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 vacations have been some of our favorite trips. And we want to share how you can save money on a Disney Cruise!
How to Save Money on a Disney Cruise
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 to save money
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. Booking early also allows you to have top pick of available staterooms.
Get a last minute deal with Disney Cruise Line
This 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. This has been especially true for Disney Cruise Line sailings in 2022. We’ve seen some amazing deals! And have even been able to take advantage of them with our most recent sailing on the Disney Fantasy.
Sail in the Off Season to save money with Disney Cruise Line
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 to save money on a Disney Cruise
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 just make the whole process easier. 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 Rakuten for cash back.
This trick is not nearly as common as it used to be. Most of the cruises at the moment are selling out with no need for Disney to put them on a third party site. But it doesn’t hirt to check!
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! And you can do this whether or not you’re using a travel agent for your cruise; which makes it very easy to save money!
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 the Onboard Offer with Disney Cruise Line
When onboard a Disney Cruise, you can book a future cruise with an onboard offer that they offer to every passenger onboard. You can save 10% off a future cruise 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! This has actually become super easy because it’s now all done in the app! Just go into your navigator before you disembark and click “Book a Future Cruise”. You’ll make a deposit of $250 and then they’ll send you a confirmation number that you can use to book a cruise when you’ve decided on a date. Right now you can even use that to book a cruise on the Disney Wish!
Bring your own beverages to save money on a Disney Cruise
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.
Book a Guaranteed Stateroom to save money on a Disney Cruise
This one is for those of you who are flexible! If you don’t have a strong preference for which room you stay in, booking a guaranteed stateroom can save you hundreds. Basically, you book the room type you want. But you don’t get to pick which room, or deck or which side of the boat you’re on. Your room type is guaranteed, just not the actual specific room. Then your room is assigned to you later on by Disney Cruise Line. You can’t change it unfortunately, so whatever you are assigned is what you get. Not all itineraries have this option. But it’s a great way to save when they are offered.
You can read all about Guaranteed Staterooms on a Disney Cruise here.
Order the Drink of the Day to save money on a Disney Cruise
Want to indulge in some adult beverages while on your vacation? That can get expensive. We recommend trying out the drink of the day! These are just $5.50 each and the drink changes each day. The best part is that they also offer a non-alcoholic version for underage travelers or those avoiding alcohol. So everyone can enjoy a fancy drink at a discount.
Save Money on a Disney Cruise by Taking a one way trip
This is a really unique way to save money on a Disney Cruise, and one that often gets overlooked. There are several times during the year when the Disney Cruise ships are repositioned to prepare for their next sailing. These generally are a one way sailing; which may sound a little odd but let me explain. A good example of this are the cruises that sail to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cost of this cruise tends be several thousand dollars cheaper (for a family of four) when compared to other Disney Cruises of equal length. The catch is, it won’t take you back to where you started.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Take the Transatlantic cruises for example. If you’re traveling to Europe, and need a way to get home (or vice versa) the cost of a Transatlantic Cruise, for a family of four, is sometimes significantly less than what it would cost to fly home! Sure, you need to actually have the 12 or 13 days to spend at sea, but if you have the time, it’s well worth the extra comfort, especially when you consider everything that is included in your Disney Cruise.
Save 10% on merchandise with your Disney Visa Card
Planning to buy merch while on your Disney Cruise? You can save 10% off if you are a Disney Visa Cardholder or Disney Vacation Club Member. Just spend $50 or more onboard and let the cast know about your discounts so you can save!
Use Disney Visa Rewards to save money on a Disney Cruise
Here is another perk for those of you who have Disney Visa card. Use your Disney Visa card pretty much anywhere to earn points toward anything Disney! And that includes Disney Cruises. Using your Disney Visa Rewards towards a Disney Cruise may not pay for your whole trip, but it can save you money and lower the cost of a Disney Cruise.
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!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .