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View Full Version : Our Disney cruise...eh' I suppose it was ok


scuba
02-11-2010, 05:26 PM
I gotta tell you all, our cruise was ok, but as Disney fanatic, our socks really wasn't blown off like I expected. my 2 children, Wife and I were on the 2/4 sailing of the Wonder. Our children, the youngest is 2 and this sailing was her third cruise and the Wonder cruise marked our 3 year olds 4th cruise.

We are cruise verterans, Alaska 2001, the carribbean too many times to count spread over Princess, Carnival, Royal and lastly Disney. We we able to score the kids free program and picked Feb 4th as the date.

I could expect the 7 day cruise to have a little different feel than a 3 dayer. my observations from this last cruise would be you are spending the extra cash on the Disney experience, Characters and shows because as far as service goes, I've actually encountered better on sailings from carnival and Royal....my observations and opinion, certainly i'm not asking anyone to agree with me. Some may and some may not.

We Didn't meet out cabin steward until the evening of day 2, my experiences has always been to see them as we enter our cabin. Not a big deal but still it left an impression. The wait staff was great, very good with our children but i've gotten same service from other lines. It seemed like the Wonder's gathering spaces were small, like the Atrium in front of Triton's. Elevators were incredibly small.

The Oceaneers Club was fantastic, ditto for Flounders nursery, The Disney experience was great, Hannah got to do si do with Snow White, I got to get an auto from Captain Sparrow. The shows did knock our socks off, funny that a few folks that my wife talked to wasn't impressed with the shows but man, Toy Story and Dreams, incredible. That you can not get on any other line so like I said, the additional monies one spends to go with Disney gets tied up into the Disney experience, but the service, ship, and crew really isn't that different from other lines.

maybe the 7 dayers are different? I suppose i'm going to get crushed here with this thread, 2-3 maybe 4 years from now when our daughters are older we may give it another go at Disney, who knows. We missed CC, the last day was filled with so many activities only to have your luggage out by 11pm, I just felt there were little quirks.

I'm not going to post and run, i'll be here, maybe some of you can give me some suggestions. For those of you that are alreay typing furiously about if I like the other lines so much then stop cruising with Disney, I would hope you would save that. Remember i'm a Disney fanatic, we go nearly twice yearly from Ohio. I am having a hard time justifiying the increased cost over other cruise lines for service, food and value......I'm a big boy, bring on the flames

kcashner
02-11-2010, 05:36 PM
There is a HUGE difference between a 3 night cruise and a 7 night. I've only been on the Wonder for 3 sailings...a 4/3 B2B and a 3 night "bounceback" special. After the first 3 night, I said I wouldn't do it again, but the bounceback enticed me. Again, I wouldn't do it again. The first issue is the mentality of the guests on the 3 night sailings--people brought their kids in strollers into the Cove Cafe and the area around the adult pool (which part of "reserved for guests 18 and older" don't they understand?), and just seem too intense on trying to do everything in a very limited time.

Your experience with the stateroom host isn't typical Disney. We usually see our host the first afternoon, but certainly by the first evening. We loved the CMs on the Wonder, and recognized many as "old friends" from the Magic.

The 7 night cruises have more entertainment, more activities, etc. You do pay extra for the Disney experience--the shows, the characters, the decor, etc. You don't have a casino, you have a largely smoke free atmosphere, etc.

Hopefully you'll try a 7 night sailing in the future. We like them much better.

SplashMountainManiac
02-11-2010, 05:40 PM
It sounds like you have had a combination of good luck with other cruise lines and bad luck with the Wonder. From my experience, the Wonder has never had quite the same exceptional magic as the Magic:rotfl:. The crew is great, but a little less so then on the Magic, especially in the dining and stateroom areas. That being said, I have sailed NCL, RCI, and Celebrity and found those lines to not remotely be similar to Disney. Usually our stateroom attendants seem to hide on other lines, whereas we always see them the first day on DCL and they often call us by name. Our worst dining serves on DCL have been better then any servers on other lines. Of course, the Disney ships are getting older, and can't match the facility size of the newer Royal ships, but we have always found DCL to be well worth the extra price paid. I would say, give the Magic a shot, and see what you think.

Reading the above post, I will add that on the Magic
The crew takes time to get to know you since you will be with them longer
They bring aboard 4 variety acts to do shows for both families and adults
More adult game shows
Live showband
More activities onboard, especially on sea days
Better ports and itineraries
Formal/Semi-Formal nights
More late night buffets
A bunch of other extras

abdmom
02-11-2010, 05:59 PM
What were the Royal and Carnival ships that you sailed on?

scuba
02-11-2010, 06:00 PM
It sounds like you have had a combination of good luck with other cruise lines and bad luck with the Wonder. From my experience, the Wonder has never had quite the same exceptional magic as the Magic:rotfl:. The crew is great, but a little less so then on the Magic, especially in the dining and stateroom areas. That being said, I have sailed NCL, RCI, and Celebrity and found those lines to not remotely be similar to Disney. Usually our stateroom attendants seem to hide on other lines, whereas we always see them the first day on DCL and they often call us by name. Our worst dining serves on DCL have been better then any servers on other lines. Of course, the Disney ships are getting older, and can't match the facility size of the newer Royal ships, but we have always found DCL to be well worth the extra price paid. I would say, give the Magic a shot, and see what you think.

Reading the above post, I will add that on the Magic
The crew takes time to get to know you since you will be with them longer
They bring aboard 4 variety acts to do shows for both families and adults
More adult game shows
Live showband
More activities onboard, especially on sea days
Better ports and itineraries
Formal/Semi-Formal nights
More late night buffets
A bunch of other extras

First of all I want to thank the first 2 replies to my thread, very nice and thought provoking. We cruised on Royal one year, did a three night and really seen quite a different set of cruise guests, not making sterotypes, it is what it is. It is musch more expensice to cruise for 7 days as opposed to 3 nights. We took the kids free because being that our children are quite young we wanted to get a taste but not a big taste like a 7 dayer that they might not be old enough to enjoy. My Wife and i did indeed feel that the 7 day vs the 3 day was probably much different from one anohter. I can assure you that we will indeed return for a 7 day. As a side note, while on deck 9 my 2 year old ran into the over 18 area and I was horrified, I follow the rules so i made an effort to keep our children out of those areas. Ain't no one needing to put up with our kids but us. Come to think of it, while chasing down our chiuld( just a few steps in front of me) I didn indeed see alot of shildren in the over 18 sections......Thanks alot so far for the kind replies, we will try a 7 day sometime.

scuba
02-11-2010, 06:06 PM
What were the Royal and Carnival ships that you sailed on?

Carnival ships- Celebration, Inspiration x2 , Glory, Destiny, and the Facination

Royal- Adventurer of the Seas, and Sovereign

Princess- Sun Princess and Ocean Princess

Shoot, we've been on 10 cruises with Disney being the eleventh...sorry:goodvibes

Pinkandproud
02-11-2010, 06:14 PM
No need to give you a hard time. Your write up was well written and kind. I enjoyed our cruise a few weeks ago on the Magic, but have also cruised Alaska on Celebrity. Yes, you are paying some for the Disney experience, I agree. But all in all, depending on what you are looking for, could be well worth it! If you got in on the Kids Sail free offer, you got a great deal, happy for you. We didn't get that freebie, but still enjoyed ourselves.

orlandothebeagle
02-11-2010, 06:22 PM
It is very interesting, I found all what the others say about the 4 and 7 night cruise to be true, but I never really thought it was the length, maybe just luck with staff? does that mean my 14 night is going to be sooper dooper?:goodvibes

tikibirds
02-11-2010, 06:22 PM
scuba,

We are on the same sailing as you. I think a big part of the Disney experience is Castaway Cay, and since we missed it, we missed alot. This was my third Disney cruise in a year and the other two were much more enjoyable - I'm thinking CC was key in those. That said, although our servers were not up to par with those we had on the previous two trips, our stateroom host was exceptional this time. I hope you will give DCL another chance on a longer voyage.

bemery1963
02-11-2010, 06:30 PM
We are also Disney fanatics. We were on a seven day cruise on the Magic last month. Like you although it was mainly nice, it did not knock our socks off either. I guess to each their own. Good luck on your seven day.

Anal Annie
02-11-2010, 06:33 PM
Our first DCL was a 7 night then we did back-to-back 4 /3 on the Wonder. No where near the same experience as the 7 nighter. The 4 was OK but the 3 was horrible. I second what KCashner says about the mentality of the clientele on the 3 night. It was like all of the adults were just looking to get away from their kids for a couple of days. It was loud & the kids of all ages ran the ship unsupervised. It was also WAAAY more casual. In fact I would compare how some dressed at dinner to a casual outting to TGIFridays or Applebees for dinner. I am sure my mouth was hanging open at the guy at the table next to us wearing his "wife beater" tank to dinner.:sad2: We found profanity on our dry erase board on our door more than once (yes THE 'F' bomb). It definitely did not seem like a Disney cruise and we likely won't do another 3 nighter unless it's a give-away.

scuba
02-11-2010, 06:33 PM
scuba,

We are on the same sailing as you. I think a big part of the Disney experience is Castaway Cay, and since we missed it, we missed alot. This was my third Disney cruise in a year and the other two were much more enjoyable - I'm thinking CC was key in those. That said, although our servers were not up to par with those we had on the previous two trips, our stateroom host was exceptional this time. I hope you will give DCL another chance on a longer voyage.

You know, we will most certainly give it another shot, I think your right about CC, we had bought scrapbook pages with CC on them,and stickers, I bought our DD4 a few pins with CC on them and when we missed it we were devastated. We returned the items back to the girt shops. Part of our Ho hum after missing CC was our fault but that darn island is so hyped up you cannot help but get bummed and mad......we will most certainly try again when our daughters are older.

epcotrulz
02-11-2010, 06:50 PM
On our four and seven nighters I've had to regulate children next door about constantly banging their stateroom door, otherwise no issues with children at all, including hanging out at Quiet Cove.

kcashner
02-11-2010, 06:56 PM
On our four and seven nighters I've had to regulate children next door about constantly banging their stateroom door, otherwise no issues with children at all, including hanging out at Quiet Cove.

You hit it with 4 and 7 nighters. All I can say is that 3 night cruises are different. Thanks, Annie, for confirming what I've felt for a long time!

js
02-11-2010, 07:27 PM
I gotta tell you all, our cruise was ok, but as Disney fanatic, our socks really wasn't blown off like I expected. my 2 children, Wife and I were on the 2/4 sailing of the Wonder. Our children, the youngest is 2 and this sailing was her third cruise and the Wonder cruise marked our 3 year olds 4th cruise.

We are cruise verterans, Alaska 2001, the carribbean too many times to count spread over Princess, Carnival, Royal and lastly Disney. We we able to score the kids free program and picked Feb 4th as the date.

I could expect the 7 day cruise to have a little different feel than a 3 dayer. my observations from this last cruise would be you are spending the extra cash on the Disney experience, Characters and shows because as far as service goes, I've actually encountered better on sailings from carnival and Royal....my observations and opinion, certainly i'm not asking anyone to agree with me. Some may and some may not.

We Didn't meet out cabin steward until the evening of day 2, my experiences has always been to see them as we enter our cabin. Not a big deal but still it left an impression. The wait staff was great, very good with our children but i've gotten same service from other lines. It seemed like the Wonder's gathering spaces were small, like the Atrium in front of Triton's. Elevators were incredibly small.

The Oceaneers Club was fantastic, ditto for Flounders nursery, The Disney experience was great, Hannah got to do si do with Snow White, I got to get an auto from Captain Sparrow. The shows did knock our socks off, funny that a few folks that my wife talked to wasn't impressed with the shows but man, Toy Story and Dreams, incredible. That you can not get on any other line so like I said, the additional monies one spends to go with Disney gets tied up into the Disney experience, but the service, ship, and crew really isn't that different from other lines.

maybe the 7 dayers are different? I suppose i'm going to get crushed here with this thread, 2-3 maybe 4 years from now when our daughters are older we may give it another go at Disney, who knows. We missed CC, the last day was filled with so many activities only to have your luggage out by 11pm, I just felt there were little quirks.

