PDA

View Full Version : Cruise Line Comparison


devores
01-06-2010, 12:36 PM
We just got off the 27 - 30 Dec 09 Sailing on the Wonder and I learned some things that might help others comparing cruise lines.

This was our second cruise, both on the wonder, so we had no way to compare it to other cruises. This was, however, the first Disney cruise for my kids.

It all started when we first borded and were in Beach Blanket for lunch. My oldest looked up and asked if she could have a soda with her lunch. I looked at her in amazment as I have never limited them to not drinking soda and said sure you can have one. She then explained that on thier other cruise, Royal Caribean, you had to pay for sodas. It was like $100 a person for a wristband that got you soda for the whole cruise. This was weird to me.

Fast forward to the first night. We were watching the Golden Mickeys and both my kids watched in amazment. When the show ended, they both exclaimed that the show was WAY better than any of the shows on the other cruise. They even said they opted to miss most of the shows on the RC cruise because they were so boring.

We then headed to SeaScapes for some family fun with the Who Wants To Be A Mousketeer. My oldest again looks at me and asks what time it was. I told her it was 9:30 and she says they have to go back to the room. I aksed why and she explains about a curfew they had on the RC. I guess on the last one, all kids, 17 and under, had to be in thier staterooms at 10:00pm. She even said that they would patrol the ship looking for curfew breakers.

After the second dinner in Tritons, we got to talking about how they liked the cruise. Both said that DCL was WAY WAY better than RC. The reasons are below.

First:
RC had no activities for kids. DCL had the teen club (where we lost them to for about 6 hours)

RC had a curfew for kids, DCL did not.

RC did not have a sail away party or pirate party, DCL had fun in mind when planning ship activities.

RC had one dinning room for the "free" dinning. They did have others, but you had to pay to eat there. DCL, all food was free.

RC did not have free sodas, DCL did.

RC shows were boring and not very entertaining. DCL shows were top notch.

RC had allot of areas kids could not go (casionos, bars, adult only areas). DCL was divided up into age appropriate areas.

RC had zero charcter interaction, it was more of a singles cruise than a family cruise. DCL had Mickey Mouse.

RC did not have room service. DCL had mickey bars sent to your room....nuff said.

The only down side to DCL for my kids was Nassau. They were scared half to death walking around, and this was during Jukanoo so there were not that many people out and about. We spent about 2 hours onshore then went back to the ship. We hit the Cove pool and they hit Aloft.

So, in my kids view, DCL wins out hands down. They are now spoiled and do not want to cruise another line. They are anxiously waiting for the dream to set sail so we can go again.

All in all, after this experience, DCL is definetly worth the extra cost and we will not sail another cruise line.

jodifla
01-06-2010, 12:54 PM
We just got off the 27 - 30 Dec 09 Sailing on the Wonder and I learned some things that might help others comparing cruise lines.

This was our second cruise, both on the wonder, so we had no way to compare it to other cruises. This was, however, the first Disney cruise for my kids.

It all started when we first borded and were in Beach Blanket for lunch. My oldest looked up and asked if she could have a soda with her lunch. I looked at her in amazment as I have never limited them to not drinking soda and said sure you can have one. She then explained that on thier other cruise, Royal Caribean, you had to pay for sodas. It was like $100 a person for a wristband that got you soda for the whole cruise. This was weird to me.

Fast forward to the first night. We were watching the Golden Mickeys and both my kids watched in amazment. When the show ended, they both exclaimed that the show was WAY better than any of the shows on the other cruise. They even said they opted to miss most of the shows on the RC cruise because they were so boring.

We then headed to SeaScapes for some family fun with the Who Wants To Be A Mousketeer. My oldest again looks at me and asks what time it was. I told her it was 9:30 and she says they have to go back to the room. I aksed why and she explains about a curfew they had on the RC. I guess on the last one, all kids, 17 and under, had to be in thier staterooms at 10:00pm. She even said that they would patrol the ship looking for curfew breakers.

After the second dinner in Tritons, we got to talking about how they liked the cruise. Both said that DCL was WAY WAY better than RC. The reasons are below.

First:
RC had no activities for kids. DCL had the teen club (where we lost them to for about 6 hours)

RC had a curfew for kids, DCL did not.

