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-   -   have been wanting to do a DCL trip for a while (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3190013)

kala83 10-22-2013 11:24 PM

have been wanting to do a DCL trip for a while
 
so me and my mother are pretty big cruisers. We have done nearly all lines imaginable except for Disney. I really want to do a Disney cruise I do understand they can get pricey after a while.

I have heard that there are a lot of cons to them. One of which I think was if you are a pin collector you get special pins when you go on the cruises? is that true or not? I am wondering.

any reviews pros and cons would be great to hear also.
thanks

HLAuburn 10-23-2013 12:20 AM

Wouldn't that be a "pro" instead of a "con"? :confused3

We leave Thursday on the Dream and DD started collecting pins. She's looking forward to getting her first cruise one.

Hopefully someone knows the DCL pin deal and will reply.

As for DCL over other cruise lines, they all have their pros and find and advantages for different cruisers, but there's just something magical about Disney cruises!

jdb in AZ 10-23-2013 12:49 AM

DCL offers special limited edition pins, especially during "unusual" cruises like Hawaii and the Panama Canal. But you have to buy the pins; they aren't included in the cruise fares. When we did the westbound Panama Canal cruise nearly three years ago the pins were in such demand that passengers waited in line for hours to get them. um, thanks, but no thanks. If I really wanted them, I could have picked up a set at face value on ebay a few weeks later.

When we sailed to Hawaii a year ago April, DCL had a much better system for distributing the pins and other limited edition merchandise, so the wait was minimal.

DCL cruises can get pricey, so it you can, try to cruise off-season, and book as soon as the new dates are available. The 2015 dates (hopefully) should be released in the next 2-3 months.

bbn1122 10-23-2013 08:50 AM

I think you found the right place to read reviews and threads. And read about all the great things DCL has to offer.

I have loved my 3 DCL cruises. I have only cruised on CL once before Disney and now I am afraid to try another line because I do not think it will stack up.

Disney ships are elegant....service is wonderful....no casinos and smokey environments....my family is no interested in gambling.

Beautiful adult only areas. Rotational dining in 3 beautiful dining rooms.

Again, I would just start reading postings and reviews, look at photos that are posted. You are are to find all your answers. Good luck!:)

TwinPrincessMermaids 10-23-2013 09:15 AM

Pros and Cons are very subjective. Here's an example:

Casino. DCL doesn't have one. For us, that is a HUGE pro! For others, they see that as a con.

Entertainment. DCL has family entertainment that while stellar in quality may at times have a bit of a juvenile subplot. Con for some. Mostly pro for us! (I'm so over high kicks and thongs on the main stage with vegas style cruising.)

Smoking policy. DCL doesn't allow smoking on balconies anymore (neither does X, RCI or Princess) so for some, a BIG pro! For others, a con.

Dining Rooms. DCL has lively environments with interactive animation. It was a major major plus plus pro for us! We missed Turtle Talk at Epcot the day before and were delighted when it came to our dining room. Others see Animator's as loud and distracting. Pros for us! Cons for others.

I don't think the kids are really a con, there are so many activities for them on the island and on ship, and so many adult areas, this personally was fine for us. We enjoyed them at Family Karaoke and Fiesta Salsa dancing (SO funny!) and then we could go to our veranda or adult areas whenever we wanted. I suppose some would see this as a con, but cruising CCL and RCI, there are just about as many kids, probably less supervised (especially in the evening since the clubs start charging after a certain time and parents don't want to pay, so they roam around.)

For us, the characters around are a MAJOR pro! We never have time in the parks to pose for pictures. This time, we got photos with 4 princesses and got to talk to them. We have no kids and are in our 30s. Yeah. we like princesses. If this is a con for you, they are fairly easy to avoid since they aren't as much 'in your face'. You will see them in photo areas and here and there, but its not like a pixie parade all the time.

To me, the dining was a major pro. I'm sick of the banquet lasagna style of other cruise lines and found the dining mostly interesting with a few draw backs. The specialty desserts consist of mainly sundaes (pretty good though!) and a few winners like Grand Marnier Souffle. I enjoyed the different root vegetable pairings and beautiful presentation, LOVED the seafood (lobster ravioli, scallops, escargot, sea bass) and some nice duck and lamb choices. Not everything was cooked perfectly but it was good. There were a few low notes (square pressed hashbrown is not impressing my husband) but Cabana's buffet is definitely the best breakfast buffet I have EVER had. Some people find DCL food to be too boring, and others find it to be too fancy! So... that's a tough one. Food is really subjective. I'll say personally to me, it was much more interesting than the CCL food (which is actually really good) but I may just be sick of their same menu year after year. I think DCL had greener, yummier salads (including goat cheese! Yummy!)

There is only PROs to me about Castaway Cay. Only Con being if you couldn't dock there that day (it happens occasionally.) We enjoyed the food, the fruit stand was AMAZING, and there are different ice cream flavors. We enjoyed the snorkeling, but you have to really swim out VERY VERY far to see anything. If you dont give up, you will be rewarded. There were thousands of fish out there. Not the brightest colors I've ever seen, but probably one of the highest quantities I can remember seeing in one place. (Like a giant column of hundred and hundreds of fish all together!) The volleyball is fun! The whole island is a blast. It's like going to a 5th Disney World park only you can help yourself to food and drinks the entire time. (Which felt odd to me at first!) Never made it to the adult areas even though we had no kids with us. That's my goal next.

The staterooms, well, I can only see that being PROs too. Even if you get the basic interior cheap room, you get a full bathtub. This is amazing to me. Other cruise lines give you a small shower curtain with a metal bar at the bottom. Some NCL has a toilet IN the shower?! At least that's what the photos looked like?! It's nearly impossible for me to balance all my conditioner (long mermaid hair) and not drop it on my feet constantly, and having a tub is SO nice for shaving too. I have heard some on RCI say they have to 'get creative'. DCL has the best bathrooms I have cruised with (basing off of interior standard rooms. obviously if you go up the line, you can get better on any cruise ship.) so right away, you are getting a better value for your standard inside room. Deluxe is even better since they have totally split up bathrooms and are ideal for families. Privacy is the best I've seen on DCL. But the thought of fitting a couch in my interior rooms on other lines is funny. They also have a great amount of space for storage. They know families are traveling and this is reflected in their rooms. Even if you dont have a family, its still appreciated. (One CON, the couch bed is awful, at least on the Dream. The bunk is MUCH more comfortable, so a pro there if you have a 4 person room and need 3 people sleeping.)

Another HUGE pro for rooms is being able to stock them with whatever beverages you would like in whatever quantity you can carry on, and that includes island purchases as well. We enjoyed our own margaritas (not so sugary!) and a nice glass of wine or some rum when we wanted to.

Here are some CONS for us. Pizza and buffets closed at midnight. The only food option was room service at that time, which is free, but it was over a 45 min wait that day so we said never mind. In reality, we didn't need to eat that late anyway. I'll just make sure I go get pizza at 11:30 if I really want something. The hot tubs also close at midnight, but I have experienced that on other cruise lines too. While there was some stuff going on in the adult areas, the consensus is that the ships get pretty quiet after midnight. We just found some awesome CMs to hang out with and chat with and then went back to our rooms and watched the moves On Demand.

I guess that's all I can think of for now. For me, it's going to be very, very hard to cruise any other line for a while. Even if I have to cruise shorter times (4 days vs 7), our 3 day showed us that the caliber of what they offer makes for a much more enjoyable trip. I MAJOR MAJOr pro for me was not personally being pestered constantly for drink sales (although I know CMs can differ) and we were even given BOGO free. Also not having so many hecklers for photographers. "Let me take your picture!" Sheesh. And by far, probably my most favorite would be bingo not being so much in your face. 'Buy Bingo!' Ugh. Its one thing if you want to go to a lounge to play, that's your business. Its another if you make me get to the theater and then have to sit through a bingo game and I lose my seat if I leave. Talk about a captive audience. That's the major differences I can see from having a few lines to compare.

Hope it's helpful!

kaseyC 10-23-2013 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids (Post 49903630)
Some NCL has a toilet IN the shower?! At least that's what the photos looked like?!

Hope it's helpful!

That is SO not true. You should probably stick to reviewing cruise lines you've ACTUALLY sailed on. :rolleyes:

boogabuzz 10-23-2013 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids (Post 49903630)
Pros and Cons are very subjective. Here's an example:

Casino. DCL doesn't have one. For us, that is a HUGE pro! For others, they see that as a con.

Entertainment. DCL has family entertainment that while stellar in quality may at times have a bit of a juvenile subplot. Con for some. Mostly pro for us! (I'm so over high kicks and thongs on the main stage with vegas style cruising.)

Smoking policy. DCL doesn't allow smoking on balconies anymore (neither does X, RCI or Princess) so for some, a BIG pro! For others, a con.

Dining Rooms. DCL has lively environments with interactive animation. It was a major major plus plus pro for us! We missed Turtle Talk at Epcot the day before and were delighted when it came to our dining room. Others see Animator's as loud and distracting. Pros for us! Cons for others.

I don't think the kids are really a con, there are so many activities for them on the island and on ship, and so many adult areas, this personally was fine for us. We enjoyed them at Family Karaoke and Fiesta Salsa dancing (SO funny!) and then we could go to our veranda or adult areas whenever we wanted. I suppose some would see this as a con, but cruising CCL and RCI, there are just about as many kids, probably less supervised (especially in the evening since the clubs start charging after a certain time and parents don't want to pay, so they roam around.)

For us, the characters around are a MAJOR pro! We never have time in the parks to pose for pictures. This time, we got photos with 4 princesses and got to talk to them. We have no kids and are in our 30s. Yeah. we like princesses. If this is a con for you, they are fairly easy to avoid since they aren't as much 'in your face'. You will see them in photo areas and here and there, but its not like a pixie parade all the time.

To me, the dining was a major pro. I'm sick of the banquet lasagna style of other cruise lines and found the dining mostly interesting with a few draw backs. The specialty desserts consist of mainly sundaes (pretty good though!) and a few winners like Grand Marnier Souffle. I enjoyed the different root vegetable pairings and beautiful presentation, LOVED the seafood (lobster ravioli, scallops, escargot, sea bass) and some nice duck and lamb choices. Not everything was cooked perfectly but it was good. There were a few low notes (square pressed hashbrown is not impressing my husband) but Cabana's buffet is definitely the best breakfast buffet I have EVER had. Some people find DCL food to be too boring, and others find it to be too fancy! So... that's a tough one. Food is really subjective. I'll say personally to me, it was much more interesting than the CCL food (which is actually really good) but I may just be sick of their same menu year after year. I think DCL had greener, yummier salads (including goat cheese! Yummy!)

There is only PROs to me about Castaway Cay. Only Con being if you couldn't dock there that day (it happens occasionally.) We enjoyed the food, the fruit stand was AMAZING, and there are different ice cream flavors. We enjoyed the snorkeling, but you have to really swim out VERY VERY far to see anything. If you dont give up, you will be rewarded. There were thousands of fish out there. Not the brightest colors I've ever seen, but probably one of the highest quantities I can remember seeing in one place. (Like a giant column of hundred and hundreds of fish all together!) The volleyball is fun! The whole island is a blast. It's like going to a 5th Disney World park only you can help yourself to food and drinks the entire time. (Which felt odd to me at first!) Never made it to the adult areas even though we had no kids with us. That's my goal next.

The staterooms, well, I can only see that being PROs too. Even if you get the basic interior cheap room, you get a full bathtub. This is amazing to me. Other cruise lines give you a small shower curtain with a metal bar at the bottom. Some NCL has a toilet IN the shower?! At least that's what the photos looked like?! It's nearly impossible for me to balance all my conditioner (long mermaid hair) and not drop it on my feet constantly, and having a tub is SO nice for shaving too. I have heard some on RCI say they have to 'get creative'. DCL has the best bathrooms I have cruised with (basing off of interior standard rooms. obviously if you go up the line, you can get better on any cruise ship.) so right away, you are getting a better value for your standard inside room. Deluxe is even better since they have totally split up bathrooms and are ideal for families. Privacy is the best I've seen on DCL. But the thought of fitting a couch in my interior rooms on other lines is funny. They also have a great amount of space for storage. They know families are traveling and this is reflected in their rooms. Even if you dont have a family, its still appreciated. (One CON, the couch bed is awful, at least on the Dream. The bunk is MUCH more comfortable, so a pro there if you have a 4 person room and need 3 people sleeping.)

Another HUGE pro for rooms is being able to stock them with whatever beverages you would like in whatever quantity you can carry on, and that includes island purchases as well. We enjoyed our own margaritas (not so sugary!) and a nice glass of wine or some rum when we wanted to.

Here are some CONS for us. Pizza and buffets closed at midnight. The only food option was room service at that time, which is free, but it was over a 45 min wait that day so we said never mind. In reality, we didn't need to eat that late anyway. I'll just make sure I go get pizza at 11:30 if I really want something. The hot tubs also close at midnight, but I have experienced that on other cruise lines too. While there was some stuff going on in the adult areas, the consensus is that the ships get pretty quiet after midnight. We just found some awesome CMs to hang out with and chat with and then went back to our rooms and watched the moves On Demand.

I guess that's all I can think of for now. For me, it's going to be very, very hard to cruise any other line for a while. Even if I have to cruise shorter times (4 days vs 7), our 3 day showed us that the caliber of what they offer makes for a much more enjoyable trip. I MAJOR MAJOr pro for me was not personally being pestered constantly for drink sales (although I know CMs can differ) and we were even given BOGO free. Also not having so many hecklers for photographers. "Let me take your picture!" Sheesh. And by far, probably my most favorite would be bingo not being so much in your face. 'Buy Bingo!' Ugh. Its one thing if you want to go to a lounge to play, that's your business. Its another if you make me get to the theater and then have to sit through a bingo game and I lose my seat if I leave. Talk about a captive audience. That's the major differences I can see from having a few lines to compare.

Hope it's helpful!

This pretty much sums it up. I will add that the ships are kept in top notch condition for every sailing. I've sailed on Carnival and RCI. The DCL ships are just so much more elegant, very tastefully decorated and so so clean. Every cast member I've ever dealt with has gone over and beyond our requests and needs. On RCI, my husband asked for a lime for his corona. They bartender looked at him like he had 3 heads and told him no. If DCL didn't have a lime, they would miraculously grow one in front of your eyes.

I remember back on our 2nd DCL cruise, my cousin had asked our server if there was anywhere on the ship that had Rice Krispie treats like at the parks. He said no, and of course we continued to check Cabanas ect. She dropped it and didn't think about it again. The next night at after dinner when our server was bringing our desserts out, he placed a huge platter of Rice Krispie treats at our table. He said, "Ask, and you shall receive" well, he had the chef make a batch of them for us!! These are the little things that make everything about DCL and Disney in general so special to us!

TwinPrincessMermaids 10-23-2013 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaseyC (Post 49904375)
That is SO not true. You should probably stick to reviewing cruise lines you've ACTUALLY sailed on. :rolleyes:

http://vintage.johnnyjet.com/photos/...uly-2010-5.JPG

http://c3270052.r52.cf0.rackcdn.com/...10/10/Tien.jpg

I realize not all NCL ships are EPIC and not all bathrooms are like this on the EPIC.

Still, that's is um... not for me...

Also, I found this hilarious! This is the men's room as seen from another ship!
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...icBathroom.jpg

Fair enough, I haven't sailed it. But I'll take a DCL bathroom over this any day!

lauti 10-23-2013 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids (Post 49904815)
I realize not all NCL ships are EPIC and not all bathrooms are like this on the EPIC. Still, that's is um... not for me... Also, I found this hilarious! This is the men's room as seen from another ship! http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...icBathroom.jpg

That's not the shower, it's just that the toilet area has frosted glass so not total privacy.

boogabuzz 10-23-2013 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids (Post 49904815)
http://vintage.johnnyjet.com/photos/...uly-2010-5.JPG

http://c3270052.r52.cf0.rackcdn.com/...10/10/Tien.jpg

I realize not all NCL ships are EPIC and not all bathrooms are like this on the EPIC.

Still, that's is um... not for me...

Also, I found this hilarious! This is the men's room as seen from another ship!
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...icBathroom.jpg


Fair enough, I haven't sailed it. But I'll take a DCL bathroom over this any day!

Yep, looks like a toilet in a shower to me. Weird!!

cindy1098 10-23-2013 11:37 AM

"On RCI, my husband asked for a lime for his corona. They bartender looked at him like he had 3 heads and told him no. If DCL didn't have a lime, they would miraculously grow one in front of your eyes."

I had to laugh out loud when I read that! Almost the same story I tell about asking for honey mustard with my chicken fingers on carnival...he looked at me like he had never heard of honey mustard. I tell people that if I had been on DCL, then I would have seen a boat being lowered from the ship and a CM heading for the nearest island to find me honey mustard! Lol

"I remember back on our 2nd DCL cruise, my cousin had asked our server if there was anywhere on the ship that had Rice Krispie treats like at the parks. He said no, and of course we continued to check Cabanas ect. She dropped it and didn't think about it again. The next night at after dinner when our server was bringing our desserts out, he placed a huge platter of Rice Krispie treats at our table. He said, "Ask, and you shall receive" well, he had the chef make a batch of them for us!! These are the little things that make everything about DCL and Disney in general so special to us!"

Again...almost the same story I tell! They had an awesome cheesecake on embarkation day at the buffet. A couple nights later I asked our server if they would be serving it at dinner and he checked and said no. The next night there was a HUGE platter of the deliciously awesome cheesecake at my spot at the table. It was AMAZING!!!

1BabyForBec 10-23-2013 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids (Post 49904815)
http://vintage.johnnyjet.com/photos/...uly-2010-5.JPG

http://c3270052.r52.cf0.rackcdn.com/...10/10/Tien.jpg

I realize not all NCL ships are EPIC and not all bathrooms are like this on the EPIC.

Still, that's is um... not for me...

Also, I found this hilarious! This is the men's room as seen from another ship!
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...icBathroom.jpg

Fair enough, I haven't sailed it. But I'll take a DCL bathroom over this any day!

HILARIOUS! (And not for me either!)

JimGA 10-23-2013 11:45 AM

I remember back on our 2nd DCL cruise, my cousin had asked our server if there was anywhere on the ship that had Rice Krispie treats like at the parks. He said no, and of course we continued to check Cabanas ect. She dropped it and didn't think about it again. The next night at after dinner when our server was bringing our desserts out, he placed a huge platter of Rice Krispie treats at our table. He said, "Ask, and you shall receive" well, he had the chef make a batch of them for us!! These are the little things that make everything about DCL and Disney in general so special to us![/QUOTE]

So Awesome, we had a similiar experience, my DW and mother in law missed out on the coconut shrimp at Cabanas for lunch one day due to an excursion, my father in law and I were both raving about them that night at dinner and asked our server if they had any, he statedd no, none tonight, but maybe another night.

Well the next night at dinner, he had the chef make a hugh order for us (not on the menu, not even at lunch that day) and he brought it out with our appetizers that night! Nice touch!

kaseyC 10-23-2013 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boogabuzz (Post 49904871)
Yep, looks like a toilet in a shower to me. Weird!!

It's two separate frosted areas. One has the toilet and the other the shower., with the sink in outside in the cabin. It's a horrid design and can only be found on the Epic. The rest of NCL's fleet has the more standard bathrooms.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards

TwinPrincessMermaids 10-23-2013 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaseyC (Post 49904964)
It's two separate frosted areas. One has the toilet and the other the shower., with the sink in outside in the cabin. It's a horrid design and can only be found on the Epic. The rest of NCL's fleet has the more standard bathrooms.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards

Well, I'm sure you would be the one to know. But that is AWFULLY tiny if it's "two separate areas".

Again, I know not every ship is EPIC etc. But I also think I've validated my point...

:rotfl:


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