How much is a Disney cruise compared to other cruises?

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Let me start by saying that I’m definitely a budget cruiser. While many people like to cruise for less than $125 (or £100 per night), I’ll aim for half of that, if I can.

While I’m happy to pay a bit more for a special cruise, I’ve always written Disney cruises off as being way out of my price range.

But, with the news that Disney Magic will be offering short cruises departing from regional UK ports in summer 2021, I thought that I’d look a little closer to see exactly how much Disney cruises cost compared to other cruise lines.

(Spoiler: A Disney cruise is totally worth it!)

Minnie Mouse on a Disney cruise ship
On a Disney Cruise you’ll meet the characters on board
Photo credit: Disney

So, let’s dive in and see how much a Disney cruise costs, what you get for the ticket price and whether it’s worth it….

How much is a Disney cruise?

Out of all the family-friendly cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line is the most expensive. But then Disney theme parks are expensive too, and I still took my kids to Disneyland Paris. Because if you can afford it, once-in-a-lifetime experiences like Disney are worth the splurge sometimes.

(Our trip to Disneyland was two years ago and my son still sleeps with Mickey Mouse in his bed every night, so the magic of Disney has certainly had an effect on him.)

How much is a Disney cruise per person?

To find out how much you can expect to spend on the average Disney cruise, I had a look at the Disney cruises that are currently on sale. The new short cruises from the UK aren’t on sale yet, but I’ll update this post when we have prices for those.

The price of a Disney cruise ranges from $705 (£503) per person for a two-night cruise from San Diego in an inside stateroom, to $10,440 (£7,452) per person for a 14-night Christmas cruise along the Panama Canal in a concierge stateroom with a verandah.

The average cost per person for a seven-night Disney cruise is $2,950 (£2,058). This is based on two adults sharing a room with a verandah. If more than two people share a room, the per person cost will be less.

How much is a Disney cruise for a family of four?

While Disney cruises aren’t just for kids, far from it actually, it’s fair to say that most people taking Disney cruises are families. So let’s take a closer look at Disney Cruise Line’s family prices…

The price of a Disney cruise for a family of four ranges from $2,313 (£1,651) for a two-night cruise from San Diego in an inside cabin, to $27,383 (£19,545) for a 14-night Christmas cruise along the Panama Canal in a concierge stateroom with a verandah.

The average seven-night Disney cruise for a family of four costs around $8,087 (£5,731) for a room with a verandah.

On a Disney cruise, the price for a family of four depends on the ages of your children.

  • Children aged 13 and over are charged the full adult fare
  • Children aged 3 to 12 are charged the child rate
  • Children aged 0 to 2 are charged half of the child rate

Whilst most other cruise lines show the prices per person, Disney Cruise Line shows the total price per stateroom. This can make it almost impossible to know how much you’re paying for the adults and how much the child rate is.

Disney Cruise Line’s pricing also depends on how many people are sharing a stateroom. All prices are based on two adults in the stateroom – So a single parent with one child will pay the same as two adults. Solo cruisers also pay the same as two adults.

DCL kids club
Photo credit: Disney

How much is a Disney cruise for a family of five?

The average seven-night Disney cruise for a family of five costs around $10,474 (£7,476) for a room with a verandah.

Cruising as a family of five is always tricky as most cruise ship cabins can only accommodate four people. However, unlike some other cruise lines, Disney Cruise Line does at least offer some rooms that sleep five.

On Disney Cruise Line’s newest ships, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, you’ll find more cruise cabins for families of five than you will on the older ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.

Depending on the ship, you might need to upgrade to a deluxe stateroom to accommodate your family, so Disney cruises for five can cost considerably more than cruises for four. If this is the case, you should consider booking two rooms, as this can actually work out cheaper!

You care read more about Disney Cruise Line accommodation for families of five on MickeyBlog.com.

What age is free on a Disney cruise?

Disney Cruise Line charges for all guests, even babies. Under threes pay half of the usual child rate. In the past, Disney Cruise Line has offered Kids Sail Free deals, but that offer hasn’t been available since 2013.

What’s included in a Disney cruise?

Disney cruises generally include a little more than you would get on other cruises. For example, you’ll get free soft drinks, ice creams and room service throughout your cruise. Those small extras can add up when you have to pay for them every day.

That said, on Disney cruises you will need to budget extra for the daily gratuity charge, alcoholic drinks and wifi. These are extra on most other cruises too, although some premium cruise lines like Celebrity Cruises include those in the cruise fare.

