Your guide on how to join, Castaway Club benefits, and everything else you need to know!

The Castaway Club with Disney Cruise Line is a loyalty program that rewards cruisers with various perks, freebies, and discounts for sailing with Disney Cruise Line multiple times. Membership benefits increase based on the number of cruises you take. Members are categorized into four levels based on how many sailings they’ve completed: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Pearl. Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this program when sailing with Disney Cruise Line!

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How Do I Join the Disney Castaway Club?

You’re automatically enrolled in the Castaway Club after you complete your first sailing with Disney Cruise Line. There’s no formal way to sign up — you simply need to have sailed with DCL previously and use the same information when booking your next cruise. After your first Disney cruise, hang on to your Key to the World card (or write down the Castaway Club number shown on it) for future reference so you can use it when booking your next cruise and logging into your Castaway Club account. The benefits and perks of being a Castaway Club member don’t go into effect until your second (and subsequent) sailing. The great news is you’ll always have a reason to return for another Disney Cruise Line sailing, as you’ll start getting the benefits of being a Castaway Club member on your second cruise!

Castaway Club Benefits

Everyone who is a part of the Castaway Club can access special perks only available to members. Here’s a rundown of the benefits all Castaway Club members receive:

Early Cruise Booking

All Castaway Club members receive early access to new ship bookings and itineraries. How early you’ll get to book these sailings before the general public depends on your membership tier (which we will discuss in detail later). Since inaugural sailings and new itineraries sell out quickly, early booking gives you the best chance to get the cruise you want at the best price possible.

Advanced Cruise Activity Booking

Castaway Club members can book onboard cruise activities, specialty dining, and excursions (which DCL calls “port adventures”) before first-time cruisers, who can book their activities 75 days before sailing. Like early cruise booking, how early you book your activities depends on your membership tier.

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Welcome Back Aboard Gift

Every member receives a special gift in their stateroom upon arrival. The type of gift may vary based on your membership tier, the ship you’re sailing on, and the specific itinerary you booked. Gifts change periodically, so it’s unlikely you’ll get the same exact gift twice unless you’re cruising in rapid succession. However, you may receive different versions of a similar gift—like sling bag in various colors. These gifts usually include the “Castaway Club” emblem, ship name, or specialty sailing logo.

White plastic letter tiles, a zipper bag, and an instruction sheet on how to play

A Cruise-O-Grams game previously provided as an onboard gift

Examples of welcome aboard gifts provided in the past have included:

  • Backpack coolers
  • Luggage tags
  • Sling bags
  • Beach bags
  • Whiteboards
  • Tumblers
  • Photo albums
  • Lanyards
  • Wallets
  • Water bottles

Disney recently announced that welcome aboard gifts will be refreshed and updated this summer. Disney also announced that all Castaway Club members will receive a limited-edition Captain Mickey art print in their staterooms to celebrate Disney Cruise Line’s Silver Anniversary at Sea. All members who cruise on any Disney cruise ship between May and September 2023 will receive this special gift.

Exclusive Terminal Check In

Castaway Club members can access a separate member embarkation queue at the port. This allows you to skip the lines and get on the ship as fast as possible!

Earlier Online Check-In / Port Arrival Time Selection

This benefit gives Castaway Club members an earlier chance to complete their online check-in; this gives them a slight head start on selecting their preferred port arrival time, letting them start their time on the ship just a bit earlier than everyone else!

Other Benefits

Castaway Club members receive “exclusive communication” from the club — though updates are pretty sporadic. Members can also access a member-only phone line for cruise planning assistance and questions, saving you hours waiting on hold. However, we recommend skipping staying on hold altogether by having a dedicated Disney Cruise Line Travel Agent, like the ones at The Vacationeer, book your cruise for you!

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Castaway Club Levels

All Castaway Club members are entitled to the benefits listed above. However, how early you can book your cruise and activities, the type of gift you’ll receive, and additional benefits vary depending on your membership tier. There are four Castaway Club tiers currently available. Each level comes with enhanced perks, so the more you sail, the greater your benefits are. Here’s a detailed list of the current tiers and the benefits that accompany each one.

Silver Castaway: 1 to 4 Completed Sailings

Onboard Activity Booking:

90 days prior to sailing

Online Check-In:

33 days prior to sailing

New Ship & Itinerary Booking:

1 day before the general public

Once you’ve stepped off the ship from your first Disney cruise, you’ll automatically become a Silver Castaway Club member. While booking your next cruise, you can take advantage of benefits like early cruise and activity booking. On the ship, you can use the member-only check-in line and receive a welcome aboard gift when you arrive in your stateroom.

