You are considering booking a Disney Cruise with a 3 day itinerary, but you’re afraid it’s too short. Is a 3 night Disney cruise even worth it?
Some experienced Disney cruisers will tell you that they would NEVER cruise for less than 7 days and that longer is ALWAYS better. That may be true for some, but not everyone has the budget for an extensive Disney cruise vacation. Maybe you can’t take off work for long periods of time. Or maybe you are afraid a cruise isn’t right for your family.
Regardless of your reasoning for choosing a 3 night itinerary, it’s important to note that you will still receive the same amazing service and experience the same fun activities as those sailing on Disney Cruise Line’s longer itineraries.
In this post, I will explain all the reasons why my family thinks a 3 night Disney cruise is totally worth it!
How much does a 3 day Disney cruise cost?
Let’s be honest, a trip with Disney Cruise Line isn’t the cheapest way to travel. But, you get what you pay for, and the quality DCL provides makes up for the cost. If you are looking for a budget friendly way to sail on a Disney ship, the three day cruises are typically cheaper than those with longer itineraries.
There are several factors that go into the total price of a Disney cruise. Once you are aware of these, you can possibly tweak your budget to save in some areas while maybe even splurging in others!
- Itinerary– You can really trim down the extra costs by traveling on a shorter itinerary. My family’s 3 night Disney cruise was much more budget friendly than the other cruises we have taken. When you calculate in excursions, tips, and items you buy onboard, this is even more true.
- Port Adventures– A three night cruise only has time to visit a couple of ports. Therefore, you aren’t having to pay for excursions on multiple islands you are visiting. Also, our 3 night cruise was a double dip to Castaway Cay. This means we visited the island twice on our cruise! Since we chose to spend our two days on Disney’s private island hanging out at the beach, this port didn’t cost us any additional money!
- Gratuities– Disney Cruise Line charges $13.50 a day per person for gratuities. A family of four would spend $54 a day on gratuities alone. If you extend your cruise length, that tip money can add up quickly.
- Additional Purchases– Extra nights on board can equal more money spent on additional purchases not included in the cruise fare. We bought popcorn for the shows, adult beverages, and a couple special items for our three year old. Our final bill was far cheaper than it would have been had we continued to purchase these items on a longer cruise.
Since I was afraid we wouldn’t be the cruising type, I really didn’t want to dish out a ton of money for something I wasn’t certain we would enjoy. The cost of the 3 night Disney cruise was much more reasonable to us for testing out the waters on a cruise vacation.
If you are flying in to the port for your cruise, I HIGHLY recommend getting there at least the day before embarkation day. Even if your travel party ends up making it to the ship, you will want to know your luggage has plenty of time to get there as well. Flying in a day early allows for delayed flights, lost luggage etc.
It also extends your three night cruise into a four night vacation! Similarly, you can extend your cruise vacation by adding an extra day to the end of your cruise.
Sometimes flight times and prices don’t work out to fly home immediately after you leave the ship. Instead, you can book a hotel for the day you disembark. This way you have more flexibility with flight times on the following day.
This is an especially appealing idea if your Disney cruise sails out of Port Canaveral, Florida. Port Canaveral is less than an hour’s drive to Disney World, so you could get off the ship and be at WDW by late morning! It is much easier to say goodbye to your Disney cruise vacation when you know you have Disney World to look forward to!
Even though the 3 night Disney cruise is a shorter itinerary, you still have plenty of time to experience activities available on board. Don’t get me wrong. we definitely didn’t get to see and do all the things that were offered on our cruise. But, people say the same thing about 7 night cruises!
I looked at personal navigators prior to our trip and decided which activities were most important to us. Once we embarked on the first day, we had plenty of time to eat lunch, swim, unpack, visit guest services, and even order room service…all before the Muster Drill.
Three night Disney cruises still provide the same magical experiences, including Pirate Night, Broadway style shows, swimming pools, and more!
Many of the 3 day cruise itineraries visit the Bahamas. This means that you more than likely would be making a stop at Castaway Cay. This beautiful private island in the Bahamas is reason enough to book a Disney cruise.
And, you can experience most of what the island has to offer without paying extra. Your lunch on Castaway Cay is even included in your cruise fare.
Tips for Saving Money
Did you know that you can book another cruise while you are on the ship and receive a discount? This way your next Disney cruise vacation can be a longer, pricier one with possibly a less expensive pricetag.
Disney Cruise Line offers 10% off the price of your next cruise if booked onboard, which can add up to a significant discount! I like to scope out the upcoming cruise itineraries before sailing so I have an idea of what I would like to book onboard.
If you decide not to take the cruise you booked onboard, you can cancel it and get a refund on your deposit as long as you are inside the cancellation window. So, it’s really a win-win situation!
There are a few restrictions on this deal including that you must sail within 24 months of the onboard booking. If you aren’t sure which cruise to book on board, you can purchase a “placeholder” for $250. This holds the onboard booking deal until you choose the cruise to apply it to.
Also, you may receive a discount on TWO staterooms as long as you put down a deposit on each. (These two staterooms must be booked on the same future cruise.)
Final Review of 3 Day Disney Cruise
As you can see, we completely felt a 3 night Disney cruise was worth it! Our family would eagerly do it again if we weren’t able to work a longer itinerary into our schedule. You will truly have the time of your lives!
Do you think a 3 night Disney cruise is worth it or not?
Leave me a comment below to let me know!