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Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy: What is an Onboard Credit?

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On Disney Cruise Line, as well as many other cruise lines, an “onboard credit” is money that is deposited into your account for use while you’re on the ship. “Stateroom credit” is a variation on the concept that may also be used by other cruise lines.

Onboard credit money can used as payment for most types of charges you’ll encounter during your sailing including payment for adult dining, bar tabs, port excursions, internet packages, gratuities, merchandise, photo packages, and more.

There are a number of ways that you might earn onboard credit. Some travel agents offer small onboard credit for placing a booking with them. The ship’s spa might hold a raffle for onboard credit that can be used for spa services. Disney Vacation Club agents on the ship might hold a raffle for onboard credit to guests who attend a sales presentation. DCL itself might offer guests an onboard credit if a sailing is substantially altered from its advertised route, say for example, a major itinerary change is implemented due to weather conditions.

You might earn an onboard credit if you win at win at Bingo.

Most onboard credit is non-refundable and must be used during the sailing in which the credit is applied – it’s a “use it or lose it” situation. An exception to this is winnings during onboard Bingo sessions. An extremely lucky guest might win several thousand dollars on the last day of their sailing. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, stop by guest services before disembarking and they will issue you a reimbursement.

Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy is an offshoot of our “Disney in a Minute” posts, “In a Jiffy” posts are bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic, but here we focus on all thing Disney Cruise Line (DCL). Have a question about a DCL term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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