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Old 05-12-2011, 07:13 PM   #46
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Maybe because you may be DCL biased they seem to be backhanded comments, but I have enjoyed DCL cruises also, but not as much as I have enjoyed other cruises which seem to me to offer more "bang for the buck" activities and itineraries. DCL doesn't mean to me as much as they may mean to someone else with kids. That is just the difference between the cruise lines.
Having tried RCCL and Carnival, I am looking forward to the day I can take a DCL cruise without the kids.

Since the Freedom, Oasis and Allure seem to be your benchmark ships, I find it interesting that your opinion was the same even before you sailed on the Freedom and have never sailed on the Oasis or Allure.

Last edited by lovethedream; 05-12-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:14 PM   #47
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At least on the RCCL Freedom, there is only one place to eat for free on the Promenade and that is the "pizza" place. I do not remember seeing "many" free places to eat otherwise, at least on the promenade. They had ice cream on the Promenade but you had to pay for that!
Basically if you could not stomach the food in the MDR you had to pay else where or starve to death RCCL just nickles and dimes you from start to finish
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #48
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Basically if you could not stomach the food in the MDR you had to pay else where or starve to death RCCL just nickles and dimes you from start to finish
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:29 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Edd View Post
Maybe because you may be DCL biased they seem to be backhanded comments, but I have enjoyed DCL cruises also, but not as much as I have enjoyed other cruises which seem to me to offer more "bang for the buck" activities and itineraries. DCL doesn't mean to me as much as they may mean to someone else with kids. That is just the difference between the cruise lines.
I find it unbelievable that you think you don't criticize DCL. I call it being antagonistic.

I was going to rehash the many "Eddisms" that are repeated over and over on this board, but those who have been around awhile know them by heart by now so I'll let it be.

At least you keep it interesting.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #50
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Can we please not rehash the same things over and over when these threads come up. For the most part this thread is being civil and we would like it to stay that way.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #51
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In returning to the original idea behind the thread, here is my take on DCL versus RCCL. To be fair, we sailed twice on the DCL Wonder and once on the RCCL Freedom.

Boarding : We loved that DCL announces your name. They make an entire production out of boarding the ship. Several cast members meet you as you cross over. For RCCL, it was a simple "welcome aboard" and that was about it.

Rooms : We had similar rooms (veranda) between the two ships. Liked the bigger rooms on DCL. Also liked the bathtub on DCL. Was not a big fan of the "tube" you have to take a shower in on the Freedom.

Parties : Loved the pirate party. The parades in the promenade on the Freedom kept my interest for a few seconds, then we pretty much found other things to do.

Food : Loved the rotational dining on DCL. The Freedom was the same place every night which was somewhat boring. Loved the food on DCL, was not a fan of the food on the Freedom. I will say the pizza place on the Freedom promenade was fantastic. Some of the best pizza I have ever eaten.

Entertainment : We loved the DCL production shows. Felt they were very professional and extremely entertaining. We watched a couple of the shows on the Freedom and were not impressed. The newlywed game on the Freedom was a riot!

Since we did not have an opportunity to visit any of RCCL's private islands, I will only say that we loved CC and it is one of the highlights of the trip for us.

Things to do : We found just as much to do on the Wonder (if not more) as we did on the Freedom.

Staff : We had a better overall experience with the staff on the Wonder than we did with the staff on the Freedom.

Gambling : Not a fan of slot machines, so the fact there is no gambling on board a DCL ship was a plus for me.

In the end, we enjoyed our DCL experience more than our RCCL experience.

I was actually pretty excited about our RCCL Freedom cruise. After our two DCL cruises, we were hooked. While I am sure that there are people out there that absolutely love RCCL (more power to ya), it was simply not the cruise line for us. We also found we liked Carnival over RCCL (Freedom vs Ecstasy!) or maybe it's just we like the smaller ships. For us, there is just as much to do and much less walking on the smaller ships.

Probably the biggest disappointment for me on the Freedom was the Royal Promenade. That is the one place I was just expecting to take my breath away. It did not meet my expectations!
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:35 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethedream View Post
In returning to the original idea behind the thread, here is my take on DCL versus RCCL. To be fair, we sailed twice on the DCL Wonder and once on the RCCL Freedom.

Boarding : We loved that DCL announces your name. They make an entire production out of boarding the ship. Several cast members meet you as you cross over. For RCCL, it was a simple "welcome aboard" and that was about it.

Rooms : We had similar rooms (veranda) between the two ships. Liked the bigger rooms on DCL. Also liked the bathtub on DCL. Was not a big fan of the "tube" you have to take a shower in on the Freedom.

Parties : Loved the pirate party. The parades in the promenade on the Freedom kept my interest for a few seconds, then we pretty much found other things to do.

Food : Loved the rotational dining on DCL. The Freedom was the same place every night which was somewhat boring. Loved the food on DCL, was not a fan of the food on the Freedom. I will say the pizza place on the Freedom promenade was fantastic. Some of the best pizza I have ever eaten.

Entertainment : We loved the DCL production shows. Felt they were very professional and extremely entertaining. We watched a couple of the shows on the Freedom and were not impressed. The newlywed game on the Freedom was a riot!

Since we did not have an opportunity to visit any of RCCL's private islands, I will only say that we loved CC and it is one of the highlights of the trip for us.

Things to do : We found just as much to do on the Wonder (if not more) as we did on the Freedom.

Staff : We had a better overall experience with the staff on the Wonder than we did with the staff on the Freedom.

Gambling : Not a fan of slot machines, so the fact there is no gambling on board a DCL ship was a plus for me.

In the end, we enjoyed our DCL experience more than our RCCL experience.

I was actually pretty excited about our RCCL Freedom cruise. After our two DCL cruises, we were hooked. While I am sure that there are people out there that absolutely love RCCL (more power to ya), it was simply not the cruise line for us. We also found we liked Carnival over RCCL (Freedom vs Ecstasy!) or maybe it's just we like the smaller ships. For us, there is just as much to do and much less walking on the smaller ships.

Probably the biggest disappointment for me on the Freedom was the Royal Promenade. That is the one place I was just expecting to take my breath away. It did not meet my expectations!
Great unbiased comparison

Same here the promenade was a huge disappointment we felt like we were in the local shopping mall back home. The "parade" that they have in the promenade was lame.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:55 AM   #53
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I just wanted to add a comment about tips on RCI as I think I read that one post said that RCI does not add tips automatically.

That is not our experience and we have done 5 RCI cruises. But that could just be for European bookings/itineraries.

Here in the UK you are encouraged to pre-pay your tips, you then receive coupons on the last night which you put in envelopes and pass to the servers etc.

If you do not pre-pay then the recommended tip amounts are automatically added to your SeaPass account 'for your convenience'

This may be particular to Europe based cruises or cruisers, I am not sure, due to the reputation for not tipping I guess.

If you want to pay cash (or not tip ) then you have to go to the desk and formally request that your tips are not automatically added to your account. We do this as we prefer to tip in hard cash as it is faster for the CMs than coupons.
In Europe last month RCI did NOT automatically add tips. They did put out sheets a good 5 days before the end of the cruise that you could sign off on to have tips added to your account--but you did have to sign that and drop it in the box by guest relations to have the tips charged. So that does seem to be different. HOWEVER, what really bothered me was that we wanted to drop our waiter's tip a bit (he was terribly rude the entire time) and add that amount to the assistant waiter. You cannot fill in the tip amounts on the sheet like on DCL, you can only use that to give the exact recommendations. So, I waited in line at Guest relations to get my tips handled. I was informed that you may only charge tips to your stateroom account if you tip the recommended amount for every position. You cannot add to or subtract from tips if they are being charged to the stateroom. With that line they might as well just make them prepaid and have everyone auto charged as finding out while at sea that you need cash to cover the tips for a family is not really going to make that all work out for most people. I really disliked this policy and felt it added to the atmosphere of uncaring and sometimes rude service we encountered on RCI.
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At least on the RCCL Freedom, there is only one place to eat for free on the Promenade and that is the "pizza" place. I do not remember seeing "many" free places to eat otherwise, at least on the promenade. They had ice cream on the Promenade but you had to pay for that!
Last month on Mariner "free" (included really) dining venues were: the MDR, Windjammer, Promenade Cafe and room service. Nothing else. I did really like the promenade cafe though--I liked a 24 hour snack place which did not require that I head out on open decks and wind to pick up my food.

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Basically if you could not stomach the food in the MDR you had to pay else where or starve to death RCCL just nickles and dimes you from start to finish
Yep and the food in the MDR (other than the salad bar at lunch) was pretty awful.
We DID feel nickled and dimed. Even the teen club had one scheduled activity every single day which required payment to participate, and there were more items marked as having a charge on their Compass (RCI version of a Navigator) than I have seen on any other line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethedream View Post
In returning to the original idea behind the thread, here is my take on DCL versus RCCL. To be fair, we sailed twice on the DCL Wonder and once on the RCCL Freedom.

Boarding : We loved that DCL announces your name. They make an entire production out of boarding the ship. Several cast members meet you as you cross over. For RCCL, it was a simple "welcome aboard" and that was about it.

Rooms : We had similar rooms (veranda) between the two ships. Liked the bigger rooms on DCL. Also liked the bathtub on DCL. Was not a big fan of the "tube" you have to take a shower in on the Freedom.

Parties : Loved the pirate party. The parades in the promenade on the Freedom kept my interest for a few seconds, then we pretty much found other things to do.

Food : Loved the rotational dining on DCL. The Freedom was the same place every night which was somewhat boring. Loved the food on DCL, was not a fan of the food on the Freedom. I will say the pizza place on the Freedom promenade was fantastic. Some of the best pizza I have ever eaten.

Entertainment : We loved the DCL production shows. Felt they were very professional and extremely entertaining. We watched a couple of the shows on the Freedom and were not impressed. The newlywed game on the Freedom was a riot!

Since we did not have an opportunity to visit any of RCCL's private islands, I will only say that we loved CC and it is one of the highlights of the trip for us.

Things to do : We found just as much to do on the Wonder (if not more) as we did on the Freedom.

Staff : We had a better overall experience with the staff on the Wonder than we did with the staff on the Freedom.

Gambling : Not a fan of slot machines, so the fact there is no gambling on board a DCL ship was a plus for me.

In the end, we enjoyed our DCL experience more than our RCCL experience.

I was actually pretty excited about our RCCL Freedom cruise. After our two DCL cruises, we were hooked. While I am sure that there are people out there that absolutely love RCCL (more power to ya), it was simply not the cruise line for us. We also found we liked Carnival over RCCL (Freedom vs Ecstasy!) or maybe it's just we like the smaller ships. For us, there is just as much to do and much less walking on the smaller ships.

Probably the biggest disappointment for me on the Freedom was the Royal Promenade. That is the one place I was just expecting to take my breath away. It did not meet my expectations!
I pretty much agree with everything you say (including thinking the Promenade was jsut not as exciting as I had been led to believe--and really, we felt it was "odd" to set the ship up to try to make you feel like you are not ON a ship
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:46 AM   #54
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I pretty much agree with everything you say (including thinking the Promenade was jsut not as exciting as I had been led to believe--and really, we felt it was "odd" to set the ship up to try to make you feel like you are not ON a ship
I think you may have hit the nail on the head. When we were on the Wonder and the Ecstasy, we always felt we were on a ship. Almost no matter where you go, you can look somewhere and see outside the ship. Even when you were in the promenade (if that is the proper term) for either the Ecstasy or the Wonder, you could see outside. On the Freedom, when you are in the promenade, you do feel like you are "inside" and not really on a cruise ship.

Even the parade in the royal promenade did not remind me of being on a ship.

Part of the reason why I think the pirate party is so much fun is that it is outside and it reminds you that you are on a cruise. I mean, captain hook tries to take over the ship!
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #55
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I think you may have hit the nail on the head. When we were on the Wonder and the Ecstasy, we always felt we were on a ship. Almost no matter where you go, you can look somewhere and see outside the ship. Even when you were in the promenade (if that is the proper term) for either the Ecstasy or the Wonder, you could see outside. On the Freedom, when you are in the promenade, you do feel like you are "inside" and not really on a cruise ship.

