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Old 04-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
VS85
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Which one would you pick?

My cousin and I want to experience our first Disney cruise in December 2014 (we want to start a tradition of traveling together the same week every year - the week before Xmas). Originally we were looking at sailing the Fantasy on the itinerary that sails to Puerto Rico, but we were hesitating due to the price. I looked at other cruises around the same time and there is a 5-night Magic cruise that is basically half of the price of the Fantasy, BUT there is no stop at Castaway Cay. We are both really looking forward to CC and an eastern Caribbean itinerary (we have both done westerns on other cruise lines). We can definitely make the price for the Fantasy work, especially given how much time we have to save up but the cost savings is also attractive (we are both in our mid-twenties and paying off those pesky school loans!) We're so conflicted! Which one would you pick? Would love to hear your opinions!
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by VS85 View Post
My cousin and I want to experience our first Disney cruise in December 2014 (we want to start a tradition of traveling together the same week every year - the week before Xmas). Originally we were looking at sailing the Fantasy on the itinerary that sails to Puerto Rico, but we were hesitating due to the price. I looked at other cruises around the same time and there is a 5-night Magic cruise that is basically half of the price of the Fantasy, BUT there is no stop at Castaway Cay. We are both really looking forward to CC and an eastern Caribbean itinerary (we have both done westerns on other cruise lines). We can definitely make the price for the Fantasy work, especially given how much time we have to save up but the cost savings is also attractive (we are both in our mid-twenties and paying off those pesky school loans!) We're so conflicted! Which one would you pick? Would love to hear your opinions!
If you can afford it, my feeling is, go for the cruise that has the stops you really want to see and do. You can economize somewhere else. It would be a different story if you couldn't afford it.

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Old 04-23-2013, 11:49 AM   #3
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It would be very, very hard for me to pass up Castaway Cay again. Look at these fish!

https://www.box.com/s/ogetnscqfgfwle5jalnr
https://www.box.com/s/dzl2rq17v418bxtqbc4i
https://www.box.com/s/m9a2hyvdj1284rihvtgy

I guess you have to decide what is worth the most to you. However we thought that CC was like a $100 excursion for each of us with the buffet, ice cream, transporation, hammacks and lounge chairs (we have had to pay $5 per chair and $10 for an umbrella to visit other island beaches!) and the pelican plunge, the volleyball, the entertainment (crab races) and really well supervised snorkeling, and it lasting all day long.

It would be difficult to pass up CC for me...
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VS85 View Post
My cousin and I want to experience our first Disney cruise in December 2014 (we want to start a tradition of traveling together the same week every year - the week before Xmas). Originally we were looking at sailing the Fantasy on the itinerary that sails to Puerto Rico, but we were hesitating due to the price. I looked at other cruises around the same time and there is a 5-night Magic cruise that is basically half of the price of the Fantasy, BUT there is no stop at Castaway Cay. We are both really looking forward to CC and an eastern Caribbean itinerary (we have both done westerns on other cruise lines). We can definitely make the price for the Fantasy work, especially given how much time we have to save up but the cost savings is also attractive (we are both in our mid-twenties and paying off those pesky school loans!) We're so conflicted! Which one would you pick? Would love to hear your opinions!
Castaway Cay is gorgeous but December isn't the best month for water sports there. Occasionally, weather prevents the ships from docking at CC. This seems to happen during the winter months more often than during the summer. (It was too windy/choppy for us to dock there in January.)

The Magic will undergo a major dry dock remodel/refurb this fall, so next year she will be the "newest" ship of the line.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:03 PM   #5
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Not sure if the dates are flexible at all, but seeing as you don't have kids in school (I don't think) you might consider changing your dates for the first/second week on January instead of the week before Christmas. Or even go two weeks before Christmas. Prices are ridiculous on cruises around Christmas/New Years, so you might be able to get the itinerary you want and a lower price by just shifting the vacation a few weeks.

Outside of that, if you're able to save/splurge for your trip, I'd go with the itinerary you really like. Just know that, as previously stated, the weather can be spotty at CC in the winter months.

Finally, if the itinerary is the most important thing to you, and it's just you and another 20-something travelling, you might consider looking at another cruise line. You can save a lot of money, and get the ports you want. That might be an acceptable trade-off for losing the Disney amenities and theme. I know it would be for me, if I wasn't travelling with kids. That's a personal decision that people need to make for themselves though.

Either way, I'm sure you'll have a blast! Once you make a decision don't second guess it, just go full steam and have the time of your life!
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for your replies! Definitely some things here to think about. I had read that December in CC can sometimes be a little cooler, but did not realize that the ship may not be able to dock! How often does that happen?! Yikes...

I'll check out some other months for similar itineraries and see how they compare price-wise. We both love Disney and want to experience a Disney cruise, so we don't plan on looking at other cruise lines.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #7
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #8
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Haha now I am singing "I am so smart, I am so smart! SMRT!" Great episode

I did check pricing for late summer/fall and the pricing is actually not all that different from the rate we are getting for the week before Christmas. It's about $140 total. Will we have better luck (and better weather) in September? I would be crushed if we missed CC because weather prevented the ship from docking!
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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.... How often does that happen?! Yikes...
http://www.disboards.com/poll.php?do...s&pollid=27501
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear3412
Wow! 23% in Jan!
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
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(we are both in our mid-twenties and paying off those pesky school loans!)
Before you get married and have kids I would look at picking a different date to cruise. If you can go when school is in session you can get much better prices and be able to cruise where you want. If you want to see the highest prices for Airline flights and cruises look at School Vacation time. Once the kids come then you have to pay the higher prices because you do not want to take your kids out of school or have them miss school sports. Until then book in the cheaper times and pay off your school loans.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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Outstanding advice.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:38 PM   #13
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If you can afford it, my feeling is, go for the cruise that has the stops you really want to see and do. You can economize somewhere else. It would be a different story if you couldn't afford it.

Sayhello
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #14
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I vote for the same thing: change your dates. And late summer/early Sept isn't much better. Go late Sept. Or early Nov. Or after Christmas. Or early Feb.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the great advice! I guess I've forgotten the holiday/vacation schedule for grade schools. I thought the week before Christmas would be safe (December 13 sail date, back on the 21st) because I remember break being the week of Christmas until just after New Years. Do I have that wrong?

I'm looking at a November 1 sail date now in hopes of better weather. The price is basically the same as the December cruise. I guess it's a bit of a trade off - either travel at peak season and pay high prices, but less chance of weather interfering, or travel in the winter for less money and take a risk of weather causing problems. I think we'll be going for the latter... And if we can't see CC, then I guess that means we'll have to cruise again!

And either way, I am super excited!!
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