There will be several opportunities for discounts, upgrades, and “freebies” on your Disney cruise. I know, I know, the freebies are not really free, but there are some things that don’t cost extra that a lot of first-timers typically don’t know about. There are also some ways to save money on things that do cost extra. Here are some of my favorites.
Did you know that if your sailing is not full, you can upgrade your room when you check in at the terminal for a fraction of what it would have cost you to upgrade in advance? All you have to do is visit the supervisor’s desk at the terminal after you check in for your cruise. At Port Canaveral, the supervisor’s desk is at the far right end of the check in stations. You can read all of the details here in my post about port upgrades.
Cove Cafe Fanatic Card
If you purchase a specialty coffee or tea drink at either the Cove Cafe (18+, all 4 ships) or the Vista Cafe (all ages, Dream & Fantasy only), you will get a card which will be stamped for every drink you buy. After you get 5 stamps, you can get 1 specialty coffee/tea beverage free. I have read mixed reviews about whether they allow these cards to be carried over from cruise to cruise. I suggest asking the barista when you first receive the card so that you know for certain what the policy is at that time. Also, don’t forget that any beverage purchased from a bar (this includes the Cove and Vista Cafes) will have an automatic 18% gratuity added. Click here to read my post All About Tipping on a Disney Cruise.
Cove Cafe and Vista Cafe Snacks
Also at the Cove Cafe and Vista Cafe you will find a glass case of snacks ranging from pastries to savory selections depending on the day and time. Even though drinks from these locations are an additional charge, the snacks are complimentary. It is not clearly labeled so I think most people assume that there is a charge for them. In my experience, sometimes they want you to serve yourself and sometimes the CM wants to serve you, so just ask before you dig in.
Drink of the Day
Every day of your cruise, a specific drink will be featured as the drink of the day and have a discounted price. There is both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version available each day. To find out what they are, just ask a bartender or check the navigator.
Free 50 MB of Internet
On the day that you board the ship, you can get 50 MB of internet for free if you sign up by midnight that day. The details will be in the navigator that you receive when you check in at the terminal. This offer is good per stateroom and can be shared among several devices. Some people have reported that each person in the same stateroom have been able to register separately and each get 50 mb, but I have not personally verified this and your milage may vary. Be sure that the settings on your phone are as recommended by DCL and that you log out each time you use the internet, or else your 50 MB could get used up within seconds due to automatic upgrades or downloads. For all of the details about internet options onboard, including a copy of the instructions to make sure that all of the setting son your phone are correct, read my post about Connect@Sea here.
Disney Vacation Club Presentation
Several times throughout your cruise, you will have the opportunity to attend a presentation about the Disney Vacation Club. The times and locations will be listed in the navigator. At each presentation, there will be a drawing for a $200 onboard credit. We have gone several times and they usually last about 45 minutes. They do not use the high pressure techniques that some time share companies use, and it is easy to just sit and watch and hope that you win. Of course they wait until the end to announce the winner, and you must be present to win.
The days of DCL allowing guests to carry on unlimited amounts of any type of alcohol are a thing of the past, but they do still allow you to bring on limited amounts of wine and beer. For all of the details, you can read my post about the DCL alcohol policy here.
Beer drinkers can get a discount on beer with the beer mug program. If you buy the mug (which costs about $15), you get 22 oz of beer for the price of 16 oz of beer each time you order one. You DO NOT have to carry the mug around your entire cruise. They will give you a token that you can show the bartender and he/she will give you the larger beer. You can even take the mug or token home and bring it back and use it on your next cruise.
Many people are surprised to learn that most room service items are included in your cruise fare and do not cost extra. There are a few things that do have an additional charge, so be sure and read the menu carefully. There is also an item that is not listed on the menu but available, at no extra charge – Mickey bars! I’m not sure why it’s not on the menu, but you can get Mickey bars delivered to your room 24 hours a day. You’re welcome.
Here are some other posts about saving money and getting deals: