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Old 03-05-2013, 08:04 AM   #1
Ashleyfaz
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Princess vs. DCL

In about 10 days I will be boarding DCL out of Galveston. I was looking online last night at different cruises and noticed that the prices on Princess out of the Houston port in November are pretty good. This port is less than 10 minutes away from my house!

Has anyone been on a Princess ship? Will my family be disappointed if we go on Princess after DCL?

Here are the prices for an oceanview on each boat during Thanksgiving 2013 week:

DCL

Caribbean Princess- $2996, 174 sq.ft. room
-sails to cozumel, belize city and honduras

Disney Wonder- $5098.68, ($4588.81 if I book on board next week along with $400 OBC), 204 sq.ft. room
-sails to key west, nassau, castaway cay
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:24 AM   #2
MikeAndNick
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We have done Princess twice. We really liked the Panama Canal Cruise. It was a nice cruise ship but there were only 20 kids on the ship (cruised first week in December). The nice thing was there were four 10 year old kids (one was mine) and they had full run of the ship and all kids areas. That cruise I was more into relax and see the different ports. Two years ago we took Princess to Alaska. There were lots more kids on that cruise and the ship was nice. We used the open dining and I liked some of the extra dinning areas and did not eat in the regular dinning rooms much.

If you approach it as they are different and do not expect "Disney" I think you will love Princess. Here are my feelings...
* The price is better on Princess
* The food are about the same quality
* The entertainment in the bars are better on Princess
* The night shows are better on Disney
* The people on the Disney ship are more Family oriented and layed back
* The Kids clubs are better on Disney BUT with my son being a Teen it is all about hanging out with the other Teens so it makes both Teen areas the same.
* The staff seems to be about the same quality.
* The cruise ship quality seems to be the same quality.
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Disney Cruise Lines: Wonder Land and Sea – Bahamas 2005, Magic Eastbound Trans Atlantic 2010, Magic Mexican Riviera Nov 20, 2011, Fantasy Western Caribbean June 23, 2012, Wonder Bahamian December 14, 2013
Princess Cruse Lines: Panama Canal 2006, San Francisco Alaska June 19, 2011, Pacific Coast Nov 24, 2013
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: Mexican Riviera 2009
Carnival Cruise Lines: Encanta Mexico 2009
NCL Cruise Lines: Mexican Riviera 2008
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
jal417
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Just got off the Magic in Galveston last week. The Princess cruise was docked right next to the Magic and it made the Magic look like a midget! So I have no idea anything about Princess but the ship was huge!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
cheryllarsen
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You will always be disappointed after trying anything else after Disney!
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
cheryllarsen
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We went on Holland America after Disney and were disappointed in the difference.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:19 AM   #6
luv2sleep
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I looked at Princess because they sail out of my local home port. I decided against it for now because I read that its pretty boring for kids outside of the clubs. It can be boring for adults too if you're not into gambling. It might be boring for us as a family because there aren't a lot of things to do together aside from swimming. It's probably ok for a very short trip 3/4 days) but I was looking at the RT Hawaii and decided we'd probably not enjoy it as much as our DCL Hawaii trip. On that trip I was never bored and there was so much to do as a family that we hardly got to it all.

The price is good but probably not the best cruiseline for young kids IMO. They don't even have fun pools with slides or water features. The pools don't have shallow ends either. Not a great thing for my kiddo. I guess it depends. If a person plans to keep their kids in the club all day then I guess it could work. I don't do that though.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
ilovetexas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleyfaz View Post
In about 10 days I will be boarding DCL out of Galveston. I was looking online last night at different cruises and noticed that the prices on Princess out of the Houston port in November are pretty good. This port is less than 10 minutes away from my house!

Has anyone been on a Princess ship? Will my family be disappointed if we go on Princess after DCL?

Here are the prices for an oceanview on each boat during Thanksgiving 2013 week:

DCL

Caribbean Princess- $2996, 174 sq.ft. room
-sails to cozumel, belize city and honduras

Disney Wonder- $5098.68, ($4588.81 if I book on board next week along with $400 OBC), 204 sq.ft. room
-sails to key west, nassau, castaway cay
I haven't been on Princess but ANY ship 10 minutes from my house would get serious consideration!! The ports on the Princess cruise are FAR better than the DCL cruise. I love Cozumel, in Belize you can tour Mayan ruins and Honduras is absolutely beautiful.

I've tried plenty of stuff after Disney...and have not been disappointed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
jdb in AZ
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This is so subjective, as you've probubbly already figured from the variety of responses. It also varies from ship to ship. Some Princess ships are very nice -- especially the newer ones. The old ones look as dated as their elderly clientele. ahem. But if it's a spring break cruise there should be plenty of kids onboard.

The food also varies from chef to chef. On our most recent Princess cruise they had a yummy shrimp salad available any time of the day, and fresh pastries -- i do declare I like their eclairs. And their fruit tarts. But their buffet line also had "delicacies" including fried squid ball soup, and some sort of pizza sandwich with the tomato sauce baked into the bread. It was stuffed with eggplant. blech. Overall, the food in the main dining rooms was similar quality to DCL.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #9
Magic3forme
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we did the Wonder and a Princess cruise the same year. (05). My girls were bored on the Princess ship. the kids club was closed for dinner and was only open til 10? had to pay to stay after this time.

We thought the food was better on Princess, loved having a robe in our room
shows were more cabaret...
there was a casino on board. none on DCL

Disney has a better kids pool, themed dining. and the list goes on and on.

the biggest thing we really noticed... Disembarkation... it was a nightmare... we were put in the theater and it took forever to get off the ship.
and our bags were everywhere.

and the best thing with DCL--- Castaway Cay..... I love not having to tender!!!!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #10
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We went on 12 day princess in Europe during summer. very nice ship, good food, lovely staff, no complaints, but I agree with others, a bit boring for us (45/50)--but we didn't care b/c we were exhausted from touring each day. We did go to the Movies at Sea 4X and liked that. They also have ceramics at sea---fun to paint ceramics that they glaze and fire the last day--my girls would have spent 2 hrs every other day doing that--otherwise, we remarked that they kids would have been bored.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Most of our 26 cruises have been on Princess and we just completed our first cruise on DCL (8-night cruise on the Disney Magic out of Galveston).

We really enjoyed our cruise on the Disney Magic, so much so that we booked another DCL cruise on the Disney Fantasy for May 2014.

If you have young kids traveling with you, DCL has much better youth programs than Princess or Holland America Line. If we were planning a family gathering on a cruise ship involving our 10 great nieces and nephews that are under 10 years of age, the ONLY cruise line I will consider is DCL.

If you love Disney and want to be immersed in Disney while cruising, then DCL is the only way to go.

Nevertheless, we really enjoy our times on Princess and Holland America cruises.

Food is very subjective and what one person likes another person may not. In my opinion, DCL food is comparable in quality to food offer by Princess and HAL, but I don't think DCL offers as wide a variety of choices as the other two cruise lines.

The rotational dining rooms on the Disney Magic were much more noisy than I've encountered on Princess and HAL. We sat at a table for six and there were times when it was difficult to carry on a conversation with all of our table mates due to the noise in the dining room. Also, I thought some of the tables in Animator's Palate were much too close together.

Since I'm a Disney fan, I enjoyed the shows on the Disney Magic. However, there were parts of some shows that I thought were rather amateurish in the production values. Shows on Princess and HAL are geared for a more adult audience.

I thought the layout for the Disney Magic was great for kids and families. However, Princess and HAL have many more spaces where you can sit and enjoy a good book or just watch the waves go by.

A big plus in Princess's favor is its Anytime Dining feature. Guests can choose the traditional dining that offers a 1st and 2nd seating for dinner, or they can choose Anytime Dining where they can eat at any time from 5:30 to 10:00 PM. The big advantage with Anytime Dining is that it makes your evening much more flexible. If you aren't hungry at 5:45 PM, you can delay dinner. Or if you prefer to watch the ship leave port, or if you came back late from an excursion, or if you just want to catch the early show rather than the late show (or vice versa), you can eat when you want.

Another plus for Princess over DCL is its itineraries. DCL is tied to families, so maybe that is why it has a very limited offering of cruises and most of its itineraries are relatively short. In my opinion, the immersion in all-things Disney while on board a Disney ship is far more important than the ports of call. With a Princess cruise, the ports of call are quite often the hook that gets us on the ship.