RC did not have a sail away party or pirate party, DCL had fun in mind when planning ship activities.

RC had one dinning room for the "free" dinning. They did have others, but you had to pay to eat there. DCL, all food was free.

RC did not have free sodas, DCL did.

RC shows were boring and not very entertaining. DCL shows were top notch.

RC had allot of areas kids could not go (casionos, bars, adult only areas). DCL was divided up into age appropriate areas.

RC had zero charcter interaction, it was more of a singles cruise than a family cruise. DCL had Mickey Mouse.

RC did not have room service. DCL had mickey bars sent to your room....nuff said.

The only down side to DCL for my kids was Nassau. They were scared half to death walking around, and this was during Jukanoo so there were not that many people out and about. We spent about 2 hours onshore then went back to the ship. We hit the Cove pool and they hit Aloft.

So, in my kids view, DCL wins out hands down. They are now spoiled and do not want to cruise another line. They are anxiously waiting for the dream to set sail so we can go again.

All in all, after this experience, DCL is definetly worth the extra cost and we will not sail another cruise line.

As a person who has sailed many other cruiselines, I think you actually have to try them for yourself before you judge them.

We like DCL, particularly for young kids. But other cruise lines have great activities, and shows, and food, as well.

We particularly like Royal Caribbean. And their newest boats have tons of things for kids to do....a much bigger pool area, mini golf, rock climbing, etc. They also have more for adults to do.

TifffanyD
01-06-2010, 01:10 PM
Hey devores! Just wanted to say we are neighbors. I live in Brandon and work in Riverview - right off of 301 - where I am right now!

devores
01-06-2010, 01:25 PM
I live in Riverview, right on the border of Brandon and Riverview (about 2 blocks and Im in Brandon).

I wish I worked closer to home, I have a 45 min drive in Tampa traffic to get to work (MacDill AFB). Good thing I have good stress management........:rotfl:

Good meeting you,

GrumpyBelle
01-06-2010, 01:27 PM
Devores, just curious what was the age range of your kids and which RC ship did you sail? We are contemplating switching our summer DCL cruise to possibly a RC cruise. We have done the 3 and 4 day to Nassau twice and are interested in a different itinerary that DCL does not offer. However, I am hesitant because I LOVE the DCL experience overall and I know my kids enjoy all aspects of DCL as well. We have also discussed sticking with our DCL cruise and limiting our time spent in Nassau and enjoying extra onboard activities during that day.

sayhello
01-06-2010, 01:28 PM
I think this is very interesting, because it *is* from a kid's perspective. And if that's important to you, then I think this is all great info. You need to know what kids think if you want to include that in your decision.

Having sailed 3 times on RCCL though, I feel like I need to correct a few points. I am not doing this to say RCCL is better or worse than DCL. Just correcting a few inconsistencies, so that people who haven't sailed on RCCL can get a complete picture of the differences. I don't know which itinerary/ship your kids were on, so some of this may vary from ship to ship but:

RC had no activities for kids.

RCCL *does* have kids' programs. Whether they are good/better/worse than DCL, I can't comment on, but they do exist. They call it their Adventure Ocean Youth Programs.

RC did not have a sail away party

I have to admit, it was nothing like the videos I've seen of DCL's sail away parties, but they had bands up on deck, and special drinks, and blew the horn as we left port.

RC had one dinning room for the "free" dinning. They did have others, but you had to pay to eat there. DCL, all food was free.

RCCL had 2 "free" dining rooms on one of the larger ships I was on. Everyone eats in one or two main dining rooms. Then there are the specialty restaurants, which RCCL has more of per ship than DCL does. DCL charges for their one specialty dining room, also. Palo is not free.

RC shows were boring and not very entertaining. DCL shows were top notch.
For *kids*. I *LOVED* the shows on RCCL, and found them highly entertaining and not boring. The performers were extremely talented.

RC had allot of areas kids could not go (casionos, bars, adult only areas). DCL was divided up into age appropriate areas.

It sounds like the same thing, except that DCL has it far better organized.

RC did not have room service.

RCCL absolutely does have room service, and it's free just like DCL (except some ships have a small charge for late night deliveries). I've used it many times, especially for breakfast on early port days.

