Other/Cheaper Cruises...?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by miss0033, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Jillian757

    Jillian757 Earning My Ears

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    Do you have young ( age 5-10) children? I’m interested in princess, but not sure of the age range on their ships. Thank you
     
  2. ChicosWife

    ChicosWife The Caribbean DCL Life For Us!

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    I have found the same to be true. I also compared prices with other cruise lines. Sure, they lead me in with the $499 cruise display, but after clicking through everything, somehow it ended up with only a $100 difference between that and the DCL option, with the exact same MR itinerary. With Disney, you just get so much more!

    Truer words never spoken! :thumbsup2::yes::
     
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  4. ChicosWife

    ChicosWife The Caribbean DCL Life For Us!

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    I think it is a myth, that you say these are myths! LOL I have sailed on other lines and have found all of the above to be true. So, I think this is subjective; therefore shouldn't be considered "myths".
     
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  5. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    The thing is though, I see lots of people posting, including myself, examples of how DCL is more expensive than other lines however I have never seen an example posted that shows me that they are equal in price or even that they are more expensive than DCL. Maybe I've missed these postings but until I actually can see an example, apples to apples, then I will go with what I know and that is DCL is much more expensive than other lines.
     
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  6. KashasMom

    KashasMom DIS Veteran

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    Disney is definitely NOT a luxury cruise line! They are a mass market cruise line. Luxury would be Regent, Crystal, etc.
    I'm not going to bother disputing the rest.
     
  7. KashasMom

    KashasMom DIS Veteran

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    Save your breath. Some people will defend Disney to the end even with evidence in their face! I've NEVER seen any cruise go up from add-ons where a $499 cruise comes to within $100 of Disney! Ridiculous.
     
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  8. _auroraborealis_

    _auroraborealis_ I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.

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    I also think how some of the other lines have held the line on age groups for kids clubs is a point in their favor versus Disney, who is allegedly "best for kids!"

    The "let's put all the kids 4-12 in the same activity group" is a hot mess that serves neither end of the range well. They did it because of parents wanting their little snowflakes "together," even though the kids don't actually stick like glue once the parents are out of sight.
     
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  9. OKgirl

    OKgirl Mouseketeer

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    It's so interesting to me to read these reports! I have been searching for YEARS for a DCL cruise that is anywhere close to the price I found on other lines! I finally asked here where people were getting such great prices and I guess the 10% OBB discount helps quite a bit (which we've never had since we haven't yet cruised DCL). I finally booked a DCL cruise last fall for this October which was 100% more than any other line I checked for October (and is about $4200 more). I have a family of 5 and we typically sail in 2 connecting balcony cabins. I decided I need to try DCL since we are Disney lovers and DVC members! Unfortunately, I booked so far in advance that our Fall Break changed. I wanted to move weeks (which I could do) but the cost is now another $2200 more than the cruise I booked...... needless to say we will be taking the kids out of school but I drew the line at paying $6200 more than another cruise line! It's also interesting to read about people being afraid to try other cruise lines after loving DCL so much! (I have a fear I will pay double and not think it's worth it!! :) We cruise several different cruise lines regularly (Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, NCL) so I don't feel any specific brand loyalty. I have had fun on all of them and would cruise all of these lines again but all of them were in a similar price bracket. I have found all of these lines to be within 10-20% of one another on the times that I've checked but DCL has been 100-400% more! In all fairness, most of the DCL cruises I've checked have been summer time or spring break time, but DANG! Last fall we sailed the Carnival Vista from Galveston for $4200 in October (2 connecting balcony rooms). DCL came to Galveston a month later and started at $2400 pp (for an inside room) by the time I checked their prices - obviously over $12,000 for my family and it was a 5 day cruise I believe, so 2 days less than the Carnival cruise.

    The formula for DCL seems to be: Get OBB discount and book on opening day. I'm unsure how people sit on the phone for hours when they have to work?? My husband and I don't have the time at work for that so opening day bookings are out for me. But if DCL is only 20% more for some of you, I now understand why they stay so busy! Now I have noticed that Oasis class ships are raising their prices significantly for next summer (maybe due to Perfect Day opening?) Next summer, DCL was only 20% more than the RCCL Symphony which was the closest price comparison I've seen yet, so prices are coming up on the other lines too.

