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Old 01-26-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
avinsmomma
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Carnival Cruise vs. DCL

I've cruised twice with Carnival and found it enjoyable both times. However I was going with another adult and spent time on grown up activities. I can get a much better rate thru Carnival but I have a son who will be 4 who will be traveling with us this time. Has anyone cruised both WITH children? Is the cost worth it to go with DCL? Why do you think so?

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Old 01-26-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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I have sailed numerous times on both Carnival and Disney. My son is 10 and enjoys both, however right now he is wanting to do more Disney. He is at an in between age where hes (he thinks) too big for the younger set, but not quite there for the older age group. He enjoys the shows and movies on Disney, and is still into the character interaction. Yes, the price difference is big, and I'm sure we will be bouncing back and forth between the cruise lines, but right now Disney is more fun for him which gives me more time for fun myself. I think at 4 your child would prefer Disney.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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I'd say the ship depends on this answer a lot. Some older carnival are seriously due for a refurb as they are still stuck in the 80s with the decor.

Many say carnival is the Walmart of the cruise industry... Personally I think once you cruise Disney, there's no going back...
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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I have been no one short Carnival cruise on the Triumph. It introduced e to cruising. I had an opportunity within offer kids cruise free in April 2010 and we went on the Magic for 7 days..... What a difference.

First, we are not into the casino or bar. The Magic was so elegant, no Vegas style....mirrors etc that I felt was on cArnival. The ship is lovely.....then we went on the Dream....wow!

Second, loved the rotational dining 3 different dining rooms, plus and adult only restaurant. We did go to Palo for brunch and dinner.....fabulous.

Third, Service.......unbelievable....our stateroom host.....so nice, kind and attentive. Our dining room staff we will remember for ever. We enjoyed Topsiders.....the boys loved room service.

The kids clubs are fantastic.....on the ones on the Dream and Fantasy are gorgeous.

We loved the Buena Vista theatre and was able enjoy movies that come out that week aboard the ship. We enjoy the Disney live shows......

We have been on 3 Disney cruises so far, two as a family and just DH and me out of NY. I guess you can say I am sold on DCL and I am not a Disney fanatic
at all.

4 year old....no brainer...Disney....from the moment they see Mickey in the terminal....it all about the magic, no matter how old you are.....
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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With a 4 yo kid, I would definately do Disney, hands down. You have to ask one question of yourself, is the cruise more for you or him?

I think you will both really enjoy the superior quality of the DCL.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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We have yet to take our Disney cruise, but we have cruised Carnival with kids. We sailed on the Destiny with our extended family when our kids were 12, 9, 6, and 2. My 6yo and 2yo hated Carnival Kids. We only sent the 2yo once and she was miserable. The 6yo went a few times but refused to go if his 9yo sister wasn't going (thankfully they were in the same age bracket). I didn't mind having the kids with us since the youngest didn't like the club but I felt there wasn't really much for them to do. The evening shows weren't very kid friendly, obviously the casino was out. "Family" activities were few and far between. Personally, I don't think we would attempt to cruise on a non-Disney line until the kids are all older and can do a little more unsupervised.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
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We have 3 family NCL cruises under us belts, with another booked for 2015. I'm not sold on DCL as being "the" line for children. My boys are 7.5&5 yrs and are not disney fans by any stretch of the imagination. They want to go to WDW because some of their friends have gone, so for DH and my sanity we are taking a short cruise after visiting the parks. We may or may not book another DCL cruise, regardless of how great the experience is, because we can take 2 cruises on NCL for the cost of one on DCL. Plus I don't really like the set up of the DCL kids clubs, way too many kids in one place for our boys. I actually prefer ships with fewer children as our boys have a more personal experience rather than being just another kid. DH is a vice principal, so we have to travel over school holidays and the mark up on DCL at those times is absolutely ridiculous.
We cruise for the ports, not the ship, which is likely different than most DCL cruisers. Plus DCL has some of the most boring itineraries out there...
So moral of my story, if you like Carnival, go for it. Reports about their kids clubs are hit and miss, you may want to check out cruisecritic for some family reviews. NCL and RCCL are also popular with families and tend to get great reviews for kids programming. It isn't Disney quality, but kids have fun and beg to stay...which is a good review in my books lol!
Keep in mind you're probably going to get glowing reports of DCL on the disboards, and a more objective view of all the options from other places. JMHO.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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We have done Disney twice and Carnival twice. The Carnival ships we did were the smaller ones. We had fun on both, but Disney is nicer all the way around.

The kids clubs are MUCH better on Disney. On Carnival the club closed down several times a day - it was very cumbersome to work around their schedule. Disney was much easier.

Saying that, we enjoyed all of the cruises - but we are back to Disney on this one! If you can swing it, I think you would enjoy the Disney more with a 4 year old....but you will enjoy Carnival as well.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #9
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We are DCL fans, though and though, 2nd.RCL.

We did 2 carnival cruises, smaller ships and had drunk problems on both. I also have serious questions about the safety issues with Carnival over the last few years. I will not permit my family to sail carnival......JMHO

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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What safety issues are you questioning? I've been stuck in mommyhood for the last 4 years and I'm out of the loop on current events and issues.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Concordia_disaster
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avinsmomma View Post
What safety issues are you questioning? I've been stuck in mommyhood for the last 4 years and I'm out of the loop on current events and issues.
The whole Carnivail Inc vessels have had operating issues, the Major ones, The fire on the QM11, wel handled. the design fualt was found and corrected. However the electrical system is the same on the Splendour and the Concordia. The the redsign was not done to the other sister ships. Then the Spendour fire (the same problem started the fire), not handled well and the Concordia had electrical problems and black outs (unrelated to the sinking). the allego fire, the problem with one class of priness vessels, (I don't remeber the names), These vessels have done (Carnival explaination) *uncommanded hard turns.

MY favorite, abit years ago, the Estacy sailing Miami, the stern belching somke, the fire on TV and the USCG calling the Master to tell him he has a problem and he arguing about it.


Sorry..........I just will not take the chances.

JMHO

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Old 01-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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We've done both, with and without children. My kids actually don't have a preference; they aren't big Disney fans. Sure, they watched all the Disney movies growing up and don't dislike Disney, but they've never even expressed a desire to go to WDW. They are teens now and want to try RCCL.

Some kids actually don't like the DCL kids clubs. Some kids don't like the CCL kids clubs. Some kids just don't like kids clubs. It's all dependent on the individual child. I think that's something that's forgotten when we're all talking about kids and cruises (or kids and anything else for that matter), they don't all like or dislike the same things.

We've cruised Carnival and liked it and cruised Disney and liked it. I, however, don't think the premium paid for DCL is worth it. Others do. Again, we're all different just like our kids. As opposed to a previous poster's opinion, we've cruised DCL and gone back to other lines, including Carnival.

If your four year old isn't gaga over Disney and he likes other ships, choose what YOU want to do. You're paying for it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avinsmomma View Post
What safety issues are you questioning? I've been stuck in mommyhood for the last 4 years and I'm out of the loop on current events and issues.

I wouldn't worry about it If I were you.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avinsmomma View Post
I've cruised twice with Carnival and found it enjoyable both times. However I was going with another adult and spent time on grown up activities. I can get a much better rate thru Carnival but I have a son who will be 4 who will be traveling with us this time. Has anyone cruised both WITH children? Is the cost worth it to go with DCL? Why do you think so?

Thanks!

The DIS is NOT the place to ask people for opinons about other cruise lines. Check out Cruise Critic. Most of the people who will answer you on here are die-hard Disney fans, and you won't get an unbiased answer.

Having cruised several lines with kids, mine have always had a great time no matter where they are. And we were always big Disney people, going to the parks a lot.....but the attraction to the parks were the rides, not the characters....my kids weren't the kind to stand in line just to shake Mickey's hand......they just wanted to have fun, and they did do that on all of the different cruise lines.

Yes, Carnival has had some difficulties, but I also think they're more highly publicized. Also, the more ships you have, the more problems will hit the news.
ANY CRUISE SHIP COULD HAVE A FIRE. EVEN DISNEY. THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. I know people argue that they THINK the Disney captains would handle any emergency better than others, but they're wearing blinders.
Don't focus on what MIGHT happen, just go and have fun.

And in today's economy, there is NO WAY I'd spend that much more money just so the kids could see Mickey Mouse.
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