Sayhello

devores
01-06-2010, 01:38 PM
The items I listed were from the words of my kids. I have never been on another cruise line before. So for them to say it, I would assume it is how the experienced it. But for them to even say these things, I have to assume that RC was not the best cruise line for them. And for me, that is enough reason to not cruise with them. I cruise for a family vacation and if the kids are not happy, I am not happy.

Thank you for pointing out some things from your experiences. I cannot remember what ship they were on, but it was one of the smaller ones. This would explain the one dinning room comment.

The kids thought they had fun on the RC cruise and were happy they went. But after the Disney cruise, they realised they liked it way better.

This was all from a kids perspective, 16 and 13 year old girls......

devores
01-06-2010, 01:46 PM
RCCL had 2 "free" dining rooms on one of the larger ships I was on. Everyone eats in one or two main dining rooms. Then there are the specialty restaurants, which RCCL has more of per ship than DCL does. DCL charges for their one specialty dining room, also. Palo is not free.


Just to set a record straight, Palo is free. There is a mandatory gratuity for using this restaraunt, but you do not pay for food. The reason for the gratuity is that the servers in Palo are not part of the regular dining rotations so they do not take part in the tips you give your servers at the end of the cruise. I cannot remember the cost, but I think its around $20 a person. Still not bad for the fancey restaraunt and the food being served.

Mickeyhugger
01-06-2010, 01:49 PM
Last time that we cruised RCL the soda card was around $35 :thumbsup2 I do not think inflation has pushed it up to $100:lmao::lmao:

TheWog
01-06-2010, 01:52 PM
We just got off the 27 - 30 Dec 09 Sailing on the Wonder and I learned some things that might help others comparing cruise lines.

This was our second cruise, both on the wonder, so we had no way to compare it to other cruises. This was, however, the first Disney cruise for my kids.

It all started when we first borded and were in Beach Blanket for lunch. My oldest looked up and asked if she could have a soda with her lunch. I looked at her in amazment as I have never limited them to not drinking soda and said sure you can have one. She then explained that on thier other cruise, Royal Caribean, you had to pay for sodas. It was like $100 a person for a wristband that got you soda for the whole cruise. This was weird to me.

Fast forward to the first night. We were watching the Golden Mickeys and both my kids watched in amazment. When the show ended, they both exclaimed that the show was WAY better than any of the shows on the other cruise. They even said they opted to miss most of the shows on the RC cruise because they were so boring.

We then headed to SeaScapes for some family fun with the Who Wants To Be A Mousketeer. My oldest again looks at me and asks what time it was. I told her it was 9:30 and she says they have to go back to the room. I aksed why and she explains about a curfew they had on the RC. I guess on the last one, all kids, 17 and under, had to be in thier staterooms at 10:00pm. She even said that they would patrol the ship looking for curfew breakers.

After the second dinner in Tritons, we got to talking about how they liked the cruise. Both said that DCL was WAY WAY better than RC. The reasons are below.

First:
RC had no activities for kids. DCL had the teen club (where we lost them to for about 6 hours)

RC had a curfew for kids, DCL did not.

RC did not have a sail away party or pirate party, DCL had fun in mind when planning ship activities.

RC had one dinning room for the "free" dinning. They did have others, but you had to pay to eat there. DCL, all food was free.

RC did not have free sodas, DCL did.

RC shows were boring and not very entertaining. DCL shows were top notch.

RC had allot of areas kids could not go (casionos, bars, adult only areas). DCL was divided up into age appropriate areas.

RC had zero charcter interaction, it was more of a singles cruise than a family cruise. DCL had Mickey Mouse.

RC did not have room service. DCL had mickey bars sent to your room....nuff said.

The only down side to DCL for my kids was Nassau. They were scared half to death walking around, and this was during Jukanoo so there were not that many people out and about. We spent about 2 hours onshore then went back to the ship. We hit the Cove pool and they hit Aloft.

So, in my kids view, DCL wins out hands down. They are now spoiled and do not want to cruise another line. They are anxiously waiting for the dream to set sail so we can go again.

All in all, after this experience, DCL is definetly worth the extra cost and we will not sail another cruise line.

Are you sure most of your information is correct? I guess we would have to determine what ship they had been on. If it were one of the more recent Voyager, Freedom or Oasis class ships I think there is more than enough for children to do. Even on smaller class ships there is a lot for kids. Night clubs, arcades, age appropriate kids clubs, water parks, rock climbing, surfing, etc.

While RCL does charge for soda packages for a week the child cost is $4 per day, 7 night cruise would be $28. Not near the $100. I also believe DCL charges for soda at dinner.

Shows: personal preference. I'm not really a show at sea person. RCL does have ice skating performances which are supposed to be pretty incredible (depending on ship).

Curfew? I have never heard of that. I have actually heard just the opposite about roving gangs of teens and pre-teens terrorizing elevator users and making noise in the halls.

DCL also has adult areas where kids are not allowed to go and it strictly enforced, including bars and pool areas.

Characters? What kind of characters are going to be on a ship outside of DCL? If you are looking to cruise with Disney characters I think you would be very disappointed with any other cruise line.

DCL you have to pay for Palo which is like going to Chops or Portofino, only RCI has two options not only one. The main dining room on RCI ships also offers My Time Dining so you can choose when to eat.

RCI has room service. You can get what you like at any time. They also have many other offerings of free food, pizza, burgers, sushi, etc.

I just hope you aren't jaded, because of a not completely accurate comparison. While it is not completely fair to compare a newer Freedom Class ship to an older Disney ship for cost value comparisons it is a fair barometer. Sailing on the Magic is much more expensive than sailing on the Freedom with similar itinerary even when factoring in a child's soda package. Now, if you had said RCI doesn't have Castaway Cay as a stop I would have been completely with you. Castaway Cay is certainly worth the price of admission.

mkmommy
01-06-2010, 02:03 PM
RC had no activities for kids.

RCCL *does* have kids' programs. Whether they are good/better/worse than DCL, I can't comment on, but they do exist. They call it their Adventure Ocean Youth Programs.


Sayhello

Maybe they observed that besides the kids clubs there are no kids activities. If you look at the daily schedule from many other cruise lines there is not a lot to do that is geared towards kids outside of the kids clubs. Sure the kids clubs have lots going on, but not all kids want to be seperated from their family all day. If you look at DCL they have lots of family activties scheduled during the day, like kite making, crab races, kids trivia, character drawing.

To me I think that is the biggest difference between DCL and other cruise lines.

sayhello
01-06-2010, 02:04 PM
Just to set a record straight, Palo is free. There is a mandatory gratuity for using this restaraunt, but you do not pay for food. The reason for the gratuity is that the servers in Palo are not part of the regular dining rotations so they do not take part in the tips you give your servers at the end of the cruise. I cannot remember the cost, but I think its around $20 a person. Still not bad for the fancey restaraunt and the food being served.The exact same thing is true of RCCL's specialty restaurants. I think some of the charges may be slightly more or less than Palo's depending on the restaurant, but it's the exact same concept. There are no restaurants on RCCL that are any more "pay" restaurants than Palo is.

Sayhello

TheWog
01-06-2010, 02:08 PM
The exact same thing is true of RCCL's specialty restaurants. I think some of the charges may be slightly more or less than Palo's depending on the restaurant, but it's the exact same concept. There are no restaurants on RCCL that are any more "pay" restaurants than Palo is.

Sayhello

I agree. $20 for Portofino and $25 for Chops.

TifffanyD
01-06-2010, 02:10 PM
I live in Riverview, right on the border of Brandon and Riverview (about 2 blocks and Im in Brandon).

I wish I worked closer to home, I have a 45 min drive in Tampa traffic to get to work (MacDill AFB). Good thing I have good stress management........:rotfl:

Good meeting you,

I live by the mall and it sounds like I work near where you live! Just barely into Riverview - on 301 just south of Causeway!

I used to work downtown near the airport (right by international mall) and it took me about 40 mins and I took the toll road. But we moved a little over am onth ago and I am loving it here!

CrystalS
01-06-2010, 02:26 PM
While RCL does charge for soda packages for a week the child cost is $4 per day, 7 night cruise would be $28. Not near the $100. I also believe DCL charges for soda at dinner.



DCL does not charge for soda at dinner, we had soda at most dinners and were never billed.
The only time they charge for it is through room service I believe, probably because it's canned/bottled instead of "fountain".

TheWog
01-06-2010, 02:43 PM
DCL does not charge for soda at dinner, we had soda at most dinners and were never billed.
The only time they charge for it is through room service I believe, probably because it's canned/bottled instead of "fountain".

Thanks for the clarification.

lovethedream
01-06-2010, 02:44 PM
Are you sure most of your information is correct? I guess we would have to determine what ship they had been on. If it were one of the more recent Voyager, Freedom or Oasis class ships I think there is more than enough for children to do. Even on smaller class ships there is a lot for kids. Night clubs, arcades, age appropriate kids clubs, water parks, rock climbing, surfing, etc.

While RCL does charge for soda packages for a week the child cost is $4 per day, 7 night cruise would be $28. Not near the $100. I also believe DCL charges for soda at dinner.

Shows: personal preference. I'm not really a show at sea person. RCL does have ice skating performances which are supposed to be pretty incredible (depending on ship).

Curfew? I have never heard of that. I have actually heard just the opposite about roving gangs of teens and pre-teens terrorizing elevator users and making noise in the halls.

DCL also has adult areas where kids are not allowed to go and it strictly enforced, including bars and pool areas.

Characters? What kind of characters are going to be on a ship outside of DCL? If you are looking to cruise with Disney characters I think you would be very disappointed with any other cruise line.

DCL you have to pay for Palo which is like going to Chops or Portofino, only RCI has two options not only one. The main dining room on RCI ships also offers My Time Dining so you can choose when to eat.

RCI has room service. You can get what you like at any time. They also have many other offerings of free food, pizza, burgers, sushi, etc.

I just hope you aren't jaded, because of a not completely accurate comparison. While it is not completely fair to compare a newer Freedom Class ship to an older Disney ship for cost value comparisons it is a fair barometer. Sailing on the Magic is much more expensive than sailing on the Freedom with similar itinerary even when factoring in a child's soda package. Now, if you had said RCI doesn't have Castaway Cay as a stop I would have been completely with you. Castaway Cay is certainly worth the price of admission.

We have been on both the Wonder and the RCCL FOTS. (I noticed that you (thewog) are sailing on the FOTS in a year or so. It will be interesting to hear what you think of the FOTS when you go.) What we discovered was that bigger was not necessarily better. And yes, Castaway Cay and the Disney characters did make a difference to us. (We did not go to RCCL's "private" island so I cannot comment there.) We did not care for the shows either on the FOTS. And there were many other things we found to be lacking on the FOTS.

We had the total drink package where adult beverages were included, and a travel agent set it all up for us, but $35 dollars for a 7 day cruise sounds about right for the soft drinks.

While I think it is fair to point out taking another persons word on something that really seems to come down to personal taste, I will say that I am in full agreement with the OP on one thing. If my kids ain't happy, I ain't happy. If Disney is what they prefer, then that's where were going. Of course, it helps that the parents are really nothing more than big kids themselves and crazy about Disney, so they did not have to twist the arm too hard.

After our experience and a relatives experience with Carnival. We are looking at one or two cruises for 2011 and planning on both being Disney.

lovethedream
01-06-2010, 02:48 PM
DCL does not charge for soda at dinner, we had soda at most dinners and were never billed.
The only time they charge for it is through room service I believe, probably because it's canned/bottled instead of "fountain".

That was our experience, we never received a bill for any soft drinks in the DCL dining rooms. We never did room service. On the FOTS, we paid to eat at Johnny Rockets and the ice cream from the "mall" area. The pizza from the "mall" area was free. Also, on the FOTS, there was only one main dining room that I was aware of. Now granted it was three decks or so tall, but there was just the one.

flower91882
01-06-2010, 03:49 PM
DCL does not charge for soda at dinner, we had soda at most dinners and were never billed.
The only time they charge for it is through room service I believe, probably because it's canned/bottled instead of "fountain".

There is also a charge for sodas in the bars. Although, you can go to the drink station and bring soda into the bars for free. I think it's also because it's canned/bottled and not fountain.

