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Old 06-02-2013, 09:26 PM   #16
TwinPrincessMermaids
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Originally Posted by Jennifer in MI
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!)

Other:

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.
Pretty sure Labadee is in Haiti. It was stunning when I was there yrs ago. Coco Cay is RCIs private island. I was there 20 yrs ago and it had some of best fish I have seen. I still loved the organization and activities and feel of Castaway better but perhaps CoCo Cay is updated now.

For comparison, I have done about as many RCIs and CCLs and used to be very happy. I always had heard the DCL spoiled you for other cruise lines and that is the case for me. They still all go to great destinations so no complaints there. I liked Roatan as much as Hawaii on this hemisphere. The next question becomes what kind of floating hotel you want. If you want a cheap Vegas style hotel that cuts corners and wants to get you on the ship cheaply just so they can get you for every drink, bingo, slot, bracelet etc., with service and food that is majorly cut back, and somewhat disconcerting mechanical upkeep, than CCL is probably for u. RCI is prob a step up but still gets you for anything extra they can. More Vegas style and casinos prob but I haven't been on one since 2002.

Cheaper but not no investment. We paid the same for an interior room 7 day CCL as we did DCL dream 3 day double bath 3-4 person occupancy and gorgeous verandah along with Castaway. I couldn't wait to get off the CCL. Not bad but so many lines and just day in and day out..I was ready to go home. Never had that feeling on a cruise. Month later, the DCL blew my mind. The singers were amazing! And I'm really picky! The AP that first night was amazing. Family karaoke is so fun, fiesta parties etc. No one ever came to the CCL deck parties but DCL people were a blast!

I prefer to save my $1200 I spent on CCL and put it towards a DC.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids View Post

Pretty sure Labadee is in Haiti. It was stunning when I was there yrs ago. Coco Cay is RCIs private island. I was there 20 yrs ago and it had some of best fish I have seen. I still loved the organization and activities and feel of Castaway better but perhaps CoCo Cay is updated now.

For comparison, I have done about as many RCIs and CCLs and used to be very happy. I always had heard the DCL spoiled you for other cruise lines and that is the case for me. They still all go to great destinations so no complaints there. I liked Roatan as much as Hawaii on this hemisphere. The next question becomes what kind of floating hotel you want. If you want a cheap Vegas style hotel that cuts corners and wants to get you on the ship cheaply just so they can get you for every drink, bingo, slot, bracelet etc., with service and food that is majorly cut back, and somewhat disconcerting mechanical upkeep, than CCL is probably for u. RCI is prob a step up but still gets you for anything extra they can. More Vegas style and casinos prob but I haven't been on one since 2002.

Cheaper but not no investment. We paid the same for an interior room 7 day CCL as we did DCL dream 3 day double bath 3-4 person occupancy and gorgeous verandah along with Castaway. I couldn't wait to get off the CCL. Not bad but so many lines and just day in and day out..I was ready to go home. Never had that feeling on a cruise. Month later, the DCL blew my mind. The singers were amazing! And I'm really picky! The AP that first night was amazing. Family karaoke is so fun, fiesta parties etc. No one ever came to the CCL deck parties but DCL people were a blast!

I prefer to save my $1200 I spent on CCL and put it towards a DC.
I think RCI has two private islands.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:36 PM   #18
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We've only ever been on one cruise before, a RC one. Which was very nice, but it was a long time ago and seemed very adult-centered. I'm sure these days they probably cater more to kids, but since we very rarely cruise we wanted a "once in a lifetime" kid experience for our son, so we went with Disney.

Anyway, when I mentioned to someone we know that we were taking a cruise (this was right after the Carnival problems) she was like, "Oh, how nice." But when I went on to say it was a Disney cruise, she really perked up, saying she used to work in a travel agency and has never heard any bad reviews about Disney cruises! And went on to tell us some of the amazing things we could expect.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by canadiandisneyfamof4

I think RCI has two private islands.
Labadee was a very private port. Gorgeous! But it is still Haiti isnt it? so obviously they don't own the island as a private island?
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:03 AM   #20
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Labadee was a very private port. Gorgeous! But it is still Haiti isnt it? so obviously they don't own the island as a private island?
It's an extended lease (just like basically all of the private islands "owned" by cruise ships).
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:55 AM   #21
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Having just got off a (still enjoyable) cruise on the Independence of the Seas I can safely say I'm desperate to return to DCL.

And we actually only paid about $150 ish more for our Easter Disney Fantasy cruise than for this 6 night sailing on RCCL (mainly as RCCL charge our infant as a child price whereas DCL don't)...

