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Is cruising value for money?

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As the title asks, are we getting value?

 

My wife and I have booked our first cruise which is going to cost us 5200 pounds. It is also slightly out of season so we could face the potential of only seeing the maximum of 5-7 days of sun of the two weeks. While my wife hates flying it is not out of the question for us to do a short haul flight but it would be literally impossible for us to see as many countries as we could cruising. With the extras that we need to pay out for the cruise as well we are looking at least 6500 pounds for the holiday, at conservative estimates.

 

In comparison I am a big Disney World fan and have priced up a holiday for 2 weeks on International Drive for only 3500 flying premium economy including theme park tickets, meaning even if we spent 2500 pounds on extras it would cost the same. Also in comparison we could go to Italy for 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel to Lake Garda with premium flights in September for 2500 pounds.

 

Of course with this cruise the 1300 pound 'extras' has to pay for parking at Southampton, hotel stay overnight, exursions, more expensive drinks, tips, gifts, any meals off ship at port and any non main dining options on ship. So really we could be looking at least 6500 for this holiday all in.

 

So back to the original question, are we getting value for money when compared to other holidays?

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Is it a value for the money ?

Oh my! You only live once .

Go, and make the best of it.

Just go.

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You fail to detail which cruise line, which ship, length of sailing, what type of cabin you have booked.

 

How can we express an opinion with no facts?

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Prices will vary dramatically from the cheapest inside to a grand suite on a cruise.

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You fail to detail which cruise line, which ship, length of sailing, what type of cabin you have booked.

 

How can we express an opinion with no facts?

 

Of course, i didnt think as it was just a general question about cruising as my wife adn I are starting to question its value. Its Celebrity Silhouette, 13 nights, consiege class. As I say, it was more a general question about value with cruising

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Of course, i didnt think as it was just a general question about cruising as my wife adn I are starting to question its value. Its Celebrity Silhouette, 13 nights, consiege class. As I say, it was more a general question about value with cruising

 

Al I can add is that we are seasoned cruisers on several cruise lines and last year we did a 9 day on the Silhouette our first cruise on Celebrity and loved it

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As the title asks, are we getting value?

 

My wife and I have booked our first cruise which is going to cost us 5200 pounds. It is also slightly out of season so we could face the potential of only seeing the maximum of 5-7 days of sun of the two weeks. While my wife hates flying it is not out of the question for us to do a short haul flight but it would be literally impossible for us to see as many countries as we could cruising. With the extras that we need to pay out for the cruise as well we are looking at least 6500 pounds for the holiday, at conservative estimates.

 

In comparison I am a big Disney World fan and have priced up a holiday for 2 weeks on International Drive for only 3500 flying premium economy including theme park tickets, meaning even if we spent 2500 pounds on extras it would cost the same. Also in comparison we could go to Italy for 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel to Lake Garda with premium flights in September for 2500 pounds.

 

Of course with this cruise the 1300 pound 'extras' has to pay for parking at Southampton, hotel stay overnight, exursions, more expensive drinks, tips, gifts, any meals off ship at port and any non main dining options on ship. So really we could be looking at least 6500 for this holiday all in.

 

So back to the original question, are we getting value for money when compared to other holidays?

 

For me, the "extra" value is that you're on a ship. That makes it a very different vacation and I think you should try it at least once.

 

However Lake Garda is close to beautiful cities. If it's for 2 weeks, and you aren't infected by the "cruise bug" yet, that's a very nice alternative.

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I think that to determine "value", you have to compare apples to apples. Comparing a cruise to Disney World is not a valid comparison, in my mind. You have to decide what you want to do, and then compare the cost of a cruise to various countries versus flying to those countries, hotels, meals, cabs, etc, etc. If you want to do Disney, then compare it to another theme park vacation, or an all-inclusive resort vacation. Only you can determine which vacation is of "value" to you.

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I find that I am happy in an inside cabin, and if I can get it for less than $100 us per day I am happy. All meals are included so I don't have to worry about that.

 

You have booked a VERY expensive cruise. Did you look into other cruise lines and see what they have to offer?

