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View Full Version : If you couldnt afford a disney cruise , what would be your second choice cruise line


tinkandonaldfans
08-12-2012, 02:33 PM
We are flag flyers for Disney but for some of our family can't afford it, so which cruise line do you think has similar standards?

tripster222
08-12-2012, 02:41 PM
We love Royal Caribbean!!!! :woohoo::boat:

lady9
08-12-2012, 02:44 PM
Another vote for Royal Caribbean!

sayhello
08-12-2012, 02:46 PM
Depends on what you're looking for, but I've really enjoyed both Royal Caribbean and Princess.

Sayhello

kcashner
08-12-2012, 02:47 PM
It depends on your family. We just got off a Celebrity cruise--the upscale "cousin" of RCI. The food was much better than on DCL. There is a kid program; while we didn't personally use it, I spoke with 2 mothers who had only positive things to say. The crowd was older. Ship appearance was not as good, nor was maintenance. Guest Services was better. The adult activities i the evenings were lacking, but the various musical groups during the day were better than most we've seen on DCL. This was an Alaska cruise and they had a GREAT naturalist lecturing about 6 times during the 7 days. There was an indoor pool and hot tub. Spa and photos were the same companies as DCL and very similar. No characters, no movies. Total cost was just a hair above 1/2 of what the same cruise would have cost on DCL.

No climbing walls or ice rinks on this ship.

cctimmom
08-12-2012, 02:56 PM
Royal Caribbean

Bonniec
08-12-2012, 03:08 PM
Everytime I price out Royal Carribean, it ends up costing more than Disney once I factor in all the costs like tax, fees, beverage packages, etc. Then again, I have only looked at Oasis and Allure.

MoxieandPixie
08-12-2012, 03:12 PM
RCCL - almost booked Allure of the Seas but will wait another year or two until my kids are older.

jahber
08-12-2012, 03:15 PM
Everytime I price out Royal Carribean, it ends up costing more than Disney once I factor in all the costs like tax, fees, beverage packages, etc. Then again, I have only looked at Oasis and Allure.

Funny-the same thing happens to me! Especially since Disney shows you the real total (with taxes) when it shows the price on the screen where you select a cruise, whereas RCI shows only the room price. No matter how many times I've done it, I'm always shocked when I get to the final reservation screen and the price has gone up by $1000 (as it did when I priced a trip for 4 recently) with one click.
I'm looking at Oasis or Allure, of course, as they are the comparable ships to the Dream and Fantasy, from what I've seen.

shoes99
08-12-2012, 03:17 PM
We travel without children and we like Princess if the price is right, but we prefer Disney.

cctimmom
08-12-2012, 03:20 PM
I've never had that problem... when I go in and try to book a dummy reservation on RCCL to get a price, if you click on Summary of Charge I get an image that shows the break out by guest for the cruise fare on one line, and then the taxes/fees per guest on the second line, with the total per person and the grand total.

I would post the image, but it's not letting me...

jahber
08-12-2012, 03:25 PM
I've never had that problem... when I go in and try to book a dummy reservation on RCCL to get a price, if you click on Summary of Charge I get an image that shows the break out by guest for the cruise fare on one line, and then the taxes/fees per guest on the second line, with the total per person and the grand total.

I would post the image, but it's not letting me...

Sorry if I wasn't clear. The prices they show for the room categories (without taxes) are all you see until you select one. And if you don't happen to know that the summary is there OR notice that the price in the right is different than the price on the left side of the screen, the total can be a little shocking. At least for me.
I like that Disney only ever shows one price. It makes pricing at a glance easier. Again, at least for me :)

mompaq
08-12-2012, 04:28 PM
We travel without children and we like Princess if the price is right, but we prefer Disney.

For me it is Disney or nothing. If I want to cruise, i will wait until I can get a good deal with DCL. The family atmosphere and experience is worth it!

MPS516
08-12-2012, 04:46 PM
For me it is Disney or nothing. If I want to cruise, i will wait until I can get a good deal with DCL. The family atmosphere and experience is worth it!

Pretty much the same for us. We have done RC, NCL, Carnival, Lois and Princess, always make Disney our first choice. The room size and set up makes it easier to travel with more than 2 in a cabin so we can get fewer cabins. Service and ship upkeep there is just no comparison. I also agree that by the time I look at all the other costs I incur DCL is not that much more at least within the rather pay a little more to get the experience I want range.

Macmaro
08-12-2012, 05:05 PM
For me it is Disney or nothing. If I want to cruise, i will wait until I can get a good deal with DCL. The family atmosphere and experience is worth it!

I have only done one cruise other than DCL and it was nearly 20 years ago. I am too afraid to try any other line at this point. I know...shame on me. I just know what I like. At this point, for my family, we will forgo a cruise as opposed to trying another line.

I have been to quite a few theme/amusement parks since I first visited a Disney park almost 40 years ago. I spend most of my time at the other parks wishing I was at Disney because I haven't found one yet that does it better. Maybe I incorrectly have the same belief about the cruise line but it is what it is.

fredgirls
08-12-2012, 05:05 PM
Funny-the same thing happens to me! Especially since Disney shows you the real total (with taxes) when it shows the price on the screen where you select a cruise, whereas RCI shows only the room price. No matter how many times I've done it, I'm always shocked when I get to the final reservation screen and the price has gone up by $1000 (as it did when I priced a trip for 4 recently) with one click.
I'm looking at Oasis or Allure, of course, as they are the comparable ships to the Dream and Fantasy, from what I've seen.

Glad i'm not the only one! :goodvibes
I have tried many times to look at other lines and disney always comes out cheaper, at the times I want to go. I have to admit the other lines often have better itinerary but they have also been $1000 more :confused3
I'm not complaining though ;)

sayhello
08-12-2012, 05:59 PM
Everytime I price out Royal Carribean, it ends up costing more than Disney once I factor in all the costs like tax, fees, beverage packages, etc. Then again, I have only looked at Oasis and Allure.Well, if you pick RCCL's newest and most expensive ships, that's going to happen some times. But RCCL has 20 other ships, and those are much more reasonably priced. The Voyager class ships are gorgeous, and you can find some extremely reasonable cruises on those ships.

Sayhello

woody73
08-12-2012, 06:11 PM
. . . which cruise line do you think has similar standards?
Royal Caribbean.

Woody

Scoobypop
08-12-2012, 06:38 PM
Glad i'm not the only one! :goodvibes
I have tried many times to look at other lines and disney always comes out cheaper, at the times I want to go. I have to admit the other lines often have better itinerary but they have also been $1000 more :confused3
I'm not complaining though ;)

I also thought I was the only one. I have seen countless posts over the years about how sailing on RCI was half the price of Disney. And yes, I did see the post above about the older ships. But for the past few months, I have also been pricing RCI Oasis and Allure, even way out into 2014 and don't see any less expensive rates for the categories I am looking at. I also see the size of the staterooms compared to Disney and don't feel that Disney is a bad value at all now that I've priced for myself. I will still try one of those ships in 2014, but still have 3 Disney cruises before then to look forward to!

stmize
08-12-2012, 07:04 PM
I tried another cruise line and hated it. Nothing but dcl for me

NancyIL
08-12-2012, 07:16 PM
Sorry if I wasn't clear. The prices they show for the room categories (without taxes) are all you see until you select one. And if you don't happen to know that the summary is there OR notice that the price in the right is different than the price on the left side of the screen, the total can be a little shocking. At least for me.
I like that Disney only ever shows one price. It makes pricing at a glance easier. Again, at least for me :)

It wasn't that long ago that DCL's web site showed a total price that included transfers and insurance - in addition to the taxes! You had to decline the transfers and insurance to see the total cruise price! When I look at other cruise lines' web sites, I know that the taxes are in addition to the cruise fare.

I usually sail on cruise lines other than Disney, and the one I choose depends on where I want to go. My next non-Disney cruises are on Royal Caribbean in 2013 and Celebrity in 2014. I also paid future cruise deposits on Princess and Holland America. :teeth:

P.S. I can afford a Disney cruise, but usually prefer to pay less for ships with better itineraries.

Bonniec
08-12-2012, 07:55 PM
Well, if you pick RCCL's newest and most expensive ships, that's going to happen some times. But RCCL has 20 other ships, and those are much more reasonably priced. The Voyager class ships are gorgeous, and you can find some extremely reasonable cruises on those ships.

That's probably true. But I was trying to compare the same class of ships so only looked at Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Disney has always been cheaper.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying a smaller cruise, but then I wonder what they have for kids and families. I've never really looked.

tajz90
08-12-2012, 08:12 PM
I love Disney and will only cruise Disney.....BUT.... If I couldn't, I'd go with Royal. My kids call it Royal Boribbean, but it's nicer than Carnival and so much more everything compared to NCL.

jdb in AZ
08-12-2012, 08:23 PM
OP, where are you planning to cruise? If it's Alaska, a good choice for newbies, I would choose a ship that sails to Glacier Bay. First choice for that would probably be Princess.

Otherwise, I would go with Celebrity or RCCL.

sayhello
08-12-2012, 08:38 PM
That's probably true. But I was trying to compare the same class of ships so only looked at Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Disney has always been cheaper.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying a smaller cruise, but then I wonder what they have for kids and families. I've never really looked.Oasis & Allure are not the same class as the Dream & Fantasy. They're of a similar age, but that's about it. Oasis & Allure have a gross tonnage of 220,000 tons, whereas Dream & Fantasy are 128,000. Oasis and Allure carry 5400 passengers, Dream & Fantasy 4,000. Oasis & Allure have a crew of 2100, Dream & Fantasy 945. If you're going to compare ships in the same class, compare ships in the same class.

Sayhello

Scrapnana
08-12-2012, 08:49 PM
Celebrity

samily
08-12-2012, 09:53 PM
That's probably true. But I was trying to compare the same class of ships so only looked at Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Disney has always been cheaper.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying a smaller cruise, but then I wonder what they have for kids and families. I've never really looked.


I think if you want to compare same class ships, RCCL's Freedom class ships (Freedom, Liberty and Independance of the Seas) are much closer to the Dream and Fantasy than the Oasis class ships, and even then the Freedom class ships are larger than the Dream and Fantasy.

We got great pricing on the Liberty a couple of years ago and had a great cruise but we still prefer DCL :)

woody73
08-12-2012, 09:56 PM
. . . I can afford a Disney cruise, but usually prefer to pay less for ships with better itineraries.
I know what you mean.

We are booked on the May 2013 Magic EBTA. It only goes to two European ports (Madeira and Gibraltar), which are repeats of two ports we've been to twice already on our two prior Magic Transatlantic cruises. It's too bad DCL repeats the same ports over and over! The total cost (cruise fare, tax and fees) for two adults in an ocean view cabin is $3,020.

This fall, we are booked on a RCI Freedom Class ship for a WBTA. It goes to some interesting ports, including some we haven't been to yet: Cartegena (Spain), Malaga (Spain), Cadiz (Spain), Tenerife (Canary Islands), and La Palma (Canary Islands). The total cost of that cruise is $1,724 -- for two adults in a veranda cabin.

Like you, "I can afford a Disney cruise, but usually prefer to pay less for ships with better itineraries."

Woody

NancyIL
08-12-2012, 10:23 PM
I know what you mean.

We are booked on the May 2013 Magic EBTA. It only goes to two European ports (Madeira and Gibraltar), which are repeats of two ports we've been to twice already on our two prior Magic Transatlantic cruises. It's too bad DCL repeats the same ports over and over! The total cost (cruise fare, tax and fees) for two adults in an ocean view cabin is $3,020.

This fall, we are booked on a RCI Freedom Class ship for a WBTA. It goes to some interesting ports, including some we haven't been to yet: Cartegena (Spain), Malaga (Spain), Cadiz (Spain), Tenerife (Canary Islands), and La Palma (Canary Islands). The total cost of that cruise is $1,724 -- for two adults in a veranda cabin.

Like you, "I can afford a Disney cruise, but usually prefer to pay less for ships with better itineraries."

Woody

You got a great deal on the RCI Transatlantic!

