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Old 03-09-2013, 06:21 PM   #16
MagicMe
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The vacation is to spend time with your family. Where you do that is your choice. I know lots if cruisers that prefer RCL and some that have cruised Carnival. My preference is DCL but their 2014 summer prices are ridiculous!! My sisters can only cruise summer (school and teaching) and really wanted to do a 7-day but have had to scale back to a 4-day. I'm lucky that I can cruise off season.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #17
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Have you considered any of the other cruise lines? I have found Royal Caribbean to be in the middle of the cruise ship spectrum when you balance experience with cost. Their ships have a lot of "wow" factors, some of which even surpass DCL. Even the smaller ships are really impressive (ie. not Oasis or Allure). You might benefit from checking out some cruise specific boards (I frequent Cruise Critic a lot). You'll get lots of different opinions from different people, there are lots of "cheerleaders" for every cruise line, including Carnival.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #18
manateesmom
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I think RCCL Freedom class ships are our sweet spot. For us, with a little one, we want a tub and would need a suite to get one on any other line, so that's our price comp for now, and why we're trying DCL. But I don't think I could justify DCL prices with a teen.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:27 PM   #19
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It's great to hear others sharing the same feelings I have about DCL. In June/July, my family will be making our 5th cruise on DCL, on the Fantasy. Hands down, DCL has long been our favorite line for so many reasons. We have also cruised several times with RCCL, and I have to say, our family always has an excellent time on RCCL - their ships are equally beautiful and they have a very good kids program (not Disney, but very good). The biggest difference is the price. We generally we save thousands on comparable cabins on comparable cruises.

The reason we are cruising the Fantasy in June is because Hurricane Sandy forced us to cancel the same trip this past November just days before departure. June was the only date available for my family and travel party to reschedule this trip. The shocking part was that the same cruise in June is costing us nearly $3000 more than we would have paid in November! Despite numerous pleas with DCL, including emails to the president of DCL, begging for any kind of assistance for our party of eight to help us, they were unwilling to do anything at all. I understand what happened to us was not DCL's fault, nor their responsibility. However, I did expect a little compassion and sympathy towards our plight - but got none. Zip. Nada!

This experience taught me a little bit about DCL. Many of you may feel we had no right to expect anything from DCL, and may disagree with my feelings toward them right now. But I will tell you this, IMHO, DCL only cares about squeezing every last dime out of us. Our travel insurance claim was denied otherwise we would not be sailing with DCL in June. Because we took the (very expensive) travel insurance with DCL, we did not lose everything, but got a credit towards this next cruise in the amount we would have lost. Hence we are making this last trip with DCL in June. After that, we will definitely look to cruise more with RCCL, and perhaps try other lines. As others have noted in this thread, comparable cruises on other lines are much less expensive. RCCL has a similar cruise, leaving from Port Canaveral the day after our DCL cruise in June, and is going to the SAME islands, on a ship comparable to the Fantasy (not the Oasis or Allure, the next class down). A similar cabin for my family of four on this trip would cost us $2000 less than what we are paying to go one day earlier on the Fantasy.

DCL offers a great cruise experience. I wish their front office was equally outstanding. Frankly, I no longer feel they are thousands of dollars better...
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by N365PA View Post
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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Thank you for this post. Reminded meof our camping days and inspired a trip this summer and the goal of buying a pop up camper. Found out our old Coleman no longer exists, but Somerset replaced them. Had given up looking until I saw your post so thank you.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:10 PM   #21
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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)
Go on a Carnival cruise then, no need to feel sad or apologize. And why would anyone here boo you? Your children seem to be at the age where Carnival may be a better fit for them, plus you'll be saving a bunch of cash. I've never been on a Carnival cruise, but I have friends that have, and their reports are positive. I hope you have a great time.

Mike
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:03 AM   #22
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It has been a "dream" of my mom's to have our whole family go on a Disney cruise together. However, my 2 sisters, 2 of my BILs and I work in schools, with varying breaks and starting and ending dates. We basically could only go mid-June to mid-August, winter break or spring break. I cant believe how much higher the prices are during those times and I don't foresee it ever happening. I know we could look at other cruise lines, but she has her heart set on DCL
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #23
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My older children still like the disney cruise.
But the only way I can afford is using my DVC points I know it may not be the best use of DVC points but we can two cruises evry 3 years
in prime time if had to laid out 7000-10000 a cruise i could nt do it
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #24
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The one thing that seperates DCL from other cruise lines is that DCL has a new set of "fans" being born everyday. It is just like the Parks, new kids everyday are wanting to go to Disney. So Disneys target market is always there, new paarents with young kids.

Of course DCL has the empty nesters and such. Unlike other cruise lines that have to always compete with other lines, DCL always has that target audience constantly coming of age. DCL does not have to compete, yet, as far as price goes.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:23 AM   #25
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I feel your pain - we are in the same boat (pun intended) We would LOVE to cruise with DCL again but with our kids being in middle and high school now there is no way of taking them out for a week for vacay. So we would have to cruise at the higher price points and just can't swing it.

We have been considering other cruise lines as well. Plus our oldest will be 18 in Sept. and I think there is a serious age gap in entertainment on DCL for that age. They can't be in the teen club and they aren't adults yet.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:52 PM   #26
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That's just it though - we are a CRAZY Disney Family. The older 2 DDs would love to go with us, their schedules and the cost is what would prevent it. DH takes his 8th grade band EVERY YEAR WDW. He would NEVER consider Universal. The fact that the girls are older doesn't help.

The older DDs were 16++ and 14++ on our last cruise and they loved every second of it. It was SB and there were a lot of teens (400+ I recall!). They made friends with 2 sisters,16 & 14 from Louisville and 2 from Seattle also 14 and 16 and lived together for the week. I think that is what DD#3 wants to experience. I did feel VERY safe with them together on DCL. I would not feel the same way on CCL! If we do the CCL they will have a very short leash!!

AGAIN - Thank you all. I did not expect so much support and I knew you all could relate!!

I looked hard at the 4 night with DCL and that is still too much money for basically 3.5 days -about a K per day while the CCL would be $400 per day! Not much for us to think about I guess. Still a little sad.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #27
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The RCCL Freedom of the Seas sails out of PC last I checked, and has two Flowriders, a rock wall and an ice skating rink, all of which are huge with teens. Any cruise line will be packed with teens during spring break, no worries that she won't make friends.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:11 PM   #28
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Love DCL but this next fantasy cruise will be the last Disney for a while. I'm bored of the wonder and magic. Same shows, same entertainment, same ports. Bored!
Fantasy is new to us, going to love every minute of it, but after that, same shows, etc

I plan on the oasis or allure for march 2014. They look incredible. Have to switch it up or it's the same vaca every year.
I want to explore many places. I couldn't vaca in wdw or DL every year. Once every 4-5 is good for me. I want to go to aulani, I want to spend a week exploring NYC (never been) and a few other places as well!
Love DCL but its good to experience other things in life!
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