Budget DCL Cruise - Is there such a thing???

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by SCQ86, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. SCQ86

    SCQ86 Mouseketeer

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    I'm trying to plan a budget DCL cruise and I can't fathom spending over $4000 for a 4/3 land and sea cruise. :scared:

    Anyway....I would like to start planning my cruise, but I would like advice....I'll take all the advice.

    So to start off.....I'm an AP holder....where should I go from here?????

    TIA
     
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  3. NY Disney fan

    NY Disney fan DIS Veteran

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    This is why I have not been on a Disney cruise yet. They only have 2 ships in their fleet (more to come in a few years). So the demand is high but the supply is few, which equals $$$ for something you can get for less on another cruise line.
     
  4. rileysmommy

    rileysmommy <font color=deeppink>My husband ended my debate by

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    We don't do their land/sea package. First off, we prefer the sea first, then the land. So that makes it cheaper right there. We plan our own land stuff and book it all separately. Also there are cheaper times to sail then others. Go for the smallest room you think you will be happy in. Book as early as you can.

    That's all I can think of right now.
     
  5. Fizzgig

    Fizzgig Enjoy your travels, wherever they take you! May th

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    Do not book a Land/Sea from DCL, as the first step (the price is higher when you combine WDW and DCL--two separate companies). Book a short cruise early (meaning at least a year out, more if possible), in the category you'd prefer. Look at a Category 12 fare and go up as your budget allows.

    But no, you will pay more for a DCL cruise than can be called "budget." However, you get what you pay for, in my opinion.

    I did an April 2007 4 day cruise in Cat 5 for 2 adults and a 2 year old for $2700. I booked under 45 days, too, which is another way to get a better price. I had to pay the entire fare at the time of booking. I also used a Disney Chase credit card. Bear in mind that tips are in addition to your fare. We spent about $500 extra to the fare, including tips.

    Good luck hunting!
     
  6. kfeuer

    kfeuer <font color=blue>My kids are going to think I'm ol

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    If there is I haven't found it, and believe me I've looked!

    I'm hoping that rates on the old ships will come down when the new ships enter the fleet in a few years.

    In the meantime, the time of year you sail makes a huge difference on the price. September is a cheaper time to go, but it's also hurricane season.

    Some of the Disney travel agencies buy blocks of cabins and offer them at discounted rates. When we sailed in '06 we bought this kind of cabin and it was the best rate we found. However, the location wasn't great, when we pulled into port we'd hear loud engine noises and vibration. The kids would sleep through it, but it always woke DH and I up.

    Try to book any excursions you do directly with the tour provider. You may have to do a little more legwork (i.e., find your way there instead of following someone holding a sign) but it's almost always cheaper.

    I love DCL (and my kids beg to go back at least once a week), but barring a big price drop we just can't afford it.
     
  7. luckey-lasvegas

    luckey-lasvegas All our $$ is in IRA's - Ice Rink Activities

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    We went in 2005 for the Halloween Magic Cruise (7 days). We ( my DH and I) paid $799 through www.vacationstogo.com and DD was $399 I think. We booked a category 12 GTY (gaurntee) which ment that we did not select the cabin that we were getting but we were gaurnteed a Cat 12 or higher on the ship. We did this hoping for a bump, we ended up being upgraded to a Category 11. We bought our own travel insurance and booked our own airfare which saved alot! We rented a car from budget and dropped it off at the port. DH and I don't drink so we never spent anything on the ship except for DD hair Braiding, and we did not do any excusions we just went and enjoyed the beach with a lunch that we packed from room service . The other times we just enjoyed the ship, there is ALWAYS something to do. In all we spent 3 days in Orlando before the cruise, 7 days on the ship, 3 days in Orlando after the cruise and spent a little over $5,000. I planned a year or more in advanced, searched the internet for deals and used the tips I found from this board and mousesavers. We had a great time and even got to go to a disboard party in the Walt Disney suite thanks to our new friends we met here!
     
  8. mamalle

    mamalle DIS Veteran

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    the only way we will do it again is with fla resident rates. I cannot bear to spend that kind of money otherwise. we went in 2005 and paid $1800 for a family of 4 for a 4 day cruise in a Cat 4 stateroom. We were darn lucky is the way I look at it. Most likely we wont be doing one again but maybe RCCL now that the kiddos are older..
     
  9. DVCJEN

    DVCJEN DIS Veteran

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    Not a lot of bargains to be had for DCL. Plan early, book an inside cabin.
     
  10. Jennifer823

    Jennifer823 DIS Veteran

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    We've been on five cruises but no Disney cruises because of the price. I checked out the podcast cruise that Dreams Unlimited is offering and it would cost me over $4000 for all of us go to, with cheap room. We went on Princess Cruises right after Thanksgiving 2006 for a week, with a balcony room and an inside room, bringing 4 kids and my sister (so there were 7 of us total in two rooms) and it cost us less than that. Our kids have been on two cruises with us and had a blast, there was plenty of stuff for them to do on Princess and on Carnival. (You can see their ages below in my signature, but they were ages 7, 5 and 3 on their first cruise, on Carnival - little one not born yet!)
     
