Pixie Dust and Stateroom Upgrades | Disney Cruise Line 101

Who wouldn’t love an upgrade? Moving from an interior stateroom to a verandah or from a verandah to a concierge suite doesn’t have to be only a Dream.

Pixie Dust Upgrade
Live the dream.
Upgrading is easier than you think!

The question, of course, is when and how exactly to score an upgrade.
Before the Sail Date
There are two ways to score an upgrade in advance of packing your bags.

1.) Pixie Dust!
Imagine logging in to your reservation one day and the stateroom number doesn’t match your memories. You go to look up if they’ve moved you down the hall to an identical porthole room. No, the room is up a deck and seems to be a verandah stateroom.
That can’t be right.
That’s not what you paid for so you call up Disney Cruise Line only to find out “Surprise!” they’ve sprinkled pixie dust on your stateroom and you will be enjoying ocean breezes from the privacy of your very own verandah at no additional cost. More often you will shift staterooms to one within a similar size and category.
On our “second honeymoon” cruise, our standard inside stateroom became a deluxe interior stateroom and we gained a split bath and some extra square footage. They sometimes shift rooms up by a category or even just down the hall to allow for maintenance to be performed on the ship. Any reason for an upgrade is good by me!

2.) Pay for an upgrade.
Although not as thrilling as pixie dust upgrades, most itineraries offer many opportunities to upgrade any time from when you book your cruise until a few days before sailing.
Either contact Disney Cruise Line directly by calling (800) 951-3532 (or your travel agent if you’re using one) and ask about available upgrades or log-in to your reservation. Under your reservation summary you can modify your room selection and upgrade to your hearts content (or downgrade if that’s your cup of tea.)

The modification page lets you view available staterooms, categories and price points.

See the porthole on the right?
By modifying my reservation, we snagged a Secret Porthole Room* when it came available.
Secret Porthole Room (SPH) are a few of the staterooms on deck five of the classic ships that have obstructed porthole views and are priced as interior staterooms but with the benefit of a porthole. These six rooms, 5020, 5022, 5024, 5520, 5522 and 5524, are listed mixed in with the other 10A staterooms under interior staterooms.

If you do upgrade, the increase in the deposit will be due on confirming the upgrade.

Embarkation Day
1.) Pay for an upgrade.
After you check in at the desk in the cruise terminal, ask if any upgrades are available. They’ll send you down to the supervisor desk at the end of the counter.
They don’t allow many upgrades per cruise even if it’s not particularly full so getting to port early is a must. (Making sure to be on the very first bus from the airport helps.) They may only let one or two staterooms upgrade and then close the desk.
They often quote a considerably lower price to upgrade at port than they do ahead of time.

Boarding Day
Ahead of time, the Walt Disney Suite runs around $25,000 for the week.
On the day of the cruise, the upgrade cost checked in at $3,000, putting it in reach for our very own Fantasy vacation!

If you agree to the price, they will ask if you’d like to charge it to the card linked to you account and you’ll settle that out then they will change your room keys out for new ones coded to your new stateroom.
Keep in mind, over our last five years of cruising the supervisor desk allowed us to upgrade exactly once. Every other time we arrived right at the port arrival starting time and discovered that it already had closed and in one case that the supervisor’s computer was down, so there is a certain element of luck.

2.) Pixie Dust!
In the hubbub of receiving your key to the world card, boarding and taking in the ship, you fail to notice that you’ve been assigned a different stateroom number than you’d booked. (The agent checking you in at the terminal may also let you know you’ve been upgraded.)
You go to the room listed on your key cards to quickly drop off your carry-ons before hitting the pool when suddenly you realize your room has natural lighting and a verandah.
Is this a mistake?
Nope, just good old fashioned pixie dust.

Never tell me the odds!
What’s the likelihood of a pixie dust upgrade?
Before embarkation, these upgrades are rare but hardly unheard of, but once you’re to the day of the cruise, it’s about as common as running into real pixie dust. I’ve heard it reported a handful of times, almost always told at the check-in counter. I’ve heard one account of finding out by opening a stateroom door.

Isn’t there any way to stack the odds in my favor?
You may be surprised to find out that noting that it is your birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or even holding a wedding onboard won’t guaranty a pixie-dusting. First time cruiser or longtime Castaway Club member, family of four or solo sailor, celebrating a milestone anniversary or just celebrating vacation time? Your odds seem to be pretty even. I’ve even heard of accounts of only one of a pair of connecting staterooms getting upgraded or both getting upgraded together.
Pixies are terribly unpredictable, aren’t they?

Rule of thumb, never book a stateroom if you won’t find it magical for the length of your itinerary.

Do you upgrade or not?

One Reply to “Pixie Dust and Stateroom Upgrades | Disney Cruise Line 101”

  1. We are hoping for pixie dust of an upgrade on our cruise next week! I doubt it will happen but one can dream! I have to say we have connecting rooms and I would be a little devastated if only one got upgraded because we kind of have a plan for everything and have been trying to explain it to Kate who needs schedules and to be aware of what is going on. We've talked to her about the possibility of the room being different but I guess I never thought of only one room being upgraded

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