NancyIL
01-06-2010, 05:29 PM
Your kids are entitled to their opinions about shows and activities, but they are way off about soda prices and the curfew. I checked the Cruise Compass for our March 2008 cruise on Adventure of the Seas. The curfew for kids under 18 was 1 a.m. - not 10 p.m. The price for the soda package was $4/day for ages 17 and under, and $6/day for ages 18 and up. A 15% gratuity was added to the soda packages, making the cost of the soda card $32.20/week for kids and $48.30/week for adults.

Edd
01-06-2010, 06:28 PM
You are so misinformed on cruising. You really need to find out for yourself the differences between the cruise lines. I have cruised Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise line multiple times. The Disney ship is nice as all the other ships are. but that pretty much covers where they are equal. As an adult I don't enjoy the Disney shows anymore because they are stories and not really production shows. Ok, but nothing like you would see on another ship. Some great dancing and singing. The Disney show is completely taped and so you see singers lip synch.

Many of the cruise lines have high quality production shows. Disney isn't even in their class. Yes, of course, your kids will enjoy the shows, but my preference is not made by what kids like. My grandson who has been dancing since he was three years old saw three cruises of Disney shows and liked them. He than saw the production numbers on the Carnival and RCLL cruise lines and would rather watch them for the dancing quality. He is 11 years old now and an 8 year dance student..

The other cruise lines have bunches of children also. They do not have the Disney Logo which is so prominent on the Disney ship. However the water park area on some of the other ships completely outclasses the water areas on the Disney ship. RCCL has a ship that its water park for children is as big as the water park and the adult area on the Disney ships. The water area provides geysers, cascaduing waterfalls and several different pools for the kids to play in. They also have a great kids club. Many of the older kids were out on the flow-rider doing the boogie board and stand up surfing or climbing the wall and maybe even shooting hoops on the full size basketball court.

A 7-day cruise costs a child $28.00 for unlimited soft drink privileges. I don't know where you got that figure of $100.00 for drink privileges.

The private beaches of RCCL are are certainly equal to or better than Castaway Cay. Labadee in Haiti is beautiful with the mountains surrounding the beach and the flightline ride, a zip line starting at 500 feet above the beach for about 1/2 mile to the beach, and its cozy corners and ruins, in the hills, that you can explore. I personally would rate Labadee much higher than Castaway Cay.

Check this link to see some of the advantages RCCL has over the DCL.

http://ekorgan2.com/freedom_of_the_seas.htm

RCCL does have a curfew for the teens. It is 2:00 am in the morning and it is enforced by the many security men that walk about the ship watching for any trouble. RCCL has three dining rooms to serve its passenger the evening meal with. They have a buffet restaurant for all day long and a Your-Time dining room. The also have two restaurants call "Chops" and "Portofino" which you pay to dine in.

RCLL , and all shops, have a sail away party. Every cruise I have been on had a party at sailing time. Only 25 - 30 cruises on about 6 different lines.

As far as money goes, RCCL is cheaper than the DCL, much cheaper. What cost me $1600.00 on a Disney 7 day cruise with a Florida discount, I got on the Freedom for 1200.00. Probably would have been a little less if I had originally booked as a single.

So I think it is best to compare when you have the experience to compare with. I don't think cruising on Disney several times, by any means, gives anyone the expertise to compare their experience with the other lines. You need to do it to say it.

I forgot the circus parade and the dancing in the 70's street show on the Royal Promenade on the Freedom The Royal Promenade is about 1 1/2 times the length of a football field and 12 yards wide, about the width of a smalll country street. The parades were beautiful.

MassDisLovers
01-06-2010, 10:39 PM
And, the curfew for kids/teens only applies when they are UNACCOMPANIED. they can stay out 'til morning if they are with an adult.

joksten2000
01-07-2010, 05:40 AM
We sail on the Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne and enjoy very much. We can sail a 12 day cruise for less than a 7 day DCL. We got a real bargain on our Nov 29th cruise $1,500 for both of us.

The shows are always different and no one mentioned the great Ice skating shows. DCL shows are beautiful but after 10 cruises it gets much. We didn't go to the shows on the last two cruises.