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View Full Version : Disney Cruise with DVC points???


christa112
06-03-2009, 02:20 PM
Who has done this? Is it worth it? We have never been on a cruise and have been contemplating it (the thought of being stuck on a boat kinda creeps me out, but would like to try it)

I would love thoughts, comments, suggestions or pics if anyone has them.

TIA :thumbsup2

Christa

Mods--if you need to move this feel free.

tjkraz
06-03-2009, 03:13 PM
I can't predict whether you will like the cruise or not but using points for a cruise isn't the greatest value in the world. If you look at what you pay in dues for the points vs. the cost of paying cash for the entire cruise, you won't save a whole lot in the end. If nothing else you would do better financially by paying cash for the cruise and renting out your DVC points.

If you do decide to use points, here is some of the fine print:

1. There is a $95 booking fee. That fee is also charged for making any changes to the reservation.

2. When you commit to using points for the cruise, those points become reclassified as "Reservation Points." If you should have to cancel the cruise your points may still be returned to you but they remain classified as Reservation Points and could only be used toward certain NON-DVC destinations. In other words, you couldn't cancel the cruise and use the points to stay at AKV or BWV.

3. Even with points you have to pay extra for things like ground transportation, gratuities (which will be about $150 on the shortest 3-day cruise), alcoholic beverages, spa services, shore excursions and more.

Anal Annie
06-03-2009, 04:13 PM
First, you are anything but "stuck on a boat". You are basically on an all inclusive floating resort being waited on hand & foot with food & entertainment surrounding you. Second...DCL is wonderful...we have cruised on both cash and on points...but they have raised the point requirements A LOT just over the past couple of years and I don't think we would do it again on points. Cruises are VERY point intensive...so if you have TONS of points or unless you are able to use developers points to book one I wouldn't use my own points for them anymore. We will just re-book onboard for the 10% rebooking discount and onboard credits...

They are your points of course, so use them as you wish...but for us it would now take us just about 2 years worth of points to do a 4 nighter in July in an inside cabin. Meanwhile, we could spend like 3 or 4 weeks at Disney for that same amount of points. I'd rather cruise out of pocket now if all I'd get is 4 nights on 2 yrs. worth of points AND spend my 3-4 weeks at Disney!!!!

TDC Nala
06-03-2009, 04:18 PM
(the thought of being stuck on a boat kinda creeps me out, but would like to try it)


Don't think of it as a boat - it's a big ole floating hotel where you won't have to pay for anything but tips and booze and souvenirs and spa treatments.

bobbiwoz
06-03-2009, 07:29 PM
We've used our points for two DCL cruises and we've paid cash for one and we booked on board for another one using the cash discount. (What's it now, in 17 months we're going on another one:yay:) There were also discounts offered for point usage for booking the next cruise, but I don't have any points left to use for cruises.

Once when we did use our points, it was only 128 points for the two of us for a 3 night cruise, inside cabin, and the cost from Disney was more than that, considering $10 a point. It was very easy, and we did buy the trip insurance. That's where the big risk lies regarding using points. I understand that you get about $5 per point, or at least that's what had been mentioned here when we went, in '04. Luckily all went well. It was to celebrate DH's 60th birthday. The other time we used our points was for a Members Cruise. We had just added on to our DVC and had used our extra cash for that, so we used the points for the cruise. We felt it was a very good use of our points.

We got back from our latest DCL cruise (cash) just over Memorial Day weekend. It was our DGC's first cruise, and I think their experience just added to our pleasure more than I could ever imagine. They loved the character interaction, and for us the highlight was the Dolphin Excursion in Nassau. DSis and her DBF did adult things, and DSis was especially pleased with the food quality of the DCL, we all were more than satisfied.

I know that I wouldn't want to be a landlord and rent out my points. If we ever get a surplus of points again :rotfl:I wouldn't hesitate to book a DCL cruise with them.

Bobbi:goodvibes

christa112
06-03-2009, 07:39 PM
Thanks everyone for the info and the spin of "stuck on a boat" as a floating resort :thumbsup2

We purchased the DVC with the intentions of vacationing every other year, so it would work with us combining 2010, 2011 & 2012 points if we were to cruise in 2011. We are going to AKV in Jan and we have about 150 points left for 2010 and then taking 240 points for 11 & 12. Being a family of 5 it will cost alot for us to cruise either way, so I wouldn't mind using our points, considering we would only be vacationing every other because at that point we would have a surplus of points going.

