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Old 10-31-2012, 01:13 PM   #31
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Now if they could only roll in the tips so that I don't have to spend a dime after I get on the ship, I'd be in heaven. I always stress about how much to tip who and when.
They won't preassign tips for you before you get on the boat? I mean, if you really wanted?
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:15 PM   #32
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I sailed CCL and NCL before Disney. I have no problems considering either of those lines and would love to try other lines in this 'class' such as Princess, Celebrity, and RCCL. We are people who like to see new places and try new things. We choose cruises based on itinerary first, ship amenities second, and of course price is a large factor. The actual cruise line is *almost* an after thought. You never know if you'll like one cruise line over another until you try it, and I am determined to try as many as possible.

For now, we only have 1 income, live in FL, and DD is toddler aged. For those reasons we are taking advantage of FL deals on DCL. She enjoys the characters and the kids clubs are something we know will be good on any ship we pick with DCL. Like you said, some ships are better than others. DCL is an easy choice that helps reduce the stress of researching kid amenities. Room size is a plus too. But in reality, we really just use the room to sleep/relax and change clothes!
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:26 PM   #33
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They won't preassign tips for you before you get on the boat? I mean, if you really wanted?
You can pre-pay your tips if that makes your life easier--call DCL or your TA with your credit card number.

As to "free" soda....My DD likes her Diet Coke, so SHE gets a soda card. No one else gets one as it doesn't benefit us. Her last soda card was $7 per night of cruise--total with gratuity $53 for 7 night cruise. Um....our cruise cost was less than 1/2 of the same ports on DCL. OK, cabin was a bit smaller, so not a perfect comparison. However, on DCL, we are charged a LOT for that "free" soda." I've never had to pay for milk, juice, tea or coffee on any cruise line--specialty items yes, but not "regular." And other lines had the "fixings" for my ice tea available. On DCL I have to bring my own Splenda and go to a bar to get a piece of lemon.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:32 PM   #34
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How odd is that it that I don't want to use other cruise lines because they're gonna charge me for a soda? I know that it will affect my enjoyment of my vacation that I just spend a boatload of money on, so I just won't even go there.

This is also one of the fiscally-irresponsible reasons why I choose to stay in concierge-level at the Disney hotels. Sure, those concierge dudes can do a lot for you, but I also get free soda. Awesome!!

Now if they could only roll in the tips so that I don't have to spend a dime after I get on the ship, I'd be in heaven. I always stress about how much to tip who and when.
When we travel the other lines we buy the soda package for a week and its about 50, on some they also include smoothies and milkshakes for 60. When you think of the cost savings its a value to me but the one major perk is I don't have to hike to the top deck when we are waiting for a show to get a drink. On the other lines I can go to any bar or restaurant and get my drink or smoothie. When we were on the Fantasy we went to the show and arrived early for our seat and I hiked to the top deck to get the "free" soda, when actually I preferred being able to get them on the other ships.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:34 PM   #35
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I see a few people have mentioned the behavior of both kids and adults on different cruises.

Truthfully.....it just depends. I've seen some HORRIFIC behavior from kids on Disney. Worse than on the other cruise lines. Dangerous, even.
Normally, on any cruise, you'll find some kids playing in the elevators, or running in the halls....that's almost a given.....but I've seen it go far beyond on a couple of different DCL cruises, so my point is that kids are kids, no matter what cruise line they're on. If they're looking for trouble, they'll find it.

I have to agree with the person who said they'd seen worse adult behavior on DCL. I'll been on several Carnival cruises, and maybe I've been lucky, but I haven't seen any of the drunken party behavior that some people like to attribute to Carnival. Yeah, the do the stupid hairy chest contest, but you know what? I've never been at the pool when they did it. No one forces you to sit there and watch.
But the line cutting, rude, "I'm entitled" stuff I've seen on DCL is astonishing. Parents letting their kids misbehave, because "It's Disney"....and yes, I've actually heard them say it (the parents).

Someone mentioned better shows on Disney. Maybe so, but if you've seen them once, you don't necessarily need to see them again. Over and over and over. I quit going after the first couple of times.

Off the soapbox. I just like to travel, and I'm finding more and more that I don't have to do it on or with Disney......and I have more money now to go more often.

I may be the minority here but honestly. We were kind of dissapointed with DCL. We just sailed last week. We liked it but expected a little more. I don't know, I think some people walk around with rose colored glasses on just because its "Disney". The staff were friendly, but in our opinion, not so much in the shops.

We weren't overly impressed with the food or entertainment. It was ok, but in our opinion should have been better with the money you're spending.

We both enjoyed Carnival more for those 2 things. Maybe it was just the week we were on Carnival but the entertainment was awesome.

If I sail DCL again, I don't want to see the shows again.

As for you get what you pay for and rudeness, party behaviour.

You'll get rude people everywhere! I will mention a few here, hopefully 'those' people read this.

We certainly ran into it last week on DCL Fantasy and a 'drunk pirate' with his kids downstairs waiting for Jack Sparrow to show up for photos. If anyone was there waiting for a picture with Jack Sparrow you'll know what I was talking about! This man was a fire fighter.

A few things stand out to me. My DH didn't think it was very "Disney" for a woman to be walking around in thong/string bikini. I mean, her entire butt was out for show.

A woman dropped cookies off of her plate while walking by the pool, looked at the ground where they dropped and kept walking!! I got up, picked them up and put them in the garbage.

I told a lady her earring (big silver hoop) was on the ground. She was standing at the 'Eye Scream Station'. She picked it up and didn't acknowledge me at all to say 'thanks'.

One night I was furious!! About 8 boys were making a huge mess at the drink station. (ages 11-13 roughly) They were making drinks of various mixed soda, coffee, sugar, tea etc. One boy spilled his on the ground and just left.

There were 2 employees trying hard to keep up with the mess. They obviously were not saying anything to these boys as they can't! Finally I walked over to them and told them they were making alot of people angry. A 'mom' beside me agreed. I angrily said 'I paid way too much money to be here to watch this going on'. I told them to apologize to the 2 men who were cleaning up the mess. The boys didn't. They just stared. I again asked them very firmly to apologize and they finally did. After they left I guess they went back to the club. This was around 11pm at night

Where were these kids parents? Ofcourse kids could do this on any cruise line. The 2 workers both thanked me for stopping them and told me that they are unable to say anything.

Sorry for the rant, that still upsets me. Just trying to get across that you will get unwanted behavior wherever you go, whatever the ship, or how much you pay.

On Carnival, we encountered the same drunk man, twice.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:25 PM   #36
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DCL was our first cruise back in 2000. Less than 2 months later we sailed on RCL and it was a major letdown. Now I will say it was one of RCL's older ships and the Magic still had that "new ship smell". Also, I'm sure the newer ships are great but, since then, it's been Disney only for us.

PS. I'm not ruling out ever sailing on another line - but it would have to be a screaming deal on a very new ship.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #37
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I have cruised multiple times with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Disney. While Princess and Royal Caribbean were both wonderful, there are three reasons that I prefer Disney cruising:

1) Their evenings shows are second to none. Especially having younger children who love live theatre, the draw of the shows is definitely a big factor for me.

2) Free soda/milk/juice. I know it seems like a little thing, but it's a nice touch.

3) Bringing alcohol onboard. Not that my husband and I are heavy drinkers; however, traveling with young children we are resigned to our stateroom at a decent hour every night. Being able to bring a few bottles of wine for us to enjoy in our stateroom is a huge bonus in my book. To my knowledge, Disney is the only cruise line that permits alcohol to be brought on board for in-room consumption.

With all that said, I can't wait for Disney to release 2014 so I can book again!!
The sodas, etc, are definitely NOT free. They are INCLUDED in the price you pay. And you pay a LOT more to cruise on Disney than you do on (most of) the other cruise lines.

I will say that Disney is really good for kids. The other lines offer some great kids programs too, though.

Most of the other cruise lines DO allow you to bring one bottle of wine per adult.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:45 PM   #38
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I think Crystal has better food, but as far as the type of entertainment I'm looking for, then my family would definitely be disappointed.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:45 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by barbja99 View Post
How odd is that it that I don't want to use other cruise lines because they're gonna charge me for a soda? I know that it will affect my enjoyment of my vacation that I just spend a boatload of money on, so I just won't even go there.

This is also one of the fiscally-irresponsible reasons why I choose to stay in concierge-level at the Disney hotels. Sure, those concierge dudes can do a lot for you, but I also get free soda. Awesome!!

Now if they could only roll in the tips so that I don't have to spend a dime after I get on the ship, I'd be in heaven. I always stress about how much to tip who and when.

Really? You're paying so much more, especially for concierge, that you've paid for that soda over and over and over and over.......
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:12 PM   #40
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We have only sailed DCL so far (6 times) but will experience NCL Pride of America in April. We get on a week after a dry dock refurbishment. I am not expecting it to be as aesthetically beautiful as the Disney ships and I am not expecting amazing service from the US crew but I am curious as to how the overall 'atmosphere' will compare. The itinerary is such that in one week you spend around 100 hours in port (2 overnight stays). We will be renting cars and perhaps staying out late enough some days that we will eat off the ship.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #41
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I've cruised other lines before DCL with mixed success. Now that we've tried and loved DCL, there are a few lines I've heard good things about (Princess, Celebrity, Azamara) but in some ways hesitant to try because DCL has just been super.

It seems w/other lines, you have to pick your ship carefully, whereas w/DCL, they're all wonderful, of course there are just 4.

Have you tried other lines that were as satisfactory as DCL or have had cruisers regret?
I may be the minority here, but please don't flame me. I'm almost afraid to give my opinion but here goes. We sailed DCL 4 times. Twice on the Magic, once on the Wonder, and very recently sailed on the Fantasy. We have also sailed Royal Caribbean, and the Celebrity Solstice. We loved the Magic and the Wonder, but we're not happy with the Fantasy. The food and entertainment was very good on all DCL cruises. The Fantasy had very good food, but the restaurants were very loud and chaotic! It was very difficult to have any kind of a conversation. Service was not what we expected or had in the past in the restaurants or our room steward. On the magic and the wonder, the kids were much less visible. I'm guessing it's because the Fantasy is so much larger, so naturally more children Just not sure what the difference is, but our cruise was not so magical and we were disappointed.

