I Saved $1,000 on Cruise by Not Picking a Room, Worth It + Photos

I sailed on the Disney Dream in October 2022, and it was the best trip I’ve taken this year.

disney dream ship docked in water


The Disney Dream departed for a five-day voyage from Miami, Florida.

Megan duBois


I love setting sail, especially when it’s on a Disney cruise with my family members, who are just as Disney-obsessed as I am.

In October 2022, the three of us took a trip on the Disney Dream, the only ship in the entire Disney fleet that we hadn’t sailed on before.

Our five-night, Halloween-themed voyage departed from Miami, Florida, and coincided with the actual spooky holiday.

The journey was exciting, with all of the Disney characters dressed in Halloween costumes, and also very relaxing since I bought passes to the spa’s Rainforest Room.

I saved over $1,000 by letting Disney pick our stateroom’s location on the ship.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah view from inside


Our stateroom felt spacious, even with three adults staying inside.

Megan duBois


When I booked the cruise in June 2022, I noticed during checkout that I could get a major discount if I allowed Disney Cruise Line to pick my family’s room location instead of selecting it myself.

Before I signed up for the discount, I made sure my parents were OK with it since we were traveling together. The three of us had been on five other Disney cruises together before, so we knew that no room was really a bad room.

During the checkout process, I selected an option that let Disney pick our room assignment while still guaranteeing that we’d get a stateroom with a verandah. Then, I paid for the room.

Letting Disney choose our stateroom saved me $1,180 on our trip. That’s enough money for another voyage on a different cruise line, like Carnival Cruise Line or even Royal Caribbean Group, depending on the trip dates, room type, and cruise length.

Disney didn’t send us our stateroom assignment until a few days before we departed for the cruise.

megan dubois posing with goofy character on disney dream


Many of the characters on the Disney Dream were in Halloween costumes.

Megan duBois


After watching the little countdown calendar on the Disney Cruise Line app for months, I opened it about three days before our trip to find that the cruise line had finally assigned us a stateroom on Deck 10.

Once I had that information, I went to the Disney Cruise website to look at deck plans so I’d know where we’d be located on the ship.

On the Disney Dream, Deck 10 is just below the pool deck, main buffet, and spa. From what I could tell before getting on the ship, it was the perfect location.

We got lucky this time around, but if you’re planning on using the discount, you definitely have to be prepared to stay in any area of the ship.

After getting to the Disney Dream, I was excited to finally see our room and evaluate whether our savings were worth it.

disney dream pool deck


Even though we were only one floor below the deck, we didn’t hear a lot of noise.

Megan duBois


Our stateroom wasn’t ready for a few hours after we got on the ship since we were one of the first families onboard. However, rooms generally aren’t ready until around 1:00 p.m.

So, we ate lunch and explored the ship while we waited.

When it was finally time to find our room, we learned that it was close to the midship elevators. Luckily, we never heard any noise from the elevator or other passengers, which was a major plus.

Our stateroom number was 10560, and it had plenty of room for all three of us.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah room number outside of door


Our room ended up being in a prime location on the ship.

Megan duBois


I used the room key to open the door and was pleased to find a spacious room that measured 246 square feet, including the verandah.

Disney Cruise Line had left some gifts inside, like a backpack and lanyards, thanks to our Gold-level Castaway Club membership, which is Disney Cruise Line’s loyalty program.

To turn the lights on in our room, we had to put a room key card in the slot next to the door.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah key card in slot


Rooms on other Disney ships have this feature as well.

Megan duBois


I knew about this feature from sailing on the Disney Wish over the summer, so I brought an old gift card and used it in the slot instead of our room key.

The first area inside the room was a closet, which had two sliding doors and plenty of hangers for my family’s clothes.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah CLOSET


Our closet had hangers and shelves inside.

Megan duBois


The closet also had a safe, three robes, and three sets of slippers. I also stored my jackets there.

The one downfall to the closet was that it didn’t have any lighting on the inside, so it was hard to see in there even when the stateroom’s lights were on.

Next to the closet, there was a small set of drawers and a set of shelves.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom with a verandah interior


The inside of our stateroom had plenty of storage spaces and small nooks where we could put our belongings.

Megan duBois


The set of shelves and set of drawers were far from massive, but they did provide useful storage space.

I loved the room’s split-bathroom concept, which made it possible for multiple people to get ready at once.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah bathroom


We didn’t have to feel rushed in the bathroom thanks to the layout.

Megan duBois


One of the things I loved the most about our stateroom was the bathroom layout.

There was a sink and a toilet behind one bathroom door, and a tub with a shower head and a sink behind the other.

This design made it very easy for all three of us to get ready in the morning or at night before dinner.

Even though the bathtub was small, it was a nice surprise to see one as many cruise rooms only have stand-up showers.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah bathtub


Most cruises I’ve been on don’t have tubs, so this feature was a unique bonus.

Megan duBois


I can imagine the bathtub being very helpful for families with younger children.

Our bathroom had H2O+ products, the same brand that Disney parks use. The company has said that it’s discontinuing the brand, but Disney hasn’t announced which brand will replace these in-room amenities.

My parents slept in the main bedroom area.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah bed


My parents took the queen-sized bed.

Megan duBois


The main bedroom area had a queen-sized bed with soft pillows and a cozy comforter.

At the end of the bed, there was a nautical, blue-and-gray blanket with the Disney Cruise Line logo, anchors, and stars.

Two small tables with drawers for small things, like phone chargers, were on either side of the bed, along with a set of charging ports.

On the opposite wall, there was a large vanity with drawers on one side and a mini fridge tucked away on the other.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah desk


The stateroom had a vanity area with various compartments.

Megan duBois


A small set of open shelves and a set of closed ones were on top of the vanity, offering more storage space. And the large mirror in the center of the vanity was very helpful when both bathrooms were full and one of us needed to check our outfit or makeup.

Underneath the shelves, there was a 22-inch TV on a swivel that allowed it to turn toward either the couch or the bed.

Because my parents always watch TV in bed before going to sleep, I drew the dividing curtain at night. That way, my side of the room was dark, and they could still watch a few more shows.

The private verandah was one of our favorite places to hang out.

disney dream deluxe ocean-view stateroom verandah


The verandah had a small table and two chairs, giving my family plenty of space to sit outside.

Megan duBois


I was usually the first person in my family to get up every morning. I’d step outside to our verandah, sit with a cup of coffee, and take in the beautiful ocean views.

The verandah had two patio-style chairs and a small table, which was plenty of furniture since all three of us rarely sat outside at the same time.

If your party is staying in two connecting rooms, your stateroom host can open the partitions between verandahs. You just need to ask.

The only bad thing about the verandah was that the door needed to be closed and locked for the in-room air conditioning to work. We forgot to lock our door on the first day and returned to a very warm room after dinner.

After our voyage, my parents and I decided that we’d let Disney pick our stateroom’s location again.

duBois family posing on disney dream with mickey mouse


My parents and I are thrilled that we saved over $1,000 on our cruise and will definitely let Disney choose our location again.

Megan duBois


Our room became an oasis from the hustle and bustle on the pool decks, and we loved that it was just one floor below the action. Because of the close proximity, we always took the stairs and never had to wait for an elevator.

We loved the split-bathroom concept and wished more cruise lines used a similar layout on new ships. We also thought the room was well-designed for families, with plenty of storage space and fun Disney touches.

Between saving $1,180 and getting a great stateroom location on the Disney Dream, my family and I decided we would let Disney pick our stateroom again on any future Disney Cruise Line vacations. The money we saved definitely felt worth the risk.

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