One of the best parts of going on a Disney Cruise is the anticipation.
You know you’re going to have fun.
And once you’re there, you’ll probably want to do it all over again.
After your first Disney cruise, you become a member of the Castaway Club, Disney’s loyalty program for veteran cruisers.
Currently there are three levels available:
- Silver: 1-5 completed cruises
- Gold: 6-10 completed cruises
- Platinum: >10 completed cruises
So, what do you get with membership?
One perk is that you can book activities, excursions and specialty restaurant reservations ahead of the crowd. Silver members can book 90 days out, Gold 105 days, and Platinum members 120. [Note: You also get early booking with Concierge status, even on your first cruise].
There’s also a digital magazine you can read and a special phone number to use for assistance with booking or travel arrangements.
A dedicated part of the Disney Cruise Line website for the Castaway Club lets you see your personal status meter.
Here’s a snap of mine:
But what’s probably the thing that guests love the most is the swag.
Castaway Club bonuses start arriving at check-in. You’ll receive a lanyard displaying your status to hold your room key. Here’s a Silver one:
Personally, I carry my card around in my pocket and hate wearing a lanyard, so we don’t usually keep these. That puts us in the minority, though, because other guests seem to love wearing them everywhere.
You also get a welcome aboard gift that’s waiting for you in your cabin. On our recent trip to Alaska, we received a one-shoulder backpack and an umbrella. On prior trips we’ve received a different style of backpack, a tote bag, and a keychain. Twice the backpacks were filled with snacks.
Here’s the Alaska bounty:
We used the backpack once in Alaska and the kids both wanted the umbrella upon our return.
Unfortunately, they immediately weaponized it and attacked each other, umbrella style, so it’s tucked away out of their reach at the moment.
A new thing that started in 2014 is that Castaway Club members also get a 5″ x 7″ drawing mailed to them after the cruise. Here’s the one we received in the mail after Alaska:
I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so it’s currently on the fridge. The line drawing is pretty cool, but I’ve already got way too much everything so this probably won’t stay there for long.
Once you cross into a new level, you’ll also receive a magnet for your car. We received a Gold one last year but I’m not the bumper sticker/stick figure/car magnet type, so it’s also on the fridge for now.
One benefit we just experienced for the first time was the onboard party for Gold and Platinum Castaway Club members. This was fun. During our Alaska trip, it was held during the afternoon of one of the sea days and there was free food/drinks and a take-home Mickey crispy rice treat for guests. The captain and several officers were there, and the crew made a point of coming around and meeting people, asking about prior trips. Everyone at the party was really friendly and trust me when I say that the guests could have talked about Cruising with Disney all night if given the chance.
We also discovered a 10% discount on select shipboard merchandise as Gold members, which was unexpected and cool.
Final thought: everybody loves to be a V.I.P., and Disney’s Castaway Club makes you feel like one.