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Old 01-26-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
dkmjgal
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If you have done the Med cruise before with Disney

So I was excited to be able to book yesterday for the first time with Gold status. I already had a dummy cruise booked that I needed to move soon anyway. So it was purely an information call (ha-ha). I ended up booking the 12 night July 25th Med cruise. I was VERY excited about it as was my family (DH, DD 17 when we cruise, DS 14 when we cruise). Then today reality set in......

I started looking at airfare...which is insane...and I started to read posts that talked about how much more expensive it is than in the past to do this cruise. Of course there's also those posts that talk about "the other" cruise lines that do it cheaper.

We LOVE DCL and have never cruised on another line. Our children have had the most amazing experiences in the clubs...kids club and teen club. We will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and our daughter's high school graduation.

So my question is.....what were your experiences on the Med cruise and would you recommend it or not?

Thanks-
Kelly
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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We sailed the Med with DCL in 2007 and honestly, I don't remember how much it was. We always book air/hotel/transfers through the cruiseline for anywhere we sail that's not from Port Canaveral as we've found it's a lot easier for us than the stress of doing it on our own.

As for whether or not DCL is worth it over less expensive lines, I will say that sometimes by the time you add everything up, DCL isn't that much more expensive - obviously depending on length of cruise and itinerary. For us, we were already planning a cruise including Venice for summer 2014 to celebrate our older son's high school graduation, but we had said that if DCL came out with an itinerary that included Venice in 2013, we'd do DCL - why? Because our boys absolutely love DCL - they enjoy the youth activities program more than they have on other lines (and we've sailed RCCL's Freedom of the Seas and Carnival's Dream - so similar ships and they've participated in their youth program). We decided that doing DCL for one big "last hurrah" for our older son was worth it before he ages out of the youth program.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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We sailed the Med on the Magic in 2010 and it was our best cruise ever! There is something romantic about waking up and seeing a new port each morning. I thought Malta's port in Valleta is like no other. Their limestone buildings created a monotone facade which makes it so distinct. The dining service we had was excellent and it was very nice to come back on the ship, get ready for dinner and know that delicious dinner will be served. And once you're done, you go back to your cabin and voila! The beds have been turned down. The 11-night was quite hectic since we had sea days in the beginning and the end and one in between but we love active tours so it really worked for us. The Mediterranean Sea is also like glass. There were times I forget we're on a ship since we were just gliding. It was great! It's the same ports but there is still a lot to see! I'm looking forward to going back to Venice and it's great the ship is staying overnight!! It's such a treat!!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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We did the Disney Med Cruise 11 night last June, and it was awesome. Our kids really love the Disney aspect though, so that's a huge factor with us. My son looked every day at the navigator to plan his character times!

But having said that I think the prices for the cruises this year seem exorbitant. Here's my advice based on our experience last year: You don't need to decide anything right now. Keep your reservation and see what happens to the prices. You aren't risking anything until the pay in full day. Monitor your room category and see if prices come down. If they do, you can call and get a credit. I would also join the cruise meet thread so if someone posts about cheaper prices (like what happened to me) you'll see it.

Here's what happened with us.

We originally booked a category 10 secret porthole room. 2 Adults, 2 kids for about $8000 2 years out.

About 6 months later, the prices came way down and we were able to change our reservation (keeping same room) to about $6000.

Then, right before our final payment was due--maybe a week or two--they announced special "VGT" rates. We were able to get TWO verandah rooms for a little bit more than the original ONE secret porthole room!

Crazy, right?
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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We sailed with DCL in the Med in 2010 and had a GREAT time and I can't wait to return in 2013!!! Yes the air and excursions are REALLY expensive, but they are worth it IMO. Can't wait to sail the Magic into Venice for the first time!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaGirl09 View Post
But having said that I think the prices for the cruises this year seem exorbitant. Here's my advice based on our experience last year: You don't need to decide anything right now. Keep your reservation and see what happens to the prices. You aren't risking anything until the pay in full day. Monitor your room category and see if prices come down. If they do, you can call and get a credit. I would also join the cruise meet thread so if someone posts about cheaper prices (like what happened to me) you'll see it.

Here's what happened with us.

We originally booked a category 10 secret porthole room. 2 Adults, 2 kids for about $8000 2 years out.

About 6 months later, the prices came way down and we were able to change our reservation (keeping same room) to about $6000.

Then, right before our final payment was due--maybe a week or two--they announced special "VGT" rates. We were able to get TWO verandah rooms for a little bit more than the original ONE secret porthole room!

