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View Full Version : March 2011 - DCL or NCL - What to do???


Kdl
02-28-2010, 04:00 PM
Well we haven't even gone on our 1st DCL Cruise (5 night Wonder July 25, 2010) and I am already trying to decide what to do next March Break 2011 - 2 adults, 1 child (8).

I have priced out the Dream (approx $2400) for 4 night cruise and a 7 night Magic cruise is well over $4000 - Cat 6. We are seriously considering the 4 night cruise, but we are already doing the Bahamas itinerary in July. Also concerned that there are no mid-ship cabins available during this week at all. We have been told that mid-ship is better in case of bad weather.

Then I looked at NCL for comparison. Their new ship the Epic comes out this summer. The price for a balcony cabin is just over $2800 for a 7 night Eastern out of Miami. The Blue Man Group is on this ship and I understand that there are Nickelodeon characters, and a large waterslide area. The ship looks amazing, but so does the Dream!

I so want to stay with DCL, but I am torn. I keep hearing that it is best to book early to get the best price. What to do?? Does anyone know if juices are included with NCL? I do like that DCL includes the soda, juices, etc. It is one less thing to worry about. Please help!

joksten2000
02-28-2010, 06:13 PM
They let people smoke in the cabins. Horrible They claim they clean the cabins of the smoke smell, that's a laugh

scootch
03-01-2010, 09:46 AM
I have never done NCL, but for that price and another new ship, I would be tempted too. You will find many people who love DCL have NCL as their second favorite.

itutorfortravel
03-01-2010, 10:04 AM
They let people smoke in the cabins. Horrible They claim they clean the cabins of the smoke smell, that's a laugh

Really? Ewww! :sad2:

NancyIL
03-01-2010, 10:23 AM
Holland America and Princess also allow smoking in cabins, although I have never noticed a smoke smell in my cabins...yet!

love2driveinct
03-01-2010, 10:52 AM
I would be tempted just for the Nickelodeon part! We have three big Nick fans in our house... (of course they are Disney fans, too :) )

Laura24
03-01-2010, 12:10 PM
does allow smoking in staterooms which also carries out into the hallways, rooms surrounding, as well as verandahs. Made my cruise on the Dawn less enjoyable due to my neighbor smoking on their verandah and making use of mine limited. I found myself comparing everything to DCL and DCl wins hands down except that I loved the Bermuda itinerary. NCL is a hard push with alcohol...very annoying when lounging poolside if you didn't close your eyes. The activities were boring...country line dancing, karaoke and most anything else you had to pay for. Their live music was poor, nothing special about sail away and their shows were just OK. Freestyle dining was like a cattle call....everyone pretty much eats at the same time and unless you paid to eat at the other restaurants ( only 2 are free), the menus stayed the same and the buffet as well, which also does not remain open for freestyle during off hours. And expect to pay for all soft drinks, they do offer package pricing. Oh, and forget the kids program on NCL...no pagers and they don't feed the kids unless you sign them up. We are so spoiled by DCL and only for the Bermuda itinerary would I cruise with NCL again.

NancyIL
03-01-2010, 12:14 PM
does allow smoking in staterooms which also carries out into the hallways, rooms surrounding, as well as verandahs. Made my cruise on the Dawn less enjoyable due to my neighbor smoking on their verandah and making use of mine limited. I found myself comparing everything to DCL and DCl wins hands down except that I loved the Bermuda itinerary. NCL is a hard push with alcohol...very annoying when lounging poolside if you didn't close your eyes. The activities were boring...country line dancing, karaoke and most anything else you had to pay for. Their live music was poor, nothing special about sail away and their shows were just OK. Freestyle dining was like a cattle call....everyone pretty much eats at the same time and unless you paid to eat at the other restaurants ( only 2 are free), the menus stayed the same and the buffet as well, which also does not remain open for freestyle during off hours. And expect to pay for all soft drinks, they do offer package pricing. Oh, and forget the kids program on NCL...no pagers and they don't feed the kids unless you sign them up. We are so spoiled by DCL and only for the Bermuda itinerary would I cruise with NCL again.
A number of cruise lines sail to Bermuda, so try a different cruise line next time.

budwmn
03-01-2010, 12:51 PM
I've sailed DCL 11 times and NCL 3 times. I have cruises booked on both DCL's Dream and NCL's Epic. If I could only cruise on one of them, I'd pick the Epic. (We are a family of 3 -- 2 adults and 1 DS age 13).

