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 www.MouseFamilyVacations.com
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!
For all your Disney vacation needs, please visit www.MouseFamilyVacations.com