Very difficult decision!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by rjvose17, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. rjvose17

    rjvose17 Mouseketeer

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    I don't know if this is the proper section of the boards to post on but I thought that it might be the best for the most varied opinions. My family and I are regular WDW visitors, but I have a new school job that only allows me to take vaca's (like most schools) on school vacation times. This really limits my ability to take "affordable" vacations. We have been lucky enough to have been taking two a year for the past few years. We are going this January for a mini vaca and then for April vacation (which is different then most schools, for some reason Maine's is a bit different) Anyways....my difficult choice comes down to this.....

    After this April ONLY school break vaca's.
    *NO summer vacations because of my and my DH summer jobs don't allow
    *We don't want to attempt to be there for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
    *Do we do a Cruise in Feb 2014?
    *Do we go to Aulani in Feb 2014?
    *Do we go to Disneyland Feb 2014?

    We want to try something different and since it will be the ONLY vacation we take instead of the two we normally take we can splurge a bit. We have NEVER done any of those options. We are DVC so the possibility of getting a DL California rooms is possible but limited, same goes for Aulani but not as bad. Disneyland is the most expensive option, Cruise coming in second and Aulani being the cheapest option as far as we can see as of now.

    My question is....if you could pick one what would you pick???

    There are too many variables and I'm getting stressed!!!

    I would really interested in hearing opinions!!!

    Thanks in advance! :thumbsup2
     
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  3. kaysmommie

    kaysmommie DIS Veteran

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    If the airfare is not outrageous than I would choose Aulani without a oudbt. But I have always wanted to go to Hawaii! I've been to the Caribbean several times but the price of airfare of for a family of 4 keep me from booking Hawaii. Which ever you choose I'm sure it will be wonderful! Why is Disneyland so much more than Aulani?
     
  4. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    You're finding Aulani is the cheapest option? I'm surprised at that. We have been looking at Aulani for three nights prior to a Hawaiian cruise and it's outrageous, not to mention the airfare. Since you have DVC, I'm sure the room portion is more affordable but there's no affordable time to fly to Hawaii from the Northeast, at least not that I have found. I'm sure it wouldn't be over February break either.

    When you say cruise, are you looking specifically at Disney cruises? If you are open, I have found that cruise lines other than Disney are much more affordable. Sure you lose out on the Disney factor but Royal Caribbean, for instance, is so over the top and entertaining at a much more affordable price. You'd be surprised at how cheap you can do a cruise.

    I don't know much about Disneyland, but I was surprised to hear that is coming out most expensive. Just didn't expect it I guess.
     
  5. disneyfanbecky

    disneyfanbecky Mouseketeer

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    I would go with the cruise if you are considering a Disney cruise!! We did 2 on the old ships and they were some of my favourite holidays ever. We did one on the Carnival Cruises and I did not like it very much in comparison.

    I am a local at Disneyland and love it, but I think a Disney cruise would be more special. I also don't think Disneyland would be enough to take up a lot of time (it's very different to WDW) so if you would be interested in traveling around CA then that would be different! But my vote is still with the cruise!
     
  6. rjvose17

    rjvose17 Mouseketeer

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    Here is my break down of numbers....hope this makes more sense. Thanks everyone for the replies so far.

    We are a family of 4 DD9 DD6 myself and DH. We are DVC and PAP holders for WDW. We live in Maine so airfare to Orlando is fairly cheap at certain times.

    These are rough estimates since exact prices can't be given for all areas at this time.

    DCL Dream
    Cruise = 2700.00 for inside stateroom on a 4 night Bahamian Cruise.
    Airfare = 800.00 round trip to Orlando for 4(typically get it cheaper but I'm estimating it high since we are looking at Feb break)
    Car rental = 200.00
    Room while going to and from cruise = 0.00 DVC (at least 2 nights)
    Park Tickets = 0.00 PAP holders
    Total Cruise cost est = 3700.00 (includes food but NO souvenirs)

    Disneyland
    Airfare = 1000.00
    Lodging (w/out DVC since it's VERY hard to book) 7 days 6 nights = 1800.00 for Paradise Pier
    Park tickets since PAP don't cover DL = 800.00
    Rental Car = 200.00
    Total DL = 3800.00 (w/out food and souvenirs)

    Aulani
    Airfare = 2100.00 out of Portland (these were today's prices but i've seen much higher)
    DVC = 0.00
    Car rental = 200.00
    Park tickets = 0.00
    Total = 2300.00 (w/out food, souvenirs and extra charges)

    So as you can see Aulani is the cheapest as far as I can tell but I have heard that there are lots of hidden fees like parking costs, and food is extremely high, and activities cost extra too. PLUS the airfare is decent right now but it was hanging around 800.00 per person for a while so that is subject to change too. So the Aulani price could certainly go up. The upside to the cruise is the fact most food and activity is included and we could pay on that over the years time, and price costing it out DL almost seems to price it's self right out of the equation.

