you want. Disney chooses the stateroom and only guarantees that it will be in the specific category you booked (or sometimes a higher category). If your flexible and are able to book without much notice, this can be a great cost saver!

Tip #6: Plan to avoid things that carry an additional charge

There are many “extras” you can add to your cruise such as excursions, upscale dining options, alcoholic beverages and more that carry an additional charge. If you plan to avoid these “extras” you’ll be able to keep your budget down. There are many free things to do in the ports of call instead of a costly excursion, or take advantage of a quieter ship and stay on board at a port or two an enjoy the many activities and entertainment already included in your cruise fare.

There are 3 different main dining rooms that you will visit throughout your cruise, along with a great buffet and pool side dining options. No need to add the additional cost of meals at the upscale dining areas that arean’t included in your fare. The service in the main dining rooms is excellent and sure to keep you happy.

These are my top 6 tips for finding the most affordable ways to cruise with Disney. Do you have any of your own tips not on this list that help you to find the best prices for your family? Share them in the comments below!


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Disney Cruise Line – What’s Included, What’s Not?

Disney Cruise Line – What’s Included, What’s Not?

A Disney Cruise is definitely not a cheap vacation, so I’m sure you’re wondering what is included with your fare, and what you’ll need to pay extra for.

While it is true that once you get on board it’s possible not to spend another dime (besides gratuities), there are a few extras that you may want to budget for.

Let’s start by talking about all of the things that ARE included with your cruise fare:

Food & Drinks

All of your meals and snacks in the main dining rooms as well as at the buffet and the quick-service spots up on deck are all included. If your cruise will be making a stop at Castaway Cay, the BBQ buffet lunch there is included too.
Also, many of the items from room service are included. However, there are a few specialty items on the menu (such as pre-packaged food and bottled water) that carry an additional cost, and will be marked as such.
Soft drinks, coffee, tap water, hot/iced tea, milk and juices are unlimited and free at meals. You’ll also find a few drink stations on the pool deck.


Where to begin?! There is so much included entertainment provided on a Disney Cruise it’s hard to know where to start.
There is plenty to keep you busy:
– Broadway-style musical performances almost nightly
– Movie theatre with first-run and 3D movie showings
– Non-stop family activities such as trivia, live musicians and entertainers, poolside movies, animation workshops and more
– Deck parties
– Fireworks at sea

Pools, Sports & Fitness:

Disney ships are full of pools and hot tubs (both family and adult only), splash areas and even waterslides! Depending on which ship you’re on, you will likely have either the Aqua Duck water coaster or the Aqua Dunk water slide too!

There are also plenty of sports to play up on deck too. There is a multi-sports court complete with basketball hoops, foosball tables, shuffleboard and even mini golf on the newer ships!

You’ll even find a fitness center with free weights, cardio machines, and other fitness gear. What better way to stay fit than to run on a treadmill looking out at the open ocean! And once you’re finished, the gym also has changing rooms and showers available.

Kids Clubs (ages 3 and up):

Disney provides fantastic kids, tween and teen clubs for children aged 3-17.

Children 3-12 can enjoy play areas, activities and character experiences in both the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab.

Tweens from 11-14 can enjoy their own space at the Edge club, while teens from 14-17 can mingle in the Vibe club where you’ll find movies, music and video games galore.

Character Meet & Greets:

No Disney Cruise would be complete without meeting Mickey Mouse or one of his pals in person! Standard character meet and greets are included in your fare and can be a magical experience for cruisers both young and old. There are a few special character meets that will require advanced booking, so be sure to request tickets to those events upon boarding (they should be listed in the embarkation navigator). I should also mention that there may be some character experiences, like the Princess Tea Party, that are a special event and do carry an extra charge.

As you can see there are a BOAT-load (pun intended) of activities and fun included with your cruise fare.

Looking for an awesome Disney Travel Agent to book your next cruise vacation?
Please visit for all your Disney Vacation needs (at no additional cost).
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2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part Three

2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part Three

On our third day aboard the Disney Wonder we made a visit to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

We decided to skip the tram to the beach and walk instead. On our walk we ran into none other than Captain Jack Sparrow! I have to commend Disney on casting the characters, this “Jack” was awesome and played his part well! (more…)

2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part Two

2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part Two

Day two of our cruise brought us to Nassau, Bahamas. We wanted to go to the Atlantis Hotel Waterpark for the day, but didn’t like the huge cost of the official excursion through Disney. Instead we did some research and found out that we could book a room at a nearby hotel and receive complementary passes to the waterpark with the room.

It was kind of funny because we never set foot in the actual room. We just checked in, got the wristbands and then checked out. I’m sure the hotel is used to this happening, but it still seemed odd none the less. (more…)

2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part One

2009 Disney Cruise Vacation – Part One

Back in the fall of 2009, our little family of three took our first Disney Vacation!

I had been to Disneyland as a child, but this was the first time I would be going with my husband and our son, who was two and a half at the time. Grandma and Uncle-N also joined us.

We had scored an awesome deal on a 3-night Disney Cruise and added a few days at Disney World too! (more…)

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