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View Full Version : Are the photo packages worth it? Are the photos good quality?


Jenleephoto
04-13-2012, 08:52 PM
Hi all,
Just ten days until our first ever Disney cruise (Dream, 4 night) ! We are getting excited!:yay:

Just curious, of those that have previously cruised Disney before , did you buy photo packages (or any photos?) and if so, are they worth it? I'm a bit of a photographer, so I am sometimes picky about photos and quality. That said, I am always lugging my nice camera around and it bugs me that I am always the one taking photos of our family/kids and I am NEVER in them! EVER!! (which is why I am thinking the photos might be worth it on the Disney Cruise! lol) So, what types of photos do they take on board? Do they take them only with the character meet/greets, or also at dinners and various other times ? And, how long after they take them do you get to see them (online or do you go to a ship kiosk and pick them up? or how does that work?)

Thanks in advance for your info/help!

Jen

kcashner
04-13-2012, 08:57 PM
Most of the photos are decent but they are terribly overpriced....oh yeah, it's Disney. Seriously, if you carry your camera with you, the character attendants are happy to shoot a picture with your camera if you want the whole family and you are welcome to shoot the kids with characters, etc.

I have one example where I bought the professional shot, but I like the one I happened to catch better...and I don't know much about pictures!

Futurist
04-13-2012, 09:23 PM
Let's see, there are several parts to this.

First, the pictures are definitely, absolutely overpriced. A 5x7 is like $15, and an 8x12 is $20. You can get lower prices if you buy greater quantity, but you will never, ever think "This is a good deal." They gouge, big time.

That said, unless you deliberately shy away from the photographers, they take a lot of pictures, and as one photographer (not from Disney) once told my DW, "The best way to take a good photograph is to take 36 pictures and throw 35 away." You will find photos you like.

THAT said, let's talk about the photographers. Some of them are professionals, and some of them are CMs press-ganged into taking pictures, so the quality varies quite a lot. If you go to one of the formal photo shoots, you're likely to get a pretty good photographer. If it's a random character meeting, it's hit-or-miss. Most of the time, the photographers pop up, shoot (click-click-click) and leave. They frame the pictures, and let the chips show what they may. It really is a shotgun approach.

But the good news is that you don't need to decide how much to spend until you've seen at least a good chunk of the results. Don't buy a package upfront. Wait for a few days, then on the second-to-last day, decide what you're going to do. Don't wait until the last moment, because Shutters is swamped then. Decide the day before - or at the latest, early in the last afternoon. By then, you'll know if you like the product before you commit.

Hope this helps! :flower3:

Richard

Jenleephoto
04-13-2012, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the info!

Yeah, not so much concerned on price, because I know it will be $$$$ like I would always expect at Disney World, Sea World, etc.. More so wondering where/when they take photos? You mentioned "formal"photo shoots (compared to character meet/greets) where/when is a formal shoot on board? Also, do you have to go to this Shutters to view the photos ? I remember at Disney Land last year they just gave us a ticket with a personal # on it and we could look up all of our photos online and of course purchase them too that way. Very cool and convenient!:thumbsup2

Let's see, there are several parts to this.

First, the pictures are definitely, absolutely overpriced. A 5x7 is like $15, and an 8x12 is $20. You can get lower prices if you buy greater quantity, but you will never, ever think "This is a good deal." They gouge, big time.

That said, unless you deliberately shy away from the photographers, they take a lot of pictures, and as one photographer (not from Disney) once told my DW, "The best way to take a good photograph is to take 36 pictures and throw 35 away." You will find photos you like.

THAT said, let's talk about the photographers. Some of them are professionals, and some of them are CMs press-ganged into taking pictures, so the quality varies quite a lot. If you go to one of the formal photo shoots, you're likely to get a pretty good photographer. If it's a random character meeting, it's hit-or-miss. Most of the time, the photographers pop up, shoot (click-click-click) and leave. They frame the pictures, and let the chips show what they may. It really is a shotgun approach.

But the good news is that you don't need to decide how much to spend until you've seen at least a good chunk of the results. Don't buy a package upfront. Wait for a few days, then on the second-to-last day, decide what you're going to do. Don't wait until the last moment, because Shutters is swamped then. Decide the day before - or at the latest, early in the last afternoon. By then, you'll know if you like the product before you commit.

Hope this helps! :flower3:

Richard

Namsupak
04-13-2012, 09:36 PM
Just curious, of those that have previously cruised Disney before , did you buy photo packages (or any photos?) and if so, are they worth it? I'm a bit of a photographer, so I am sometimes picky about photos and quality. That said, I am always lugging my nice camera around and it bugs me that I am always the one taking photos of our family/kids and I am NEVER in them! EVER!! (which is why I am thinking the photos might be worth it on the Disney Cruise! lol) So, what types of photos do they take on board? Do they take them only with the character meet/greets, or also at dinners and various other times ? And, how long after they take them do you get to see them (online or do you go to a ship kiosk and pick them up? or how does that work?)


We have bought the packages before and usually we at least buy a few photos every trip. Worth is subjective but if you are like us one parent always taking the photos then someone is always left out and it is nice to have a whole family picture, just like you stated. They take all types of photos onboard, some stylistic ones, different backdrops, different areas of the ship, but the majority of the pictures are character pictures. They have meet and greets, there are also candids at dinner or at castaway cay. Occasionally they will have some ship pool candids. Usually later in the day you are able to see them at kiosks. On the classic ships the pictures are spread out and organized but you have to pick them out for yourself. On the new ships they have a folder with your pictures in them, they scan your room key and the folder system is semi-accurate, sometimes you will get other people's pictures in there however. If you see pictures at the kiosk that are not in the folder then they can print those out. Here is the thing about the photo place on the ship, they are very flexible. You can see all the pictures before you buy them, you can take time to sort through them, if you don't want any or you change your mind you can return pics and get a refund or downgrade your package. Obviously the more you buy the cheaper the price per photo. On long trips we have bought the CD. Recently on the Fantasy they raised the price of the CD but they have added the option of getting the bordered pictures on the CD instead of just the RAW, and also for an extra $50 you get all the prints.

Futurist
04-13-2012, 09:37 PM
I really need to be in bed...;)

They take photos whenever characters are around. Typically, a character walks around with a CM "minder" and a photographer. Photographers show up other places, like pirate night dinners, and on deck for the party. There are special photo ops, where you can line up and have a photo taken, as when you're all dressed for pirate night, or formal night. And there are special opportunities to have a "formal" photo taken, notably on formal dinner nights when everyone is dressed. They gave offer you several different backdrops, from moonlight on the ocean, to a monastery, to a white backdrop. And, while I haven't done it, you can arrange to have photos staged in different poses. I've seen families, dressed to the 9s, with the kids sitting, back-to-back, or lying down with their hands under their chins, or any of the other classic poses. They really can do it right.

As to where you view them, you need to go to Shutters, typically on deck 4 or 5, to view the pictures. Lately they've also put electronic kiosks in other places where you can view the photos (all of which are digital) on a screen, but in Shutters, they've printed them up, and you can see what they'll look link in a subtractive colour scheme rather than an additive colour scheme. (If you don't know what that means, it's just a matter of whether you're looking at the finished product, or an image of the finished product.) I recommend going to Shutters for a final decision.

Hope this helps! Now I'm off to bed.

R

PrincessShmoo
04-13-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks for the info!

Yeah, not so much concerned on price, because I know it will be $$$$ like I would always expect at Disney World, Sea World, etc.. More so wondering where/when they take photos? You mentioned "formal"photo shoots (compared to character meet/greets) where/when is a formal shoot on board? Also, do you have to go to this Shutters to view the photos ? I remember at Disney Land last year they just gave us a ticket with a personal # on it and we could look up all of our photos online and of course purchase them too that way. Very cool and convenient!:thumbsup2

The prices are high: 8X10 = $19.95; 6X8 = $9.95.

On formal nights there are usually setups in the atrium. One will usually have the captain at it, there are others that are like sunsets at sea, and plainer backgrounds. There are also roving photographers in the dining rooms.

The actual procedure for photos seems to be in a state of flux right now. I can report on how it worked for us on our previous cruises, but it may not be exactly the same for yours.

You can purchase photo packages (currently it's a credit package, an 8X10 is 2 credits and a 6X8 is 1 credit.)

You have your pictures taken by the Shutters photographers and they show up at Shutters later in the day for your viewing. There is also an all inclusive CD available, price varies based on cruise length. All photos taken by the Shutters photographers are on it. It's a good idea to go to Shutters and view your pictures at the kiosk there to confirm they got all the pictures in your file.

:cutie:

Futurist
04-13-2012, 09:55 PM
It may be that you need to make an appointment for a formal sitting. I'm not sure as we've never done that. We have lined up on formal night and had some nice pictures taken, but they also take it further if you want. Check with Shutters on the first day to find out for sure.

;)

R

Namsupak
04-13-2012, 10:04 PM
You don't always need to make an appointment, but if you want you can have a private session for a small sitting fee. Otherwise you can wait in line and some photographers are better than others about taking their time.

nunzia
04-14-2012, 07:24 AM
We have bought the packages before and usually we at least buy a few photos every trip. Worth is subjective but if you are like us one parent always taking the photos then someone is always left out and it is nice to have a whole family picture, just like you stated. They take all types of photos onboard, some stylistic ones, different backdrops, different areas of the ship, but the majority of the pictures are character pictures. They have meet and greets, there are also candids at dinner or at castaway cay. Occasionally they will have some ship pool candids. Usually later in the day you are able to see them at kiosks. On the classic ships the pictures are spread out and organized but you have to pick them out for yourself. On the new ships they have a folder with your pictures in them, they scan your room key and the folder system is semi-accurate, sometimes you will get other people's pictures in there however. If you see pictures at the kiosk that are not in the folder then they can print those out. Here is the thing about the photo place on the ship, they are very flexible. You can see all the pictures before you buy them, you can take time to sort through them, if you don't want any or you change your mind you can return pics and get a refund or downgrade your package. Obviously the more you buy the cheaper the price per photo. On long trips we have bought the CD. Recently on the Fantasy they raised the price of the CD but they have added the option of getting the bordered pictures on the CD instead of just the RAW, and also for an extra $50 you get all the prints.

This fits into my question. Can't you just buy a CD of the whole mess and then figure out what you want to print out when you get home?

taximom00
04-14-2012, 08:08 AM
I noticed on the DCL website there is an Onboard Gifts section. They have a package for Shutters. Does anyone know if the cost of this package is the same as on the ship? I would assume yes but figured I'd ask.

We cruised Carnival (my daughter's first cruise) a few years ago and she LOVED having her picture taken. They had all sorts of backgrounds set up and photographers at each one and she just went from station to station and loved the attention they gave her. I did manage to get in a few and we have one nice one of us. I have to say, I didn't love the cheesy backgrounds but she had fun and that's what matters! It sounds like they do something similar on DCL? Only drawback was the lines were LONG!!

If I puchase the photo package from the onboard gifts but don't use all the credits, can I get back the difference?

Thanks for the info!!

Mom2Kaylee
04-14-2012, 09:14 AM
If I puchase the photo package from the onboard gifts but don't use all the credits, can I get back the difference?



I'd like to know this too! What if you pre-buy and decide against using at all?

Namsupak
04-14-2012, 09:39 AM
This fits into my question. Can't you just buy a CD of the whole mess and then figure out what you want to print out when you get home?

Yes you can, the prices vary according to the length of cruise.

PrincessShmoo
04-14-2012, 10:32 AM
I noticed on the DCL website there is an Onboard Gifts section. They have a package for Shutters. Does anyone know if the cost of this package is the same as on the ship? I would assume yes but figured I'd ask.

We cruised Carnival (my daughter's first cruise) a few years ago and she LOVED having her picture taken. They had all sorts of backgrounds set up and photographers at each one and she just went from station to station and loved the attention they gave her. I did manage to get in a few and we have one nice one of us. I have to say, I didn't love the cheesy backgrounds but she had fun and that's what matters! It sounds like they do something similar on DCL? Only drawback was the lines were LONG!!

If I puchase the photo package from the onboard gifts but don't use all the credits, can I get back the difference?

Thanks for the info!!

Precruise, online the packages are 10, 20, & 30 credits. On board they sell the 20 and 40 (sometimes 50) credit packages. So, if you feel you're only going to want a few pictures, and want the 10 credit package, you must purchase it before you cruise. The 20 credit package is the same cost online and onboard.

If you purchase, say, the 20 credit package, and don't want enough photos to justify the cost, Shutters has (in the past) credited back the purchase price of the package, and then charged the individual prices. If you have the 20 credit and want to "downgrade" to a 10 credit onboard, you can't do this.

If you purchase the 10 credit package precruise, and then find you would have done better getting 20 credits, Shutters may or may not (I've read both scenarios) use the purchase price of the 10 credit package as a credit toward the larger packages.

:cutie:

Futurist
04-14-2012, 11:52 AM
Forgot to add that the formal photos, and most of the staged photos are in or around the atrium, typically on decks 3&4.

R