2013 Cruise Dates/Itineraries - 1st time on DCL
Our family is considering a DCL cruise in 2013. Here is our situation
Family of Four
-Husband, Wife and two daughters (11, 13)
-4 or 5 visits to WDW plus one trip to DL as a family
-One cruise to Alaska on Holland America
-We don't want to take our kids out of school, so we are looking at Spring Break (week of March 25th), summer, or the week of Thanksgiving 2013.
-We want a cabin with a window or a deck. Single cabin for us to share. Not interested in the virtual portal.
-With Colorado being in the middle of the US, we could sail out of FL, TX or CA. The flights are similiar cost/length.
-Not interested in Alaska since we already did a cruise there (it was beautiful)
-Interested in the on board shows (which ships have the best?).
-Interested in Castaway Key but not mandatory
-Less interested in shore excursions.
-Interested in a cruise that is around a week long (not interested in a 3/4 night)
-Husband has been known to get sea sick, so we would prefer smooth sailing as much as possible.
-Any season we should avoid based on our above mentioned availability
-Should we try and get on one of the newer/larger ships? Does it really matter since we have never been on a DCL anyways?
-We would like to get our best value? Any time of year? Port? we should look at to get the best price.
Thanks in advance for your feedback and suggestions.
Out of the time frames you suggested, march would be calmest. May and June are really calm. Thanksgiving week would be ok too. The Fantasy is amazing. I like the western itenerary, but the eastern is fine too. I don't even care about the iteneraries....it's all about the Fantasy to me :)
We went on western Fantasy on 9/29. The seas were flat and I never felt any movement. We went on Dream a few weeks after, once again...flat until the last night when Sandy started to creep north from Cuba. There was lots of movement and lots of people getting sick. Luckily, we got off the ship before Sandy got too close. The 10/25 dream cruise after us had an awful experience. My point is, hurricane season can be great(flat seas, cheaper prices).....as long as there are no storms!!!
I would go with the Fantasy. Compare prices and decide on your date. I'm guessing March will be cheaper. Have you been in WDW during the summer? Cruising during the summer will be as hot as that, which may be uncomfortable since you're from Colorado. The humidity added to the heat is a bit much for us desert rats. Which is why we prefer Alaska. And the seas are usually calmer in Alaska since there's often land on both sides of the ship. But since you've been there, done that:
We've been to both the eastern and western caribbean and prefer the ports in the western itinerary. your mileage may vary.
Evening shows are comparable on all the ships.
We're also going for march break, although ours is earlier in March. As many of us do :goodvibes I often look at the march cruises and see how they're selling etc.
I have noticed that the March break ones are very popular and it may be too late to get a good deal. The march23rd and 30th Fantasy cruises did not appear last time I looked and that indicates it is sold out. Availability comes and goes up until PIF date but you will be limited on category and where your stateroom is located I would think.
We've been March before and it was a little chilly at times. OK for us, as we're from the cold North so you might be OK there too!
If you want 7+ days I think you only options are Fantasy from port canaveral or magic from Galveston. That narrows it down to 2 boats! :goodvibes
We've only done the newer ships so can't compare but doing classic next time and looking forward to it being a little smaller. We found the larger ships a little intimidating.
Another consideration is your children's age.
11 & 13 will put them in the edge.
The edge on the fantasy is a much 'better' space than on the classic ships. I know how they enjoy the clubs really depends on the councillors but my 13 year old will miss the new edge. She loved it there.
Good luck and I hope you make some wonderful family memories. :goodvibes
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