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Important Dates when Planning a Disney Cruise

Everyone loves a Disney Cruise! They are a fantastic vacation whether you love Disney or not, whether you are traveling with kids or it is your honeymoon. With four ships now, and two more on their way, Disney Cruise  Line offers cruise lengths and destination options for just about any cruise you want to take. They visit Alaska, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Europe and a bunch of other places. However, as you may know if you have ever planned a Disney Cruise, they can be a bit on the expensive side and the cancellation policy on a Disney Cruise is down right crazy. You must know before you even start planning what to expect, so you aren’t caught in a situation where you could lose a lot of money.

Important Dates when Planning a Disney Cruise

When booking, make sure you are 100% clear on what is due when, and what cancellation penalties kick in when. Do not rely on our information here, make sure Disney Cruise or your travel agent provides you with all the information needed before you pay a deposit. Ask questions, it is much better to do that while booking. There isn’t a standard set date before travel that final balances are due, it varies depending upon your stateroom type, type of cruise, etc. Also, Disney Cruise is REALLY REALLY picky about you paying on time. If your final balance is due today, they may give you an extra day to get it paid, but they will then cancel it and keep all of your money.

  • 500 Days – This is the one date that isn’t set in stone. Disney Cruise usually releases their itineraries for cruises in 6 month chunks, give or take a few weeks. We usually see January – May released and then later on June – December. Though in 2016, it looks like we will get three separate chunks rather than two as we are still waiting on Fall, 2017 cruises to be released. Usually, we see these chunks being announced and released about 500 days before your cruise. With a Disney Cruise, you are going to get the best deal possible by booking as early as possible. As the ship fills up, the rates go up. When booking a Disney Cruise, Disney requires a deposit on the cruise of roughly 20% of the total amount. That money is fully refundable up until the date when your final balance is due, more on that below.

For Suites and Concierge staterooms on ALL Disney Cruises

  • 120 Days – Your final balance is due 120 days before sailing.
  • 90 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 56 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 30 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For 10+ day cruise and any cruise that start outside of the United States (Alaska and European cruises)

  • 120 Days – Your final balance is due 120 days before sailing.
  • 56 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 30 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For Holiday Sailings of 6 – 9 nights (Any cruise that includes Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving or July 4th)

  • 105 Days – Your final balance is due 105 days before sailing.
  • 75 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 43 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For Holiday Sailings of 1 – 5 nights (Any cruise that includes Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving or July 4th)

  • 90 Days – Your final balance is due 90 days before sailing.
  • 65 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 43 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For Holiday Sailings of 6 – 9 nights (Any cruise that includes Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving or July 4th)

  • 105 Days – Your final balance is due 120 days before sailing.
  • 75 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 43 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For 1 – 5 night cruises that start in the United States

  • 75 Days – Your final balance is due 75 days before sailing.
  • 45 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 30 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

For 6 – 9 night cruises that start in the United States

  • 90 Days – Your final balance is due 90 days before sailing.
  • 56 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose your deposit
  • 30 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 50% of your cruise fare
  • 15 Days – Last day to cancel and only lose 75% of your cruise fare. After today, if you cancel, you lose everything

So, you can see that it can be quite confusing, so make sure you are fully aware of all your dates before paying a deposit.

  • 30 Days – By this point, your cruise documents should be on their way to you or your travel agent. You should have  your passport or other required ID in order, transfers arranged and your online check-in completed so all that is left is for you to wait for your Disney Cruise date to arrive, which is unfortunately the hardest part.

There you go. By the way, Vacation Insurance is sold through the Disney Cruise Line as part of your booking, or through third parties that will protect you from some of these cancellations fees if you need to cancel last minute. Just ask your travel agent about Disney’s offerings.

Have a great trip! Feel free to use the quick date calculator below to figure out your important dates:

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