Your Disney cruise ticket includes:

  • Accommodation on the ship
  • Port fees and taxes
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and ice creams
  • Soft drinks and coffee
  • 24-hour room service
  • Entertainment
  • On-board activities
  • Kids’ clubs
  • Meet and greets with Disney characters

What’s not included in a Disney cruise?

On a Disney cruise, you’ll pay extra for:

  • Transport to and from the ship
  • Excursions
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Bottled water
  • Dining in speciality restaurants
  • Gratuities (tips)
  • Spa and salon services
  • Babysitting
  • Video games
  • Photography services
  • Wifi
Disney Cruise Line drinks
Disney Cruise Line does not offer a drinks package
Photo credit: Disney

How much are gratuities on a Disney cruise?

The suggested gratuities (tips) to pay on a Disney cruise are $13.50 per person, per day. In addition, a 15% gratuity will be automatically added to your bill for each drink and an 18% gratuity will be applied to all spa services. You may tip extra if you wish.

On a 7-night Disney cruise, a family of four would be expected to pay $378 in gratuities. These are split between dining room servers and stateroom hosts. Tips for drinks and spa services will be extra and you may also wish to tip for room service and shore excursions.

Is childcare free on a Disney cruise?

On Disney cruises, kids’ clubs are free of charge for children aged three and over. Disney ships also have the “It’s a Small World” nursery which offers childcare for under threes. The cost for this is $4.50 per half hour for the first child and $4.00 per half hour for any other children in your family.

Are Disney cruises all-inclusive?

Disney cruises cannot be said to be all-inclusive because alcoholic drinks are not included in the price. However, cruises with Disney Cruise Line include almost everything else, including meals, snacks, soft drinks, entertainment, activities, taxes and port fees.

Do Disney cruises have alcohol packages?

Disney Cruise Line does not offer drinks packages. On a Disney cruise you must pay for all alcoholic drinks, smoothies, speciality coffees and bottled water as well as any non-alcoholic drinks that are served in lounge areas (i.e. not during meals or from the beverage station).

How much are drinks on a Disney cruise?

The drinks on a Disney cruise are reasonably priced compared to other cruise lines. You can expect to pay around $10 for a glass of wine and $6 for a beer.

Disney cruise alcohol prices:

  • Speciality coffee – $2.25 to $3.95
  • Beer – $5 to $7
  • Glass of wine – $6.25 to $12.75
  • Cocktail – $6.75 to $12

You can see some photos of Disney cruise drinks menus on DisneyCruiseLineBlog.com

Are Disney cruises worth the money?

To decide whether Disney cruises are worth the money, I’ve compared the price of Disney cruises to all of the other family-friendly cruise lines…

How much is a Disney cruise compared to other cruise lines?

I looked up the average price per person for a seven-night Caribbean cruise based on two people sharing a balcony cabin. As well as the cruise fare, I also factored in the cost of gratuities and noted whether drinks are included or extra.

As you can see from the table below, Disney cruises are more expensive than other mainstream cruise lines. They are priced at around double what you would pay for the average cruise.

Cruise lineCruise fareGratuitiesDrinksTotal
Disney Cruise Line$2550
(£2000)
$95 (£74)extra$2645 (£2074)
Celebrity Cruises$1670 (£1300)includedincluded$1670 (£1300)
Marella$1670 (£1300)includedincluded$1670 (£1300)
Norwegian Cruise Line$1359 (£1059)$109 (£85)extra$1468 (£1144)
P&O Cruises$1280 (£1000)includedextra$1280 (£1000)
Princess Cruises$1153 (£900)$102 (£80)extra$1255 (£980)
Royal Caribbean$1150
(£900)
$102 (£80)extra$1252 (£980)
Carnival$963 (£730)$98 (£74)extra$1061 (£804)
Costa Cruises$900 (£685)$88 (£67)extra$988 (£752)
MSC Cruises$988 (£750)includedextra$988 (£750)

Why are Disney cruises so expensive?

There are a few reasons why Disney cruises cost more than other cruises. Here are some of the main ones…

1. Disney cruise ships have larger staterooms

The staterooms on Disney cruise ships are 25% larger than on the average cruise ship. So that means that fewer passengers can fit on to a similarly sized ship.

Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah on Disney Dream
Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah on Disney Dream
Photo credit: Disney

2. Disney cruises have no casinos

Cruise lines make a huge chunk of their revenue from their on-board casinos. Some cruise ship casinos are so big you could get lost in them and some high-rolling cruisers may spend more in the casino than they do on their cruise fare.

