Disney Cruise Line is a premium cruise line. Fares tend to be higher than those of mainstream lines, but they are also more inclusive. A prime example of this is soft drinks, which are included in Disney Cruise Line fares but not on most mainstream cruise lines. Disney also offers free room service while many other lines tack on fees. The line is known for its top-notch entertainment such as Broadway-caliber Disney productions, first-run movies, and its fireworks show at sea.
None of Disney's four ships have casinos, which makes for a more family-friendly atmosphere.
When budgeting for a Disney cruise or any family cruise, figure that you will definitely pay the cruise fare plus gratuities for crew. If you want to keep costs down, set a limit on those activities that cost extra, such as shore excursions, spa treatments, alcoholic beverages, and other premium items. Here's a rundown of what's included in a Disney Cruise Line fare and what's not.
Included on a Disney Cruise
- stateroom accommodations
- dining at three sit-down meals a day plus casual buffets and snacks (soft-serve ice cream, burgers, pizza, wraps, hot dogs, etc)
- 24-hour room service
- tap water, coffee, tea, milk, juice, and soft drinks
- nightly Broadway-style musicals
- movie screenings, including first-run and 3-D films
- non-stop family activities including trivia games, live musicians and other entertainers, poolside movies, animation workshops, and more
- deck parties and fireworks at sea
- special events and parties that feature many extra activities and shows during Halloween and the holiday season
- youth club activities for kids ages 3 to 17
- access to pool areas, water slides, splash areas, etc
- Disney character experiences throughout the day and evening
- fitness room (age 18 and up)
- on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island (Bahamas): barbecue buffet lunch, non-alcholic soft drinks, soft-serve ice cream, youth activities, character experiences, beach access
Not Included on a Disney Cruise
- spa treatments and access to the Rainforest Room (sauna, steamroom, heated lounge chairs)
- premium adult-only dining in Palo or Remy ($25/person upcharge)
- alcoholic beverages, smoothies and non-alcoholic specialty drinks, specialty coffees, plus gratuity (15% automatically added)
- bottled water (still or sparkling) at mealtimes
- nursery for babies and toddlers 6 to 35 months old
- some adult classes and activities (wine tastings, Bingo, etc)
- shore excursions and tours
- wi-fi access, starting at $19 for 100MB, with the exception of the free Disney Cruise Line Navigator app
- photos taken by Disney photographers
- on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas, alcoholic and specialty drinks, bike rentals, hair braiding, inner tube and snorkeling gear rentals, sailboat and Jetski rentals, stingray encounter, souvenirs, etc.
- gratuities for your stateroom host and designated dining servers, including the head server, main server and assistant server. This works out to $12/day per person due at the end of the cruise. For a 3-night cruise, a family of four would pay $36 per person x 4 people = $144.
- ground transportation from the airport to the port and vice versa.