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View Full Version : Are Category 3 Staterooms Worth It?


CaliforniaDreaming
12-22-2001, 06:07 PM
Can someone please explain to me why or why not category 3 one bedroom suites are worth the price?

Also, is it better to book the land and sea package, or book them seperately?

Thanks!

atigeg
12-22-2001, 07:05 PM
Webmaster Michelle just got back from a stay in a Cat. 3 suite. You may want to do a search on her posts.
We have never done Cat. 3 ourselves, so I can't give an opinion (my favorite is stateroom 5650, which is a Cat. 6...I like being really far aft and have no desire to be up on deck 8, potentially surrounded by families and noise...I like the peace & quiet of the butt end of the ship).
But as for land & sea, we have always done better booking these separately, and we like to be able to pick our own schedule (i.e. cruise first vs. WDW first). We also usually like to handle our own air, particularly after 9/11...we do the cruise first when we combine it with a WDW trip, and we like to fly in the night before to ensure that we will make it in plenty of time. This year, we also wanted to stay at the AK Lodge, which was not available as a DCL hotel, and we like to do our own transfers via Happy Limo rather than being dependent on the Disney bus times (they tend to leave pretty late from the resorts).
Barb
Visit the Platinum Castaway Club at: www.*****************

CaliforniaDreaming
12-22-2001, 07:59 PM
Thanks for the reply, Barb. I really like your website, btw.

I'm concerned with the price of the Category 3, it seems so expensive! I'm not sure whether it would be better to just get 2 inside staterooms or maybe one inside and one verandah.

Thanks again,
Cali-D
Fall 2003: YC/BC or GF & DCL Wonder

Michelle
12-22-2001, 08:13 PM
Hi Cali! A Cat. 3 is a wonderful SPLURGE, but is it really worth the thousands extra in price? No, it's honestly not. Have I sailed twice in a Cat. 3? Yes. So go figure. :D

The Cat. 1-3 suites are wonderful, the concierge service is lovely, but these staterooms are never discounted. There are so many great promotions available in the Cat. 4s and below that it is hard to justify the price of the higher category cabins. If money is no object, go for it, but if price is a consideration then go for two lower category staterooms. A verandah and an inside across the hall is a good combination.

It's also generally less expensive to book the cruise and land separately, so you can take advantage of any discounts on the land portion. It's more "seamless" to book the land/sea, but if you are willing to give up a little convenience it will save you some money in most cases.

Hope that helps! :)

Minybear
12-22-2001, 09:06 PM
Cali
How many people are going? I agree with Michelle. Price out the 1-3 cat room with all of you in it and then price out separate rooms with veranda and inside stateroom and see which is less expensive. Thats an idea you can do. Also if you do separate land and sea then you need to put a deposit on each resv. I would suggest you book for now the pkg land/sea (with one deposit) and then when the "specials" come the break the pkg apart to get the lower rate.

CaliforniaDreaming
12-22-2001, 09:36 PM
I just priced online a 3 night cruise (July 2002) in a category 4 and a category 6/11. The category 4 is $60 (total) less than the category 6/11 combo. The category 6/11 is $3995.40 - is this a good price?

Not sure what to do, maybe look at Jan 2004 when rates come out? (I'm kinda limited on the dates I can go!)

timbuckley
12-23-2001, 09:46 AM
I agree with it depend on the number of people and their age. We have a 9,8, and 3 year old. We have done the cat 1,3, and 4. Cat 3 was great as we were not trying to figure where to put the luggage. We could also put the kids down and have some time to ourselves on the other room vs just the room divider. In the Cat 4 with a 26, 24 inch bags and a car seat, we had just about lost our closet. The separate room gave my wife the abilty to change without having to worry about the kids (all boys) coming past the divider.

The kids just are not old enough to have their own room at this point. And, my wife is now spoiled by the service we received in the Cat 3 plus. I have created a monster.

jlima
12-23-2001, 10:59 AM
Read my trip report from the 7/7 cruise; not all cat 3 are created equal. The cabins with #s ending in 32 and 34 which are adjacent to the mid-ship elevators are bigger; have triple-wide verandas & have the pull-down bed in the sitting room. If money is no object, these four cabins are great. IMHO, if one of these isn't available then pick another sail date when they are.

My cruise was a gift from my mom so I wasn't in a position to complain about value for money; but I wouldn't pay that much for the cabin I got (8546). The concierge service was mediocre and the cabin had so many flaws the benefits you supposedly pay for just wouldn't be worth the cost.

I wrote a letter to DCL after my cruise, and in their reply they said they based the cost of a cat 3 on the cabin amenities & additional service. OK, so my mom paid for the use of a wet bar whose cabinets can't be opened until you push aside a dining room chair; she paid for the use of a stereo system whose CD player I had to lay down on the sofa bed to turn off; she paid for the use of a veranda that I couldn't get to from the sitting room when the sofa bed was set up; she paid for the service of a concierge who made a 10am Palo brunch reservation when it didn't open until 10:30; and she paid for the use of a vanity where you can't use your curling iron unless you happened to read these boards & brought along an extension cord.

If we sail again, I'll get a cat 4 . . . the enormous cost of the cat 3 wouldn't be worth it. Hope this helps!!

piratejacksmom
12-24-2001, 05:23 PM
Of course I understand that everyone's opinions are different, but I just wanted to say that we just stayed in cabin 8546 and absolutley loved it. I understand that the other cat 3's are bigger, but we found 8546 to be wonderful. We had great concierge service and found everything in the cabin to be user friendly and convenient. I just wanted to pipe in because I did a search on 8546 before we left and only found negative posts. We loved this cabin, everything about it and would have a hard time sailing again without the Concierge service. Thierry, who is new, was excellent in getting us our requests in a matter of minutes. Our cabin steward, Sumpop, was also very efficient and we enjoyed every minute in this suite.

jlima
12-25-2001, 02:10 AM
We were 4 ppl - DS7, DS16 mos, myself & DH. DS7 slept on the sofa bed; DS16 mos used a pack-n-play, so it was more crowded with the pack & play. Also, we had a high chair delivered to the room - something else to trip over & walk around, but necessary for travelling with a 16 month old.

Had it been just DH & I travelling alone, it would have been a TOTALLY different experience. Had I not been in & out of my families' cabins during the cruise, I wouldn't have any other cabin to compare 8546 to. Without our kids, it would have been a totally different experience (no baby gear, no one sleeping on the sofa bed). 8546 would have been the perfect suite for 2 adults travelling alone.

:bounce:

piratejacksmom
12-26-2001, 01:21 PM
We had 5 of us. My daughters, 11 and 9 and my son 5. My kids rotated the sleeping arrangements. I know there are other Cat 3's that are bigger. We did peek in at one. We just didn't have any problems with the room, loved it. Of course everyone always wants the biggest and the best, I guess what I am saying is that if there is a certain time that you need to travel and one of the bigger cat 3's is not available, don't change your vacation because of it. I was a little discouraged before I left and expected to not like the room due to what I had read here, but we loved it and found everything to be easy to use and well laid out. My only complaint was the sound of the deck party on St. Martin night. I don't think we heard a sound above us except for that night. Perhaps it helped that our expectations were low due to what we had read. We read so many great things on this board about the Poly concierge service before we left on a trip last year and were extremely disappointed we didn't feel the service was exceptional. I have learned, since then, to gather information before I go on boards like these, but to never expect the same perks or experiences, negative or positive, from our travels. We almost didn't go to the Kennedy Space Center due to negative posts I read. It ended up being the highlight of our trip! Every families' needs and expectations are different. I am truly sorry your experience was not good.

jlima
12-31-2001, 12:34 AM
My mom had a similar noise complaint about 8534; you could hear people walking above the cabin as it was adjacent to the elevator lobby. Will you cruise again? - JL

