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View Full Version : Budget DCL Cruise - Is there such a thing???


SCQ86
03-17-2008, 11:03 AM
I'm trying to plan a budget DCL cruise and I can't fathom spending over $4000 for a 4/3 land and sea cruise. :scared:

Anyway....I would like to start planning my cruise, but I would like advice....I'll take all the advice.

So to start off.....I'm an AP holder....where should I go from here?????

TIA

NY Disney fan
03-17-2008, 11:05 AM
This is why I have not been on a Disney cruise yet. They only have 2 ships in their fleet (more to come in a few years). So the demand is high but the supply is few, which equals $$$ for something you can get for less on another cruise line.

rileysmommy
03-17-2008, 11:08 AM
We don't do their land/sea package. First off, we prefer the sea first, then the land. So that makes it cheaper right there. We plan our own land stuff and book it all separately. Also there are cheaper times to sail then others. Go for the smallest room you think you will be happy in. Book as early as you can.

That's all I can think of right now.

Fizzgig
03-17-2008, 11:10 AM
Do not book a Land/Sea from DCL, as the first step (the price is higher when you combine WDW and DCL--two separate companies). Book a short cruise early (meaning at least a year out, more if possible), in the category you'd prefer. Look at a Category 12 fare and go up as your budget allows.

But no, you will pay more for a DCL cruise than can be called "budget." However, you get what you pay for, in my opinion.

I did an April 2007 4 day cruise in Cat 5 for 2 adults and a 2 year old for $2700. I booked under 45 days, too, which is another way to get a better price. I had to pay the entire fare at the time of booking. I also used a Disney Chase credit card. Bear in mind that tips are in addition to your fare. We spent about $500 extra to the fare, including tips.

Good luck hunting!

kfeuer
03-17-2008, 11:22 AM
If there is I haven't found it, and believe me I've looked!

I'm hoping that rates on the old ships will come down when the new ships enter the fleet in a few years.

In the meantime, the time of year you sail makes a huge difference on the price. September is a cheaper time to go, but it's also hurricane season.

Some of the Disney travel agencies buy blocks of cabins and offer them at discounted rates. When we sailed in '06 we bought this kind of cabin and it was the best rate we found. However, the location wasn't great, when we pulled into port we'd hear loud engine noises and vibration. The kids would sleep through it, but it always woke DH and I up.

Try to book any excursions you do directly with the tour provider. You may have to do a little more legwork (i.e., find your way there instead of following someone holding a sign) but it's almost always cheaper.

I love DCL (and my kids beg to go back at least once a week), but barring a big price drop we just can't afford it.

luckey-lasvegas
03-17-2008, 12:13 PM
We went in 2005 for the Halloween Magic Cruise (7 days). We ( my DH and I) paid $799 through www.vacationstogo.com and DD was $399 I think. We booked a category 12 GTY (gaurntee) which ment that we did not select the cabin that we were getting but we were gaurnteed a Cat 12 or higher on the ship. We did this hoping for a bump, we ended up being upgraded to a Category 11. We bought our own travel insurance and booked our own airfare which saved alot! We rented a car from budget and dropped it off at the port. DH and I don't drink so we never spent anything on the ship except for DD hair Braiding, and we did not do any excusions we just went and enjoyed the beach with a lunch that we packed from room service . The other times we just enjoyed the ship, there is ALWAYS something to do. In all we spent 3 days in Orlando before the cruise, 7 days on the ship, 3 days in Orlando after the cruise and spent a little over $5,000. I planned a year or more in advanced, searched the internet for deals and used the tips I found from this board and mousesavers. We had a great time and even got to go to a disboard party in the Walt Disney suite thanks to our new friends we met here!

mamalle
03-17-2008, 12:18 PM
the only way we will do it again is with fla resident rates. I cannot bear to spend that kind of money otherwise. we went in 2005 and paid $1800 for a family of 4 for a 4 day cruise in a Cat 4 stateroom. We were darn lucky is the way I look at it. Most likely we wont be doing one again but maybe RCCL now that the kiddos are older..

