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 passengers can earn these things and more through Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club loyalty program, which 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 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 them, so you will want to understand exactly how to earn status and what you will get once you are there.
Wondering how to sign up for Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club so you can start earning status and benefits? Here's everything to know about Mickey's rewards program at sea!
How to climb Castaway Club levels
Cruisers are automatically signed up for the Castaway Club program once they complete their first sailing. There’s no cost for the program, either, and the status you’ve earned never expires, even if you don’t sail for a while.
If you're ever curious about your status, simply log in to the website to see your level. You can see information about your past sailings, too.
Unlike other popular cruise line loyalty programs, Castaway Club levels are based on the total number of cruises that you've been on, rather than the number of nights. This means that it does not matter if you've taken six 7-night cruises or six 3-night cruises, you will be a Gold member no matter what.
Unfortunately, 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 only earn credit by sailing on any of the five Disney Cruise Line ships: Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wish. Additionally, it does not matter the destination.
Benefits of Disney Cruise Line's Castaway Club
Disney's Castaway Club has only four different tiers. This is a relatively small loyalty program compared to other lines, such as Norwegian. Their Latitudes Program has a total of seven levels! Here are the Castaway Club ranks:
- Silver (after you've completed your first cruise)
- Gold (after you've completed five cruises)
- Platinum (after you've completed ten cruises)
- Pearl (after you've completed 25 cruises)
Silver Castaway Club level
After completing just one sailing with Disney, you'll become a Silver member. Once you reach this level, benefits include the following:
- 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.
- Earlier access to port arrival times, after checking-in online
- 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 move up to the Gold Castaway Club tier. These benefits include everything that Silver members get, 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
After ten Disney Cruise Line sailings, you’ll become a Platinum Castaway Club member. This was the highest tier until February 2023, which is when Disney Cruise Line announced Pearl status.
- 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 automatically earned Pearl status.
Here is what you can expect for being part of Disney's highest tier:
- 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!
What sailings aren't eligible?
While most cruises will count towards Castaway Club status, select fares (i.e., media, vendors, and Disney Cast Members traveling on business) will not be included in your total cruise count.
What happens if I notice a discrepancy in the total number of cruises displayed on my Castaway Club page?
If the total number of completed cruises displayed is less than what you've actually sailed, you should email Disney Cruise Line or call (800) 449-3380 for assistance. Note that guests under the age of 18 must have their parent's or guardian's permission to call.
To learn even more about the Castaway Club loyalty program, visit their website.