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Old 11-21-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
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Magic European Cruise?

I need some advice, so I decided to come here. My family has a unique opportunity to take a "once in a lifetime" vacation. We have checked out various ideas, and are thinking now about doing a European cruise. The Magic is doing a western Med itinerary when we are looking to go. My question is, is it worth the price? I compared the cruise with the Royal Caribbean Splendor of the Seas, and the Magic is a significant price difference. Is it worth it? We are traveling with 2 kids, will be 3 & 8, my mom and brother. The price difference is almost 40% and we are getting a balcony room on RCL, compared to a 2 porthole ocean view room on the Magic. Need some help with this. We are all huge disney fans. Thank you for your advice.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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With kids, basically no question--DCL wins. You'll have kid programming available about 16 hours each day at no additional cost, kid oriented family activities, and even some excursions with special kid stuff included (on some cruises).

We did a Celebrity cruise earlier this year to "check it out" as a possible replacement for DCL on the Med in 2013. The food was better, but the activities and entertainment FOR ADULTS was far inferior to DCL.

You'll also find things that cost extra on other lines are included on DCL--soda is a big one. However, there's no way that the cost of a soda card equates with the surcharge we all pay for DCL.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25 PM   #3
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We have done both lines in the Med. and we find the only real difference for us besides the price is the entertainment. RCL is as good in all other aspects and our daughter loved the kids' club the same. Unless you are Disney centric RCL is a great, cheaper alternative. This opinion from someone who cruised both RCL and Disney twice each in the Med.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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How much time will you be in port? On port-intensive cruises, the ship is more of a floating hotel than a resort in and of itself. When we sailed europe we chose Celebrity (sister to RCCL) because the price was so much lower -- the difference in cost paid for some nice shore excursions. The entertainment wasn't equal to DCL, but we were too tired to care. On sea days, we just wanted to relax.

This past spring we sailed DCL to Hawaii and had nine days at sea to enjoy the ship and its Disney atmosphere.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:58 AM   #5
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You must be looking at the 7-night Med cruises, because that's mostly what Splendour of the Seas does. My first Royal Caribbean cruise was on Splendour in 2005, and I loved the ship.

Besides the price difference between the two ships, most of Splendour's itineraries go to Greece and Turkey out of Venice, rather than France and Italy out of Barcelona: If you want to check prices for a comparable western Med itinerary on Royal Caribbean, take a look at Liberty of the Seas (a bit larger than the Dream/Fantasy) from Barcelona: Liberty of the Seas also gives you one more port (Toulon, France) than the Magic.

I personally wouldn't pay that much more for a Disney cruise in Europe, but I don't cruise with children.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:00 AM   #6
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It's worth the price to us. We love Disney and are happy to go back to our home after a "port intensive" stop. My kids are older so they don't visit characters or participate in children's activities. We have the 12 day planned next summer. I asked, more for giggles, if they wanted to save and sail on another line, but all three votes were a resounding NO.

We've sailed NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Disney wins our vote.

Last edited by tajz90; 11-22-2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #7

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For port intensive cruises, for our family at least, the ship is just a floating hotel. Cruise line and on board ship activities are not the priority...the ports are.

We've sailed in Europe the past 3 summers and will be doing it again this summer. In 2011, the difference in price between a Cat. T on a 7 night Magic Med cruise and a 2 bedroom Haven Villa on the Epic was about 5K. That savings was used on some fabulous private drivers and tour guides for our ports that truly enhanced the trip for our 3 DDs.

Last summer we sailed the Celebrity Silhouette on a 12 night Eastern Med and Greek isles itinerary that was awesome... started in Civitvecchia and ended with an overnight in Venice. By the time we sailed, due to price drops we ended up in connecting Concierge Class cabins for less than our original one cabin. Used the savings for private drivers and tour guides for most of our ports.

This summer we will get our Disney fix from our large number of sea days on the EBTA but we will sail another line on a Baltic itinerary.

Bottom line, you go with what's best for your family and only you can make that decision.
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Last edited by kaseyC; 11-24-2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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Yes DCL is lovely, but it's not that lovely to justify the high prices.

12 night med opening price for 3 in 11b, no air or transfers was around £6000, that's around $9600 I think.

12 night med with Carnival in a balcony, with air and transfers and includes Venice, Athens and Izmir was £4300. $6880.

7 night cruise only on DCL for us was £3500 with no air or transfers.

So we are trying Carnival for the first time next year. As others have said you spend more time ashore than on the ship, so to us it's just a hotel.

I love Disney, but at the end of the day, the money we save on this cruise can go towards another one next year.

Edit. RCL prices were similar to DCL at opening. I have friends and family who cruised with Carnival in the Med this year and enjoyed it, so that's another reason we chose them.
2005 - WDW -Off site LBV, 2006 WDW Regal Palms, 2007 - WDW Regal Palms, 2008 - Disney Old Key West, 2009 - Disneyland LA/SD, 2010 Yacht Club, 2011 Med Disney Cruise. 2012 Yacht Club again! 2013 - Carnival Sunshine Med, 2014- Carnival Breeze & Yacht Club .

Last edited by heatherbelle; 11-22-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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I would pick RCL if there is that significant of a price difference. I am Disney all the way, but for us Disney is cost prohibitive unless we get some kind of deal that brings it more in line with what other cruise lines charge. The only time we have been able to afford a Disney Cruise was when kids sail free offers are out. Disney is definitely worth it when it costs a thousand dollars more, but not when it costs thousands of dollars more.

I also have to agree that when you are going to be off the ship most days it becomes less and less worth the extra cost.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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Hard call for the Med. We're doing the Med with DCL next summer, and did it in 2007 and the Baltic in 2010, both on DCL. But the things I loved about DCL for those itineraries back then are changed now, and it's pretty annoying. Like the "family" excursions pretty much all exclude my ~3yo. As in I can't book them at all. That makes no sense to me, as i would much rather bring her on an excursion geared towards families/kids than a regular one.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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For the difference in money, I would go with the RCL. The kids clubs are great and you can get soda packages and extras with money left over.

DCL is wonderful and the quality of the ships, service and food is better than anything on any other lines we have had, having said that, for us, it is a short cheap flight to do the Med., and we are not going for the stops, which we have done many times before, but for the ship experience.

I am sure you will be going for the stops, in which case, you will be going to bed early for an early start, the kids clubs may be used for all of a couple of hours and surely that can't be worth it for a bit of Disney? To be honest, I find the kids clubs on the Magic a bit of a free for all and other ships tend to be a lot more organised and structured, so I don't rate them very highly, even though the children enjoy them.

When we have cruised the Med, on DCL, the ship is empty by 11pm, as everyone goes to bed for an early start. If you are spending more time in your cabin, then go for the nicer cabin with balcony, the views you get in the Med just warrant the balcony and the two prothole rooms are very disappointing to be honest. The Cat 9's with the large porthole are much better, but sitting out on a balcony when the sun is setting and you are sailing away from a beautiful Italian shoreline, can't be beaten.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:38 AM   #12
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We travelled on a 7 night DCL med cruise last summer with our two boys (who were then 4 and 7 years old) and we have rebooked again to do a back2back with them in the med next summer.

We found the DCL to be perfect for our children - they loved the characters, kids clubs, pools and entertainment. They were not so keen on the sightseeing (especially in the extreme heat we 'enjoyed' on our cruise) but having the beautiful Disney magic to return to each afternoon, really helped us balance their needs with our wish to see some of the sights of Europe.

I haven't cruised with anyone else since I have had the boys, but for the age they are, I am not convinced any other cruise line will match up, so am willing (until they get older at least) to pay a premium for that Disney service we know and love.

I will say though, that we booked an inside sideways room last year to save money (we had previously had verandahs or windows) and I had been apprehensive. I am so glad I saved the money - we LOVED the sideways rooms - so much so that I don't think we'll ever do anything else from now on!

happy planning!
Amy x

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Old 11-24-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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That's a tough call. But in either case: you are taking a Mediterranean Cruise, so whichever way you go, you are going to have a great time!

We took the 2011 Med cruise, and are going on another in 2013. We did look into taking a Celebrity cruise, and it was cheaper by far. But for us, the reason we chose Disney again was the kid's programming. The kids loved being on their own, and deciding if they would go into port or stay on the ship, hang out with the new friends at the pool, or have a MarioKart tournament. So much of their school year is chosen for them; for them to make their leisure decisions was really nice for them (although we did force them to go into Rome, Pisa and Malta LOL). I am home with the kids all year, so for them to do things on their own is not a huge sacrifice for me, but I met a lot of people whose children had minimal kids club time because they work outside the home and wanted to make every moment of the trip with them. I think it really depends on what you want to get out of the cruise. You will have a great time on Disney, but maybe the extra thousands of dollars could be put toward really fantastic port splurges on a different line?

Either way, it's a good situation for you. Have a great time!
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Last edited by GeneMachine; 11-24-2012 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Typo.
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