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View Full Version : DCL cost vs. other cruise lines


rriley25
02-14-2009, 04:45 PM
While shopping for cruises, I found that Disney is often nearly twice as expensive as other cruise lines.

Have you cruised on Disney AND at least one other cruise line? Is the premium cost of a Disney cruise worth it?

NancyIL
02-14-2009, 05:54 PM
I've been on only 1 Disney cruise, and that was the 4-day Wonder with my mom in 2008. I've also cruised on Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Princess, and will cruise on Celebrity in September.

Disney's prices are quite high during holiday and vacation periods, and much more reasonable at times when kids are in school. I would be willing to pay a little more for a Disney cruise if I had young kids. But since my youngest child is 18, I wouldn't pay more to cruise with Disney unless it had a unique itinerary.

RalphM
02-14-2009, 05:58 PM
I say it is worth every penny...I have sailed on Royal carribean and I say you get what you pay for.

bwkwpw
02-14-2009, 07:29 PM
My first cruise was a Disney cruise and boy was that a mistake! Now all of the other cruise lines have to live up to that one ;)

I have sailed on RCL twice since and enjoyed both of those cruises.......but they were not Disney. Don't get me wrong, any cruise is better than being at work and I will make the best of any that I go on, but there lies the difference. On RCL, I make the best of the cruise. On DCL, the "cast" makes the best of the cruise for me. The crew members are so darn nice and helpful that you need not bring your brain with you. They take care of ALL of it for you.

My next cruise is on DCL. I will explore other cruise lines and there is no way I could cruise on DCL every time because I simply cannot afford too. We will go on DCL every few years just to spoil ourselves.

CandyMandy
02-14-2009, 07:29 PM
Disney charges a huge premium primarily not because it that much better than other options, but rather because it has been able to historically limit supply (only having two ships makes it tiny in terms of capacity compared to other mass market lines). But that will change when it grows cabin availability with two huge new ships in a few years. They just won't be able to demand the sort of prices they do now when they have to sell several more thousand cabins a week.

Also, given what I am seeing on this and other cruise boards, the economy is affecting DCL, i.e. advance bookings are seriously dropping. That has resulted in more discounts (the ones available to people living in Florida in particular have never been better) and depending on how bad things get the deals will probably increase.

tvguy
02-14-2009, 11:52 PM
With Disney, you are buying more than service, you are buying an experience. You pay more. Is it worth it? Ah, can we talk about something safer on this board, like politics or religion?:goodvibes
Honestly, from a strictly financial, tangible perspective, dollar for dollar, you get more for your dollar elsewhere. We followed our Disney cruise with an NCL Freestyle Cruise that cost 1/3 of what our Disney cruise did. Did we get less? Yes, did we get 2/3 less? No. It was a great cruise, but it wasn't the same experience as Disney. But Disney has NEVER in any of it's ventures sold itself as a bargain. You are paying for magic......a feeling.
So, to is a Disney cruise worth it? If you can afford it, yes, do it at least once. But if you want to cruise and can't afford Disney, do cruise. Any cruise is better than sitting at home.

A footnote. My first cruise was on the French ship MS Mermoz. A 10 day Caribbean cruise out of Miami. I did not pay to go on this cruise, I was working as a TV cameraman and was PAID to be there. This was in 1980, and IF I had to pay for that cruise, it would have cost me $5,000....in 1980 dollars. That's $5,000 for one person. I can only guess what a cruise like that would cost today. The focus was gourmet food, and fine wine. Every meal was a gourmet meal. Lunch and dinner INCLUDED a selection of fine French wines at no addtional cost. No comparision to any of the follow cruises I have been on since from a food and wine perspective. As for entertainment.....no Mickey, no Goofy. That "star" of the big show was the Captain of the ship....seems he was a singer too. And kids clubs, no need for them, there were 5 humans under the age of 18 on board, out of 450 passengers.

My second and third cruises were with DW on the Norway. Again great food, but not gourmet, maybe a notch above Disney dining rooms, but their selling point was big name entertainers, folks you'd see performing on the Tonight Show, or the old Mike Douglas Show, The Sonny and Cher Show, or folks that had their OWN shows. We saw Jack Jones (the guy who sings the Love Boat theme), The Fifth Dimension, Norm Crosby, Shields and Yarnell (for those of you too young to remember, they were mimes that had an hour long variety show on CBS in the late 70's). And they were on the cruise the entire week, hanging out with you.

rriley25
02-15-2009, 05:33 AM
Thanks for the great replies.

My family cruised on DCL last August [our first cruise ever], but we had a ton of DVC developer poinits to use, so our out-of-pocket costs were minimal. We had a SUPER time.

Now we are hoping to cruise again and we found the price differential between Disney and other cruise lines more than surprising. Another element in our decision making is that the higher cost could affect the ability of some of our friends and family from being able to afford the cruise. Having them all along is a big part of the fun.

So, we are still considering all options and a Disney cruise is still in the mix, but the premium cost may force our hand to look elswhere. If we do choose a non-Disney cruise line, are there some that are better than others? For example, Carnival was consistently less expensive than other cruise lines. Is there some reason we shouldn't select Carnival?

Tigger98
02-15-2009, 05:44 AM
We have cruised on DCL Wonder twice and NCL Majest once. Here is what we found:

1) DLC - sodas are free (unless in a lounge); NCL - you have to purchase a soda package. We paid about $85 (1 adult, 1 child). To save money, we didn't purchase another adult package.

2) DCL - regarding tips, you pay that at the end of the cruise and can pay what you feel the server deserves. NCL - they took out a certain amount each day. You didn't have the right to choose the amount.

3) DCL - you get the same server each night so they know what you like. NCL - you get different servers each night. You cannot specify the server.

Overall, we enjoyed DCL better than another line. Everyon in my family was wearing their DCL shirts on NCL (great way to advertise). Even my brother-in-law was telling everyone who asked about DLC (while on NCL) that DCL was top notch. When we can afford it, we will do DCL again.

lwilliam
02-15-2009, 08:29 AM
been on 8 Disney cruises, and seeing the quality declining - before anyone blasts me, look at my 'ticker' - I'm going on another Disney cruise this summer for 7 days, paying premium price. My two older boys LOVE disney cruises (ages 22 and 17) but have never experienced any other cruise line.

My DH and I have sailed on HAL and RCCL and are constantly getting e-mails from those cruise lines with GREAT prices. We are NOW looking again at those cruise lines for the next few years, until we can afford to sail on the new Disney ships.

I'm NOT going into detail about what has been declining on the ships (my main complaint is the food - with the exception of PALO). Would I recommend a Disney cruise to someone - ABSOLUTELY!

NancyIL
02-15-2009, 08:53 AM
We have cruised on DCL Wonder twice and NCL Majest once. Here is what we found:

1) DLC - sodas are free (unless in a lounge); NCL - you have to purchase a soda package. We paid about $85 (1 adult, 1 child). To save money, we didn't purchase another adult package.

2) DCL - regarding tips, you pay that at the end of the cruise and can pay what you feel the server deserves. NCL - they took out a certain amount each day. You didn't have the right to choose the amount.

3) DCL - you get the same server each night so they know what you like. NCL - you get different servers each night. You cannot specify the server.

Overall, we enjoyed DCL better than another line. Everyon in my family was wearing their DCL shirts on NCL (great way to advertise). Even my brother-in-law was telling everyone who asked about DLC (while on NCL) that DCL was top notch. When we can afford it, we will do DCL again.

1. Hey - pop will make you fat and rot your teeth! Nothing is "free" on DCL - it's merely included in the higher price you pay. You can drink milk, water, iced tea, and lemonade on other cruise ships without paying an additional charge. No one is forcing you to buy soda. I'll bet DCL cost more than $85 more than your NCL cruise!

2. DCL also suggests a certain amount for tips, and it's higher than on other cruise lines. You said on DCL you pay at the end and on NCL you pay each day. The end result is the same: they are charged to your shipboard account. I also suspect that on NCL you don't have to have the tips charged to your onboard account, but can pay in cash if you wish. If you choose to have it charged to your account, the amount is fixed. I don't have a problem with that at all.

3. NCL is the only cruise line that doesn't have traditional dining. Other cruise lines have both traditional fixed dining times as well as "anytime" dining. You neglected to mention that NCL ships have a number of dining rooms, and the passenger chooses when, where, and with whom to eat dinner. Some of the dining rooms have a charge - similar to paying for Palo.

nuttylawprofessor
02-15-2009, 09:19 AM
I've done both DCL and NCL. Disney was significantly better than NCL, and I would pay some premium to do DCL over NCL. That being said, there is a limit to how much more I'm willing to pay... probably about $100-$300 more for all of us. Of course, there was no need to compromise this week when we scored a DCL May sailing for $599 pp. :banana:

My parents have been on just about every cruise line, including Disney. But they choose based on itinerary and price. Disney usually loses the itinerary battle.

MeggerasMa
02-15-2009, 11:43 AM
We've cruised HAL, RCI and Disney.* I'm in complete agreement that each line, and each ship for that matter, is unique.* Disney's Wonder was sooooooo clean and reminded me of the old luxury liners you see in movies with the gleaming brass and hardwoods.* We loved the movies under the stars and the fireworks at sea.* I must add that we went without children and still think it was the best cruise yet.* HAL was our first cruise as newlyweds and our memories of the Vollendam will always be special, but we were not as impressed with the ship itself.* RCI has been our most recent experience.* The intinerary was fabulous!* Canada, Nova Scotia, PEI were exquisite - the Explorer of the Seas, on the other hand, was not.* The ship just was not in tip top shape, the beds were uncomfortable and it just seemed to have too much glitz, and not in a good way.* The staff of each of these vessels, however, for the most part were always responsive to our needs and did a fine job.* The one exception would be the health staff on RCI (and I will not say anymore).* If Disney cruised from other ports closer to our home, we would definately give them the nod.* Since this is not the case and other destinations are calling us (yes, we disliked the Bahamas very much), we will continue to explore other lines (although not RCI).* Our next one will see us try Princess for her Hawaiian cruise.* Yes, I know lots of folks would frown at that one, but it does suit us.* Have fun exploring your options.* Planning is half the fun!

OurOhana
02-15-2009, 12:03 PM
I did Carnival ages ago. My husband and I did HAL twice in 2003. And my husband and DD3 and I did Disney on Jan. 31.
Carnival was nothing to write home about, but it was so long ago, it wouldn't be fair for me to compare it to cruising today, I'm sure.
We loved HAL. The service was great, the food was better than Disney and there weren't many hidden costs.
But when we decided to cruise this time for my husband's birthday, we chose Disney for our daughter. And we picked well. When we went on HAL in 2003 the second time, we went with family, including two young boys. There wasn't much for them to do. There were many older people on the boats, and though everyone was friendly, we definitely had the feel that people were trying to get away from reality, which in some cases includes kids.
We did pay more for Disney, but it wasn't bad with the great deals now. And we all had a great time. I can't imagine anything other than Disney with our daughter this young. But later, I'm sure my husband and I will do HAL or try another line on our own - or when our DD is older.
I think everyone has different needs. The fun part of vacationing is trying different things to see what fits your needs.

tvguy
02-15-2009, 12:15 PM
3. NCL is the only cruise line that doesn't have traditional dining. Other cruise lines have both traditional fixed dining times as well as "anytime" dining. You neglected to mention that NCL ships have a number of dining rooms, and the passenger chooses when, where, and with whom to eat dinner. Some of the dining rooms have a charge - similar to paying for Palo.

NCL Freestyle is a disaster. Yes you have lots of EXTRA COST dining options, not just one like Disney. Problem is, more folks are choosing to eat in the main dining rooms than they have capacity to seat. And on the Hawaiian cruises, where you are in ports overnight, they really push their $100 a person Luau, or "encourage" you to eat dinner ashore. The trick to make NCL Freestyle work better is to make reservations in advance. YOu can do that at the extra cost restaurants up to 7 days in advance. As for the main restaurants, they only take reservations 24 hours in advance, however, a reservation does not guarantee you won't have 30 minute wait.

allears
02-15-2009, 01:08 PM
This is a highly subjective topic. We have only cruised DCL and just returned yesterday from our 8th cruise, 7th on the Magic. We love the cruise vacation experience but we also only want to sail with DCL because of the added Disney experience. There are a number of tangible reasons DCL is many times (not always) more expensive;

1. Limited supply of rooms and the ships sail full pretty much always. Supply and demand.

2. No casino on board to increase on board revenue.

3. Generally one half of the passengers are under the drinking age, less alcohol sales.

Then there are added little noticed items, like premium docking at most ports. We were in Key West last Sunday, and we were one of two ships there. The other ship was docked at the old naval yard, which looks about 100 yards away from the stern of the Magic, but is seperated by a channel. Guests on board that ship have to board a tram that will take them the mile or so around the base to the down town area. We stepped off the Magic into the center of town. The same is true in Cozumel. There is a dock right at the center of town. There is room for three ships. The Magic always docks there. There were two other ships docked there that day as well. There were several docked a couple of miles away at the "old" docks and one or two tendering in. This doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that DCL is sending one ship to these ports every other week, not several ships a week. This costs more for the cruise line and will add to our cost, but sure makes the trip easy.

We choose to sail DCL because of the over all experience and being part of the story. Disney is about the story and the cruise is no different. The theme of a classic ocean voyage is carried through everything. The level of service, the quality of the entertainment the committment to excellence keeps us coming back. We have never been disappointed nor has the "magic" started to fade for us. In fact we think this last cruise was the best by far, which has been the case with our previous cruises.

The bottom line for us is we know our expectations will be met and so far always exceeded. We know we'll have an incredible time and we'll feel that we have gotten our money's worth so to speak. But again, this is an individual, subjective choice based on what you want out of a vacation experience and can only be judged by individual situations and expectations.

Mrsjvb
02-15-2009, 02:17 PM
you mentioend Carnicval earlier.

our first ( and thus far only) cruise was carnival, a 7 day Mexcian Riveira out of Long Beach.

for us.. 2 40ish adults with no kids, limited opportunities to take vacations due to DHs job, a Carnival cruise was a good 'dip your toes in the water to see if you like it' kind of thing. We got a reasonable price for a balcony( and we will never travel without one).

as for a point to point comparasin..

so far( keeping in mind we haven't actually sailed on Magic yet, that's in September:

Casino: we don't gamble and we don't smoke. having to travel through the casino among the smoke was a minor annoyance.

Kids: were EVERYWHERE, most of the time in places they were ostensibly adult only. I have been reassured numerous times that on Disney: adult is adult and Family is family and Kids is Kids and it is quite easy to avoid the little darlings completely if that is you desire.

Carbonated drinks: we don't do soda, so having it free is no big deal.. nor would having to pay for something we wouldn't buy anyway.

Food: Carnival's food was fine, about what I woudl expect at any decent 3 star restaurant in San Diego or DC. the Pay restaurant was a step or three above. Looking forward to Palo and am hoping the food on Disney at least meets expectations. LOVED having the option of sushi every afternoon on Carnival as well as their Most of the day pizza slices. we prefer sit down to buffet. the rotational dining intrigues us.

Entertainment: frankly NOTHING on Carnival remotely interested us or even was that good. while I don't need Jack Sparrow to give me a Lap dance, I am holding out high expectations on Disney, based on the Parks.

Castaway Cay: here's where this may make or break our experience. neither one of us do beaches, so if we are bored out of our skull on this day, this may be enough to put an end to our Disney cruises. But they can save the day by providing other entertainment( the adult only area sounds like it has possibilities).

we actually prefer sea days to in port days. Maybe DH is jaded; he spends a LOT of his time at sea( He's Navy) and any time he is underway and NOT standing a watch AND he gets to drink= BONUS. and me, well, Mexico held almost no interest to me as a destination at all.. I was all about the sea days and the food. the Western Caribbean may be different.

we got a VERY good price on this cruise, it was, honestly, CHEAPER than what we paid for our Carnival cruise..although we stepped down to a Navigator's veranda. but in all honesty next time will most likely be somebody out of Baltimore( if we still live here) to save on air fare and parking. Thus allowing us to spend more on the cruise itself.

NancyIL
02-15-2009, 02:36 PM
Castaway Cay: here's where this may make or break our experience. neither one of us do beaches, so if we are bored out of our skull on this day, this may be enough to put an end to our Disney cruises. But they can save the day by providing other entertainment( the adult only area sounds like it has possibilities).



My first and so far only Disney cruise was with my elderly mom last January. I also read that "you hardly know the kids are there" because they are kept so busy. Well...I knew they were there by all the STROLLERS! I expected a lot of kids, but was surprised by how many babies and toddlers were on the cruise. The kids eat in the dining rooms and go to the shows - just like the adults, so you DO encounter the kids.

I'm not much of a beach person, but I got off the ship at Castaway Cay, found a hammock at Serenity Bay, and relaxed for a short while. When it was lunch time I ate - then had had enough of the beach. I went back to the ship around 1 p.m., and there was very little going on at that time. I just checked my Navigator from that cruise, and there was NOTHING scheduled on the ship for adults until the 3:30 DVC presentation - which I went to! The movie theater was showing "Enchanted" at 1:00 - but I had already seen it. I'm not a pool person and I don't drink, so hanging out at the adult pool or the bar wasn't something that interested me. In short - unless you want to lounge by the pool or at the beach - don't expect to be entertained on Castaway Cay day.

SplashMountainManiac
02-15-2009, 03:21 PM
Disney is a much different experience than any other cruise line. One of the biggest differences is that Disney is consistent whereas RCI and NCL can be either good or very bad, we have experienced both. First I would like to address the following comments.

"1. Hey - pop will make you fat and rot your teeth! Nothing is "free" on DCL - it's merely included in the higher price you pay. You can drink milk, water, iced tea, and lemonade on other cruise ships without paying an additional charge. No one is forcing you to buy soda. I'll bet DCL cost more than $85 more than your NCL cruise!

This is pretty much indicative of the idea that you get what you pay for. Disney costs more, so they improve the experience. For those of us that do drink soda, it is nice not to have to pay 1.75 plus tip for every glass of soda, on top of waiting for the beverage server to bring it to you.


2. DCL also suggests a certain amount for tips, and it's higher than on other cruise lines. You said on DCL you pay at the end and on NCL you pay each day. The end result is the same: they are charged to your shipboard account. I also suspect that on NCL you don't have to have the tips charged to your onboard account, but can pay in cash if you wish. If you choose to have it charged to your account, the amount is fixed. I don't have a problem with that at all.

On NCL, the only option is to have tips charged to your account, and most of the time you have no control over the amount. While the official policy is that you can adjust the tips, good luck making that happen. Also, every time you eat in one of their specialty restaurants, it is requested that you leave a tip when paying the surcharge. You are paying less in tips than on Disney, but you are also paying for less deserving service. When the crew knows that everyone is forced to tip them, they are less inclined to work hard.


3. NCL is the only cruise line that doesn't have traditional dining. Other cruise lines have both traditional fixed dining times as well as "anytime" dining. You neglected to mention that NCL ships have a number of dining rooms, and the passenger chooses when, where, and with whom to eat dinner. Some of the dining rooms have a charge - similar to paying for Palo."

First, Princess and NCL both offer this form of dining, although in there own way. Second, most NCL ships have only 1 or two free restaurants in addition to the main dining rooms and the buffet. Freestyle cruising is often a disaster. You must make reservations if you hope to eat in one of the free restaurants, and the main dining rooms take forever. Whereas Palo is 15 dollars per person, most NCL restaurants are 15, 20, or 25, and the food is nowhere near the level of Palo. Freestyle dining is an incredible hassle, although RCI's idea of eating in the same room every night is no fun.

Now, here is why DCL is worth the premium.
1. First of all the staterooms are a vast improvement, both in decor and in size. RCI's staterooms can be very depressing. An NCL cruise gives you a balcony room that is 162 square feet (not including balcony), a RCI cruise gives you a 184 square foot balcony room, and a Disney cruise gives you a 214 square foot room. RCI and NCL go as low as 148 for oceanview and interior, Disney's smallest is 184 sq. ft.

2. Castaway Cay, aside from being able to walk ashore rather than tendering, no other line's private island can compare to DCL's. From its size, to its beaches, to its beautiful theming, to the separation of the adult beach from the family beach, Castaway Cay is in a league of its own. As a side note, there is little entertainment onboard because usually 90 percent of passengers will go ashore, and also the cruise staff is busy working on the island.

3. Rotation Dining is the perfect blend of traditional and freestyle. You are able to move through different dining rooms, while still having the same servers that know your needs, the same table-mates, and no need to make a reservation. While this is mostly a personal opinion, the food on DCL always has been better than on RCI or NCL.

4. The ships are maintained to a higher degree than other cruise line's ships. Certainly newer ships may be in slightly better shape, but take a look at any other ship from 1998 or 1999 (Carnival Fantasy class or RCI Vision Class), and you will see why Disney is great.

5. Deck parties- I have never seen another cruise line bring so many passengers together and get everyone excited. The sail-away party is something I always miss on other cruise lines.

6. The service throughout the ship, from stateroom stewards to the officers, is a step above the rest. Everyone has a smile for you, and everyone is willing to go out of their way to make your vacation special. It is a feeling that you cannot find on other cruise lines.

7. Having experienced the kid's programs on RCI and NCL, I can say that Disney is certainly the best, both in facilities and in the staff. RCI and NCL will keep the kids entertained, for some of the day as they close earlier than DCL, but Disney has it down.

8. Adults only areas- First, RCI and NCL will sometimes sail with almost as many families as Disney. In one sailing of the Navigator of the Seas, 1/6 of the passengers were between the ages of 12 and 17. Also, while DCL is not consistent in their enforcement there is very little enforcement of public spaces on NCL and RCI aside from the casino and disco. I have yet to observe RCI enforcing the age limit in their adult pool area. Disney does a great job of providing everyone with their own space.

9. Entertainment- Stage shows on NCL and RCI tend to range from just ok to crappy, whereas DCL is known throughout the industry for having the best stage shows. Also, Disney's cabaret performers tend to be better at what they do than those on other cruise lines.

Essentially, Disney goes the extra mile with their cruise line, and aside from the reasons above, tends to provide those extra touches that really make the cruise something special. We have always had fun on other cruise lines, but nothing has ever been able to compare to the Disney experience.

NancyIL
02-15-2009, 03:56 PM
3. NCL is the only cruise line that doesn't have traditional dining. Other cruise lines have both traditional fixed dining times as well as "anytime" dining. You neglected to mention that NCL ships have a number of dining rooms, and the passenger chooses when, where, and with whom to eat dinner. Some of the dining rooms have a charge - similar to paying for Palo."

First, Princess and NCL both offer this form of dining, although in there own way. Second, most NCL ships have only 1 or two free restaurants in addition to the main dining rooms and the buffet. Freestyle cruising is often a disaster. You must make reservations if you hope to eat in one of the free restaurants, and the main dining rooms take forever. Whereas Palo is 15 dollars per person, most NCL restaurants are 15, 20, or 25, and the food is nowhere near the level of Palo. Freestyle dining is an incredible hassle, although RCI's idea of eating in the same room every night is no fun.


I said that NCL is the only cruise line that does NOT have traditional - i.e. "fixed" dining. Princess has both traditional dining as well as Anytime Dining. Most cruise lines are now offering both. I like fixed dining times, but appreciated the flexibility of Anytime Dining on a Princess cruise in Alaska.

I agree that Disney does a very good job on their cruises. I loved the Disney shows, the ship was pretty (although I didn't care for the dark atrium), and rotational dining was enjoyable. We stayed in a cat. 6 handicap cabin - which was very spacious and had a huge balcony. Too bad Disney put the HA cabins at the very back of the ship instead of close to the elevators - where they belong. We had great service by our dining room servers, although our cabin attendant was not exceptional. However, I've had equally great dining room servers on my last 2 RCI cruises, as well as cabin attendants with a personality. I have always enjoyed the stage shows on RCI and HAL - although I get tired of comedians/magicians/jugglers! In my opinion the food on DCL was comparable to the food on RCI and Princess, with HAL being a bit better in the dining room.

