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bjkj
03-26-2006, 04:51 PM
Hi there. I know that it's been discussed a million times, but I am trying to get a good feel for my families needs. So, if you have any opinions, they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. :thumbsup2

Here goes - We went on a three day DCL cruise after spending a week in the parks. Loved cruising but felt way too rushed. I want to go on a 7 day next. Had my heart set on DCL but after really looking at the pricing difference, I can't believe the amount of money we could save. So, are the benifits of sailing on Disney worth $1500 - $2500 for the same size room???????

What I loved about DCL. It was Disney, fun, happy family feeling. Loved the shows, loved the rotational dining although I don't have any experience not having rotational dining. The kids enjoyed a little Bingo and making and flying the kites. They enjoyed the characters but probably would not miss them.

My kids will be around 8 and 11. They didn't spend time in the kids clubs as we did most everything as a family. We love to travel and explore so wouldn't want more than two sea days. We like snorkling and fun activities like that. Love the lazy day of Castaway Cay.

So, will I miss out on those things that are pretty much exclusive to Disney or does Royal Caribbean have neat features that will counter act what we would be missing? Would I be wishing I was on Disney the whole time especially as we will be on the ship for 2 sea days?

I'm so confused.... :crazy:

HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!

Mickeyhugger
03-26-2006, 05:22 PM
We just returned from a 7-day western caribbean on RCCL Explorer of the Seas. I used to be a 'if our family can't sail DCL, then we won't go.' type person (we've sailed the Magic 4 times.) DCL's prices, however, are taking their toll on how often we sail with them now. :sad2:

First,I'll tell you what you WON'T have on RCCL..the DCL horn, (I love hearing that!) their sailaway party (RCCL's party is lame in comparison), rotational dining (it seems to get boring every night in the same dining room, but not enough to lessen our enthusiasm) characters (which you said you're kids wouldn't seem to mind NOT seeing them)DCL's pirate night (which I sadly missed once I saw RCCL's answer to pirate night)..Palo (Portofino's on RCCL didn't even come close IMHO)

Now, we still had an absolutely wonderful time on RCCL, and have rebooked for spring break 2007! DD (11) loved the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating, basketball, mini-golf as well as DH. I think your children, being the ages they are would like it very much as well. I would, save my $$, and try RCCL. DCL will always be there should you wish to sail them again. Also, the servers on RCCL worked very hard and were very attentive. It was an awesome ship. (Any of the Voyager-class ships would have all of the mentioned activities.) RCCL's prices have enabled us to sail more often (at least once per year.) Also, our DD has never been a fan of kid's clubs either, but there's so much to do as a family on RCCL.

Hope this helps! :)

bjkj
03-26-2006, 06:47 PM
Hope this helps! :)

Yes, it does. Thanks so much! I guess that it's hard to think of not going on a Disney cruise since we loved it sooooo much. Too bad that the prices are how they are.

seema
03-26-2006, 06:58 PM
This question is relevant, as indicated in the following thread (link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1064567).

I am interested in going on a European cruise, with my family next year. What would you say about RC vs Disney, in terms of a 2007 European cruise?

Mickeyhugger
03-26-2006, 07:56 PM
This question is relevant, as indicated in the following thread (link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1064567).

I am interested in going on a European cruise, with my family next year. What would you say about RC vs Disney, in terms of a 2007 European cruise?

Never have sailed to Europe, or sailed a Med cruise. (But RCCL would be my first choice, we'd have to have more $$ for DCL.) :earsgirl:

NancyIL
03-26-2006, 08:16 PM
This question is relevant, as indicated in the following thread (link: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1064567).

I am interested in going on a European cruise, with my family next year. What would you say about RC vs Disney, in terms of a 2007 European cruise?

There are only 2 or 3 sea days on DCL's Mediterranean cruise (depending on length of cruise), so the things that distinguish Disney cruises from other cruiselines would be noticed a lot less when you're in port all day, almost every day! If it were between Royal Caribbean and Disney in the Mediterranean, I'd save my money and sail with RCI.

debabe723
03-26-2006, 08:25 PM
We just returned from a 7-day western caribbean on RCCL Explorer of the Seas. I used to be a 'if our family can't sail DCL, then we won't go.' type person (we've sailed the Magic 4 times.) DCL's prices, however, are taking their toll on how often we sail with them now. :sad2:

First,I'll tell you what you WON'T have on RCCL..the DCL horn, (I love hearing that!) their sailaway party (RCCL's party is lame in comparison), rotational dining (it seems to get boring every night in the same dining room, but not enough to lessen our enthusiasm) characters (which you said you're kids wouldn't seem to mind NOT seeing them)DCL's pirate night (which I sadly missed once I saw RCCL's answer to pirate night)..Palo (Portofino's on RCCL didn't even come close IMHO)

