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Why Are Disney Cruises so Expensive, and Is it Worth It?

People are often shocked when they first see what a Disney Cruise costs, and understandably so. Disney Cruise Line imposes much higher costs for their cruises than most other cruise lines, including the Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Carnival Cruise Line.

However, Disney Cruise ships still seem to sell out impeccably fast, despite being one of the most expensive family-friendly cruise lines in the cruise industry. One can’t help but wonder, is a Disney Cruise worth the money?

The truth is that it really is worth it. There is a reason why so many families love Disney Cruises, even if it costs much more than other cruises. Disney Cruises offer an experience like no other, so you are guaranteed to receive only the best value for your money.

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How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

If you have never been on a Disney Cruise ship, it may be challenging to justify the cruise fare without knowing what’s included in a Disney Cruise.

As you explore your options, you’ll inevitably be tempted to opt for a different cruise line with a more reasonable rate, but once you get a taste of a Disney cruise, you’re sure to come back for more.

Your Disney Cruise fare depends on various factors, including the itinerary, the time of year, the duration of the cruise, and the availability of rooms. Below you’ll find the average prices for Disney Cruises sailing in early 2023.

Average Cost of a Disney Cruise

  • Cruises from Port Canaveral, Galveston, New Orleans, San Diego, and Miami start from $700 per person for a three- to four-night cruise.
  • Cruises from Miami, Port Canaveral, New Orleans, and Galveston start from $900 per person for a five- to six-night cruise.

Experienced cruisers always recommend booking a particular Disney Cruise at the best price available, just as the itinerary is released. The summer itineraries are generally released in February, whereas the fall itineraries are released between May and June, and the winter itineraries between September and October.

If you’re looking for the best price for a Disney Cruise, you may have some luck one or two months before the cruise ships sails. Some staterooms that remain available by this time sometimes go for a much better rate.

With this strategy, you can score an inside cabin at a Guaranteed Rate and receive a cabin based on your selected category, which often brings down the overall cruise fare dramatically.

Caribbean Three-Night Cruise

A three-night cruise with Disney Cruise ships varies widely in rates. Caribbean cruises of three nights could cost anything from $2,500 to $6,500. On average, you can expect to pay between $210 and $530 per person/day.

Caribbean and European Seven-Night Cruise

Families consisting of two adults and two children can expect to pay between $5,300 and $10,000 for a seven-day cruise to Europe and the Caribbean. These seven-night Caribbean cruises may take place on Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Fantasy.

Many loyal Disney cruisers recommend sailing on Disney Fantasy or Disney Magic when going to the Caribbean because they feature impressive waterslides. Disney Magic is the only Disney cruise ship that sails to Europe as well. Such a cruise would average between $190 and $400 per person/day.

Alaskan Seven-Night Cruise

Because Verandah rooms are in such high demand for Alaskan cruises, ticket prices vary significantly. You can expect to pay between $6,500 and $17,000 for a seven-night cruise to Alaska.

The rate per person then averages between $230 and $600. Inside cabins are much more affordable than balcony cabins on cruise ships sailing to Alaska, which can potentially cost an astonishing $17,000.

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Cost of the New Disney Wish

Disney Wish is the newest addition to the fleet of Disney Cruise Line and offers three- and four-night cruises from Port Canaveral to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, and the Bahamas.

The cruise fare for Disney Wish is currently higher than that of the older Disney Cruise ships, but it is only expected to stay this way for a year or so.

Families of four can expect to pay between $3,000 and $5,000 for a three-night cruise on Disney Wish, which averages between $250 and $450 per person. Because this cruise takes place during the week, you are more likely to find a good deal.

The cruise fare for a four-night cruise on Disney Wish falls between $3,400 and $6,600 for a family of four, which is between $210 and $410 per person.

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What You Can Expect on Disney Cruise Ships

When considering how much Disney Cruises cost, one of the primary things you’ll want to know is what is included in a Disney Cruise. Passengers have the opportunity to have the complete Disney cruise experience and can expect to find all of the following on all Disney ships:

Broadway Musicals & Disney Movies

All Disney ships are fully-equipped with impressive theaters and musical performances in addition to unrestricted access to movie theaters showcasing all the latest Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and Disney movies.

Delicious Meals With a Touch of Disney Magic

Your cruise fare includes incredible meals at a rotating list of fantastic restaurants. You will have a selection of three restaurants to choose from every night. One dedicated waiter will travel with you and your family as you dine in new places, and you can expect a friendly and fun-loving attitude from all the waiting staff.

There is also a buffet available and a plethora of places to grab a bit at all hours of the day and night, including around-the-clock room service that even delivers Mickey Ice Cream.

Contrary to most other cruise lines, your Disney Cruise fare includes an unlimited supply of soda for free. Even more impressive, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat ice cream and complimentary coffee and tea on a Disney Cruise ship.

Vanelope’s sweet shop and Remy (a fine dining restaurant that serves French cuisine) and Palo (which serves modern Italian flavors) are the only places you’ll have to pay extra.

An Incredible Kids’ Club

Most kids who have been lucky enough to go on a Disney Cruise will report that the best part of the cruise was, hands down, the kids’ club. No kids’ clubs of any other cruise line can even come close to offering what the Disney kids’ club has in store.

There are countless theme rooms, playgrounds, and helpful staff available at all hours to ensure your children have the time of their lives. All staff members are specially trained Disney counselors, so they will know exactly how to handle and keep your kids entertained.

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Disney Characters

If you have ever had the chance to visit Disney World, you’ll know how much the little ones adore Disney characters. From Peter Pan and Captain Hook to Cinderella and Snow White, Disney Cruise Line offers everyone the opportunity to meet their favorite Disney character and even take some pictures with them.

The characters sometimes visit the kids’ club to spend some time with all the children, so your little ones are sure to run back to you with many stories to tell about their new Disney friends.

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Disney’s Private Island

If you are going on a Disney cruise to the Caribbean or the Bahamas, you’ll be fortunate enough to visit Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. This idyllic island features pristine beaches, snorkeling sites, waterslides, and many more wonderful attractions to keep you busy all day.

Just like on the cruise ship, all the food on the island is included in your cruise fare. Castaway Island is undoubtedly one of the best parts of any Disney Cruise, and if you would like a little extra luxury, you can splurge on a Castaway Cay Cabana.

Onboard Entertainment

Disney Cruise Line prides itself on a fantastic day- and nighttime entertainment selection, available for the whole family to enjoy. From deck parties and pools to shows and character performances, you will have no shortage of activities both on the cruise ship and at all the port adventures.

Disney Cruise Line launched a helpful app called the DCL Navigator App, which helps you find activities and events you may be interested in. In the past, housekeeping would leave a printed version of all the activities and events on offer on your bed in the evening. You can still request this printed version if you don’t fancy using the app.

Another aspect that makes Disney Cruises so unique is the onboard casinos, where parents can try their luck while the kids have a blast at the kids’ club.

Although Disney Cruises may be expensive, the entertainment you get makes it worth every penny. You can spend the day playing table tennis, mini-golf, basketball, or shuffleboard or cool off on the waterslides before heading to a liquor tasting.

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Amazing Disney Cruise Staterooms

There are currently five Disney Cruise ships sailing the waters. Disney Wonder and Disney Magic are two of the smaller ships the cruise line offers, both housing 900 staterooms that have recently been updated. Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are two larger ships, housing 1250 impeccable staterooms each. Every Disney Cruise ship has its own character and charm, allowing you to enjoy a luxurious voyage while still having the freedom to let your hair down and share in the child-like joy.

Disney Wish is the newest ship in the Disney Cruise fleet and now sails from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas during a three- or four-night cruise. This ship has a slightly different layout than its sister ships and is the largest cruise ship Disney Cruise Line has in store.

You are guaranteed to receive world-class service on whatever cruise ship you choose, so the respective itineraries and port adventures are the primary deciding factors.

The staterooms on a Disney Cruise are comparable to that of other cruise lines, only with a bit more space. To justify how much a Disney Cruise costs are all the unique Disney decor adorning the rooms. You can enjoy a Disney movie right in your stateroom and watch all the shows that took place the night before on the TV.

