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cruisin1982

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After reading many post here. Anytime someone say anything not positive about Disney Cruise. They are told they are incorrectly it’s not our experience . It’s ok to say Disney is not perfect.

 

 

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DCL does a lot of things very well. On the other hand, each time we've cruised a different line, we have found something that that line does the best of all we've tried.

 

There are some things that DCL is by far the best at, of the lines we've cruised. That is part of why we didn't try others for many years. And there are areas where DCL has room for improvement. But no matter what, they have the best looking ships at sea. The good thing is that when you are cruising on a large white hulk, you don't see that part of it.

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It's all about expectations - people see the high price tag (relative to other cruise lines) and raise their expectations to levels that can't really be met - this is because people don't understand the reasoning/factors behind DCL being more expensive.

 

We've found, with remarkable consistency now, that if we have moderate expectations, we're likely to be not only happy with our cruise experience, but all the little "magical touches" that exceeded our expectations stand out all the more.

 

Don't ask what the magic touches were/are - they'll be different for everyone and you won't know them until they happen. And they're often little things, but they're the type of things that make me go, "Wow!" Sometimes, they're things that are just epic and iconic and things you didn't even know to hope for. But don't get offtrack here, the extra price isn't about the magic touches. I was just noting how the magic is easier to see when you're not expecting it!

 

And so, back to OP - when folks complain about DCL, it's nearly always the case that their expectations were just too high and it often comes off as true disappointment - but it's disappointment that could have been avoided with the proper mindset. That's likely why the DCL loyalists on this forum are sometimes less than charitable to people who complain.

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To what do you attribute the high costs of a DCL cruise? DCL is the one division of Disney that has always made a profit. Fares have fluctuated widely, but there has always been a profit....even during times when the parks and the movies weren't doing so well. Their purpose is to make money for shareholders, and they do that well.

 

I honestly don't see much that justifies the cost difference between DCL and other mid-range lines. DCL would have you believe that they are top tier. Sorry, I don't see it. I see it as a good family oriented line. Sure, there are three new ships in the pipeline and they cost money. Most other lines are also building new ships on a regular basis. Are we paying for these new builds before anyone sails on them? I don't know.

 

One thing I do know that artificially elevates DCL's costs is the interaction between various parts of Disney. For example, costumes are purchased from, repaired by, and stored by the costume shop at WDW and "sold" to DCL at an inflated price. That's one way the costume shop makes money. At one point the IT came from the parks--again, at a price that allowed the parks to show a profit on the service.

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To what do you attribute the high costs of a DCL cruise?

 

I've posted my thoughts in a couple different posts over the years and on my trip reports too. I believe the difference is that DCL isn't really competing with other cruise lines - they are competing with the prices in their own resorts - namely, WDW which is only 45 minutes to an hour away from Port Canaveral. They have to keep prices similar on a per diem basis or the cruise line would be SWAMPED with customers (you could argue this is already what is going on, thereby inflating the fares). If you price out a 5-person, moderate hotel with meals and tickets, you'll easily get an on-par price comparison with DCL's rates. We stopped going to the parks about 5 years ago when we realized we could get the Disney experience on a cruise ship and be treated like royalty!

 

Does that make sense?

 

Here's another way to look at it that I think supports the above analysis - DCL's prices are easily 2-3 times the price of a Carnival cruise and sometimes as much as twice RCCL. This has been true for years - they clearly aren't competing with these cruise lines - if they were, the prices would come down.

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I've posted my thoughts in a couple different posts over the years and on my trip reports too. I believe the difference is that DCL isn't really competing with other cruise lines - they are competing with the prices in their own resorts - namely, WDW which is only 45 minutes to an hour away from Port Canaveral. They have to keep prices similar on a per diem basis or the cruise line would be SWAMPED with customers (you could argue this is already what is going on, thereby inflating the fares). If you price out a 5-person, moderate hotel with meals and tickets, you'll easily get an on-par price comparison with DCL's rates. We stopped going to the parks about 5 years ago when we realized we could get the Disney experience on a cruise ship and be treated like royalty!

 

Does that make sense?

 

Here's another way to look at it that I think supports the above analysis - DCL's prices are easily 2-3 times the price of a Carnival cruise and sometimes as much as twice RCCL. This has been true for years - they clearly aren't competing with these cruise lines - if they were, the prices would come down.

This is a really, really good analysis that touches on several economic principles.

 

The other piece that I think is important is supply and demand. Disney only has 4 ships. 4. Lines like Royal, Carnival, Norwegian, etc. have a whole lot more than 4 each. That restricted supply against insatiable demand results in higher prices (both for the cruise line and the WDW parks). And yes, you see pricing parity between the cruise line and parks for exactly the reason discussed by David above... As he says, they aren't competing against those other cruise lines.

 

I would imagine that, overall, inflation-adjusted prices will decrease across Disney's fleet from 2021-2023 with the new ships, as the new supply decreases the upward pricing pressure. However, it also depends on where those ships sail from relative to the existing fleet. We will see.

 

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We've done one Disney Cruise, and a ton of others in the past.

 

For us, we are likely to cruise on Disney again because of the kids. They loved it.

The characters, the friendliness, the kids clubs, etc... were all well above what we experienced on NCL, Princess, RCL, or MSC in the past.

 

We will do the Magic out of NYC, which includes a day at WDW in Orlando with fast passes and park hopper- we can do 2-3 parks on that day, so it saves us a trip to Disney World (and the cruise ends up being a lot cheaper than a trip to Disney World, as well.)

 

If we didn't have kids, the Disney Cruise wouldn't make sense; for the same or lower price, we can go in the Yacht Club on MSC or Haven on NCL; or for a lot less, we could have a non-luxury experience

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I am past the "kid" phase although my daughter still thinks DCL is the best line and would encourage me to book them. And I agree that there are things that DCL does best.

 

We just returned from our first suite experience on another line which cost about half of what an inside cabin on DCL would have cost. Ouch. The family may have been convinced that this cruise was largely comparable to the service and food quality on DCL and that excluding the entertainment, all else was comparable. A suite on DCL would have been more than 5 times what we paid!

 

We've seen prices on DCL go up and down....they are in a high phase now. Whether costs will decrease when the new ships come out remains to be seen; I don't expect it to happen during a year when a new ship is launched as there will be great demand to cruise on the new build...and some of that will overflow to the existing ships.

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I have struggled with the issue for many years. My own analysis, which is now dated, was a comparison to Princess. But, you have to make sure your comparables are right in any analysis. The split bathrooms and size of a DCL stateroom is comparable to a mini-suite on Princess. And, at the time of my initial analysis DCL was 30% to 40% higher than the Princess option on a comparable basis. We had done an aft suite on Princess and its was about the same as a DCL stateroom. We determined we didn't need the full aft suite. I suspect the price differences have only increased since then. The reason we did not do another Princess, is that we didn't actually like the ship (Caribbean Princess) all that much, and it was a different (older) crowd than we experience on DCL. The ports were all good (Canada and New England in the Fall) - the "energy" just wasn't the same. So, we continue to pay more to cruise on DCL because we like the experience, and we love the crew. And the new ships are a compelling reason to see what happens next with DCL.

 

Casinos are a source of operating profit that DCL does not have and that accounts for some of the price differences when compared to other cruise lines. And we like sailing without a casino. To enter the theater on the Caribbean Princess you mostly have to go through the Casino and it is dreadfully smokey. (There is an option to not walk through the Casino but its less convenient).

 

I really don't expect DCL cruise fares to decrease. I expect they will deploy the new ships to new markets with new itineraries. All good, but not a driver of lower pricing.

 

Disney is masterful in driving operating profits. We are long-time shareholders and, over the long haul, the stock has done well. Keep in mind the source of funding of a new ship is from cash generated from operation, and financing. When stock price is high, financing can be very efficient. And clearly DCL is a cash generator given continued investment in the cruise line by Disney. They have goals for return on investment, and DCL must perform handsomely for them to allocate the billions of dollars in investment for new ships.

 

On a more micro-level, we continue to hunt for an alternative to DCL given the ever increasing costs. We have looked at Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Viking. I am leaning toward trying Viking (no Casino!). I like the all inclusive nature of these other cruise lines, and the fact that air is often included. I have never found a great deal on airfare through DCL; the other lines seem to have deals on business class airfare for trips outside the US and this is very attractive. DCL always seems to come up with something that causes us not to move forward with one of these other lines. We are trying an Adventure by Disney add-on to a Mediterranean cruise next year, which sort of makes the DCL cruise more all-inclusive, and, quite pricey.

 

Just thoughts from a frequent DCL cruiser. We are not brainwashed - we know the economics of doing a cruise on another cruise line v DCL. We just love DCL, we enjoy cruising with them, and, so far have been willing to pay the premium. What will cause us to ultimately move to trying another cruise line will be itineraries - we are hopeful that DCL will expand their itineraries as the new ships come on line.

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We have been on 30 cruises, six Disney. We sail sometimes three times a year-- this year, four times. If you have children and you can afford it, nobody compares to Disney. As a matter of fact, the others are laughable compared to Disney. Disney can't be topped in entertainment, souvenirs, shops, or food. Their disembarkation is the best as well, in my opinion. Second best-- again, my opinion-- Princess. Royal Caribbean used to be a favorite but not lately.

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DCL are very good at brainwashing, their guests and their crew...

 

 

 

Your using the wrong word because brainwashing would suggest negatively like forcibly or against our wishes. Disney has a lot of influence and propagandizing quality. They market to the very young and are successful but there really isn’t any difference in this and what every other corporation is doing. They are just the most successful I believe. I am aware of this but even with growing up during the best Disney era of the little mermaid, lion king, toy story. They still have the best customer service and I believe it’s because their employees love and believe in the company they work for and want to create a magical experience for all their guest. There is some nostalgia I feel towards Disney this is my conditioning but if service was crappy I wouldn’t spend my money their. As long as they keep producing great entertainment I will gladly hand over my money

 

 

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For us the price is the smallest factor usually as we have to pay a premium to get to the ship to start with. I have cruised ships of competitive size from Australia and sorry but the kids clubs outside of DCL are dismally pathetic. What price can you put on you child’s memory’s. I have 2 super excited kids currently at 150 odd days away from a cruise whom are always looking at past trips on DCL and talking about they can’t wait for the next one.

 

 

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