Like you, I am booked on the same DCL Transatlantic cruise next May. However, I will move it to something else or cancel it, because 2 European ports plus Castaway Cay aren't enough for me on such a long cruise.

Some people said they would rather wait for a good deal on DCL than go on another cruise line. I would rather wait for a great itinerary on another cruise line than go on a cruise that really doesn't interest me.

holden
08-12-2012, 10:42 PM
I find this thread very interesting. We did the Magic NYC this summer and were disappointed. We have more than 15 cruises with Royal Caribbean (can't remember the exact #) and will continue to sail with them. I guess we have become used to the "extras" that RCCL offers - H2O Zone (large water play area), ice skating rink, mini golf, rock climbing wall, Promenade shops/food, etc. The Magic was lacking magic for us - main pool is the size of our pool at home, Mickey pool frequently closed for cleaning because of unpotty trained kids, disorganized staff for games/events (we waited about 40 min. past the time our animation class was supoosed to start because the cast member was still clearing dinner place settings from the tables to accomodate people who were way late for the class - just one example), etc.

We are Disney lovers and have come to expect the best from Disney, so maybe we were expecting too much. We also should have realized that the ship was older and lacking the "bells and whistles" we have come to enjoy. The service was great, but it is on RCCL too.

Maybe the Fantasy and Dream are better....but for now we'll stick with RCCL.

caribear
08-12-2012, 10:50 PM
Royal Caribbean.....but with that being said...if you are looking at Oasis or Allure then pricing will be comparable with Disney. My family and I had the the best cruise thus far on Oasis.....so much to see and do.....didn't get to do many things we wanted to....so we need to go back and do it all over again! I have also been on Navigator and Adventure of the Seas....both are great ships too! My cousins just got back from the Explorer to Bermuda and had an incredible time!

I am not loyal to any particular cruise line, but I do favor Royal Caribbean and Disney......but would also not hesitate to do Princess again. I do like the newer and bigger ships though.

tajz90
08-12-2012, 10:51 PM
Royal Caribbean.....but with that being said...if you are looking at Oasis or Allure then pricing will be comparable with Disney. My family and I had the the best cruise thus far on Oasis.....so much to see and do.....didn't get to do many things we wanted to....so we need to go back and do it all over again! I have also been on Navigator and Adventure of the Seas....both are great ships too! My cousins just got back from the Explorer to Bermuda and had an incredible time!

I am not loyal to any particular cruise line, but I do favor Royal Caribbean and Disney......but would also not hesitate to do Princess again. I do like the newer and bigger ships though.

Love your contact pic ;)

cyclenut
08-12-2012, 11:30 PM
Everytime I price out Royal Carribean, it ends up costing more than Disney once I factor in all the costs like tax, fees, beverage packages, etc. Then again, I have only looked at Oasis and Allure.

Oasis and Allure are the newest and largest ships in the fleet. They offer a completely different cruise experience than anything Disney can offer, primarily due to the sheer size of the ship. For a closer comparison try the Freedom or her sister ships. Even then, those ships are much larger and offer more, but they are cheaper.

We sailed the freedom I June and our total out of pocket cost, including excursions and on board expenses, was less than the DCL cruise fare alone.

disneyholic family
08-13-2012, 12:04 AM
I also thought I was the only one. I have seen countless posts over the years about how sailing on RCI was half the price of Disney. And yes, I did see the post above about the older ships. But for the past few months, I have also been pricing RCI Oasis and Allure, even way out into 2014 and don't see any less expensive rates for the categories I am looking at. I also see the size of the staterooms compared to Disney and don't feel that Disney is a bad value at all now that I've priced for myself. I will still try one of those ships in 2014, but still have 3 Disney cruises before then to look forward to!

the Oasis Dis cruise has very reasonable pricing.

have you checked that cruise?

here's the link:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2960864

disneyholic family
08-13-2012, 12:08 AM
DD just sailed on RCCL's Radiance of the Seas a few weeks ago - it was her first non-DCL cruise and she said it was FANTASTIC!
the most fun she's had on a cruise ship ever.

i haven't tried RCCL yet, but i'm booked on the first non-DCL dis cruise next august on the oasis of the seas. I'm very much looking forwards to it!!

JeanfromBNA
08-13-2012, 12:10 AM
We just got off a Celebrity cruise, and thought that service was disorganized and sub-par to Disney. Not only was the customer not always right, we had to figure it out/get it/do it for ourselves. I could tell horror stories about sorting out billing errors and rudeness at "guest services." DH said that he was glad that Celebrity wasn't his first cruise, or he wouldn't have gone on another.

So if we're doing a mass market cruise again, it will be Disney or we won't go.:tinker: Our vacation time and dollars are just too precious to blow on a bad experience.

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 12:11 AM
We just got off a Celebrity cruise, and thought that service was disorganized and sub-par to Disney. Not only was the customer not always right, we had to figure it out/get it/do it for ourselves. I could tell horror stories about sorting out billing errors and rudeness at "guest services." DH said that he was glad that Celebrity wasn't his first cruise, or he wouldn't have gone on another.

So if we're doing a mass market cruise again, it will be Disney or we won't go.:tinker: Our vacation time and dollars are just too precious to blow on a bad experience.

Which Celebrity ship?

tajz90
08-13-2012, 12:12 AM
our vacation time and dollars are just too precious to blow on a bad experience.

amen!!!!

declansdad
08-13-2012, 09:33 AM
We have only cruised twice so far and both times have been with Carnival. We had a great time and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again.

sandiegosusie
08-13-2012, 09:55 AM
Everytime I price out Royal Carribean, it ends up costing more than Disney once I factor in all the costs like tax, fees, beverage packages, etc. Then again, I have only looked at Oasis and Allure.

We are finding the same...not interested in one of their smaller ships.

tajz90
08-13-2012, 09:59 AM
We priced both Carnival Magic and RCCL Oasis and both were comparable to the Fantasy. Of course, we are paying a bit more for the Fantasy, but we are going at Christmas.

I was really shocked. We "needed" a getaway desperately and I thought that I'd get a cruise for 1/2 the price we normally pay as so many tout on this discussion board.... And that was a no!

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 09:59 AM
We are finding the same...not interested in one of their smaller ships.

For the record, Royal Caribbean's "smaller ships" are about the size of the Magic and Wonder. I like Royal Caribbean, but I am not interested in sailing on their largest ships.

Tonka's Skipper
08-13-2012, 10:02 AM
For the record, Royal Caribbean's "smaller ships" are about the size of the Magic and Wonder. I like Royal Caribbean, but I am not interested in sailing on their largest ships.



Well Nancy..............we agree on this !:thumbsup2

deanimal
08-13-2012, 10:03 AM
We like Celebrity, but it really depends on what you're looking for. The ships are older, but classic and beautiful. There's not as much variety in entertainment, but its always top notch, the food is usually excellent. The kids clubs are smaller and not as exciting as Disney's, but the staff is really, really good. I had a friend who chose Celebrity over Disney because her daughter is quite shy and she'd rather sit at a table and do crafts with half a dozen other kids that go to a huge noisy club with big dance parties and packs of kids. It really depend on you and your family.
I love both lines for different reasons.

sandiegosusie
08-13-2012, 10:12 AM
For the record, Royal Caribbean's "smaller ships" are about the size of the Magic and Wonder. I like Royal Caribbean, but I am not interested in sailing on their largest ships.

Since I've sailed on both the Magic and Wonder and on Princess, I'm not interested in what those ships offer. Just looking for a another cruise experience to add...we will see!

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 10:13 AM
We priced both Carnival Magic and RCCL Oasis and both were comparable to the Fantasy. Of course, we are paying a bit more for the Fantasy, but we are going at Christmas.

I was really shocked. We "needed" a getaway desperately and I thought that I'd get a cruise for 1/2 the price we normally pay as so many tout on this discussion board.... And that was a no!

A Royal Caribbean cruise can be 1/3 to 1/2 less than DCL, as many "tout" - but usually not at holiday time, and not on RCI's newest ships! Occasionally DCL's prices are lower than the competition.

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 10:17 AM
We like Celebrity, but it really depends on what you're looking for. The ships are older, but classic and beautiful. There's not as much variety in entertainment, but its always top notch, the food is usually excellent. The kids clubs are smaller and not as exciting as Disney's, but the staff is really, really good. I had a friend who chose Celebrity over Disney because her daughter is quite shy and she'd rather sit at a table and do crafts with half a dozen other kids that go to a huge noisy club with big dance parties and packs of kids. It really depend on you and your family.
I love both lines for different reasons.

Have you sailed on a Solstice-class ship? I enjoyed my first Celebrity cruise on the Constellation, but I LOVED Celebrity Silhouette.

Cisco0214
08-13-2012, 10:24 AM
Celebrity is my favorite cruise line. I have also sailed on Cunard, RCL , Carnival and Disney.

sayhello
08-13-2012, 12:04 PM
We are finding the same...not interested in one of their smaller ships.RCCL has 10 ships that are comparable to the Dream & Fantasy, or larger. That's almost half of their line that is not a "smaller" ship. The Voyager class is only slightly smaller, and the Freedom class is larger. Most of the rest of their fleet are at least as big as the Magic & Wonder, if not much larger. Only a few of their ships are actually small.

We priced both Carnival Magic and RCCL Oasis and both were comparable to the Fantasy. Of course, we are paying a bit more for the Fantasy, but we are going at Christmas.

I was really shocked. We "needed" a getaway desperately and I thought that I'd get a cruise for 1/2 the price we normally pay as so many tout on this discussion board.... And that was a no!If you need a cruise so desperately, look at the Freedom Class or Voyager Class ships from RCCL. Just as big as Dream & Fantasy, and MUCH cheaper. If you're that desperate, why would you limit yourself to 2 of the largest ships out there?

A Royal Caribbean cruise can be 1/3 to 1/2 less than DCL, as many "tout" - but usually not at holiday time, and not on RCI's newest ships! Occasionally DCL's prices are lower than the competition.:thumbsup2

Sayhello

mickey2000
08-13-2012, 12:37 PM
A Royal Caribbean cruise can be 1/3 to 1/2 less than DCL, as many "tout" - but usually not at holiday time, and not on RCI's newest ships! Occasionally DCL's prices are lower than the competition.

I like Celebrity, Princess & RCCL
Up coming:

Celebrity Bermuda 7 nt veranda $2,687 :moped:

RCCL Christmas New Year 10 nt carrib veranda $2368

As you can see there is LIFE AFTER DISNEY! :lmao :santa::santa::santa:

CandyMandy
08-13-2012, 12:40 PM
We like Celebrity, but it really depends on what you're looking for. The ships are older, but classic and beautiful. There's not as much variety in entertainment, but its always top notch, the food is usually excellent. The kids clubs are smaller and not as exciting as Disney's, but the staff is really, really good. I had a friend who chose Celebrity over Disney because her daughter is quite shy and she'd rather sit at a table and do crafts with half a dozen other kids that go to a huge noisy club with big dance parties and packs of kids. It really depend on you and your family.
I love both lines for different reasons.

I completely agree with you on the kid dynamic - people here seem to think the fact Disney has big kids clubs makes them tops in that department - forgetting that bigger is not always better and utimately what matters is the human touch. You get that in spades on Celebrity. It's the only line where I've seen the officers do a good job at having a personal presence with the passengers (there may be cultural nuance to that, given most of the officers are Greek).

Lastly, I'd also add the food on Celerbity (example below) isn't just excellent - it makes DCL look like a school cafeteria in comparison.

http://cruiseweb.com/blog/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/French-Food1.jpg

Yum
Yum Yum
Yum Yum Yum

TXDCLfan
08-13-2012, 12:42 PM
We have only cruised twice so far and both times have been with Carnival. We had a great time and wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again.

We :love::love::love: Carnival:thumbsup2 Great cruise line with excellent food and service.

woody73
08-13-2012, 12:46 PM
A Royal Caribbean cruise can be 1/3 to 1/2 less than DCL . . .
When DCL went to the Baltics, the prices were insane.

