But if you’re making sacrifices to save up for your first or second Disney cruise, you might need some help keeping that money where it belongs: in your pocket.
Skip the souvenirs
- Skip the souvenirs.
- Skip the food.
- Skip the drinks.
- Skip alcohol (if you're of age).
- Skip photos, unless you want to pay extra for a photo package that includes an 8×10 print, an 8GB flash drive with your digital image on it, and free downloads of all your other photos taken during your stay at the parks or on board the ship for 10 years after purchase—and even then, those photos are likely to be higher quality than what you'd get from any store in Disney World or Disneyland anyway! They also won't be personalized or custom-printed by someone who knows how much effort went into creating them just for you! So just skip them entirely!
- Skip spa treatments as well; they're too expensive and not worth it when there are so many other things out there wasting away into nothingness before our very eyes... like love itself... which could easily take over our lives if we let it consume us whole instead of simply being consumed by ourselves first like we should always aim toward doing before anything else (except maybe sleep).
Book directly with Disney. For real.
Booking directly with Disney can save you money. You'll avoid all of the hidden fees that other companies tack on, which can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for some cruise lines.
Booking directly with Disney also means you won't have to spend time navigating websites and deals that aren't actually available anymore. And best of all, booking directly with Disney means avoiding scams: if a deal sounds too good to be true (it's not through Disney), it probably is.
Skip the drink package
The drink package is probably the most expensive option on your cruise ship, but it’s also one of the most popular. If you’re like me, though, and don’t drink a lot or regularly enough to make this work in your favor, then it might not be worth it.
The average drink package costs around $50 per day per person (and some can be as high as $90 a day). So if you have three kids and two adults cruising with you for seven nights—that would add up to about $1,500 for everyone's drinks alone! That is more than double what we paid for our entire cruise experience!!
Choose your onboard activities carefully
You may have heard that Disney cruises are expensive, and while this is true, it's possible to save money on a cruise. Your best bet is to choose your onboard activities carefully and avoid the pricier options. You can also choose activities that are unique to your particular cruise, so you don't end up spending money on something you could do at home.
Here are some ways to save money:
- Choose activities that aren't expensive or cost extra
- Choose activities that are fun but not too expensive (so they're still worth it!)
- Choose unique onboard experiences not available anywhere else
Don’t get a room with an over-the-ocean view
Don’t get a room with an over-the-ocean view.
Don’t get a room with a balcony.
Don’t get a room with a window.
Don’t get a room with a porthole.
Eat when you’re not supposed to eat
- Eat in the dining room. When you eat in the main dining room, you’re paying for not only the food but also the ambiance and service. Eating at a counter service restaurant or quick service restaurant is cheaper because there’s no tip to worry about and there are no servers to serve you. You can also save money by eating at poolside snack bars or grills instead of buying items from the poolside snack bar to take back to your cabin (and then saving those snacks for later).
- Keep it local. There are plenty of places on land that will sell Disney merchandise as well as themed foods and drinks that won’t cost as much as they would on board an actual Disney cruise ship.* Pack a cooler full of snacks before boarding so that when hunger strikes mid-day, it doesn't come out of pocket!
Stay on the ship during port days
If you're on a Disney cruise, the most obvious way to save money is by staying on the ship during port days. While it might seem like there's nothing to do if you stay on board, many guests enjoy exploring all of the activities available and taking advantage of free alcohol as well as spending time with each other in one place.
There are two ways that staying on board can save you money:
- It's cheaper to eat at restaurants on the ship rather than in port towns
- You don't have to pay for transportation between your hotel and the port
Every little bit counts. Don't blow all your money on a disney cruise
The best way to save money on a Disney Cruise is to not spend too much of it. We're all about living within your means and not spending more than you need to, so here are some ways that you can do just that:
- Book directly with Disney. There are third-party travel agencies who specialize in booking cruises (we've heard good things about Cruise Planners), but if you want the best deal possible and don't mind going it alone, book directly through Disney's website or their app (which we highly recommend). You'll get all of the same perks as if you booked with an agency, but at a reduced rate—and if anything goes wrong along the way, they'll take care of everything right away!
- Skip the drink package. You won't be drinking enough alcohol on board your ship anyway; there are plenty other ways to enjoy yourself on vacation without having another drink at every meal! And besides...even if we were heavy drinkers ourselves (which we're not), there's something about being able to only take two glasses of wine per day that makes us feel like responsible adults again...and we kind of love it!
We all want to spend more time at the parks, but this is a great way to save some money and not miss out on anything. You can still get your park fix with these tips.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Shanon Sandquist