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  1. #1

    • Master of Disaster
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    Comparisons to other cruise lines

    I have been on 3 different cruise lines (carnival, Royal, and princess) and was wondering for those of you who have been on multiple lines how the disney cruise ships compare to these other companies?

    things I am looking for.

    food, excursions, layout, activities, shows... you get the idea.

  2. #2

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Hmmmm...Still no answer?

    I have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Disney Cruise Line (Magic). The overall presentation and 'product' delivery from Disney is well above what I have experienced from other cruise lines.

    Let’s start with the ship itself:

    I have only stayed in an inside room on all 3 cruise lines and they are all pretty comparable in stateroom offerings. What I loved about the stateroom television on the Magic was the 'Traditional' and 'Modern' animated movie channels. There were two channels that would play a non-stop loop of Disney classics and new favorites.

    The decor of the Princess ship was too over the top 'Vegas.' The Royal Caribbean toned it down a bit but still had a little bit of that 'casino' feel. The Magic was extremely elegant, the details were incredible, and overall very well kept. I am not a gambler so I would much rather enjoy the movie theater on the Magic as opposed to the casino offerings on the RC and Princess. The subtle Disney touch to the ship’s environment is also very appealing to me. I loved hearing classic Disney attraction and movie soundtracks while roaming the hallways and riding the elevators.

    Some ships have multiple pools similar to the Disney Cruise Lines. These really come in handy when you just want to relax quietly in the water without being disrupted by surrounding families with young ones. A fun addition to the Magic was the addition of a movie screen on the 'smoke stack' that overlooks the family pool. I have yet to experience this but from what I understand they play movies, cartoon shorts, and host Pirate Nights on the decks for the entire ship.

    The food:
    I am not the best food critic. Good food is good food to me. Where I feel Disney has the advantage and was very smart in pursuing is the 'dining experience.' I believe they were the first cruise line to introduce rotational dining. Allowing guests to experience the three differently themed dining rooms on the ship, Lumiere’s, Animators Palate, and Parrot Cay. Lumiere's is an elegantly designed dining room with French dishes. Animators Palate, my favorite, pays tribute the art of animation and the evolution of color. Transforming the ENTIRE dining room from Black/White to Color as you enjoy your meal. Parrot Cay is themed to a tropical paradise. Then, of course, there's Palo. I can honestly say that that dinner was on of the best meals I have had. We had a window seat overlooking the ocean and an amazing wait staff. I highly recommend spending one evening at Palo.

    The food on a cruise line can have its up and downs but where Disney creates the magic is with the dining experience itself.

    Entertainment:
    I am not a night club kind of guy. If I had to choose between a night time show and going out dancing at the clubs, I would choose the shows. So I can't give you any feedback on the night scene other than I know it exists on the Magic for both adults and teenagers and they last well into the night. I know this because my wife and I were underneath a dance floor on the Magic. It wasn't horrible but I could faintly hear the dance music. I will say that the shows on the Magic are incredible and really well produced. I enjoyed them all very much.

    There are also adult and family comedy and magic shows to enjoy while on the cruise, similar to many cruise lines.

    Excursions:
    They all have been relatively similar across the board. I think each line uses similar sources while at port and the itineraries are relatively the same.

    Activities:
    There are the standard Ping Pong, Shuffle Board, Swimming, Massages, Bingo, etc. with most cruise lines. Some unique activities on the Magic that we enjoyed were: Character meet and greets, Presentations and Signings by Disney Artists, Live Family Game Shows, watching first run movies in the large theater, Pirate Nights, and Fireworks.

    Overall:
    Yes, we pay a premium to experience a Disney Cruise but there is tremendous value in what they have to offer. I haven't been able to enjoy the other cruise lines as much as I have the Disney Cruise. When we first sailed on the Magic, it was just my wife and I and we had an absolute blast. Some cruise to enjoy the ports, we have found that the ships of the Disney Cruise Line are the main attraction and the ports are the supporting stars.

    Obviously you have an interest in the Disney product and while the Disney presence is not overwhelming, it is felt the entire time that you are on board. Is it a good or bad thing? Depends on who but we could not get enough.

    The first of the four pictures below is of me proposing to my wife in front of the Walt Disney Theater, so the Magic and cruise experience will always have a special place in our hearts.

    Hope this helps and I hope others are able to add to this thread as well.

    Good luck!
    "If you build it right, they will come." - Bob Iger

    "I'm not a literary person. As far as realism is concerned, you can find dirt anyplace you look for it. I'm one of those optimists. There's always a rainbow." - Walt Disney



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  3. #3

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    I prefer Royal Caribbean to Disney, and Disney to Norwegian, and Norwegian to Carnival.

    The downside to Disney:
    Way more expensive. Food is not as good (I had two bad meals on the same cruise; that's never happened to me on any other cruise). No casino. No nightlife to speak of.

    The upside:
    The kids love it. Soft drinks are free. The stage shows are first rate.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Hi there!

    I have been on several Carnival cruises and one Disney cruise.

    In 2006 we took the kids on a Disney cruise and they had a blast. They are STILL talking about it and begging for another one (I hope to comply with that soon). So I found a great deal on a Carnival Cruise a few months later and off we went. The kids had a horrible time. The kids club was closed one day from noon until 7pm- huh? My older child's activites were held in the disco because the kids club was too small.

    Yet, I just went on another Carnival Cruise. It was cheap and it was just me and a good friend. Both of us were looking for a do-nothing vacation. The food on Carnival was great but there is not a lot to do.

    Also, on Carnival, we had only 4 hours total in Key West! And about 4 hours in Cozumel before the sun went down. We were really limited in what we could do. But, the cruise satisfied our needs- a cheap place to do nothing with really good food.

    The Disney Cruise had so much going on for all ages. They really know how to entertain EVERYONE! I guess it depends on what you are looking for.

  5. #5

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    I would compare the service and quality of Disney Cruise Line more to Princess or Holland America Line. They are much better than Carnival, RCI and NCL.

    The shows on Disney's ships are second to none.


  6. #6

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    I totally agree. Absolutely the best!


    Quote Originally Posted by mikeland View Post

    The shows on Disney's ships are second to none.

  7. #7

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Hi! THought I would lend my thoughts since I have sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

    Service: I would have to say that I have not had bad service on any of the lines. I liked Disney's unique touches and attention to detail. We had a guy at our table that would purposefully switch the silverware around to see how fast our assistant waiter would fix it. Actually preferred Carnival's service over Royal Caribbean.

    Stateroom: We liked the furnishings on Disney but otherwise they are comparable.

    Ship decor: First choice Disney, second Royal (Serenade Beautiful ship), Carnival - a little to glitzy for me...vegas thing again!

    Food: I would say the food is comparable except for Disney's specialty restaurant Palo's. Absolutely the best meal I have ever had! I also like that you rotate dining rooms on Disney vs. rccl and carnival

    Shows: I am picky about shows. Disney by far has the best of the above three. Broadway calibler in my opinion. Also liked Royal Caribbean's rotation of performers. The Nelsons were there on our cruise!

    Layout: All the ships except Carnival Glory have been easy to navigate. Liked Royal Caribbean's and Disney's kid's pool and adult areas. The solarium on any Royal Caribbean ship is not to be missed. Heaven!

    Excursions are comparable. I loved Castaway Cay. One of the most beautiful places I have been. I liked that they have an adult side to the island. Have never visited Royal's private island. I usually go on my own for excursions on islands.

    Activities: Disney offers more for families to do together. Royal Caribbean had a lot to do with the mini golf, pool tables, explorer at sea program, and the rock wall (I made it to the top!!). I am a fan of the newlywed game and the other games and Royal always had those late at night. Not convenient for parents with little kids. Downside of Carnival is that there is not much to do outside of the games and clubs.

    All that to say, you would not be disappointed on a Disney cruise compared to the others. We went without kids and had a wonderful time.

  8. #8

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Traci J View Post
    Hi! THought I would lend my thoughts since I have sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

    Service: I would have to say that I have not had bad service on any of the lines. I liked Disney's unique touches and attention to detail. We had a guy at our table that would purposefully switch the silverware around to see how fast our assistant waiter would fix it. Actually preferred Carnival's service over Royal Caribbean.

    Stateroom: We liked the furnishings on Disney but otherwise they are comparable.

    Ship decor: First choice Disney, second Royal (Serenade Beautiful ship), Carnival - a little to glitzy for me...vegas thing again!

    Food: I would say the food is comparable except for Disney's specialty restaurant Palo's. Absolutely the best meal I have ever had! I also like that you rotate dining rooms on Disney vs. rccl and carnival

    Shows: I am picky about shows. Disney by far has the best of the above three. Broadway calibler in my opinion. Also liked Royal Caribbean's rotation of performers. The Nelsons were there on our cruise!

    Layout: All the ships except Carnival Glory have been easy to navigate. Liked Royal Caribbean's and Disney's kid's pool and adult areas. The solarium on any Royal Caribbean ship is not to be missed. Heaven!

    Excursions are comparable. I loved Castaway Cay. One of the most beautiful places I have been. I liked that they have an adult side to the island. Have never visited Royal's private island. I usually go on my own for excursions on islands.

    Activities: Disney offers more for families to do together. Royal Caribbean had a lot to do with the mini golf, pool tables, explorer at sea program, and the rock wall (I made it to the top!!). I am a fan of the newlywed game and the other games and Royal always had those late at night. Not convenient for parents with little kids. Downside of Carnival is that there is not much to do outside of the games and clubs.

    All that to say, you would not be disappointed on a Disney cruise compared to the others. We went without kids and had a wonderful time.
    You didn't like Glory? I have been on it twice and love the ship. As of right now, I would like to go on a Disney cruise, I just need the cash. lol.

    P.S.

    How can Disney rival the appeal of Funship Freddy? lol
    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

  9. #9

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    Cool Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    I've sailed numerous times on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney with the most important question seeming to be what is important to you in the cruise? For entertainment variety, service, and convenience, Disney is second to none! They are constantly changing availability for their ports or call/shore excursions and onboard activities (fireworks at sea is on no other ship that I'm aware of!). Truly worth any extra money you might spend on a Caribbean cruise!

  10. #10

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey joe View Post
    You didn't like Glory? I have been on it twice and love the ship. As of right now, I would like to go on a Disney cruise, I just need the cash. lol.

    P.S.

    How can Disney rival the appeal of Funship Freddy? lol
    I did like Carnival Glory. She was brand new when we sailed her and we had a great time. I just remember trying to get somewhere and it always seemed I was on the wrong floor or had to go up a floor or down a floor to go across. Could be me. I don't do so well with maps lol!

    Funship Freddy...I almost forgot about him! My kids got a kick out of him. With me, all characters freak me out except for the Disney ones. Chuck E. Cheese really freaks me out! Too funny!

  11. #11

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    The main reason I would not consider a disney cruise is because of all the kids on the ship. I now they have some adult areas, but not enough.

    I realize there will be kids on nay ship, but the disney ships tend to attract more "families" and having the disney name on it makes me fear the parenting goes right out the window and some kids will run a muck...just like the parks.

    I've heard royal carribean is a very nice cruise line.

  12. #12

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Traci J View Post
    I did like Carnival Glory. She was brand new when we sailed her and we had a great time. I just remember trying to get somewhere and it always seemed I was on the wrong floor or had to go up a floor or down a floor to go across. Could be me. I don't do so well with maps lol!

    Funship Freddy...I almost forgot about him! My kids got a kick out of him. With me, all characters freak me out except for the Disney ones. Chuck E. Cheese really freaks me out! Too funny!
    Well that happened to me as well during my first time. lol Since I have been on it twice, I know the ship by heart. Except for the employee area. During my cruise last year on Glory, I saw the Disney magic. It was great to see the ship next to mine.
    Goodbye, Me Bizarro is not Monkey Joe. Me Bizarro hates Disney parks so much. Hello

  13. #13

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    You would think there would be kids all over the ship. But, the kids clubs are so well organized you really don't see them much. I had taken my mom who’s in her 80's and her sister on the Wonder. They couldn't get over how you didn't see or hear many children. The children that we did see were well behaved. You don't have the overly-tired irritable parents and children that you would see at the parks; it's not that type of vacation.

    I think you can enjoy a Disney cruise as adults; not just because of the adult only areas but because of the unique children programs that keep the children busy.


    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    The main reason I would not consider a disney cruise is because of all the kids on the ship. I now they have some adult areas, but not enough.

    I realize there will be kids on nay ship, but the disney ships tend to attract more "families" and having the disney name on it makes me fear the parenting goes right out the window and some kids will run a muck...just like the parks.

    I've heard royal carribean is a very nice cruise line.

  14. #14

    • Why can't you tune a fish
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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Denise View Post
    You would think there would be kids all over the ship. But, the kids clubs are so well organized you really don't see them much. I had taken my mom who’s in her 80's and her sister on the Wonder. They couldn't get over how you didn't see or hear many children. The children that we did see were well behaved. You don't have the overly-tired irritable parents and children that you would see at the parks; it's not that type of vacation.

    I think you can enjoy a Disney cruise as adults; not just because of the adult only areas but because of the unique children programs that keep the children busy.

    I will second this. Disney does a very good job of keeping kids busy. My table mates at dinner were parents. I saw their kid for a total of about 10 minutes the entire cruise. He wanted to go do activites instead of come eat. (My kids on the other hand wanted to eat)

    -dave
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  15. #15

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    Re: Comparisons to other cruise lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey joe View Post
    Well that happened to me as well during my first time. lol Since I have been on it twice, I know the ship by heart. Except for the employee area. During my cruise last year on Glory, I saw the Disney magic. It was great to see the ship next to mine.
    I didn't realize that we would see the Disney ship. I was so excited to see it. My son however was very disappointed that we were not going on the mickey ship!

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