Everything you need to know about Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Club loyalty program
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.
Disney Cruise Line has a relatively modest loyalty program.
Unlike such cruise lines as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney doesn’t offer its loyalty club 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 news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.
Still, the Castaway Club, as Disney calls its 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 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 half a dozen 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.
Silver members also will 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
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:
- Early access to select port arrival times
- A private reception on sailings of eight nights or longer
- Special discounts on voyages
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 and 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.
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. But 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.
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.
Disney Cruise Line offers a handful of decent perks to members of its loyalty program, including early access to new itineraries and onboard activities. But the Castaway Club program is not nearly as robust a frequent cruiser program like those offered by 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:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Featured image courtesy of Disney Cruise Line
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.