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Disney Cruise Lines 101 for Travel Agents

We’ve talked at length about all things Disney  here , here , and here . But for those of you with clients that aren’t inclined toward land-dwelling vacations to Disney World or Disneyland, I present to you Disney Cruise Lines (DCL), where the Disney Magic sets sail on the high seas (I swear I am not getting paid by Disney to say that, it just came out that way). 

Disney Cruise Lines 101 for Travel Agents

Disney recently announced that they will almost double their fleet. By 2023, Disney will have completed three new ships. So this is as good a time as any to brush up on DCL knowledge. This is where I go into my refrain about how travel agents are smarter than me. So I chatted with a few agents who are DCL extraordinaires, Nikki Miller of Travel with Nikki, and Connie Saunders, owner of Total Travel and Events.

A Disney Cruise is not your average cruise, and similar to the complexity of booking Disney World, there tend to be more moving parts than on more “conventional” cruise lines. According to Nikki,

 Nikki Miller, Owner of Travels with Nikki

“After you make the initial reservation is where things are different [with DCL]—making sure your clients are informed of things that are pre-booked and prearranged. Say for the character meet and greets, princess meet and greets specifically.”

Especially for first-time DCL cruises, clients may need more information regarding advanced reservations for cruise activities, dining, nursery care, and add-ons such as Adventure By Disney tours (which are no longer packaged with Disney Cruise).

Why Should I Book DCL?

Here’s the thing about Disney—you will probably never have to explain the Disney brand to any of your clients unless they are a Neanderthal that was buried alive in the Pleistocene era and then excavated from a vast tundra and thawed into a new 21st-century life. 

Disney is ubiquitous. You won’t need to do much legwork for their brand, won’t need to explain how it’s different from other cruise lines, and clients are more likely to purchase a Disney cruise sight unseen because Disney sells itself.

DCL—like every Disney product is steadfast in its price stability and generally operates at a higher price point than the average cruise. This means that even though the commissions are frozen at a slim 10%, you know exactly what kind of commission you’re going to walk away with on any given day. 

The other advantage is that DCL incentivizes clients to really commit to taking the cruise since there are fewer itineraries (read, higher demand) and because DCL also incentivizes clients to make full payment sooner than later. So with DCL, clients are more likely to book earlier and less likely to cancel.

Qualifying the Disney Cruise Client

The Disney Cruise is a concentrated Disney World experience—all the magic on one tiny boat (err, without the epic rides). A Disney Cruise offers more flexibility among intergenerational groups to do as little or as much as they want.

While most parents won’t unleash young kiddos at Disney World (I know, it might be tempting to ditch them with Snow White), on the DCL, kids can run off to various Kids Clubs while moms or pops or caretakers just chill all day by the (adult-only) pool. It’s easy for everyone to go at their own pace. 

Miller offered a great time-saving tip to register your kiddos for the different Kids Clubs (listed below) at the port terminal before you board. This will save to save on your precious, bonafide on-board vacation time. Might as well. You’ll probably be waiting anyway :)

Miller provided a few things to consider when qualifying DCL clients:

  • Kids younger than 3:  The minimum age for kiddos to sail is 6mo or 1 year for transatlantic itineraries. Kids who are younger than three do not qualify for Kids Club programs. What this means is that if you want time away from your baby, you will have to use their “It’s a Small World” nursery service. The bummer about this is that reservations are required, so your cruising parents won’t be able to partake in any spontaneous adulting at the bars, restaurants, or pools. Rates run $9/hr for the first kid and 8/hr for any kid after that. 
  • Kids 3-12: All the Disney ships have an Oceaneer Youth Club and Lab, with open registration on embarkation day. Beyond the age requirement, the only other eligibility factor is that the kids need to be potty trained. Each ship has a different theme, so if not having Frozen or the Millennial Falcon is a deal breaker for your clients’ kids, make sure you study up to see what ship has what
  • Tweens (11-14):  The Edge is the DCL haven for tweens, and similar to the Oceaneer Club and Lab, you register the tweens on embarkation day. In general, there seems to be consistency across the different vessels, but the Disney Magic and Wonder (unlike the Fantasy and Dream) provide a craft table for the artsy crowd.
  • Teens (14-17):  The Vibe is for those adult imposters tagging along with you :). They provide a “club” feel and are exclusive to teens (sorry, no helicopter parenting allowed). The Vibe on the Disney Dream and Fantasy has more amenities, including an outdoor poolside deck and the Chill Spa.

Know Thy Teen:

Let’s face it: the teen years can be awkward (seriously, can I get a show of hands?). Nikki Miller had great advice when it came to teens, “When I’m looking at clients and they have older kids, that’s where it’s a little harder. A first-time teenager going on a DCL is not always the best fit unless they’re going with a group of friends and cousins or they go to the teen club together. You have to find the right type of teen, the older teen might not be as into it . . . It’s just kind of talking to them about what their teen is like. Do they like to chill on their own and be fine, do they like activities?”

DCL Is Not Just for Kiddos

Don’t be fooled by the princesses and pirates and playrooms galore. Disney also has adult-only options abound on their cruises for dining, at Castaway Cay, pubs, clubs, and lounges galore. With the intensive children’s programming on DCL, oftentimes the kids are corralled into certain areas so they’re—*ahem*—easy to avoid if you want to.

In regard to the adult experience on DCL, Connie Saunders said, 

 Connie Saunders, CEO of Total Travel and Events Inc.

“For my 50th birthday my husband said, you can go anywhere in the world, what do you want to do? And I asked to go on a Disney Cruise. It’s got a special place in my heart. They make it very unique and very special.”

Pitching dcl to clients:.

As with any type of travel, a Disney Cruise is easier to sell if you have the kind of passion for the product that agents like Nikki and Connie have expressed in this article.

According to Connie, “As an agent, it’s important to do lots of site-market research where you go travel on these different brands so you’re aware of what makes them good for different clients. [Clients] trust you as a subject matter expert because you’ve done it. I can still talk to [families with young children] because I can remember when my children were younger. I can tell them about my daughter meeting Cinderella or when Chip and Dale came and sat by us at the poolside. It’s about the experience and the quality.”

If clients are trying to choose between Disney World and Disney cruise, Connie paints “the picture of standing in the lines of 95% and humidity at 100% Or do you want to be sailing to the Caribbean where there are only 2,500-3,000 people. It’s a more personal experience.”

But in the end, Disney’s brand is strong enough that it will pitch itself, and what you need to do is attract clients to pass that info along to by amping up your marketing game or doing some social media legwork . 

Castaway Cay Cabanas & Other Amenities: Increasing Your Clients’ Chances 

Castaway Cay is pretty much the holy grail of Disney Cruises, so it’s no wonder that they’re in high demand. Who doesn’t want to go lounge on a private island?! 

  • Send Them On a Double Dip Cruise: If you’re thinking what I was thinking it’s probably, “What the heck is a double dip cruise?” Now that I’m in the know, I can tell you that it’s when a DCL cruise stops twice at Castaway Cay. If you want to beef up your clients’ chances at a cabana, send them on one of these itineraries. For cruises with two Castaway stops, you can check here for rumors , but make sure you confirm the rumors at the trusty Disney Agent Portal .  In general, the short 3-day cruises will be most difficult for the Princess meet and greets . . . a longer cruise means more opportunities. Plus, who doesn’t want to go on a longer cruise? 
  • Persistence, Persistence, Persistence: Check out our Early Reservation Date Calculator for Disney to see when your client can throw their hat in for a reservation. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Check-in weekly to see if there were any cancellations. If that doesn’t work, then on the day you disembark, arrive as early as you can and hightail it to the Port Adventures Desk before you even think about dropping your bags in your stateroom. On the day of embarkation, you can be put on the waitlist for Castaway Cay, and also get tickets for Princess Meet and Greets—according to Nikki, some tickets for Princess Meet and Greets are reserved for day-of reservations, so don’t despair if you weren’t able to snag tickets before embarkation. 
  • Sail Concierge: Okay, let me just be upfront in saying that this is going to cost a pretty penny. But especially for DCL first-timers (or fewer-timers), sailing concierge is a great way to give yourself an added advantage when it comes to nabbing a Cabana at Castaway Cay, and making sure you’re front in line for adult dining, meet and greets and port adventures. The concierge service will email clients 125 days before embarkation asking what amenities they want to book, and automatically enter it in at midnight 120 days before the ship sails. This gives clients the same lead time as Platinum members and provides the best chances of getting a Cabana. 

This is going to be a short section because Disney does not have a groups department. Why? Their reputation is as such that they don’t have to do anything extra to fill rooms. They coast on their reputation for excellent customer service. In short, if you want to book a group, you will need to book each member individually.

Becoming a DCL Expert:

  • Disney College of Knowledge : Anyone who wants to specialize in DCL will want to go through the Disney College of Knowledge (DCK) . . . which is the case for any Disney vacation. Agents can beef up their continued education by taking refresher courses through DCK as well (and will need to in order to maintain certification)
  • DCL’s DISboards : Connie also recommended DCL’s DISboard (this is how I learned what double dipping meant in Disney’s Cruise Line speak). The board will provide a lot of insider info for curious agents to come across as true Disney Cruise aficionados.
  • Cruise Ship Inspections : According to Nikki, Disney has been offering more cruise ship inspections, and she recommends keeping your ear to the ground on the Disney Travel Agents website (another staple for Disney Agents) to keep abreast of any opportunities.

Your Patience, Rewarded

We have a few goodies for you!!! Oh yes, we do. These are some materials inspired by Nikki, who graciously gave me a preview of her custom-made client-facing materials she gives to her Disney Cruisers! What a rockstar!

We’ve adapted some of her ideas here, so you can spread the love to your clients too!

About the Author

Mary Stein - Host Agency Reviews

Mary Stein has been working as a writer and editor for Host Agency Reviews since 2016. She loves supporting travel advisors on their entrepreneurial journey and is inspired by their passion, tenacity, and creativity. Mary is also a mom, dog lover, fiction writer, hiker, and a Great British Bake Off superfan.

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As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, we offer top-notch customer service and a personalized trip-planning approach. Moreover, our Disney Travel Agents have been trained in the art of Disney travel through years of experience and the Disney College of Knowledge program. Additionally, they are Disney Experts and have seen it all! From the best hotels to the best restaurants, from the most magical attractions to the most memorable characters. Therefore, they love their work and are excited to share their knowledge with you!

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If you’re looking for the best way to plan your next Disney vacation, look no further than Fairytale Journeys. We are an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, meaning we have gone through extensive training with Disney and Fairytale Journeys Travel, which means you can rest assured knowing that your vacation will be in good hands.

Our team of Disney travel agents is dedicated to ensuring your trip is as smooth and stress-free as possible, so you can enjoy every moment of your time at Walt Disney World Resort and beyond. Our goal is to make sure that your family has a magical experience that they’ll never forget!

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Best Disney Travel Agents

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Disney Travel Planners. Why would anyone use Disney travel agents in this fast-paced digital world when they could just book their own trip online, right? Well, not exactly. You certainly can book your own Disney vacation, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

While there are plenty of online resources to go it alone, the truth is booking your Disney vacation with a specialized Disney travel planner can bring a lot of added value to your trip. And since not all Disney travel agencies are created equal, it’s especially important to work with a reputable one. Therefore, you should always book your vacation with the best Disney travel agents so that everything is done correctly and, ultimately, your Disney trip is as magical as it can be.

Below you will find our list of the top 6 best Disney travel planners in the business today. We follow this list with some of the key reasons why you should always seek out the assistance of a Disney travel agent in the first place. So let’s get started!

Top 6 Disney Travel Planners

(best disney travel agencies).

As you’ll discover later in this article, booking with a Disney travel agency is the smart approach. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at some of the best Disney travel agencies in the business today. Here’s our list of the top 6 Disney travel planners (in our opinion):

1. The Vacationeer

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Our top-rated Disney travel planner award goes to The Vacationeer because of their impressive track record of customer satisfaction and professionalism. And we aren’t the only ones who are impressed.

A Diamond Level Earmarked Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Disney has recognized The Vacationeer for its success and professionalism. As such, Disney has designated The Vacationeer as both a Diamond Level Producer and an Earmarked Authorized Disney Vacation Planner . These designations are only reserved for top-tier Disney travel agencies.

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Satisfied Customer Base

The Vacationeer is a boutique travel agency specializing in Disney , Universal, cruise line, and destination resort vacations. With a satisfied client base from around the country, Vacationeers gives their clients personalized touches that larger agencies do not. They go above and beyond their competitors and strive to exceed their client’s expectations from the start to the completion of a Disney trip.

The Vacationeer’s goal is simple: to create magical vacations filled with memories that will last a lifetime. Sounds great, but how do they accomplish this?

Depth of Disney Knowledge

It starts with a staff of knowledgeable “Vacationeers” – all graduates of the College of Disney Knowledge – who not only know a lot about Disney but are also passionate Disney fanatics. In other words, this isn’t just a job; crafting their client’s stress free Disney vacation is rewarding and exciting.

To have this kind of in-depth knowledge, the Disney travel agents at The Vacationeer frequently visit the park. They keep tabs on all the new rides coming to Disney World , all the latest theme park news, and what hotels are being built. That first-hand expertise is something you won’t find with travel wholesalers such as Costco !

The Right Vacation Package For You (At The Lowest Cost)

Vacationeers also stay on top of the latest Disney promotions and best deals. This allows them to pass on as many savings to their client as possible.

Each vacation package is uniquely tailored to the client’s specific goals to ensure satisfaction. At every step of the way, The Vacationeer is there to help you and ensure your vacation is as magical as possible.

Whether you are looking for the best value, a luxury vacation fit for a king or queen, or something in the middle, The Vacationeer has you covered!

You can rest assured that the Disney travel planners at The Vacationeer are some of the best in the industry. They’re in the business of satisfying each customer’s expectations while striving to be among the friendliest to work with. And the proof is in the pudding: The Vacationeer has hundred of 5-star Google reviews.

So, whether it’s your first trip to Disney World or your 30th, we think The Vacationeer is the premier agency to depend on. Contact them today!

Disney Travel Services

The Vacationeer will help you plan and book your hotel accommodations , theme park tickets, advanced dining reservations , and more. In addition, they will advise you through making your Disney Genie+ selections and setting up a payment plan that fits within your monthly budget. And it’s no small bonus that they’ll contact Disney for you if anything pops up… much better than you waiting on hold!

Besides Disney World, the agency is well-versed and fully authorized to book travel for other popular resort destinations and cruise line vacations . And if you’re considering cruising with Disney , you’ll be happy to know that The Vacationeer offers one of the highest onboard credits around — that’s free money to use while you’re onboard the ship! So whether it’s a family vacation, honeymoon, romantic getaway, or just a solo trip away from the grind, The Vacationeer is the best travel agency in the business (in our opinion).

And, of course, their services are 100% free . Click the button below for a free, no-obligation quote, or call them toll-free at  1-833-4MY-TRIP.

Prefer to work with a travel agent who lives near you?

The Vacationeer has agents in most states:

AL ∙ AZ ∙ CA ∙ CT ∙ FL ∙ GA

IL ∙ IN ∙ KY ∙ LA ∙ MA ∙ MD

ME ∙ MI ∙ MS ∙ NC ∙ NJ ∙ NV

NY ∙ OH ∙ OK ∙ PA ∙ RI ∙ SC

TN ∙ TX ∙ VA ∙ VT ∙ WI

The Vacationeer books the following travel destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Theme Parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios ✓  Water Parks: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon ✓  All Disney World Resort hotels, as well as non-Disney resorts ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Universal Studios (FL and CA)

✓  SANDALS® Resorts: Caribbean 5 Star Luxury Included Resorts ✓  BEACHES Resorts ✓  Atlantis Bahamas ✓  Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

2. EnchantAway Travel

The Logo for EnchantAway travel, a rose inside a compass-point enclosure

We know the team behind EnchantAway Travel very well. It was founded by the owner of one of the top selling Disney Travel Agencies in the country, and their leadership team boasts more than 30 years of experience in the travel industry.

EnchantAway is a boutique travel agency staffed solely by dedicated Disney fans just like you, who’ve chosen to use their vast knowledge (and love) of the parks and resorts to help other families plan the perfect trip.

EnchantAway and its agents are true professionals, through-and-through. Agents must graduate from the College of Disney Knowledge, and they have decades of Disney experience. EnchantAway holds its agents to the same high standards of service and accuracy that apply to Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agencies twenty times their size.

Thanks to their love of Disney and their dedication to a mission of “fans helping fans,” EnchantAway is already garnering rave reviews from its clients. We’ve heard from several who can’t say enough about the dedicated, one-on-one service they get. A consistent refrain is that “they cared about my trip as if it were their own” and “I think my agent was just as excited about my vacation as I was!”

Whether you’re planning for the parks, considering a cruise, or looking to adventure further abroad, you’re sure to be enchanted by the exceptional service you get from the passionate, expert Disney vacation planners at EnchantAway Travel.

Their planning services are completely free, so get your no-cost, no-obligation quote today!

EnchantAway Travel can help with these destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Universal Studios (FL and CA)

3. Glass Slipper Concierge

Glass Slipper Concierge logo - best Disney Travel Agencies

Glass Slipper Concierge is a division of Sanborn’s Travel Service and is based in Corpus Christi, TX. The Agency is headed by author Cara Goldsbury, whose travel articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Travel Weekly, Forbes Traveler , and more.

Cara’s agency has received praise for its dedication to its customer base and is staffed with enthusiastic Disney fanatics. However, what really differentiates them from other Disney Travel agencies is their focus on crafting luxury Disney vacations . So if you refuse to settle for anything but the best in Disney accommodations, fine dining, and services – and have the budget for the golden treatment – Glass Slipper Concierge may be the people you need to talk with.

Please note that Glass Slipper’s “Gold Key Advisor” planners charge a vacation management fee for their services.

Glass Slipper Concierge books the following travel destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Four Seasons Resort Orlando ✓  Other Destinations

4. Mouse Vacation Planning

mouse vacation planning

Jeffrey Merola is a busy guy. He’s a husband, a father, an author of 11 Disney guidebooks, and the founder of the Disney travel agency Mouse Vacation Planning, LLC.

Jeff has toured Disney World over 340 days despite being situated in upstate New York. There’s no question he is a Disney fanatic!

As a Disney travel agent, Jeff is committed to providing his clients with the 1st class service they deserve. His goal is to make their vacation dreams become a reality.

So whether it is your 1st visit or your 21st, Jeff will be there to help you create the most magical Disney vacation possible.

He’ll take the stress out of planning and booking your family vacation so that all you have to do is pack your suitcase and go!

Mouse Vacation Planning books the following travel destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Universal Orlando

5. Fairytale Journeys

Fairytale Journeys Travel logo

Fairytale Journeys has been helping clients save time and money since its founding in 2009. As authorized Disney Vacation Planners and a Universal Orlando Preferred Travel Agency, Susanne and Steve’s team of more than 150 agents certainly know the ropes when it comes to traveling to Orlando’s major attractions.

Thinking of cruising? They can book your trip on Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Virgin, and more!

The agency has been designated as Earmarked Platinum through Disney, and its agents consistently receive high marks from their clients.

Fairytale Journeys specializes in the following travel destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World ✓  Universal Orlando ✓  Disneyland ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓  Disney’s Aulani ✓  Disney Cruise ✓  Other Cruise Lines ✓  Sandals/Beaches Resorts

6. The Magic for Less

best disney world travel agencies

The Magic for Less Travel is another large Disney travel agency. Located in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania, the agency currently employs over 40 Disney travel planners. Their mission statement reads: “We make dreams come true by providing the best vacation planning services so our guests will experience a truly magical vacation.”

The Magic for Less Travel professionals are there to help you find the best price, features, and value at the various Disney Destinations. As an added bonus, they also book Hawaiian vacations and Disney’s Hilton Head and Vero Beach resorts. So if a larger agency focusing on value is music to your ears, The Magic for Less Travel may be the right Disney travel agency for you.

The Magic for Less books the following Disney destinations:

✓  Walt Disney World Resort (FL) ✓  Disneyland Resort (CA) ✓  Disney Cruise Line ✓  Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa ✓  Adventures by Disney ✓   Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort ✓   Disney’s Vero Beach Resort ✓   Universal Orlando Resort

Top Reasons why you should use

Disney travel planners.

Disney Travel Agents

Is a Disney Travel Agent the Way to Go ?

Simply put…YES!

Not only can Disney travel planners answer all of your questions, but they also find you the best possible vacation package – at the best promotional rate available anywhere.

Disney travel planners also do the time-consuming “heavy lifting” of booking as many aspects of a Disney World v acation as you wish. And- trust me – there are plenty of time-sensitive details to book!

But what is most surprising to a potential client is that the services of Disney World travel agents are entirely free of charge. No hidden fees, no fine print – nothing.

When you add all the pluses and minuses, there’s really no advantage whatsoever in booking your own trip. So when you see the value Disney travel planners can offer you, it’s a no-brainer decision.

With that said, let’s review some of these key advantages in greater detail.

Here are the main reasons why booking your Disney World vacation with a specialized Disney travel planner is the smart choice:

⭐ A Disney Travel Planner’s Depth of Knowledge of Walt Disney World

This one is especially important if you are visiting Disney World for the first or second time.

Since Disney is a massive theme park filled with all sorts of parks, attractions, resorts, restaurants, entertainment, and transportation options, you need someone who can help you plan and navigate through every step of your Disney World trip. Of course, your input is the most important. But their help and guidance will be invaluable if you don’t already know the ropes.

As amazing as Disney World is, it fast becomes less amazing when you realize you don’t know where you are going. In addition, your experience suffers when you encounter crowded attractions, can’t get a table at popular restaurants, or have booked a vacation package that isn’t perfect for you.

Guidebooks and online blogs can be helpful, but you need to talk with someone with first-hand Disney knowledge of the park’s aspects. A Disney Travel Agent can help you navigate through all of these unknowns and craft a vacation package that’s right for you.

Not all Disney travel planners (and Disney travel agencies) are created equal. Thus, it is important to find a dedicated Disney travel planner whom you can trust for the correct information and guidance.

When you first contact a Disney travel planner, don’t be afraid to ask questions like: how many times have you been to Disney World? When was the last time you were at the park? Which restaurant has the best buffet? Which Magic Kingdom attractions have the shortest lines ? What are the most popular Disney Genie+ (Lightning Lane) attractions? Etc., etc., etc. Many things change over the years, so you want to be sure the person making your recommendations has the most current official Disney information and knows the ropes.

⭐ The Personalized Service Disney Travel Agents Provide

The best Disney Travel Planners should make you feel like they are “on your side” and looking out for your best interests. For example, if you tell them you want to spend 4 nights at a budget-friendly Disney resort, then a good Disney travel planner will respect your goals. They will never try to up-sell you with a more elaborate Disney vacation package.

Disney travel planners should give you the personalized attention any client deserves. This means answering your questions, giving tips and advice to help you decide an itinerary based on your goals, meeting your deadlines, and putting in the extra effort to make sure that every aspect of your Disney World vacation is extra magical.

You certainly won’t get the same level of personalized service if you were to book your trip online. And even when you call Disney’s reservation hotline, you will speak with a different Disney employee each time you call. That can get confusing!

Going through a Disney travel planner is the only way to feel like you have a friend helping you.

Unless you already know Disney all there is to know about Disney World, there’s no downside in having someone on your side to help you plan your trip.

⭐ To get the Best Possible Rate: They Monitor Deals and Special Promotions

Another key advantage of using a Disney travel planner is that they are constantly monitoring new discounts and promotions offered by Disney. It’s their job to do this so you don’t do have to do it yourself.

As you book your trip, a Disney travel planner will find the best current rates available (based on any deals/promotions that Disney is running).

Once the trip is booked, your Disney travel planner will continually monitor all Disney promotions available. Suppose any discounts spring up after a trip has been booked. In that case, a Disney travel planner will modify any existing client’s reservation to take advantage of these applicable discounts.

Having an astute Disney travel planner – constantly on the lookout to save you money – is never a bad thing!

⭐ Booking your Advanced Dining Reservations for You

Some clients prefer to be more hands-on than others. No problem! You can still utilize the services of authorized Disney vacation planners while also doing a lot of the legwork – and some of the booking – yourself. This may include the planning/itinerary and booking of things like transportation, stroller rentals , and Advance Dining Reservations. On the other hand, some clients prefer to leave every single detail up to the Disney travel agent. It’s really up to you how involved you want to be.

At the minimum, the only aspects that a travel agent would need to take care of would be to book your hotel/ticket/dining plan package and to process the payments for your trip. Otherwise, your level of involvement is up to you. However, be warned that some of the bookings are confusing to the uninitiated, not to mention time-consuming and time-sensitive.

Most clients are happy to let their experienced travel planners make all the reservations because they know exactly what they are doing. Plus, they have the time – and obligation – to do it, so why not let them handle it?

If unforeseen circumstances arise after booking your trip, your Disney travel agent is there to help. So if you encounter a medical or family issue, hurricane, pandemic, or whatever, your planner will help you change your existing reservations or re-book the entire trip to a later date.

⭐ All of this – and it’s Free!

Most travel planners receive a small commission for booking their client’s trips. However, this commission comes directly from Disney (not the clients). The clear beneficiary of this policy is you – the client. Some authorized Disney vacation planners do, in fact, charge for their services. Avoid them like the plague! No need to pay someone to do the work that most agencies do for free.

And – if you think there is some sort of catch or hidden fees somewhere – rest assured that there are none. The best Disney travel agencies are strictly no fee. And not only are the services of a Disney travel planner entirely free, but they put you in a position to get the absolute best rates offered anywhere (by closely monitoring the discounts/promotions and adjusting your Disney vacation package anytime a better offer becomes available).

Ready to Book? Choose an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

We recommend working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner . Disney bestows this award on only a limited number of agencies in the country – the few that have proven themselves in terms of exceptional customer service and sales volume. Knowing this, why work with unproven travel agencies when a Disney-approved Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? They are the best in the business and 100% free to use!

So just to make this clear, when you book with a Disney travel planner, you’ll be speaking with a Disney expert who will answer your questions and steer you in the right direction. Your Disney travel agent will also find you the best possible rates. Furthermore, after you decide what to do and where to stay, your dedicated agent will book all aspects of your Disney vacation for you. So yes, you still get to call the shots. However, you won’t have the hassle of booking everything yourself. No headaches and no stress.

How often do you get this level of service for free ?! Probably NEVER! There’s really no downside to using a good Disney travel planner on your next trip.

Have we convinced you? If so, then contact one today. You won’t regret it!

Best Disney Travel Agents

Have a magical Disney World vacation!

Thank you for reading our Best Disney Travel Planners page. For more helpful Disney World vacation information, see our Disney Dining Plan Calculator , Disney World Transportation Map , Disney World Resort Map , Disney World Tips and Tricks , and our Disney World Crowd Calendar pages.

And if doing all of this — and getting a paycheck for it(!) — sounds like your idea of a dream job, be sure to check out our  How To Become a Disney Travel Agent article, too!

Related Posts:

Disney Travel Planners - Disney-focused Travel Agents

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How to Become a Disney Travel Agent

Elina Geller

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Table of Contents

Why become a Disney trip planner?

How to become a disney travel agent, save money as a disney vacation planner, how much do disney travel agents make, final thoughts on becoming a disney travel agent.

If you’re a fan of Disney and you like to travel, it’s possible for you to combine these passions into a career or side hustle. By becoming a Disney travel agent, you can earn money by making bookings for clients and also save on your own Disney adventures.

Here's a look at how to become a Disney travel agent and the ways it can save you money and help you earn some cash while helping others make their Disney dreams come true.

As a Disney travel agent:

You can receive benefits on personal travel, such as discounted hotel rooms, free theme park tickets and complimentary Disney cruises.

You control your own schedule and how much you work.

You will be able to work from home in most cases.

You’ll earn a commission on successful bookings.

» Learn more: 10 ways to save on your first — or next — Disney vacation

Becoming a Disney travel advisor is similar to the process of becoming a regular travel agent.

First, you’ll need to meet specific travel agent requirements — but there are additional criteria needed to specialize in selling Disney vacations.

You’ll have to become familiar with Disney’s entire portfolio of products including Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Lines, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii and Adventures by Disney. In addition, clients may also ask Disney travel agents to book Universal Studios, Sandals and Beaches Resorts, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line packages.

If you’re already a travel agent , you can register for Disney travel agent training on the Disney Travel Agents website. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll need to complete the College of Disney Knowledge training, which includes online classes and information about Disney Destinations.

If you’re not already a certified travel agent , you’ll need to become one before signing up for Disney travel agent training. Certification programs vary in terms of cost, time commitment and requirements. Once you've completed a program, you can choose to join a travel agency or operate on your own as a small business. At this point, you can register for the Disney training.

Once finished, you’re eligible to become an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and entitled to all the benefits that the designation includes.

» Learn more: Do travel agents really save you money?

Disney travel agent benefits are one of the reasons to become a Disney vacation planner. Perks include special access to discounted hotel rates and other advantages, like:

Disney travel agent discounts

Disney travel agents can take advantage of discounted rates on accommodation and park entrance fees for their personal trips as well. This also applies to Disney branded hotels, in addition to other properties, cruises and excursions that include:

Disneyland Resort Hotels.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.

Adventures by Disney.

Disney Cruise Line.

Select all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.

The discounts will vary based on where you’re going, but you can expect to save up to 50%.

Adventures by Disney are guided vacation packages, which include Antarctic cruises, European getaways and more.

» Learn more: What a travel agent can do for you that a search engine can't

Complimentary Disney Park Hopper tickets annually

Businesses want you to be familiar with what you’re selling. After all, the better you know a place, the more capable you’ll be of helping clients choose the right vacation.

To that end, Disney provides Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with complimentary theme park tickets . As a standard Disney travel agent, you’ll receive a one-day Park Hopper ticket to either Walt Disney World or Disneyland each year.

Or, if you want to visit for a longer period of time, you can opt for discounted two- to 10-day Park Hopper tickets at Walt Disney World.

The highest-performing travel agents are recognized by Disney’s EarMarked. This invite-only program grants extra support and perks, such as additional complimentary theme park tickets.

» Learn more: Is the Disney Park Hopper worth it?

Discounted Universal Studios tickets

Cheaper tickets aren’t limited to Disney. As a Disney travel agent, you’ll also receive up to four half-price tickets to Universal Studios per year.

» Learn more: How to go to Disney World for cheap

Discounted Disney cruises and increased commissions

Disney cruise travel agents can also score reduced or free tickets to Disney cruises. Depending on the travel agency you work with, agencies with a high number of sales can earn increased commissions on sales associated with cruises.

» Learn more: How much does a Disney Cruise cost?

Disney travel agents work on commission, which means that they make money only when their clients book and complete vacations.

Disney pays up to a 10% commission to travel agents, depending on the package booked for the customer. Disney cruises yield a higher commission. If you’re working independently, you’ll receive the full commission amount — so if your client booked a $5,000 vacation pretax, you’d receive $500 in commission.

You can also opt to join an existing travel agency. These companies offer more support and can help you if you’re just getting started. Depending on the agency, it can also provide marketing support and send leads your way.

If you choose to join a travel agency , you’ll split your commission. The rate for this will vary based on where you’re working, but you can expect to receive up to 75% of the total commission Disney pays out.

This means that if you had a client taking a vacation that cost $5,000 pretax, Disney would pay the travel agency $500. At a 75% split, you would be paid $375. It’s less than you’d make if you were operating on your own, but it may be worth it for the added support and access to interested clients.

» Learn more: The best Disney resort for adults

There’s no denying that there are benefits to becoming a Disney travel agent. This includes free theme park tickets, discounted rates at official Disney hotels and even savings on cruises. Aside from these perks, you can also turn your passion into a job by selling Disney vacation packages to customers.

Whatever your reason for wanting to become a Disney travel agent, you’ll need to first become a certified travel agent, then complete Disney’s specialized training program.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

1x-3x Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

dcl cruise vacation agent

The Disney Cruise Family Travel Blog

Travel and Fun Things To Do

Placeholder: 8 Questions and Answers

Save 10% off a Disney Cruise by Booking a Placeholder

Updated January 21, 2024

What is a placeholder?

A placeholder is a special onboard discount offer on a future Disney cruise. You pay $250 to get a placeholder; the $250 goes towards the cost of the future cruise.

The Fine Details for a Disney Cruise Future Cruise Placeholder

The Disney Cruise Line Onboard Booking Offer allows Guests to make a Placeholder Reservation for a future Disney cruise and enjoy 10% savings off prevailing rates as quoted on disneycruise.com, plus enjoy a reduced deposit on sailings 7 nights and longer . The offer is valid for up to 2 staterooms on one sail date per household on board, regardless of the number of adults in the household. This offer is valid for Categories 4 to 11 only. The cruise must commence within 24 months after the Placeholder Reservation was booked, or the reservation will automatically cancel.

Why should I book a Placeholder?

To save 10% off the prevailing cruise rate of your future cruise. Also, for cruises 7+ nights, the deposit is 10% of the cruise fare. Cruises under 7 nights require a 20% deposit of the cruise fare.

A Placeholder Reservation is an open-ended reservation that allows Guests to select their future sail date at a later time. A $250 deposit must be paid while on board and is fully refundable if the reservation is cancelled. Once a sail date is selected, standard cancellation fees apply.

How do you book a placeholder?

As I mentioned, you can only book your placeholder while aboard a Disney cruise. There are now two ways to book: the DCL Navigator app or going to the Future Cruise Sails desk and picking up a form.

Twist n Spout Disney Wonder San Juan to New Orleans

Where do I go to book the placeholder?

Save 10% off a Disney Cruise by Booking a Placeholder

Update March 2023 . The Future Cruise desk is not regularly open since Covid. Book your placeholder on the app. Go to the Future Cruise desk, complete the form and drop it into the box located on the desk. I always take a picture of the form after I fill it out, just in case it gets misplaced at the Future Cruise desk. Choose the save 10% off your next cruise on the app. You will be taken to the payment page. If you want to use a different card than the one you have on file, you can.

How to Book a Disney Cruise Placeholder

Your placeholder will be pending until the payment has cleared through the system. I would recommend taking a screenshot of the page in case you have any problems and don’t receive a confirmation of your placeholder.

Future Disney Cruise Pending Placeholder

When can I use my placeholder?

You must use it within 24 months of booking. Disney is strict with the deadline. If the next cruise you want to book is a day after the placeholder expires, you will not be able to use it.

Pro tip: book it as late on the cruise as you can. Don’t wait too late, though. The 10% off future cruise link disappears at midnight of the last full day. I waited too long and had to go to the Guest Services desk to request a form.

10% savings applies only to sailings that commence within 24 months after the Placeholder Reservation is booked on board.

Who can book a placeholder?

Anyone over the age of 18 can book up to two staterooms on one sail date per household onboard.

Disney Magic at port in Sydney Nova Scotia

What is the catch?

You can not use a placeholder on blackout dates or for concierge-level bookings. Also, you currently need to call Disney to apply the placeholder to your chosen cruise. Therefore, if you are booking on opening day, you could be on the phone, on hold for hours.

Blockout dates apply; please contact Disney Cruise Line or your travel agent for specific block out dates. Reservations for future cruises that fall on block out dates are not eligible for the 10% savings offer. The offer cannot be combined with Florida Resident Rates, U.S. Military Rates or with any other special Rates.

Can I transfer it to my travel agent or Costco?

Yes, you have 30 days from purchasing the placeholder on the ship to transfer it to the TA of your choice if you did not name one when you purchased it.

What if I forget to book a placeholder?

I know this is the answer to question number nine, but recently Disney started a new offer for first-time cruisers. Once you disembark your first cruise, you can save up to $350 on your next one with the Castaway Club Welcome Offer . You can save up to $50 a night on the first 7 nights of your second cruise if you book it within 60 days of disembarking.

I hope that I answered many of the questions about placeholders for booking a future Disney cruise. Make sure you check my post about joining a fish extender exchange. Sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with the latest Disney news and discounts . Check out some of our other tips and tricks for your next Disney Cruise.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, that if you make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support of this site.

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28 thoughts on “ placeholder: 8 questions and answers ”.

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We last cruised in February 2020 before the COVID shutdown. We secured a placeholder while on board. Do you know if placeholder deadlines have been extended since cruising has not yet resumed?

As far as I know, if you book a cruise with a placeholder before it expires you can use it to book a cruise up to Fall 2022. If you have not used your placeholder and the expiry date passes DCL will refund your money.

In my Castaway Club account, my pre-COVID placeholder is listed as one of my cruises with a Jan 1, 2034 date in a GTY room.

With the placeholder to I need to cruise within 24 months or do I need to book within 24 months?

Your cruise needs to begin within 24 months.

Hi, as a very lucky cruiser in the UK we did a 3 day cruise based in the UK, whilst onboard we booked a placeholder an received a confirmation email. I have just tried to use but was informed this couldn’t be used as the option was not taken? I booked the original through a T/A and they are confused also. Disney cruise not that helpful when called, any ideas what I can do? I have checked my credit card and they have not taken payment

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Hi – one additional point with the new way of booking On-Board Booking placeholders – if you use the app it will default to your credit card on file. We like to purchase ours with Disney Gift Cards (since we get those at a 5% discount from Target) and there’s no way to do that via the app. You have to go to Guest Services while on the cruise, tell them you want to purchase a placeholder with a Gift Card, and they will set up the order for Disney to follow up with you when you are back home to take the payment and give you your reservation number. It’s a very inefficient system – some folks have had to wait a considerable period of time before getting that call. I ended up calling DCL and getting it arranged when I returned home by calling them instead of waiting for them to call me. Just wanted to share my experience on this specific item. Thank you for all this wonderful info!

How do we actually apply the placeholder credit when booking? I can’t figure it out.

You need to call DCL to apply the placeholder for your booking. The $250 you paid for the placeholder will go towards your deposit.

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Does the 10% discount apply to a cruise booked in the 24 months or is that only for booked cruises while on the current cruise ? Thanks, I can’t seem to figure that part out !

I am not sure what you are asking? The 10% is for any regularly priced cruise fare. The cruise must begin within 24 months of when you booked the placeholder. If your cruise starts on the July 17, 2022 and you book the placeholder on July 21, 2022. You can get the discount on ant cruise that begins by July 21, 2024. It is always a good idea to book your placeholder near the end of your trip. I hope that answers your question 🙂

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Re: the Costco transfer: The 30-day countdown begins on THE DAY YOU PURCHASE THE PLACEHOLDER. You need to purchase a cruise AND transfer it to Costco within that window. If you buy the placeholder and then purchase a cruise with it more than a month later, you are SOL.

My wife and I bought a placeholder onboard the Vancouver-Hawaii cruise last April, and then later that summer, used it to buy a Northern Europe cruise for this September. The next day I called Costco to transfer it, and they couldn’t do it because the purchase date of the cruise gets listed as the purchase date of the placeholder!

Yes, you must transfer the placeholder within 30 days of purchasing it.

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One placeholder ($250) will give you a 10% discount on up to two rooms on a future cruise? Or is it purchase two placeholders ($500) for use on a 10% discount on two rooms on a future cruise? 1 placeholder=1 discounted room or 1 placeholder=2 discounted rooms? Also, if two placeholders purchased they have to be used on SAME future cruise? I’m reading conflicting answers throughout various posts and not sure what is true/false

You need 1 placeholder for 1 discounted room. If you purchase two placeholders on a cruise they must be used on the same cruise. I hope that helps 🙂

Hi! My husband and I are taking our second Disney cruise in February (we got a placeholder last year). On this cruise, can we get placeholders for two cabins with one being for us and the other for my daughter and her family?

Yes you can. Each cabin can book up to two placeholders to be used on one future cruise.

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If we use our placeholder for back to back shorter cruises do we get 10% discount on both cruises? Or would it just be on the first one?

No, sadly you only get the discount on one cruise.

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10 Best Greece Cruises, According to Travel Experts

These are the best Greece cruises for island hopping with ease.

With its stunning beaches, rich history, iconic landmarks, and delectable cuisine, a trip to Greece is always a great idea. However, since the nation is home to more than 6,000 islands — some of which are only accessible by boat — your best bet is to explore via cruise. Just take it from Rob Clabbers, Travel + Leisure A-List travel advisor and Q Cruise + Travel founder, who tells T+L that “Greece and the Greek isles are just the perfect destinations to explore by ship” since “a cruise allows you to see more islands and gives you a unique vantage point.” Several of the best Greece cruises also include visits to neighboring countries like Turkey and Italy, for example, which allow travelers to experience several cultures and countries in one action-packed trip. Intrigued? We don’t blame you: Ahead, check out our favorite Greece cruises for every type of traveler, along with itinerary recommendations and expert insight.

Rob Clabbers is a T+L A-List travel advisor and founder of Q Cruise + Travel, a Chicago-based travel agency. 

Mary Curry is a T+L A-list travel advisor and small ship specialist.

Kari Dillon is the owner of Marvelous Mouse Travels, an agency specializing in theme park and cruise vacations.

Megan Guinnup is a travel agent with Marvelous Mouse Travels.

Windstar Cruises

According to Clabbers, this small luxury cruise line is perfect for those who prefer “a smaller, more casual yacht-style experience.” Per the pro, the onboard vibes are best described as “upscale, but not stuffy or over-the-top.” It’s also worth noting that “each ship offers a water sports platform with kayaks, water trampolines, stand-up paddling, snorkel gear, floating carpets, and other ‘toys’ that are deployed (weather and location permitting, of course) at least once on most Greek itineraries.” 

Itinerary: While you can’t go wrong with any of Windstar’s Greece itineraries, Clabbers is quick to call out the popular Treasures of the Greek Isles voyage, which sets sail each week from May through October. Passengers can visit beloved ports of call like Mykonos and Santorini, along with “lesser-known (and less-crowded!) places like Monemvasia and Patmos.” As part of the experience, guests have the unique opportunity to feast among the ruins in neighboring Turkey as part of the line’s complimentary Evening in Ephesus “after-hours” event, which, per Clabbers, features a decadent five-course dinner accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Speaking of culinary offerings, it’s worth mentioning that Windstar is the official cruise line partner of the esteemed James Beard Foundation, which means you can expect some of the top eats at sea.

Explora Journeys

“A new entrant in the luxury travel industry, Explora Journeys offers all the style and comfort of a modern European luxury resort property on its 922-guest yacht-inspired Explora I and, launching later this year, Explora II, ” explains Clabbers. The line has taken the industry by storm, doing away with cliche cruise staples like main dining rooms, large buffets, and notoriously small staterooms. Instead, says Clabbers, guests can choose from a selection of “excellent restaurants that other companies would call specialty restaurants,” as well as “four swimming pools, each with their own vibe,” and all-suite accommodations, some of which boast private plunge pools. Per the pro, it’s worth noting that “Explora Journeys is the first luxury line that offers a dedicated youth activity program and facility year-round;” as such, it’s an excellent option for multi-generational families looking to cruise Greece in style. 

Itinerary: Sailing round-trip from Athens, the aptly named eight-night A Journey from Athens to Athens itinerary includes a mix of popular ports like Mykonos and Santorini, along with hidden-gem locales like Syros, which is famous for its neoclassical architecture, a buzzy main town, and (essentially) crowd-free beaches. The cruise also visits the serene resort town of Marmaris in Turkey before heading to its final port of call, Kos , a gorgeous Greek island known for its sandy beaches, white-washed buildings, and historical sites.

Celebrity Cruises

According to Clabbers, " Celebrity Cruises was launched by a Greek shipping family," so the line has deep ties to — and many officers who hail from — the country. What’s more, he says, "When you visit Greece, they are taking you to their homeland, and it shows in their passion and love of the Hellenic nation." The line offers a range of larger ships and, thus, more options between accommodations (from economical inside rooms to luxurious suites in The Retreat), itineraries, restaurants, and entertainment; as such, Celebrity is "a great option for adults and families who like more activities on their ship." 

Itinerary: The nine-night Best Of Greece itinerary cruises round-trip from Athens on select dates from May to October and takes place aboard the 2,170-passenger Celebrity Infinity , which Clabbers described as one of the line’s “smaller and more seasoned ships.” The first port of call is Santorini, followed by Ephesus in Turkey and Mykonos. “Additionally,” says Clabbers, " Infinity   travels to Volos and Thessaloniki, ports that are not typically visited by large ships.” Kavala, located in the northern part of the country, serves as the final port of call before heading back to Athens. Here, cruisers can enjoy a mix of history, culture, and architecture — plus some seriously stunning landscapes (from lagoons and lakes to wetlands and beaches) along with lush flora and fauna.

Related: What to Know About All 16 Ships in the Celebrity Cruises Fleet

Silversea offers a variety of Greece cruise itineraries, and it’s one of few truly luxe all-inclusive cruise lines. Per Clabbers, the 596-passenger Silver Moon offers all-suite accommodations and a classic small-ship feel — complete with excellent meals, beverages, and shore excursions all included in your cruise fare. Speaking of the latter, he says, “The inclusion of shore excursions also makes it easy to dive deeper into Greek culture and culinary experiences.” 

Itinerary: While you can’t go wrong with any of Silversea’s Greek itineraries, Clabbers especially recommends the seven-night Athens to Athens cruise, which “calls on highlights, but adds places like Souda Bay in Crete, Nafplion, Patmos, and Rhodes ,” where he recommends visiting the “temple ruins at Lindos, with views over the Mediterranean, and then walk in the footsteps of the Crusaders in the old town.” The cruise also stops in Nafplion, which, despite its romantic seaside setting and lovely beaches, is yet to be uncovered by most American travelers — for now, at least.

Variety Cruises

According to T+L A-list travel advisor and small ship specialist Mary Curry , this local Greek cruise line offers its own fleet of yachts, most carrying fewer than 50 passengers. Since the ships are so small, says Curry, “you can travel a bit further off the beaten path.” Variety offers a handful of Greece itineraries, including specially themed hiking and wine cruises.

Itinerary: Travelers craving a true off-the-beaten-path experience can book the seven-night Unexplored Greece voyage, which sails round-trip from Athens. The first port of call is Ikira, a tiny island known for its hot springs that also happens to be one of the world’s Blue Zones. Then, it’s off to Patmos, known for its fascinating history and unspoiled beaches, before overnighting in Lipsi, a laid-back isle famous for its gorgeous scenery. On board, guests can taste the destination’s famous wine, Aposperitis. The fun continues in Levintha, inhabited by a single family who raises animals and runs a restaurant where guests can enjoy fresh-caught fish. After, it’s off to Amorgos, where scenic hiking and beautiful beaches abound. The next day, you’ll stop at Panagia Hozoviotissa, a cliffside monastery dating back to the 10th century, before heading to Koufonisia, which boasts majestic caves and rock pools accessible only by boat (thankfully, Variety as you covered). The final stop of the day is the serene island of Iraklia, which offers clear-blue waters ideal for swimming. After remaining here overnight, you’ll head to the final port of call, Serifos, where guests can visit a remote beach, followed by an onboard BBQ feast to refuel before heading to Chora, a fairy-tale village.

This French-owned cruise line offers an impressive fleet of small luxury ships. Additionally, says Curry, “Most cabins have private balconies, and travelers who plan early are rewarded with excellent value for the money.” What’s especially unique about Pontant, explains the pro, is that they “partner with Smithsonian Journeys on select departures to offer an enrichment program of included lectures and shore excursions in each port.”

Itinerary: Curry especially recommends the seven-night Cruising the Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean sailing, which will cruise round-trip from Athens in July and October 2025. The cruise calls on aforementioned spots like Patmos, Rhodes, and Amorgos before visiting Adamas in Milos, a volcanic island teeming with postcard-worthy white-washed towns and breathtakingly beautiful beaches. Adamas itself is a tiny fishing port where colorful boats shimmer against the blue waters. Finally, it’s off to Mykonos and Napflion before finally disembarking in Athens.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line is world-famous for its exciting onboard offerings for children of all ages — including character and superhero meet-and-greets, dining options themed after beloved Disney princesses, and live performances galore — making it a favorite for families hoping for a fun-filled Greece vacation.

Itinerary: "Setting sail aboard the Disney Dream on the seven-night Mediterranean with Greek Isles itinerary is nothing short of magical!" says Megan Guinnup , a travel agent with Marvelous Mouse Travels . Cruising round-trip from Rome, the ship calls on Naples before exploring Greece. In addition to popular ports like Athens and Mykonos, you'll also visit Chania on the island of Crete, which offers a bustling harbor, exquisite architecture, and cobblestone streets that look like they were plucked straight from a (Disney) fairy tale. After exploring each locale, the fun continues back on board, where, per the pro, "there is enchantment everywhere — meeting beloved characters, enjoying deck parties with Mickey and Minnie, and indulging in exquisite cuisine."

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Disney Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean

This mega-ship line truly has it all: Flashy entertainment and onboard activities — which, depending on the ship, can include everything from water slides to zip lines — and plenty of drinking and dining offerings to appease even the pickiest eaters. Guinnup and Kari Dillon, owner of Marvelous Mouse Travels, recommend setting sail aboard Odyssey of the Seas , which offers several Greek itineraries. "On board," says Guinnup, "There's a plethora of activities to enjoy, from bumper cars and roller skating to exquisite dining and a bionic bar — there's something for everyone!"

Itinerary: The seven-night Greek Isles itinerary sails round-trip from Rome with stops in Santorini, Ephesus, Mykonos, and Naples. Keep in mind that because the ship is so large, Santorini and Mykonos are both tender ports. With that in mind, Dillon recommends springing on The Key, an optional add-on that includes priority tender access so that you can spend as much time as possible on land basking in its beauty.

Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson’s adults-only line has taken the industry by storm with its innovative offerings, including 20-plus restaurants instead of buffets, an onboard tattoo parlor, adult-focused entertainment offerings, and a two-story nightclub.

Itinerary: Dillon especially recommends the seven-night Greek Island Aglow itinerary for travelers seeking a high-energy, adults-only option. She continues, telling T+L, “Not only does this sail to the islands of Santorini and Rhodes, but it [also] has an overnight in Mykonos, which is world-famous for its lively party atmosphere.” As a bonus, the cruise also calls on Bodrum in Turkey, which boasts beautiful beaches, flower-filled cafes, and a bustling nightlife scene.

Celestyal Cruises

The Greece-based Celesytal Cruises prides itself on offering an authentic Greek vacation experience. Additionally, Celesytal is unique in that it offers year-round Aegean Sea sailings cruising round-trip from Athens and ranging in length from three to 14 nights. On land, Celeystal guests can choose from a selection of the line’s “Authentic Excursions,” which are specially curated, small-group, expert-led experiences designed to take travelers off the beaten path. Options — including walking food tours and pottery-making demos at a local factory — abound, depending on the particular port of call.

Itinerary: The seven-night Idyllic Aegean voyage visits Thessaloniki (which offers an eclectic combination of history, nightlife, and gastronomy), Kuşadası (a popular Turkish resort town), and Heraklion (the capital of Crete) before heading to iconic isles like Santorini and Mykonos, where the ship will remain overnight. Before returning to Athens for disembarkation, you’ll also stop in magnificent Milos.

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Courtesy of Variety Cruises

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How Much Does a Cruise Cost?

The average cost of a cruise varies by ship, destination, trip length and more. Use this guide to learn more about cruise costs.

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With the rising cost of everything, including travel, cruise fares – some as low as $26 per person per night based on double occupancy – seem like an incredible bargain. And they certainly can be, but the fares you see advertised online often don't include extras like taxes, fees, port expenses, gratuities, shore excursions, specialty dining, alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees, room service fees and more.

Cruise pricing can be confusing with so many variables; unless you're sailing with a smaller luxury line that is all-inclusive , your bill on the day of disembarkation may be unexpected or even shocking. Small things like buying bottled water or renting noodles for floating in the ocean at a cruise line's private island can add up quickly. To help you plan better for a cruise vacation , U.S. News has broken down some of the costs and add-ons you need to take into consideration before booking your next getaway on the high seas.

How much does a one-week cruise cost?

A cruise can cost anywhere from about $171 per person for a four-night Bahamas cruise to up to $94,999 per person for a 154-night world cruise and anywhere in between. Cruise fares vary based on itinerary, number of nights, cabin type, amenities and cruise line. Here are a few examples of base cruise cost ranges on larger cruise lines for various regions:

  • A seven-night Caribbean cruise in November costs approximately $424 to $1,158 per person.
  • A seven-night Alaska cruise in May costs approximately $244 to $1,632 per person.
  • A seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise in June costs approximately $439 to $3,218 per person.
  • A seven-night Mexico cruise in January costs approximately $529 to $695 per person.
  • A seven-night Canada and New England cruise in October costs approximately $470 to $954 per person.

What's included in the base fare with a larger cruise line?

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Mass-market cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean International , Norwegian Cruise Line , MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line – and more upscale lines like Celebrity Cruises , Holland America Line , Cunard Line , Disney Cruise Line and Princess Cruises – advertise "starting from" base fares, which are for inside cabins. These are the least expensive staterooms on the ship, and they do not have windows. Staying in these accommodations still gives you access to all the complimentary dining venues, several types of nonalcoholic beverages (nonbottled water, iced tea, lemonade, juices, hot coffee and tea), the ship's pools, the gym, kids clubs and onboard entertainment.

If you want a room with a view – or a larger stateroom – consider booking an ocean view room with a porthole or window, or a cabin with a balcony or veranda. With these rooms, you'll have access to all the ship's included amenities and typically more spacious accommodations for the week. Of course, this option will come at a higher price point.

No matter which room category you choose, port expenses, taxes and fees are not included in the base fares, and they're automatically added to the cost of your cruise. The amount of these charges will depend on the length of your cruise and where you're sailing. Gratuities for the staff and crew are also additional.

Find the best value sailings on  GoToSea , a service of U.S. News.

What if you want more amenities and perks?

If you splurge on a suite or a higher room category, such as Celebrity's Concierge Class, you'll get perks like priority embarkation, a Welcome Aboard Concierge Class Lunch, complimentary sparkling wine and daily tastings (upon request), concierge service, invitations to exclusive destination seminars, pillow selection and more.

With Disney Cruise Line's Concierge Staterooms and Suites, guests have a dedicated concierge agent offering personalized assistance for pre-arrival planning for port adventures, dining reservations, other onboard activities and special requests. You'll also have priority check-in and boarding, complimentary Wi-Fi, access to a private lounge, and other perks.

You may opt to stay within an exclusive area of the ship, such as MSC Cruises' Yacht Club, Norwegian's The Haven or Celebrity's The Retreat. These high-end private retreats offer an all-inclusive experience with additional features, while still including access to all the entertainment, dining venues and more on board. The accommodations can cost hundreds more dollars per day, but you'll have an experience similar to sailing on a small luxury vessel.

For example, the MSC Yacht Club offers an intimate all-inclusive space within its larger ships. The private area is accessible with a key card and features luxurious suites, a dedicated concierge, 24-hour butler service, a private restaurant and lounge, a rooftop pool, and other amenities. There are also additional dining and snack options throughout the day at the pool and lounge.

You'll find similar amenities in Norwegian's and Celebrity's private retreats, including priority boarding and disembarkation, exclusive sun deck areas, and priority access when boarding tenders for going ashore.

What factors determine pricing?

Base pricing and the additional components vary greatly among the cruise lines, so you'll need to determine what your budget is for the trip – and what you can and can't live without when it comes to accommodations and amenities. Travelers may also find that one cruise line has a deal or promotion with reduced pricing that includes airfare, specialty dining, a beverage package, free Wi-Fi or other perks in the advertised rate, while another line isn't running any specials for a similar itinerary. 

Voyages on older cruise ships tend to be less expensive, so if you're on a tight budget, consider a ship with fewer bells and whistles. If you're sailing on a short itinerary in the Bahamas and plan to lounge by the pool or on the beach all day, you may not be concerned about having high-tech onboard amenities, martini bars and several specialty restaurants.

Save the money to splurge on more expensive fares when you're planning to sail on longer voyages on larger and newer ships. You'll want several days at sea to enjoy the onboard amenities on some vessels, such as a three-level racetrack and a 10-story-tall slides on a new ship like Norwegian Prima or its new sister ship, Norwegian Viva, set to debut in summer 2023.

Another significant factor to consider is the time of year you want to travel. Better deals are available in the offseason, but the offseason varies depending on what part of the world you're traveling to. For example, May is a great time to find a deal in the Caribbean. The offseason – or shoulder season – in that market typically runs from May to November. However, keep in mind this period overlaps with hurricane season .

You also may be able to find last-minute deals in many other destinations if you're flexible. Working with a travel agent is an excellent way to learn of last-minute specials and cruise deals that offer add-ons like beverage packages, specialty dining inclusions, shore excursions and other perks. You can also check out the online specials that change frequently.

Read: The Best Cruise Lines for the Money

Solo travelers may pay more

Back of woman holding her hat, with her scarf flying in the wind, on a cruise ship

If you're traveling alone , you may also need to factor in a single supplement, which can add up to as much as 100% of the cruise fare. To save money, bring a friend so you can access the lower double occupancy fare or consider lines that feature rooms for solo travelers; select Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity ships offer solo cabins.

These smaller accommodations – around 100 to 200 square feet in size – are priced and designed for solo travelers. Key card access to Norwegian's Studio Complex and Lounge is included with the line's solo cabins and offers a place to relax and mix and mingle with other cruisers. Other lines that offer solo cabins include Holland America, MSC and Virgin Voyages . While the price may not be as inexpensive as the double occupancy fare when traveling with someone else, these accommodations offer some savings over a typical solo fare.

Some lines often feature special deals on select sailings where the single supplement is waived or reduced. A knowledgeable travel agent specializing in cruises can assist in finding the best offers for solo travelers.

Read: The Top Cruise Lines for Solo Travelers

Kids cruise free promotions can help families save

Smiling woman holding laughing daughter on a cruise ship in the Norwegian fjords

If you're traveling with kids, many cruise lines – such as Holland America, MSC, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Princess – offer "kids sail free" promotions periodically throughout the year. You can also find discounted fares for the kids on select sailings. Regent Seven Seas Cruises has fares as low as $999 for children 17 and younger on a variety of select voyages whose regular fares are around $6,000 and up. This fare also includes unlimited shore excursions and all the benefits and perks of sailing with an all-inclusive luxury cruise line.

Read: The Top Cruises for Babies and Toddlers

Food and beverage packages are another expense to consider

Table of breakfast overlooking the ocean

Once you determine your total cruise fare with the taxes, fees, port charges and gratuities, you'll need to budget for the additional expenses you'll have on the ship – and these extras can add up quickly. Meals at specialty dining venues , alcoholic drinks and other beverages may not be covered in the basic cruise fare. You'll also have to pay for room service on most ships.

You can purchase specialty dining, beverage and Wi-Fi packages before or during your cruise. These packages offer savings over purchasing everything individually – and it's best to buy them once you book your cruise, as they're typically cheaper to purchase before you board the ship. For an example of the savings, Royal Caribbean offers up to a 40% discount with a dining package. This package includes reduced pricing for children ages 6 to 12, while kids 5 and younger eat for free. The cruise line's unlimited dining package also offers discounts on bottles of wine.

In addition to specialty dining venues that charge a flat fee – usually between $30 to $50 – there are also restaurants that charge as much as $75 or more for dinner. Other venues feature a la carte menus with sushi, bar food and even steakhouses that price out individual courses. Some of these may not include gratuity, so that's another add-on. If you decide to dine at any of these spots – and they're not included in your package – you'll have to budget for them in the total cruise price. Enticing dessert items in the gelato and ice cream shops on some ships also come with a price, including Coco's and Dolce Gelato on Norwegian or MSC's Venchi.

There are endless options when considering beverage packages, too, so you need choose what fits best with your interests and budget. Some of the package options are only for nonalcoholic drinks like fountain sodas, sparkling waters and coffees, while premium or deluxe beverage packages cover beer, wine and cocktails, so they are more expensive. Depending on the cruise line, most premium packages will usually cover drinks up to $15, but many craft cocktails on cruise ships can be quite expensive, costing much more, especially if you request a call brand for the liquor. If you have the premium package and want to splurge on the fancy beverage, you'll have to pay the difference.

Other lines have packages that cover top-shelf beverages of up to $20 each and include wine, large bottles of water and soda, and other perks. You'll need to budget around $85 per person per day for this option – and an additional 18% gratuity. This type of package can add up to quite a bit of money on a seven-day cruise or longer.

For additional savings, look into bundle pricing that includes specialty dining, Wi-Fi, photos and more. Purchasing them together may be more cost-effective. For example, Holland America offers a "Have It All" package that encompasses a shore excursion credit, a signature beverage package (including the service charge), one evening of specialty dining and Wi-Fi. If you're sailing on longer cruises of 10 to 21 days or more, the benefits increase. The line estimates savings of 50% when you purchase this bundle.

While these packages may not always work out in your favor, you'll at least know what your dining, imbibing, excursions, Wi-Fi and even additional activities on the cruise will cost.

Read: Cruise Drink Packages: Your Options by Cruise Line

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Additional costs on a cruise ship

Two Champagne flutes on table on cruise ship, with sparkling ocean in the background

Cruisers will also incur additional fees from excursions, fitness classes, spa treatments, access to thermal spa rooms, babysitting services, ship tours, wine tastings, cocktail demonstrations, cooking classes, laundry services, and some entertainment venues and activities on the ship – such as Norwegian's racetrack and Carnival's first roller coaster at sea, BOLT. See some of the more popular added costs you'll want to consider below.

Wi-Fi access

If you need Wi-Fi during the cruise, that's another cost to factor into the total price. Here are two examples of pricing for internet plans for two cruise lines.

Carnival offers three options for Wi-Fi, using Starlink. The basic Social Wi-Fi Plan gives you access certain social media channels like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and more starting at $12.75 per day per person. The cost increases to $17 per day per person with the Value Wi-Fi Plan. This option gives you access to your email and to sites for weather, news, finance and more. It does not support Skype or music and video streaming services like Spotify and Netflix during your cruise.

Carnival's Premium Wi-Fi Plan starts at $18.70 per person per day and offers speeds up to three times faster than the Value plan. With this plan you can make Zoom calls and use Skype. For all three of these plans, you can save 15% off the total price if you book in advance of your trip.

Celebrity also uses Starlink. The line's "Always Included" fare includes basic internet, a classic drink package and gratuities. If you don't book that fare, Wi-Fi plans range from $20 per day for basic service to premium Wi-Fi at $35 per day.

  • Shore excursions

If you're traveling to far-flung or new destinations, you'll want to book shore excursions. Cruise lines recommend that you book excursions directly with them rather than hiring an independent tour company or operator, but it can be more expensive to book tours through the cruise line.

However, if you experienced a delay on an independent tour and couldn't get back to the ship on time, there's a chance you could get left behind if you're not on a ship-sponsored tour. If you decide to go with a private tour guide, be sure to book an excursion where you'll arrive back at the ship with plenty of time to spare before the vessel departs for the next destination. Most tour operators in busy cruise ports work with the cruise ship schedules all the time, so you should be fine with a reputable independent guide.

Some trips last an entire day or are once-in-a-lifetime adventures like dog-sledding on a glacier in Alaska or taking a helicopter ride in Iceland. These types of excursions can be costly, ranging anywhere from hundreds to even thousands of dollars.

If these types of experiences are not in your budget, then look for historic walking or panoramic driving tours. These excursions are shorter in duration and typically the least expensive tours available on the cruise. Most of these types of tours will cost less than $100. And, of course, there are always other options available that range between the lower and higher price range of excursions.

If your ship is docked directly in the town or city, then you'll be able to explore off the ship on your own for free. Some cruise lines also offer complimentary shuttle buses into town, or a round-trip ride for a nominal fee, if it's not within walking distance of the ship. That's another less expensive option for you to sightsee, shop or grab lunch in town.


Transportation is another expense that's often overlooked in the total cost of a cruise. Consider if you'll be driving or flying to the cruise port. If you're driving, you'll have to pay for gas and parking at the port – and maybe a hotel the night before the cruise, depending on when you arrive and when your ship is scheduled to set sail. Don't forget the meals or beverages you'll purchase on the way.

If you're flying to the port, especially on a long-distance flight, it's best to come in a day early. In that case, you'll also have to pay for a hotel, transfers from the airport to the hotel and then a transfer (private hire, Uber or cab) to the ship's terminal. There will also be meals to budget for while you're in town before the cruise and a ride back to the airport after the cruise.

Souvenirs or forgotten items

Don't forget to account for purchases on the ship. Items that you forgot to bring from home will be more expensive on the ship. It's also easy to run up the bill when buying souvenirs for yourself or the kids. It's a good idea to periodically check your bill online or with guest services to see the current balance. You can keep a running tab of what you've billed to your stateroom – and also make sure that the charges are correct.

Cruise pricing checklist

Suitcase with flippers on top on a rocky beach, with ocean in background

To sum it up, here's a checklist of major items that will help you to compare costs across cruise lines and tally up the total cost of a cruise:

  • Base cruise price
  • Taxes, fees, gratuities and port expenses
  • Specialty dining
  • Beverage package
  • Optional activities
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Air or ground travel to the port
  • Hotel prior to embarking

If you don't want to budget for all the individual expenses related to a cruise – and you don't need the over-the-top entertainment of a larger cruise ship – consider booking a mostly all-inclusive or fully all-inclusive cruise with a luxury cruise line . These cruise lines include almost everything in your cruise fare.

Mostly all-inclusive cruises

One option for a mostly all-inclusive cruise is Viking Ocean Cruises . The line's nine all-veranda ocean-going vessels accommodate 930 passengers – and all of Viking's ships feature the same categories of staterooms and suites, dining, lounges, and entertainment venues across the fleet. The ships offer an immersive cultural curriculum on board with regional dishes, destination performances and enrichment lectures.

Viking's fares include veranda accommodations, port taxes and fees, free Wi-Fi, access to The Nordic Spa and fitness center, 24-hour room service, ground transportation (if you book airfare with Viking), and one complimentary excursion in each port. You'll also have complimentary alternative dining options and free beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board the ship. Specialty coffees, teas and bottled water are available 24 hours a day at no extra charge. Guests are also invited to a welcome cocktail party and farewell reception.

If you like to have an aperitif before your evening meal or an after-dinner cocktail, those beverages will be at an additional cost. You'll also need to budget for any optional shore excursions that are not included in the fare.

Keep in mind that Viking is an adults-only cruise line, so children younger than 18 are not permitted.

Read:  The Best Adults-Only Cruises

All-inclusive cruises

Cruise ship balcony deck with railing and red lifebuoy

Silversea Cruises , Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn Cruise Line boast all-inclusive luxury experiences with shipwide amenities such as ocean-facing suites, butlers, premium spirits, fully stocked in-suite bars, no tipping and complimentary dining at world-class restaurants.

Additional perks with Regent Seven Seas include complimentary shore excursions, free two- or three-night land programs, a free one-night hotel stay before the cruise departure, transfers from the airport to the ship, and business class or economy airfare, depending on the destination.

Silversea offers door-to-door arrangements where everything is handled by the cruise line. You can also opt for a port-to-port all-inclusive rate if you prefer to make your own travel arrangements. If you're on one of the cruise line's expedition cruises, fares will include a pre- or post-cruise hotel stay. All Silversea fares cover a selection of complimentary shore excursions in each port.

If you're interested in an even smaller ship – and are sailing to the Caribbean or Mediterranean – SeaDream Yacht Club features an intimate luxury experience on its two 56-stateroom yachts. The fares include top-notch cuisine, open bar and gratuities, complimentary daily yoga, access to water sports activities and nightly movies under the stars.

Read: The Top Cruises on Small Ships

How much does a luxury cruise cost for two?

If you want to go on a mostly adults-only luxury ship, what can you expect to pay for two people? This will depend on the ship, where you want to sail and for how long – and what amenities are included in the fare.

For a seven-night cruise in the Baltic region in June with Regent Seven Seas, an all-inclusive fare with suite accommodations is $12,540 ($6,270 per person). There are also additional perks available, depending on where you book the cruise. Some of the extras include a cash-back offer, a two-category upgrade and shipboard credit.

Silversea has a similar itinerary in June, and the fare also comes with added perks for $13,860 for two people ($6,930 per person) in suite accommodations.

While the price tag may seem high, compare the total cost with the base fare on a larger cruise ship and then add in all the extras.

See the top cruises on  GoToSea .

The bottom line

The average cost of a cruise is all over the map – and there are many variables to consider. Hiring a cruise specialist to navigate the rough waters may be your best option. Cruise specialists are also privy to special deals and incentives that you may not be able to access on your own.

Travel agents can also advise you of promotions that may include free specialty dining, beverage packages, complimentary Wi-Fi, shore excursions, discounts on solo and family travel, and more. This approach will save you the hassle of searching online or calling the individual cruise companies to check on what specials are available.

If you'd rather have one price with everything included so there's little room for surprises at the end of the trip, consider a mostly or fully all-inclusive cruise fare. If you don't need waterslides for the kids, big Broadway shows and high-tech entertainment, opt for a cruise on a small luxury line.

When doing the math and comparing the costs, you might be surprised how similar in price cruising with a larger mass-market cruise line and a smaller luxury line can be. In the end, your decision will come down to your personal preferences and what you value most for your cruise vacation.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, paddle-wheelers on the Snake and Columbia rivers, and an 18-stateroom river ship on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. Most recently, she traveled on a small luxury expedition vessel in Antarctica and crossed the notorious Drake Passage twice. She covers the travel and culinary industries, specializing in cruises, for major publications including U.S. News & World Report.

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Third Disney Cruise Line crew member arrested on child pornography charges

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A third Disney Cruise Line crew member was arrested Monday on child pornography charges.

Law enforcement found sexually explicit pictures and videos of minors on two phones belonging to Tirso Neri, who was working on the Disney Dream. The material featured both teenagers and young children, according to an affidavit signed by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Eric Stowers.

Neri, 44, told investigators that he downloaded and bought links for files containing adult pornography via group chats on Telegram and Facebook Messenger. When asked about folders on one of his phones, including one that depicted sexually explicit images of a 17-year-old girl, he said he must have saved it to his phone without looking at it after receiving it in one of the group chats.

A further forensic examination showed that files in the folder had been viewed by the phone’s user, according to the document. Law enforcement also found numerous other folders “titled in the names of various females.”

Neri, who is a citizen of the Philippines, is charged with transportation of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

“In accordance with our zero-tolerance policy for this kind of alleged behavior, this individual is no longer with the company,” the cruise line told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. An attorney listed for Neri did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sexual assault on cruises: Reported incidents rose last year, according to federal data

The news comes after two other Disney Cruise Line crew members were arrested on child pornography charges in January. A cruise ship dancer was arrested on similar charges earlier this month, but law enforcement did not specify what ship he was working on.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

  • Entertainment
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Disney Cruise Line worker accused of possessing child sexual abuse material

He’s the 3rd to be arrested this year.

Chris Gothner , Digital Journalist

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Federal authorities arrested a Disney Cruise Line worker on two federal charges after they said he possessed child sexual abuse material, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court on Monday.

Tirso Anthony Neri, 44, was identified in court documents as a crew member on the Disney Dream, based out of Port Everglades.

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He is the third worker at the family-oriented cruise line to be arrested on federal child sexual abuse material charges in South Florida this year; fellow Phillippine nationals Alvin Gonzales , 49, and Amiel Trazo, 28, have also been indicted in U.S. District Court in separate cases.

According to a criminal complaint authored by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Eric Stowers, the investigation into Neri began on Dec. 18, after the Disney Dream arrived at Port Everglades from the Bahamas.

The court documents state that HSI and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents went to Neri’s cabin to conduct a border search of his two smartphones.

Authorities said they discovered “numerous sexually explicit photographs and videos of young children whose ages could not be definitively determined.”

Neri claimed in an interview that he is in several Telegram and Facebook Messenger chat groups where he downloads and buys adult pornography, according to the complaint.

When asked specifically about a folder containing content depicting a 17-year-old girl, Neri said he sometimes “obtains folders in the chat groups and saves them to his phone without looking at them and then deletes them after,” the complaint states.

It states that Neri told agents that regarding that specific folder, he must have “saved it to his phone without looking at it and had not deleted the folder.”

Stowers wrote that during a deeper examination, they found more child sexual abuse videos, including those depicting multiple girls, aged as young as 9, as well as a video of a boy, aged 10 to 12.

Neri, who was being held in the Broward Main Jail as of Tuesday morning, is facing counts of possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography.

“In accordance with our zero-tolerance policy for this kind of alleged behavior, this individual is no longer with the company,” a DCL spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Copyright 2024 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.

About the Author

Chris gothner.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.


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