• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

How does Disney Cruise Compare to other Cruise Lines?

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
My take, and everybody is going to be different, is that DCL is worth the extra cost if you are traveling with small children. DCL truly excels in this area, and the extra cost is well worth it.

When traveling with just adults, I will take Celebrity over DCL for my money. The crew is just as accommodating, I found many more activities geared to my tasted on Celebrity. Celebrity has an adults only area that is actively enforced. They have an awesome "no saving lounge chairs" policy. Sure, all ships claim it. On Celebrity the towel/pool stewards actively remove items people are using to save chairs if nobody show up to the chair for an extended period of time.

I found the food on Celebrity to be just as good, if not better, than on DCL

I will say that the shows on DCL, as a whole, are better. Every night on DCL is a stunning show (but you do get repeats on a long cruise). Celebrity has some stunning shows as well, but then every so often they throw in an act that is just OK. However, on Celebrity every night is a different show. So you take your pick DCL with 3 awesome shows that keep rotating, or Celebrity with 7 different shows, with 2 of them being passable.

If pricing was the same, I would call it a toss up. But with DCLs inflated pricing, It's not a product I am going to pursue for adults only crusing.
My experience with Celebrity was horrible. The ship was well past it's dry dock time. There was rust all over the place, including the hand rails by the pool. The rooms where TINY. We do not have a large house but my master bathroom is bigger then the room on the Celebrity ship. The staff was very rude and just had the attitude that they did not give a crap. You would hear people talking about it saying how these things would never happen on a Disney cruise. People were just lined up at guest services to complain about how bad the staff was. The food was OK, but the dinner in the main dining room was definitely not up to the standards that DCL has. There is no way you were getting a filet or lobster at the MDR. I felt like everything was an extra charge and that the tables that they set out in the hallways made it feel like I was in a cheap flea market. They allowed smoking in some of the inside rooms that were hard to avoid crossing the ship plus you could smoke anywhere on an open deck, including by the pool. That was a big issue for me because of my allergy to it. I don't like how you have to go up to a bar(which allows smoking) just to get a soda. When it comes down to it, you get what you pay for.
 

lostpro9het

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
Whelp, we went ahead and did it...kiddo and DW decided they wanted to do something over thanksgiving week and in the eyes of DCL this means last minute booking which also carries a $4k+ price tag for a 4-nighter inside stateroom, nope! Norwegian was running promotion for “free” open bar, internet, upgrade dining, and $50/port credit. We ended up booking an Aft veranda on a 4-nighter with 3 ports for the three of us for $2600 taxes and gratuity inclusive and will get unlimited adult beverages, internet, upgraded dining, and the port credit in addition to the $200 onboard credit for booking through Expedia during the week of thanksgiving. Half of me is hoping we have an awesome time and half of me is hoping we don’t because we like DCL so much. We’ll be on the Sun and sail out if Port Canaveral. So many new things to deal with. Any NCL folks have recommendations? Fear not, though, we have four DCL trips booked, two PIF, over the next 14 months to keep our fix on.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
My experience with Celebrity was horrible. The ship was well past it's dry dock time. There was rust all over the place, including the hand rails by the pool. The rooms where TINY. We do not have a large house but my master bathroom is bigger then the room on the Celebrity ship. The staff was very rude and just had the attitude that they did not give a crap. You would hear people talking about it saying how these things would never happen on a Disney cruise. People were just lined up at guest services to complain about how bad the staff was. The food was OK, but the dinner in the main dining room was definitely not up to the standards that DCL has. There is no way you were getting a filet or lobster at the MDR. I felt like everything was an extra charge and that the tables that they set out in the hallways made it feel like I was in a cheap flea market. They allowed smoking in some of the inside rooms that were hard to avoid crossing the ship plus you could smoke anywhere on an open deck, including by the pool. That was a big issue for me because of my allergy to it. I don't like how you have to go up to a bar(which allows smoking) just to get a soda. When it comes down to it, you get what you pay for.

Not sure which ones you have been on, but that has not been my experience. I guess I could go point for point. I have pictures somewhere of my missing veranda light on DCL with the live wires sticking out with a "ACHTUNG!" sticker on them (from when the ship was built) or the multiple calls to DCLs "wonderful" CM's who could do nothing about the noise keeping all of us awake - for the record, comped snorkel equipment on Castaway Cay when we all brought our own does NOT make up for being kept awake until 4 AM

I could go on about the Celebrity staff that knew us by name by the second time we met. Or by the lobster(s) I had in the MDR. Having mentioned to our server that I didn't think one would be enough, he just slipped a second one on my plate when I finished my first.

The only indoor areas where smoking was allowed was in the casino, which was easily avoidable. And there were a few, out of the way spots where people could smoke on deck.

I have never seen smoking allowed at a bar, but I do like that fact that I can buy a drink package and get something besides soda, even if non-alcoholic. Seltzer with lime for example, or soda water with bitters, a "real" non alcoholic drink - not Coke products from a self serve fountain. I can even order them from the number of pursers walking around the pool area, and they bring them to me.

I guess experiences vary. I still think DCL does a very nice cruise (but really, the food is not that all fired great) but there are areas where they are lacking, and they rely a lot on their name.


-dave
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
Not sure which ones you have been on, but that has not been my experience. I guess I could go point for point. I have pictures somewhere of my missing veranda light on DCL with the live wires sticking out with a "ACHTUNG!" sticker on them (from when the ship was built) or the multiple calls to DCLs "wonderful" CM's who could do nothing about the noise keeping all of us awake - for the record, comped snorkel equipment on Castaway Cay when we all brought our own does NOT make up for being kept awake until 4 AM

I could go on about the Celebrity staff that knew us by name by the second time we met. Or by the lobster(s) I had in the MDR. Having mentioned to our server that I didn't think one would be enough, he just slipped a second one on my plate when I finished my first.

The only indoor areas where smoking was allowed was in the casino, which was easily avoidable. And there were a few, out of the way spots where people could smoke on deck.

I have never seen smoking allowed at a bar, but I do like that fact that I can buy a drink package and get something besides soda, even if non-alcoholic. Seltzer with lime for example, or soda water with bitters, a "real" non alcoholic drink - not Coke products from a self serve fountain. I can even order them from the number of pursers walking around the pool area, and they bring them to me.

I guess experiences vary. I still think DCL does a very nice cruise (but really, the food is not that all fired great) but there are areas where they are lacking, and they rely a lot on their name.


-dave
I was on the Celebrity Constellation right before they went into dry dock. And it was years overdue by how run down it was. Maybe that is why the staff couldn't care less because they were about to have time off. This was about 6 years ago and at that time they did allow smoking at the bars. So any time we wanted any kind of drink, we had to wait for a bar tender to be free to get it. I know the drink packages are a good deal, but there were so many drunk people because of it. When we had the safety drill, people were already extremely drunk and would not stop messing around for the drill. In a way it was funny and the crew just gave up trying to get people's attention. But that is pretty bad that so many were wasted in the couple of hours since boarding. I don't agree that Disney relies their name. If that was the case then they would not have so many repeat cruisers, nor would they be winning awards. The staff on the ships work incredibly hard and deserve the credit for it.
 

minnie4ever

New Member
Been on Carnival (am too old for that nonsense now) Holland America (elegant but an older crowd) and NCL (a very old ship) meh. I agree that DCL is expensive, especially if you are a solo cruiser, but I will take DCL every time...why? I have FUN on board. They have first run movies, a nice adult area and good bars, FIREWORKS, the crew and the passengers are both great (hey its Disney, everyone is happy to be there) and if we are really lucky the last night on the longer cruises the adults get to play in the Kids area.
To be clear, I am a Senior gal going solo, so having a common denominator such as Disney helps greatly with the awkwardness of the first night dinner table conversation!
 
Last edited:

fireworkz

Active Member
Lot of talk the big difference is price, but want to mention something I’ve noticed. I do find my in on-board charges at the end of a cruise on DCL tends to be between 300 and 500 less (after subtracting shopping) than lines like NCL and Royal. Still makes DCL higher overall, but does bring it closer simply because of the included services and items on Disney compared to other lines that hit you for extra charges.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Lot of talk the big difference is price, but want to mention something I’ve noticed. I do find my in on-board charges at the end of a cruise on DCL tends to be between 300 and 500 less (after subtracting shopping) than lines like NCL and Royal. Still makes DCL higher overall, but does bring it closer simply because of the included services and items on Disney compared to other lines that hit you for extra charges.

What services are you using on other lines that are free on DCL
 

fireworkz

Active Member
What services are you using on other lines that are free on DCL
First for proper comparison I am talking about 7 day cruises.
The biggest difference I find - beverages. DCL has pretty well all non-alcoholic beverages included and the speciality coffees and alcohol tend to be cheaper on DCL than the other thee major lines I’ve travelled with even with “drink package deals” Example on NCL I recently had their ultimate bev. package for “free”, but you still pay a whopping over $400 in tip fees. Sure you pay tips to bar staff on DCL, but to cover $400 in tips for the week at 18% you would have to consume about $300 worth of drinks each day to rack up that many tips. I drink but not $300 a day!

The other one dining - this one is hard to compare because DCL only has one or two speciality for fee dining rooms per ship where the other lines on similar size ships have 4 to 7 plus speciality dining venues. But while Rémy is considered to be on the high side price wise, Palo is extremely reasonable compared to the average fees on other lines, made worse by the other lines moving towards al carte pricing rather than a flat fee.

Then there’s all the nickel and diming now on activities and entertainment. Most of the other lines charge nominal fees for some of their on-board entertainment and activities. In most cases these are easy to avoid, but it’s getting more difficult. Other than the some deluxe activities or events with consumables such as wine tastings DCL hasn’t trapped us with those yet.
 
Last edited:

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
First for proper comparison I am talking about 7 day cruises.
The biggest difference I find - beverages. DCL has pretty well all non-alcoholic beverages included and the speciality coffees and alcohol tend to be cheaper on DCL than the other thee major lines I’ve travelled with even with “drink package deals” Example on NCL I recently had their ultimate bev. package for “free”, but you still pay a whopping over $400 in tip fees. Sure you pay tips to bar staff on DCL, but to cover $400 in tips for the week at 18% you would have to consume about $300 worth of drinks each day to rack up that many tips. I drink but not $300 a day!

The other one dining - this one is hard to compare because DCL only has one or two speciality for fee dining rooms per ship where the other lines on similar size ships have 4 to 7 plus speciality dining venues. But while Rémy is considered to be on the high side price wise, Palo is extremely reasonable compared to the average fees on other lines, made worse by the other lines moving towards al carte pricing rather than a flat fee.

Then there’s all the nickel and diming now on activities and entertainment. Most of the other lines charge nominal fees for some of their on-board entertainment and activities. In most cases these are easy to avoid, but it’s getting more difficult. Other than the some deluxe activities or events with consumables such as wine tastings DCL hasn’t trapped us with those yet.

I have never sailed NCL, but $400 in tips is outrageous. Drinks packages on Celebrity were not like that at all. We don't drink to excess, but I have the opposite experience. Beverage prices on DCL are way to high, and the lack of an available package seems to be a calculated way to get people to pay those prices. As for free soda, it means nothing to me, I don't drink soda.

I have found the fees for specialty dining to be comparable, except for Remy, which is high.

Again, my experience has been that other cruise lines are comparable to what DCL charges for, but that's just my experience.
 

DCLcruiser

Well-Known Member
I have never sailed NCL, but $400 in tips is outrageous. Drinks packages on Celebrity were not like that at all. We don't drink to excess, but I have the opposite experience. Beverage prices on DCL are way to high, and the lack of an available package seems to be a calculated way to get people to pay those prices. As for free soda, it means nothing to me, I don't drink soda.

I have found the fees for specialty dining to be comparable, except for Remy, which is high.

Again, my experience has been that other cruise lines are comparable to what DCL charges for, but that's just my experience.
DotD is $6. That's cheaper than a beer at a bar, with probably more abv.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
I have never sailed NCL, but $400 in tips is outrageous. Drinks packages on Celebrity were not like that at all. We don't drink to excess, but I have the opposite experience. Beverage prices on DCL are way to high, and the lack of an available package seems to be a calculated way to get people to pay those prices. As for free soda, it means nothing to me, I don't drink soda.

I have found the fees for specialty dining to be comparable, except for Remy, which is high.

Again, my experience has been that other cruise lines are comparable to what DCL charges for, but that's just my experience.
See, I found the prices on DCL way lower than that of Royal Caribbean. It is very hard to find a glass of wine on Royal that is lower than $12 but DCL had plenty of decent options.
I think a major difference is in how their promenade sections of the ships are. While Disney's is often smaller it is way better because it is not cluttered up with all manner of tables hawking watches and perfumes, which is what Royal has and it gets tiresome to go through it every day.
After post Edit:
Iwill also add that DCL kids clubs have better hours, but compared to RCCL the actual kids clubs are more of a free for all, in that your kids can be as involved or not as they choose to be, whereas on Royal ny daughter said they had activities they pushed for all kids to do, which for her she preferred, as she is naturally a but shy so involved counselors help. My son, on the other hand loved the Disney Kids Clubs because he liked doing what he wanted.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
See, I found the prices on DCL way lower than that of Royal Caribbean. It is very hard to find a glass of wine on Royal that is lower than $12 but DCL had plenty of decent options.
I think a major difference is in how their promenade sections of the ships are. While Disney's is often smaller it is way better because it is not cluttered up with all manner of tables hawking watches and perfumes, which is what Royal has and it gets tiresome to go through it every day.
After post Edit:
Iwill also add that DCL kids clubs have better hours, but compared to RCCL the actual kids clubs are more of a free for all, in that your kids can be as involved or not as they choose to be, whereas on Royal ny daughter said they had activities they pushed for all kids to do, which for her she preferred, as she is naturally a but shy so involved counselors help. My son, on the other hand loved the Disney Kids Clubs because he liked doing what he wanted.
I have always maintained that if you have kids on your cruise, then that totally skews the scales to DCL. That is one part they do very well.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
A shot of rum is about the same as a premium US beer (4.5%). I drink 8% DIPA at home, but on a Caribbean vacation I want rum drinks. DotD is usually really good.
Yes, a shot of hard liquor is about the same as a glass of wine is about the same as a beer.

But do you really think that they are mixing the DotD one at a time and putting a shot of rum into each one? They are mixed in large batches and served. Also, I don't want the drink of the day all day, even if it is a drink I happen to like. Sure, sitting by the pool in the middle of the day, something like a Rum Runner goes down nice. but not with dinner. Or if I am sitting in the lounge relaxing with a pre-dinner cocktail and snack, I want something different - an Old Fashioned, or a good bourbon, or if on a Bermuda route a Dark & Stormy. I am not going to change the drink I want because it happens to be the "cheap one of the day".

-dave
 

DCLcruiser

Well-Known Member
Yes, a shot of hard liquor is about the same as a glass of wine is about the same as a beer.

But do you really think that they are mixing the DotD one at a time and putting a shot of rum into each one? They are mixed in large batches and served. Also, I don't want the drink of the day all day, even if it is a drink I happen to like. Sure, sitting by the pool in the middle of the day, something like a Rum Runner goes down nice. but not with dinner. Or if I am sitting in the lounge relaxing with a pre-dinner cocktail and snack, I want something different - an Old Fashioned, or a good bourbon, or if on a Bermuda route a Dark & Stormy. I am not going to change the drink I want because it happens to be the "cheap one of the day".

-dave
I agree overall. We do DotD during the day and then at night switch to cocktails or beer in the bar areas.

I still think DotD is the best deal on the boat, but I am sure all cruise lines have similar.
 

ChuckElias

Well-Known Member
But do you really think that they are mixing the DotD one at a time and putting a shot of rum into each one? They are mixed in large batches and served.
Now that you say it, I'm sure that's how they do it. But I never even considered that before. I honestly would have said that they make them as they go out. But that would be stupid. Wow, I'm dumb!!
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Now that you say it, I'm sure that's how they do it. But I never even considered that before. I honestly would have said that they make them as they go out. But that would be stupid. Wow, I'm dumb!!

No not dumb. Just somebody who has not been around places that do that. FYI, even places like Chili's that I am sure serve a lot less per day than a DCL ship, mix their El Presidente Margaritas by the batch.
 
Top Bottom