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Old 04-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by MNKelly View Post
That is so COOL! I still have tears in my eyes, thanks for sharing this story.
Right?! I had to close my door. I didn't want to explain to anyone walking by...
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #47
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That is the one thing that absolutely sets Disney apart from other cruise lines. Now, some are more enamoured than other with the atmosphere...but I first got bit when I was 12 years old and went to the Magic Kingdom for the first time in the '70s. Walking down mainstreet was like walking into a dream or fantasy world where eveyone was always happy! No work or chores or homework to be done......just fun!

And everytime I went back to the MK I was flooded with memories. Eventually I got married and started a family and made many more memories with our children. We saw Toy Story with our kids when it came out in the theater and Beaty and the Beast at the Fox Theater in Atlanta and bought dozens of VHS tapes of Disney movies!

And then we learned that Disney had a boat......and it was like going home again. All the memories of vacations at WDW and all our favorite movies and characters were there!

And it just never seems to get 'old'. :-)

One more thing...the demographics. We cruise on HAL and the average age of the cruisers had to be 20+ years older than DCL. There were a LOT of senior citizens on our HAL cruises. Nothing against seniors but I'd much rather cruise with families and kids!
WDW 4/98, Yellowstone 6/99, 4-day Bahamas DCL 6/00, Washington DC 6/01, WDW 1/02, Scotland 6/02, Alaska 6/03, 7-day Caribbean DCL 6/04, 4-day Bahamas DCL 1/05, WDW 1/05, Universal 3/05, Norway 6/05, NYC Waldorf-Astoria 10/05, Snowshoe, WV 12/05, China Adventure 3/06, WDW 6/06, Copper Mountain, CO 12/06, 11-day DCL Med Cruise 5/07, 4-day Bahamas DCL 10/07, 7 Day NCL cruise - Hawaii 7/08, Door County, WI 7/09, Snowshoe WV, 12/09, 12-day DCL Baltic cruise 6/10, 7-day Caribbean HAL 12/10, WDW 6/11, 5-day Dream NYE 12/11, 7-day Canadian HAL 6/12, 3-day Dream Jan 2013, 4-day Dream Feb 2013, 5-day CCL NOLA, 7 days hiking in the Himilayans, Katmandu, Nepal 5/14 7-day RCCL 7/14
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #48
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We absolutely loved our cruise, but what has my husband & I cancelling our scheduled beach vacation in favor of a Fantasy cruise next month is the fact that my 2.5 yo talks about the Mickey boat in his sleep. We cosleep and I wake up to him saying "Mickey Boat" or singing the songs from the sail away show at least 2-3 times a week. People will often say that young kids don't remember, well I'm sure that the memory fades, however the fact that it has been 6 months and my son still talks about the Mickey boat daily is enough for me to know that this is how our vacation dollars should be spent.

As a Mom I love the large staterooms with couch, on demand TV, and bathtub. The bed was also amazingly comfortable, even for 2 adults & 1 child. I loved the food & the fact that there was always something that I could find to entertain a toddler who had an ear infection & was practicing his terrible twos.

I cried last night when DH told me that we needed to switch our vacation because he wanted to see the look of excitement on DS's face when we pull into port & our son sees the ship for the 1st time. These priceless memories are why I am hooked on DCL.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #49
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We love WDW and we love cruising….20+ cruises, mostly Carnival and Princess, but our last one we finally tried DCL. DH wanted to keep his WDW vacation separate from cruising but when we had DD, that changed. We loved DCL and have another cruise booked for late this year.

I love seeing the characters around the ship, particularly when you happened to run into them when no one else is around and they interact with you. DH liked the food better on DCL but I thought it was comparable. We both really like the Disney shows but we also liked some of the Vegas style shows on Princess. We don’t miss the casino. The CM’s seem more friendly and helpful then on the other lines. DD had a great time in the kids club. Loved the dining room themes and the rotational dining.

I guess what hooked us is the Disney atmosphere, the characters roaming the ship, and the kids clubs. That said, when DD gets older, we will probably try Princess again or try RCI.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #50
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No electronics, no planning, just relaxation
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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 04-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #51
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The ships are just absolutely gorgeous and we love beautiful surroundings on our vacations. Our first cruise was on the Dream. It was a 4 night. We all had a great time. The kids really enjoyed the clubs and their independence. It was just short. We booked the Fantasy on a great igt rate june 2012. We fell head over heels in love. It was the best vacation we ever had. We had our anniversary and my husband turned 40 plus we are huge Heat fans and got to watch them win the finals in O'Gill's. The weather was perfect. It was the absolute best vacation of our lives. That one hooked us. Disney will always get our cruise business. We booked a dummy date on board and recently moved it. None of us can wait until June 2014 for our 3rd cruise with Disney.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #52
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Ditto on the BYOB

Yup. I concur. Just got off my first DCL on Sunday. First thing we did was take a picture after embarking of our liquor cabinet. As in, we have never had that on a cruise before. Along with bringing our rum back off the island. And this is probably not the norm, but my parent's fridge had a six pack of beer left in it, from previous guests, to the delight of my husband. Guess the room attendant saw that everyone in our party was over 30 and left it for us. That is most definitely a first...coming in and having complementary beverages, hehe. But its not just about the booze. How about being able to drink a coke whenever you want? My last Carnival, I started getting food poisoning (never went to the Indian buffet line after that...) and my stomach was so upset, I bought a coke. For a can of coke, I paid $2.00. They added a can of coke. So the soft drinks being added really helps too. Not that I drink pop or booze all the time, but really, charging for every soft drink on the other lines, is just ridiculous.

But that doesn't begin to explain why I enjoyed my 3 day DCL so tremendously better than the 7 day Carnival only 5 weeks before. Some of it has to do with the fact that the cast members actually make eye contact and chitchat with you, instead of just putting the cups out or something. I like people. I don't want the servers to think they are low class, it makes my vacation feel awkward. We met so many great employees from all over and talked to them all the time. Yes, they work hard, and yes there is an economic difference, but I also work hard for my money and am in debt for this vacation, and I don't want to be made to feel incredibly guilty for my 'luxury' at the expense of others. I tipped extra and loved all the friendliness of the staff. Kudos to Disney for having what at least appeared to be happy employees. That was another major nice part of this line. They make eye contact with you, they called us princesses because we had our tiaras on. It was fun! We finally had a connection with our servers like I haven't had in years but had always grown up with on cruises. To be honest, this is not meant to be mean, but it is the reality, our last Carnival staff got our orders wrong all the time, never had time to clear the dirty dishes, fill up our water, and quite frankly I don't think they understood us at all. It was very unfortunate.

So yes, Disney magic, service. How about CC? We decided that was a $100 value pperson with the unlimited food, drinks, icecream, snorkeling (cuz we had our own gear), volleyball, entertainment, water slides, transportation etc. Never had that kind of inclusive experience on any excursion before.

And then there is lack of having to walk through the casino to go ANYWHERE. Carnival on the last 3 ships I have sailed have all made you walk the promenade through a smokey casino to get to the theatre. We started going up and down a flight to avoid it where we could. And they deliberately placed the bingo in the main theater before the shows so we had to sit there and watch bingo (which isn't our thing). Yes DCL has bingo and they promote it a little, but I was never made to sit through it. (I say made to sit through it because if you didn't get there 20 min before the show, we didn't get to sit together, and wala sitting through bingo.)

But honestly, this DCL was the most low pressure of any ship I've been on. Everyone else is such high pressure sales for stores, ESPECIALLY drinks! (Try getting a glass of water to sing karaoke! once the server realizes that's what you order, they NEVER come back!) Because they don't push the alcohol or anything, I didn't feel bad ordering a glass of water before my song. Which also takes me to karaoke. Now, I realize not everyone likes karaoke, and you guys are free to avoid it. From a singing family, we love it, and we grew up singing Disney songs. The Family karaoke in the DLounge was HILARIOUS! And super talented. One kid got up there and made it through an entire song he had never even heard before (turned out to be a different song then he thought) and he still made it work. Another 5 year old wanted to sing a song that they didn't have and did it all by herself in key with memorizing all the words acapela. Super cute. But even when we did the adult karaoke, it was fun and not skanky and bad language like you see at other places. This for us was a good thing. And btw, Carnival STILL HAS CD BOOKS for karaoke...what... that was like 10 yrs ago. They have scratches and sometimes the words don't come up, and karaoke host has to cue every CD. You gotta be kidding me. With disney you just tell them what you want to sing and they pull it up. That's the age with live in...

Our staterooms were the best I have ever had in my life, ever. The dining was great, the Animation restuarant was the most tech advanced I've eaten in. It was like fancy formal dining with Turtle talk. Amazing. Our waiters played games and puzzles with us every night. He basically knew what we would want, so we always paid attention to his recommendations. Especially after dad thought the Animator's pineapple cake wasn't good. (Waiter said "I don't recommend that one...") And after he told the Head Waiter (for the first time on a cruise in years, a head waiter actually came around and did something), the next day we had a whole plate of fresh choc covered strawberries to make up for it. That's service!

The staff knew our names everywhere we went. We had a shopping staff member take us right away (we only had 10 min to shop) for a duffle bag with DCL logo on it, and she had a great rolling DCL bag with an expandable handle that she sold us for an incredible amount. (I'm going to withhold that info because I believe it was promotional in nature, but a heck of a deal!)

The pirate show was a totally cool event. We dressed up a head of time for it (thanks to Disney letting us know a big pirate night was headed our way! Half my suitcase was pirate) and one of the live actors came up and told me to be ready, we were commandeering the ship! before the show started. Pretty cool. And never seen fireworks on a cruise ship.

There is so much to go on and on about. This was only 3 days, but it far exceeded any other cruise I've been on. (Not that I haven't cruised to awesome ports such as Hawaii, Western Caribbean, or even Spain & Portugal. The ports are almost always amazing, but the This is one of the times that the cruise has absolutely exceeded my expectations along with the port.)

Also with regard to ports, I had called for weeks trying to get a reservation for us girls to do the Sea Lion encounter, and no one had any availability...except Disney. Now I realize that they probably reserve them that day so that they can sell them, but I choose to view it as they made sure we had enough spots available for their guests. And it was such an incredible experience, I couldn't be more grateful. Additionally, with Disney, they were so organized and took us right to the ferry and from the ferry to the encounter, we were actually the very first sea lion encounter that day and could spend the entire day on the Blue Lagoon beach after.

Basically, almost everything was a major plus. I do not intend to waste my money on Carnival or anyone else. I will either go less days or just save it up. Mediocre for less just didn't pay off this year on Carnival...not to mention the ship we got off of in March got stuck a week later and had to bus and fly people here I come!
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:12 PM   #53
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I would like to repeat what someone on the first page stated...there isn't one thing I can put my finger on that got me hooked. I certainly feel welcomed. Not just when you get announced getting on. I feel that the whole time I am on the ship. The thing I want to repeat from a PP is this: We were docked next to a Carnaval ship in Nassau back in December 2012. My wife and I were sitting on one of the decks looking toward that ship and turned to each other and said the following: "Look at the paint peeling. The sides aren't hosed down. I don't think I want to go on anything else but DCL."

I feel like I have been spoiled by DCL. While other lines may be wonderful, I can't cheat on my wonderful DCL!!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:21 PM   #54
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Well it was the debut of the Disney Dream and all the hoopla, if you will, that got us to book our first cruise ever...

After that 3-night cruise on the Dream we were hooked...the food, the service, the shows, the entertainment...and of course Castaway Cay got us to book another Disney cruise and another and oh one more for next May!

Highly recommed Disney cruise to everyone who asks!!

WDW 2005 - Offiste - FIRST TRIP!
WDW 2008 - CSR - Trip with my Sister
WDW 2009/2010 - CBR - Family Trip
WDW 2011/2012 - Disney Dream/OKW
WDW 2013 - SSR - Grad Trip
DCL 2013 - Disney Dream
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:33 PM   #55
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I had been on one cruise with Carnival years before taking my wife on Disney.

I knew from my experience my wife wouldn't like the heavy drinking atmosphere that was on my cruise.. so I booked a Disney cruise. Now she is HOOKED.. which is great for me.

If Disney gets it together and expands the west coast itineraries I'll never get on another Carnival ship.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:10 PM   #56
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Hubby and I went twice before we had kids on 2 3-day Bahamas DCL, and we loved it. I told DH that once we had kids and our youngest was 3 that we had to take the family on a Disney Cruise.

I can't stand VEGAS because of the smoking and gambling so going on a cruise ship that entertains both of those will just lose my business since I don't want to be around it.

I love the Family Atmosphere (even the adult only areas), non-smoking, non-gambling, love the Disney Entertainment, love the service (from servers, room attendants, etc -- they're all helpful and polite), love the Classic look to the ships and how clean they are. Rotational Dining is great, but I do love Palo, and our kids love room service.

We have been on 2 7-Day DCL Cruises (and our 3rd will be next year to Alaska) and the kids have said it's the best vacation ever --- I have to agree.

If mommy doesn't have to cook or clean and I'm relaxed on a vacation, then it's a wonderful vacation for all of us
Love Sailing DCL!!!
* Disney Wonder 3 Days Bahamas October 2000
* Disney Wonder 3 Days Bahamas October 2001
* Disney Wonder 7 Days Mexican Riviera April 2011
* Disney Fantasy 7 Days Western Caribbean Feb 2013
* Disney Wonder 7 Days Alaska June 2014 (We're finally Gold!!!)
* Disney Wonder 5 Days San Diego October 2015
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:23 PM   #57
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On disney cruise like we can experience the MAGIC of the Disney brand, live out our FANTASY with our favorite characters, be in WONDER of the beautiful ships, and that all leaves us to DREAM of our next cruise!!

Sorry, I had to be puny there. But it's all true. Everything's perfect!

Disney Fantasy: 7 night Western Caribbean June 2012
Disney Magic: 12 night Mediterranean w/ Venice June 2013, 4 night Bahaman April 2014
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