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Old 06-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #22
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So since we just booked our first Disney cruise I don't have the actual experience yet to compare, but these are my reasons so far:

~Had AWFUL customer service when dealing with Carnival over our room being filled with second hand smoke from the staff smoking next to our room. In addition to all the other problems Carnival has had, we do not want to cruise with them again

~It is actually cheaper for us. We have a young one and it is cheaper for us to do Disney since his cruise fare is reduced where as with other cruises, he pays the full amount

~Family-friendly. There are many more things for our little one to do on a Disney cruise than on other cruise lines AND there is going to be (I hope) less things he will be "exposed" to

~I'm a Disney nerd and my husband is a cruising fanatic. We've just figured out how to combine the 2 and now we are both excited about our upcoming vacation!
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:38 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by cajunprincess View Post
So since we just booked our first Disney cruise I don't have the actual experience yet to compare, but these are my reasons so far:

~Had AWFUL customer service when dealing with Carnival over our room being filled with second hand smoke from the staff smoking next to our room. In addition to all the other problems Carnival has had, we do not want to cruise with them again

~It is actually cheaper for us. We have a young one and it is cheaper for us to do Disney since his cruise fare is reduced where as with other cruises, he pays the full amount

~Family-friendly. There are many more things for our little one to do on a Disney cruise than on other cruise lines AND there is going to be (I hope) less things he will be "exposed" to

~I'm a Disney nerd and my husband is a cruising fanatic. We've just figured out how to combine the 2 and now we are both excited about our upcoming vacation!
Yes yes and yes. Altho I think CCL is supposed to be smoke free in cabins now?

Service was ridiculously awful on our last several CCLs. Practically non existent. I say that because in the MDR breakfast, I got up and poured myself coffee from an abandoned drink station at least twice.

I second the opinion of the poster who was embarrassed by the thong wearing dancers. I'm embarrassed for them. This kind of cliche entertainment is so decades old cruise cliche...

Definitely agree on the raunchy. CCL is the booze cruise line. If you like Spring Break at Daytona, CCL might be for you. (Oddly enough, I don't know where they go at night? Or maybe I don't want to know? Because all the dance deck parties, no one ever shows up and you would think the party people would...)

Unlike our precious family karaoke (look up a thread called Why I Love Disney Cruising and you will be able to hear a snippet), a lot of the karaoke singers honestly were so drunk they couldn't read the words. Not my kind of karaoke (not that I don't mind fun karaoke) but no one wants to hear that?

I did enjoy the comedy on CCL (Family only, we don't go to the R rated shows, F words are NEVER that funny.) but on our 3 day DCL Dream, we didn't have any comedy (no wonder, cuz we plain didn't have any time! We were too busy watching Jack Sparrow steal back the ship, or Pocahontas teach us about colors of the wind.)

If you love Disney, you will be over the moon for their cruise. It's like going to your local amusement park. It's cheap, it easy to get to, and you will have some fun. But if you plan a trip to WDW, you will be excited for weeks, you can't believe your eyes when you get off the ferry or monorail and see the Let The Memories Begin (or something like that) and then BAM you are under the castle, or talking to Belle, or watching Ariel under the Sea and you are thinking Am I Really Here?? THAT'S the Disney difference, especially on a cruise.

As other cruisers and I all point out, the other ones still cost MONEY. Quite a bit of it. You will probably still spend well over $1000 or $1500 or depending on size of family, even $2000 on the other cruise line. That is a big chunk. I'd rather spend it for family seriously energetic and fun and NOT embarrassing or awkward and bad service and lasagna...
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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Definitely agree on the raunchy. CCL is the booze cruise line. If you like Spring Break at Daytona, CCL might be for you. (Oddly enough, I don't know where they go at night? Or maybe I don't want to know? Because all the dance deck parties, no one ever shows up and you would think the party people would...)
I love sailing on CCL and am not a "spring break at Daytona" kind of person.

Every cruise line has it's plusses and it's minuses.

For me, it's not always DCL over less expensive lines - it's DCL intermixed with other less expensive lines. DCL is nice but I love my other cruises as well - each one is special and unique.

I've experienced great service, food and entertainment on each line and instances of poor service, food and entertainment on each line. For me, I look at what I want, what I expect, and what's going to give me value for my money. Sometimes it's DCL and sometimes it's not.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #25
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I love sailing on CCL and am not a "spring break at Daytona" kind of person.

Every cruise line has it's plusses and it's minuses.

For me, it's not always DCL over less expensive lines - it's DCL intermixed with other less expensive lines. DCL is nice but I love my other cruises as well - each one is special and unique.

I've experienced great service, food and entertainment on each line and instances of poor service, food and entertainment on each line. For me, I look at what I want, what I expect, and what's going to give me value for my money. Sometimes it's DCL and sometimes it's not.
When was your last CCL? I used to love and cruise them happily each yr... as mentioned, I'm a Carnival Gold VIP...
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:05 PM   #26
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Yes yes and yes. Altho I think CCL is supposed to be smoke free in cabins now?

Service was ridiculously awful on our last several CCLs. Practically non existent. I say that because in the MDR breakfast, I got up and poured myself coffee from an abandoned drink station at least twice.

I second the opinion of the poster who was embarrassed by the thong wearing dancers. I'm embarrassed for them. This kind of cliche entertainment is so decades old cruise cliche...

Definitely agree on the raunchy. CCL is the booze cruise line. If you like Spring Break at Daytona, CCL might be for you. (Oddly enough, I don't know where they go at night? Or maybe I don't want to know? Because all the dance deck parties, no one ever shows up and you would think the party people would...)

Unlike our precious family karaoke (look up a thread called Why I Love Disney Cruising and you will be able to hear a snippet), a lot of the karaoke singers honestly were so drunk they couldn't read the words. Not my kind of karaoke (not that I don't mind fun karaoke) but no one wants to hear that?

I did enjoy the comedy on CCL (Family only, we don't go to the R rated shows, F words are NEVER that funny.) but on our 3 day DCL Dream, we didn't have any comedy (no wonder, cuz we plain didn't have any time! We were too busy watching Jack Sparrow steal back the ship, or Pocahontas teach us about colors of the wind.)

If you love Disney, you will be over the moon for their cruise. It's like going to your local amusement park. It's cheap, it easy to get to, and you will have some fun. But if you plan a trip to WDW, you will be excited for weeks, you can't believe your eyes when you get off the ferry or monorail and see the Let The Memories Begin (or something like that) and then BAM you are under the castle, or talking to Belle, or watching Ariel under the Sea and you are thinking Am I Really Here?? THAT'S the Disney difference, especially on a cruise.

As other cruisers and I all point out, the other ones still cost MONEY. Quite a bit of it. You will probably still spend well over $1000 or $1500 or depending on size of family, even $2000 on the other cruise line. That is a big chunk. I'd rather spend it for family seriously energetic and fun and NOT embarrassing or awkward and bad service and lasagna...
It wasn't that someone was smoking in the room, it was that the door to a "staff only area" was located right next to our room (we were at the front of the ship) so their smoke from their area vented somehow in our room. It was weird. We would walk down the hall and at a certain point we were overwhelmed with the smoke smell. It didn't help that I was 8 weeks pregnant or that I had a cold so I was coughing like crazy. Finally on our last day, they finally moved us (we had been complaining since we got there) to a lesser room. They never did anything else for us since we did get to move. Ridiculous.

I did enjoy the comedy shows too. And I agree, we skipped the rated R shows b/c just using the "f" word is not funny. It's annoying.

We did have pretty good service for all of our cruises. We always sailed out of New Orleans since it was so close. But to cruise Disney, it is worth it to do a little bit of driving. Maybe one day they will use NOLA as a port! I can dream, right?!
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #27
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I agree, two of our 3 cruises have been out of NOLA including last years terrible service Conquest. It is convenient. The only way I might give up PC though is if we boarded in NOLA and then got a Disney day to hop like they do with some of the Galveston trips! I LOVE my Orlando...even if it is a 12-14 hr drive...
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #28
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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.
Could not have said it better myself ...
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #29
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I agree, two of our 3 cruises have been out of NOLA including last years terrible service Conquest. It is convenient. The only way I might give up PC though is if we boarded in NOLA and then got a Disney day to hop like they do with some of the Galveston trips! I LOVE my Orlando...even if it is a 12-14 hr drive...
Yes, I love that option out of Galveston! Sooo sad they are leaving there especially since they haven't been there that long!
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:57 PM   #30
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When was your last CCL? I used to love and cruise them happily each yr... as mentioned, I'm a Carnival Gold VIP...
Oct/November of 2012 (just over 6 months ago). I too am gold on Carnival. I maintain that Carnival offers a good product at a reasonable price. There are things they do better than DCL and things DCL does better than Carnival. I have also sailed on RCCL and while it was a good cruise, I felt that it was very uneven - service, food, entertainment, etc. I haven't written them off, I would just be better prepared next time for what to expect.

I think every cruiseline has something wonderful to offer - different but equally wonderful.
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