PDA

View Full Version : Rebooked onboard, now wondering if it's worth $3000 more than Royal Caribbean?


3redheads
03-23-2005, 07:27 AM
We just got back from the land/sea package and rebooked a 7 day onboard for next Spring. It came to $7600, for 4 people category 6. Now I'm having buyer's remorse.

I've heard good things about Royal Caribbean-Voyager and Navigator and they are $3000 cheaper.

Have you done both and what is your opinion? How do they compare? My kids will be 8 and 12, turning 13 on the cruise.

Thanks!
Kim

logan1_2000
03-23-2005, 07:50 AM
If you can get a truly comparable Voyager class balcony stateroom for the same week as your DCL booking and it is $3000 less than a $7600 price, then by all means go experience RCCL. I have sailed RCCL and have another booked, although not yet Voyager class, but you will find many positive reviews, including for children's programs. The differences will be that there will be more bars, a casino that my or may not be of any interest to you, and the shows will not be Disney-themed, and no characters of course. No rotational dining, and I have enjoyed the rotation dining, but I can't truly say I'd pay 7600 instead of 4600 for the touches that make a DCL cruise magic.

RCCL tends to get the second best "family-friendly" ratings and reviews and in some cases, perhaps applicable to your 12 year old, there is anecdotal reporting that some of the older kids like the availability of more "active" things to do on the Voyager class over DCL, which relies on a strong catalog of story-telling, princesses, and wishes and dreams type of programming.

I'll be interested in what others say--but if it is truly a comparable cabin for the same week, go for it and hopefully DCL will work for you another time.

my3kids
03-23-2005, 07:54 AM
RCI, without question. Your older kids will LOVE the activities...rock climbing, ice skating, mini golf......

alexandrew
03-23-2005, 08:48 AM
w@w...$7600 for a family of 4 ????

That is big $...

I agree with previous poster.....for $3000 less, I would go for the RCCL....but, only if it's comparable accommodations....also, I would opt for the Nav over the Voyager - expanded kids area, newer ship...

laujac
03-23-2005, 09:05 AM
I am one of those posters that give an opinion without all the facts... that being that I have never cruised another cruise line. But, the reason I stay with Disney is because of the "Disney experience" with my kids (they are still young). My kids love the characters... they still jump out of their seats when the see Mickey. So, my husband and I have agreed to bite the bullet and pay the money for the short time that they continue to feel that way. Once they no longer care about the characters, we will try another ship. Just a quick story that somewhat ties this together... Last year we compared cruise photos with friends that had just gotten of a Carnival cruise. They showed us a picture of their kids with "Captain Hook"... it was a photo of a man, mid-20s, with a beard and mustache painted on his face!!! That would never have flown with my kids! If you no longer need the characters or the presence of anything Disney... go for the cheaper cruise... try it... if you don't like it, just rebook your next with Disney!

tecdavidt
03-23-2005, 09:22 AM
I would try RCCL for that price difference. DCL prices have gotten out of hand in my opinion. We do have another 7 day booked for next Spring Break (3/18/06) but that does not mean we will still keep it booked. We have cruised other lines and had great cruises. Iif you want the Disney experience then you have to pay the premium but if you could care less about Disney being on the ship then you will save money and still have a great time.
Kathy

Masonpips
03-23-2005, 09:42 AM
We haven't done both and in fact rebooked on DCL during our NYE cruise. However, when I got home and checked around we were able to actually totally upgrade our space (from a Cat 9, Deck 2, porthole only to a Junior Suite which is a larger cabin + balcony and we got a coveted AFT cabin on Mariner which results in a huge balcony) for about $300 more on RCCL and are set to cruise mid-Oct. For the same type of cabin, the RCCL cruise would have been about $700 cheaper than DCL.

My kids will be 8 & 6 on the cruise so I think we're somewhat taking a chance (not quite old enough to do all of the RCCL activities alone), but we really wanted a larger cabin and to try another line. I'll be sure to post my comparisons post-cruise

jdm
03-23-2005, 10:23 AM
I just got back and thought about rebooking on board for next Spring also for just my daughter and myself. Was hoping to talk my sister and niece into going with us. I did a quick check on line and a lower cat (we go in a 6 when DH is with us) for 2 people (didn't want to share a cabin with DS and DN!) was about $3800 which I thought was extremely high, even with a 10% discount. Saw DSis last night and she said she had done some checking and RCCL's Mariner was $1800 versus $3800 for DCL, comparable cabins, same week. So, if we go, sadly it won't be on DCL. Our kids will be 13 & 15 so I am kind of interested in experiencing the RCCL line. This trip, while DD12 loved the cruise, she was definitely at a little bit of loose ends on sea days. Although she tried the kids club, she wasn't thrilled. She ended up spending time with me on Deck 4 reading.

Jenn

ksjayhawks
03-23-2005, 10:57 AM
My ds12 and I just got back from a RCCL cruise on the Mariner of the Seas. It is a voyager class ship. I highly recommend it! We got a lot for what we paid.

My son enjoyed the tween activities--he was considered a navigator (12-14). They have a separate area set aside for the kids. On one side are the younger groups. The playrooms are nice and large and they have access to outside deck areas for activities as well. The kids all seemed to be having a great time. They were able to be inside and outside and went up to Windjammers for snacks as well.

On the other side are the tween/teen areas--no parents allowed! There is always staff and at night security around. There were activities during the day and night. Two of the nights the group could eat together at Windjammers (like Topsiders) if they wanted to. One level up from them was the basketball/volleyball court, mini golf, inline skating, rock climbing wall. The arcade was also close by as was Johnny Rockets. They did not have to wear wristbands and could come/go as they pleased. The ship had a cafe that was open 24hours on the promenade and served pizza from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. as well as other goodies, of course. There was self-serve custard one flight down from their area. If you got the soda package they could get drinks in the tween/teen area as well as at any of the bars.
He and his new friends had a blast! They liked going down and getting pizza and cookies. He liked the activities that they had as well as just hanging out in the "living room" and watching tv and talking. He was not bored at all like he had been at times on the disney cruise as some of the activities in his group (10-12) were not very fun/too babyish for him at 11plus. The RCCL activities were more geared to the middle school/junior high set. They had swim parties, dance parties, scavenger hunts, quiz games, etc. Oh, yes, there was even ice skating available on certain days of the cruise. I rarely saw a kid who looked upset/unhappy on the cruise.

As for more bars and the casino. Yes, they are there, but you hardly notice them. They are scattered along the ship and have music at different times of the day, and are very tastefully done. You really almost forget that they are there. It wasn't like going into a separate area as on disney. It was great to have them as you could stop and get a soda quickly. You could sit and relax and enjoy the music. There was one that was more for the late teens/twenties set and it was more secluded. Then there was another one that was up higher and overlooked the pool area where you could go to relax and get away from the hustle/bustle of the day.

The casino was no big deal. We had to walk through it to get from one particular area of the ship to another, but for most people it was a quick walk through and that was it. Noone thought much about it. Actually, you could have gotten to those two areas without walking through the casino if you really, really wanted to avoid the place.

We enjoyed going to the art auction on the ship. It was fun to learn about painters, who is hot, etc, and watch the bidding practice. We also got a free print at the end.

We enjoyed the dining. It was a different menu every night and the waiters had a parade one night and sang another. One night they brought the little kids in to do a short program and sing and parade for us. All the chefs came out another night. We didn't mind going to the same place every night at all.
There was even a tea from 3-5 every day at Windjammers which was great for those of us who had late sitting. The poolside buffet and grand buffet were great!

The shows are different than disney. The welcome and farewell show were great for all ages as was the ice show--we could have gone to that one twice,we liked it so much. The other music shows and comedy acts were appropriate for all ages, but probably enjoyed more by adults/older tweens/teens that kids. There were also plenty of family activities on board as well.

We liked our disney cruise and will probably do another one again sometime. But for now, RCCL meets our needs and the needs of our tween/soon to be teen son. And, at the price, it can't be beat!

:cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

Lloyd Dobler
03-23-2005, 11:20 AM
RCCL is a close second for me to DCL. I'm a Disney nut (AP at Disneyland, 14 DCL cruises), so I am a bit biased, but like tecdavidt, I think their prices are starting to run a bit ahead of the market. I've cruised on RCCL four times now, twice on Voyager-class ships (Mariner and Adventure), and twice on Radiance of the Seas (Jewel, Brillaince, and Serenade are also Radiance-class ships). I'm getting to like RCCL more and more. I think the food is as good as DCL (some things are better, some not as good), the service is just as good, the activites just as good. I like the Radiance-class ships better. They're about as large as the Magic and the Wonder, and not as overwhelming as the Voyager-class ships, but with most of the same amenities.

I'd say that as a Disney fan, I'm willing to pay maybe 10-20% more for comparable accomodations on DCL vs. RCCI or another cruise line. During the high season, DCL's prices are in some cases close to twice as much. I'm not willing to pay that.

We usually do 3 vacations a year, sometimes all three are cruises. We're down to one DCL cruise a year, usually in the fall when the prices are more in line with the other lines.

