Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises, St Maarten beach

Best Prices for Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean GUIDE

If you’re looking for an easy AND epic family vacation, a Disney cruise is a fantastic option. And if it’s a Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean, you also get the super romantic Eastern Caribbean islands. But the best prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean can fluctuate a LOT. When should you book for the best Disney cruise deals?

When we booked our Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean back in January 2020, SO many people said to wait for price drops. But (wonderful!) bloggers said Disney cruise prices only go up. I wanted to discover the truth for myself! 

So, every month since January, I’ve been recording the lowest prices for popular Disney cruises: 

  • 7-night Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral;
  • 7-night Disney cruise from Vancouver to Alaska (see When to Book); and,
  • 3-night Disney cruise to Bahamas from Port Canaveral (see When to Book).

And now I’m sharing what I found!

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Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean guide

CONTENTS:

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About Disney Cruises to Eastern Caribbean

Before we compare Disney cruise prices, I’ll quickly summarize key things to know about the Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean. Here we cover: your options for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean, your itinerary, and your Disney cruise ship.

Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises, Disney cruise ships

Iconic Disney cruise ships. Photo credit: Mike Arney from Unsplash.

When Does Disney Cruise Go to Eastern Caribbean?

You can take a Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean year-round.

Each season, you have three options for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean:

  • 4-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami, Florida: 1 sailing in November 2021 on the Disney Magic cruise ship. It departs on Thursday and returns on Sunday. Stops include Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) and Disney Castaway Cay island. 
  • 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida: 1 sailing in October 2021 on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship. It departs on Saturday and returns on Sunday. Stops include Philipsburg (St. Maarten), St. John’s (Antigua), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Disney Castaway Cay.
  • 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida: Typically sails every second week (alternating with 7-night Western Caribbean cruise) on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship. It departs and returns on Saturdays (2020-2021 season) or Sunday (starting November 2021). See the next section for details about the 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary. 

The analysis below focuses solely on the 7-night Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean. 

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Itinerary for 7-night Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

Most Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean stop at Tortola (British Virgin Islands), St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Disney Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island). The odd Eastern Caribbean cruise might stop at Philipsburg (St. Maarten) and San Juan (Puerto Rico) instead.

Your 7-night Disney cruise itinerary for Eastern Caribbean is:

  • Day 1: Boarding in Port Canaveral by 3:30 p.m.
  • Day 2: Day at Sea
  • Day 3: Day at Sea
  • Day 4: Tortola (British Virgin Islands) or Philipsburg (St. Maarten) 
  • Day 5: St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) or San Juan (Puerto Rico)
  • Day 6: Day at Sea
  • Day 7: Disney Castaway Cay
  • Day 8: Disembark in Port Canaveral by 8:00 a.m.

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What Disney Cruise SHIP Goes to Eastern Caribbean

ALL of the 7-night Disney cruises in the Caribbean sail on Disney Fantasy. Disney Fantasy is the newest ship in the Disney ship fleet (from 2012) and the biggest, along with Disney Dream. Both have 1,250 staterooms (4,000 passengers maximum). 

Highlights of Disney Fantasy cruise ship include the AquaDuck water coaster, AquaLab play area, and Star Wars: Command Post play area for kids. AquaDuck is the world’s longest waterslide on a cruise ship, at 765 feet, and takes the two-man raft over the side of the ship! Disney Fantasy has three pools: one for kids, one for adults and one for families/all ages.

As for dining, Disney Fantasy has the signature rotational dining that takes you to three different dining experiences. These include the fun Animator’s Palate, lovely Enchanted Garden and impressive Royal Court. Exclusive for adults are the renown Palo, serving Italian to piano music, and Remy, an intimate French restaurant with a dedicated wine room.

Unique to Disney Fantasy is the “Europa” area for adults. Obviously inspired by European architecture and eateries, you’ll find the Italian La Piazza, elegant French Ooh La La champagne bar, and Irish O’Gill’s Pub. Plus, The Tube nightclub, inspired by the London Underground subway.

Disney Fantasy also sails two 6-night Western Caribbean cruises (in June 2021) and one 9-night Southern Caribbean cruise (in July 2021). If you choose a shorter Disney Caribbean cruise, you’ll sail on either the Disney Magic or Disney Wonder cruise ships. 

When to Book a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises, St Thomas port

St Thomas port, a frequent Eastern Caribbean island stop. Photo credit: Colin Chong from Unsplash.

So, how much are Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean? A 7-night Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean ranges from $3,085US to more than $30,6760US, based on 2 adults. The cheapest price is for the cheapest inside cabin at the cheapest time you can book it, and the most expensive is the priciest concierge cabin at the most expensive time you can book it (so far!). And this data is based on 2021 Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean.

Given this crazy range of prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean, when in the world should you book? Great question! Let’s break it down below.

*Note: Since I started recording prices in January 2020, I will continue to collect them until March 2021. This will give me an entire cycle’s worth of data to compare prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean. And then I’ll update this analysis as needed.

Cheapest Time to GO on a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

When is the cheapest time to GO on your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean? The cheapest time to take your 7-night Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean is September and early October. This is true across ALL cabin types.

Other comparably cheaper prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean are select sailings in March, April and May. But it’s worth noting that these cheaper prices are typically for last-minute releases of guaranteed rooms with restrictions.

TABLE: CHEAPEST 2021 Disney Cruises to Eastern Caribbean (in USD)

@ CHEAPEST TIMEINSIDEOCEANVIEWVERANDAHCONCIERGE
Sep 18/21$5,142$5,352$5,800$10,210
Oct 2/21$5,735$6,057$6,239$11,681
Nov 28/21$5,818$6,098$6,350$11,436

*Note: Prices are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children at a single point in time.

Other Considerations for Cheapest Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

Now, here are a few other considerations if you’re looking for the cheapest time to go on a Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean:

  • Cheapest sailings every month are quite consistent all year long. Since January when I started recording prices every month, it was rare that a cheaper sailing date was swapped in. But when this happened, prices were very similar between the two.
  • Certain cabin types might be cheaper with a sailing that’s more expensive overall. I saw this happen with all cabin types, but rarely with oceanview cabins. The point, though, is that if you have your heart set on a specific sailing date, you might get lucky if you’re flexible with the cabin type.

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Most Expensive Time to GO on a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

The most expensive time to GO on your 7-night Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean is December 26, 2021. And as of October 2020, this is true across ALL cabin types. 

In the table below, I include both the December 26 and December 12 sailings in 2020 and 2021. I want you to see the huge jump in prices between the earlier and later December sailings. Also, you can compare the price differences for the same sailings in 2020 and 2021.

TABLE: DECEMBER 2020/2021 Disney Cruises to Eastern Caribbean (in USD)

@ PRICIEST TIMEINSIDEOCEANVIEWVERANDAHCONCIERGE
Dec 12/20$6,737$7,031$7,395$15,193
Dec 26/20$12,981$13,331$14,003$27,611
Dec 12/21$6,668$6,780$7,116$22,474
Dec 26/21$13,290$13,794$14,452$44,328

*Note: Prices are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children at a single point in time.

When we compare December sailing prices between 2020 and 2021, we see a pretty small difference in the three cheaper cabin types. But concierge?! Woah!

So, I looked at why the December 2020 concierge pricing is SO much cheaper than in 2021, and here’s the deal. The cheaper 2020 prices are for the much smaller 306-sq feet concierge family oceanview with verandah. Compare this to the 622-sq feet concierge 1-bedroom suite with verandah that starts at $21,633 (Dec 12) and $44,215 (Dec 26). In 2021, only the larger suite is available.

But, something puzzling is happening between the 2020 and 2021 prices for December 26. When you look across ALL 2020 and 2021 sailings, the trend is that cabin prices increase over time. You see this in the December 12 prices, which are higher in 2020 compared to 2021. But, this isn’t the case with the December 26 sailings. All 2020 cabin prices are cheaper compared to original release prices for 2021. Why? I can’t say, but it looks like cabin prices just didn’t increase much over the year like other sailings.

TABLE: SUMMER 2021 Disney Cruises to Eastern Caribbean (in USD)

The next most expensive prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean are late June and early July. But these are significantly less compared to December 26.

In the table below, you can see how prices jump from May to June, and then ease off.

@ PRICIEST TIMEINSIDEOCEANVIEWVERANDAHCONCIERGE
May 22/21$7,270$7,956$7,886$23,916
Jun 26/21$9,891$10,283$11,095$33,453
Jul 3/21$9,341$9,775$10,419$30,411
Jul 10/21n/an/an/a$31,073
Aug 7/21$8,547$8,841$9,359n/a
Aug 21/21$6,727$7,007$7,413$17,801

*Note: Prices are in US Dollars and for 2 adults/2 children at a single point in time.

Cheapest Time to BOOK a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises, Puerto Rico street

Colorful streets of Puerto Rico, an occasional Eastern Caribbean island stop. Photo credit: Zixi Zhou from Unsplash.

So, now we know the cheapest and most expensive times to GO on a Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean. When is the cheapest time to BOOK that cruise?

When we booked our Disney cruise in January 2020, SO many people told us to wait. “Cruise prices always get cheaper,” they said. But all my research at the time (i.e. a lot of great blogs out there!) said, “NO! Disney cruise prices only go UP from their release price.”

And they were right.

The best prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean are the month when the sailing dates are released. So, the cheapest time to BOOK your cruise depends on which sailing you want to go on.

Disney Cruise Line release dates are a bit fluid. Looking at past release dates, new Disney cruise sailings are typically released between:

  • Late Feb and mid Apr: Sailings released for June, July, August, September of the following year
  • Mid May and late July: Sailings released for October, November, December of the following year
  • Late Sept and late Oct: Sailings released for January, February, March, April, May of two following years

Other Considerations for Cheapest Time to BOOK your Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

Have prices for Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean ever dropped since I’ve been recording them? Yes, but these price drops were all explained by new releases of guaranteed rooms with restrictions. This is when Disney Cruise Line assigns your cabin. Also, it might have obstructed views, like a porthole or partial wall instead of a full verandah. 

But, it’s interesting to note that even price drops for guaranteed rooms with restrictions were never below the original release price for regular rooms. And these price drops can disappear quickly. If you want the Disney cruise deal, snag it when you see it!

Most Expensive Time to BOOK a Disney Cruise to Eastern Caribbean

If you missed the cheapest time to book your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean, what’s the worst time to avoid booking? This is a bit trickier.

Generally, the longer you wait to book your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean, the more expensive the price will get. The more in demand the specific sailing is – and cabin type – the higher the price will go. And if availability disappears for a specific cabin type but becomes available later, it’ll be more expensive compared to before. 

This said, there were a few quirky price jumps, followed by falls. Concierge is especially volatile. Here are two examples:

  • January 9, 2021 sailing: Between June and August 2020, concierge cabins jumped from $12,882 to $17,823 and then back to $12,882. 
  • April 17, 2021 sailing: Between July and October, concierge cabins jumped from $13,679 to $18,943 for two months, before dropping back down to $13,707. 

Why the jump, followed by the drop back down? Your guess is as good as mine.

When to Get the Best Disney Cruise DEALS

Disney ears, Disney cruises

Oh, those cute little ears! Photo credit: Brian McGowan from Unsplash.

While you typically won’t see many Disney cruise deals directly from Disney Cruise Lines, they do offer a few. Here are four that may apply to Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean:

  • 50% deposit: Offered in January to mid-February on new reservations (4+ nights), for bookings between June of the same year through May of the following year.
  • 25% Canadian reduction: Typically offered when new sail dates are released, but for higher-priced sail dates in the same year and specific cabin types. For a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, I only saw this offered January to March for the May 30, 2020 sailing.
  • Special rates for Florida residents and military: Typically offered when new sail dates are released, but for higher-priced sail dates in the near future and specific cabin types. Occasionally these include 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises. In January 2020, Disney cruise deals included specific sailings in February through May; in March, for sailings in May and June; and in October, for specific sailings in February and March 2021.
  • Up to 25% on select sailings: Offered periodically, but typically for shorter cruises and for specific cabin types with restrictions. This means that they choose the room for you, you must pay in full when booking, payment is non-refundable, and both the sail date and stateroom category can’t be changed. In October 2020, this Disney cruise deal applied to verandah cabins with restrictions for sailings in February and March 2021.

This said, keep in mind that these Disney cruise deals won’t be cheaper than the original release prices for Eastern Caribbean cruises. But they’ll compensate a bit if you weren’t able to book right away. 

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Benefits of Booking with a Disney Cruise Travel Agent

Before wrapping up with the Summary and Resources, I want to comment on whether you should book your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean with a travel agency. The benefit of booking through a Disney cruise travel agent is that they offer Disney cruise deals above what’s offered by Disney Cruise Line. And all Disney Cruise Line offers mentioned above are also available through travel agents that sell Disney cruises. 

Now, I’ve discovered that travel agencies are prohibited from undercutting Disney Cruise Line prices. So, you won’t find a better price for Disney cruises compared to Disney Cruise Line. But you will find incentives from travel agencies to book through them. 

Typically, Disney cruise travel agents will offer their incentives as an onboard credit that’s based on your booking cost. As you look for your best Disney cruise deal, pay attention to what’s included in your “booking cost.” Some extras can bump you up to the higher onboard credit. For example, most travel agencies credit the insurance, transfers and hotels you book with them. But, only some travel agencies credit your taxes. 

Also, some travel agency incentives may be specific, like credit specifically on shore excursions, or a gift basket of cruise essentials. 

Which of these Disney cruise deals is best for you? It’ll depend on:

  • Your specific booking cost (including insurance, transfers, hotels and taxes);
  • Where you expect to spend the most, other than the cabin price (e.g. gratuities, alcohol, shore excursions); and,
  • Whether you’re already a Costco member.

I recommend pricing out your preferred Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean, including with your specific number and ages of companions and cabin type. Then use the factors above to compare offers from Disney cruise travel agents and make the best choice for you.

Summary and Resources

Disney cruise Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean cruises, St Thomas beach

Beautiful St Thomas. Photo credit: Joshua Wilcox from Unsplash.

So, when should you book your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean? The cheapest Disney cruises to Eastern Caribbean are in September and October. Book right away when your sailing is released: between February and April for September sailings, or between May and July for October sailings … a year before you sail. This gets you the cheapest Eastern Caribbean cruise with Disney Cruise Line at the cheapest possible price. 

The most valuable resource for your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean is obviously the Disney Cruise Line website. Here you’ll find all the specifics on sail dates, cabin prices, and Disney Fantasy features. Plus, this is where you’ll manage all your bookings for things like excursions, spa appointments and childcare. 

But, I highly recommend booking your Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean through a travel agency. Even though they can’t undercut Disney Cruise Line prices, travel agencies can offer Disney cruise deals in the form of valuable onboard credits.

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If you’re ready to book, I suggest checking out Disney cruise deals at three places:

  • Costco Travel: If you’re already a Costco member, they might have the best Disney cruise deal for you. Instead of an onboard credit, you get a Costco gift card. Their online interface is great, immediately showing you how much your gift card will be, based on your sail date and cabin type.
  • Cruise Direct: A very popular, well-established website for booking cruises. Their search function is fantastic, including ship features and customer ratings. Quickly compare cruise prices, sailings and companies. Cruise Direct also offers competitive onboard credits, no booking fees and flexible payment plans.
  • Dreams Unlimited Travel: Where I booked our upcoming May 2021 Disney cruise, because they clearly include taxes with their onboard credit. This bumped us up to the higher onboard credit. Plus, they offer a gift basket with cruise essentials, which I think is a nice touch. Their website isn’t nearly as easy to use as Cruise Direct, though, so I mostly did my research elsewhere. So far, I’ve had excellent customer service.

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Disney cruise to Eastern Caribbean guide

Featured photo credit (St. Maarten): Daniel Romero from Unsplash.

 

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