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Old 01-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
cigarboo
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Inside cabin DCL Wonder or Balcony NCL Pearl for Alaska?

Hello everyone. Please help me decide on an Alaska Cruise this July '14. The price is about the same for a balcony cabin on NCL as an inside on Wonder, including the OBB discount. This would be our 6th cruise on Disney and first on NCL. I have boys 13 and 11 who will sail with their cousins 14 and 13.

This is why I'm even considering NCL:
-Balcony
-Simpler to sail out of Seattle
-Glacier Bay
-Freestyle dining may be good during days when we have late excursions
-My kids are a little older and do not do the kids clubs or wait for character -autographs

These are reasons why I can't seem to let go of DCL:
-I know it better
-Heard sailing out of Vancouver is more scenic(although I can only afford inside)
-My kids love the Disney channels and old reruns.
-Movie theater
-Shows are better, although I think we've seen them before
-Son has food allergies, so know what to expect

I'm 60% leaning towards NCL Pearl, but just can't seem to get over Disney.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
holula
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What are your port times like on NCL? If you are doing a RT Seattle you will have an extra stop at Victoria. If your port times are a lot shorter than Disney it would away me towards DCL. If they are similar I would choose NCL. We sailed Alaska in an inside and just enjoyed being on the outside deck! RT Vancouver is more scenic but don't let that away your decision... Alaska is like a postcard.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
jdb in AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigarboo View Post
Hello everyone. Please help me decide on an Alaska Cruise this July '14. The price is about the same for a balcony cabin on NCL as an inside on Wonder, including the OBB discount. This would be our 6th cruise on Disney and first on NCL. I have boys 13 and 11 who will sail with their cousins 14 and 13.

Question. Have you considered Princess and HAL? They both do Glacier Bay as well. (Just wondering. Please don't think I'm attacking here; just playing devil's advocate so you'll consider all your options.)

This is why I'm even considering NCL:
-Balcony We used our balcony more on our Alaskan cruises than anywhere else. Well, except maybe Hawaii.
-Simpler to sail out of Seattle Is this round trip or do you end up near Anchorage?
-Glacier Bay Totally gorgeous. Wish DCL sailed there but they haven't been able to get the permits.
-Freestyle dining may be good during days when we have late excursions. We're old-school and prefer assigned times/seating. The ship sails before dinner anyway, so if your excursion returns that late, you'll miss the boat.
-My kids are a little older and do not do the kids clubs or wait for character -autographs


These are reasons why I can't seem to let go of DCL:
-I know it better Sometimes change is good -- gives you a frame of reference for comparison sake.
-Heard sailing out of Vancouver is more scenic(although I can only afford inside) I wouldn't say one is more scenic than the other -- the best scenery will be in Alaska.
-My kids love the Disney channels and old reruns. They can watch reruns at home.
-Movie theater Do you really watch a lot of movies on a cruise?
-Shows are better, although I think we've seen them before.Disney has top-notch entertainment, but even their shows get old after you've seen them a time or three.
-Son has food allergies, so know what to expect. Aren't all cruise lines careful about dealing with food allergies?

I'm 60% leaning towards NCL Pearl, but just can't seem to get over Disney.

Thanks!!
Whatever you decide, have a great cruise!
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
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I am considering the same but I think I will stay with the Wonder.

I did the NCL Jade in the Fall( same class as the Pearl) without kids but I was using it as a scouting trip for travelling with kids. I kept thinking my kids would be bored, besides the pool there seemed to be very little in the way of family activities. The evening shows and comedians were not something my kids would have enjoyed. Mine are not into kids clubs, so I did not look into that.

Food is so subjective, but I thought it was good on NCL , but service was not very good.

Funny you mention the TV, we don't have cable at home, so mine love watching the Disney Channel before bed and love going to watch Disney movies and nothing like that on the NCL ship, and that would be missed.

A balcony is not important to us, to me that is the big advantage on the NCL side and also that they sail weekend to weekend, but everything else is on the DCL side for us.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:35 AM   #5
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For us, we'd choose the Wonder. I've been to Seattle several times (awesome city) and we cruised out of Vancouver this past June with DCL and LOVED Vancouver. It was icing on the cake to an awesome vacation - highly recommend spending time there. We are so glad we took the awesome advice and we arrived two days prior to our cruise and loved it.

