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View Full Version : Disney Magic--Not very magical....


cruisingsoon
03-15-2006, 03:36 PM
We just got back from the Disney Magic Eastern Cruise. I have been on the Carnival Cruise line years ago and had remembered it very fondly. This cruise however was not at all as my Husband and I had hoped. We are frequent Disney World visitors and have always been blown away by our experiences there, so we were expecting the best--especially since the cost was over double the amount we ever spent staying at the Disney resorts (all expenses included).

Here goes, in no particular order.

We stayed in a category 4 suite, which had such terrible creeky noises all night long (almost every night of our cruise) that my 3 year old son woke up time and time again afraid of the "big noise". That was fun. It was a nice size though for a cruise, and our room host was AMAZING.

The food was average--at best, and that is being very generous. I was expecting much better food. The breakfast is horrible, imagine (old?) Krispy Kreme donuts everyday with all of the glaze sliding off, a selection of not good pastries AT ALL, powdered scramble eggs (yes you could have gotten an omlete but that is not the point), bacon cooked in a deep fryer, toast that was never even warm... Lunch was okay, dinner was not great again. There was no real taste to the food. It was like they were afraid to use seasonings and fresh herbs, etc. Very bland. Dessert was never outstanding. We missed Palo, but had no choice since we had no safe place for my son.

Which brings me to the children's club. I personally stayed with my son every day we went to the club since the program for the 3-4 year olds was poor. Often the 3-7 year olds were running (and I mean RUNNING) around in the same room often out of control--not great for a small 3 year old who still got hurt a couple of times with me watching out for him. The crafts are great if you have a pushy kid who will fight to get at the small table and get adequate supplies for himself (often with the bigger kids there too)--no one is really helping any of them. The play dough table is down right horrible--I saw kids getting shoved in order to steal a bit of play dough from them... Also, for the parents who think their kids of this age had such a great time there, I saw so many of them crying (and being ignored), getting shoved, looking like they were in shock, etc. for long periods of time. There was very VERY few happy little ones. If many of the parents had stayed behind to watch, they would never have felt comfortable to leave them. At least I would hope not. In "the closet" room at one point I counted 48 3-4 year olds, there were 2 councelors, one of which left the room constantly. The other one was over at a computer for almost 30 minutes. Kids were left to fend for themselves. On occassion they would do a group activity but to me it was too little. I would expect closer interaction, supervision for my 3 year old. I did hear that the kids programs for the 8+ group are wonderful.

We went to the shows at night which were nice, but actually I feel that the shows in the parks have better or at least as good of performers.

We went to the movie theater, nice, but the camp kids were all there taking up the last several rows of the theater and were very noisy.

The spa was okay, my husband and I used it, but were not wowed by it either. The gym was nice, although I think it is very bad that they were charging even more for spinning classes, etc. You would think + $9,000 for a week stay would include adequate resources for that. Very bad.

The excursions were wonderful though, no complaints at all.

The seas were rough for our trip and MANY MANY MANY people were sick on the boat. Some kid threw up in the pool and it was closed for the day. I saw 2 kids throwing up in trash cans, an adult throwing up over board, my husband spent a whole day crippled throwing up in the room. My son complained constantly of being "dizzy". I was sick too but fought through it. Even servers were sick and missed work. A lady I talked to on the bus said her 11 year old daughter spent most of the trip in bed sick. I know the seas are not Disney's fault, but it can happen.

I wish we had opted for a week long stay at the resorts instead. There was absolutely no comparison in our mind.

tlynk
03-15-2006, 04:13 PM
Wow- sorry to hear about your trip :guilty: . The last cruise I went on was for 4 nights on RCCI and I was so sea sick that I'm afraid to take a 7 night cruise. My family loves Disney World, but we are dreaming of taking a 3 night cruise (we had to cancel this years trip). I hope we won't be dissapointed if we go in 2007- DCL is too expensive to not have a fantastic experience!! Thank you for your trip report. :)

ricka47
03-15-2006, 04:15 PM
I'm sorry that you had such a rough trip. While we did not find our recent Magic cruise "magical" by any means, it was not as bad you faced. We found the food mostly tasteless as well compared to other lines. Although I had read that this was the case, I still hoped for something better.

We did enjoy the shows and found the crew to be among the friendliest that we have had on all of cruises. But, the price/value ratio doesn't work out in my mind although we are going again in September primarily because of the Florida resident discounts.

milestogo
03-15-2006, 04:38 PM
Wow, I'm shocked that you had such a bad experience. We have taken the cruise twice out of Los Angeles and have dozens of friends who have taken it 4-12 times and couldn't have had a more opposite experience from yours. I'm so sorry to hear that it was that poor. Every meal we had was spectacular (and we are cooks and big eaters.) Everyone at our table was begging for recipes and couldn't get enough of the varied lunches and fun breakfast and dessert bars. We went every day to the kids clubs and had quiet, organized well attended, fun atomospheres. Every element was so impressive far and above any other cruise line we'd ever been on. Gosh, I hope your next one is better.

JeannieH
03-15-2006, 04:51 PM
My recommendations:

Wear ear-plugs if the creaking noises keep you awake. Its the same on all cruise ships that use that good old-fashioned natural resource of wood.

Breakfast is perfectly adequate for every person aboard. Those of us who prefer to eat healthily find the abundance of fresh fruit/toast/juices/cereals much nicer than sticky unhealthy buns.

Your "experience" with the childrens clubs is NOT what our we many friends who are CMs advise. The levels of care are probably way better than most nursery schools provide. There will always be isolated incidents with children jostling others, but if this was the norm, then no child would ever want to go there again.

I presume your children WERE left in the clubs while you spent time in the spa and gym?

As for the rough seas, well, as you say - Not something Disney can do anything about.

What did GS say when you complained about all these "incidents"? :confused3

LisaSp
03-15-2006, 04:52 PM
Sorry your trip was not magical. Just have to mention that there is no charge for spinning classes!!

MeRiVan
03-15-2006, 04:58 PM
I feel like we couldn't possibly have been on the same ship! I'm sorry you guys didn't have a great time. We LOVED it and DS3 loved the club. I checked on him every 15 minutes or so and I was floored by how attentive and courteous the staff was. I never kept him in for longer than 2 hours at a pop but it looks like we must have timed it just right.

cruisingsoon
03-15-2006, 05:24 PM
Ear plugs in a 3 year old? Yeah right.

Breakfast was I guess could be considered "adequate" as you say. I had to eat cereal and fruit because nothing else was any good. Adequate is not what we would have expected from the Disney we absolutely adore.

As for the kids club being better then most nursery schools, maybe? Who knows as I have only visited a few. I only care about where my son is. We pay for and expect only the best when it comes to him. I would have happily paid many more dollars if that meant he was in a small group of say 8-12 kids and was well monitored, with more age appropriate activities.

My son was not left in the club while my husband and I went to the spa and gym. We took turns since there was no other option for us.

I am glad to hear you have had wonderful times on DCL. Maybe there was some other contributing factors in your experiences. To add perspective to my opinions, there have been people who have complained about Disney World and Disney Land vacations too on the DIS boards, I have read them and wondered what went wrong and was glad it never happened to me. I have never ever had a bad experience in the World or Land and have been going since I was a small child. I look forward to going next year back to the resorts.

MoiMoi
03-15-2006, 05:27 PM
Sorry to hear you were not pleased. This was our 2nd Disney Cruise and it was even better than the first. Guess different people have different expectations. The unexpected side trip to San Juan P.R. was unfortunate but unavoidable and yes after that there were a couple of rocky sea days.

We took Bonine since the first day and didnt get sick although I agee that many others did, but that's likely to happen on any line. We ate breakfast in Lumiere's every day and I had eggs cooked over easy to order each time. We do avoid the breakfast buffet.

Palo was great and Sasha our server for both dinner and brunch there was outstanding. We signed up for a Western in Jan of '07 while onboard too. Have never cruised with any other line so perhaps I would be more impressed with another company.

Castaway Cay was great over at quiet cove (we have no kids). The Atlantis submarine trip at St. Thomas was a hoot!

Sorry your experience wasn't as good....

Tarabra
03-15-2006, 05:40 PM
Sorry you feel the way you do. I LOVE the breakfast! I LOVE the eggs and bacon and all the fruit! I've never had a donut so I wouldn't know, but I would imagine it's tough to keep them fresh while at sea. As far as lunch, I loved trying all the different things at the buffet. If you didn't like something at dinner you could always ask for something different. I had friends who were disappointed because they are steak and potatoes people and didn't like all the different things. (I believe they now offer steak at every meal) . I'm sure being seasick didn't help matters. As far as the kid's club for the most part I always hear good things. My DD wasn't born for our last 5 cruises, so I don't know first hand. $9,000 for 3 people sounds incredibly high. That's like 3 times what we will pay for 3 and a cat. 11. So, I guess I get what I pay for at $3200 and love every minute of it! Maybe next time a lower cat., smoother seas, and an older child in the clubs might make a difference. Don't give up on it. We've done 5 and can't wait to take our DD16mos.

WDWLVR
03-15-2006, 06:18 PM
Sorry that you didn't find the cruise magical. We've been on 7 so far and have loved them. I can't address the clubs because we don't have kids but I know that our friends who do had very positive experiences.

The only thing I could suggest for breakfast was to ask if you had tried the sit-down breakfast in Lumiers instead of the buffet up on deck 9. That might have given you choices that might have been more to your liking.

I think we've always heard a little bit of creaking on the ship since you are moving overnight. As you said the seas were bad which weren't Disney's fault and could have caused more creaking than normal.

Sounds like the parks are a better vacation for your family. Hopefully your next vacation will be magical!

need_a_Disney_fix
03-15-2006, 08:25 PM
I am so sorry the cruise was not magical for you, but our January Eastern was very MAGICal for us. So much that we rebooked another and we are looking forward to it.

sandraB
03-16-2006, 06:00 AM
I feel like we were on different boats!!

To my recolection, there was only one rough sea day, and it really wasn't all that bad, I for one didn't see anyone sick, and my son and husband get motion sickness.

The breakfast buffet....I too thought the eggs and bacon were yucky, but I didnt even eat them, because there was tons of fruit, and yogurt and cereal....

Our experience with the kids clubs was great, we couldn't drag our son out...however he is in the 8+ age group. Our older one really loved the movie theater, and went several times...I think he saw four movies....

We also paid under 3000 for our trip for four, and were amazed at the value of the vacation for our money!! We had awesome servers, and a great time...I am sorry you didn't...that is too bad, I imagine you had high expectations...as we did too.

Just goes to show how different everyone is, and that is ok.

We did a couple of days at WDW after the cruise...and we were soooo not impressed...hot, long lines, no free food!!!!

We don't plan on visiting the parks again for a long time....but we are dreaming about our next cruise....LOL

Sandi

BuzzBoyMom
03-16-2006, 06:21 AM
Different strokes for different folks.

We've had our kids in the Clubs and the Labs and NEVER thought it was how you described.

To everyone else reading this and getting concerned with the kids clubs - please read multiple threads. I reallly don't think this one thread is indicative of most people's experience.

But my question - you really paid 9K for 3 of you in a Cat. 4? I've been quoted prices like that for Cat. 3 for 4 of us. Hmmm....

Favorite Auntie
03-16-2006, 08:44 AM
I have cruised 5 times, my parents 13+, and the rest of my family are also Castaway Club members. We have never had the experience that you have described. I have 8 nieces and nephews (range from 2 - 22) and everyone of them has loved the clubs! (except the 2 yr old!) They would rather be there than with us. I have visited the clubs many times, and there always seemed to be an over abundance of counselors, and plenty of seats at the crafts tables...no need to push to get a seat. The breakfast buffet is just that, a buffet. Good, but not spectacular. But I like if for the convenience and the fresh berries (YUMMY). The other meals I think are GREAT! Never had a bad mean or something that I wanted to send back, and I am a picky eater. I have found the ship can be noisy at night, but I think it is part of the charm, we have never been bothered enough to go ask for ear plugs (which are free...) and the kids have always been so exhausted that the noises never bothered any of them.

Maybe cruising just isn't for you?

cruisingsoon
03-16-2006, 01:26 PM
Different strokes for different folks.

We've had our kids in the Clubs and the Labs and NEVER thought it was how you described.

To everyone else reading this and getting concerned with the kids clubs - please read multiple threads. I reallly don't think this one thread is indicative of most people's experience.

But my question - you really paid 9K for 3 of you in a Cat. 4? I've been quoted prices like that for Cat. 3 for 4 of us. Hmmm....

--9K was including airfare, bus transports, pictures on board (a fortune, but worth it to us), 3 bottles of wine, 1 beer, 1 cocktail, a couple of soveniers, 2 excursions for the 3 of us.

--Kids club, I would imagine that most people have had better experiences. I just have to say as an observer--I was actually there a couple of times a day with my son, our stays were ~hour each time. Most parents after the 1st day drop their kids off and leave within minutes. I was there to see what happened after that. Only a couple other parents spent significant time there. They also mirrored my concerns(perhaps that is why they were there too).

For the older kids it was not as big of a deal. They can fend for themselves better, share a bit better, have better coordination, and better communication skills.

MNrae
03-16-2006, 05:37 PM
We paid approx $9.5K for family of 4 cat 6! Just the cruise price (no add ons) I just looked on DCL right now and our cruise has only cat9 available, family of 4 $8.9K. Guess we picked the WRONG time to travel :rolleyes2

ricka47
03-16-2006, 07:14 PM
Wow....for that kind of money you should have had a better time for sure! We paid $2379 (cruise price only) for the Magic on 2/25 for three of us in a Cetegory 9 and I would be very bummed if I had the type of trip that you described!

thompson princesses
03-16-2006, 08:02 PM
Cruisingsoon-We were on the Magic Jan 28, 06. We had a wonderful time. I have to say my dd was 3 at the time of the cruise and always wanted to go back to the club but who knows...I didn't check on her often. It did seem like the ratio of staff to kids was very low though. I need to comment on the food in the dining room. Our family has been on several cruises. (My dd earns/wins them through Ford) so I believe we have had a good taste of what is out there (pardon the pun)...ANYWAYS the food in the dining room was exactly as you described....bland! I don't use salt and am not into really spicy things...every meal I ordered just didn't seem to have any flavor. Palo is something entirely different...that is what the dining room food should taste like. :stir:

clovely
03-16-2006, 08:40 PM
--Kids club, I would imagine that most people have had better experiences. I just have to say as an observer--I was actually there a couple of times a day with my son, our stays were ~hour each time. Most parents after the 1st day drop their kids off and leave within minutes. I was there to see what happened after that. Only a couple other parents spent significant time there. They also mirrored my concerns(perhaps that is why they were there too).

I'm just curious as to whether your son is very often in a nursery, daycare, or preschool situation? Some people, parents and children, may just be more comfortable in that environment, or in new situations in general, than others.

A couple other factors, though, is that he didn't have anyone to really go in there with. I realize most of the children, even travelling with siblings, are probably in different age categories with any other children they may know. So I guess most probably go in alone. I'm so glad we're going now because my kids are 5 & 6 and can go together and that's very important. We have thought about going to Beaches but I believe our kids would be separated. I don't want to send them off alone and I don't want to go on a family vacation where the whole family goes their separate ways either!

I wonder, also, how much the tone and environment changes from cruise to cruise. If there were two or three rambunctious children running wild, setting that tone, it could affect all the children in the room. Especially at that age. I would say that this would be something the CMs should be prepared for and able to handle but we also have another thread of a former CM (a manager, I believe) who related one or two horror stories where a child couldn't be controlled and parents were no help. I wouldn't want that job!!

Just random thoughts.

BethA
03-16-2006, 08:49 PM
Sorry to hear your vacation did not meet your expectations. We have cruised on the magic 5 times and had wonderful trips, but we never raved about the clubs for kids like everyone else. I think it is a valid point that most kids are in there with a sibling, friend, relative and those who are not--especially at the younger ages, do not do as well. My son did not know anyone and always felt somewhat left out. We found there was a lot of just free time, and a lot of unruly kids. One day while waiting to check out my son, I witnessed another bigger child pushing him around and no CM in sight, so i jumped over the gate to intervene. My son tried it a few times, but spent most of his time with us, which was fine for a family vacation.

I think the food is excellent for some, mediocre for others and bad for still others. Everyone has different tastes and expectations, but it is tough when you are expecting something amazing and it falls short.

lbgraves
03-16-2006, 09:09 PM
Our kids have been in the 3-4 & 5-7 groups so far. I have stayed with the 3-4 group several times to make DD more comfortable since she is clingy in a new environment & never observed any of this happening. The activities were very well run & the CMs hosting each activity were in control of the group with other CMs sitting with the kids. There was one time when a child wouldn't listen & was being unruley & the CMs gave him two warnings before another took him to the front desk away from the group. The do have the kids go into the "closet" area to listen to a story when the main club area is being prepared for the next activity. This is a room about the size of our family room though with computers around the outside walls.

The 3-4 & 5-7 yos are seperated more times than they are together. If I had a young 3 yo & was concerned about them playing around the older kids it would be very easy to review the navigators for the two age groups to see when they were not together so that I wouldn't have to be concerned about that. DD was 3 on our first cruise & even though DS5 was in the 3-4 group with her to look out for her, we did that to eliminate any concerns. I have looked in on group activities to check on DD several times as well and not observed anything but organized kids enjoying themselves...and occassionally one or two sleeping on mats on the side behind the desk because they were just worn out from the fun.

MeRiVan
03-17-2006, 09:47 AM
We were on the 3/4 Magic and I never saw anywhere near 48 children in the 3 to 4 year old Club. I'm thinking my DS3 was not there at the super popular times, but he did participate in all the Little Mermaid activities, which I would think would be pretty popular. Matt's first potty accident free day ever was the first day on the ship (he was accident free all week) and the CMs are largely responsible for that. I watched them make a butterfly magnet together and I watched the 3 Little Pigs story. I watched free play in the tree house, and Matt's a tough kid and he'll never complain, but it was a little crazy. I just figured 3 year olds tend to love crazy environments. I didn't see anything dangerous. The captain's closet didn't look like fun to me, but Matt wouldn't leave cuz he made friends there. Alot of the experience I'm sure depends on the child and on the activities at the time. My DS6 found free time to be too crowded for his taste in the Lab and I thought the activities he participated in were too crowded, but he had fun anyway.

castlegazer
03-17-2006, 10:46 AM
I really hate how people pile on when someone gives their honest opinion of their experiences. Your opinion is not going to change their opinion. Their experiences are their own and they are free to voice them here.


I want to share something with you that was posted back in March by a former children's club CM:

The challenge of inappropriate behavior, in it's many forms and from both children and parents, was a ongoing isssue the 5 years that I was there.
I have spent the last year consulting for Norwegian, Royal Carribean, Princess, and other cruise lines on how to provide a effective childrens program. The focus being on ratio and sheer numbers. After working Disney for so long and seeing the amazing things that the characters can do it was truly an eye opener to see the better quality of care that was provided by other cruise lines that adopted a smaller child to counselor ratio, place time restrictions, behavior guide lines based on being appropriate or inappropriate and not on how much money was spent to be there.
While Disney does offer a wonderful product and facilities, the characters being an bonus, the quality of care was not as high as Royal Caribbean or Celebrity for example. I know that I am probably stepping on some toes here and I would like to make it clear that the majority of children on a Disney cruise (and parents) have a "magical" time, and that every cruise line has had it's share of negative and positive experiences by guests. My focus is on the quality of care. With that being said I feel that even with the new changes Disney needs to step it up again.

This person has been very helpful and patient in the past describing the clubs to people. He now has a new experience under his belt and is sharing that experience again.

It has been reported often on the boards that the ratios for the younger children are out of whack. You will see this more present when their is not a holiday as people with younger children can cruise then.

Please just post your own experience without judging the OP's experience which is solely their own and may be very valid.

Enna
03-17-2006, 10:47 AM
Did you check to see if the paid sitting services at Flounders' would have been more to your liking? I'm just wondering if that would have provided you with the smaller staff:child ratio that you seem to perfer.

repeatcruiser
03-17-2006, 12:07 PM
I really hate how people pile on when someone gives their honest opinion of their experiences. Your opinion is not going to change their opinion. Their experiences are their own and they are free to voice them here.

Here here - trying to tell someone that they really should have had a good time when they did not is not helpful, nor is telling them that you had a great time going to change the fact that they did not enjoy themselves.

I love DCL, but it is not perfect. Trying to suggest otherwise does 2 things: (1) ensures that the things that need fixing will never get fixed, and (2) raises expectations of new cruisers too high, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will be dissappointed.

Disney did not invent the idea of a cartoon character or an amuzement park - he borrowed those ideas from others and made them better. Discussing the good things on other lines is not an attack on DCL, but rather an opportunity to borrow those good ideas and improve upon an already great product.

Deemarch
03-17-2006, 01:15 PM
That one of the posters who didn't have a good time on their cruise either, said that they booked another????

If I was unhappy with the cruise, like I was with our NCL cruise to Bermuda, I'd NEVER GO ON THE SHIP AGAIN!!!!!!! I won't even go on the cruiseline again. There is so much to pick from out there, I'm sure that everyone can find something that they'd be happy with.

Tarabra
03-17-2006, 01:19 PM
Did you ever notice...or maybe it's just me...that some major fights occur on a) a birthday or b) Valentine's Day, etc. The reason being, the expectations for that day are always huge, and when the DH (or significant other) doesn't meet those expectations, it's always a bummer. Even though the day may still have been great, it just wasn't what was expected? (One big fight was w/ my high school b-friend. He just signed, "Ed" on his V-day card! Huh? He couldn't even write "Love, Ed"? Silly now, but at 16 it was huge!! lol!) Anyhow, it just reminds me of this thread. I guess my first cruise I didn't have the DISboards to read and we had no idea what to expect. So what we got was huge!!! Maybe had we read on and on about how great everything was, we may have been disappointed too. :confused3

KimberlyC
03-17-2006, 01:40 PM
That one of the posters who didn't have a good time on their cruise either, said that they booked another????

If I was unhappy with the cruise, like I was with our NCL cruise to Bermuda, I'd NEVER GO ON THE SHIP AGAIN!!!!!!! I won't even go on the cruiseline again. There is so much to pick from out there, I'm sure that everyone can find something that they'd be happy with.

Is this is the post you are refering to?

"I'm sorry that you had such a rough trip. While we did not find our recent Magic cruise "magical" by any means, it was not as bad you faced. We found the food mostly tasteless as well compared to other lines. Although I had read that this was the case, I still hoped for something better.

We did enjoy the shows and found the crew to be among the friendliest that we have had on all of cruises. But, the price/value ratio doesn't work out in my mind although we are going again in September primarily because of the Florida resident discounts."
__________________
Rick
Fernandina Beach, FL

If so, I don't find if odd. Rick may not have found the cruise (and the food) magical but enjoyed other aspects of his cruise. I understood him to mean that for the price, it should have been better. However, for his upcoming cruise he got a great rate that makes it worth returning for the good things (despite the tasteless food).

To me, cruises are like pizza! Even when they're bad, they're still pretty good. But I expect less from a cheap pizza to the extent that if it doesn't wow me, that's ok because it was cheap pizza and I didn't start off expecting much. Now if I planned and saved a long time to take my family to a pizza place rumored to have the absolute best pizza ever only to find out that it tasted the same as my cheap pizza, I would not be happy. The difference is expectations. Would I go back to the so-called best pizza place? Sure if the charged me a cheap pizza price. After all, its still pizza!

repeatcruiser
03-17-2006, 01:41 PM
Did you ever notice...or maybe it's just me...that some major fights occur on a) a birthday or b) Valentine's Day, etc. The reason being, the expectations for that day are always huge, and when the DH (or significant other) doesn't meet those expectations, it's always a bummer. Even though the day may still have been great, it just wasn't what was expected? (One big fight was w/ my high school b-friend. He just signed, "Ed" on his V-day card! Huh? He couldn't even write "Love, Ed"? Silly now, but at 16 it was huge!! lol!) Anyhow, it just reminds me of this thread. I guess my first cruise I didn't have the DISboards to read and we had no idea what to expect. So what we got was huge!!! Maybe had we read on and on about how great everything was, we may have been disappointed too. :confused3

I generally agree, except for the "when the DH doesn't meet those expectations" part - since I'm a DH myself, I'd like to say that it IS possible for a DW to drop the ball too!

mom+3girls
03-17-2006, 01:41 PM
How do you know if the bacon is deep fried or its fried in a skillet?

I liked some of the food, I did not eat at the sit down breakfast, I enjoyed the breakfast buffet, my kids did not like the eggs they said they weren't cooked enough, I don't think they were powdered cause they were slimmy and runny.
My favorite meal was the Caribbean Spice Chicken with rice and beans, yummy!!! Even my picky eating daughter loved that meal.
However I was disappointed in the desserts.

Can't really comment on the kids club mine were in the lab and they loved it, oldest was at the stack.

Our family really loved the over all cruise experience. It was our first one and we have another one booked for Dec 1, 2007. I booked early to get the best price I could.

Sorry you didn't enjoy it that much. I would give it another try some other time, maybe when you child is older.

momrek06
03-17-2006, 01:54 PM
I am sorry the OP and her family did not have a good time on the MAGIC! I was wondering to the OP, did people you meet on the cruise all feel the same way? DH & I met 4 other couples (as DCL had us all at the same table) and we were from MA, Montana, WI, CA, and Chicago. We all got along famously hence we spent more time with them than just dinner. If any of the couples we met had felt like the trip was not what their expectations were, we would have all talked about that but this group was simply in AWE of the whole experience. (I actually have been emailing two of the parties on a regular basis since my return home.) Did you find other people as upset as you and your family or maybe not upset but a little disppointed with the trip? What were other people saying about the Magic, while you were on the ship. I would be curious to hear everyone's thoughts. Thank you.

ricka47
03-17-2006, 02:02 PM
I agree with the OP. We are always "blown away" by WDW and expected that on DCL. When that didn't happen, we were disapointed. There were a few "magic moments" but when compared to other cruise lines and what many must pay for DCL, the expectations aren't met.

It's only in comparision with what the competition does that one can see that DCL does not deliver the value for what they charge. The do a good job, it's just not worth a premium price. When compared with staying home, then it's much better!

Everything was fine, the food was adequate and sometimes good, the crew nice, the shows good. But, I was expecting excellence and was rewarded with just OK in most cases. We are going again in the fall and will have our expectations lower and will have a good time for sure.

ricka47
03-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Sorry if I offend anyone...ahead of time.

MSWint
03-17-2006, 02:14 PM
I really hate how people pile on when someone gives their honest opinion of their experiences. Your opinion is not going to change their opinion. Their experiences are their own and they are free to voice them here.

Many people tend to 'focus only on the negatives', while others tend to 'focus only on the positives' .... the best trip reports/reviews in my opinion are the 'stories', the very detailed day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute experiences that some good writers have written here. The short diatribes with a title like "Magic - not very magical" are just rants in my opinion. The same goes for the short "magical vacation" rants. I do love the very well written stories that include both positive and negative experiences. The point being, a description of the entire trip ... not just a list of negative or even positives.

Again, flame if you want ... but the OP is likely a 'focus on the negative' type.

With the kind of money the OP spent, maybe it was a bit of a let down and just wanted to vent ... that's OK too ... but it is definitely not what I would call a 'Trip Report'. It was exactly what it is .... a rant.

Maybe there should be a separate thread, one for 'Trip Reports' and one for 'Rants'. :rotfl2:

BuzzBoyMom
03-17-2006, 02:43 PM
I really hate how people pile on when someone gives their honest opinion of their experiences. Your opinion is not going to change their opinion. Their experiences are their own and they are free to voice them here.



Please don't think we're all piling on...we're simply trying to ensure that both sides are given. A new person reading only this thread might get scared off. That's why it is important for all of us to be free to voice our opinions and experiences....the good and the bad....just like you pointed out! To each their own!

cruisingsoon
03-17-2006, 02:45 PM
Did you check to see if the paid sitting services at Flounders' would have been more to your liking? I'm just wondering if that would have provided you with the smaller staff:child ratio that you seem to perfer.

Actually we looked into it. The flounder's is supposed to be for infants until the 3rd birthday. Some 3 year old's can still go there if they are not potty trained. The Flounder's reef was a very small room and very young type toys for our 3 year old. We knew it would be a safe place to put my Son if we had to, but we knew he would be bored in the baby free-play only environment. There was only really little kids the few times we looked in, and my son tends to gravitate towards kids his own age/size. Since it was vacation for all of us, it was very important to me that we all had fun. I wasn't ever looking for just a "babysitting" service. I was more interested in my son participating in fun, organized activities with smaller child:staff ratio.

need_a_Disney_fix
03-17-2006, 03:31 PM
Many people tend to 'focus only on the negatives', while others tend to 'focus only on the positives' .... the best trip reports/reviews in my opinion are the 'stories', the very detailed day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute experiences that some good writers have written here. The short diatribes with a title like "Magic - not very magical" are just rants in my opinion. The same goes for the short "magical vacation" rants. I do love the very well written stories that include both positive and negative experiences. The point being, a description of the entire trip ... not just a list of negative or even positives.

Again, flame if you want ... but the OP is likely a 'focus on the negative' type.

With the kind of money the OP spent, maybe it was a bit of a let down and just wanted to vent ... that's OK too ... but it is definitely not what I would call a 'Trip Report'. It was exactly what it is .... a rant.

Maybe there should be a separate thread, one for 'Trip Reports' and one for 'Rants'. :rotfl2:

Thank you...my thoughts exactly.

Tarabra
03-17-2006, 04:06 PM
Yea, I'm trying to think. There probably were some bad things that happened on our cruise too, but the good FAR outnumbered the bad. Oh yea, like when the toilet wouldn't fill back up...they had to come out and take our toilet off the wall and fix it. Not a big deal, they were right on it, but I suppose that could be something that stuck out in someone's mind.

clovely
03-17-2006, 04:45 PM
I also have to say that I'm particularly "suspect" (for lack of a better word) when it comes to bad reports centered around children or children's activities. We all have to admit none of us are objective where our kids are concerned and even the best kid is still a kid! And a cruise is a big, exhausting event for an adult much less a little person. Kids get easily thrown out of whack and may or may not react well, may or may not have a chance to recover or regroup, etc. There just could've been sooooo many factors, especially considering there are also many reports on these boards that would indicated exactly polar opposite experiences. This is also why it's important to go in with realistic expectations of everything and everyone - including staff and our own families (at all ages!). But it's also important to go expecting glitches and still expecting to have a wonderful time.

I read one trip report recently where the poor guy recounted the horrible first couple of days with his kids just WAY out of sorts and over stimulated and off their routines. I felt so bad for the guy but by the end he and his wife were really to be commended for forcing the kids (and I guess themselves) to stop, rest, and regroup. And then the rest of their cruise sounded really nice.

repeatcruiser
03-17-2006, 04:55 PM
I tell my kids (and remind myself once in a while) that you get to choose your mood - no one can make you be in a bad mood or have a bad time - this is all in your control.

roysbrew
03-17-2006, 05:00 PM
I'm sorry you had a bad trip.

I'm curious, I get very seasick and have been mostly fine on my 2 cruises. Did you and your family take any meds? I've always taken Bonine and brought a patch (just in case). I've never needed the patch. Even when I feel fine I continued to take the bonine. I won't take any chances.
As for the breakfast, is there a reason why you never ate anywhere else or ordered a plain omlet made fresh to order? I never eat scambled eggs anywhere on a buffet. I've never been anywhere, even the best restaurants where they are good. I order my DS 3 and DD 3 and myself plain omlets. Bacon is well Bacon. It's supposed to be greasy. When we cruised it was quite good. We all loved the chocolate croissants and would ask a server for them if we didn't see any. I've eaten my fair share of them in the US and Europe and the ones on the boat were very good. I thought the food in AP was bland but liked the food everywhere else. The rest of my family (who didn't come with us) like simple food. Remember they have a wide population to serve here. When you go to the parks there are more choices for food, but you really can't compare the two there's no ship that could have 40 or so restaurants.
As far as the club, we had great CM. We also cruised in May (maybe less kids). My DS 3 and DD3 had fun. We used it about 2 hours a day. They talked for months about the "yellow shirts". They would resist going in at first so we would hide and watch. Within minutes they were laughing and playing. When we returned they often didn't notice us there for a couple of minutes. Given the choice they would have stayed in the Mickey pool all day. But given the choice I wouldn't have left the spa all day. The only time I didn't like in the club was getting ready for the graduation show. The CM were great. It was the parents. Every child came and parents left crying kids and tried to take photos it was crazy. I stayed with my kids and watched the CM hold as many kids as possible they sang songs and always smiled. I used to be a preschool teacher and there isn't enough money in the world that would have made me repeat that scene again let alone once or (twice in the wonder's case) a week. When we cruise this summer we will probably skip that activity.
I would think that every parent tries to give their child the very best and also expects the very best. I'm sure your earlier statement was not meant to imply that other people who weren't unhappy with the club don't want or expect the best for their children. By the way the best things in life aren't usually the things that cost the most, you can pay alot of money for something or for tution at a preschool and still have bad teachers. As a former teacher I've seen it firsthand. Perhaps a solution for you would be to book two rooms in a lower cat. and bring a nanny who you've screened and your son is comfortable with along. I have several friends who do that when they go to the beach.

cruisingsoon
03-17-2006, 05:14 PM
Many people tend to 'focus only on the negatives', while others tend to 'focus only on the positives' .... the best trip reports/reviews in my opinion are the 'stories', the very detailed day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute experiences that some good writers have written here. The short diatribes with a title like "Magic - not very magical" are just rants in my opinion. The same goes for the short "magical vacation" rants. I do love the very well written stories that include both positive and negative experiences. The point being, a description of the entire trip ... not just a list of negative or even positives.

Again, flame if you want ... but the OP is likely a 'focus on the negative' type.

With the kind of money the OP spent, maybe it was a bit of a let down and just wanted to vent ... that's OK too ... but it is definitely not what I would call a 'Trip Report'. It was exactly what it is .... a rant.

Maybe there should be a separate thread, one for 'Trip Reports' and one for 'Rants'. :rotfl2:

I would be happy to do a day by day for you...

Saturday--flight down (arranged by Disney, reservations were made almost 1 year in advance)-- We were not sitting altogether. My husband ended up sitting with my son and I sat further back in the plane. Waited in line at the airport for a little less than an hour to catch our bus. Bus ride was nice. I loved the movie outlining the boat. We were very excited. Got to the port. Waited well over an hour to get signed in. My son was miserable and hungry. Should have broke down and bought food at the snack bar, but were anxious to get on and get to the buffet. Ended up grabbing pizza when we got on board, 1st thing we passed. The pizza was good. Went to room and missed the departing show because my son wanted to nap. We sat outside on our little deck and relaxed. Got ready for dinner at the Parrot Cay. Met our table mates-all of us were a bit sea sick, it really moves around back there. The water in the glasses was sloshing back and forth a bit. It was a weird feeling. Food was bland, but that was not a problem since I didn't feel so good. I felt really sick by the time we got back to the room after a short walk. Went to bed to make it "stop". The curtain in the room was swaying from side to side--yuck. Called it a night. My son was exhausted anyway.

Sunday--Had room service for breakfast--donuts and pastry were poor, OJ was watery, apple juice was like syrup--YUCK. That was our fault though, shouldn't have done room service. Went to the spa for mani then later a pedi. They were ok, but I was still feeling yuck so it was hard to relax. The girl doing my nails said it would typically calm down by around 12-1 (thank goodness it did). Had lunch at Topsiders--food average. We went to the club to sign up my son. (I have already spoken a lot about the club). Spent some time by the pool--Freezing to death. It was so windy and cold still. Kids were swimming, but most sensible folks had on pants and sweatshirts. Visited the arcade, was bummed at the size. It was very small and packed with people. Later in the week it was not as packed, but there was not much for a little guy to do. He loves arcades and we usually can find enough to keep him busy for hours. Went to dinner at Lumiere's, food was bland. Environment was nice. The waitstaff really tries hard and brings new things if you do not like what you are having. We tried this a couple of times, but nothing really was good. We are food snobs--I will admit that. We are very spoiled when it comes to fresh, terrific food. My family has wonderful cooks, my brother is a chef and has worked at amazing places--The Breaker's Hotel, 4 Seasons, etc. We always have fresh herbs (growing in doors and out), grow a lot of our own produce, I love the food network, and amaze my own friends often at my creations. We travel a lot and try new things all the time. What I am saying is we know good food, but understand that a cruise line would not be what we are used to. Still what we had was no where near what we expected. The meun's were fine, the presentations were ok, but the food was often bland and yuck.

We went to the Golden Mickeys that night. We decided to wait until 10 minutes before show time to go to the theater since my son is a wiggle worm and we didn't want to go too soon. This was a mistake. The whole theater was packed!@!!!! We walked up and down the aisles. The only reason we were able to stay and see the show was because a VERY VERY nice man put his daughter in his lap, and his wife put her son in her lap, so we had 2 free seats with my son in my lap. It was a nice show, but the movie screen clips that were throughout the show were boring to my son. It was very noisy in the theater, but that was expected since there was so many little ones. If I was an adult traveling without kids I would have been very annoyed.


Monday--Went to Parrot cay for breakfast. Was sad to see the pastry and donuts were the same. Muffins were packaged looking. Tried the eggs, bacon, sausage. Eggs were horrible and powdered. Bacon was not great. Sausage was ok. Later saw the omlet bar. Oh well.

Went to kids club a couple times this day. I won't add much to the club stuff except this day I did see a poor little girl around 4 years old have a pee-pee accident. It was so sad. She was standing there with a bright red face crying pathetically in her puddle. I understand that the staff is not allowed to touch children who have accidents for very real health issues. I don't claim to have a solution either. But the little girl was screaming for a very, very long time until her mom came to get her. The staff had surrounded her and her puddle with brightly colored cones and instucted her to stay there and other people/kids to walk around her. It was sooooo traumatic for that little girl.

Went to the pool again. It was much warmer this day since we were further south. There is a HUGE amount of kids in the Mickey pool. I have personally never seen so many in such a small pool before. It was a very fun pool though for the kids. They did not seem to mind, but I jumped in 2 times to upright my son after he had been shoved over. The pool is shallow enough for little ones to walk in, but the big ones are still running and jumping everywhere. I wish there was a half hour a day for smaller ones or something. There is a Goofy pool that has bigger kids, but many were still more interested in the Mickey one since that is where to slide is. There is a Mickey ear with fountains for non-potty trained kids. But big kids were running in and out of that too and slidding over the edge of the "ears". Great pool, but hard to find a time when it is quieter/hazard free for smaller kids.

Went to late lunch at the hotdog place. The hotdogs were good, but the buns were a bit stale. Enjoyed the fries. Had soft serve ice cream too. A teenager would think they died and went to heaven. These fast food places were better then we would have expected and we enjoyed them since we don't eat too much of this at home.

I went to the gym this day. The gym was nice, although the ceiling is not too tall on the 2nd level(a ramp between levels). I am glad I am not 6 foot or would have bumped my head. The guy next to me on the elliptical had his hair touch everytime he stepped. My only real complaint about the gym (I went ~ hour Monday-Friday) it was pretty hot in there. I sweated like crazy every time. The AC was too low and there weren't any fans.

Went to dinner at AP. Our seats were not great for viewing. We were all the way up against a wall and behind one of those serving station things. It was difficult to take it all in. Food same. Servers nice. Went to the family dance hour. My son loved this. The floor was packed, bigger girls were twirling/running wildly around. Cute, but knocked my son down, twice. He was ok, and we did return a couple times later in the week since he loved it so much. Again getting knocked a fair amount. Wish they had picked a bigger dance location.

Tuesday--
Arrived at St. Maarten. Had breakfast at topsiders. Tried the mini blueberry pancakes. VERY dry. I think we went to the kids club for a while. Had a quick lunch, fruit. Went to Afternoon beach bash. It was great. Warning there are some completely naked and topless folks on that beach too. This was not a problem for us since my son is clueless still, but I did hear a couple parents with older kids complain a bit, they had said it was supposed to be a fully clothed beach. No idea. There were a lot of island folks trying to sell things. They hovered most of the time asking over and over if you wanted this or that. It didn't bother us too much, but a couple people on the bus were talking about it on the way back. There were 4 dogs running around fighting at the end of the beach time. One ran by and missed my son by inches. Regardless, we enjoyed our excursion. There were nice cushioned chairs, and an umbrella that we only had to pay $3 to use. We got to see the island on our bus ride. It was nice.

Had to rush to get ready for dinner (20 minutes for all 3 of us). Went back to Parrot Cay. I felt a bit sea sick again. Something about the location I think. Food same. But they gave all of us bandanas for our heads (pirate theme). There was a show at the end of dinner with music and the servers and kids going around the room. Our server grabbed my son and made it half way around before my son started crying. My son was afraid of the loud music and didn't know what was happening. If I had told him what to expect and that he was just going in a circle maybe he wouldn't have been scared. Oh well. We tried very hard to keep my son up for the pirate show. He just couldn't make it. It does not start until 9:45 (probably waiting for everyone to finish dinner). Bummer. Just too late for my little guy after a day at the beach.

Wednesday--St. Thomas day. Everyone on the boat had to get up early this day. We were thankful at this point that we hadn't pushed for the pirate show. Kids and their 'rents looked EXHAUSTED. Wasn't a big deal, just a hoop to jump through. Tried to go to Lumiere's for breakfast. It was filled and they would not allow any more people to go in. We ate at Parrot Cay. Left for bird show at top of the mountain on St. Thomas. The tram ride was cool. It gave a great view. We went on a short hike at the top of the mountain, had some water then saw the bird show. It was a very small area, but was cute. Headed back for the boat after a walk. It was a nice short excursion for a family with little ones.

Had lunch at topsiders, there were fresh shrimp today. That was nice. Glad that we didn't eat on the island! Went to the pool again. It was still very crowded. I would have hoped that people would all be out on excursions. Oh well. Went to the kids club. Tried again to go the basketball court. It always is very crowded and too dangerous for a little one. We expected that though.

Had dinner at Lumieres again. Tonight our dinner companions were at Palo, so we felt more comfortable telling the staff that we were not enjoying our food. They brought over the head guy, who was nice and offered to cook something that we had already had earlier in the week. We didn't have the heart to tell him that there was nothing that we tried that we would have wanted again. He was trying, but what could he do. We only talked to him in order to hopefully make a difference for future guests, we knew it would not do any good for us.

Had our pictures taken--camera staff also very nice. Did the family dance party thing again and called it a night.

Thursday--Went to the character breakfast. Tried the kids Mickey waffle and chocolate pancake--both not good at all, hard. My son wouldn't even eat them. Stuck with the fruit. My son loved that characters.

Someone passed out the night before and fell down some stairs. We made an emergency transfer somewhere and were off course now. The seas were VERY VERY VERY rough today. Up to 20 feet waves per the captains log on the TV. People were stumbling everywhere. On the top deck if you went to the back and looked forward you saw the whole boat tipping up and down. The horizon was moving everywhere. For the person who said they were not sea sick at all and they always get sea sick, I doubt it. This is the day that the kid puked in the Mickey pool. My husband who is never sick, was sick in bed all day throwing up. I felt like I could too but I was trying to keep moving and keep my mind off of it. My son kept complaining that he was dizzy and pick him up. There were people puking in trash cans. It was a very rough day at sea. I went to the movie Nemo with my son, the HUGE screen was swaying from side to side. I concentrated to not be sick. My husband was too sick for food today. Went to Disney Dream show that night (went to the early seating since we were not doing dinner). It was much less crowded then the later seating. The show was great. But it was so rough at sea still that the shutter that the girl was singing (at while she was at the window) kept swinging shut and she kept pushing it open.

Friday--we arrived late at Castaway Cay due to the stop we had to make for the hurt women the night before last. The captain was able to make up some time after the sea calmed down a bit. We were in line for about 45 minutes to get off the boat (my husband wanted off since he was still recovering). We quickly got our seats under an umbrella. Later on many people were trudging down the beach complaining that there was no where left to sit. Probably extra crowded since all/most? of the excursions were cancelled since the water was still to rough. The island was the highlight of the trip. The BBQ sauce actually had some flavor. I also had a mango that nearly made me weap with joy it was so good. We were among the very last people to get back on the boat. We were too late to get to dinner. We had room service. The pizza was not the same as the top deck pizza, it was thicker and soggy. I ordered a ceasar salad and it was tiny tiny, and the croutons were soft. Oh well. Room service we already knew was not the way to go either. We packed everything. Went for a walk on deck, had it almost to ourselves since it was cold again. Had a taco, tasteless and the shell was not cooked, but oh well. Watched a movie on the big screen. Went to bed.

Saturday--

Had breakfast at topsiders so we would not have to get up too early. Took our time getting off. Debark was pretty smooth since everyone was already gone. Waited ~45 minutes on the bus before it left. Flew home, seated together thank goodness.

To those of you I have bored senseless by now, I appologize. After my initial post and reading many of the snappy comments I wonder why I bothered at all. This more detailed post hopefully provides clarity to our experience.

KimberlyC
03-17-2006, 06:12 PM
To those of you I have bored senseless by now, I appologize. After my initial post and reading many of the snappy comments I wonder why I bothered at all. This more detailed post hopefully provides clarity to our experience.