As with lots of things, the differences between cruise lines just help make things more interesting. Sometimes I'll be in the mood for DCL, other times I'd rather be on Princess.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdrl
Most of our 26 cruises have been on Princess and we just completed our first cruise on DCL (8-night cruise on the Disney Magic out of Galveston).

We really enjoyed our cruise on the Disney Magic, so much so that we booked another DCL cruise on the Disney Fantasy for May 2014.

If you have young kids traveling with you, DCL has much better youth programs than Princess or Holland America Line. If we were planning a family gathering on a cruise ship involving our 10 great nieces and nephews that are under 10 years of age, the ONLY cruise line I will consider is DCL.

If you love Disney and want to be immersed in Disney while cruising, then DCL is the only way to go.

Nevertheless, we really enjoy our times on Princess and Holland America cruises.

Food is very subjective and what one person likes another person may not. In my opinion, DCL food is comparable in quality to food offer by Princess and HAL, but I don't think DCL offers as wide a variety of choices as the other two cruise lines.

The rotational dining rooms on the Disney Magic were much more noisy than I've encountered on Princess and HAL. We sat at a table for six and there were times when it was difficult to carry on a conversation with all of our table mates due to the noise in the dining room. Also, I thought some of the tables in Animator's Palate were much to close together.

Since I'm a Disney fan, I enjoyed the shows on the Disney Magic. However, there were parts of some shows that I thought were rather amateurish in the production values. Shows on Princess and HAL are geared for a more adult audience.

I thought the layout for the Disney Magic was great for kids and families. However, Princess and HAL have many more spaces where you can sit and enjoy a good book or just watch the waves go by.

A big plus in Princess's favor is its Anytime Dining feature. Guests can choose the traditional dining that offers a 1st and 2nd seating for dinner, or they can choose Anytime Dining where they can eat any any time from 5:30 to 10:00 PM. The big advantage with Anytime Dining is that it makes your evening much more flexible. If you aren't hungry at 5:45 PM, you can delay dinner. Or if you prefer to watch the ship leave port, or if you came back late from an excursion, or if you just want to catch the early show rather than the late show (or vice versa), you can eat when you want.

Another plus for Princess over DCL is its itineraries. DCL is tied to families, so maybe that is why it has a very limited offering of cruises and most of its itineraries are relatively short. In my opinion, the immersion in all-things Disney while on board a Disney ship is far more important than the ports of call. With a Princess cruise, the ports of call are quite often the hook that gets us on the ship.

As with lots of things, the differences between cruise lines just help make things more interesting. Sometimes I'll be in the mood for DCL, other times I'd rather be on Princess.
How did your kids do during the day with things to do away from the clubs? Did they like it?

If I was going in an adult only vacation I think I could make any cruiseline work for me. In that case itinerary and cost would definitely win over.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
How did your kids do during the day with things to do away from the clubs? Did they like it?

If I was going in an adult only vacation I think I could make any cruiseline work for me. In that case itinerary and cost would definitely win over.
It was just my wife and I on the DCL cruise. We don't have any children.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #14
NancyIL
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I have been on 4 Princess cruises (2 to Alaska and 2 in Europe), and would gladly sail with them again. I think Princess's ships are beautiful, and they have some wonderful itineraries. Their prices tend to be higher than Royal Caribbean and even Celebrity, but less than DCL.

Princess no longer allows smoking in cabins OR on balconies - something that DCL would be wise to prohibit.
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:08 PM   #15
miztressuz
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we've not had extensive cruising experience, but we've done 2 princess, 1, NCL and 1 DCL. we were on two different princess ships but ones that had the same amenities. they are different experiences but we loved both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleyfaz View Post
In about 10 days I will be boarding DCL out of Galveston. I was looking online last night at different cruises and noticed that the prices on Princess out of the Houston port in November are pretty good. This port is less than 10 minutes away from my house!

