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Old 01-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
cgolf
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Disney vs X cruise line price compare

We are looking to possibly do a cruise for my 40th this December and decided to compare prices for this cruise with Disney, RCL, NCL, and Celebrity. We chose not to look at Carnival for numerous reasons, even knowing it would be cheap to get on the ship.

All of the comparisons were done using an inside stateroom.

What we found was that the Fantasy was definitely more expensive than all of the other options, but the Magic was very competitive. The Magic cruise may have been cheaper once you factor in the up charges on other lines that you get built into the Disney cruise. If the Magic cruise was not cheaper it was very similar in cost.

We also noticed that RCL definitely makes the cruiser pay a premium to cruise on their new ships (Oasis and Allure), so it is no surprise that the Fantasy is more expensive.

What are we missing, our research shows Disney's prices to be pretty competitive taking in all of the factors, are there ways to get better prices on these other lines?

The one piece of course that Disney was missing was different itineraries. For us this is not a big deal, as we like the sea days better, but I understand this is an issue for others.

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Old 01-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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We cruised Celebrity summer 2012. We found the cost to be just a bit more than half of the same cruise on the Wonder. Same ports, time frame, cabin type, etc.

What we did find was that Celebrity Infinity's inside cabins were a lot smaller than DCL's. Celebrity's food was better, but the overall ship was not as nice. Guest Services on the Infinity was amazing. As to booking, we watch Celebrity's prices change on many Tuesday mornings--that's their sale release day. We did well; we got the lowest price I'd seen. Also, Celebrity lists more items under "Taxes and government fees." This line item was twice as much on Celebrity as on DCL, which made their cruise fare falsely low. We bought one soda package on Celeb for the one member of our group who drinks the stuff. The auto tips on Celebrity were $11.25 per day per guest compared to DCL's $12.00. There were adult dining upcharges; we did only the high tea. Their fancy brunch is included (no upcharge). There were a couple more optional restaurants--we didn't indulge.

My take would be that you have to compare cruise for cruise as much as you can (to equate the ports).

The cabin size was the biggest difference. Celebrity had A LOT of storage built into the cabin, but the sitting area was almost non-existent. There was space for one chair against one wall and a desk on the other wall.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #3
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OP I found the same thing. I wouldn't mind trying RC or NCL if it was a significant cost savings but I'm not finding it to be true. Every time I price it out for the same itinerary and date it is about the same. Maybe I am missing something too.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #4
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I can't say much as I don't really know what you compared to what. Since Magic is in Europe all summer, I just compared 12 day cruises on all four cruise lines (using their websites, not any discounter or agent). Each is roundtrip out of Barcelona with stops in Greece as opposed to Venice except for the Norwegian Spirit which sails one way back and forth between Barcelona and Venice with stops in Greece. I priced each at the least expensive, interior, guaranteed cabin location with two adults traveling. Results:

Celebrity Equinox (July 28) - $4,043.68 (approx $168.49 per person, per day)

Serenade OTS (July 30) - $3,451.12 (approx $143.80 per person, per day)

Norwegian Spirit (July 10) - $3,410.74 (approx $142.12 per person, per day)

Disney Magic (July 13) - $5,307.30 (approx $221.38 per person, per day)

As kcashner pointed out, Celebrity has sales each Tuesday (I believe RCCL does as well) and right now, they have a very good freebie on a drink package that is better than what is included with DCL. Even without a sale or drink freebie, the price difference between DCL Magic and the others is significant enough to pay for airfare to Europe for one or two people.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Be sure to compare apples to apples. The Magic is comparable to Royal's Majesty of the Seas. The Majesty is half the price of Disney Magic.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgolf View Post

What are we missing, our research shows Disney's prices to be pretty competitive taking in all of the factors, are there ways to get better prices on these other lines?
I think you stated it yourself, you have to compare comparable itineraries and times of year in order to truly compare prices. Anything else is comparing apples to oranges. (BTW, I don't agree with PP about DCL Magic being comparable to RCCL Majesty, but I'll let someone else fight that battle.)

Here's another comparison I just did (yes, I'm avoiding writing a paper for school and would rather play around pricing cruises instead!). It's a bunch of TA crossings this spring; these prices for Celebrity and DCL are much closer but NCL Epic is off the charts cheaper. Again, all interior rooms with 2 adults. Celebrity is a GTY because that's all they had left. (pppd=per person per day)

Celebrity Equinox 15 days FLL to Barcelona $ 1,962.96 ($65.40 pppd)

Independence OTS 13 days FLL to London $ 1,234.32 ($47.47 pppd)

Norwegian Epic 15 days MIA to Barcelona $ 930.76 ($31.03 pppd) No, that wasn't a typo and if I wasn't going to be in classes, I'd book it tonight!

Disney Magic 14 days Galveston to Barcelona $ 2,082.16 ($74.36 pppd)

TA's usually cost less per day; maybe they feel bad for us because we have to fly!
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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Actually the Magic is more comparable to the Vision or Radiance class ships, at least size wise.

Anyway, most of the time you will find other lines to be cheaper. Sometimes it has to do with the ship, other times the itinerary, or maybe the dates. Some ships have smaller rooms, some have bigger balconies. They are all different. It is just better to just go with what YOU are looking for and what you can afford.

Personally, we go for Disney: The characters, the shows, the music in the hallways. Disney has this, while the others have rock-walls, ice-rinks, bigger and more pools... (sorry, soda or no soda would never make or break it with me) I have no problem going on another ship. RCCL Explorer of the Seas was gorgeous to me! Loved the layout of the ship, the staff and crew were amazing, room was great, dining room was top-notch and....it was going to Bermuda. My DH is done with Disney, but the kids still want it, even over all the things the other ships have that Disney does not. We have been able to go Disney with prices were willing to pay, but that seems to be coming to an end. We are more limited in when we can go and Disney has out-priced us for 2014 so far.