    I hope this helps with the opinions....we are definitely leaning more towards the cruise right now but Aulani is holding strong. I am just not finding much for total reviews and such on Aulani. I wish there was just an Aulani thread.

    Let me know what you think. :thumbsup2 Thanks guys...with all that's going on in the world this seems like a very silly problem to have and many of our friends and family don't quite get it so I appreciate the support and feedback from our fellow disfanatics. :wave2:
     
  7. KelsiesMommy

    KelsiesMommy DIS Veteran

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    You can cut that Disneyland trip by a LOT if you stay off property. You can stay at HoJos across the street Nd save a ton on your lodging. Staying on property at Dis eyland isn't the same as staying on property at WDW. There is also a lot that So Ca has to offer other than DLR.
     
  8. Hoosier Mom

    Hoosier Mom DIS Veteran

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    Another vote for the cruise...but you could save some money by booking Royal Carribbean. You could still use your DVC and your park tickets in Orlando. Then take the 1 hour shuttle on cruise day down to Port Canaveral and hop on the Enchantment. It has a 4 night bahama cruise.

    I will say this....my first cruise was just 4 days and I was heart broken to get off the ship. It wasn't long enough. It seemed like we just unpacked and got settled in and relaxed when it was time to pack it back up.

    You might look at some week long eastern carribbean ones.

    We just got back from a wonderful New England cruise for fall break. It started in Boston, and had a couple stops in Maine and 2 stops in Canada. Had a grand time. Our son only had dinner with us one night. He was crazy about Adventure Ocean which is the kids program on Royal Carribbean. He had dinner with them every night but the first night. We had strict instructions from him not to go get him until 10pm.
     
  9. katrina1122

    katrina1122 My Tag Fairy Tag went bye-bye :(

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    I'd suggest looking beyond DCL as well.

    DH and I are booked on a 7 day interior stateroom on the Freedom for Mar 17, 2013 for 2100 total. We probably could have gotten it for even less, but we didn't book until a few weeks ago.
     
  10. Pakey

    Pakey DIS Veteran

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    Having done all 3, I'd pick Aulani by a huge margin.

    I've been to Hawaii many times and was sure I'd dislike Aulani since Oahu isn't my favorite island and I'm partial to the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons on other islands. However, I fell in love with Aulani.
     
  11. winterman

    winterman DIS Veteran

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    FYI rjvose, spring vacations for schools in Maine and Mass. are based on Patriot's Day. They are the only states that recognize that holiday. I have no idea how other states decide when vacation will be.

    :cheer2::cheer2::cheer2:
     
  12. rpcvpanama

    rpcvpanama Mouseketeer

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    Here are my two cents...if you are only planning on Aulani for 1 week you might want to reconsider. It is a very long way to fly from the East coast and the jet lag can be a killer (especially on the return trip). I have been to HI 2x over the past 2 years and for not less than 2 weeks. That really is the best time frame to spend in HI. Plus, if you are going to go all that way you have to take some time to check out at least 1 of the other islands. I agree with PP that Oahu is probably most peoples least favorite island, but I too loved Aulani. I had been to Oahu the previous year so felt no need to leave Aulani and just spent my time at the resort. However, on that trip also spent a week on Maui (trip the year before was to Kauai and Oahu). I think the other HI islands have more to see and do than Oahu.

    Also, please take into account the cost of food. HI can be very expensive. I stayed in a studio while I was there and really no place to cook food so ate out most meals.

    But all that being said it really is a beautiful resort and if you can make it work, go for it.
     
  13. ProudMommyof2

    ProudMommyof2 DIS Veteran

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    Don't forget about $200 in tips for the cruise. Also, any excursions.
     
