Travel Reviews, News, Guides &Update; Tips

Home / CRUISES / DISNEY CRUISES / What you need to know about the Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club loyalty programme

What you need to know about the Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club loyalty programme

2023-03-05  Sophia Zackary

Even after a recent upgrade that added an entirely new tier, the loyalty programme offered by Disney Cruise Line remains one of the most limited in comparison to those offered by other well-known cruise lines.

In contrast to the loyalty programmes offered by other cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club, as it is also known, does not provide its members with extraordinary benefits, such as a free vacation upon reaching the highest level of membership. Members do not receive the significant price reductions that are offered on some cruise lines for a variety of spa services and shore excursions.

Sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter to receive additional cruise guides, news, and travel advice.

Yet, the higher-level categories of the loyalty programme for Disney Cruise Line do come with some beneficial incentives, such as early access to new itineraries and onboard events.

In addition to this, the programme makes progressing to higher levels of tiers pretty simple.

Earning opportunities

In the Castaway Club loyalty programme, achieving higher levels of status couldn't be easier than it already is. You will be awarded credit for every cruise that you go on, regardless of how many nights or how short the voyage is. That sums it up nicely. No mess, no fuss. Your status is determined by the number of cruises you've been on, as will be explained in the following section.

Structures of the Program, Including Benefits

Within the Castaway Club programme, there are only four stages, including a brand-new top tier that was recently introduced in February 2023:

  • Silver (after one voyage) (after one cruise).
  • Gold (five cruises) (after five cruises).
  • Platinum (10 cruises) (after 10 cruises).
  • Pearl (after 25 voyages) (after 25 cruises).

As soon as you reach the first level of the programme (Silver), you will be eligible for precisely seven different benefits. The ability to make reservations up to ninety days in advance for aboard cruise events such as ticket-only character greets and speciality restaurant dinners is perhaps the most noteworthy of these options. When it comes to Disney cruises, this is a major problem because many of the most popular activities on board the ships book up very quickly.

Related: The complete guide to sailing with Disney Cruise Line

Also, Silver members have the opportunity to book brand-new Disney cruise itineraries one day before the general public. That may not sound like much of a head start, but it may be a big advantage when trying to secure the right cabin on a hot new route. During special new sailings, it is common to practise for Disney fans to move swiftly to reserve the best accommodations, if not all of the cabins available.

In addition, silver members get:

  • Communications that are only available to Castaway Club members.
  • A direct phone line that is solely accessible to members, which they can use to get information and assistance.
  • At the cruise terminal, there is a separate check-in line for members exclusively.
  • A token of our appreciation for your return.

Early access to chosen port arrival times (this reward was momentarily halted during the COVID-19 epidemic and has yet to be reintroduced) (this perk was temporarily paused during the COVID-19 pandemic and has yet to be reinstated).
At reaching the Gold level, members gain all the above perks with two noticeable enhancements. To begin, they are allowed to make reservations for onboard cruise activities up to 105 days in advance of the departure date. That's fifteen days sooner than Silver members get it. In addition to this, they are allowed to purchase brand-new Disney cruise itineraries two days before the general public.

In addition to that, gold members receive:

  • A private reception on sailings of eight nights or more (this perk also has been temporarily halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic) (this perk also has been temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Discounts on travel trips at special rates.

Related: 26 ideas for sailing on a Disney Cruise Line ship

The pre-booking windows are made even more accommodating for members of the programme who have reached the Platinum level, the third and highest tier. Platinum members are permitted to make bookings for onboard cruise activities up to 120 days before sailings. That’s 15 days earlier than gold members and 30 days earlier than Silver members. In addition to this, they are allowed to purchase brand-new Disney cruise itineraries three days before the general public.

In addition, Platinum level members are entitled to a free meal at Palo, the expensive, adults-only Italian cuisine on Disney ships — more on this in a moment.

The elite level that makes a difference

As you reach the new Pearl level of the Castaway Club, you will finally be able to make use of some of the more exciting benefits. The fact that you can book new itineraries before anyone else is the primary benefit of reaching this level. You also receive the earliest possible opportunity to reserve onboard activities.

You can make bookings for freshly announced itineraries four days before the general public is allowed to do so. In addition, you can make reservations for activities up to 123 days in advance of your cruise.

Related: a beginner's introduction to the reward schemes offered by cruise lines

Within the confines of the Disney universe, this is a matter of the utmost importance. As was just noted, Disney fans are known to scoop all the good rooms for a popular sailing the instant a vacation goes on sale. This is especially true for Disney Cruise Line. The same goes for the activities on board.

A noteworthy benefit of having Pearl status is that it entitles one to a free unlimited digital photo package. This is a significant benefit.

The cruise ships operated by Disney have a large number of official photographers on board to take photographs of guests and their children posing with various Disney characters, such as princesses and other characters. On the other hand, it does not provide those photographs without a charge. Even in digital form, purchasing even a very small number of images taken by these aboard photographers can typically cost several hundred dollars.

It is important to keep in mind that even while the new Pearl tier and all of the benefits that come with it were announced in February and are currently available on the line's website, the new tier won't become a part of the programme until May 1st. Hence, if you set sail before that time, there is no guarantee that you will be eligible for the perks associated with that tier.

Best elite perk

Disney, in contrast to other cruise lines, does not provide any genuinely over-the-top exclusive incentives for its passengers. For example, top-tier members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society do not receive free cruises. It also does not provide significant savings for its elite members on shore excursions, spa treatments, and other services supplied by the cruise line, in contrast to what some other cruise companies offer. On the other hand, there are a few privileges that cause us to feel at least a modicum of excitement.

As was said earlier, the complimentary meal that is included with a Platinum membership at Palo is, in our opinion, the most alluring perk that is being offered.

Related: The top credit cards for making cruise reservations

This invitation is extended to the elite member as well as any additional adult passengers who are staying in the same cabin. That's a value of $90, assuming there are two of you in the group. The cost of Palo is generally $45 for each participant.

Bottom line

Members of Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club loyalty programme receive a variety of beneficial benefits, such as advanced notice of new cruise itineraries and access to a variety of onboard activities.

On the other hand, in comparison to the frequent cruiser programmes of a variety of other well-known brands, like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, the Castaway Club loyalty programme is not even close to being as strong. If you're going to sail with Disney a lot, you should do it because you love the brand rather than because you expect a lot of onboard accolades for your allegiance to the company.

Making plans for a cruise? You can get started with these tales:

  • These are the five-cabin positions on a cruise ship that passengers covet the most.
  • There are 8 stateroom locations on cruise ships that passengers should stay away from.
  • Which cruise line do you think is the best option for you? A rundown of the industry's most well-known cruise lines
  • These are twenty-one pointers and suggestions that will help your first cruise go off without a hitch.
  • 15 ways in which first-time cruisers throw away money they could have saved
  • 15 of the best cruises for those who don't want to get older ever.
  • The definitive list of items to bring on a cruise, as compiled by a cruise packing list.

10 Cruises for a Warm-weather Destination from Florida Getaway

2023-03-05  Sophia Zackary