Disney Cruise Line announced today to travel agents that guests who do an on-board booking (OBB) will no longer receive on-board credit (OBC) from DCL on future cruises. Until this announcement, guests received $200 OBC for a 7-night or longer future cruise and $100 OBC for a 6-night or shorter future cruise pus 10% off the cruise fare. The 10% off cruise fare discount still remains for future cruises booked on-board for Categories 4-11 (all non-concierge categories) as well as 50% off deposits for sailings of 7+ nights.
This new policy goes into effect tomorrow, September 28, for the Disney Fantasy and on September 30 for the Disney Dream, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Placeholders booked on-board before those dates will be grandfathered in with OBC. H/T Mickey Blog.
Ever since my family’s first Disney Cruise back in 2012, we have taken advantage of the discount and OBC offered for booking a future cruise while currently on-board. The OBC offer was per room. So, when my family booked two connecting rooms for five people, we would get $400 in on-board credit. That covered the majority of our tips for a 7-night cruise. Plus, we would get additional OBC from our travel agent to use for shore excursions or on-board shopping.
Why Is DCL Doing This?
The short answer is because it can. The economy is good, DCL has grown in popularity and it doesn’t need to entice people to book. The demand is high, so there’s no need to offer as many discounts. The company has three new ships on the horizon with people chomping at the bit to book. Also see my post Is Scrooge McDuck Sailing This Ship? Crazy 2019 Prices.
Will This Deter People from Booking DCL?
I do think that this will deter some long-time DCL fans from re-booking over and over again. Even some die-hard fans are looking into other cruise lines that have more reasonable prices. It’s not just about losing $100 or $200. Rather, it’s about that combined with the quickly rising base prices of DCL.
I joined a Facebook group called “Disney Cruise Line Lovers Looking for Other Options”. The group has a lot of discussion about other lines compared to DCL and the many options out there for family cruising.
I’m sailing on DCL this November, so my OBC will still be there. My family plans to cruise on Royal Caribbean again in 2021. I really want to sail on the new ship Disney Wish when it debuts in early 2022. But, I’m also not crazy enough to spend an equivalent of a year of college tuition to sail on it.
DCL fans, what do you think of this change in policy for on-board bookings? Is this the final straw, or not a big deal?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.