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Old 04-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #1
GarakDS9
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An Analysis/Comparison of Disney Med. Pricing

I have been lurking/studying these boards for the last week regarding our already booked July 2013 return to the Med. I have seen threads indicate that better pricing can be found through other lines. I have also seen threads recently indicate that we have been "assimilated" by the Disney difference and have formed a "collective". To prove that this isn't a mindless collective, I have done some research that I want to share.

We are a family of 3, DS will be 15 next year. With a verandah, our price for a July 25 2013 Disney Med. trip is $9636.25 after 10% discount and Gold OBC. A new non discounted booking on RCI came to $6977 and on Celebrity came to $7237.78.

At first this difference was striking, but lets look at more facts. DCL's cabin and verandah is 268 sq. ft., Celebrity is 244 sq. ft., and RCI is 237.9 sq. ft. This price of sq. ft./day breaks down as:

DCL $2.99 Celebrity $2.47 RCI $2.44

If we apply their square footage price to the size of the DCL cabin, Celebrity would now cost $7943.52 and RCI would now cost $7847.04. I'll skip a step in the math but the difference in cruise price is:

Celebrity is $141/day and RCI is $149/day less expensive.

I realize that this analysis is already subjective, (does the size of the cabin really matter? it does to us ) but I'll add a bit more analysis. DCL offers the split bathroom. When traveling on land, I have always sought out hotels with a separate vanity space from the other facilities. It is both convenient and adds tremendous efficiency to our travels and I would be willing to pay a premium for that hotel so why not a cabin. In addition, rotational dining is unique to DCL. Personally I appreciate a new atmosphere every night especially on a 12 night cruise. I would compare this to seeking a metropolitan hotel with nearby conveniences as opposed to a rural location 20 minutes out of town. For me these 2 intangibles are worth another $40/night.

Lastly, I suscribe to 4 different major travel magazines. None of these are cruise specific, however each of them conduct annual best of polling. In all magazines, DCL comes out first annually with only Celebrity a close second.

In summary, you have to ask yourself is the Disney difference worth $100/night. For me, the answer is yes. I know that others will disagree. Understandably, dollars out of the wallet is what matters for many during these tough economic times.

I know that this is a long post and I thank you for following along. What price per day would you put on the "Disney difference" and what other intangibles exist for you to justify the price?
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
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That is an interesting analysis. You're right in that the additional factors you included are subjective, I would also add in ports. We did our Med cruise with DCL in 2010, and it was probably the best family vacation we've had to date, absolutely loved it, and we're cruising the Fantasy in October of this year, but next year we're going to do a cruise with RCCL (our first with them) mainly because Disney's ports in the Med are a repeat, and while there are a lot of things you can see that we haven't seen yet, we would like to see different ports, so we're going for a Baltic with RC. Hopefully it'll be as much fun, and we're really cruising for the ports, not the ship, so we'll see how much not being in the Disney fold will affect us!
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
helenb
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There is another factor you did not include. Soda is free on DCL (at least, at the buffet/pool and dining rooms). You pay for soda on RCL and Celebrity. This usually costs about $8 per person per day if you buy a soda sticker. Since we drink a lot of soda, we do this on other cruise lines.

The other differences are definitely subjective. Bigger cabin, split bathrooms, no casino, different restaurants for dining, better quality of evening shows, more family entertainment, fantastic children's areas... these are all worth something, but it is different foor each person.

For us, we enjoy the shipboard experience on DCL, but in Europe, which is very port-intensive, it's not worth it. Most of our time we're off the ship and doing things elsewhere. But on a cruise with a lot of sea days DCL is wonderful, and those differences are worth a lot more.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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I was doing some comparisons as well. Currently, we are booked DCL's Greek cruise in June. We are a family of 4 with 15 and 11 year old. On DCL with no discounts or OBC we are at $10,470 for 12 nights. We did the Mediterranean Cruise in 2007 so, some of these ports would be repeats. So, that comes out to $872 per day. This is in an oceanview room.

I've looked at Norweign because my dd really wants to go on the Epic but they only have 7 night cruises. So, I figured we'd have to take 2 cruises to get all the same/similar ports in. So, on the Norweign Epic for 7 nights in a balcony mini-suite it would cost $4,825.72 and then, on the Jade sailing out of Venice it is $4,273.88 in a balcony room. For 14 nights it would cost us $650 a day.

I'm strugging right now with our DCL cruise because we want to tour before the cruise but I'm having a difficult time finding accomandations using our Marriott package which gives us 5 nights and 2 airfares points. Barcelona does not have any Marriott hotels that hold 4 people. I have to go to London which we have already done. Or go to Paris and fly into Barcelona and get another hotel for the night before the cruise. I guess, my whole point is Europe is very expensive and that everyone should look at all options in figuring out what works best.

At this point I'm not sure what we are going to do. Lots of options out there though....
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenb View Post
For us, we enjoy the shipboard experience on DCL, but in Europe, which is very port-intensive, it's not worth it. Most of our time we're off the ship and doing things elsewhere. But on a cruise with a lot of sea days DCL is wonderful, and those differences are worth a lot more.
You do realize that DCL cruise with the Greek Islands has 4 sea days.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenb View Post

For us, we enjoy the shipboard experience on DCL, but in Europe, which is very port-intensive, it's not worth it. Most of our time we're off the ship and doing things elsewhere. But on a cruise with a lot of sea days DCL is wonderful, and those differences are worth a lot more.
Even when we were cruising in the Med. in 2010 I found plenty of time to enjoy the ship experience. Instead of doing Pisa and Florence we did just Pisa. Instead of doing Pompeii and the coastline we did just Pompeii. This time around we'll do the opposite. I find that this allows for both a European experience and a cruise experience. It affords an opportunity for thrills and relaxation. We try to add some time pre or post cruise to also do some in depth traveling
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