CARNIVAL VS DCL: The comparison thread!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by mevelandry, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

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    New York (or even Bayonne) tend to be much more expensive to sail out of than either Florida or Europe. And Bermuda tends to be a bit higher on the per day cost for those cruises as well. And to top it off, a 4 night relatively unique cruise on Carnival's brand new ship - they know when they can up the price and that is certainly one of them.

    I think once the Horizon moves to Miami, you'll see prices equalize a little and it will be more in line with the Vista.

    Carnival probably won't announce the differences (or new stuff) for the Horizon until much closer to it's official launch date. Carnival is the cruising king of social media. They know how to work the crowd and give just enough teasers to keep people interested over a very long period of time.
     
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  2. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    When I sailed the Carnival Victory in October 2016, they all scanned our cards to make sure that everyone attended. We have received exactly the same information as what we have received on the Disney Dream.
     
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  4. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    I love that.
     
  5. luvavacation

    luvavacation DIS Veteran

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    Kudos to Fathom on the lifeboat drill! I know it's a pain in the neck and everyone just wants to get on with their vacation, but safety at sea is important. Sure, no one wants to carry around the lifejacket (and even though Disney doesn't require you to bring the lifejacket anymore, we still take them out and make sure we have enough for everyone in the room), but knowing how to put one on and where to go is still preferable to just winging it if there were an emergency, at least in my opinion.

    Now I am going to check out Fathom! :cool1:
     
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  6. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    Do it before May 28. That is their last sailing. :(
     
  7. MyDisWorld

    MyDisWorld Earning My Ears

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    Wow, really good thread. Really love the discussion and the difference among the cruise lines.

    I have been on Cunard, Norwegian, Carnival and Disney. After being on Disney, the others really didn't compare on many levels. But, depending on your expectation for the price you are paying, there is a level of "tolerance" for everyone.

    There definitely is the exception on both sides of the fence. There have been people that had a bad experience on DCL. I would hope this is the exception, and not the norm. On the other side, I have read far more reviews of people having a Bad experience on Carnival. Just based on my research, a great experience on a Carnival Ship is more the exception than the Norm. Keep in mind also, if you have saving 30-40% between DCL and "other", people can tolerate more, and may tend to be more forgiving. And that's OK. Based on my experience, and several of our Friends who love Carnival, they are never great. There has been something on every cruise that was lacking.

    I pay a LOT more to sail on a Disney Ship, but I have a much higher level of expectation from them. I would not have the same expectation from a Cruise Line that I paid 40-50% Less.

    As a side note.......Our group of friends just came back from a 5 day on the Carnival Sensation (we couldn't go this trip), and after hearing about it, I am thankful we couldn't go. It was an absolute nightmare of a Cruise. It was so bad, all 4 couples contacted Carnival Corporate to Complain.

    That being said, while we already have our Next Disney Cruise booked, I however am looking forward to experiencing the new Carnival Vista.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
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  8. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

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    My only really bad service experience was on Disney (my 2 back to back Dream cruises so 2 cruises out of 6). I've had consistently good service on Carnival (78 days at sea on them).

    Some of it may be expectations; I don't necessarily see it as lower expectations, just different.

    On Carnival I don't expect our assistant server to cut up my mother's food or to have magic tricks at the table or have our drinks of choice waiting for us when we arrive at dinner. On DCL, I do (all happened on our first DCL cruise). And more often than not, I've been let down. They have not maintained the same level of service we experienced on the first DCL cruise.

    On the flip side, I don't really want or need any of that stuff. I'm happy with friendly service who get my order correct, deliver my food hot and make great recommendations and steer me away from not so good dishes (or bring me a back up "just in case").

    While some may see it as lower expectations, I see it as the difference between getting what I want and need versus a bunch of extras that while nice, don't make or break a trip for me.
     
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  9. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    We will be sailing to Philipsburg, St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie and Nassau on the first leg. Roatan Honduras, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Nassau on the second leg. Similar to most Caribbean sailings. We will probable stay on the ship in a lot of ports but its a new ship so lots to explore and do. I think they even have a puzzle room.
     
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  10. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Can't disagree with what you say about the difference of expectations. That is why I created this thread originally. I love DCL and wanted to show what Carnival had to offer for a cheaper price in case somebody wanted to try something cheaper (or just couldn't afford to cruise with DCL anymore since the rates are not getting lower).

    I, for myself, can say I had very high expectations going on the cruise with Carnival...

    I have high standards. I'm very picky when it comes to look, cleanliness, food and entertainment. And I have to say that I was extremely satisfied with the cleanliness, the food and the entertainment on Carnival (I love musical revues and 18+ comedy).

    Now about the look... I prefer the "classy and classic" look (wood) and I like when the ship looks brand new. I have found that the Victory met about... let's say 70% of that criteria. Half of the exterior left me unimpressed. The other half (with the exception of the Vegas look which is ok but not my favorite) was good. I did put a few notes on my comment card about the look of the ship. The Victory is also undergoing dry dock soon.

    I am on different groups on FB about Carnival and the reviews are usually good. Lots of honest and satisfied customers there. (I'm sorry about your friends having a bad experience. That sucks. I know the new ships have better reviews than the old ones.)

    I have no intentions of sticking to a cruise line or another in the future. I really want to try different ships and cruise lines. I'm really open minded.
     
  11. MyDisWorld

    MyDisWorld Earning My Ears

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    I agree. No need to pay Disney Prices if another Cruise Line can fit your needs at a lower Price Point. There is a reason Carnival is the largest Cruise Line.

    My experience, as well as that of our close friends, Carnival is VERY inconsistent in many areas. I personally don't have high expectations, but I can say Disney is far more consistent. But they need to be at the price they command for their Cruises.
     
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  12. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    Speaking for myself, I have found that the service on DCL has declined over the past few years which makes it hard to justify that 40-50% more. I can honestly say that the service we received on our Oasis sailing last November was every bit as good as the service we received on our last 4 DCL sailings. There was no difference at all. On the sailing I mentioned in my post above we are paying $6120 Cnd for two weeks, which works out to about $4573 US. It is a balcony room on a new ship. DCL does not have their Nov/Dec 2018 sailings listed yet however I would bet that their balcony rooms will be at least the same if not more. To me, getting the same service and getting 14 days instead of 7, well, that's a no brainer.
    DCL used to be worth the money to us but that changed about the same time their service changed. We have expanded to RCCL and happy we have. Now I just need to get past the safe feeling they give me and try other cruise lines as well. It would really suck to go on vacation and have it go wrong however that is the attitude that kept me from expanding in the first place.
     
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  13. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Never have we ever received our "drinks of choice" on our DCL cruise. And no magic tricks either. (Our waiter on our first DCL cruise was NOT nice at all.) ... I'm jealous now. LOL
     
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  14. MyDisWorld

    MyDisWorld Earning My Ears

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    14 days for the price of 7 on DCL!, I would definitely have to say, I would need to really think long and hard before booking with Disney.

    I have not sailed on RCCL, but they are definitely on my list of possibilities for the future. As you stated, I have heard very good things from past Disney Cruisers regarding RCCL. Especially since our Son is getting older, and won't want to visit any of the Kids/Teen clubs any more. MSC also has a new ship coming to Florida, which will sail out of Miami. It looks really nice, just don't know about their service. The boat is Bigger than Disney and anything Carnival Has, but not as big as the Oasis Class on RCCL. They are said to be positioning their pricing between Carnival and Royal Caribbean. So, it sounds Promising....

    Competition is only increasing, and with (2) new ships from Disney coming online in the coming years, we may see their pricing come down as they have more staterooms that need to be filled. As we all know, Competition is good for the Consumer.


    Me Neither! LOL! :drinking1 Guess I need to raise my expectations a bit higher next Cruise........:earboy2:
     
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  15. Chrissy-Mickey

    Chrissy-Mickey Mouseketeer

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    I'm very much enjoying this thread; thanks everyone for sharing. I'm looking at cruising this summer with a different cruise line (love DCL and have a Disney Wonder cruise booked Feb 2018, but can't pay DCL summer prices). Currently the Carnival Breeze is on top of my list due to it being a pretty new ship, interesting itinerary, and within my budget. Reading your reviews helps with my expectations and making that final decision.

    Side note: during my search for summer cruises, I learned that there aren't many cruises from Florida during the summer months. Surprising. Even the Carnival Breeze sails from Galveston, TX.
     
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  16. MyDisWorld

    MyDisWorld Earning My Ears

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    I think you'll be fine on any of the newer Carnival Ships. The Carnival Breeze is the same size as the Disney Dream Class Ships, and it has all the Fun Ship 2.0 features. Should be a great Cruise.
     
  17. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! It's been a pleasure to work on this review.

    I find that complete and honest reviews and watching tours on youtube is also very helpful when it comes to cruising as it gives a bit more of the real feel of the ships. When you know what to expect, it's easier to compensate.

    Ex: I knew our cabin would most likely be old. So I ordered decorations to cheer it up a bit. Turns out, we liked our "old room" more than we thought. We were quite comfortable in it and ended up liking it almost as much as our Dream room. They refurb the cabins since. They look better now. I like the new colors better.
     
  18. perditax

    perditax DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this thread.
     
  19. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

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    Our drink of choice though is diet coke. My point was they were already sitting on the table waiting for us on night 2 and every night after that. No waiting.

    No other servers have been able to achieve that since 2010. On other DCL cruises, our server had my mom's hot tea ready each night for her but my dad and I had to order our diet cokes each time.
     
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  20. Club Disney Chandler

    Club Disney Chandler DIS Veteran

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    On each of our four previous Disney cruises we've always had our our drinks waiting for us starting in the second night. This includes a glass of Pinot Grigio for me. I thought that was SOP on DCL.
     
  21. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    BREAKING NEWS: After many bad reviews, my husband and I decided that we are not confident enough that the Carnival Paradise will meet our expectations. We could be wrong but we just don't trust her right now.

    So I cancelled.

    Clean slate when it comes to our fall cruise. I can book Carnival, RCCL, Princess or Norwegian... No ship nor itinerary decided yet.

    This is so exciting!!!! :cool1:
     

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