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Help...... with cruise choice

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line' started by Bradley, May 21, 2017.

  1. Bradley

    Bradley New Member

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    Sorry this is a bit long .........Its our 30 wedding anniversary in September and I was hoping to have a nice holiday - now my husband is not a WDW lover but would be interested in a Caribbean cruise so to compromise..... I was thinking we could do 5 or 6 days cruising and 9 or 10 days in Disney (slightly biased in my favour .. I know. but it is Disney.) Now finances will be a part of it so I don't mind using a different cruise line (although we don't go on holiday often so we wont be penny pinching too much!!), Was thinking of this September or early next May - but again am flexible - and would like to cruise first and then go to parks (when our kids (25 and 27!!) will join us) - would greatly appreciate any input from you guys
     
  2. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bradley,

    What specific questions do you have about your plans? Sounds like you have a good basic strategy, but what are you asking for input on?

    The one thing that I can tell you is that most of Disney's Caribbean cruises are either 7 nights or 3-4 night sailings. For example, in September, there are only 2 5-night sailings and neither one is in the Caribbean. (One is in Mexico on the Wonder, and the other sails to Canada from NYC on the Magic.) So you may need to adjust your number of cruise nights.
     
  3. pilka214

    pilka214 Active Member

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    I love DCL, it's ships are the best. But, it is almost all Disney all the Time. I love to sail disney with my family, but if I'm sailing with friends I prefer a less expensive line with an all inclusive alcohol package. Doing a trip to WDW then sailing out of Port Canaveral is super easy, and if you do choose disney they can include transportation. It really depends a lot on what you want out of your cruise, what kind of experiences you intend on partaking in and what kind of entertainment you prefer. You may want to look at celebrity, Princess, Royal and Norwegian if you're curious about other lines... they all have their niches.

    I actually just went on a Disney cruise last May with my parents for their 30th anniversary, it was an amazing 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise on the wonder and its as magical.
     
  4. Bradley

    Bradley New Member Original Poster

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    Sorry, for my "how long is a piece of string" question! But I'm really open to options - think Hubby would like to visit a few Caribbean islands so perhaps September is out - I'm assuming that its hurricane season and that's why they aren't doing Caribbean then, so perhaps May might be good - and now I'm thinking parks would be quite in February!! But would that be cold for cruising - I was wondering what other cruise lines or ships would be good to try - so many questions !!
     
  5. Bradley

    Bradley New Member Original Poster

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    Yes the expense is putting me a bit off DCL as id like a cabin with a balcony (don't know if that's the correct term) and would perhaps be able to upgrade packages as you've pointed out (although I wouldn't be up to an all inclusive alchol packages - couldn't stand the hangovers in my old age!!!) So would like nightly shows, good restaurants, plenty of entertainment, will have a look at your suggestions - thanks
     
  6. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I'm sorry, but I gave you absolutely the wrong impression. DCL definitely sails the Caribbean in September. But they are all 7-night sailings. You originally said you were looking to sail for 5-6 nights, so I was just trying to let you know that you would need at least 7 nights for a Caribbean sailing. Again, I apologize for the mis-communication. Definitely consider DCL for the Caribbean in Sept; just understand that it will be a 7-night cruise.

    February is chilly, yes, but not unbearably so; especially considering that I live with Boston winters! In Nassau, here's the average high and low for February:

    78 °F February average high 26 °C
    63 °F February average low 17 °C

    And for St. Thomas in February:

    86°F February average high 30°C
    72°F February average low 22°C

    The water may be cooler than you would like, but again, it beats Boston!

    @pilka214 already gave you some alternate cruise lines to think about if you're going to browse. Keep in mind that DCL will be more expensive than any of the options in that earlier post. But your experience, and in particular the service, that you'll get is far and away better than what you'll get on those other lines. Additionally, I'm not a huge fan of Norwegian Cruise Line personally. That's a result of my cruise on the Breakaway last summer. Unless unlimited drinks are very important to you, I would steer you away from NCL and more toward Royal Caribbean or Princess. Others will disagree, I'm sure, but that's my own experience.
     
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  7. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that unlimited drinks means something different than it does on land. Most cruise lines have pretty high drink prices, plus you are on vacation. We are not talking about the college days of $1 Bud's and $2 well drinks where going in with $20 left you with just enough change for a few dollar slices afterwards. We are talking about having a drink by the pool around 3 PM, a glass of wine with dinner, and then a nighcap in the lounge after the show, and ending up with a $30 bar tab for the day (after tips). Pretty soon that unlimited drink package starts took like a bargin.


    -dave
     
  8. hoffman1

    hoffman1 Member

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    You might want to think about switching around your plans a bit. We like to do the parks first and then the cruise. We have done it both ways and found that after doing the parks for several days straight we are exhausted. Cruising is much more relaxing. We like to end our vacation feeling refreshed. But everyone is different :)
     
  9. Bradley

    Bradley New Member Original Poster

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    Perhaps keeping the cruise to recharge the batteries is a good idea, and yes I will look into drinks package as you say things have a habit of mounting up don't they.

    Again thanks so much for all your valuable opinions
     
  10. pilka214

    pilka214 Active Member

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    @pilka214 already gave you some alternate cruise lines to think about if you're going to browse. Keep in mind that DCL will be more expensive than any of the options in that earlier post. But your experience, and in particular the service, that you'll get is far and away better than what you'll get on those other lines. Additionally, I'm not a huge fan of Norwegian Cruise Line personally. That's a result of my cruise on the Breakaway last summer. Unless unlimited drinks are very important to you, I would steer you away from NCL and more toward Royal Caribbean or Princess. Others will disagree, I'm sure, but that's my own experience.[/QUOTE]

    If you ever sail NCL again, avoid the Big ships (breakaway, getaway and escape) They're such overwhelming ships and the quality of service suffers immensely. My tenure as Entertainment cruise staff while on the Getaway was the reason i left the cruise industry. The NCL Gem, Jewel and Dawn offer amazingly intimate cruises, wonderful entertainment and a great bang for your buck. Princess and Celebrity are another step up the rung, but run around the same price as Disney without any of the magic.
     
  11. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Princess, but we get 7 night Celebrity cruises to Bermuda for much much less than a 7 night DCL cruise.
     
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  12. pilka214

    pilka214 Active Member

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    I love bermuda, favorite port I ever sailed to, does the ship stay for 3 days like NCL's?
     
  13. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    Yep - it is the exact same itenerary as NCL, except that Celebrity leaves from Port Liberty (Bayonne, NJ) So much easier to get to, and parking right on site ($20 a day now that they have to pay for the new parking deck they built, but still right next to the terminal, and plenty of spots)

    The two ships leave port about the same time (NCL in NYC and Celebrity from Bayonne). Last time the Celebrity ship went upriver first - because they were going to go around the Statue of Liberty so people could take pictures. The NCL ship passed us heading out - they were yelling we were going the wrong way.

    The two ships arrive in Bermuda about the same time, both dock in Bermuda at Dockyard (NCL at Heritage Wharf and Celebrity at Kings Wharf - about 500 feet away from each other) and both leave about the same time (NCL left port about 45 minutes before we did last time).

    They really are, for the most part, the same cruise on different ships.

    We are sailing out this weekend on Celebrity again. It will be interesting to see what NCL does this time as compared to Celebrity.
     
  14. pilka214

    pilka214 Active Member

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    Oh, I sailed on the Dawn out of cruiseport in south Boston. I imagine the breakaway out of NYC would be a pain.
     
  15. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    If you have friends or reletives who dont mind dropping you at the port, NYC is fine. You still have to pay for either the bridge or tunnel. If you have to schedule a car, thats just a pain.

    For a few bucks more than the cost of a car service, I can drive to Bayonne whenever we are ready, park my car, and the walk right to it when the cruise is over.
     
  16. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends which side of the bridge/tunnel you live on. For me, in Springfield, MA, I don't mind Manhattan at all. No bridge or tunnel, and I can use a parking service for a lot less than $40 a day at the pier.

    The only drawback, as Dave noted, is that in Bayonne, you just walk to your car from the ship (much like in Port Canaveral); and you can only do that in NYC if you pay the ungodly price of $40/day to park your car at the pier.

    Sailing the NCL Dawn out of Boston is very easy, as well. Although, even there you have a bit of a hike to the parking garage, I think. I've visited the Dawn in Boston to do a ship tour, but I've never sailed on it. (Kind of crazy, since it's an hour closer to me than NYC.) So I'm not quite as familiar with the parking arrangements there.
     
  17. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    I would also be leery of driving from NJ to Manhattan for a cruise that is sailing mid-week. Sombody looks sideways during the morning commute and it causes a 2 hour delay. Granted, it can get backed up on the spur into Bayonne too, but not as bad as the bridge or tunnel can.

    -dave
     

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