can you compare Disney Cruise (Magic) to RCC (Freedom)?
I went on my first cruise with Disney Magic on 9/07...now I am booking for 9/08 with Royal Carribean Freedom ship. I want to try different cruise line to see which one is a better fit for my family. So far, Disney is great...however, we have a 3 & 5 y.o. kids...if 3 yo boy refuse to go to the day care.....then as parents, we sometime don't have much activities to do with them together as a family....so we left with 3-4 hrs doing nothing except roaming the ship during the midde afternoon hrs.
Also, food & service are very important...want to know if RCC food is as good and is there Customer Service is as great as Disney. Disney Staff is by far the best
If your kids are picky eater....and certain food that is not even on the menu...the staff would whip up something for your kid...they do anything.
Disney will win out for food and service, especially for kids who are picky eaters.
But when it comes to onboard activities, you can bet most children over the age of 8 will actually have more fun on Royal Caribbean Freedom than a Disney ship.
Disney cruises carry the Disney environment over to their ships, but obviously without the rides. They have Disney characters everywhere and great entertainment.
However, RC Freedom has more activities older kids will enjoy such as rollerblading, rock climbing, a water park, huge video game parlor, mini-golf, ice skating (!) etc. Royal Caribbean is a hard act to beat, especially Freedom which is twice the size of the Disney ships.
A lot depends on the age of your children - younger kids = Disney. older kids= Royal Caribbean.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Hi...let me say that you can't compare Disney Cruises to Royal Caribbean. They are two totally different products. Disney is specifically designed for families and they are top notch. RCL is completely different. Since your kids are young Disney is a wise choice...as for picky eaters...hate to say it but thats your fault. Don't expect the cruise line to make ur kids eat. The rule in my house...you eat what is put before you. There are too many kids in this world that are starving to complain about food. I've been on both cruise lines and out of 42 cruises....I have to say that Disney was probably the most enjoyable. The last RCL cruise....on the Legend of the Seas....ship was beautiful.....service was good but the food wasn't anything to write home about. The food on Disney was much better. Oh and don't forget the rooms on Disney are much bigger than on RCL. Again for us we really enjoyed Disney and plan to go again soon.
We are considering the Nickelodeon family cruise in Aug on the Freedom of the Seas as well as Disney. It seems to have activities for kids of all ages as well as adults when I looked at the website. I've never been on a cruise, so I don't know what the food is like, but if you are looking for more activity - the Nick cruise definitely looks fun... Has anyone here booked this cruise?
My family (Myself, DW, and 3 kids 13B,10B,8G) all went on our first cruise on RCL Liberty of the Seas in April '08 on a 7 day Western Caribbean.
We will be taking a 4 day Disney Cruise in March '09.
The reason we chose RCL is that all my children are active kids involved with sports. We were worried that DCL would not interest my older boys, so we chose the Freedom ship.
In my opinion, the kids program on RCL was not that spectacular.
My 13 year old son went to the teen program the first couple days and did a couple things with the program (soccer in the basketball court and teen nights on the FlowRider). He told us most of the time they just hung around and talked. A couple activites that he likes (Guitar hero and video game night) were cancelled. He ended up playing in the arcade with his younger brother.
My 10 year old son was also fine with the kids program for the first couple days and then said it got to be very repetitive for him. Played in the arcade with his brother.
They both did mini-golf and the climbing wall a couple of times and enjoyed the FlowRider when open. (3 rides in 2 hours of waiting due to lines).
I ended up with a $200.00 bill for the arcade on debarkation.
My 8 year old daughter made a couple of girl friends and enjoyed the kids program.
We're going with some out of state family on DCL in March so they kids will have some cousins to hang out with on the Disney cruise.
I realize this is hardly a timely reply since the original question was posted in 2007, but some one may find my insights useful. Besides, I love to leave comments.
I just so happen to have cruised on both the Magic (in January 2006) and the Freedom o/t Seas (in February 2008) so I can offer some eye witness account information on both ships.
Both cruises were with the same two families, including 4 adults, two older boys (17 and 18) two teenagers one girl and one boy (13 and 14) and two younger girls (5 and 7). The listed ages are for the first cruise on the Magic. Add two years on the Freedom cruise.
Both ships are beautifully decked out, with lots to see and do, details you can find elsewhere, this is just a comparison. The meals were excellent, the service excellent, the entire trip...you guessed it, excellent on both ships. Both ships go to great ports with fantastic things to see and do while in those ports. I found Disney a bit more structured in the way they handle the excursions. Lots more Disney crew helping out and directing people, providing more assitance. The Freedom didn't leave you stranded, I just found more attention on the Magic. The Magic has both subtle and overt Disney everywhere. If you don't adore Disney you may quickly overload. The two ships have big differences in activities for both kids and adults.
Disney is very family oriented with lots of things for mixed age groups. Shows, events, numerous movies (all Disney or Pixar, of course) that kind of thing is usually meant for both adults and children. The kid zones (or whatever they called them) are very structured and all day. There is no casino on the disney ships (no loss as faqr as I'm concerned) but there are lounges set aside just for adults with some entertainment that is inappropriate for the little kiddies. I'm not talking burlesque but some of the comedians were a little more risque. There are also three pools, one kiddie, one family and one adult for getting away from the kids.
Freedom has numerous activities but lots of them are geared for one age group or another, not a lot of mixed age stuff. The kids zones were a bit of a bust for the kids, or so they told us. There is an ice rink but it is open for only short periods of time since several shows are performed in the area. There is a very tiny theatre that was difficult to find running good movies. The flow rider and rock wall had very long lines. The casino took up a huge portion of the ship and since I don't gamble I find that room wasted space. Many of the shows were okay for family viewing but not entertaining for kids. The whole feel of the ship was different. I attended several events, a couple wine tastings, a bourbon tasting, a guitar hero challenge, a karaoke event, that were very poorly attended. I marveled that on a ship of 4000+ passengers only six were interested in a wine tasting or guitar hero. It was not unusual to see the same 20 or so people involved in any event. Aren't the other people on vacation too?
In my not so humble opinion, if you love Disney, if your idea of a good movie has a G or PG13 rating, if you have younger kids or are a young kid at heart, the Magic is for you.
If you prefer the night life, cabaret music, adult humor and movies (again, not porn just risque). If lots of kids running about gets on your nerves or if you are going with only adults and older teens, go the Freedom.
Personally, I love Disney. I love G rated movies. I like comedians that don't feel a need to swear. Also, since I have kids, little ones crying or running around doesn't bother me at all. For me, it will be Disney from now on.
__________________ I'ld Rather Be Cruisin'
Disney Magic February 4 2006
RCCL Freedom January 20 2008
Disney Wonder October 2009
Here's my opinion of the Disney Wonder vs. RCCL Liberty of the Seas.
Went with DW, DS-14, DS-11, DD-9.
The Wonder is a polar opposite ship from the Liberty Ship.
Ship.. First thing was that upon leaving the port and heading to Nassau and back, the Wonder rocked heavily. I mean I had to buy the wrist band motion sickness bracelets for 2 of my kids. On the Liberty, the wife and I would lay in bed and you could barely feel the ship rocking. On the Wonder, it made a lot of people nauseated. So, I asked our room attendant if the swaying was more that normal. She said no, it was the usual swaying. I also asked the servers at dinner and got the same response.
The H20 zone on the Liberty is far superior to the kids pool and slide on Wonder. If Liberty had a slide, that would be the ultimate.
The kids movies on the screen above the Goofy pool were cool on the Wonder along with the camera views of the deck parties.
Service... I found the servers and room attendant on the Liberty to be more friendly than on the Wonder. Our Liberty crew was interested in us as people,what we did for excursions, told us about their families, showed my kids magic tricks and really connected with us. Our Wonder crew seemed interested in doing just enough to satisfy our needs. One of the mom's traveling with us put out the luggage on the last night and remembered not 10 minutes later that she forgot shoes for her 7 year old daughter for debarkation. She opens the door and the luggage is gone. She finds the room attendant and was told "sorry, there is nothing I can do". That was not right since the luggage was all stacked inside an access room waiting to be packed away in bins. She could have gone the extra mile and helped the mom get her daughter's shoes. Instead we had to go to lost and found to say we lost a pair of shoes on deck. We found another kids pair of flip flops (not hers) that were a size too small and that's what she wore on debarkation.
Entertainment... Disney was far superior in this regard. Their broadway style shows were fabulous. We saw Golden Mickeys, Toy Story and Dreams and the whole family loved it. Disney's Sail Away Party, Pirates Party with Fireworks, and Farewell Show on the last night were awesome. We also saw "Race to Witch Mountain" with the kids for free.
Kids Program... The Disney program was more varied and entertaining for the kids. My DD-9 had more fun with the Disney Program than she did with the Royal. Disney also went the extra mile in taking care of my 2-1/2 year old niece that was going through the terrible 2s phase. That patience earned the staff $30.00 in I-tunes gift cards from us.
Food... I would say the quality of the Royal food was a little better than Disney. But, the kids loved getting free Mickey Bars with Sprinkles for dessert every night. Also, Disney has the free soda and ice cream station on deck 9 that was a hit with all the kids. Royal charged us for fountain drinks and had to bring our mugs along.
Exclusive Island... Disney has Castaway Cay, Royal has Labadee. CC was more family friendly with a huge beach with snorkeling adventure to take the kids on (find the ship, find Minnie, find Mickey), a kids friendly stingray adventure, plus an adults only beach. Labadee has the Dragon's Breath zip line for the older kids and adults. Disney's Food program on the island is superior to Royals. We loved the BBQ ribs and chicken on the island (better than in restaurant).
Overall, if Disney had the Liberty ship, they would corner the market. Hopefully, they will have that with the new ship coming out in '11.
We were considering a 7 night cruise for next year, but after the ship rocking as bad as it did, we will probably wait for their new ship.