We just took a seven day Carnival Cruise and really loved it! However, my children are dying to go back to disney. They are older 11 and 14.5 so we need to go during summer or breaks. (however, our summer begins the end of may). Would love to do the 4 day cruise, 3 day park package. But the price is unbelievable. Are there any tricks to getting a lower price on Disney or are they always so, so high?
Appreciate any advice.
Also, saw in our Carnival brochure that they now do a Cruise/Orlando package? Has anyone done that?
Don't know of any tricks with Disney. You could just book the crusie and put your own "package" together in Orlando. i.e. cheaper hotels off-site. I did the 3 night Disney cruise last year and really enjoyed it. It is worth the money. Just don't look for the wild nightlife. There is no casino and the bars don't get really crowded.
Disney's prices are higher to begin with, you don't usually hear about any deals on the cruise ships. You are paying for the name.
Note: Teenagers can be so fickle sometimes, our teens 13, 15 didn't even want us to consider a Disney Cruise and i quote " all those characters and stuff is so lame" - just something to think about (especially the older one)
Carnival and Royal Caribbean both have ships offering short cruises out of Orlando. This might be a good choice and then you can make your own land package or opt for the cruise line's.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
I think the only trick to getting a good rate on Disney is to go while school is in session. I was just over there pricing cruises on the DCL site, and the cost is 2 grand cheaper for three people if you go in Sept. instead of June.
You can rent points from a member of the Disney Vacation Club (like a time share) to bring down the cost to some extent. Check out the DIZ Boards (Pete Werner's web site) there is a dedicated board to Disney Cruises as well as one for Disney Vacation Club members.
We've done 2 Disney Cruises on vacation club points and depending on how much per point someone is charging (how soon their use year is up) you can save a bit.
Don't hesitate to email me with any questions about Disney Cruises-I saved all of our daily itineraries and am happy to email for further insight.
LisaK has a good point if your children are older. Mine are 10, 12 & 15 and when I suggested a Disney cruise I got a chorus of groans. None were interested. They've been to Disney twice and were, as they put it, Disneyed out. We ended up doing a four day cruise to the Bahamas and two days at Universal Studios, which everyone enjoyed and it was much cheaper.
I agree with putting together your own package for the Orlando portion of your trip and then take a 3 or 4 night cruise on any of the lines.
My family did the Disney 7night last summer with 13 other family & friends. We had a blast and were sorry to leave the ship, but my then 12 year-old is not interested in another Disney cruise. I didn't think the characters were obnoxious, but I guess I'm not a pre-teen either. He was also disappointed that he was too young to be in the teen clubs, but he felt at the old end of his age group (10-12 y/o's). He hung with us a good majority of the time.
We used AAA and felt like we'd gotten pretty good rates. About the same as what we're going to get on our Carnival cruise for Christmas. We had a cabin with a window and I really enjoyed that. You get a better bathroom set-up. (one with sink & shower and one with sink & commode - helps when you have people taking a while with grooming!). My sister's & sister-in-law's families had the inside cabins and though they didn't have the extra bathroom space, the rooms seemed spacious enough.
Now, for your Carnival experience.......I've done 3 Royal Caribbean cruises with adults and the Disney Cruise with my kids (now 7 & 13). This is a first for Carnival. Is the evening entertainment family friendly? I see "Las Vegas" style shows written in the write-ups and I'm not sure what that means. I have two boys. What did your children like the most about their experience?
My understanding is that Costco has the best pricing for Disney Cruises so if you are a Costco member go that route.
Just wanted to mention that renting points from a DVC member for the cruise is not a good idea. Most DVC members agree that the number of DVC points needed for a cruise is not the best use of points. At average rental prices of $10 a point they usually rent out their DVC points and book the cruise for cash since they need less points to pay cash for the cruise.
Also wanted to mention that DCL does not really have much for the younger teens to do. You might want to do a little research about that before booking DCL.
From a personal viewpoint, while DCL was nice it was not twice-as-much-money nice.
Melissa - we just returned from the Carnival Elation w/ our children. The Las Vegas style shows were just that. Musicals, with the women in thongs. Nothing topless or anything like that. Camp Carnival actually took the 6-8 year old group to one of the shows and my 6 year old son was so embarassed at seeing the girls' bottoms!
But it was still a good show. The dancers are pretty good.
