Are you debating the best time to go on a Disney cruise? There are so many cruise lines out there, but a Disney Cruise Line vacation truly never disappoints! Our family has been on several Disney cruises, both as just mom and dad and as a family with our neighbors. Any time of year, Disney Cruise Line ships make the perfect vacation.
Tips on Getting the Best Pricing with Disney Cruise Line
If you are interested in getting a lower price on a Disney cruise ships, consider booking as far in advance as possible. Generally, Disney cruise pricing increased the closer you get to the sail date. Also, think about going at off peak times. Any time students are on school vacation, prices will be higher. If you can be flexible on your sail date, you will have a better chance at lower pricing.
Those who have sailed with Disney before, Castaway Cay members, will have earlier access to booking dates. The more you have sailed, the sooner your dates open.
There may be last minute deals (especially post pandemic) that promote a better deal. Florida residents may especially want to check for these deals. Just be sure to read the fine print if you choose a restricted sailing, if you choose to modify or cancel. And, as a travel agent, I always suggest travel insurance at all times of year. You can easily navigate through the Disney Cruise Line website to see cruise options and add in filters like month, duration of sailing, ports of call and any specialized sailings.
What is the best time of year for cruising?
When considering times of year, there are three seasons for sailing: high/peak season, shoulder and low season.
High season or peak season would include dates like spring break and summer months. You may also see price hikes during mid October, Christmas season, and mid-February when children are out of school. Northern Europe and Alaska cruises are generally offered during the summer months.
Shoulder season is a pocket of time right before or after high season where you may find better deals. You may particularly find better deals for a Bahamian cruise and Caribbean sailings during these times of year.
Low season would be cooler winter months like late January-March or late September to early December. The weather may not be as optimal and ports of call like Castaway Cay may be cooler, but they may offer good options for those looking for a better deal and the least expensive time of year. If you are really looking forward to shore excursions like seeing the Northern Lights on an Alaskan cruise, make sure they will be offered during the time of year for your sailing.
Hurricane season is June-November. That being said, our past two cruises have been in September and October, with no issues. Cruise lines know how to track the weather and adjust itineraries accordingly. Again, the best way to ensure a good vacation is to purchase travel insurance and have peace of mind, no matter what time of year.
Disney Cruise Line Ships
Disney ships include the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Dream. In summer of 2022, they will also welcome a new beautiful ship, the Disney Wish! Prices vary according to which stateroom categories you are interested in for your voyage. Floor plans include inside staterooms with no windows, Ocean view staterooms which offer porthole views, and verandah staterooms which offer three types of verandahs. Concierge class is also available for those that would like more personalized assistance and perks. Those perks include a dedicated check in experience, a private welcome reception, access to concierge portions of the ship, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
If you are looking to save money, inside staterooms will be the most affordable. Next, consider ocean view for a good deal. The verandah staterooms are more expensive, but well worth it for the square footage.
What time of year is best for your sailing?
It is also a good idea to consider your ports of call. The best time for Alaska will not be in December and cold weather! Typically the Disney Fantasy has longer cruises of 7 and 8 night sailings from Port Canaveral to the Western and Eastern Caribbean. These generally sail all year long.
The Disney Dream generally sails 3 and 4 night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, but this will shift to sailing from Miami when the Disney Wish begins to sail in Summer of 2022 from Port Canaveral. If this is your first time on a Disney ship, I recommend taking at least a 4 night sailing to get a feel for the experience. Three night sailings are very short! You barely have time to experience the ship before it returns to port.
Generally, the Disney Magic sails in Europe from May to September, with Western and Northern Europe cruises. However, the Magic will have some Miami based itineraries in 2022 and then begin offering transatlantic offerings to Europe. In the fall of 2022, she will return to New York and cruise to Bermuda, San Juan and Canada.
The Disney Wonder sails from Galveston and New Orleans to the Caribbean and Bahamas. She also offers a Panama Canal sailing to San Diego, along with Hawaii and Alaska!
Is Disney Cruise Line worth the money?
I get this question often. Is Disney Cruise Line worth the money? One of the more important things to remember is that generally, you get what you pay for, and that applies to cruising as well. With Disney, you really don’t have hidden fees. There are no separate drink packages, room service is always included, as well as the fantastic service and child care you would expect from Disney crew members.
Looking at any rating scales amongst the cruise industry with competitors like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and more, you will see consistently see Disney at the top of the list. You can trust those rankings.
If you are sailing with children, they will be highly entertained with so many onboard activities, the pools, the Disney characters onboard, pirate night, and more. Children ages 3-12 will love the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. Older kids will enjoy their own space at Vibe and Edge. Mom and dad can relax at the adults only pool or with some great spa treatments without having to worry about their kids. So, yes I do believe it is the best choice, especially if you are traveling with children.
What other costs should I consider with a Disney Cruise?
Besides your cruise fare, you will also want to consider additional costs. Be sure to factor in ground transportation, any airline fees, and before and after hotel stays. Gratuities also need to be factored in, as it will be a portion of your costs. This will be based on the number of people in your party and the length of your cruise. Any excursions, spa treatments, alcohol, or special reservations also need to be factored into your total cost.
If you are considering a land and sea trip, consider the cost of a Walt Disney World Resort and park tickets for theme parks. A good agent from a travel agency specializing in Disney travel can help you think through all of these factors as you plan your trip.
I hope this post helps you consider the best time of year for a Disney Cruise! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for a great Disney Cruise Line packing list and keep reading for more info on great travel tips!