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Old 01-13-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
Tiki4
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If not Disney........than what?

We have only cruised on Disney ships and have LOVED it everytime! Many of our friends have cruised other cruiselines and said they have had a great time too but I seem to think that it is only because they don't know what they are missing. But, then again, I don't have any experience on any other cruiseline myself so maybe I could be wrong but I think that the top of the line is Disney.

So, if I were to consider another cruiseline other than Disney, what is 2nd best?
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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I would rate Royal Caribbean as my second favorite line. We have always enjoyed our cruises on them (four so far), and the service on their smaller ships rivals Disney's service.

The only cruise line I did not enjoy was Carnival, but that probably had more to do with the ship's decor than anything. For me, part of the cruise is the atmosphere and the ship itself...Carnival's take on the whole Vegas decor is a bit too much for me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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I would rate Royal Caribbean as my second favorite line. We have always enjoyed our cruises on them (four so far), and the service on their smaller ships rivals Disney's service.

The only cruise line I did not enjoy was Carnival, but that probably had more to do with the ship's decor than anything. For me, part of the cruise is the atmosphere and the ship itself...Carnival's take on the whole Vegas decor is a bit too much for me.
Thanks! Since we have never experienced anything else it is hard to compare. My mother, on the other hand, has been on carnival twice and has a cruise coming up on Royal Caribbean. I told her she may notice a difference but she doesn't think it makes a difference which line you are cruising. She has a hard time understanding why we are so taken with Disney...............I am hoping she will notice some differences between the two and am looking forward to hearing her response. I do know that she hasn't been very impressed with the food offerings on Carnival...........Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.......that has never been an issue for us on Disney.

Is there much difference in the staterooms or the quality of the bedding, ect?
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #4
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Can't speak from personal experience, since we have only cruised once (on the Dream in March), but a friend who cruises often told me the cabins on DCL are bigger than other cruise lines. She also likes that soft drinks are included.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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As the Passporter states there are a lot of "extras" that DCL throws in that other cruise lines charge for; like the pop station. Those little charges can really add up, especially over a 7-night cruise! The staterooms are 20% larger on Disney Cruise Line and have the split bath, which is great for families. The kids clubs are the best on the seas and are included, (save for the nominal fee for the nursery) and the quality of service is fantastic. Disney knows how to do it right, that's for sure. They let you bring your own wine/liquor, the entertainment is fantastic...you get the point. Disney gets my vote
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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With Disney cruise being the best I would have to say cruising Celebrity was second. We've cruised Royal Caribbean (pre-child) and Celebrity (with child) and I think I liked the atmosphere and activities of the Celebrity ship better than the RC.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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Anyone but carnival!
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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Anyone but carnival!
Friends of ours just got off an 8 day carnival cruise and said it was wonderful. They have never experienced Disney so I wonder what their opinion would be if they had a comparison? I am glad they enjoyed their trip but I am fearful to do carnival because I think I would be disappointed.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:49 PM   #9
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We have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney. Disney was by far the best of the three. I have been told Celebrity is very good. I don't know anyone that has actually cruised Carnival and another line that would continue to prefer Carnival...
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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I've done Norweigan and really had a great time. Mom still sticks with Norweigan for her cruises even though she's looked at other cruise lines. I've heard of the Celebrity cruise line because when we went to Bermuda, Celebrity was our "cruising companion." (I don't know if it's different now but when we went out of NY, 2 ships travelled together to the same destination).
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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We've done 5 Royal Caribbean cruises (3 Alaska, 1 Canada Maritimes, 1 Eastern Caribbean) and loved every one of them. I think RCI is the best for Alaska because of all the glass
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
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The thing is, the cruise industry is very competitive. In today's market you're not likely to find a bad cruising experience (other than isolated problems, of course). Each tries to distinguish itself in some respects, and if your interests line up with what the cruise line offers, you're likely to be a happy cruiser.

One of the lesser-mentioned "Disney differences" is the lack of a casino. A line like Carnival counts on supplementing cruise fares with gambling and alcoholic beverage sales. That sort of goes hand-in-hand with Carnival's Vegas-esque decor, and like hotels in Vegas, the price of the room is a bit lower than it might be, in order to get folks into their casino. Disney makes proportionally much less on alcoholic beverages, and their bingo revenues are nowhere close to being enough to float a ship. That, plus the higher-quality entertainment, the larger stateroom size, mostly-no-charge soft drink policy, less nickel-and-diming in general... all that has to be paid for up front, in the cruise fare. Even then, Disney on both land and sea excels at delivering high guest satisfaction despite its higher prices.

Stateroom size is an interesting item. Yes, DCL's staterooms are larger. They need to be. On other cruise lines, the ship's maximum capacity averages out to a touch over 2 passengers per stateroom. They're mostly interested in booking couples - many rooms sleep a maximum of 2. DCL's maximum capacity averages 3 passengers per stateroom. In other words, bigger rooms are needed, because DCL's carrying way more families with 1-2 kids.


Me? As cruising on large ships is my work, I yearn for the small-ship experience. The "underwriting messages" (commercials) for Viking River Cruises that are shown before and after each Downton Abbey episode make my mouth water. A Lindblad expedition cruise to the Galapagos or Antarctica? Sign me up! I'd love a cruise on a boat with around 25 passengers, getting into all sorts of small ports and places the bigger ships can't visit. But the small-ship cruise business has a really hard time of it. That's the corner of the industry with the most bankruptcies. They don't benefit from economies of scale (both in ship-board operations, and in marketing costs per-passenger), yet their fares have to be competitive with the big ships. That's why most small ship experiences these days are luxury-priced, with luxury amenities.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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It really depends on what it is about DCL that you liked. I've sailed on NCL, Carnival, Royal, Holland, and Princess and they all have their pluses and minuses compared to Disney. It can also vary by ship. For instance, NCLs' newest ships have entertainment options galore. Carnivals' newest ships have incorporated family entertainment as well as additional free eateries. Royal has recently expanded their kids programs likely to compete directly with DCL.

If you can identify the most important aspects of your DCL cruise (e.g., service, cabins, entertainment, kids programming, etc.), then I can try to make some comparisons for you.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #14
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It really depends on what it is about DCL that you liked. I've sailed on NCL, Carnival, Royal, Holland, and Princess and they all have their pluses and minuses compared to Disney. It can also vary by ship. For instance, NCLs' newest ships have entertainment options galore. Carnivals' newest ships have incorporated family entertainment as well as additional free eateries. Royal has recently expanded their kids programs likely to compete directly with DCL.

If you can identify the most important aspects of your DCL cruise (e.g., service, cabins, entertainment, kids programming, etc.), then I can try to make some comparisons for you.
Thanks! We aren't looking to plan a cruise on another cruiseline, yet anyway, but the thought or discussion has come up lately. We are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 teenages. I believe our next cruise will be on DCL Western Carribean in 2014 or 2015. We have never had a bad experience on DCL and we like the family atmosphere, the multitude of activities for everyone, the food options, the "free" beverages, the entertainment & shows, the larger cabins (we usually go family suite w/vah). The service and crew on DCL are always amazing! The only thing I may want to change is possiblily some other port options.

I guess that if we ever did book another line, I would be fearful that I would be disappointed so I am a bit scared to try them.............
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #15
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I have a six year old son who has been on a variety of cruises thus far and he's found all of them enjoyable for a variety of reasons. For example, he really liked the kids clubs on Holland America; what I disliked was their operating hours. For example, the club was only open from 7-10 at night.

What most other cruise lines lack is family friendly entertainment, although this is changing. If you were to consider an alternative with teenagers, Royal and one of their larger ships might be a good fit. In terms of service and room size, though, we enjoyed Holland America and have cruised them three times with our son. On one cruise, he was one of only 32 under 18 year olds on the ship.
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