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Old 07-06-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
AinW
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Talk me into DCL for Med 2014!

I have done 2 prior Med cruises, both awesome but both adults only (2006 Rome to Southampton on Princess & 2009 Venice to Barcelona on Celebrity). I have also been on several Carib cruises but on Norwegian or RCL-never DCL. My DD did her first DCL this yr w my mom & they both loved it.

I travel a lot in Europe & Asia and am very independent - either diy using public transportation or book private guides for small groups from online boards if it's a place I want a guide (Alhambra, Ephesus).

Summer 2014 I've promised my awesome (then 13 yo) DD that we'll do a Med cruise. We did Paris on our own in Nov & had a blast. I have a small inheritance to fund it - $ IS a consideration for us.

I need to choose between DCL & RCL for our cruise. We love DL & WDW & I'm a DVC member but I need to be able to justify the (likely) higher cost of DCL. I'm VERY frugal by nature but am willing to pay for value.

Please give me feedback!
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
scrawny
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My dh & I are going on med. Cruise next year with Disney. We have cruised other lines amd won't go back. I have looked at others and cost is not that much different but the quality is so much higher. You get what you pay for. But you need to do what is best for your situation
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
lilpooh108
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Others might disagree, but I am not sure DCL is the best value for a Med cruise. We had a great time on our DCL Med, but we spent only 2 days on the ship. On port days, the excursions were 12-13 hours long. If you're looking to do a DCL cruise to experience Disney, I would suggest a less port intensive itinerary (like the Transatlantic) without such a high premium.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
StitchandPooh'sMom
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We just got back from a great Med cruise on RCCL. We have cruised DCL three times, but we have also cruised RCCL, Carnival and Holland America. It was a wonderful but exhausting trip, with only two sea days and long days in port.

I would choose first based on itinerary, paying particular attention to how long you are in port and where you start. I knew that we wanted to start and end in Rome, because I wanted to spend more than 12 hours in Rome. I also wanted to go to Athens and either Turkey or Croatia. That narrowed our choices considerably. Then I looked at ship activities to keep the kids happy on sea days (DDs 13 and 10), although I wanted the fewest number of sea days to spend the most time exploring the Med.

DCL is my favorite cruise line, particularly for the evening entertainment that is family-friendly and the rotation of the main dining rooms (and I love Castaway Cay on a Caribbean cruise). I have no doubt that a DCL Med cruise would be great. But our RCCL cruise was great, too. It did not live up to DCL for evening entertainment, but we were very tired at the end of each day anyway. Service was excellent on our cruise, and food was good but not as good as DCL. Our cabins were great and our cabin attendant was excellent.

For us, we chose based on itinerary, but we also wanted to spend three days in Rome after the cruise and use private tours in each port. RCCL was the best choice for us to be able to do everything within our budget, but I know DCL would have been great as well.

We choose DCL when the focus is on the ship. But we chose Holland America for Alaska because it went to Glacier Bay and we chose RCCL for the Med because it started and ended in Rome and had the ports we wanted to visit.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StitchandPooh'sMom View Post
We just got back from a great Med cruise on RCCL. We have cruised DCL three times, but we have also cruised RCCL, Carnival and Holland America. It was a wonderful but exhausting trip, with only two sea days and long days ........
Do you have any suggestions on where to start researching? Our very first cruise will be in Oct on the Magic right after dry dock. But for the next cruise, we want to branch out with Italy being high on the list. I'm not even sure if it would be 2014 or 2015. But for that one, pricing will be a factor. So I am not opposed to trying another cruise line. I lean towards Disney because I've researched them enough plus we could put down a dummy date while on board. For the current trip we are going concierge but I don't think we can swing that for a Med trip. So I want to decide before we go in October.

For researching the other ships I'm at a loss. I've looked at cruise critic a bit. I find RCCLs site confusing, lol. I think we'd likely be happy anywhere and plan to pick based on locations. But there are a couple things I need to look for.

1. I have a 7 year old so I question how good the other ships would be for him. Do they have kid programs? What's RCCL like for kids?
2. Also, we are not crowd people. I'm not sure I'd like being stuck in a tour group. I'm thinking we'd just like to plan our own things. So I'm not sure where to start there either.

Suggestions?

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:59 PM   #6
StitchandPooh'sMom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniec View Post
Do you have any suggestions on where to start researching? Our very first cruise will be in Oct on the Magic right after dry dock. But for the next cruise, we want to branch out with Italy being high on the list. I'm not even sure if it would be 2014 or 2015. But for that one, pricing will be a factor. So I am not opposed to trying another cruise line. I lean towards Disney because I've researched them enough plus we could put down a dummy date while on board. For the current trip we are going concierge but I don't think we can swing that for a Med trip. So I want to decide before we go in October.

For researching the other ships I'm at a loss. I've looked at cruise critic a bit. I find RCCLs site confusing, lol. I think we'd likely be happy anywhere and plan to pick based on locations. But there are a couple things I need to look for.

1. I have a 7 year old so I question how good the other ships would be for him. Do they have kid programs? What's RCCL like for kids?
2. Also, we are not crowd people. I'm not sure I'd like being stuck in a tour group. I'm thinking we'd just like to plan our own things. So I'm not sure where to start there either.

Suggestions?

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
I find most of the cruise line websites confusing - DCL is surprisingly one of the better ones for searching cruises. I used Costco Travel a bit to research, but I mainly used Expedia to narrow down the cruises (since you can select departure ports and length and show all cruise lines). Once I narrowed down a few choices, I posted on Cruise Critic for opinions and read reviews, but I also went to each cruise line's website to look at the individual ships. I wanted a medium size ship instead of a megaship. We sailed on Navigator of the Seas, but I think this was her last summer in Europe. The ship was the perfect size for us - no long lines for the buffet or the rock climbing wall, and still plenty for the kids to do.

RCCL does have a kids' program, but we didn't use it. My kids don't use the kids' clubs on DCL either, though, so that is not to suggest RCCL's program is not good. It was divided into age groups like most lines, and each group had its own space. There will generally be fewer kids on a Med cruise than on a Caribbean cruise, and DCL will generally have more kids than other lines.

We had cruised the Med once before the kids came along, and I remember riding 1 1/2 hours from port on a hot crowded bus to get to Rome. I wanted to spend more time in Rome, so I concentrated on cruises that left from Civitavecchia. We also looked at cruises from Venice. There are many cruises that make more stops in Italy, but DH has been to Italy several times and wanted a cruise that went other places.

I learned about tour companies on Cruise Critic. It was great to be a group of four instead of a group of fifty, and the cost was comparable or sometimes cheaper than the cruise tours.

We paid less for two connecting balcony cabins on RCCL than we would have for one on DCL. With three of you, you would probably stay in one room anyway. But I have two girls and one is a teenager! The extra space and extra shower was great. Booking RCCL allowed us to spend three extra days in Rome. The airfare was the killer - it cost more to fly there than to cruise!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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We are long time Disney cruisers (though have tried Carnival 3x & RCCL 2x).
When searching for our Med cruise, I did look at RCCL & the Norwegian Epic. That is, until ds13 saw me on Norwegian's website & begged for DCL.
This happened with planning our Alaskan cruise last year too but then it was ds16, then 15, who pleaded for DCL.

Since we booked onboard, we got 10% off our cruise fare & we like to get 2 cabins on the classic ships so that doubles our OBCs from DCL & TA. We had $1100 for Alaska & we'll have $800 for the Med. This really leveled the playing field for DCL with us. It may not have been the best Alaskan itinerary but dh & I can do another someday when our kids are grown. Our oldest is now 16 so it suddenly seems like that day is not so far away.

Even with port intensive cruises, we still love the dining on DCL as well as the evening shows. We'll still have 2 days at sea and we'll be enjoying them, Disney-style!

I'd say just do it!
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:40 AM   #8
DisneyHelen
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We loved our 7 day med cruise. We had 2 days at sea and booked 2 full day tours and 2 half day tours. The DCL tours were fantastic and we loved our time in Barcelona. I wish I was going back next year!
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