    For our family with 3 kids ages 6, 12, and 14:

    1. Carnival is super fun with Imax theaters, water slides/splash pads, glow parties, great comedians, and great food! (Shows are hit or miss and we've actually been rude and snuck out a time or two if it wasn't our thing). Night life is Hopping which is great for adults who are into that (dancing, etc). I don't gamble but appreciate that people using the casino aren't taking up chairs in the theater and pool deck! Many more smokers aboard this line, if that bothers you.

    2. RCCL has the best ships for us with the Oasis Class! So much to do with water slides/splash pad, rock climbing walls, flow rider, ice skating, zip lining, etc! I love the Broadway style shows, acrobatic shows and Aqua Theater shows are also amazing! My husband prefers the comedy shows on Carnival to the Broadway shows, though. Food is great on RCCL as well. Night life is a bit lame after 10 pm or so which was a bit of a disappointment to us. LOVE all the room options and often cruise in a junior suite with RCCL. Stayed once in a Crown Loft Suite and had a butler iron our clothes for dinner at night.....That was a pretty sweet perk!

    3. NCL: Best itineraries at times! We sailed Pride of America around the Hawaiian Islands which let us see a lot of Hawaii in one week and did a once way Vancouver to Seward Inside passage cruise to Alaska last summer which hit both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. Unfortunately I haven't tried their Breakaway class ships which look much nicer (the ships were were on with NCL were older and smaller and there was less to do on board due to this). Food was pretty good but we received the worst service on these 2 cruises - I felt like I had to beg for a drink at times! Still - I would try them again if the price and itinerary was right because these were only minor occasional annoyances. Sometimes service was fine!

    4. Celebrity: MUCH OLDER CROWD on our sailing out of Florida in the winter. However the service and food may have been the best we've experienced. NO NIGHT LIFE at all. The ship all went to bed at 10 pm. But I loved the food and the padded chairs by the pool and would certainly sail them again if the ship and itinerary looks good. Shows catered to the older crowd (lots of 60's music) but were pretty good.
     
  10. smmco

    smmco Mouseketeer

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    When we sailed on harmony we bought the drink packages pre sailing because they were offering a 25% off Black Friday sale. Our bill when we got off the ship was 106 dollars. Only because of what we spent on their private island. We buy alcohol and the wine package on Disney so our onboard spending was the same. We didn’t eat at any specialty restaurants, but we did see the shows, ice skate, wave runner etc.
    The up charge restaurants are optional just like on DCL. I don’t know what the platinum perks are on Royal, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are better then Disney.

    Harmony is really an engineering marvel. I never felt like I was on a second rate ship. In fact it felt a step up from the Fantasy.
    It’s just a completely different experience then Disney. I can’t really say one is better then the other, but one is definitely cheaper.
     
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  11. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  12. cgolf

    cgolf DIS Veteran

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    Getting older I guess, don’t they say memory is the first thing to go;)

    Just don’t read CC, lots have a different opinion.
     
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  13. miss0033

    miss0033 Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for all the responses - especially the real world examples.

    I apologize if my post was misinterpreted. I am not trying to argue value, service, or anything like that because it is so subjective of course. I was wondering what the circumstances and what lines people found significantly cheaper similar cruises because I hadn't been finding them in my searches. Cheaper from a pure Dollars and Cents standpoint, strictly cost. If we could take a cruise at 65% of the cost of a similar Disney cruise, we would be very likely to take that risk. I wasn't trying to shame anyone for trying other lines. We just thought for "only" saving $100-$200 we'd stick with a known quantity for the time being. Disney has been our "safe-zone."

    It appears there are a few factors (more than I thought at least originally) at play;
    - booking past the initial 2 guests, especially kids (kids can be way cheaper, even free on other lines)
    - booking in the summer, or anytime school is out of session
    - booking in "limited appearance", or "exotic" areas
    - booking upper category rooms

    It seems if any one of those applies, there is a good chance DCL is some degree higher than other major market cruise lines. Once you start running into multiples of those, or 3 or even all 4 (IE; a family of 5, in the summer, on a British Isles cruise, in a concierge room) - you could buy a new car instead.

    We have always booked fall/winter cruises in Caribbean or Bahamas on the classic ships, and always found our pricing to be very competitive. Clearly others have not for their own circumstances.

    It is a myth that Disney is ALWAYS more expensive, and it is a myth that Disney is ALWAYS competitive. In my circumstances, I was finding very similar pricing and clearly other people are not. Thank you to people who chimed in saying in their experience they had seen the same, and others who said their experiences were the complete opposite.

    As I mentioned the things we really enjoy about our cruises likely aren't specific to DCL so we are willing to branch out, maybe not to Carnival quite yet, but if the savings is great enough you just never know. Celebrity definitely sounds interesting, as does possibly Princess (didn't even know they did Caribbean, sorry). We would love to do an ABC cruise as our next cruise, and it will likely be February(ish) of 2021. It appears Celebrity has a 7-night Southern Caribbean Feb 27- Mar 6. It is the Celebrity Summit, which appears to be an older ship, but also looks to be undergoing an extensive refurbishment soon. That might be just what we do. Maybe DCL will send the Magic there around that time (fingers crossed) and I can compare prices...

    Thanks again for all the replies. I wasn't trying to offend, shame, or judge anyone. Just trying to get a better understanding of why what I was finding was so different than what some other people were finding. Seeing things like "half the price of DCL", I didn't doubt people were finding it, I just couldn't and wanted to better understand why. Turns out, given my circumstances, I was unlikely to ever find a cruise half the price of Disney's unless our parameters changed.
     
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  14. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    I think you are correct. When we sailed, we booked a Royal Suite with a connecting stateroom which confused the staff because the suite had different perks than the other stateroom, but they eventually straightened everything out for us. I believe with the introduction of the Edge, they are trying to rectify this.

    I agree with you. On Celebrity, my DS11 was placed with kids aged 9 to 11 and when we sail in December, he will be with 12 to 14 year olds. He loved it. He actually made friends and had activity choices that were really in line with his age group.

    The Celebrity Summit is the ship we sailed on in December! Yes, it is currently in dry dock getting a complete, down-to-the-studs overhaul. We loved it! That is the ship we are sailing to the ABC islands over Christmas this year. For reference, we are a family of 3 and will be in a Celebrity Suite for around the same price as a DCL verandah on the Wonder or Fantasy that very same week. It's definitely a bigger bang for our buck.
     
  15. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Yeah, ok for some of them being subjective (opinions based on experience) but ... "Higher quality of passengers"? :confused3 Come on!
     
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  16. STH Cruising

    STH Cruising Earning My Ears

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    Threads that attempt to compare pricing are always interesting. It is difficult to get a true “comparable”. For example, DCL staterooms are generally larger, and the split bathroom is unique to DCL. Other cruise lines have profit from the casino which allows some flexibility on stateroom pricing. Whereas DCL has the incremental costs of kids clubs which are included in the price. Entertainment is high quality on DCL, but not everyone will want Disney-themed entertainment. After all of this is considered, pricing ultimately becomes more a discussion about value, and is ultimately quite subjective. If you don’t care about stateroom size, split bathrooms, kids clubs, Disney-themed entertainment, then you won’t value the Disney experience at the price DCL asks.

    We regularly cruise DCL, and when I have price compared to Princess, I find DCL is about 30%-40% higher in price than Princess. But, I don’t like the Princess experience that we had (entertainment and dining fell short on our cruise, and the ship was not as well maintained as a DCL ship). So for us DCL is the better value. I just did a price comparison for the 2020 Greek Isle cruises on Celebrity, compared to DCL. They were about the same price for comparable staterooms. RCCL was cheaper than DCL (about 30%-40% again). Keep in mind Celebrity and RCCL both have the same parent company. RCCL is a mass market product, Celebrity less so. I would argue DCL is not a mass market product, but is actually a specialty product. It’s not Regent or Crystal (although the founding team for DCL all came from Crystal), but it’s not Carnival or RCCL either. It’s kind of a hybrid.

