Skip to content

Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Club loyalty program: Everything you need to know

May 10, 2022
6 min read
Disney Fantasy at sea
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Among the best-known cruise brands, Disney Cruise Line has one of the most modest loyalty programs.

Unlike the programs of such cruise operators as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club loyalty program, as it's called, doesn’t offer members over-the-top perks such as a free cruise after reaching a top tier. There are no big discounts on shore excursions and spa treatments for members, like some lines offer.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.

Still, Disney Cruise Line's loyalty program does bring a few valuable perks at its higher-level tiers, including early access to new itineraries and onboard activities.

The program also is one where it is relatively easy to reach a high-level tier.

Ways to earn

Earning status in the Castaway Club loyalty program is about as simple as can be. You get a credit for every cruise you take — whether it’s three nights long or 10 nights long. That’s it. No muss, no fuss. Your status, as we’ll explain below, depends entirely on how many cruises you take.

Program tiers and benefits

There are just three tiers to the Castaway Club program:

  • Silver (after one cruise).
  • Gold (after five cruises).
  • Platinum (after 10 cruises).

Once you reach the first tier of the program (Silver), you will be entitled to exactly seven perks. Perhaps the most notable of these is the ability to make advance bookings for onboard cruise activities such as ticket-only character greetings and specialty restaurant dinners up to 90 days before sailings. This is a big deal in the world of Disney cruises, where some of the hottest activities on ships sell out quickly.

Related: The ultimate guide to Disney Cruise Line

Sign up for our daily newsletter
Disney Cruise Line currently operates four ships including the Port Canaveral, Florida-based Disney Dream. (Photo by Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images)

Silver members will also be able to book new Disney cruise itineraries one day ahead of the general public. That may not seem like much of a head start, but it can be a real advantage when trying to snag the perfect cabin on a hot new itinerary. Disney fans are known to snap up the best cabins — if not all the cabins — on unique new sailings very quickly.

In addition, Silver members get:

  • Exclusive Castaway Club communications.
  • A members-only direct phone line to call for information and assistance.
  • A members-only check-in line at the cruise terminal.
  • A welcome-back-aboard gift.
  • Early access to select port arrival times (this perk is temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Upon reaching the Gold level, members get all the above perks with two notable upgrades. For starters, they will have the ability to make advance bookings for onboard cruise activities up to 105 days before sailings. That’s 15 days earlier than Silver members. They also will be able to book new Disney cruise itineraries two days ahead of the general public.

In addition, Gold members get:

  • A private reception on sailings of eight nights or longer (this perk is temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Special discounts on voyages.

Related: 17 tips for sailing on a Disney Cruise Line ship

The elite level that makes a difference

It isn’t really until you hit the Platinum level of the Castaway Club that the perks start to get interesting. The big perk at this level is that you can book new itineraries earlier than everyone else. You also have the earliest possible access to reserve onboard activities.

Specifically, you can make reservations for newly announced itineraries three days before the general public, and you can book activities up to 120 days in advance of sailing.

Related: A beginner’s guide to cruise line loyalty programs

In the world of Disney, this is a very big deal. As mentioned above, Disney fans are known to snap up all the good cabins for a popular sailing the moment a trip goes on sale. Ditto for onboard activities.

In addition, Platinum status also brings access to members-only voyage discounts and priority check-in at the terminal. Only Concierge class passengers board Disney ships ahead of Platinum members.

Best elite perk

Unlike some lines, Disney doesn’t offer any truly over-the-top elite perks such as the free cruise that top-tier members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society get. It’s also skimpy on handing out big discounts on shore excursions, spa treatments and other cruise line-sold services to elite members — something some other lines do. However, there are a few perks that get us at least modestly excited.

The most enticing offering in our view is the free dinner that comes with Platinum status at Palo, an adults-only, high-end Italian restaurant found on every Disney ship.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

The invitation extends to the elite member and any other adult passenger staying in the same cabin. Assuming there are two of you, that’s an $80 value. Palo normally costs $40 per person.

Bottom line

Disney Cruise Line offers a handful of decent perks to members of its Castaway Club loyalty program, including early access to new itineraries and onboard activities. However, the Castaway Club loyalty program is not nearly as robust as the frequent cruiser programs of many other well-known brands such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line. If you’re going to sail a lot with Disney, you’ll want to do it because you love the brand, not because you’re expecting a lot of onboard recognition for your loyalty.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023