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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disney's Castaway Club


Disney Cruise Line offers a loyalty program for previous cruisers called Castaway Club. The club has been in existence, as far as I know, since 1998 when Disney Cruise Line began sailing, offering the same perks to all members of the Castaway Club. In October, 2009, the Castaway Club changed to a tiered system, offering various perks to various levels. The more you had cruised with Disney, the more perks. So, while we had been invited to the Castaway Club members only reception during our July 2008 cruise (our 2nd DCL cruise), prior to the change to the tiered club system, we weren’t invited to that same reception in December of 2009, as the “Gold” Castaway Club status was required to be invited.




Here’s a layout of the tiered Castaway Club:



Silver Level—You reach this level after completing your first Disney Cruise. You get access to Castaway Club merchandise, sold only on the ship, a discount if you book your next cruise on-board, access to the Castaway Club web-site. And for your next Disney Cruise, you will receive the silver lanyard, a gift in your stateroom, and the ability to make spa reservations, Remy/Palo reservations, and port adventures reservations 90 days prior to your cruise if you are paid in full.



Gold Level—You reach this level after completing your fifth Disney Cruise. Same perks as listed for the silver level and then add on the Castaway Club members only on-board reception, and a chance to book new itineraries before the general public. If you are a Gold Level Castaway Club member, you have a 105 days out window to book your port adventures, spa treatments, and reserve Palo or Remy if your cruise is paid in full.



Platinum Level—You reach this level after completing your tenth Disney Cruise. Same perks as listed for the gold level then add on exclusive Platinum Level experiences, Platinum check-in at the Port Terminal and a complimentary meal at Palo. If you are a Platinum Level Castaway Club member, you have a 120 days out window to book your port adventures, spa treatments, and reserve Palo or Remy if your cruise is paid in full.



Knowing about the 120 day window for the Platinum Level is what gave me pause when I read a no longer there entry in the Disney Parks Blog this last week. While writing elegantly about the much awaited new ship the Dream, the blog advertised that the Platinum Castaway Club members booked on the inaugural voyage of the Dream were now at the 180 days out mark and could reserve port adventures, etc. if their cruise was paid in full. Ooops! While the 180 day window is for dining reservations, also known lovingly as ADR’s, for the Walt Disney World Resort, it is not the “window” for the cruise line.



The Williams Family is at the Silver Level in the Castaway Club’s tiered member system. We have cruised 3 times and proudly wear our silver lanyards. I remember during our last cruise trying to get a sneak peek at a Platinum Level lanyard, to no avail. The husband has his sights on the Gold and Platinum Levels. And, we may get there. Our pattern is to cruise every 18 months or so, so to get 2 more cruises under our belts will take us a while. To get 7 more cruises may take us 11 or more years, at our current rate. It is always good to have a goal!

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