First DCL Cruise - A Comparison

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by ricka47, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

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    We just got off the Magic a few days ago. We've been on RCI four times, and once each on Celebrity, Princess, and HAL. My wife and I are in our mid 50s and our daughter is 13 and typically we do ten or eleven night trips. We are big fans of Disney and are annual pass holders.

    I have to say that, except for entertainment, the other lines that we've been on are all equal to or better than than DCL. However, it is true that DCL blows the others away in enterainment and, of course, they have what the the others don't have: the Disney ambience. The question is, how much should one pay for that ambience when you give up quality in other areas?

    I'd order them this way from top to bottom:
    1.) Celebrity
    2.) Holland America
    3.) RCI
    4.) Princess
    5.) DCL

    I was expecting far better food in the dining rooms. It was good most of the time and just OK a few of the other times. No meal (except for the Sunday brunch at Palo's) could be termed excellent. I will say that the buffet food was better than expected and we ended up eating lunch there more often than we usually do because of the quality of the dining room offerings.

    The dining room food was better, on average, than RCI (although RCI and the others beat DCL in the dessert category). The choices were limited and most items were rather bland. Celebrity, HAL, and Princess (in that order) do a much better job in the food category. Not once did we say, "wow, that's great!" Much of the fun of cruising involves food and when it is just "OK," some of the fun is removed.

    I was also shocked at what people wear to dinner. Adults came to dinner in blue jeans, shorts, and t-shirts. I expected dress to be a bit more casual than other lines, but couldn't believe that jeans were allowed in the dining room on formal night!

    But, having said that, we just booked the 10-Day cruise on the Wonder for this September. Living in NE Florida, Port Canaveral is so convenient and we can get nice Florida resident discounts. It's likely we will take along our 5 year-old grandaughter this time and this is where the differences between Disney and the other lines will be more advantageous as well.

    If I had didn't have those advantages, we would be heading toward Celebrity or another line ASAP. For the price that most people have to pay for DCL, the money is better spent on other lines. I doubt that I'd consider DCL now unless there was a substantial discount.
     
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  3. WDWLVR

    WDWLVR <font color=green>DVC @ The Boardwalk</font><br><f

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    Rick - thanks for your feedback. I've been on other lines as well and rank Disney #1, isn't it great that we all have the freedom of choice. Thank you for giving a respectful comparisson of the lines.


    The one thing I'll agree with is the dress on DCL. It seems to have gotten more and more casual over the years. While I don't expect to see men in suits or women in long flowing gowns every night I kind of miss the dressier feel I've had on other lines.

    Disney is still my choice.
     
  4. Dreamer04

    Dreamer04 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Thank you for your honest, experienced opinion. My family and I are looking into an Alaskan cruise. Your top two choices are two of the companies we are checking out.
     
  5. amesmom

    amesmom DIS Veteran

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    I have to agree that DCL is worth the extra money IF you have young children or you are Disney fanatics. We qualify on both counts. I think DCL can't be beat for the children's programming. But if children are older or you don't have children, you can certainly get more for your money at other cruiselines. As our children get older, we'll be looking at other cruiselines. Thanks for the opinion of an experienced cruiser.

    I am disappointed to hear how casual the dress has become on DCL. It has been two years since our last cruise, and it sounds like the rules have become too relaxed. DH and I both enjoy dressing for dinner, and even our two DSs love putting on their suits for formal night.
     
  6. SimplyMagical

    SimplyMagical Mouseketeer

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    We just returned from our first cruise ever, which was on the Magic, and we loved it. I have to say, with all the stories in the news this week regarding the safety of cruises - Disney is the only cruise line I would choose with young teenage girls. I never once worried about my girls while on the Magic - it is all families, and no rowdy drinking crowds, casinos, etc. I thought the cost of the Disney cruise was well worth the feeling of safety and well being for my girls.
     
  7. TDN323A

    TDN323A Earning My Ears

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    Okay, don't want to be argumentative here, but I just don't "get" these posts where some people are "bothered" by others dressed more casually in the dining rooms. I just don't understand why what others are wearing would be of any concern at all. Jeans/shorts on formal night... ok, that I get a little, but beyond that, who cares?

    And just curious, what's considered "worse"... dockers + polo shirt or jeans + long sleeve button down shirt?
     
  8. kaceyisme

    kaceyisme Just passing the time until my next trip

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    ricka47 - thanks for the great comparison. I was especially interested in your post because, although we cruised DCL once in August (Wonder 4 nt.), and we are cruising again in August (Magic 7 nt.), we definitely will be choosing another cruise line for our next trip. We LOVE DCL, and we would cruise with them again, if only they would change the entertainment more frequently. We can't see going on DCL again and seeing the shows yet again. Thanks again!
     
  9. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    Please don't have a false sense of security because its Disney. Child molesters and rapists can be a guest on any ship and it can be any crew member.

    And to the OP, Thanks for your review.
     
  10. castlegazer

    castlegazer <font color=9933cc>Soccer Mom - no really, I am a

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    It affects the ambiance. When you are cruising you are in a small village, basically - everyone is along for the same ride - it causes a sense of familiarity and you all have to live very close to one another. When the sense of formality to the formal nights is brought down to a level of "who cares" and people wear what they want, it does affect the feeling of the night for other cruisers. When one cruises, one knows there are formal nights and semi formal nights. If you do not want to participate there are other dining options.

    I for one will be in my long gown, my 4 yo will be in his tux as will my husband. We like this aspect of cruising. I have no problem if people would like to dress less formally, but a showing of some dress or a shirt and tie is at the very least what is expected on the formal nights.

    I have been on a cruise where everyone wore what they wanted - although the line had stricter dress codes than DCL does, and it was horrible. Absolutely horrible. The fact that people blatantly disregarded the dress codes also was an indication of their general attitude about the cruise - it was their vacation and they were going to damn well do what they pleased wherever they pleased.

    To the OP, thanks for your review. We have been on most of the same lines as you have and this will be our first DCL cruise. I have already set expectations low on food, high on service, and lower on the overall amenities to the ship versus the newer ships of other lines. I am cruising DCL to cruise with the Mouse. I Love Disney and have been waiting a very long time to go on DCL - ever since the Magic replaced the Big Red Boat. I am more than a little excited right now. More excited than I have been for any previous cruise - which was just a vacation - this cruise will be a cruise of immersion in all things Disney with that Disney flair for the greatest entertainment. :hyper: SO EXCITED!!!! :yay: SO EXCITED!!!!!!:yay:
     
  11. SimplyMagical

    SimplyMagical Mouseketeer

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    I certainly did not have a false sense of security and I am fully aware that child molester and rapists can of course be a guest on any cruise - my point was - there is certainly a different crowd cruising disney vs. other cruise lines. Disney is not going to attract the crowd just going to get drunk everyday, etc.! Have you heard Disney Cruise line mentioned in any of the Today show specials the past two weeks on the topic of "the safety of cruise lines"?? :confused3 Not once.
     
  12. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    And because of your attitude, you will LOVE Disney. I hope you have a great time
    Enjoy
    Joanna
     
  13. Mjasp

    Mjasp DIS Veteran

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    Actually I haven't been able to watch it, that dam thing called work stopped me LOL But you have to remember they only have 2 ships, so if you do the statistics of RCCL, Carnival Corp etc, DCL shouldn't be mentioned.
     
  14. newfamilyman

    newfamilyman <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    I absolutely agree. While people-watching is more fun on formal nights when people are dressed up, it is unfair and unreasonable to expect everyone to do it. Some people enjoy dressing up, and others don't. For those who don't, or don't feel like inflicting that on their families, why should they be so condemned?
     
  15. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

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    Except perhaps for Carnival, the typical cruisers on DCL appeared to be no different than those that you would find on the other major lines with perhaps the exception of HAL which typically has an older population.

    I have a 13-year old daughter and would take the same precautions on Disney as on any other line.
     
  16. castlegazer

    castlegazer <font color=9933cc>Soccer Mom - no really, I am a

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    I'll say one more thing on this at this time - would you go to Victoria & Alberts in less than their suggested attire? When it is formal night on the cruise ships, the fact that there is not a separate dining room for formal evening versus every evening does not change the fact that these dining rooms change their expected attire for that evening. It's as if the dining room has become Victoria & Alberts for the evening.

    The fact that you don't want to dress to the suggested attire, though, will not prevent you from coming into the dining room on the cruise like it would at V&A's, but it should make one think of alternative locations for dining that evening. Now if you were turned away from V&A's for not having a tie on, would you state that they were condemning you or would you simply change your dining location to more meet what you wanted to wear or do for that evening?
     
  17. repeatcruiser

    repeatcruiser 3x - 1 more booked

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    Nicely said Castlegazer - no one should be forced to weat a tux, but likewise, blue jeans and baseball caps aren't quite right either (I was taught that gentelmen removed their hats inside, and I'm not that old). Just back from western on the Magic - the fact that some dressed very casually did not ruin our fun, but I do find it a bit odd that the DCL Navigator feels compelled to spell out that formal attire does not include swimwear or shorts. We're becomming increasingly informal in business and as a society, so I guess that I should not be surprised that it spills over into cruising as well - just a little dissappointed that "formal night" on such a majestic ship really isn't very formal.
     
  18. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

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    Indeed, it is a societal issue. Gentlemen should remove their hats indoors; especially in elevators and at dinner. While it does not ruin an evening, it lessens the experience to eat escargot and lobster while seeing someone wearing a "Megadeath" t-shirt at a nearby table!
     
  19. repeatcruiser

    repeatcruiser 3x - 1 more booked

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    Perhaps a Led Zeppelin or Beatles t-shirt we could live with!
     
  20. ricka47

    ricka47 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/sponso

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    :confused3 Shows how much I know....it's spelled Megadeth.
     
  21. repeatcruiser

    repeatcruiser 3x - 1 more booked

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    Shows how much less I know - I didn't notice!
     

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