DVCJEN
03-17-2008, 12:40 PM
I'm trying to plan a budget DCL cruise and I can't fathom spending over $4000 for a 4/3 land and sea cruise. :scared:

Anyway....I would like to start planning my cruise, but I would like advice....I'll take all the advice.

So to start off.....I'm an AP holder....where should I go from here?????

TIA


Not a lot of bargains to be had for DCL. Plan early, book an inside cabin.

Jennifer823
03-17-2008, 12:42 PM
This is why I have not been on a Disney cruise yet. They only have 2 ships in their fleet (more to come in a few years). So the demand is high but the supply is few, which equals $$$ for something you can get for less on another cruise line.

We've been on five cruises but no Disney cruises because of the price. I checked out the podcast cruise that Dreams Unlimited is offering and it would cost me over $4000 for all of us go to, with cheap room. We went on Princess Cruises right after Thanksgiving 2006 for a week, with a balcony room and an inside room, bringing 4 kids and my sister (so there were 7 of us total in two rooms) and it cost us less than that. Our kids have been on two cruises with us and had a blast, there was plenty of stuff for them to do on Princess and on Carnival. (You can see their ages below in my signature, but they were ages 7, 5 and 3 on their first cruise, on Carnival - little one not born yet!)

mommyoftwinfants
03-17-2008, 12:43 PM
We sailed for a week in December for $599 per person (2A, 2C) we could have sailed for $599 per adult and $499 per child but thought the extra $200 for another room was well worth it. We booked a GTY cat 12 in the 45 day window. ETA: we got hit by the upgrade fairy :) and sailed in a Cat. 9

maggiew
03-17-2008, 01:57 PM
When we went on our first cruise, I priced out Disney. It would have cost us twice as much to do a Disney cruise than the cost of doing a Royal Caribbean cruise. (We have to cruise in summer since I am a teacher.) We had a great time and have gone back 2 more times. To get our Disney fix, we just add on a few days at Disney.

Maggie

MsStinkerBelle
03-17-2008, 02:08 PM
We did a DCL cruise in Dec '06 because my mother wanted to go but it was in no way cheap or even budget. I did a land/sea package before finding out it was cheaper to book separately, and while I loved my Cat 7 room (Navigator's Verandah), I wasn't too happy with the cost and told DCL as much after the cruise. I'm planning to do DCL in 2010 but trying to do it as reasonably as I can.

Book early and book the room category you're most comfortable paying for. :thumbsup2

EthansMom
03-17-2008, 02:52 PM
Just a budget tip: There are other cruiselines that leave out of Port Canaveral. Compare prices... You might be able to book a cruise on RCCL out of Port Canaveral for a lot less money.

MiniGirl
03-17-2008, 04:15 PM
You have to remember that other cruise lines are able to supplement the cost of cruising with the on board gambling and drinking. On DCL, there is no gambling (unless you count Bingo) and much less drinking than on other cruise lines. Instead of casinos, there are kid's clubs, etc. DCL has to make up that cost somewhere and it is in the form of higher prices.

That said if you cruise during Sept (hurricane season) and during the cooler months, you can get a somewhat better deal. You can also try booking a cruise last minute.

We went on our first cruise (DCL) this past Sept/Oct. and had an amazing time. I immediately started saving to go again. My girls ask almost every week if we can go again.

lucigo
03-17-2008, 05:04 PM
Every time I think I'm ready to book DCL I compare prices with Carnival and RCI and we end up doing something else. We can get 7 days with a balcony on the Glory for the same price was 3 days on DCL. I keep hoping for some type of military or FL resident discount that will change my mind!

JoiseyMom
03-17-2008, 05:33 PM
Certain times during the year they sometimes mark down the cruises. Like Mommoftwins, DH and I sailed for 599 per in a Cat 12. It was an awesome trip.

We are booked for Aug 09, in 2 cat 10's for under 4k total. This is less then what we would pay at WDW for a week, will all food and beverages, entertainment and child care included. You can't beat that.

If you are looking for really really cheap cruises, it will never really be with DCL.

We are scheduled to go on the 15 nite EBP cruise, and you do not what to know what that is costing. It is expensive at first look, but when you break it down for nites...it really isn't that bad (well that is what I keep trying to tell myself LOL)!!

maggiew
03-17-2008, 06:44 PM
You have to remember that other cruise lines are able to supplement the cost of cruising with the on board gambling and drinking. On DCL, there is no gambling (unless you count Bingo) and much less drinking than on other cruise lines. Instead of casinos, there are kid's clubs, etc. DCL has to make up that cost somewhere and it is in the form of higher prices.

That said if you cruise during Sept (hurricane season) and during the cooler months, you can get a somewhat better deal. You can also try booking a cruise last minute.

We went on our first cruise (DCL) this past Sept/Oct. and had an amazing time. I immediately started saving to go again. My girls ask almost every week if we can go again.

RCCL and Carnival have kids clubs too. Also, I never set foot in the RCCL casino and neither did my girls. And I didn't have one alcoholic drink. So, to me it makes sense to go the cheaper RCCL than the more expensive DCL.

Maggie

MiniGirl
03-17-2008, 07:03 PM
RCCL and Carnival have kids clubs too. Also, I never set foot in the RCCL casino and neither did my girls. And I didn't have one alcoholic drink. So, to me it makes sense to go the cheaper RCCL than the more expensive DCL.

Maggie

Maggie, even though ya'll didn't gamble and drink, others on board did, and that all helps supplement the cost of the cruise. I am in no way knocking the other cruise lines. I'm just trying to explain why there is such a difference in price. For many people, the less expensive lines defintely make more sense.

mamalle
03-17-2008, 07:43 PM
my kids cannot wait to go on the liberty of the seas! Im not into gambling or is dh but man on man that boat looks incredible. ;) I think DCCL was a great cruise when the kids were younger but looking at some of the prices people pay its just not worth it IMO..

MK2thcleaner
03-17-2008, 07:58 PM
Please don't spend the extra money doing DCL..................you'll be hooked for life!:rotfl:

We did our first 4 night in early Dec 04 with group rates for Mousefest. We didn't participate in any of the Mousefest activities, but benefited in that our Cat 11 for 2 was $1000. I enjoyed sailing in December even though it was cooler because the decorations were phenomonal (and we still swam at CC)! We booked again for Dec 06, this time we did a 4 night over Christmas. It was amazingly expensive, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was one of the best Christmas's (is that the word???) we've ever had.

We're doing the EB Panama Canal trip in August, and I look at the price and think how darn cheap it is! I know my thinking is skewed, but $3226 ($2726 once you subtract all my OBC and discounts for tranferred booking and travel agent) for 15 nights when I paid $2400 for 4 nights is a good deal in my book.

Anyway, as others have said:
1. Book really early....or if more flexible, really late
2. Check travel agency group rates
3. Book land and sea separately
4. Rental car instead of tranfers may be cheaper
5. Don't forget to budget gratuities
6. Cheaper spa appointments can be booked on some port days
7. Booking with certain travel agencies can get you OBC, cash to you
checks, or gift cards.
8. Travel when kids are in school, it's generally cheaper
9. Buy insurance on your own
10. Bring your own water and alcohol on board...yes it's allowed
11. Book and make full payment with a Disney Visa and get a $50 OBC

Join us over on the Cruise Board. You can get lots more information there!

Good Luck!:hippie:

djbleach
03-18-2008, 04:01 AM
My Cruise experience is this:
1 Carnavil cruise smaller ship
5 Royal Carribean , smaller and BIG ships
1 Disney.
They ALL have their pros and cons. Price isn't everything!!!!
Carnival has a very cheesy, party atmosphere.
RCCL has both, party and classy
Disney, is DISNEY. Everything Disney does seems to be top notch.
We took our daughter on the Disney cruise and she was 3. She loved it. When asked does she want to go back to Disney or the Disney Cruise, she picks the Cruise. lol
We cruise in September, so it is more affordable. Sure we can do RCCL for almost half the price, but for some reason, the Disney Cruise is now worth paying the extra. We are going 3 of us, for the 4 night Bahama cruise. $1200.
So $300 a day for 3 people to eat, entertainment, tropical island, relaxation is money well spent!
It's not really all that much, but Disney does do "soft drinks" around the clock for no extra charge. RCCL has some kind of drink card you can buy, or pay $2 for a coke. That adds up. I think the card is $35 per person for cokes on RCCL. I really can't think of the other added cost that RCCL tacks on.
Even though RCCL/ Carnival have casinos and alcohol, they will Nickle and Dime you to death!! They also have to make up for the "cheap fares".
Disney just gets you up front.
The difference between Disneys private Island and RCCL island is Night and Day!
Disney's Castaway Cay is like Paridise compared to RCCL Coco Cay. RCCL is like the "ghetto"...
Once you do Disney, it does make it harder to go on another cruise line.
Check out cruisecritic,

Charleyann
03-18-2008, 05:25 AM
We looked into Disney cruises and all other cruises. Disney was the most expensive. In the end we chose Carnival Cruise lines. WE have four night and five days of cruising for $209 a person! It will be my DS and I only. He is 12 years old. We are on the Disney Imagination cruise. 946 ft long....not much smaller then Disney and it was just renovated for 250 million dollars. The imagination now has a four storey water park. Duel racing slides too.

There are partiers on all cruises. So you make it your cruise and stay away for the partiers. There is a separate pool for adult only and bars to go along with it. There is family entertainment without drunks or partiers....

We are checking into Disney right after the cruise. So you could say we are doing our own land and Sea package! We got the 40% off room rates too. So we are only paying $56 nightly perferred with All Star Movies!

Total cost for cruise with taxes and fees was $532 + Disney room rate $503 for 8 nights at Movies + $300.00 for 3 nights at POFQ = $1335 taxes in! The dates from Dec 1st- Dec 18th! What a deal!


My advice, make your own package. Look at other cruises.....Remember if your going to Disney parks anyway, you are still going to see Disney! My DS thought the Disney cruises was going to be too much Disney!:rotfl:

My prices for cruise is still available for Dec 1 st/08 @ $209.00 !

Charleyann

miss missy
03-18-2008, 06:05 AM
pssstt-----------> they are having one "DISUnplugged Podcast Cruise" with people from this very DIS site! go to http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1683088 :cool1: :cool1:

this is a great deal on a cruise and you get to meet other DIS'ers AND have fun at special events Pete and the crew is setting up :banana: :woohoo:

if your not listening to the podcast your soo missing out!!

go go go to http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/

NY Disney fan
03-18-2008, 07:44 AM
RCCL is like the "ghetto"...



:sad2:

dvcnewgirl
03-18-2008, 07:58 AM
I am going on the 5 night cruise and I paid about 1800.00 for four of us Cat 10. So I do not think that is bad for a 5 night. That cruise is sold out now I think. I think that if you can book like the 1st day it opens you will get the 1st tier pricing. So book early and look off season. Good Luck!:thumbsup2

MagicalMom
03-18-2008, 08:03 AM
RCCL is like the "ghetto"...


As a lover of RCCL, that really just hurt.

EthansMom
03-18-2008, 08:08 AM
I think the card is $35 per person for cokes on RCCL. I really can't think of the other added cost that RCCL tacks on.
Even though RCCL/ Carnival have casinos and alcohol, they will Nickle and Dime you to death!! They also have to make up for the "cheap fares".
Disney just gets you up front.
The difference between Disneys private Island and RCCL island is Night and Day!
Disney's Castaway Cay is like Paridise compared to RCCL Coco Cay. RCCL is like the "ghetto"...


I've never traveled on DCL, but have traveled on RCCL and NCL several times each.

I have to say that I think you're far off the mark regarding RCCL. I have found that it is possible to have a higher-class but reasonably priced cruise experience on RCCL.

It is no hardship for DH and I to go without soda for the length of the cruise and to limit our alcohol to a reasonable amount. I've never been to Coco Cay, but RCCL's private stop in Labadee, Haiti is beautiful! Also, RCCL Voyager class ships are packed with family activities (climbing wall, ice skating, minigolf, etc..) and the kids' program is awesome!