Gold Castaway: 5 to 9 Completed Sailings

Onboard Activity Booking:

105 days prior to sailing

Online Check-In:

35 days prior to sailing

New Ship & Itinerary Booking:

2 days before the general public

Gold members get all the benefits of a Silver membership plus a few extras, including an earlier activity booking window and early access to new sailings. Gold members also get a small discount (about 10%) on select experiences and merchandise aboard. Another benefit is an exclusive onboard reception (**temporarily paused**) for sailings that last longer than eight nights. The reception includes special entertainment, food, and drinks. You’ll also get to meet the ship’s captain. Castaway Club member receptions were paused during the pandemic, and no return date has been announced at the time of publication.

Platinum Castaway: 10 to 24 Completed Sailings

Onboard Activity Booking:

120 days prior to sailing

Online Check-In:

38 days prior to sailing

New Ship & Itinerary Booking:

3 days before the general public

One of the most sought-after benefits of being a Platinum member is receiving complimentary specialty dining at Palo or Palo Steakhouse. Note: these two dining locations are for adults only; guests must be 18 and older to dine there. Platinum Castaway Club members also receive upgraded welcome aboard gifts, such as boxes of truffles, sparkling wine, or even Bluetooth speakers.

Pearl Castaway (NEW!): 25+ Completed Sailings

Onboard Activity Booking:

123 days prior to sailing

Online Check-In:

40 days prior to sailing

New Ship & Itinerary Booking:

4 days before the general public

Cruisers who have completed at least 25 Disney Cruises are placed in this brand-new Castaway Club tier that began on May 1, 2023. In addition to all the perks of being a Platinum member, you’ll also receive an unlimited digital download photo package of all the professional photos taken by photographers on the ship. Pearl members will also get an enhanced onboard gift: a pair of pearlescent tumblers with shimmering blush and white accents.

Getting the Most Out of Your Castaway Club Membership

Since you automatically become a Castaway Club member after your first complete sailing with Disney Cruise Line, taking advantage of your membership is easy for your second and following cruises. One of the best ways to take advantage of your membership is to utilize the early booking windows for new cruises and activities. You’ll get the best pricing for your cruise and the first chance to book experiences like excursions, specialty dining, spa experiences, and more.

To advance your membership as quickly as possible, consider booking multiple short cruises. Membership tiers are based on the number of cruises you take, not how many days or miles you sail. This means someone who took three four-day cruises may receive a higher membership level than someone who booked one 14-day cruise.

If you want to collect onboard welcome gifts, sail on different ships with multiple itineraries. Onboard gifts may vary by ship and change at random times, so picking new sailings will give you the best chance for variety.

Everyone connected to your reservation who stays in the same stateroom with you becomes a Castaway Club member—including infants and children. This allows your entire family to enjoy the perks of being a Castaway Club member for the rest of their lives. When your children are old enough to book cruises on their own, they could have already racked up some great perks and be in one of the top membership tiers!

Castaway Club memberships do not necessarily have an expiration date, but you do have to cruise at least fairly regularly to maintain your current level of membership or advance to a higher tier. Make sure that no more than five years passes between cruises or you’ll have to start over at the bottom Castaway Club tier.

Ready to Join Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Club? Book Your Cruise Today!

Whether you’re booking your first cruise with Disney Cruise Line or are already part of the Castaway Club, let the travel agents at The Vacationeer help you plan your cruise!

Their Authorized Disney Vacation Planners can help you book onboard activities and off-shore excursions based on your unique booking window. They’ll also help you ensure you have all the correct information entered, so you get credit for each sailing. And you’ll get to take advantage of all their first-hand experience — they love taking Disney Cruises as much as they love booking them!

Plus: Cruisers who book through The Vacationeer receive a free onboard credit — that’s up to $1,000 of free spending money for activities, excursions, dining, and souvenirs onboard the ship!

Best of all, there’s absolutely no charge to use their planning services and your cruise price won’t be higher just because you used a travel agent — it might even cost less thanks to their expert knowledge of Disney Cruise Line discounts and money-saving tips!

So to recap: it won’t cost more — it might cost less — and you get free spending money! Why WOULDN’T you book with the Disney Cruise Experts at The Vacationeer?

For more information about taking a Disney cruise, check out the resources in our other Disney Cruise Line articles, such as how to book a Disney cruise, how to save money on a Disney cruise, an overview of destinations and ports, and our guide to onboard credits.