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Other cruise lines...

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line' started by hoffman1, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. hoffman1

    hoffman1 Member

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    For those of you who have done other cruise lines....
    We are considering trying another line. Some of the other lines are so much cheaper and we would get to explore other ports. It is just my husband and myself. I did Royal Caribbean a few years ago with a friend. I enjoyed it. I actually thought the food was better. I missed soda being included (I bought a soft drink package but it was always sort of a hassle to get--even in the main dining room) I think the entertainment was better on DCL. We have seen all the shows on the Fantasy and Dream but we like some of the other comedians and musicians DCL uses. I think my husband would miss the Disney/Star Wars merchandise. And I think he is afraid the service won't be as good on the other lines.
    So, what did you miss from DCL (if anything)?
     
  2. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    I've sailed on the Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas and the Quantum of the Seas. (I'll be touring the Anthem later this week.) I liked both ships and both experiences. I definitely missed having the same serving team every night in the restaurants. I didn't mind the soda thing. Most of the RCCL ships have the fancy Coke machines in 3 or 4 places on the ship, I think. I did not find it hard to get a soda on either ship. I like the Disney shows better, although the show on the Quantum was really interesting and unique, I'm not sure that I really liked it all that much. And on the Explorer, there's an ice show, which I really enjoyed. I felt the food was comparable; the service is obviously better with DCL.

    I've also sailed the Norwegian Breakaway. There's a link to my trip report in my signature below. I'd urge you to read the report. I liked the ship. I hated the shows in the main theater. The service was average at best (except in the upcharge restaurants), and our stateroom attendant was terrible. I apologize in advance, but the pictures in the trip report have all been blocked by Photobucket.
     
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  3. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    I just got off of our second cruise on the Celebrity Summit last weekend (Bayonne NJ to Bermuda), I will bullet point what I think are differences.


    Celebrity is definitely a more adult vibe - not adult as in drinking, partying, or 'blue entertainment', but clearly less geared to kids


    I think the food on the Summit is better than DCL - especially in Qsine and the new Tuscan Grille upcharge places. There is only one main dining room on the Summit, but now in response to where the industry is going, the upper deck of the dining room is still fixed seating times (first and second seating) and the lower deck is now "Flex Dining" - walk up and dine.


    Shows on the Summit vary - they alternate between a show with the "Celebrity singers, dancers, and entertainers" and a comedian or other act. The comedians have been consistently good, the magician that they always seem to have (he does something called iMagic) is meh. Most of their stage shows are just compilations of songs with accompanying dance and acrobatic / suspended work. I would put them a notch below the DCL offerings. However, they had a new show called "Chandelier" this time which was excellent - it had singing and dancing and suspended acrobatics - which were all excellent, but it also had a plot, characters, and dialogue. I kept thinking of both Tower Of Terror and Beauty and the Beast during it (An old Hollywood Hotel gets hit by lightning and the chandelier in the main dining room becomes conscious. It influences the various guests in the hotel to fulfil their dreams, right their wrongs, and come to grips with secrets of their past). I would put that show on par with the DCL offerings.


    Soda is not included, but they do have drink packages, one that is soft drinks, and two levels of alcoholic beverages. There are plenty of bars and lounges where you could get a soda from. I don’t normally drink “soda”, but I got Club Soda and Lime all over the place on that ship with no hassle and it was a canned Canada Dry Club Soda.


    Room are a little smaller, but not much. The lack of a split bath is something you are going to find on every other line. I believe only DCL has it.


    Service and state of the ship is close to DCL. I have always said that DCLs service and level of maintenance is better, but not THAT much better. There were a few railings that could have used a varnishing, and a rust spot (smaller than dime sized) here of there, but nothing that was huge issue. Crews were out and about painting and cleaning every day. DCL just seems to have more people on it.


    We had an issue this time with someone in guest relations, but we also had a head waiter who was easily the best waiter I have ever had on any of the cruises I have been on.
     
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  4. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    OP- I'm using this thread for my question because of the title.lol

    Also because there's info relevant to your question. I am currently booked in an Aft Facing Large Balcony on the NCL Getaway. Yesterday (2 weeks after final payment), I received an email with offers to "bid for an upgrade". This appears to be a relatively inexpensive way to get a Haven suite of bid is accepted. About $5000 in savings if min bid would be accepted.

    Which brings me to my question for @ChuckElias or @pilka214 ,

    Here is the email.. min bid is $750pp for a Haven Aft, which is the only cabin I would want besides the one I have currently. Obviously I would have to bid a little higher.

    Have you been in the Haven? It's a 4 port cruise on a ship with several amenities, do you think it's "worth" the upgrade?
    Also, I just checked the website and it says "sold out".. why the upgrade offer then? I'm confused.

    IMG_3708.JPG IMG_3703.PNG
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  5. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    I've not sailed in the Haven, but I've toured the staterooms and facilities. If I sail NCL again, I will likely book the Haven because I would expect the service to be better. Also, the private restaurant and pool area would be nice not to have to fight crowds. Easier embarkation and disembarkation, too. "Worth it" depends on how much you have to bid to get one.
     
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  6. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    I already get priority embarkation and disembarkation thru CAS, so that perk is lost on me.

    One more question, I cancelled an Alaskan June cruise earlier this year.. ended up booking one last week for next June, this time it's a different itinerary and the Jewel as opposed to the Pearl. Aft balconies were already sold out on my sail dates, so I decided to splurge and get a Cat SF suite. The Jewel doesn't have Aft Haven suites, so I get all of the perks except for the Haven itself (which is only the pool on the Jewel, they don't have their own restaurant)...breakfast and dinner is apparently served in the upcharge restaurants for Haven and Suite guests. Have you seen an SF suite or the Jewel? It's a much smaller ship with a lot less entertainment options so I was able to justify the price of a suite a lot more.. I felt like a large aft balcony was more important than the small Haven pool..especially because the sailing does both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier 2 out of the 7 days, I think we'll spend more time in our cabin on that cruise.

    On a 4 port western Caribbean on the Getaway, I'm not so sure if we'll spend as much time in the cabin itself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  7. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Oh and for anyone sailing NCL.. they just added more fees again.

    Unfortunately now if you book a Haven or Suite you will pay gratuities on all of the "Free at sea" promotions, those fees used to be included in those categories. (About $150 pp)

    However, @hoffman if you're considering NCL, they have a Tax Free Spree right now in addition to "Free at sea".. it's a great deal but only offered on select sailings.

    @DfromATX , did you decide between Royal Caribbean and NCL?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  8. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    I guess my question: Are other cruise lines magical?

    Yeah, kind of a silly question that's impossible to define, and probably less pronounced if you don't have young kids and/or the novelty of each cruise has long since passed. It's kind of like comparing one Disney character to the next. At the parks and on the ships, for example, we have seen very good Ariels and very mediocre Ariels. My daughter loved the Little Mermaid, and a really well-portrayed Ariel was magical for her. The others were forgettable.

    For us, given our limited times together as a family, we splurge and go Disney. For a few thousand bucks more, it's worth it to know that certain standards will not be compromised, and magical moments inevitably happen. I also know that most people are more concerned with the money aspect of all this, but I'm reasonably confident that I'll die without having spent all my money. I'm not super-rich by any means, but a few thousand bucks extra for our limited vacation time together as a family is considered money well spent right now.

    The thought of drunken gamblers also turns me off. I think most Disney cruisers come on board with nobler goals in mind than many of those who sail on the other lines.

    I also think that most people who see a bunch of cruise ships lined up in a harbor envy those of us who are on that beautiful Disney ship. Tipped over milk carton versus a true masterpiece of nautical architecture? Not much of a contest if you ask me.
     
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  9. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    I think even more than the cost, Disney is losing clientele or potential clientele to the NCL and RCL Megaships. I was so gung ho for DCL last year, now my biggest hesitation with them is the lack of amenities once out of the toddler stage, and mostly- for families to do together. I will be surprised if their new ships do not boast some of the entertainment/amenities of the Megaships.

    That said, I think the Star Wars Day at Sea cruises and Very Merrytime cruises do look wonderful. If NCL wouldn't keep giving me semi complimentary cruises I would be sailing on the Fantasy over Thanksgiving, not the Getaway.
     
  10. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    No, sorry. I'm located in the Northeast, so I have easy access to the Gem, Breakaway, and Dawn. But I've never sailed the Jewel, so I can't give you any first-hand observations.[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  11. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    Are you talking zip lines, climbing walls, and that sort of thing. I agree, those would be amazing, but I wonder how easily they could be done without becoming mega behemoth ships.

    One thing I just saw was some sort of canopy that can be electronically rolled over the pool areas. I've experienced a few hot days on the ships, and nobody is sunning themselves in the blazing heat. A shade canopy would be very welcomed, and would also be nice when it's raining. I wonder if such an addition would be feasible on the Disney ships, old and new.
     
  12. Phonedave

    Phonedave Well-Known Member

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    I see this argument a lot, and I don't buy it. We spend XXX because our limited family vacation time together means so much more to us. If that is truly the case then why not hire a personal VIP guide when you go to WDW? You get so much more done as a family when you do. Or why not carter a private jet when you fly to Florida? You would have at least a half of a day more quality family time together.

    The reason you don't do thes things is simple, you are making a cost benefit judgement, just like anybody who decides that a DCL cruise is not worth the money. I find DCL cruises very nice, but for me there is nothing that is so "magical" about them that it can justify the added expense. As I have said before, with small kids, yes - their child age programs are worth the difference in price. Once the kids hit 10 or so, not worth it.

    As for guests comming on board with "nobler" motives, I would posit the opposite. If DCL guests were truly "respectable" (and I use that term tounge in cheek) then DCL WOULD offer gamblng and alcoholic beverage packages - because they would know that their guests would behave responsibly. Nope, they don't offer them (both of which are huge money makers) because they need to perserve their family image, and they know they cannot trust their guests to do so.


    -dave
     
  13. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    Because there are limits for any income bracket. To me, a few thousand dollars more is not that important. A few tens of thousands more would be. Plus, there's the acknowledgement that splurging on pointless (or marginal) extras for tons more money is just wasteful. I don't need 1st class air travel or a concierge. But I do want magic, cleanliness and a great family-oriented time. I don't want creepy guys in gold chains, heavy drinkers/smokers and the threat of mediocrity.

    Similarly, I live in a nice house, but not a mansion, and I drive a nice car but not a late model Mercedes.
     
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  14. ChuckElias

    ChuckElias Well-Known Member

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    Well, now we're kind of off the beaten path. "Nobility" and "respectability" have connotations that probably don't belong in a discussion of cruise line guests. We're not dealing with moral choices here; we're dealing with preference and matters of taste. For what it's worth, here's my two cents on this aspect of the conversation:

    1) I think the "magic" argument has merit. No one is saying that you should ALWAYS pay for more magic. As both of you have pointed out, it's a question of how much the magic is worth monetarily to you. And, in fact, that is what this whole thread is about in a nutshell. Nobody here is saying that they'd choose a Disney cruise no matter how much it cost. As you point out, we don't charter jets to Orlando, etc. But we are saying that there is a qualitative difference in the cruise experience, and for some of us, the cost/benefit analysis leads us to the conclusion that the Disney experience is worth the x number of dollars difference. Put me in this camp. I fully understand that not everyone agrees.

    2) While DCL cruisers may not have more nobility than other cruise line guests, I will say that I've never heard anyone say, "I can't wait to get on the Fantasy because we are gonna get hammered". And I have heard guests say that about other cruise lines. People take a Disney cruise primarily, I think, for the family experience. If they wanted the casino experience, they'd sail another line. And I personally don't think any less of those people. Because I don't think that's a matter of nobility; again, it's a matter of preference or taste. The reason, IMHO, that there's no casino or open bar on the DCL ships is not that they don't trust their guests (I think that's a pretty silly statement, to be honest); it's that a casino is a low priority for the demographic that they're trying to attract.
     
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  15. jaklgreen

    jaklgreen Well-Known Member

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    I don't really get the whole "I need a casino on a cruise" mentality. If you want to gamble that bad then just go to Vegas or Atlantic City. I go on a cruise to have a different kind of experience. I go to Vegas or to our local casino if I want to play pai gow.
     
  16. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    Your logic escapes me. Allowing the gambling and over-drinking would attract problem people that would compromise Disney's customer base. Disney attracts the family set because their guests don't miss the gambling and over-drinking. Why offer something as a lure for problem people? If Disney did that, they would--duh?--bring in a bunch of gold-chained gamblers and drinkers. They don't want that crowd, so they don't offer the stuff that that crowd would want.

    If magically a casino was suddenly offered on Disney ships unbeknownst to the guests when they booked, I doubt that it would be very successful. Yeah, a few curious people would stop in, but that's not why they're there. Yet if people knew ahead of time that Disney had a casino, the chain smoking gamblers would be more likely to book, thus watering down the family atmosphere of the ship. Bad Bad Bad move on Disney's part, which is why it hasn't happened.

    Put another way, offering the sin would attract the sinners. It may also corrupt the non-sinners. It also would be likely to deter the family set that is the core of Disney's customer base. Disney families would be more likely to vacation elsewhere. As I said earlier, one reason I'm willing to pay a premium for the Disney ship is because those people aren't prevalent. If I wanted over-drinking and gambling, I'd book on Carnival. This is Marketing 101 and Econ 101. Again, your logic escapes me on this at several levels.
     
  17. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    Excellent points, but I may be so bold as to say that Disney cruisers are indeed more likely to be noble and respectable. Consider the converse: People lacking in respectability and noble goals would probably be more likely to want to get hammered, to mess around behind a spouse's back, to be divorced multiple times, to be selfish enough to risk money against the odds at a shipboard casino, to be willing to waste money on cigarettes, to think that somehow a gold chain around a man's neck signifies something good, and to think that dumping the kids off on a relative to take an adults-only vacation is a positive thing in one's life.

    No, I think a nobler and more respectable person controls one's drinking, is faithful to one's spouse, is less likely to be divorced multiple times, is not risking money on gambling or cigarettes, is not wearing a sleazy and narcissistic gold chain, and is not dumping the kids to party hardy on a Carnival-like ship. Yeah, call me prude, but there exists good character traits and bad character traits. None of us are perfect, but it is a terrible mistake to think that a person's choices say nothing about his/her morality and respectability.
     
  18. Sans Souci

    Sans Souci Well-Known Member

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    You can say DCL cruisers are more "respectable" than those pax on other lines, but I have seen a couple having sex in Evolution on the Dream. I swear on my son's life this is true. If you've ever been in a club on one of the ships, you know they aren't that heavily utilized.They were pretty easy to spot.

    ETA: Go to "Match your Mate." There you will find spouses bragging about the the weirdest places they found the "Magic." You will be treated to stories of husbands being serviced by their wives while driving on I-95 and someone saying "that'd be the butt."

    Let's not act like DCL is Cuinard, ok?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  19. Ralphlaw

    Ralphlaw Well-Known Member

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    Exceptions are bound to exist. There are miscreants in every crowd of 1,000 people or more. I also doubt that many passengers on Cunard are young and adventurous enough to try anything like that.

    DCL has a market niche of families, often with younger kids. Other people book as well, but Disney's deliberate marketing has given them the best occupancy rate in the industry, even though they charge a premium price. Their target customer base does not seem to care about the lack of casinos and drunken idiocy, yet a few wayward adventurers will certainly break the rules of decency from time to time. I've heard f-bombs on Disney ships, and I'm sure there's selfish drunkenness and parents who are happy to dump their kids in the clubs in order to engage in "adult" behavior that few of us would condone. Nevertheless, taking the guests as whole, I believe more Disney cruisers would fit the common definitions of "noble" and "respectable" than the median cruisers on other lines, especially the drunken party boats of Carnival and their ilk. I doubt that this could be scientifically proven, but common sense and experience tells me that this is true.
     
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  20. EOD K9

    EOD K9 Well-Known Member

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    Now I feel guilty about dropping my girls off in the nursery so the wife and I can hit the Aquaduck.
     
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