Disney Cruise Line is doesn’t have casinos as they focus on activities that families can enjoy together. Most of these activities are included in the cruise far.

3. Disney lets you bring your own drinks on board

Disney has the most generous alcohol policies of all cruise lines. You can bring two bottles of wine or six beers per person on to the ship at each port of call [Source]. Each time you get off the ship, you can go to the shop and bring on more wine to drink in your room.

3. There’s a huge demand for Disney

People love Disney. As DCL has only four medium-sized ships, these are easily filled with Disney fans from all over the world. This means that Disney can charge a premium and people will gladly pay it.

Andy's Room on Disney Magic
Andy’s Room on Disney Magic
Photo credit: Disney

Is a Disney cruise worth the extra?

Comparing a Disney cruise to a cheaper cruise line is a bit like comparing a trip to Disney World with a trip to your local funfair. Yes, it costs more, but it’s a completely different experience.

You might visit your local funfair every year and visit Disney World once in your lifetime. The same could be said for a Disney cruise compared to a cheaper cruise.

If you love Disney and want a really special experience that you will remember forever, then yes, most people who have taken a Disney cruise would say that it is worth every penny.

Many people choose to return to Disney cruises year after year as they feel that it offers a special experience that’s not available with other cruise lines.

Last year I was lucky enough to interview a lady who has been on 89 Disney cruises, mostly without children…

INTERVIEW: “I didn’t enjoy my first Disney cruise, then I went on 88 more!”

How to save money on a Disney cruise

Ordinarily, a Disney cruise would fall well outside of my budget. However, with Disney Cruise Line introducing two-, three- and four-night cruises from regional UK ports in summer 2021, this may be a great opportunity for families like mine to experience a Disney cruise for a lower price.

If you’re considering a Disney cruise on a budget, read on for some money-saving tips…

What’s the cheapest month to take a Disney cruise?

The cheapest month to take a Disney cruise is September. As almost all children should be in school in September, the demand is lower and so are the prices. Disney cruises in September are around 40% cheaper than they are in July.

What’s the cheapest destination for a Disney cruise?

The cheapest destination for your Disney cruise will often be one that you don’t have to fly to as adding in flights and pre-cruise hotel will bump up the cost of your vacation.

If you live in the US, short cruises to the Bahamas are the cheapest as many of these last only three nights. If you live in the UK, the short British Isles cruise in summer 2021 will certainly be your cheapest option.

Disney Magic will offer short cruises from the UK in 2021
Photo credit: Disney

Can you pay for a Disney cruise in instalments?

When you book a Disney cruise you will pay a deposit of around 20% with the balance due somewhere between 75 days and 120 days before you depart. Disney Cruise Line doesn’t offer the option to pay in instalments. However, if you book with a travel agent, they may allow you to set up a monthly payment plan.

I like to book my cruises with Strawberry Holidays and they offer the option to pay monthly.

What is the cheapest way to book a Disney cruise?

The cheapest way to book a Disney cruise is to book as far in advance as you can for the best price. Disney sometimes offer discounts for Florida residents and for the US military, so be sure to claim these if they apply to you.

When it comes to booking your cruise, a good travel agent will be able to get you a discounted rate compared to booking direct, so it’s always worth getting a quote. If you live in the UK, click here to get a quote from my trusted travel agent. She’s Disney-mad and will help you with every aspect of booking your cruise.

The bottom line

While Disney cruises are usually more expensive than other cruises, those on a budget shouldn’t necessarily write them off. If you’re a Disney fan or are travelling with kids, a Disney cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will give you memories to treasure forever.

There are many ways to save on your Disney cruise. I’d recommend looking out for shorter sailings from your local port, booking as early as you can and using a good travel agent to secure the best rates.

If a seven-night cruise with flights is above your budget, then the new short cruises from local ports around the UK are certainly something to look out for when they go on sale in April 2021.

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2 thoughts on “How much is a Disney cruise compared to other cruises?”

  1. Thank you Jenni! Such a great detailed article and really helpful. Thank you for putting me in touch with Kate from Strawberry Holidays, she is on the case for me. I so want to take this Disney Cruise now, you have made it sound so exciting and magical, I just cant wait!!!!

    • I’m glad that you found it to be helpful. Happy cruising, I hope to see you on board maybe! Jenni

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