I enjoyed reading your post! Fortunately, I've never had bad weather on a cruise, but my parents have and reported that it can be miserable. I also like hearing people's perspectives be they good or bad. It can either give me something to look forward to or it allows me to prepare myself and my family in the event something isn't up to standards I would expect. For example, I would like the food to be good, but for my first Disney cruise, I'm just hoping its decent. I've read enough posts on this and another cruise board to know that while many may like Disney's food those who have compared it to the cruiseline I enjoy most (pre-DS) rank it lower. At least I know that going in and have already advised DH that there will be some differences and some will not be for the better but its the sacrifice we are making so that DS can experience Disney magic. Some people love all things Disney and think Disney can do no wrong. I think its a company that does some things really well, but sometimes it could do better.

Just don't give up on cruising based on this experience. Another time, perhaps another line...you may really love it.

Mjasp
03-17-2006, 07:45 PM
Some people love all things Disney and think Disney can do no wrong. I think its a company that does some things really well, but sometimes it could do better.
Just don't give up on cruising based on this experience. Another time, perhaps another line...you may really love it.

Kimberly...Best words I've read yet.

To the OP...On our first cruise in 2002 my husband said the food would be terrible, he said it would be "Disney Food" It was quite good and we were surprised.
On our second cruise in 2004, he was right, the food wasn't too good at all.
We just sailed on Costa, and the food was delicious. But on the Costa board people hate it or love it. Being Italian, I so enjoyed it.
I do think you should try a line with less children and one that is known for good food. Maybe try Celebrity or take my word and try Costa.

fabumouse
03-17-2006, 08:16 PM
I wonder why I bothered at all. This more detailed post hopefully provides clarity to our experience.

As a person who has never cruised, but seriously considering a cruise, I found your post very helpful. Obviously, I am reading as much as I can before making a decision, but since my DH does not want to go on a cruise at all, it would be a serious error on my part to oversell it to him. Thanks for all the detail.

Deemarch
03-17-2006, 08:48 PM
Now that you've written down all of your experience, I feel MUCH BETTER :cool1: about going on the cruise. We are all so different and look at life in such diverse ways...Thanks for your effort.

By the way, we are 53 years old and travel without kids. And any (how can I say this nicely) fool :lmao: who would go on a Disney Cruise and expect no noisy children at shows or anywhere on the ship, for that matter, is just that...I guess after our 5 grew up, we still view life as a bit of a circus. We still love the clowns :clown: the elephants :dumbo: and the feel of peanut shells cruching beneath our feet. :yay:

need_a_Disney_fix
03-17-2006, 08:48 PM
Cruisingsoon, we have already lived through your non-Magical cruise, do we need to relive it again? We get your point. If you didn't enjoy it, chalk it up to a not-so-great-trip and move on. Sheesh!

need_a_Disney_fix
03-17-2006, 09:01 PM
Now that you've written down all of your experience, I feel MUCH BETTER :cool1: about going on the cruise. We are all so different and look at life in such diverse ways...Thanks for your effort.

By the way, we are 53 years old and travel without kids. And any (how can I say this nicely) fool :lmao: who would go on a Disney Cruise and expect no noisy children at shows or anywhere on the ship, for that matter, is just that...I guess after our 5 grew up, we still view life as a bit of a circus. We still love the clowns :clown: the elephants :dumbo: and the feel of peanut shells cruching beneath our feet. :yay:

Oh, Denise, you are one of us! DH and I are empty nesters who finally have a chance to treat ourselves to things we had only dreamed of before and this cruise was one of them. Even though Disney cruises are for families, perhaps these parents can have a chance in the future to enjoy a cruise with Mickey as we see it now. I can only hope they can because it is very special.

momrek06
03-17-2006, 09:12 PM
Now that you've written down all of your experience, I feel MUCH BETTER :cool1: about going on the cruise. We are all so different and look at life in such diverse ways...Thanks for your effort.

By the way, we are 53 years old and travel without kids. And any (how can I say this nicely) fool :lmao: who would go on a Disney Cruise and expect no noisy children at shows or anywhere on the ship, for that matter, is just that...I guess after our 5 grew up, we still view life as a bit of a circus. We still love the clowns :clown: the elephants :dumbo: and the feel of peanut shells cruching beneath our feet. :yay:

DITTO!! DITTO!! Change the 5 to 2!!! AND DITTO!! :thumbsup2

momrek06
03-17-2006, 09:13 PM
Oh, Denise, you are one of us! DH and I are empty nesters who finally have a chance to treat ourselves to things we had only dreamed of before and this cruise was one of them. Even though Disney cruises are for families, perhaps these parents can have a chance in the future to enjoy a cruise with Mickey as we see it now. I can only hope they can because it is very special.


DOUBLE DITTO!! DOUBLE DITTO!! :lmao:

dzneprincess
03-17-2006, 09:17 PM
Cruisingsoon, we have already lived through your non-Magical cruise, do we need to relive it again? We get your point. If you didn't enjoy it, chalk it up to a not-so-great-trip and move on. Sheesh!
Wow that was rather harsh..No one made you open up this thread, which seems to bother you so. I for one enjoy reading and hearing other people's experience on DCL. I tend to stay away from the main boards due to the snarkiness lately, and this is a prime example.

KimberlyC
03-17-2006, 09:22 PM
Kimberly...Best words I've read yet.

On our first cruise in 2002 my husband said the food would be terrible, he said it would be "Disney Food" It was quite good and we were surprised.
On our second cruise in 2004, he was right, the food wasn't too good at all.
We just sailed on Costa, and the food was delicious. But on the Costa board people hate it or love it. Being Italian, I so enjoyed it.
I do think you should try a line with less children and one that is known for good food. Maybe try Celebrity or take my word and try Costa.

Thanks! I haven't sailed Costa in years but when I did, I loved the food too. Some people don't like it because its "real" Italian food. Its a matter of taste, of course, but I like real Italian food. DH and I loved the food when we travelled to Italy. Oh and more Gelato, Please! Celebrity is my favorite line and is the only cruiseline DH has sailed so its all he will have to compare DCL to. That's why I have forwarned him.

I've chosen DCL for our upcoming cruise because DS will be just shy of 3 and I hope the look in his eyes when he sees Mickey and Friends makes up for the higher price tag and lower quality food that I'm anticipating. So I'm willing to give DCL a try and the areas that I think need improvement will be noted on my comment card at the end of the cruise. But I look forward to every vacation and every cruise so :woohoo: I'm excited already despite so long to wait!

need_a_Disney_fix
03-17-2006, 09:26 PM
Wow that was rather harsh..No one made you open up this thread, which seems to bother you so. I for one enjoy reading and hearing other people's experience on DCL. I tend to stay away from the main boards due to the snarkiness lately, and this is a prime example.

Hey, I call 'em as I see 'em.

WDWLVR
03-17-2006, 10:04 PM
Hey everyone - remember the DIS guidelines. No personal attacks. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. You can state your own without putting down someone else.

Disney Lover Linda
03-17-2006, 11:12 PM
I just saw this thread tonight - I am sorry cruisingsoon had such a bad experience. Some trips start bad and end bad. We have been on 2 DCL cruises and loved them both. I do agree completely the food could use some improvement. Its too bad you missed Palo - we would have enjoyed it - truly excellent. With the buffets I found something I liked and usually had it any day we had breakfast there. I told myself buffets are never excellent eating but they are quick and have a variety of foods for many different tastes. I found the dinners hit or miss - some nights good, some very bad. But food wasn't my main reason for choosing DCL. The ship was beautiful, the staff great, rooms and attendant super, and the Christmas cruise we went on was really fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus, tree lighting, snow is atrium. My daughter loved the characters, especially the princesses. The Magic of Disney was there for us. And even Disney can't custom order good weather. Our first curse was a bit cold and had a couple nights rocky seas but not as bad as cruisin had. All in all, I would cruise Disney tomorrow if we had the money - I dreaming of a DCLl Alaskian cruise! :bitelip:

Dreamer04
03-18-2006, 06:25 AM
Cruisingsoon, I'm glad you posted. We were on the 2/18 Eastern. My DH and DS didn't care for the food at all, except for some very particular items. The chicken tenders (not the ones by the Goofy Pool), the lobster and the chocolate lava cake.

Me and DD 8, on the other hand, enjoyed the food. I won't say it was awesome, but very good.

As for the kids clubs, DD8 has enjoyed the 5-7 groups in the past. But not all day. Usually she spent her evenings there.

I suffer from sea-sickness. I sailed on two cruises before I learned how to handle it. Starting two nights before, I take Dramamine-at night! This way I sleep off the drowsiness, yet the medicine is still effective.

Oh that situation with the four year old, standing in her own urine? I would have a hard time not flipping out if I saw that! There has to be a better way handeling that scenario! How about paper towels and rubber gloves? Or escorting her to the bathroom to wait for her parents? Putting up cones around the child? Come on! I hope to high heaven that the parents said something, or maybe the people who witnessed it could send a note to DCL. They have to be told this is going on. This really bothered me.

ricka47
03-18-2006, 07:06 AM
Thanks! I haven't sailed Costa in years but when I did, I loved the food too. Some people don't like it because its "real" Italian food. Its a matter of taste, of course, but I like real Italian food. DH and I loved the food when we travelled to Italy. Oh and more Gelato, Please! Celebrity is my favorite line and is the only cruiseline DH has sailed so its all he will have to compare DCL to. That's why I have forwarned him.

As long as you lower the food expectations of your DH, you will be fine. DCL food does not compare to Celebrity in any way. The service is as good, but more formal on X. I was surprised when our DCL waitstaff called us by our first names. On other lines it's usually Mr. or Mrs. or maybe Mr. Richard or Mr. Rick. Some may call this "stuffy." We call it the reason to cruise: to be treated like royalty. If I wanted casual treatment, there's always Denny's!

I missed some of the "my pleasure sir" or, for my wife, "my pleasure madam." That doesn't make DCL bad, just less formal than other lines which may be great for some. But, we found that it spilled over into the dress and manners of those onboard as well and that wasn't good.

kellimomo3
03-18-2006, 07:18 AM
I noticed you missed your last night's dinner and Saturday's breakfast...When did you tip your serving team???

Kelli'
:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

Deemarch
03-18-2006, 09:59 AM
Hello! We are a crazy group, to some out there. People don't understand why Disney pulls us, but it does. So much that we find it difficult to vacation elsewhere. I think that may be the main reason for the new Adventures by Disney!

Anyway, I know, from listening to everyone here and finding out exactly what the OP's issues were, that we are going to have a wonderful time on our first Disney cruise in 48 days!! It sounds like it's exactly what I am expecting!! And I might even get to hug the mouse, which is something I rarely get to do in WDW...The little ones get to him so much more quickly than I do!!! LOL

sandraB
03-18-2006, 11:12 AM
To be honest,

I really feel like we were not even on the same boat.....I really didn't see anyone sick, and my husband, who does get motion sickness was fine.....Really!

THe seas were rough only because all the other days were soooo calm. As far as that, Disney really can't do anything anyway....


The food we found to be great!! I didn't have to plan it, cook it or clean up after...isn't that what is really important!!!LOL

I feel bad the OP had such a bad experience.....for us it was the vacation of a lifetime...it wasn't perfect, the eggs were yucky...but overall, it was relaxing, and enjoyable.....and it was sunny everyday!!!!


I just hope new cruisers know that there are no perfect cruises, but time with family,and a great service are so valuable! DCL does this right....

Sandi

momrek06
03-18-2006, 11:27 AM
Hello! We are a crazy group, to some out there. People don't understand why Disney pulls us, but it does. So much that we find it difficult to vacation elsewhere. I think that may be the main reason for the new Adventures by Disney!

Anyway, I know, from listening to everyone here and finding out exactly what the OP's issues were, that we are going to have a wonderful time on our first Disney cruise in 48 days!! It sounds like it's exactly what I am expecting!! And I might even get to hug the mouse, which is something I rarely get to do in WDW...The little ones get to him so much more quickly than I do!!! LOL

Hey Denise: You GO GIRL, HUG that MOUSE and I will be right behind you with an AUTOGRAPH BOOK...yup, I might be 52 y.o. but I love those CHARACTERS every one of them. This past Feb when we cruised I hesistated with the autograph book(thought EVERYONE would STARE at me)....but damn when I go back in Feb 2007 on the MAGIC, my book will be right there with every other little kid...my DH just laughs at all this...my childhood re-visited!! LOL!!!!

Karen

::MickeyMo ::MinnieMo pooh: :eeyore: :simba: :goofy: :sulley: :smickey: :tink: :donald: :mickeyjum :ccat:

LisaSp
03-18-2006, 11:50 AM
Oh that situation with the four year old, standing in her own urine? I would have a hard time not flipping out if I saw that! There has to be a better way handeling that scenario! How about paper towels and rubber gloves? Or escorting her to the bathroom to wait for her parents? Putting up cones around the child? Come on! I hope to high heaven that the parents said something, or maybe the people who witnessed it could send a note to DCL. They have to be told this is going on. This really bothered me.

I just have to chime in here with our recent experience on the Eastern Magic. On our first day at sea (and his first day in the club), my DS (5) had a pee accident. We were paged (the message was "Max __ had a potty accident. Please bring a change of clothes to the Oceaneers Club."), but I didn't hear the pager at first so it was about 15 mins between the page and the time I got to the club. When I got there, DS was in a new pair of shorts and no shoes playing happily. His shoes and shorts and undies were in a plastic bag with his name on it. No one seemed fazed. The CM told me he needed shoes to stay (apparently he peed on his shoes too-lovely) so we went back to the room, got new shoes, and he ended up going back as he was having a blast (the reason he didn't get to the bathroom in the first place). Anyway, no one made a big deal of this accident and I asked both of my kids (DD almost 7 was there too) about what happened and it was all very matter of fact--no separating my kid with cones and leaving him in wet clothes!!

christinou
03-18-2006, 11:52 AM
It is so interesting to me how we all perceive things differently. We went on the February 25, 2005 cruise. One of the main thing that my husband remembers is how bad the weather was, and how it really made the cruise unpleasant, what is funny is that I barely remember, that I just remember how great it was that we were together, not working, and everyone from from our room attendant to the servers were taking care of us. My 2 girls 7 and 9 at the time, really did not spend much time at the clubs, they wanted to hang around with me, now I was thrilled about that, I know that in a few years, they might walk by me and ignore me. we truly had a wonderful time but I can really see how it could be completely turned around and made as an awful experience. We also choose to stay in a CAT 9, as I cannot justify the price of a balcony, and we cannot wait to go back in 2007. I have to admit that we have only cruised on DCL, so I really cannot compare to other cruise line, and we are working on our 4th cruise.
To the OP I am sorry that you did not enjoy the cruise, it is always so disappointed to look forward to something and it does not turn out the way that you anticipate.

cruisingsoon
03-18-2006, 12:15 PM
I noticed you missed your last night's dinner and Saturday's breakfast...When did you tip your serving team???