I'm not going to post and run, i'll be here, maybe some of you can give me some suggestions. For those of you that are alreay typing furiously about if I like the other lines so much then stop cruising with Disney, I would hope you would save that. Remember i'm a Disney fanatic, we go nearly twice yearly from Ohio. I am having a hard time justifiying the increased cost over other cruise lines for service, food and value......I'm a big boy, bring on the flames

Our family has also been on many, many cruises since my youngest was 2 (now he is 12). I also have a 16 dd.
We have cruised DCL once and although it was good, the kids LOVE RCCL and so does my dh and I. We are going on DCL Dream next year with my sister and her family and my mother (using DVC points) but really I find the experience much better for my family on RCCL. Granted, I was on the Magic only once so maybe giving DCL one more try will be a great time but if I were spending the cash and not using my points, I would much rather be crusing on RCCL.

There are a LOT of people on this site that LOVE Disney (hey, I am right there too) and will only cruise DCL but I so wish they would try other lines. They just don't know what they are missing. You can get excellent service on Princess and RCCL, not just DCL.
Thanks for your review.

nettii
02-11-2010, 08:12 PM
Thank you for your opinion. We have never cruised before and were considering a 3 night for our inital trip. Now you have me scratching my head thinking maybe we should go on a longer trip. I was worrried about the type of people that would be on the other lines. Honestly I never thought Id have to even consider that on a Disney Cruise.:confused3nettii:goodvibes

catzle
02-11-2010, 08:24 PM
how are the 6 day cruises?

SplashMountainManiac
02-11-2010, 08:57 PM
how are the 6 day cruises?

Disney won't be having its first six day cruise until 2011, but I assume it would be more along the lines of the 7-night cruises. Basically the only problem is with the 3-nights. The difference is between 3 nights and everything else. I have never even noticed the 3-night problems on the 4-nighters.

zalansky
02-11-2010, 09:01 PM
scuba - I feel for you! You and your family missed out on CC? Thats awful. CC is one of the best (if not the best) part of the Disney cruise! I agree with the other posters about the 3 day cruise. I would never do it. Its over way too fast and having to pack up on CC day would take away from the enjoyment. I also think this time of year is not a great time to cruise because the weather is so unreliable, and usually even cold. Its hard to enjoy the pool and beach if its cold outside! I definitely think you should try a lonmger cruise in the Spring! We've done 3 Wonder cruises, all 4 nighters. Had a blast every time. Last time we went our kids were ages 2 & 5. We are booked for this April - we also booked with the kids sail free promo for another 4 night cruise. can't wait.

In the past Dh and I have cruised RCCL (with our DS who was a baby at the time) Princess and Carnival (in my much younger days!). We like DCL the best, but thats just personal preference.

Since you said you enjoyed the shows, wait staff and kids programs - I'd give them another try. Maybe on the Dream? I think you just got unlucky with your room steward, we have always been lucky there too. Were you able to do palo? Thats something my Dh and I have always done as well, which is a highlight of the trip.

Thanks for sharing your experiences!

cissy
02-11-2010, 09:20 PM
Great thread....I was thinking we would do a 3 day cruise after a 3 day park trip, but now I am rethinking it. I would rather do one more day and get a better crowd. Excellent advice from everyone!

catzle
02-11-2010, 09:24 PM
We are doing the double dip Memorial Weekend which is a 6 day 5 night. So I am hoping this is going to be GREAT!

kcashner
02-11-2010, 09:35 PM
3 day vs. 4 day is a big difference. The 3 night is where the problems are!

quinnc19
02-11-2010, 09:37 PM
I am taking a 3 nighter in May - does that make me riffraff? :scared1:

disney 2010
02-11-2010, 10:24 PM
riffraff:rotfl::rotfl:
We have been considering booking b2b in 2011 to experience the dream. Now I'm uncertain. Would we enjoy a 7 day on the magic more.
We loved the 4 day but maybe we are riffraff and we don't know it:lmao:

NancyIL
02-11-2010, 11:13 PM
Thanks for your review. Both of my Disney cruises were 4-nighters on the Wonder, and neither wowed me. As some have suggested - maybe it's the fact that they were short cruises. On the other hand, many people rave about their Bahamas cruises.

nails62040
02-12-2010, 12:05 AM
We are also Disney fanatics. We were on a seven day cruise on the Magic last month. Like you although it was mainly nice, it did not knock our socks off either. I guess to each their own. Good luck on your seven day.

I have to say that my family just returned off of the magic - 1/30/10 7 day sailing. This was our 8th cruise and 1st to Disney. We have traveled pretty much other cruise lines and I as much as I was waiting to have my socks blown off, it didn't happen for us. I absolutely LOVE Disney and am a huge fan, but didn't feel the extra money was worth it. This is just my opinion. But in saying this, I wish everyone traveling on the Magic or the Wonder a "magical time"!

scuba
02-12-2010, 01:36 AM
I have to say that my family just returned off of the magic - 1/30/10 7 day sailing. This was our 8th cruise and 1st to Disney. We have traveled pretty much other cruise lines and I as much as I was waiting to have my socks blown off, it didn't happen for us. I absolutely LOVE Disney and am a huge fan, but didn't feel the extra money was worth it. This is just my opinion. But in saying this, I wish everyone traveling on the Magic or the Wonder a "magical time"!

Being the op, I feel that the actual cruise portion, ship, crew, and daily operations of a ship Disney is fairly new, however when it comes to entertainment Disney delivers. I will most certainly try disney again, but I want to stress that this was our experience, some of you that have made plans for a 3 day trip I say go and make up your own minds. Please don't base any decisions for your family on my opinions. I'm certain there are thousands of folks out there that have had a fine time on 3 day cruises.

We are looking at the 2011 December 24th cruise, sounds like fun, problem is we haven't dropped the bomb on the grandparents of our girls yet......you might hear the implosion from anywhere you might be reading this from.

Dizzyworld
02-12-2010, 02:30 AM
Our last cruise was 7 days. While our room host was very nice, and more importantly good, we didn't meet her on the first day either. Can't remember when we did finally meet. She seemed very shy compared to previous CMs. We hardly ever saw her. :confused3

joksten2000
02-12-2010, 05:45 AM
We use points to cruise on DCL and do it for the little grandkids, hands down a great experience for them.

When we sail alone we prefer a longer sailing, 12 day. The Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne is great for us. I would rate it very compairable to DCL for us. We really enjoy the Royal Promenade and the great ice shows, plus we can sail the 12 day cruise for under $2,000 and no airfare.

We had one bad cruise, one good cruise and one great cruise on RCCL. About the same with DCL, 4 great cruises, 4 so-so ones and two bad ones.

We are not demanding people and mostly relax at the pool all day. We are serious Disney fans (We bought 1,000 points) but not blind to other cruise lines. We will continue to sail DCL as long as we have young grandkids (21, 15, 3 & 6 months) Disney does know how to handle kids.

Maxhoops1
02-12-2010, 06:29 AM
That is too bad your cruise didn't live up to your expectations...I have posted our trip report from our cruise on the Wonder on Jan 24th over on the trip report site and had a different experience...could be a combo of many things, but Disney did it right for us.

abdmom
02-12-2010, 06:31 AM
Carnival ships- Celebration, Inspiration x2 , Glory, Destiny, and the Facination

Royal- Adventurer of the Seas, and Sovereign

Princess- Sun Princess and Ocean Princess

Shoot, we've been on 10 cruises with Disney being the eleventh...sorry

Thanks. I was wondering if you'd been on the newest ships and were comparing those to DCL, but I guess not! I've sailed RCCL 4X and Carnival 1X, including the Glory and the Adventure. Those two ships were probably my least favorites. To me, those cruises were just OK.

We leave on the Magic in exactly 3 months. This will be my longest cruise yet, 11 days. I'm hoping it will be at least as good as my previous cruises, but now I'm starting to wonder. :confused3

When we sail alone we prefer a longer sailing, 12 day. The Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne is great for us. I would rate it very compairable to DCL for us. We really enjoy the Royal Promenade and the great ice shows, plus we can sail the 12 day cruise for under $2,000 and no airfare.

I'm hoping to do this cruise one day too.

JohnO
02-12-2010, 07:15 AM
We've sailed twice aboard the Wonder. Our first was a 3 night. We loved it but it was way too fast. Last year we tried a 4 night. It was amazing how much difference a day made. We liked the 4 night even more. We've booked a 7 night cruise aboard the Magic for this year and can't wait. We're Disney fanatics too and the Disney factor on DCL kicks it up a notch for us.......

quinnc19
02-12-2010, 08:43 AM
I have actually taken the Wonder 3 night a few years ago. Really enjoyed it, but did go by too fast. On board, booked a 4 night. Moved that to the 7 night Alaskan next year. Then I decided I couldn't wait until then, and tacked a 3 night onto my WDW plans this year. The 4 night didn't work with that itinerary, so chose the 3 night again! I'm sure we'll have a great time and hopefully the cruise won't seem so short after we've already spent 9 days in Orlando (5 nights BLT, 2 nights PBH, and added 2 nights POFQ to bridge to the cruise). I couldn't add the 4 night prior to the Disney plans because I can't take time from work then - college professor :teacher:

Anal Annie
02-12-2010, 09:00 AM
I am taking a 3 nighter in May - does that make me riffraff? :scared1:

Not EVERYBODY on the 3 nighters are "riffraff" but I DO think a lot of the people who take them are "wannabes". Because they are short they are cheaper and so they attract a different mind set of people. Either they think they can't afford a longer cruise or don't want to save up for it or they just want to "test out" cruising or something. IMHO there seemed to be a lot of people with a more casual attitude who thought the ship was a giant playpen for their kids.

Just saying that if you try a 3 night & don't like it there are factors to consider that make them different from a longer cruise. They are not all the same & unless you've DONE one of each then it's hard to explain without stepping on SOMEONE'S toes. I know someone who decided to "try" cruising by starting with a 3 night. She and her DH both HATED it for some of the reasons previously mentioned. I did not "warn her" before she went bcuz I didn't want her to go with my judgment in her mind. But then she came back swearing off DCL and now I don't think she'll try a longer one. I keep telling her they're not all the same but she had the same bad experience we had - actually maybe worse 'cuz they ended up on a "kids free" cruise after she booked. Anyway, not all cruises are created equal and if you DO go on a 3 night just go knowing that it could be better if you went for a longer one.

addieandreece
02-12-2010, 10:04 AM
This thread is getting me MORE excited for our upcoming cruise, and I didn't think that was possible. We have done two 3 night cruises and we LOVED them. . .Had the time of our lives!!! But, we decided no more short ones, it's too sad leaving the ship after only 3 nights;) So, we saved up for a 7 nighter and are leaving in 5 weeks. From what I am reading. . .it's going to be even better?!?!?! I mean I knew 4 more nights would make it better, but it sounds like it's more than just that?! Can't wait!!:banana:

Kay1
02-12-2010, 10:39 AM
Not EVERYBODY on the 3 nighters are "riffraff" but I DO think a lot of the people who take them are "wannabes". Because they are short they are cheaper and so they attract a different mind set of people. Either they think they can't afford a longer cruise or don't want to save up for it or they just want to "test out" cruising or something. IMHO there seemed to be a lot of people with a more casual attitude who thought the ship was a giant playpen for their kids.

