Princess vs. DCL

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Ashleyfaz, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Ashleyfaz

    Ashleyfaz Mouseketeer

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    In about 10 days I will be boarding DCL out of Galveston. I was looking online last night at different cruises and noticed that the prices on Princess out of the Houston port in November are pretty good. This port is less than 10 minutes away from my house!

    Has anyone been on a Princess ship? Will my family be disappointed if we go on Princess after DCL?

    Here are the prices for an oceanview on each boat during Thanksgiving 2013 week:

    DCL

    Caribbean Princess- $2996, 174 sq.ft. room
    -sails to cozumel, belize city and honduras

    Disney Wonder- $5098.68, ($4588.81 if I book on board next week along with $400 OBC), 204 sq.ft. room
    -sails to key west, nassau, castaway cay
     
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  3. MikeAndNick

    MikeAndNick If you can dream it, you can do it.

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    We have done Princess twice. We really liked the Panama Canal Cruise. It was a nice cruise ship but there were only 20 kids on the ship (cruised first week in December). The nice thing was there were four 10 year old kids (one was mine) and they had full run of the ship and all kids areas. That cruise I was more into relax and see the different ports. Two years ago we took Princess to Alaska. There were lots more kids on that cruise and the ship was nice. We used the open dining and I liked some of the extra dinning areas and did not eat in the regular dinning rooms much.

    If you approach it as they are different and do not expect "Disney" I think you will love Princess. Here are my feelings...
    * The price is better on Princess
    * The food are about the same quality
    * The entertainment in the bars are better on Princess
    * The night shows are better on Disney
    * The people on the Disney ship are more Family oriented and layed back
    * The Kids clubs are better on Disney BUT with my son being a Teen it is all about hanging out with the other Teens so it makes both Teen areas the same.
    * The staff seems to be about the same quality.
    * The cruise ship quality seems to be the same quality.
     
  4. jal417

    jal417 Earning My Ears

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    Just got off the Magic in Galveston last week. The Princess cruise was docked right next to the Magic and it made the Magic look like a midget! So I have no idea anything about Princess but the ship was huge!!!
     
  5. cheryllarsen

    cheryllarsen Mouseketeer

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    You will always be disappointed after trying anything else after Disney!
     
  6. cheryllarsen

    cheryllarsen Mouseketeer

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    We went on Holland America after Disney and were disappointed in the difference.
     
  7. luv2sleep

    luv2sleep DIS Veteran

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    I looked at Princess because they sail out of my local home port. I decided against it for now because I read that its pretty boring for kids outside of the clubs. It can be boring for adults too if you're not into gambling. It might be boring for us as a family because there aren't a lot of things to do together aside from swimming. It's probably ok for a very short trip 3/4 days) but I was looking at the RT Hawaii and decided we'd probably not enjoy it as much as our DCL Hawaii trip. On that trip I was never bored and there was so much to do as a family that we hardly got to it all.

    The price is good but probably not the best cruiseline for young kids IMO. They don't even have fun pools with slides or water features. The pools don't have shallow ends either. Not a great thing for my kiddo. I guess it depends. If a person plans to keep their kids in the club all day then I guess it could work. I don't do that though.
     
  8. ilovetexas

    ilovetexas DIS Veteran

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    I haven't been on Princess but ANY ship 10 minutes from my house would get serious consideration!! The ports on the Princess cruise are FAR better than the DCL cruise. I love Cozumel, in Belize you can tour Mayan ruins and Honduras is absolutely beautiful.

    I've tried plenty of stuff after Disney...and have not been disappointed.
     
  9. jdb in AZ

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

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    This is so subjective, as you've probubbly already figured from the variety of responses. It also varies from ship to ship. Some Princess ships are very nice -- especially the newer ones. The old ones look as dated as their elderly clientele. ahem. But if it's a spring break cruise there should be plenty of kids onboard.

    The food also varies from chef to chef. On our most recent Princess cruise they had a yummy shrimp salad available any time of the day, and fresh pastries -- i do declare I like their eclairs. And their fruit tarts. But their buffet line also had "delicacies" including fried squid ball soup, and some sort of pizza sandwich with the tomato sauce baked into the bread. It was stuffed with eggplant. blech. Overall, the food in the main dining rooms was similar quality to DCL.
     
  10. Magic3forme

    Magic3forme Grand Slam club members

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    we did the Wonder and a Princess cruise the same year. (05). My girls were bored on the Princess ship. the kids club was closed for dinner and was only open til 10? had to pay to stay after this time.

