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What sets Disney cruises above other cruise lines?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line' started by DfromATX, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member

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    We love Disney and we love cruising, but we've never done a Disney cruise before. I'm assuming that Disney has top notch service, but what sets them above other cruise lines? Even though we love Disney World, my kids are all older (13-20), so we don't care as much for the characters or activities geared towards younger children. Would a Disney cruise be too babyish for us?
     
  2. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    Larger staterooms (in similar categories), split bathrooms, great service in the restaurants (this is a HUGE one, given my experience on Norwegian last week), family shows, great adult-only spaces. What else. . . .? Oh, family introduction when you board! :)

    Don't. . . what? I'm sorry, don't care about. . . I think I'm misunderstanding something. . . Don't care about the characters????

    I'm 50 years old, definitely not a kid, and well, see for yourself. . .

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    I rest my case.

    No, absolutely not. Every time we cruise DCL, we see adults traveling without children, some of them on honeymoons, some of them older couples. There are lots of things to do without kids, including (but not limited to) mixology, after-hours variety acts, Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay, Quiet Cove. . .

    No casino, no library; but plenty of places to hide from kids, and lots of activities available (especially in the evening) without kids.
     
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  3. DisneyJoe

    DisneyJoe Well-Known Member

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    Rotational dining rocks...

    FYI, 1/3 of DCL guests are adults traveling without children
     
  4. 216bruce

    216bruce Well-Known Member

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    We are mid-late 50's and kids are out on their own. Why Disney? Because when you are there, apart from everything mentioned above, you can, if you want to, feel like a kid again. Not in a silly way, but in a light of heart way. Oh yeah, boats are beautiful, service impeccable, but most importantly...be a kid. It's awesome.
     
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  5. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Great photos! I especially like the ones of you with Pluto (oops, or is that Goofy?) and Mickey by the staircase. Well... I guess that means you definitely enjoy your Disney cruises lol. I guess we have always separated Disney and cruising if that makes sense and to be honest, we don't even do the meet & greets at the parks. We used to when the kids were little though. How's the food? That would be my main "complaint" on other cruises. Thanks for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  6. belledream

    belledream Well-Known Member

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    To me, it's more of a what you see on a Disney Cruise instead of what you can do. Things such as the decoration embedded in the carpets, railings, the brightness of the wood decks compared to the duller ones on other cruise lines...it's a feast for the eyes.

    We honeymooned on the Magic last year and had some of the most relaxing days we could have ever imagined!

    The crew members, especially in the dining rooms, become like your long lost friends and it's so sad to leave! We've always enjoyed our meals, and special dining experiences like Palo are also worth a peek.
     
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  7. lostpro9het

    lostpro9het Well-Known Member

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    THIS!

    We've been on three DCL cruises so far and only one with a kid in tow. We are going on our 4th in October, again without the kid. I honestly have no point of reference as we have only ever cruised DCL but I do know when we pull up in Nassau I never look over at NCL or Carnival and think "I wish we were on that boat". IMO, there is plenty to keep adults busy on the boat and there are nightlife activities too.
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Tom

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    My wife and I have sailed DCL 3 times - twice just the two of us, and the most recent with our then 1-year old. We've never sailed with another line, and have no immediately plans to.

    We're not big into characters, and they're definitely not in your face on the ships. They're very accessible, just not the focus.

    The food is great, the entertainment is great, and there's ALWAYS something to do....for everyone. Kids clubs, teen clubs, adult clubs. Games. Pools. Recreation. Walking/Jogging track, which doubles as a VERY relaxing promenade deck, where you can park your butt on a lounge chair and watch the world go by (we use it for the latter, not the former, lol).

    We're not drinkers or partiers, so we don't visit the night clubs, but we hear wonderful things about them from adults. And Disney also gets rave reviews from teens for their teen clubs and teen-only areas.

    Many people scoff at the price, and think a Disney cruise isn't for them.....until they take one. Then they're hooked.
     
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  9. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It really sounds great and I don't doubt for one minute it is, especially since I am already familiar with the Disney product and customer service. I can imagine how their cruises must be! What's funny is the way we got into cruising to begin with... we had just returned from Disney and my husband announced he wanted to have a more relaxing vacation the next year, and so it began lol. They are pretty expensive compared to other cruise lines. Plus, I live in Texas and Galveston is my home port. At one time Disney departed from Galveston, but I think it was only a transitional thing. They aren't there year round like the other lines - wish they were! So with the cost of flying to another port, plus the upgrade to Disney... it does add up. Maybe one day!
     
  10. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    The Wonder typically sails from Galveston in the winter. (In the summer, it's in Alaska.) But just a quick search shows me that there are sailings out of Galveston from November 2016 through January 2017 and from November 2017 through December 2017.

    And the wonder is getting a refurb soon, so it should be in great shape if you can sail during those time frames.
     
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  11. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    How in the world did I forget rotational dining????
     
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  12. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper Well-Known Member

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    All of the above and Disney Magic and Pixie Dust as the whole product, the superior designed, and built vessels with the classic lines and feel, the art deco and Nuevo deco feel and just enough Disney touches to bring a smile to peoples faces.

    A ship crew that is excellent and the best trained and I know that for a fact, because I know all the special training they get on American Maritime schools. Add to that how they have rescued many at sea, including being able to get the rescue boat in the water and save a person who fell off another cruise ship when the other cruise ship could not even get their boat in the water.

    Their own special designed terminal and Bus service where the magic begins with videos on what's coming and Disney cartoons.

    The excellent service,, yes other lines may have great service, but twisting that into saying its Disney Pixie Dust, doesn't work, Add great food and good family entertainment. The DISNEY characters that bring joy to the kids, young and old. Mickey and Minnie. Things like Animators Pallet MDR, food and mixers events and that is just starters.

    One of my thing was we were taken the design of the Magic tour, (which by itself is a great tour) when Belle came around the corner and a young girl on the tour with her MOM, just cried out in joy. Belle spun around, flopped down onto the deck, lifted the girl into lap and calmed her down. She finally told the child that if she was at a door down the passageway at 1830, she could walk with Belle to a greeting session. Mom nodded ok, Belle got up waved good bye and I would bet a week pay that child was at the door at 1830 and had a memory that would last a lifetime.

    However the bottom line is the Disney cruises are special with real Disney Magic and Pixie dust only found on DCL cruises and their ships.


    AKK
     
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  13. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been on DCL yet, have two booked though, so I can't give personal experience with them. Have you talked to your kids though? At that age I would definitely do an Oasis (Royal Caribbean has WONDERFUL shows) class or even the new Carnival Vista (I haven't been on this ship yet but will be booking soon) Both have a ton of activities!!!!
     
  14. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member

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    I have only cruised on Disney so I can't compare brands.from personal experience, but I do have a friend who is a frequent cruiser on Norwegian and we have compared notes. Even after talking to her my first choice would be Disney. It sounds like Norwegian and other lines have comparable and quality service, but for me it is the Disney touches. I love walking around the ship and seeing characters and, hidden Mickey's in the design, and the Disney themed shows at night. I also fell in love with the adult only areas on the ship and on Castaway Cay. I have been to many different beaches around the world and my day with my husband on Serenity Bay ranks as on of the best beach days ever.

    The food is really good and plentiful, but I understand this is the case on other lines too. But again, I like all the Disney touches in the design of the restaurant. If someone told me they were looking into doing a cruise I wouldn't hesitate to say go on a Disney cruise, but if they didn't like Disney I might rethink it.

    My husband and I don't have kids but I have a niece in her tweens and she really enjoyed the program for her age group. And I have heard from my students (I teach 12-16 year olds) who have been on Disney cruises that the teen clubs are a lot of fun and even if they didn't want to be in on activities it was just a cool place to hang out. But in the end I guess it comes down to what you want to spend and what you expect on your cruise. Most of the time if people expect to have a good time on whatever vacation they are on they will have a great time, whether or not it is Disney or some other place.
     
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  15. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    From my cruise on the Breakaway last week, please let me assure you that the service on that ship was NOT comparable to DCL in any sense. We had poor to average service all week, with one or two above average experiences in the specialty restaurants.

    The service in the complimentary restaurants was below average and the service of our stateroom host was terrible.
     
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  16. EOD K9

    EOD K9 Well-Known Member

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    It's amazing that their commercials make you want to possibly cruise with them, then you experience it and feel disappointed. I want to try a bigger ship of RCL, but I am happy with the quality I have received on DCL. While expensive, I feel the experience is worth it.
     
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  17. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    I think your last sentence sums it up perfectly.
    My child is 6. We have a western Caribbean on the Fantasy in November (mainly for the Christmas stuff), summer Northern Europe Iceland on MSC and I booked an October 2017 Mexican riviera on the Wonder. There's about a 90% chance that I'll cancel the Wonder even though it means that I'll switch itineraries for a southern Caribbean. The cost between the Wonder and the Oasis or the Vista isn't too dramatic (I booked on opening day), but my son will be 7- He's an adventurous kid and I think he'd enjoy rock climbing and the other activities onboard the bigger ships better.

    I do think DCL will add more of these activities on their new ships to be competitive. I know quite a few people who do Disney when kids are little, and now switch to Royal Caribbean- DCL is going to want to keep them on their ships instead.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely excited for our Very Merrytime cruise! I'm certain that we will love DCL!
     
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  18. EOD K9

    EOD K9 Well-Known Member

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    We were on a DCL sailing that brought us home on NYE. While it wasn't a VMC, there was still plenty of Xmas decorations around which was still very nice. As long as the wife and children enjoy DCL, we will sail with them.
     
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  19. Wendy Pleakley

    Wendy Pleakley Well-Known Member

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    Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas is fantastic.

    Overall, high quality in every department.

    The food is great.

    The shows are high quality and feel professional, even if too many are "Disney's Greatest Hits" with a simple overall story.

    The kids areas are amazing. When people say they barely see their kids during a Disney cruise, I believe them. I went to the kids area once when they had an adults night, where we did the 'make your own Flubber' activity. It was hosted by a mad scientist type character who was really funny and engaging. As an adult I loved him, I can only imagine how much kids got into it. It was a great example of Disney show plussing what would would have been an otherwise simple activity.

    The adult areas are great too. I loved the themed bars, particularly the one where the background cycled through images of different cities.

    Rotational dining was nice, I appreciated the variety. There were show elements as well. In the animation restaurant you use a template to draw a stick type figure, and they all come to life on screens during dinner.

    Remi and Palo are amazing restaurants. They cost extra but are worth every penny.

    Fireworks. It's a low key show, but unique to Disney.

    Pirates night. Lots of guests get really into it with elaborate costumes, and it's fun to see even if you don't participate.

    Pop and coffee are included. A small thing but takes away some of the "nickel and diming" element common on cruise ships.

    A Character breakfast is included on longer cruises and is fun.

    First run Disney movies if you're into doing that on a cruise. On my cruise, they did the midnight showing for a new release.

    Having said all of this, for me Disney cruises have reached that price point where the premium they charge is just too much to swallow.
     
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  20. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    DCL service is like WDW service used to be. It really is wonderful service. The ships are also immaculate, and the staterooms are bigger. I also have to give DCL points on the quality of their "main" entertainment (but not on the variety) - I am referring to the "big" shows each night, not lounge type acts.

    There is plenty for adults without kids to do, unless you really want to gamble.

    However, for me, I don't think the cost of DCL is justified. It's just not that much better. I would rather ruise with Celebrity, and be able to get a bigger/better stateroom, and still be less than DCL. DCL is better, but marginally so. Maybe I find some chipped paint on Celebrity, but its not as if the ship is in disrepair. Maybe Celebrity does not have musicals of the quality that DCL does, but they do have some good shows, and do mix them up every night. Maybe the Celebrity staff is not so insanely service oriented as DCL, but they are still wonderful. IF DCL was a little more money, then I would say it is worth it. But frankly, it is a lot more money.

    And I do have pictures of the the missing light on my DCL balcony, with the wire sticking out of the hole where it should have been, with the lable in German (where the ship was built) stating in big letters "WARNING, ELECTROCUTION HAZARD!" on it. So, DCLs ships are not always "Ship shape" either.


    -dave
     
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