I loved having our verandah but again, promise, I'd choose and inside with DCL over NCL and also would choose to sail out of Vancouver over Seattle. We had some of our best moments cruising home to Vancouver and were able to go a little further inside due to the tides being just right (apparently there is a 6 hour window) and the Captain announced it was rare to take the route we did and it was so amazing. It's amazing no matter what but those islands and the inside passage were so beautiful and so close to the ship.

You'll have a great time with either, I'm sure

As many say - the cruise to Alaska was incredible and were aiming to return with DCL in 2015.

Heather
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
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We sailed Princess round trip from Seattle and loved it. We used our balcony extensively, especially on the Tracy Arm sail. It is about 6 hours of sailing the inside passage and it was nice to step inside and get warm. Many people, I assume with inside rooms, spent the day on the main decks, but it was very cold and windy up there. I went to the buffet to bring us snack and drinks a few times. It seemed that if anyone left, they lost their spot on the railing. I highly recommend the balcony for that cruise.

We are not balcony only people. We are cruising in an inside room for our DCL Caribbean cruise. While I'm sure the views are lovely, they aren't the whole reason for the trip.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #7
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We sailed out of Seattle on NCL Pearl a few years ago(July 2011), Alaska is beautiful no matter what ship you're on. Glacier Bay is stunning!!! That being said, it wasn't DCL. I missed the service on DCL, the shows, and DD wouldn't step foot in the kids clubs. However if you go on there, and like buffalo wings, they ave this little cafe, where we went EVERYDAY and got the wings, they were free and the best I have ever had in my life!! Anyway, we went for the ports, and with about 20 people(that wouldn't do DCL- not Disney freaks like my family). Any questions, you can PM me.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:16 PM   #8
cigarboo
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Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I think we will end up taking the Ncl cruise, but we will also go into it, not expecting it to be like Disney. We will focus on Alaska and realize we won't find those little things that we get on Disney. Luckily, they are bringing their own entertainment(their cousins) If we miss it, we'll be back on Disney next time.

With the kids growing up, we need to start branching out. If this Ncl cruise works out, we'll plan on Europe in 2015 on ncl. They have an itinerary that works perfect for us. Since it's very port intensive, the ship matters less to us. In my perfect world, I would have more vacation $$$, but at this point, something's gotta go....and it looks like it's mickey this time.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:08 AM   #9
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For me; I cannot stand the constant trying to sell us stuff. I know most other cruiselines (that are cheaper than Disney) tend to do that more.

DH is also rather allergic to smoke (which casinos on other ships always reek of), so we try to avoid it as much as we can.

For us, those are the 2 reasons why we really can't cruise on any other cruiseline.
Not sure if it applies to your family or not though ^^;

Edit: Just like to clarify that most ships have their casino in/near the middle of the ship and either you have to walk through it to get to the other side or pass very close to get to other public areas where the smoke still permeates enough to tickle my husband's lungs. Just sensitive
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amunet View Post
For me; I cannot stand the constant trying to sell us stuff. I know most other cruiselines (that are cheaper than Disney) tend to do that more.

DH is also rather allergic to smoke (which casinos on other ships always reek of), so we try to avoid it as much as we can.

For us, those are the 2 reasons why we really can't cruise on any other cruiseline.
Not sure if it applies to your family or not though ^^;

Edit: Just like to clarify that most ships have their casino in/near the middle of the ship and either you have to walk through it to get to the other side or pass very close to get to other public areas where the smoke still permeates enough to tickle my husband's lungs. Just sensitive

Celebrity has no smoking in any inside area and no smoking on the balconies (and they had no smoking on the balconies long before DCL did).

