Disney Cruise Line is an excellent choice for families and couples who what to experience the magic of Disney at sea. That said, these premier cruises do come with a premier price tag. How much do Disney cruises cost, what are the factors that contribute to its price, and how can you save on your next Disney cruise? Let’s investigate!
Factors Affecting the Price of a Disney Cruise Fare
While prices can vary based on many considerations, let’s look at a few examples to illustrate how much Disney cruises cost for 2023.
- Disney Wonder’s 3-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego, sailing Thursday, March 16 to Sunday, March 19, costs $3,421 for an Inside stateroom, $2,897 for an Oceanview stateroom, $3,779 for a Verandah stateroom, and $5,891 Concierge stateroom. These prices are for 2 adults and 2 children, including taxes and fees.
- Disney Magic’s 4-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from New Orleans, sailing Thursday, February 23 to Monday, February 27, costs $3,421 for an Inside stateroom, $3,669 for an Oceanview stateroom, $4,197 for a Verandah stateroom, and $7,453 Concierge stateroom, for 2 adults and 2 children, with taxes and fees.
- Disney Dream’s 5-Night Bahamian Cruise from Miami (with 2 Stops at Disney Castaway Cay), sailing from Monday, April 10 to Saturday, April 15, costs $3,390 for an Inside stateroom, $3,530 for an Oceanview stateroom, $3,850 for a Verandah stateroom, and $9,310 Concierge stateroom. These prices are for 2 adults and include taxes and fees.
Note: Quoted prices can change quickly; contact The Vacationeer for updated pricing and more information for these 2023 Disney Cruise itineraries. They also have some of the best Disney Cruise onboard credit in the business!
Nemo’s Reef on a Disney Cruise Ship
Many variables affect the base fare for a Disney cruise. Our examples above indicate that Disney cruise prices start in the $3,000 – $6000 range on average, but the basic passage aboard a Disney cruise ship can range anywhere from $1,500 to $57,000 or higher for two travelers. Why is there such a wide range in the cost?
General factors that affect the fare price include:
- Ship – In general, newer, larger ships with the latest innovations and newest features have higher fares than older, smaller ships that may not be as updated. While all Disney Cruise Line ships are outstanding, the newest and largest ship, Disney Wish, commands higher fares than the oldest, smallest vessel, Disney Magic. At times, however, older ships may still have higher fares, if they have recently been renovated or if they are offering longer, more elaborate itineraries.
- Length of Cruise – It is no surprise that longer cruises naturally have higher prices. Three and four-night sailings are generally less expensive overall, but their per-night price may actually be higher than longer sailings. Disney offers cruises that range from 3-night weekend sailings to extravagant voyages of 14 nights or longer.
- Itinerary – Where a cruise ship travels will affect the fare price. Cruise lines have financial agreements with ports of call, and pay different amounts to dock at piers depending on the available facilities, the size of the ship, and how long it will be docked. These port fees are passed along to passengers. A cruise that visits more ports will naturally have higher total port fees than a cruise with fewer calls. Disney cruises visit ports around the world, including sailings in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and more.
- Sailing Date – Just like prices of other types of travel fluctuate throughout the year, the price of Disney cruises will also fluctuate based on sailing date. When family cruise vacations are more popular, such as during school vacations or holidays, demand for traveling is greater and prices will be higher. In general, cruises early in the year, after the Christmas and New Year holiday season but before spring break vacations, are the least expensive. Early fall cruises, after school begins but before Halloween kicks off the year-end holiday experiences, can also be more affordable.
- Stateroom Type – The most important factor affecting the cost of a cruise, including Disney cruise vacations, is the type of stateroom selected. Smaller rooms with fewer amenities – typically interior cabins – are less expensive, but larger rooms with balconies or verandahs are more expensive. The most elaborate cabins, the concierge suites, offer the greatest amenities and most space, but at the highest prices.
stateroom on a Disney Cruise Ship
Costs Not Included in the Disney Cruise Fare
The cruise fare, while often the bulk of cruise vacation expenses, is not the trip’s complete cost. When booking a Disney cruise, it is important to understand what additional costs are necessary – some required, some optional – to budget properly for the vacation.
- Travel to the Port – Unless guests are fortunate enough to live close to a Disney cruise ship’s home port, the travel costs just to reach the cruise can add up quickly. Depending on how travelers reach the port, this may include airfare, airport transfers, hotel rooms, gas costs, parking fees, toll roads, and other charges, both before and after the cruise.
- Taxes and Port Fees – In addition to the published fare price, cruise passengers are also assessed government taxes and port fees for their voyage. These will vary depending on the ship’s itinerary, how long the voyage lasts, and where the cruise begins and ends. At times, fuel surcharges may also be part of these fees.
- Gratuities – While not required, it is customary to pay gratuities to the crew members who make cruise vacations so memorable. Disney Cruise Line makes this easy with the option to pre-pay gratuities prior to sailing, or guests can have gratuities automatically added to their shipboard accounts. The suggested amount is $13.50 per day, per cruise passenger, which is divided up among the stateroom host and dining staff (this fee may be slightly higher in suites, which have more dedicated staff and a greater range of services). Additional gratuities for room service, Port Adventures, and other services are always at guests’ discretion.
- Specialty Drinks and Dining – While there are abundant free drinks and dining options available on all Disney cruises, specialty options do have extra charges. This includes alcoholic beverages, smoothies, specialty coffees, and bottled water, as well as premium dining choices such as the adults-only Palo or Remy restaurants, and sweets purchased at themed shops onboard, such as sundaes from Vanellope’s Sweets & Treats aboard Disney Dream or similar shops on other ships.
- Premium Activities – Every cruise is packed with fun from bow to stern, and many activities such as trivia contests, dance parties, group competitions, character meetings, and extravagant stage shows are all included in the cruise fare. Certain premium activities, however, do have extra charges. These include magical makeovers, wine tastings, spa treatments, personal fitness training, bingo games, and exclusive events that include personalization and commemorative gifts, such as the Royal Court Royal Tea experience.
- Port Adventures – When guests leave the cruise ship for explorations in port, extra costs are expected. The guided Port Adventures are not included in the cruise fare, but can be well worth the cost as these tours have been investigated by the cruise line and are designed to help guests explore ports safely and hassle-free. Tips to port tour guides and drivers are customary, but always at guests’ discretion.
- Souvenirs – All souvenirs to commemorate a Disney cruise vacation are additional expenses to plan for. This may include photos taken by ship photographers, as well as different items purchased in shops, such as t-shirts, toys, magnets, hats, jewelry, photo frames, and much more, with many items exclusively available only onboard Disney ships. Similarly, souvenir items purchased in ports of call are also additional vacation budget expenses. Guests should also be aware that “forgotten” items can be purchased onboard – charging cables, sunscreen, batteries, hygiene products, etc. – but at very premium prices.
- WiFi Access – Our lives today are highly digital, and even on vacation many travelers want to stay up-to-date with social media, email, and favorite blogs or websites. The [email protected] WiFi access aboard Disney cruise ships does have extra fees, which vary based on the type of plan guests choose. Different plans permit different numbers of devices to connect or may feature different levels of connectivity, which allows travelers to choose the exact plan that meets their needs. All guests can use onboard WiFi for free for the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app, which can help them organize their fun by making reservations, viewing daily activities, accessing deck plans, and more.
- Laundry – While few guests ever want to do household chores while on vacation, running a load or two of laundry may be necessary, especially when packing conservatively to save luggage space. All Disney cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities on board, but there is a charge to use the machines. Coins are not necessary, however, as the machines are paid via guests’ shipboard accounts. Full-service laundry and dry cleaning services are also available onboard, for additional charges.
- Travel Protection – Travel plans can change in an instant, and a last-minute illness, injury, job loss, or another issue could disrupt even the most carefully laid vacation plans. Furthermore, travel delays en route to the port could result in missing the ship, while accidents or illnesses could happen during the cruise. Travel protection insurance is highly recommended for all travelers to safeguard their vacation investment but is an extra fee based on the conditions of the cruise, the number of travelers, and the type of protection selected.
Dining on a Disney Cruise Ship
Saving on a Disney Cruise
With so many extra charges that are not included in a basic fare, the cruise vacation deal that may have seemed relatively inexpensive to start can quickly become much more costly than anticipated. Fortunately, there are also many ways to save, protecting a vacation budget without sacrificing the Disney magic of the getaway.
Working with an authorized Disney Vacation Planner is the best way to save, as these experts can access bonuses and promotional offers such as free stateroom upgrades, included ship credits, and more, which can all bring down the overall cost of the vacation. Expert planners can also help advise eager travelers on the best Disney cruise ships and itineraries to meet and exceed their cruise vacation dreams while working within practical budget expectations.
Guests should research their cruise plans thoroughly before booking, and be reasonable about their own budget and what they expect to purchase during the cruise. Looking at the cruise as an opportunity to unplug from the digital world can save money on WiFi connection plans, for example, or staying onboard the ship to enjoy all its amazing features instead of spending money on multiple Port Adventures can be a great savings. If the vacation can be planned at a less expensive time of year to set sail, that can also lead to significant savings.
Why Do Disney Cruises Cost More Than Other Cruise Lines?
As travelers research Disney cruises, they may find that setting sail with Disney Cruise Line can be dramatically more expensive than sailing with other major cruise lines. Even when ship sizes and ages, as well as itineraries and ports of call, are all comparable, Disney Cruise Line is still typically more expensive.
This is because Disney Cruise Line is set apart as a premium line, and as such, includes a variety of features directly in the cruise fare, whereas many other cruise lines charge extra fees for the same items. For example, Disney cruises include free 24-hour room service, with an extensive menu that includes selected appetizers, salads, soups, and kid-friendly entrees, such as hot dogs, chicken tenders, burgers, and pizza, as well as a few desserts. Many other cruise lines charge for room service, may have fees for room service at certain times of day, or may not offer as complete a menu.
Similarly, soda is included for free on Disney cruises, when it is ordered with meals or from selected locations onboard. Other cruise lines charge individually for all sodas or offer drinks packages that include all non-alcoholic beverages but at hefty per-day fees.
Finally, there is no substitute for the Disney cruise experience. Magic abounds on every deck with special details to discover throughout the ship, from luxury touches that make the magic come to life for all travelers to total immersion in the world of Disney, the fun of hidden Mickeys onboard each of the line’s vessels, cruise ship funnels that “sing” classic Disney tunes, and the ability to indulge in the youthful magic all ages can enjoy. Disney cruises are more expensive, yes, but the price is well worthwhile for the amazing experience that awaits.
Girl staring out at sea on a Disney Cruise Ship
Book your Disney Cruises
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