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  1. #151

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Bit
    Venom? Do you really live in such an Ozzie and Harriet world that what I wrote is considered venom? Please.
    In the old unmoderated USENET days, posts like your first one were the norm, and everyone was used to them. Here in a more polite society, especially one that's populated by many (including myself) who have interacted with Kevin for years and have mostly enjoyed and benefited from his writings, your post was indeed venom filled.

    Just call me Ozzie . . .

  2. #152

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Since the thread is getting so long, I should probably poke my head in here every so often to remind folks that I didn't have a bad time. In fact, I had a good time! The picture of the Magic taken from a tender boat (I think it's at the end of the article online) is my wallpaper on my computer right now. Whoever pointed out that I forgot in the article to praise the ship's good looks is quite right - it harkens back to bygone days and cheered me up just being on it.

    In the article, I listed lots of positives about the trip. In terms of negatives, my article offered advice for changing one line of pre-cruise booklet, lamented that the cruise is still just a cruise (and several arguments in this thread have argued fairly well that it may not have worked to do anything less "cruisy"), and ultimately decided the price to benefit ratio wasn't worth it for me. This is a far cry from saying I hated the experience. When I do it again someday, it will be a three day cruise at a much lower price point for the cabin, and you can be sure I'll read what to wear [grin]. Actually, I won't need to. This thread has done much to educate me. And not just on the dress code.

    I still think a tourism-related company ought to do everything it can to guarantee an equivalent experience for the under-researched. To do otherwise is to annoy potential repeat visitors. But this is not the same as saying that I am anti-research for everyone. I wanted my experience on this first cruise to be one of surprise, but I do not hold it against anyone who prefers research. In fact, I recognize that there is a good slice (a majority?) of people who do research before trips. Indeed, my next major project is one that falls well into the "research" category. But I'd like to believe there's room for both types of vacationers in the universe. Or, at least, if you are a major tourism operator, you might want to find ways to adapt to both.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  3. #153

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Cactus
    Honestly, where can an unprepared person have an equivalent experience with someone who does research? Not just in travel, but in life?
    I would argue that is the promise of Disney parks (not the reality, mind you, but the ideal). The whole point of escapism is the flight from the reality of the everyday. The playing field is completely leveled!

    We know this isn't the reality now, what with backdoored celebrities and even the issue of money, where one family can afford the Fantasmic dessert experience and another cannot. There are other examples too of how this is no longer true.

    But lots of ink was spilled about the almost socialist effect of Disneyland, especially in the early to mid years. Pick up just about any of the sociological or postmodern academic books about the Disney company and you'll find plenty of examples.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  4. #154

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by bornagainaz
    Are you going to tell me that someone who didn't know, due to lack of research, that you should stake out your territory in front of the river to get front row seating should be able to walk up and get the same spot I did?
    No, I'm saying the company, if it was doing all it could by its customers, should do everything reasonable to satisfy the person who didn't do research too. In the specific case of Fantasmic, the answer would be to offer a second or even third showing of it. Which they did in fact do a lot at first.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  5. #155

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    No, I'm saying the company, if it was doing all it could by its customers, should do everything reasonable to satisfy the person who didn't do research too.
    But what do you classify as research? Is reading a booklet they give you any more or less research than visiting their website? I mean, there website says everything from what restaurants you will dine at to eveything else they offer. You say you wanted a surprise. Well......surprise! Now I can see if you didn't want to do as much research the 2nd or 3rd time around, but not the first.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  6. #156

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    I still think a tourism-related company ought to do everything it can to guarantee an equivalent experience for the under-researched.
    I've never had to quote myself before; what an odd experience. I forgot to add something about my motivations for not reading or researching beyond the pre-cruise booklet. It wasn't just to surprise myself, the way I do when I walk into movies where I've avoided the trailer. It was honest to goodness partially motivated by my work with miceage. At the time, I was thinking that an unresearched experience would be a more pure one to write up. A researched experience would be tainted--I'd notice things with more ardor if I had read about them ahead of time, and I preferred to let the eventual miceage story be influenced only by those things I noticed myself. Had I read widely ahead of time, it wouldn't be a "pure" reaction. For this reason I avoid reviews of new rides (and new books) if I haven't sampled them myself. I prefer to have my miceage work come across as purely my observations. I always do research and see what others have said after the fact, but I avoid doing it beforehand.

    Now, whether all of this was a mistake is debatable. In retrospect, it probably was a mistake. But my motivation and my methods were similar to what I do for other things that get reviewed and written up in my miceage articles, which is one reason the emotional reactions surprised me.
    Last edited by KevinYee; 07-16-2006 at 07:21 PM.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  7. #157

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    Now, whether all of this was a mistake is debatable. In retrospect, it probably was a mistake. But my motivation and my methods were similar to what I do for other things that get reviewed and written up in my miceage articles, which is one reason the emotional reactions surprised me.
    But there are no user review sections on DCL's website. Research is much different then going to AllEarsNet and reading fan reactions. Research is going to DCL's official page & reading the FAQ. Nothing becomes unpure or gets ruined that way.....it can only help your vacation.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  8. #158

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDisneyInquisitor
    But there are no user review sections on DCL's website.
    To be honest, it never occured to me to go to DCL's website after I'd made the booking. I assumed anything I'd need to know would be in the pre-cruise booklet... which was kind of what my goal was as a reviewer. In trying for the purest form of review, I wanted to record what I thought a normal person might experience. And it didn't occur to me I'd need more than the booklet.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  9. #159

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    I assumed anything I'd need to know would be in the pre-cruise booklet... is that an unreasonable assumption?
    In a way, yes. Keep in mind that it costs money to print those booklets...it costs much less to put it in one central location online. Plus, online will always be more up-to-date then any sort of booklet.

    Now tell me, you purchase something and a few days after you get it, something stops working. Do you
    A) Look in the booklet it came with
    or
    B) Search the internet for a solution.

    Fact is that almost every company will always have more information online then in any type of booklet they can give you (and that goes for any company in any field).
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  10. #160

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    By way of explanation, Mike quoted from my post before I edited it slightly. He was quick!
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  11. #161

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Quote Originally Posted by Bit
    Kevin;

    I find your entire piece an insult to the informed, astute commentary the rest of your MiceAge colleagues turn out on a regular basis. Your failure to adequately prepare yourself for your vacation and your inability to adjust once the reality of the situation became evident to you left you dissatisfied with your admittedly expensive vacation and for that I am actually happy. People who place themselves (and their families) in unfamiliar situations without one iota of foresight and then bitch and moan about the unforeseen the whole time PISS ME OFF. You deserved what you got and your inexcusable attack on what is, in my opinion, the most flawlessly operated branch of the current Disney empire has completely destroyed any credibility you had in my view. I won't be reading your column any longer.

    Let me tell you, man. I have been on 23 cruises and the Disney Magic was, by far, the best run, most enjoyable I have ever experienced. Maybe you should stick to Carnival next time. You can wear all the "Git R Done" t-shirts you want there.
    I only registered so I could pass my thoughts on your article - but...appears "Bit" said all I wanted to say.

    Well...this needs to be said - AGAIN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bit
    I won't be reading your column any longer.
    Nor will I.

  12. #162

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Kevin,

    I think the movie analogy only goes so far. As a movie goer you expect to have to pay extra for popcorn and a drink. You expect to have to get there a little early if its is a first day release. You expect to have to sit through 20 min of trailers and commercials before the feature.

    If you had never been to a movie you might be going hey whats all this crap?

    The same is true of the cruise. I think if you had reviewed the thing from the point of view of "I didn't know to expect this..." your review might have seemed more measured. It just seemed as though you were blaming Disney for something they really didn't do wrong for the most part.

    I didn't comment on many of your criticisms because I ether agreed with you or had no opinion. I'm really not sure how to feel about them breaking up the family for part of the day. And it wouldn't bother me if they didn't serve drinks at all.

    I think if I were in charge of DCL the only thing I would change would be to build at least 2 more ships pronto, and get the prices down so more families can afford to take a trip

    Doug
    Pain is temporary, Film is forever!

  13. #163

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    Kevin, I don't know what to say that hasn't been said before. I just skimmed the last 20-25 posts because I just don't have the time and/or patience anymore to go thru them word by word ... I'll leave that to Mikey, the kid's good.

    But I am no DCL apologist. If any Disney execs who know me well are reading this they are probably on the floor laughing so hard they're passing gas!

    The only thing I can agree with you is that DCL is overpriced, yes.
    But it is a premium product, unlike many Disney experiences that masquerade as such, living on past reputation.

    You wanting an even playing field between educated guests who have the common sense to do research before embarking on a trip and those who want to go in blindly (your movie trailer analogy is a poor one here) is impossible. It's just like people who go to WDW and think the MK is the only thing there. Or go to Epcot and spend the whole day in Future World thinking that's the extent of the place.

    I love cruising. I love DCL.

    I will cruise in the future. I will likely cruise on DCL again.

    I'm out of this discussion. We're just really going in circles here.

    The bottom line is if you choose to go on any kind of vacation without doing research you should expect to be unhappy at best.

    And to answer your question, no, I don't think DCL if given a clean slate should be doing anything different than what they are today.

  14. #164

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    I think the problem isn't in the fact that Kevin is overtly critical, it's the fact that he's a theme park reviewer trying to review a Cruise Line. He expected a theme park experience on a cruise ship, and that's not gonna happen.

    It would be like a movie reviewer who goes to the movies every night, trying to write a fair review about their first broadway show. They would complain about lack of concessions, actors appearing too small, and the angry stares from others as they text message on their cell phone.

    A better review would come from someone who understood the cruise line industry as much as Kevin Yee understands the Theme Park industry.

    I went on my Disney Cruise as a first time cruiser and only found one of the complaints offered by Kevin to be the case: The overall cost. I also have to say that if an oversite in planning leads to an embarrassing situation, then it is more prudent to take actions to overcome the obstacle rather than just getting upset.

    Also it's a tad hypocritical to say that you shouldn't have to plan for a Disney vacation when you write for one of the more respected sites for Disney vacation research on the net, let alone guide books and reviews for each change in every park.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert





  15. #165

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    Re: 7/13: Setting Sail

    OK, I'm going to try and make this quick and to the point.

    Kevin hits both ends of the spectrum. I like how he started out complimentary but he ended a but too sour.

    I have a LOT of cruising experience, and I think it would be IMPOSSIBLE to review a cruise w/o ANY PRIOR CRUISING EXPERIENCE. WHAT IS KEVIN COMPARING IT TO? HIS EXPECTATION, I SUPPOSE. But his recommendation of Carnival based only on price is unfortunate. One has only to search one of several web-based cruise feed-back/review sites to know that Carnival isn't worth any price.

    I really don't understand what was so vague about the disney recommendation to wear nice clothes to Lumiere's. Doesn't Kevin have any friends that have cruised before? And t-SHIRTS to dinner? I don't know that I would go into an olive garden with a t and jeans down the street from my house, let alone at a cruise. There's a reason that they give you LOTS OF CLOSET SPACE.

    As has been said before, the separation betweek kids and adults is what makes the disney cruise WORK. Although I agree that family activities are at the core, most kids like to get away from the 'rents and itnerract with their own 'kind.' Plus famlilies get back for family things like end of day meals and shows.

    As far as the 'shameless nickel-and-diming,' It's simply part of the industry. If you don't like it, don't buy it! People go on Cruises knowing that they will be charged for alcohol, pictures, shore excursions, and everything else out of the blue. Kevin, you may not know this, but they used to charge extra for the SODA (now they just charge everyone for it automatically).

    Kevin's suggesiton of spending DAYS at castaway Key is not really feasible, considering that it is a PORT OF CALL, not the entire cruise (although this is a mistake, easily made). The Key takes quite a bit to set up and strike, and with 3 visits per week, the staff there is kept quite busy as it is. (Magic stops there once per week, and Wonder is there twice each week).

    The suggestion of a ride on board is rediculus, given that the ship itself IS a ride, and I don't think marratime law would allow for a ride (fire hazard, weight, electrical requirement, maintance need, etc. would be too logistically dificult to pull off, and NOT financially feasible).

    As for the Price, it is spendy, but most decent cruises are. By and large, you will find two kinds of people on Disney Cruises, WEALTHY PEOPLE and DISNEY CAST MEMBERS (who get an awesome discount). If you compare prices to Celebrity, Radisson and other high end cruises you will find comporables. IMO, though the Food on the cruise is just "Good." (decent but nothing to wright home about).

    Lastly - Free Arcade games??? COME ON KEVIN! Anyone can see that if the games were free, there would be an army of annoying kids who would NEVER LEAVE THE ARCADE! I'm sure that the video games were paid for long ago, so all they are making is profit now, but it makes sense to charge a nominal fee.

    Where Disney really excells is on
    1) Castaway Key (leaps and bounds better than the other "private islands" in the business, like princess key, etc.
    2) ENTERTAINMENT - the shows are super amazing, especially DISNEY DREAMS.
    3) Ship Size/Dacore, not too stuffy, nautical and tasteful.

    I for one can't wait for my next Disney Cruise!
    Last edited by CaptainCM; 07-16-2006 at 10:23 PM.
    "To All Who Come To This Happy Place, Welcome!
    Disneyland is Your Land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and youth can saver the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy an inspiration to all the world.
    "
    -- Walter Elias Disney, July 17, 1955 approx 4:35PM

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