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It is hard to answer such a broad question with a single stroke. My pp per day cost varies widely with different cruises both by style and destination. Some places are much more attractive as land based trips, but even there costs vary depending on level of hotel, types of meals, etc. My next cruise in June is to the Norwegian fjords. It is incrementally more expensive than my last Caribbean cruise but it is a spot more amenable to cruising than driving for what I want to see. If the cruise you have booked goes to places you want to see then it has value. Only you can decide how much compared to other vacations.

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It depends on several things, including cabin and time of year; we pay around £5,000 for both of us to sail 28 days Southampton-Caribbean-Southampton; tips for both of us are almost £400... but that is in a carefully researched inside with an outside exit nearby, or an obstructed outside, and in January. Often it will include parking or coach fare, and usually some on board credit. Obviously it would cost more for a balcony or suite.

We went on a repositioning cruise earlier this year for a very low price indeed, including coach down and flight back... but that came about by checking emails with special offers... there are bargains about, especially if you are a little flexible with your time.

Hotels in Southampton offer B&B and 15 days parking for under £200, if you check the websites.

It all depends on the ship, the line; the cabin and the time of year... some lines are dear, but hopefully will offer more things to your taste.

Enjoy! :)

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Value to YOU depends on what's important! The cabins on a ship are nowhere NEAR the size of a hotel room, unless you book a suite of some sort...they are tight.

Drink prices are about what sporting arenas or Disney would charge..which is exorbitant....but if you're on land, you can go "off-site" and get reasonably priced drinks...or stock your hotel room with the booze of your choice....unlike on a cruise!

Do the ports interest you? If so, you won't get that on a land-based vacation. On land, you're pretty much stuck in one place...on a ship, you will travel to someplace different daily.

Food...ship's food is mediocre anymore. Used to be fantastic...but not so much today. If you're happy with chain restaurants, then you'll do ok on a cruise....plenty of food...just nothing really memorable.

A lot of folks will say tipping is an issue, and I know "Brits" don't typically tip, but at Disneyworld, surely you tipped your waiters, and the housekeeper in your hotel...same on a ship. Those folks expect to be tipped, unless that's included in your fare. If you book in the UK, then it's included...otherwise, plan to tip.

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As the title asks, are we getting value?

 

My wife and I have booked our first cruise which is going to cost us 5200 pounds. It is also slightly out of season so we could face the potential of only seeing the maximum of 5-7 days of sun of the two weeks. While my wife hates flying it is not out of the question for us to do a short haul flight but it would be literally impossible for us to see as many countries as we could cruising. With the extras that we need to pay out for the cruise as well we are looking at least 6500 pounds for the holiday, at conservative estimates.

 

In comparison I am a big Disney World fan and have priced up a holiday for 2 weeks on International Drive for only 3500 flying premium economy including theme park tickets, meaning even if we spent 2500 pounds on extras it would cost the same. Also in comparison we could go to Italy for 2 weeks in a 5 star hotel to Lake Garda with premium flights in September for 2500 pounds.

 

Of course with this cruise the 1300 pound 'extras' has to pay for parking at Southampton, hotel stay overnight, exursions, more expensive drinks, tips, gifts, any meals off ship at port and any non main dining options on ship. So really we could be looking at least 6500 for this holiday all in.

 

So back to the original question, are we getting value for money when compared to other holidays?

In my opinion there is nothing better than cruising.You can eat 24/7 if you so desire .Shows every evening .Non stop activities all day long.

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I'm not seeing the cost of meals for the Italy vacation, or the Disney visit. That's included in your cruise. If you choose to eat in extra pay restaurants, that's not part of the value...EM

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While I like to joke that cruses are summer camp for adults, the better analogy is that it is a floating hotel. You only have to unpack/pack once, and the meals are the non-premium restaurants are included. It's a great way to sample the ports.

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It used to be a great value. Now, I feel they've cut quality and services and added enough nickel and dime stuff that it's not really.

 

That said, what's your Disney World breakdown? I ran a quick check and the cheapest I found is $5600 without flights during what I know is one of their slowest times. But that's with hotel, food, and tickets. Cheapest hotel available, which doesn't quite compare to the level of cabin on most cruise lines due to the service you get from having a room steward instead of hotel housekeeping. Food, in general, would be much lower at Disney World as well. If you don't stay onsite (I'm not familiar with International Drive), you don't get the early Fastpass booking times which would lock you out a LOT even if you've got 2 weeks to space things out.

 

Disney is kind of an outlier though. I agree with the general premise that it's getting kind of pricey. But, provided you choose the right line, you'll have entertainment taken care of, travel to multiple locations taken care of, and fine dining all taken care of too. There's a convenience factor that's hard to compare. That's why I still like cruising, despite it's lowering value. Being stuck in one spot is a different type of vacation.

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You need to add in the value of 3 meals a day and entertainment. Yes, my family could have done a 4 day Disney trip way back when instead of a 4 day cruise but to do it for the same amount of money we would have been in a budget hotel, eating at fast food chains, and entertainment at night would be board games/TV/cards. On the 4 day cruise the kids got to eat food they normally wouldn't have the chance to eat (one son fell in love with escargot) and they got to see some islands they wouldn't have seen, a different one each day. So yes, I think cruise lines offer a good value, especially for families.

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I think that to determine "value", you have to compare apples to apples. Comparing a cruise to Disney World is not a valid comparison, in my mind. You have to decide what you want to do, and then compare the cost of a cruise to various countries versus flying to those countries, hotels, meals, cabs, etc, etc. If you want to do Disney, then compare it to another theme park vacation, or an all-inclusive resort vacation. Only you can determine which vacation is of "value" to you.

 

I used Disney as an example for a few reasons. Reason is that it was the last 'big' holiday I went on and used it to compare the amount of entertainment available. There is no doubt that the holiday would be completely different experience but none the less, it is not cheap to do but still cheaper than a cruise. In that context, is it value going on a cruise. I also compared to an all inclusive holiday and that too was coming in cheaper than the cruise, a little less than a Disney holiday in fact. With regards to seeing these countries how much are you really going to see anyway on a cruise? There is no way you could see everything in the time you are in port even if you rush around.

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I find that I am happy in an inside cabin, and if I can get it for less than $100 us per day I am happy. All meals are included so I don't have to worry about that.

 

You have booked a VERY expensive cruise. Did you look into other cruise lines and see what they have to offer?

 

Without appearing snobbish, I cannot imagine going on a cruise ship and not having a balcony with sea air to wake up too. Yes we did look into other cruise lines and have changed. We were booked on a Royal Carribean cruise but had not seen the newer itineary on Celebrity which we felt was far nicer. Could you argue that in your reply the amount we are paying is NOT value for money and that it is only value for money if you do an inside cabin?

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It is hard to answer such a broad question with a single stroke. My pp per day cost varies widely with different cruises both by style and destination. Some places are much more attractive as land based trips, but even there costs vary depending on level of hotel, types of meals, etc. My next cruise in June is to the Norwegian fjords. It is incrementally more expensive than my last Caribbean cruise but it is a spot more amenable to cruising than driving for what I want to see. If the cruise you have booked goes to places you want to see then it has value. Only you can decide how much compared to other vacations.

 

In this context, it is value for money. These are places we definately want to see and in fact this is the only way we will get to visit Madeira (Never flying in!)

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I'm not seeing the cost of meals for the Italy vacation, or the Disney visit. That's included in your cruise. If you choose to eat in extra pay restaurants, that's not part of the value...EM

 

Italy was full board and Disney would only require perhaps some drinks at theme parks, parking etc. I think I mentioned that in the OP and that there would be at least 2500 pounds for those extras at Disney. So are you saying its only value if you eat at the inclusive dining options?

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It used to be a great value. Now, I feel they've cut quality and services and added enough nickel and dime stuff that it's not really.

 

That said, what's your Disney World breakdown? I ran a quick check and the cheapest I found is $5600 without flights during what I know is one of their slowest times. But that's with hotel, food, and tickets. Cheapest hotel available, which doesn't quite compare to the level of cabin on most cruise lines due to the service you get from having a room steward instead of hotel housekeeping. Food, in general, would be much lower at Disney World as well. If you don't stay onsite (I'm not familiar with International Drive), you don't get the early Fastpass booking times which would lock you out a LOT even if you've got 2 weeks to space things out.

 

Disney is kind of an outlier though. I agree with the general premise that it's getting kind of pricey. But, provided you choose the right line, you'll have entertainment taken care of, travel to multiple locations taken care of, and fine dining all taken care of too. There's a convenience factor that's hard to compare. That's why I still like cruising, despite it's lowering value. Being stuck in one spot is a different type of vacation.

 

The Disney breakdown is one of the Rosen Inn hotels on I-drive. (My fave hotels as they were perfectly located when I went 20 years ago!) The price was coming in at 3500 pounds/$4700. (I dont appear to have a pound sign on my laptop!) That was travelling out of season in January and one seat up from cattle class. It is a pretty basic room so in that context its comparable to a cabin on a ship.

 

Celebrity appears to be the right line for us, the entertainment looks good, the fact we can visit so many places is a massive thing but in the end, the convenience is arguably the best selling point.

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You need to add in the value of 3 meals a day and entertainment. Yes, my family could have done a 4 day Disney trip way back when instead of a 4 day cruise but to do it for the same amount of money we would have been in a budget hotel, eating at fast food chains, and entertainment at night would be board games/TV/cards. On the 4 day cruise the kids got to eat food they normally wouldn't have the chance to eat (one son fell in love with escargot) and they got to see some islands they wouldn't have seen, a different one each day. So yes, I think cruise lines offer a good value, especially for families.

 

In this context I would argue you do get some value. As a couple the relevance of this for us, our entertainment will be shows, bars, meals generally relaxing. In regards of the foods, there is no doubt I will personally be trying foods I have never thought to try or had the opportunity to try. Without being worried that I had to finish the meal even if I disliked it. (Although I hate wasting food!) As others have replied, the fact you get to see so many countries really does add value but I supposed it could be argued how much are you really able to see? In that regards, is it value?

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Like beauty, true value is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, the tremendous expansion of the cruise market indicates that very many people think that cruising gives good return on their vacation dollar. When you look at transportation, meals and entertainment - in addition to seeing new places, it is hard to find a lower daily cost.

 

However, having cruised a fair amount - we now are inclined to look more at the transportation facet - most of our cruises now are one way - as ways to get to, or return from, some place we want to visit. But that is itself a major value factor: a dozen or so leisurely days in comfort is preferable to a dozen cramped hours in a plane.

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As the title asks, are we getting value?

 

I don't know. No, I'm not being flippant; my first cruise is upcoming in July. I'm a simple guy; we have a pop-up tent trailer and I'm content to travel all around the US in it and have a ball camping in the woods. But we've also taken higher-end vacations, Hawaii, the UK, Russia).

 

But, a cruise, specifically Alaska is something I've always wanted to do, but always got outvoted by my kids on vacations other than camping. But, the youngest is 20 and not coming, so, my bride and I are doing what I want this time. (Alaska is also unique in that ship or plane is the only way to get to some of the places we are visiting.)

 

Is it a good value? I don't know. It's certainly more expensive than any vacation I've taken before (even the UK for four last summer). But I'm willing to try it and see. I think that I won't be able to answer that question until we have disembarked. If we decide to do it again, then yes, it was. If we opt not to, then it wasn't of enough value to us.

 

But here's the thing. You could go on the exact same cruise as us, and on debarkation day, we could purchase credit toward a future cruise and you could say, "meh" and not bother again. And that's fine; different people are different and have different likes and dislikes.

 

I know it's a lame answer, but I think it's honest. Value is in the eye of the purchaser.

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The Disney breakdown is one of the Rosen Inn hotels on I-drive. (My fave hotels as they were perfectly located when I went 20 years ago!) The price was coming in at 3500 pounds/$4700. (I dont appear to have a pound sign on my laptop!) That was travelling out of season in January and one seat up from cattle class. It is a pretty basic room so in that context its comparable to a cabin on a ship.

 

Celebrity appears to be the right line for us, the entertainment looks good, the fact we can visit so many places is a massive thing but in the end, the convenience is arguably the best selling point.

 

I see. It's a little harder to compare hotel rooms. Land hotels vs cruise cabins don't line up neatly. Cabins are smaller, but come with a room steward who tends to do a lot more and you interact with more then regular housekeeping. Especially at budget motels. Plus, how much size do you need when you're out of the room so much?

 

Again, Disney is a special case. Not only is there the size/service difference, Disney makes it REALLY disadvantageous to stay off site. You almost have to use FastPass to get on the popular rides unless you want to waste a ton of time. Maybe you can get away with it on the ones that have Single Rider lines and split up? Not all rides have that though. Staying onsite gives you a huge advantage in booking FastPasses.

 

There used to be free parking, but they took that away. Not sure if regular park parking is more than the onsite hotel parking fee.

 

But yeah, it comes down to the convenience. It's like an all-in-one resort that moves. No, you won't get as immersive as an experience as if you just stayed in one city, but you can see a lot more places without wasting time stuck on a plane or bus. It's like taking a tour without all the wasted time, giving you more time to explore a spot. Hard to put a monetary value on that.

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We enjoy cruising and find value in it for our vacation dollars. Early in our marriage we didn't vacation much at all, just stayed with friends or visited family. Eventually we did more camping and enjoyed it, but there is a lot of work involved. Once we had more disposable income we tried cruising and really enjoy it.

 

We love the ocean - which is hard to enjoy by any other method. We both appreciate that once we are on the ship vacation has started - no driving, tent to set up, fire to build, food to cook, or cleaning to be done. We do share our vacation with a few thousand of our closest strangers though, and our timing is limited to 7 days or less at this point so not many choices for ports.

 

Cruising can be done very frugally or over the top depending on the line and what add-ons you get. Since we sail in large part for the ocean we opt for a balcony, but watch for deals and don't get a lot of other extras. Camping can also be frugal or a big investment too, depending on your style.

 

I hope you enjoy your cruise and find it worth the time and money spent:)

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I just did a 2 week Disney/Universal Florida trip in December.

 

Tickets along were over $2500 for 2 people. Hotel was another $2000. Rental car was $800.

 

Parking at the parks is $20 per day. Hotel had free shuttles (included in the resort fee), but were not convenient for Disney, we did use them for Universal.

 

Meals in the parks, figure if you do one counter meal and one sit down meal, you are looking at $150 - $200 per day for 2 people, not including snacks, but including 1 drink per person with dinner.

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While I can’t comment on your cruise, we think it’s great value, I’ll give you an example.

 

Last year Mrs Gut’s birthday.

 

Two night cruise, balcony, Celebrity Solstice, just over $aus800 for both of us.

 

Alternative

 

Hotel in Sydney $350 a night $700

Breakfast $25 a day each $100

dinner (on the cheap) $50 a night each $200

Lunch at mcDonalds $10 a day each (absolute minimum) $40

 

If I include$ the type of dinner I had on the ship (three course) probably about $500, the lunch maybe $100

 

So that’s over $1000 without any entertainment etc.

 

So I’d say it’s great value.

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Oh and if we’d stayed in a hotel we’d have had to pay about $3 a can for Diet Coke, instead I paid around $10 a day for unlimited.

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The OP's post got me thinking (which is dangerous). I have been frequently cruising since the mid 70s and have also done many independent land trips around the world. DW and I do not even think about cruises in terms of "value" but rather in terms of what we enjoy :). We both love to be on a ship and the longer the cruise the better. We also love our extended European driving trips. So for us, most forms of travel are good value because we enjoy it! Would we rate a 40 day cruise a better value then a 40 day driving trip through France and Italy? To be honest we would love both trips and think they were both good value.

 

Hank

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In our experience, cruising can offer a good value, but you do need to price shop. Celebrity has higher fares than some other lines. And choosing concierge class is a premium rate, how much could you save by choosing a verandah cabin? IMO concierge class rarely offers a value worth a premium over a regular balcony. The price you are paying is a bit higher than we would normally pay for a cruise.

 

Ideally, I try to keep a cruise price to $150 usd pp pd (so $300 pd since I sail no more than two per cabin). I figure staying at a decent ocean front hotel would cost $200 a night, so the extra $100 to cover food and entertainment for two plus transportation to multiple locations easily covers the value of the price. So, for me, we would price shop until we found an itinerary we liked more in the 3,000-3,500 pound range (which brings it very comparably with the Disney vacation mentioned).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Your question is not answerable as it depends upon what value each option is to you. Only you can define that number. If I was to put a value on your choices you have given us ranking them from 1 to 10, I would give anything Disney a value of zero as I hate everything Disney while I would the value of a cruise as a different number depending upon the cruise.

 

My point is not to denigrate Disney as they obviously must be giving a value to some people or they would be out of business. My point is that you can not ask us to place a value on anything for you because we are not you.

 

You have to make that value judgement for yourself just as the rest of us do when we decide what to spend our discretionary income on.

 

DON

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While I can’t comment on your cruise, we think it’s great value, I’ll give you an example.

 

Last year Mrs Gut’s birthday.

 

Two night cruise, balcony, Celebrity Solstice, just over $aus800 for both of us.

 

Alternative

 

Hotel in Sydney $350 a night $700

Breakfast $25 a day each $100

dinner (on the cheap) $50 a night each $200

Lunch at mcDonalds $10 a day each (absolute minimum) $40

 

If I include$ the type of dinner I had on the ship (three course) probably about $500, the lunch maybe $100

 

So that’s over $1000 without any entertainment etc.

 

So I’d say it’s great value.

 

DW and I were booked on a 2 night cruise to nowhere out of NYC (it eventually got cancelled, which is a different story) and I broke it down the same way to determine how good of a value it was versus staying two nights in Manhattan.

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In most cases, the admission to a Disney park alone is more money, per person, per day, than a cruise. Then add in hotel, (shoddy) food, drinks, etc and you have a much more expensive vacation. Now, they are two different experiences. When the topic is value though, cruise wins over Disney, hands-down.

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We consider cruising a very good value, but we do look for bargains and sales so that our cost is a lot less than yours. That would not be a good value, for us. But, everyone has their own standards, needs and wants, so that is very hard to judge.

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In most cases, the admission to a Disney park alone is more money, per person, per day, than a cruise. Then add in hotel, (shoddy) food, drinks, etc and you have a much more expensive vacation. Now, they are two different experiences. When the topic is value though, cruise wins over Disney, hands-down.

 

Disney has its place.

 

I will cruise every year, and if I had the time and funds, more than once per year.

 

I would not go to Disney every year, although many do so.

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Italy was full board and Disney would only require perhaps some drinks at theme parks, parking etc. I think I mentioned that in the OP and that there would be at least 2500 pounds for those extras at Disney. So are you saying its only value if you eat at the inclusive dining options?

 

Not necessarily. It depends on your eating habits. We don't have any particular dietary restrictions. However, I can eat a lot or a little. With it's high prices, I find I don't need everything the inclusive dining option provides. Or, it may have more restrictions than I like. A common example is a soda. We can share soda and our kids don't necessarily like the kids drink options. One is included for each meal, so if we take them out, it can decrease the cost significantly. There are other things we can share or remove entirely that make enough of a difference that the inclusive dining meal isn't cost effective anymore.

 

That's another reason why it's so hard to compare and how "value" is so subjective. I can't compare it to cruising because with cruises, the food is on the more gourmet or high end. So, even though I can eat a lot less, I view it as part of the experience to try stuff I normally wouldn't pay a la carte for. Disney food, for the most part, just falls into the "it's ok, but totally not worth the price" category and is really just there to provide fuel so I can survive the day.

 

Food adds to the value of cruising. It subtracts from it for Disney (I like the snacks at Disney though; I find that part of the fun/experience).

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My basic thing is, if I want to do it, and enjoy it, and can afford it, FINE.

 

If I don't want to do it, I don't. If I don't enjoy it, I don't do it. And if I can't afford it, I don't do it.

 

I do not worry about "value." As if I want, enjoy, and can afford it, it is valuable to ME.

 

We did two weeks in Orlando over Xmas/New Years. It was expensive. But we enjoyed it. We just did a week driving around Sicily, great fun, cheaper than Orlando, but we still value the experience.

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It is hard to answer such a broad question with a single stroke. My pp per day cost varies widely with different cruises both by style and destination. Some places are much more attractive as land based trips, but even there costs vary depending on level of hotel, types of meals, etc. My next cruise in June is to the Norwegian fjords. It is incrementally more expensive than my last Caribbean cruise but it is a spot more amenable to cruising than driving for what I want to see. If the cruise you have booked goes to places you want to see then it has value. Only you can decide how much compared to other vacations.

 

Would you let us know how that cruise goes? I saw this (or one similar) on the Nat Geo channel not too long ago and it suddenly topped my bucket list! lol It would be significantly more expensive for us, but I think the experience would be priceless!

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