Save 10% off a Disney Cruise by Booking a Placeholder

Updated January 21, 2024

What is a placeholder?

A placeholder is a special onboard discount offer on a future Disney cruise. You pay $250 to get a placeholder; the $250 goes towards the cost of the future cruise.

The Fine Details for a Disney Cruise Future Cruise Placeholder
The Fine Details for a Disney Cruise Future Cruise Placeholder

The Disney Cruise Line Onboard Booking Offer allows Guests to make a Placeholder Reservation for a future Disney cruise and enjoy 10% savings off prevailing rates as quoted on, plus enjoy a reduced deposit on sailings 7 nights and longer. The offer is valid for up to 2 staterooms on one sail date per household on board, regardless of the number of adults in the household. This offer is valid for Categories 4 to 11 only. The cruise must commence within 24 months after the Placeholder Reservation was booked, or the reservation will automatically cancel.

Why should I book a Placeholder?

To save 10% off the prevailing cruise rate of your future cruise. Also, for cruises 7+ nights, the deposit is 10% of the cruise fare. Cruises under 7 nights require a 20% deposit of the cruise fare.

A Placeholder Reservation is an open-ended reservation that allows Guests to select their future sail date at a later time. A $250 deposit must be paid while on board and is fully refundable if the reservation is cancelled. Once a sail date is selected, standard cancellation fees apply.

How do you book a placeholder?

As I mentioned, you can only book your placeholder while aboard a Disney cruise. There are now two ways to book: the DCL Navigator app or going to the Future Cruise Sails desk and picking up a form.

Twist n Spout Disney Wonder San Juan to New Orleans
Twist n Spout

Where do I go to book the placeholder?

Save 10% off a Disney Cruise by Booking a Placeholder
Save 10% off a Disney Cruise by Booking a Placeholder

Update March 2023. The Future Cruise desk is not regularly open since Covid. Book your placeholder on the app. Go to the Future Cruise desk, complete the form and drop it into the box located on the desk. I always take a picture of the form after I fill it out, just in case it gets misplaced at the Future Cruise desk. Choose the save 10% off your next cruise on the app. You will be taken to the payment page. If you want to use a different card than the one you have on file, you can.

How to Book a Disney Cruise Placeholder
How to Book a Disney Cruise Placeholder

Your placeholder will be pending until the payment has cleared through the system. I would recommend taking a screenshot of the page in case you have any problems and don’t receive a confirmation of your placeholder.

Future Disney Cruise Pending Placeholder
Future Disney Cruise Pending Placeholder

When can I use my placeholder?

You must use it within 24 months of booking. Disney is strict with the deadline. If the next cruise you want to book is a day after the placeholder expires, you will not be able to use it.

Pro tip: book it as late on the cruise as you can. Don’t wait too late, though. The 10% off future cruise link disappears at midnight of the last full day. I waited too long and had to go to the Guest Services desk to request a form.

10% savings applies only to sailings that commence within 24 months after the Placeholder Reservation is booked on board.

Who can book a placeholder?

Anyone over the age of 18 can book up to two staterooms on one sail date per household onboard.

Disney Magic at port in Sydney Nova Scotia
Disney Magic

What is the catch?

You can not use a placeholder on blackout dates or for concierge-level bookings. Also, you currently need to call Disney to apply the placeholder to your chosen cruise. Therefore, if you are booking on opening day, you could be on the phone, on hold for hours.

Blockout dates apply; please contact Disney Cruise Line or your travel agent for specific block out dates. Reservations for future cruises that fall on block out dates are not eligible for the 10% savings offer.

The offer cannot be combined with Florida Resident Rates, U.S. Military Rates or with any other special Rates.

Can I transfer it to my travel agent or Costco?

Yes, you have 30 days from purchasing the placeholder on the ship to transfer it to the TA of your choice if you did not name one when you purchased it.

What if I forget to book a placeholder?

I know this is the answer to question number nine, but recently Disney started a new offer for first-time cruisers. Once you disembark your first cruise, you can save up to $350 on your next one with the Castaway Club Welcome Offer. You can save up to $50 a night on the first 7 nights of your second cruise if you book it within 60 days of disembarking.

