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Old 10-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #16
mykidsrock76
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We are talking about booking this trip. We've never sailed DCL but have sailed a couple Carnival ships and we are ready for a change. There's do much to read to plan though. Where does everyone begin?
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #17
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We are talking about booking this trip. We've never sailed DCL but have sailed a couple Carnival ships and we are ready for a change. There's do much to read to plan though. Where does everyone begin?
Hi!! My family (DH, DS) and I cruised on the Fantasy just a few weeks back so I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. This was our first ever cruise on any line, so I can't offer any comparisons of DCL to Carnival BUT I can go on and on about the absolutely amazing experience we had!!

Not only are we booked on this cruise next September, but we're also booked on the Dream in July.

If you don't feel like searching through the vast amounts of information on DISboards (because it can become addicting!), feel free to ask away here and I'll do my best to help out.

Happy planning!
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #18
mykidsrock76
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Originally Posted by karyn0995

Hi!! My family (DH, DS) and I cruised on the Fantasy just a few weeks back so I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. This was our first ever cruise on any line, so I can't offer any comparisons of DCL to Carnival BUT I can go on and on about the absolutely amazing experience we had!!

Not only are we booked on this cruise next September, but we're also booked on the Dream in July.

If you don't feel like searching through the vast amounts of information on DISboards (because it can become addicting!), feel free to ask away here and I'll do my best to help out.

Happy planning!
Thank you! I always use the Dis for our WDW trips and it can be extremely addicting. There is so much information out there it can make your head spin!

How was your experience with the dining rooms? What is the dress code like? We have no problem dressing for dinner but we do like to change after dinner into more comfortable clothes.

I'm assuming the kids clubs are great. From what I've seen online, they look like a lot of fun.

What kind of activities do they have in the evening? Carnival is big on the bars, casino scene, which we are not. Most nights my DH and I felt lost for something to do and none of their evening activities were kid friendly.

Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #19
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Thank you! I always use the Dis for our WDW trips and it can be extremely addicting. There is so much information out there it can make your head spin!

How was your experience with the dining rooms? We had a great experience in the MDRs. Our son has special dietary concerns, which I explained to ALL of our servers the very first night. They bent over backwards to accommodate us and help him feel at ease. Personally, I prefer to eat vegetarian and there were plenty of options for me. DH and MIL (who I forgot to mention also cruised with us) can be food snobs but they too enjoyed every single meal. The 3 of us did have dinner in Palo's one evening while our son ate in the kids club. Palo was fabulous but I'll admit that I was disappointed in the serving size of my dish. I ordered some type of lobster ravioli thing (apologies for not remembering the name) and I got a whole whopping THREE ravioli's. That was a let down because the dish was scrumptious but admittedly with the salad and everything that came before hand I probably didn't "need" to eat more than I did! Back to the main MDR's...our assistant server would see us walking into the restaurant and before we even had a chance to sit down our drinks were waiting on us. The service team would acknowledge us anytime we saw them on board and always went out of their way to make sure we were having a great time and that our expectations were not only met but exceeded. They asked about our dogs because they knew I had a hard time leaving them at home, they recommended activities for the next day, and made sure we had fun on our excursions. They left NOTHING out!

What is the dress code like? We have no problem dressing for dinner but we do like to change after dinner into more comfortable clothes. Most people adhered to the DCL dress code requirements. Meaning, no shorts (except for little kids) etc. My family dressed for all of the special events, semi-formal, formal and pirate. DH wore a tux on formal night, and while I didn't wear a satiny gown, I did wear a long dress. We didn't feel out of place doing so and there were more people who had on formal attire than not. We also dressed up for Pirate Night along with our son and had a BLAST! If you want to connect with your inner child, I suggest dressing up too! We were surprised with how many adults were actually walking around with pirate gaaarrrrrbbb on!

