View Full Version : Carnival Cruise or Discovery Cove

12-14-2011, 07:53 AM
Believe it or not, it's the same price for my family to take a 4 day cruise as it is to spend one day at Discovery Cove. Which would you do? We've never taken a cruise and have never been to Discovery Cove. We will be in Florida for 10 days so there will be no shortage of Disney time! :banana:

12-14-2011, 08:38 AM
If you get a season pass for Sea World you can get huge savings on Discovery Cove, you just don't get the 14 day ticket to the other parks! Last I checked it was $69 for a day resort package and it was $169 for a swim with a season pass!

12-14-2011, 08:52 AM
Good to know! Thanks. I'll take that as a vote for Discovery Cove. :cool1:

12-14-2011, 04:42 PM
I love Discovery Cove and will be going back for a 3rd time in March!! But I have never done a cruise and have been leaning to doing that next Xmas!!! So until I have done the cruise, I can't say for sure!

12-14-2011, 05:39 PM
I've done both and would choose a cruise any time.

We really enjoyed Discovery Cove, but it's one day vs. a very different 4-day vacation that includes food, lodging, and I'm assuming a visit to the Bahamas.

No contest in my mind.

12-15-2011, 07:47 AM
This depends. Which ship? How old are your travel companions?

If you have children under 6 they can't do the dolphin swim at DC. If you have kids over 6-18 I would do DC. My family has been twice and love it!

If I was traveling with those over 18 I would consider the cruise.

Full discloser here. As a FL resident I have done the 3/4 day Carnival cruises out of PC and Tampa many times over the years. We get dirt cheap last minute deals on this line all the time. Honestly, I consider Carnivals line sort of like a last minute break from life getaway at a local nice Day's Inn motel. Sure it's nice to get an escape from everyday life but I wouldn't consider this the high point of any vacation. If I were doing a cruise only for our vacation I would book on Disney or RRCL. Also, my husband and I have had great little breaks on these Carnival Cruises however I will not allow my children (13,11 & 8) to cruise with us on these ships. They tend to attract more of a party crowd then I like my children to be exposed to. In all fairness I have only done the short cruises on Carnival. I have heard the longer cruises are better for famlies. I also admitt I'm a bit more hyper sensitive about what I allow my children to be expossed to then some parents are.

12-15-2011, 11:42 AM
I think when you purchase the discovery cove package you get another park for free. Either sea world aquatica or busch gardens.

12-15-2011, 07:15 PM
Cruise Cruise Cruise. Our family loves cruises.
It would help if you told us the ports of call. Some Carnival cruises go to Half Moon Cay which is Holland America's private island. It is the most beautiful place and beach I have ever seen. Those shorter cruises might go to Nassau (a day at Atlantis is awesome for the kids and adults), Grand Turk (beautiful beach right there at the cruise pier).

12-18-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks for all the opinions. It would NOT be the highlight of our trip but an add on. We could do the cruise that included Half Moon Bay and Nassau. Our kids are 6, 10, and 14. They are easy to travel with, a little more sheltered than most and very history knowledgeable.

We could do a 4-5 day cruise and then return to Orlando for another week. We have Universal Tickets that we didn't use last year and Disney tickets.

The alternative is Discovery Cove (my boys have been waiting for their sister to turn 6 so we could all swim with the dolphins) but it seems like a lot of money when you consider it's just one day.

I'm still torn!

12-18-2011, 01:57 PM
I am 100% for the cruise. Discovery Cove is a one day thing and while it is beautiful there and who wouldn't want to swim with the dolphins you would get so much more for your money on a cruise. There also might be places on the cruise that you can swim with the dolphins for alot cheaper than you could at DC. I know you can at Atlantis, but I don't know how much that would cost. Instead you can snorkel with animals in their natural environment. My kids have been on many cruises and we have a great time every time. The other nice thing is that they have kids clubs on the cruise so you and your man can have some alone time too! :thumbsup2 P.S. we have taken our kids on several Carnival cruises and have had no problem with the "adult crowd". My kids first cruise was a Carnival 3 day to Nassau and they were 7 and 11 at the time they loved it too.

12-18-2011, 05:43 PM
Discovery Cove WITH the Dolphin swim is only $229 a day for adults. You found a 4 day Carnival cruise for $229 per person? The Discovery Cove also includes additional tickets to Sea World for 7 entry days anytime within 14 days of first use. There are one or two other parks you can choose from besides Sea World, but we are using ours for SW.

12-18-2011, 07:55 PM
The cruise itself will cost more money overall...

There is parking at the port (or transportation to the port), tips, excursions (if any).

12-19-2011, 08:28 PM
Personally I would choose the cruise. Half Moon Cay is wonderful and it would give a break from theme park overload. Lots to do for the kids and adults. Nassau has some fun tours that cover the pirate history of the Bahamas. I do agree that the additional costs are something to think about with the cruise though. Additional charges to consider are gratuities ($11.50 per person per day), shore excursions, beverages (soda, smoothies, alcohol). On the plus side the cost of food is included so it may just even out.

12-20-2011, 04:47 PM
Love cruises and Discovery Cove. A few yeears ago we booked a three day Disney Cruise for the family, one of my husband's friends had just got back from Discovery Cove and told my husband how wonderful it was. He told me about it and I booked us at Discovery Cove the day before the cruise. It was my son's 17th B-Day and a dolphin brought him a buoy that said Happy B-day-Very memorable for all.

To this day my husband still says he said cruise or Discovery Cove, not both.:laughing:

DVC California
12-24-2011, 07:53 PM
This is sort of an apples vs oranges type of question.

We're experienced cruisers and would probably choose a cruise. Meals, Vegas style entertainment, and relaxing by the pool/beach is our idea of a vacation! Our kids have made great firends while in Camp Carnival, Oceaneer's Club, etc.

We have also done Discovery Cove with Dolphin swim and enjoyed Seaworld/Busch gardens. Our kids loved both experiences.

Do your children have a preference? I'd hate for you to find out the hard way that they really wanted to go to A instead of B.

"I thought we were going to DICK's house!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MIBxhh_R_w)