Update March 2017: I actually found some more strategies that will save an additional $1968. Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to learn how you can utilize these travel hacks. Happy Traveling!

When I was in my 20’s I used to scoff at people who took cruises. Those weren’t real travelers. No, I would stay in a hostel with ants and prove to everyone how authentic I was by having said ants bite me at night (true story).

My husband on the other hand, is a fan of cruises and all things Disney. He grew up going to Disney World a lot and has great memories.

So when our first two kids were 5 and 3 we took our first Disney cruise from Texas around the Caribbean. 

Steps to Saving on a Disney Cruise:

1. Don’t get the bigger cabin, split your party into two small cabins (saves $2850.50)

2. Book on Expedia (saves $739) (up to $1000 in cruise credit)

3. Sign up for Barclay Arrival Plus Cards (saves $1100)

4. Make sure you have Ebates activated (save $778)

Read more about each step below:

I’ve been a convert since.

Sometimes you just have to take a vacation that is easy and fun.

Right now our youngest is going on two and I am very ready for that easy and fun vacation.

Disclaimer: Just want to mention first that we will be traveling around Japan in April in case anyone is doubting our travel street cred.

So as you all know I can be a bit OCD with booking travel.

Lucky for you, you get to benefit from all my OCD research!

1. Disney Cruise Cost Saving Tip #1

So here’s the thing about Disney Cruises, once you are above 4 people in one cabin you have to either:

A. Get a bigger cabin (read: fancier and more expensive)

B. Split your party into two not fancy cabins

Last Disney cruise we sprang for a cabin with a window and honestly I don’t think it’s worth it. Sure it’s nice to have but if you’re going off a travel budget like us I would say skip it.

Here is what you see when you try to book an Alaska Cruise via the Disney Cruise Website if you simply input 2 adults and 3 kids:

The only option Disney will give us here is the Delux Family Ocean Stateroom with Verandah (nice name Disney).

It’s a whopping 10,535.15 total for a family of 5.

This is for a 7 night all inclusive cruise, but still outside my budget.

So we’re going to go about lowering that number. How? We’ll split the party into two cabins to avoid paying for the fancy deluxe super verandah cabin.

You go up to “Travel Party” and split your family in two stateroom by clicking “add a stateroom”. Note that kids 2 and under aren’t as expensive as kid 3 and over so I group my youngest with my oldest and that also lowers costs.

So now you have 2 staterooms. You need to choose your staterooms to see the final price. Make sure to choose the cheapest options.

$10,535.15 vs $7684.65

With that change your cost goes from $10,535.15 to $7684.65

That’s a difference of $2850.50! 

But we’re not done yet.


So now that we save almost $3K we’re going to save more. Next step is to take your whole search over to Expedia.

Simply search for the same cruise and select the same options. Expedia for whatever reason will offer the cabins for slightly cheaper.

This will save you another $139.90. 

Still not done though.

So as you are booking through Expedia make sure to use your Mastercard. If you do so you save another $600 in cruise credit.

so make sure you book before that. Also the onboard credit works with other cruise lines too.

So as you can see from the chart this is by cabin. Our first cabin was $ 4,195.89 and our second $3,348.86, making our cruise credit $600.

With the cruise credit that gets our savings up to $3590.40. That’s a whole other vacation!

Money saved: $3590.40 $4590.40

3. Savings tip #3 Save another $1000

So I was reading a post by Brad at Richmond Savers who is a major travel hacking guru and found another way to save $1000 on a Disney Cruise. This does involve opening two credit cards, they aren’t super fancy cards or anything like that so anyone with a good credit score should be able to get them. You can open one for you and one for your spouse.

Step 1: Sign up for the Barclay Arrival Plus Credit Card

Step 2: Sign up for the same card for your spouse

Step 3 Option 1: Charge the $3000 necessary to the get the sign up bonus on the Barclay Arrival Plus card then apply the $500+ credit to your Disney cruise (do this for each of the two cards)

Step 3 Option 2: Charge the Disney cruise to the cards (half on each card). If you bought the tickets the way I did you should have two payments anyways because they are two cabins. Make sure you pay off at least the minimum payment at the end of the month but leave at least $600 on the balance of each card. Then when your travel credit comes in use it to pay off the remaining $500-600. I say this because you will receive over $500 travel credit since the cruise costs more than the $3k necessary to get your $500 travel credit, you also receive a percentage back for charging any travel expenses.

Make sure to read Brad’s post on How to Save on a Cruise for more detailed info on this hack and don’t be afraid to leave questions in the comments on his site or mine. 

4. Disney Cruise Savings Tip #4 Save an additional 10% via Ebates

Saves $768 (+$10)

So since you’ll be booking your cruise on Expedia you can save another 10% if you sign up for Ebates. Ebates is a site that gives you a small percentage off from shopping at certain online retailers. The offers for Expedia are okay for the most part, but the cruises is where you save the most. A whopping 10%.

If you feel uncomfortable with signing up for credit cards this is a great way to save with almost no effort.

Use this link to sign up for Ebates and get $10 in your account right away.

Overview of Steps to Saving on a Disney Cruise:

1. Don’t get the bigger cabin, split your party into two small cabins (saves $2850.50)

2. Book on Expedia (saves $739) (up to $1000 in cruise credit)

3. Sign up for Barclay Arrival Plus Cards (saves $1100)

4. Make sure you have Ebates activated (saves $778)

Next step: The 7 Best Things to Pack for a Disney Cruise


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