With their magical commercials, amazing inclusions, and a private island that you don’t have to tender for, Disney Cruise Line makes dreams come true… but all magic comes at a price, dearie. The prices of some itineraries leave those that want to cruise with Disney with a burning question: Does Disney Cruise Line Ever Have Sales?
Does Disney Cruise Line ever have sales?
The answer isn’t as cut and dry as “yes” or “no,” but takes into account many more factors and produces more of a “sometimes” answer. In my experience, I’ve seen specific Disney Cruise Line sailings become deeply discounted. Those are typically the opening ended repositioning sailings. That means they start in one port and end in another. For families with children, those aren’t always the best fit or they’re not at good times due to school. I’ve also seen Disney Cruise line sales on the deposits, offering half-off of the deposit, but you end up paying the same amount for the sailing in the long run because that other half of the deposit is rolled into the final payment amount. While the deposit may not be the same price, the sailing is over all. Both of these offerings are seen far less frequently than with other cruise lines, who you see new sales from all the time.
With the gray-area answer of “sometimes” on Disney Cruise Line sales, but a desire to book and go, the logical follow up question is: How do I save money on a Disney Cruise? There are a few things I advise to help save some money on that magical Disney Cruise Line vacation.
This I cannot stress enough. Booking early ensures that you’re in on the ground level. Unlike other cruise lines that will start to drop prices as the sailing gets closer to fill the ship, Disney Cruise Line sales aren’t like that. The rates will go up as the ship books and the sailing date gets closer. When new itineraries are announced, be ready. If you’re thinking about it, have your travel advisor put you on a list to be notified when the next Disney Cruise Line itineraries will be released. This is when the best rates are to be had. From personal experience, I’ve seen a sailing jump over $400 the first weekend it was announced. Booking on release day saved my client over $400 verus if they had waited just three days.
Rebook on Board
The onboard offer is bound to change over time (and potentially disappear, but I feel that’s highly unlikely), rebooking while you’re on the ship sailing is the best way to get an actual percentage off your Disney Cruise Line sailing. Yes, that doesn’t help someone that’s not actually on board or who hasn’t sailed with Disney yet, but by picking a shorter sailing on an older ship (older DOES NOT mean worse in Disney Cruise Line’s case), it can make that 7-night Caribbean sailing easier to achieve.
More than one placeholder can be booked while onboard as well. For example, if Brad and Suzy Jones are sailing together and they decide they want to sail again, both Brad and Suzy can each get two placeholders in their names for future sailings. There’s four future sailings for Brad and Suzy to use. However, the original person whose name is on the placeholder must be in the room. That means no big happy family reunions using all four staterooms at one time in the future, but two at a time works. You don’t have to already have a sailing picked out either to book a placeholder. There are two years to take advantage of the onboard offer that comes with a placeholder. Combining a placeholder with an offer release day is a sweet sweet deal!
School isn’t very flexible, and neither are most jobs now, but flexibility also affords the opportunity to save on a Disney Cruise. For example, that 7-night Caribbean sailing over spring break is going to cost more than a 4-night Bahamian at the same time. Are you able to put together a 3-day weekend with a 3-night sailing? A 3-night sailing over an October holiday is going to cost less than a 3-night sailing over a July holiday. All of the economics of supply and demand come into play here. If you’re able to sail in “shoulder” season (fall and right after the January holiday before spring break time frames start), those sailings can be a good way to get on a Disney Cruise Line ship without having to wait for a release day.
Use a Travel Advisor
My biggest recommendation to know if there is a Disney Cruise Line sale or if you’re getting the best value for your Disney Cruise: use a travel advisor. Their services are free to you. They will monitor your sailing after you’ve booked to see if there are any additional discounts that are released that you may qualify for. Time is money and a travel advisor is there to save you that time. If you’re not quite ready to book yet, contact a travel advisor to be put on their list to know if any discounted sailings come up or when itinerary release dates will be. Low to no risk at it costing you nothing to use one, so find one you like!