View Full Version : Eastern vs Western
06-09-2003, 12:38 PM
Hi all, we are getting ready to book our second disney cruise (The first was a 4 day in Aug. 2002). And we were wondering if you all can help us decide between the Eastern and Western cruises, I'm sure that many of you have been on both. We were just wondering about the ports and how the days at sea compare. On the 4 day we didn't have any days at sea. Any opinions would be very helpful
My family has only been on the Eastern and I would have to say that those 3 days at Sea are wonderful. I don't know if I would only like the 2 days at Sea that you get on the Western.
The days at Sea are just so relaxing and you have a choice of doing a whole lot or nothing at all :) When you have days at a Port you seem so rushed to get everything done and of course you spend more money on those days too ;)
Dont get me wrong...some day I would love to try the Western, but for now I choose the Eastern.
I think it really depends on what you'd like to do on Caribbean cruises. We have done both Eastern and Western a couple of times each (not all with DCL), and we like DCL's Western ports better (but, I must qualify this by saying I haven't looked at the new Eastern itinerary yet).
On Western, you'll stop at 3 ports (besides CC), whereas Eastern only has 2. Although, you can always choose to stay onboard at one of those Western ports for some really quiet relaxation while most passengers are onshore (that's what we did at Key West on our 5/10 Western trip).
If you like to shop for expensive imports, you'd probably prefer Eastern. St. Thomas provides a much better shopping experience for those goods than GC (expensive) & Cozumel (mostly t-shirts and local crafts). Also, if you like to stop for a bit of gambling (unlike other cruiselines, not available onboard DCL), Eastern provides that possibility at St. Martin. There is no gambling at any of the Western ports. If all you want to do is to see sights and local culture or beautiful beaches, I think either route can provide you with plenty of them.
We liked the Western because:
1. we can choose to skip Key West like for uncrowded ship pools we did,
2. we like to dive/snorkel and Cozumel's proximity to Palancar Reefs make that a better experience there,
3. the Stingray City at GC is an unique and fun experience.
4. we don't gamble and we don't shop (except for one Lladro purchase at St. Thomas many years ago.)
:smooth: :jester: :smooth: :jester:
06-09-2003, 03:49 PM
We've been on both Disney Eastern & Western and we would go back on the Western, but not the Eastern.
We did not care for the Eastern ports (nor did we care for Nassau on the 4 day for our first cruise).
But we LOVED Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
Plus on the Western, two days at sea is enough for us. We like to keep busy and we did not find enough of what we would like to do on the days at sea.
And we NEVER go to the pools on the ship -- entirely too crowded and pools very small, including Quiet Cove (the adult pool). We save our swimming time for the beaches at port.
06-09-2003, 03:57 PM
We loved the Western Cruise last year. We are booked for the new Eastern Cruise in 2004 and really looking forward to it.
If you haven't done either one, I would say try the one that sounds most appealing to you. The Western one appealled to us the most because we loved the idea of visitng the ports (and they were nice). Now we want to try something different so we are going on the Eastern.
06-12-2003, 11:36 AM
Thank you all for your help. I think that 2 days at sea is probably enough, so I am leaning towards the Western cruise.
06-12-2003, 12:00 PM
We have done both. I really enjoyed Stingray City at Grand Cayman on the Western. However, I would trade the stop at Key West for the extra day at sea. We really did not care for Key West. Grand Cayman was very nice. Cozumel was nice, but not a lot different from most cruise ports (i.e. shopping and more shopping). On the Eastern, we like St . Maarten, but it was not really any better than Cozumel. However, we loved St. Thomas. The best part of St. Thomas was going over to St. John and Trunk Bay, which was fantastic. We are planning another cruise and will likely go back to the Eastern. The Eastern is also a little less expensive (cruise cost) than the Western if that is a factor.
Okay, I'll be the dissenting opinion... *lol*
I love the Eastern, and really really didn't like the Western. Here are my reasons, which are my own -- as others have said, it all depends on what is important to you:
1. I really felt the loss of that 3rd sea day... for me, the ship is the main destination, and sea days are so wonderful for doing some wonderful things onboard, or even just sitting on the veranda or on deck and watching the ocean go by. I spent an inordinate amount of sea day time just being a slug in those wonderful deck 4 loungers. :)
2. Key West is so not a port to me. Maybe an embarkation point, but not a port of call. It's very odd to me to set sail from Florida, sail all night, wake up the next morning, and... still be in Florida? Get me to the Caribbean, stat! ;) And if you have small children, there just isn't much to do there. I'd rather be at sea.
3. I loved the shopping in St. Maarten... I got the prettiest dress for me and the cutest outfit for my little boy for Tropical Night, and soooo cheap. And there were so many other things there I wanted to buy. Everything in Cozumel and Grand Cayman was either very expensive and/or very unoriginal to me.
4. My biggest pet peeve of all -- the ship stops in Mexico for one whole day, and a tropical part of Mexico, at that, but because of that they take every tropical-themed party and meal and whatever on the ship and instead make it a Mexican-themed fiesta. BLEH. I am on a tropical cruise, to the Caribbean, I want to hear steelpan music and such. It almost made me cry to step onto the ship to the sound of mariachi music. But again, that's just my own personal expectations and what I like and dislike. :)
That said, I am happily going on the Eastern again next time! :)
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