Disney Cruise Line Cabin Upgrades

Disney Cruise Line, like all cruise lines, doesn’t always sail with a full ship.  There are usually cabins available of every type before the ship leaves the dock.  They are always willing to fill those cabins in exchange for more money.  Here is how you can attempt to upgrade your cabin type.

Port of Miami Terninal
Port of Miami Terninal

All of our pictures are from our upgrade on the Disney Wonder out of Miami.  The layout of the cruise terminals in Miami and Port Canaveral are similar, so the instructions will work the same there as well.  You will enter the terminal, go through the security screening, and enter the line for your Castaway Club level to check in for the cruise.

Check into your appropriate line!
Check into your appropriate line!

Once you check in for your cruise and receive your Keys To The World (KTTW) cards, take your entire party down towards the right hand side of all the check in lines.  You will head past all the check in lines to the Supervisor’s Desk (it is generally on the right hand side of the Concierge and Platinum line.  If you see a sign that says “Captain Mickey says the ship is full, no upgrades available,then you are out of luck.

The Supervisor Desk is to the right of the Concierge and Platinum Check-in line
The Supervisor Desk is to the right of the Concierge and Platinum Check-in line

If the sign isn’t out, there are upgrades available.  Once you approach the desk (after waiting in line), you can see what type of staterooms are available.  They will ask for your KTTW card and see if there is an upgraded cabin available.  There are many times we have tried for an upgrade to find that the best upgrade they had corresponded to the class of cabin we already were in.

If there is an upgrade, they will tell you what is available and the price to upgrade (sorry, no pixie dust here).  There is a magical chart they consult that compares the cabin type you are in to the cabin type you want to move to.  I don’t have a copy of the chart, but our cost to move from a 9C Oceanview stateroom to a 5B Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah was about $400 for a 5 night cruise on the Disney Wonder.  I imagine the price on the Dream or Fantasy would be much cheaper for that move given the number of verandah rooms.

ov1
Oceanview Stateroom

If you accept and pay the price difference, you will receive new KTTW cards for your entire party.  They will also start the process of getting anything destined for your old stateroom rerouted to the new stateroom, including luggage, Castaway Club welcome gifts, and stateroom credits.  We didn’t have a problem with any of these items, but we did need to tell our stateroom attendant where our bags might have been sent after we didn’t see them for a bit.  He happily retrieved them and we were all set.

Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah

We retained everything else that we had setup for our cruise, including excursions, dining times, and activities.  Upgrading our room from an 9C Oceanview stateroom to a 5B Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah would have cost $1200 if we had done it at the time of booking.  Waiting to upgrade at the terminal cost only $400.

The downside of upgrading at the port is that if you have your heart set on a stateroom upgrade and you have a late port arrival time (or if there are not a lot of upgrades available), you may be disappointed.  For example, for the cruise where we upgraded, we received the last available verandah room on the ship.  We have sailed many times in Oceanview rooms and would have been happy to do so again.  We always suggest booking the cabin type you will be happy with, as an upgrade isn’t always guaranteed.

If you have enjoyed this article, please be sure to check out our Disney Cruise Line information page, which has useful hints in addition to our cruise trip reports!

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