Effective today, Disney Cruise Line is changing their gratuity amounts that guests will automatically be charged. If you've added prepaid gratuities to a cruise already, then you're unaffected. For prepaid and onboard gratuities beginning today, the amount will go from $12/person/night to $13.50/person/night. This change will be allocated in $0.50 increments to three different service positions. The last time they increased gratuity amounts was 2008, so not too bad.
In light of a modest increase, now is a good time to mention how much less cash you need onboard a Disney cruise than other lines. Sure Disney entails a premium price for their impeccable service record and pristine ships, not to mention some of the world's most beloved characters onboard, but they can honestly say that it's an all-inclusive vacation onboard the ship. For starters, there are no casinos onboard Disney's ships. No need to worry about overdoing it there! In addition to daily paid drink specials (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Disney allows each passenger over the age of 21 to bring up to 2 bottles of wine or champagne or 6 beers onboard in their carry-on luggage. As long as you're not planning to incur a corking fee in a dining room, there's some money saved on your bar tab. While other cruise lines love to add premium restaurants to their ships, Disney's main dining rooms are a star attraction in themselves and you can have a fantastic overall dining experience without ever setting foot in Palo or Remy, their only two potential premium dining venues. Another big perk is that soft drinks are included in the dining rooms and 24/7 at self-serve stations on the pool deck. Most other lines sell upgraded drink packages for soft drinks.
All in all, the value in a Disney cruise may be in the smiles on your loved one's faces the first time they see Captain Mickey, get announced into the grand atrium, or experience the dining "show" at Animator's Palate. And did I mention the truly Broadway caliber shows? Over 90% of my clients book subsequent Disney cruises while onboard - these are just some of the reasons why.