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Old 09-18-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
reimero
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Another question....

I've never really looked into cruising, but I've heard the Disney is quite expensive as far as cruises go. To me, it does seem worth it, but I'm not the one paying for it. We were merely going to throw DCL out as a suggestion. Does anyone know off hand how much more expensive it is in general? We would need 5 rooms...

1. MIL
2. me, dh, dd8 & dd6
3. sil, bil, ds 10
4. sil, bil, ds8 & dd5
5. sil, bil, ds8, ds6, dd3
There's no way around it: DCL will not be your cheapest option. That said, DCL does very well on the "value-added" side of the experience. My DW is very much a Disney girl, but has very high expectations of the Disney product (her brother was a long-time CM at WDW, so she has a pretty good idea of what's expected.) DCL exceeded her expectations in terms of service and attention to detail. If the "little things" matter, DCL is very much worth considering. Similarly, the programs for kids and families are very, very strong on DCL. The philosophy seems to be, "deliver an excellent experience, and charge accordingly."

That is not to say you won't get a fantastic experience on another cruise line. It just won't be a Disney experience, and what's included may differ ($7 extra per person per day for soft drinks, for instance. But it may be worth it if the difference in cruise fare is a couple grand.) There is no absolute "right answer." It comes down to personal preference and what's important to you. That said, if you're seriously into the Disney experience, DCL should do right by you, because they tend to carry that whole philosophy throughout.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #17
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After doing a little more research.... I'm back! Thanks to everyone for your responses, they really are helpful. Here's my next question. MIL talked to a travel agent this week that pretty much talked her out of DCL. She told her it was way too expensive, and steered her towards Princess. This is probably a more comfortable fit for MIL, since she has cruised with Princess before. Here's where I'm confused. MIL has tentatively decided on a week in late July. I just went on Princess' website and priced out a trip for our family of 4. I then went to DCL website and priced out the same week. Both were Oceanview, and the difference was about $170.00 total for the week for the 4of us. I guess from everything I've heard, I would have expected Disney to be a lot higher. Is it possible they are that close in price, or am I missing something. If I'm not missing anything... is it possible that the TA has some sort of incentives to steer clients to a particular line? Or maybe there is some sort of group discount available with Princess that isn't with DCL?
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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Princess has better itineraries for Alaska, however their target age is retirees. Since there are a lot of kids, DCL would be a better choice - especially if the prices are that close. Make sure you have four people in the room when you priced out DCL. The website is a bit confusing, so it is easy to just have two set.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by LONES View Post
After doing a little more research.... I'm back! Thanks to everyone for your responses, they really are helpful. Here's my next question. MIL talked to a travel agent this week that pretty much talked her out of DCL. She told her it was way too expensive, and steered her towards Princess. This is probably a more comfortable fit for MIL, since she has cruised with Princess before. Here's where I'm confused. MIL has tentatively decided on a week in late July. I just went on Princess' website and priced out a trip for our family of 4. I then went to DCL website and priced out the same week. Both were Oceanview, and the difference was about $170.00 total for the week for the 4of us. I guess from everything I've heard, I would have expected Disney to be a lot higher. Is it possible they are that close in price, or am I missing something. If I'm not missing anything... is it possible that the TA has some sort of incentives to steer clients to a particular line? Or maybe there is some sort of group discount available with Princess that isn't with DCL?
This was my 1st thought, or perhaps she is just not very familiar with DCL and tends to shy away. Given the kids ages, I would definitely recommend DCL. To me, Alaska is so amazing to see, that honestly at some times having young children will detract from your enjoyment of it. Even my ds12 was bored of the glacier & Tracy Arm. Whereas with a Caribbean cruise, the adults can still enjoy their beach days just as much with kids as they could without. So I was feeling bad for the adults with very small kids that were missing a lot. That said, if MIL were paying for all of us, I'd go wherever she wanted to take us!
I would HIGHLY recommend a balcony for Alaska too. Yes, it's a lot more but we spent sooo much time there, even snapping pics in our PJs in early mornings. We've had inside, window & verandah before in the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda and usually enjoy a window just fine but dh & I agreed the verandah was well worth the upgrade.
For a difference of $170 I would choose DCL. Princess & Holland America are geared to a much older crowd as pp mentioned. We have cruised RCCL a few times and were surprised how often the kids area closed or they wouldn't feed them. DCL has activities for kids every day, all day pretty much. Not that I'm suggesting they spend all their time there but it's nice to have that flexibility to not have to schedule what you want to do around the kids club hours. Good luck! I'd find a TA that is experienced with DCL.
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