I am a big Disney fan, and I hoped to be wowed by my Disney cruise experience. I booked 2 future cruises onboard the Wonder, but I subsequently cancelled them. What will keep me from cruising with DCL on a regular basis are:

1. too many kids (no way around it - they're there)
2. lack of interesting itineraries (Europe 2010 itineraries are good, but see #3)
3. premium price

tvguy
02-15-2009, 04:51 PM
We stayed in a cat. 6 handicap cabin - which was very spacious and had a huge balcony. Too bad Disney put the HA cabins at the very back of the ship instead of close to the elevators - where they belong.


The aft elevators are only 8 doors down form the handicap access cabins. I chatted with a gentleman in a wheelchair in one of those cabins, and he was pleased how close the elevators were.

NancyIL
02-15-2009, 05:11 PM
The aft elevators are only 8 doors down form the handicap access cabins. I chatted with a gentleman in a wheelchair in one of those cabins, and he was pleased how close the elevators were.
Look at the deck plans! We were in #6654 at the very back of the ship. There are 17 balcony cabins between ours and the elevators. If the man you talked to had an inside HA cabin - there are only 8 inside cabins plus the HA one at the back of the ship - but there's a large service area between the first aft cabin and the elevators/stairs. There are 13 balcony cabins between the inside HA cabin and the aft elevators. It's a long hallway to navigate in a wheelchair, especially when housekeeping carts are there twice a day.

http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/cruise/deck6.htm

tazcat
02-15-2009, 06:07 PM
reading all your post between this thread and the one you start about the baltic 2010. it seem nothing dlc can do make you happy. i suggest you just sail with the cruise line that you are happiest with

Muushka
02-15-2009, 06:31 PM
We cruise both Celebrity and DCL. We love them both for different reasons. Like comparing apples to oranges ( we are kidless, so that does make a difference). We have cruised DCL ONLY when we get a great rate, otherwise, Celebrity.

We just booked a 5 night on Celebrity. In a Royal Suite, 500+ square feet, sep bedroom, 2 40" LCD tvs, stereo system, butler, 130 ft balcony, for $999 per person. I cannot imagine what this would cost on DCL. I love DCL, but I will not pay high prices to sail on them, they are not that wonderful!

5lilfish
02-15-2009, 10:55 PM
For us, it is worth the higher price.

We have cruise, with kids, Carnival (no interest in repeating), and Royal Caribbean (prefer Disney but we would, and actual we are, going to cruise with them again).

Here is a list of some of the Disney differences that we feel make DCL our #1 choice:

1) The staff is extremely friendly. RCI staff did their job, but nobody went out of their way to chat or seemed remotely interested in making any sort of connection with you. We enjoy getting to know the staff on DCL. My kids look forward to seeing any staff members that may be there from a previous cruise..and they remember the kids (we are onboard now and Marc walked up to my DH on the first day and said, "Andrew's Dad?"). On DCL, every staff member that walks by you says hello. Many of them stop and chat. That just didn't happen on RCI. We are very outgoing and social people (even our kids) and we found this to be a huge difference.

2) Disney does the little things better. They are just so organized and efficient. It's hard to explain until you go on another line. One small thing...RCI, you rent your towel. You must keep track of that towel (the same towel that everyone else has) for the entire cruise and if you do not turn in that towel, you are charged $20. Now...try to get 7 people to keep track of their towels for a week. My 11 yr old put his towel down on a bench and came back and it was gone (duh...if everyone has the same towel and some dishonest person loses theirs, do you think they won't take yours). It was a BIG pest. There are lots of small things like this. They may not seem like much, but when your juggling a family and lots of activities, these small things make a giant difference over the course of a week.

3) People on here have said that you cannot avoid the kids. Obviously, DCL has kids...lots of kids. Heck, I bring 5 with me. BUT...what I like is that on DCL if you go to an adult only area, it is ADULT ONLY. RCI didn't enforce this at all. Also, I had more problems with kids on the run on RCI (even if there were less kids), than I have ever had on DCL. I'm not saying there weren't any kid problems on DCL...but RCI had many more kids running loose and causing problems. On this note...my kids prefered DCL's kid programming much more than RCI. They said that on RCI they did not feel the councelors did much with them. It was more like group babysitting than fun activities.

4) Castaway Cay...you can't get less stressful beach day (especially with young kids).

5) Still having toddlers..NURSERY!

