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Old 03-20-2013, 07:06 AM   #1
calismic
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Southern or Eastern Caribbean, need opinions!

My husband, DD, and I recently returned from our 3 night Dream vacation and needless to say we are HOOKED! We are furiously planning our next trip and cannot decide between the Southern and Eastern Caribbean cruise. I understand that the San Juan port is new but for anyone who has traveled to the Southern areas at all, whats your opinion? There's definitely a lot more port stops on the Southern cruise, but I actually enjoy Sea Days and being stuck on the Fantasy wouldn't be painful. We have barely traveled outside the US so we have no idea what to expect from any of the ports. Really I'd just love anyones opinion on why they enjoy certain locations. Don't worry about my tastes, I want to hear yours!! =)

(If you want to toss in opinions on the Western I'm open as well. I'm just nervous about Mexico!)
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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We have sailed on the Disney Eastern, Western and mexican Riveria itineraries. All nice with lots of sea days. We also sailed the two southern cruises with RC departing from San Juan and they were also amazing. First off, it is nice and warm while starting out from San Juan as opposed to what the weather might be in Port Canaveral. Secondly, the southern island are beautiful...Dominica, St Lucia just to name a few. Watching the ship sail into port each morning is also a nice touch.

Having said all that, it will be your preference. I LOVE both. IMHO, there is nothing like a Disney cruise. To me it is the best. I like sea days and I also like islands every day. I would reccomend that you do try the deep southern cruise at least once. I think that Disney is having a few select dates with sailings out of San Juan in the near future
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Between the Southern and Eastern, we enjoyed the Southern more. We are not shoppers and I find St Thomas and St Martin are more shopping destinations. We have been many times and do find enjoyable things to do. But I find the southern Caribbean tends to be more about the flavor of the island first and where the Diamonds International is located second (trust me they all have shopping but we just find it's easier to overlook on the southern itinerary). Between the Eastern/Western, we enjoy the Eastern and the extra sea day (love sea days!).

And, if you want to do both with DCL, I would grab the Southern itinerary while it is available. Who knows when they will bring it back. Maybe it will work out so well they'll have more scheduled for 2015; or maybe they'll try other destinations. I'm confident they will always have Eastern/Western.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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We are from the North East so I was shocked to discover that airfare is cheaper to San Juan than it is to Orlando! I am also tempted by the Magic simply because its a smaller ship.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calismic View Post
We are from the North East so I was shocked to discover that airfare is cheaper to San Juan than it is to Orlando! I am also tempted by the Magic simply because its a smaller ship.
We live in GA and airfare to San Juan is almost cheaper than airfare to Orlando.

We have a Western booked for next May but if they were offering the Southern itinerary during the summer, we would choose it over the Western/Eastern that are offered during summer.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #6
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DH and I have done the Western and Eastern and loved the Eastern more because it had one more day at sea. We like the sea days a lot more than the port days. With that being said, even if they had the same number of at sea days, I liked the Eastern much better due to the ports and excursions available. If I were you, check out what type of excursions are available and if you'd like them. That may help you decided If you don't like excursions, then you can't go wrong on either itinerary since you'll have the ship to enjoy!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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Southern, mainly because there is no guarantee they will do it again or anytime soon. The eastern is not going away.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:35 AM   #8
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I did the Southern when DCL did the 10 day a few years ago. I loved the Ports, to this day it is my favorite itinerary (not including Hawaii). We love our sea days and we did end up feeling not as relaxed because we had full days on the islands and they were all back to back. This time around we probably won't do as much but am so excited to get back.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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We've been on 2 Easterns and a Southern (all on other cruise lines), and will leave for our third Eastern in a couple of days. I prefer the ports in the Southern Caribbean, and DCL's itinerary looks fabulous to me. Your decision will depend, in part, on whether you would have to pull your child out of school to take the Southern and how you feel about that. I would have booked that itinerary in a heartbeat if it was available during spring break or over the summer. Hopefully DCL will offer the same (or a similar) itinerary in 2015 at times that are more kid friendly!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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I would do the Southern. DCL will always be doing Easterns but they may not do any more Southerns for a while.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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we would love to do the southern but they only sail these dates in September - October which is peak hurricane season. scares the daylights out of me.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
calismic
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We've decided to go for the Southern Caribbean! The ports just look amazing and we don't want to miss out in case Disney decides not to return for a while. We know the Eastern isn't going anywhere. Thanks everyone for your opinions. Hurricane season doesn't scare me all that much, I love rough seas!
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calismic View Post
We've decided to go for the Southern Caribbean! The ports just look amazing and we don't want to miss out in case Disney decides not to return for a while. We know the Eastern isn't going anywhere. Thanks everyone for your opinions. Hurricane season doesn't scare me all that much, I love rough seas!
One other point. Don "Ducky" Williams is a character artist for Disney's marketing department. He is typically commissioned to create a limited edition lithograph given to each stateroom party on the first cruise from a new port. So there is a good chance (I'm NOT promising) that each room on the first cruise out of San Juan will receive a limited edition Disney artwork.

Google Don Ducky Williams.
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