Ask It Results: Ready for Your DCL Close-Up?

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Are there any souvenirs better than photos? A photo can bring back memories of a moment of joy, a funny experience, or just the warmth of the great times had on vacation. And even though almost everyone carries a camera with them all the time, sometimes you want something a bit better than a cell phone snapshot for your memory. But professional photos on Disney Cruise Line can be very pricey. Last week we asked you:

When you take a Disney cruise, do you buy the professional photos taken on board?

Here’s your results.

No photos for me (285 votes, 46%)

There’s no question that taking a Disney cruise is expensive. Unlike some other cruise lines, there’s generally more value added with DCL than there are add-on hidden costs. One extra cost to budget for is photos. If you’re expecting prices similar to PhotoPass at Disney parks, you may be in for some sticker shock. As a result, many people opt to skip the photos altogether. The best way to avoid purchasing photos? Ask politely not to have your picture taken at embarkation or when photographers come around. Even if you do get some photos taken, if you don’t go and preview the photos at Shutters, you won’t be tempted to buy them.


Maybe a couple pics (240 votes, 39%)

Yes, they’re expensive. But if you’re like me, it’s rare to have a photo with everyone together in one shot, so it is worth it to pay for a photo here or there. Or maybe a photographer gets some great magical moment when you don’t have a camera ready, or you don’t like the way your photo turned out on your phone. Sometimes buying a photo here or there is worth it for those priceless memories. With the graphic borders, you do get a little something extra from buying a photo than you do on your own.


I’ll take the whole package (95 votes, 15%)

Even with the high cost of photo packages, it is possible to get your money’s worth. First, make sure that you buy your package before you get on board–you can save a bit by pre-purchasing a photo package. Second, make sure you chain yourself to a photographer and go wherever they go. Okay, not really, but any time you see a photographer with a camera, make sure they take a picture. If you plan to do a lot of character meet and greets, you can certainly get your money’s worth in photos with characters alone. Add to that embarkation photos, photos at Castaway Cay, photos at dinner, Pirate Night photos, Formal Night Photos…you get the picture. (Hah!) One person mentioned that they had done 150 photos on their cruise, so the photo package broke down to less than $1 per photo. It is possible to get your money’s worth, if you work for it.

That’s it for this week’s question. Do you agree with the results? Got any tips about the best photos to take on your cruise? And what do you do with any photos you get? Let us know in the comments.

Next week’s question is live on Twitter and here. We’ll see you next week as you share more of your views on #AskIt.




Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited nine-year-old daughter.

2 thoughts on “Ask It Results: Ready for Your DCL Close-Up?

  • July 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    My understanding in regards to the photos is that the photographs are through a contracted company? Therefore all transactions are done through the company? ie you can not charge the photographs to your portfolio nor can you use Disney Rewards Dollars to pay for them?

  • July 27, 2017 at 9:13 am

    14 of us went on a girls-only family Disney cruise in 2007 and my mom bought many photos. At the time I probably would have told her it was a waste of money, but luckily she is smarter than I am. Ten years on the memories have faded, but the photographs are out and on display and often inspire us to reminisce about the trip. Unlike many of the ones we took, the ones she bought are printed and on display (my photos are still languishing in a yet-to-be-finished scrapbook). If we ever do a cruise again, I will budget some money for the photos and think of it as being amortized over the many years I will be looking at them.


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