One of the worst things about a Disney Resort or Disney Cruise Line vacation is having to return home when it is over. One of the positives to that sadness is Disney likes to offer you a way to return with special offers you can only book while on vacations. While the Walt Disney World resort offers a “Bounce Back Offer,” Disney Cruise Line has a very different system that they use. The future cruise placeholder and future cruise booking specials can only be booked while you are on the ship and while you can move them, they do have blackouts and an “expiration date.”
How it Works
While on the ship you have two options when it comes to booking a future cruise, both of these options can be done at the ship’s “Future Cruise Desk.” The first is rather simple, you pick the date you want from the already published schedule and place a deposit it on it. When you select your date you will get 10% off the final cruise price (there are some blackouts and Concierge is excluded) and an onboard credit of $100 on 6 of less night cruises or $200 on 7+ night cruises that will appear in your account on the future sailing you have booked. You also will only pay a 10% deposit on 7+ nightlong cruises. Households may only book one future cruise on the ship.
The option for future cruising that seems to confuse people though is the placeholder, possibly because this option is exclusive to Disney Cruise Line. There is also a lot of misinformation floating around on this option so I called Disney Cruise Line personally to confirm how the placeholder works as well as to double check a few pieces of information that people tend to go back and forth about in forums.
A placeholder is a deposit that holds the special perks of booking a future cruise without making you pick a set date at the time of booking. When you book a placeholder you have 24 months from the date the reservation is booked to complete the cruise you select. While you can use the $250 you spent for the placeholder past the 24-month time frame, if you do this you wouldn’t get the onboard credit and discounted deposit options.
Why is this a great option? At the most Disney Cruise Line’s schedule is only open 18 months in advance, and that is right when new schedule dates have been released. Also when you book your placeholder you will get a 10% discount on the final cruise fare you end up booking, this does not apply to Concierge bookings. You also will pay a reduced deposit (10% instead of 20%) for 7+ night cruises. And let’s not forget the onboard credit I mentioned earlier. The OBC amount varies as it is based on length of sailing booked using the placeholder, 3-6 night cruises receive a $100 OBC, 7+ night cruises receive a $200 OBC.
Things to remember about placeholders:
- The lead person guest on the placeholder must be on the reservation being made.
- There can be up to 2 placeholders per household booked.
- If there are two couples are in a cabin (i.e. two households are represented) each household can book up to two future staterooms placeholders.
- Placeholders are nontransferable.
- A household can only book a future cruise OR a placeholder on board, you cannot do both.
- If you realize you won’t be cruising again after booking a placeholder, Disney will refund 100% of your payment for any placeholder, unless it’s for a concierge room as these are non refundable.
- Certain sailing dates are considered block-out dates see your booking form for information.
- Name changes may by made on the reservation so long as 1 adult on the original booking remains on the reservation.
- Discounts and OBC from placeholders are not valid on 1 or 2 night cruises.
- You can not STACK a Placeholder deal so there is no discount, lower deposit, or OBC option if you book a Restricted Guarantees cruise (i.e. don’t waste a Placeholder on a IGT, OGT or VGT booking)
- If you are using a TA, make sure you have their agency’s IATA or CLIA number with you and give it to the Future Cruise Booking Desk if you want to use them for a future cruise.
- If you didn’t use a TA on your current cruise and want to use one, but aren’t sure which one you want to use for your future cruise when you book your placeholder, you have thirty days to transfer your cruise or placeholder when you get home to your agency of choice. Just remember when you pick that agency to pick them based on their knowledge, experience and for the booking services they offer you.