View Full Version : Non Disney Cruise Lines
03-17-2006, 06:12 PM
Please forgive me! We went on our first DCL cruise 2 years ago for our 25th Anniversary with our DD's and loved it! But, we feel the cost is now a bit out of our range since we recently moved into a new home. Next year will be my 50th (i can't believe I am admitting that) birthday and would love to take another cruise. Thinking of RCCL or Norwegian. I have read good things about RCCL on these boards , but am wondering about Norwegian. The freestyle cruise appeals to me since the hardest thing on DCL was getting everyone ready in time for a set time for dinner.
What are you're experiences with either cruise line?
Any input is greatly appreciated!
03-17-2006, 06:26 PM
We have done 3 DCL cruises (#4 on June 10), 10 (next one 14 days Hawaii in September) RCCL cruises and 1 Princess. Each cruise has pros and cons. This will prob be our last DCL, it is pricing itself stupid expensive!!!
Can't help you with NCL, our very trusted TA won't sell them. We LOVE RCCL, may try Celebrity.
Let me know if I can help you,
03-17-2006, 06:28 PM
My family just returned from our first cruise ever and it was with DCL/Wonder. We loved it so much we re-booked for next Feb on the Magic.
For my family, personally, we are sticking with DCL but there is another message board called "Cruise Critic" and they discuss every cruise line as well as DCL. Try that for questions on other cruise ships. You will find that helpful.
03-17-2006, 09:41 PM
We went on the Norwegian Dawn out of NYC 2 years ago. Myself, wife, and 2 boys, age 9 & 6.
My boys loved the kids program, and the Freestyle dining was the best. I would go back on that boat again in a minute.
Hope you have fun.
03-17-2006, 10:08 PM
I have sailed RCCL and Celebrity. I think you would really enjoy a RCCL Voyager class ship with the kids (the Mariner is awesome!). I have never sailed NCL and am not in a hurry to do so. I have not read good things about them. If I were to sail on NCL, it would probably be on the Dawn. Check out the message board on cruisecritic.com. It is a great place to learn about lines other than DCL.
03-17-2006, 11:07 PM
You didn't mention Carnival, but we tried them in Feb and their service was just as good as Disney's, the food was just as good, but Carnival's bedding was awesome!
We went on the Pride.
03-18-2006, 01:55 AM
We've sailed ....
... 15+ times depending on whether you ask me or my spouse who has sailed 17 times. And as such we've been on DCL 3x, RCCL, CCL, HAL, NCL, Rennisance which was reborn as Oceania Cruise Line and a Yangzee river boat. As such, we heard that travel agents avoid NCL because they do not compensate TAs like the other cruise lines. AND... our experience with NCL was rather good. We had 41 people in my group... I was the organizer and host for 20 of the 41 who work for me. The other 21 comprised my family with a few expanded family members and a couple of friends.
I found the dining and service to be on a par with any other comparable line. And the private dining experience was rather good with individual made to order dishes and 1st rate service. Aside from that... the ship was as much of a "destination" as a RCCL ship would be... for the most part. Of course, some RCCL ships can boast of some singular atractions ... such as the rock climbing, the ice rink, and I head they're building one with a surf machine. Aside from that... I think there is more in common then distict between the two. The overall experience was quite good with NCL though and I would not hesitate to consider them. The freestyle dining was a definate advantage... and the old Rennisance line had that same feature.
Now we have never sailed Celebrity or Princess... and I have heard appealing things about these lines. So... I think that you should open up to consider any line with the newest ships that sails a route which appeals to you two.
And may I ask weter you have any more specific questions?
03-18-2006, 08:06 AM
Our favorite line is Celebrity. They have the best combination of food, activities, and service. We also like HAL but found it appealed to an older crowd (we're mid 50s). We've been on RCI four times and feel that it is a step up from NCL or Carnival, but not an equal to Celebrity, Princess, or Hal.
DCL beats them all in shows although we missed the live bands at the shows. All of them beat DCL in food which was our biggest disappointment....bland and tasteless.
None of them are perfect. I wish that I could take the best parts of all of them, add some Disney magic, and then you'd have the perfect cruise line. As noted above cruisecritic.com is the best non-Dinsey cruise information source.
03-18-2006, 08:46 AM
Thanks everyone for your input! Will check out cruise critic.
I agree with what everyone says about DCL, but but we would have to sail during peak holiday times because I am a teacher and the cost of DCL for Spring Break next year is just out of the question.
We are considering RCCL's Mariner of the Seas because I liked sailing out of Port Canaveral.
Also considering Norwegian Jewel because it is a newer ship and I like the freestyle cruising idea.
Our DD's 11 and 8 will be with us.
What was your experience with freestyle cruising? Was it hard to get into the restaurants at the times you wanted? How is it sailing out of Miami?
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