Disney Cruise Line is a premium cruise line. Fares tend to be higher than those of mainstream lines, but they are also more inclusive. A prime example of this is soft drinks, which are included in Disney Cruise Line fares but not on most mainstream cruise lines.
Disney Cruise Line includes a few things in its fares that cost extra on other lines. For example, there is no additional charge for soft drinks on Disney ships at meals and at the self-serve “taps” by the pool.
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The 4 Disney Cruise Ships
There are four ships in the Disney Cruise Line. Each ship has its own unique features and base of operations, but they all offer similar services and amenities
The Disney Wonder
The Disney Wonder is home to 11 decks overflowing with restaurants, pools, recreation and more. The Disney Wonder travels through Alaska, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. She was the second ship to join the Disney fleet on entering service in 1999
The Disney Magic
Disney Magic is the first cruise ship owned and operated by Disney Cruise Line. She has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,700 passengers in 875 staterooms. The interior of Disney Magic is decorated in the Art Deco style. The Disney Magic primarily sails through the Bahamas and the Caribbean in the winter months, and Europe in the summer months.
The Disney Dream
She currently sails three-day, four-day, and occasional five-day cruises to the Bahamas. She entered service in 2011 and has 1,250 staterooms, carries 2,500 passengers (double occupancy) or a maximum of 4,000 passengers, and a crew of 1,458.
The Disney Fantasy
Disney Fantasy is the fourth ship in the cruise line. She sails the Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Related – 2020 Disney Cruise Line Planning Guide
What’s Included in the Price of Your Disney Cruise?
When booking a Disney Cruise, most would assume that all that they are purchasing is a stateroom for the duration of the cruise. This is often true of other cruise lines, but Disney is a cut above.
Disney staterooms are designed for families with extra space and storage, sitting area, and split bath to allow more people to get ready at the same time.
Not only are you getting an elegant stateroom, but you are also getting access to 24-hour room service at no extra cost.
Related – DISNEY CRUISE LINE STATEROOM SELECTION
Broadway Musicals & First Run Movies
Also included in the price of your Disney Cruise is complimentary access to nightly Broadway-style musicals and movie screenings, including first-run and 3-D films.
Each dining seating is perfectly timed to ensure that all guests will have access to the amazing Broadway-style musical aboard every ship, so guests don’t have to choose between an amazing meal and an amazing theatrical experience.
Pools & Recreation
Splash it up in freshwater pools and water slides at sea. There is a myriad of family activities including trivia games, live musicians and other entertainers, poolside movies, animation workshops, and more.
Nightclubs, Lounges & Celebrations
Adults-only areas that include a variety of bars and pubs and lounges, plus adult-only swimming areas.
Throughout the cruise, guests can expect deck parties and fireworks at sea, unique to Disney Cruise. Special events and parties also feature many extra activities and shows during Halloween and the holiday season
Variety of Dining Options
Enjoy upscale restaurants, buffets, poolside snacks, and 24-hour room service. Guests can dine at three sit-down meals a day plus casual buffets and snacks (soft-serve ice cream, burgers, pizza, wraps, hot dogs, etc)
Not only is the dining amazing, but it’s rotational. This means that not only guests brought to each incredible restaurant, but the wait staff will follow from restaurant to restaurant, giving guests the chance to try all of the no-fee dining rooms without any interruptions in service.
Tap water, coffee, tea, milk, juice, and soft drinks are also free of charge throughout the ship.
Imaginative Youth Clubs
Play in themed clubs for kids ages 3 to 17, staffed by specially trained Disney counsellors.
Disney character experiences throughout the day and evening. Check out the Cruise Navigator for timings and locations. Throughout the cruise, you will find the same characters running about the ship but in various costumes to be sure to visit characters often.
Relax in paradise with beach chairs, umbrellas, waterslides and a buffet lunch (on most Bahamian and Caribbean cruises).
On Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island (Bahamas): barbecue buffet lunch, non-alcoholic soft drinks, soft-serve ice cream, youth activities, character experiences, beach access
How much is a Disney Cruise?
There is so much that goes into the cost of a Disney cruise; depending on the length of vacation, where you are staying/sailing, and the type of room you book. The most important factor to keep in mind is the true value of your vacation: what you are getting for the price.
For a balanced cost of a cruise, it is safe to say that the average cost is roughly $1000 per person, for a 4-night cruise. The cost does not drop much per person when you add a second person to a single stateroom, unlike Walt Disney World resorts, though it is cheaper than selecting two staterooms.
