Disney vs Carnival

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#1
Copperas Cove, TX
21 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
My wife and I cruised on Carnival several years ago, before we had any children. We enjoyed it immensely. We now have 2 daughters - age 11 and 8. We are considering a cruise next summer for family vacation so the girls will be 12 and 9 at that time. Just wondering if the additional cost of Disney is really worth it or if the girls would have as much fun on Carnival. We would take Eastern Caribbean and would go out of Galveston if on Carnival. Unfortunately, Disney doesn't sail out of Galveston during the summer. Any thoughts?
#2
84,545 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Yes, I would book the Disney Cruise.

They are still at a perfect age for the cruise and they would remember this cruise for the rest of their lives.

As each year passes by in a blink of an eye they will be young adults and then be on their own.

Yes, I am sure they would have a nice time on any cruise but if the Disney cruise would work for your budget it would be very special.

Keith
#3
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,396 Posts
Joined May 2001
Actually, most kids prefer the Carnival kid's club over Disney's.....
I can't imagine them not having fun on ANY cruise...they are at the perfect ages for either cruiseline.
#4
Michigan
6,612 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by cruisingTXfamily
My wife and I cruised on Carnival several years ago, before we had any children. We enjoyed it immensely. We now have 2 daughters - age 11 and 8. We are considering a cruise next summer for family vacation so the girls will be 12 and 9 at that time. Just wondering if the additional cost of Disney is really worth it or if the girls would have as much fun on Carnival. We would take Eastern Caribbean and would go out of Galveston if on Carnival. Unfortunately, Disney doesn't sail out of Galveston during the summer. Any thoughts?
If your kids are into Disney, then yes it really is worth the extra cost. We went on Disney when our kids were 4 and 7 and then again when they were 7 and 10. IMHO those were the perfect ages to take them and the Disney "experience" was worth the cost to us at that time. Since then we have cruised Carnival and NCL. I probably won't go back to Disney until I have Grandchildren to spoil. At 15 and 18, the Disney experience is not worth the extra cost to us like it was when they were younger.
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#5
165 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I firmly believe that kids have fun on 95% of cruises because they do not worry about the things that we adults do. They enjoy having pools, beaches, fun activities, time with mom and dad and having friends in the clubs onboard. We have been on the whole gamut of cruise lines, my husband and I like some much better than others but my son has always had a great time. What I'm trying to say is that the extra few thousand dollars for a Disney cruise are not justified in my opinion. You can spend that on great activities on shore. Also, at this age I'm not sure that having dressed-up characters may be a bit childish for them, especially the older one
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#6
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Pick the cruise that is more convenient to your area. If we lived near a cruise port - then those would be the ones we would be cruising on.
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#7
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Disney Mouse experience is always pricey, the do a few very special things. IMHO it is unique just like Disney Land/world etc, but that isn't to say you can't have a memorable vacation on any other mainstream line.

If you have the budget, then it becomes very personal about how much you budget and what you give up to make those kind of incremental experiences happen; skip a 401K payment, 529 payment, skip eating out a few years or whatever
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#8
NYC
156 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
My daughter and I have been on 4 Disney cruises since she was 7 (now 10) with our 5th scheduled for next August. She absolutely loves it! It's all a matter of opinion. I obviously think Disney is worth it but I always keep my options open. We're sailing Carnival in March. It will be my daughter's 1st CCL cruise. I had a hard time convincing her to come.

The 2 lines are different in a lot of ways. Disney caters to families especially in their cabin design & size. Like a PP said there isn't a casino. Assigned dining times and rotational dining. Lots of activities for the kids if the adults would like some grown up time. No charge for the kids clubs after a certain time. Dedicated adults only area on the pool deck. You're able to carry on your own alcohol.

I've never sailed CCL with my daughter so cannot compare kids clubs. Although I did feel claustrophobic in my balcony stateroom whenever I was in it on the Destiny. I'm hoping my experience will be different on the Valor. Food was about the same to me.

I think the biggest drawback for me on Disney is the lack of itineraries during the summer months. I'm sick of the Bahamas at this point & don't think I can do the eastern and western Caribbean more than once each. Alaska is not in our plans just yet & the Med is very port intensive so we're leaving that for when she's older.
#9
360 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Just got off the Carnival Magic.

We like to gamble so it was an easy decision for us....Disney cruises do not have casinos.

Carnival Magic: The splash pad is absolutely the best part of this cruise for us. This is our second time on this ship. My boys are 4, 4, 3. They have smaller slides along with all kinds of water shooting spouts in this area. If your kids are older...the larger slides are a blast (I totally loved it ). The sky course is also pretty cool. I didn't do it...but my husband said it was a lot of fun! My kids were too little for this. Between the splash pad area, slides, sky course, putt putt, pool table, arcade, pools....there is just a ton of stuff to do.

Shows on Carnival: We really didn't do many shows. We did see the magic show..and that was fantastic and totally worth it.

Camp Carnival: I can tell you that we had repeat counselors and they are sweet and fun loving. My kids couldn't wait to go back to camp everyday. They loved it!
#10
333 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Hey,

Right now kids under 17 are free (just taxes and fees) on the Dream out of TX. this brought the price pretty darn close to carnival. We might be crazy, but we're gonna try Disney (And if it sucks, I'll never turn my back to Carnival again!) I wouldn't do it for the extra cost (my kid's only 1, at 3-5 I might)
#11
354 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by CarnivalGirl3
Hey,

Right now kids under 17 are free (just taxes and fees) on the Dream out of TX. this brought the price pretty darn close to carnival. We might be crazy, but we're gonna try Disney (And if it sucks, I'll never turn my back to Carnival again!) I wouldn't do it for the extra cost (my kid's only 1, at 3-5 I might)
Carnivalgirl - just want to make sure you realize that it is the Disney Magic that sails out of Texas. The Dream sails out of Port Canaveral. The ships are different, so just want to make sure you are aware.
#13
210 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
I will say that we are Disney lovers, go to WDW every year. However, I just can't bring myself to spring for a Disney cruise when Carnival is less than half the price, we are booked on the Carnival Legend in Jan., total price for 2 adults and a 9 year old in a balcony room, $1671, Disney is $3500 for an inside room, same time frame and ports. We took DD9 on a Carnival cruise this past Feb. and she LOVED it! Would she love a Disney cruise? I'm sure she would, but this way she got to go on a cruise AND go to WDW.