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Old 01-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #16
disneypoor
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Originally Posted by momtoleasawav View Post
you say you are a dvc member, That is how I afford disney cruises. Many people think it is a bad exchange of points but it is the way I afford to cruise. this time I paid by points for my husband and myself and cash for the kids. I don't get on board cridts like most people do but it has helped us enjoy our second disney cruise
I'm DVC also but haven't ever used my points to cruise yet. I was just wondering, when you use your points to cruise, aren't tips included in that? Just wondering because I thought I read somewhere a long time ago that when you book a cruise with your points that the gratuities were included. TIA! If I ever have a year when we won't use our points for a DVC stay, I will definitely use them for cruising. Right now, I have two DCL vacations coming up and I paid cash for both. I knew if I kept my points, we'd have to go somewhere Disney this summer. Hello, California!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rutgers1 View Post
I think what is amazing me is how much money people have to spend on vacations. This country is supposedly in a major recession, but you'd never know it by the prices that Disney is charging.
It is called credit card debt! I love all things Disney but there were other things I wanted to see. Couldn't afford to pay cash for both.

I think your kids will be excited with a cruise. Maybe try one of the Oasis Class with RCCL? Something new and exciting then add the Disney days.

My DS loves DCL & is nagging me to go on the Fantasy. Then I showed him the $8,000 price tag for next summer and he understood.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by disneypoor View Post
I'm DVC also but haven't ever used my points to cruise yet. I was just wondering, when you use your points to cruise, aren't tips included in that? Just wondering because I thought I read somewhere a long time ago that when you book a cruise with your points that the gratuities were included. TIA! If I ever have a year when we won't use our points for a DVC stay, I will definitely use them for cruising. Right now, I have two DCL vacations coming up and I paid cash for both. I knew if I kept my points, we'd have to go somewhere Disney this summer. Hello, California!
No, you should tip; they are not included. And, unless you have a lot of points yearly, it does take quite a bit of points depending on how many people are in your party.

It does take a lot of cash to tip but I believe that the CM's, for the most part, deserve every penny.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MrsKP View Post
It is called credit card debt! I love all things Disney but there were other things I wanted to see. Couldn't afford to pay cash for both.

I think your kids will be excited with a cruise. Maybe try one of the Oasis Class with RCCL? Something new and exciting then add the Disney days.

My DS loves DCL & is nagging me to go on the Fantasy. Then I showed him the $8,000 price tag for next summer and he understood.
Umm....no. I'm afraid credit card debt has nothing to do with our DCL vacations. We were able to book the western itinerary on the Fantasy for May 2014 for about $700 less than on Oasis on RCCL plus we get an additional port. My DH and I are taking a 3 night cruise on the Dream in May 2013 for about the same price as a 4 night on an older Carnival and RCCL ship. To us the extra night wasn't worth the older ship and small state rooms. We are considering Carnival strictly for their southern caribbean itinerary but the cost is not that much less than DCL for the dates we have in mind.

To the OP, you could look for KSF or IGT/OGT/VGT dates. Maybe you could book far enough in advance that you will have time to make payments. Or if you enjoy Carnival then go for it, I'm sure you will have a nice time.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:46 PM   #20
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I would never not tip. We have always had great CM's on all of our cruises and do tip extra on most occasions. I just thought I had read somewhere that gratuities were included when you booked with points but maybe I misinterpreted it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by disneypoor View Post
I would never not tip. We have always had great CM's on all of our cruises and do tip extra on most occasions. I just thought I had read somewhere that gratuities were included when you booked with points but maybe I misinterpreted it.
I don't want you to think, that I thought that you wouldn't tip.

Sorry if my tone of my response made you think otherwise.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3chantal

I don't want you to think, that I thought that you wouldn't tip.

Sorry if my tone of my response made you think otherwise.
Thanks for your response. I didn't think that though. I just wanted to make sure my post wasn't misunderstood cause I would never not tip. We have always had great service, and those CM's work so hard! I'm just sure I read somewhere that gratuities were included when booking with points though. It's driving me crazy cause I sure cant find the info now (which means I likely dreamed it). Lol!
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
11/06 Disneyland, 03/07 7 Night Eastern, 09/07 3 Nights on the
Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder, 03/12 One Week in Maui,
07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay

Upcoming Trips: 03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western, 07/13 Villas at Grand California
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by disneypoor View Post
Thanks for your response. I didn't think that though. I just wanted to make sure my post wasn't misunderstood cause I would never not tip. We have always had great service, and those CM's work so hard! I'm just sure I read somewhere that gratuities were included when booking with points though. It's driving me crazy cause I sure cant find the info now (which means I likely dreamed it). Lol!
With how much a cruise or any Disney vacation costs, I wish you had not dreamt it. We too have always had great service and that is precisely why we keep going back to anything Disney!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:00 AM   #24
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Perhaps we will rent our DVC points. We have 210, which could bring us about $10/point for $2,100. That would get us a week - or pretty close to it - on a Carnival ship with an ocean view. That won't even get me a 5 night interior room on the Disney ship................yet I would consider it!

I think it will require me to emerge from a year with some money jingling in my pocket. That isn't the case right now, so I have to be budget conscious.

As I said before, I can't believe so many people can afford this. Our joint income is pretty good, but there still isn't enough money to blow on a trip that would cost 6 or 7 thousand when all is said and done.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:29 AM   #25
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Family of 4, with two teens. We do WDW if they have FD and stay at mods due to bigger beds. That's an easy 2K. Last year we did our first DCL - a 5n under OGT and got bumped to a 5e cat on the Dream. That was 3K. This year, we are doing a 5n under KSF. That's 2.5K. Of course, we drive instead of flying...

No way we would blow 6-7k - In fact, that's a reason we never joined DVC.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by rutgers1 View Post
Perhaps we will rent our DVC points. We have 210, which could bring us about $10/point for $2,100. That would get us a week - or pretty close to it - on a Carnival ship with an ocean view. That won't even get me a 5 night interior room on the Disney ship................yet I would consider it!

I think it will require me to emerge from a year with some money jingling in my pocket. That isn't the case right now, so I have to be budget conscious.

As I said before, I can't believe so many people can afford this. Our joint income is pretty good, but there still isn't enough money to blow on a trip that would cost 6 or 7 thousand when all is said and done.
What time of year are you looking at? Summer cruises are crazy high. When I see Rutgers in your name, I think of the college. Do you live in NJ? If so, do your kids get off for Teachers Convention & Election day in the 1st week of Nov? That's when we tend to cruise except some special ones. It's very off peak in cruising terms.
If not, scour your kids school calendar for some odd days off that the whole country isn't off: teachers' inservices, Jewish holidays, etc. Usually in Feb our district puts out next year's calendar. Maybe there's a way they only miss a couple days. I would also look at the kids sail free offers from Miami & Galveston.

Personally, I'd rather be in an inside cabin on DCL than a suite on Carnival. We cruised Carnival 3x before discovering DCL. Since then tried 2 RCCLs. We just end up missing the Disney "magic". It's just a certain vibe that we don't feel on other cruise lines.

No, we aren't wealthy. No, we don't run up our credit cards. Dh works OT whenever he's offered and lets me use it toward vacay. Also in almost 18 yrs of marriage, I have enough "stuff" (jewelry, knick knacks, clothes, coats, boots, etc.). For the past 4-5 yrs he gives me $ for Christmas & birthdays to put toward vacay. Believe me, this makes me happier than if the gift were diamonds. Also we get a rather large tax refund each spring that covers more than cruise fare. My minivan is 6.5 yrs old. My cell phone is prob 5 yrs old with no data plan. I buy sneakers once per year on clearance. I look at every purchase from discretionary income to see if it's worth cutting into my vacay fund. Usually it's not. My kids have plenty of the latest cool stuff (except smartphones) so they're not complaining. We probably could use a bigger house; we're in a 3Br/2Ba small rancher but I don't want the additional burden for our mortgage, taxes, HVAC, etc. When things start feeling cramped, we clear out & donate to Purple Heart.
While my coworkers spend $8-10/day buying lunch, I eat my leftover spaghetti or PB & J from home.
Besides my love of travel, I'm very low-maintenance.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:34 AM   #27
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I have read almost the entire thread and basically for me and my vacation here's what it comes down to:
I work and go to school. I have a job that would make most people cringe (my own mother says it's her version of hell. No joke.). I'm going to school/finishing up school to be an adrenaline junkie and see people at the worst moment in their lives (I want to be an ER RN). I live in a place that I love, but is gray most of the time. I could go on a cheaper vacation. But I figure it's my vacation. I want 1 week a year where I can hang out with Mickey, on a boat, looking out onto the water, have a nice drink, wear a fancy dress (because sometimes scrubs get so boring), and relax.

I justify the expense because I don't go to clubs, I don't go out a lot. I don't have kids. My downtime I spend with my dogs.

Disney could be double, but... And I'm taking my folks as sorta' payback (they took us to amazing vacations growing up.). :D
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:55 AM   #28
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I can fully understand Disney costs more, but I would look at RCL long befroe I would look at anything Carnival, if fact I wont let my family sail carnival due to many reasons, including safety.

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Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 AM   #29
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I can fully understand Disney costs more, but I would look at RCL long befroe I would look at anything Carnival, if fact I wont let my family sail carnival due to many reasons, including safety.

AKK
What are your concerns with safety?

I always read that Carnival is a "party" ship, but we didn't see that at all. Our sailing was filled with kids. Considering it left from New Orleans during Mardis Gras, I was concerned. Yet it was great, no issues. The ship was slightly less nice on the inside as Disney, though not enough to make me think I was going slumming. The offerings for kids is where the difference was, as my kids really missed not having that giant pirate game that we had on the Dream.

The next time we sail, the kids will both be in middle school, with perhaps the oldest in high school. Perhaps the Disney ship won't be as big of a deal for them at that point.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:26 AM   #30
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If you ask my kids, they would say that the Dream was their favorite ship...though they loved the Carnival. Actually, if you asked my wife and I, we would also say that the Dream was our favorite.............But if you asked my wallet, it would say CARNIVAL.
We are going on our first DCL in less than two weeks. We've wanted to do a DC for a long time but I just could never justify the cost. We did a Celebrity cruise about 11 years ago and had a great time.

We have 280 DVC points annually and generally have gone 2 to 3 times a year (Mardi Gras, end of May and Halloween). Last year Mardi Gras fell at the same time as President's week so we scrapped that trip, we didn't go in May and my kids were both in new schools so we didn't go for Halloween. With our DVC points we had always been working off of banked points since we have just about exactly what we use. With skipping a whole year that gave us 280 points to play with so I booked a cruise. Basically it was 2.5 years worth of points.

It was really hard for me to make that phone call BUT I'm glad we did. We are taking a Disney Cruise for $95 (I know there are other fees, but I'm just talking cruise itself) in a verandah room. I could have rented my points and paid cash, but it works out to about the same so I didn't bother with the points rental.

Just because others say it isn't a good use of points doesn't mean it isn't a good use of points. The final thing that put me over the edge was that Disney often comes out with specials and discounts and I figured if we wanted to go to Disney but didn't have points we could take advantage of the specials that DVC members generally can't participate in.

You could also look out for the kids sail free option and see if that makes it more in your price range. (I checked when the Galveston special came out and it was STILL pricey!)

This is our first DCL and only 2nd cruise so I can't say whether it is worth it. I just wanted to chime in on using the DVC points to cruise.

J
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