Are you thinking about taking a Disney Cruise?
Before you book that Disney Cruise, there are 5 dates that you absolutely need to know. Make sure you figure out what these calendar dates are for the cruise you are planning to book and write them in your planner or type reminders in your phone.
5 Dates You Need to Know Before Booking Your Disney Cruise
1. Date the Cruise Goes on Sale: I have booked a lot of trips in my lifetime and Disney remains one of those destinations that people set their alarm clocks for the exact minute that their dates open up and book right away. This is true for Disney Cruises, just like it’s true for the Parks. If you want your choice in cabin location and dining room seating time, it is imperitive that you plan to book your trip as soon as you can.
2. Payment Due Date: When you book a Disney Cruise, a down payment is required. Equally important is to know when the remainder of your balance is due. You will not be allowed to book port adventures, make meal and babysitting reservations and more until your balance is paid in full.
* Note: Your window for online check-in most likely opens before your balance is due, but your balance must be paid in full before you can book anything!
3. Date When You Can Check in Online and Start Booking Port Adventures: It’s true that a lot of your Disney Cruise planning will happen months before you set sail. In fact, you can start booking Port Adventures, dining reservations for Palo or Remy, book babysitting and more before you leave home. Platinum and Concierge can book at 120 days before you set sail, 105 days prior for Gold, 90 days prior for Silver. First time Disney Cruisers who are not Castaway Cay members (achieved after your first sailing) can book at 75 days prior to sail date. You can use this Disney Cruise booking date calculator to figure out when you can book your activities. p.s. Concierge guests can actually put in requests via Shore-Side Concierge at 125 days out. That means Concierge guests have first crack at pretty much every booking opportunity on the ship.
* Platinum and Concierge guests have a dedicated check-in area at the port. Gold, Silver and first timers use the general check-in area at the port and when you complete your online check-in you can select a time to check-in. The earlier spots tend to go first!
4. The Date Your Photo ID Expires: Follow me on this one, because it has happened to a couple of our friends. Cruise ships will not (WILL. NOT.) allow you to board without a VALID ID. I can’t tell you how easy it is to forget when a passport is expiring. Driver’s licenses are acceptable forms of ID on SOME cruises (all depends on the start/end port location). An expired driver’s license can usually be renewed in about an hour at the local DMV. A passport, however, takes more time to renew. Make sure you know exactly what identifiation is required by YOUR cruise line for YOUR cruise in particular for ALL family members in your traveling party.
* It was 1 week before our first Disney Cruise when Landon was 5 months old that we realized we had misplaced his birth certificate. Misplaced as in, neither of us ever remembered EVER seeing it… so it either never came or (more likely), it came and someone filed it away in a reallllly good hiding spot. The kid will be 3 this year and we have never found the original. We had to drive to the state capital (hours away) a week before the cruise to have a new birth cert printed. If we hadn’t done that – we (he) would have been refused boarding!!
5. Possible Dates for Future Disney Cruise: Cart before the horse, much? No, I promise, it’s worth thinking about. IF you think or know you might like to go on another Disney Cruise in the next 18 or so months, consider booking it while ON BOARD your current cruise. On board future cruise booking can save you up to 20%. You also have the option to move your sail date around if you decide on a Disney Cruise that differs from the one you picked on board.
I hope this helps as you get ready to book your next Disney Cruise! Whether you’re a DCL vet or a first timer, knowing these dates will lead to smoother sailing for sure!
Contact my girl Teresa at Twice As Nice Travel, LLC for your FREE, NO OBLIGATION quote on a Disney Cruise Vacation right now! Make sure you tell her you’re friends with Mama Cheaps – she loves my readers!! Her email address is email@example.com.