    At then end of the day, it becomes what you value. Disney ships, crew, dining, accommodations and entertainment all combine into a Disney experience, which to us is a plus. I do look around at other cruise lines from time-to-time, and have cruised other lines, but in the future it will be for itinerary and not a mass market cruise ship.
     
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  17. lilsonicfan

    lilsonicfan <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b

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    See, to me, DCL is absolutely a mass market product. It isn't an upscale experience. The only hint of "specialty" is that there are currently only 4 ships. For families, I do not necessarily believe Celebrity is a good comparison to DCL. However....

    I also compared Celebrity's June 2020 Greek Isles cruise out of Civitavecchia to DCL's 2020 itinerary.... I note that the Celebrity cruise is on the Edge, their newest and greatest ship, built in 2018.... the Magic is 20 years older with a lot less in the bells and whistles department. And still, the cost for two oceanviews on Celebrity for my family to book right now, with no Celebrity status, is $19,000 CAD. Had I been able to book on opening day as Platinum (which I'm not) on DCL, the cost was $16,400 USD = $22,342.08 CAD. That's still more than a $3,000 difference, oh, and the Celebrity cruise is 10 nights vs. DCL's 9 nights. Celebrity also throws in a drink package and a $300 credit per stateroom.
     
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  18. STH Cruising

    STH Cruising Earning My Ears

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    I have sailed on the Disney Magic for most of her 20 years, and one of the factors that draws me back to DCL is that the ship never feels old to me. And it was re-imagined (renovated) about 5 years ago to keep it current. Since then they updated one of the rotational restaurants. The Celebrity Edge has new and modern styling, and the floating deck that goes up and down the side of the ship. I still prefer the classic architecture of the Magic and Wonder. All of these are subjective factors.

    As far as pricing for the Greek Isle itinerary, I was looking at a cruise fare for 2 people, as that is who is traveling on our DCL Greek Itinerary. The DCL stateroom is 268 sq ft, including veranda, the Celebrity was 244, including veranda. The difference was within US$1,000, using an OBB discount on DCL and with a US$200 stateroom credit. Granted Celebrity has an extra day. I do agree it’s not the best comparison feature for feature. I understand dining on Celebrity is quite good, but not comparable to DCL in terms of entertainment.

    But, by definition DCL is not a mass market cruise line. They started as a family focused cruise line with limited itineraries and an outstanding entertainment experience, Disney themed. As they expanded they continue to be family focused, and have gotten much better at catering to empty nesters and adults, with expanded itineraries and the same Disney-themed entertainment, and dining experiences. A mass market cruise line markets to all market segments, with a wide variety of experiences designed to appeal to many different types of cruisers. Thus, the focus on (very profitable) casinos, more upcharge restaurants, bigger ships, etc. DCL’s focus is much more narrow, and expands primarily as Disney expands with links to Marvel, Star Wars, etc. When Virgin Cruises launches it will be speciality as well - in their case all-adult, etc.

    I go back to my point that these factors are subjective. A price-to-price comparison is only as good as the what one values from their cruise experience. And, I will say that when we are dining in Palm or Remy, or, add on an embedded Adventure by Disney, it does feel like DCL is reaching to an upscale experience, of course for even more price.
     
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  19. MelissaE1

    MelissaE1 Truly believes in the Magic

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    tl;dr: Used to think I'd NEVER love any line but Disney. Still love them and always will, but really enjoy other lines as well, and pricing for DCL special itineraries has been double or even triple compared to "newer" ships on other comparable lines (Royal, etc.).

    ********

    This is such an interesting thread. It made me think about how cruising (and cruise pricing) has changed for my family.

    The first line we cruised with our kids (4 and 8 at the time) was Disney. My mom had given us some money for our 10th anniversary and we got a resident rate on a 7 nt Eastern Caribbean January cruise, I believe it was $3200 for 2A2K in a midship verandah on the Magic. To say the cruise was magical is an understatement and I knew we had to make it happen again. And we did, by saving and watching and booking smart. Several more times. I couldn't imagine EVER taking my kids (or really myself) on any other line. The thought depressed me. Better to save longer.

    But – when my kids were teens, they started becoming interested in RCCL's newer ships. Eventually, under pressure, I booked a Caribbean cruise on Oasis of the Seas, but I had to sandwich it in between DCL cruises so I wouldn't be super sad. Knowing I had a Disney Cruise booked made me OK with the "traitorism." And my kids loved it. DH and I felt like the ship was TOO big, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Crew, upcharge restaurants, activities, all wonderful. Neighborhoods were pretty cool. And pricing, although not a direct comparison, cost us $4200 total for TWO connecting Oceanview balcony cabins on Oasis and $5200 for ONE 4A Verandah 7 months later on the Disney Fantasy, also Caribbean. November and first week of June, but still.

    I think the first real sticker shock came when we compared our 2012 June Fantasy cruise to the exact same dates on DCL a couple of years later, and it had gone from $5,200 to over $9,000, both on (gold) opening day. Since then we have compared pricing several times, and even when doing one Disney vs two "other line" cabins for four of us is virtually always cheaper on other lines (we tend to stick to RCCL's newer ships for comparison, or Princess for Alaska). We've sailed Freedom of the Seas and loved it, and I even (gasp) tried Carnival when taking my dd and "adopted" dd on a bday cruise out of NOLA, $750 for all 3 of us in a balcony for 5 days. Some of the common areas of the ship were kind of ugly (lots of red, and not very open) but the staff and customer service were shockingly good. The food was pleasant as well.

    RECENT PRICE COMPARISON: Looking at a Med cruise in two years when my dd graduates college. We will book two balcony cabins. I can't get pricing for 2021 yet, but looking at first week of June 2020 the closest opening day pricing I can find for DCL is $7632 for two in a 7A navigators verandah WITH OBB. So over $8000 without. Booking today, the same cruise week in the Med on Allure of the Seas is $3482 per Oceanview balcony cabin for 2 (incl extra charge for high deck). That's a pretty significant difference.

    Now my kids are living in Orlando and either working full time or attending college so I have started sometimes booking for only two, and that has changed things again. DH and I went on a 5 nt DCL out of Puerto Rico last December in a cat 5A for a couple of thousand dollars. We will be going on the transatlantic in May, but we have a little more disposable income at the moment and for two of us the price was very reasonable.

    We will continue to sail Disney when it's feasible and love it, but we won't pay triple for Alaska or double+ for the Med when we can sail on another amazing ship.
     
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  20. smmco

    smmco Mouseketeer

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    Agreed that was a little out of line. Travel sites such as this should be about helping people plan the best vacation within their budget. Not about disparaging people who can’t afford 20k cruises. I know it’s a Disney cruise line board, but I think with the prices being what they are people are going to look for alternatives.
    As someone who loves DCL I appreciate the reviews. I’ve also cruised other lines and have not been disappointed.
     
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  21. tinkerone

    tinkerone DIS Veteran

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    I appreciate the fact that you broke down pricing on your second post however going to your first post, it looks like Celebrity and DCL were not, in fact, about the same price. I think it is always best to have a comparison so others can decide for themselves what is a true valid comment and what is maybe not so valid. I'm not saying anyone lied so please don't read that into it, I'm saying that for some having a booking within $1000 is considered about the same price. For others, such as myself, having a booking within $1000 is anything but about the same price. It also leaves me to question if Celebrity included anything else in their booking such as a drink package or OBC mentioned by another person above, which would make the value of the Celebrity go up even more. This stuff isn't going to matter to everyone but if offered it is still part of the package. The mention in the first post of one being a 10 day cruise and one being a 9 day would also have helped when seeing the big picture.

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm picking on you, I'm not. I just find people tend to post that they are finding these remarkable deals with DCL 'and compared to XYZ line' its the same but they never post information about what they found and expect people will take their word on it. Some people do which is why I think full disclosure with these posts would be great to see. I'm sure someone could prove DCL is just as cheap somewhere but I've yet to see it in writing. Again, PLEASE don't take offense to this post. Its not meant to point a finger at one person. Your posts just happen to be close together and made a point.
     
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