What is Not Included in the Cost of a Disney Cruise

We’ve already covered what is included in the cost of your Disney Cruise Line fare, but what isn’t included? These can account for a significant part of your budget. Some add-ons are optional, like adult dining and shore excursions, while gratuities for certain crew members are considered customary for all travelers.

Adult Dining

Disney Cruise Line offers adult guests the opportunity to dine in one of two signature dining locations – Palo on all four ships and Remy on the Disney Fantasy & Disney Dream. At Palo you can choose from brunch or dinner, while Remy offers dinner service only. In addition to the per guest cost of your meal a gratuity for your server is customary.

Which Beverages Cost Extra

  • All alcoholic beverages (plus tip) will be charged to your stateroom account.
  • Specialty coffees prepared by baristas at many locations throughout the ship will be charged to your account as well.
  • Sodas, when served at a bar, concession stand or room service is not included in your fare.
  • Smoothies and virgin cocktails prepared at the ship’s bars, restaurants and quick service counters are not included in your fare.

To save money, the beverage fountains on the pool deck are always open serving soda, lemonade, water and standard coffee. The soda fountain area also has hot water and tea bags.

Spa Services & Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Spa services from massages to manicures will cost extra. You can see prices ahead of time when booking in the My Cruise Activities section of DisneyCruise.com. A complete price list is available at the front desk of the spa. Gratuities for salon staff are customary.

DCL Prep School Tip: After you have been pampered and are completely relaxed, be prepared for the hard sell of spa products. If you are not interested, a simple “no thank you” will suffice, or you can note on your pre-service questionnaire that you are not interested in spa products.

Just like in the Disney Parks, young princes & princesses can enjoy the royal treatment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. (Currently only offered on the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy & Disney Magic, but coming this fall to the Disney Wonder) BBB package prices are available online. The boutique offers costumes and accessories for princes & princesses.

DCL Prep School Tip: To save money, buy your costumes ahead of time or pack your own costume and accessories. It is a great way to reuse any costumes you already have, and it reduces the urge to impulse spend.

Port Adventures

Shore excursions on DCL are called Port Adventures. These excursions range from simple port tours to exotic rain forests treks. Port Adventures are charged per person. Pay special attention to passport requirements, age restrictions and mobility and accessibility information on each excursion.

Professional Photographs

Throughout your cruise Disney photographers will be available to capture special moments. If you are familiar with the PhotoPass service at the Disney Parks, then you already know the basics. Just like PhotoPass in the parks, you receive a discount for pre-purchasing your photo packages on DCL.

For more information on pre-purchasing photo packages, click here!

All scheduled character meet & greets have a photographer available. Also, the evening of the Captain’s Dinner is a great opportunity to take family photos while everyone is dressed to impress. Pirate Night also hosts a number of photo ops.

Several photo packages are available to pre-purchase from MyCruisePhotos.com, or you can buy prints a la carte on board. Prints and photo viewing kiosks are located in Shutters on Deck 4 of all four ships.

DCL Prep School Tip: You can use your own camera at all photo locations. Crew Members will happily take photos at character meet and greets so everyone is included in the picture.

Nursery

Nursery time for children under the age of three is charged by the hour. It is strongly recommended that you reserve time in advance of your sailing as strict caregiver ratios and nursery capacity is maintained, and walk-in times are not always available.

Gratuities

DCL Prep School has a complete guide to Tipping on Your Cruise. However, to break it down, there are only two times on your cruise when I consider tipping mandatory.

  1. Tip the porters who take your luggage prior to your cruise. $1-$2 per bag is standard. We have never mastered the art of packing light, so for full size suitcases, I tip $2 each. It is optional to utilize a porter when you disembark. If you do, plan on the same tip again.
  2. There are 4 crew members who make sure your cruise runs smoothly. Your dining server, assistant server, head server and stateroom host all receive gratuities from you. They will receive a standard gratuity to be billed to your onboard account (or you can prepay). The standard gratuity is $12 per night per guest per night. So a family of 4 on a 4-night cruise will expect to pay $192 in server gratuities. Remember: These crew members depend on the standard gratuities as salary, and I cannot recall one instance where I wasn’t happy to tip the minimum – and you can always adjust your tip up if you feel your service was exceptional. We usually do.

All other tips are optional – meaning it is optional to use the services. If you use them, please tip.

  1. Bartenders & poolside servers
  2. Concession stand deliveries in the Walt Disney Theatre
  3. Spa technicians
  4. Room service delivery ($2 USD cash per delivery – for larger deliveries please tip more)
  5. Porters at your return port
  6. Baristas

Gift Shops, Souvenirs & Duty-Free Shopping

You buy it, you pay for it, whether onboard or in the ports.

DCL Prep School Tip: When buying clothing, keep your receipt handy. Try the item on in your stateroom with all the tags in place. If it doesn’t fit, you can return or exchange it.

Depending on how you cruise, these extras can add up quickly. You can see your charges anytime on your stateroom television (check guide for channel) or the Crew Members at the Guest Services desk will be happy to print a ledger for you at anytime during your cruise. A final printout will be delivered to your stateroom the final night of your cruise. Go over it carefully, and be sure to clear up any discrepancies before you disembark the ship.

FOR MORE INFO:

What is included in the Cost of a Disney Cruise?

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