We find the food superior on NCL. We enjoy eating at different themed restaurants every night more than the rotational dining on DCL. That said, we don't eat in NCL's main dining rooms -- we eat in the specialty restaurants or buffet every night. As a result, we spend an extra $150 to $200 on dining each cruise on NCL. For us, it's worth it. The food blows DCL's away. Soda and juice are not included on NCL -- you can buy a soda sticker, but it doesn't include juice. If that's an issue, I'd bring your own juice on board to save money.

Entertainment is what you make of it. DCL is all family friendly in the main theater. NCL is geared towards adults (but there is nothing racy or offensive to kids -- just not as fun for them). Think comedy, magic, singing and dancing. If going to shows as a family is important to you, pick DCL.

My son likes both the kid's clubs. Personally, I think DCL is great for the 10 and under group, while NCL is wonderful for 10+. Our first NCL cruise was when our son was 10, so I can't comment on the progamming for 8 year olds.

We have NEVER had a problem with smoke on NCL or DCL (except in NCL's casino which is easy to avoid). Both my son and I have severe asthma triggered by smoke and have never had even a hint of a problem on either cruise line.

I think either cruise will be a winner.

yogibigdog
03-01-2010, 02:31 PM
Just my opinion.....I have sailed 11 times with Disney and twice with NCL....no comparison...
The entertainment was so bad on NCL we walked out of the show.....
The food was just so-so….We were on the Pearl and the Gem. In fact I was eating with a group of 12 of us on the Pearl in the main dining room. I am a vegetarian and found no options on the menu. I saw on the kids menu they had spaghetti. So I just asked for spaghetti and the server suggested that I leave my group and go dine at another restaurant on the ship.
I did not enjoy the pool area too many people had too much to drink and there was some “dirty dancing” going on which was not appropriate with so many families around.
It was also the small things like dirty glasses and dishes sitting on deck or in the hall that room service did not pick up. Some sat there all day. Both the Pearl and Gem were new ships when we went on them. Did not care for the bright color scheme in the rooms. The rooms were tiny too. The kids clubs hours are shorter too.

Edd
03-01-2010, 03:59 PM
You need to sail on the NCL and form your own opinion. All the major cruise lines have excellent ships and itineraries. You are on a talk board that thinks very highly of Disney. You will not get a great opinion from most on this board because they have become orientated Disney and many have only cruised Disney and maybe the other lines once or twice, if that.

You will find great food, entertainment and agendas that are really comparative or better than many of the Disney programs. Just keep in mind each ship has its own personality in the fact that they try to please passengers so you will come back for a 2nd and more cruises. The cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, along with Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral. Those lines, Carnival and RCCL, together serve over 50% of the cruise industry with their ships, which to me suggests they please a lot of people. NCL will be cruising out of Port Canaveral beginning late 2011.

I have cruised extensively on the three cruise lines, from Port Canaveral, and found them to be very passenger orientated in the quest of complete satisfaction for their passengers.

My personal opinion is that Disney ranks third at Port Canaveral because of its itinerate, dining, lack of a casino, lack of late night activities and the Disney choreographed production shows. You can find much of the same food in the restaurants in the parks. I enjoyed the shows for three cruises but fast grew bored at the lack of dancing and singing in the shows. The Disney crews are very friendly like all other cruise ships, but unfortunately for Disney I enjoyed my vacation on the other ships better, as there seemed to be much more to do, 24 hours, while aboard ship.

mmouse37
03-02-2010, 10:09 AM
You need to sail on the NCL and form your own opinion. All the major cruise lines have excellent ships and itineraries. You are on a talk board that thinks very highly of Disney. You will not get a great opinion from most on this board because they have become orientated Disney and many have only cruised Disney and maybe the other lines once or twice, if that.
You will find great food, entertainment and agendas that are really comparative or better than many of the Disney programs. Just keep in mind each ship has its own personality in the fact that they try to please passengers so you will come back for a 2nd and more cruises. The cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, along with Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral. Those lines, Carnival and RCCL, together serve over 50% of the cruise industry with their ships, which to me suggests they please a lot of people. NCL will be cruising out of Port Canaveral beginning late 2011.

I have cruised extensively on the three cruise lines, from Port Canaveral, and found them to be very passenger orientated in the quest of complete satisfaction for their passengers.

My personal opinion is that Disney ranks third at Port Canaveral because of its itinerate, dining, lack of a casino, lack of late night activities and the Disney choreographed production shows. You can find much of the same food in the restaurants in the parks. I enjoyed the shows for three cruises but fast grew bored at the lack of dancing and singing in the shows. The Disney crews are very friendly like all other cruise ships, but unfortunately for Disney I enjoyed my vacation on the other ships better, as there seemed to be much more to do, 24 hours, while aboard ship.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion of Disney Cruise Line, to say the above (my bolding) is demeaning and rude to other members of this board. How can you say how many times others have cruised other lines with any certainty. You do not know the cruising history of every member on this board and to say that you won't you get fair opinions of other lines is just wrong. There are many, many people who voice their honest opinions based on experiences of other lines....both pro and con Disney. Please be more courteous when posting your opinions. Thank you.

MJ

Edd
03-02-2010, 11:43 AM
I am sorry, but I didn't feel it was rude and demeaning and apoligize if anyone who felt that way. I have seen the decks of all the ships that have dirty dishes, but are normally cleaned up in a short period of time. I actually tripped on dishes in the hallway on my first Disney cruise, because I was talking and not paying attention to what was in the corridor. Check out Beach Blanket buffet on a busy morning. I have hunted for waiters to clean up tables many times so I could sit down and eat. Cleaning up dishes at the buffet on the DCL is not the best of the cruise lines.

Also have seen many many "dirty dancing" moves made on the DCL and other ships. I didn't feel anything was inappropriate because most of them were teens and young adults having a good time. DCL is the only cruise line that allows liquor and beer to be brought on openly by their passengers and you tell me there are no passengers, that have had to much to drink, walking in the pool area. That also happens on all the other ships. I have seen many.

In all my years of cruising I have never seen a server tell a passenger to go to another table or dining room because a passenger asked for a certain dish, that was on the menu. Action liike that would be an immediate dismissal of the server by any cruise line. Every cruise line I have been on the servers serve the passengers well. To tell a passenger he cannot get a certain food, when they really are cooking it, would be the job of the head waiter, not the server. All major cruise lines, even the minor ones, train their employees well.

Laura24
03-02-2010, 11:57 AM
A number of cruise lines sail to Bermuda, so try a different cruise line next time.

Thanks for that info!

mmouse37
03-02-2010, 12:48 PM
I am sorry, but I didn't feel it was rude and demeaning and apoligize if anyone who felt that way. I have seen the decks of all the ships that have dirty dishes, but are normally cleaned up in a short period of time. I actually tripped on dishes in the hallway on my first Disney cruise, because I was talking and not paying attention to what was in the corridor. Check out Beach Blanket buffet on a busy morning. I have hunted for waiters to clean up tables many times so I could sit down and eat. Cleaning up dishes at the buffet on the DCL is not the best of the cruise lines.

Also have seen many many "dirty dancing" moves made on the DCL and other ships. I didn't feel anything was inappropriate because most of them were teens and young adults having a good time. DCL is the only cruise line that allows liquor and beer to be brought on openly by their passengers and you tell me there are no passengers, that have had to much to drink, walking in the pool area. That also happens on all the other ships. I have seen many.

In all my years of cruising I have never seen a server tell a passenger to go to another table or dining room because a passenger asked for a certain dish, that was on the menu. Action liike that would be an immediate dismissal of the server by any cruise line. Every cruise line I have been on the servers serve the passengers well. To tell a passenger he cannot get a certain food, when they really are cooking it, would be the job of the head waiter, not the server. All major cruise lines, even the minor ones, train their employees well.

Again, no issue with your observations or opinions of DCL, you are certainly entitled to them....the text that I bolded from the previous post was what I had issue with as a mod.

MJ