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Early 2022 Disney cruises on sale next week; prices only go up from here

Oct. 17, 2020
10 min read
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It's absolutely true that cruise lines aren't sailing in North America right now -- though that could change soon (here's the latest update on when cruise ships will resume sailing).

But, one thing to remember is that the popularity of certain ships, such as those sailed by Disney Cruise Line, paired with thousands of people rebooking voyages they had to cancel in 2020 due to coronavirus means that capacity will be tight in 2021 and 2022. If you've got your heart set on a specific cruise ship, destination or embarkation date, it's wise to put down a deposit now or risk being shut out later.

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For Disney Cruise Line fans, it's time to lock in your 2022 vacation now. Itineraries for January through May 2022 go on sale Oct. 19, 2020, for Castaway Club Platinum members and then to the general public who have never sailed on Disney beginning Oct. 22, 2020.

When booking a family cruise on Disney, it almost always makes sense to book as early as possible so you can reserve the exact stateroom you want and have access to what often ends up being the lowest cruise fares. While other cruise lines have seasonal sales and inclusions that can save you money, Disney does things differently.

Related: 17 tips for sailing on the Disney Cruise Line

Essentially, demand for Disney cruises is high and school holiday and summer vacation itineraries often sell out way ahead of embarkation. This means that the price to sail with Disney usually only goes up from the time the sailings are put on sale until they either sell out or the boat pulls out to sea, whichever comes first. If you want to see how this plays out in reality, Touring Plans has a fare tracker for Disney cruises that can show you some historical prices for various sailings.

Related: The ultimate guide to Disney Cruise Line

As an example, here's historical price data for a December 2019 four-night Western Caribbean itinerary sailing out of Galveston, for two adults and two kids (ages 3 and 8) in a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah.

The beginning price for this room type booked over 500 days before departure was a little over $3,800 all-in. Sixty-four days before the sailing, the price had only gone one direction -- up around $900 higher for the exact same trip.

Screenshot courtesy of TouringPlans.com

This up, up and away pricing scenario may change a bit when Disney launches several new boats (aka more capacity), starting with Disney Wish, DCL's next new-build, the launch of which has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. But, for now, booking as early as possible is often the way to get the lowest price on a Disney cruise.

Here are some other ways to save money on a Disney cruise.

Related: Review of sailing on the Disney Dream

Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

Related: Which cruise ship cabin category should your family book?

Advance booking for past guests

If you've taken a DCL cruise and are a member of its Castaway Club, you have advance access to reserve a 2022 cruise. Disney Vacation Club members, Adventures by Disney Insiders and Golden Oak Club members also get advance access.

When to book

  • October 19, 2020: Castaway Club Platinum members and Golden Oak Club
  • October 20, 2020: Platinum and Gold members
  • October 21, 2020: Platinum, Gold and Silver Castaway Club members as well as Disney Vacation Club members and Adventures by Disney Insiders
  • October 22, 2020: All guests (you don't need to be a Castaway Club member)

Related: How to book a cruise using miles and points

How to book

There are three ways to reserve a 2022 Disney cruise. Castaway Club members can book online, call or use a travel agent. To reserve your cruise online, go to the Castaway Cay login page. To make reservations by phone, call (800) 388-4513. The phone line opens at 8 a.m. ET. Or, use your favorite travel agent. Just be sure to give him or her your Castaway Club member ID for the booking. It can make lots of sense to book via a travel agent to get special booking incentives or, if booking via Costco Travel, hundreds of dollars on a Costco Shop Card.

Golden Oak Club members should call Golden Oak Club member services.

Disney Vacation Club Members can reserve with points by calling Member Services at (800) 800-9800. To make a cash-only booking, use a travel agent or call Disney Cruise Line at (866) 325-6348.

Adventures by Disney Insiders can use a travel agent to book or call (800) 388-4513.

Movie night aboard a Disney cruise. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Disney 2022 itineraries

So, where can Disney Cruise Line take you in the first half of 2022? Here are the major embarkation ports and routes to choose from:

Disney returns to Hawaii

There are two very special Disney Wonder 10-night itineraries that take the ship back to Hawaii. It's a perfect mix of five sea days that give you plenty of time to experience all the ship has to offer along with port calls to Honolulu, Oahu; Kahului, Maui; and Nawiliwili, Kauai. Travel from Vancouver to Honolulu or vice versa on April 26 and May 6, respectively.

Head to the Bahamas or Caribbean from Florida, Galveston or New Orleans

DCL sails to the Bahamas and the Caribbean from both Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida as well as Galveston, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana, so families have plenty of options to consider.

Here are the itineraries to expect from Disney Magic, Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream:

  • From Galveston: four-night Western Caribbean itineraries and six-night Bahamas cruises aboard Disney Wonder
  • From Miami: three-, four- and five-night Bahamian and Western Caribbean cruises aboard Disney Magic
  • From New Orleans: four- and six-night Western Caribbean itineraries as well as 6-night Bahamian cruises on Disney Wonder
  • From Port Canaveral: three- and four-night Bahamian cruises on Disney Dream and six- and seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages aboard Disney Fantasy
  • From Port Canaveral: Disney Dream to sail three- and four-night Bahamas cruises

Tip: Disney Dream's March 7 four-night round-trip itinerary from Port Canaveral includes two port days at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

View of Castaway Cay in the Bahamas (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Baja and Mexican Riviera

Sailing from San Diego in 2022, Disney Cruise Line will offer two, four- and five-night itineraries visiting Mexico's Baja region, including calls on Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas aboard Disney Wonder. One itinerary also includes a port call on Catalina Island, California.

Related: The best Mexico cruises for every type of traveler

Pacific Coast

The cruise line has also programmed one Pacific Coast voyage that happens in late April when Disney Wonder repositions from Baja cruises to Alaska. The five-night cruise from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, includes two sea days and calls on San Francisco and Victoria, British Columbia.

Panama Canal

If you've been dreaming of transitting the Panama Canal, you can do it aboard Disney Wonder in 2022. With just one departure on March 4, the 14-night westbound Panama Cana voyage begins in New Orleans and ends in San Diego with port calls on Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. There are also seven sea days.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Which credit card is best for a Disney cruise?

TPG's got lots of advice about the best credit card for booking cruises. For earning points for cruise spend, these are all solid options:

You can also use your Citi ThankYou points to book a Disney Cruise Line voyage by calling 1-800-842-6596, say you’re redeeming ThankYou points at the first prompt, then select the travel rewards option, followed by the fourth presented option — cruises and tours.

Bottom line

Now is the time to book your Disney cruise for the first half of 2022 if you want the lowest price possible. As usual, you can choose to just put down the deposit to lock in the lowest prices for now and work on the balance at a later date. (If you book directly with Disney, you can use discounted Disney gift cards to pay off the balance.)

Let us know what itinerary you pick!

For more Disney Cruise Line advice, go here:

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.

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    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.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases