THE ULTIMATE DISNEY CRUISE PLANNING GUIDE: 7 SIMPLE TIPS THAT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY.
DISNEY CRUISE: ORGANIZING YOUR TRIP AND MAKING THE MOST OUR OF YOUR MONEY WITH 7 SIMPLE TIPS
The Disney Cruise Line has 4 amazing ships with tons of destinations to Bahamas, Alaska, Caribbean and European. The 4 cruise ships have different launched dates, the Disney Magic (1998), Disney Wonder (1999), Disney Dream (2011) and Disney Fantasy (2012) which are pretty much different inside. I love YouTube because you can actually see what each cruise ship looks like inside, so be sure to check it out. The Cruise Ship prices differ depending on your destination but here are some simple ways to book and save money.
Tip 1: Book Early
As soon as you have a date book your trip. It is not like the Airline where prices fluctuate and can possibly drop. Disney Cruise price goes up as the room availability goes down. We booked our Disney Cruise trip one year in advance which also allowed us to have more options of staterooms as well as the early dinner (much needed with kids).
Tip 2: Book Off Peak Season
Booking off season will save you so much money if you just go when everyone else is not interested. The winter month (except near Christmas) are the best prices. We booked in January the week of Martin Luther King’s birthday. That one holiday during travel made the price slightly higher than the week before or after. Otherwise, we still save thousands of dollars. The 4 of us was 2, 800. Only 700 a person plus on board credits. If you book any other time it can be well over 1,000 a person.
Tip 3: Find A Travel Agency That Offers Onboarding Credit
This was hard to nearly impossible because all the travel agencies I contacted do not offer group discounts or cheaper rates than going directly to the Disney booking page. I contacted Disney and booking service and she let me know if any travel agencies offered cheaper prices then something is wrong. She was right, I contacted 4 agencies and 5 travel sites…no luck. But there was one agency that I found Small World Vacations, which offered up to $1000 credit. So I decided to book with them, besides the service was great.
Tip 4: Get The Inside Stateroom
Picking the stateroom you want is a must. The first Disney Cruise we had an ocean view (military discount…read below).But, I have bad motion sickness so I never looked out the window. Side note: if this is you too then you definitely need seabands which keeps you from getting nauseated on the Cruise and on the plane. Besides, you don’t spend ANY time in the cabin. The only thing you will do in there is sleep. Trust. But one of my must haves is quiet. Ok, so I am a light sleeper I made sure I didn’t have a room next to the elevator, stairwell or any activity stations. I did most of my research on mousesaver.com, which is a phenomenal website with everything Disney. They go into detail with Tips And Tricks For Picking A Stateroom.
Tip 5: Where To Stay
If you are staying at a hotel the night before (a must) then you can save money by staying close to the airport. I prefer to go directly to the hotel page because it seems to be cheaper and more dependable than travel websites (Expedia, Travelocity, etc.). For instance, if I book a hotel at the Hilton and I need to cancel then there are no loops and jumps. Trust this has happened to me too many times. If I need to modify a trip simplicity is a must because time is money and I am not trying to lose either one. Grab a hotel that offers free transfers either to the Airport or the Cruise port because it will save money because shuttle can be $15 a person. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Our first Disney Cruise we drove. Yes with a 3-month-old and a 6-year-old 15 hours. In that case, we didn’t need a hotel just a location to keep our car and offer a shuttle to the Cruise port.
Tip 6: How You Get There
So like I said the first time we drove to Port Canaveral, Florida from Dover, DE but it worked out because we stopped along the way ( utilize family members on route). We keep the cost of our SUV rental down by using coupons (Retailmenot.com) and going off season. The second time we flew to Miami, Florida from BWI airport. I have stalked the airline prices from the moment they were available which was 6 months prior to departure. Getting a cheaper flight is difficult because the prices fluctuate day to day, week to week and month to month. It’s like playing the game Clue everything had to be perfect. Some strategies…search for flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday because the prices posted are cheaper than looking on the Weekend. If you can also book on a Tuesday or Wednesday. If you can’t like us who booked on a Friday then get alerts from skyscanner.com to let you know when the price drops. Statistic states the best time to book is around 54 days prior departure.
Tip 7: Save Money
As if these tips above are not saving you a lot…here are more ways.
- As if these tips above are not saving you a lot…here are more ways.
- I use Ebates for just about everything when possible. It’s simple, make an account and search places or stores you will like to save money. For instance, they give up to 10% cash back for booking hotels, car rental and using travel site (Travelocity and etc. if you like them).
- Get a hotel rewards card!
- Shop at the dollar store to buy any Mikey related item, glow sticks, candies and coloring books. Disney Cruises have a very exciting pirate party on the top deck so bring your dollar store pirate toy too. Also, when you have kids they believe it is necessary to go to the gift shop, but I know better.
- Use your on board credit for an adult only romantic dinner at Remy or Pablo
- If you fall under one of the following then you can get a Military rate: active duty or retired military; 100% disabled retired military; reservists for National Guard and Army Reserve with active duty orders (active duty papers must be dated as of January 1st of the previous year to qualify and Department of Defense personnel.
- The 3-day trips to the Bahama I noticed is the cheapest destination.
- Uber to the airport please don’t leave your car there it’s expensive.
- Last but not least….Book your next trip while on board because they offer the best discount rates.
Hope this little advice can assist you in planning your Disney cruise vacation. ENJOY!!