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Old 06-02-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Why DCL over other (cheaper) cruise lines?

We just took our first cruise (Fantasy, May 25th) and LOVED it so much we booked another trip for 2014. For those of you who are regular cruisers and have cruised with other cruise lines, why Disney over the others? I have friends saying I'm overpaying for DCL. I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought DCL was completely worth it! Maybe I am just a Disney snob!!

Thanks for your opinions!!

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Old 06-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
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No nickel and diming
Aggressive hospitality
G rated

That's my two cents, cause that's all I got left.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MissPiggy View Post
Maybe I am just a Disney snob!!
Being a Disney snob or fan is part of it -- DCL is a great Disney experience/vacation, so there is the "Disney" aspect that may be more important to you than the "cruising" aspect.

WDW: 17 | DLR: 3 | DCL: 2
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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I found the level of service on the Fantasy to be the equivalent of higher end cruise lines. You do get what you pay for!
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
Blame it on the plastic cow I mentioned on another board
That's right.... I sucked a plastic cow
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I was on the same cruise as you. I have only cruised DCL. Actually, we only vacation with Disney. For the past eight years, our vacations are either: WDW, DL, Adventures by Disney, or DCL. Yes, the trips are expensive. However, I know that I am getting quality, family-friendly fun every time. For us, we will not travel without Disney being involved. The service is worth the money.
Me (37) DH (40) DD (14)

2006- WDW CR (DD's 1st trip & my parents came) 2007- WDW SSR (1st trip 'home' & suprise trip for DD) 2008- WDW SSR (surprised DD w/her aunt) 2009- WDW SSR (inlaws) 2010- Our 1st ABD (Spirit of America) 2011- WDW SSR & BLT and our 1st Cruise (Disney Dream) 2012- WDW BLT (DD's surprise birthday trip); ABD Southwest Splendors 2013- DL GCV (Our 1st DL trip); Disney's Vero Beach; Disney Fantasy 2014- ABD Costa Rica
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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As you can see in my signature I cruise different cruise lines. What I have found is you get what you pay for. You can go on a less expensive cruise and have fun as long as you do not expect it to be like the more expensive cruise lines. The other thing is supply and demand. If Disney did not keep their ships full they would lower their prices. The reason they are full and can keep the price up is because people want to cruise with Disney. Right now I have a Princess 3 day cruise booked for Thanksgiving, a 7 day with Disney at Christmas and am looking at a RCL for Spring 2015. I am sure I will enjoy all of them.

Mike and Nick
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 06-02-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
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Yes DCL is a tad more expensive ... less so if you use the onboard booking for a future cruise. Having cruised with Celebrity, NCL, Carnival, Holland and Princess, we can honestly say that Disney rates as one of the top in our books. We compare it to staying on-site vs off at WDW ... we like DCL so much we're back on the Fantasy for the THIRD time this coming May - just the two of us again
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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We took a RCCL cruise earlier this year - after four Disney cruises. We're going back to Disney! Things we found disappointing:

1. Nickel and diming. We had to check out our pool towels. They were nice! But, I was constantly afraid I would lose them and get charged $25 fee! There were other things - food upcharges, etc. I felt really cheap constantly asking what was included when I went to the little cafes.

2. Kids' Clubs. They had no way to contact me if my dd needed me. When I asked about how they would get in touch with me, they said that they would call the room! Um. I'm not going to be there 24/7! Once, they did call the room and my ds12 answered and was told Meg needed to be picked up. He went to get her (he was on the list) and they said they hadn't called. It was a constant source of frustration for us. It added a LOT of stress.

3. Teen Club - I know some wont agree with me on this one, but RCCL had a curfew. My kids are night owls and VERY good kids. They like to stay out late on vacation. Their (the two older ones) favorite memories of Disney cruises are sitting out on deck in the middle of the night. Just talking.

4. Entertainment. The shows absolutely cannot compare.

5. Deck parties. We went to the sail away party on RCCL and it was just lame! We really like these parties on Disney and missed them.

Things we found as good or better on RCCL:

1. Service. We had top notch service everywhere we went. The room steward was AMAZING!!! Our dining servers were wonderful. I was impressed.

2. The pools. They were NEVER full. And, they made better use of the space. These pools were HUGE!!! Dd could swim in them whenever she wanted!

3. Things for teens to do. My kids LOVED the Waverider and got REALLY good at it. The rock wall was fun for them too.

4. Private island. Labadee is absolutely gorgeous!! Picture gorgeous beaches with rainforest mountains in teh background. We fell in love. (But, we felt like a lot of the fun things to do on the island were WAY expensive - that zipline? $90 a pop! Ouch!)


1. RCCL was ALIVE all night long!!! Really, really alive. I'm not a late-night person, so this wasn't even on my radar. But for someone who likes night life, a RCCL cruise might be perfect for them.

2. We missed the Disney Magic. There really is something about running into a character at an unexpected moment. I remember sitting by the pool with my dd one day. She had just gotten a drink. Stitch came over and took her drink and sat down beside her. He started throwing ice at the people walking by!!! My dd was laughing SOOOOO hard. You just don't get that on other cruise lines.
Jennifer, Disney-lovin' homeschooling mama to
DS (18), DS (16), DS (13), and finally!! a princess DD (8)

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Old 06-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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I love their rotational dining. I also like the 'Disney' shows and the Disney merchandise. Our youngest is 4 and when she gets older I am sure we'll switch but for now, we like the atmosphere.
I have not found Oasis and Allure any cheaper than Disney. I know others have said they saved a lot, I unfortunately have not found it to be the case. We get a balcony room (one that looks at the ocean, not central park!
and they are always very close in price. I dont know if this is why they are comparable for us or not. I have also priced out the new NCL Getaway and that was actually more than Disney.
We sailed Carnival when we did not have kids and found it just fine, but for reasons listed above we stick with Disney.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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I have been on seven Disney cruises and never had any problems. It has always been an exceptional experience.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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[QUOTE="Bear3412;48571994"]No nickel and diming
Aggressive hospitality

Exactly! Water package, soda package, up charge to eat at this place, up charge to participate in a class for kids, up charge for wearing purple on Tuesday....goes on and on...
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MissPiggy View Post
We just took our first cruise (Fantasy, May 25th) and LOVED it so much we booked another trip for 2014. For those of you who are regular cruisers and have cruised with other cruise lines, why Disney over the others? I have friends saying I'm overpaying for DCL. I have nothing to compare it to, but I thought DCL was completely worth it! Maybe I am just a Disney snob!!

Thanks for your opinions!!

OP it's really only YOUR opinion that COUNTS. We've cruised Disney 10 times, but have also cruised RCCL, HAL & Celebrity. In our "subjective opinion" these cruise lines offer an excellent product. That being said, we first cruised Disney when our DDs were younger, we found that for our family, Disney couldn't be beat regardless of cost (make no mistake I am on the frugal side). Now our DDs are in college & DW & I still sail on Disney sans children & love it . We're sailing next Saturday on the Fantasy & have 3 more cruises scheduled & will book a "dummy cruise" next week. Stick with your opinion & don't worry what others say.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
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I haven't seen a difference in cost

We will be first time cruisers in May of 2014, and I have done a ton of research over the last few months. Royal Caribbean didn't have any itineraries that we liked during the summer of 2014 ( we were looking for a 3 to 5 night cruise ), so they were out. Carnival is a much closer drive for us, and we had originally booked with them until I found out that Disney was very comparable in price. When we added in the "nickels and dimes" for every day expenses (sodas, extra food items, etc.) it was only about 500 dollars less than Disney. . When we factored in that there wasn't a free beach day, and that to use the beach we would have to pay for an excursion, that did it. I love that my kiddos can spend all day at Castaway Cay, and it won't cost me an extra dime! Just my 2 cents, but I hope it helps you feel a little better.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #14
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I have spent the last couple of years analyzing this for myself. I have been on HAL,CCL and RCCL most recently. DCL last May, CCL last August and DCL again this April.

If you want quality family friendly entertainment, especially the shows at night, DCL is worth it. I met someone on the CCL cruise that had a 13 year old son and I was embarassed for them during the show as there were women were gyrating in T backs. There is no comparison on the shows.

CCL had a lot of pool games that can turn raunchy and people are encouraged in that direction. I am not saying that is wrong, just something you may not want to subject your children to. We try to be as protective as we can of my grandchildren, as do their parents. They have their whole life to be adults and subjected to adult things and decisions, but only a small time to be a child. We like that we did not really have to shield them or explain anything to them on a Disney cruise.

My DH and I would sail a cheaper cruise line when it is just ourselves but when we go with the grandkids we will stick with DCL until they get a little older, then perhaps try RCCL. That said, I read the CCl boards also and people do like their kids clubs. But if you have kids to be in the club I can assure you that the hours on DCL are much better. Before you book another line check the hours of their club, they are open only set hours and some charge extra in the late hours of the evening. I also have read that the club is not open on shore days. I don't quote anything because I have not used their clubs but I have read trip reports.

DCL really caters to the kids and that is priceless for us. I also like their private adult areas and Castaway Cay. After our second DCL cruise we did not really feel it was worth it. But we went again a year later and after our third I am convinced it is worth it.
Carnival Holiday-1992,NCL Norway-1996,Carnival Ecstasy-1998,Carnival Tropicale-1999,RCCL Voyager of the Seas-2001,RCCL Mariner of the Seas- 2004,HAL Zuiderdam-2004,HAL Westerdam-February 2007,Disney Magic-April 2007.Carnival Liberty-May 2008,DCL Fantasy- May 2012, CCL Freedom-Aug 2012, DCL Fantasy April 2013,NCL Jewel-Aug 2014, DCL Wonder Sept. 2014, CCL Liberty Oct 2014, Nov 2014 (B2B) RCCL Enchantment Nov 2014, CCL Liberty Nov-Dec 14 (B2B) CCL Glory Jan 15

Last edited by Floridagram; 06-02-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
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Disney is known for its outstanding customer service and that is exactly what they deliver on their ships. To us DCL is above all others because they go above and beyond and the atmosphere is always comfortable and enjoyable. Disney caters to the entire family and that sets them apart big time. For people who have kids Disney may be the obvious choice, but the beauty of Disney is that it is for everyone regardless of your age and or whether or not you have children. We don't have any little ones yet and we won't cruise any other way. When you have adults with no children raving about a cruise line that is typically thought to be for kids or families with children, you know the company is doing something right. They have everyone in mind and their service is phenomenal! That is one of the main things that sets DCL apart from the rest.


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