10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

Planning a dream vacation on a Disney Cruise? Look no further! In this article, we’re here to help you make the most of your trip while keeping your budget intact. From scoring discounts on tickets to maximizing onboard activities, we’ve got you covered with these 10 invaluable tips for saving money on a Disney Cruise. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey without breaking the bank!

Booking Tips

Research and Compare Prices

When planning a Disney cruise, it’s important to take the time to research and compare prices from different travel agents and websites. Prices can vary significantly, so it’s worth doing some homework to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Look for package deals that include accommodations, meals, and activities, as these can often offer better value for money.

Book Early or Last Minute

Booking your Disney cruise early or at the last minute can sometimes result in significant savings. By booking early, you may have access to early-bird discounts and promotions. On the other hand, booking last minute can allow you to take advantage of any last-minute deals or unsold cabins that the cruise line is looking to fill. Keep in mind that booking last minute may limit your cabin options, so it’s important to be flexible.

Take Advantage of Special Promotions or Discounts

Keep an eye out for any special promotions or discounts that Disney Cruise Line may be offering. They often run promotions that include discounted rates for specific dates or special offers for certain demographics, such as military personnel or Florida residents. Additionally, consider joining loyalty programs or following Disney Cruise Line’s social media channels to stay informed about any exclusive offers or discounts.

Choose the Right Time to Sail

Off-peak Season

If you have flexibility in your travel dates, consider sailing during the off-peak season. This is the time when demand is lower, and you may find reduced rates or better deals. Off-peak seasons typically fall during non-holiday periods and school breaks, so planning your cruise around these times can save you money while also avoiding crowds.

Avoid Holidays and School Breaks

Holiday periods and school breaks are popular times for families to go on a Disney cruise, which means higher demand and potentially higher prices. If you can, try to avoid booking your cruise during major holidays or school breaks. By sailing during less busy times, you not only have a better chance of finding discounted rates but also enjoy a more relaxed and less crowded onboard experience.

Consider Repositioning Cruises

Repositioning cruises are special voyages when a cruise ship moves from one region or port to another. These cruises often offer discounted rates since their itineraries are less traditional and may include more sea days. If you have a flexible schedule, consider looking into repositioning cruises as they can offer unique experiences at a more affordable price.

10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

Selecting the Right Itinerary

Shorter or Longer Cruises

Disney offers a variety of cruise durations, ranging from 3-night sailings to longer adventures. Consider the length of the cruise that best fits your budget and preferences. While shorter cruises may be more affordable, longer cruises often offer more value for money as they allow for more time to experience the ship’s amenities and visit multiple ports of call.

Non-Disney Excursions

While Disney offers numerous port adventures at each destination, they can sometimes be pricey. Consider researching and booking non-Disney excursions independently. You may find similar activities and experiences at lower prices. Just make sure to do your research and read reviews to ensure you’re booking with a reputable company.

Choose Port Adventures Wisely

If you do decide to book Disney’s port adventures, take the time to carefully choose the ones that best suit your interests and budget. Disney offers a variety of excursions at each port of call, ranging from family-friendly activities to more adventurous outings. Prioritize the activities that you and your family will truly enjoy to make the most of your money.

Accommodation Tips

Opt for Inside or Oceanview Cabins

Inside and oceanview cabins are typically more affordable than higher-category staterooms, such as verandah or concierge cabins. While they may not offer the same views or outdoor space, these cabins still provide all the necessary amenities and comfort for a great cruise experience. Consider whether the view and balcony are worth the extra cost, or if you’d prefer to save money by opting for an inside or oceanview cabin.

Consider Stateroom Category Upgrades

If you have some budget flexibility, consider upgrading your stateroom category. While this may increase the overall cost of your cruise, it can often come with additional perks, such as larger cabins, better views, or access to exclusive areas and lounges. Assess your priorities and determine if the benefits of a higher-category stateroom are worth the extra investment.

Share Cabins with Family or Friends

Another great way to save money on accommodations is by sharing cabins with family or friends. Many Disney cruise ships offer cabins with pull-down beds or bunk beds, making them ideal for families or groups traveling together. By sharing a cabin, you can split the cost, allowing everyone to enjoy the Disney cruise experience at a more affordable price.

10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

Dining and Beverage Tips

Prepaid Dining Plans

Disney Cruise Line offers prepaid dining plans that allow you to enjoy a selection of onboard restaurants without worrying about the cost. These dining plans can provide significant savings compared to purchasing meals a la carte. Consider prepaying for your meals to not only save money but also have a more convenient dining experience.

Pack Snacks and Drinks

While Disney Cruise Line offers various dining options and complimentary beverages onboard, packing some snacks and drinks can help curb unnecessary expenses. Bringing along your favorite snacks, especially for shore excursions or late-night cravings, can save you from purchasing expensive onboard snacks. Just make sure to check the cruise line’s policies regarding outside food and drinks.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverages)

Disney Cruise Line allows guests to bring a limited amount of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages onboard. BYOB can be a great way to save money on drinks during your cruise. Pack your favorite beverages in your checked luggage, ensuring they comply with the cruise line’s policies, and enjoy them in your cabin or during activities onboard.

Entertainment and Activities

Take Advantage of Free Activities

Disney Cruise Line offers a wide range of free activities for guests of all ages. From character meet and greets to deck parties and movie screenings, there is always something happening onboard. Take advantage of these complimentary activities to maximize your cruise experience at no additional cost.

Pre-purchase Tickets for Paid Shows

While many onboard shows and entertainment options are included in your cruise fare, some may require an additional fee. If there are specific shows or experiences you’re interested in, consider pre-purchasing tickets before your cruise. Not only can this help you secure a spot, but it may also come with discounted rates compared to purchasing tickets onboard.

Participate in Onboard Mixology or Cooking Classes

Disney Cruise Line offers various onboard classes and workshops, including mixology and cooking classes. These experiences can be a fun and educational way to try something new while onboard. By participating in these activities, you not only get to learn something exciting but also make the most of your cruise fare.

10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

Kids and Youth Programs

Utilize Complimentary Youth Clubs

Disney Cruise Line offers complimentary youth clubs where kids and teens can enjoy supervised activities and entertainment. Take advantage of these clubs to keep your children entertained without incurring extra costs. The youth clubs provide a safe and engaging environment for kids to socialize and have fun while you enjoy some adult time onboard.

Limit Paid Kids’ Activities

While there may be additional paid activities and programs designed for kids, such as character breakfasts or specialty workshops, it’s important to set a budget for these extra expenses. Consider which paid activities are truly worth the cost and limit them accordingly. By focusing on complimentary options and choosing a few paid activities selectively, you can ensure an enjoyable experience for your children while still saving money.

Bring Your Own Baby Supplies

If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, consider bringing your own baby supplies, such as diapers, wipes, and formula. These items can be quite expensive onboard or at the ports of call. By packing what you need in advance, you can avoid the higher prices and ensure you have everything necessary to keep your little one comfortable throughout the cruise.

Packing and Essentials

Bring Your Own Disney Merchandise

Disney cruises are known for their themed merchandise, from clothing to accessories and souvenirs. While these items can be enticing, they often come with hefty price tags. To save money, consider bringing your own Disney merchandise, such as character clothing, accessories, or even autograph books, before your cruise. This way, you can enjoy the Disney spirit without breaking the bank.

Pack Appropriate Clothing and Accessories

To avoid unnecessary expenses, make sure to pack appropriate clothing and accessories for your Disney cruise. Check the weather conditions at your destinations and pack accordingly. Don’t forget essentials like swimwear, comfortable shoes for walking tours, and appropriate attire for dining and themed nights. By packing smart, you can avoid having to purchase extra clothing or accessories onboard at higher prices.

Don’t Forget Essential Travel Documents

One of the most important things to remember is to bring all the necessary travel documents for your Disney cruise, such as passports, visas, and vaccination records, if required. Failing to bring the correct documents may result in additional expenses or even being denied boarding. Double-check the requirements beforehand to avoid any last-minute surprises that could affect your budget.

10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

Onboard Expenses

Set a Daily Budget

To keep track of your onboard expenses and avoid overspending, it’s helpful to set a daily budget. This budget can include discretionary spending on drinks, souvenirs, and additional activities not covered in your cruise fare. By setting a limit and monitoring your expenses throughout the cruise, you can enjoy yourself while still being mindful of your overall budget.

Avoid Unnecessary Shopping

The onboard shops and boutiques on a Disney cruise offer a tempting selection of merchandise and souvenirs. However, it’s essential to differentiate between what you truly need or want and what is an unnecessary indulgence. Before making any purchases, consider whether the item is something you will actually use or treasure after your cruise. By avoiding impulsive shopping, you can save money for experiences that truly matter to you.

Monitor Onboard Expenses Regularly

Throughout your Disney cruise, make it a habit to regularly check your onboard expenses. Most cruise lines provide a daily statement of charges, allowing you to review your spending and identify any discrepancies. By keeping track of your expenses, you can address any issues promptly and ensure that you stay within your predetermined budget.

Transportation and Transfers

Consider Alternative Airports

When booking your flights for your Disney cruise, consider looking into alternative airports in the area. Sometimes, flying into or out of a different airport can result in lower airfares. Do some research and compare the costs and logistics of different airports to find the most affordable and convenient option for your travel arrangements.

Prebook Ground Transportation

To save money on ground transportation to and from the port, consider prebooking your transfers. Many cruise lines offer transfers from the airport to the port for a fee. However, these transfers can often be more expensive compared to prebooking your own transportation, such as a private car service or shared shuttle. Look into different options and compare prices to find the best choice for your budget.

Take Advantage of Disney Cruise Line Transfers

If you prefer the convenience and peace of mind of using Disney Cruise Line transfers, make sure to compare the costs with other transportation options. While Disney’s transfers can be convenient and seamlessly coordinated with your cruise, they may come with a higher price tag. It’s worth comparing prices and considering alternative transportation methods before making a final decision.

By following these tips and strategies, you can save money on your Disney cruise without compromising the magical experience. With careful planning and a bit of flexibility, you can enjoy everything Disney has to offer while staying within your budget. Bon voyage!

10 Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise