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Old 03-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
Mom24Princesses
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I LOVE DCL BUT . . . (venting)

We loved every second of both of our DCL cruises. They were amazing in every moment. - BUT I don't know if we can do it again. DD#3 asked for a DCL Spring Break 2014. She has a fall Bday and is now 15. 2014 she'll be 16 and she wanted it to be while she was still a kid. ( It would be without the older 2 DDs.) We are on a limited schedule since DH and I teach school. Summer is too expensive. Both of our cruises were Spring Break when Easter was not attached. 2014 looked good - BUT DCL is just too expensive for us now. We've had pay cuts for five years in a row and 2 DDs in college. Next year 2013-2014 is announced to be even more (like thousands less than this year!). It really makes me sad. We are also looking at retirement in a few more years.

I know you are going to boo me, but DH and I did a Carnival for our 25th in 2011 and it was really a good trip. We can take the girls on a Carnival next SB for the same 7 nights - visiting 2 new ports for us -(DH and I have visited 9 ports in the Caribbean so that's cool) and is less than half price! DCL $5600+/- to Carnival $2600+/-. I am sad but if we "waited" it would be at least 2 more years. SB in 2015 is w/Easter again driving up rates and in April 2016 she will be 18.7 and no longer a "kid".

I KNOW we wouldn't have the Disney Magic (no pun intended). I know what drives the cost of DCL (and I know what drives the lower cost at Carnival).

Maybe there are some forum readers who can relate to my grief.

Honestly - I half expect the 2 DDs to say why bother go at all - but seriously- $2600 for a week is too cheap to pass up. (no pun on the "too cheap"either)
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
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Nobody should "boo" you because you want to take a Carnival cruise.

Opens up more staterooms for the Disney cruisers.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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It is not for me to have an opinion in where you spend your vacation! Book the cruise that makes the most sense (financially or emotionally) and enjoy yourselves! Disney has 4 ships... There are 100's of other ships in other lines and some one out there must love them enough to keep booking on them! When you come back, please share your experiences on the other cruise line, so that others faced with the same dilemma can make a decision that works for them
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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The only way to know if the ocean is the same or better, is to try it out. Only you will know, accept and learn if disney is worth the price. And yes, please report back!!!!!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #5
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Last summer, I wanted to take my son on the Fantasy for his high school graduation present. He has ALWAYS loved cruising, and since he bought his own car (not that I would have bought him one!) I couldn't think of much else that he'd really enjoy.

He absolutely refused to go on Disney again, and he grew up on the Disney ships! He'd wanted to go on one of Royal Caribbean's new ships, but the cost of that was out of my range, so he searched and found the Carnival Magic cruise that we ended up going on. It went to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Honestly, we LOVED the ship. LOTS to do for everyone....hot tubs on the Promenade Deck, along with the ones by the pools, great food choices...etc.
We didn't regret a moment of it, and we were able to take along one of his buddies...the two guys had their own room and my husband and I had an aft wrap-around balcony.....all for less money than either the RCCL in one room, or the Fantasy in one room.
We never felt like we were compromising on anything.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #6
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Our last DCL cruises

We will be going on the Dream Oct 2013
and
Southrn Carribbean Oct 2014.

Then we are done as well

We are sort of in the same....BOAT....as OP. We gave our son a 18th bday on the Magic and DD wants the same. I want to see BIG ship before we are done, and we decded on the Southern Carribbean to be with friends.

We dont want to regret not taking her later.

So we know this i truly it for us.

BARRING somthing major with Grand Children Later in life.

Do what you can live with.

Also check out Vacations to Go.com
you can find some good deals
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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Kids understand more than we think!

OP, take the vacation that you can afford and will make you happy. Explain to DD that you can't afford DCL but you're happy to take them on a cruise you can afford and allow them to get involved in the process. My kids like CCL just as much as they like DCL, although they do like the movie theater on DCL.

As for DD being disappointed, well....that's life. It doesn't always work out the way we want it to and it's never too early to learn that. If they say they don't want to go, tell them you understand but that you and DH are going on a cruise and you'll be happy to find someone to stay with them at home. Chances are better than average they'll change their minds.

I don't mean to sound harsh, I ran into the same thing with my teen daughter last summer. Oldest DS was headed to FL to play a travel ball tournament so I was going to take youngest DS and DD on a cruise. When we were talking Bahamas or Caribbean, she was for it. When the vote went with a 5 day land vacation in Boston then a Canadian cruise, she griped and said she was staying home. We had a great time without her. I don't recall my parents ever asking for my input on family vacations since I wasn't paying for them.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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I'm a DCL platinum member, but have done a number of Carnival cruises. When we go with extended family, we always go on Carnival because they are not interested in paying the DCL prices. We've always enjoyed ourselves. While we do prefer Disney, we would not hesitate to book with Carnival. Go and enjoy!
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom24Princesses View Post
We loved every second of both of our DCL cruises. They were amazing in every moment. - BUT I don't know if we can do it again. DD#3 asked for a DCL Spring Break 2014. She has a fall Bday and is now 15. 2014 she'll be 16 and she wanted it to be while she was still a kid. ( It would be without the older 2 DDs.) We are on a limited schedule since DH and I teach school. Summer is too expensive. Both of our cruises were Spring Break when Easter was not attached. 2014 looked good - BUT DCL is just too expensive for us now. We've had pay cuts for five years in a row and 2 DDs in college. Next year 2013-2014 is announced to be even more (like thousands less than this year!). It really makes me sad. We are also looking at retirement in a few more years.

I know you are going to boo me, but DH and I did a Carnival for our 25th in 2011 and it was really a good trip. We can take the girls on a Carnival next SB for the same 7 nights - visiting 2 new ports for us -(DH and I have visited 9 ports in the Caribbean so that's cool) and is less than half price! DCL $5600+/- to Carnival $2600+/-. I am sad but if we "waited" it would be at least 2 more years. SB in 2015 is w/Easter again driving up rates and in April 2016 she will be 18.7 and no longer a "kid".

I KNOW we wouldn't have the Disney Magic (no pun intended). I know what drives the cost of DCL (and I know what drives the lower cost at Carnival).

Maybe there are some forum readers who can relate to my grief.

Honestly - I half expect the 2 DDs to say why bother go at all - but seriously- $2600 for a week is too cheap to pass up. (no pun on the "too cheap"either)
disney has priced itself out for us as well i fear..
i have us reserved on the the disney magic in 2014 for the 4 day med cruise (we live on the med side of the atlantic, so getting to barcelona is easier for us)...i took the 4 day cruise, because the longer cruises were just way way way too much....the 4 day is also way too much, but i can wait to make a final decision until 2014....maybe i'll win the lottery before then

in the meantime, i'll keep on the lookout for bargains on the other cruise lines...
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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Never let anyone make you feel bad for spending your money the way you want to. If DCL isn't in the budget and NCL or CCL is... go for it. I tell ya having just come off my first DCL cruise, I will not be back unless it is with grandchildren later, once they are at the stage of not being afraid of the characters. Saw so many kids crying this week as the parents were pushing them to get that photo, kid wasn't interested. One parent was actually mad because the child said she didn't want her picture with the princess's. Said she was taking her to kids club and leaving her there until bed time... child said ok and skipped towards the elevator. Of course I have no problem NOT waiting in line for 30 minutes to have a photo taken with a character that can be done at one of the parks either.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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Just off the Carnival Dream 7-night western today. After 3 DCL cruises in quick succession, my DH wanted to try other options. We ended up on Carnival...for about $2000 less for the same type room. Can't beat that! Overall it was a great cruise, although the kids' club random closing hours were a pain. But if you don't have littles, that won't even be an issue! Yes, things were a little less, hm, what word should I use...classy? I don't mean that to be judgmental--we were on the cruise too, weren't we? Hairy chest contests, gambling, the cruise director was kind of silly. But honestly, I would do it again. We avoided the stuff we weren't interested in and can I just say, as much as I don't like pop music these days (sheesh, do I sound old!) it was kind of nice not to hear Disney music 24/7.

So, do the cruise you can afford and enjoy it! So many people raised an eyebrow when we said Carnival. But honestly, we saw one drunk guy (and he was just confused, not rowdy), no thongs at all (gasp!), and lots of nice, friendly people. Plus my husband won the ping ping tournament--twice! He's a happy camper, and that's important to me. That said, *I* do prefer DCL...
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetexas View Post
I don't recall my parents ever asking for my input on family vacations since I wasn't paying for them.
I KNOW, RIGHT?!! My goodness, the things that my daughters get to do and see now were beyond my wildest dreams. I still have a traumatic memory of not getting that Mickey bar during my first trip to Disneyland My mom told me, "It costs the same as lunch!" Well, I'm gettin' all the Mickey bars I want now!

OP--I think you should take the cruise you can comfortably afford and let your DD decide if she wants to come. I'm guessing she will go along.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyholic family View Post
disney has priced itself out for us as well i fear..
i have us reserved on the the disney magic in 2014 for the 4 day med cruise (we live on the med side of the atlantic, so getting to barcelona is easier for us)...i took the 4 day cruise, because the longer cruises were just way way way too much....the 4 day is also way too much, but i can wait to make a final decision until 2014....maybe i'll win the lottery before then

in the meantime, i'll keep on the lookout for bargains on the other cruise lines...
Just for kicks, I looked at some Med prices for the NCL Epic for 2014. For I think the same 7n itinerary/week as the Magic, we could get a 2 bedroom suite including a butler for about $6600. A 5C verandah is $6038- but since our kids are now mid teens we don't book just one cabin any more. If we got the 4E, it'd be 6600. The 1 bedroom suite for that week on the Magic is $14000!!

Our NYE 2013 Fantasy cruise may be the last DCL for awhile for us too. Cost is a huge factor, but the age thing for 18 year olds in high school is another. Our DD really wanted to go on the Fantasy and take her BFF for her graduation in 2015. But now that 18 year olds can't go to the Vibe, the timing won't work out at all. Her friend won't turn 18 until the end of August so they wouldn't be able to even enjoy the adult areas together. Spring break won't work either, since DD will turn 18 before it...and besides the costs are crazy.

We're going to go back to Aulani, instead.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #14
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I would wager that most of us are biased but you have to do what is right for you! My parents are frequent carnival cruisers and love them. They live in Florida and dont think Disney is worth the money. My wife and I do think Disney is worth the money and skimp elsewhere. I have been blessed with a job that lets me go on disney cruises. My parents dont make anywhere near as much so they can get 3-4 Carnival Cruises for the cost of 1 Disney. If I was in their shoes, id go on Carnival as well! No one here should ever think less because you went on a Carnival cruise. Ive been on two (long time ago) and they were enjoyable experiences. I hope the prices come down on some Summer sailings so you can sail in Disney! If not, enjoy your carnival/royal caribbean cruise! Some of the best vacations I had as a kid were at a state park with my dad in popup camper. More $$$ doesnt mean a better vacation


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Old 03-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #15
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Oh Guys - I have tears in my eyes - no joking. You all were so sweet. I was feeling really bummed and you all made me feel so much better.
While I waited for you all to share I looked at the 4 night cruise with DCL that week and it would be about $3600. Something to think about. You all are the best. (That's why I hang out on the Cruise Board even though we last sailed in 08!)
THANKS - I'll let you know what we decide.
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