    We thought the food was better on Princess, loved having a robe in our room
    shows were more cabaret...
    there was a casino on board. none on DCL

    Disney has a better kids pool, themed dining. and the list goes on and on.

    the biggest thing we really noticed... Disembarkation... it was a nightmare... we were put in the theater and it took forever to get off the ship.
    and our bags were everywhere.

    and the best thing with DCL--- Castaway Cay..... I love not having to tender!!!!!!
     
  11. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    We went on 12 day princess in Europe during summer. very nice ship, good food, lovely staff, no complaints, but I agree with others, a bit boring for us (45/50)--but we didn't care b/c we were exhausted from touring each day. We did go to the Movies at Sea 4X and liked that. They also have ceramics at sea---fun to paint ceramics that they glaze and fire the last day--my girls would have spent 2 hrs every other day doing that--otherwise, we remarked that they kids would have been bored.
     
  12. wdrl

    wdrl DIS Veteran

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    Most of our 26 cruises have been on Princess and we just completed our first cruise on DCL (8-night cruise on the Disney Magic out of Galveston).

    We really enjoyed our cruise on the Disney Magic, so much so that we booked another DCL cruise on the Disney Fantasy for May 2014.

    If you have young kids traveling with you, DCL has much better youth programs than Princess or Holland America Line. If we were planning a family gathering on a cruise ship involving our 10 great nieces and nephews that are under 10 years of age, the ONLY cruise line I will consider is DCL.

    If you love Disney and want to be immersed in Disney while cruising, then DCL is the only way to go.

    Nevertheless, we really enjoy our times on Princess and Holland America cruises.

    Food is very subjective and what one person likes another person may not. In my opinion, DCL food is comparable in quality to food offer by Princess and HAL, but I don't think DCL offers as wide a variety of choices as the other two cruise lines.

    The rotational dining rooms on the Disney Magic were much more noisy than I've encountered on Princess and HAL. We sat at a table for six and there were times when it was difficult to carry on a conversation with all of our table mates due to the noise in the dining room. Also, I thought some of the tables in Animator's Palate were much too close together.

    Since I'm a Disney fan, I enjoyed the shows on the Disney Magic. However, there were parts of some shows that I thought were rather amateurish in the production values. Shows on Princess and HAL are geared for a more adult audience.

    I thought the layout for the Disney Magic was great for kids and families. However, Princess and HAL have many more spaces where you can sit and enjoy a good book or just watch the waves go by.

    A big plus in Princess's favor is its Anytime Dining feature. Guests can choose the traditional dining that offers a 1st and 2nd seating for dinner, or they can choose Anytime Dining where they can eat at any time from 5:30 to 10:00 PM. The big advantage with Anytime Dining is that it makes your evening much more flexible. If you aren't hungry at 5:45 PM, you can delay dinner. Or if you prefer to watch the ship leave port, or if you came back late from an excursion, or if you just want to catch the early show rather than the late show (or vice versa), you can eat when you want.

    Another plus for Princess over DCL is its itineraries. DCL is tied to families, so maybe that is why it has a very limited offering of cruises and most of its itineraries are relatively short. In my opinion, the immersion in all-things Disney while on board a Disney ship is far more important than the ports of call. With a Princess cruise, the ports of call are quite often the hook that gets us on the ship.

    As with lots of things, the differences between cruise lines just help make things more interesting. Sometimes I'll be in the mood for DCL, other times I'd rather be on Princess.
     
  13. luv2sleep

    luv2sleep DIS Veteran

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    How did your kids do during the day with things to do away from the clubs? Did they like it?

    If I was going in an adult only vacation I think I could make any cruiseline work for me. In that case itinerary and cost would definitely win over.
     
  14. wdrl

    wdrl DIS Veteran

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    It was just my wife and I on the DCL cruise. We don't have any children.
     
  15. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    I have been on 4 Princess cruises (2 to Alaska and 2 in Europe), and would gladly sail with them again. I think Princess's ships are beautiful, and they have some wonderful itineraries. Their prices tend to be higher than Royal Caribbean and even Celebrity, but less than DCL.

    Princess no longer allows smoking in cabins OR on balconies - something that DCL would be wise to prohibit.
     
  16. miztressuz

    miztressuz Mouseketeer

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    we've not had extensive cruising experience, but we've done 2 princess, 1, NCL and 1 DCL. we were on two different princess ships but ones that had the same amenities. they are different experiences but we loved both.



    all in all it really depends on what you want to get out of the vacation and what makes a vacation for you. on the two princess ships we sailed we found that after 9pm (or thereabouts) there wasn't anything to do not tied to dancing/music. every venue had either music or dancing event. sometimes there was a late show in the theatre. since we're not interested in that, pretty much after 9 was quiet time for us :) not a big deal, we can entertain ourselves, especially since they have a food venue open at least 23 hours a day :) so we'd get "midnight snack" and watch movies or read books late night. [the international cafe had awesome candied walnuts with their cheese selections. the walnuts, cheese, and dried apricots was our night time snack every night of our last cruise. we actually still think about them occasionally:thumbsup2]

    we also noticed on our two cruises that the majority age is 40s/50s. we saw kids and all of the ones we saw looked like they were having a good time. there were crafting activities, and there was a juggling/circus class, and i think i saw cookie decorating one day. these were shipwide activities planned so kids didn't have to be stuck in the kids clubs just to participate in age related stuff.
     
  17. scrapbookmomma74

    scrapbookmomma74 We love DCL!!!

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    Four years ago, I did a Princess cruise with my mom, it was her life long dream to go on a cruise, so I treated her.

    Let's just say, it was me and all the senior citizens.

    I was bored out of my mind, I don't gamble, and finding a chair near the pool was impossible. There were tons of books sunning themselves in otherwise empty chairs, but if you tried to move one, the old lady who belonged to it would come running over. Also, they allow smoking in the casino, and every time I had to go somewhere, it seemed I would have to walk through the icky smoky casino. Ugh...

    The food was fine, but I don't like the "open" dining arrangement. I like to know who my servers are, and that I will see them again. I wound up spending a TON at the spa, and hanging out with the girls who worked in the spa once they were off for the evening.

    I also remember only seeing a handful of kids on board. The Princess crew members were fine, no one really stood out.

    IMHO, there is no way I would take my family on a Princess cruise. Actually, I'm not sure I'd take anyone on a Princess cruise...
    I guess I'm high on the Disney Kool Aid now.
     
  18. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    Your Princess cruise with your mother sounds like my first cruise with my mother - except we were on Holland America!

    Princess has both Anytime Dining and Traditional Dining. I enjoy Anytime because I like sitting with different people each night. However, on several recent cruises, we ended up with many of the same tablemates because we tended to eat at the same time each night.

    I agree with you about smoky casinos, and that's one thing I appreciate about Celebrity: smoke-free casinos.
     
  19. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    FALSE!!!!!

    "you" may be that way.

    After my last DCL on the Dream I got off thinking "I paid twice as much for THAT" Kind of went the other way.

    And even before that it was a toss up. But once Disney went to Mega Ship I can't figure out how they get the premium. Service went downhill, ship has no charm and NO I don't care if I never see Nassau again... Their trips are just "do the same thing over and over and over" YUCK!

    I am doing DCL again... on the Magic. Don't know if I will ever bother with the Disney mega ships and the only reason I am doing the Magic is I could use my DVC points. If I had to pay cash there were better options for the Med :)
     
  20. pearlieq

    pearlieq <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col

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    My impression of Princess was that it was just kind of "blah". It was aggressively okay. Nothing was bad, everything was serviceable, but it felt completely nondescript. There was no "hook" or anything to make it special.

    So, with that being said, if you're mostly going for the itinerary and the price is right, go for it! If you're really into the Disney ships and DCL "experience" you might be underwhelmed.
     
  21. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    Our most recent cruises were the Disney Fantasy in Dec 2012 (7-nt Eastern Caribbean), and the Golden Princess in Feb 2013 (14-nt Hawaii).

    While DCL had slightly better service, we were pleased with the service on Princess. The food on Princess was slightly better.

    There were plenty of activities on both ships, and we were never bored on either one.

    The total cruise fare for 7-nights on the Fantasy was $1,922 for two adults in an oceanview cabin. The 14-night cruise on Princess was $2,086 (2A in an OV). The prices were fairly close, yet the Princess cruise was twice as long.

    We enjoyed both cruises, and would do either one again.

    For us, the Princess cruise to Hawaii had the advantage of leaving from our home port of Los Angeles -- meaning we could simply drive 30 minutes to the port. When we cruise out of Port Canaveral, we have to add the costs for flights, rental car and hotel.

    Woody
     

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