Instead, we found a nearly identical itinerary (one minor port was different) on Royal Caribbean that was 2/3 less than DCL for two adults in an ocean view cabin.

Woody

jdb in AZ
08-13-2012, 12:49 PM
We like Celebrity, but it really depends on what you're looking for. The ships are older, but classic and beautiful. There's not as much variety in entertainment, but its always top notch, the food is usually excellent. I love both lines for different reasons.

It depends on the ship. We sailed on the Eclipse last summer and she was only a few months older than the Dream.

I agree with Candy Mandy's opinion of Celebrity's food. They have a brunch on a day at sea on each cruise that is better than Palo. Everyone is invited, and there's no up-charge.

It's also true that Disney has the best entertainment. We really enjoyed the hypnotist on the DCL cruise, but when we saw a different hypnotist on Celebrity he didn't have much success -- it was rather embarrassing. Celebrity also had some singers entertaining in the atrium each night as we went to dinner. They were off-key to the point of being cringe-worthy.

mickey2000
08-13-2012, 12:54 PM
I completely agree with you on the kid dynamic - people here seem to think the fact Disney has big kids clubs makes them tops in that department - forgetting that bigger is not always better and utimately what matters is the human touch. You get that in spades on Celebrity. It's the only line where I've seen the officers do a good job at having a personal presence with the passengers (there may be cultural nuance to that, given most of the officers are Greek).

Lastly, I'd also add the food on Celerbity (example below) isn't just excellent - it makes DCL look like a school cafeteria in comparison.

http://cruiseweb.com/blog/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/French-Food1.jpg

Yum
Yum Yum
Yum Yum Yum


I TOTALLY AGREE 100% about the food!
The shows are also very good! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

shoes99
08-13-2012, 01:04 PM
When DCL went to the Baltics, the prices were insane.

Instead, we found a nearly identical itinerary (one minor port was different) on Royal Caribbean that was 2/3 less than DCL for two adults in an ocean view cabin.

Woody
In 2010 we had the Baltics booked with Disney. We checked Princess and the price was $2000 less and we booked a mini-suite and were upgraded to a full aft suite on Princess. We still love Disney, and have the 12 night med with Venice booked with Disney for June 2013. Princess has their brand new ship sailing out of Barcelona at the same time and the prices for the inaugural month sailings were the same as Disney. I'll keep checking both lines as we get closer to PIF dates.

tajz90
08-13-2012, 01:08 PM
If you need a cruise so desperately, look at the Freedom Class or Voyager Class ships from RCCL. Just as big as Dream & Fantasy, and MUCH cheaper. If you're that desperate, why would you limit yourself to 2 of the largest ships out there?



Sayhello

BECAUSE Magic sails from our home port and if I'm going on Royal, I wanted to try the newest :) Sailed the smaller ships and I'm not a huge HUGE fan. My kids call it Royal Boribbean.



Disney all the way for me....

woody73
08-13-2012, 01:13 PM
It's also true that Disney has the best entertainment. We really enjoyed the hypnotist on the DCL cruise . . .
While I've enjoyed seeing hypnotist Ricky Kalmon on DCL, he's been on board a lot.

I wish DCL would bring on some new talent to add some variety to its cruises.

Woody

Bonniec
08-13-2012, 01:16 PM
I'd love to see some specific comparisons of the ships. Since this is a Disney board, it would be nice to see comparisons of child and family activities (though any comparisons would be good). Ive only ever looked at Allure and Oasis because I thought they were comparible ships but I guess not.

As cool as those ships seemed to me, I didn't like them as much. The main entrance looked like a huge mall. It was difficult for me to see what was paid for and what wasn't. Most of the activites I saw looked like sports (the wave thing, zip line, etc). They looked great, but I didn't see much else. Then again, I haven't researched it as much. I'm certainly not opposed to trying other cruiselines, but have no idea where to look. I've tried looking at Cruise Critique but it's difficult to compare for me.

For us, we are 4 adults and 1 child (age 6). We want to relax and DH likes luxery and less crowds. But we need family and child activities for my son. My son is also shy so we don't necessarily need huge places with screaming kids. Just things to keep him entertained and having fun (for example, he is most excited about the crafts on the ships and LOVES science so he is very interested in the science shows). DH wants to travel concierge so that he has quiet places to go, larger rooms, and a chance for cabanas at CC since those areas are quieter (We are not willing to have our child watched and then go to the adult beach, we want our son with us.)

I'd love to know more about what other ships have to offer. I really enjoyed the Allure comparison on here to the Disney ships. Would be cool to see more trip reports and comparisons. :goodvibes

tajz90
08-13-2012, 01:16 PM
While I've enjoyed seeing hypnotist Ricky Kalmon on DCL, he's been on board a lot.

I wish DCL would bring on some new talent to add some variety to its cruises.

Woody

I could watch Mike Super again and again. He is not on nearly enough to satisfy me ;)

DCL has the best shows. I find myself questioning why the Las Vegas style dancers on the other lines can't kick in unison. Even though I really enjoyed the ice skating show on Royal that one year, it was the only show I enjoyed. There was a club/bar singer that same year that was really good, but we couldn't sit and listen because of the smoke.

ddboles
08-13-2012, 02:39 PM
We've been comparing Disney with Carnival and were shocked to see we can go on a 7 night cruise for several THOUSAND less than a 4 night on Disney, so it is tempting. But, I see none of you have recommended Carnival on this thread. My question is... is Carnival really THAT bad? (I have never cruised at all, so I have no idea.)

Thanks!
Donna

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 02:46 PM
When DCL went to the Baltics, the prices were insane.

Instead, we found a nearly identical itinerary (one minor port was different) on Royal Caribbean that was 2/3 less than DCL for two adults in an ocean view cabin.

Woody

DCL's 2010 Baltic cruise prices, starting at $3,649 pp (plus taxes) for the least expensive inside, were extremely high for a mass market cruise line. That didn't deter quite a few people from booking those cruises - and you know who you are! Knowing that their prices were very high compared to other cruise lines - DCL gave those who booked the Baltic cruises early a very generous onboard credit (~$400 pp?) to keep them from "jumping ship"! DCL eventually offered much lower gty rates for the first and (I think) second Baltic cruises after the penalty period began, and quite a few people cancelled and rebooked. After absorbing the penalties, they still saved thousands of dollars by rebooking at the lower prices.

tajz90
08-13-2012, 02:47 PM
We've been comparing Disney with Carnival and were shocked to see we can go on a 7 night cruise for several THOUSAND less than a 4 night on Disney, so it is tempting. But, I see none of you have recommended Carnival on this thread. My question is... is Carnival really THAT bad? (I have never cruised at all, so I have no idea.)

Thanks!
Donna

I'm not a huge fan of Carnival, but I'll tell you what I think you should do. Go. Make your own decision. If you haven't sailed Disney, you won't know the difference.

I'd stay away from the older ships and I would not leave from New Orleans or a couple of the smaller ones. I'd focus on the ones that leave out of Florida (not Tampa) or The Magic out of Galveston.

Bring on the criticism... But IMO the older smaller ships out of the smaller ports are total party cruises and it's just too much...

kaseyC
08-13-2012, 02:53 PM
DCL's 2010 Baltic cruise prices, starting at $3,649 pp (plus taxes) for the least expensive inside, were extremely high for a mass market cruise line. That didn't deter quite a few people from booking those cruises - and you know who you are! Knowing that their prices were very high compared to other cruise lines - DCL gave those who booked the Baltic cruises early a very generous onboard credit (~$400 pp?) to keep them from "jumping ship"! DCL eventually offered much lower gty rates for the first and (I think) second Baltic cruises after the penalty period began, and quite a few people cancelled and rebooked. After absorbing the penalties, they still saved thousands of dollars by rebooking at the lower prices.

Did they do the $999 Cat. 12 GTY on the Baltics like they offered on many of the Med cruises that year? I know they were practically giving away Repos from Barcelona to Dover and from Dover to Barcelona.

I predict we will see some decent GT rates on those 12 night Venice and Greece itineraries as well. :wizard:

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 02:58 PM
Did they do the $999 Cat. 12 GTY on the Baltics like they offered on many of the Med cruises that year? I know they were practically giving away Repos from Barcelona to Dover and from Dover to Barcelona.

I predict we will see some decent GT rates on those 12 night Venice and Greece itineraries as well. :wizard:

No, the Cat. 12 GTY prices weren't that low! They were in the ~ $1,600 pp (+ taxes) range, as I recall. That was a very good price for a 12-night Baltic cruise.

Time will tell if more people want to cruise in the Med in 2013 than in 2012. As you and I know - 2012 has been a VERY good year to be a cruise buyer - especially in Europe!

tajz90
08-13-2012, 03:02 PM
DCL's 2010 Baltic cruise prices, starting at $3,649 pp (plus taxes) for the least expensive inside, were extremely high for a mass market cruise line. That didn't deter quite a few people from booking those cruises - and you know who you are! Knowing that their prices were very high compared to other cruise lines - DCL gave those who booked the Baltic cruises early a very generous onboard credit (~$400 pp?) to keep them from "jumping ship"! DCL eventually offered much lower gty rates for the first and (I think) second Baltic cruises after the penalty period began, and quite a few people cancelled and rebooked. After absorbing the penalties, they still saved thousands of dollars by rebooking at the lower prices.

We did! :) on board was more like $600. Paid for excursions in St. Petersburg. Fabulous cruise. Worth every penny.

declansdad
08-13-2012, 03:08 PM
We've been comparing Disney with Carnival and were shocked to see we can go on a 7 night cruise for several THOUSAND less than a 4 night on Disney, so it is tempting. But, I see none of you have recommended Carnival on this thread. My question is... is Carnival really THAT bad? (I have never cruised at all, so I have no idea.)

Thanks!
Donna

We have no problem recommending Carnival. We are cruising with DCL in March but the main reason is that we have always wanted to try a Disney cruise. Our upcoming Cruise on the Dream costs as much as our 8 day on Carnival and more tha the 5 day we did one we did this past March on Carnival.

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 03:08 PM
We did! :) on board was more like $600. Paid for excursions in St. Petersburg. Fabulous cruise. Worth every penny.

I'd rather have a comparable price reduction than onboard credit. Other than using the credit to pay gratuities - OBC requires you to BUY something - like their excursions. I've been to St. Petersburg and will return for 3 days in 2013. That is the ONE port where I definitely would NOT want to do a ship's tour - at least not on a 40-passenger bus. A private tour in St. Petersburg is the best way to go - in my opinion.

declansdad
08-13-2012, 03:11 PM
I'm not a huge fan of Carnival, but I'll tell you what I think you should do. Go. Make your own decision. If you haven't sailed Disney, you won't know the difference.

I'd stay away from the older ships and I would not leave from New Orleans or a couple of the smaller ones. I'd focus on the ones that leave out of Florida (not Tampa) or The Magic out of Galveston.

Bring on the criticism... But IMO the older smaller ships out of the smaller ports are total party cruises and it's just too much...


Cruised out of Tampa on a 5 day cruise on the Carnival Paradise this past March and it was fine. There was a huge cross-section of guests.

kaseyC
08-13-2012, 03:16 PM
I'd rather have a comparable price reduction than onboard credit. Other than using the credit to pay gratuities - OBC requires you to BUY something - like their excursions. I've been to St. Petersburg and will return for 3 days in 2013. That is the ONE port where I definitely would NOT want to do a ship's tour - at least not on a 40-passenger bus. A private tour in St. Petersburg is the best way to go - in my opinion.

Nancy, who did you use for your St. Petersburg private tour? We are planning to do a private 2 day tour next summer. There is NO way I would consider a ship's tour. Our kids are so used to private drivers and tour guides that I'm sure they would revolt if we suggested a ship's tour.

LilyFlor
08-13-2012, 03:18 PM
Cruised out of Tampa on a 5 day cruise on the Carnival Paradise this past March and it was fine. There was a huge cross-section of guests.

We sailed the Carnival Legend out of Tampa on a 7 night cruise last year and loved it. Agree with the cross-section of people. DH had never cruised before so he had nothing to compare it to. He is now addicted to cruising and very much looking forward to his first Disney cruise next week! That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to book Carnival again since it fits into our budget much easier!

