Disney Cruise Photo Package


A Disney Cruise can be a dream vacation for your family and it’s only natural that you’ll want to know how to preserve all the magical memories you’ll create together.

This comprehensive guide on the Disney Cruise Photo Package should give you a good idea of whether the Disney Cruise pictures offered onboard by the Disney professional photographers, specifically through Disney Cruise Shutters, the photography shop on the ship, are the best option for you. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your family picture on dress-up night

What This Guide Covers

You can read all about the Disney Cruise Photo Package here (highly recommended) or use the navigation links here to skip to the information that is most valuable to you.

What is the Photo Package like on Disney Cruise Line?

Just like in the Disney parks, Disney Cruise Line has photography packages that you can purchase to remember your once-in-a-lifetime vacation so those magical moments will never be forgotten. 

Disney’s onboard photography is run and managed by a third party company called The Image Group

Here’s the low-down on what kind of packages they offer…

Option 1: Digital 

These images are digital and will be uploaded to a USB and given to you on disembarkation day (the day you leave). You can purchase packages of 10, 20 or ALL of them if you’d like. 

If you purchase a digital package onboard, you have the choice to either:

  1. Receive a USB drive with all your photos on it, or
  2. Download your digital photos directly to your personal device while onboard or when you get home. They call this the onboard download package. Just go to Shutters, the onboard photography shop, purchase an “onboard download package” and they will provide with instructions and your personal code to access your photos. DCL permits you to use their wi-fi for free to download these while onboard. (Note, this option is not available for pre-purchase. See pre-purchase options below.)

Buying in digital form sure makes it easy to post on social media if that’s your thang. “Hey, look Ma! We’re on a Disney Cruise!”

Option 2: Prints

These are printed photos that you pick up at the end of your cruise and take home with you. Great for those who like to scrapbook, or display in a photo book or even to frame and put on your wall. 

Option 3: Photobook

This is a hardcover, bound photobook that you get to create onboard with up to 34 of your favorite DCL photos. What a great keepsake! 

This is perfect if you like to scrapbook but know you will never have time to do it. Why not let someone else do the work for you? 

Your photobook will be delivered directly to your home 4-6 weeks after your cruise. It’s $10 to ship to the United States and $15 to all other countries which will be added to your onboard account before you disembark. 

TIP
Make sure you create and finalize your photobook the night before disembarkation. If it is not finalized before you leave the ship, your order will be cancelled.

Option 4: Individual Photos

Onboard you can order individual prints. $20.95 for an 8 x 10 or $14.95 for a 6 x 8

How does the Photo Package work? 

Step 1: 

Whenever you see a photographer, get your photo taken!  The photographer will ask for your Key to the World card, and if you don’t have it, your stateroom number. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your family picture on dress-up night

Step 2: 

Then later head to Shutters on Deck 4 to view your photos. Just swipe your Key To The World card at one of the kiosks and your photos will be displayed. Images are not posted instantaneous so don’t expect to see your photos immediately after they’ve been taken. I usually like to check out my photos from that day after dinner or the nightly show. Go ahead, pick out your favorites!

Step 3: 

If you didn’t pre-purchase a photo package before you left home, you can still do so on the ship. Just purchase any photos (or package) you would like at the Shutters desk.

Step 4: 

Pick up your prints or USB at Shutters before you leave the ship. This can be done the night before disembarkation or on disembarkation day. Check Shutters hours on the Navigation app so you know when they are open.

How much does the Photo Package Cost?

Visit Our Cruise Photos for pricing and detailed information about Disney Cruise Line’s photography packages. Simply enter your ship name and sail date to find out more about packages available on your sailing. This is also where you go to pre-purchase your DCL photography packages if and when you are ready to do so. 

Here are some sample pre-purchase prices for different length sailings. Onboard pricing will vary slightly. 

3 Night Cruise

  • 10 digital photos on a USB drive $149.95
  • All digital photos on a USB drive: $194.95 (15% more onboard)
  • 10 prints: $149.95
  • All prints: $194.95
  • All digital + all print images: $269.95 
  • Photobook with 34 photos: $139.95 pre-purchase | $149.95 onboard

4 Night Cruise

  • 10 digital photos on a USB drive $149.95
  • All digital photos on a USB drive: $194.95 (15% more onboard)
  • 10 prints: $149.95
  • Photobook with 34 photos: $139.95 pre-purchase | $149.95 onboard

5 Night Cruise

  • 10 digital photos on a USB drive $149.95
  • All digital photos on a USB drive: $211.95 (15% more onboard)
  • 10 prints: $149.95
  • Photobook with 34 photos: $139.95 pre-purchase | $149.95 onboard

7 Night Cruise

  • 10 digital photos on a USB drive $149.95
  • 20 digital photos on a USB drive $249.95
  • All digital photos on a USB drive: $295.95 (15% more onboard)
  • 10 prints: $149.95
  • 10 prints: $249.95
  • Photobook with 34 photos: $139.95 pre-purchase | $149.95 onboard

14 Night Cruise

  • 10 digital photos on a USB drive $149.95
  • 20 digital photos on a USB drive $249.95
  • All digital photos on a USB drive: $339.95 (15% more onboard)
  • 10 prints: $149.95
  • 10 prints: $249.95
TIP
You may make as many copies/prints of your digital photos as you like once you get home.  It is suggested to print off the copyright release form in case the photo retailer asks for it when making reproductions.

