Shrek, Mickey: Which characters make you want to book?

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Poll: Which kids' characters inspire you to book a cruise (choose all that apply)?
Poll Results
Which kids' characters inspire you to book a cruise (choose all that apply)?

Mickey and the gang -- Disney

SpongeBob and all the Nick crew -- Norwegian Cruise Line

Shrek and friends -- Royal Caribbean

All of the above sound great, but I make my decision based on price.

None of the above; characters aren't important.

My kids would rather cruise with _____________ (post your write-in vote below!)

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 96.  You may not vote on this poll.

867 Posts
Joined May 2004
At a press conference today, Royal Caribbean announced that it has inked a partnership with DreamWorks Animation, the powerhouse entertainment studio responsible for films including "Kung Fu Panda," "Madagascar" and -- of course -- all three flicks in the growing "Shrek" enterprise (a fourth is on the way). Animation-themed activities and amenities will debut with Allure of the Seas, due out in December 2010, and eventually roll out to Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. Learn more about it in Cruise Critic News!

This comes only a few months after Norwegian Cruise Line announced it's partnership with Nickelodeon -- and of course, Disney's offered character breakfasts, sailaway parties and themed entertainment for what seems like forever.

So we want to know -- are there characters that make you more likely to book a family cruise or go with a certain line? Vote in the poll and be sure to post your opinions below!
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Director, Product Development
Cruise Critic
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I just got back from a Disney cruise. The characters were nice, but two of my 3 kids have a mistrust of people in costume. So, the characters added something, but not a tremendous amount.

We had booked Allure of the Seas for this coming December about a month ago. I love Shrek, definitely more than the Disney characters, so I'm much more likely to keep the reservation than I was before I read this news.
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Previous Cruises

49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
New York
3,077 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I wish they'd stop with the bombardment of marketing. I want to go on vacation free from the constant barrage of marketing to our kids. What happened to going on a cruise for tours of new places, sandy beaches and down time not being overstimulated by characters?

I love LOVE Disney and expect the barrage of that theme in WDW and their cruiselines. I can't wait to cruise Disney someday. But I would like to not have a theme on any other cruiseline. I wouldn't expect to book NCL, RCI, CCL, etc. because they have characters.

But that's just me
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Prior Cruises
Monarch of the Seas - 10/96 - Honeymoon
Serenade of the Seas - 1/17/09 - Southern Caribbean - cabin 7600
Norwegian Epic - 1/15/11 - Eastern Caribbean - Courtyard 2BR Villa (S4) 16016
Norwegian Gem - 10/2/11 - Bermuda - cabin 11024 (SC)
Norwegian Epic - 2/16/13- Eastern Caribbean - Haven 2BR Villa (S4) 16016
Norwegian Breakaway - 10/13/13 - FL/GSC/Nassau - cabin 11910 (B1 Aft Balcony)
Norwegian Sky - 12/5/14 - 3-night to Bahamas & GSC - cabin 9058 (BC)
Adventure of the Seas - 2/1/15 - Southern Caribbean - cabin 9640 (D2)
Norwegian Getaway - 7/11/15 - St Thomas/Tortola/Nassau - cabin 11274 (BC with angled balcony)
Norwegian Escape - 8/20/16 - St. Maarten/St. Thomas/Tortola/Nassau - cabin 8126 (M6)

Harmony of the Seas 11/8/16 - 2 night pre-inaugural to Nassau inside 14327
Carnival Vista - 12/3/16 - Southern Caribbean - cabin 2261 (4B)
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Another choice, we make our decision based on SHIP first, then itinerary and price. If the characters are there, its a bonus. But we won't want to pay more just to cruise with a character.

We were planning to sail on Allure in 2011. The prices for 3/4 rate are really high though so its a really tough call for us.

The September 3/4 prices for Allure are $700 for the KIDS. EACH! In September. And that's not including the port fees/taxes/tips or spending money.

So yes, we love RCI. And yes, we love Shrek and Madagascar. But paying $1,000 for a 6 year old to see a 6 ft penguin Yeahhhhh -- it's going to be hard to swallow.
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RCI Enchantment of the Seas 05/20/16
RCI Anthem of the Seas 11/8/2015
RCI Allure of the Seas 5/4/14
Norwegian Getaway PreInaugural 1/27/14
NCL Breakaway PreInaugural 5/8/13
NCL EPIC 11/24/12 - Ewes Baby!
RCI Enchantment 8/3/12 - Addicted to BERMUDA!
NCL Gem 10/2/11 - Back to Bermuda!
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 5/28/11 - Bermuda
RCI Grandeur of the Seas 9/11/10
Carnival Triumph 6/7/09
RCI Independence of the Seas 2/1/09
Disney Wonder 09/11/08
Carnival Sensation 08/07
RCI Freedom of the Seas 5/07
Carnival Elation 11/06
Disney Magic 2/05
NCL Norway 6/02
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 9/98
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 9/97
Kids club schedules and children's menus including RCCL Adventure Ocean, Camp Carnival,
Disney, NCL, Princess, HAL and Celebrity posted here....
3,442 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
So I picked Mickey because it's all about the Mouse and I love anything Disney. With that said, in most cases we prefer Carnival over Disney. Disney has beautiful ships and an incredible private island, but hands down Carnival wins in price. That plus once you reach Platinum with a cruiseline it's hard to switch to someone else. Although we cruising with Sponge Bob on the Epic in 3 months, but that's all about the ship and the other entertainment (Blue Man, Cirque, Second City, etc.), and not about the characters (we booked before NCL announced the connection with Nickelodeon).
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Past Cruises
Carnival Holiday - October 1998 , Disney Magic - October 1999, Carnival Sensation - September 2000, Majesty of the Seas - December 2000, Carnival Fantasy - September 2002, Carnival Victory - February 2003, Norwegian Majesty - April 2003, Carnival Imagination - October 2003, Carnival Imagination - May 2004, Navigator of the Seas - September 2004, Carnival Imagination - May 2005, Disney Wonder - October 2006, Carnival Glory - December 2006, Carnival Imagination - September 2007, Carnival Imagination - May 2008, Carnival Victory - October 2008, Carnival Splendor - March 2009, Carnival Destiny B2B - October 2009, Norwegian Epic - September 2010, Carnival Paradise - December 2010, Carnival Miracle - September 2011, Carnival Ecstasy - December 2011, Carnival Magic - March 2012, Carnival Liberty - September 2012, Carnival Sensation - December 2012, Carnival Breeze - May 2013, Carnival Sunshine - November 2013, Carnival Conquest - April 2014, Carnival Miracle - August 2014, Royal Princess - December 2014, Carnival Liberty - May 2015, Norwegian Escape - December 2015, Carnival Pride - January 2016, Ruby Princess - December 2016

Proud member of the Whale Tail Club!!!
641 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
We are hug disney fans and are well prepared to pay the cost of a Disney resort stay, but I just can not justify the inflated cruise cost when Carnival offers cruises at half the price.

One day we would love to do a Disney cruise, but I would rather cruise carnival and do a Disney Land Vacation on opposite years.
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2003 Carnival Destiny Southern Caribbean, 2010 Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean, Aug 2011 Carnival Liberty Western Caribbean, September 2012 Disney Fantasy, August 2013 Disney Fantasy, May 2014 Carnival Sensation, NCL Getaway February 2015, Disney Magic September 2015 , NCL Escape January 2016
Upcoming Cruise
NCL Getaway December 2017
Glen Ellyn, IL USA
880 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
The characters would only be one factor, and probably a very SMALL factor when choosing which line on which to book.

That said, my kids love all three groups of characters, but my favorite by far is Shrek (followed by Mickey, with Spongebob a very distant third), so all things being equal, if it were my decision, I'd choose the ogre.
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Renaissance R1, July 2000: Greece and Turkey
Radiance of the Seas, July 2002: Alaska
Golden Princess, November 2003: Eastern Caribbean
Grandeur of the Seas, November, 2004: Western Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas, May 2007: Pacific Northwest
Norwegian Dawn, January 2008: Eastern Caribbean
Adventure of the Seas, March, 2009: Southern Caribbean
Freedom of the Seas, March, 2012: Eastern Caribbean
Freedom of the Seas, June, 2014: Eastern Caribbean
Independence of the Seas, June, 2015: Eastern Caribbean

204 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
As time goes by and the interests of my children change so do our choices in vacations. 3 years ago it was all about the mouse. Now we are choosing vacations and cruises based on destination and other factors. Those factors include teen/kids programs and price.
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Holland America-Southern Carribean
Carnival - Eastern and Western Carribean
Disney Magic- Eastern Carribean
53 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I would pick all three choices. We love all things Disney and would cruise DCL more often if it wasn't for the prices. We're book on NCL Jewel in August and one of the major draws was Nickelodeon since my son is Nick nut too. We were already booked for Allure for next year, but the Dreamworks characters will be like icing on the cake.
3,722 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Characters have never been important -- DD was always a bit freaked out by them when she was very young, and was then bored with most afterward.
13,212 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
My kids are teens and not interested in characters anymore; they are more interested in the ports at this stage. I would avoid a character-themed cruise on any line, not just Royal. (I have done a Disney cruise and it was great but my kids were much younger then.)
Trinity, Fl
2,357 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
My kids are a bit chracter shy and love Funship Freddy just as much as Mickey Mouse (me muck and goopy as my 1 yr old calls them) from our recent Disney cruise. We are frequent family cruisers and like characters but my kids actually have more fun on the Carnival cruise with Funship Freddy so characters are not really a selling point to us. We cruise at least twice a year so price it what makes the cruise for us. I wouldnt pay more just to have characters there. There is so much fun to be had on a cruise, I dont feel they add to the cruising environment all that much.
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Jubilee- 1980's (as a child)
Ecstasy-1980's (as a child)
Holiday-1980's (as a child)
Celebration-1990's (as a teen)
Norwegian Norway-7/28/02 (honeymoon cruise)
Inspiration- 4/6/03
Carnival Legend-5/7/04
Carnival Glory-4/16/05
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas-4/29/06 (baby's 1st cruise)
Inspiration-10/14/06 ( baby's 2nd cruise)
Carnival Victory-5/13/07 (baby's 3rd cruise)
Inspiration-10/13/07 (my b-day)( baby won past guest award!!!!!!!!)
Carnival Liberty-12/30/07 (New Years Cruise/dd's 5th cruise)
Carnival Inspiration- 8/30/08
Carnival Glory 8/29/09 (DD's 7th and DS 1st cruise DH finally platinum!)
Carnival Miracle 12/30/09 (New Years Again Baby!! DD 8th and DS 2nd cruise)
Disney Wonder 5/2/10 (WooHoo First Disney Cruise!!)
Inspiration 10/9/10 (Birthday cruise for myself and DD )
Carnival Miracle 12/29/10 (3rd New Years cruise) DD's 11th and DS 5th cruise)
Carnival Inspiration 3/26/11 (DD will be platinum at age 6 )
Carnival Legend 11/6/11 (dd's 13th and Ds's 7th cruise)
Norwegian Epic 3/24/12 (My favorite cruise yet)
Carnival Dream 7/21/12 (10th Anniversary Cruise & 1st cruise without the kids)
Carnival Dream again 11/17/12 (MIL 80th bday)
Norwegian Dawn 3/24/13
Norwegian Epic 11/9/13 (round 2)
Carnival Paradise 11/9/14
Norwegian Getaway 9/5/15
Norwegian Star 3/20/16
Carnival Conquest 11/26/16
Carnival Magic 3/11/17
Oasis of the Seas 11/19/17
Central Florida
96 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
My kids are only interested in the Sesame Street characters, particularly Elmo. But I don't really need charcaters on board anyway.
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Carnival Magic 12/03/2016
Carnival Victory 4/21/2016
Carnival Sensation 10/2015
Carnival Sunshine 7/31/2015
Carnival Breeze 3/28/2015
Carnival Sunshine 11/22/2014
RCI Oasis of the Seas 9/15/2012
Carnival Sensation 1/9/2011
Carnival Triumph 7/29/2000
Carnival Destiny 11/24/1996
The Big Red Boat x 2 (don't ask me when, LOL)