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 03:34 PM
Nancy, who did you use for your St. Petersburg private tour? We are planning to do a private 2 day tour next summer. There is NO way I would consider a ship's tour. Our kids are so used to private drivers and tour guides that I'm sure they would revolt if we suggested a ship's tour.

In 2005 we used DenRus (www.denrus.ru), and we had a great tour with them. Since then, a number of small tour companies have sprung up. I intend to tour with Alla Tour next summer: www.alla-tour.com. You can read lots of reviews about the various tour companies at Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g298507-Activities-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District.html.

Itinkso
08-13-2012, 03:36 PM
Has anyone else noticed the DIS 1.0 cruise at the end of August is on RCCL's Oasis? Looking forward to reading those reviews :disrocks:!

tajz90
08-13-2012, 03:52 PM
I'd rather have a comparable price reduction than onboard credit. Other than using the credit to pay gratuities - OBC requires you to BUY something - like their excursions. I've been to St. Petersburg and will return for 3 days in 2013. That is the ONE port where I definitely would NOT want to do a ship's tour - at least not on a 40-passenger bus. A private tour in St. Petersburg is the best way to go - in my opinion.

Thanks :) we didn't do a 40 passenger bus.

tajz90
08-13-2012, 03:56 PM
Thanks :) we didn't do a 40 passenger bus.

We normally don't take ship tours. Had a fab time. Awesome tour guides. Funny as heck and nice.

And we didn't pay too much more than the Cat 12 price... And we didn't sty in Cat 12 and never would.

angelinaxox
08-13-2012, 04:08 PM
I love cruises and so does my family! I have been on 22 cruises since I was a kid and usually go on 1 or 2 cruises a year. Here is the breakdown of cruiselines: 6 Carnival, 5 RCCL (with number 6 booked for next summer), 4 Princess, 4 NCL, 2 Disney, and 1 Celebrity. I have been on new and old ships, small and large ships, ships with freestyle dining vs. set time dining, ships that have lots of activities and ships with few activities scheduled during the day, etc. I have been on several ships more than once. I have visited Canada, Mexican Riviera, Caribbean, Mediterranean, British Isles, Baltic Sea, Alaska and Hawaii on various cruises. There are a lot of factors to consider when booking a cruiseline. The first thing to consider is no two cruiselines, no two cruiseships, no two cruise directors/staffs, no two experiences even on the same particular ship will ever be the same. Activities, food selection, staff, etc. change. Cruiseships age. I've been on a cruise ship when it was new and loved it and another time when it was old and falling apart and didn't care for it. I have enjoyed the food on some ships more than others even within the same cruiseline. I have been on big ships which rely more on having mini golf courses, ice skating, etc. vs. scheduling activities during the day, so I found those to be more boring as I prefer to do scheduled activities like crafts and trivia.

On the whole, I have had more positive experiences with cruises than negative. My most negative experience was when I had a suitcase delivered to me soaking wet on an NCL ship and had to go through a lot of aggravation to have guest services pay to have my clothes cleaned. But I have other positive experiences with NCL. So I choose not to let the negatives interfere with my planning. Having tried so many different cruiselines and ships, I know what I like. I like smaller ships, with lots of activities, keeping the same waiters, not sitting with other parties at my table, trying different itineraries, NYC/NJ departure ports (when possible to save money and the need to fly), etc. I know what cruiselines I like for particular itineraries. When cruising Alaska or Europe, I prefer Princess. When I want a Disney experience, I book Disney. When I am looking at the cost, I choose Carnival.

I will say that Disney is the only cruiseline on which I even bother going to the shows, as I find the others to all be boring. But on the whole I will cruise with whatever cruiseline fits. For those who don't like Carnival (which as a teen I was one of them), I recommend the Carnival Glory which usually goes to Canada during the summer. I've been on it twice and it seems to attract a nice group of people and it is well maintained.

My favorite RCCL ship is the Jewel of the Seas and not one of their larger ships. I found it to be a beautiful ship and loved how the glass elevators overlooked the ocean. I was on this ship in April and the Disney Magic at the beginning of August, and honestly I think it was nicer than the Magic except it didn't have the Disney vibe.

In terms of the kids programs, I have found my nieces and nephews aren't big on the kids' programs, no matter what cruiseline, including Disney. Although, I admit when I look at the Disney program, listed in the Navigator, I am pretty impressed. So the kids' programs, don't factor in when we pick a cruiseline.

The best thing you can do is figure out what you like and what is most important to you in a cruise. If the only thing that will make you happy on a cruise is having a Disney experience, choose Disney. But if you just want a good cruise experience, you can have fun and enjoy any. I know I do.

kaseyC
08-13-2012, 04:48 PM
In 2005 we used DenRus (www.denrus.ru), and we had a great tour with them. Since then, a number of small tour companies have sprung up. I intend to tour with Alla Tour next summer: www.alla-tour.com. You can read lots of reviews about the various tour companies at Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g298507-Activities-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District.html.

Cool, Alla is on our list. :)

woody73
08-13-2012, 04:51 PM
. . . If the only thing that will make you happy on a cruise is having a Disney experience, choose Disney. But if you just want a good cruise experience, you can have fun and enjoy any. I know I do.
Well said.

Woody

mhsjax
08-13-2012, 07:47 PM
We :love::love::love: Carnival:thumbsup2 Great cruise line with excellent food and service.

We didn't care for Carnival at all. My DHJ said he would never sail DCL again, then we cruised Carnival, now he said ONLY DCL.

Others have said that they prefer better itineraries, we don't care where the ship is going. I only cruise for the tropical weather. So a cruise to anywhere other than the islands is a waste for me, and I don't really care about getting off and site seeing the Islands. Been there and done that. I do enjoy different beaches but for me, the ship is the vacation and the destination. I didn't enjoy the atmosphere on Carnival at all, and sense we really don't care about getting of the ship that much, Carnival doesn't make sense for us.

Bonniec
08-13-2012, 07:50 PM
Clipped: I love cruises and so does my family! I have been on 22 cruises since I was a kid and usually go on 1 or 2 cruises a year. Here is the breakdown of cruiselines: 6 Carnival, 5 RCCL (with number 6 booked for next summer), 4 Princess, 4 NCL, 2 Disney, and 1 Celebrity. I have been on new and old .......

Thank you for that! Very good info to know.

tinytinkmom
08-13-2012, 08:36 PM
Royal Caribbean...

texasgirl73
08-13-2012, 10:20 PM
Well I'm not liking the prices for the Fantasy next August so I am going with the Allure of the Seas (still expensive but not as bad as the Fantasy.) We'll see how it works out.

I also have a couples cruise on the Dream in May but with a family of 6, a Disney Family Vacation is crazy expensive.

RedxPanda
08-14-2012, 07:56 AM
The first thing to consider is no two cruiselines, no two cruiseships, no two cruise directors/staffs, no two experiences even on the same particular ship will ever be the same. Activities, food selection, staff, etc. change. Cruiseships age.

Your entire post is genius. I've only cruised 3 times on 3 different cruise lines and I've learned all the same things you speak of. I agree with it all.

I had a less than stellar experience on Carnival, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. In retrospect, it was our first cruise and we didn't fully know what to expect, nor did I know what to research prior to boarding. But, now that I've cruised more and better understand what cruising is to ME and MY family, I am willing to cruise them again in the future. Sometimes the price is right and unless the prices of the Fantasy come down dramatically, we will be booking a higher class room on Carnival Dream for less.

DH and I LOVED NCL's freestyle dining. It was nice to be able to explore the port as late as we want, come back to the stateroom and leisurely get ready for dinner. I also enjoyed the SNL style comedy troupe from Second City. We will be sailing them again. They have some unique itineraries. We sailed Hawaii and it was an experience we'd love to have again and again.

Our most recent cruises were/will be DCL for the time being. Our DD is under 3, so we are somewhat restricted on which lines will provide decent care. I am a huge Disney fan as we live near PC (and 3 hours from Miami) so it is convenient for us to cruise. I am also a fan of the rotating dining rooms. If I am going to be assigned a time to eat, at least there is a change of scenery night to night and entertainment that keeps my interest. I too do not care for most the shows on other lines.

As for other lines, I can't wait to explore them as well. How do you know which cruise line is right for you, if you don't even try them out for yourself? :confused3

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 08:18 AM
I love cruises and so does my family! I have been on 22 cruises since I was a kid and usually go on 1 or 2 cruises a year.

snip

The best thing you can do is figure out what you like and what is most important to you in a cruise. If the only thing that will make you happy on a cruise is having a Disney experience, choose Disney. But if you just want a good cruise experience, you can have fun and enjoy any. I know I do.

As others have said, great post and I heartily concur. I just got off Glory's Canada run out of Boston last month; it was a nice ship and I loved the trip.

I've been on 10 cruises, 4 different cruise lines and found something to like or dislike about each. Overall, I just love to cruise!!! For those who say that DCL has the best entertainment, not so. If what you're looking for is the big theatrical production that tells a story, then absolutely DCL can't be beat. However, the two best shows I've seen at sea, hands down, were the 80's show on Carnival (which you can only find on a few of the Fantasy Class ships) and Justin Illusion on the Carnival Glory. WOW to both! In terms of "acting", DCL wins. In terms of dancing and singing, Carnival wins.

Whoever said don't cruise Carnival out of Tampa needs to sail on the Carnival Legend out of Tampa. It is one of four Spirit Class ships that Carnival has and they offer more square foot per passenger than any other ships at sea in the mass market line. It was a great ship and never felt crowded.

In answer to the OP's question, I prefer Celebrity and am hoping to cruise with them again in the near future.

Raspberry Beret
08-14-2012, 08:27 AM
I love cruises and so does my family! I have been on 22 cruises since I was a kid and usually go on 1 or 2 cruises a year. Here is the breakdown of cruiselines: 6 Carnival, 5 RCCL (with number 6 booked for next summer), 4 Princess, 4 NCL, 2 Disney, and 1 Celebrity. I have been on new and old ships, small and large ships, ships with freestyle dining vs. set time dining, ships that have lots of activities and ships with few activities scheduled during the day, etc. I have been on several ships more than once. I have visited Canada, Mexican Riviera, Caribbean, Mediterranean, British Isles, Baltic Sea, Alaska and Hawaii on various cruises. There are a lot of factors to consider when booking a cruiseline. The first thing to consider is no two cruiselines, no two cruiseships, no two cruise directors/staffs, no two experiences even on the same particular ship will ever be the same. Activities, food selection, staff, etc. change. Cruiseships age. I've been on a cruise ship when it was new and loved it and another time when it was old and falling apart and didn't care for it. I have enjoyed the food on some ships more than others even within the same cruiseline. I have been on big ships which rely more on having mini golf courses, ice skating, etc. vs. scheduling activities during the day, so I found those to be more boring as I prefer to do scheduled activities like crafts and trivia.

On the whole, I have had more positive experiences with cruises than negative. My most negative experience was when I had a suitcase delivered to me soaking wet on an NCL ship and had to go through a lot of aggravation to have guest services pay to have my clothes cleaned. But I have other positive experiences with NCL. So I choose not to let the negatives interfere with my planning. Having tried so many different cruiselines and ships, I know what I like. I like smaller ships, with lots of activities, keeping the same waiters, not sitting with other parties at my table, trying different itineraries, NYC/NJ departure ports (when possible to save money and the need to fly), etc. I know what cruiselines I like for particular itineraries. When cruising Alaska or Europe, I prefer Princess. When I want a Disney experience, I book Disney. When I am looking at the cost, I choose Carnival.

I will say that Disney is the only cruiseline on which I even bother going to the shows, as I find the others to all be boring. But on the whole I will cruise with whatever cruiseline fits. For those who don't like Carnival (which as a teen I was one of them), I recommend the Carnival Glory which usually goes to Canada during the summer. I've been on it twice and it seems to attract a nice group of people and it is well maintained.

My favorite RCCL ship is the Jewel of the Seas and not one of their larger ships. I found it to be a beautiful ship and loved how the glass elevators overlooked the ocean. I was on this ship in April and the Disney Magic at the beginning of August, and honestly I think it was nicer than the Magic except it didn't have the Disney vibe.

In terms of the kids programs, I have found my nieces and nephews aren't big on the kids' programs, no matter what cruiseline, including Disney. Although, I admit when I look at the Disney program, listed in the Navigator, I am pretty impressed. So the kids' programs, don't factor in when we pick a cruiseline.

The best thing you can do is figure out what you like and what is most important to you in a cruise. If the only thing that will make you happy on a cruise is having a Disney experience, choose Disney. But if you just want a good cruise experience, you can have fun and enjoy any. I know I do.

:worship: :worship: Excellent post!

cyclenut
08-14-2012, 08:59 AM
We've been comparing Disney with Carnival and were shocked to see we can go on a 7 night cruise for several THOUSAND less than a 4 night on Disney, so it is tempting. But, I see none of you have recommended Carnival on this thread. My question is... is Carnival really THAT bad? (I have never cruised at all, so I have no idea.)

Thanks!
Donna

No. Carnival is not a bad line. Their 7 night cruises are comparable to most other cruise lines in terms of food, service and guest experience. The design and decor of the ships are ver different compared to the classic feel of the Disney ships. There have been a few mixed reviews of the kids clubs, but for a 7 night cruise you are likely to see a similar mix of families with kids as you would on other lines, with the exception of DCL.

I have not been on Carnival in a long time. They have some great new ships. On our recent cruise we talked to passengers from two different Carnival ships and they all were having a great time. That said, my coworker recently sailed Carnival on their 7 night Mexican Riviera and was not impressed. Long lines everywhere and a ship full of teens and 20 something's. This was the week after school was out though, so timing is everything.

Give Carnival a try. Go in with a mindset that you are on vacation to have fun. Roll with the little things that go wrong and you will have a great time.

Keggy
08-14-2012, 12:15 PM
I have only sailed DCL (Gold) and Royal Caribbean (Platinum). The reason that we chose to sail RCL over DCL for many years was due to price. However; for us now that we have a 14 month old my major concern is childcare. We have sailed on RCL & DCL with kids who were old enough to go to the kids clubs and they actually enjoyed both equally. Both experiences were drastically different but on RCL they did more activities and were engaged while on DCL there was more open play time. However; they loved both.

Now, we have been comparing Fantasy and Oasis/Allure strictly due to the childcare issue for our 14 month old as all three of these ships offer nurseries for the U3 age group. The prices end up being about the same and bc of that we go to DCL. Our 14 month old will have cruised DCL 4 times before she turns 2. We are still deciding on plans for 2013, but itineraries will come into play. Especially with non potty trained kids not allowed in pools any longer on any ship.

So, my experience is a bit unique. If it was just DH and I we would probably be sailing on RCL or Celebrity and that decision would be made based on itineraries, but fortunately, we have a little one now that we want to consider and I will NOT consider in room private childcare for her at this age.

cruisinwithmaandpa
08-14-2012, 12:19 PM
You have to compare apples to apples. We recently did the 5 night Key West on the Magic the cost was $1000 per person. Royal's Majesty of the Seas 4 nights, same basic itinerary was half that, all based on verandah room.
Some of the best cruises we have had are on small ships. Don't be afraid to choose a smaller ship.

If looking at the Fantasy, Royal's other comparable ship is Freedom of the Seas. I believe the Oasis and Allure are superior to the Fantasy.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 12:31 PM
Honestly, I'm willing to pay the premium for Disney on the smoke alone. I can't breathe indoors because of the smoking allowed by RCL and Carnival which precludes me from diff activities.

lorimay
08-14-2012, 12:40 PM
I am looking into an Alaskan cruise for next summer.
DCL is quite expensive for 7 days.

I found a Princess cruise for August 2013 that starts at 1249 per person.
I am seriously considering trying Princess for this cruise.
By the way its round trip out of San Francisco and its 10 nights.

I think the total for a veranda room was less than $5,000.00.

But I am apprehensive as we have only done Disney cruises and we are always so happy with them.

Anyone been on Princess recently?

tajz90
08-14-2012, 12:49 PM
I am looking into an Alaskan cruise for next summer.
DCL is quite expensive for 7 days.

I found a Princess cruise for August 2013 that starts at 1249 per person.
I am seriously considering trying Princess for this cruise.
By the way its round trip out of San Francisco and its 10 nights.

I think the total for a veranda room was less than $5,000.00.

But I am apprehensive as we have only done Disney cruises and we are always so happy with them.

Anyone been on Princess recently?

Isn't Princess known for their Alaskan cruises? Try it. Can't say you prefer one over the other if you don't try. :)

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 01:01 PM
I am looking into an Alaskan cruise for next summer.
DCL is quite expensive for 7 days.

I found a Princess cruise for August 2013 that starts at 1249 per person.
I am seriously considering trying Princess for this cruise.
By the way its round trip out of San Francisco and its 10 nights.

I think the total for a veranda room was less than $5,000.00.

But I am apprehensive as we have only done Disney cruises and we are always so happy with them.

Anyone been on Princess recently?

I cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2007 (one-way from Vancouver on the Coral Princess) and 2009 (roundtrip from Seattle on the Golden Princess). Princess and Holland America have the most ships in Alaska, and both do a great job. However, not all itineraries are alike. The 10-night roundtrips from San Francisco in August 2013 go to Tracy Arm Fjord - same as DCL. You have a choice in itineraries, and I would choose a Princess ship that goes to Glacier Bay. You can do that roundtrip from Seattle in August 2013 on the Star Princess, or one-way between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska on the Coral, Island, Sapphire, or Diamond Princess. A southbound cruise will go to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay, and it's the best 7-night itinerary - in my opinion.

Silverfox97
08-14-2012, 01:09 PM
I cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2007 (one-way from Vancouver on the Coral Princess) and 2009 (roundtrip from Seattle on the Golden Princess). Princess and Holland America have the most ships in Alaska, and both do a great job. However, not all itineraries are alike. The 10-night roundtrips from San Francisco in August 2013 go to Tracy Arm Fjord - same as DCL. You have a choice in itineraries, and I would choose a Princess ship that goes to Glacier Bay. You can do that roundtrip from Seattle in August 2013 on the Star Princess, or one-way between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska on the Coral, Island, Sapphire, or Diamond Princess. A southbound cruise will go to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay, and it's the best 7-night itinerary - in my opinion.

Thanks for the info on the itineraries, Nancy. I have a friend who did NCL to Alaska & loved the cruise, but prefers Princess over NCL. I'd love to talk DH into a different line & Princess would be my pick to Alaska. We priced DCL in a Nav Verandah for the 3 of us next summer on opening day & it was between $5-6K, and DD is too young to appreciate Alaska anyways, especially at those prices!!!!!!

The one ways are cool, too!!!

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards

declansdad
08-14-2012, 01:16 PM
Honestly, I'm willing to pay the premium for Disney on the smoke alone. I can't breathe indoors because of the smoking allowed by RCL and Carnival which precludes me from diff activities.


We have been on two Carnival ships and the smoking areas were limited to a few areas.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 01:19 PM
We have been on two Carnival ships and the smoking areas were limited to a few areas.

It's like it pours from the clubs and casinos. And even one club with smoke is more than none.

It's my experience. Too much smoke for me.

I have a question about Tracy Arm vs Glacier Bay and why everyone says one is better than the other?

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 01:46 PM
I have a question about Tracy Arm vs Glacier Bay and why everyone says one is better than the other?

Tracy Arm is a lovely fjord with twin glaciers at the end. DCL has been fortunate to get to the end to see the glaciers most weeks - from what I have read. Not all ships do - usually because they run out of time due to the amount of ice in the water.

Glacier Bay is a beautiful national park with a number of glaciers: http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Bay_Basin. Of the mass market cruise lines that sail to Alaska - HAL and Princess have the most permits for Glacier Bay, and NCL Pearl also goes there.

The other glacier sometimes visited on an Alaskan cruise is Hubbard Glacier. It is one HUGE tidewater glacier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbard_Glacier

As I mentioned above, Princess's southbound cruises from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver go to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay: http://www.princess.com/find/cruiseDetails.page?voyageCode=H323&itinCode=AGG071&tourCode=&trade=A&date=0713&noOfPax=2&resType=C&ship=&bID=PCDIR&meta=I&ppax=false&itinPort=&tourIds=&duration=&tourdur=&orderBy=&filterBy=&order=

STLDisney_Freak
08-14-2012, 01:48 PM
Funny-the same thing happens to me! Especially since Disney shows you the real total (with taxes) when it shows the price on the screen where you select a cruise, whereas RCI shows only the room price. No matter how many times I've done it, I'm always shocked when I get to the final reservation screen and the price has gone up by $1000 (as it did when I priced a trip for 4 recently) with one click.
I'm looking at Oasis or Allure, of course, as they are the comparable ships to the Dream and Fantasy, from what I've seen.

I think I was the only one that happened to..:lmao: I'm constantly pricing the Allure and Oasis because I'd like to go on them with my kids and people swear to me that they are so much cheaper than Disney. Where?:confused3

tajz90
08-14-2012, 01:52 PM
Tracy Arm is a lovely fjord with twin glaciers at the end. DCL has been fortunate to get to the end to see the glaciers most weeks - from what I have read. Not all ships do - usually because they run out of time due to the amount of ice in the water.

Glacier Bay is a beautiful national park with a number of glaciers: http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Bay_Basin. Of the mass market cruise lines that sail to Alaska - HAL and Princess have the most permits for Glacier Bay, and NCL Pearl also goes there.

The other glacier sometimes visited on an Alaskan cruise is Hubbard Glacier. It is one HUGE tidewater glacier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbard_Glacier

I've sailed both, but I'm wondering why so many people prefer one over the other?

Hahaa... Shock, but we really liked Tracy Arm with Disney. The captain got us very close and we witnessed several calving events. One so big it sounded like a bomb and we were very worried for the little boat that was right up on glacier.

Glacier Bay was also pretty, but I wouldn't say we prefer one over the other so much that it would stop me from sailing with Disney.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 01:52 PM
I think I was the only one that happened to..:lmao: I'm constantly pricing the Allure and Oasis because I'd like to go on them with my kids and people swear to me that they are so much cheaper than Disney. Where?:confused3

I haven't seen any savings on them would love to give the new giant ship a whirl!

love280mickey
08-14-2012, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the info on the itineraries, Nancy. I have a friend who did NCL to Alaska & loved the cruise, but prefers Princess over NCL. I'd love to talk DH into a different line & Princess would be my pick to Alaska. We priced DCL in a Nav Verandah for the 3 of us next summer on opening day & it was between $5-6K, and DD is too young to appreciate Alaska anyways, especially at those prices!!!!!!

The one ways are cool, too!!!

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards

one way? sorry - does this mean you fly to/cruise out of one port, cruise into your final port and then fly home from there?

just checking into all Alaska cruises now as we can't go till 2014.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 01:58 PM
one way? sorry - does this mean you fly to/cruise out of one port, cruise into your final port and then fly home from there?

just checking into all Alaska cruises now as we can't go till 2014.

Yes... Diff ports

disneyholic family
08-14-2012, 02:04 PM
I cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2007 (one-way from Vancouver on the Coral Princess) and 2009 (roundtrip from Seattle on the Golden Princess). Princess and Holland America have the most ships in Alaska, and both do a great job. However, not all itineraries are alike. The 10-night roundtrips from San Francisco in August 2013 go to Tracy Arm Fjord - same as DCL. You have a choice in itineraries, and I would choose a Princess ship that goes to Glacier Bay. You can do that roundtrip from Seattle in August 2013 on the Star Princess, or one-way between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska on the Coral, Island, Sapphire, or Diamond Princess. A southbound cruise will go to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay, and it's the best 7-night itinerary - in my opinion.

DD said she cried at hubbard glacier, it was so beautiful...

so i guess that would be a can't miss :)

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 02:06 PM
I've sailed both, but I'm wondering why so many people prefer one over the other?

Hahaa... Shock, but we really liked Tracy Arm with Disney. The captain got us very close and we witnessed several calving events. One so big it sounded like a bomb and we were very worried for the little boat that was right up on glacier.

Glacier Bay was also pretty, but I wouldn't say we prefer one over the other so much that it would stop me from sailing with Disney.

I've been to Glacier Bay once, Hubbard Glacier twice (the first time it was very foggy and we didn't get very close), and to Tracy Arm twice (the first time we didn't get to the end of the fjord). I would repeat any of them, but I would most like to see Glacier Bay again. I hope to do another independent land trip in Alaska, followed by a southbound cruise (most likely on Princess) - maybe in 2014.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 02:10 PM
one way? sorry - does this mean you fly to/cruise out of one port, cruise into your final port and then fly home from there?

just checking into all Alaska cruises now as we can't go till 2014.

For a northbound cruise - you would fly into Seattle or Vancouver and home from Anchorage or Fairbanks (depending on land tour itineraries). Do the reverse for a southbound cruise. Both of my one-way cruises were northbound - followed by 9 days of driving around Alaska in a rental car. I would like to experience the land trip + southbound cruise the next time I go to Alaska.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 02:17 PM
It's like it pours from the clubs and casinos. And even one club with smoke is more than none.

It's my experience. Too much smoke for me.

I have a question about Tracy Arm vs Glacier Bay and why everyone says one is better than the other?

DCL allows smoking, too, which is pretty darned annoying when you're trying to enjoy your balcony and the person next door lights up!

If you want smoke free, cruise Celebrity. Smoking is not allowed in the casino nor in any stateroom or on any balcony. Princess doesn't allow smoking in staterooms or on balconies, either.

I've never been to Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay but Hubbard Glacier was fabulous!

love280mickey
08-14-2012, 02:18 PM
For a northbound cruise - you would fly into Seattle or Vancouver and home from Anchorage or Fairbanks (depending on land tour itineraries). Do the reverse for a southbound cruise. Both of my one-way cruises were northbound - followed by 9 days of driving around Alaska in a rental car. I would like to experience the land trip + southbound cruise the next time I go to Alaska.

again, this is all new to me for the Alaska cruises, so I appreciate your comments. I'll have to check on my own, but wondering if the air fares to Alaska are so much more than Vancouver or Seattle?

You have me very intrigued about doing the South Bound and seeing Glacier Bay. Sounds so cool. ha! literally!

tajz90
08-14-2012, 02:21 PM
DCL allows smoking, too, which is pretty darned annoying when you're trying to enjoy your balcony and the person next door lights up!

If you want smoke free, cruise Celebrity. Smoking is not allowed in the casino nor in any stateroom or on any balcony. Princess doesn't allow smoking in staterooms or on balconies, either.

I've never been to Tracy Arm or Glacier Bay but Hubbard Glacier was fabulous!

-- "smoking is prohibited in all interior spaces throughout (Disney) ships" and my gripe is with Carnival and RCL allowing smoking in diff clubs and casinos.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 02:31 PM
-- "smoking is prohibited in all interior spaces throughout (Disney) ships" and my gripe is with Carnival and RCL allowing smoking in diff clubs and casinos.

I realize what your gripe is, which is why I pointed out that you have other options (since that is what this thread is about). DCL doesn't have a casino, so that's off the table but Celebrity doesn't allow smoking in theirs (unlike all other lines). Also, since you mentioned smoke, I thought I would point out that there are two cruise lines that don't allow smoking on their balconies, which is a BIG complaint about DCL here on the DIS.

Did you feel the need to defend DCL just because I mentioned that they allow smoking and gave you two other options where you can avoid smoke? :confused3

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 02:32 PM
again, this is all new to me for the Alaska cruises, so I appreciate your comments. I'll have to check on my own, but wondering if the air fares to Alaska are so much more than Vancouver or Seattle?

You have me very intrigued about doing the South Bound and seeing Glacier Bay. Sounds so cool. ha! literally!

Airfares to Alaska are not inexpensive, and that's why I used FF miles for those trips! You can get an idea about airfares by checking June 2013 "multi-city" routings on www.kayak.com from your home airport to Anchorage, and from Vancouver (or Seattle) to your home.

If you choose to do a one-way cruise, I strongly suggest you allow at least a few days to see some of the Alaskan interior. At a minimum - I would fly to Anchorage, rent a car, drive to Denali National Park (about 5 hours) for 2 nights, then drive back to Anchorage. Princess sails out of Whittier (about 1.25 hours from Anchorage), and HAL, RCI, and Celebrity sail from Seward (about 3 hours from Anchorage).

The Alaska Ports of Call board at Cruise Critic has a lot of info: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

love280mickey
08-14-2012, 02:42 PM
Airfares to Alaska are not inexpensive, and that's why I used FF miles for those trips! You can get an idea about airfares by checking June 2013 "multi-city" routings on www.kayak.com from your home airport to Anchorage, and from Vancouver (or Seattle) to your home.

If you choose to do a one-way cruise, I strongly suggest you allow at least a few days to see some of the Alaskan interior. At a minimum - I would fly to Anchorage, rent a car, drive to Denali National Park (about 5 hours) for 2 nights, then drive back to Anchorage. Princess sails out of Whittier (about 1.25 hours from Anchorage), and HAL, RCI, and Celebrity sail from Seward (about 3 hours from Anchorage).

The Alaska Ports of Call board at Cruise Critic has a lot of info: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

thanks again Nancy, that really does sound fantastic. I'll be sure to take note of that website as well, sounds very helpful!

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 02:43 PM
Airfares to Alaska are not inexpensive, and that's why I used FF miles for those trips! You can get an idea about airfares by checking June 2013 "multi-city" routings on www.kayak.com from your home airport to Anchorage, and from Vancouver (or Seattle) to your home.

If you choose to do a one-way cruise, I strongly suggest you allow at least a few days to see some of the Alaskan interior. At a minimum - I would fly to Anchorage, rent a car, drive to Denali National Park (about 5 hours) for 2 nights, then drive back to Anchorage. Princess sails out of Whittier (about 1.25 hours from Anchorage), and HAL, RCI, and Celebrity sail from Seward (about 3 hours from Anchorage).

The Alaska Ports of Call board at Cruise Critic has a lot of info: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

All good info and may I also suggest that if you are cruising out of Whittier or Seward, take the Alaskan Railroad from Anchorage down to the port and get a seat in the glass domed cars. It was actually my favorite part of the "cruise"; the train ride to get there. Absolutely beautiful.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 02:43 PM
I realize what your gripe is, which is why I pointed out that you have other options (since that is what this thread is about). DCL doesn't have a casino, so that's off the table but Celebrity doesn't allow smoking in theirs (unlike all other lines). Also, since you mentioned smoke, I thought I would point out that there are two cruise lines that don't allow smoking on their balconies, which is a BIG complaint about DCL here on the DIS.

Did you feel the need to defend DCL just because I mentioned that they allow smoking and gave you two other options where you can avoid smoke? :confused3

Actually, I don't have issues with people smoking on balcony and on decks. Princess still allows as of Jan 2012, smoking in some clubs in interior spaces. I do have an issue with a line that restricts me to my balcony because they allow smoking indoors. Thanks!

I love me some Disney Cruise. :) I don't love Carnival and I'm ok enough with RCL. If a DCL could not be afforded, I would suggest RCL, but can not speak to Princess, Hal or Celebrity as I have never sailed these lines.

declansdad
08-14-2012, 02:48 PM
Actually, I don't have issues with people smoking on balcony and on decks. Princess still allows as of Jan 2012, smoking in some clubs in interior spaces. I do have an issue with a line that restricts me to my balcony because they allow smoking indoors. Thanks!

I love me some Disney Cruise. :) I don't love Carnival and I'm ok enough with RCL. If a DCL could not be afforded, I would suggest RCL, but can not speak to Princess, Hal or Celebrity as I have never sailed these lines.


When we were on the Carnival Paradise in March there was smoking in part of the casino and on one side of the deck by the pool. We certainly didn't feel restricted to our balcony nor did we notice a lot of smoke.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 02:53 PM
When we were on the Carnival Paradise in March there was smoking in part of the casino and on one side of the deck by the pool. We certainly didn't feel restricted to our balcony nor did we notice a lot of smoke.

Maybe you sailed with people who chose NOT to smoke in the clubs, but on the last Carnival I was on, smoking was allowed in the clubs making it difficult to spend time indoors. Granted, our last Carnival was in 2010, maybe they changed their club smoking policy.

We certainly spent most of our time on deck, even late into the night.

declansdad
08-14-2012, 02:55 PM
Maybe you sailed with people who chose NOT to smoke in the clubs, but on the last Carnival I was on, smoking was allowed in the clubs making it difficult to spend time indoors. Granted, our last Carnival was in 2010, maybe they changed their club smoking policy.

We certainly spent most of our time on deck, even late into the night.


On both ships we have sailed on (Jan 2011 and March 2012), smoking was restricted to certain areas. It wasn't allowed in all clubs.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 02:55 PM
All good info and may I also suggest that if you are cruising out of Whittier or Seward, take the Alaskan Railroad from Anchorage down to the port and get a seat in the glass domed cars. It was actually my favorite part of the "cruise"; the train ride to get there. Absolutely beautiful.

Excellent suggestion! We took the railroad from Seward to Anchorage when our HAL cruise ended, after spending the morning and afternoon in Seward. The railroad doesn't parallel the highway all the way - and the area where the paths diverge is especially lovely. The train to Seward leaves very early in the morning, so you would need to arrive in Anchorage at least the day before.

The road and train tracks parallel each other between Anchorage and Whittier, and it's also a very scenic route.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 03:05 PM
Actually, I don't have issues with people smoking on balcony and on decks. Princess still allows as of Jan 2012, smoking in some clubs in interior spaces. I do have an issue with a line that restricts me to my balcony because they allow smoking indoors. Thanks!

I love me some Disney Cruise. :) I don't love Carnival and I'm ok enough with RCL. If a DCL could not be afforded, I would suggest RCL, but can not speak to Princess, Hal or Celebrity as I have never sailed these lines.

The reason most people get a balcony cabin is because they intend to spend time on it - enjoying the views. If your neighbor on DCL smokes on their balcony while you want to enjoy yours - that would be more aggravating to me than avoiding areas on another cruise line where smoking is allowed.

tajz90
08-14-2012, 03:12 PM
The reason most people get a balcony cabin is because they intend to spend time on it - enjoying the views. If your neighbor on DCL smokes on their balcony while you want to enjoy yours - that would be more aggravating to me than avoiding areas on another cruise line where smoking is allowed.

We have had a baloney on Disney and RCL. Both time times, smokers. Well, one was actually a cigar smoker. It's not a 24/7 experience. When they are done, the smoke vanishes. I would just find something else to do and I'd head back out later. Inside smoke lingers.

disneyjoe25
08-14-2012, 03:16 PM
I've done a Caribbean cruise with Carnival and a Norwegian Cruise with RC. It seemed to me Carnival was geared more to the younger crowd. RC again for us starting in Rome at the beginning of September and finally our first Disney cruise (also starting in Rome) next year. We need something to entertain our (will be) three year old so I would assume Disney Magic is the ship for us. I was not at all happy with RC since they advertised a nursery and once we were on the ship, had no crew members certified to do it.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 03:18 PM
We have had a baloney on Disney and RCL. Both time times, smokers. Well, one was actually a cigar smoker. It's not a 24/7 experience. When they are done, the smoke vanishes. I would just find something else to do and I'd head back out later. Inside smoke lingers.
As mentioned by others - put Celebrity on your "to be tried some day" list. As far as I know - it has the most restrictive smoking policy of any cruise line.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 03:21 PM
I've done a Caribbean cruise with Carnival and a Norwegian Cruise with RC. It seemed to me Carnival was geared more to the younger crowd. RC again for us starting in Rome at the beginning of September and finally our first Disney cruise (also starting in Rome) next year. We need something to entertain our (will be) three year old so I would assume Disney Magic is the ship for us. I was not at all happy with RC since they advertised a nursery and once we were on the ship, had no crew members certified to do it.

Are you flying to Rome before you cruise from Barcelona?

mrjef
08-14-2012, 03:44 PM
I have never been on a Disney Cruise, but we did enjoy Royal Caribbean.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 03:51 PM
Excellent suggestion! We took the railroad from Seward to Anchorage when our HAL cruise ended, after spending the morning and afternoon in Seward. The railroad doesn't parallel the highway all the way - and the area where the paths diverge is especially lovely. The train to Seward leaves very early in the morning, so you would need to arrive in Anchorage at least the day before.

The road and train tracks parallel each other between Anchorage and Whittier, and it's also a very scenic route.

We were on that early (6:45 a.m.!) train to Seward before our Celebrity cruise. Luckily the rest of the trip was relaxing and the scenery was breathtaking. We had breakfast in the dining car with a couple of locals and by the time we were done, we had the rest of the ride to enjoy the scenery. The area between Whittier and Seward was amazing and then we got to enjoy Seward before boarding our ship, which didn't leave until 9 p.m.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward a Celebrity cruise in Alaska next year. Although, I am dying to see Sitka and that would mean either HAL or one of the luxury lines, which I'm not going to pay for. What did you think of HAL? It would just be me and DH (mid 40s) and possibly another couple. None of us are big night owls.

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 04:08 PM
We were on that early (6:45 a.m.!) train to Seward before our Celebrity cruise. Luckily the rest of the trip was relaxing and the scenery was breathtaking. We had breakfast in the dining car with a couple of locals and by the time we were done, we had the rest of the ride to enjoy the scenery. The area between Whittier and Seward was amazing and then we got to enjoy Seward before boarding our ship, which didn't leave until 9 p.m.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward a Celebrity cruise in Alaska next year. Although, I am dying to see Sitka and that would mean either HAL or one of the luxury lines, which I'm not going to pay for. What did you think of HAL? It would just be me and DH (mid 40s) and possibly another couple. None of us are big night owls.

I really enjoyed HAL in Alaska, and loved the Amsterdam's 14-night roundtrip from Seattle that went as far north as Anchorage, plus Kodiak, Homer, as well as Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm. Unfortunately - 2012 is the last year that itinerary is offered. (**My northbound one-way was on the Veendam in 2008.)

The only way to see Sitka on HAL is on a roundtrip from Seattle. HAL Westerdam goes to Sitka and Glacier Bay in 2013: http://www.hollandamerica.com/find-cruise-vacation/CruiseDetails.action?destCode=A&portCode=&shipCodeSearch=&durationCode=&dateCode=6_2013&flexibleMonths=false&noOfFlexibleMonths=1&pageNumber=1&voyageCode=W331&webItineraryIdForAudit=AE307S

mommy2tati
08-14-2012, 04:54 PM
I truly don't know. In March we're doing Carnival during Easter break since it's a Southern Caribbean itinerary & my mom is coming with us. We're also sailing the Fantasy next August. After that who knows? If I couldn't afford DCL and I just absolutely had to cruise I would sail with Carnival just for the different options and I like it. I've been dying to sail on Oasis/Allure of the Seas so that may be in our future.

ilovetexas
08-14-2012, 10:41 PM
I really enjoyed HAL in Alaska, and loved the Amsterdam's 14-night roundtrip from Seattle that went as far north as Anchorage, plus Kodiak, Homer, as well as Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm. Unfortunately - 2012 is the last year that itinerary is offered. (**My northbound one-way was on the Veendam in 2008.)

The only way to see Sitka on HAL is on a roundtrip from Seattle. HAL Westerdam goes to Sitka and Glacier Bay in 2013: http://www.hollandamerica.com/find-cruise-vacation/CruiseDetails.action?destCode=A&portCode=&shipCodeSearch=&durationCode=&dateCode=6_2013&flexibleMonths=false&noOfFlexibleMonths=1&pageNumber=1&voyageCode=W331&webItineraryIdForAudit=AE307S

Thanks for the info; that's too bad they are doing away with that itinerary because Kodiak and Homer would be great. I wonder why so few ships stop in Sitka. I just realized that unless you want to travel on Regent or Silversea, you give up Skagway to go to Sitka. I really liked Skagway. There is one Celebrity Century trip at the end of the 2013 Alaska season that hits both. Decisions, decisions!

woody73
08-14-2012, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the info; that's too bad they are doing away with that itinerary because Kodiak and Homer would be great. I wonder why so few ships stop in Sitka.
We've enjoyed our HAL cruise to Alaska.

Kodiak, Homer and Sitka are wonderful.

Woody

NancyIL
08-14-2012, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the info; that's too bad they are doing away with that itinerary because Kodiak and Homer would be great. I wonder why so few ships stop in Sitka. I just realized that unless you want to travel on Regent or Silversea, you give up Skagway to go to Sitka. I really liked Skagway. There is one Celebrity Century trip at the end of the 2013 Alaska season that hits both. Decisions, decisions!

Both of my Princess ships went to Skagway, and both of my HAL ships went to Sitka. Before Celebrity and Royal Caribbean started visiting Icy Strait Point - they used to go to both Sitka and Skagway on their 7-night one-ways. I would love to visit both on the same cruise.

Are you looking at Century's 11-night Ultimate Alaska Cruise on September 15? Great itinerary! You just have to hope the weather isn't too bad that late in the season!

ilovetexas
08-15-2012, 08:00 AM
Both of my Princess ships went to Skagway, and both of my HAL ships went to Sitka. Before Celebrity and Royal Caribbean started visiting Icy Strait Point - they used to go to both Sitka and Skagway on their 7-night one-ways. I would love to visit both on the same cruise.

Are you looking at Century's 11-night Ultimate Alaska Cruise on September 15? Great itinerary! You just have to hope the weather isn't too bad that late in the season!

That's exactly the one I'm looking at. We went in September last time and as dumb as it sounds, I loved the weather. It was rainy and foggy most of the cruise and I thought it made Alaska seem sort of magical and mysterious. I could have done without the downpour in Juneau, but the steady drizzle the rest of the time didn't bother me. Plus, in September, there are NO kids on the ship. We only saw about ten all week. We loved the Millennium and my only concern about Century is its age. I do love smaller ships though so I'm sure it will be fine.

I figured Icy Strait Point was the culprit; everyone needs to skip that stop and go back to Sitka.

I've pondered the idea of taking the kids to Alaska but I think they would be bored. DCL is not the experience I want in Alaska and I'm sure my teenagers wouldn't think much of listening to a naturalist for entertainment.

ilovetexas
08-15-2012, 08:13 AM
I truly don't know. In March we're doing Carnival during Easter break since it's a Southern Caribbean itinerary & my mom is coming with us. We're also sailing the Fantasy next August. After that who knows? If I couldn't afford DCL and I just absolutely had to cruise I would sail with Carnival just for the different options and I like it. I've been dying to sail on Oasis/Allure of the Seas so that may be in our future.

When I read your post I assumed you were sailing on the Breeze but I just looked and realized that the Valor is sailing round trips out of San Juan and Barbados. Nice! Plus the Freedom is going out of Ft Lauderdale. Which are you taking? We were also considering doing a Carnival Southern Caribbean in March on the new Breeze.

We've enjoyed our HAL cruise to Alaska.

Kodiak, Homer and Sitka are wonderful.

Woody

I'm dying to go back to Alaska, what a beautiful place! I wish HAL were still doing that itinerary next year; I would prefer Kodiak and Homer over stops in Canada.

NancyIL
08-15-2012, 08:45 AM
That's exactly the one I'm looking at. We went in September last time and as dumb as it sounds, I loved the weather. It was rainy and foggy most of the cruise and I thought it made Alaska seem sort of magical and mysterious. I could have done without the downpour in Juneau, but the steady drizzle the rest of the time didn't bother me. Plus, in September, there are NO kids on the ship. We only saw about ten all week. We loved the Millennium and my only concern about Century is its age. I do love smaller ships though so I'm sure it will be fine.

I figured Icy Strait Point was the culprit; everyone needs to skip that stop and go back to Sitka....



I kind of preferred Alaska when it was sunny! :teeth: It does rain a lot there, and one needs to be prepared with appropriate attire. I've been to Alaska in late May, early June, late July, and mid-August. I'd love to be there in September to see the fall colors.

I would prefer to go to Sitka over Icy Strait Point, yet the latter has fantastic whale watching. Hoonah is a sleepy little Alaskan town, and is much more the "real Alaska" than a town like Skagway.
I'm dying to go back to Alaska, what a beautiful place! I wish HAL were still doing that itinerary next year; I would prefer Kodiak and Homer over stops in Canada.
The roundtrip cruises from Seattle have to stop in Canada, and that's why most choose Victoria for a few hours the last evening. The nice thing about my 14-night HAL cruise and the 11-night Century cruise is that Victoria (and Prince Rupert on the Century) gets a full day. Century doesn't need to stop in Canadian ports, since it's roundtrip from Vancouver, but the 2 Canadian ports on that itinerary are attractive to me.

I tried to think of how I could do the 11-night Century cruise plus a land trip and a southbound cruise that goes to Glacier Bay! Okay - I could fly to Anchorage for a one-week land trip, sail south from Seward on HAL (that stops in Haines instead of Skagway), then do the 11-night roundtrip on Century from Vancouver! :teeth: I think that almost-4-week trip will have to wait until 2014! Maybe HAL or Princess will bring back their 14-night cruises by then.

ilovetexas
08-15-2012, 08:53 AM
I tried to think of how I could do the 11-night Century cruise plus a land trip and a southbound cruise that goes to Glacier Bay! Okay - I could fly to Anchorage for a one-week land trip, sail south from Seward on HAL (that stops in Haines instead of Skagway), then do the 11-night roundtrip on Century from Vancouver! :teeth: I think that almost-4-week trip will have to wait until 2014! Maybe HAL or Princess will bring back their 14-night cruises by then.

When you get it all figured out, stick me in your suitcase so I can go, too!

RedSox68
08-15-2012, 09:03 AM
Disney is our "home" cruise line, but we did Holland America in Alaska and loved it. The food was terrific and the rooms have so much more storage space and a better layout -- but you still can't beat the split bathrooms on Disney!

I miss sailing Disney, but just cannot afford them right now! We priced out another 7-day cruise on HAL for next year in Alaska and it is hundreds of dollars cheaper for a verandah than on Disney! Third passenger is only $157 on some sailings. Disney never has prices THAT low :confused3 [And the pricing I compared included port fees and taxes in both totals.]

RedSox68
08-15-2012, 09:05 AM
When I read your post I assumed you were sailing on the Breeze but I just looked and realized that the Valor is sailing round trips out of San Juan and Barbados. Nice! Plus the Freedom is going out of Ft Lauderdale. Which are you taking? We were also considering doing a Carnival Southern Caribbean in March on the new Breeze.



I'm dying to go back to Alaska, what a beautiful place! I wish HAL were still doing that itinerary next year; I would prefer Kodiak and Homer over stops in Canada.

We're looking into booking another HAL Alaska cruise for next year with a slightly different itinerary. We did the Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway this year. They have one next year to Tracy Arm, Sitka, Victoria, Ketchikan and Juneau -- three places we haven't been. :thumbsup2

disneyholic family
08-15-2012, 09:22 AM
I truly don't know. In March we're doing Carnival during Easter break since it's a Southern Caribbean itinerary & my mom is coming with us. We're also sailing the Fantasy next August. After that who knows? If I couldn't afford DCL and I just absolutely had to cruise I would sail with Carnival just for the different options and I like it. I've been dying to sail on Oasis/Allure of the Seas so that may be in our future.

i was also dying to sail on the oasis/allure and now i am!!

the dis is having a cruise on the Oasis in August 2013!
here's the link to the post on the disunplugged board (there's also a thread on this board):
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2960286

the pricing isn't bad and i'll get to go on the oasis and also have a large group of disers plus the podcast team!!! can't think of anything more fun than that!!!!

mommy2tati
08-15-2012, 09:31 AM
When I read your post I assumed you were sailing on the Breeze but I just looked and realized that the Valor is sailing round trips out of San Juan and Barbados. Nice! Plus the Freedom is going out of Ft Lauderdale. Which are you taking? We were also considering doing a Carnival Southern Caribbean in March on the new Breeze.

Yes we're sailing on the Valor from San Juan on 3/24/2013. We're doing 2 days in San Juan pre-cruise so my mom is ecstatic. Shes originally from PR but hasn't been in 20 years.


i was also dying to sail on the oasis/allure and now i am!!

the dis is having a cruise on the Oasis in August 2013!
here's the link to the post on the disunplugged board (there's also a thread on this board):
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2960286

the pricing isn't bad and at and i'll get to go on the oasis and also have a large group of disers plus the podcast team!!! can't think of anything more fun than that!!!!

I saw that but that cruise is at the same time as our Fantasy cruise next year. Oasis/Allure may be in our 2014 plans if we don't do DCL. We're already doing a southern California trip that year. If DCL had their pacific coast cruises during the summer I would combine it with our DLR trip.

ilovetexas
08-15-2012, 09:33 AM
Disney is our "home" cruise line, but we did Holland America in Alaska and loved it. The food was terrific and the rooms have so much more storage space and a better layout -- but you still can't beat the split bathrooms on Disney!

I miss sailing Disney, but just cannot afford them right now! We priced out another 7-day cruise on HAL for next year in Alaska and it is hundreds of dollars cheaper for a verandah than on Disney! Third passenger is only $157 on some sailings. Disney never has prices THAT low :confused3 [And the pricing I compared included port fees and taxes in both totals.]

DH loves DCL but he doesn't realize the cost difference. I just compared two Alaska cruises for next September, one on Celebrity and one on Disney.

Celebrity Century: 11 nights R/T out of Vancouver. Inside Passage, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Skagway, Juneau, Tracy Arm, Ketchikan, Prince Rupert, Victoria. Verandah room for two $4858.

Disney Wonder: 7 nights R/T out of Vancouver. Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and I assume Inside Passage to and from Vancouver. Verandah room for two $4512.

That makes DCL more than $100 per person, per day higher than Celebrity. For basically the same amount of money, I'd rather get four more cruise days and more ports; plus, I prefer Celebrity and I'm the one that plans the vacations!

(Just to compare same cruise days: HAL Statendam 7 nights R/T out of Vancouver. Inside Passage, Skagway, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan. Verandah room for two $ 3722. That makes them almost $57 per person, per day cheaper than DCL which may not be enough to sway people cruising with little kids but it would certainly convince me. That pays for shore excursions!)

CanuckTraveller
08-15-2012, 10:09 PM
DCl is out second choice. We have been on two NCL. Raises and had booked another for 2014 before booking our DCL cruise for 2013. We love NCL for freestyle, we are not a family who likes to be highly schedule-oriented while on vacation, as we have enough of that at home ;). In fact, I'm quite worried about having a set dining time on DCL! the NCL kids club has really impressed me. Sure they don't have the glitz and glam of Disney, but when a staff member tells me how cool a subtle detail is about my son on the second night...well, I'm impressed they took the time to talk to him, know him by name and found out something he doesn't share easily. Plus he begs to go back, all the time, and this is a kid who is usually attached to me at the hip! I actually think he will avoid the kids club area on Disney, just because he doesn't like big groups of children. Heck the whole school has 200 kids, and I'm fairly sure there will be more than that on our ship ;)
We are much more interested in itineraries than ships, and would never consider staying on the ship in port. DCL has very limited itineraries from North American ports, and even their Alaska itinerary is ho-hum. For Alaska, we are looking at RCCL, with the aforementioned train trip. Sounds very cool!

disneyholic family
08-16-2012, 03:45 AM
We are much more interested in itineraries than ships, and would never consider staying on the ship in port. DCL has very limited itineraries from North American ports, and even their Alaska itinerary is ho-hum. For Alaska, we are looking at RCCL, with the aforementioned train trip. Sounds very cool!

DD just was on the southbound itinerary on RCCL's Radiance of the Seas, going from seward, alaska to Vancouver...
she said the cruise was fantastic - the ship, the ports, the view, the service on board the ship, everything about the cruise..

she said it was the best cruise she's ever been on (it was her first non-DCL cruise)... she gave it two thumbs up plus the rest of her hands and feet!!!

and before the cruise, she and her husband did a week on their own in alaska...starting in fairbanks for 3 days, then taking the alaska railroad glassdome railcar to Denali for 2 days in Denali, then the alaska railroad glassdome railcar to Anchorage just to overnight, then the alaska railroad glassdome rail to seward for a day and a half (they overnighted in seward so that they had time to go to the sealife center when they arrived on the train and then to go to exit glacier in the morning before the cruise)

she said it was the trip of a lifetime....though of course, she's hoping to go back one day (when she wins the lottery)...

justmestace
08-16-2012, 12:49 PM
I truly don't know. In March we're doing Carnival during Easter break since it's a Southern Caribbean itinerary & my mom is coming with us. We're also sailing the Fantasy next August. After that who knows? If I couldn't afford DCL and I just absolutely had to cruise I would sail with Carnival just for the different options and I like it. I've been dying to sail on Oasis/Allure of the Seas so that may be in our future.


We went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel this summer on the Carnival Magic (its second newest ship) and absolutely LOVED it!
The newer Carnival ships are really, really nice....with features that DCL hasn't yet thought of. We've cruised Carnival 4 times now (DCL 12, Princess 1, NCL 3) and have never found that "drunk party crowd" that people often talk about. The food was GREAT...so many choices.

Hope you enjoy your Southern Caribbean with them!

Carolynleanne
08-16-2012, 02:01 PM
Celebrity! Hands down!

Chelley00
08-16-2012, 02:04 PM
Depends on what you're looking for, but I've really enjoyed both Royal Caribbean and Princess.

Sayhello

We like Princess for adults only cruises but when we have the kids with us we book Royal Caribbean.

WonderTwinsMom
04-13-2013, 08:23 PM
I know what you mean.

We are booked on the May 2013 Magic EBTA. It only goes to two European ports (Madeira and Gibraltar), which are repeats of two ports we've been to twice already on our two prior Magic Transatlantic cruises. It's too bad DCL repeats the same ports over and over! The total cost (cruise fare, tax and fees) for two adults in an ocean view cabin is $3,020.

This fall, we are booked on a RCI Freedom Class ship for a WBTA. It goes to some interesting ports, including some we haven't been to yet: Cartegena (Spain), Malaga (Spain), Cadiz (Spain), Tenerife (Canary Islands), and La Palma (Canary Islands). The total cost of that cruise is $1,724 -- for two adults in a veranda cabin.

Like you, "I can afford a Disney cruise, but usually prefer to pay less for ships with better itineraries."

Woody

Hey Woody,

That's a super deal on RCL. When did you book it? Who did you go through to book it?

Thanks
Teri

KashasMom
04-13-2013, 09:27 PM
We've had great cruises on RCI, Celebrity, Princess, and NCL (Epic). Each cruise line has it's pros/cons. Our DCL Magic cruise was just so expensive - I'm still kicking myself. Looking forward to our upcoming NCL Breakaway and DCL Fantasy (even with air is still cheaper than our Magic cruise!) - and definitely want to try the Allure or Oasis - likely in 2015. The only cruise lines I would not sail are Carnival and Holland America (only because of the passenger demographics). While I love the Disney experience I did miss a little bit of adult entertainment/activity. I was actually a little bored on the Magic - good thing we had those long photo lines to kill some time. :)

woody73
04-13-2013, 09:52 PM
. . . The only cruise lines I would not sail are Carnival and Holland America (only because of the passenger demographics).
We have sailed on HAL, and you are correct about the demographics. (When on HAL, I look around and joke with DW that we can outrun everyone.)

In the last year, we sailed on DCL, RCI, Celebrity, NCL, HAL and Princess. We cruise with HAL as it has some terrific itineraries and visits some unique ports.

Woody

PWammy
04-13-2013, 09:54 PM
RCCL is generally my first choice, but this is my first Disney. If I hadn't booked VGT, there is no way I would have ever paid that much to go to Nassau b/c the itinerary and departure ports are bigger factors for me than the ship perks. But the jury is still out until we sail on 4/25. Our next will be RCCL in February with a Barbie experience.

woody73
04-13-2013, 10:00 PM
Hey Woody,

That's a super deal on RCL. When did you book it? Who did you go through to book it?
Teri: I booked about a month or so after the itineraries were released, and booked through my travel agent.

Woody

Tonka's Skipper
04-14-2013, 08:20 AM
Our 2nd choice would be RCCL and Celebrity.:thumbsup2 NCL as well!

Due to Carnivals Inc. many, many incidents, fires a, operational and design issues with there vessels, I would not sail Carnival!. The safely issues are just to big and often to take chances with your family.!:worried:


AKK

DisneyNurse19
04-14-2013, 10:25 AM
We have only cruised with Disney but we are thinking of trying Royal Caribbean sometime in the near future. The only trouble i have with this is i can see us saying 'It's not like disney' all the time! :confused3

Patricia1
04-14-2013, 11:33 AM
Thanks all.. We've only cruised DCL but have been looking for options.

Tonka's Skipper
04-14-2013, 11:35 AM
We have only cruised with Disney but we are thinking of trying Royal Caribbean sometime in the near future. The only trouble i have with this is i can see us saying 'It's not like disney' all the time! :confused3

You sound just like my wife!...its Disney........no more discussion!:cool1:

Disney does Disney.......its very special and only Disney can do it!...........add in top notch entertainment , food and service and all the others things that go with a great cruise, you have a Disney Cruise.

NOW the other cruise lines have there own version of cruises and special things.........different and to many people not better or worse..............so the best thing to do is try different lines and see if you like other lines..........we did the RCCL Freedom.....a great cruise!


AKK

liberty6201
04-14-2013, 02:35 PM
Cunard. Wonderful! And my son preferred the Cunard kids clubs to Disney. Hands Down!! It's still not Disney though......

MrsBoyer428
04-14-2013, 02:45 PM
Had we not been able to pull off going with Disney, we would have gone with Norwegian Cruise Line. That being said, I believe that for our cruises in the future we'll still go with Disney, perhaps going with a less expensive stateroom, or a less expensive time of the year and making it work that way. :)

I mean you could go on 4 or 5 Carnival cruises for what you pay to go Disney, if you really wanted to. :rotfl:

Lisa Lisa
04-14-2013, 04:12 PM
We just sailed on DCL for the second time last month, and plan to stay with Disney until we've sailed the Med next summer. After that, DCL will have to offer a new itinerary that appeals to us and works with DD's school schedule for us to return.

RCCI is building two new ships, the first of which (the Quantum of the Seas) will launch next fall. They are smaller than the Oasis and Allure, but will have many of the innovations of those ships plus some new ones. We'll have to wait and see what the itineraries look like, but I'm hoping to try the Quantum for spring break in 2015. Our DD is almost 10, and I think RCCI would be a good next step for us. I actually think she'd enjoy it now, but I'm not quite ready give up the Disney magic!

barbmouse
04-30-2013, 08:29 PM
We are huge Disney fans and our first cruise was on DCL because I couldn't imagine starting with another line. However; we have done 2 cruises on RCL Freedom of the Seas and we love this ship. Honestly, our teens prefer it! Royal Caribbean has amazing ships and I truly believe you will not be disappointed!!

jjgarv
04-30-2013, 09:08 PM
I would probably try Royal Caribbean (Oasis or Allure) for a 'the ship IS the destination' type cruise. I would go with Princess again for a great southern Caribbean itinerary and the price. Only Disney does Disney...no sense even comparing when on another cruise line.

Rogillio
04-30-2013, 09:22 PM
When our kids were young the idea of a cruise vacation never occurred to us. Then we learned Disney had a cruise ship and we knew we had to try a cruise. If Disney did not cruise we never would have cruised....probably would have just gone back o WDW.