Disney Cruises: The Complete Guide

Disney offers one of the most comprehensive family cruise experiences out there — but tickets don't come cheap.
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Disney has a massive global footprint across its theme parks, films and merchandise. And it doesn’t stop there. Among its many offerings is the Disney Cruise Line, whose fleet of five ships sails all over the world.

Family-friendly but with adults-only areas, Disney cruises offer some of the most comprehensive cruise options around. Let’s break down everything there is to know about the Disney Cruise Line, including pricing, destinations and its loyalty program.

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About Disney Cruise Line cruises

You can always expect some magic from Disney, and there is no exception when sailing on Disney Cruise Line. Although its fleet is small, it offers a high-end, family-friendly experience for guests. Here’s a quick overview of Disney Cruise Line’s key features.

  • Cabin types: Disney Cruise Line offers all the usual cabin types, including inside, oceanview, verandah and concierge-level rooms. Disney Cruise Line’s cabins are larger than average and designed for families, with split bathrooms and privacy curtains. Their largest rooms can accommodate up to seven guests. 

  • Main U.S. routes: Disney has several departure points from within the United States, including options from San Diego, New York City, Miami, and Galveston, Texas. However, its most frequent departures are from Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, to the Bahamas and the Caribbean or from Vancouver, British Columbia to Alaska.

  • Loyalty program: Disney Cruise Line offers the Castaway Club to repeat guests. It has four membership levels — Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pearl. The first level is earned by completing a single cruise. 

Disney Cruise Line destinations

Although Disney currently operates only five ships, the cruise line still manages to cover most of the world. Here are the locations you can currently sail on a Disney cruise:

  • Alaska.

  • Australia.

  • Bahamas.

  • Bermuda.

  • Canada.

  • Caribbean.

  • Europe.

  • Hawaii.

  • Mexico.

  • New Zealand.

  • Pacific Coast. 

  • Panama Canal.

  • South Pacific. 

  • Transatlantic. 

Cruises are available in a variety of lengths, from three nights up to 15 nights.

Disney Cruise Line prices

Disney cruises tend to be more expensive than the average cruise. Currently, for example, the cheapest cruise departing from Port Canaveral is a three-night trip to the Bahamas, which costs $1,958 for two guests.

And you’ll pay more to take a "special occasion" Disney cruise. The same three-night Bahamas cruise sailing during Disney's Silver Anniversary at Sea starts at $2,345 for two guests.

When it comes to timing, standard logic applies. The high season will cost more, especially during holidays and the summer break.

The cheapest rate we found — the previously-mentioned $1,958 — is for a cruise in late January, a time when those with school-aged children might have trouble getting away. Meanwhile, the most expensive period for this cruise takes place over the Christmas holiday and rings in at $3,737 for an inside stateroom.

For all destinations, if you’d like to save money, avoid peak periods and search all available dates to find the lowest rates. This is true even on less popular cruises, such as those sailing up to Alaska.

The cheapest cost for two guests to Alaska from Vancouver is $2,983 in mid-September, while the same cruise will cost you $4,607 if you sail over the Fourth of July holiday.

🤓Nerdy Tip

One-way positioning cruises — that is, those that end in a different location from where they started — are often much cheaper per night than standard round-trip cruises.

What’s included in a Disney cruise

Disney cruises are more inclusive than most cruises. You don’t, for example, need to pay extra for soft drinks on a Disney cruise like you would on Norwegian Cruise Line. You’re also entitled to complimentary room service 24/7, unlike on Virgin Voyages, where you'll be charged a $5 fee for each delivery.

Here are more inclusions you can expect.

  • Live, high-quality entertainment.

  • Large staterooms (designed for parties of up to three guests).

  • Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay (on most Bahamas and Caribbean cruises).

  • Upscale restaurants, quick-service dining, poolside snacks and room service.

  • Adults-only lounges and pool areas.

  • Waterslides (on some ships).

What’s not included in a Disney cruise

While Disney is fairly generous in terms of what's included relative to competitors, there are a few expenses where you might need to make additional space in your vacation budget. Things that require an additional fee include Disney Port Adventures, spa services, adult-exclusive restaurants, Wi-Fi and specialty drinks.

