Have you ever wondered what a Disney Cruise Stateroom Guarantee is?
You might have heard of something called a Stateroom Guarantee, or read about a GTY, IGT, OGT, or even a VGT.
What do these words and abbreviations actually mean? And can knowing about them actually save you money on your Disney Cruise?
Here is a guide to help you understand firstly what a Guaranteed Stateroom or Cabin actually is so that you can make a decision of whether it is the right option for you.
Disney Cruise Staterooms
Usually, when you book a cruise stateroom you pick a specific one. Usually, but not if you book a Disney Cruise Stateroom Guarantee.
A cruise ship is not like a hotel where you book a type of room and it is assigned when you check-in. Usually, you will book a specific stateroom so you will know exactly where you will be on the ship.
However, sometimes Disney will offer Guaranteed Staterooms for select sailings.
This doesn’t happen on all Disney sailings. Guaranteed staterooms are usually offered closer to the sail dates. Disney will have assessed that they aren’t selling staterooms at the rate they wanted to, so will start to offer discounted Guaranteed Staterooms.
Many Disney cruises sell out so they will not offer Guaranteed rates.
The first decision that you need to make is which type of stateroom you want with these choices:
- An Inside Stateroom
- An Outside Stateroom
- A Stateroom with a Verandah or Balcony
There are also Concierge staterooms on all Disney ships but we won’t talk about those here as you will never be offered a Guaranteed Stateroom for Concierge.
If you want to see more about the specific advantages and features of each type of stateroom on a Disney Cruise then we have put this together for you in our Disney Cruise Stateroom Guide.
Here are some abbreviations you may see:
- GTY – Guaranteed Stateroom
- IGT – Guaranteed Inside Stateroom
- OGT – Guaranteed Outside Stateroom
- VGT Guaranteed Verandah Stateroom
Why Would You Book A Stateroom Guarantee on a Disney Cruise?
Sometimes you don’t have a choice as that is all that is available in the category that you want.
However, the best reason to book a cruise stateroom guarantee is to save money.
Let’s look at an actual example with prices.
If you take a 5-night San Diego cruise leaving on 8th April 2022 we can look at how much you could save with a Guarantee Stateroom.
If you look at the prices below you will see that the “headline rates” for that sailing start at
- Inside Stateroom $2,413
- Outside Stateroom $2,843
- Verandah Stateroom $3,533
If you look a little deeper and see how much the individual Categories of stateroom are, then you can see that both Guaranteed and pick your own stateroom choices are available.
The rates for an Inside stateroom start anywhere between $2,413 and $3,353. A difference of $940 for a 5-night cruise.
The difference between a Standard Inside Stateroom and a Deluxe Inside stateroom is that the Standard stateroom does not have a split bath.
So you can see here that if you are prepared to let Disney allocate a Standard Inside Stateroom you will pay $2413 instead of $3,193.
The difference between the Deluxe Inside Stateroom and the Deluxe Guaranteed is a bit unusual. Here the Guaranteed Stateroom costs more money.
The reason this is because there will always be different prices within categories. Some locations are seen as better than others. The higher up in the ship you are, usually the higher the price.
What is probably happening here is that the Deluxe Guaranteed Staterooms are in a better position on the ship. The ones where you can pick your stateroom are most probably on Deck 1.
Here you can see below the terms and conditions that you have to accept if you book a Guaranteed Stateroom with Disney Cruise Lines.
You need to be aware of the restrictions that you will accept in return for a lower rate.
The wording below is for the Guaranteed Inside Stateroom “with Restrictions”. The Deluxe Inside Stateroom – Guaranteed – is more expensive and does not have these restrictions.
Below you can see the starting rates for Oceanview Staterooms for that sailing.
You can save almost $900 if you book a Guaranteed Oceanview Room with Restrictions instead of a Deluxe Oceanview where you pick your stateroom location.
As you can see below you can save $700 if you book a Guaranteed Verandah Stateroom.
You need to note that the Category that is Guaranteed is the 7A which is the Navigators verandah. These are unique to Disney Wonder and Wish.
They have an enclosed Verandah with benches on either side. You do have access to fresh air, but the experience is very different from most of the other balconies on the ship.
So if you book a category 7A you do have to be prepared that you will be given one of these staterooms.
When Will I Know Where My Stateroom Is Located?
The whole point of booking a Guaranteed Stateroom is that you will now know where your stateroom is located when you book.
You will have to wait to find out.
But how long will you have to wait to see which exact stateroom number you have been allocated?
There is no exact answer to this, but usually, it is around 7 to 14 days before sailing.
It can be as late as the actual day of sailing so you only find out when you check-in at the port. This is rare though.
Most times you will know at least a day before and often a week or two in advance of your sailing.
Will I Get an Upgrade?
Well, it’s highly unlikely that you will.
Therefore you should never think that you will get an upgrade if you book a guaranteed stateroom.
it sometimes happens. You may book a Guaranteed Standard Inside Stateroom and get an upgrade to a Deluxe. Or even if you are very lucky an upgrade to an Outside Stateroom (although this is rare).
However, you aren’t going to book a guaranteed inside stateroom and find yourself magically upgraded to the Walt Disney Suite. Or even a Verandah!
I Need More Than One Stateroom – Should I Book a Guaranteed Stateroom?
Not unless you realize that the staterooms in your group could be very far apart from each other.
If you book more than one Guaranteed Stateroom even though they are on the same booking, you could be located in very different areas of the ship. You could have one stateroom on Deck 2 and another on Dec 7.
Having said this, Disney really does try to place you as close together as possible.
I have done this a couple of times and once we were on the same deck but 12 staterooms down the hall. Another time one was on Deck 5 and the other almost below them on Deck 4. This was fine for us as it was with my adult children, but this might not work so well for other family groups.
How to Pack Like a Cruise Travel Expert
What If I Do Not Like the Location of the Guarantee Stateroom I Have Been Allocated?
What if after taking a chance, you don’t like the stateroom you have been allocated. You really wanted Deck 7 but you got Deck 1. You got port side but you wanted starboard.
There is nothing you can do, except upgrade to a non Guarantee Stateroom, if one is even available.
The whole point of the Guaranteed Stateroom concept is that you give up the option to choose your stateroom and have one allocated to you. If you have taken the chance and don’t get the stateroom that you want, then you will have to accept it.
The only exception to this is if you can upgrade. But you will have to pay extra for this and there will be a limited selection. This would usually mean a costly upgrade payment so you can choose your exact stateroom.
Also, be aware that by the time you know what your stateroom allocation is there may be very limited options available to be booked. You will have a limited choice of staterooms as it is very possible that most are sold out at that stage. It may even be that everything is booked and you don’t change.
Always be sure when you book a Guaranteed Stateroom that you will be happy with any stateroom that you are allocated. It will save you money but it is a trade-off as you do take a risk.
Who Should Book a Disney Cruise Guaranteed Stateroom?
- Guests who want to save money and are prepared to trade this for not booking a specific stateroom.
- Those who will be happy with any stateroom within the category they booked.
- Possibly have cruised before so they know their own individual needs and expectations for a stateroom.
Who Should NOT Book a Disney Cruise Guaranteed Stateroom?
- If you are expecting an upgrade.
- If a certain stateroom location is important to you.
- You want your party to have rooms next to or even close to you.
Want To Know More About Disney Cruise Ship Staterooms?
We have experienced most categories of Disney cruise stateroom on each of the ships. Here are some guides to help you choose what is best for you: