DCL Cruisers

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JMed's picture
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DCL Cruisers

Ahoy Grownups!

In the days leading up to our cruise, as we have mentioned it, I have heard time and time again

"We like the cruise better than the parks!" eek

What? Really? How is that so? For those of you that have been on a DC, can you explain this to me. I love the parks and all there is to do including RIDES.

So what really is the big deal with the cruise that makes it better than the parks?

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MrHub's picture
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I can't even see how you could compare to two. They two totally different kinds of vacations I my opinion.

Kris1971's picture
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I'm with MrHub. They are so different in terms of the type of vacation you get. I love the Disney Cruise Line. We've had two really fun trips, but I also love the parks! Truth be told, my perfect vacation would be a combination Land/Sea trip. Some serious fun in the parks and some serious relaxing out at sea.

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We went on a cruise in 2012 and I fully expected to LOVE it and rebook whilst on board as so many people do.... We came away saying 'wow that was fun, can we go to disney now?'

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They are two very different Disney experiences. I do not think one is better than the other. I felt the DCL was a very relaxing vacation with Disney vibes, decor, and theming all over. The parks are an immersion experience into a different world. If I were forced to pick one over the other, it would be the parks. Disney Parks offer a one of a kind experience. DCL is also Disney, but if you've cruised on other higher end cruise lines, they come close in comparison. DCL does offer perks that most traditional cruises do not, but I have found they are closing in on Disney. We are going to Alaska next summer and the cruise line we choose offers a little more than DCL. Or at least, I think. I am also traveling with just adults so no children in the decision making process.

Regardless, you will have a ball!

Brinbunny's picture
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Looking forward to your views on this as I hear the same things.

JMed's picture
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Yea, it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that people love it more than the parks. Cause like Mr Hub said, they are 2 very different things. But I hear it over and over and over again.

I am quite excited about it. It will be our first Disney cruise but my 10th cruise. So I do have the past cruises to compare to as far as service and quality. I have loved all my past cruises on "other" ships.

We shall see... I am such a fan of the parks, even more so after going without Blondie and slowing down a bit to enjoy things and see more.

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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jw24's picture
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I haven't been a Disney Cruise myself though I really want to! But I have read a lot of cruise trip reports and opinions online and the vibe I get is that there are certain components that the Cruise Line does much better than Disney World and vice versa. I've heard people say the CMs are more friendly on the ships though Disney World CMs overall are friendly. (On the ships, you won't find college program CMs, which have gotten a not so nice reputation from some.) Compared to Disney World, I get the feeling that people have a more personal connection with the CMs, mainly with the waitstaff in the main dining room. And I've been told that when you board the ship, your arrival is announced to the entire ship.

I've also heard food from the main dining area is pretty good and Palo and Remy have been put in the same class as Victoria and Alberts from many people. Rotational dining is a really great concept in my book and that's their major selling point for dining compared to other cruises.

Another aspect that the Cruise Line has is more variety of activities for everyone in the family. I mean, there are designated, secluded areas for young children, teens and adults so there's always something for everyone though I understand most of the major cruise lines have activity areas for different age groups of children with adult exclusive events and lounges/bars. But there's always something going onboard the ship and the level of pace seems to be relaxed compared to the theme parks since they're no rush to book or change FP+ or the need to do every single ride in less than half of a full 24 hour day.

Other than that, I've heard positive opinions about the entertainment and maintenance and appearance seem to be valued much higher compared to the Disney parks. And..the Aquaduck on the Fantasy and Dream looks pretty awesome to me and I'm not the type who visits water parks!

I think you should liken to being a WDW fan visiting Disneyland in CA. If all you do is nitpick and criticize all the differences between Disneyland and Disney World, you probably won't enjoy your experience. But if you give Disneyland its dues and accept Disneyland as a whole just by itself without the need to constantly compare and contrast, you'll enjoy your trip much more. I would like to think the same rule applies when it comes to the Cruise Line.

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Honestly I have never heard anyone say that, maybe on the Cruise web sites, but I don't think I have ever heard it from anyone on here that has gone.

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It was fun. I'll do it again someday probably. It doesn't compare to the parks IMO.

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Definitely two different kinds of vacations! On Oct 26, we returned from a cruise on the Disney Magic. The entire ship was leased by the Turner Classic Movie channel and interaction with Disney characters was non exisistent unless you were in the children's area with the dozen or so kids who were on board. Other than a nursing home, I've never seen so many walkers, wheel chairs and ECVs! But there were lots of young at heart cruisers! laugh

It was fun watching the old movies on the big screen once more. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Mr Holland's Opus, Good-Bye Girl, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Shirley Jones (Music Man, Elmer Gantry, Carousel and Oklahoma!) and Tab Hunter (Damn Yankees, Island of Desire, Lust in the Dust) were all on board and introduced some of their movies. About 50 old movies were shown on the three screens that are available, one at the pool, Walt Disney Theatre and Buena Vista Theatre. This was definitely different from the normal Disney Cruises. The TCM cruise takes place once a year. This was a five night cruise with stops at Castaway Cay and Key West, FL.

But like any cruise, you can do as much as you want or as little as you want. The nice part about a cruise is that your room is never very far away. If you want a nap in the afternoon it takes 5 - 10 minutes to get to your cabin instead of 30 - 45 minutes via bus, monorail, boat or automobile. There are adult only areas of the ship which is very well enforced, but on the regular cruises you can have as much interaction with the characters as you want if you are willing to share with the kids! Regular cruises also show first run Disney movies in the Walt Disney Theatre. We did experience the brunch at Palo (adults only - 18 years and up) which is only available when the ship is at sea (not visiting a port) and it was fabulous! Our waiter took us through the whole buffet and let us know that there were also cook to order items available including eggs benedict, chicken parmigiana etc.

I absolutely love WDW but DCL is also a lot fun and not quite as tiring because you aren't walking 10 miles everyday. DCL cast members are different from WDW cast members. With the exception of EPCOT, a good percentage of CMs are from North America. DCL are from all over the world with very few from North America. It was fun getting to know them and finding out where they live. DCL cast members work very hard and take VERY good care of you!!

Don't forget to order you Mickey Mouse ice cream bar from room service! mickey You won't find it on any menu including the room service menu! The only cost is a tip to the CM who brings it to your cabin.

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One more thing.....no casinos on Disney ships! Could be a deal breaker for some cruisers. Some people think they can win enough to pay for their cruise! rolling rolling rolling

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oHIo wrote:
One more thing.....no casinos on Disney ships! Could be a deal breaker for some cruisers. Some people think they can win enough to pay for their cruise! rolling rolling rolling

That was almost a deal breaker for us... On our 7 day honeymoon, we ended up paying maybe $250.00 out of pocket for everything we did on the ship and islands because of the casino. My hubby is very good...

I realize it is 2 totally different experiences that's why I was asking the question. I was just wanting opinions. I just don't get how the people I talked to said they like it better... Sorry for ruffling any feathers...

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"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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Well, that may be because a good portion of WDW fans have their level of dissatisfaction of WDW grow increasingly with Disney's actions or lack thereof in recent years. In turn, they'll look for other activities. Some have claimed they will stop going to Disney World and spend more time and money at a certain theme park down the road until they see changes for the better. Others are taking a long break from Disney World and visiting non-Disney places. Others are giving other Disney entities a chance to experience like Disneyland in California, the international Disney parks and even the Cruise Line.

For me personally, as much as I am interested in Disneyland out west and the Cruise Line, what is holding me back for either one is the cost and for the Cruise Line, there's really only one itinerary that moderately interests me (The Eastern Caribbean cruise to St. Thomas and St Maarteen with one day at Castaway Cay.) since I've already cruised to the Bahamas, Alaska and the Mediterranean and the rest either have locations in the itinerary I've already been to or simply don't appeal to me. For Disney World, yes, the cost is holding me back but even if I did have the money for it, I would refrain from spending it on a return trip because I would need an incentive to go back and new attractions that appeal to me would be the incentive in that regard.

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"All my life I wonder how it feels to pass a day, not above them but part of them.

And out there living in the sun, give me one day out there, all I ask is one to hold forever. Out there where they all live unaware, what I'd give, what I'd dare, just to live one day out there."

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JMed, I don't think your ruffling any feather! There are die hard cruisers and die hard Parks people and then there are the ones that do both. We have never done a Disney Cruise, but if we did, we would have to do part sea and part parks, we could never just do the cruise only.

We did one cruise years ago to Burmuda, it was fun, but not fun enough for us to want to do another one since. We were also in the idle of hurricane Hugo, so that could be part of the reason, but still, it just never caught on for us. We are also not beach people either or shore people.

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For me the difference between the two is much work related. If I'm at WDW these days I am constantly working, however the cruise allows me more time to relax and enjoy myself simply because I have less work to do. The cruise environment forces me to slow down and disconnect.

It's not so much that I like one better than the other but they are different types of vacations. WDW is very fun, active, and go-go-go. DCL is sumptuous, leisurely and whatever may be may be.

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I will say that I enjoy the ships more than the parks. I've been an AP holder for years, we fly down to WDW often and go to DL at least every other year and I've been lucky enough to visit every Disney park worldwide. I enjoy the parks immensely, it's just that sailing on a 7night or longer cruise is so relaxing. I lean more towards getting away from crowds especially lately because work is so hectic.

We have been lucky and have been at the parks quite a bit in 2014. We've been trying to enjoy new restaurants and new resorts but nothing compares to visiting new islands. Having sailed on 10 DCL cruises in 3 years has opened my eyes to true Disney fanatics. Trust me when I say that DCL cruisers love Disney, the parks ,the movies, and the ships. There are just as many FB groups for cruises as there are for parks. We all still talk Disney, and the majority of us are visiting the park either before or after the cruises.

I will always go to WDW for F & W that's the best vacation ever but now I tend to book a cruise after a few days at the parks just to feel like i've been on vacation. As Kristen said "WDW is very fun, active, and go-go-go. DCL is sumptuous, leisurely and whatever may be may be." I know we have few CM's here and I've made friends with a couple of other CM's at the parks. The CM's I've met on our cruises have become like family to us. I'm talking about great Cruise Directors to Entertainment staff, to Bartenders/Servers to our Cabin Hosts.

We always tip Mousekeeping at our resorts but they are generally hidden "house elves" and we rarely see or interact with them. Onboard the ship you not only get to know your host but they truly go above and beyond to accommodate you. Some of the magic that has left the parks can be found on the ships. The character and CM interactions are fantastic!

The ships won't replace the parks and they shouldn't for most people but I'm here to tell you that I'd cruise 3 times a year and visit the parks once a year and be perfectly happy.

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awesome DisneyDee - Thank you so much for this perspective, that is really helpful.

JMed's picture
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Thanks DisneyDee! I just saw the same question (do you prefer the cruise over the parks) asked on one of the FB pages last night and I thought "Well, huh... there it is again." So many people agreed. I just really wanted to know why. I think I get it now.

I'm looking forward to the cruise but I really don't see it outweighing the parks for me. We shall see!

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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awesome

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Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

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Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.

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JMed's picture
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We are signed up for a mixology class!!!! and the FE and I want to eat at Palo I got a lot to do in 4 days!

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"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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DisneyDee27 wrote:
Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.

I would certainly consider a cruise group, must say my holiday plans are a little bit under review for 2016/17, but I would provisionally go for it.

I'm loving the group on Facebook that is set up for out August cruise, looks like a bunch of the adults are going to set up a port adventure for us.... We are doing the fish extender. Hope to sign up to mixology closer to the time

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DisneyDee27 wrote:
Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.


You know what? We would be up for this! We are planning on a fall trip in 2016 Laughing out loud

__________________

Our Very Merry 24 nighter Nov/Dec 15
Watson's go West May 15
The one with all the birthdays Oct 14 4 Big Birthdays and a Vow Renewal thrown in
The OMG trip June 14 30th Birthday present from the hubs
Girly trip March 14 A last min cheapy week
September 13 our first all DVC stay
TR May 2013 the last min bargain trip offsite
Oct 2012 TR with a cruise!big family trip featuring the beach club, AKL, the dream and a villa offsite
TR on a budget May - June 2011offsite condo
TR Sept - Oct 2010 big family trip in an offsite villa

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RobynPrincess wrote:
DisneyDee27 wrote:
Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.


You know what? We would be up for this! We are planning on a fall trip in 2016 Laughing out loud

We're also tentatively planning for a Fall 2016 cruise so I'd probably be in, too!

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Allie wrote:
RobynPrincess wrote:
DisneyDee27 wrote:
Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.


You know what? We would be up for this! We are planning on a fall trip in 2016 Laughing out loud

We're also tentatively planning for a Fall 2016 cruise so I'd probably be in, too!

If I can get over my fear of being in enclosed spaces over water and dislike for boats and water in general, I'll be there laugh

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JMed's picture
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Spook wrote:
Allie wrote:
RobynPrincess wrote:
DisneyDee27 wrote:
Spook wrote:
Wow 10 cruises in 3 years eek
DisneyDee, you really make we wish I could go on a cruise. They sound wonderful!

They are a very good time. If you like cruising I think most Disney fans will enjoy being on board. There are very good rates in the fall. I like to spend a few days at F & W then relax on a cruise. I recommend starting with a 4 night/5 day cruise, the 3n/4d are just too short. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you'd like.

I think we need a WDWFGs cruise group, we could do 3-4 days in the parks then a 4night cruise on the Dream. Maybe sometime in the fall of 2016 or 2017?

i would volunteer to set up meet n greets, mixology class(es) and even a gift exchange while onboard.

The picture was taken during our mixology class on the Fantasy. Everyone was able to make/drink 4-5 drinks. It's the best $15 spent onboard in my opinion.


You know what? We would be up for this! We are planning on a fall trip in 2016 Laughing out loud

We're also tentatively planning for a Fall 2016 cruise so I'd probably be in, too!

If I can get over my fear of being in enclosed spaces over water and dislike for boats and water in general, I'll be there laugh

I might be able to talk Joe into it... laugh

__________________

"I do not like the cone of shame."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell."

"It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell."

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A cruise group sounds like an interesting idea. Though I'm undecided about my travel plans for 2015 and beyond. It's a bit early for me to be even thinking about that! But if I willing to commit to it, it'd be a great way to experience my first DCL cruise.

__________________

"All my life I wonder how it feels to pass a day, not above them but part of them.

And out there living in the sun, give me one day out there, all I ask is one to hold forever. Out there where they all live unaware, what I'd give, what I'd dare, just to live one day out there."

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Spook, The newer ships are very big I never felt enclosed on the ship at all even the elevators are rather large. I would recommend an Ocean view cabin or a verandah. The inside cabins have magical windows but they are generally smaller. We stayed in a double porthole cabin which was huge. I'll add a link from FB if that's ok (showing the double porthole cabin) I don't have it saved to my computer.

muchlove

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https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152844393879540&l=7467491058205344592

This is the video from our October 27th cruise. I hope it's ok to link from my FB page.

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Member of the 6 castle club and working to pay for my next Disney vacations: 1/5-10/18, September 2018 for my 50th and 2018 the year of Disney cruising.