Even the parade in the royal promenade did not remind me of being on a ship.

Part of the reason why I think the pirate party is so much fun is that it is outside and it reminds you that you are on a cruise. I mean, captain hook tries to take over the ship!
Exactly The RCCL "parade" was something that you would experience in a city not on a ship
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:45 PM   #56
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Friends of ours just came back from a cruise on a "Non-Disney" ship (because it was very cheap - $700 pp for a week) and were terribly disappointed. It was either Carnival or Royal Carribean ... I can't recall

The food was not very good and there wasn't much selection. The only meal they enjoyed was at a steak restaurant onboard that they paid extra for.

Apparently this ship only had one stabilizer and every person in their party had at least one day wasted because they were too sick to get out of bed.

The overall service was indifferent. They felt nickled and dimed anytime they went to do anything.

I've only been on one cruise - the Magic 7 day Western and I suppose I am now spoiled.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:54 PM   #57
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I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm glad there is this forum to express opinions about DCL - some enjoy DCL and others don't and that's fine.

However, you tend to give DCL a lot of backhanded compliments. I am not sure if this is intentional or not. These comments come across to me as criticism. That's fine as it's your opinion - I just wish you'd admit that you're criticizing DCL with your so-called "compliments". You don't seem to like it when others express unfavorable opinions about RCI - even calling some of them ridiculous or saying they shouldn't go on a cruise anyway.
I have to agree with you and will add to that. It seems to me (my opinion, from where I'm sitting. I could be wrong.) that his agenda is not boosting RCI but simply putting down DCL "fanatics".

Many people have formed preferences (Obsessions? lol) over their cruise experiences towards particular brands. I see it all the time. Some people love Carnival, some RCI and of course DCL. People get really passionate about what they believe is the "best in the world". And you know what? That's cool. Obviously its based on their particular experiences. They have had great cruises in those brands and maybe have had not so great experiences when they have strayed. It happens.

However, Edd seems to really dislike those who have expressed their passion for DCL. Apparently to him, they are blind and misguided.

Edd, no matter how much you praise other lines (RCI in particular) or trying to prove them wrong, they are going to still think DCL is the greatest thing since Coca-Cola. You see, they are not really saying DCL is greatest line in the world. They are just saying its the greatest for them. You have to live with that. There are many other people who feel the same way about other cruise lines. Sure, there seems to be a greater concentration of DCL fans but... have you seen the name of these boards? I don't know, but that should give you a clue about what to expect.

Like KS Disney dad, I don't mind you expressing your opinion. If you don't like DCL, that's cool. You like RCI? So do I! But come on. Give the fans a break!
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:03 PM   #58
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We have given RCCL 2 chances and both times found the food quality in the dining room and the buffet to be sub standard at best thank goodness there was a Johnny Rockettes on board, the ice skating rink is very small and is hardly ever open, the rock wall was fun the first few times but had limited times that it was open. We found the adult comedy shows offensive( no need to contently drop the f bomb to be funny) Disney does a much better job when it comes to the family shows. The over all service from the employees on Disney far exceeds Rccl's ( RCCL's employees just do not seem to care about their jobs) Our Daughter said that the teen club was the pits and that Disney does a great job in organizing activities for the teens ( she also loves Carnivals teen club)
Nice to see you are finally posting under your own user name, Rob!

FYI - if you choose My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean, you will automatically be charged the gratuities as part of your cruise fare. If you change to MTD while on the ship, the gratuities will be automatically added to your shipboard account. Otherwise, it's up to you whether to have them charged to your onboard account or to pay them in cash. I disagree that if you don't eat in the dining room, you don't need to tip. You are served by the dining room servers in other areas of the ship at breakfast and lunch, just as on DCL.

I have sailed with Royal Caribbean (9 cruises), Princess (4 cruises), DCL (3 cruises), HAL (2 cruises), and Celebrity (1 cruise). I have had some great cruises on RCI, but I enjoyed my recent Princess cruises a bit more. (I just got off a Princess Transatlantic cruise a week ago.)

I have enjoyed my 3 Disney Bahamas cruises (2 on the Wonder and 1 on the Dream), and I'll be on the DIS Podcast cruise on the Fantasy in Dec. 2012. DCL has a very good product, and sometimes their prices are even reasonable. The stage shows and movies are my favorite part of DCL. Castaway Cay is nice, but a few hours at any beach is plenty for me. I have been disappointed with the dining room service on my last 2 Disney cruises, and I don't think DCL is necessarily superior to other cruise lines in that regard. The food on the Dream was the best of my 3 DCL cruises.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #59
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In the last eight years (no real point in comparing cruises taken before that, since I feel like cruising has changed so much over the years that earlier comparisons aren't really relevant), DH and I have cruised with Royal Caribbean multiple times, with Celebrity once, and with Norwegian once. We have not cruised with Disney yet, but we have a Disney cruise booked for next year.

We would sail with RCCL or Celebrity again, but would not be inclined to sail with Norwegian again. We really disliked Freestyle Dining with Norwegian, as we had to wait to be seated in the main dining room every single night, and we felt the meals were rushed and the servers were unfriendly. Since the question here was really about RCCL, I'll say that we had warm, caring servers who made a point to get to know us, and have our preferred drinks waiting for us every night, on all but one of our sailings. The servers were always willing to bring us extras of anything on the menu. On one ship, we were seated with a woman who only wanted a particular cut of well-done steak every night of the cruise, and even when it wasn't on the menu, they always got it for her. The food was not always great, but it was usually decent. (Admittedly, we had one memorable lunch where everything ordered was dreadful.) I didn't love the food in the Windjammer, but I don't generally like buffet food, and we just didn't eat there much. We've had good luck with the more upscale additional fee restaurants on all lines, in terms of quality of food and service.

We like to dance, particularly ballroom dance, and while the venues aren't fabulous on the RCCL ships, we were able to find places to (partner) dance. It is my understanding that Disney ships are somewhat lacking in this regard. Not a big deal for most people, but of concern to us.

We haven't done the really large ships with any line; that's not really what we're drawn to. As other people have mentioned, ships that seem like giant, crowded shopping malls are not particularly appealing to us. We've never lacked for things to do on any of the ships we've gone on, but I will admit that we're really interested in relaxing on vacation, and we really enjoy hanging out on our balcony with books. We also like to swim and hang out in the water in pool areas, and I understand the Disney ships have somewhat small pools for their size.

Anyway, not having experienced a Disney cruise yet, I have not been let down by RCCL in any way. We think they're often a good value for the money. I have no doubt that we'll enjoy our Disney cruise, but I really doubt that it will be so much better that we'll stick with Disney from now on. (In fact, I think that's impossible, since we really loved our cruise last year on the Celebrity Eclipse.)
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #60
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Nice to see you are finally posting under your own user name, Rob!

FYI - if you choose My Time Dining on Royal Caribbean, you will automatically be charged the gratuities as part of your cruise fare. If you change to MTD while on the ship, the gratuities will be automatically added to your shipboard account. Otherwise, it's up to you whether to have them charged to your onboard account or to pay them in cash. I disagree that if you don't eat in the dining room, you don't need to tip. You are served by the dining room servers in other areas of the ship at breakfast and lunch, just as on DCL.

I have sailed with Royal Caribbean (9 cruises), Princess (4 cruises), DCL (3 cruises), HAL (2 cruises), and Celebrity (1 cruise). I have had some great cruises on RCI, but I enjoyed my recent Princess cruises a bit more. (I just got off a Princess Transatlantic cruise a week ago.)

I have enjoyed my 3 Disney Bahamas cruises (2 on the Wonder and 1 on the Dream), and I'll be on the DIS Podcast cruise on the Fantasy in Dec. 2012. DCL has a very good product, and sometimes their prices are even reasonable. The stage shows and movies are my favorite part of DCL. Castaway Cay is nice, but a few hours at any beach is plenty for me. I have been disappointed with the dining room service on my last 2 Disney cruises, and I don't think DCL is necessarily superior to other cruise lines in that regard. The food on the Dream was the best of my 3 DCL cruises.
The part that I bolded was actually a quote that I got from EDD and I was disagreeing with him ( the quoting function did not work correctly so it looks like I am saying that )
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