It’s no secret that Disney Cruise Line can be expensive, and I could spend hours explaining why I feel they are worth every penny. That being said, if you’re looking to save a few of those pennies, flexibility will be key.
A great way to save on a Disney cruise is to be flexible enough to travel at the last minute. I realize that this isn’t always possible, but if you’re persistent, and just a bit lucky, you can find some good deals.
Once a cruise passes the date for final payment, unsold staterooms are sometimes put into guarantee status. Final payment is 90 days prior to sailing for cruises of 5 nights or less, and 120 days for cruises 6 nights or longer. The guarantee categories are IGT (Inside Guarantee), OGT (Outside Guarantee) and VGT (Verandah Guarantee). As the name implies, staterooms in these categories are guaranteed to be inside, oceanview or verandah. These staterooms can be had for significant savings, though that’s not always the case.
What prompted me to write this was the fact that I was able to grab two verandah staterooms on a 4-night sailing in late February for $2200 per stateroom – that’s nearly $500 less than what I would pay if I booked the same sailing in the same room next February. Keep in mind that there are a few downsides to IGT/OGT/VGT. First, you can’t cancel or make any changes to the reservation. Other than having the opportunity to purchase trip insurance, once a guarantee status cruise is booked, that’s it. Also, guarantee status cruises must be paid for in full at the time of booking, so there’s no paying these off over time. You also will not get a stateroom assignment until right before the sailing. While you’ll be guaranteed a stateroom within your category, you could end up anywhere on the ship. Again, flexibility will be key.
These offers are especially beneficial if you’re a first-time cruiser or want to experience a Disney cruise on a budget. There’s no rhyme or reason to when these offers show up, so you need to be persistent in checking. At the time I’m writing this, there are several sailings in February and March of 2020 (3 and 4 nights out of Port Canaveral and Miami) that have IGT/OGT/VGT staterooms available. If you’d like some assistance with finding them, you can email the concierge team at Dreams Unlimited Travel, and they’ll be happy to help you find a cruise.
If you book your Disney Cruise Line vacation through Dreams Unlimited Travel – the official sponsor of the DIS – you can receive an exclusive discount in the form of a shipboard credit plus a complimentary gift basket.