Do you love sailing on the Disney Cruise Line? If so, the idea of earning benefits like free specialty meals and exclusive stateroom gifts is probably appealing.
Frequent guests on the Disney Cruise Line can earn these things and more through the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club loyalty program. This frequent cruiser program is a way for Disney to reward their most loyal travelers with status levels that translate to special benefits and offers beyond what the general public receives when cruising with them.
While all popular cruise lines offer loyalty programs, the various benefits, opportunities to earn status, and specific rules can and do vary by the cruise line. Once you have reached a certain level within a certain program, it can be very appealing to remain loyal to one cruise line. So, you will want to understand exactly how to earn status and what you will get once you are there.
Some travelers choose to cruise with the same line all of the time to build up their status quickly and then utilize their earned benefits.
Wondering how to sign up for the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club so you can start earning status and benefits?
Disney Cruise Line cruisers are automatically signed up for the Castaway Club program once they complete their first sailing. Once you earn credit for a sailing and move up in status, you’ll receive those benefits on your next cruise.
There’s no cost for the program, and the status you’ve earned doesn’t expire, even if you don’t sail for a while. You can log in to the website to see your progress in the program, as well as information about your past sailings.
Earning Status on the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club
Unlike other popular cruise line loyalty programs, Castaway Club status on the Disney Cruise Line is earned through the number of cruises, and not by the number of nights. It does not matter if you are on a 3-night or a 14-night trip, you will earn credit for one sailing. Because of that, it can be relatively easy to achieve platinum status in a short amount of time by sailing on some of the 3 or 4-night cruises offered.
You are only able to earn status in the Castaway Club by sailing on Disney Cruise Line. There is no way to earn Castaway Club points through other promotions, sailing on other cruise lines, or through spending on a credit card. You can earn credit by sailing on any of the five Disney Cruise Line ships -- the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, the Disney Dream, the Disney Fantasy, and the Disney Wish -- from any destination offered, on any itinerary.
Currently, there are four Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club levels. These levels are silver, gold, platinum, and pearl. The highest tier, pearl, is relatively new and was only added by Disney Cruise Line in mid-2023.
Levels and Benefits of the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club
There are various benefits that you will receive at each level of the Castaway Club that are meant to reward the most loyal customers.
If your stateroom includes guests at different Castaway Club levels, typically the benefits at the highest level are awarded (with the exception of lanyards, which vary by each individual’s level). All guests in the stateroom are given credit for each sailing, including children.
Silver Castaway Club Level
Travelers become Silver Castaway Club members after completing one sailing on the Disney Cruise Line. Once you reach this level, benefits include:
- Ability to book cruise activities and excursions for a fully paid sailing 90 days in advance (15 days earlier than first-time guests)
- Ability to complete online check-in 33 days prior to sailing (the earlier the check-in, the better the odds are for getting your desired arrival time. Plus, you can register kids for youth clubs at this time. The general public can check in 30 days prior to sailing)
- A dedicated phone number only offered to Castaway Club members
- Option to book new Disney Cruise Line itineraries one day before the general public
- Cruise terminal check-in area dedicated to Castaway Club members (at ports where this is offered)
- A welcome gift in your stateroom upon arrival. In the past, this has included items such as tote bags, luggage tags, and whiteboards.
- Earlier access to port arrival times, after checking in
- A silver Castaway Club member lanyard to hold your Key to the World card
Gold Castaway Club Level
After you’ve completed your fifth Disney Cruise Line sailing, you’ll become a Gold Castaway Club member. Those benefits include everything that Silver members receive, plus the following:
- Ability to book cruise activities and excursions for a fully paid sailing 105 days in advance (compared to 90 days in advance for a silver member and 75 days in advance for the general public)
- Ability to complete online check-in 35 days prior to sailing
- Early access to book new Disney Cruise Line itineraries two days before the general public
- An invitation to an onboard reception on cruises 8 nights or longer. Here, guests will be able to enjoy special entertainment
- Discounts onboard the ships, including at the merchandise shops
- A gold Castaway Club member lanyard to hold your Key to the World card
Platinum Castaway Club Level
Once you’ve completed your tenth Disney Cruise Line sailing, you’ll earn Platinum Status in the Castaway Club. Benefits include everything that Gold and Silver members have earned, plus:
- Ability to book cruise activities and excursions for a fully paid sailing 120 days in advance (compared to 105 days for a Gold member, 90 days for a Silver member, and 75 days for the general public). This is especially helpful for cabana rentals on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island because these book up quickly and are often unavailable to the general public.
- Ability to complete online check-in 38 days prior to sailing
- Option to reserve new Disney Cruise Line itineraries three days before the general public
- A Platinum Castaway Club member lanyard to hold your Key to the World card
- A complimentary dinner at Palo, the adult-only Italian restaurant offered on all of the Disney Cruise Line ships. You will still need to make reservations in advance, and all adults in your stateroom will be offered this benefit, as long as one guest in the room is a platinum member.
Pearl Castaway Club Level
In February 2023, Disney Cruise Line announced that they are going to be adding a new tier to their Castaway Club program: Pearl. Starting May 1, 2023, guests who have completed at least 25 sailings with Disney Cruise Line earned Pearl status. Here is what you can expect:
- All Silver, Gold, and Platinum benefits
- Complimentary Unlimited Digital Photo Package
- Ability to book new itineraries four days earlier than the general public and cruise activities 123 days prior to sailing
- Ability to complete online check-in 40 days prior to sailing (this is a whole ten days prior to when the general public can check in!)
Of course, you will still get a special welcome back onboard gift that is unique to your membership level!
To learn more about the Castaway Club loyal program, visit their website.