Are you in sticker shock after booking your first Disney Cruise? Here are some simple ways to save money on Disney Cruise Line without sacrificing the magic. Scroll for all my top tips!
This post about how to save money on Disney Cruise Line contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
If you are looking at Disney Cruise Line for a vacation, you may see the premium price and wonder how to save money.
I know I had a minor panic attack when I saw how much our Star Wars cruise was going to cost. I’m used to scoring pretty good travel deals, so the price tag was a lot to take it.
Thankfully, I’m an expert researcher and was able to figure out several ways to slash our budget before we even booked.
There are a number of things you can do to keep the cost down, so get ready for a magical cruise, because you can afford it.
10 Ways to Save Money on Disney Cruise Line
1. Budget Before You Book your Disney Cruise Line Vacation
Booking a Disney Cruise is easy. It’s too easy. The process is a smooth but detailed one that puts a lot of power in your hands as you decide what type of room you will have and where it is on the ship.
You’d be surprised how many choices you have and how those decisions can run up your tab.
For this reason, the best way to save money is to decide on a budget before you get started. Otherwise, you will spend more than you intend too.
Be straightforward about how much you can afford for your cruise to cost. Don’t low-ball yourself, there is no negotiation with another party.
Just cut to the chase, but stick with that amount. It will save you from spending more than what you are comfortable with.
2. Book your Disney Cruise Line Vacation Early
There are two methods on how to save money by booking your trip based on timing. The first way is to book early and save on the cost. The alternative is to book late and take advantage of last-minute discounts.
The most prudent way to save money on a Disney Cruise is to book early.
Late bookings are a benefit if you are a more impulsive traveler, but booking early not only guarantees you a spot on the cruise, but it also affords you the opportunity to make specific plans.
You can even book a cruise while you are on another cruise to save money on your next Disney Cruise Line experience.
3. Choose a Cheaper Season for your Disney Cruise Line Vacation
If you have some flexibility about when you can cruise, consider picking an off-season for the cruise you want to take. Just like other Disney vacations, there are peak seasons and off-seasons and those times determine the price.
Look at the cheapest times of the year to travel to the destination you’ve chosen. Even though the prices change seasonally, it doesn’t automatically mean a drastic change in the season itself.
That means you don’t necessarily have to worry about a downgrade in the quality of the experience due to seasonal climates.
4. Book a Cheaper Destination
Another easy way to save depends on how important your destination is. Your cruise route, your port, all of that can make a big difference in your budget.
If you have to take a Caribbean cruise, you can still pick the cheapest one by looking at the number of nights and all of the ports the ship will dock at.
If you are not locked into the Caribbean or the Bahamas, you have plenty of other potential options to choose from based on price alone.
You can even save money by taking cruises that don’t return home. These cruises switch ports with the changing seasons, so you can get a cheaper cruise if you don’t mind going one way.
Just make sure you weigh the savings against the cost of your return home.
After booking your cruise, it’s time to consider how to save money during the cruise. One of the ways to keep your spending down is to bring your own drinks. That means bottles and cans of any kind, not just alcohol.
Canned and bottled beverages will cost extra on the ship. If you have a preference on soda, you may want to bring it along with you.
The alcohol policy is very lenient. Each passenger is allowed one six-pack, or two bottles of wine in their carry-on bag every time they board. As long as you stay away from the cocktails that can really save you money on drinks.
6. Don’t Buy Extras on your Disney Cruise Line Vacation
There are countless opportunities to spend more during your Disney cruise. There is a place for these enhancements and if you budget for them, they can really make your trip.
However, that’s not how to save money. They are not necessary to the enjoyment of the cruise.
A Disney cruise includes so much in the experience already. You really don’t need to pile on more, especially if you are looking to save.
Instead, focus on the experiences that are included in the price of your cruise. stick to the free food and entertainment and your dollars will go a long way.
7. Exchange Currency on Board of Disney Cruise Line
This is a simple tip that won’t dramatically cut costs, but it is how to save money when you spend money abroad.
You can exchange your currency on the Disney Cruise Line and benefit from the best rates. If you keep your receipt, you can get the cheaper of two exchange rates when you convert your money back.
8. Bring Snacks
It’s a tried and true travel hack that still works on the Disney Cruise Line. There is so much free food on the ship, you probably won’t need snacks. There are also some irresistible treat shops onboard that will really tempt you.
However, there is a time and a place for snacks from home and I recommend coming prepared. For example, if you go to take in a movie at the Buena Vista theater, the concessions are not included in the price of your cruise.
Rather than pay extra, it pays to have your favorite movie snack with you.
Insider tip: Bring your favorite ice cream toppings and turn the free soft serve into a fancy ice cream sundae!
9. Bring a Water Bottle
It’s important to stay hydrated and that means drinking plenty of water. Bottled water on the ship costs extra, but you can save so much money by bringing an empty water bottle to refill throughout the cruise.
We really like our Hydro Flasks because the keep the water COLD all day long (especially if you add some ice.)
The tap water on the ship is so filtered it surpasses the drinking water on land. It’s totally safe and recommended to drink from the tap on a Disney Cruise ship.
10. Go Through a Travel Agent
Finally, if you really want to save money on your Disney cruise, leave it to an expert. It may seem counter-intuitive to have professional work for you, but they know how to save money on Disney trips and you will benefit from their help.
They can keep an eye out for savings and help you get the best price at no added expense to you.
If you haven’t tried booking your vacation through a travel agent yet, try it out on your next Disney cruise and you’ll never look back.
I’m a huge fan of Get Away Today. They always find the best deals and they can easily combine cruises with a few days at Walt Disney World.