Now, we still had an absolutely wonderful time on RCCL, and have rebooked for spring break 2007! DD (11) loved the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating, basketball, mini-golf as well as DH. I think your children, being the ages they are would like it very much as well. I would, save my $$, and try RCCL. DCL will always be there should you wish to sail them again. Also, the servers on RCCL worked very hard and were very attentive. It was an awesome ship. (Any of the Voyager-class ships would have all of the mentioned activities.) RCCL's prices have enabled us to sail more often (at least once per year.) Also, our DD has never been a fan of kid's clubs either, but there's so much to do as a family on RCCL.

Hope this helps! :)

This was almost our exact experience with Explorere of the Seas too. Our servers were actually better on RCCL and I didn't miss the rotational dining, mostly due to that. Since I'm a single parent, I didn't experience Palo or Portofinos so I can't comment on that but my DS and I had a great time on RCCL. We loved that there were many more ping-pong tables (which we love to do and never got a chance to do much on DCL due to only 2 tables), the rock wall, mini-golf and ice skating. We also enjoyed the parades on the Promenade (plus the 24 hour pizza, sandwiches and cookies). We got a balcony cabin on RCCL for $1000 less than an inside stateroom on DCL (same week, itinerary). DS enjoyed the DCL cruise but didn't feel the need to do it again and it was his idea to switch to RCCL (he's 14). I don't think you'll regret a cruise on Royal Carribean. HTH too. :sunny:

Mickeyhugger
03-26-2006, 08:37 PM
T We also enjoyed the parades on the Promenade (plus the 24 hour pizza, sandwiches and cookies). :sunny:

Oh yes! I forgot to mention the Promenade level food and parades! They were great! :Pinkbounc

bjkj
03-26-2006, 09:14 PM
I do have one more question - does RCCL have a family atmosphere or a singles party atmostphere. Are the shows family friendly? Is there a lot of drinking (in excess) to be seen.

I guess that I loved the wholesomeness of DCL in having the kiddos with us. I really don't want them to be in an adult atmosphere.

Thanks for all of the comments! So far, it sounds like all of those that have tried RCCL have been pleased.

Mickeyhugger
03-26-2006, 09:23 PM
I do have one more question - does RCCL have a family atmosphere or a singles party atmostphere. Are the shows family friendly? Is there a lot of drinking (in excess) to be seen.

I guess that I loved the wholesomeness of DCL in having the kiddos with us. I really don't want them to be in an adult atmosphere.

Thanks for all of the comments! So far, it sounds like all of those that have tried RCCL have been pleased.

Yes, RCCL does seem to have a family-friendly atmosphere, with the majority of families having teens. (Though there were still many children, just didn't seem to have as many as DCL.) The singles-party atmosphere seemed a lot more so when we sailed Carnival, but RCCL was more 'laid-back,' with families. And yes, the shows were family-friendly. There was mention in the Compass if something was 'adult' humor or entertainment. One of the late-night comedy shows was advertised as 'adult comedy.' The 'love and marriage' show is definitely adult as well. The ice show is very entertaining for the whole family. When in doubt, just ask an employee, but you'll usually already know. :)

Mjasp
03-26-2006, 09:35 PM
Glad to hear you both enjoyed your RCCL cruises. I love to hear about other lines on the DIS boards. Although these are the DIS boards, especially with DCL sailing to the Med next summer, I'm sure more people want to read these reviews.

Thanks
Joanna

logan1_2000
03-27-2006, 06:18 PM
What is missing is the Disney and how much you value that. You've seen Animator's Palate, and that's just so intangible. I've enjoyed my RCCL cruises, though not been on the Voyager class, the Radiance class is very close in ship size. So much is subjective--after 4 DCL cruises, 2 on Wonder and 2 on Magic, and 3 RCCL cruises, both were enjoyable, but we found guest relations much friendlier on DCL than customer service on RCCL. We've generally had better servers in rotational dining than on RCCL, but that can vary table to table. We've had two great head waiters on DCL, and so many people post that they don't know what these people even do; our last server team on RCCL was so bad it actually became a form of reality game show entertainment ("What will they screw up next?" we called it--and the head waiter was informed, concerned, but apparently not much better, "oh, so you don't want them to bring two courses at one? okay, i tell them not to do that for you" seemed to say that it was otherwise acceptable, but because we asked they would stop). We've had great stateroom hosts on DCl but the best ever was on the Enchantment last month. Yet the worst we ever had was--sigh--in an Owner's suite on the Radiance, so much of the "pixie dust"-like aspects of that suite were lost.

We liked the dining room food better on DCL, thought the windjammers on enchantment and radiance were far superior to beach blanket/topsiders, thought the entertainment on DCL was higher quality and more attractive to families than the same old tired musical revue that invariably reverts back to big band era songs no matter what the theme. the whimsy of the hidden mickeys and disney elements makes it special on DCL, but the radiance was truly magnificent. there was not a problem of drinking to excess, but there is a different type of passenger crowd on ships out of miami than out of port canaveral, and can affect the "feel" of the cruise.

we're doing one more DCL cruise next year, xmas week, when DS will be 11. sort of a last go round with him. by then our RCCL cruises will be as numerous as our DCL cruises. The cost difference will be that the DCL price for a cat. 8 will be slightly lower than the price for a D1 balcony, similar interior sq. footage plus the balcony, for the same itinerary on the Mariner the same week in '06 (xmas '07 isnt out yet for RCCL). Its when the cost of DCL in an oceanview is the same as the same week's junior suite on RCCL that it starts to become a no-brainer. I try to compare as close to apples to apples as i can, so the tiny 122 sq. ft. on the sovereign tht we are squeezing into for a lark this xmas just doenst figure into the comparisons.

we liked palo, enjoyed it very much. our first ever alternate restaurant, on our 4th DCL cruise. then did portofino on radiance and were blown away (though the desserts were a big let down in our opinions, but food is subjective). then did chops on the same cruise and I was dissappointed, and had some service problems. did chops on enchantment and it was better but still not up to the portofino experience, and palo was still better than that. so it can vary.

lots of families on RCCL, and I will agree that in our experience we have seen fewer little ones.

i did not understand the reference to "only 2 tables" about ping pong on DCL. I have seen more tables than that on the ships.

if you are tempted to do DCL for the 7 day, do it while the kids are still young enough to enjoy. and if the disney touches are things you can personally live w/o, then by all means get on a voyager or radiance class ship and have a great cruise at what will probably be a lower price than DCL.

But people talk about "the disney cruise". other cruises are just cruises. no one ever said to me "oooh, how what the royal caribbean cruise". yes--i'm middle aged and i still think the character breakfasts are delightful, and quiet cove is splendid but what is so wrong with every so often seeing a character and exchanging happy waves or high fives. and yes, mickey shaped food makes me happy. annoucning my name as i board makes me happy. having CM's around the ship notice on embarkation day that i am wearing a castaway cay shirt and say "welcome back" is a small touch that means so much to me.

staceymerrill
03-27-2006, 07:56 PM
It's becoming very interesting that posters are really starting to feel the sting of, for lack of a better term , DCL's extortion.....2 years ago, you would never see posted the volume of folks opting for an alternative to DCL as a choice...then again, who would have thought the pricing would become as outlandish......I've posted before that at some point DCL will feel diminished marginal returns when cruisers will not want to pay 50% more than comparable (RCCL Voyager class) cruises.....

bjkj
03-27-2006, 09:51 PM
Logan1_2000. Wow! Thanks for the insight and such an in depth answer. Many, many things to think about.

Thanks to all that have posted opinions.

I guess after reading everything I am mostly sad that I am even thinking about sailing on anything but Disney. We loved it SO MUCH and have so many great memories. In fact when I asked the kids if they would rather spend a week at the Disney parks (which they LOVED) or go on a Disney cruise, they both said CRUISE. I was floored! How sad that price difference is so great. If it wasn't such a huge margin, I wouldn't even be thinking about anything else...... :guilty:

Mickeyhugger
03-27-2006, 11:11 PM
I guess after reading everything I am mostly sad that I am even thinking about sailing on anything but Disney. We loved it SO MUCH and have so many great memories. In fact when I asked the kids if they would rather spend a week at the Disney parks (which they LOVED) or go on a Disney cruise, they both said CRUISE. I was floored! How sad that price difference is so great. If it wasn't such a huge margin, I wouldn't even be thinking about anything else...... :guilty:

Your family will still have a great time on RCCL. (Think about it. When you were their age, could you have imagined sailing on any family cruise ship the way they are now?) :goodvibes

Maybe, by some miracle, DCL will at least slow down with their price increases. (Hey flamers, I said slow down, not stop, LOL!)

bjkj
03-28-2006, 08:04 AM
Ya, that's true. The best memories I have of being a kid are vacationing with my family. Of course, my trips were all of us packed in a beat up old station wagon on a 12 hour road trip! Back then, only the Magic Kingdom exhisted (sp?). Of course, we had the time of our lives!

