Disney Cruise Line was recently named the Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line and Top Mega-Ship Cruise Line for Families by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2014 and 2015! With only 4 ships, Disney small but mighty fleet is a favorite of young and old alike. According to statistics, ninety percent of people who take a Disney’ cruise will sail with them again. Disney’s focus on creativity, storytelling and innovation enable them to deliver a unique and memorable experience at sea. In truth, this premium product comes with a higher-than-average price. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney doesn’t offer many promotions and specials. But fear not…with over 250 sailings each year, there are opportunities to find a cruise that best matches your family and your budget. If you’re flexible and plan in advance you can enjoy the savings too.
The earlier you book the more likely you will get the best deal. Being flexible with you travel plans helps. Like other cruise lines, there are a limited number of staterooms available in each category and Disney’s inventory fills up fast. So if you are working with a tight budget or think you may qualify for a discounted rate, book early before those cabins are sold out. Disney makes the booking process easy too. In most cases, you can book with a deposit and then pay the balance off as you wish, as long as it’s within Disney’s terms.
It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally Disney will offer last-minute restriced stateroom discounts. If you are flexible about your stateroom location and are willing to book last-minute then this may be the best deal around. The savings can be substantial but you won’t know your exact cabin at the time of booking. In fact, you may be issued your cabin on the day of embarkation. Guaranteed Restriced Stateroom means that you pay to be placed in a category. You may, in fact be issued a cabin in a higher category, but you will never be placed in a lesser one. These categories are:
- Inside Stateroom with Restrictions (category IGT) – Guarantees a category 11C or better stateroom.
- Oceanview Stateroom with Restrictions (category OGT) – Guarantees a category 9D or better stateroom.
- Verandah Stateroom with Restrictions (category VGT) – Guarantees a category 7A or better stateroom.
You’ll save big if you have the chance to score one of these rare finds. The reward is a stateroom with a view for the price of an inside cabin. Secret verandah rooms exist as well. What’s the catch? You’ll have a slightly obstructed view. But the savings may make it worth your while. Only a handful of these rooms exist so book early.
If you are sailing with a family of five or more you may find it less expensive to book adjoining rooms at a lesser category instead of a family stateroom. Not only will you enjoy a savings but you gain an additional bathroom as well.
Disney sometimes offers special rates to qualifying guests. Guests such as active members of the military, Florida, California and Canadian residents, Castaway Club members and Disney Vacation Club members are some examples of guests who are sometimes eligible for a discounted rate. There are restrictions and avaialablity is limited so it’s best to work with a travel professional and let them know up front if you may be a candidate for a discount. These rates are often posted on Mondays and a good travel agent will be on the lookout for these deals. Don’t delay, these staterooms sell out fast.
Summer season and Holiday cruises are very expensive. If you have the flexibility to sail during the school year or right before or after peak season you can save big.
Disney does not allow travel agents to discount pricing, however a good travel professional will offer an onboard credit as an incentive to book. Onboard credits are applied to you ship account and can be used for anything that you must spend money on once you board the ship. Things like shore excursions, gratuities, spa treatments, adult beverages, are the kinds of things you must pay out-of-pocket for. Learn more about an exclusive onboard credit offer from Magic Family Travel here.
Let me start by saying that I am not affiliated with Chase nor do I recommend credit cards for everyone but if you have a Disney VISA and use it to book your cruise you can enjoy some perks. Chase offers it’s members free 6 month financing of your cruise and a $50 onboard beverage credit, among other incentives. It definitely has it’s advantages and you can earn reward points towards other Disney purchases and vacations as well.
At check-in ask if you can be upgraded. It’s doen’t happen often but you’ll never know unless you ask. If the ship has unsold rooms cast members will usually try to accommodate you.
Book your next cruise while you are onboard. Simply look for the future booking desk. If you’re considering another cruise, or know someone else who is, you should take advantage of this offer. The benefits include a lower deposit (10% instead of the usual 20%) on most sailings, a discounted rate, and an onboard credit. Be sure to name magic Family Travel as your travel agnecy and you will receive, as a bonus, an in-room gift and onboard credit from us. Simply call us after your cruise to let us know you’ve booked a future cruise with Disney and we’ll follow through with the rest of the details. You can use onboard booking to get the discount for friends and family members too. You’ll just need to have their full names and birthdates to make the reservation. These’s no obligation. You can cancel your reservation and Disney will issue you a full refund as long as you do so before the penalty date.
Planning a cruise can be confusing and time consuming. Most qualified travel professionals have a direct relationship with Disney. Many, like Magic Family Travel, have completed the College of Disney Knowledge with specialized training in every aspect of Disney Cruise Line. They have first-hand knowledge and are up-to-date with the latest news and deals. A good travel agent will always look for ways for you to get the most for your money and will sort through all the options so you don’t have to. Be prepared to leave your worries behind and set sail on the cruise of a lifetime.
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