Disney Cruise Line has been busy lately boasting about all the wonderful new things that guests will find when DCL’s newest ship, the Wish, takes her maiden voyage next summer. With its gorgeous staterooms, elaborately themed restaurants, state of the art theaters, and interactive games, we’d expect that the Wish would be priced at a bit of a premium over the older DCL ships.
But just how much of a premium will sailing on the Wish cost you?
During her first season, the Wish will primarily sail alternating three and four-night Bahamian cruises out of Port Canaveral, Florida – the same schedule and route now plied by the Disney Dream. After the Wish sets sail, the Dream will continue to have the same offerings, three and four night Bahamian sailings, just leaving from a different Florida port, Miami. Because of the similarities of the Wish and Dream itineraries, same length sailings, embarkation from the same state, visiting the exact same ports (Nassau and Castaway Cay), comparing prices on these two ships is the closest thing we have to an apples to apples situation.
Let’s take a look at three comparable sets of sailings. All are four night cruises. All prices below are the rate for two adults staying together in one stateroom. All prices listed here are the least expensive available option available in each stateroom category (inside, oceanview, or verandah) when searching the DCL website in mid-August 2021.
First up, a pair of sailings during the same week in July 2022.
As you see, there is a significant upcharge for sailing on the Wish versus the Dream. But you’ll be experiencing the bright, shiny new vessel and all its fancy bells and whistles, so paying a 15-20% premium over a sailing on a 10+ year old ship feels substantial, but not wholly unreasonable.
I decided to check whether that percentage range of increase was typical of all Wish vs. Dream sailings. Next I looked at two Very Merrytime cruises in early December, the closest to the same dates as possible.
Overall, the December prices are much less than July for both ships; however, the December premium to sail on the Wish over the Dream is much larger than it was in July, hovering in the 40% range. Um, yikes.
Wondering if this was an aberration, I tried another pair of sailings, this time two Halloween on the High Seas voyages that happened to depart on the exact same date.
In this case, the premium for choosing the Wish over the Dream was truly dramatic, costing more than 50%, to as much as 65%, more to sail on the newer vessel over the older. Um, double yikes.
I’m as excited as the next person to set foot on the Wish and I will be on an early sailing or two, you know, for research. But after that, I’ll have to monitor this situation closely and think long and hard about the value of choosing the Wish over the Dream when their itineraries have so much in common.
The Dream is a fantastic ship, the Wish will have to be over-the-top crazy fantastic to justify the price bump.