The best cruises we have ever taken for service, food, beauty of the ship was on the Celebrity Solstice. They have DCL beat...just way better...well that's my opinion. Don't scream at me to much please
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:56 PM   #42
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We have only sailed DCL so far (6 times) but will experience NCL Pride of America in April. We get on a week after a dry dock refurbishment. I am not expecting it to be as aesthetically beautiful as the Disney ships and I am not expecting amazing service from the US crew but I am curious as to how the overall 'atmosphere' will compare. The itinerary is such that in one week you spend around 100 hours in port (2 overnight stays). We will be renting cars and perhaps staying out late enough some days that we will eat off the ship.

I've never been disappointed with NCL's concierge and butler service. I actually think they go out of their way for you more so than DCL's do.
I'm not sure I'd be really crazy about the POA....but at least right after dry dock it will be clean and shiny. I really prefer their newer ships, like the Pearl, with their bowling alley...the teens loved that. Our 2 bedrooms suite on the Pearl was awesome, with the Garden Villa just outside our door.
But I think you'll enjoy the choices of different restaurants.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:06 PM   #43
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I may be the minority here, but please don't flame me. I'm almost afraid to give my opinion but here goes. We sailed DCL 4 times. Twice on the Magic, once on the Wonder, and very recently sailed on the Fantasy. We have also sailed Royal Caribbean, and the Celebrity Solstice. We loved the Magic and the Wonder, but we're not happy with the Fantasy. The food and entertainment was very good on all DCL cruises. The Fantasy had very good food, but the restaurants were very loud and chaotic! It was very difficult to have any kind of a conversation. Service was not what we expected or had in the past in the restaurants or our room steward. On the magic and the wonder, the kids were much less visible. I'm guessing it's because the Fantasy is so much larger, so naturally more children Just not sure what the difference is, but our cruise was not so magical and we were disappointed.

The best cruises we have ever taken for service, food, beauty of the ship was on the Celebrity Solstice. They have DCL beat...just way better...well that's my opinion. Don't scream at me to much please
I won't scream at you at all. We cruised the Fantasy in the early spring and the Celebrity Infinity in the late spring. My 21 year old has no desire to go on the Fantasy ever again, feeling that the technology was amazing but that it was too crowded, too noisy, and not as friendly as the Magic.

And, as you noted, the food and service were better on the Infinity. I'd rank the stateroom hosts and dinner servers as about the same, but Guest Services on the Infinity was amazing. I won't give you "beauty of the ship...." it was OK, but..... However, this was an Alaska cruise and the enclosed adult pool area was super. There were signs up indicating the hours when this area was available to kids. The other thing I really liked was the AquaSpa Cafe. This was a food outlet in the adult area open for breakfast and lunch that featured healthy options--fresh grilled salmon with veges, yogurts, incredible bread sticks, fruit plates, etc. No waiting for cold dishes, the wait was as long as it took to cook the hot items. And the treats in the area similar to the Cove Cafe were incredible--almond croissants were the best!

However, entertainment and scheduling on DCL is better.....
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:13 PM   #44
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The best cruises we have ever taken for service, food, beauty of the ship was on the Celebrity Solstice. They have DCL beat...just way better...well that's my opinion. Don't scream at me to much please
I agree with you about Celebrity's Solstice-class ships. My DH and I were on Celebrity Silhouette in May (then Celebrity's newest ship), and we loved it. While onboard, I booked a Jan. 2014 cruise on the Solstice to Australia/New Zealand.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #45
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I can't fathom that it will be our case. We have only ever cruised RCI and we LOVE them. We tried to book princess for this last mediterranean trip, but the timing didn't work into our schedule, so we booked another RC on an older ship (we were expecting it not to be as new), and we had a BLAST! I think we just love cruising.

This coming trip is our first time taking the kids on vacation with us and their first cruise. Well, we tried once before, and it was painful. We think our mindset was that it would be relaxing for everyone and it was fun for the kids and work for us. Now we view it as the kids vacation and we think our expectation this time will be more realistic than last time. Also, many of the things we had planned we couldn't do due to weather, so that made us a little more frantic...

While I completely enjoy entertainment on other lines, I am not sure I would really appreciate our kids being at any of it. There were hardly any kids on our med cruise, so the kids program looked like a dud, as there were hardly any kids in the program every time we looked into it. My favourite part of a cruise is formal dinner every night (not DH's...he's looking forward to wearing jeans at dinner this time around) and visiting lots of ports. Two things that Disney doesn't do. We drink mostly water and herbal tea, and we do not allow our kids to drink pop, so disney offering these things is not a bonus for us. But the pace we keep up on a cruise ( at port until the last half hour and sleeping in 'til almost noon), we couldn't do with the kids. We are hoping we all love this one so that this will be our primary option for when the kids travel with us. We want to start with the bigger ship because our first DD gets motion sickness so we are testing it out.
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