How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost in 2024

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Photograph from the top deck of Disney fantasy with Castaway cay in the background. You can see the iconic Disney cruise line funnels on the cruise ship

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Have you ever wondered if a Disney cruise is worth the price tag? You’re not alone in questioning the value of a Caribbean cruise with Walt Disney Cruise Line. Disney Cruise Line tempts with a promise of magic at sea.

But before you set sail with Mickey and friends on a Disney Fantasy voyage, you’ll want to estimate how much it costs to go on a Disney cruise.

In this article, we’ll explore how much a Disney cruise costs on average and see why it’s more expensive than other family-friendly cruise lines.

How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

Disney Fantasy docked at port canaveral cruise terminal in floridaPin
The Disney Cruise line building and cruise ship Fantasy at dock in Port Canaveral, Florida.

A Disney Cruise costs between $1,500 to $3,000 per person on average. The average cost for a family of four is between $4,000 to $6,000 for a five-night Disney cruise.

Considering per-night rates, Disney Cruise Line is one of the more expensive vacation options. Disney promises a magical adventure. But that comes at a cost.

When considering per person per night rates, a Disney cruise is more expensive compared to Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

We’ll delve into the costs of a Disney cruise in 2023 and see how much you should budget for your next cruise vacation.

Cruise Fare

Passengers engoying the day on the pool deck on the disney dream cruise shipPin

The most significant cost for your Disney cruise is the cruise fare. Your cruise fare – the base cost of your sailing, is the most significant factor determining how much a Disney cruise costs. Here’s what’s included in the cruise fare:

  • Cabin accomodations.
  • Meals at complimentary onboard restaurants.
  • Basic drinks.
  • Port fees and taxes.
  • Onboard activities and entertainment.
  • Disney Cruise Line room service

The base cruise fare varies by the ship, destination, and time of year. But you’ll usually find prices starting at $1,000 – $3,000 per person.

Remember that these are the starting costs for an interior cabin on a Disney cruise ship. 

Expect to pay more if you upgrade to an ocean view, balcony, or suite.

If you compare cruise prices, you’ll find that Disney Cruise Line has significantly higher cruise fares than Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line. But for the price, you’ll get an authentic Disney experience with your kid’s favorite characters.

Newer cruise ships like the Disney Wish and Disney Wonder feature the worlds of Marvel and Star Wars, perfect for kids, teens, and adults.  

Airfare

Booking flights to the departure port is another significant cost of a Disney cruise. If you’re flexible with your vacation dates, you can save money by flying during the off-season.

You can further reduce airfare costs by flying mid-week.

Tip: Booking flights early helps you snag the best deals and avoid last-minute fare hikes.

Hotel Accommodations

I always recommend flying to the embarkation city a day early to avoid issues with flight delays or cancellations. Hotel costs depend on the class of hotel you choose and the proximity to the cruise terminal.

Look for hotels that offer “Park and Cruise” packages that bundle accommodations with parking and shuttle service to the port.

Port Parking or Transportation

You’ll either park your car at the cruise terminal or need transportation to get there. Transportation costs to and from the cruise terminal increase quickly, especially for parking.

Choosing a hotel with shuttle services means you don’t need to worry about transportation. Transportation services like taxis, shuttles, or ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft typically charge $70 to $105 each way, depending on your circumstances.

Port parking typically ranges between $100 to $150 for a week-long stay.

Specialty Dining

Disney Cruise Line offers an array of complimentary dining options. I’ve gone on several Disney cruises without visiting the specialty dining restaurants.

However, some dining venues come with an additional cost if you prefer to indulge in specialty dining experiences. Whether it’s a lavish meal at an adults-only restaurant or a character dining experience, make room in your budget if you’re planning to treat yourself.

Tip: I recommend booking dinner reservations in advance. You can book reservations through the app, at the restaurant, or through guest services. The two adult-only restaurants, Palo and Remy, book full quickly. So, make your reservations right away to secure a seat.

Drinks and Alcohol

While basic beverages are included in your cruise fare, alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees, and bottled water will incur extra charges. Disney is one of the few cruise lines that doesn’t offer an all-inclusive drink package.

I find that the drink prices are a bit cheaper on Disney compared to other cruise lines. But it’s key to consider your family’s drinking habits when budgeting, as these expenses can swiftly accumulate.

DCL includes pop and soda with your standard cruise fare. And they’re one of the only cruise lines to do so.

If you’re looking to save money on drinks, DCL does allow guests to bring beer or wine on the ship at every port, not just on embarkation day.

WiFi Package

Cruise ship woman using mobile phone on travel vacation at oceanPin

Staying connected at sea is no longer a luxury but rather a necessity for many. Disney offers different levels of internet packages priced based on usage. If you or your companions plan to log in for work or personal reasons, purchasing a WiFi package is the route you’ll likely take.