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The staterooms also include split bathrooms, so the whole family can get ready each morning without getting in each other’s way. Carnival Cruises has picked up on this attractive detail and started incorporating split bathrooms in their family suites as well.

Each stateroom has two phones, which are incredibly helpful for staying in touch when the family splits up during the daytime. You can also send texts on these phones to let your partner know where you are taking the kids, and the kids’ clubs can get hold of you when your kids want to go home.

Outside your stateroom, you’ll find a fish mailbox with your room number on it. The fish also points out the direction of the aft and forward sections of the ship, as this can become a bit confusing after a few days at sea.

The cabin doors are magnetic, so you can bring a whiteboard to write messages to other cruisers or your family to let them know where you are headed.

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Excellent Service

The outstanding service and attention to detail are some of the most noteworthy reasons people continue to support Disney Cruises despite the costs. While on a Disney cruise, experienced staff members cater to your personal needs, and your children are sure to be smiling the entire Disney trip. Guests must grasp that if they want meticulous attention to detail, they have to pay a bit more; fortunately, many do.

Disney Cruises are often themed according to the time of year, so you can expect a special festive spirit in the decor and events onboard. Once you notice all the details the cruise line puts into making the trip unique, you’ll understand why Disney Cruise Line is held to such a high standard.

The servers on the cruise ships continue to amaze with how much care they put into personalizing your experience. From card tricks and juggling to magic tricks, there’s nothing the waiters won’t do to ensure your entire family is having a great time.

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Adult Perks

Disney Cruises don’t neglect the adults onboard by any means. After all, it is a family-friendly cruise line, so everyone over the age of 21 is guaranteed an unforgettable experience. Every legal adult is permitted to bring two bottles of either champagne or wine or six bottles of beer with them on their cruise. As most other cruise lines offer drinks packages at an extra cost, Disney Cruise Line allows you to bring your own drinks to dinner for a small corkage fee.

The two higher-end restaurants onboard also present adults with the perfect opportunity to have a romantic dinner while the kids are looked after. The menus also don’t require you to break the bank to enjoy fine dining. From Italian to French cuisine, a reservation at one of these restaurants is sure to make for a lovely evening at sea.

Moreover, the adult-only area on the ship boasts a wide range of spa services you’ll be tempted to try. Although the spa treatments are a bit expensive, the ship also houses something called the Rainforest Room, where aromatherapeutic showers, steam rooms, ceramic loungers, scrubs, jacuzzis, and saunas can be found around every corner.

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There is also an adult-exclusive pool area, which is much more peaceful than many other parts of the cruise ship and allows parents to sip on a colorful cocktail while lounging by the water or soaking in a hot tub for a well-deserved break from all the family-fun activities.

On a Disney Cruise, you’ll be spoilt for choices of bars, lounges, and nightclubs where you can indulge in beer, wine, and liquor tastings and even some educational seminars on mixology.

Hidden Benefits of Disney Cruise Line

There are many lesser-known perks included in a Disney cruise that you won’t find anywhere else. Whereas Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian all offer soda packages for an extra fee per person, Disney Cruises automatically includes unlimited soft drinks for every guest. You may not think this is significant, but for a family of four or more, free soft drinks can dramatically decrease your daily expenses.

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Keep an eye out for Disney characters roaming the cruise ship. They often show up at the pool area to play with the kids or simply stand around the elevators waiting to take pictures with true Disney fans.

Disney Cruises offers plenty of opportunities to dress up for themed nights. There are often pirate-themed evenings where all the characters and guests wear their favorite pirate attire and take special pictures to put on the mantelpiece at home.

Another great perk is that room service is complimentary, so you can order snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any time for no extra charge. Guests can also bring an empty picture frame or light pillowcase with them on the cruise ship, and the Disney characters will sign it!

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Extra Costs to Consider on Your Disney Cruise

Onboard Activities and Shore Excursions

You will undoubtedly want to participate in a shore excursion at every port you stop, although you certainly don’t have to. Depending on the activity, you can set aside approximately $100 per person for every shore excursion that piques your interest. Luckily, port fees are included in your cruise fare, so you’ll only have to consider the prices of the shore excursions, which you can book online in advance.