Just remember, it is all what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay in the end.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetexas View Post

. . . As kcashner pointed out, Celebrity has sales each Tuesday (I believe RCCL does as well) and right now, they have a very good freebie on a drink package that is better than what is included with DCL. Even without a sale or drink freebie, the price difference between DCL Magic and the others is significant enough to pay for airfare to Europe for one or two people.
Celebrity currently has a "123go!" promotion. On European cruises, you can choose any two of these offers:
  • Free beverage package (unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, soda, fresh squeezed and bottled juices, premium coffees, and bottled water)
  • Free gratuities
  • Onboard credit ($200 for 6-9 nights, $300 for 10 nights or more)
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post

. . . Guest Services on the Infinity was amazing. As to booking, we watch Celebrity's prices change on many Tuesday mornings--that's their sale release day.
We love the Celebrity Infinity, having sailed on it through the Panama Canal. Before that, we've sailed the Panama Canal multiple times on the Disney Magic, which we loved too.

I agree about Tuesday mornings. Our price for a 14-night Panama Canal cruise on the Infinity was $1,048 p/p for an ocean view (plus tax and port fees) . Plus, we got a $400 SBC.

Similarly, we booked an upcoming Celebrity 15-night cruise to Hawaii R/T from San Diego for a fare of $924 pp for an ocean view (+ tax & fees). On that booking, we got a $440 SBC.

Gotta love those Tuesday sales.

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisinwithmaandpa
Be sure to compare apples to apples. The Magic is comparable to Royal's Majesty of the Seas. The Majesty is half the price of Disney Magic.
The Majesty is 6 years older than the Magic. Not really "apples to apples."
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
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One other thing we found during the research is that Disney's inside staterooms on the Wonder and magic are quite large compared to other cruise lines. Not that we are in the room a lot, but this last cruise on the Fantasy my DM and DD were in a standard veranda room and we were in the concierge veranda and was amazed at what they do with the extra space.

We were very comfortable in an inside on the wonder this past year, not sure how we would do with a smaller room. Actually I liked the Eonder inside layout better then the Fantasy standard veranda room.

We have the research and the cruise possibilities laid out for that time frame and will be watching for any deals on any of them. The other issue for me being it is my birthday, I almost want to stick with the line we know and for sure will enjoy. Not that we won't try others, I would hate to be not totally happy on that cruise. We for sure want to try Celebrity some day as we have read a lot of good reviews on them.

Thanks
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:03 AM   #12
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The Majesty is 6 years older than the Magic. Not really "apples to apples."
Been on both, yes Majesty is older but, in great shape. The itineraries are similar as well.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgolf View Post
One other thing we found during the research is that Disney's inside staterooms on the Wonder and magic are quite large compared to other cruise lines. Not that we are in the room a lot, but this last cruise on the Fantasy my DM and DD were in a standard veranda room and we were in the concierge veranda and was amazed at what they do with the extra space.

We were very comfortable in an inside on the wonder this past year, not sure how we would do with a smaller room. Actually I liked the Eonder inside layout better then the Fantasy standard veranda room.

We have the research and the cruise possibilities laid out for that time frame and will be watching for any deals on any of them. The other issue for me being it is my birthday, I almost want to stick with the line we know and for sure will enjoy. Not that we won't try others, I would hate to be not totally happy on that cruise. We for sure want to try Celebrity some day as we have read a lot of good reviews on them.

Thanks
cgolf
Inside cabins on the Wonder and Magic are also larger than on the Dream and Fantasy. Celebrity's insides are as large as or larger than Cat 11 on the Dream and Fantasy.

I can't think of anything that's included on Disney that I pay extra for on other cruise lines. I don't drink pop, so the "free" soda on DCL means nothing to me. I don't drink alcohol, so I don't care that I can bring my own on DCL. I have eaten at Palo ($20 pp) on each of my DCL cruises, whereas I rarely eat in specialty restaurants on other cruise lines.

No interest in Holland America or Princess? I am not loyal to any cruise line, although I have sailed on Royal Caribbean more than on any other cruise line. When choosing a cruise, I usually look for the best itinerary at the best price on a ship that I will enjoy. Disney cruises are the exception, because a really good itinerary on DCL is usually quite expensive.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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... All of the comparisons were done using an inside stateroom. ...
Another note on the inside cabins, other than size as mentioned by several PPs, is that compared to the industry DCL has relatively fewer inside cabins - particularly on the Dream and Fantasy. And with the "magic portholes" these cabins have sometimes been more popular than verandah cabins so they do book up sooner, therefore causing prices to rise to the point that sometimes an interior cabin may cost more than an oceanview.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #15
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No interest in Holland America or Princess? I am not loyal to any cruise line, although I have sailed on Royal Caribbean more than on any other cruise line. When choosing a cruise, I usually look for the best itinerary at the best price on a ship that I will enjoy. Disney cruises are the exception, because a really good itinerary on DCL is usually quite expensive.
I just emailed DW to check out Princess. Her parents travel Holland America, and all we here about in the after trip reports is about the bar and the card games that they played on deck. On our 7 Disney cruises, we have always packed cards and small games, and the next time we use them will be the first. We always seem to be busy doing something around the ship.

From reading the posts above it sounds as if Disney may be somewhat comperable in the carribian, but on the more unique itineraries it sounds like they run more to a lot more. We were looking exclusively at the carribian itineraries for this trip, so that may be why we did not see as much of a price difference. I was just surpirsed based on some comments that I had previously read on the board about Disney's price gouging, when we didn't really see it on these itineraries.

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