DVC4me4Ever
06-03-2009, 07:41 PM
You know there is a lot of different opinions here on the DIS on what is worth it...DCL, RCI, Concierge etc.

To that all I can say is, however you want to spend your points is up to you and your family/friends you travel with. If at the end of the day you end up with a wonderful vacation that provides you years of memories...then I feel it is points well spent.

I have been a member for 11 years now and have taken about 10 or so cruises using my points each and every time. Never have I felt it was not 'worth' it. I think ultimately you will either be a person who loves cruises or one who decides they are not for you. But how will you ever know that if you don't take the opportunity to book one. As to whether it is a good value....your memories and stories you talk about years from now will tell you.

I say take a chance and enjoy all the benefits of being a DVC member and not just going to WDW or DL. Don't get me wrong, I love WDW and DL but mostly enjoy the flexibility of vacationing where and how I want to year by year. To me it is all a good value of my points.

Hope that helps because I know my opinion may be quite different from others but that is what makes the DIS so fantastic!!!

CarolAnnC
06-03-2009, 08:11 PM
One Word of Caution!!! Once you try it you will be hooked...hehehe!

Disney cruises are a luxury vacation, combined with Disney and the result is just magical. I often cruise with my points, and never had any regrets!

Be sure to visit our Disney Cruise Line Board here on the DIS for lots of info on the cruise itself.

bobbiwoz
06-04-2009, 05:57 AM
Our DS/DDiL have a family of 5, and we booked 2 inside category 10 cabins for them that connected inside. They really enjoyed the make up of their "suite."

Bobbi:goodvibes

christa112
06-04-2009, 06:57 AM
It would probably be cheaper to do that as well. I never even thought of that. I was just looking directly at the Deluxe Family Stateroom that would fit our family of 5. Well I definately have some time to think and rethink we wouldn't be traveling until 2011 :rotfl2: Nothing like planning ahead!!!!

Our DS/DDiL have a family of 5, and we booked 2 inside category 10 cabins for them that connected inside. They really enjoyed the make up of their "suite."

Bobbi:goodvibes

Crystal_27
06-04-2009, 07:11 AM
We are using our points to cruise on a 5-nighter in June, 2010 (verandah stateroom) and using our points to also stay at BCV for a couple nights before (provided I can get a reservation at BCV at 7 months - LOL). Since it costs so many points, we are actually using points to pay for me and DH, and paying cash for DD. Still, although some will say that cruising is a waste of points, when you consider that the cost of food and entertainment is built into the cost of the cruise, I think that cruising is a great use of points. We actually were able to use our banked 2009 points, current 2010 points, borrowed 2011 points for the 2010 cruise, and will still be able to take a week's vacation in 2011 and 2012 using our remaining 2011 and 2012 points. Not too shabby at all...I'm very excited. Good luck with your decision...Disney cruises are absolutely wonderful! :cloud9:

christa112
06-04-2009, 08:13 AM
Thanks Crystal. :thumbsup2 Great idea about paying for a child OOP.

Inkmahm
06-04-2009, 08:19 AM
You know there is a lot of different opinions here on the DIS on what is worth it...DCL, RCI, Concierge etc.

To that all I can say is, however you want to spend your points is up to you and your family/friends you travel with. If at the end of the day you end up with a wonderful vacation that provides you years of memories...then I feel it is points well spent.

I have been a member for 11 years now and have taken about 10 or so cruises using my points each and every time. Never have I felt it was not 'worth' it. I think ultimately you will either be a person who loves cruises or one who decides they are not for you. But how will you ever know that if you don't take the opportunity to book one. As to whether it is a good value....your memories and stories you talk about years from now will tell you.

I say take a chance and enjoy all the benefits of being a DVC member and not just going to WDW or DL. Don't get me wrong, I love WDW and DL but mostly enjoy the flexibility of vacationing where and how I want to year by year. To me it is all a good value of my points.

Hope that helps because I know my opinion may be quite different from others but that is what makes the DIS so fantastic!!!
Crusing DCL is "worth" it for sure, but not worth wasting money to pay more than I have to. I look at the opportunity cost of using points vs paying cash and it is WAY up there for the December time frame when we cruise. At $10 per point, it costs quite a bit more to pay with points than with cash. I chose to transfer points to a member before our last cruise so that I could pay the lower cash price and have cash left over to use on the cruise compared to paying with points directly.

I would never pay for the cruise with points if the cash price was cheaper. No reason to do that.

