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What sets Disney cruises above other cruise lines?

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

  1. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    I had to scroll to see what my post was in response to, lol.

    Im actually sailing on the NCL Escape and Epic this year. I'm excited for both! But I'm nervous about the rooms on the Epic. I love the activities on each though. And I like the idea of freestyle cruising.

    You might want to compare the Escape to the Oasis too! I don't have firsthand experience yet, but from the looks of it- can't go wrong with either one. Plus- the Western Itinerary is Great!! IMO.

    I did the promotion for the ultimate beverage package and dining package included in both of my sailings. Neither the Oasis or Escape are inexpensive, but they are less than DCL..and both look like they have more family activities to do together, not as big of a focus on the kids clubs...meaning you don't have to do them, and if you do- they actually have organized family events within the club that you can join your child for an hour or so.
     
  2. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I don't know that I would want to sit with strangers either. With 6 of us, we've always had a table to ourselves, even when it was only 3 of us, so I never gave it much thought. I think every cruise line will try to sit you with others though. I don't think it's just a Disney thing. As for the wind, they can't control Mother Nature and sometimes that messes up plans. On our last cruise out of Galveston with Carnival, we had such bad fog. The cruise before us docked late, so we were late getting on, plus embarkation was TERRIBLE. We didn't leave until it was dark outside and we were totally exhausted! But, like I said, that was Carnival, and those kind of things can happen on any cruise.
     
  3. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Yes! I have also considered the Escape. It looks very nice! Are you on the Ship Mate app? You might like it. It's a neat little app where you can read about different cruise lines and their reviews. When I'm on I follow the Galveston Carnival ships and Escape and Oasis. I can't decide between the two, but so far I'm leaning towards the Oasis. If you can remember when you get back, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Escape.

    I had to scroll through a lot too because I originally posted this over a year ago, but I got an email reply from the gentleman a few posts before this who didn't like it.
     
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  4. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Just CC, but I'm not there often.. I'm in a fb group for my sailing so mostly get info from repeat NCL cruisers there.
    I'll have to download that app, thanks!

    I don't think you can go wrong with either of those ships, I'd probably base it off of itinerary.
    For me personally, I wanted a Western that didn't go to Jamaica this time. The Escape worked perfectly.
    I am intimidated by the size though. People say that it isn't overwhelming..I'm hoping that's the truth. It looks ENORMOUS.
     
  5. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Were you on CCL Funville? I was on there too! Before I went back to Facebook, I spent my online time on here and CCL - talking about what I love - Disney and cruising lol. They closed Funville down a few months ago (if you didn't already know).
     
  6. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    No, I never heard of it. I'm just here and Cruise Critic.. but Cruise Critic I just show up to ask a question then leave.. once I get in the FB group for a sailing I typically just stay in the group.
    I think social media has made cruising even more fun! It seems like we have a great group of people for our M&G on our 1st day. Apparently NCL really works with Cruise Critic groups and provides tour options etc. it's pretty neat!
    My kid also has 2 pen pals now.. he's shy, so I think emailing with these kids is going to make it a lot easier for him when we go...he'll feel like he already has "friends"
     
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  7. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    As an adult, I have enjoyed myself on ever DCL cruise I have ever been on ( 3 of them) This is indeed plenty for adults to do. However, I don't think, from an adult perspective, that DCL is head and shoulders abouve the other lines. You can cruise something like Celebrity for a LOT less money, and ave 99% of the same experience as an adult. Celebrity was not dirty, the staff on Celebrity was just as great as the staff on DCL, The shows in DCL are wonderful (and no, they are not-Broadway quality. They are really good, and very close, but not what I would call Broadway quality - maybe off-Broadway, buy not what is expected in a Broadway theater) but the shows on Celebrity are good too - and frankly have a lot more variety than the same shows over and over again on DCL.Gambling is aways a point of contention - some love it, some hate it. Of course other lines dont show first run movies - they don't own a studio.

    Anyway, my point is, there is plenty for adults on a DCL cruise, but no so much that makes it worth the huge price difference.

    Now, if you have kids, then I can justify the price difference in a heartbeat.

    If DCL was just a little more than other cruises, then I would recommend it for just adults as well, but with the prices they charge, I cannot recommend it unless you have kids in the mix.

    -dave
     
  8. TDogg76

    TDogg76 New Member

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    Clientele is definitely different on a Carnival! My only point was that if someone is strictly looking at value and where their dollar is going I think for a heck of a lot less someone, without children, maybe just as happy on a Carnival. If and when I have children I would pick DCL over another line 100%. But, for my wife and I,we just weren't "blown away". Which for the price difference, we were hoping.
     
  9. TDogg76

    TDogg76 New Member

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    Dave, I couldn't have said it any better! It's not that DCL is bad. But, as an adult, there are a lot of other options. And I completely agree: The shows are good, but not Broadway!
     
  10. vitani88

    vitani88 Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think most people who book Disney are looking for the best value. I'd have to agree that if someone is just looking to get from point A to point B for the cheapest price, Carnival is the way to go.
     
  11. jaklgreen

    jaklgreen Well-Known Member

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    My other cruise line experience was on a Celebrity ship. The food was not up to the same quality as the Disney cruise. The room was tiny. I am 5'5" and I could almost touch both walls with my arms out. It was dirty, there was rust all over the pool deck, the staff acted as if they did not want to be there. I kept hearing other people in their conversations saying "this would never happen on a Disney cruise." I hated how they pulled out folding tables and lined the hall ways with cheap knock offs. It was like being at a flea market. It smelled like cigarettes everywhere because they allow smoking in the casino and some would just walk around smoking. By the time the safety drill started, everyone was already drunk. They could barely get through the presentation because no one would pay attention. If this is what it is like to do an "adult" cruise, I will stick to Disney.
     
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  12. Riburn3

    Riburn3 New Member

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    I extensively cruised with other companies including Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian, and Viking River before I ever did my first Disney Cruise and like many of you, couldn't seem to figure out why anyone would pay essentially twice as much per person for what I at the time considered to be a kids cruise. After having a child, my wife and I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and outside of Viking River for their phenomenal Asian cruises, we haven't gone back to any other line.

    Perhaps one of the biggest differences right off the bat is the sizes of the more basic rooms on a Disney cruise are similar in size to some of the upgraded suites on other lines. If you compare price per cheapest room across all lines, Disney is always going to be the most expensive, but if you compare the quality and size of the basic rooms across all the lines, Disney wins hands down. The last time I took a trip on NCL, I booked a mini-suite that was about $200 less per person than the basic Disney ocean view room for a similar itenerary, but the mini-suite wasn't as nice as the DCL ocean room and was almost identical in square footage. DCL isn't for cruising on the cheap, but their introductory rooms are the best in the business.

    In terms of service, as everyone else has already beaten to death, Disney service is above and beyond. While other cruise lines do have some amazing staffers, it's usually the ones working for tips, where every crew interaction on a Disney cruise is phenomenal. It really is Disney service magic from the minute you are at the port to when they are getting you off. Whether you bump into a maintenance worker in the hall or are interacting with your waiter while dining, each interaction is so friendly and courteous. Every time we have enjoyed a Disney cruise we have made friends out of our table mates and our wait staff becomes like family by the end of the trip. I haven't really experienced that with other cruise lines outside of Viking River, but I find Viking River to be about as high end an experience as one can pay for outside of owning your own boat.

    Entertainment on deck can't be beat on DCL either. For both kids and adults. My daughter lives in the oceaneer club while on the boat (its hard to pull her away), and if we want to do more adult excursions at port, it's a wonderful to have that available. The shows are great, and some of the adult cooking and drinking classes have been incredibly memorable. Any adults saying they're bored on a DCL cruise aren't trying or are to too intraverted to enjoy many of the group activities available. I think cruises by their very nature are social vacations, and if you want seclusion, you picked the wrong format.


    The biggest seller for me is that while WDW and Disneyland are fun, DCL gives you the same kind of magical service and Disney experience without all the hassle, and for a very comparable cost. When I get back from a WDW vacation, I feel like I need to take a vacation from my vacation. When I get back from a DCL trip, I've travelled to places I've never seen, relaxed a lot, and am refreshed, all while feeling like I'm in the same Disney bubble that I love.

    Overall, I find DCL to be worth the premium. That's not to say an amazing deal on another line won't pull me away, but from a financial standpoint, even though we can do cheaper, it's hard to do better.
     
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  13. rob0519

    rob0519 Well-Known Member

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    Well, we've only been on 2 cruises. Our first was the Disney Wonder (passenger capacity 2,400) and the second was on the NCL Escape (passenger capacity 4,266). On the Escape we paid less for 7 days than we did on the Wonder for 4 days. Disney's fares are much more in tune with a luxury line than NCL, RCI and of course Carnival. I'm sure part of the reason is the amount of money brought in by the casinos and bars on other lines that Disney does not have.

    Disney service was better overall, top to bottom. Friendly, courteous, prompt. The size of the ship made it easier to get around, but it also gave you limited options of what to do on Sea Days. The highlight of that trip was of course Castaway Cay. I wish I could just book a week on that island and be done with it.

    The Escape IS enormous. It's so big embarkation is done from two gates in Miami. The nice thing about the size is everyone is spreadout most of the time and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces to investigate. The specialty coffee and gelato shops are tremendous. I don't drink alcohol, so having to go to a bar and fight to get a soft drink was an annoyance, but not a deal breaker.

    We found the service in the Main Dining Rooms and casual restaurants to be incredibly slow. We got the specialty dining plan for 5 nights and found the food and service better. Well worth the few extra dollars. It never really seemed as crowded at 4,200 passengers might sound with the exception of trying to get a seat a the piano lounge or comedy show.

    I enjoyed both ships and would sail each one again. Unfortunately, based on price it will not be Disney.
     
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  14. DfromATX

    DfromATX Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for such a helpful review!
     
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  15. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this! It's good to hear your experience. I did the dining package for 3 nights, and the UBP.. both included in a promotion, I only had to pay gratuities.

    I think my kiddo will love the ropes course and plank, and I know that he will absolutely love the water slides. Did you do any of these?
    We have 4 port days, but I'm planning to cut our Harvest Caye day a little short to try to have some less crowded pool time on the Escape.

    My biggest concern is the elevators.. there is only forward and aft - this was surprising to me!
    I originally booked an aft cabin in Deck 15 so that we could take the stairs to the pool deck. Then I read on CC that the Escape has small balconies on the higher decks, and 9&10 have the largest.. so, I switched to Deck 10. We can take the stairs to the restaurants, but not the pools. Do the elevators get very crowded?
     
  16. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Well, after readinf this today, and being the nutcase that I am.. I logged on to NCL's site again today to check on my Thanksgiving cruise on the Epic.. I'm now thinking about jumping ship and doing the Getaway instead for that week. We're still doing the Escape in June.
    I'm nuts. Maybe once I will actually keep a planned vacation intact.lol
     
  17. jloucks

    jloucks Well-Known Member

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    Yep, we are sailing out thanksgiving vacation week this year. Sheesh! Coming up quick!! Giant multi-family mob. Should be fun.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  18. Cesar R M

    Cesar R M Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to revive this thread, but I have to agree with this.
    I have tried Royal Caribbean.. and their service was subpar (on the OASIS) in both standard food AND service. (their Stage shows are definitively top notch)
    In DCL you just feel SPECIAL being taken care, everyone smiles and is appreciative. Everyone loves to help you.
    In RCCL.. everyone seemed on a rush and overworked.
     
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  19. Florida_is_hot

    Florida_is_hot Well-Known Member

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    Since the thread has been bumped anyway I can not justify spending twice as much for a Disney cruise than other cruise lines.
    Royal Caribbean excellent shows, excursions, have a huge selection of ships and with ports not available on Disney Cruises.

    My next vacation with be four days in Disney World and then off to Tampa for a Royal Caribbean cruise.

    If you like to spend thousands more for service and Disney entertainment the call is yours.
     
  20. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    For some Disney cruisers, the price is a secondary concern, which is an issue that this thread may not have fully explored. For high asset or high income people, time away from work is so valuable that they really don't care too much if the cruise for the family costs $2,000 or $10,000. They want a great experience, and don't want to have a subpar experience given their limited time away from work.

    It's the same with the parks and the hotels. You can stay a lot cheaper than the Polynesian or Boardwalk, but some people want the niceties and the location. Meanwhile, you can stay at Pop Century for a lot less, but many people are willing to pay oodles extra for the plusses of deluxe resort even though they get no perks at the parks for staying at a snobbier resort. Even cheaper, I could save lots of money and spend time at the local Six Flags, but that will not be as special, exciting, relaxing, or magical. I could save money on cruises with my family by booking somewhere else, but it will not be nearly as amazing or as predictably good. I pay the premium, and am guaranteed of a great time away from work. And for that, I'll gladly pay a few thousand extra.
     
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