I'm assuming the kids clubs are great. From what I've seen online, they look like a lot of fun. One word - FABULOUS! I was talking to a friend today about how special the kids club really is, and how much interaction DS had with the Fab 5. He had a PJ party with Pluto one night, and Mickey the next. He danced with Chip & Dale, had a personal visit from Stitch, hung out with Minnie. I could go on and on. Let's just say that the time he spent with the characters on the Fantasy was way more than you can ever get standing in an autograph line at MK. The kids club workers learned the names of everyone in our family after the first day, and addressed us as such anywhere they saw us. I don't know how they remember since they encounter so many cruisers but the do! Phenomenal..just phenomenal!

What kind of activities do they have in the evening? Carnival is big on the bars, casino scene, which we are not. Most nights my DH and I felt lost for something to do and none of their evening activities were kid friendly. Oh my gosh, you name it they've got it! The atrium was the place to be with characters walking around, live music being played, movies in the Buena Vista theatre, live shows in the Disney theatre, adult comedy in the lounges, and family activities in the DLounge (bingo, kaoroke, drawing lessons and a whole slew of other stuff!!). You will not be bored at and other than the pubs/lounges kids are welcome everywhere. Oh, and make sure to catch at least one movie on Funnel Vision (the huge outdoor screen on the pool deck) That was really neat to watch a movie under the stars. If your kids decide to move in to the kids club (like my son tried to do), there were wonderful adult only places to escape to, both inside and out on the decks. My husband, who is NOT a Disney fan, asked the 3rd day if we could rebook for next year! Of course, I said yes!

Sorry for all the questions. No need to apologize! I hope this helps. If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to ask.
Hi again! Hopefully this will post correctly. I tried to answer in red above.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:57 PM   #20
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Hi again! Hopefully this will post correctly. I tried to answer in red above.
Wow! Thanks for the great reply. Cannot wait to share it with my DH.
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2001- All Star Music
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Dec 2007- Cruise to Caribbean
Dec 2008- Another Cruise
Nov 2009- Port Orleans Riverside
Sep 2012- Polynesian (our first deluxe!!! )
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mykidsrock76 View Post
We are talking about booking this trip. We've never sailed DCL but have sailed a couple Carnival ships and we are ready for a change. There's do much to read to plan though. Where does everyone begin?
It looks like most of your questions have been answered above, but we just got off Carnival last week, and we sailed the Disney Magic back in May of this year, so if you have any questions about differences in the two, I'd be happy to answer.


I am curious where everyone is from. It looks like a few of us are from GA, and a few from overseas. What about everyone else?
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:20 AM   #22
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It looks like most of your questions have been answered above, but we just got off Carnival last week, and we sailed the Disney Magic back in May of this year, so if you have any questions about differences in the two, I'd be happy to answer.


I am curious where everyone is from. It looks like a few of us are from GA, and a few from overseas. What about everyone else?
MD here! About an hour NW of Washington DC.

Can you give a quick opinion of the difference between DCL and CCL? We think CCL is more for adults, either single or leaving their kids at home. The camp is great on Carnival, but we wish they had more family activities. I feel they are pushing people into paying for the extra childcare services in order to enjoy a lot of the activities. It seems the showtimes are being made later and later each time we sail. This is strictly my opinion. But I would love to hear yours!
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2001- All Star Music
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Dec 2008- Another Cruise
Nov 2009- Port Orleans Riverside
Sep 2012- Polynesian (our first deluxe!!! )
Sep 2013- Wilderness Lodge


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Old 10-09-2012, 11:27 AM   #23
karyn0995
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It looks like most of your questions have been answered above, but we just got off Carnival last week, and we sailed the Disney Magic back in May of this year, so if you have any questions about differences in the two, I'd be happy to answer.


I am curious where everyone is from. It looks like a few of us are from GA, and a few from overseas. What about everyone else?
Cherokee County, GA here! We're taking advantage of Cherokee's fall break (again) for this cruise!
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #24
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We are from Paulding County (Dallas,Ga). It's our annual trip for our Anniversary we have been on the Dream twice and the Wonder once (I have actually been on the Wonder twice but with DH once)
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:43 PM   #25
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MD here! About an hour NW of Washington DC.

Can you give a quick opinion of the difference between DCL and CCL? We think CCL is more for adults, either single or leaving their kids at home. The camp is great on Carnival, but we wish they had more family activities. I feel they are pushing people into paying for the extra childcare services in order to enjoy a lot of the activities. It seems the showtimes are being made later and later each time we sail. This is strictly my opinion. But I would love to hear yours!

Yes! The first day on the ship, DH and I noticed a huge lack of family/kid activities. Not to mention that when we boarded the ship, none of the amenities were open (pools, water slides, mini golf, etc.). This was not the case on the Magic. When we boarded, the kids could have gotten in the pool and slides right away. The only thing that was open on Carnival was the buffet of standard burgers & hot dogs. We felt like the Magic had better food and a wider variety. My husband kept saying that he couldnít find anyone to help us, but he had no problem finding someone to sell us something. We definitely felt nickel and dimed.
A couple examples of things I noticed were that sometimes, we just need some down time in our cabin, and there was only one kidís channel on the TV, and it would rotate movies like Dr. Doolittle, Alvin & the Chipmunks, etc. My kids are young and would not pay attention to these movies. On the Magic, they run a channel with 24/7 Disney cartoons (I understand that Carnival canít use Disney cartoons, but they didnít even have a young kids option.) This made relaxing time in the cabin a little difficult. Another example I noticed were that there were no trays at the buffet. Managing two plates, cups, silverware, and holding the hands of a 4 yr old and 2 yr old is a little difficult. At one point, I looked up while trying to make our way to the table only to see two crew members watching me struggle. Neither of them offered to help me or take a plate from me to get to the table. This would not have happened on the Magic. At the end of every buffet line, they have cast members filling cups for you, offering to carry your trays to your table for you, clearing away plates if a table is dirty, etc. They just really set the bar high!
As for family activities, there were several times on the Magic where we had to make a decision on which activity to choose, including letting our kids play hide Ďn seek with Peter Pan and Captain Hook. And really, who wouldnít want to do that? On Carnival, we dropped our kids off at Camp Carnival three times, and the first two times, they called us to come pick them up. The last time we dropped them off, we told them it would only be for 30 mins while we were packing up to go home.
We also noticed that there were not a lot of kids on the Carnival ship, and we often felt like they almost went out of their way to exclude kids. They only had one show at night that was family friendly, and you are correct, that the show time was much later, so our kids often would not make it through the shows. Dinner was another problematic area. They have kidís menus, but they werenít ready until our 3rd night on board. Also, on the Magic, our dinner drinks were always ready, on the table, with appropriate cups for our kids with their names on them. On the Magic, dinner lasted an hour, and they did an excellent job of keeping the kids entertained, cutting up their food for them, etc., so DH and I didnít have to worry about that so much. On Carnival, dinner lasted an hour and a half to two hours with no entertainment for the kids.
This was definitely a case of getting what you pay for, and so even though Disney was about double the cost, itís really worth about 10 times as much as Carnival. I hope this helps. I think weíre definitely going to stick with Disney while weíre sailing with the kids, and maybe even when we arenít.
Anyway, this was just my experience.



Wow, a lot of us are from GA. We donít really have to follow the school calendar yet, but I think we probably will in a year or two. I know Iíll be looking for the fall break too.
And MD too. My college roommate was from MD, and I went there once by mistake. I got turned around on the beltway.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #26
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Thank you so much for the comparison! All very useful information.

And the beltway is a nightmare. I avoid it at all costs.

We don't have a fall break, but we do have a shortened week in September for our county fair and there is usually a holiday that falls in there somewhere so the kids do not miss much school.

Reading all these trip reports has me super excited. I think we're ready to book!!!
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Dec 2008- Another Cruise
Nov 2009- Port Orleans Riverside
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #27
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We are from the thumb area of Michigan, this will be our 1st 7 day cruise! So excited!
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #28
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Hi all me again. I know we have a long way to go but would anyone be interested in taking part in a fish extender thing. I took part on my last cruise and really enjoyed it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #29
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Hi all me again. I know we have a long way to go but would anyone be interested in taking part in a fish extender thing. I took part on my last cruise and really enjoyed it.
We'll probably be interested in participating. We didn't do it last time, but I think the kids would really enojoy it. I'm not that crafty, but maybe I can find some cute things.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:50 AM   #30
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I'm interested, did it on my last cruise!
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