I spent 3 days on Disney's newest cruise ship. Here's what every part of my nearly $4,000 trip cost.

Reporter Amanda Krause in front of Disney's newest cruise, the Wish.
In total, I spent more than $3,800 on my Disney cruise vacation.Amanda Krause/Insider
  • I'm a lifelong Disney fan who just took my first cruise vacation: three nights on the new Wish ship.

  • Between food, souvenirs, travel, and the cruise itself, I spent almost $4,000 by the end.

  • I really enjoyed my experience, but probably wouldn't splurge on a cruise vacation again.

My round-trip plane ticket from New York City to Orlando, Florida, cost almost $400.

A map that shows the route between LaGuardia Airport and Orlando International Airport.
The route between LaGuardia Airport and Orlando International Airport.Google Maps

In the past, I've both flown to Florida and driven there from New Jersey in my car. But for my cruise, I knew the quicker trip would be ideal.

There were only connecting flights available when I booked, so I had brief layovers in Baltimore, Maryland, both ways.

That said, I knew my round-trip journey would be long and pricey ($396.96), so I was happy not to pay extra for luggage. I was only traveling with a carry-on and personal item, which Southwest Airlines lets you bring for free.

 

I arrived in Orlando, Florida, one day before my cruise and spent the day at Disney Springs. Though it's free to enter, I still spent $185 while there.

Photos of souvenirs and drinks at Disney Springs with prices.
I spent $90 on souvenirs, and $30 on two drinks while at Disney Springs.Amanda Krause/Insider

I visited Disney Springs with my sister, and we spent nearly our entire day there. We had lunch, went shopping, enjoyed multiple snacks, and had a drink together. Here's a breakdown of what I spent:

  • Lyft from my hotel to Disney Springs: $24.78

  • Lunch at Guy Fieri's Chicken Guy! restaurant: $18.60

  • Souvenirs for my family and friends: $40.44

  • Souvenirs for myself: $48.97

  • One Mickey Mouse pretzel: $6.59

  • One 50th anniversary milkshake from Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop: $17.23

  • Two drinks at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar: $29.09

  • Lyft to get back to the hotel: $22.85

Total: $208.55

The night before my cruise, I stayed at a DoubleTree by Hilton near Orlando International Airport. My room cost me almost another $200.

A DoubleTree Hilton cookie (left) and a view of a DoubleTree hotel in Orlando (right).
I was given a free DoubleTree cookie (left) and then headed to my room.Amanda Krause/Insider

My standard room — which included one king bed, basic hotel amenities, and a famous DoubleTree cookie – cost $178.88 for one night after taxes.

Luckily, I didn't have to pay for transportation between the airport and hotel, as there was a complimentary shuttle available.

The following day, I needed to travel from Orlando to Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, so I took a $30 shuttle.

A Go Port pass (left) and inside a Go Port bus (right).
A Go Port pass (left) and inside the Go Port bus I took (right).Amanda Krause/Insider

The $30 Go Port ticket was entirely worth the price, in my opinion. Port Canaveral is located approximately 45 miles away from Orlando International Airport — where Go Port picks up and drops off travelers — and with traffic, it can take nearly an hour to drive there.

The bus ride was much cheaper than an Uber or Lyft would have been, and the driver knew exactly where to drop us off for our specific cruise.

The three-day Disney Wish trip that I booked with my sister cost just over $2,700.

The Disney Wish cruise ship docked on Disney's private island Castaway Cay.
An exterior view of the new Disney Wish cruise ship.Amanda Krause/Insider

I opted for the cheapest lodging on the ship: an inside stateroom with no window that measured approximately 169 square feet. I loved the tiny space, and thought it was pretty luxurious for being so small.

Of course, the high price tag of the vacation didn't only cover the room. Our trip also included unlimited meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream, and all-day room service — and basic beverages including soda, water, coffee, and tea.

The fee also includes onboard activities and entertainment. On the Wish ship, there are multiple pools, movie showings, interactive games, musical performances, character meet-and-greets, a gym, a recreation center, and Broadway-level theater productions each night, among other amenities.

Though breakfast, lunch, and dinner were included in our cruise, I spent $37 on extra snacks while onboard.

A popcorn tub (left) and desserts on the Disney Wish cruise (right).
I thought most of the extra snacks on the cruise ship were reasonably priced.Amanda Krause/Insider

Most of the extra snacks available for purchase onboard were reasonably priced, in my opinion. My sister and I enjoyed ice cream, macarons, and even beignets at a "Princess and the Frog"-themed bar.

The only snack we found overpriced was the popcorn. We bought a $4 bucket each night ahead of the daily musical production, and it was clearly a favorite with other passengers too. Because popcorn is such a simple and inexpensive snack, we thought it should have been included in the cruise fare.

Here's a breakdown of what I spent:

  • Popcorn: $4.13

  • Cone of gelato: $4.75

  • Cup of gelato: $3.75

  • Popcorn: $4.13

  • Minnie Mouse cupcake: $4.50

  • Rose macaron: $2.50

  • Lemon macaron: $2.50

  • Carrot cake brownie: $4.50

  • Popcorn: $4.13

  • Two beignets: $2.50

Total: $37.39

I also bought nearly $80 worth of drinks throughout the trip.

Two different drinks onboard the Disney Wish cruise.
The most expensive drink I purchased was $16 — and it was the best one I had.Amanda Krause/Insider

My sister and I aren't big drinkers, so we didn't expect to spend a ton on alcohol. But to our surprise, there were a lot of specialty cocktails — and two non-alcoholic drinks — we wanted to try.

Disney only offers wine and beer packages on its cruises, so we needed to pay out of pocket for the mixed drinks we wanted. And because it was my sister's birthday, I decided to pay for both of ours throughout the trip.

Here's what I spent:

  • Glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio Trentino: $11

  • Skall Sangria (Lineman's Framboise, Twisted Tentacle Ale, and Lillet Rose): $10.00

  • Blue Hawaiian (SelvaRey White, Pineapple, and Coconut): $10

  • La Piña (Cîroc Pineapple and Coconut): $10

  • Frozen Fractal (Cîroc, Peach, Moët, and Chandon Ice): $16

  • Butterfly (Bombay Sapphire, Butterfly Pea Tea, and Citrus): $13

  • Ink and Paint (Fresh Lemonade, Butterfly Pea Tea, and Strawberry): $5.50

  • Small latte: $4

Total: $79.50

When we stopped at Disney's private island Castaway Cay in the Bahamas, my sister and I splurged on some outdoor activities.

Reporter Amanda Krause rides a bike on Disney's private island in the Bahamas.
I loved the bike paths at Castaway Cay, and thought the $13 rental was well worth it.Amanda Krause/Insider

Personally, I would have loved to lounge on the adults-only beach all day. The water was warm, the sun was strong, and stingrays swam around your feet.

My sister, on the other hand, was determined to have a more active day. As a result of her persistence, I spent $13 on a bike rental and $34 to rent snorkeling equipment.

It was exhausting in my experience, but well worth the $47.

I went a bit overboard (no pun intended) when buying souvenirs — spending more than $204.

Inside a gift shop aboard the Disney Wish cruise ship.
The gift shop had everything, from children's toys to Christmas ornaments.Amanda Krause/Insider

There was so much to experience on the ship that I waited until the last full day of our cruise to start shopping. I bought a couple of postcards for myself at Castaway Cay, and also picked up some gifts for my family. My total there was $49.96.

It was the ship's gift shop, however, where I spent the most money. I wanted to commemorate my first cruise, so I left with a $75 spirit-jersey shirt, $45 Minnie Mouse ears, a couple of postcards, a $10 Captain Minnie pin, and a $12 Mickey Mouse magnet. My total was a whopping $154.41.

As I expected, Disney's cruise souvenirs are just as expensive as the ones at the theme park.

Finally, it was time to get off the cruise ship and head back to the Orlando airport.

Reporter Amanda Krause at the Orlando Airport after taking a Go Port shuttle.
My carry-on bag had both Disney and Go Port luggage tags by the end of my trip.Amanda Krause/Insider

I used the same Go Port shuttle service, and spent another $30 on my ride.

Between food, souvenirs, travel, and the cruise itself, I spent $3,870.21.

Reporter Amanda Krause on the Disney Wish cruise ship.
I loved my cruise, but I'd rather spend my money on time at a Disney theme park.Amanda Krause/Insider

Both my sister and I agreed that we had a great time on our Disney cruise. Everything from our stateroom to our meals exceeded our expectations.

But nearly $4,000 is far more than I can regularly afford to spend on a Disney vacation as one person. I can't imagine funding a family of four, six, or more on the same trip.

So personally, if I were to save even a quarter of that total, I'd rather put it towards a trip to Disney World or Disneyland. My sister said she felt the same way.

But if cruising is for you, or you want to take your first vacation with Disney at sea, expect your trip to take a significant bite from your wallet.

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