My SIL and BIL recently took their kids on DCL (they got a sale price). SIL's comments were that the kids loved seeing the characters all the time, the cabins were HUGE compared to other cruiselines, but the food was mediocre.

If you're looking for a way to save money, looking at alternate cruiselines is a good place to start IMO.

Jennifer823
03-18-2008, 09:35 AM
If you think that DCL is too expensive and RCCL is the "ghetto" (a comment, BTW, that I don't understand...) why not try Princess? They are our absolute favorite. There is a little less of a party atmosphere than on Carnival, but they still have great kids programs. I have to say I haven't tried DCL or RCCL, but I have been on Carnival three times and Princess twice. Carnival is great for the cheap price - but it isn't as classy as Princess. (BTW - the same company owns Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Costa, Seabourn and a few more cruise lines that don't operate in the U.S.)

callaghan0416
03-18-2008, 10:53 AM
My Cruise experience is this:

RCCL is like the "ghetto"...
Once you do Disney, it does make it harder to go on another cruise line.
Check out cruisecritic,

Well then sign me up for the "ghetto" :rotfl:

We have done FOS, Freedom of the Seas, and are scheduled for LOS, Liberty of the Seas, in November. Labadee was my favorite port and the staff on the ship, well they were the BEST! How can you go wrong with men in exotic accents calling you madame and madamoiselle and telling you that they will do, get, find anything you want! I felt like royalty. OOooooHHHhhh...

I want to go NOW...

temper tantrum over, now to go and visit cruisecritic and get my fix....

callie

Jeanne B
03-18-2008, 11:25 AM
We cruised on RCCL Navigator of the Seas in Dec and honestly, on the last day of the cruise DD14 and I both agreed that we prefer Disney. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed NOS (more so than our recent Carnival cruise) but there's just something about DCL that makes it unique, whether it's the service, the shows, the ship decor, the cruise terminal, the fireworks, Castaway Cay, split bathrooms, etc, etc.

But...to make it more affordable we cruised DCL the first time on a 3-day, during off-season (late Oct) and our second was also a 3-day in off-season (early Dec, my new favorite time of year to cruise). We also take advantage of the 10% rebooking credit as well as shipboard credits (and we transfer our res to DU to add even more shipboard credit). We're cruising our first 7-day on DCL next Nov and we have $400 worth of shipboard credits and the 10% discount amounted to about $400. I compared a Freedom of the Seas cruise during the same week and with almost $800 in discounts and SBC's the DCL cruise wasn't much more than the FOS cruise. But I do want to try FOS or LOS one of these days, just not until after we've cruise DCL again.:)

MagicalMom
03-18-2008, 01:33 PM
I can understand liking one cruiseline over another. We are going on our third RCCL cruise in May and have booked our first DCL cruise for next summer. I don't know which I will like more, but doubt I will ever think RCCL is ghetto.

maggiew
03-18-2008, 03:06 PM
Welcome to the ghetto!!


http://thumb6.webshots.net/t/63/663/3/99/56/2406399560089234266RGaOuG_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2406399560089234266RGaOuG)

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/552195138IcanOU?vhost=good-times

Maggie

MagicalMom
03-18-2008, 04:46 PM
Welcome to the ghetto!!


http://thumb6.webshots.net/t/63/663/3/99/56/2406399560089234266RGaOuG_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2406399560089234266RGaOuG)

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/552195138IcanOU?vhost=good-times

Maggie


Thank you so much! We are going on the Enchantment in May! I can't wait!

lucigo
03-18-2008, 05:14 PM
I am going on the 5 night cruise and I paid about 1800.00 for four of us Cat 10. So I do not think that is bad for a 5 night. That cruise is sold out now I think. I think that if you can book like the 1st day it opens you will get the 1st tier pricing. So book early and look off season. Good Luck!:thumbsup2

I didn't know DCL had a 5 night cruise, and I don't think I have ever seen it for under $100 per night, so that would definitely be a good price.

dvcnewgirl
03-18-2008, 05:38 PM
I didn't know DCL had a 5 night cruise, and I don't think I have ever seen it for under $100 per night, so that would definitely be a good price.

It is a Special cruise before the Magic goes to dry-dock.:goodvibes