I don't understand the "DCL doesn't try to sell us stuff constantly but other cruiselines do" thing - DCL still pushes water and wine packages on the first day, they have bar servers offering drinks on the pool deck and in the bars and before live theatre performance, pusing photographers in the dining room ("let me take your picture so you can buy it!), there are ads placed in your cabin for DVC, ABD, and various other things DCL wants to sell you, before each movie was numberous ads to sell you stuff onboard and afterwards (BBB on board, pirate league, Palo, ABD, etc) plus even the hypnotist on our cruise was doing a sell during his show to have you buy his CD or DVD or whatever plus, the on board booking was mentioned just about everyday during the CD's announcements! Oh, and now, let's not forget that you can buy popcorn for $3.50! Everywhere I turned, DCL was buy, buy, buy!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:57 AM   #11
nikkistevej
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cigarboo View Post
Thank you everyone for your helpful advice. I think we will end up taking the Ncl cruise, but we will also go into it, not expecting it to be like Disney. We will focus on Alaska and realize we won't find those little things that we get on Disney. Luckily, they are bringing their own entertainment(their cousins) If we miss it, we'll be back on Disney next time.

With the kids growing up, we need to start branching out. If this Ncl cruise works out, we'll plan on Europe in 2015 on ncl. They have an itinerary that works perfect for us. Since it's very port intensive, the ship matters less to us. In my perfect world, I would have more vacation $$$, but at this point, something's gotta go....and it looks like it's mickey this time.
I think you have to do what's best for the family, I mean NCL was good, the people were good, the Alaskan views stunning. The excursions are awesome too, I'm sure they have similar to DCL. You are going to love the balcony too, totally worth it. Don't forget the Blue Lagoon wing spot on there.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:06 AM   #12
NancyIL
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I prefer Vancouver over Seattle, Glacier Bay over Tracy Arm, and fewer kids vs. many kids. I really enjoy DCL's shows, but I cruise to Alaska for what's in Alaska, and not the shows on the ship. I have been on 4 Alaska cruises (1 inside and 3 ocean view) - so a balcony doesn't matter to me. I do prefer Freestyle/Anytime dining over fixed dining, as early can be too early, and late is too late.

As mentioned, compare the port times in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. I really like Victoria, but the one time I was on a ship that was supposed to be there from 6 until midnight - we couldn't dock due to high winds.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:20 AM   #13
cigarboo
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For sure if my family was doing this cruise on our own, I would have no doubt I'd be doing Alaska on the Wonder. With extra family coming along, it just changes things. I don't have to worry about whether the kids will have fun, because they LOVE just spending time with their cousins. They'll stay up late and wake up late, so Freestyle dining will work better. For Disney, I'm usually willing to take an inside cabin, but for this Alaska trip, I have to go with a balcony.

That means I'll need to move my onboard booking somewhere
Unfortunately, with the new policy, I can't really move it to 2015, so I might need to cancel altogether. Ironically, Disney may be losing a customer because of that policy. Without the 10% discount, pricing against other cruise lines will make Disney that much more expensive when it's time for me to plan my next cruise.

Quote:
Don't forget the Blue Lagoon wing spot on there
Thanks for the tip! My boys, including DH love chicken wings. I will make sure we abstain from chicken wings for 2 months before the cruise, so they can knock themselves out with wings on board
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cigarboo View Post
For sure if my family was doing this cruise on our own, I would have no doubt I'd be doing Alaska on the Wonder. With extra family coming along, it just changes things. I don't have to worry about whether the kids will have fun, because they LOVE just spending time with their cousins. They'll stay up late and wake up late, so Freestyle dining will work better. For Disney, I'm usually willing to take an inside cabin, but for this Alaska trip, I have to go with a balcony.

That means I'll need to move my onboard booking somewhere
Unfortunately, with the new policy, I can't really move it to 2015, so I might need to cancel altogether
. Ironically, Disney may be losing a customer because of that policy. Without the 10% discount, pricing against other cruise lines will make Disney that much more expensive when it's time for me to plan my next cruise.



Thanks for the tip! My boys, including DH love chicken wings. I will make sure we abstain from chicken wings for 2 months before the cruise, so they can knock themselves out with wings on board
If you already had an onboard booking before DCL changed the policy in November, you have until Nov. 30, 2015 to sail using your onboard booking. The rest of 2015 ought to be released in the next month or two.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:54 PM   #15
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NancyIL, thank you very much. I didn't know I have til end of 2015. There has been so many changes, it's hard to keep track. I will keep that in mind and not cancel the reservation until I'm sure I can't use it for another cruise.
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