Specialty drinks can range from hand-crafted lattes at the cafe to mocktails and cocktails at the bars. Sure, the extra charge is annoying, but take solace in knowing that sometimes the cruise line bar ranks among the coolest part of a voyage.

Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge. (Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

The company has increasingly leaned into over-the-top, themed bars, often based on Disney's movies or theme park rides. For example, the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge on the Disney Wish allows you to sip on mixed drinks like "Spire Sunset" and "Cloud City" while you admire iconic locales in the “Star Wars” universe — including Tatooine, Mustafar and Coruscant — through a virtual window into the galaxy.

And when Disney’s newest ship, Disney Treasure, sets sail on its maiden voyage in December 2024, it’ll feature multiple adult-exclusive themed bars including the world’s first Haunted Mansion-inspired bar, as well as a Jungle Cruise-themed bar called Skipper Society.

Disney Cruise Line loyalty program: Castaway Club

Disney isn’t known for its loyalty programs. For example, there is no frequent traveler program associated with staying at one of its resorts or frequenting its parks. However, Disney Cruise Line rewards repeat customers with various benefits, including a complimentary specialty dinner, free photo downloads and an exclusive terminal check-in area.

Castaway Club levels

The Castaway Club levels are Silver, Gold, Platinum and Pearl.

Silver

  • How to earn: Sail on one cruise.

  • Best benefits: Book cruises one day before the general public, online activity planning 90 days before sailing, check in 33 days early, exclusive terminal check-in.

Gold

  • How to earn: Sail on five to nine cruises.

  • Best benefits: Book cruises two days before the general public, online activity planning 105 days before sailing, check in 35 days early, onboard reception, special discounts. 

Platinum

  • How to earn: Sail on 10 to 24 cruises.

  • Best benefits: Book cruises three days before the general public, online activity planning 120 days before sailing, check in 38 days early, complimentary specialty dinner.

Pearl

  • How to earn: Sail on 25+ cruises. 

  • Best benefits: Book cruises four days before the general public, online activity planning 123 days before sailing, check in 40 days early, complimentary unlimited digital photo package. 

What is the best Disney Cruise Line ship?

The Disney Wish is the newest Disney Cruise Line ship and certainly its best. It just launched in the summer of 2022. Among its many amenities, guests can find the first-ever Disney attraction at sea. It’s a 760-foot water slide filled with show scenes, lighting, music and more that touches down into a lazy river.

The Disney Wish also has dedicated areas themed for "Frozen," the Marvel Universe and "Star Wars."

In addition, the Disney Wish has all the regular amenities you’d expect on a Disney cruise, including live entertainment, pools and spacious staterooms.

Frequently asked questions

Disney Cruise Line does not offer free Wi-Fi. Instead, it has three levels of packages from which to choose:

  • Stay Connected: $10 per day for the entire cruise or $12 per day for a 24-hour period.

  • Basic Surf: $20 per day for the entire cruise or $24 per day for a 24-hour period.

  • Premium Surf: $30 per day for the entire cruise or $36 per day for a 24-hour period.

These packages are available on the Disney Wish, Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream. The Disney Wonder still operates on the old data-usage Wi-Fi packages.

Most of your daily expenses, including your food and non-alcoholic beverages, are included when sailing on a Disney cruise. However, if you’d like specialty drinks or alcohol, you’ll need to pay extra. Gratuities are not included, and Disney Cruise Line's recommended tip is a minimum of $14.50 per guest, per night.

Disney Cruise Line doesn’t offer the standard drink package other cruise lines offer. Drink packages allow you to pay a flat-rate price and drink as much alcohol as you’d like.

Instead, you’ll either pay per drink or purchase bundled quantities onboard. It’s also possible to purchase a specialty beer mug at the pub onboard, which can then be refilled across the ship. Much like Disney’s popcorn buckets, your beer mugs entitle you to cheaper refills on all your beer.

In the past, Disney Cruise Line required that you be vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 before sailing, but this is no longer the case. Guests departing from the United States are not required to do either, though the cruise line highly encourages you to get vaccinated before sailing.

(Top photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)


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