This question come from Donna, who asks: We are “4 adults, 3 children and would like to take a Disney Cruise next Spring (March). They are just so much more expensive than other cruise lines. Any advice for saving/deals????
Donna, thanks for your question and for reading the blog. I think booking a Disney cruise and booking a Disney resort have one huge thing in common: Never, until you’ve exhausted every resource, pay full price. The best way to stay informed about Disney cruise line discounts is to frequent a forum like the DCL board at Disboards every few days. If there’s a discount out there, they’ll have information about it almost immediately. They’re a very well-informed bunch.
DCL has three discount seasons: Fall Fantasy (September – December), Sunshine Sailaway (January – March), and occasionally, Springtime Magic (April-May). Just like resort hotels, discounts for holidays that fall within this period will be pretty much nonexistent. Discount availability depends on how much difficulty Disney is having filling their staterooms, so expect more discounts while the economy remains poor. While we’ve heard from Disney itself that they plan on weaning the public off discounts, on the resort side of things this doesn’t seem to be the case entirely, so keep watching. Advanced booking can save you money and offer you a better choice of staterooms. In addition to early booking discounts, check into special rates for Canadian residents and for Florida residents if that applies to you. Finally, if you book with a Disney Rewards Visa or you book while you’re on the ship (the equivalent of a “bounce back” offer that the WDW resort offers), you will receive a small discount.
Also, consider checking with a Disney certified travel agent to see what kind of deal they can find you. You’re never committed just by getting a quote, so you have nothing to lose. A good agent will not charge you any fees; they make a small commission from everything they sell to you, so that’s how they get paid. Many are online and should have their certification information readily available for you to see. You can find a good agency by checking Disney message boards to see what posters think of their reputation or by going to a Disney travel website you’re familiar with and using the agency they’re partnered with. Most bigger Disney themed websites are partnered with a travel agency. The best agents will keep you informed of discounts that pertain to your travel as they come out so that they can be applied to your package. Remember to always find out about their cancellation and change fees; some agencies are more lenient than others, some are more strict than their vendors.
If you want to do research on your own, check with a site like Mousesavers. Mousesavers should be required reading for anyone traveling to Disney; they’re just that good. Most Discounts will show up on this site a few days after they come out. I also like WDWInfo, which is a part of Disboards.
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