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DVC Member Cruise vs. Member Exclusive Sailings: What Are the Differences?

It’s easy to get confused between the two types of cruises Disney Vacation Club now has for members. The DVC Member Cruise and the Member Exclusive Sailings are actually very different from each other. We thought it would be helpful to outline the differences so that next time you’re in the market for a special DVC cruise on the high seas, you are well-equipped to decide what’s best for you and your travel party.

DVC Member Cruises

We’ll start with the original DVC special cruise, the DVC Member Cruise. Here are the specifics you need to know regarding the DVC Member Cruise:

  • This cruise happens once a year and the ship and itinerary change from year to year. For example, last year, this was a 7-night cruise to Alaska on the Wonder. This year, it was a 4-night Bahamas sailing on the Wish. Next year, it is 7-night Mediterranean Cruise on the Dream. As you can see, the cruise varies a lot each year.
  • You must be eligible for DVC extras in order to book a DVC Member Cruise.
  • Eligible members can book with cash or points. You can also use a combination as long as points are used for a full person. For the best value, we always recommend booking with cash.
  • Members must call DVC directly to book. Unfortunately, because this is a chartered cruise, a travel agent can’t be used.
  • The member cruise includes special gifts/swag, special events, celebrity appearances, and more. It is even more special than a typical Disney cruise.

DVC Member Exclusive “First Wave” Sailings

Now, let’s break down what these member-exclusive sailings are.

  • Originally referred to as a Member Voyage, they seem to have finally coined these cruises Disney Vacation Club “First Wave” Member Experiences. We think the “First Wave” term will probably stick around since it makes the most sense.
  • These are special sailings on new ships or to new locations. For a new ship, it’s usually the second or third cruise after the inaugural sailing. For example, the special sailing on the Wish for DVC members was the second sailing for that ship in 2022. The Treasure will have the same type of sailing in 2025 on its third official voyage. There will also be a special sailing for DVC members to Lighthouse Point in 2024.
  • You must be eligible for DVC extras to book one of these sailings.
  • Just like with the DVC Member Cruises, Members must call DVC directly to book. Unfortunately, because this is a chartered cruise, a travel agent can’t be used.
  • Unlike the DVC Member Cruise, it is required that at least one guest per stateroom use points for these cruises.
  • Also unlike the DVC Member Cruises, these sailings do not include special activities and entertainment or gifts. They are more like normal DCL cruises. What makes them special is that members are some of the first to experience a new ship or location.
Disney Wish Grand Hall

Let us know your thoughts. Would you rather partake in a First Wave Member Sailing to be the first on a new ship, or are you more interested in the gifts and entertainment offerings of a DVC Member Cruise?

Stay tuned to DVCFan.com for news and information on all things DVC, and join in the conversation in the DVC Fan Facebook Group!

Amy Krieger

Amy loves Disney theme parks, resorts, and the beloved films. She and her husband, Paul, are originally from West Virginia (near Pittsburgh, PA). They now live in Central Florida with their fur kids, Odie the greyhound and Hermes the Spanish galgo. As DVC members and WDW Annual Passholders, they visit Disney properties as often as possible. Amy is the Manager of Loan Origination for Monera Financial, a World of DVC company, where she helps buyers finance DVC contracts. Amy and Paul own DVC at some of their favorite resorts: BoardWalk, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom, Polynesian, and Grand Californian. Another passion for them is cruising. They love both Disney and Royal Caribbean cruises. It's a great way to travel and see parts of the world.

One thought on “DVC Member Cruise vs. Member Exclusive Sailings: What Are the Differences?

  • Several years back, we did Alaska Member cruise, it was R/T vs 1 way, tons of gifts, there were 2 of us, so 2 of everything, people were buying extra suitcases, we had packed extra space. Extra First Run entertainment. Extra fancy meals. I would say try it at least once, was a few more points but worth it if you like the itinerary and catch one.

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