Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top 10 Ways to Save Money on your Disney Cruise

Who doesn’t like saving money? Going on vacation doesn't have to break the bank. Here are my top 10 ways you can save money on your next (or first!) Disney Cruise:

Welcome Aboard, Captain Mickey!

1. Book Early – The best advice I can give for saving money on a Disney Cruise is to book early. Over time, Disney Cruise prices go up because as a specific category fills up, the prices go up. When Disney releases new itineraries, the more popular ones can go up in price even on that first day! My last 2 cruises were booked on opening day to get the lowest rates possible. If you are considering one, book it early! With the exceptions of concierge rooms, your deposit is refundable.

Disney Dream at Castaway Cay

2. Book Late – If you can’t book early, you may get some discounts by booking last-minute. Disney has a special fare for last minute planners. The highly restricted fares called IGT (guaranteed inside room), OGT (guaranteed oceanview room) and VGT (guaranteed verandah room) can save you hundreds! They're non-refundable, but can get you a great deal on that cruise you have had your eye on all year! You won't get to choose your stateroom, but you will be guaranteed the room type booked.

3. Go During the School Year –When school is in session, cruises are cheaper. September, January, early February, early May – are all cheaper than summer time or holidays.

Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

4. Book two rooms – Sometimes, two staterooms are cheaper than one. If you are a family of 5+ and want to sail, it’s often cheaper to get two inside, and sometimes two oceanview, staterooms than it is to get one room big enough for five. You can get connecting rooms, with a door in between too! If you have teens or tweens, they would love having their own space.

5. Pay With a Disney Visa – If you do have a Disney Rewards Visa Card, or were thinking about getting one, you may want to book your cruise with it. In addition to the 6 months free financing they offer for Disney Cruises, they also offer a onboard discounts for cardholders. For 2017, use your Disney Visa Card during online check-in or onboard at Guest Relations for all onboard purchases to take advantage of 10% Off Select Disney Cruise Line Digital Photo Packages, 10% Off Select Merchandise Aboard Disney Cruise Line, 10% Off a Castaway Cay Getaway Package, and 20% Off Select Onboard Massages or Facial Treatments.

6. Don't Break the Bank with Excursions – Disney has some amazing excursions that are worth every penny. If you have older kids, or are going with adults only, some of them are must-do experiences. But, if you have little ones, or if you can’t afford them, don’t let that discourage you. You can stay on board and enjoy the ship with lower crowds, or get off and walk around the ports on your own and explore. My family stayed on board in Nassau and enjoyed having practically empty pools and water slides. There is plenty to do at Castaway Cay without spending any money there. Even the lunch is included in your cruise fare!

Enjoy wine on your stateroom verandah

7. BYOB – Did you know you can bring some alcohol on board with you? You will need to carry it on to the ship, so don’t put it in checked luggage. As you can imagine, Disney doesn’t want to risk bottles breaking in checked bags. Each guest 21 years and older can bring two bottles of unopened wine, or a 6-pack of beer on board. That will save you a great deal of money! FYI, if you bring a bottle of wine to the dining room, you will be charged a corkage fee but if you bring individual glasses, you will not. If you are flying and cannot bring liquids on board, ask the ship bartenders for the drink of the day. They are usually about half-price of the other mixed drinks and you can also purchase them in a souvenir cup. If you buy a mixed drink, and it's not the drink of the day, ask for a discount on your next one by turning in the souvenir cup. I got $1 off the second drink when I traded in my cup.

Palo on the Disney Dream
8. Don’t Buy Food Onboard – If you just panicked because you thought all food on board was free, let me assure you that most of it is. The only exceptions are the adult only restaurants Palo and Remy, and some packaged snacks that are sold outside the theaters or from room service. I definitely understand the desire to eat at Palo and Remy, and I would highly recommend that, but otherwise, there is no reason to buy food. When you look at the room service menu, you’ll see a whole list of wonderful food and desserts that are all completely free. Then you’ll see a tiny list of packaged snacks like M&M’s and peanuts that have a charge. If your kids need a sweet treat, visit the free, unlimited soft serve ice cream station! Along the same note, get ice water from the drink station or room service instead of purchasing bottled water.

9. Book Your Next Cruise While On Board – Currently the onboard booking deal is half price deposits, plus 10% off the pre-sailing rates, and you get a nice onboard credit for your next cruise! You will get $100 for 3-6 night cruises and $200 for 7 night or longer cruises from Disney. You can name your Kingdom Konsultant travel agent when you are booking and combine all of that above with our onboard credits! If you’re not sure when you’re going to be cruising, you can book what’s referred to as a “placeholder date” and move the booking around later, while retaining all of the benefits! You can’t get this deal on land, so don’t let it pass you by.

Disney Magic in Port

10. Book with Kingdom Konsultants – Using a travel agent on a cruise isn’t just for convenience sake. In addition to all the knowledge they bring to the table, a travel agent can save you money. Our agents know all of the points above, plus many more tips they have gotten from cruising themselves. They can guide you to the best prices, point you towards things like “Secret Porthole Rooms” which are oceanview staterooms with an inside stateroom price. They can put something on hold for you the second a special is announced and before the staterooms disappear. They can help with suggestions of things to do in ports, and which excursions are worth the money.  They will even give you a little spending money on board in the form of an onboard credit. You won’t pay any more to use Kingdom Konsultants versus booking it yourself as our services are free!

Ready to book your Disney Cruise? Contact your Kingdom Konsultant agent today for free quotes and planning help, or to get in touch with an agent anytime at KingdomKonsultant.com.

See you onboard!

- Agent Summer

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