  14. erinsmom03

    erinsmom03 Mouseketeer

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    Have you considered one of the classic DCL ships, the Magic or Wonder? I have read a lot of posts that say they love the classic ships more than the new ones, and I booked a Bahamas cruise on the Magic for less than the Dream would have been. Also, as far as excursion costs, on the 4 night there won't be nearly as much because there aren't a lot of ports.

    Hard choice! Good luck! I'd love to do any of the three choices!
     
  15. kkbutterfly

    kkbutterfly Mouseketeer

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    Have you considered that you might not want to do 7 days at Disneyland? You could probably get through absolutely EVERYTHING in 4 days, leaving more time to do other CA things, such as Universal Studios (I love Disney but as a lover of entertainment, I ADORE Universal Hollywood), the beach, possible studio tours. Those could potentially add costs, or possibly save if you can't get as many days at Grand Californian and could stay off property for about 100 bucks a night.
     
  16. Wests4Disney

    Wests4Disney Mouseketeer

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    You could consider the Southern California citypass. This ticket includes multiple tours and tickets to area places. Another option would be to hook up with a dvc member with home priority to grand Californian and transfer the required number of points to them for them to make the reservation at the 12 month mark.
     
  17. rjvose17

    rjvose17 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the replies friends. We are still wavering back and forth. One day it's Aulani the next it's a cruise. I think we have ruled out DL for now and may save that for when our girls get older and we can explore CA a bit more. DH really wants Aulani and I really want a cruise....so it will be a battle of the parents I guess. :crowded: More opinions and thoughts would be extremely helpful especially from those who have been since we are basically only relying on others experiences. Have a happy new year all! pixiedust:
     
  18. teentoddlermom

    teentoddlermom DIS Veteran

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    Your airfare to orlando is sadly going to be double your estimate. I've gone Feb vacations a lot and have never been able to find good airfare deals from our part of the USA. The only way to make it a little less outrageous is to go from Tuesday to Tuesday, thereby taking 2 days off into the next week if that is possible. All of the airlines jack up the prices that week.
     
  19. rjvose17

    rjvose17 Mouseketeer

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    I understand the possibility of it going up, but I don't foresee it doubling. For an example this April break we got all four tickets from Portland Maine to Orlando for 816.00. Perhaps closer to 1000.00 but if you book as soon as the dates are released you can sometimes get some decent rates. I don't pretend to know it all, so please don't take it that way....just speaking from experiences that we have had with the airlines. We call it "the game" that you have to play with the airlines. My DH has a routine that he checks flights every morning, and several times during the day. Watches the release days and plays with times that we can go...typically we schedule all vaca's around the airfare, then combine that with days that we can go, etc. We really do find it to be a game, but a game that can be crazy frustrating. I know airlines like to jack up the prices during different vacation times and have made the accommodations to travel on a tues vs a friday etc. The difference with this trip is we aren't just going to Orlando ....If we do a Cruise we do go to Orlando, but if we go elsewhere we are just as new as many others. The airfare has always been the thing that has kept us from Hawaii or CA because of it's crazy costs, but since we are only planning one trip this year vs two, we don't mind spending the extra on airfare. Thanks for the heads up though....I asked for opinions and am thankful to get them. Where in New England are you from if you don't mind me asking? :thumbsup2
     
  20. ilovedisney1982

    ilovedisney1982 Loving Disney Every Day!

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    Aulani sounds like a good option, but the airfare can get OUTRAGEOUS. I've been to DL twice and it isn't all that. I would go for the cruise. Depending on which cruise you take it can get pricey, but it wing get pricier than Aulani airfare/food/souvenirs, and you will have a better time on a cruise than you would in DL. I honestly think, based on your circumstances, the cruise is the way to go. They have nice itineraries and February is usually their cheaper season (lets face it, Disney never has a cheap season;)) Whatever you choose, I hope you have a magical time!! :) pirate:

    http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/
     
  21. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    I would choose either Aulani or DL if you are going to go to other parts of Southern CA as well. My fiance and I have often considered taking a week to travel around Southern California, hitting Disneyland, Universal, Hollywood, etc etc. If you would just spend 7 days at Disneyland, I wouldn't choose that option.

    I see where you are figuring Aulani to be the cheapest, but food costs there are very high. When you add that in, plus tips, I wouldn't be surprised if you came out higher than the cost of the cruise which includes food.
     

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