Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
djcass4199

Tips for Scoring the Best Price on DCL

Recommended Posts

My family are frequent cruisers, having sailed (I believe) 17 times with Carnival. We  are also frequent Disney World visitors. My wife and I have decided it's time to try DCL and expand our horizons. However, and I'm not surprised, the prices are just crazy, oftentimes double or triple what I can currently price out on Royal or Norwegian. Does anyone have any tips on scoring the best prices on  a DCL cruise, whether that's booking certain number of days out, using certain promotions if DCL runs similar promos every year (similar to what Disney World does every year with free dining, etc.), or anything else?

 

Just curious if I'm missing something. I'm presently looking at a surprise anniversary cruise for the wife and I next year on the Dream on August 31, 2020. I can get an oceanview guarantee for $2,033. Still a lot of money for a 4-day cruise. Thanks everyone!

 

(And I understand that DCL is a huge step up from Carnival, and I realize the price differences are going to be there).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, djcass4199 said:

My family are frequent cruisers, having sailed (I believe) 17 times with Carnival. We  are also frequent Disney World visitors. My wife and I have decided it's time to try DCL and expand our horizons. However, and I'm not surprised, the prices are just crazy, oftentimes double or triple what I can currently price out on Royal or Norwegian. Does anyone have any tips on scoring the best prices on  a DCL cruise, whether that's booking certain number of days out, using certain promotions if DCL runs similar promos every year (similar to what Disney World does every year with free dining, etc.), or anything else?

 

Just curious if I'm missing something. I'm presently looking at a surprise anniversary cruise for the wife and I next year on the Dream on August 31, 2020. I can get an oceanview guarantee for $2,033. Still a lot of money for a 4-day cruise. Thanks everyone!

 

(And I understand that DCL is a huge step up from Carnival, and I realize the price differences are going to be there).


Typically, the "best" prices will be on opening day for any given cruise.

 

As the space onboard fills, prices rise.

 

On occasion, if a cruise isn't selling well, DCL will offer Last Minute Restricted Fares.  They are usually lower than the prevailing cost of a cruise, but most of the time higher than the price was on opening day.

 

There are also military, Canadian, and Florida rates on some cruises.  

 

Unlike other cruise lines, DCL doesn't do "free beverage package", "free gratuitities", "free room upgrade" type promotions.

Edited by Shmoo here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2k for an ocean view isn't a terrible price at all for 4 night DCL cruise.

 

The only thing other than the above recommendation is to book a placeholder while on-board (I realize that doesn't help you right now). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been on 8 Disney cruises (3,4,5 and 7 days).  We also travel as a family of 6 from Florida.  We have always booked early, early, early.  We also travel the first week of January (which tends to be a little less expensive) and the last week of May before  the rest of the country is on summer break.  We love baclonies but have sailed in oceanview to help save some money.  I have found their prices to be higher but  we have never had a bad Disney cruise.  Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can help a little by booking through a travel agent that provides a kick-back in the form on on-board credit.  You can also save 5% on your onboard account charges by getting a Target Red Card (credit or debit) and buying Disney gift cards with the 5% discount.  We just did that on a recent cruise.  But 95% of exorbitant is still pretty high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree, the prices are really, really crazy.  We just looked into it and can't understand why anyone would go (and we love Disney World).  I get that if you have a bunch of kids all the "free" babysitting probably counts for a lot and is unique relative to many other ships but for adults traveling without kids - even very Disney-keen adults - I don't get it.  We can go with Silverseas or Crystal (all inclusive service/alcohol etc) for the same price as Disney.  People rave about the service on Disney but that is relative to other mass market big ships; the luxury lines have fantastic service.  Do people not realize...?  Anyone out there who can compare Disney to Silversea/Regent/Crystal/Seabourne and can tell me why they prefer Disney at the same price...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

point comes up fairly often and it comes down to one point: those bitten by the Mouse bug are willing to pay the mouse price and don't care to talk about alternatives.

 

We did DCL when the kids were small and now that the kids are big and don't count on us for their vacations, dw and I have moved on as you say to lines where the same money gets you things besides Mini-bars for desert.  We currently fans of Viking either Ocean or River.

 

So far as DCL having 'deals' to fill cabins . . .  I live near Disney World and can't recall there ever being a 'kids free' day or a coupon day at WDW . . . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above posters.  My DW and I recently took our granddaughter to WDW for the first time.  We had not been there since 2002, so the pricing was a shock!  When I look at what DCL charges, I just cannot justify that price after sailing NCL Haven, etc.  There is plenty for the younger ones to do on NCL, RCCL, Carnival, etc. without having to take out a second mortgage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your inputs.


So, I ended up putting down the deposit for a 4 day, sailing Fantasy on July 31, 2020. I booked an oceanview cabin and the fare with fees and taxes was $2,018 and change.

 

I'm excited about this cruise, as I mentioned it's for my anniversary and we are sailing without our 3 year old. Unless this cruise just blows me away, this could very well be our only Disney cruise. Time will tell. I am also interested in trying NCL and RCL, having only sailed Carnival, so that will also factor into my future cruising decisions on whether to book another Disney cruise in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2019 at 2:30 PM, JTor said:

Agree, the prices are really, really crazy.  We just looked into it and can't understand why anyone would go (and we love Disney World).  I get that if you have a bunch of kids all the "free" babysitting probably counts for a lot and is unique relative to many other ships but for adults traveling without kids - even very Disney-keen adults - I don't get it.  We can go with Silverseas or Crystal (all inclusive service/alcohol etc) for the same price as Disney.  People rave about the service on Disney but that is relative to other mass market big ships; the luxury lines have fantastic service.  Do people not realize...?  Anyone out there who can compare Disney to Silversea/Regent/Crystal/Seabourne and can tell me why they prefer Disney at the same price...?

 

I think you are just looking at very different demographics.   We sail DCL now because we enjoy the service and the quality and we have a child.  She will be in college soon and eventually out on her own.  At that time, we will definitely try the luxury cruise lines you listed.  But those are not lines that younger people with children would typically cruise.   We love DCL, so I think it's likely that my husband and I will still sail (and maybe bring our daughter/family along) in the future.  But we do want to try other lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2019 at 6:30 PM, JTor said:

Agree, the prices are really, really crazy.  We just looked into it and can't understand why anyone would go (and we love Disney World).  I get that if you have a bunch of kids all the "free" babysitting probably counts for a lot and is unique relative to many other ships but for adults traveling without kids - even very Disney-keen adults - I don't get it.  We can go with Silverseas or Crystal (all inclusive service/alcohol etc) for the same price as Disney.  People rave about the service on Disney but that is relative to other mass market big ships; the luxury lines have fantastic service.  Do people not realize...?  Anyone out there who can compare Disney to Silversea/Regent/Crystal/Seabourne and can tell me why they prefer Disney at the same price...?

 

I'm a solo female traveller from Ireland, regular visitor to Disneyland California and have been to Disneyland Paris 3 times. I have booked my first Disney cruise for September 2020.

 

For me, its about cruising the Disney way. Until I found out about Disney Cruise Line I was very much against cruising. To me cruising is something retired people do or the type of people who do the cheap Mediterranean package holidays. I;m in neither of those groups. I could never see the appeal of a floating hotel filled with drunk people, the casinos, the low standard and tacky entertainment, the not good food. 

 

Back in the 1990's there was a very popular reality TV show here called The Cruise, which was set on The Celebrity ship The Marella Explorer, which in 1998 was called The Galaxy. It followed the crew and passengers on the ships first Caribbean route. It was really popular and give a great insight into life on board a cruise. However I could never see myself on a cruise like that. 

 

Then about 3 years ago I found out about Disney Cruise Line, as the Magic ship was docking in my home city, Dublin, Ireland for the first time. 

 

Suddenly cruising sounded more appealing. For me its not about the price, its about the experience. I love the Disney shows, the Disney customer service, the Disney theming in restaurants. Its taken me 3 years to save for my 2020 cruise, but I will make the effort and put the money aside, as its something I want to experience. I know its expensive and even more so as I'm a solo, but the value for money is worth it to me. 

 

Yes I could do a cruise at half the price, yes I could do a cruise which even starts and ends in my home city, but its not the same experience as a Disney cruise. 

 

To me its the difference between going to your local carnival or theme park and go to a Disney park. Both the same type of experience, rides, entertainment, characters etc, but the standard and quality is miles apart. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this will help, but:

In addition to discounted GC (sometimes you can get them close to 10% off), if you have a timeshare that's affiliated with SFX Travel Store, you can use your savings dollars/credits for money off a cruise.  (in my case about $400 cheaper than Disney site).  Or there's another site that competes for cruises (not sure if we can post the URL), but we ended up using that service and it came to about $450 cheaper per cabin, so that helped (IMO). We'll pay the balance with our discounted Disney cards.  I've got the old Sears Credit card (issued by Citibank) that has 15% cash rebate on "supermarkets" up to $120/month so I bought $800 in Disney cards this month and I'll do another $800 next month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...