I hope that I answered many of the questions about placeholders for booking a future Disney cruise. Make sure you check my post about joining a fish extender exchange. Sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date with the latest Disney news and discounts. Check out some of our other tips and tricks for your next Disney Cruise.

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28 thoughts on “Placeholder: 8 Questions and Answers

  1. We last cruised in February 2020 before the COVID shutdown. We secured a placeholder while on board. Do you know if placeholder deadlines have been extended since cruising has not yet resumed?

    1. As far as I know, if you book a cruise with a placeholder before it expires you can use it to book a cruise up to Fall 2022. If you have not used your placeholder and the expiry date passes DCL will refund your money.

    2. In my Castaway Club account, my pre-COVID placeholder is listed as one of my cruises with a Jan 1, 2034 date in a GTY room.

  2. With the placeholder to I need to cruise within 24 months or do I need to book within 24 months?

  3. Hi, as a very lucky cruiser in the UK we did a 3 day cruise based in the UK, whilst onboard we booked a placeholder an received a confirmation email. I have just tried to use but was informed this couldn’t be used as the option was not taken? I booked the original through a T/A and they are confused also. Disney cruise not that helpful when called, any ideas what I can do? I have checked my credit card and they have not taken payment

  4. Hi – one additional point with the new way of booking On-Board Booking placeholders – if you use the app it will default to your credit card on file. We like to purchase ours with Disney Gift Cards (since we get those at a 5% discount from Target) and there’s no way to do that via the app. You have to go to Guest Services while on the cruise, tell them you want to purchase a placeholder with a Gift Card, and they will set up the order for Disney to follow up with you when you are back home to take the payment and give you your reservation number. It’s a very inefficient system – some folks have had to wait a considerable period of time before getting that call. I ended up calling DCL and getting it arranged when I returned home by calling them instead of waiting for them to call me. Just wanted to share my experience on this specific item. Thank you for all this wonderful info!

    1. You need to call DCL to apply the placeholder for your booking. The $250 you paid for the placeholder will go towards your deposit.

  5. Does the 10% discount apply to a cruise booked in the 24 months or is that only for booked cruises while on the current cruise ? Thanks, I can’t seem to figure that part out !

    1. I am not sure what you are asking? The 10% is for any regularly priced cruise fare. The cruise must begin within 24 months of when you booked the placeholder. If your cruise starts on the July 17, 2022 and you book the placeholder on July 21, 2022. You can get the discount on ant cruise that begins by July 21, 2024. It is always a good idea to book your placeholder near the end of your trip. I hope that answers your question 🙂

  6. Re: the Costco transfer: The 30-day countdown begins on THE DAY YOU PURCHASE THE PLACEHOLDER. You need to purchase a cruise AND transfer it to Costco within that window. If you buy the placeholder and then purchase a cruise with it more than a month later, you are SOL.

    My wife and I bought a placeholder onboard the Vancouver-Hawaii cruise last April, and then later that summer, used it to buy a Northern Europe cruise for this September. The next day I called Costco to transfer it, and they couldn’t do it because the purchase date of the cruise gets listed as the purchase date of the placeholder!

  7. One placeholder ($250) will give you a 10% discount on up to two rooms on a future cruise?
    Or is it purchase two placeholders ($500) for use on a 10% discount on two rooms on a future cruise?
    1 placeholder=1 discounted room or 1 placeholder=2 discounted rooms?
    Also, if two placeholders purchased they have to be used on SAME future cruise? I’m reading conflicting answers throughout various posts and not sure what is true/false

    1. You need 1 placeholder for 1 discounted room. If you purchase two placeholders on a cruise they must be used on the same cruise. I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Hi!
    My husband and I are taking our second Disney cruise in February (we got a placeholder last year). On this cruise, can we get placeholders for two cabins with one being for us and the other for my daughter and her family?

  9. If we use our placeholder for back to back shorter cruises do we get 10% discount on both cruises? Or would it just be on the first one?

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