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Jess6001 01-08-2013 02:53 PM

Convince me: is a Disney Cruise worth the $$$?
So a Disney Cruise has always been a dream to me. My mom, sis and I (all adults) have always loved disney and have many fabulous trips to WDW together. We've also been on a few cruises (all royal caribbean) which I've loved (and my mom and sis both liked). I'm graduating from Grad school this May and considering making a short Disney cruise a reality now because the next few years of my life are going to be insanely busy.

I don't have that much cash to spend. I'm considering a 3 night cruise in May on the Disney Dream. For the three of us it will be about $1,700 for the cruise fare. My questions are is it worth it to spend this much money of a cruise because it will (a) be very short and (b) I could get a much cheaper deal on Royal Caribbean?

Should I go for it or put it off until I have the time and money for a longer cruise? (like a 7 day cruise). That could be years away though...

The ship looks you think 3 nights would be enough to even start to get a feel for it?

THANKS for your opinion! :)

Jess6001 01-08-2013 03:02 PM

Well I found the thread about 3 night vs 4 night cruises...seems like 4 night is a whole lot better. Question still remains if a short disney cruise is worth the very big price tag....

jbshell 01-08-2013 03:02 PM

I will be honest I have never been on any cruises but what I can tell you is if u have the money and the time even of it is a 3 night cruise GOOO life is very short we never know what will happen.... I had a friend at 29 pass away this year.... So my theory live life do not wait... But that's just my opinion

Jess6001 01-08-2013 03:06 PM

I agree. Two years ago my very healthy mother had a heart attack at age 59. That really shook me up. Right now, to be honest, I don't have very much money. Suze Orman would totally tell me no. But I'm in a field that ten years from now I will be making a lot of money (I'm graduating from medical school...I have at least 7 years of residency/fellowship where I will be making $50K and working 80 hours a week). So even though it's not "right" money wise, I feel like I should spend some money now before I start my crazy lifestyle because by the time I can truly afford it my mother will be much older and I have missed out on many opportunities.

On the other hand I may just be rationalizing so I can go on another vacation...

tajz90 01-08-2013 03:09 PM

We've been on NCL, RCCL and Carnival and loved them (not NCL)........

Until we sailed Disney.

Keep sailing RCCL and you won't know the diff and you'll sail happy.

Jess6001 01-08-2013 03:15 PM

HAHA! I believe it. WDW has already made me a total hotel snob.

BubMunkeyBles 01-08-2013 03:18 PM

We cruise Carnival and are happy. That said I am booking two shorter Disney cruises next year (a 4 day on the Magic and a 5 day on the Wonder). It was only about $100 per person difference with fees and everything for comparable itinerary (private island and Cozumel or Nassau). More included beverages and a cruiseline that I've heard the standards are ridiculously higher seems like a good deal for me. I think the prices are a bargain, but may be when we're going (January/February). There was a $70 difference for the 3 day Dream and 4 day Magic so we chose Magic. Our kids are little and won't know the difference. Doesn't hurt that the kids fare is cheaper than a ticket to Disney World for them which would be our alternative vacation.

lodge 01-08-2013 03:26 PM

$1700 for 3 is a DEAL on Disney. Don't doubt yourself. You will LOVE this trip!! I was never a Disney fanatic (wasn't exposed to it, growing up) but after my first DCL cruise, I was THRILLED with the whole experience. Prepare to become addicted. :love2:

Buckeye218 01-08-2013 03:30 PM

Hmm. So hard to determine this from someone else’s standpoint. For our family, it is worth it. But we have bought into the Disney magic (some say kool-aid) lock, stock and barrel. We are DVC members and vacation there every year even though we only live an hour away.

The food quality between DCL and the other main lines is not really all that different. All lines face significant culinary challenges trying to feed 4,000 people 3 meals a day using limited space and equipment in the main dining rooms. Disney’s cabins are somewhat larger, but not enough to justify the price difference. The pools on DCL are as small or smaller than the new ships of other major lines, although the AquaDuck is kind of cool.

