How Many DVC Points Are Disney Cruises? Is It A Good Value?
While meeting with Guests as a DVC Guide, I was asked every day about using points for Cruises on Disney Cruise Line. This may sound like a great benefit for members that purchase direct through Disney, however for DVC members, using points for Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and The Concierge Collection typically isn’t a good value.
Using points for DVC Resorts is an incredible value, as we showed you in our last video, DVC Resale Economics. Points can also be a good value when used for RCI Exchanges. On the other hand, some of the Member Benefits received by purchasing DVC direct through Disney are NOT worth paying thousands more to receive these benefits. In fact, many DVC members who have access to these benefits choose not to use them, because it just doesn’t make financial sense. Let’s do some math to show you how a banker’s daughter breaks down the value comparison of using DVC points for cruises.
As I’m recording this in May 2020, the direct price for a point at Disney’s Riviera Resort is $195 and the deed is for 50 more years. This means you’re paying $3.90 per point per year. To get the true cost, we have to include the dues of $8.31, so to purchase and maintain your DVC membership the total cost is $11.09 per point.
Looking at DVC’s 2021 Disney Cruise Line published point chart, a 4 night Bahamian cruise aboard the Disney Dream, sailing March 29th, 2021 in a Category 5 Verandah Stateroom, requires between 223 and 259 points per adult for a total of 446 to 518 points for 2 adults. Let’s be conservative for this example and use the lower 446 points. Multiply 446 points by the total cost of $11.09 per point which is $4,946.14, plus the $95 transfer fee for DVC members, which gives you a total cost of $5041.14 to book this cruise using DVC points.
Comparing that to the Disney Cruise Line published rate today, May 20th, 2020, for the same cruise. The cost for a party of 2, including taxes, fees, and port expenses is $3983.
A DVC member using their points to book this cruise is actually paying $1058.14 more than paying cash for their cruise.
Let’s look at one more example using a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy, sailing April 3rd, 2021 in a Category 5 Verandah Stateroom. This cruise requires between 350 and 406 points per adult for a total of 700 for 2 adults if we’re conservative and use the lower 350 points. Multiply 700 points by the total cost of $11.09 per point, which is $7763 plus the $95 transfer fee for DVC members, giving you a total cost of $7858 to book this cruise using DVC points.
Compare that to the Disney Cruise Line published rate today for the same cruise, which is $5756 for a party of 2, including taxes, fees, and port expenses. Using DVC points to book, you’re paying $2102 more than if you paid cash.
Now, I’m going to share with you the secret to using your DVC points to book cruises, even when you buy through DVC Resale Experts, without Disney’s direct member benefits. Rent your points and use that cash to book your cruise! With most DVC rental companies, even after paying their fee, you’ll receive about $15 per point. If you rent the 446 points to book as a DVC member for the 4 night cruise, that’s $6690! You’d only need to rent 266 points to pay cash for the same cruise. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather rent 266 points and keep the additional 180 points to be able to use those for other vacations. With 180 points, I could book a full week in a Deluxe Studio at a DVC resort, and have more points left over for another 3 night getaway.
For the 7 night cruise, you’d only have to rent out 384 points, compared to the 700 points you’d have to use to book as a DVC member utilizing the direct member benefits. It’s crazy to use your points to book!
Even buying through DVC Resale Experts without the direct membership benefits, you can still enjoy a Disney Cruise Line vacation with no money out of your pocket. It’s a much better value!
Are Disney Cruises a good value?
It’s no secret that Disney Vacation Club Members love the magic. If you haven’t yet enjoyed magic at sea, this might be your sign to. If Cast Member interactions are a highlight of your stays, know Disney Cruises offer service on another level. There are restaurants themed to film favorites, some of which have shows and character appearances. With character meet and greets around the ship, movie screenings, waterslide rides, hot tubs with horizon views and so much more, you’ll never run out of things to do on a Disney cruise. Just exploring the ship is a huge part. There is so much to see and the details are incredibly magical. Because the ship is such an important part of the experience, the design of these spaces is particularly fascinating.
When it comes to considering the value of a Disney Cruise Line vacation, we also want to think about what expenses are included. Especially those that are not included on a Disney World vacation. Food is included on a Disney cruise. This means breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, buffets, sit down meals, room service and more are part of what you pay for when booking. There are just a few optional, special meals and snacks that cost an extra fee, like popcorn or a fancy brunch.
Childcare is another exciting perk that really adds to the value of a Disney cruise. The kid spaces on the ships are amazing and little ones are supervised on their visits. This gives parents time to enjoy adult only areas like themed lounges or the spa. Let’s be honest, even just a nap with a sea breeze on a lounger is a delight. Just imagine your child having a wonderful time in Andy’s room while you enjoy a romantic dinner for two. All this to say, Disney cruises can be pricey but with all that’s included, the value is definitely there.
So much has changed at Disney Destinations over the last few years, including an addition to the Disney Cruise Line fleet! The Disney Wish set sail in 2022. We also have another new ship, the Disney Treasure, to look forward to in 2024. The final ship in this class is set to sail in 2025. We expect itineraries to potentially change as ships debut. If there is a certain sailing you’re thinking about, it might be better to do it now. Sometimes when a new ship is introduced, the others change ports or destinations.