I still very much like the DCL experience. There's an atmosphere on their ships which is unique, and that's important to me. But it's getting harder to come up with the cash DCL wants. I no longer give much thought too DCL during the peak times. Their inside rooms are priced along the lines of balcony rooms on RCCL. Case in point: a quick check of Travelocity for comparison:

4/15/06 - Magic eastern:
Inside: $1579
Oceanview: $1899
Balcony: $2599

4/16/06 - Mariner eastern (out of Port Canaveral; stops at St. Thomas/St. Maarten/Nassau:
Inside: $999
Oceanview:$1199
Balcony: $1349

Yes, a stop at Nassau vs. Castaway Cay, but quite a price difference.

mikayla'sMom
03-23-2005, 11:35 AM
I have never been on DCL. We are going in 2006. I have been on RCC 2 times. years ago we were on Enchantment of the Seas. It is an older, smaller ship, but we had a great time. We only booked thwe cruise 4 weeks in advance and got a great rate. I think the food was very good. Service was great. We did not have children on that trip, so I can not comment on that. We will do DCL 1 time. I say that now. I am too cheap to pay that big of a difference! I go to WDW 1 time a year and love it, so I will still get the Disney experience. What ever you decide, when you decide, don't look back! Enjoy the trip.

3redheads
03-23-2005, 12:06 PM
Thanks so much for your responses! I'm leaning toward the Navigator. WOW! It's a big ship!!!

I wonder how the rooms compare to Disney's. Any thoughts as to the size??

You guys are great!

lbgraves
03-23-2005, 12:25 PM
WOW! We are a family of four & wouldn't be looking forward to our third DCL cruise if they were costing us that much. It must be during spring break or another peak time.

Lloyd Dobler
03-23-2005, 01:10 PM
I wonder how the rooms compare to Disney's. Any thoughts as to the size??


The rooms are fairly comparable in size. DCL's balcony rooms are slightly larger, but I really do not notice a difference. On the Voyager-class ships, they have two different balcony rooms (other than suites). The "deluxe" oceanview w/ balcony room is 220 sq. ft., including the size of the balcony. The "superior" OV w/ balcony is 238 sq. ft., with both the room and the balcony being slightly larger. DCL's balcony rooms (categories 5, 6, and 7) are 268 sq. ft. I've stayed in the deluxe rooms, and again didn't really think it was that much smaller.

The oceanview rooms are essentially the same, 211 sq. ft. on RCCL and 214 on DCL. The Voyager-class ships also have a family size oceanview which is 265 sq. ft.

DCL's inside rooms are also a bit bigger, with the deluxe (cat. 10) at 214 sq. ft. and the standard at 184 sq. ft. RCCL's are 167 sq. ft. They also have inside rooms which overlook the interior promenade (like a big mall inside the ship), which are 167 sq. ft.

I find that the time spent in my room is either for sleeping/showering/changing, or hanging out on the balcony, so the size difference is not really that big a deal for me. The size of the balconies themselves is pretty much the same. I'd be surprised to find one being more than 5 sq. ft. larger or smaller than the other.

3redheads
03-23-2005, 02:48 PM
It was all about the Spring Break time. We can only go then since DD is starting middle school next year and don't want her to miss 7 subjects a day! So...we're stuck with early April. If we went 2 weeks later, it's $2k less.

I think we will definitely ck into Royal. Thank you soooo much for the info!!!

ducklite
03-23-2005, 02:59 PM
We booked the Royal Suite on RCCL for the same price that DCL wanted for a Category 3. RCCL seems to nickel and dime a lot more though, extra charges for a lot of things that DCL includes.

Anne

westjones
03-23-2005, 03:03 PM
It was all about the Spring Break time. We can only go then since DD is starting middle school next year and don't want her to miss 7 subjects a day! So...we're stuck with early April. If we went 2 weeks later, it's $2k less.

I think we will definitely ck into Royal. Thank you soooo much for the info!!!

This is our problem too. Starting next year my twin DDs will be in Middle School and we have to follow the break schedule. We have a 4 night Disney Cruise booked, but we are paying more for that then we did for our 7 night last September (when we could go in value season).

I really want to do this one next year, but the year after (2007) I am wondering about RCCL, especially since they have a 12-14 year old group (my girls will be 13 in 2007 and we don't want them in the teenage group then).

There are always so many good recommendations for TAs for DCL, what about RCCL? Is there any good TAs that could answer questions and help plan a cruise on RCCL? We don't know much about them at all, and it does make me a bit nervous. We would want the ice skating, that is for sure. Does this ship sail out of PC?

DJ

lookingforward
03-23-2005, 04:46 PM
I have sailed both DCL (the Wonder) and RCCL (The Voyager and Legend) and would recommend the Voyager, especially for the large price break. My kids loved the Voyager and were always involved in exciting activities (ice skating, rollerblading, rock climbing). They really loved Johnny Rockets too (although, like ducklite wrote..there are a few surcharges). I am a dedicated Disney fan and we plan to sail on the Mariner AFTER a few days at WDW so I can get my fix of all things Disney. 7,000+ is ridiculous for one week in a cat 6, in my opinion. I know that DCL only has two ships so they don't have to discount..but that is a HUGE amount of money for one week. We sailed in a Celebrity suite for under 6,000 and had butler, two rooms, etc.

aprilgail2
03-23-2005, 06:05 PM
Wow if our cruises were 7000 we wouldn't be cruising LOL...for our famly of 4 last cruise in a cat6 was 4000 and this time we are a family of 3 and we booked an 11 for 2700 but it would have been 3700 for a cat 6 at the time we booked. I try to sail off season when the kids are still in school since its what we can afford to do, I just take her out of school. We took my 9th grade god daughter out last year for the week to cruise with us too. This year is a wash for my daughter at school anyway, she is gon to be missing about 30 days of school by the end of the school year. She is sick a lot and now has to have her tonsils out when we get back from vacation. She is up to date on the work so they won't hold her back anyway.

Laura24
03-24-2005, 07:21 AM
This thread is just what I needed...I am in the hold stage of 7nt. western cat. 8 with DCL for next March. I was seriously considering RCCL's Mariner and can justify booking it because of the huge savings against DCL's rates. My only hesitiation and frustration that has me in a tizzy is, after 4 DCL cruises that have been wonderful, would I have great regrets standing on the deck of the Mariner looking over at the Magic or Wonder wishing I were there instead. I would so be tempted to *JUMP*.......... :banana: Hearing that MIckey horn would definitely tempt me! I have until Monday (28th) to decide. Anyone have any input on the ports that Mariner sails into? Thanks.

geffric
03-24-2005, 09:22 AM
ok I am clueless ( LOL which is really a constant state of affairs with me LOL) but I just checked RCCL on Orbitz for the same date as our spring break 2006 western - i guess I am doing something wrong 'cause according to the webiste, the inside cabin on RCCL is the same price as the Cat 10 sph room that I have booked>>. where did I go astray? How can I save big bucks?

Lloyd Dobler
03-24-2005, 09:29 AM
Anyone have any input on the ports that Mariner sails into? Thanks.

The Mariner alternates eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, much like the Magic, but departing on Sundays. The eastern calls at St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau,with three sea days. The western calls at Labadee, Hispanola (their private "island"), Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, with two days at sea.

There's plenty of info on most of these ports on the board, since the Magic calls at them. Labadee is a nice beach day. Not as nice as Castaway Cay, certainly, but it can still be a nice, relaxing day. I've only been to Ocho Rios once, and didn't see much other than my excursion, climbing Dunn's River Falls, which was really enjoyable. The group climbs a 600 foot waterfall. It takes a large portion of the day, and doesn't leave time to do much else, but I highly recommend this if you're going to this port.

3redheads
03-24-2005, 09:36 AM
geffric,

Check out www.cruisequick.com. They might have a better price for you.

geffric
03-24-2005, 10:37 AM
thanks.. only a $200 difference HMMM.. are there non smoking rooms on the RCCL or are all the roons nonsmoking? thanks

Lloyd Dobler
03-24-2005, 10:51 AM
Since I'm not a smoker, I didn't notice, but I think the rooms are non-smoking. My rooms have never smelled as if someone had been smoking in them. Most of the ship is non-smoking, but there are smoking areas in the bars and lounges, and on the open-air parts of the decks. I didn't notice a lot of difference from DCL with regards to smoking.

chrisn
03-24-2005, 11:01 AM
For that much of a difference in price and the ages of your kids. DEFINITELY do one of the Voyager class ships. We cruised Western Caribbean on the Voyager for 7 nights. It was a fabulous cruise! Don't get me wrong because I loved our two Disney Cruises but Food, kids club, activities and cabin were all better on Voyager. The only thing that was just ok for me was the stage shows. I prefer Disney. We are looking into a Southern Caribbean cruise and I wish the Eagle class ships sailed there. Voyager was the ship of dreams. You can't go wrong, and for that price there wouldn't be a doubt in my mind!

geffric
03-24-2005, 11:08 AM
Since I'm not a smoker, I didn't notice, but I think the rooms are non-smoking. My rooms have never smelled as if someone had been smoking in them. Most of the ship is non-smoking, but there are smoking areas in the bars and lounges, and on the open-air parts of the decks. I didn't notice a lot of difference from DCL with regards to smoking.

thanks.. we are not smokers but have allergies and asthma so if the rooms or areas smelled we could not be there..

3redheads
03-24-2005, 12:06 PM
We are leaning towards the Navigator of the Seas. It's supposed to be a Voyager class ship. Anyone have any experiences?