Crazy, right?

That is crazy - and wonderful at the same time! We're gonna hope for something Magical to happen for us! Good idea to join the meet thread and hopefully folks will be watching for falling rates!
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Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Hey dkmjgal

We just booked on the 7/25 cruise. Yes, the prices have had me spinning. Then we have been wanting to do this for quite a while. If I go to Europe, I'm willing to pay some extra to let it have a little pixie dust.

I was just going to subscribe to the thread, but thought I'd post to let you know you're not in (on) this boat, with these thoughts alone.

Right now, I'm nervous due to the cost, but I'm so excited. I'm thinking about letting Disney do the air and hotel as well. I can manage that stuff in English. I can't imagine the problems when I don't speak the language. I was quoted a tentative of ~ 6,900 for air/transfers/luggage/hotel. Since current air is running anywhere from 1200 to 1500 out of O'Hare (per person), it's looking like a very good deal.

Now, I'm going to go check if a "meet" thread has been started. We have 545 days to save and pay this off. That includes 2 tax returns!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #8
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We did the Med. with disney in 2007 and loved it so much we returned with Disney in 2010. We just booked for June 2013 on the Magic in the Med. In between we also had a Med. cruise on Royal Caribbean. Although Royal was a little bit cheaper Disney does a little better in the extra department. The shore excursions are first rate through Disney and a little higher quality than Royal IMHO. Airfare is expensive but you can strike some good deals closer to the sail date. We booked the transpo and hotel through disney and we were picked up in a Mercades and stayed at a top hotel in Barcelona. No need to worry about the language thing because most speak english in Spain ( at least everyone we ran into in the hotel and resturaunts). The itinery is really nice compared to other lines IMHO. Malta was a beautiful stop and we love that you overnight in Venice. You know that the quality is there in Disney because you cruised before.One thing that you should consider is to arrive in Barcelona a day or two early for Barcelona is a beautiful city rich in history and culture.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliforniaGirl09 View Post
We did the Disney Med Cruise 11 night last June, and it was awesome. Our kids really love the Disney aspect though, so that's a huge factor with us. My son looked every day at the navigator to plan his character times!

But having said that I think the prices for the cruises this year seem exorbitant. Here's my advice based on our experience last year: You don't need to decide anything right now. Keep your reservation and see what happens to the prices. You aren't risking anything until the pay in full day. Monitor your room category and see if prices come down. If they do, you can call and get a credit. I would also join the cruise meet thread so if someone posts about cheaper prices (like what happened to me) you'll see it.

Here's what happened with us.

We originally booked a category 10 secret porthole room. 2 Adults, 2 kids for about $8000 2 years out.

About 6 months later, the prices came way down and we were able to change our reservation (keeping same room) to about $6000.

Then, right before our final payment was due--maybe a week or two--they announced special "VGT" rates. We were able to get TWO verandah rooms for a little bit more than the original ONE secret porthole room!

Crazy, right?
When did the gty rate get announced though? This year the pif date is like 119 days out. That is what scares me, I'm thinking we will already be in the penalty phase by the time the are announced, if they are. What was the pif date last year? I can't remember.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
dkmjgal
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Originally Posted by carpenta View Post
We did the Med. with disney in 2007 and loved it so much we returned with Disney in 2010. We just booked for June 2013 on the Magic in the Med. In between we also had a Med. cruise on Royal Caribbean. Although Royal was a little bit cheaper Disney does a little better in the extra department. The shore excursions are first rate through Disney and a little higher quality than Royal IMHO. Airfare is expensive but you can strike some good deals closer to the sail date. We booked the transpo and hotel through disney and we were picked up in a Mercades and stayed at a top hotel in Barcelona. No need to worry about the language thing because most speak english in Spain ( at least everyone we ran into in the hotel and resturaunts). The itinery is really nice compared to other lines IMHO. Malta was a beautiful stop and we love that you overnight in Venice. You know that the quality is there in Disney because you cruised before.One thing that you should consider is to arrive in Barcelona a day or two early for Barcelona is a beautiful city rich in history and culture.

Thanks so much for your input on Royal. We are totally DCL nuts and we really don't want to cruise on another line but it helps to see what you had to say. We are planning on doing a red eye so we would land in Spain on Wed. morning which would give us some time in Barcelona.

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. Like I said we weren't even going to book it but when I got my quote with the OBB I actually thought it was a pretty good price. I booked a 9A and the person told me it's a really nice cabin with a large porthole and seating area. We've only done verandahs in the past but we will skip that for this cruise, unless the prices drop a lot. We do have time to think this over I realize and I am definitely not ready to cancel this anyway.

Thanks again!
Kelly
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2003 1st Disney Cruise 4 Day Wonder - Renewed our Marriage Vows - AMAZING
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:34 PM   #11
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We had an OBB also. We will be in 7002 - a 9A category. I got the reservations through "Abby". I think her accent was Australian. Tried to change the reservation online, that didn't work, so called the cruiseline and got Abbie. She was very helpful. Stated that the calls are steady, but not overwhelming. With the discount, I didn't have a heart attack on the spot, just a flutter. The more I get over the price, the more I'm settling in with this. Save a little here, save a little there. Have some time to finish off next March on the drop dead date. And, put the rest on the Disney Visa - should be no interest payments on it for awhile. Then pay that off. Yeah, we can do this.

One of my co-workers (who gets amazing cruise deals - never on Disney) takes around 4 cruises a year. She has taken her kids on many of them. She remiinded me as I was stressing: Just ask your kids what they got for Christmas. Generally, they don't remember. Then ask them about any of their vacations. They will not only remember, but will tell you a story of what they remember most.

Physical gifts go away. Memories like these trips make, last a lifetime.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #12
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Nearly every cruise we have ever done (bar 2), have been in the Med. There is just so much to see in each port. We have done Rome probably 6 times or more, but we always find something new there, or nearby! I can't understand the people who say 'I have done all the ports - I don't want to do them again', especially when they have only been there once!!

I digress, but what I wanted to say is that we have been on other cruise lines and honestly, none compare to what DCL have to offer. The ships are as good, the service is better, the food is better (apart from the kids menus, but that is another thread!), the cabins are bigger - along with the windows, the shows surpass ANYTHING we have seen and of course the theming and characters for the kids, along with the kids clubs are so exciting.

The ports will be the same anywhere, but it is the experience on the ship that counts now for us and in the absence of DCL in the Med this year, we have been struggling with what to do this summer, we are looking at a Princess cruise in the Baltics, but I know that we will be comparing it with our experience on the Magic and although we will have a good time, it will be a lovely ship, it won't be the same.

Stick with it, watch and wait - who knows what will happen. We have booked a 11b - I can't bear the thought of not having a window, so like everyone else, I will be waiting for that moment when I can change with hopefully not too much of an increase.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkmjgal View Post
Thanks so much for your input on Royal. We are totally DCL nuts and we really don't want to cruise on another line but it helps to see what you had to say. We are planning on doing a red eye so we would land in Spain on Wed. morning which would give us some time in Barcelona.

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this. Like I said we weren't even going to book it but when I got my quote with the OBB I actually thought it was a pretty good price. I booked a 9A and the person told me it's a really nice cabin with a large porthole and seating area. We've only done verandahs in the past but we will skip that for this cruise, unless the prices drop a lot. We do have time to think this over I realize and I am definitely not ready to cancel this anyway.

Thanks again!
Kelly
One thing that may happen that in 2010 Med. sailing I had already booked the sailing and later Disney ran a promotion "kids sail free". I called and they switched the reservation to reflect the cost reduction on my daughters' fare without losing the room we reserved. Keep an eye out for specials and Disney will give you the reduced price if they run specials. We sailed the Dream last Feb and had a port hole...it was really great and I didn't miss the balcony much except when we pulled into port. The Dream really is a beautiful ship.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:19 PM   #14
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Any Insights About Excursions with Kids

We're booked on the 7-13-2013 12-night cruise that hits Athens, Mykonos and Ephesus, in addition to Nice, Pisa/Florence, Rome and Malta. We're trying to get our heads around the cost of the cruise - really steep, the airfare - maybe some relief using frequent flyer points, and the excursions - the prices I've seen comparing other lines and outside companies (ShoreTrips, Port Promotions, etc.) indicate a lot of money will be spent on excursions. We want excursions that will be meaningful for our girls, who will be 10 and 8 when we sail. For those who have done the Med with DCL, does DCL provide good excursions that are appropriate for and respectful of the needs of younger children? That is one reason we would keep the DCL cruise and not switch to an RCCL or Carnival cruise when their programs are announced. We are hoping DCL does excursions that make sense for children. These are not ports where we would be comfortable trying to do anything on our own without guides and drivers. Any insights?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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Hi Dkmjgal,

You're in pretty much the same boat as I. 2013 will be our 20th and DS will be 14. I'd sooo love to book but am worried about the $$. We have enough frequent flier miles for 2 to Barcelona. That'll help I guess.
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