Loved our Disney cruise! Are we crazy to consider Princess?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Luv2Diz, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

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    We got back a couple of weeks ago from our first ever cruise....an amazing Disney cruise to Alaska! It truly was a perfect cruise. Beautiful ship which was always spotless, great castmembers, wonderful servers and cabin host. We enjoyed the food, rotational dining, our tablemates and the entertainment.

    We want to go back to Alaska next year! I did book a future cruise onboard, however......... We can get a balcony cabin on Princess for nearly $600 cheaper than an OV cabin on DCL. We can also leave out of Seattle (driving distance for us) rather than Vancouver.

    We are adults, so the kids club isn't a factor.

    Has anyone done both DCL and Princess cruises recently? How much did you miss that "Disney magic" on Princess? How does the dining and entertainment compare?

    Thanks for helping me make the decision.
     
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  3. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    We recently did Celebrity to Alaska for essentially the same reason--it was a hair over 1/2 the cost of DCL after we added in the soda card!

    Honestly, the food was better on Celebrity. Alaska was totally amazing. DD (adult) didn't care for the entertainment in the main theater on Celebrity--I agree, the talent level certainly wasn't DCL. We did enjoy the "around the ship" entertainment- a male quartet, a guitarist, a string quartet, a pianist, etc. But the "Stars of the Infinity" um......really high school quality.

    The age group was significantly older than a typical DCL cruise, but there were kids on board and kid programming. They also had a "20something" group that met each night in a lounge.

    That doesn't help you with Princess, but does give a view from a non-DCL line.
     
  4. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Someone wrote on here recently that the Princess cruises to Alaska were unofficial "retirement cruises" not sure if that's true or not or if that bothers you. I know when we were in port with the Princess ship on our DCL Alaska cruise that everyone from the Princess ship did fit into an older age bracket.
     
  5. luvmy2kids

    luvmy2kids Mouseketeer

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    We just got off the Fantasy (western carribean) and we booked Alaska for 2013. This was our first cruise with the kids we loved it. I have been told once you do Disney it is hard to go to another cruise line....
    We did RCI and there was no comparison. Disney was much better, at least for us.
     
  6. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

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    OK, we are retirement age & we love Princess as well as DCL. We prefer Princess' anytime dining. If we want we can dine alone or with another couple. Our last Princess cruise was to the Baltics & it was excellent.
     
  7. angelinaxox

    angelinaxox Mouseketeer

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    I was 26 when I went on my Princess cruise to Alaska and loved it! I think Princess is top notch. I did the week land tour first and then the cruise. I loved the Princess lodges and their train cars. I met a nice group of people on the land tour that I then spent time with on the cruise ship. I am not somebody who cares about the age group of others, and I found nice companions of all different ages, both older and younger. I loved Princess so much, I have proceeded to sail with them in Europe for their Baltic, British Isles and Mediterranean cruises.
     
  8. stevea20

    stevea20 Mouseketeer

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    We have been on 5 Princess cruises and are about to go on our sixth. One of those was Alaska out of Seattle and I consider it one of our best trips. We saw whales right near the ship on our first day, salmon were running all over the place and I got a beautiful shot of an American Bald Eagle landing in its nest. The day we sailed up Endicott Arm fjord(Tracy Arm was closed off) we got within 1 mile of the glacial wall and you never saw such vivid blue in the ice.
    The ships are usually a good mix of ages, so I never consider it a "retirement" trip. There is plenty to do including lectures from an on-board naturalist which I found fascinating. Go, and have a great time.
     
  9. jiminyC_fan

    jiminyC_fan <font color=FF00CC>Missing Captain Mickey!<br><fon

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    We took Holland America (same company as Princess) to Alaska. We took the train down to Anchorage through Denali and boarded the ship in Seward and then cruised down to Vancouver. We are adults with grown children. VERY happy with the cruise. Their itineraries are better. The service, the same. Stateroom a tad smaller but didn't affect us. We were there to see Alaska. Not to sit in the stateroom. Can't address food since we aren't foodies and food is so subjective anyway. We were told we wouldn't like it because Holland America was for people with canes and wheelchairs. We did see some but they never held us back or affected us whatsoever. Mighty close minded if you ask me if that would affect anyone. IF you decide to cruise Princess, do yourself a favor and consider a land tour on top of the cruise. Best decision ever for us!
     
  10. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    I have never sailed Princess, so I can't comment to that, but I can give insight about sailing with an older crowd. We did a NCL Canadian cruise and the guests were all so much older. I hate to say it, but uncomfortably older and we were terribly bored. Now we wouldn't be so bored now, but we're in our early 40s now. We were 30 and under for that particular cruise. We said we would always try to sail with our own age group (mostly). Take it into consideration if need be.

    No, I don't hate old people. Please don't hate on me ;). Oh and not closed minded either. We were young and wanted to find others with similar interests for the days we were on ship.
     
  11. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    No, we don't hate you. People think I'm anti-kid; not so. I just don't want them in adult only spaces.

    You are correct that the age of the majority of guests does affect the character of the cruise. However, most of the ships are big enough for guest to find their "crowd" if they make an effort. If a guest is 25 and never goes to the "20 something" get together, they sort of lose the right to gripe about no young people. If I hang out in "family" areas, I have no right to say anything about the presence or absence of kids.

    While most of the people on our Celebrity cruise were older, we met some lovely family groups of parents with young adult kids.
     
  12. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    Very very true. Of course you may not be able to find out in advance the age group, but I'd certainly do research. There wasn't a young couple on our cruise. In fact, our parents went with us and they were young compared to the other guests! . :) we had our 6 year old with us and he was the only child so they didn't even bother to open kid activities for him. They opened the play area for us to play with him. The ports were awesome and we've always wanted to sail them again.

    We try to sail on lines that seem to have our same general interests now. Just something to think about. Ps, I don't want kids in adult only spaces either. I agree and I have 2 of my own. ;)
     
  13. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ <font color=green>It could end up curdled<br><font

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    We have cruised with the Mouse four times, on four different itineraries. Have also cruised Alaska twice with Princess, and two New England Fall Foliage cruises with Princess. Itineraries are better than DCL. Food is comparable, but Princess' food quality has gone downhill. (This is not just our opinion; Travel Agent agrees.) Entertainment -- nobuddy beats the Mouse.

    Age demographic depends on the time of year. When we've sailed with Disney during school the passengers were older. Lotsa preschoolers, but few teens. When we sailed with Princess during the summer, there were lotsa kids, including our nieces and nephews. An old lady complained when my nieces were laughing at the dinner table. No, they weren't being obnoxious. Grandpa just about came unglued over it. During the fall foliage cruises, kids were very few and far between. These were both definitely geriatric cruises.

    Holland America -- have sailed twice with them, tho not recently. They have a Dutch evening where passengers are expected to wear Dutch hats. no thanks. But then I don't wear a napkin on my head at the DCL character breakfasts either. Food is comparable, tho TA has said HAL has gone downhill. Is this an industry-wide trend?

    We really enjoyed cruising the Baltic with Celebrity last summer. Great itinerary, at a much better price than DCL. Best cruise food of any of the cruiselines we've tried. Demographic -- very international, very few kids, even during summer.
     
  14. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    I love Princess, and have sailed them to Alaska twice and to Europe twice. The first Alaska cruise was a one-way on the Coral Princess, and the second was a roundtrip from Seattle on the Golden Princess. Both ships were great, but the one-way cruise had the much better itinerary - which we followed with a 9-day land trip via rental car.

    If you do sail out of Seattle on Princess, I hope you choose an itinerary that goes to Glacier Bay.

    As far as demographics, I think HAL wins the oldest cruisers award - although there were families with kids on my HAL cruises, too.
     
  15. smooreo

    smooreo Mouseketeer

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    My parents cruise with Princess all the time and they are in their 60's. My in-laws cruised to Alaska on HAL and out of the two, HAL definitely had a much older clientele.