Should I pre-purchase? Will it save me Money?

That depends. 

The only packages that will save you money if you purchase before you sail are the ALL digital on a USB package and the photobook. All the other packages are the same price onboard. 

Pre-purchasing at least 48 hours prior to your sail date will save 15% on the ALL digital package and $10 on the photobook. Just so you know, they do have additional options on the ship like the option to buy an individual 8 x 10 print for $20.95.

I personally would only pre-purchase a package if it were going to save me money or unless I just didn’t want to deal with doing it on the ship. 

If you are on the fence about whether or not to buy, why not pre-purchase the ALL digital package, take lots of photos while on the ship and if for some reason you don’t like them or think that it’s not worth it, ask for a refund. 

Refunds of Pre-Purchased Photo Packages

Refunds are available on pre-purchased packages; just make sure to request your refund before the deadline. The refund deadline varies by cruise so make sure to ask a photo team member onboard.  

Downgrade Pre-Purchased Photo Packages

Also, if you purchase a larger package and change your mind and want something smaller, you can downgrade your package and get a refund for the difference before the refund deadline.

Upgrade Pre-Purchased Photo Packages

The same goes for upgrading a package. If you find you are taking more photos than anticipated and love them all, you can easily upgrade your package onboard by speaking with a member of the photo team. 

TIP
Shutters cannot do purchases or refunds while in port. This can only be done while in international waters. This includes disembarkation morning so do not wait until the last day when you’re getting off the boat to ask for a refund or to make a purchase. 

Where will I find Photographers taking Photos?  

Disney Cruise photographers can be found all around the ship, and even before you set sail. Once at the cruise terminal, you will see characters and professional photographers even before you step onto the ship. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your family picture before you board

You will also see them:

  • at onboard deck parties
  • roaming from table to table in the main dining rooms at dinner
  • in the atrium before and after dinner taking photos with backdrops
  • right outside the ship at each port stop
  • at Castaway Cay roaming the island
  • and of course at the Character Meet and Greets 

How do I view my Photos that the Disney Cruise Line Photographers take? 

To view your photos, head to Shutters on Deck 4. Swipe your Key To The World card at one of the kiosks and your photos will be displayed. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Check out your photos during your sailing

Photos are not posted instantaneously and may take several hours to show up in your account. It’s a fun activity to check out our photos from that day after dinner or the nightly show. Go ahead, pick out your favorites!

TIP
They have a facial recognition system so your photo will automatically show up in your account – at least it should. Sometimes they miss one or two so it’s not foolproof. If you know you are missing a certain photo, just tell a staff member at Shutters and they can help you find it.

If you want to make sure that doesn’t happen, you can always hand the photographer your Key To The World card or give them your stateroom number each time you get your photo taken and that will make sure your photo is posted to your account. 

Wait, there’s more! (Uh, this is starting to sound like an infomercial) 

If you purchase a digital package onboard, you have the option to choose the onboard download package instead of USB. This lets you access your photos via your phone, tablet or computer for free. Just ask a Shutters staff member for your access code and follow the instructions. The downside? You can only download one at a time which can take a while. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - how to download your photos

Will the Disney Cruise Line Photographers take Pictures with my Camera?

They sure will! All you have to do is ASK.

Just ask the DCL photographers to snap a shot with your personal camera and they will gladly do so after they have taken a few with their fancy camera first. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your family picture on dress-up night

The only exception to this is on Formal Night. On Formal Night they will not take a photo of you with your camera. Instead, make friends with the people in front or behind you and ask if they could do the honors and you could do the same for them. 

Do I have to buy the Photo Package to get pictures with the Characters?

Absolutely not. Even without purchasing a photo package you can most definitely take photos with Mickey, Minnie, Donald or any other characters. 

You can take some with your own camera as I mentioned above by just asking a photographer to snap a shot with your personal camera or heck you can take them yourself too. Just know, the Disney Cruise photographer will capture some shots with their camera too because well, that’s their job. Don’t worry, you are not obligated to purchase any photos they take of you. 

Remember, it costs you nothing for them to take your photo. 

The rules are exactly the same for Star Wars Cruise and Marvel Cruise.

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your picture with Disney characters

They will be happy to take as many photos as you would like with their camera even if you have not purchased a photo package. They are banking on you seeing their professional photos, falling in love and wanting to purchase them. That’s how they make their money. 

And it works pretty well! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a Disney cruise and told myself I wasn’t going to buy any cruise photos and then ended up buying some after I saw how awesome Minnie and I looked together 🙂  

I have more than one Stateroom, how should I do the Photo Package?

If your group has more than one stateroom, please read this carefully. 

Shutters will only link multiple staterooms under one account if the guests of the second stateroom are the children (under 21 years old) of the purchasing stateroom. 

This works out perfectly for my family since we usually get two rooms for our family of 5. If this is the case for you too, visit the Photo Gallery when you arrive onboard and speak to a photographer and they can link your kids stateroom to your photo package without having to pay for a second package. 

Now just because Aunt Pam and cousin Steve are not in your stateroom doesn’t mean they won’t be included in any of the photos.  Members of your group can still be included as long as a member of the purchasing stateroom is in the photo! 

Note: the exception to this is a special event like a wedding or a Quinceanera or a large party of 20 or more – that’s not included.  

If you want to receive every photo of every person in your party you will need to purchase one package per stateroom.

If your group is in more than one stateroom but only one stateroom purchases a photo package, any photos that include anyone in that stateroom will be included in your photo package. 

Take careful note of which cabin you attach the photo package.  

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Breakdown of multiple cabin packages

Scenario 1

Cabin 1 purchases a photo package but not Cabin 2  

Included: 

  • A photo of Mom and Dad with their kiddos Sam and Kate
  • A photo of Sam and Kate with Mickey Mouse
  • A photo of Mom and Dad
  • A photo of Sam and Kate with Grandma and Grandpa 
  • A photo of Mom and Dad with Grandma and Grandpa

Not Included:

  • A photo of just Grandma and/or Grandpa

*In other words, someone from Cabin 1 must be in the photo for Grandma and Grandpa to be included

Scenario 2

Cabin 2 purchases a photo package but not Cabin 1

Included: 

  • A photo of Grandma and Grandpa
  • A photo of Grandma and Grandpa with Sam and Kate
  • A photo of Grandma and Grandpa with Mom and Dad

Not Included: 

  • A photo of Mom and Dad with their kiddos Sam and Kate
  • A photo of Sam and Kate with Mickey Mouse
  • A photo of Mom and Dad

*In other words, Grandma or Grandpa must be in the photo to be included.

THE BOTTOM LINE?

The bottom line is you want at least one person from the paid package stateroom to be in the photo for it to be included in your package. To be safe, you probably want the photo package to be attached to the stateroom with the kids (that is, if you brought them;).

Can I get Private Photo Session with a Disney Cruise Photographer? How much does it Cost? 

If you are interested in a private photo session while on your Disney Cruise, Shutters offers that in their onboard portrait studio. 

Prices start at $550 per session. Private photo sessions are separate from the regular photo packages discussed above. 

You should know…

  • Private sessions are 30 minutes
  • A maximum of 12 guests at one time
  • Recommend groups of 6 or more to book 2 sessions
  • Portraits are shot in a black and white format
  • Only available on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Fantasy and not on the Disney Dream
  • They have three options: Digital (up to 100 images on USB), prints (on canvas, acrylic and aluminum) and premium albums
  • You can reserve an appointment during your online check in process under “My Cruise Activities” 
  • Digital collections are delivered to your stateroom while the prints and albums will be shipped to your home within 4-6 weeks 

How do I pick up my Prints and/or USB? 

If you purchased a package, you will need to pick up your prints or USB on disembarkation day. Check the Navigator app for debarkation day hours and arrive early! 

TIP
Arrive early to avoid the long lines.
EVEN BETTER TIP
Pick up your photos the night before. It will be less busy than on disembarkation morning. The photography crew are not out and about taking photos after dinner on the last night so you don’t have to worry about missing any photos.
Disney Cruise Photo Package - Download your photos while onboard

If you are buying prints a la carte, you can do so at Shutters on any day of your cruise when they are open except on the last day.  

EVEN BETTER TIP
Do not wait until disembarkation day to make any photography purchases. Shutters will be open for pick-ups but they cannot do purchases or refunds while in port. This can only be done while in international waters.

Can I order Pictures after leaving the Ship?

You will have to decide on your photography purchases before leaving because there is no option to purchase pictures once you leave the ship… or so they say. You can contact their customer support and see if they can find your photos. They don’t guarantee it but it’s worth a shot. The sooner you contact them the better. I’ve heard that after 30 days the photos are deleted. 

Would I recommend purchasing a Disney Cruise Photo Package? 

My personal opinion is mixed

I know plenty of people that love the onboard photography and some who do not. I am somewhere in the middle. I do purchase packages on occasion but honestly not that often. 

Disney Cruise Photo Package - Photographers will take your family picture on dress-up night

I would probably suggest to do it if it’s your first Disney Cruise. If it’s your second, third or fourth, I’d probably skip it. Of course, everyone has their own opinion so if you wanna do it – do it!  

Here are some of the pros and cons as I see it.

PROS

*I don’t have to carry my DSLR around with me

*The quality of the photos is better than what I can get from my phone

*I don’t have to fuss with taking the photograph

*The whole family can get in the picture

*Great keepsake

CONS

*The price. It’s kinda pricey.

*They put borders or templates on the photos that cannot be removed (see images above for examples) 

*No magic shots like in the Disney Parks (photos taken by cast members where beloved Disney characters magically make an appearance)

If you have any more questions, call The Image Group at 850.250.3423. They are open Monday – Friday from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

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