JasonDVC
06-04-2009, 09:51 AM
I say if you are uncomfortable going through the rent/trade process or can not get a minimum of $10 per point, then use your points for the cruise and don't look back!:thumbsup2

TIGGERmetoo
06-04-2009, 10:23 AM
Do DVC members get any discount on cruises when they pay with cash and not points?

tjkraz
06-04-2009, 10:26 AM
I'll use my own recent experience to illustrate the cruise disparity.

We booked a 3-night cruise for February 26, 2009. It was booked under a "kids sail free" promotion. The four of us--two adults, two kids--booked at CAT 11 inside stateroom (got a free upgrade to CAT 10) for $833.

According to the DVC point chart, that same cruise would have cost us 79 points per adult 49 points for one child and 47 for the second. That's 79+79+49+47 = 254 total points.

The dues alone on my points are $4.34 each this year. That means I am actually paying $4.34 x 254 = $1102.36 CASH...out of my own pocket...for the points required to book this cruise on points. Plus you have to add the $95 DVC booking fee for a total of $1197.36. That is all 2009 dollars and I'm not making any accommodation for the $20,000 paid up-front to acquire the DVC points.

That's $364.36 MORE than the cash price for the cruise!!!!!! I would have paid nearly four hundred dollars MORE to use points for the cruise instead of paying cash.

Again to recap---Cash price = $833; DVC Price of dues and fees alone = $1197.36. Same cruise. Same party. Same cabin.

Now granted that was under a special promotion (not always available) and it's only one set of dates, one cabin class and one traveling party. But I hope this illustrates how folks should really spend a few minutes to run the numbers before booking a cruise on points.

Booking a Disney cruise on points is no more convenient than paying cash. Don't want to rent your points? So be it. Bank them or find another way to spend them. And PLEASE do not buy extra points with the intention of using them to cruise regularly.

erionm
06-04-2009, 11:40 AM
Do DVC members get any discount on cruises when they pay with cash and not points?

Nope.

cheezNE1
06-04-2009, 12:29 PM
I personally wouldn't want to use the points for the cruise, but i wouldnt mind try the cruise for at least once. I've been to carnival cruise and it was great and the ship is bigger too. My friend on the other hand plan on using his dvc only on cruises. He thinks by going to the cruise couple of times, he makes back his $ he put into the DVC. :confused3

bobbiwoz
06-04-2009, 12:45 PM
It is great if you can take advantage of Disney's specials, like the "Kids Sail Free." One note regarding our family of 5...only 1 of the kids sailed free because every stateroom assumes 2 adults are paying. So...crista112, you do have to take that into account. However, we had booked our cruise in 2008 before Disney ran that special and it did lower our cost by whatever one child cost, but it wasn't as much as we first thought.

Bobbi:goodvibes

matilda
06-04-2009, 12:52 PM
We just got back from the Eastern Caribbean and had the best family vacation ever. We are a family of 5 and booked two inside deluxe staterooms and it was much cheaper than any other option. They were not adjoining but next door to each other. One thing to remember when calculating though by booking two rooms is that it is double occupancy which mean first two people in each room is charged as an adult. As I was in one room and my DH in the other I had one child with me (points charged were for an adult) and my DH was charged adult points for him and our 13 yr old DS (he would be anyway) and then our 10 yr DS was calculated at his age appropriate points.

We all had so much fun we added on 150 points while cruising (they are offering great cash back incentives for Bay Lake Towers on cruise) This with our current 250 points gives us a total of 400 and we can comfortably cruise every other year now booking two rooms. It allows more space and more privacy and you are not in there much.

We took our children out of school as the points were much less. For a larger family points are great, cash would be great if you did something last minute as great deals can be found online to fill up the boat.

My opinion is you pay for the points anyway, it may not be your 3 weeks you could use at a resort but the experience and memories will be better!!

Goodluck, you can not go wrong

Inkmahm
06-04-2009, 01:17 PM
I say if you are uncomfortable going through the rent/trade process or can not get a minimum of $10 per point, then use your points for the cruise and don't look back!:thumbsup2 I won't do rent/trade. Only transfers to fellow members.

Inkmahm
06-04-2009, 01:19 PM
I'll use my own recent experience to illustrate the cruise disparity.

We booked a 3-night cruise for February 26, 2009. It was booked under a "kids sail free" promotion. The four of us--two adults, two kids--booked at CAT 11 inside stateroom (got a free upgrade to CAT 10) for $833.

