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What is Disney cruise line like??


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  • 1 month later...
We just took our first cruise on Princess in October and fell in love w/ cruising!
MIL is taking the whole family on DCL next Xmas. I am excited about the kids club being open until midnight or 1 AM, and that they will get kids to meals if you so choose (that Palo night!). 2 bathrooms w/ 3 children will be a plus.
We WILL miss the casino. I noticed a couple above mentioning that the cruise is still cheaper compared to another cruise if you gamble--sorry, not necessarily! We got an unbelievable deal on our cruise, got upgraded to an exterior w/ a large window, and we gambled several hours daily. Now, we won the first day which paid for our gambling the rest of the cruise, BUT even if we hadn't, we couldn't have taken DCL for the cost of our Princess cruise even plus gambling! Gambling is just another entertainment expense to some of us. I think spending $ in the spa is ridiculous when I can get it for 1/3 the price at home. But I understand why Disney has chosen not to have a casino.
Luckily we are the type who simply enjoy traveling. There were many complaints about our cruise--but we had a ball! I'm not a huge Disney buff, but MIL is paying--and I get to cruise! Plus our kids are the type who will be mad at us if we pick them up "early" (not the last ones gone!). Expect to have a good time as always!
Happy cruising!
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My thoughts on DCL:

1) It always will depend on what you want from your vacation. Size of ship, activities, ports, etc.

2) Food has gotten to the point where it is equivalent on virtually all the major lines.

3) The Magic/Wonder are beautiful classic ships. We loved the Magic. But there are times we want a huge RCCL ship or Carnival Miracle class.

4) DCL does get REAL dead REAL early at night. Even our kids were still looking for fun at 10:00PM at the ship was dead.

5) We're "Disney people" through and through. Yet we even grew tired of the over-theming. But we expected that, it is Disney, and we enjoyed it to a certain degree.

6) Pools are VERY small, and chair saving is almost an Olympic event.

7) No flexibility in itinerary. We've been to all the Eastern ports a couple times, and the Western ports seveal times. No choice with DCL for places like Belize and other ports.

8) Overall service was maybe half a step above other cruise lines ON AVERAGE. All depends on what cruise line, ship, Captain, CD, at any given time. Not to mention the waitstaff, which is always going to vary. But again, considering all that, you're MORE LIKELY to receive a little better service.

In summary, I wouldn't choose DCL every cruise, although it is my favorite. I certainly don't even consider it now because of the price. I can get a balcony cabin on other lines for less than an inside on DCL. And since there are alot of other beautiful ships out there, that's an easy decision.
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If you want alternate itineraries, keep a look out for deviations in the cruise schedules. The Magic did a long cruise last week because Christmas fell on Saturday, the arrival/departure day and nobody wants to be travelling on Christmas. next year, expect the Wonder to do the same because Christmas will be on Sunday.
This year, the Magic is going to Disneyland sort of. She will be doing two repositioning cruises through the Panama Canal, then a bunch of cruises to Mexico. It's very hard to get on these cruises now, but they are an example of what can happen in the future.

[quote name='PrincessTraci']My thoughts on DCL:

7) No flexibility in itinerary. We've been to all the Eastern ports a couple times, and the Western ports seveal times. No choice with DCL for places like Belize and other ports.

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We are on the Magic departing the 24th next year. They changed it to a 10 day this year, otherwise we would have taken the cruise this year. We will be flying/embarking on the 24th. Frankly, don't see much difference--embark the 24th or the 25th. I'm betting they still would have had no problem filling the ship. In fact, I would have found it preferable, because we could have spent Xmas Eve w/ my folks, taken a drive to look at the lights, and Voila...Santa could have come!!! The children think Santa is going to bring them their gifts on the ship!!!!!!!! I've already said that I will be emailing Santa and that he can leave them at our house as usual!!!
Funny how the logic of one person is not always the logic of another..
Happy cruising!
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Having cruised on NCL and Carnival 5 times, we chose the Wonder for a 4 night Bahama cruise, after visiting Disneyworld for 5 days.

The ship is beautiful & clean, courtious staff and larger than normal cabins.


The characters did not just wander around the ship randomly as we thought they would. There were scheduled signings/photographs in the main lobby, with a few characters at different times of the day and night. It caused such congestion in the lobby area and very disappointed children, since the allotted time is short and not every child will get to see their favorite character.

It was too structured for us and indoors, so much of the time was not spent on deck, since waiting time was 1/2 hour before the character appearances and then chaos once they arrived.

Camp for our 3 and 4 year old grandchildren was terrible. Crying children, with runny noses were not attended to, therefore the chain reaction of many children crying and our grandchildren opting not to return.

No options for carriages for our 4 month old sleeping grandchild in the show theaters for evening performances.

No characters appearing on Castaway Cay until we boarded the ship and Goofy appeared for 15 minutes. We were the cut off from taking a picture with him since he had to get back on board.

Pictures from the websites and brochures presented a different picture of what we believed what we would see.

Food was ok, but no buffet for dinner. Pluto's was the only option for dinner if children didn't want to sit through dinner. For the price, hamburgers & chicken tenders was a poor option.

I'm glad we did the cruise, but only to prove that we will never do it again. Other ships have many more activities to do with children and we are glad that we did the Disneyworld adventure first, and saw most of the characters there.
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[quote name='keukamom']No character breakfast, lunch or dinner![/QUOTE]

Actually on the seven-day cruises they assign you a terrific character breakfast ... the fab five plus chip and dale. It was wonderful -- we got great pictures and every character comes to EVERY table. :)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Our favorite cruise by far is RCCL Voyager class. For our needs the ship is beyond compare. That being said, Disney offers somethings that come to my mind better.
*The continuous kids club hours. Not that I want my kids in the clubs all day, but I also don't want to have to watch my watch and pick them up by certain times throughout the day. Also, the childcare closes at 10 on non Disney ships, just when things start rocking (you can pay for after 10). My kids love the Disney clubs (honestly, they haven't been in the others, I'm sure they are great).
*Castaway Cays is probably the nicest island I have been to.
*When we were on the service was great.

*the drive to the port is kindof a pain (really a pain)
*the ship is "okay"
*the pools are small
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Also, I just paid 2600.00 for four of us in an outside cabin and it would have been 2100. for an inside for RCL Voyager class. So do your homework onprice, you can find it relatively reasonable.
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