Closest ship to a Disney ship for those on a tight budget this year?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by rutgers1, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. rutgers1

    rutgers1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2008
    Just wondering if anyone found a ship that is CLOSE to a Disney experience for the kids, but at a significant discount from what you'd pay for Disney.

    We sailed the Disney Dream and the Carnival Conquest over the past few years, and we loved both. But admittedly the Conquest wasn't comparable to Disney if you looked at it with a microscope. We still had a blast, and the excursions were awesome.


    Oct 11, 2002
    Disney is the industry leader for kid's cruises, so you are asking a lot from another line. Once we grew out of Disney, we transitioned to RCI and HAL. We were nervous at first, but we just went with the flow and had a blast. My son wasn't as in to the kids'stuff by this point, so the cruises were still fun for all of us. RCI is better for kids; HAL attracts an older crowd. We pay a fraction on other lines than what we paid on Disney, therefore we can cruise more often! THe ports are still the same.
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  4. cyclenut

    cyclenut DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2011
    Royal Caribbean has some great options. They include Dreamworks characters, nice kids clubs and lots to do on board. Shows are top notch but not as appealing to the youngest. They are family friendly and include live orchestra (big difference to me) and the show themes are good but are just geared older in general.

    My comments pertain to Freedom class and Oasis class. I don't know about the smaller ships. All of those Freedom and larger are actually larger than the Dream and have a lot to offer.
  5. mikelan6

    mikelan6 World Traveler, Usually Optimistic

    Sep 20, 2000
    I would also highly recommend Royal Caribbean Cruise lines for you. We had a blast and we went in November 2011.
  6. cruisinwithmaandpa

    cruisinwithmaandpa Happiness is being grandparents

    Mar 10, 2012
    We are loyal to Royal. We actually like Majesty of the Seas the best and its itinerary. We have sailed CCL, NCL, and DCL, but prefer RCL. Royal has introduced a new menu. My DH likes that he can get escargot every night.
  7. melaniejh1016

    melaniejh1016 Mouseketeer

    Oct 9, 2012
    Royal carribbean liberty, freedom, oasis, and allure are probably the closest you'll come.
  8. BlakeandMaddysMomma

    BlakeandMaddysMomma Mouseketeer

    Oct 20, 2012
    How does Princess cruise lines compare?
  9. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2010
    I agree with PP, RCL is the palce to look.

    I will not permit anyone in my family to sail carnival due to my concerns with safety.

  10. cleophus12

    cleophus12 DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2005
    Another vote for rccl.
  11. horizons1983

    horizons1983 Horizons 1 is now departing.

    Oct 7, 2010
    I'm trying Princess for the first time in January (new ship...Royal Princess) and am very excited. From what I've seen so far planning for Princess while the quality of service, food and ship seem very Disney it seems a little light on kids areas and activities, so not sure what impact that might have for the kids.

    I've tried RCCL and CCL and though I liked some things neither was as great as Disney, especially when it came to Children's programs/spaces. As I think someone said earlier if you go RCCL (which is probably closest to Disney) get the NEWEST ship possible as their attention to kids is really only evident on the last two classes of ships. On Jewel of the Seas they had very little just for kids and that ship was build in 2004.
  12. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    HAL. The passengers are only older during non-peak times. Summer, the ships have a lot of young people and kids. I suspect Disney cruisers are a whole lot more willing to take their children out of school for a vacation than HAL cruisers with kids.
  13. MinnieMommy2381

    MinnieMommy2381 Earning My Ears

    Jan 18, 2013
    Both have great prices on their cruises and some people say that the Epic is giving Disney a run for their money. I've read several reviews where the travelers prefer the Epic better
  14. luv2sleep

    luv2sleep DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    During peak time is HAL comparable to RCI's newer ships (referring to a pp's post) in terms kids?
  15. jdb in AZ

    jdb in AZ It could end up curdled

    Feb 11, 2011
    HAL doesn't have the rock-climbing wall, ice rink, zip line, flow-rider, or other stuff that attracts kids like RCI.

    We're also fans of RCI, and their sister Celebrity.

    Princess -- stick with their newer ships. Some of their older ships really show their age, but you could say that of most cruise lines.

    The itinerary can have a big impact on the number of kids on board. They'd rather go where the beach activities are, instead of Alaska, tho we never ran out of things to do there.
  16. stsomewhere

    stsomewhere DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2008
    If we are not sailing DCL, we look for new ports. We sailed on HAL last April during Easter. Only 40passengers under 18 old. My kids has a good time. they were able to bond with the other kids their age. My daughter was 11. She has 8 kids in her age group. My son was 14 and had 12 kids his age.

    They said they would go again. Got fabulous last minute deal. 11 night southern with 8 port. All four of us was $1800.

    We are booked on NCL for Christmas/nye. We are on a 10 night southern. It is a few hundred dollars cheaper t han the 4 and 5 night Disney cruises during the same time.

    We are sailing on Disney over easter.8 night to Bahamas.
  17. woody73

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

    Jun 7, 2005
    I've sailed on DCL, RCI, Celebrity, Princess, HAL and NCL.

    For a great kids experience, I recommend a RCI ship with the DreamWorks Experience. Link. Watch the video.

    It's on the Allure, Oasis, Freedom, Liberty, Voyager, and will be added to the Mariner in May 2013.

  18. Jane1967

    Jane1967 Disney Dreamer

    Aug 28, 2012
    I have heard that on RCI and some other ships there are a lot of things you have to pay for on the ship on top of the cruise price. Is this true?
  19. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 1999
    I don't! If you want soda, you'll pay for it on other cruise lines. However, you'll also pay for it on DCL if you order it from room service or at a bar.

    **There are a lot of extra things you could pay for on any cruise line - including Disney. There is nothing more you have to pay for, other than gratuities, on any cruise line.
  20. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

    May 6, 2012
    One of the things that I remember being extra on out last RCCL cruise was a place with great looking desserts! I forget what the place was called, but the treats looked amazing, but there was a charge for them and I wouldn't pay ;)
  21. scrapbookmomma74

    scrapbookmomma74 We love DCL!!!

    Jan 23, 2011
    I've done one Princess cruise, the week of Spring Break, and it was me with all of the Senior Citizens. There were MAYBE 25 kids on the whole ship, and I don't really remember seeing a kids area.

    Good thing I was traveling with a senior citizen (my mother) or I would have felt completely out of place.
    My other issue with Princess was that they have a casino, which allows smoking, and I felt like I had to pass through the casino way too often...ick.

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