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Old 01-08-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
Jess6001
Hey there, Mr. Grump Gills. You know what you gotta do when life gets you down? Just keep swimming...
 
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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 AMAZING...do you think 3 nights would be enough to even start to get a feel for it?

THANKS for your opinion!
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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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....
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
jbshell
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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
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:06 PM   #4
Jess6001
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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...
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess6001 View Post
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...
Cruised Princess to Alaska 14 years ago. Got off and thought "Eh. Fine. No issues. Don't need to ever cruise again." Went on Disney Wonder 3 night to Bahamas 3 years ago and got off jumping up and down thinking "I can't wait to go again!" Since then, my wife has done a total of 8 DCL cruises, and she is doing a "girls trip" in 4 weeks and another trip with a friend in 5 weeks (B2B on the Wonder). I have done 7 DCL cruises, including one with just my wife. The girls have done 6. The only danger you have going on this cruise is that you will get hooked.

BTW, what residency? I'm a pediatrician.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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I know we'll get hooked! I'm applying to IM...planning to do cardiology (possibly interventional). So I'm sure you can appreciate me wanting to celebrate graduation and do something fun before internship starts...
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess6001 View Post
I know we'll get hooked! I'm applying to IM...planning to do cardiology (possibly interventional). So I'm sure you can appreciate me wanting to celebrate graduation and do something fun before internship starts...

absolutely! wife and I took six weeks after residency to bike around Ireland. last chance for that kind of time until I retire! have fun!
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess6001
I know we'll get hooked! I'm applying to IM...planning to do cardiology (possibly interventional). So I'm sure you can appreciate me wanting to celebrate graduation and do something fun before internship starts...
Yes!!! Celebrate that graduation. You deserve it after finishing med school and to relax before that intern year. Hubby finished pedi cards last June and was on call q4 with 30 hour shifts during his intern year and first year of fellowship. I've read that they've lowered the max hours allowed on shifts but still, you'll definitely be busy.

We still managed to take one 1 week long vacation each year as his hospital required that they take 5 straight vacation days once a year. We even pulled off 16 nights once during fellowship. But that sure did mean a long time w/o any time off. We realized that cruises were the prefect way for him to relax w/o pager and 2 phones attached to his hip!

Best of luck to you!!!

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four Swampers View Post
Cruised Princess to Alaska 14 years ago. Got off and thought "Eh. Fine. No issues. Don't need to ever cruise again." Went on Disney Wonder 3 night to Bahamas 3 years ago and got off jumping up and down thinking "I can't wait to go again!" Since then, my wife has done a total of 8 DCL cruises, and she is doing a "girls trip" in 4 weeks and another trip with a friend in 5 weeks (B2B on the Wonder). I have done 7 DCL cruises, including one with just my wife. The girls have done 6. The only danger you have going on this cruise is that you will get hooked.

BTW, what residency? I'm a pediatrician.
My first cruise to Alaska was on Princess in 2007, and I loved it. (I have been on 3 more Princess cruises since then.) My first Disney cruise was in Jan. 2008 with my elderly mother, and I couldn't wait to get off the ship!
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #11
Jess6001
Hey there, Mr. Grump Gills. You know what you gotta do when life gets you down? Just keep swimming...
 
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HAHA! I believe it. WDW has already made me a total hotel snob.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:40 PM   #14
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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!
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #15
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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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