I would never have dreamed of the cool things we do with the kiddos today. Thanks for keeping it all in perspective. Ya know, any day spending fun times with the family will be a great day in their eyes! :thumbsup2

onceuponadream
03-28-2006, 08:31 AM
Hi! We just returned from our first "non Disney" cruise with our kids. My husband and I have cruised 8 times with Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Disney. The kids age 13, 11, 9 and 6 have now cruised on the Magic the Wonder and the Mariner of the Seas.

The children's programming on the Mariner is not nearly as good as the Disney ships...not even close. However, there is so much more to do that as a family we spent hours having fun. We played mini golf every day, went ice skating three times, everyone climbed the rock wall and rollerbladed.

The shows for the most part were family friendly but the evening activities at the kids club were more interesting to our younger three so they went there every night. One night there was a Beatles Band..awesome. Twice was the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers (again really good). The two nights with the comedian there were a few scattered terms that I would not use with my kids (not the theme but the words and just a few). There was also karioke which is where we spent later evenings and was fun (watching not singing :)) The Promenade was our favorite place to meet after dinner to "people watch". It is like a mall in a ship..really unique. I agree that the sail away and deck parties were missed but the two parades made up for that. The 6-8 year old crowd also does a little circus parade and performance and a pirate parade as well during two afternoons.

RCI does charge $5 per hour per child charge after 10 pm was a little steep. Our kids wanted to do that every night but we only let them go twice (it is pretty much free play which means running around with balls).

The activities in the kids program were not nearly as organized and consisted of a lot of competition with balls. We travelled over Spring Break and there were 500 teens on board as well as 160 in the 9-11 age group. The two or three counselors per group were overwhelmed.

We spent a lot more time as a family doing fun things on the ship. To be honest, I felt a little guilty on our Disney Cruise (ok just a little) because our kids had so much fun onboard with friends they had met and in the kids club that we barely saw them.


To answer the question about atmosphere, yes there was a LOT more drinking/ partying going on and some of it was out of control. We (my six year old and I) ran into a group of very drunk kids (they said they were 17) on the elevator one night and I had to cover his ears b/c of the foul language. Lots of the college crowd on board and Cozumel on St Patrick's Day (can you say Carlos and Charlies)? But we used any of the drunk behavior we saw as a learning tool. The majority of the guests were well manored but of course we noticed those that weren't.

We have a 4 night Wonder Cruise booked for Thanksgiving and a 7 Night Freedom of the Seas for March 07. The price for the 7 night Magic was too much to overlook considering all of the options outside the kids club on RCI.

If you are going for the kids club only then choose Disney. If you don't mind a so/ so kids club but with still plenty to do then RCI is a great option!

ricka47
03-28-2006, 09:07 AM
Indeed, the Disney "touch" may be more in your wallet than in your heart. We've sailed RCI four times and like it although Celebrity is our favorite cruise line.

DCL does have the characters and the horn. But, the service is the same as on other lines, or slightly worse. The food is mediocre at best. I don't mind paying a few extra bucks if there is extra quality associated with it as at the parks. But, the extra money one pays for DCL does not equate to extra quality.

delo4
03-28-2006, 02:31 PM
I have done 8 Disney Magic 7 day cruises and 2 RCCL cruises. Not much comparison because I did the older RCCL ships. However we just got back from the 3/18 eastern Disney Magic Cruise. Our daughter and son-in-law were with us and this was their first Disney Cruise. They sailed on the RCCL ship Mariner of the Seas in June 2004 for their honeymoon. Both commented that they loved Disney much better. They thought the service was better, they like having free soda anytime of the day,including meals. They liked the family atmosphere better and the laid back casual style of Disney vs. RCCL. They thought the food on the DCL ship was much better and the selection was better, expecially the desserts. They liked the shows better on DCL. Their cabin on DCL was also bigger and nicer. They an an outside room on both ships.

I was very surprised given their ages (20somethings) that they enjoyed Disney so much more. They said there was no comparison.

I also agree with most people that DCL is beginning to outprice themselves. They are getting way expensive and people will begin to make other choices by sacrificing some quality for price. If their prices keep rising, people will go to other lines and may not have as great an experience, but at least a cheaper one.

brendat22
03-28-2006, 03:21 PM
I agree with the other posters. We have only sailed Disney - 3 times on the Magic and once on the Wonder. We started sailing right after 9/11 and so the prices were very good ($99 Wonder Cruise!). We are looking at booking our 5th cruise and have decided to try another line due to how expensive DCL has become. We are alittle apprehensive and will miss the Disney ships but we like to sail once a year and would not be able to continue doing so if we stick with only Disney. I'm sure we will sail with Disney again someday but for now we are going to try other lines. We have two daughters (15 yr. old twins) and they are willing to try something different but truly loved sailing Disney.

Brenda :)