Just saying that if you try a 3 night & don't like it there are factors to consider that make them different from a longer cruise. They are not all the same & unless you've DONE one of each then it's hard to explain without stepping on SOMEONE'S toes. I know someone who decided to "try" cruising by starting with a 3 night. She and her DH both HATED it for some of the reasons previously mentioned. I did not "warn her" before she went bcuz I didn't want her to go with my judgment in her mind. But then she came back swearing off DCL and now I don't think she'll try a longer one. I keep telling her they're not all the same but she had the same bad experience we had - actually maybe worse 'cuz they ended up on a "kids free" cruise after she booked. Anyway, not all cruises are created equal and if you DO go on a 3 night just go knowing that it could be better if you went for a longer one.
I appreciate your comments. We've never cruised but probably will cruise later this year. My husband suggested we start with a 3-day but ,for a few reasons, I'm not interested. I'd rather save the money for a 7-night Western and now I'm even more sure of my decision.

sabrecmc
02-12-2010, 10:50 AM
This thread is getting me MORE excited for our upcoming cruise, and I didn't think that was possible. We have done two 3 night cruises and we LOVED them. . .Had the time of our lives!!! But, we decided no more short ones, it's too sad leaving the ship after only 3 nights;) So, we saved up for a 7 nighter and are leaving in 5 weeks. From what I am reading. . .it's going to be even better?!?!?! I mean I knew 4 more nights would make it better, but it sounds like it's more than just that?! Can't wait!!:banana:

That's us, too! We did a 3-night "test" cruise back in September and LOVED it. CC was definitely a highlight though, so if you missed that, it would probably be disappointing. For us, it is the characters, shows (my daughter is obsessed with the Anne Marie character from the show) and Disney touches that make it. We're going on a 10-night Med cruise in May and have the LA-Alaska repo and first Alaska cruise booked for next year, as well as a double-dip on the Dream. So, um, yeah, we expect to like the longer cruises even more!

lovethedream
02-12-2010, 10:52 AM
Our family has also been on many, many cruises since my youngest was 2 (now he is 12). I also have a 16 dd.
We have cruised DCL once and although it was good, the kids LOVE RCCL and so does my dh and I. We are going on DCL Dream next year with my sister and her family and my mother (using DVC points) but really I find the experience much better for my family on RCCL. Granted, I was on the Magic only once so maybe giving DCL one more try will be a great time but if I were spending the cash and not using my points, I would much rather be crusing on RCCL.

There are a LOT of people on this site that LOVE Disney (hey, I am right there too) and will only cruise DCL but I so wish they would try other lines. They just don't know what they are missing. You can get excellent service on Princess and RCCL, not just DCL.
Thanks for your review.

I agree with what you say. That you do not know if you do or do not like something unless you try it for yourself as every person and every family is different. Try one or two other lines and see what you like best.

For our families personal experience, having sailed on DCL twice and then giving RCCL FOTS a try, we found that we missed cruising on DCL while on the FOTS. In the end, DCL, at least for now, just seems to fit our family better as far as what we like to do and enjoy. We just enjoyed ourselves so much more on DCL than on RCCL. When given a choice, my family picked DCL for our next cruise, even having to save up a little longer for it if need be.

I will also say, because I have heard others mention it, that castaway cay was a big part of that. I have not had the opportunity to visit the other cruise lines private beaches, so I cannot compare there. And maybe that is the one thing that was missing from our FOTS cruise. But there were a few other things that just made us feel welcome on DCL that we felt was lacking with RCCL.

The Name announcement when you boarded on DCL seemed to make a difference for us and seemed to help set the mood for the entire cruise. We were looking for that on RCCL and received nothing more than a welcome aboard. The sail away party and the deck parties were a lot of fun, especially since the kids get to dress up and feel like they are a part of the show. We loved the fireworks, the food and the rotational dining. The split bathroom worked very well for us also.

Either way, find out what is best for your family and enjoy the ride. We feel blessed that we have had the opportunity to have done what we have done.

Disney On A Dime!
02-12-2010, 11:07 AM
We have done the 3, 4 and 7 night cruise on DCL. All of them were wonderful in different ways. :thumbsup2 Contrary to some PPs our service on the Magic was sub-par as compared to our service on the Wonder. This is just our opinion and this is just our experience. There are so many people that go into making a cruise what it is. And each cruisers expectations before each cruise has a lot to do with what they get out of the cruise. On our 3 night cruise we had a blast! Yes, it was short...but that was all the time that we had for that particular vacation...and we made the most out of it! :goodvibes On our 4 night cruise...there were so many toddlers and small children...the shows were actually not too enjoyable because of all the movement from the children. Again...this is hit or miss...and it can happen on any cruise and on any length of cruise. :upsidedow


I guess what I am trying to say is that a vacation/cruise is what you make it! :goodvibes Whether it's short or long, on DCL or on another cruiseline...a cruise is about making memories and having a great time doing it! :cool2:


And BTW...DCL does get a lot of positives on this board...just as so...other cruiselines get a lot of positives on their respected boards...it's all relative! :flower3:


To the OP...My crew really likes RCCL freedom class ships. You might want to try one sometime in the future...great fun and again...great memories!


princess: Crystal

tmtee
02-12-2010, 11:24 AM
I would have to agree about the three day. We did the 3 day with the bounce back offer, and decided it was just to fast for us. We came off the ship exhausted from trying to get everything in. So unless there is another great deal for one, 4 or higher it is for us. We have a 4 booked this year and a seven booked next year both on DCL.
To be honest, I do want to try another ship probably RCCL, but am a little nervous about it. We enjoy everything that makes up a DCL cruise. We might be a little weird but we don't mind not having everything on a cruise ship. We really enjoy sitting by the pool watching the kids or relaxing in the Rainforest room, and not having to do anything. The kids really enjoy the kids club. I guess you could say, we like the slower pace.

But the RCCL looks like a lot of fun. So maybe a lot more research is needed.

DisneyTravelers2008
02-12-2010, 12:28 PM
We are thinking about a Disney cruise...we have never taken any kind of cruise...what is a typical day like on a Disney cruise? DO you pay extra on board for the child activities? Do they have character dining? Character Meet and Greet? If so, which characters? My DH does not think a cruise is for him...I cant change his mind bc I ve never done one but really want to...

Im_A_Princess
02-12-2010, 12:33 PM
We are doing a B2B on the Wonder this summer for 9 days ONLY because the Magic is in the Med. Also, because we need to use the DVC points up (so the entire trip is paid for with points).
Otherwise...I would not do the Wonder for a 3 or 4 day.
The Wonder has a totally different "feel" to me.

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 12:41 PM
We are thinking about a Disney cruise...we have never taken any kind of cruise...what is a typical day like on a Disney cruise? DO you pay extra on board for the child activities? Do they have character dining? Character Meet and Greet? If so, which characters? My DH does not think a cruise is for him...I cant change his mind bc I ve never done one but really want to...

I would start a new thread with your questions, as they will get buried here.

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 12:42 PM
We are doing a B2B on the Wonder this summer for 9 days ONLY because the Magic is in the Med. Also, because we need to use the DVC points up (so the entire trip is paid for with points).
Otherwise...I would not do the Wonder for a 3 or 4 day.
The Wonder has a totally different "feel" to me.

No interest in a Med cruise using your points? I have had enough of the Bahamas, but will do one more cruise in 2011 on the Dream.

alldiz
02-12-2010, 12:53 PM
Ok....maybe i'm the "type" your avoiding......LOL....but I had a great 3 night cruise.
Spent a week in Disney and decided to add on a 3 night cruise....we used our DVC points.

I thought everything was great.....so PLEASE don't let a 3 night deter you....It was a lot of fun. YES.....Castaway Cay is Amazing.....and without going there the cruise would NOT have been the same.
IMO...I think the beds and the food is better on Carnival though.
Kerri

Edd
02-12-2010, 01:47 PM
I have cruised on the DCL 3 times. They are two great ships and my grandson had a great time while cruising on them. I enjoyed myself also. As he grew older 8 years to 10 years we have found the other cruise lines offer just as much and many times more than the DCL

I have also cruised Carnival and RCCL, the last cruise in December, 2009, Freedom of the Seas. I was well satisfied with the smaller ships, DCL, Carnival and Monarche, until I got on the FOTS. It is huge and there is so much to do. We are scheduled to go again (12/10) on the FOTS. I will probably go on the Dream out of Port Canaveral this summer (2010). It is also a brand new ship and I have heard great reports from those who have already sailed on it.

I would suggest anyone that really likes to cruise to not limit yourself to the DCL. It is nice but you need to step out and try some of the other venues. I noticed there are many on the Disboards who have already done that.

Here are some pictures taken from my last cruise on the FOTS:

http://ekorgan2.com/freedom_of_the_seas.htm

lovethedream
02-12-2010, 02:17 PM
I have cruised on the DCL 3 times. They are two great ships and my grandson had a great time while cruising on them. I enjoyed myself also. As he grew older 8 years to 10 years we have found the other cruise lines offer just as much and many times more than the DCL

I have also cruised Carnival and RCCL, the last cruise in December, 2009, Freedom of the Seas. I was well satisfied with the smaller ships, DCL, Carnival and Monarche, until I got on the FOTS. It is huge and there is so much to do. We are scheduled to go again (12/10) on the FOTS. I will probably go on the Dream out of Port Canaveral this summer (2010). It is also a brand new ship and I have heard great reports from those who have already sailed on it.

I would suggest anyone that really likes to cruise to not limit yourself to the DCL. It is nice but you need to step out and try some of the other venues. I noticed there are many on the Disboards who have already done that.

Here are some pictures taken from my last cruise on the FOTS:

http://ekorgan2.com/freedom_of_the_seas.htm

We stepped out and now were back with DCL!

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 02:30 PM
We stepped out and now were back with DCL!

DCL is my "stepping-out" cruise line. Then I go back to Royal Caribbean, Princess, etc. :)

SplashMountainManiac
02-12-2010, 02:30 PM
I have cruised on the DCL 3 times. They are two great ships and my grandson had a great time while cruising on them. I enjoyed myself also. As he grew older 8 years to 10 years we have found the other cruise lines offer just as much and many times more than the DCL

I have also cruised Carnival and RCCL, the last cruise in December, 2009, Freedom of the Seas. I was well satisfied with the smaller ships, DCL, Carnival and Monarche, until I got on the FOTS. It is huge and there is so much to do. We are scheduled to go again (12/10) on the FOTS. I will probably go on the Dream out of Port Canaveral this summer (2010). It is also a brand new ship and I have heard great reports from those who have already sailed on it.

I would suggest anyone that really likes to cruise to not limit yourself to the DCL. It is nice but you need to step out and try some of the other venues. I noticed there are many on the Disboards who have already done that.

Here are some pictures taken from my last cruise on the FOTS:

http://ekorgan2.com/freedom_of_the_seas.htm

Surprisingly, my family and I have found ourselves to be pretty bored on Royal's large ships (Navigator, just slightly smaller then Freedom). I love rock climbing, roller blading, and ice skating, but the lines tend to be long and the hours limited. Aside from the ships facilities, we found that there were very few activities scheduled around the ship. I spent most of my nights playing in the casino, as there was so little going on around the ship. We step away from Disney for two reasons, to sail an itinerary that Disney does not offer, or to take a cheap cruise. In my personal experience, we have found that you get what you pay for. Now this is not to say that we have not had fun on Royal or NCL. They provide good food, better service then you would find on land, and a good variety of entertainment. We always have had a great time. But it is never the same, and we are always glad to be back on Disney. As a side note, I just took three of my college age friends on Disney. None of them are Disney fanatics in any way, and they were slightly skeptical of having fun on a Disney cruise. Everyone of them had the time of their lives and can't wait to go back on Disney. And that was only a 3-nighter.

Edd
02-12-2010, 02:33 PM
Good for you LTD. I certainly can understand why.

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 02:36 PM
Surprisingly, my family and I have found ourselves to be pretty bored on Royal's large ships (Navigator, just slightly smaller then Freedom). I love rock climbing, roller blading, and ice skating, but the lines tend to be long and the hours limited. Aside from the ships facilities, we found that there were very few activities scheduled around the ship. I spent most of my nights playing in the casino, as there was so little going on around the ship. We step away from Disney for two reasons, to sail an itinerary that Disney does not offer, or to take a cheap cruise. In my personal experience, we have found that you get what you pay for. Now this is not to say that we have not had fun on Royal or NCL. They provide good food, better service then you would find on land, and a good variety of entertainment. We always have had a great time. But it is never the same, and we are always glad to be back on Disney. As a side note, I just took three of my college age friends on Disney. None of them are Disney fanatics in any way, and they were slightly skeptical of having fun on a Disney cruise. Everyone of them had the time of their lives and can't wait to go back on Disney. And that was only a 3-nighter.

That was my quibble with the Wonder - on Nassau and Castaway Cay days: nothing going on onboard for adults if you returned to the ship early other than the afternoon movie and a DVC presentation. I have always been able to find an activity on an RCI ship, and I don't do rock climbing, ice skating, etc.

zalansky
02-12-2010, 02:36 PM
We were bored also on RCCL - Mariner of the Seas. Like a PP said, rock climbing wall etc. waits were too long. We found the ship to be too big. The food was not very good. Thats just my opinion and preference.

When we pulled out of Pt. Canaveral, we couldn't help but longingly stare at the disney ship sitting in port - wishing we were on it.

We ventured away from DCL and came right back. Luckily we get Florida resident rates, so cost is not a big issue for us.

Tarabra
02-12-2010, 02:42 PM
I've never taken a 3 day, but even the 4 day for me is too short. You finally get relaxed, then it's over. Weather makes a big difference too. I like it warm, warm, warm. We did a RCCL one Jan and it was windy, chilly, and rough seas. We were with diehard RCCL fans who had cruised 6 times w/ them and even they were disappointed and bored. I think missing CC made a difference too for you. We've cruised 6 times on the Magic and once on the Wonder. I was the least impressed w/ our servers on the Wonder. I do believe they were in training. They spoke very broken English, and sort of stared off into space when talking to us. So had that been my first cruise, I wouldn't have been too impressed w/ them. As far as the room steward, they sort of always joke how you don't really ever see them. To be honest, I can't remember whether we see them or not on the first night. Not a big deal as long as they keep up w/ the rooms. Definitely give it another shot. I just don't think you have enough opportunities to receive/enjoy the Magic on the 3 day.

SplashMountainManiac
02-12-2010, 02:43 PM
That was my quibble with the Wonder - on Nassau and Castaway Cay days: nothing going on onboard for adults if you returned to the ship early other than the afternoon movie and a DVC presentation. I have always been able to find an activity on an RCI ship, and I don't do rock climbing, ice skating, etc.

I also have that same problem with the Wonder and have spoken to the cruise directors about it. The problem is, that on Nassau and Castaway Cay day, the cruise staff are in charge of organizing excursions and escorting guests off the ship, so there is no one available for entertainment. They have started trying to add more activities in the afternoons now. They were doing art auctions, trivia, pool games, sports challenges, Mr. Toad's race, etc. on Nassau day. On CC day, no activities are scheduled because on average 97% of guests disembark the ship, so there is no need to schedule activities. On 3-night cruises, they found that activities in the afternoon onboard were scarcely attended, as guests were trying to pack and get ready for dinner. So that is DCL's reasoning. It doesn't mean there are any more activities, but it at least makes sense. Which Royal ship were you on? We may have just hit bad ships, but we found on both the Navigator and the Celebrity Infinity, that there were often stretches of hours with not one organized activity.

Pinmaniac
02-12-2010, 03:42 PM
We were also on the 2/4 Wonder sailing. This was our second cruise (1st was DCL 4 night last June). The first cruise was our family's most enjoyable vacation which is why we were looking forward to the 2/4 cruise. Other than a fun excursion on Nassau we did not enjoy the 2/4 cruise nearly as much as our previous one. Missing CC I'm sure had something to do with it, but as has been mentioned the atmosphere was different from the 4 night. We enjoyed ourselves enough to book a 4 night in June 2011 on the Dream but not nearly as much as our previous cruise.

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 03:49 PM
I also have that same problem with the Wonder and have spoken to the cruise directors about it. The problem is, that on Nassau and Castaway Cay day, the cruise staff are in charge of organizing excursions and escorting guests off the ship, so there is no one available for entertainment. They have started trying to add more activities in the afternoons now. They were doing art auctions, trivia, pool games, sports challenges, Mr. Toad's race, etc. on Nassau day. On CC day, no activities are scheduled because on average 97% of guests disembark the ship, so there is no need to schedule activities. On 3-night cruises, they found that activities in the afternoon onboard were scarcely attended, as guests were trying to pack and get ready for dinner. So that is DCL's reasoning. It doesn't mean there are any more activities, but it at least makes sense. Which Royal ship were you on? We may have just hit bad ships, but we found on both the Navigator and the Celebrity Infinity, that there were often stretches of hours with not one organized activity.

I just checked the Navigators for my Dec. 6-10, 2009 cruise on the Wonder. On the Nassau day, there were activities throughout the day for families, including Mr. Toads Wild Races, Art Auction, and Cruisin for Trivia. However, I don't cruise with kids, and I'm not interested in the family activities.

This is what was available for adults before the dinner hour:

- Friends of Bill W./Abs Class (8:30-9:00)
- Group Cycling/Secrets to a Flatter Stomach (9:00-9:30)
- Books and Magazines available all day in Cove Cafe/Sports Court open (9:30-2:00)
- Open Air Yoga/Beer Tasting (2:00-2:30/2:45)
- Live Music with Island Groove at the Quiet Cove Pool (3:00-4:00)
- DVC Presentation (4:00-5:00)
- Detox for Weight Loss (4:30-5:00)
- Singles Mingle/Martini Tasting (5:00-5:30/5:45)

Maybe I should start drinking so I can go to the beer and martini tastings...then to the Friends of Bill W. meetings! :lmao:

Castaway Cay day had the same morning activities, with Yoga on the beach instead of at the spa. The afternoon offered another DVC presentation at 4:00, and the Eat More to Weigh Less seminar at the spa at 4:30 - and that was it for onboard adult activities. I filled my afternoons watching the movies in the theater, then went to the evening shows and late dinners.

The only adult trivia on my cruise was on the sea day, and my team won! :woohoo: I have no complaints about activities on the sea day. I also understand that most people get off the ship at Castaway Cay, and I did, too. But a few hours at the beach plus lunch was as much beach time as I desired.

My RCI cruises were on Splendour, Jewel, Monarch (once from CA and once from FL), Adventure, Explorer, and Grandeur. I will be on Mariner of the Seas in April and Adventure again in November. RCI's Voyager-class ships are nice, but I prefer the smaller Radiance and Vision-class ships. We were on a 14-night Transatlantic cruise in September on Celebrity Constellation (sister to Infinity), and there were almost too many activities from which to choose.

lovethedream
02-12-2010, 03:55 PM
We were bored also on RCCL - Mariner of the Seas. Like a PP said, rock climbing wall etc. waits were too long. We found the ship to be too big. The food was not very good. Thats just my opinion and preference.

When we pulled out of Pt. Canaveral, we couldn't help but longingly stare at the disney ship sitting in port - wishing we were on it.

We ventured away from DCL and came right back. Luckily we get Florida resident rates, so cost is not a big issue for us.

The DCL Magic is a ship I have not had the opportunity to be on yet. While on the Freedom of the Seas, I did find myself looking across the seas to catch a sighting of either DCL ship. Even hoping to be docked next to the Magic at one of the ports. I never thought to look up where either ship (magic or wonder) was going before we left. But it gave me something to do.

lovethedream
02-12-2010, 03:58 PM
We were bored also on RCCL - Mariner of the Seas. Like a PP said, rock climbing wall etc. waits were too long. We found the ship to be too big. The food was not very good. Thats just my opinion and preference.

When we pulled out of Pt. Canaveral, we couldn't help but longingly stare at the disney ship sitting in port - wishing we were on it.

We ventured away from DCL and came right back. Luckily we get Florida resident rates, so cost is not a big issue for us.

How much is that Florida discount? Percentage wise, if ya don't mind me asking.

zalansky
02-12-2010, 04:31 PM
How much is that Florida discount? Percentage wise, if ya don't mind me asking.

Not sure of the %, never calculated it - but here is a link to a travel agent that posts the prices for Fl residents. To be able to take advantage of them, you have to be able to book only a few months out. If you need to plan way ahead, sometimes it won't work out. I have booked in the past and then called when Fl resident rates are released and get a credit.

http://*************.com/florida-resident-disney-cruise.html

Well - it seems the DIS won't let me post the name of the travel agent.

NancyIL
02-12-2010, 04:37 PM
As an FYI - Dreams Unlimited Travel also shows FL Resident Rates: http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/cruise/specials.htm#florida

2bundles
02-12-2010, 04:54 PM
We did a 7 night with Celebrity and a 3 night DCL in 2008. The service was similar, maybe better on Celebrity. However, for the family, DCL wins every time. The kids club, the Disney experience, shows etc are fantastic.

CC was good, but being from Australia, nothing we don't have here (other than an underwater Mickey!). Nassau was a dump. We did get profanity on our whiteboard too. But it was still a great cruise. We liked it being casual. We don't cruise to dress up, we can do that at work! I didn't see any tank tops, but I think shorts are perfectly acceptable for the bahamas!

I did have 2nd thoughts about our upcoming 12night Baltic with DCL as everyone kept saying we must be nuts to pay so much extra for Disney, but with young kids we think it is worth it. Once they are teens we will probably go elsewhere, but atm the "magic" is priceless IMO.

Edd
02-12-2010, 05:07 PM
Funny thing. On the last RCCL I did, everyday there was ice-skating, rock wall climbing, flow-riding, golf simulator, table-tennis tournament, whirlpool, dodgeball and basketball no matter what. The waits to do the flow-riding were about 15 - 20 minutes. Everthing else was just about a walk-on.

Other activities included the gym, the art auctions, the casino, flow-rider lessons and private sessions, the Spa, on-board shopping, the sports pools (adult aerobics), pool volleyball, soccer open play, cards in the card room, Nintendo Wii, movie theatre, dance classes, bingo, ice carving and Freedom fairways gold. It was pretty cool playing hurrican golf the nights it was real windy on the deck. I probably missed some of the deck activities.

Than you can just sit around on the decks in or out of the sun, watch the activities or people in the Royal Promenade or just hit all the food places and drink coffee.

Even the bars are open from around 0800 in the morning until the wee hours of the next morning. The big ship has spoiled me as there is so much to do. I would be well satisfied staying aboard ship everyday.

"Got Disney"
02-12-2010, 08:23 PM
not sure if this was posted yet cause did not read all the posts...we have done one 4 day, one 10 day, one 11 day, three 7 day. Why have we not done another 3 or 4 day....cause it was to short and the activities were a lot less interesting. They kinda rush ya on and rush ya off.

WE have also cruises on the Carnival and other cruise lines but they have yet to compare to the Disney cruise. Our kids are 16 and 13 and will be on the Alaskan cruise come 2011....after that we will try the new ship on RC.....However we still like the small ship feel that you get with DCL. Less people.


Try the new ship (Disney Dream) in a couple years.....or the other new one coming out in 2012.....and be sure to get off at CC.....if you remember anything it will be CC:thumbsup2

Happy sailing:upsidedow

stitch'sgirl
02-13-2010, 07:58 AM
I gotta tell you all, our cruise was ok, but as Disney fanatic, our socks really wasn't blown off like I expected.

Hi Scuba - we were on the 2/4 cruise with you, and I felt lukewarm too. It didn't help that we started off our Disney cruises about 4 years ago on a MEMBER cruise, when my son was a very impressionable 4-year-old. It was pure magic. It's pretty hard to top.

I knew a 3-day would be too short, no time to get to know your servers and stewards, which is a big part of it. Everything seemed rushed, and there was no relaxing day on CC. That last day seemed to be a rush rush to get some fun in. Too me, an extra showing of Princess and the Frog and a ice carving on deck didn't cut it as a sub for CC. Oh well, they could have done nothing else I suppose and call it a day.

We are trying again 2/20/11 on the Dream. I know the atrium is larger - I hope the elevators are too! :woohoo: