Family on deck
  • On Apr 13, 2023
    Ruosha from WA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi, I would like to book a cruise for 4 people for now. The problem is that I am not sure whether the 4th person could join us or not. Should I book 4 and cancel 1 before departure? Or I should book 3 and add 1 later?

    Welcome, Ruosha!  

    How exciting that you’re looking ahead to a fabulous Disney Cruise Line vacation next year! I think you and I would be fast friends in the way we think ahead, plan for possibilities, and prioritize our vacations. I typically book my cruise vacations 12 - 18 months in advance, so I understand that it’s hard to predict some of the “what ifs” during that time frame. Thank you for trusting our advice at planDisney - I’m glad to help you think through what’s best.

    I recommend you book your cruise now for four people and then have the flexibility to change the travel party details to three people if needed. When you make your reservation, you will be assigned or select a stateroom based on this travel party size. Disney Cruise Line staterooms have a variety of configurations and some only sleep three people. If you were to reserve a room for three now and then add one more, a stateroom in the same price category with an additional bunk bed may no longer be available. I always sail with my family of three, and we have stayed in staterooms that could only accommodate us and in identically-sized staterooms with an additional pull-down bunk bed that slept four people.

    Disney Cruise Line ships have capacity limits dictated by the United States Coast Guard and other regulations we don’t have insight to as Guests. This capacity can fill up, even if staterooms or beds remain visibly available. On my most recent cruise there were families who wanted to add an additional person to their travel party closer to our sail date and while the stateroom deck plan showed unoccupied rooms, they were unable to add another person to their reservation due to these capacity limits.

    On the other hand, scaling back to three from a four-person reservation is very straightforward. While you will make a deposit based on the total cruise price from your party of four, the cancellation policies allow you to modify the reservation to three people and receive a refund on the cost of the additional person. You wouldn’t have to change staterooms at that time if not desired, just the number of occupants. You may modify your reservation in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App, the Disney Cruise Line website, or call Disney Cruise Line directly for support. Other impacts to your cruise plans such as dining arrangements, Port Adventures, and other reservations are easily managed up to a few days before your sail date.

    You may also consider travel insurance for this special trip to protect against any unexpected circumstances or emergencies. My family always purchases this special coverage for our significant trips to protect our investment and have peace of mind when we go “into the unknown.” The Disney Cruise Line Vacation Protection Plan includes coverage both before and during your vacation.

    No matter the size of your travel party, you’re going to have an amazing time together Ruosha! Please let us know what other questions you have.  

    Happy planning,
thumbnail image for Amy

Meet the Panelist: Amy, Virginia

Hi friends! I'm Amy, a lifelong Disney dreamer from horse-and-wine country, Virginia. My family of three is BIG on fun and treasures every adventure together. We've been making memories at the Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line since my son was a toddler; we love our family traditions balanced with "what's new" each visit. I have a passion for Disney details, a love of digital tools, and an eye for practical planning. I can't wait to help you make the MOST of your magical vacation! Learn More About Amy

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