    I say go for Princess and enjoy!
     
  16. grlzmom

    grlzmom DIS Veteran

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    We've done many DCL and several Princess.

    Done Princess one way to Alaska twice and LOVED it. Glacier Bay is gorgeous. We really didn't notice more "older" adults than we do on DCL. We did notice less kids though.

    Our kids loved Princess and if you are traveling with kids to Alaska their Junior Ranger program is great.

    Princess food to us is slightly better than DCL and anytime dining works well with Alaska long port days.

    While we really love DCL, they just don't have the itineraries Princess does and so for those we love Princess.
     
  17. LyndaC

    LyndaC Mouseketeer

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    My first cruise was on NCL to Alaska, Glacier Bay, it was fantastic. I'm not a foodie, so can't really comment on that aspect, and I'm not a gambler, so I didn't care for the casino.

    Next 3 cruises were on Disney. LOVE cruising DCL, however, having just cruised DCL to Alaska, Tracy Arm, I have to say that in terms of what we saw, I far preferred NCL and Glacier Bay. Both cruises visited Skagway, Ketchican and Juneau, but again, I preferred the spacing of the port visits on NCL.

    If all things were equal, I'd pick Disney, however, I think the Alaska experience was far better on NCL.

    BTW, here's how much I love Disney Cruises.

    I'm a San Francisco native, I work in San Francisco, 2 weeks from now, I'm flying down to LA to board a DCL California Costal Cruise where we will sail to the exotic port of San Francisco and spend 2 days there. (and see a lot of Pixar movies along the way)....
     
  18. justmestace

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

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    A few years ago, we went to Alaska on the Norwegian Pearl and it seemed that the passengers were no different than what we saw on our Disney cruises. :confused3 The kids LOVED the bowling alley and rock climbing wall...and the Cruise Director...they had a blast with him.

    I've only gone on one Princess cruise, to the Caribbean....and I liked it well enough. I thought the ship was clean, the crew were friendly..food was good. No complaints at all.
     
  19. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

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    Too funny! :thumbsup2
     
  20. the kids

    the kids Earning My Ears

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    I also had a similar question as the op. We are also considering a cruise to Alaska with our 6 and 8 year olds. Alaska seems so port intensive that I was wondering how much time you have to enjoy the ship? How much time do the kids spend in the clubs? We have sailed DCL 3 times and we are sailing on the Fantasy in November. So we love DCL, but the price of an Alaska cruise, plus all the port adventures is making me think about other lines. If you had to choose another line for Alaska, which ship and why? Also do you just do a cruise or do you add some land tours also. Things that I love about DCL are, family friendly entertainment, kids love the clubs, I feel comfirtable in the restaurants if my children have a moment and act like kids, ect. Thank you for your input :)
     
  21. jjgarv

    jjgarv Gotta get away to where the boat leaves from...

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    We have done many Disney cruises (with and without DD) and two Princess (both without DD). We are in our early 40's and chose the two Princess cruises for the price and the great itineraries. Things we liked about Princess: the price, the itineraries, anytime dining, the pizza (seriously, it's the best!), their up-charge Italian restaurant (worth the splurge), and their 'morning show' done by the cruise director that is shown on a certian channel of your tv every morning (this is certainly a small thing, but a fun way to start the day).

    The Princess cruises were 'port heavy', as we only had one day at sea...and that was just fine for us. DH and I would certainly sail Princess again when it's an adult-only trip, and we want to explore new ports. I guess what I'm saying is...we went into the Princess cruises not for the ship and it's on-board entertainment, etc, but for the itineraries and the places we would be visiting...so it was all good.

    DD is only 9 years old and still LOVES DCL...the clubs, the characters, the AquaDuck, pretty much everything!...and we still love it too...so when we sail as a family, it will continue to be on DCL for now. So I guess if your primary purpose is to see Alaska as an adults-only vacation, and the prince is right on Princess, go ahead and give it a try!
     

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