Thanks Sarah, It's taken me a while to get back here, but I'm glad I checked. Everybody keeps saying Carnival is for everybody. Many people have said their kids loved it. I'm not quite sure how my 7 y/o will react to thonged bottoms, but I think my girlfriend's kids will be mortified. I'll just warn her ahead. I know all the shows won't be the same right?
Well, still looking forward to our trip, just like to have all my info.
For me and my son, who have been on dozens of cruises (and enjoyed them all), Disney was great and well worth the price. We went the week before Christmas and paid a reasonable price for Disney. You will find a lot of cruise lines have great rates at that time. We love Disney period so we may be a little bias. The cabins were much larger than other lines. I had a double bed and my son had a twin bed. We even had a curtain in between for privacy when needed. We booked a regular Ocean view Cabin. The characters are everywhere and we enjoyed that fact. The only problem with Disney Cruise Line is that kids are also everywhere. That is except for certain places where there is a no kids allowed rule and it is enforced. I found that the nightly entertainment was pretty mush compreble to other lines. My son was 16 at the time and there were plenty of cruisers his age to keep him entertained. I hooked up with some other people on board and also had a ball. You have to decide if your kids like Disney that much that a few extra dollars would be worth it. For us it was.
My family LOVES Disney - both the cruise and the parks. We did 5 days at Disney followed by a 3 day cruise last August, and are going on another 3 day cruise with 4 days at Disney this coming December. If you want to save money on a land/sea vacation, though, it's best to book each separately. For good cruise prices, check out www.allseastravel.com or www.smartcruiser.com or try Costco. As far as the land portion goes, you can get some great rates at off-site hotels as well as at the moderate or value Disney resorts (depending on the season). Check out www.mousesavers.com and www.allearsnet.com for "bargains". Also, if you do decide to stay on-site, I've always found that it's cheaper to get my own park passes rather than booking a package where the passes are included. Finally, for info on all things Disney, check out www.disboards.com.
My son is now 10 and he doesn't want to go on a Disney cruise. He likes all of the parks but thinks the cruise is for "kids". We went on Carnival's Paradise in August and he loved it. We have a 4 day booked for Jan 05 and a 7 day for July. He is as excited as I am! I think I got him addicted at a young age! (Shame on me)
My family is going on a disney cruise for the first time. Our son is 8 and he is excited about going to swim with stingrays. I was wondering what all you get for the money. Do you get certain meals, is there and formal nights? We are getting a bigger room with a balcony so I hope it is not cramped. Anything you can tell me will help. Thank you very much
As w/most cruises, the youth program is free. Disney also has many spec'l family events that are included such as a character breakfast, tea w/Wendy from Peter Pan, etc. All meals are included except the specialty restaurant. You child is a great age for Disney Cruise Line.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
We are planning a Disney cruise for March of 2006. I have 3 boys-9,6,5-They like Disney but not all about the characters, however I think with all the activities they will enjoy! If you have been with boys- please let me know how it went.
I think your boys are the perfect age to enjoy a Disney cruise. Our oldest was 5 when he went on his first Disney cruise and had a great time.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
We are thinking about taking our girls 5 & 3 on a cruise & can't decide between Disney and Carnival Fantasy. Are they too young to go on a cruise? Are there activities for the 3 yr old? How does the babysitting work? Our kids don't do well staying up late but we don't want to come back to the cabin when they are ready for bed....
Both lines are great for kids. I'd say if you can afford Disney, go for it. WIth two girls aged 3 and 5 years, they are prime "Disney Princesses" -- my daughter went on DCL at that age and LOVED all the princess related programming!
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
P.S. Both lines have free youth activities until 10 p.m. (Carnival) or later on Disney (I think around 11 or 12 midnight). On Carnival, after 10 p. m. you pay for group babysitting.
Go to Disney and buy a season pass, and lets say you do this in October. I think the passes are good for a year. Then, go the following year just before your season passes are up, and go on a cruise out of Orlando, and hit Disney just before the cruise, or right after. This would save you money in the long run. I have heard that the combination of cruising and disney are a bit much. Kind of an oxymoron. Disney you don't rest, and cruises are for relaxation? Anyhow, we read in a book on how to go disney for a bargain, and buying the season pass, and returning before they expire is a good idea. This gets you to disney twice!! Or more depending on where you live.