6) Even with older kids, we like that the DCL kid programming is all day (no breaks). It's not that our kids are in there all day (unless they choose to). It's just that, RCI goes 9-12, 2-5, 7-10 and then pay after 10pm. Well...lets say you sleep in past 9 and then get dressed and have breakfast. Now it's 10:45 or 11am and the kids are ready to go to the clubs. They're closing in 1 hour. Same thing if there is an activity at 2:30pm...the entire afternoon kid's programming is basically lost for you. On DCL you can come and go, at your convenience, all day. This is another one of those small things I mentioned above.

7) Family appropriate entertainment. I don't want to ditch my kids all day. We like to do things together too. RCI didn't really have family shows/activities. They had rock climbing, and the H2O zone (very cool but not really something for adults to do with their kids) and mini golf. They did not have things like the Mickey 200, or Disney trivia, or family appropriate shows, or family dance parties/karaoke/etc.

I'm sure there are more reasons but I'm tired from a long day of fun at sea. Although my 9 and 10 yr old are still having fun at the girl's party in the lab and my 11 yr old is heading back to his age group to go to the arcade. Since tomorrow is another sea day (and we can sleep in), we're letting them have a late night.

Jess

NancyIL
02-16-2009, 08:22 AM
For those of you cruising with young kids, I can absolutely see why DCL is the best fit for you. It would be for me, too - if my kids were young. However, even if DCL were my first choice, I wouldn't pay double to cruise with them during spring break or Christmas. The "you get what you pay for" mantra doesn't apply to higher prices during holiday periods.

Garbo621
02-16-2009, 09:21 AM
Saw this thread and was interested. After reading all the posts, only one thing said was gospel. It was also said to me by a friend who has been on almost all the major cruise lines. Any cruise is better than no cruise.

If you have the money to spend, Disney is a great Cruise and you will have a wonderful time. If you can take advantage of some special pricing even better. But you will also have a wonderful time on most of the other cruise lines ,usually for a lot less money if you shop around . The only caveat is if you have been on DCL, go on one of the newer ships of other cruise lines(built or refurbished in the last 5-6 years) or you will be disapointed.

To those looking at Disney through rose colored glasses,
I love Disney and the DCL but it is also evident that while service expectations are high they are still profit driven and will compromise guest experience for profit. (To be fair, I see that more in the parks than on the DCL).

Disney has definitely the best kids club and kids program but when we were on Carnival and Royal Caribbean our daughter was still just as excited to go to the kids club.

Except for Palo (which was one of the best meals I have eaten anywhere), Food was comparably good on all cruise lines, Disney's was maybe a little better on Entree's and special requests but I was very disapointed with the baked goods and desserts (They looked great but had no flavor)

No matter what cruise you go on you will experience children, some more than others, but if you don't want to deal with kids go to the adult oriented areas and activities. My wife went on her "chick weekend" with 6 friends,no kids, on the Disney cruise and until the last night they barely noticed the kids on board.

Disney's shows and entertainment had mixed reviews. Thank god Hercules is no more. The costuming was horrible and the show was so slow we almost fell asleep. There other production shows were better. But we personally enjoyed the production shows on Carnival better. Also Carnival had a lot more fun daytime games and activities than Disney for adults. Even though we love Disney not every game had to have a Disney theme.

The bottom line is you can have fun on any line and each has their own pro's and cons. If you have sailed mostly on Disney and are the type of person who will spend the entire time on a different line saying " They don't do it like that on the Disney Cruise" and cannot enjoy something on it's own strengths, just keep having a great time on a Disney cruise. But, especially in this economy,if you don't want to pay such high prices, there are some incredible deals on some excellent cruises. Especially if you can get away in Sept., Nov.-Dec. or January.

stsomewhere
02-16-2009, 06:09 PM
We just got back from our ist DCL cruise. Feb. 12-15.

We were concerned about the cost over other lines. We have sailed numerous time on HAl, RCI, NCL, Carnival and our fav. (Royal Majesty-went out of business)

We rated this as one of our best cruises ever.
The kids enjoyed the kids program very much.

The food was ok. But, the service, staff and entertainment were excellent.

We had such a great time we rebooked for August.