According to the DVC point chart, that same cruise would have cost us 79 points per adult 49 points for one child and 47 for the second. That's 79+79+49+47 = 254 total points.

The dues alone on my points are $4.34 each this year. That means I am actually paying $4.34 x 254 = $1102.36 CASH...out of my own pocket...for the points required to book this cruise on points. Plus you have to add the $95 DVC booking fee for a total of $1197.36. That is all 2009 dollars and I'm not making any accommodation for the $20,000 paid up-front to acquire the DVC points.

That's $364.36 MORE than the cash price for the cruise!!!!!! I would have paid nearly four hundred dollars MORE to use points for the cruise instead of paying cash.

Again to recap---Cash price = $833; DVC Price of dues and fees alone = $1197.36. Same cruise. Same party. Same cabin.

Now granted that was under a special promotion (not always available) and it's only one set of dates, one cabin class and one traveling party. But I hope this illustrates how folks should really spend a few minutes to run the numbers before booking a cruise on points.

Booking a Disney cruise on points is no more convenient than paying cash. Don't want to rent your points? So be it. Bank them or find another way to spend them. And PLEASE do not buy extra points with the intention of using them to cruise regularly.
And if you consider the opportunity cost of those points, I use $10 each as that's what I'd get in a transfer to a fellow member. Your cruise on points would have been $2,540 compared to $833 for cash. No way, Jose.

chezpixelpixie
06-08-2009, 07:55 PM
I actually became a DVC member on my first Disney Cruise, expecting to use the points to book a great cruise vacation every couple of years. From my perspective, I could be spending the money to cruise every year, or spending the money on DVC to cruise for 50 years. It was no contest!

My question is, if you book a cruise through DVC, do you still get the perks of being a Castaway Club member? How about the shipboard credits? I know you can book through DCL and get their shipboard credits, then transfer your ressie to dreamsunlimited and get *their* shipboard credits. Can you pull of a stunt like that if you book through DVC too? Do you get to make your Palo and spa reservations early as a DVC member, or are there any other perks I don't know about? I'm going to be booking a cruise on the Wonder for next summer over the 4th of July week, and I want to make sure I have a row of ducks!

Pixie:goodvibes

Anal Annie
06-08-2009, 08:52 PM
I actually became a DVC member on my first Disney Cruise, expecting to use the points to book a great cruise vacation every couple of years. From my perspective, I could be spending the money to cruise every year, or spending the money on DVC to cruise for 50 years. It was no contest!

Until 2 or 3 years down the road when they've raised the required points so much you need to do an add-on in order to "afford" to cruise on points! We cruised on points in 2008...between what they raised them for 2009 and then for 2010 the same 4 night cruise (length / cabin category / dates) went up by like 85 or 87 points just in 2 years time!:scared: When you have to buy an additional 85 points every 2 years to keep up the pace you may rethink this plan. Or not. :confused3 But I would...

My question is, if you book a cruise through DVC, do you still get the perks of being a Castaway Club member? How about the shipboard credits? I know you can book through DCL and get their shipboard credits, then transfer your ressie to dreamsunlimited and get *their* shipboard credits. Can you pull of a stunt like that if you book through DVC too? Do you get to make your Palo and spa reservations early as a DVC member, or are there any other perks I don't know about? I'm going to be booking a cruise on the Wonder for next summer over the 4th of July week, and I want to make sure I have a row of ducks!

Yes, if you book on points thru DVC they will know you are both a DVC member AND a CC member. You will receive stateroom gifts for both. You will NOT be eligible for onboard credits like you would be if you booked on cash thru DU. There really aren't any other "perks" to booking as a DVC member. Booking Palo as a CC member allows you to book earlier than first time cruisers...but nothing for DVC. Well, there's a reception thingy where you can go & try to win a doorprize & get a free ballcap...but that's about it.

jworkkul
06-22-2009, 01:42 PM
I just booked a 4-night cruise in February 2010 with DVC points.:banana: I live just 20 minutes away from Disney and this makes it worthwhile for me being that I, somehow, just can't finance the cruise.:sad2: I can visit WDW anytime I want and using the points for a cruise makes it worth it. Incidentally, I did book the THV for a week stay in July 2009 using DVC points also. It did not take away many points for the cruise as indicated.:teacher: I think I only used 232 points for 2 adults to stay in a Cat.6 for 4-nights. This will be my first Disney cruise and I am so looking forward to it.:cool1: I have been on the DCL forums and you just can't imagine what there is to do. :beach: