View Full Version : Almost convinced.....
07-17-2005, 11:08 PM
Hi! I'm new to the Cruise Line part of the DIS boards! :wave2:
I just spent the last several hours going back and forth on booking a cruise for June 2006. My husband will graduate from medical school (and myself from a BSN nursing program) and I would love to surprise him with this trip. I am definitely the Disney nut of the family, but he puts up with me and enjoys it once he's there! :) We have been to WDW several times (including one trip coming up in less than 5 months! woohoo!) but have never cruised -- Disney or otherwise. I think that, especially given my park-commando status, a cruise would be MUCH more his speed, especially as a break from 21 years of school and a sendoff into the "real world" :)
I guess I'm just here to say hello and to ask you all to convince me that it's worth it! :) I checked all the otehr sites, and as many posters have pointed out, Royal Caribbean, Princess, etc are all LITERALLY half the price. We have no kids (yet ;) ) and so we'd do fine on one of those other cruise lines...... but I just dont know. Obviously DCL would be more my speed :) and - maybe it's just their website being a thousand times better, I don't know - it seems like there is less you are kept in the dark about. Disney offers very clear schedules, it appears that things are REALLY inclusive, not just 'kind of', and I KNOW that Disney customer service will be just like on land!
Let me know what you think! We'd only be able to afford a 4-Day trip on the Wonder, is that still enough time to relax and really enjoy it? Or does it take a while to "settle in"?
Sorry this is so long! Thanks in advance for your help / encouragement ;)
Disney is lots of fun. There are lots of thing you two can do. Even on the 4 day cruise. Here is some examples.
Purchase the REAS package. This will include a romantic gift basket. Normally a picture frame, box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne. Special champagne breakfast in bed, special turn down service, one well being couples massage and PS to Palo's. With being a new cruise you can make ressies at 75 days out if paid in full. But to get around that with the REAS package you can reserve at 105 days out if paid in full. Meaning you can secure Palo's dinner and brunch at 105 days out. Palo's is a wonderful place to eat. If you time it correctly you can watch the sunset. Very beaufitul. They also have a small bar. Quiet Cove is a nice all adult area. They have dancing under the stars on one night at Quiet Cove. You can do the Rasul treatment in the spa. You can do wine tastings and a tour of the ship. They have nice family shows and adult entertainment as well. Disney does try very hard to get the chldless adult to cruise with them.
There is so much to do I can not even begin to tell you all of it. If you are up to a few hours on-line you can save money by researching various TA's for pricing.
We have been on two other cruise lines and DCL has us rather hooked. But I have to say the new RCCL ship coming out does have my interest.
07-17-2005, 11:22 PM
Well, in my opinion, the only thing wrong with a 4 day cruise is that it isn't 7 days long. Have fun...I think you'll love the cruise.
When I graduated from med school, I did the backpack "grand tour" of Europe. Great way to unwind before starting residency. However....whether I'm just less confident in my old age or things have really changed so much, I don't know. I wouldn't do it now. I'd vote for the level of service you get on the ship.
My suggestion (I suspect $ are an issue)...book low as far as a cabin is concerned and do another cruise when you get a vacation.....there will be plenty of time later to do a suite!
07-18-2005, 09:36 AM
You'll have a lot of fun on Disney, especially at Palo's and the Quiet Cove area (best pool on the ship, 2 community hot tubs, and a really nice coffee shop - the way coffee shops should be, with all the variations on the Irish coffee theme).
That said, you could do a 7 day Eastern, Western, or Southern (out of Puerto Rico) on RCCL or Carnival for the cost of a 4 day Disney to Nassau and CC. Both lines have much larger boats with a wider variety of activities. While their shows might not match the Disney shows, especially if you're a Disney fan, you'll still get shows, an upscale restaurant option, a casino if you're into that (not just bingo on Disney), and a wider variety of nightclubs, shops, and athletic options.
Also I think you'll find that DCL is exactly the same as all the other lines in terms of what's included in your cruise fare - meals, cabin, service (tips extra), entertainment, and most scheduled activities. Alcohol, excursions, up-scale restaurant, and bingo/casino are all extras.
Bottom line - I'd go to DW for a few days and then do a 7 day on RCCL, maybe separately since money's tight. Or I'd wait until you have kids that are between 4 and 8 before going on DCL.
when we decided to cruise, we went w/dcl, because we have 2 little ones. and knew that they would enjoy it, being disney & all. (and we enjoyed it, as well! and we have another one coming up in a month!)
but before booking our first cruise, we had to "justify" all the reasons why we would do dcl, vs other lines. (we live in the west coast, right near the ports of la & long beach, so there were many other lines we could've chosen) and i think if we didn't have any kids, we would've went for another line. we could've saved more money not going thru dcl. but we are glad we did!! i think maybe when the kids get older, we might look into others, but for now, we'd stay w/dcl.
i think you just have to really decide what you would want/like to do. and go from there. i'm sure whatever you decide, you'd have a wonderful time w/your DH!!! good luck on your decision! :flower:
Disney with Triplets
07-18-2005, 12:11 PM
We've cruised many times...without kids - they were safe at home secure in their regular routine. This upcoming cruise will be our first cruise with our kids. That being said...
When DH and I go on another cruise without the kids, we'll be choosing between Princess and RCCL, maybe Celebrity. I love Disney, I can't wait until our DCL cruise! But if it's just us, I'll trade in Palo's, Quiet Cove, and the family atmosphere for a less-expensive cruise with more options for adult travelers and better iteneraries - like the Southern Caribbean...just my opinion, though.
07-18-2005, 12:21 PM
The 4 night is great! On the 7 night you feel like you have to get off and do excursions at every port because you really just can't stay on the ship for 7 days! On the 4 night, you get all the best of the best (the shows, the dining rooms, a visit to Castaway Cay, and a day at sea), and you don't really feel like you have to get off except for CC (which is not to be missed). If you really want to go on a excursion, there are several at Nassau, but we always stay onboard.
I think you will love it, and the 4 night is really great! You will even have time to go over and visit WDW before your week is over! We usually stay Thursday and Friday night at WDW after our cruise.
07-18-2005, 12:37 PM
It is helpful for responses that you put that you would at most be able to afford a 4 nighter on the Wonder. Yes, a 4 nighter is enough to enjoy...mostly enough to wet your appetite for a 7 nighter. But is there more time available, such as doing someone else's 7 night cruise for the same $ as DCL, just not enough $ on hand for the 7 night DCL? Because i am one of many who are not wow'd by the Bahamas, though the June date makes it all good swimming and beach temperatures (in January the Bahamas are sometimes not warm enough for water and beach). To relax and decompress at the end of med school and your nursing program, Castaway cay might be heaven at the adult beach. I think the Wonder is the finest ship available for a 4 night cruise--on other lines, the newer, state of the art ships are doing 7 nights or longer. On RCCL, a Voyager or Radiance class ship appeals to me and I think about those--but the Empress, doing 4 nighters out of San Juan, was inferior to the DCL experience (the Wonder and the RCCL Empress were our first two cruises, 4 nights each, one year apart, so I think it was a fair comparison).
And it is not all apples to apples. On DCL, an obstructed view is priced as indoor. On RCCL we got a heck of an obstruction while paying for ocean-view, and even that was on a promotion that featured an upgrade! A spacious, comfortable room such as a cat. 9 at 214 sq. feet is the equivalent to a suite on other ships, or at least jr. suites, and even w/o a verandah has a huge, unobstructed wonderful oceanview. And the two of you might like some private time (wink wink) so those who say you wont spend any time in the cabin, well, to each his own, but a comfortable cabin is a nice thing.
True that most of the cruise lines that are the usual alternative considerations have the same aspects of what is included, what isnt--except for DCL including the soft drinks at dining room meals, buffet restaurants and now the beverage station. Dont choose your cruise line over 4 days of cokes, though!
Quiet Cove could be most any nice cruise line, enjoying the sun and the pool, soothing music, a waiter bringing the frozen daquiri to you in your lounge...and it should upset your Dr. DH that every once in a while someone like Goofy or Stitch or the Genie from Aladdin might walk by and wave while you relax.
Or check out the 4 nighters on the newly rejuvenated/stretched Enchantment of the seas on RCCL for western caribbean (should be repaired from Emily by next June) out of ft. lauderdale and see how the $ compares. We are doing one this winter, it seemed the next best available ship and itinerary for a 4 night cruise when I researched such things.
07-18-2005, 04:15 PM
I appreciate all of your comments! I still am SO up in the air. I keep looking at the same few websites, seeing the drastic difference in price and I immediately go for one of the other cruiselines.
But even the love for Disney aside, DCL gets SUCH Great reviews from everywhere. Lots of cruise reviews say many good things about Carnival, RCCL, etc but I hear the same theme -- active, Las Vegas style, "ship that never sleeps".... and while that sounds like fun, it doesn't sound as laid back as i like. Also, I hear (from many sources) that the Disney staterooms are indeed much roomier than most comparable rooms. Grr.... I really, really don't mind paying the quoted amount for DCL. I feel comfortable with what i'm going to get for that price, but MAN! It's just so hard to ignore that voice reminding me that I could save $1000....
I even thouight about, as one of you said, spending a few days at Disney and then going on the ship -- but it sounds like it will be yet another busy vacation, and less relaxing. I know that, of course, there are places to relax (by pools, etc) no matter what ship we're on, but the others just boast "so much to do" and reviews say you have to "find" nooks and crannies to really kick back.
Goofy or Stitch stopping by to say hello is the least of my concerns.... a million dining options to sort through, bars and lounges and shows that only half appeal -- that's a bigger one.
Thanks for letting me bounce this off of you all!
07-18-2005, 04:21 PM
DCL is great fun. But I've been on a half-dozen cruises, and I think in your situation, I'd look at RCCL or Celebrity. Not that you wouldn't have a great time on DCL, but for the money, and since you don't have kids, another line could offer a great time for less $$$.
Once DS gets older than 12 or so, we'll definitely take another look at RCCL. The food on DCL is inferior to what you get on most other lines, in my opinion.
07-18-2005, 04:39 PM
Ok, so now here is another question :)
I checked the Enchantment... Caribbean trip, and it is a much better deal. I think I could even live with the ship (sounds MUCH better than the Carnival "fun" ships where it sounds like you are going nonstop). I could even get a Large Ocean View room for dirt cheap! However....
For several reasons, we'd rather sail out of Port Canaveral. Do you know anything about the Sovreignty of the Seas? The package I found is a good price (no large room w/sitting area.... boo!) but the ship, I know, is much older. The site said there were some rennovations, etc but has anyone sailed on her before? I don't want our first cruise to be less-than-amazing.
Thanks in advance!
Disney with Triplets
07-18-2005, 05:56 PM
You won't be disappointed.
We sailed The Big Red Boat back in 1990 to the Bahamas when Disney was still a part of the organization and we were hooked. Fast forward to Princess, Norwegian, etc. and WOW, what a difference!
I'd go with a "Class" of ship that was designed/introduced in the mid-1990's or later. That seems to be when the cruise lines were reinventing themselves and really coming into the mainstream.
The Grand Class or Sun Class with Princess (we've sailed the Grand, Golden and Dawn several times and have favorite things about each class). The Voyager Class or Radiance Class with Royal Caribbean are also comparable, although we've not sailed that line. We were once going to try Celebrity; however, from what I've heard recently, their service, which was their greatest strength, isn't what it used to be.
07-18-2005, 06:18 PM
I've been on the Sovereign twice. It's a nice boat, older, but nice. It depends on what you are looking for. I heard some folks complaining about it, but everyone I was with had an awesome time.
07-22-2005, 10:19 AM
The Learning Channel recently broadcast a multi-part documentary on the Dry Dock last Fall for the Sovereign, "Rebirth of a Cruise Ship". So the ship has been spruced up, but the staterooms are markedly smaller than DCL unless you are going for some type of suite. Very few balconies, in fact some were just added in the drydock because previously there were none, so I imagine those were only for the higher tier suites. This ship was not stretched, so no optional restuarant like the Chops Grill or Portofino was added. Sailing Bahamian 3 and 4 day cruises, much like the Wonder.
While I am reading other boards to see updates on RCCL working the kinks out of the post-drydock Enchantment (which is why I am cruising on it 7 months after drydock, not 2 weeks--I like toilets that work...), I do think once those are worked out the Enchantment is a better ship than the sovereign, and destination is a matter of preference factoring in weather/time of year.
I hear you on Port Canaveral vs. Port Everglades. I can drive to PC, but Port Everglades is going to be a trip with a flight (for The Enchantment next February we used Frequent Flyer miles, might as well before Delta goes bankrupt--sorry to my Atlanta neighbors who read this) which impacts on flexiblity, packing, etc.
Stats: Enchantment--oceanview room, 154 sq. feet, window behind the head of the bed, so only way to look out window is really to turn around on bed on your knees to look out. DCL--oceanview is 214 sq. feet, nice sitting area if Dr. DH is sleeping and you want to be looking out the big window. If your DCL budget was not oceanview, then compare the 154 on Enchantment, for example (stateroom size might be even a tad smaller, like 139, on Sovereign, I just dont remember off the top of my head, that was the size of my oceanview on the empress of the seas) to 185 sq. feet for a cat. 11.
Other thing to consider--seriously, how long do you expect until next cruise? Not until after residency for DH, right? And depending on specialty, might there be some fellowship after that (just thinking of the bazillion years my cardiologist DBIL was doing the grinding hours)? So if this will be the treat for quite a few years--and you say you have the $, there will be a temendous difference between DCL and the sovereign at PC. You want laid back, dont want to go nonstop? Then the pace of DCL sounds like a fit. Want to relax w/ each other? a more comfortable stateroom sounds like good value. Doesn't seem like a casino would be a draw to you, so you wouldn't miss that by not being on RCCL. If DCL would be an inside staeroom, then you have to consider what that will mean to you, but these boards can fully inform you of the "secret" deck 7 at the AFT, or the loungers on deck 4, and personally late at night looking up at the stars from deck 10 is something i've enjoyed, all out of my stateroom.
For a 4 nighter out of Port Canaveral, my opinion (which, along w/ $3.00 gets you a tall mocha java at starbucks) is that the Wonder beats the Sovereign and seems like a better fit. In all fairness, a trip on the sovereign would be enjoyable is my expectation. But you said you want amazing. The Sovereign probably would not amaze you, the Wonder will. We did the Empress first, enjoyed it, but not wowed, then went on the Wonder and were blown away.(And as a disclaimer, I do not expect to be amazed on the Enchantment, but I am accomodating another couple in that selection, and I do expect to have a very good time).Hope any of this pontificating is helpful.
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