What are the Castaway Club Benefits for repeat Disney Cruisers? Once you have sailed on a Disney Cruise you automatically become a member of the Castaway Club.
But what does this mean and what perks do Castaway Club members have?
And scroll down to see information about the new tier.
Disney Castaway Club Levels
There are four Disney Castaway Club Levels of membership:
- Silver – Begins after your first completed cruise
- Gold – Begins after your fifth completed cruise
- Platinum – Begins after your tenth completed cruise.
- Pearl – Begins after your twenty-fifth completed cruise.
New – Pearl Level of Membership
For 2023 there is a new level of Castaway Club membership.
Beginning on May 1, 2023, if you have sailed 25 Disney Cruises you will be awarded the new level of membership – Pearl.
This level introduces a very valuable perk – a complimentary Unlimited Photo Package.
DCL also announced that there will be new Welcome Back Aboard gifts for all levels.
For anyone who has so many of those sling backpacks and luggage labels they don’t know what to do with them, this is good news.
No announcement yet on what the gifts for other levels will be, but Pearl will find these drinking tumblers in their stateroom.
Note that you move up a level after you have completed your first, fifth, tenth, and twenty-fifth Disney Cruise.
In other words, if you are sailing on your 10th cruise, you are still at Gold Castaway Club level. When you sail again on a Disney Ship you will move up to Platinum Level.
What are the advantages of moving up the levels?
There are 2 types of benefits – those before you sail and those during your sailing.
How to Pack Like a Cruise Travel Expert
Castaway Cay Club Benefits – At Home
Perhaps the most valuable of the Castaway Club perks are these first two.
Early booking for the actual cruise itself and early booking for activities once you are actually booked on the cruise.
Disney Cruise Early Itinerary Booking
Disney Cruise Itineraries are usually released just three times a year.
As there are five Disney ships right now (soon to be seven with the Disney Treasure and the as yet renamed Global Dream that Disney purchased) the competition for cruises, particularly certain sailings, can be fierce.
For instance, the Disney Magic European cruises tend to sell out in days and the Disney Cruises to Hawaii sell out extremely quickly.
Also, usually, the prices for Disney Cruises tend to go up over time.
As a general rule, the cost on the first day of release is the lowest you will see it.
We have been following Disney Cruise price changes for some time now and it is interesting how much prices change.
You can see here our Disney Cruise Wish Prices Guide and Disney Cruise Alaska Cost to see how prices change and usually increase.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, and military and Florida resident discounts are offered (usually for the Disney Dream).
However, unlike some other cruise lines that discount unsold staterooms closer to the time of sailing, Disney tends not to have a lot of unsold staterooms – so very few discounts.
So it is a very definite perk that once the new Disney Cruise sailings are released, all Castaway Cay members can book them earlier than the general public.
This is usually the pattern for the release of sailings for Castaway Club Members.
- Silver Castaway – 1 day prior to sailings being released to the general public
- Gold Castaway – 2 days prior to sailings being released to the general public
- Platinum Castaway – 3 days prior to sailings being released to the general public
- Pearl Castaway – 4 days prior to sailings being released to the general public
Disney Cruise Early Activities Booking
Another one of the major Castaway Club benefits is being able to book activities on board the ship earlier than non-members.
Some activities are extremely popular and get booked very quickly.
For example beverage tastings, Frozen Meet and Greet, Palo Brunch or Dinner, and the notoriously difficult-to-get Castaway Cay Cabana reservations.
I know that people do get very concerned that they have not been able to book certain activities online prior to their Disney Cruise.
However, don’t despair!
Often, there are still spots available once you board the ship as not all activities are released prior to sailing. The best example of this is Palo Brunch.
Every sailing, guests are concerned prior to boarding that they haven’t been able to get a reservation for Palo, particularly brunch.
However, not all of the available reservations for Palo are available online prior to boarding – they always hold some back.
So when you board the ship, always check to see if Palo or whatever other activity was “sold out” online is available. You can do this at guest services, or by going to the designated place where the dining room team will be there to help you.
Here are the priority dates for online reservations according to which level of Disney Cruise Castaway Cay member you are.
- First-time Guest – 75 days prior to the sail date
- Silver Castaway – 90 days prior to the sail date
- Gold Castaway – 105 days prior to the sail date
- Platinum Castaway – 120 days prior to the sail date
- Pearl Castaway – 123 days prior to the sail date
Concierge guests always had priority over Platinum as they could request reservations and activities 5 days prior to Platinum members.
I assume that now Concierge will be 5 days prior to Pearl members.
The activities are released on the same day, but in reality, Concierge will have priority over Platinum.
So, if you want to book a Castaway Cay Cabana you really need to sail concierge to maximize your chances.
Disney Cruise Port Arrival Time
Another great perk for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members is Early Access to Select Port Arrival Times.
When you check in online you are allocated a port arrival time. If you are a Gold Castaway Club member you can select your port arrival time online.
This is subject to availability – the earlier times may all have been allocated, so you may still get a late boarding group.
It used to be that Platinum Members had the excellent perk of automatically being allocated the earliest Port Arrival time and having Group 3 boarding group.
This, however, is no longer the case. I recently checked in online as soon as I could and was allocated the Group 17 boarding group.
Here is a Complete Guide To Embarkation on a Disney Cruise so you can see how the boarding process works and what to do on your first day.
At the port Castaway Cay members will also have a dedicated check-in line. This is a nice perk as the lines are usually quite a bit shorter than the general line.
Platinum Members have the same line as Concierge, so this usually goes pretty quickly.
It remains to be seen if Pearl will replace Platinum or if they will have their own separate line.
Castaway Club Disney Cruise Phone Number
The final pre-cruise benefit of being a member of the Disney Cruise Castaway Club is the dedicated helpline 1-800-449-3380.
Disney Castaway Club Benefits Onboard
Castaway Club members also have benefits available once they have boarded their Disney Cruise Ship.
Every Castaway Cay Member gets a welcome back aboard gift. These gifts vary according to your membership level.
Over the years I have had some really useful gifts, although it does become a little disappointing when you already have the exact same backpack and luggage label you have been given for the previous years!
DCL has announced that they will be changing the Welcome Back Aboard gifts.
Last time I sailed I did get a new gift of a cool bag which was a welcome change.
Gold, Platinum and Pearl Discounts
Discounts in the store are a very nice perk. This is usually 10% discount on most goods in the store.
Gold Platinum and Pearl Onboard Reception
In days past they used to have these on all sailings which are 7 days or more.
However, in recent years this has been cut to just holding the reception on cruises that are 8 days or longer.
What this means is that these Castaway Club Receptions don’t happen very often anymore! Most sailings are 7 nights or less, so they don’t have a reception.
I have attended them on Panama Canal sailings and they were held around the Goofy Pool on Deck 9. There were plenty of free drinks and some nice snacks available.
The Captain and the Officers attended and you get a great opportunity to talk to them and ask any questions that you have.
Platinum and Pearl Complimentary Dinner at Palo
This is one of my favorite Castaway Club perks. Once you reach Platinum status you can get one complimentary dinner or brunch at Palo.
The official Castaway Disney Cruise site only mentions dinner, but I have used it for Brunch.
This is a good saving of the $45 cover charge.
Always make sure that you tip your Disney Server though – they work very hard and deserve to be rewarded.
All adults in your stateroom will also get the free Palo benefit even if they are not Platinum or Pearl members.
Disney Cruise Castaway Club Questions
- How do you access your Castaway Club account?
There is a dedicated site at Disney Cruise Castaway Club where you can log in with your Disney account. This shows you a summary of all the benefits, which cruises you have sailed on, and which membership level you have reached.
- If I am at Castaway Cay Platinum level, but my partner in the same stateroom is only Gold, will we both get a complimentary Palo Dinner?
Yes. A Castaway Cay membership is personal to the individual and is not transferable, but the exception is that every adult in a stateroom with a Platinum Member will receive a complimentary meal.
- I am a Castaway Cay Platinum member so I can board the ship early, shortly after concierge. Can my partner, who is only Gold, board with me?
In that situation, you can board with your partner even though they do not have Platinum status.
Which Disney Cruise Castaway Club Benefits do you enjoy most?
Friday 24th of February 2023
Hi, I noticed some outdated info in this article even tho it says published on Feb 24th, for example u mentioned there are only 4 ships on Disney fleet, so to be 5 with the addition of the Wish, except that Disney Wish is almost a year old! Thanks for the rest of the info!
Friday 24th of February 2023
Thank you for this! Sorry I missed this when I was rewriting this article this morning but have changed it to reflect this.
Saturday 22nd of January 2022
From the DCL website
Q. I will be sharing a stateroom with a Guest who has a different Castaway Club Membership level than I do. What Member benefits will apply to the stateroom?
A. The Castaway Club benefit level?Silver, Gold or Platinum?is determined by the Guest with the highest membership level in the stateroom. All Guests staying in the same stateroom will enjoy that member’s benefit level for the duration of the cruise.
Guests traveling with you, but staying in a different stateroom, will enjoy the benefit level of whichever member has the highest membership level in their stateroom.
Saturday 22nd of January 2022
If you are platinum all adults in your cabin get the Palo dinner, even if they are not platinum.
Saturday 1st of January 2022
I recently went on a cruise and I booked it and my partner was a guest on my booking. When I look I have silver but my partner doesn’t.. is that right or should we both be silver?
Sunday 28th of November 2021
Ever think of adding. A level for 25 or more cruises?