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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, October 17, 2011

Booking Your Next Disney Cruise While On-Board Can Lead to Significant Savings

After four Disney cruises, we have learned a thing or two. . . or at least, we hope we have.  For us, Disney cruising was love at first sail, and our 4 night Bahaman sailing on the Disney Wonder was all it took.  We only regretted two things from that cruise—not purchasing photos and not rebooking on board.

So, when we booked our 2nd Disney cruise, through our travel agent of course, we knew that we would rectify those two, in our opinions, missteps from our first cruise.

Our 2nd Disney cruise was a 7 night, Mexican Riviera sailing on the Disney Magic.  This time, we purchased photo “points” as that was the system being used at Shutters at the time, and we rebooked our next Disney cruise while on board.

On this cruise, I attended a Future Cruise presentation in one of the lounge areas.  It was easy to pick out a cruise and navigate the process.  The deal at the time was 10% savings and 50% of the required deposit.  We were able to give our travel agent credit for the booking, so that she could help us later with travel details, payments, etc.  I think she knew we had rebooked before we even got home!

And, 18 months later, we were sailing with Disney Cruise Line again, on a 7 night Western Caribbean voyage on the Disney Magic.  When we walked on board, we had the Disney Cruise Line on-board credit from our rebooking on board along with our travel agency’s on-board credit!

This time, we purchased a photo package with Shutters—the system had changed, and we stopped by the Future Cruise Sales desk and picked up a brochure to fill out and request a price quote.  I dropped the completed brochure in the slot near the Future Cruise Sales desk and waiting to receive our quote.

The process was easy!  The Future Cruise sales agent and I met one time, but the rest of the time we communicated by phone—voice mail! 

Voila!  We were booked for 18 months later on the Disney Dream with a 10% savings, a 50% deposit, and an on-board credit for our next cruise and 4th cruise.

We repeated the same procedure on our most recent Disney cruise aboard the Disney Dream.  We rebooked for the same stateroom, the same ship, and the same sailing itinerary for 17 months away.  The deposit had changed a bit, as the deposit for a Disney cruise is 20% of the fee per person, but rebooking on board the deposit is 10% (which equals to 50% of the required deposit.)  There’s still the 10% savings and we were still able to give the credit for the booking to our travel agent!

Bottom line:  It pays to rebook your next Disney cruise while on board.  Yes, it means a little more money out of our pocket at the time, but the savings are significant.

Here’s information about on-board credits based on your Castaway Club Level that you will have for your next Disney cruise when you rebook on-board:

CC Club Level                        On-board Credit                     On-board Credit
Silver (1-5 cruises)........$100 for 3-6 night cruises.......$200 for 7 night or longer cruises 
Gold (6-10 cruises)........$150 for 3-6 night cruises.......$275 for 7 night or longer cruises
Platinum (11+ cruises)....$200 for 3-6 night cruises.......$350 for 7 night or longer cruises

Combine the Disney on-board credit with a travel agency’s promotions/on-board credits and you’ve got yourself considerable savings.

You may reserve as many staterooms as there are members in your traveling party.  So, for us, we could reserve 3 staterooms . . . either for 3 different cruises, or 3 staterooms for the same cruise--if we knew friends or family that would be sailing at the same time.  Of course, the deposit would be required for all staterooms reserved while on board.  I also just learned that I can ask for a friends and family certificate and pass along the savings.  At this point, we've only reserved one stateroom for our next cruise when booking on board.

When we walked on board the Disney Dream for our most recent cruise, we had the $100 on-board credit from Disney Cruise Line for rebooking, a $75 on-board credit from our travel agency, a $45 drink voucher (same as on-board credit) from our travel agency, a voucher for a free float/tube rental—also from our travel agency, a fruit plate waiting in our stateroom, again from our travel agency, and our Castaway Club Member gifts waiting for us in our stateroom.  It was awesome!

Its 14 months until our next Disney cruise!  Guess what we will for sure do while on board?


  1. I wanted to let you know that sometime between July and Sept of 2102 the on board credit structure changed...
    I went back and checked my on board credits after reading your wonderful information..thought I was missing some $$$ from our 2 of our cruises...I called DCL and the structure is now only one level and it is $100.00 for 3-6 days and 7+ days is $200.00. So it no longer matters what Castaway Club level you are in regards to on board credits :(

    1. Stephanie,
      You are right, DCL did change their structure. We wrote about it on May 16, 2012--Disney Cruise Line Flat Lines Castaway Club Level On Board Credits For Future Cruises.
      So,alas. . . only a $200 on-board credit for our next Disney Cruise even though we will be Gold Level.
      It still pays to work with a travel agent though!
      Thanks for checking!

  2. After I wrote the above note I figured it was old news to you guys and regretted writing it...you would think at Platinum I would know more than I do..oh well.
    Lesson learned...search your blog more carefully before sending you old news...
    Thanks for all the great stuff you post!

    1. Stephanie,
      Thanks for being another set of eyes on our blog. It is easy to miss things when information changes quickly. Thanks for reading and definitely appreciate the compliments!