  11. mommyoftwinfants

    mommyoftwinfants DIS Veteran

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    We sailed for a week in December for $599 per person (2A, 2C) we could have sailed for $599 per adult and $499 per child but thought the extra $200 for another room was well worth it. We booked a GTY cat 12 in the 45 day window. ETA: we got hit by the upgrade fairy :) and sailed in a Cat. 9
     
  12. maggiew

    maggiew DIS Veteran

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    When we went on our first cruise, I priced out Disney. It would have cost us twice as much to do a Disney cruise than the cost of doing a Royal Caribbean cruise. (We have to cruise in summer since I am a teacher.) We had a great time and have gone back 2 more times. To get our Disney fix, we just add on a few days at Disney.

    Maggie
     
  13. MsStinkerBelle

    MsStinkerBelle Hittin' WDW Since Space Mountain was 'Coming Soon'

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    We did a DCL cruise in Dec '06 because my mother wanted to go but it was in no way cheap or even budget. I did a land/sea package before finding out it was cheaper to book separately, and while I loved my Cat 7 room (Navigator's Verandah), I wasn't too happy with the cost and told DCL as much after the cruise. I'm planning to do DCL in 2010 but trying to do it as reasonably as I can.

    Book early and book the room category you're most comfortable paying for. :thumbsup2
     
  14. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

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    Just a budget tip: There are other cruiselines that leave out of Port Canaveral. Compare prices... You might be able to book a cruise on RCCL out of Port Canaveral for a lot less money.
     
  15. MiniGirl

    MiniGirl DIS Veteran

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    You have to remember that other cruise lines are able to supplement the cost of cruising with the on board gambling and drinking. On DCL, there is no gambling (unless you count Bingo) and much less drinking than on other cruise lines. Instead of casinos, there are kid's clubs, etc. DCL has to make up that cost somewhere and it is in the form of higher prices.

    That said if you cruise during Sept (hurricane season) and during the cooler months, you can get a somewhat better deal. You can also try booking a cruise last minute.

    We went on our first cruise (DCL) this past Sept/Oct. and had an amazing time. I immediately started saving to go again. My girls ask almost every week if we can go again.
     
  16. lucigo

    lucigo DIS Veteran

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    Every time I think I'm ready to book DCL I compare prices with Carnival and RCI and we end up doing something else. We can get 7 days with a balcony on the Glory for the same price was 3 days on DCL. I keep hoping for some type of military or FL resident discount that will change my mind!
     
  17. JoiseyMom

    JoiseyMom <font color=orange>Have you had your SPANX today??

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    Certain times during the year they sometimes mark down the cruises. Like Mommoftwins, DH and I sailed for 599 per in a Cat 12. It was an awesome trip.

    We are booked for Aug 09, in 2 cat 10's for under 4k total. This is less then what we would pay at WDW for a week, will all food and beverages, entertainment and child care included. You can't beat that.

    If you are looking for really really cheap cruises, it will never really be with DCL.

    We are scheduled to go on the 15 nite EBP cruise, and you do not what to know what that is costing. It is expensive at first look, but when you break it down for nites...it really isn't that bad (well that is what I keep trying to tell myself LOL)!!
     
  18. maggiew

    maggiew DIS Veteran

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    RCCL and Carnival have kids clubs too. Also, I never set foot in the RCCL casino and neither did my girls. And I didn't have one alcoholic drink. So, to me it makes sense to go the cheaper RCCL than the more expensive DCL.

    Maggie
     
  19. MiniGirl

    MiniGirl DIS Veteran

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    Maggie, even though ya'll didn't gamble and drink, others on board did, and that all helps supplement the cost of the cruise. I am in no way knocking the other cruise lines. I'm just trying to explain why there is such a difference in price. For many people, the less expensive lines defintely make more sense.
     
  20. mamalle

    mamalle DIS Veteran

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    my kids cannot wait to go on the liberty of the seas! Im not into gambling or is dh but man on man that boat looks incredible. ;) I think DCCL was a great cruise when the kids were younger but looking at some of the prices people pay its just not worth it IMO..
     
  21. MK2thcleaner

    MK2thcleaner Mousehead Extraordinaire

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    Please don't spend the extra money doing DCL..................you'll be hooked for life!:rotfl:

    We did our first 4 night in early Dec 04 with group rates for Mousefest. We didn't participate in any of the Mousefest activities, but benefited in that our Cat 11 for 2 was $1000. I enjoyed sailing in December even though it was cooler because the decorations were phenomonal (and we still swam at CC)! We booked again for Dec 06, this time we did a 4 night over Christmas. It was amazingly expensive, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It was one of the best Christmas's (is that the word???) we've ever had.

    We're doing the EB Panama Canal trip in August, and I look at the price and think how darn cheap it is! I know my thinking is skewed, but $3226 ($2726 once you subtract all my OBC and discounts for tranferred booking and travel agent) for 15 nights when I paid $2400 for 4 nights is a good deal in my book.

    Anyway, as others have said:
    1. Book really early....or if more flexible, really late
    2. Check travel agency group rates
    3. Book land and sea separately
    4. Rental car instead of tranfers may be cheaper
    5. Don't forget to budget gratuities
    6. Cheaper spa appointments can be booked on some port days
    7. Booking with certain travel agencies can get you OBC, cash to you
    checks, or gift cards.
    8. Travel when kids are in school, it's generally cheaper
    9. Buy insurance on your own
    10. Bring your own water and alcohol on board...yes it's allowed
    11. Book and make full payment with a Disney Visa and get a $50 OBC

    Join us over on the Cruise Board. You can get lots more information there!

    Good Luck!:hippie:
     

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