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Of all the cruise lines out there, Disney is by far the fairest of them all. They’re also reputed to be one of the more expensive options of them all (though I don’t think that’s true and we’ll get into that later). There’s not much you can do to limit the cost of your ticket or room, but if you follow these 6 super easy tips you can save yourself an enormous amount of money and still really enjoy yourself on your Disney adventure.
Say NO to Drinks
Most food and beverages on board are free of charge, no matter how many servings you go back for. One item that will cost you is the specialty drinks. Specialty means, obviously, anything with alcohol but ALSO any espresso drink. Want a cappuccino with your dessert? Be our guest, but it will cost you. (See what I did there?) A glass of wine with dinner? But of course, for a fee. Now, also to be aware of if you choose to order a costly drink, the charge will go to your room but if you plan to tip your servers at the end of the cruise (common custom) do NOT tip each drink. It adds up quickly. So, with each beverage you have the cost of the beverage but also any tip you give as well.
Shopping is a NO!
Yes, the Disney shops are great! And they don’t seem too expensive until you add everything up (and if you are on a European cruise you can add a hefty VAT tax to it as well). Most items on ship you can find off, and perhaps even for less. Those cute pins may not take up much room in your luggage but they add up (speaking as someone who somehow spent $100 on Disney pins this last trip!). If you MUST enter the Disney store, take a picture of your amazing find and look for it online.
No Wifi Plan
We all want to websurf when things get calm and quiet, put up those great pictures on Instagram or Facebook, but at almost $100 per 1 GB of data, it gets expensive quick. One Facetime with Grandma can use half your package. My suggestion is make sure your cellular plan is set up in a way that you can use it internationally (and unlimited data for that month if you can afford it), and then check in when you reach each port. Most cruises seem to have horrible cell reception, so wait until you reach land and post using your cellular data then. On our first cruise we used over 5 GB of data like it was nothing, and literally paid for the bad usage.
But what if you need to reach your partner who is halfway across the ship? Voila! There are room phones (two of them) which are connected and you can call and text from them for FREE!
Unless you are taking the cruise simply for the excursions, take those port days to relax on ship, let the kids spend the day at the pool, see a movie, play some trivia. It’s FREE! Some of the excursions may sound amazing but unless it’s amazing and a life-long dream, perhaps it’s not worth the money?
We went to Europe and had 1 excursion despite 5 days at port. We did our own thing (planned well in advance) on a couple other port days but only took advantage of 1 excursion the whole trip. Not all excursions go as planned, and as we heard our table-mates complain about missing this van, or that bad restaurant, we were glad we had the whole ship to ourselves. The ship was quite and calm without the hoards of passengers and it was just the kind of break we needed and didn’t cost us anything.
- Bring Your Kid’s Costumes
Yes, it takes up room in your luggage, and you can buy a myriad of Disney franchise costumes on board. However, they cost a lot more on the ship than from Amazon.com. You could easily spend $80 on a simple Rapunzel costume on board, and we got this amazing one from Amazon for under $50. This is what checked baggage is for!
Bottle it Up
You may be tempted to buy a glass of wine here, a glass of wine there, but if you order a bottle of wine on ship it will “follow” you the entire cruise! Wine by the glass is expensive, and the bottle will be too. It is still cheaper to buy a bottle and have a glass when you want it.
Remember that 1 bottle is generally equal to 4 glasses…so if a glass of wine costs $9 and the bottle costs $28, it’s definitely worth it! Heading to an area that has amazing wine that you want with your dinner? No problem, just give it to your server and they will charge you $25 per bottle as a “corkage” fee. And you can usually bring 2 bottles with you from each port, for each person. Sure, the fee is expensive, so it may be better to just have a glass while sitting on the deck than with dinner. Just don’t forget to pack that wine opener!
So be wary where you spend your money while on board, as these little extras add up fast. Being a little penny-wise can prove profitable (or less debt-inducing) while on a Disney Cruise. If a Disney Cruise is in your future, keep your eyes on our site for more helpful articles!
Disney Cruise Line Link: https://disneycruise.disney.go.com