:bounce:

piratejacksmom
12-31-2001, 02:01 AM
Not for a few years. We had a great time, but want to wait to go again when our experiences will be significantly different (In 4 years DS will be in Lab and 2 DD's in Teen group). We went last November and twice in a 13 months is enough for us for a while. There are lots of other parts of the country I would like my kids to experience. I know we didn't agree on 8546, but I see you are from Vegas and need some advice. We have never been there and need to go for 5 days, Easter weekend, as my brother is getting married there. Are there any hotels that accomodate a family of 5? What fun and inexpensive (the cruise wiped us out for a while!) things are there for families to enjoy? My son is 5, daughters are 9 and 11. We are leaning towards staying at Embassy Suites, because I know they can sleep 5. I guess we don't have to stay on the strip since we don't gamble. My brother is staying at Paris, but I think 4 is max in room. If you can direct me anywhere to get info for families traveling to Vegas, I would really appreciate it! Are tickets for Blue Man Group hard to get? We just saw them here and my kids loved the show. I know this isn't the place for Las Vegas info, but I am searching and not getting anywhere!! Thanks if you are able to help!!

jlima
01-07-2002, 01:36 AM
Hmm -

For 5 ppl a suite hotel is the best bet. The Embassy Suites property is on Paradise and is fairly new. Also off-strip is a newer AmeriSuites, which is just cati-corner to the Hard Rock Hotel and is also on Paradise. There is also a Residence Inn, also on Paradise, across the street from the Las Vegas Hilton.

You may want to try to book 2 adjoining rooms at a strip hotel. Easter weekend is not a busy weekend, and you should be able to get good rates. Most hotels charge an additional fee ($30 at the place I work) for the 3rd and 4th person in the room, so a $80 rate with 4 people in the room becomes a $140 rate!! Booking two $80 rooms would be $160, just $20 more.

Call the Luxor and ask if you can purchase the Blue Man Group tickets now. Some shows only sell tickets 30 & 60 days out; I would call & ask. The Luxor may even have packages that include show tickets. It's worth a phone call; just call 800 directory


assistance for their number or even look online. Every hotel in town has toll free numbers for everything. ( I saw the "Storm" show at Mandalay Bay back in July, and purchased the tickets 5 weeks prior & we had great seats)

For kids, here are some of things my kids like to do:

-Forum Shops at Caesars - FAO Schwartz store, Cheescake Factory restaurant

-Gameworks (huge arcade at Showcase Mall, on strip near MGM Grand)

-ESPN restaurant (@ NYNY)

-Adventuredome amusement park at Circus Circus (had 7th birthday party here with 19 friends!)

-Eiffel Tower elevator ride at Paris

-Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay

-Star Trek Experience at Las Vegas Hilton

-pirate show at Treasure Island

-volcano erupting at Mirage (only at night)

-car collection at Imperial Palace

-Madame Tussad's at Venetian

-NASCAR restaurant at the Sahara

-Fremont Street Experience light show downtown

Some of these activities can be $$$. The Shark Reef is $14 for adults; the Star Trek Experience is around $20; the Eiffel Tower attraction is $9, so it adds up. Other things are free, like the pirate show, volcano and the FSE. The ESPN restaurant acutally has a promotion with the Disney Club now; you can get a $40 game card for their arcade for $20 (believe this expires at end of Jan).

For your room reservation Look on the internet for wholesalers, such as Hotel Reservations Network (website is called hoteldiscounts.com or something like that), or Las Vegas Reservations System, which is a division of Expedia. Or look directly at hotel websites. Don't be surprised to see different rates for the same nights for the same hotel; hotels get rooms from many different sources. Hope this helps!


:bounce:

FYI - tried to PM this info; didn't know PM could only take 1000 characters. I apologize to anyone who wasn't expecting to see Las Vegas info on this DCL site - JL

MNJeff
01-07-2002, 10:13 PM
PirateJacksMom

Check your PM. I did send you a messafe awhile ago after I figured out the 1000 character limit about Vegas.

Take care and have fun.

Callan is till having a blast showing her friends the beachball. Thanks again.
:bounce: :bounce: