If you are considering booking a Disney Cruise, or have maybe just booked your first cruise I bet one of your first questions is “What is included in the cost of a Disney Cruise??”! Disney Cruises can give you a bit of sticker shock, especially if you have sailed other cruise lines before. Personally, we feel that Disney offer a premium product that is worth the cost. Not only that, we feel they include much more in the standard cost than other cruise lines.
So, lets find out what is included in the cost of a Disney Cruise?
Included: Dinner in the Main Dining Rooms
No matter the ship you sail on, you can get your evening meal in the three dining rooms included. Disney operates a rotational dining system, which means you rotate between all the restaurants on the ship. Some main dining rooms are also open for breakfast and lunch.
Want to read more about food in the main dining rooms, then check out some of our reviews:
Not Included: Alcohol
Disney doesn’t have a drinks package comparable to most other cruise lines however they do have a few options. A beer mug, wine package and some of the most relaxed rules of any cruise line regarding bringing your own drink on board. They also have a drink of the day, which is cocktail available at multiple locations for a reduced price.
Included: Soft Drinks and Tea and Coffee – Main Dining Room and On Deck
Up on deck, you have 24 hours access to free soda, tea and coffee from the drinks station. In the main dining rooms, you can order a soda or regular tea or coffee with your meal at no extra charge. Also in the buffet restaurant, Cabanas, you can get soda, water, tea and coffee. Whatever time of day it is, you can get a free drink on board the ship.
Not Included: Specialty Coffee, Non alcoholic cocktails and Soft Drinks from bars
If you are getting soft drinks from bars and not the drinks station, then it’s going to cost you. The same goes for any specialty drinks, cocktails and coffee’s and any packaged drinks ordered from room service.
Included: Buffet Breakfast and Lunch
If you choose not to eat in one of the open main dining rooms at breakfast or lunch, you can always eat at the buffet restaurant Cabanas, which is all included in the cost of a Disney Cruise.
Included: Quick Service Meals Up On Deck
Up by the pool, each ship has a couple of quick service locations. These serve your typical fare – burgers, fries, pizza etc. In addition, there are also healthier options – sandwiches, salads, fruits. Guests can also get different special options each day. The pulled pork sandwich was oh so yummy!
Included: Theatre Shows and Cinema
As you may expect, the theatre shows on Disney Cruise Line are amazing. They are also included in the cost. Honestly, they are some of the best stage shows I have ever seen. On top of that, they also have a cinema on all ships showing a mix of brand new movies and older releases, all included. We managed to see one of the Pirate’s of the Caribbean movies on the week of release. There are also movies on funnel vision at the pool everyday.
Not Included: Popcorn and snacks at the theatre and cinema
Whilst the shows themselves are included, popcorn, snack and cans of soda from the concession stands outside are not. However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend money. Just take in a drink and snack from up on deck that are free.
Included: Youth Clubs
Each ship has several different Youth Clubs: Oceaneers Club Age 3-12, Oceaneers Lab 3-12, Edge for tweens and vibe for the tweens. As you would expect, Disney’s Youth Clubs are world class and are all included in the cost of a Disney Cruise. They even do an open house on some days so even the adults can have a play!
Included: Room Service
So we did mention above that drinks from room are not included but the food is. There are some simple options, – chicken tenders, salad, pizza etc all available. Packed snacks come at a cost.
In the mornings you can have a simple continental style breakfast delivered to your room, all included in the cost of a Disney cruise! We normally order toast, coffee and pastries and it is such a nice experience. Especially on a day at sea. Sitting in your pajamas on your veranda with a gorgeous cup of coffee, just pure bliss.
It is worth noting that tips are not included and it is expected to tip room service approximate $1 per plate.
Not Included: Nursery
Whilst all the kids clubs are free the Its a Small World Nursery is not. You pay by the half hour and can book some hours before you board. It is also available to book once on board on a first come first served basis.
Included: Late night Snack’s
In the adult only area, at night, there are often snacks.
Included: Food at Castaway Cay
The island has two barbecues Cookies and Cookies Too. One is located on the family side and the other in the adults only area. Both of these are included in your cruise cost an you can visit as many times as you would like during your time on the island.
Included: Unlimited Soft serve Ice-cream
Up on deck, you can get your own soft serve ice cream. There are different flavors to choose from – chocolate, strawberry, banana and vanilla. You can also choose to have a swirl – my favorite is the banana and strawberry! The ice cream is self serve and so easy to do.
Not Included: Specialty treats and Ice cream
Whilst the soft serve is free and unlimited there is also a range of specialty ice creams and gelato available to purchase on all the sailings. Cakes and sweet treats can also be purchased here along with cove cafe and other coffee locations. Whilst they are really nice, we are happy to stick with the free one the majority of the time.
Not Included: Gratuities
The customary amount of tips per person per night is $12. This is to cover dining room server, assistant server, head server and state room host. We find that the service you receive is more than worth this and we often tip more. The costs will be charged to your account.
Not Included: Shore Excursions
One of the best parts of cruising is the ability to visit many different places in one trip. However if you choose to do an activity when you get off the ship, that is going to cost you. You don’t need to get off the ship and there are plenty of free things to do if you remain on board.
Not Included: Specialty Adult Only Dining
Disney really lack’s up charge restaurants. That is not a criticism but a real positive for me. That means that nearly all the amazing food you read about on the Disney Cruise ships are available without any additional charge. The only up charge restaurants are adult only and are Palo and Remy. Palo is available on all ships and Remy on just the Dream and the Fantasy.
Not Included: Mixology Classes
The mixology classes on board all the Disney Cruise Ships are very popular but they do come with a small charge. We haven’t done one yet so cant add if we think they are worth the cost but they are super popular.
Included: Character Meets
Every day on the cruise there are character meets throughout the ship. There are also meets on Castaway Cay. One of the good things is often characters are repeated so if you are away doing something else you will most likely have another opportunity to see your favourite characters. Some character meets, like the Princess gathering, need to be booked in advance but are still included in the cost of a Disney Cruise.
Not Included: Bingo
There are no casinos on any of the Disney Cruise Ship. The closest thing you are going to get to gambling is bingo. Very popular amount cruisers, bingo is on most days at multiple different times.
Included: Seasonal Activities
Disney Cruise Line has Christmas and Halloween sailings known as Very Merrytime Cruises and Halloween on the High Seas respectively. Each of those cruises has lots of seasonal activities that are all included. On our Christmas sailings we had Santa meet and greats, Gingerbread House Making, Christmas Crafts, Christmas Cooking Classes, Christmas movies and more. Our Halloween sailing included trick or treating, Halloween Crafts, the Halloween Tree and a special Nightmare Before Christmas sing and scream.
So there it is, the ultimate list of everything that is included in your Disney Cruise. Whilst there may seem a lot of things that are not included, you could easily have an amazing Disney Cruise Vacation without spending anything above your cruise cost, expect the gratuities. We love the inclusiveness of Disney Cruise Line and can’t wait till our next one……