Disney Magic vs. Disney Dream + Park?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Alinasan, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Alinasan

    Alinasan Mouseketeer

    Oct 3, 2010
    I'm hoping for some good ol' Dis Board insight into whether a family of first time cruisers (DH, DD (3) and I) would be better off signing up for a 7 day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean (or Western?) on the Magic or a 4 day cruise on the Dream to the Bahamas in early December.

    I'm wondering about:
    • the cost of a Land/Sea combo versus 7 day cruise
    • the experience of Magic versus Dream (especially for first timers)
    • the experience of Eastern Caribbean versus Bahamas in early December
    • the current extensive renovations in Magic Kingdom for the fun factor for a Toddler

    Some other things about our situation:
    • My DD and DH have never been to the Caribbean or Disney World, though I have been to both over a decade (or more) ago.
    • DH and I are occasionally prone to motion sickness or at least a light nausea on boats and don't like cramped quarters. The only reason we're thinking about DCL is that we've heard so much about how great the cruises are for families, especially the Camp programs.
    • We went to Disneyland last November and DD did great, but even the short lines strained her patience :eek:, and not sure how much more crowded Disneyworld might be early December (pre holiday)
    Thanks for your thoughts! :cool1:
  2. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

    Jun 29, 2001
    A 7 day Magic cruise will probably give you more bank for your buck than a 4 night Dream cruise. You have nothing to compare with the ships since you have never cruised so the Magic will be fine. Heck...I still love the Magic and Wonder even after being on the Dream 3 times. The classic ships have a special charm of their own.

    First time at WDW I give myself at least a week....there is so very much to see that 3 days will be just a tease.

    Caribbean will definitely be warmer than the Bahamas in December. I would suggest a Cat 9B on Deck 2 midship. You really won't feel cramped at all. Actually I think it is a very freeing experience being on the open water on a ship....it is wonderful!!!

    Hope that helps.

  3. kathi

    kathi DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2005
    If having a relaxing vacation is a priority, I'd take the 7 day cruise. Trying to fit in a land/sea package in a week (especially since you have never been to Disney World before or on the cruise) could be seriously exhausting.

    I woud pick a week at Disney or a week on the cruise for your first trip. If you think you will never be able to go back - that's a different story. Worth being exhausted from your vacation if you believe it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

    I would not worry about renovations in Disney World - there will be more than enough to do.

    I get motion sick in the back seat of a car and I do OK on cruises. I take Dramamine/Bonine with me and that almost always works.

    The kids clubs on the ship are awesome. Our daughter is 7 and has been cruising with Disney since she was 5. She loves it.

    First week of December in the parks is CROWDED. Didn't used to be, but now the secret is out. Early December is also Mousefest (Disney World fan convention) which also puts more load on the parks. We are always in Disney the week after Thanksgiving and we take our patience in abundance.
  4. KayR

    KayR DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2006
    3 or 4 nights on a cruise is not enough for me. You just get settled, then you need to be off the ship. Our first cruise was a 7 night cruise. I was worried that I might get motion sick (not a problem - in fact I sleep better on the ship than anywhere else!) I was also worried that 7 nights would be too many for a first cruise. Nope. Infact they were over before we knew it. There was so much to do and see that we really felt that the vacation was over too soon.

    If it is your families first time at WDW, I would spend at least a week there.

    WDW and cruises are different types of vacations. WDW is more of a busy time. I need a vacation to recover from my WDW vacations :lmao: Cruising is more mellow and laid back. :cloud9:

    Magic or Dream, well as the Dream doesn't offer 7 night cruises, I would have to go for the Magic. It might not be the shiny new ship, but it is still full of Disney Magic (pun totally intended :thumbsup2). You will have a great time on either ship. Character interactions are soooo much better on DCL - they actually have time to interact with guests. I have some fun photos and memories from our last DCL cruise;
    -The kids playing ball with Goofy and Pluto in the atrium
    -Chip and Dale handing out wipes at dinner one night
    -Mickey, Goofy and Donald fighting over a crown that DD brought for a photo op.
    -Chip and Dale dancing "Ring a Ring a Rosey" with DD
    -Captain Hook chasing DD along the deck because she kept doing the crocodile thing.

    Kids clubs - Our first cruise DD was 3 and we had high hopes that she would be in the clubs and then DH and I would have some alone time (it was our 10 year anniversary!) however, the first time we left her, we were paged to collect her after a couple of hours (she wanted out!). Slowly over the week, the pages came later and later, to the point that we kept checking the pager to make sure it wasn't broken. Now we can't keep her or DS out. However I have heard some families have a different experience and their kids don't want to be in the clubs.

    I haven't been to MK since the renovations started, but from what I hear and read, it is really only Mickey's ToonTown area that is affected. Character appearances have been moved to other areas so the main things missing are a small roller coaster, the Roger Rabbits Cars (my DD will NOT ride that even at 6yo) and the small playground. I don't think that you will missing much as there are so many other things that you and your DD can do. Remember there are 4 parks and 2 water parks as well as Downtown Disney - plenty of things to see and do. Hollywood Studios IMHO is great for a toddler.

    WDW - Early December should be quiet, but the two weeks around the Holidays will be packed. If DD can't deal with lines, avoid the Holiday weeks. Use fastpasses to minimize some lines. (Edited to add that I have just seen Kathis post above, so perhaps early December isn't as quiet as I remember!)

    If you end up doing parks, this is not WDW, but Seaworld is also fabulous for toddlers. Great shows, animal interactions and rides.

    Hope that helps,

  5. Alinasan

    Alinasan Mouseketeer

    Oct 3, 2010
    Thanks for the advice, that's exactly the type of helpful information I hoped to get! :cheer2:

    We don't necessarily have to travel in early December, but DH has a one month block of vacation time that he has to more or less use up this year. So we have the time to spend a week exploring the park and then cruise, though not sure if we have the money:laughing:. Having that much continuous time off is pretty much a once-a-decade thing for us (until he retires of course!) so we would want to try to take as much advantage of that as our budget allows! pirate:

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