A Disney Cruise can be expensive. But one big benefit of a Disney Cruise vacation is that most of the costs are included. You don’t have to worry about spending money on food or transportation. And with so many activities onboard, you don’t worry about having to pay for those either.
What’s not included in a Disney Cruise?
Most of the things that are not included in a Disney Cruise are optional. With the exception of gratuities and getting to and from the port, everything else that costs extra is in your hands!
You do have access to a little bit of internet onboard. The free Wi-Fi on a Disney Cruise will allow you to access the Disney Cruise Line app, and for most people, will allow you to iMessage if you have an Apple phone. I say most people, because I actually don’t know why not everyone can access iMessage with the ship’s free WiFi, but some people just can’t. So if you want to check email, or use social media, you’ll need to pay for that. And let me just say, the internet onboard is really just so-so. It’s not amazing, but it works. If you really need it, you’ll want at least the middle package, as the Stay Connected Package really just does that. Keeps you connected.
Unlike some other cruise lines, Disney does not encourage a lot of drinking onboard. So they don’t offer any type of drink package. It can get expensive! They do have a few ways you can save on alcohol if you’re planning to drink though. Firstly, you can bring your own alcohol onboard if you want. There are limitations to this, but you are welcome to do it. Here are the rules around bringing your own alcohol onboard a Disney Cruise Ship.
They also offer a drink of the day, which is a specialty cocktail that’s $5 each day. The drink changes each day and is usually something you can get on another day at full price. They offer an alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. There’s also a souvenir beer mug that can be purchased onboard that will save you $1 each time you purchase a beer. The mug is $15.95, so if you drink a lot of beer, you can save some money this way.
All alcoholic beverages will cost you extra regardless of where you get them. So regardless of whether you have a glass of wine at dinner, or grab a cocktail from a lounge or bar,
Love a morning latte? We do too! And there are so many places to find Coffee on a Disney Cruise ship. Unfortunately, if you want something more than a standard coffee, you’re going to have to pay for it. Free coffee is available during meals, at the drink stations, and from room service. Specialty lattes, though, cost extra regardless of where you buy them from. So if you want a nice Americano or Vanilla Latte each morning, be sure to budget for some more coffee.
Other specialty drinks like smoothies and non-alcoholic concoctions
There are other specialty drinks onboard a Disney Cruise that will also cost you extra. Smoothies, milkshakes, juices from Senses Juice Bar, and other specialty beverages are not included in your cruise fare.
If you like doing laundry on your vacations, then you’re in luck! Every Disney Cruise ship has laundry services available onboard. On the Disney Wish, all of the washers and dryers are available in one large laundry room. On all of the other Disney Ships, there is a small laundry room on each floor. You can find out where these are on the deck plans for the ship you’re sailing on.
Ground Transfers before/after your cruise
How will you be getting to the cruise terminal? There are many ways to get to the cruise terminal for your Disney Cruise, but none of them are included in your cruise fare. Some people may think that the Disney Cruise Line bus is free if coming from a Disney Resort, but this is not the case unfortunately. The same goes for your return trip when the cruise is over. Whether you are heading back to the airport or going to Walt Disney World after your cruise, you will be responsible for that portion of your transportation.
Movie Theater Snacks/Drinks
This one is always a bit surprising for people! But unless you are staying concierge, your movie theater snacks and drinks are not included. This goes for the actual movie theater as well as snacks purchased for the theater shows in the evening. You can bring in your own snacks from other parts of the ship though. So if you want to bring a drink or snack in, you can and you’ll be able to avoid the charge for movie theater snacks.
Tips and gratuities are one unavoidable added expense of a Disney Cruise. These will be charged to your onboard account unless you choose to prepay them. Currently, you can expect to pay $14.50 per person, per day for the length of your cruise. You can modify these amounts while onboard if you’d like. Just go to Guest Services and let them know! And you can also pay them ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about an added expense when your cruise is over.
Adult-Only Dining Options
Everyone loves the adult-only dining experiences onboard the Disney Cruise ships. So much so that they’re always selling out! But if you are lucky enough to get a reservation for Palo, Remy, or Enchante on the Disney Wish, then just know that these special experiences will not be included in your cruise fare.
Disney Cruise Line has plenty of onboard fun that’s free. But one category of events that are not free is the onboard tastings, and it’s one of our favorite things for Adults on a Disney Cruise. Things like mixology classes, bourbon tastings, and tequila tastings are all extra expenses. Usually between $35-$60 per person, you can find the additional expenses listed in the Disney Cruise app, or in your Disney Cruise account when you book onboard fun.
Disney Cruise Port Excursions are also not included in your cruise fare. But they are totally optional. So you can easily set a budget for excursions and decide which are best for you and your budget. Another option is to book through a third party or explore on your own. If you’re working with a travel agent for your Disney Cruise, they can help guide you to experiences that you’ll enjoy while staying within a budget that works for you.
Even though having your photo taken throughout the course of your Disney Cruise voyage is free, the photo files are not. You can opt for a photo package that includes digital downloads, or you can order a physical photo product. Take a look at what’s offered under the onboard fun section of your Disney Cruise account so you can find a plan that works for you.
Bottled Beverages (fountain drinks are free though)
Any kind of bottled beverage, whether it’s bottled water or soda, or bottled beer, will not be free. These things will cost you extra regardless of what the actual liquid is, so if you want to avoid this cost, stick with the fountain beverages on the top deck.
Senses Spa and Salon
We all love being pampered from time to time. On a Disney Cruise, there are plenty of opportunities for this! Senses Spa offers massages, facials, acupuncture, manicures, pedicures, and more. They also offer the Rainforest Room which is an all-encompassing experience with an aromatherapy steam room, heated loungers, a dry sauna, and more. All of these things cost extra though and are not included in the price of your Disney Cruise.
Nursery Care (6 mos-3 years)
The kid’s clubs onboard a Disney Cruise is free! Nursery Care for those under 3 years of age, is not.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a fun princess makeover experience for princes and princesses 3-12 years old. It’s pure magic, but it’s not free. So if your little one wants to be made up like royalty onboard the Disney Cruise ship you’ll be sailing on, be sure to budget in this extra expense. You can find out more about Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique onboard a Disney Cruise here.
Calls to Shore
Believe it or not, calling to shore from your stateroom will cost you. We always recommend having some sort of way to communicate with those back on land should something happen. Whether an emergency or an extended or rerouted cruise due to a hurricane, it’s good to be able to reach your loved ones.
I think it goes without saying that most people love a good souvenir! But these things will cost you extra. While that’s generally the standard for most vacations, it’s good to keep it in mind when budgeting for a Disney Cruise!
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 .