Once a cruise itinerary is announced, this is the lowest price a cruise will cost. The price only goes up, the closer one gets to the sailed date. A few months before sailing, Disney will have ‘sales’ or specific discounts available for certain demographics – like active Military members or Canadian residents. By the time discounts are added to the total, you are roughly at the same price as initial launch date, therefore it is best to purchase when the itineraries are first announced or wait until your respective discounts become available.
Extra Costs to account for: What isn’t included in my cruise fare?
This is especially important for those unfamiliar with cruising or families that are trying to stick to a tight budget. With that in mind, here’s a list of optional extras that you would need to pay for if sailing with Disney.
Gratuities and extras
Gratuities for your stateroom host and designated dining servers, including the head server, main server and assistant server are expected. There is a minimum that Disney requests guests pay, but you are encouraged to give more if you feel the service warrents it.
It is not automatically included in your cruise fare. For those opting not to pre-pay, it is possible to pay on your last day, the Cruise Line will provide you with tipping envelopes and suggestions.
Disney does offer the option of pre-paying for your gratuities for $12 per night per person, this amount gets split amongst the staff that work with you during your time at sea.
Disney Cruise does have wi-fi access, starting at $19 for 100MB, for those in need, with the exception of the free Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
Each stateroom is offered 50MB complimentary Wifi on embarkation day. However once that is used up guests either have the option of paying for usage at a rate of $.25 per MB or purchasing a bundle. There are three sizes, 100 MB for $19, 300MB for $39 or 1000mb for $89.
Ground transportation from the airport to the port and vice versa. The cost is $35 per person each way or $70 round trip. There is also a charge for Disney Cruise transportation to and from Walt Disney World.
Port Adventures & On Cruise Experiences
The cost for optional activities at the ports of call can range anywhere from a $14 intertube rental to $500 per person for an Alaskan dog-sledding experience.
Also, remember that Port Adventures aren’t mandatory. There is so much to do on the ship that many guests have actually chosen to stay aboard. For one, the pools and pool deck are practically empty of guests.
Senses Spa aboard your ship where adults can indulge in an amazing array of spa treatments from facials to wraps to massages. However, depending on the treatment you can easily expect to spend upwards of $100.
Pirate and Princess Makeovers
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers Princess Makeovers that range from $64 – $199 depending on the package or pirate makeovers that run anywhere from $44 -$100 per guest.
Related; PIRATE NIGHT ON A DISNEY CRUISE
Alcohol and Fine Dining at Palo or Remy
Remy can be found aboard the Disney Dream or the Disney Fantasy and you’ll find Palo on all four ships. Premium adult-only dining in Palo or Remy is an $25/person upcharge and is not included in the price of your cruise.
Alcoholic beverages, smoothies and non-alcoholic specialty drinks, specialty coffees, plus gratuity (15% automatically added).
For families with children between 6 months of age and 3 years, Disney does charge a fee for the nursery services. The cost is $9 per hour for the first child and $8 for any additional children. This needs to be booked in advance and space is limited.
Shutters: The Onboard Photography Shop is where you can buy all of your amazing Disney photos taken by Disney photographers. Cruise photo packages can be bought in advance, on your cruise or one photo at a time.
Guests have the option of prepaying for photo packages by visitng MyCruisePhotos.com where options start at around $200.
Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats on the Disney Dream is a sweet extra but purchasing anything in this shop is extra. The same goes for the concession stands just outside the theaters where you will be charged for popcorn or other snacks.
Be sure to have a souvenirs budget
There are so many goodies on board any Disney Cruise that you will want to buy everything. Be sure to have plenty of extra space in your suitcase for an additional treasures, as well as extra money in your budget for souvenirs and unexpected purchases, like the Disney Cruise Refillable Beer Mug.
How to Save Money on a Disney Cruise
Disney Cruise Deals – Special Offers
Every once in a while, Disney offers special deals and discounts on their cruises.
Book in the Off season
The off season, when school is in session, is significantly cheaper and less crowded than during school breaks.
Booking right away, when itineraries are first released, is the cheapest a cruise will be. Even with offers and discounts, cruises become more expensive the longer you wait to book.
Book while on a Cruise
Booking a cruise while currently on a cruise, there are two benefits alone that can save guests hundreds of dollars on your next cruise.
- 10% off of the listed far of your desired cruise.
- Guests will only have to put down a 10% deposit, instead of the normal 20%, on cruises of 7 nights or longer
Know what to Pack and Not to Pack!
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