Gratuities

Gratuities are a way to reward the exceptional service you’ll receive on board. Cruise lines like Disney charge an automatic daily gratuity at checkout.

According to DCL, the gratuities are distributed to dining room servers, assistant servers, the dining room head server, and your stateroom host. If you stay in a suite, your service charge is also distributed to the stateroom assistant host who services the Concierge accommodations.

Disney recommends a $14.50 per guest tip for standard stateroom accommodations and a $15.50 per person gratuity for suite guests.

Shore Excursions

Exploring the ports of call significantly enriches your cruise experience and adds to the cost. Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of shore excursions, or “Port Adventures,” tailored to different interests and activity levels.

It’s worth noting these excursions offer convenience and peace of mind but often come at a premium price compared to independent exploration.

Spa Services

Finally, consider the cost of relaxation and pampering at the onboard spa. The spa offers a tranquil escape from massages to facials with various services. These luxurious treatments are optional, but if you’re inclined towards self-care activities, allocate funds for these serene experiences.

I’ve always found cruise spa services to be higher priced than I’m used to back home. But if you don’t mind the cost, it’s a great way to treat yourself and unwind on your cruise vacation.

Factors that influence the cost of a Disney Cruise

The exterior of Disney wonder with a close up of the cruise ship namePin

Several factors affect the price of a Dinsey Cruise:

  1. Time of Year: Just like holidays drive up airfare and hotel rates, Disney cruises follow suit with peaks during popular vacation times. Summer breaks, when school’s out, and winter holidays, with their festive allure, often come with higher fares.
  2. Length of Your Cruise: More days at sea means a higher overall cost, but here’s an interesting twist: sometimes, when you break it down, the per-day expense of a longer voyage is less compared to shorter sailings. Despite that, longer sailings mean more port fees, as you’re stopping at additional exotic locations along the way.
  3. Destination: Some cruise destinations are more expensive than others. For example, Alaskan cruises are typically more expensive than Caribbean or Bahamas itineraries.
  4. Stateroom: Your cabin category is the biggest determinant of the cost of your Disney vacation. An interior stateroom is much cheaper than a balcony or suite.

Consider the above variables when planning your next Disney cruise.

Tips for Saving Money on a Disney Cruise

View from deck 11 of the pool deck with passengers playing in the pool and relaxing on sun lougers. View of the AquaDuck waterslide and iconic disney cruise line funnelPin

Sailing with Disney offers a magical experience, but managing finances effectively ensures it remains joyful rather than stressful. Your budget doesn’t have to be stringent to benefit from savvy spending practices.

You’ll keep tabs on expenses by checking your onboard account regularly through the Disney Cruise Line app and avoid unpleasant surprises.

If you’re looking to cut down on costs without sacrificing too much of the Disney magic, consider these money-saving strategies:

  • Book During the Off-Season: Prices for off-season cruises are significantly lower outside of peak times. For example, sailing in the Bahamas or the Caribbean is typically more expensive during summer. If you’re flexible with your vacation time, try to sail during less busy times of the year.
  • Book Barly: Prices for cruises are cheapest when fares first go on sale. Save money by booking a Disney cruise as early as possible. And if you find a better price after you book, contact Disney Cruise Line for a price match. I’ve done this several times with success, saving my family thousands of dollars on Disney cruise fares.
  • Enlist a Travel Agent: Travel agents can access exclusive deals and offers you won’t find booking on your own. Book your cruise with a travel agent who can get you a better price on your Disney cruise. They can also bundle your Disney cruise vacation with a stay at Disney World, producing a fully-rounded Disney holiday.
  • Opt-Out of Specialty Dining: While dining on Disney ships is a treat, specialty restaurants like Palo come at an extra cost. Instead, enjoy the main complimentary restaurants where you still experience themed menus and exceptional service.
  • Monitor Your Spending: Keep track of your onboard spending through the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. The app lets you know how much you’ve spent so you don’t lose track of your finances.

Is a Disney Cruise Worth the Cost?

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Liner and Princess Cruise Ship Docked in San Diego California USAPin
Disney Cruise Ship and Princess Cruise Ship Liner docked in San Diego, California.

A Disney cruise is well worth the price. The cruise line provides a unique experience that combines Disney’s magical and family-friendly atmosphere with the cruising adventure. In fact, they’re one of our picks for the best cruise lines for families and kids.

While Disney cruises are more expensive than other mainstream cruise lines, they offer a unique, high-quality experience focused on families, with a level of service and themed entertainment that is hard to match.

Whether a Disney cruise is worth it depends on how much value you and your family place on these unique aspects of the Disney cruise experience. In my experience, Disney Cruise Line has always been worth the money spent.

If you’re still not convinced, try our cruise line quiz to help you find which cruise line is right for you.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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