Has anyone been on a Princess ship? Will my family be disappointed if we go on Princess after DCL?
disappointed depends on your idea of a good vacation. check the amenities offered on each ship and see which has less of what you're looking for in your trip. things like movies, shows, special areas, etc
Here are the prices for an oceanview on each boat during Thanksgiving 2013 week:

DCL

Caribbean Princess- $2996, 174 sq.ft. room
-sails to cozumel, belize city and honduras

Disney Wonder- $5098.68, ($4588.81 if I book on board next week along with $400 OBC), 204 sq.ft. room
-sails to key west, nassau, castaway cay
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAndNick View Post

If you approach it as they are different and do not expect "Disney" I think you will love Princess. Here are my feelings...
* The price is better on Princess agreed
* The food are about the same quality agreed
* The entertainment in the bars are better on Princess agreed
* The night shows are better on Disney[COLOR="Red"]agreed[/COLOR
* The people on the Disney ship are more Family oriented and layed back
* The Kids clubs are better on Disney BUT with my son being a Teen it is all about hanging out with the other Teens so it makes both Teen areas the same.
* The staff seems to be about the same quality.agreed
* The cruise ship quality seems to be the same quality.agreed, i think. i'm comparing the Dream to "older" Princess ships Grand and Caribbean so there are some differences.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdrl View Post

Food is very subjective and what one person likes another person may not. In my opinion, DCL food is comparable in quality to food offer by Princess and HAL, but I don't think DCL offers as wide a variety of choices as the other two cruise lines.
agreed, but again i'm comparing a 4 night Dream to 7 night Princess'

The rotational dining rooms on the Disney Magic were much more noisy than I've encountered on Princess and HAL. We sat at a table for six and there were times when it was difficult to carry on a conversation with all of our table mates due to the noise in the dining room. Also, I thought some of the tables in Animator's Palate were much too close together.
we do anytime dining on Princess so some of it could be the dining times we picked. but we did get the feeling of larger space on Princess dining rooms so the noise was less even when we went during peak times

Since I'm a Disney fan, I enjoyed the shows on the Disney Magic. However, there were parts of some shows that I thought were rather amateurish in the production values. Shows on Princess and HAL are geared for a more adult audience.
agreed. although to be fair we didn't see many shows on Princess, but based on descriptions we decided if they were our thing. for the most part we prefer the musical feel of the disney shows to the singing/dancing performances mostly on Princess.

I thought the layout for the Disney Magic was great for kids and families. However, Princess and HAL have many more spaces where you can sit and enjoy a good book or just watch the waves go by.
agreed

A big plus in Princess's favor is its Anytime Dining feature. Guests can choose the traditional dining that offers a 1st and 2nd seating for dinner, or they can choose Anytime Dining where they can eat at any time from 5:30 to 10:00 PM. The big advantage with Anytime Dining is that it makes your evening much more flexible. If you aren't hungry at 5:45 PM, you can delay dinner. Or if you prefer to watch the ship leave port, or if you came back late from an excursion, or if you just want to catch the early show rather than the late show (or vice versa), you can eat when you want.
agreed, we like the anytime dining. we think it works well if you are used to land based restaurants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyIL View Post
I have been on 4 Princess cruises (2 to Alaska and 2 in Europe), and would gladly sail with them again. I think Princess's ships are beautiful, and they have some wonderful itineraries. Their prices tend to be higher than Royal Caribbean and even Celebrity, but less than DCL.

for pricing i think it really depends on ship/itinerary between RCCL, Celebrity and Princess. however, for the most part princess is almost always cheaper than DCL. (i haven't found a case for Princess to be higher, but i'm sure it's been out there somewhere )
.
all in all it really depends on what you want to get out of the vacation and what makes a vacation for you. on the two princess ships we sailed we found that after 9pm (or thereabouts) there wasn't anything to do not tied to dancing/music. every venue had either music or dancing event. sometimes there was a late show in the theatre. since we're not interested in that, pretty much after 9 was quiet time for us not a big deal, we can entertain ourselves, especially since they have a food venue open at least 23 hours a day so we'd get "midnight snack" and watch movies or read books late night. [the international cafe had awesome candied walnuts with their cheese selections. the walnuts, cheese, and dried apricots was our night time snack every night of our last cruise. we actually still think about them occasionally]

we also noticed on our two cruises that the majority age is 40s/50s. we saw kids and all of the ones we saw looked like they were having a good time. there were crafting activities, and there was a juggling/circus class, and i think i saw cookie decorating one day. these were shipwide activities planned so kids didn't have to be stuck in the kids clubs just to participate in age related stuff.
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Last edited by miztressuz; 03-05-2013 at 01:11 PM. Reason: changed color of responses, too hard to read.
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