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Want to know how to make sure you do not spend too much money onboard a Disney cruise? Looking for ways to make sure that your Disney cruise dollars really stretch as far as they can?
There really is no need to spend any extra dollars whilst onboard a Disney ship. However, there are certainly many ways that you can do so. Onboard charges can add up. When that final bill arrives on the last day of your cruise it can come as a bit of a shock.
However, there is a lot that you can do to prevent charges building up. Many things are included on a Disney cruise. You just have to know where savings can be made. We have often sailed on a Disney cruise and spent very little over and above the basic cost of the cruise. Here is how you can do it too:
Set Expectations for the Whole Family
It is tempting to spend money on a Disney cruise. Many things are included, but there are plenty of things to tempt you to spend on a Disney cruise.
It is always helpful if you set a budget and are determined to stick to it. Give children a budget and make sure that they stick to it. One thing which some people do is to pre buy Disney gifts and take them onto the cruise with them. This can save a lot of money if you buy things on land from your local store.
Don’t give your children charging privileges on your Key To The World unless you know that they will use them wisely.
To motivate yourself to save you can say you will put some of your budget towards your next Disney cruise. You will be able to save up more quickly if you have spent less on board the Disney ship.
If you want to learn more about how to save money whilst booking a Disney cruise here is our guide:
Disconnect From Reality
Part of the appeal for many people on a Disney cruise is that you really can escape the stresses of everyday life. I know that it is sometimes difficult to disconnect and leave your phone alone. However, why not give it a try for a few days. Not only will this help you unwind, it will also save you a lot of money.
One of the most expensive things onboard any cruise ship is an internet connection. Connections also tend to be very slow.
The service on board a Disney cruise is called Connect@Sea. One great offer which some people miss is that you are often offered 50 MB for free when you board the ship. This is only available on the first day, so you have to sign up before midnight. We have often just used the free service and not purchased any more data.
Disney offers three wi-fi packages. The Small Package has 100 MB of data for $19. The Medium is 300 MB for $39. If you plan to use a lot of data you may want to consider the Large Package of 1000 MB for $89. Remember to log out as soon as you have finished your session.
We recommend trying to avoid these charges by limiting your access to wi-fi and also using free wifi onshore. Ask a Crew Member and they will be able to tell you where all the free wi-fi spots in port are.
However, if you really can’t let go of the internet, these charges are pretty reasonable for a cruise line service. They haven’t changed since 2014 when the data plan was introduced.
Be sure to turn on airplane mode as soon as the ship sets sail. This can prevent unwanted charges from your cell phone provider for incoming calls and texts as well as data useage.
Another great feature of Disney cruise line wi-fi is that you can share data with other guests. All you have to do is share your user name and password with them and they can be part of the plan.
Bring Your Own Bottle
You can sail on a Disney cruise without spending any extra money on drinks. Soda is included in the restaurants and is available 24/7 from the drinks station on the pool deck.
However, it is very tempting to spend extra money on drinks. Many people ask Is There a Disney Cruise Drinks Package? Disney has not followed the lead of many cruise lines and offered a paid all inclusive drinks package.
We think that this is good news. They already offer free soda – something which other cruise lines charge around $10 a day for. Also they don’t offer an all inclusive alcoholic drinks package. Again, we hope they never do as to us this just seems to encourage excessive drinking. Disney cruise lines are definitely very much a family orientated cruise line.
So how do you save money on drinks if you would like a glass of wine or two? Disney has one of the most generous take your own wine or beer policies at sea.
Guests 21 and older can take limited supplies of alcohol on a Disney ship. Disney Cruise Line adult guests may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750 ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port-of-call.
Always pack all alcohol in your carry on luggage. Any found in packed luggage, and yes they do check, will be held for your until you disembark.
Another way to save is with the Disney Cruise Wine Package. This offers discounts on full bottles of wine if you buy at least 3 bottles.
Buy The Drink Specials
If you enjoy a cocktail or a mocktail there is always a Drink of the Day special. The drinks are $4.75 plus tax. A 15% grautity is automatically added so this means they are $5.46. The non-alcholoic drinks of the day are $4.25. This is $4.88 including the automatic gratuity.
You will be tempted by the Disney cruise souvenir glass which you will see on the trays that the bar tenders carry around. They are nice souvenirs to have, but of course they cost extra.
Disney cruise lines offers some amazing excursions. However, the cost can add up to a considerable amount. Choose your excursions carefully. Remember that not all members of the family may want to do the same thing.
We are always cautious about recommending that you book your cruise excursions with another company. If you book through Disney you know that the providers have been approved by them. Also if you book a Disney Cruise Adventure you have the reassurance that even if you are late back to the ship it will not sail without you.