Kelli'
:groom: princess: pirate: pirate: pirate:

Please do not worry about such a thing. As a formal waitress through my college days, I fully understand how important tipping is. We tipped every staff member we were supposed to MORE then the DCL guidelines state. It was certainly not the wait staff's fault regarding the food. They were always very kind to us and our son. If you must know, after we packed and went for our walk, my son hand delivered the coupon to the servers after the dinner rush was through.

clovely
03-18-2006, 12:25 PM
I just have to chime in here with our recent experience on the Eastern Magic. On our first day at sea (and his first day in the club), my DS (5) had a pee accident. We were paged (the message was "Max __ had a potty accident. Please bring a change of clothes to the Oceaneers Club."), but I didn't hear the pager at first so it was about 15 mins between the page and the time I got to the club. When I got there, DS was in a new pair of shorts and no shoes playing happily. His shoes and shorts and undies were in a plastic bag with his name on it. No one seemed fazed. The CM told me he needed shoes to stay (apparently he peed on his shoes too-lovely) so we went back to the room, got new shoes, and he ended up going back as he was having a blast (the reason he didn't get to the bathroom in the first place). Anyway, no one made a big deal of this accident and I asked both of my kids (DD almost 7 was there too) about what happened and it was all very matter of fact--no separating my kid with cones and leaving him in wet clothes!!

The description of the little girl standing there screaming and surrounded by cones is horrifying. But, your post made me think that it's also entirely possible that she wouldn't let the CMs help her and just flipped out and wouldn't be touched so they just quardened her off to keep everyone from making it worse and from getting in the pee pee.

Johnna_Story
03-18-2006, 02:36 PM
It's really unfortunate that the OP had a "not magical" time. I guess it all comes down to expectations. Sounds like the OP had really high expectations, particularly for the $ she spent. I think some people just don't realize that those who pay for a Category 1 get the same food, same kids club, same shows, same weather, and same general services as everyone else. My point is that your extra $ is paying for more room in your suite, the concierge service, and some other perks suites qualify for. But everything else is the same. I had really high expectations on my last two cruises. First one lived up to and beyond, and the second didn't - NOT b/c of DCL, but we had kids get sick, excursions missed, and not great weather. My lesson learned - adjust the expecations. So based on my last two experiences, here's my opinion:

What should you expect on DCL?

Dining room food - it's "industrial" food - particuarly the buffets. As one poster said, no eggs on any buffet anywhere. NO KIDDING! They are not real eggs - how you can you expect DCL to cook fresh eggs each morning for @2000 people? Or prime rib? Do I really think my prime rib will be made to order? HAH! The only place on board your food is made to order is Palo. Take advantage of it - particularly if you are, in the words of the OP, "a food snob."

Kids Club - with no other cruise line to compare it to, I found it amazing. Is there a structured activity for the 15+ hours a day it is open? Of course not. How could you expect that? Kids need time each day without a structured activity - (recess, anyone?) and I expect those who supervise kids club CM's and those who develop the programming have had some child education background, since they seem to work for the majority of folks on this board, and others I've spoke to about the clubs. It definitely worked for DS 2 years in a row, and for DD this past Feb. They are doing something - probably most everything - right. If not, they would have changed it by now.

Weather - I've come to expect NOTHING! I've had some great weather and some bad weather in the past. So now, I just have a plan B. I expect to have bad weather at some point and know there's nothing I can do. So I have dramamine, sea bands and whatever else I might need. And if we miss the beach at St. Maarten (WE DID), oh well. Plan B: enjoy time on the ship instead.

Other things out of your control (aside from weather already mentioned): your original intinerary changes because someone got seriously injured or sick, there's a hurricane in your path, or whatever. Maybe you shouldn't expect that this would happen because it does seem rare, but what can you do? Plan B - go with the flow. Your vacation can be completely ruined if something like this happens. Complain all you like - ask for a refund, refuse to cruise ever again - you can come back to land with a sour taste in your mouth, or you can just make the most of it. I learned the hard way - I spent 6 days out of 7 disappointed. Finally I realized I could change my attitude or keep up the bad vibes. So glad I changed - it was well worth it.

Bottom line: you might have a "magical" vacation or you might not. It depends on you.

ricka47
03-18-2006, 02:50 PM
It's really unfortunate that the OP had a "not magical" time. I guess it all comes down to expectations. Sounds like the OP had really high expectations, particularly for the $ she spent.

Yup, that's what it comes down to: expectations. But, how come the other lines do better in most areas for less money? I think the OP should have had high expectations from DCL.

I just watched the show on Travel Channel about DCL and the terms "Disney" and "expectations" were mentioned over and over. They said nothing about lowering expectations.

Dixielady908
03-18-2006, 04:31 PM
I would be happy to do a day by day for you...

Saturday--flight down (arranged by Disney, reservations were made almost 1 year in advance)-- We were not sitting altogether. My husband ended up sitting with my son and I sat further back in the plane. Waited in line at the airport for a little less than an hour to catch our bus. Bus ride was nice. I loved the movie outlining the boat. We were very excited. Got to the port. Waited well over an hour to get signed in. My son was miserable and hungry. Should have broke down and bought food at the snack bar, but were anxious to get on and get to the buffet. Ended up grabbing pizza when we got on board, 1st thing we passed. The pizza was good. Went to room and missed the departing show because my son wanted to nap. We sat outside on our little deck and relaxed. Got ready for dinner at the Parrot Cay. Met our table mates-all of us were a bit sea sick, it really moves around back there. The water in the glasses was sloshing back and forth a bit. It was a weird feeling. Food was bland, but that was not a problem since I didn't feel so good. I felt really sick by the time we got back to the room after a short walk. Went to bed to make it "stop". The curtain in the room was swaying from side to side--yuck. Called it a night. My son was exhausted anyway.

Sunday--Had room service for breakfast--donuts and pastry were poor, OJ was watery, apple juice was like syrup--YUCK. That was our fault though, shouldn't have done room service. Went to the spa for mani then later a pedi. They were ok, but I was still feeling yuck so it was hard to relax. The girl doing my nails said it would typically calm down by around 12-1 (thank goodness it did). Had lunch at Topsiders--food average. We went to the club to sign up my son. (I have already spoken a lot about the club). Spent some time by the pool--Freezing to death. It was so windy and cold still. Kids were swimming, but most sensible folks had on pants and sweatshirts. Visited the arcade, was bummed at the size. It was very small and packed with people. Later in the week it was not as packed, but there was not much for a little guy to do. He loves arcades and we usually can find enough to keep him busy for hours. Went to dinner at Lumiere's, food was bland. Environment was nice. The waitstaff really tries hard and brings new things if you do not like what you are having. We tried this a couple of times, but nothing really was good. We are food snobs--I will admit that. We are very spoiled when it comes to fresh, terrific food. My family has wonderful cooks, my brother is a chef and has worked at amazing places--The Breaker's Hotel, 4 Seasons, etc. We always have fresh herbs (growing in doors and out), grow a lot of our own produce, I love the food network, and amaze my own friends often at my creations. We travel a lot and try new things all the time. What I am saying is we know good food, but understand that a cruise line would not be what we are used to. Still what we had was no where near what we expected. The meun's were fine, the presentations were ok, but the food was often bland and yuck.

We went to the Golden Mickeys that night. We decided to wait until 10 minutes before show time to go to the theater since my son is a wiggle worm and we didn't want to go too soon. This was a mistake. The whole theater was packed!@!!!! We walked up and down the aisles. The only reason we were able to stay and see the show was because a VERY VERY nice man put his daughter in his lap, and his wife put her son in her lap, so we had 2 free seats with my son in my lap. It was a nice show, but the movie screen clips that were throughout the show were boring to my son. It was very noisy in the theater, but that was expected since there was so many little ones. If I was an adult traveling without kids I would have been very annoyed.


Monday--Went to Parrot cay for breakfast. Was sad to see the pastry and donuts were the same. Muffins were packaged looking. Tried the eggs, bacon, sausage. Eggs were horrible and powdered. Bacon was not great. Sausage was ok. Later saw the omlet bar. Oh well.

Went to kids club a couple times this day. I won't add much to the club stuff except this day I did see a poor little girl around 4 years old have a pee-pee accident. It was so sad. She was standing there with a bright red face crying pathetically in her puddle. I understand that the staff is not allowed to touch children who have accidents for very real health issues. I don't claim to have a solution either. But the little girl was screaming for a very, very long time until her mom came to get her. The staff had surrounded her and her puddle with brightly colored cones and instucted her to stay there and other people/kids to walk around her. It was sooooo traumatic for that little girl.

Went to the pool again. It was much warmer this day since we were further south. There is a HUGE amount of kids in the Mickey pool. I have personally never seen so many in such a small pool before. It was a very fun pool though for the kids. They did not seem to mind, but I jumped in 2 times to upright my son after he had been shoved over. The pool is shallow enough for little ones to walk in, but the big ones are still running and jumping everywhere. I wish there was a half hour a day for smaller ones or something. There is a Goofy pool that has bigger kids, but many were still more interested in the Mickey one since that is where to slide is. There is a Mickey ear with fountains for non-potty trained kids. But big kids were running in and out of that too and slidding over the edge of the "ears". Great pool, but hard to find a time when it is quieter/hazard free for smaller kids.

Went to late lunch at the hotdog place. The hotdogs were good, but the buns were a bit stale. Enjoyed the fries. Had soft serve ice cream too. A teenager would think they died and went to heaven. These fast food places were better then we would have expected and we enjoyed them since we don't eat too much of this at home.

I went to the gym this day. The gym was nice, although the ceiling is not too tall on the 2nd level(a ramp between levels). I am glad I am not 6 foot or would have bumped my head. The guy next to me on the elliptical had his hair touch everytime he stepped. My only real complaint about the gym (I went ~ hour Monday-Friday) it was pretty hot in there. I sweated like crazy every time. The AC was too low and there weren't any fans.

Went to dinner at AP. Our seats were not great for viewing. We were all the way up against a wall and behind one of those serving station things. It was difficult to take it all in. Food same. Servers nice. Went to the family dance hour. My son loved this. The floor was packed, bigger girls were twirling/running wildly around. Cute, but knocked my son down, twice. He was ok, and we did return a couple times later in the week since he loved it so much. Again getting knocked a fair amount. Wish they had picked a bigger dance location.

Tuesday--
Arrived at St. Maarten. Had breakfast at topsiders. Tried the mini blueberry pancakes. VERY dry. I think we went to the kids club for a while. Had a quick lunch, fruit. Went to Afternoon beach bash. It was great. Warning there are some completely naked and topless folks on that beach too. This was not a problem for us since my son is clueless still, but I did hear a couple parents with older kids complain a bit, they had said it was supposed to be a fully clothed beach. No idea. There were a lot of island folks trying to sell things. They hovered most of the time asking over and over if you wanted this or that. It didn't bother us too much, but a couple people on the bus were talking about it on the way back. There were 4 dogs running around fighting at the end of the beach time. One ran by and missed my son by inches. Regardless, we enjoyed our excursion. There were nice cushioned chairs, and an umbrella that we only had to pay $3 to use. We got to see the island on our bus ride. It was nice.

Had to rush to get ready for dinner (20 minutes for all 3 of us). Went back to Parrot Cay. I felt a bit sea sick again. Something about the location I think. Food same. But they gave all of us bandanas for our heads (pirate theme). There was a show at the end of dinner with music and the servers and kids going around the room. Our server grabbed my son and made it half way around before my son started crying. My son was afraid of the loud music and didn't know what was happening. If I had told him what to expect and that he was just going in a circle maybe he wouldn't have been scared. Oh well. We tried very hard to keep my son up for the pirate show. He just couldn't make it. It does not start until 9:45 (probably waiting for everyone to finish dinner). Bummer. Just too late for my little guy after a day at the beach.

Wednesday--St. Thomas day. Everyone on the boat had to get up early this day. We were thankful at this point that we hadn't pushed for the pirate show. Kids and their 'rents looked EXHAUSTED. Wasn't a big deal, just a hoop to jump through. Tried to go to Lumiere's for breakfast. It was filled and they would not allow any more people to go in. We ate at Parrot Cay. Left for bird show at top of the mountain on St. Thomas. The tram ride was cool. It gave a great view. We went on a short hike at the top of the mountain, had some water then saw the bird show. It was a very small area, but was cute. Headed back for the boat after a walk. It was a nice short excursion for a family with little ones.

Had lunch at topsiders, there were fresh shrimp today. That was nice. Glad that we didn't eat on the island! Went to the pool again. It was still very crowded. I would have hoped that people would all be out on excursions. Oh well. Went to the kids club. Tried again to go the basketball court. It always is very crowded and too dangerous for a little one. We expected that though.

Had dinner at Lumieres again. Tonight our dinner companions were at Palo, so we felt more comfortable telling the staff that we were not enjoying our food. They brought over the head guy, who was nice and offered to cook something that we had already had earlier in the week. We didn't have the heart to tell him that there was nothing that we tried that we would have wanted again. He was trying, but what could he do. We only talked to him in order to hopefully make a difference for future guests, we knew it would not do any good for us.

Had our pictures taken--camera staff also very nice. Did the family dance party thing again and called it a night.

Thursday--Went to the character breakfast. Tried the kids Mickey waffle and chocolate pancake--both not good at all, hard. My son wouldn't even eat them. Stuck with the fruit. My son loved that characters.

Someone passed out the night before and fell down some stairs. We made an emergency transfer somewhere and were off course now. The seas were VERY VERY VERY rough today. Up to 20 feet waves per the captains log on the TV. People were stumbling everywhere. On the top deck if you went to the back and looked forward you saw the whole boat tipping up and down. The horizon was moving everywhere. For the person who said they were not sea sick at all and they always get sea sick, I doubt it. This is the day that the kid puked in the Mickey pool. My husband who is never sick, was sick in bed all day throwing up. I felt like I could too but I was trying to keep moving and keep my mind off of it. My son kept complaining that he was dizzy and pick him up. There were people puking in trash cans. It was a very rough day at sea. I went to the movie Nemo with my son, the HUGE screen was swaying from side to side. I concentrated to not be sick. My husband was too sick for food today. Went to Disney Dream show that night (went to the early seating since we were not doing dinner). It was much less crowded then the later seating. The show was great. But it was so rough at sea still that the shutter that the girl was singing (at while she was at the window) kept swinging shut and she kept pushing it open.

Friday--we arrived late at Castaway Cay due to the stop we had to make for the hurt women the night before last. The captain was able to make up some time after the sea calmed down a bit. We were in line for about 45 minutes to get off the boat (my husband wanted off since he was still recovering). We quickly got our seats under an umbrella. Later on many people were trudging down the beach complaining that there was no where left to sit. Probably extra crowded since all/most? of the excursions were cancelled since the water was still to rough. The island was the highlight of the trip. The BBQ sauce actually had some flavor. I also had a mango that nearly made me weap with joy it was so good. We were among the very last people to get back on the boat. We were too late to get to dinner. We had room service. The pizza was not the same as the top deck pizza, it was thicker and soggy. I ordered a ceasar salad and it was tiny tiny, and the croutons were soft. Oh well. Room service we already knew was not the way to go either. We packed everything. Went for a walk on deck, had it almost to ourselves since it was cold again. Had a taco, tasteless and the shell was not cooked, but oh well. Watched a movie on the big screen. Went to bed.

Saturday--

Had breakfast at topsiders so we would not have to get up too early. Took our time getting off. Debark was pretty smooth since everyone was already gone. Waited ~45 minutes on the bus before it left. Flew home, seated together thank goodness.

To those of you I have bored senseless by now, I appologize. After my initial post and reading many of the snappy comments I wonder why I bothered at all. This more detailed post hopefully provides clarity to our experience.
No matter what I guess you just cant please all of the people all the time and some people just refuse to be pleased with anything.

MSWint
03-18-2006, 06:04 PM
No matter what I guess you just cant please all of the people all the time and some people just refuse to be pleased with anything.

EXACTLY!!!!!!

You can choose to focus on the things that do not go as well as planned (on a cruise or anywhere in life), or you can choose to have a good time no matter what 'Lady Luck' sends your way. You only go around once in life, I choose to make the best of it no matter how bad things can get.

I do appreciate that the OP took the time to write a more detailed description of the trip .... much better than the list of negatives in the original rant. It was kinda like listening to the evening news though, downplay the positives and over emphasize the negatives until you come to think the negatives are the norm.

Oh well, to each there own. Me and my family are going on our second DCL in September, we can't wait ... and we fully intend to have a GREAT time. Bring on the bad luck, I dare you!!!!

clovely
03-18-2006, 06:19 PM
I don't think it's fair to say "she's just a negative person". I assume most of us have been to Disney World. I grew up in Kissimmee and had the luxury of going to Disney often but never paying full price (if at all - back in the day employees pretty much got unlimited tickets and most everyone I knew worked there)...so we also never felt the pressure to spend the whole day, do everything, and get our money's worth. And I've only been a couple times with small children. But every time you go to "the happiest place on earth" almost every third person, adult or child, you see is completely miserable!! They're hot, they're exhausted, lines are long - a Disney vacation is hard work and I think it's something most people (first timers) are just not prepared for! Growing up there, I've never understood how that was someone's idea of a vacation. Perfect as a day trip but if I had to spend a week fighting the crowds and dragging my kids through the parks, I'd go nutso!!

I'm going on my first cruise next weekend and I'm imagining a lot of people are in the same boat. Trying to have fun, maybe trying too hard because they spent so much and went through so much just to get there and trying to make exhausted overstimulated children (and adults in their party) happy.

Any vacation can be stressful but a theme park vacation is 100x...I'm assuming this is pretty much the same or at least almost. You have to go into these things prepared and knowing what you're in for. And, even if you do, you may have never done it with a three year old which I can imagine could be the most magical age to go and the most miserable age to go!!!

We recently went to an all inclusive that we got a fantastic deal on because we went the second month after it opened. We got nervous reading trip reports on another board because it seemed like everyone was complaining about everything! We decided to just go for the fun of it, maybe not have the same expectations we had when we went to another of their resorts in the past, cut everyone some slack, and just relax. Honestly, we didn't see any problems there at all!! It was all wonderful! We actually got a little tired of the staff apologizing for silly stuff. But, because of all the griping they'd heard the first two months, they gave us (everyone) two free nights to come back...we felt kinda guilty taking that because it was completely unnecessary...but we're going back in August!

It is what you make of it. But travelling is stressful - especially with kids!!!! So it's probably not as simple as negativity and I don't think it's fair to label the OP that way.

Mjasp
03-18-2006, 06:46 PM
I don't think it's fair to say "she's just a negative person". I assume most of us have been to Disney World. I grew up in Kissimmee and had the luxury of going to Disney often but never paying full price (if at all - back in the day employees pretty much got unlimited tickets and most everyone I knew worked there)...so we also never felt the pressure to spend the whole day, do everything, and get our money's worth. And I've only been a couple times with small children. But every time you go to "the happiest place on earth" almost every third person, adult or child, you see is completely miserable!! They're hot, they're exhausted, lines are long - a Disney vacation is hard work and I think it's something most people (first timers) are just not prepared for! Growing up there, I've never understood how that was someone's idea of a vacation. Perfect as a day trip but if I had to spend a week fighting the crowds and dragging my kids through the parks, I'd go nutso!!

I'm going on my first cruise next weekend and I'm imagining a lot of people are in the same boat. Trying to have fun, maybe trying too hard because they spent so much and went through so much just to get there and trying to make exhausted overstimulated children (and adults in their party) happy.

Any vacation can be stressful but a theme park vacation is 100x...I'm assuming this is pretty much the same or at least almost. You have to go into these things prepared and knowing what you're in for. And, even if you do, you may have never done it with a three year old which I can imagine could be the most magical age to go and the most miserable age to go!!!

We recently went to an all inclusive that we got a fantastic deal on because we went the second month after it opened. We got nervous reading trip reports on another board because it seemed like everyone was complaining about everything! We decided to just go for the fun of it, maybe not have the same expectations we had when we went to another of their resorts in the past, cut everyone some slack, and just relax. Honestly, we didn't see any problems there at all!! It was all wonderful! We actually got a little tired of the staff apologizing for silly stuff. But, because of all the griping they'd heard the first two months, they gave us (everyone) two free nights to come back...we felt kinda guilty taking that because it was completely unnecessary...but we're going back in August!

It is what you make of it. But travelling is stressful - especially with kids!!!! So it's probably not as simple as negativity and I don't think it's fair to label the OP that way.

OMG I am ROTFLMAO How true what you said above about the parks. My good friend works for Disney. The first time I stayed on property, Fort Wilderness Cabins (Thanks to her) she said to me "Joanna, watch how the kids cry, the parents pick them up by their arms and start yelling at them (Yep, the happiest place on earth) LOL Then looks at the spouse and says, with all the money we spent we WILL have a great time" LOL So my DD was 4 at the time and when we got to Magic Kingdom, after about an hour, she said to me "Mom, can we go back to the room so I can color!!! My DH and I looked at each other and laughed so hard.
In all honesty, I think another reason for a big letdown with the cruise is all the hype from these boards. I thought Disney Dreams was going to be the best thing since slice bread from all the reviews, but to me I was quite disappointed.
Thanks for the humor.

MSWint
03-18-2006, 06:57 PM
I don't think it's fair to say "she's just a negative person". I assume most of us have been to Disney World.
It is what you make of it. But travelling is stressful - especially with kids!!!! So it's probably not as simple as negativity and I don't think it's fair to label the OP that way.
Agreed. Travelling with a 3 year old is definately stressful .. I know, I've done it, and most people who go to Disney World or DCL have done it. It also seems to me that there were a very large number of very young cruisers on this cruise, I didn't see any where near that may 3 to 5 year olds on our cruise, maybe we got lucky, maybe it was the time of year, I don't know.

I stayed and watched at the club and the lab, just watching to see how things were going on many occasions and found that the care was absolutely the opposite of what the OP saw. I'm not saying it didn't happen, just that I had a totally different experience.

Still, it is definately what you make of it ... I am happy to hear from people about things that did not go well, that way I can learn from them, try to avoid some things, take a balanced view from different perspectives. There are people who only post positive reports ... I guess we could label those people as being too 'positive'. Every trip has its 'good times' and its 'bad times', I guess I just find it hard to understand how any trip could be all bad.

Sorry if I offendend!!

wide awake
03-18-2006, 07:12 PM
We were on the August repo and went through a hurricane...people were REALLY sick, including me...but as many have said...DCL can't control the weather. As for the food, I too am a food snob...so I don't go to the buffets unless I'm getting an omelet, or it is the seafood buffet. I too am Ms. fresh herb and produce, and given the limitations of storing the amount of food needed for a cruise, I found most of the food very good...particularly the fruit. There are certain things I stay away from...green salads, Mexican food, the pizza...just no way those are going to be up to my standards, but I wouldn't expect it. DCL has a huge customer base from the midwest and east...most of these people aren't going to be thrilled w/ a real fish or carnitas taco, thin crust pizza w/o tomato sauce, or salads made w/ perfectly fresh dark greens. I've always found the soups, risottos, and freshly prepared breakfasts to be wonderful. I don't understand why you paid for a cat 4...you could have had a cat 6 w/ a balcony for lots less money. I'd be a wild woman if I paid $9000 for a lousy time, so I do feel sorry for you.

Tarabra
03-18-2006, 11:40 PM
Boy, it just seems like OP didn't like ANYthing. I just can't imagine that. I put salt on everything, so maybe w/out it, I'd think everything was bland too. But I never found anything on 5 DCL's to be bland. Everything seemed to be "hard", "dry", "watery", "syrupy", etc. for the OP. I just can't imagine being that particular. And there was NOTHING that the head chef could bring you??? Did you think maybe it's just you?? I just can't believe that. I think they do a pretty good job w/ all those people. The food may not be gourmet, but it certainly is an enjoyable experience. Also, it may be time to cut the apron strings. Your son sounds like he's afraid of a lot of things. I like to teach my 16 month old to be independent. I don't mean to sound harsh, but you may need to step back and take a look at yourself from someone else's (about 5 pages worth) perspective. I don't think it has much to do w/ everyone defending DCL, it's just hard to imagine everything being such a downer.

MariettaC
03-19-2006, 07:10 AM
I'm sorry you didn't have a "Magical Cruise". My experiences on the Magic were extraordinary. Recently cruised to Alaska on HAL and realized how much better the Magic is. I'll sail on other lines but only because of the cost. Right now I'm hoping to cruise the Magic in Europe next year. :cloud9:

Dixielady908
03-19-2006, 11:17 AM
Boy, it just seems like OP didn't like ANYthing. I just can't imagine that. I put salt on everything, so maybe w/out it, I'd think everything was bland too. But I never found anything on 5 DCL's to be bland. Everything seemed to be "hard", "dry", "watery", "syrupy", etc. for the OP. I just can't imagine being that particular. And there was NOTHING that the head chef could bring you??? Did you think maybe it's just you?? I just can't believe that. I think they do a pretty good job w/ all those people. The food may not be gourmet, but it certainly is an enjoyable experience. Also, it may be time to cut the apron strings. Your son sounds like he's afraid of a lot of things. I like to teach my 16 month old to be independent. I don't mean to sound harsh, but you may need to step back and take a look at yourself from someone else's (about 5 pages worth) perspective. I don't think it has much to do w/ everyone defending DCL, it's just hard to imagine everything being such a downer.

DITTO!!!!!!

Skuba2
03-19-2006, 01:11 PM
I think all posts are welcomed here--even the reports that aren't so glorious. While reading (I'll admit I started skimming half way through) your day by day report, I noticed a lot of references to your ds. I too tried a cruise with a child slightly less than 3. I went on a carnival cruise line because they do allow the younger kids in the club. I hated it, she hated it, my dh hated it----99% because she was just too young. It was the worst vacation I had ever taken. I spent the whole time trying to accomodate her and her schedule and the kid's club schedule, etc. It isn't that it doesn't work for little kids----I just found it not enjoyable for me and my family. I have done 2 Disney cruises since (youngest dd was 5 and 7) and am going on my 3rd this July (she will be turning 9). My son was born before the first and remained home for both of them. He is making his first cruise on this one at the age of 5.

You (as in anyone cruising) have to keep in mind that while the ship offers what seems like endless entertainment, not all entertainment is right for all people. If your son is a "squirmy worm" as you describe, it sounds like any lengthy event would bore him eventually. My dd is the same way---ADHD all the way and couldn't sit still if her life depended on it. We tend to sit in the back with easy escape when necessary. Think about what you would and wouldn't take your kids to see at home? I wouldn't take a 3 yr old to see the play Beauty and the Beast but I would take them to see a Sesame street show.

As far as the kid's clubs---couldn't get mine out of there. My dd (yep--the same one) actually managed to knock herself silly by attempting to run onto a chair with wheels and then crash onto the floor onto her face. Bruised her teeth pretty good. Do I blame Disney? No. That is just who she is. She also managed to knock em on the Carnival cruise and finally did a face plant onto our street at home and finally knocked them both out. Oh yeah, I was watching her on that one.

I think we as readers can learn from both good posts and bad ones. So, I thank you for your time in writing your story. New questions can pop into readers' heads. What do I do if my child doesn't like the club? What options are there for food if I or my kids don't like what is served? (Don't they usually have a cook to order breakfast option?) We may need to pack some snacks in case we can't board as quickly as we want to and everyone gets hungry/thirsty.

Sorry my reply is so long. I hope you try the cruise again when your child is a little older and your eyes open to what to expect. It may be that a different place in time, a different season perhaps, and a different knowledge base of what to expect and what not to expect may may a huge difference.

DG

momrek06
03-19-2006, 02:22 PM
I agree with SKUBA2 (the above Poster) re: your ds's age. It may have come down to exactly THAT!! We all know when our kids are not happy and we try desparately to make them happy and nothing is working than we get UNHAPPY!!!

In re: to the shows....I was just the opposite with my youngest ds....we would GO EXTRA EARLY to anything from shows to MASS and sit RIGHT DOWN FRONT, so that when the show starts, ds is sooo incredibly focused on that which is right in front of him. It worked wonderfully for us. I would send my DH and older DS to hold seats for us WHATEVER the case maybe and show up at the event as it is starting.

Only problem with that is my DS is now 20 and when we lived in NYC for 4 years he ALWAYS had to have the FRONT ROW for every Broadway show....opps., probably my fault at that BUT all in all, we try to do the best we can with all our squirmy wormy's!!!!

ginna74
03-19-2006, 05:26 PM
just found this post. SHEESH she really didn't like her trip. Please stop attacking her because of it. most of you all would cruise with no second thoughts, WHO CARES, she was posting that she had a bad trip. If you can't say anything, without cutting into op then shhhhhhh. I see some saying the same thing, just in a nice way, well it isn't working lol. Some are even bashing her son! I hope the MODS will close this thread (I did see one give a warning a while back) it the attacks persist.

DisneyCruiseFansMc
03-19-2006, 07:46 PM
I have read this thread w/ much interest as I finally convinced my DH to go on his first DC this past January (my kids & I went twice w/ friends in 01 & 04). And he had very high expectations (it's ALL my kids talk about, they reference the DCL at least once a week in relation to something or other). It was a HUGE adjustment to the "cruise way of vacationing" & not for everyone. But after about 2 days he "got into the groove" & said.......(now for my purpose of posting) "A bad day on a cruise, sure beats a good day at work!!!!" and all the people looking at my pictures said he truly seemed to enjoy himself. We pre-booked for 08 & I do believe he will be onboard once again. Try again in a few years, the age of the kids REALLY matters. Mine are 12 & 9.
On a side note, my DS's Boy Scout Troop going in July to WDW & we opted OUT of THAT trip. WDW is not the happiest place on earth, it is the most stressful. Yet THOUSANDS go every year b/c they feel every kid should go there. We did in 01 (Land/Sea) & all my kids wanted to do was go back to the hotel to swim. I felt my parents THE WORST in the world b/c I never went (oh now I see the wisdom in that decision). I went for the first time at age 23 & wondered what all the hype was about & 10 years later MY kids wondered the same thing!!! Yet DCL THE BEST for them. Live & learn.
HAVE A MAGICAL DAY..............

Deemarch
03-19-2006, 09:54 PM
It's time.

Miss Eeyore
03-20-2006, 12:46 AM
Why would anyone jump to the conclusion that someone was a "non-tipper" because they missed the last night supper? On DCL, as on many ships, tips may be added to your shipboard account. Those designated tips are automatically added to the proper servers tip account. The "coupon" they give you is only a formality, something to put in the olittle envelope. So please folks, do not jujp to the very negative opinion of someone who does not come to the final dinner....it does not necessarily mean they have skipped tipping. Give people a break and assume the best of someone until, or if, they show you the worst.

ricka47
03-20-2006, 07:38 AM
Perception is important and so is attitude. While we felt that DCL did not live up to our expectations in many ways, we still had a great time. I remember years ago being on a RCI 11-night cruise out of Miami. It was soon after 9/11 and they almost gave it away.

Then, since it still wasn't full, they offered good discounts to a lot of folks who lived in South Florida and they jumped at it. We lived in Indianapolis at the time and were surprised at the older crowd on an RCI ship. I thought that we were on HAL....but, no biggie.

But, the whiners were on that ship, big-time. I was amazed how many folks who had gotten such an astounding deal could complain so much about everything....but they did. RCI is not perfect nor is DCL, but we have had a great time on every cruise we've taken and we've had bad weather, cancellations, and other crazy things happen. One of our best cruises was a 10-night one on the RCI Splendour out of Galveston when the weather was completely crazy and we missed half of our ports. It was a great trip nonetheless.

But, we were not sick all the time and my DD had a great time in the RCI kids program. Hey, the OP didn't enjoy the trip. It's as simple as that. We were quite disappointed in the food on DCL and felt that it did not compare with what we had experienced on other lines. Yet, I still gained my usual amount amount of pounds and are heading back in September.

I do think that, after that trip, we'll be heading back to Celebrity where there is just an extra touch of quality and service in a number of areas but without, alas, the Disney magic that one cannot put a price upon.

Tarabra
03-20-2006, 09:11 AM
Some are even bashing her son! I certainly was not bashing her son. I mentioned that it seemed her son was afraid of a lot of things and this could be from being overprotective. Let me tell you, my DH and his 3 siblings are afraid of EVERYthing, "water, heights, boats, being outside, rides (his dad told them when they were little that once he rode a roller coaster and it "ripped his guts out!") etc. etc." The reason being...his mom was afraid and the kids grew up w/ that fear. All the siblings, as well as DH, married "opposites" and people who don't show that anxiety towards their kids. My DH is a little resentful at his parents that they were too overprotective. Who'da EVER thought he would love a cruise enough to do 6! (see above fears!) He also doesn't want our DD16mos to grow up afraid. She's already been to swim lessons at 10mos. Nothing against OP's son for being afraid, I surely don't blame him or my husband for being afraid.

Cindi0511
03-20-2006, 09:37 AM
This is a tough one. I keep trying not to have any expectations for our second DCL trip in September, but it's Disney, and it's impossible NOT to have expectations. :) The OP did pay a lot of money for everything involved, and I don't think it's out of line to expect a lot from Disney, no matter where you go: cruise, resorts, MK, Epcot, DVC, etc. Whether or not they are met can be influenced by multitudes of things, and the circumstances from week to week and month to month vary greatly.

I do think not having a lot of planning time for our first cruise (about three weeks, I think), helped. I didn't really like Flounders, but I also think it could have been my not knowing what to expect at the two times I took my daughter, then 2 1/2. She will be 5 1/2 by the time we go again in September, and I think she'll have a ball in the club. If not, she'll just stay with us. Our youngest daughter, who will also be 2 1/2 by September, will probably go to Flounders with her cousin who's coming with us. I think having more than one child or at least a friend in there probably would do a lot for the youngsters who have had a hard time -- of course, that's not always feasible to pay for other kids to come with! (Maybe Disney can sell some "Just add water and stir" pop-up friends to the gift shop!! :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2:). If only it were that easy...

The nap thing can take a lot of time out of other activities, but for my kids, they are a must or EVERYONE on the ship will suffer the consequences of overtired, overstimulated young'uns. ;) It's easy to try to cram everything in in one trip because for some people, it truly is a one-time only opportunity. (I've noticed how much better our WDW trips are with annual passes -- we live 2.5 hours away, and so we DON'T have to feel the pressure of seeing everything in a short amount of time. That gives us the opportunity to slow down and really enjoy it. Not quite sure how to translate that to a cruise since there are no "annual passes"... Hmm, maybe Disney should come up with that!!!!!!!!! :rotfl2:

Of course, if I was seasick, that would ruin the whole trip pretty much no matter what else happened, but no one can control that. Maybe that was part of the food problem -- I can't imagine anything would taste good if I felt badly. :sad2:

I do wish you'd been able to get to Palo -- I think they'd have met your expectations there. Were you ever able to eat anywhere off the ship? (that truly is a question, not a slam or ANYTHING other than a curious question).

Who knows? Maybe you could try it again in the future, perhaps a shorter version just for one more try. Of course, it is completely up to you, OP. I'm not trying to tell you what to do!!!! It's your money and your vacation time -- do what you really enjoy!

Please don't let this thread get closed -- it is valuable, even if not everyone agrees with each other! :goodvibes :goodvibes :goodvibes I truly don't think most posters were trying to be snotty or rude, just expressing a different experience they had at the same time. Please don't take it that way -- there are some fabulously wonderful people on here. :grouphug:

clovely
03-20-2006, 10:11 AM
I certainly was not bashing her son. I mentioned that it seemed her son was afraid of a lot of things and this could be from being overprotective. Let me tell you, my DH and his 3 siblings are afraid of EVERYthing, "water, heights, boats, being outside, rides (his dad told them when they were little that once he rode a roller coaster and it "ripped his guts out!") etc. etc." The reason being...his mom was afraid and the kids grew up w/ that fear. All the siblings, as well as DH, married "opposites" and people who don't show that anxiety towards their kids. My DH is a little resentful at his parents that they were too overprotective. Who'da EVER thought he would love a cruise enough to do 6! (see above fears!) He also doesn't want our DD16mos to grow up afraid. She's already been to swim lessons at 10mos. Nothing against OP's son for being afraid, I surely don't blame him or my husband for being afraid.

That's not fair. I have one kid who's 100% daredevil and knows no fear. Her brother is Mr. Caution. His favorite phrase is "I don't think that's a good idea". You can't assume he didn't like the kids' room because she's overprotective. It's just as likely he didn't like the kids room because something struck him wrong when he first went in (like another kid running wild), he was exhuausted from travellling, etc. And, after all, he is three years old...sometimes three year olds are just going to act like three year olds - which is way more terrible than two years old in my experience.

CRSNDSNY
03-20-2006, 12:36 PM
I'm glad the OP decided to post a play-by-play. It gave me a better feel for where most of her post-cruise thoughts came from.

I hope your next vacation is better.

MeRiVan
03-20-2006, 02:38 PM
As long as you lower the food expectations of your DH, you will be fine. DCL food does not compare to Celebrity in any way. The service is as good, but more formal on X. I was surprised when our DCL waitstaff called us by our first names. On other lines it's usually Mr. or Mrs. or maybe Mr. Richard or Mr. Rick. Some may call this "stuffy." We call it the reason to cruise: to be treated like royalty. If I wanted casual treatment, there's always Denny's!

I missed some of the "my pleasure sir" or, for my wife, "my pleasure madam." That doesn't make DCL bad, just less formal than other lines which may be great for some. But, we found that it spilled over into the dress and manners of those onboard as well and that wasn't good.

I loved the way our waiter Claudio called us Sir and Madam. He even spoke to the children with so much respect. Now since we're home from our 3/4 Magic cruise we are keeping up the respect at our own dinner table. DS6 and DS3 are getting used to the formal treatment. If anyone is looking for this kind of service, ask for Claudio and Carolina. They were wonderful.

cruisingsoon
03-20-2006, 06:06 PM
I certainly was not bashing her son. I mentioned that it seemed her son was afraid of a lot of things and this could be from being overprotective. Let me tell you, my DH and his 3 siblings are afraid of EVERYthing, "water, heights, boats, being outside, rides (his dad told them when they were little that once he rode a roller coaster and it "ripped his guts out!") etc. etc." The reason being...his mom was afraid and the kids grew up w/ that fear. All the siblings, as well as DH, married "opposites" and people who don't show that anxiety towards their kids. My DH is a little resentful at his parents that they were too overprotective. Who'da EVER thought he would love a cruise enough to do 6! (see above fears!) He also doesn't want our DD16mos to grow up afraid. She's already been to swim lessons at 10mos. Nothing against OP's son for being afraid, I surely don't blame him or my husband for being afraid.


Had to chime in 1 more time here. Maybe you do not know enough to comment about this type of issue. Not totally your fault I guess, because I did not offer any info in my post. My son has had significant health issues. He had a very tough beginning and was in the NICU for over 3 months, we almost lost him many times. We still have many more worries then most other parents. Am I over protective, heck yeah, can't help it. I promise you this is the reason my son is at last thriving today. It is difficult to judge anyone unless you have walked in their shoes.

amesmom
03-20-2006, 06:16 PM
I think I would have had a tough time with the rough seas the OP describes. Being sick all the time would just ruin my trip. We took ginger capsules with us but never needed them. We just got back from the Western and had great luck with the weather. Everyday was terrific. DH is a sailor and when looking over the Eastern itinerary he commented that the seas would be much rougher than on the Western. (this is before we heard about all the problems on the last Eastern cruise). I would suggest for folks reading this board and trying to decide about a cruise, that the Western has a better chance at calmer seas. Of course, that means you have to commit to a 7-day cruise instead of a 3 or 4-day cruise. That could be a problem for those who think they might have an issue with seasickness. Just a thought. If only DCL could control the weather. :woohoo:

Oh, and when we took the ship tour, the CM said they have had several medical debarks lately. That can really mess up your trip and also is completely unpredictable. I guess that's another reason for trying to just go with the flow, but that's not an easy thing for me to do. Just ask my DH. :rolleyes:

amesmom
03-20-2006, 06:23 PM
Gotta say the food is only OK. Some nights were good and others pretty bland. Palo was fabulous.

I have to chime in about the apple juice from room service. Awful, awful, awful. :rotfl: The OP said it tasted syrupy and she was right. We ordered room service breakfast for the kids almost every morning because they just wanted cereal, etc. and liked to eat right away. Then DH and I went to a sit-down breakfast. Much better.

We knew from a previous cruise to avoid the Topsiders buffet. For the most part, just awful. Made-to-order pasta was good. We enjoyed the sandwiches and wraps at Goofy's and ate lots of junk food at Pluto's and Pinocchio's because we never eat that at home.

grandy
03-20-2006, 10:19 PM
Wow, I'm shocked that you had such a bad experience. We have taken the cruise twice out of Los Angeles and have dozens of friends who have taken it 4-12 times and couldn't have had a more opposite experience from yours. I'm so sorry to hear that it was that poor. Every meal we had was spectacular (and we are cooks and big eaters.) Everyone at our table was begging for recipes and couldn't get enough of the varied lunches and fun breakfast and dessert bars. We went every day to the kids clubs and had quiet, organized well attended, fun atomospheres. Every element was so impressive far and above any other cruise line we'd ever been on. Gosh, I hope your next one is better.

When did you cruise?

Shannon1984
03-20-2006, 11:37 PM
Just wanted to say that I'm sorry the OP had a bad experience. Maybe it's not the right acation for your family.
I went on th 9-11 Disney Wonder with my DD3. I am 21 and a single mom with 2 DD's, so I had used my savings for this cruise. Unfortunately, I was cruising by myself and DD wasn't potty trained. So, I did stay in the clubs with her and had no free time to myself to enjoy any adult sections.
I do agree that they need more CM's for the 3-4 age group. Although, DD loved the clubs, we never spent too long in there because it did get pretty crazy. There were too many kids for them to handle in that age group. But considering how many CM's were there I believe they did a fabulous job.
As for the food I thought it was amazing. Considering, I really have nothing to compare it to other than fast food and macaroni and cheese.
Our wait staff was awsome and made me feel very comfortable even though the rest of the table never showed up. They did offer to move me to another table or even the earlier seating, I wish I would have, now.
But overall I spent valuable time with my daughter. So, we have booked another cruise on the magic with both of my DD's in September 07. My mom and dad are coming, too. I'm sure we'll all have a blast, as long as noone gets sick.
And to the OP, I hope your next vacation is more of what you expect.

sandraB
03-21-2006, 06:01 AM
I think I would have had a tough time with the rough seas the OP describes. Being sick all the time would just ruin my trip. We took ginger capsules with us but never needed them. We just got back from the Western and had great luck with the weather. Everyday was terrific. DH is a sailor and when looking over the Eastern itinerary he commented that the seas would be much rougher than on the Western. (this is before we heard about all the problems on the last Eastern cruise). I would suggest for folks reading this board and trying to decide about a cruise, that the Western has a better chance at calmer seas. Of course, that means you have to commit to a 7-day cruise instead of a 3 or 4-day cruise. That could be a problem for those who think they might have an issue with seasickness. Just a thought. If only DCL could control the weather.

I just want to say.....again, that the seas were only somewhat rough one day!!! The rest of the trip they were VERY calm.

I was on the boat, and there were not people sick everywhere!!! My husband saw the kid who puked in the pool, and he said she had just finished her character breakfast, (we were at the same one), and he saw her running around....then puke.

I just feel the OP made it sound like the entire trip was rough seas....it was not! Just the one day, and like I said, not THAT bad! My husband, and son, who both have motion sickness where fine....

I had friends who just did the western, and their seas where definitely rougher than ours....

As far as the food.....I thought they did a great job, and was only dissapointed in a few dishes...nothing that would ruin my trip!! Time with my family, and wonderfull service made up for anything that wasn't "perfect".

Sandi

Mjasp
03-21-2006, 06:27 AM
Sandi...In all honesty, what may be calm seas to you may be rough to someone else. My DH and I both get seasick (I thought tendering was going to do me in in GC) During our cruise in August 2004, we had one rough day and alot in our party got sick and our friends saw people getting sick. It NEVER even bothered us at all and we saw no one getting sick.

On our recent cruise the seas were as calm as could be, with a movement every now and then, different people from our August crusie that we sailed with this time said, boy this is bad, we shook our heads and said we get more movement in a car or even walking LOL But although we DO get seasick our perception of movement was so different from the 15 other people sailing with us.

Tarabra
03-21-2006, 11:52 AM
Sorry cruisingsoon about your son's rough start. My daughter also started her life in NICU. She's fine now, and just like any other 16 mos old. I told my husband, she wasn't going to spend her life wrapped in bubble wrap like his family was. It sometimes pains me to be at my in-law's. All the gasping and chasing w/ every step and fall DD makes. We've all had our bumps and bruises growing up and for the most part, we've all survived! :confused3

sandraB
03-21-2006, 12:46 PM
Sandi...In all honesty, what may be calm seas to you may be rough to someone else.

I agree....but I guess what I was trying to say is that according to the bridge report (on the tv in stateroom), every day but one was "calm" seas, according to the wave swells....

If the OP found many of the days to be rough....then perhaps cruising is just not for them....because the seas were "calm" according to how high the swells were.

I am not trying to say they are making it up....just that the OP made it sound like we had rough seas, and not a good week....when in fact the crew kept saying how lucky we were, that we had such great weather/seas. I just think that everything was blown out of porportion.....and the seas where not really that bad....and even if they were....Disney can't do anything about that. I honestly did not see many people sick, but if I had been, maybe I would have been more sensitive to it myself.

