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Advice - DCL vs Royal

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 I have been wanting to go on a Disney cruise for 20 years. However, the money keeps stopping me as there are lots of great cruise lines for less. My girls are 11 and 8 now so I feel like I need to do it soon before they outgrow it. They are already starting to prefer Universal to Disney as the rides are cooler.  

 

We are heading to Orlando for Spring break (April 1 to 13) and plan to go to Universal one last time on our annual passes. So I started pricing out cruises as I am not spending 10 days at Universal. A 7 night Disney cruise is not going to happen...way too $$$$

 

So I was thinking of doing the 3 day and then maybe following it up with a 4 day on Royal to go to their private island. So get off one ship in the morning and then get on another that afternoon.  I really wanted to do the 4 day but it $2700 for the extra night and I didn't think it was worth it.

OR

skip Disney cruise entirely and do a 7 day Eastern on Royal's Harmony of the Seas which looks amazing.

 

So just wondering if Disney is really worth it? I have been wanting to go on a Disney cruise for 20 years so I am so torn. Also has anyone done a back to back but on different cruise lines?  My husband is would prefer the 7 day Royal as its a little cheaper and doesn't feel like Disney is worth the price.  We have only sailed Carnival previously which was fine. 

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Don't get me wrong, Disney offers a great product, but I'd go for the 7 day RCL cruise.

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7 day RCL. Disney is producing themselves out of the market and as much as we love Disney, the price isn't justified. 

 

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7 day for sure. We just sailed on the Symphony (sister ship to Harmony) and it was awesome!  I love cruising and if we only sailed on Disney we would hardly ever sail. Royal's pricing and availability allow us to cruise more and go more places.

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Are you a big Disney fan? If so, then a Disney Cruise is completely worth it. If you’re not a big Disney fan, you may think differently.

 

We are not big Disney fans, but I still wanted to sail on a Disney Cruise at least once in my life and give my kids that experience. I decided to pull the trigger when the kids were 6 and 8 years old and did a 7 night cruise on the Disney Fantasy.

 

In a nutshell, it was a great cruise. There’s no denying that Disney excels in their customer service, children activities and entertainment. And the ship is truly a masterpiece. But, a big chunk of what you pay for goes to pixie dust and Disney magic, so if you’re not a big Disney fan, you may feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth. And that’s how I felt at times. More than once, I found myself thinking “I paid 3x as much for this and it’s not 3x better than what I’ve experienced on other cruise lines”.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful product, and the kids had a great time (although they said that they preferred the kids club on MSC and Royal). I do believe that what Disney delivers does command a premium price, just not THAT much of a premium. But many fellow cruisers that we met would disagree, and will gladly sail on Disney exclusively no matter how much they charge. They truly believe that any other cruise line isn’t good enough (even though many of them have never sailed on anything besides Disney). 

 

To summarize, I’m completely glad that we sailed on Disney, and I have zero regrets about it. I’m also glad that we did it when we did because the kids were at a perfect age to immerse themselves in the Disney experience. But for this non-Disney fans, one time was enough. When the cruise started, I was really into it. But as the week progressed, the nonstop Disney everything started getting old.

 

With that said, we do have friends who love Disney, and they keep begging us to sail with them. If the prices ever become more competitive, I’d look at sailing on Disney again, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. I’m trying to get them to sail with us on something else and they won’t budge either. 

Edited by Tapi

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:02 PM, GigemAggies said:

Disney is producing themselves out of the market and as much as we love Disney, the price isn't justified. 

 

They keep charging more, and people are gladly paying more and keeping the ships full. Just today I was talking to my best friend from college who was looking for advice on a Disney Cruise. He was looking at the same ship, itinerary and date as when I sailed on Disney 2 years ago. In 2017, we paid $7K for that cruise. For 2020, he’s going to pay $9.3K, and he went ahead and put a deposit down! Like him, there’s s lot of people not thinking twice about spending that kind of money on a Disney Cruise. 

Edited by Tapi

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We have sailed all 4 Disney ships, but this was back in the day where the prices were much more reasonable (and you could bring all of the booze you wanted onboard).  My kids absolutely loved them all.  But about 6 years ago, we decided to try Royal (Liberty) because of the price difference and the kids loved it almost as much.  My wife and I probably liked it better.  It wasn't quite as "magical" as Disney, but we are sticking with Royal going forward.  We are currently planning our next one and I did price Disney out just in case, but I can't even consider it with those prices.  Also, I don't think I would ever do a 3 day cruise.  We did a 4 day once and that seemed a bit rushed.  

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Going on Fantasy next summer and it is $8K for two in a balcony cabin for 9 days.  For that price I can get a pretty large suite on Harmony for a week.  But younger granddaughter hasn't been on a Disney cruise yet. 

 

Disney is fun, with all the character interactions and both great kids areas and adult areas but food on Royal is quite a bit better.  Shows are excellent on Royal Oasis-class ships and there is a lot for the whole family to do.  The 3 or 4 day cruises are way too rushed.

 

Your plan is OK to go on both but you really should try a 7 day on either line rather than two short trips.  We've done several short trips but you are preparing to disembark on the second day.  If you have to take short trips book a back-to-back on the same ship.  Still messes up the middle day but you can get two stops at a private island (if that is what you really want).

 

 

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On 11/6/2019 at 7:05 PM, LeeW said:

Going on Fantasy next summer and it is $8K for two in a balcony cabin for 9 days.  For that price I can get a pretty large suite on Harmony for a week.  But younger granddaughter hasn't been on a Disney cruise yet. 

 

 

 

 

Are you on the Fantasy Eastern at the end of June?   If yes, we are on that cruise also.  I wish it were 11-nights, but they are not doing the southern in Summer 2020 unfortunately.  It should be a great cruise, even if shorter than I would like!

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