Gratuities are included in the bill of alcoholic drinks, and you can expect to pay around $40 per person in gratuities for a three-night cruise. A four-night cruise may require $55 per person and a seven-night cruise averages around $95 per person in gratuities.

Boutique and Spa Services

If you feel like relaxing all your senses, you can head to the excellent spa on the cruise ship for the message of your life. The Bippidi Boppidi Boutique is a great place to take the little ones for a princess transformation.

Girls will love choosing dresses from their favorite Disney princesses and getting the royal treatments on offer. Although this costs extra, it is undoubtedly worth it when you see the smile on their faces.

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Premium Dining and Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic drinks are not included in a Disney Cruise cost and will require you to spend a little extra. Moreover, meals at Remy and Pablo, the cruise ships’ more fancy restaurants, also cost extra as they are not included in the Disney Cruise cost. These restaurants can only be found on Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream.

How to Save Money on a Disney Cruise

#1 Use a Travel Agent

Although many cruisers believe they can get the best Disney Cruise prices on their own, a competent travel agent will be able to get you the exact same ticket prices with the added benefit of onboard credit you can use to supplement many of the activities on your Disney Cruise.

Moreover, a travel agent will be more up-to-date on the current cruise deals and Disney Cruise specials that may be hard to find on your own. Based on the season, you will likely come across more Disney Cruise deals with the help of a travel agent.

There are even specials of $115 per person for a seven-night cruise! This sounds impossible, right? Well, when your travel agent looks in the right places at the right time, you may well score such a deal.

#2 Book Offseason Tickets

Arguably the best way to save money on your Disney Cruise cost is to cruise during off-season months. Ticket prices are typically at their lowest when children are still in school, so if you can find a way around that, you could potentially save substantial amounts.

From September to November and during January and February, Disney Cruise prices are generally at their lowest, so this is the time to jump.

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#3 Book Well in Advance

If you already have a Disney Cruise in mind with an itinerary you like, booking your tickets as early as possible is a great way to get the best prices. Disney Cruise prices get reduced very infrequently, so the sooner you book, the better.

Book Your Next Cruise While Onboard

If you are on a Disney Cruise that inspires you to go on another one, you could save a lot by booking another one immediately.

If you book another cruise while on one cruise, you receive a 10% discount on the ticket prices, and if you work through a travel agent, they can add onboard credit to the deal.

Pack Wisely

Another great way to save money on any cruise is to pack in a way that reduces your spending. As you know, you can bring two bottles of wine on a Disney Cruise, which already brings down your expenses on alcoholic drinks.

Furthermore, if you pack using a checklist and ensure you have everything you and your family might need, you reduce the chances of having to buy things on the cruise ship, which could amount to a very hefty sum.

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A Disney Cruise and Walt Disney World Combined Vacation

For the die-hard Disney fans out there, visiting Walt Disney World in addition to a Disney Cruise may be just the Disney overload you seek. There are Land and Sea packages available that let you do just that.

This package only applies to voyages that sail from Port Canaveral and offer you the chance to experience the amazing Disney parks and stay at a wonderful resort before extending the family fun on a Disney Cruise.

Such a package reduces the costs of admissions a bit, so if you’ve ever wanted to visit Disney World, this may be the best way to tick it off your bucket list.

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In Closing

Although Disney Cruises fall on the higher end of cruise fares across the cruise industry compared to other cruises, it is certainly worth it if your budget isn’t a concern. Both you and your children are guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime experience if you opt for a Disney Cruise.

Most experienced cruisers report that Disney Cruises are by far the best cruises they’ve ever been on, so if you can afford it, you should definitely take a Disney Cruise to make some memories you’ll cherish forever.

Keeping in mind that there are several ways to save money on your Disney Cruise, you might be surprised at how much value you get for the price. You can always start with a shorter cruise before going all out on longer cruises once you get a taste of the Disney magic that awaits.