Sandi

goofysgirl
03-21-2006, 01:08 PM
Wow-let's all take a step back and breathe!
Rough seas for a few minutes can throw someone off for days. That is why it took DH three days of coaxing to rebook after I had some yucky hours the first night of our Eastern cruise. Then the sea calm did its magic and we have been on four more cruises since then always armed with the meds the infirmary provides :sunny:
Starting your life off in the Nicu is not fun I know we also did it...and my 15 year old still holds a little bigger soft spot in my heart, but I chose to not over protect-she has two sisters and they are all athletes, and afraid of nothing except maybe showing there Dad who they really think is cute...He tends to want to tell the guy :confused3 Anyway, my youngest is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts so she is a constant worry also, but at the end of the day you need to choose how you want to live and raise your kids.
The OP had some genuine concerns, and she had enough courage to post them on a board made up of TRUE DCL LOVIN' VETERANS. Each person is entitled to their post, their opinion. It is true after reading through this all, I think that crusing may not be the right fit for her family...but she has to decide that, it is not our place to choose for her! I welcome both good and bad comments about the ships and their cruises. Some make me laugh and others cause some thought....that is why life is so much fun we all do not like the same things :rolleyes1

cruisingsoon
03-21-2006, 01:46 PM
Sorry cruisingsoon about your son's rough start. My daughter also started her life in NICU. She's fine now, and just like any other 16 mos old. I told my husband, she wasn't going to spend her life wrapped in bubble wrap like his family was. It sometimes pains me to be at my in-law's. All the gasping and chasing w/ every step and fall DD makes. We've all had our bumps and bruises growing up and for the most part, we've all survived! :confused3


I am glad your DD is a typical 16 month old now. So sorry to hear she was in the NICU. Hopefully she did not have all the experiences of my DS. I would think not since she is now "like every other 16 mos old". That may never be possible for my DS. In your situation it does sound like your in-law's are too careful, that would "pain" me too. However, please don't think that you understand where everyone else has come from and what challenges they may still face.

My main reason for my original post (other then a rant about the food) was to let other people know that the class sizes for the 3-4 year olds is Very Very large. I looked at the job postings for DCL. It states that persons interested should be able to deal with high volumes of kids. Even though I read this before our trip I still thought that the kids would be assigned a councelor when they came in, and be in a smaller group of 3-4 year olds with that councelor--so that they could know where all the kids were and do activities with them, etc. -like a typical pre-school environment I guess. I was not prepared for them all to be running around together (sometimes with kids as old as 7), fighting for play dough and craft stuff, no one really knowing who was there at any given time (except for the check in desk at the front). The shoving and hitting I saw was typical of kids I guess, but I still think things would have been better controlled if the class sizes were smaller. If one councelor was actually assigned to my son somehow I would have felt better.

sandraB
03-21-2006, 01:51 PM
Just wanted to apologize if I came off snippy....

I just wanted to let other people who are considering the eastern, that the seas are no rougher than normal....and that normal for some may not be ok for others...ie the comment on cruising....

I personally worried about cruising due to my husb/son's motion sickness issues, and was happy they were fine...

I just wanted it known that the seas were actually calm, by the ship's bridge standards, for MOST of the trip.

Sandi

Cindi0511
03-21-2006, 03:27 PM
I am glad your DD is a typical 16 month old now. So sorry to hear she was in the NICU. Hopefully she did not have all the experiences of my DS. I would think not since she is now "like every other 16 mos old". That may never be possible for my DS. In your situation it does sound like your in-law's are too careful, that would "pain" me too. However, please don't think that you understand where everyone else has come from and what challenges they may still face.

Easy, now, that last sentence came across pretty harsh. Tarabra was being sympathetic and didn't need a slap in the face. :guilty: That's just a calm statement, not a screaming rant. While we may not understand every circumstance you have been through and continue to face, people can still empathize and sympathize. My eldest child was stillborn from a fatal birth defect, but there were many people who have never even thought about losing their child who still were gentle and understanding when it came to me be VERY protective of my second. I'm still protective of her, because of her personality. My third is a tough little cookie. I don't think Tarabra was trying to say "toughen up, you'll get over it." She seems to be a kind person from some of her other posts I've read.

All of this does relate to experiences in a child care setting such as that on the cruise ship. If our children have special needs, we will be more watchful and have different levels of tolerance when it comes to kids being with other kids in this kind of setting, and I can't remember if they claim to be. Anyone know what their onboard policy for this type of situation is?

teriandcb
03-21-2006, 04:11 PM
Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your cruise. My kids and I have taken 6 previous DCL cruises and have booked for our 7th in Dec. 2006. We have always had a great time. My kids adore the Kids Club and I have always felt safe with them on the ship. We've always found something we liked at dinner and have found the cruise staff to be incredibly helpful. My friends traveled with us last time and they found DCL to be just as nice, and better in some ways, to RCCL and NCL. Hope others aren't discouraged by your experience. I think yours is the exception rather than the rule.

amesmom
03-21-2006, 05:36 PM
The DCL website says that the counselor to child ratio for the 3-4 year old group is 1:15. I do think that ratio seems out of whack. That means you could have 30 little tykes with only 2 counselors. I think for most 3-year-olds and some 4-year-olds that's a bit much for them to handle. I think the CMs are great, but DCL is asking them to do too much. I hope that they rethink the ratios for this age group, especially with the amount of $$ the guests are paying and the way DCL hypes its children's programming in its marketing. My DSs preschool has 2 teachers (and parent volunteers) for a class of 18 children. It's amazing what a difference having a ratio of 10:1 rather than 15:1 can do for keeping the chaos under control.

The ratios for the older groups are 25 children for every counselor. Also sounds high, but then these are school age children who are used to being in classrooms of 20+.

Tarabra
03-21-2006, 08:14 PM
O.k. I'm over it! When I read OP's first couple of posts, and posted mine, I was in quite a surly mood. I've been trying to plan a cruise for Apr. '06, and due to having a very slow real estate season in chilly Ohio, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I was having one of those days, when the clients were being extra particular about accepting an offer, etc. and I guess it was just really bothering me, that I'm trying desperately to get my daughter on her first cruise, and here was someone that got to go on one, just going on and on about how bad it was. I even feel guilty about wanting to go on number 6 so bad when there are people out there who have never been on 1 cruise and probably never will. So, I'm done. Sorry, you had a bad experience. Hope the next one is better.

Shannon1984
03-22-2006, 12:04 AM
Hi there I just wanted to butt in one more time and ask the OP if she ever talked to the CM's. I believe they ask you when you check in if your child has any special needs. Granted, my child wasn't potty trained so it didn't really matter for me, I have heard on other threads that Disney is very good at accomidating your childs needs. Especially, if there are any health issues or anything wrong that could put him at a higher risk for injuries.
I do agree that they definately need to add more CM's to this age group. It was too much for them to handle. We were there for the busy activities though.

dwkwootton
03-22-2006, 08:01 AM
This has been a real walk down memory lane LOL!!! I guess the OP didn't know rule #1 of the board ... if your Disney Cruise deserved criticism, you are wrong. If you are right, refer to rule #1. And if you have the audicity to frighten some of these insecure regulars on this board by explaining your position, the gloves will come off.

After taking half a dozen Disney Cruises and enjoying them, I reported how my last one was not good. Evidently, my character, personality, view of the world and humanity had changed dramatically and I had become a bad person since my better cruises with Disney. I hadn't realized it until I reported that this time the food was lacking, staff was shorthanded, missed port days were not handled well, etc. and the personal assaults and accusations came flying.

The only thing that has changed with some of you on these boards is that you forgot to tell the OP that she should be ashamed of herself since so many people were killed or left homeless from the tsunami tragedy.

dwkwootton
03-22-2006, 08:33 AM
Hopefully the OP has not been deluged with PM's like I was when I was in her shoes. To this day, I'm not sure which PM's were worse: the ones from people who agreed with me and wanted to make me "feel better" but literally stated they were afraid to post their opinion on this board .... or .... the ones that were so vicious that they couldn't be posted (these, of course, were from the positive, look on the bright side people that love everything so much).

CRSNDSNY
03-22-2006, 11:57 AM
Had to chime in 1 more time here. Maybe you do not know enough to comment about this type of issue. Not totally your fault I guess, because I did not offer any info in my post. My son has had significant health issues. He had a very tough beginning and was in the NICU for over 3 months, we almost lost him many times. We still have many more worries then most other parents. Am I over protective, heck yeah, can't help it. I promise you this is the reason my son is at last thriving today. It is difficult to judge anyone unless you have walked in their shoes.
God bless you. I have a NICU baby. I can't help being overprotective either, so I can certainly sympathize with you. Most don't understand why we're so so-called 'overprotective.' To them I always say, "If you had to leave your precious baby at a hospital night after night after night and go home without a baby in your arms, only to worry all night about him/her, then perhaps you'd understand."

I wish people would stop being so judgemental on this thread and on the boards. And God forbid anyone say anything bad about Disney or comment on their bad experiences! Geesh! :rolleyes:

cnj
03-22-2006, 01:31 PM
Thank you for your trip report. We have been on one DCL cruise and have another one booked for 2007. I appreciate all trip reports, good and bad. I am sorry you had a bad time, I hope your next vacation is great!

Jen

SweetSpot
03-22-2006, 05:12 PM
I think unfortunately you won't hear the good and the bad. It seems if someone posts anything bad they get flamed and someone on the same cruise will come along and say that their opinions are completely wrong.

I've been on 4 DCL cruises. Our last one in Nov was very special but the food was terrible and always cold. The CM's, while still very good, seemed short staffed and all new and not nearly the same as our last 3 cruises. I reported on the great parts and the not so great parts and recieved nasty replies and PM's.

I love reading trip reports, both the good and the bad. I thought it only fair that I write one for others to read and I was honest. I had 3 prior cruises to compare to and this one was different. I wish it wasn't different but it was. Unless someone sits at your table, eats off your plate, sleeps in your cabin, has the same tolerance for sea sickness and follows you every minute of your cruise they have no right to tell you that what you experienced was wrong.

Thank you to the OP for sharing your experience. You don't need to defend yourself people need to start thinking before they hit reply.

amesmom
03-22-2006, 06:34 PM
I also appreciate hearing complete reports. No trip can be perfect, and I can plan better when I know what to expect. So give me the honest good and bad.

We just got back from a Magical Western cruise. We had a phenomenal time, but was everything perfect? Absolutely not. Sometimes I feel for the CMs and all the super high expectations of us Disney fanatics (including me). How can they ever measure up? But they certainly give it a good try. :thumbsup2

Cindi0511
03-22-2006, 07:50 PM
God bless you. I have a NICU baby. I can't help being overprotective either, so I can certainly sympathize with you. Most don't understand why we're so so-called 'overprotective.'

I don't think "overprotective" is probably the right term to use here -- adequately protective is probably more accurate. Both of you sound like there are ongoing health concerns for your kids that are very different from the vast majority, and in my humble opinon, I don't think there is an OVERprotective thing going on. It's not like you kept your son out of the club completely because someone might hurt his feelings in some minute way. You took the chance to let your son experience something new, but you were there and you were watchful and careful. Sounds like something you do on a regular basis, and I am so glad you do.

While I don't think, from reading your original or subsequent posts, that you felt there was intentional harm being directed specifically at him, kids that age are very rough by nature and not inclined to look out for the well-being of others on their own. I think you made a good original point that, while it won't keep me from putting my completely healthy child in the club, I will keep my eyes open and check in on her perhaps a little more than I might have otherwise. And I'll hope they are adequately staffed for those two weeks!

I'm just glad I'm not one of the cast members who has to do that job 7 days a week for months at a time!! :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

cruisingsoon
03-23-2006, 01:23 PM
Hi there I just wanted to butt in one more time and ask the OP if she ever talked to the CM's. I believe they ask you when you check in if your child has any special needs. Granted, my child wasn't potty trained so it didn't really matter for me, I have heard on other threads that Disney is very good at accomidating your childs needs. Especially, if there are any health issues or anything wrong that could put him at a higher risk for injuries.
I do agree that they definately need to add more CM's to this age group. It was too much for them to handle. We were there for the busy activities though.

No, I didn't speak to the CM's about my son, I didn't feel there was anything that would have made a difference. Health wise he is stronger then he ever was, although we do steer clear when there is anyone who is obviously sick. I loved that the kids all had to wash up upon entering the club, it really does make a difference especially to kids who have medical concerns.

As for special needs, other then speech/small physical issues, the only thing that makes a difference is keeping an eye on him. He continues to have poor judgement in what is safe, etc. In the chaotic environment in the club, a child really needs to be self reliable to some extent. I knew that with the volume of kids vs the CMs, there was no way I could leave him alone. It just wasn't set up the way I would expect for my 3 year old, and perhaps many other younger 3 year olds.

dzneprincess
03-23-2006, 05:47 PM
God bless you. I have a NICU baby. I can't help being overprotective either, so I can certainly sympathize with you. Most don't understand why we're so so-called 'overprotective.' To them I always say, "If you had to leave your precious baby at a hospital night after night after night and go home without a baby in your arms, only to worry all night about him/her, then perhaps you'd understand."

I wish people would stop being so judgemental on this thread and on the boards. And God forbid anyone say anything bad about Disney or comment on their bad experiences! Geesh! :rolleyes:
well said Mel! well said!:thumbsup2

Shannon1984
03-24-2006, 08:36 AM
Thank you, for replying. I know after seeing how understaffed they were I would have been worried too. Although, I think if I didn't have to stay with her I probabaly never would have. I hope by next time we go they will have more CM's. Thanks for your post cruisingsoon! :thumbsup2

Spotdude
03-25-2006, 02:04 PM
Well I am too sorry that you had such a unmagical trip. I have a special needs 5 year old (she was 4 on the cruise) daughter with CP who is extreamly emotional and begins tor cry even when you are a LITTLE stern with her, and she had a blast on our 10-30-2005 cruise. We are going again in Nov. of this year and she doesn't want to go ashore she want to star in her club. SHe is extreamy pasive child and had nothing bad to say about he CS or the other kids in her club. My wife is a early childhood teacher,and she had no complaints about it. We looked in to several other cruise lines and they group the kids together in much larger goups. (why we cruise DCL)

In 04 we stayed at Disney World we bought the Gold Plan (now the premuim Dinning) and we ate at almost all of the best restruants and on Disny World that is saying something. And the food was as good as that trip.

THe First night we had 18 to 24 foot swells it was like the Pirates of the Carabian our deink were sliding around the table. I was so sick I took anything I could. IT didn't help. Both my kids were sick but the next day they were fine. I was still sick. But I got up and we walked around and I felt better.

And our room two days in to the cruise the the ac or heat or fan some blew up and started clunking. I calld GS they sent someone as soon as I hung up the phone. We went back tho the room three hours later to change for lunch and not 30 seconds after we got in the room it begain banging all over again. With another call to GS we were moved they came and helped us pack and moved all of our stuff and we got an upgrade.

After we got back we found out that two people that we know were also on the same cruise. Our kids told us they saw the other family on the cruise we never saw them. And thay had a trip like yours when we explained what happened to us and what a good time we had the figured they would try it again (a three day one this time) My point is every body has a differant out look and try and be positive. One bad experance (or seven all in a row) dosen't mean that the cruise line and every trip will turn out the same. It sounds to me as you had a bad start. and you never let it get any better. As I told my friends try a three day they are pretty cheap and you end it or begin it with a trip to the parks and the new roller coaster. It is just a sugestion. Hope you future trips are better.