Where we find that DCL is worth it is in the atmosphere and the entertainment. We do not enjoy Las Vegas-style revues, ice-skating shows or edgy adult stand-up comedy. We DO enjoy DCL’s Broadway-style shows and family-appropriate comedy.

There is just a magical feeling even while just wandering the halls of a DCL ship…But these differences can’t really be quantified…the value of our enjoyment of the ship’s atmosphere and entertainment is unique to us. Many people can only take so much Disney before they've had it. As for us, we can't get enough. So it's largely a personal decision based upon your tastes and preferences.

I can often measure the value of a vacation by how I feel at the end of it. After an RCL cruise, I think, "That was nice, I had a good time." After a DCL cruise, I am downright depressed and my kids are already asking when can we go again before we're even through customs. That's when I know I just had a great vacation.

And since we’re in a financial situation where we can afford it if we choose, DCL is worth the additional price they charge as far as we’re concerned.

1153rsmith 01-08-2013 03:40 PM

We have sailed once on Carnival (older ship), once on Royal Caribbean (Freedom of the Seas) and twice on Disney (Dream and Magic).

First off, if you can do a 4 night on any ship over a three night you will be happier. The 3 nights we were on the Dream were fantastic but we were just getting settled in good when it was time to get off.

It seems that Carnival and Royal both use their older ships to do the shorter (less than 6 night) cruises. Ship wise, there is no comparison in the Dream to any older ship. The Dream is amazing. (Aquaduck, Enchanted Art, Rotational dining)

We prefer Disney because they seem to attempt to do things right. We have had great customer service, the food was good, and the ships have the classic, refined look with plenty of things to do.

We love the Disney shows over anyone's and really like the fact there is no casino on the ship. (We much prefer the movie theater to the slot machine.) Also, the character interraction is great on the ship. They seem to be everywhere. We also love Pirate night. Something about being the only ships at sea shooting fireworks just seems special.

We are probably going to try one of Carnival's newer ships this year because Carnival is so much cheaper, but I would still rather be cruising Disney. Only you can decide how best to spend your money, but if you are a Disney fan, until you sail on a disney ship, you will always wonder. I wish you all the best!

Jess6001 01-08-2013 03:45 PM

I see what you mean. And we are Disney people. We have had to opportunity to travel to many amazing places in this world but WDW is one our favorites (it is my sisters #1). It's not always educational and others have criticized our love for it but its a trip where we can just spend time together having fun and forgetting about life's stressors. We love the "magic" of Disney and so it's worth us to pay for WDW trips. I'm sure a cruise would be very similar in terms of that Disney magic quality.

darwinsrule 01-08-2013 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by Buckeye218
There is just a magical feeling even while just wandering the halls of a DCL ship

As you are wandering those halls however Disney is filling then with the sweet sound of classic Disney songs, elevator style (only way I can describe it). Going to sound nuts but one of the things I really I really miss when on a non-DCL cruise is that music. Nothing like walking down the hall and you suddenly find yourself hummimg, and as much as you want to stop you can't). It helps that there are alot of other people doing the exact same thing.

1153rsmith 01-08-2013 03:51 PM

My goal is to do a Grand Slam (sail on each of the 4 disney ships). I am half way there, and we have a cruise on the Wonder booked for 2014. Now, if the prices on the Fantasy would just come down some, we would be in business.

meajuly5 01-08-2013 03:52 PM

Could you reseArch a 4 day on the magic out oF PCM to get more bang for your buck?

ps17 01-08-2013 03:52 PM

Dear 1153Rsmith,
After sailing Magic for 6 times, we just got off the Fantasy and as you alluded for the Dream, it is amazing - condition of the ship, feel, artwork, technology, elegance. All top notch.

We are now faced with choosing between Fantasy (for $8200) and the Freedom which is signficantly cheaper to the tune of $5400. That is a huge price delta. Since you have been on both ships, can you comment on the value/quality differrence between the two? (itinerary aside). Thanks in advance...

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