Disney Cruise Line Extends Deadlines, Relaxes Cancelation Fees

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Disney Cruise Line has notified guests booked on upcoming sailings that the final payment deadlines have been extended until 60 days prior to sailing, permitting guests more flexibility with their cruise vacation plans.

Cancelation fees have also been relaxed in case guests must change their travel plans entirely. Both of these adjustments are only applicable to sailings that embark no later than March 31, 2023.

Final Payment Deadlines Extended

Extending final payment deadlines gives guests more options to be careful with a cruise vacation budget or change their plans if necessary as their sailing date approaches. Emails sent to booked guests note that this change is “to provide you with greater flexibility.”

Now, final payments are due no later than 60 days prior to sailing. Guests can, of course, make their final payments much further in advance if they so choose.

Disney Magic in Miami, Florida
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

Guests should note, however, that this payment deadline extension only applies to unrestricted stateroom bookings. Reservations for restricted staterooms, such as “guaranteed fare” cabins or limited occupancy cabins, will continue to have the regular final payment deadlines, either 90, 120, or 150 days prior to sailing, depending on cruise itinerary length and stateroom type.

Guests can check their online booking information or contact their travel agent or Disney Cruise Line directly to determine the final payment date for their individual reservation.

Cancelation Fees Relaxed

To add even more flexibility to cruise planning at a time when pre-cruise testing protocols, vaccination requirements, and other factors, such as the Atlantic hurricane season, can make travel uncertain, cancelation fee schedules have also been loosened.

For non-Suite and non-Concierge categories on sailings through March 31, 2023, cancelation fees will not come into effect until 59 days prior to sailing.

For other inside, outside, and verandah stateroom categories with restrictions, cancelation fees remain intact as these cabins are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Disney Wish in Port Canaveral
Photo Courtesy: Port Canaveral

If a cruise must be canceled closer to the sailing date, the cancelation fee is calculated based on the cruise itinerary length, how long before the cruise the cancelation is requested, and the stateroom type.

Cancelation fees range from forfeiting the cruise fare deposit for each guest to 50, 75, or 100% of the total cruise fare.

Suites and concierge-level staterooms have the stiffest cancelation penalties, as these rooms are generally booked far in advance and can be more difficult to sell at premium prices close to the ship’s sailing date.

Why Pay Early?

With such great flexibility for canceling a cruise closer to the sailing date, why would prospective guests make their final payment any earlier than absolutely necessary?

While it can be helpful for budgeting to make smaller payments or wait on the final payment until closer to the cruise, Disney Cruise Line does not permit any onboard activities to be booked until the cruise fare’s final payment has been received.

This means that if guests want to reserve the most popular port adventures, book onboard spa treatments or specialty makeovers, or make specialty dining reservations, the cruise fare must first be fully paid.

Because these add-ons are limited and can fill up quickly, many guests choose to make their final payments early in order to secure the extras that can make a Disney cruise vacation even more magical.

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