Even if you don’t know much about a Disney Cruise, you probably know that they can be expensive. But don’t let that stop you from dreaming of the idea of taking one of these amazing trips. Disney Cruise line really does have it all and has been some of our favorite trips. And although we’ve never cruised with another cruise line, we will tell you that Disney has us hooked.
The biggest question for us, and apparently all of you, is how can I save money on a Disney Cruise? We’ve gathered up some of our favorite tips to save on a Disney Cruise Line vacation to help you make those dreams become a reality!
Book Early with Disney Cruise Line
Not only will booking early guarantee that you’ll get the stateroom of your choice, but typically, booking early can save you hundreds. We recommend following Disney Cruise Line or a Disney travel agent on social media to stay up to date on when new sailings and itineraries are released.
Book Late with Disney Cruise Line
So this tip is a bit risky, but if your schedule is flexible and you don’t need to be guaranteed anything specific(sailing date, cruise ship, stateroom number, etc) you can sometimes find great deals at the last minute, when Disney Cruise Line is trying to fill up the ship before setting sail.
Book in the Off Season
A lot of people ask, when is the off season? Well that really depends on where you are going. When you choose the location you’d like to cruise to, look to see what is considered their “off season” and see if those dates are doable to your trip. For example, cruising to the Caribbean during hurricane season, though risky, will cost you a lot less. Alaska will always be cheaper at the beginning and ending of the cruising season there, typically late May and early October. And keep in mind, no matter where you travel, dates when kids will be out of school will always be a bit more expensive.
Book with a Travel Agent
Especially if this is your first cruise, we highly recommend booking your Disney Cruise with a travel agent. They are knowledgeable, can help you find the best deal for your needs and often offer special discounts or onboard credits just for booking through them. Best of all their services are completely FREE, meaning you have nothing to lose!
Skip the Porthole or Verandah
Wait, what? Who even are we?! If you’ve read our previous Disney cruise posts, then you’ve likely heard how we love having a porthole in our stateroom. But if we had to choose between having a porthole or not going on a Disney cruise at all, we’d happily skip the porthole. The difference between a porthole room and an inside stateroom can mean hundreds of dollars that can be used for excursions, onboard expenses or just money saved! And if you’re on a larger boat, the Disney Dream or the Disney Fantasy, the inside state rooms there have magical portholes, which are super fun and help keep you from feeling closed in.
Book your Disney Cruise stateroom through Expedia
One of our favorite tricks for booking Disney resorts at a discount is by using a third party. And believe it or not, you can actually use this same idea to save a lot of money on a Disney Cruise. By booking through Expedia, you can save hundreds on a stateroom and if you pay with a Mastercard, you can even earn onboard credit(select dates apply) to apply towards excursions, tips, spa services or anything else your cruise loving heart desires onboard. And to save even more with Expedia, be sure to shop through ebates for cash back.
Pay for your Cruise with discounted Disney gift cards
One of the absolute easiest ways to save money on any Disney destination is by paying with discounted gift cards. Many stores including BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco sell discounted gift cards that can save you a ton of money. Have a Target RedCard? You can use your 5% discount on Disney gift cards. 5% may not seem like much but it can definitely add up, especially when purchasing something as expensive as a Disney Cruise.
We also have a local grocery store that gives you free gas for purchasing gift cards, so we can usually get a few free tanks of gas by purchasing gift cards through them. Either way, its a win and definitely a tactic you should be using for your Disney destinations!
Skip the onboard Internet Package
Do you really need internet while at sea? Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? Ok, ok we get it. Seeing how we run an online business and this blog, we can see how internet could definitely be a necessity, especially if you’re taking a longer cruise and just can’t afford to take that much time away. But if you don’t need internet, we highly recommend signing up for the free 50MB they give you for signing up on the first day, using it sparingly and vowing not to purchase any more. The internet onboard is expensive, will get used a lot faster than you think it will and not that great. And trust us, your friends on social media can wait.
Take advantage of special Disney Cruise Line offers
Disney Cruise Line occasionally offers special discounts throughout the year for Florida Residents and Military Families. Be sure to keep an eye on these discounts as they can usually save you hundreds. And if you’re working with a travel agent, they can keep an eye on this for you too!
Book with Costco Travel
Costco Travel is really starting to make a name for themselves. Who knew?! Well, of course, now you do. Booking a Disney Cruise with Costco travel will not really save you money on the actual cruise since the prices are pretty comparable, but you will get a Costco Shop Card that you can use to buy just about anything at Costco later. The price of the shop card depends solely on how much you spend, but on longer and more expensive cruises, you can really rack up some serious cash. For shorter cruises, you can expect up to a couple hundred dollars, but on cruises longer than a week, we’ve seen talked to some cruisers who have earned thousands of dollars.
Book with the Bounce Back Offer onboard Disney Cruise Line
When onboard a Disney Cruise, you can book a future cruise with a bounceback offer that they offer to every passenger onboard. You can save 10% off a future cruise, get an onboard credit and get a discount on your deposit down. Not sure when you can cruise again? Book a placeholder, which will still give you the all the discounts but with no commitment on a date of sailing. When you figure out your dates, just call back in and they will book the rest for you!
Bring your own….
Beer, wine, bottled water. These expenses can add up quickly onboard and you are allowed to bring your own, to an extent and with certain restrictions. For the alcohol policy, click here. You can also bring your own bottled water onboard and although some people don’t find it necessary, if you feel you’re a big water drinker you may want to consider it. The water stations onboard are free to use, however are only at the upper deck on all ships and the bottled water you can order onboard is extremely expensive.
So there you have it, our favorite ways to save on a Disney Cruise! What did we miss? Do you have any tips on saving money on a Disney Cruise? Let us know, we’d love to hear your suggestions!