Unfortunately if you are with another company or out on your own and don’t make it back, you may see the ship sail without you. Believe us, we have seen it happen.
Also consider not taking a paid excursion. Some ports are very easy to walk around or to use public transport to get to the sights. Make sure that you research each port before you sail.
You also may just want to stay onboard the Disney ship when it is in port. You will certainly see the ship at its quietest and can enjoy some popular attractions such as the Disney Fantasy Aquaduck
Book One Day in the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room
Our readers will know that we highly recommend that adults spend some time in the Disney Cruise Rainforest Room. We think that this is an outstanding experience.
It is included as part of any spa treatment, but these can be pricey. You can buy a length of cruise pass, but these are also on the expensive side as you are paying for all the days you are on a cruise.
We think that the smart thing to do if you are wanting to save some money, but still want to experience the Rainforest, is to buy a Day Pass. This is just $16 per person. You used to only be able to buy this before you sail via your Disney Cruise Personalizer. However, on a recent sailing we saw that it is available on the ship.
You can buy a Deluxe Pass for $27 per day but we do not recommend this. The only difference is that this includes a scrub. You can skip this if you want to save.
Look Out For Disney Cruise Spa Specials
A visit to the spa can be a highlight of your Disney Cruise. It can also be one of the most expensive. If you are prepared to wait until you get onboard to book, you will most likely see some great discounts.
The best discounts are usually offered on port days. Obviously there are fewer people on the ship, so more spaces at the spa available. Disney cruises will often offer packages of bundles of treatments which will save you money.
You Do Not Need To Spend Anything On Disney’s Castaway Cay
Most Disney cruisers say that a trip to Castaway Cay is the highlight of their cruise. This exclusive Disney private island really is paradise.
You can spend the day here without spending anything extra. Food and soda are included. You can enjoy the day on the beach and in the water.
Of course there are plenty of things to tempt you to spending extra money. You can choose from a list of Disney Castaway Cay Activities ranging from the very popular Stingray Adventure, to Parasailing, to a Fishing excursion.
One thing which is very popular is snorkeling on Castaway Cay. You can rent equipment for $32 for adults and $16 for ages 5 to 9. This is the price for all day snorkel rental. It includes snorkel, mask, fins and snorkel vest.
However you can save money if you bring your own. This Great Value Snorkel Set gives you all you need for less than the price of a day rental.
Walk Past the Concession Stand
One of the wonderful things about a Disney cruise is the entertainment. The Broadway quality shows and the Disney movies really set Disney apart from other cruise lines.
However, you will find something very every time you walk towards the Walt Disney or the Buena Vista theatre. Popcorn Even though there is a seemingly endless supply of food all day every day on board a Disney cruise, you will still find yourself tempted by the popcorn. However, you will probably not be quite so impressed when you see the bill for your snacks at the end of your cruise.
Make sure that your kids know that you will not be giving in on this! It is perfectly fine to take your own drinks inside the theaters. Go to the pool deck and stock up on soda if you want to. If you plan ahead this will save you money and stop you from being tempted to spend money on impulse.
Check Your Receipt
As in any situation, mistakes can be made. Disney cruise lines is very efficient. However, you should always check your receipt at the time of purchase. You should also go trough your account charges on the last night of your cruise at least. Ideally you should check them every day as discrepancies can easily be taken care of.
Disney has a set system of gratuities. Your restaurant servers and cabin steward each get a set amount which wil be added to your cruise account. You can make adjustments to this.
A lot of guests are confused about the way that gratuities are added to their account. We wrote the Disney Cruise Tips Guide to explain everything.
What some guests do not realize is that an automatic gratuity will be added to any drinks that you purchase in bars or restaurants. This will be charged at 15%. The spa also automatically adds an 18% gratuity – this includes the Rainforest length of cruise pass.
You can of course adjust the amount of the tip either up or down. Just be careful that you realize that it is already added so that you don’t add another 15% on to of the included gratuity!
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
This is such a simple thing, but it really will save you money on a Disney cruise.
Disney Cruise Bottle Water is available. Compared to some other cruise lines the Disney Cruise bottles of water are actually reasonably priced. A 6 pack of bottled water costs $9.75 and a 24 pack is $39. This does not include tax and gratuity.
You can bring as much water on board a Disney cruise as you can carry in your day luggage. You cannot check it in with your luggage.
You can save even more money if you are willing to drink the onboard Disney cruise water. It is perfectly safe to drink and is available 24/7 from the pool deck. You can also get as much ice as you need.
These Insulated Water Bottles are available in various sizes and colors. They are great for cold and hot drinks.