Talk me into DCL - please

Please. Talk me into the Wish. I will love the shows and Marvel dining and Castaway Cay, right? And 4-nights is long enough to be on vacation at the start of the school year? Right?

But see - I’m frugal. Cheap. And an inside state room for 4-nights is going to cost me $4500 or so plus grats. And I could do a loaded NCL ship (ropes course, slides, etc.) in a verandah for 7-nights for $3600. Or Carnivals brand new ship with a ton of slides and a coaster in a suite for $3200 for 7-nights.

But I may never get the chance again to travel with just four of us and do DCL. It’s been 10 years. And those other ships will still be there. And DH is no help. He’s like - “whatever you prefer.”


Only on DCL do you get:

Disney/Pixar/Marvel/StarWars characters/shows/theming.
Standard cabins with the unique split bath.
Rotational dining where the evening meal rotates daily among three different dining rooms, and your wait staff moves with you.
No casinos

Only you know if those pluses (some might be considered negatives) are worth (in happiness, memories, etc) the cost differential.

Good luck!


I’ve loved my Disney cruises but I have a hard time paying the premium for those new ships right now.

I feel like the four nights are not long enough. The 7 nights are “cheaper” per night. I’ve been in the Dream and the Fantasy twice. One 4 night and two 7 nights.

We just booked a 5 night on the Dream for October 2025.

I like Disney ships because of the relaxed vibe. I also like the rotational dining and the split bathrooms are great. I don’t need constant entertainment and don’t want a party atmosphere that seems to be portrayed on other cruise lines. I know what I’m getting with a Disney cruise.

I’ve only done one non-Disney cruise. That was on Holland America for our honeymoon in June 2001. We went to Alaska. We got off the ship every day and didn’t see any shows at night. The time difference for us made it hard to stay up “late”. Our 8pm dinners were midnight our time. We want to do another cruise to Alaska with kids but wouldn’t chose Disney for it.


I’ve never done a non-Disney cruise and I doubt I ever will. Disney ships are clean, the cast and crew are top notch, the shows are incredible, the food is included, and there’s the added touch of Disney magic everywhere you go.

And I haven’t even been to Castaway Cay yet.


The cleanliness of the ship…YES!!! We pulled up next to other ships at other ports and my husband commented about how dirty they looked compared to our Disney ship.


This is so hard.

I have done DCL and a lot of other lines. And I’ve loved all but my Royal Caribbean cruise. And I didn’t hate that one.

I do like characters. And shows. And rotational dining. And I would love to go to CC again.

But I also like ropes courses and water slides and rock walls etc.

My best cruise ever was 7-n NCL with four port days and two sea days and specialty dining package. We were too tired for shows and opted to eat late.

I feel like 4-n is good for DCL bc there isn’t much to do on the ship.

Marvel is a big deal to my girls. That’s what sold me on Wish. And my girls are 11 & 14. Almost aging out of being “kids.” It really is a good time to do DCL. They could still be in the same club.

And the big fun ships will still be there - Carnival and NCL and others. Right?


My last cruise was Royal, and while it was my least favorite cruise to date, I feel like they had more people cleaning than working the restaurants and bars! That ship was spotless.


I forget, which RCL ship? Also how many nights and itinerary?

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I wish I didn’t have to drive to FLL. We like 5-n cruises the best! Maybe I need to revisit this option.

For us the onboard entertainment is what pushes DCL above other cruise lines. We’ve done a couple of cruises on other lines and the night time shows were either subpar or nonexistent! I know some lines have cool shows but not any of the ones we’ve been on. Plus the movie theatre is a great included extra. Love spending an afternoon watching a good movie.



Ah, I understand that one. We did B2Bs on sister ships Explorer and Navigator less than 2 years ago. It can be underwhelming compared to several of their others that are bigger and/or newer.


I agree. The other lines are almost complete duds.

My kids & DH & I love movies too. The biggest negative to Voyager of the Seas was no movies. Carnival and Princess do them every night. We LOVE that.

I also like characters and the themed dining.

There is a really good chance it will go IGT/OGT/VGT. A lot of the fall 4-n Wish cruises are. That would make it a wee bit less. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Their water features were decent. Serving team was nice in MDR. But no movies and limited ice skating times. DD10 loved her club.

We also had that incident with the worker following my DD to her room and entering our adjacent room. I think we just can’t shake that. Obviously could happen anywhere. But it kind of still bugs us.

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I didn’t answer second question.

Two ports - 5-n. Out of Galveston.
In Cozumel we had a great day. And Costa Maya - we didn’t make a great beach choice.


I just double checked the Cruise Compasses from those recent RCL trips. They had movies each day, but it was in the evening and on the pool deck. Not quite the same as an indoor theater in the afternoon. :slightly_frowning_face:

RCL’s revamped private island, Perfect Day at Coco Cay, is about on par with Castaway Cay. Lots of good stuff both places.

You’ve been making a good case for doing DCL this time, with the caveat that you are trying to make the cost choices more equal by fewer nights with inside guaranty rooms. Your family should be able to understand the tradeoff that has to be made to do DCL, when money is a big factor.

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We fly so Port Canaveral vs FLL wasn’t really an issue. It’s almost 14 hour drive to Disney World. We did it once and said never again. If it’s over 6 hours in the car, we fly.

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To me that sentence has a lot of weight. If you really want to experience a DCL cruise again, now may be the time to do it. And if you can get a discounted rate, that would knock the price down.

You also mentioned that with concerns of missing too much school, a 4-night works better into your schedule than a 7-night. On a 4-night, I can’t imagine you’d have time to be bored and miss the things you mentioned that disney ships don’t have. Is it a Halloween on the High Seas? I know my DD is really excited to experience the new restaurants, the aquamouse, the shows, deck parties, character meets and halloween specific activities.


We’ve only ever sailed DCL because of the Disney part, but DH & I have started talking doing a cruise just us on another line and then eventually trying another line with the kids. But we keep on booking DCL because we just love the entertainment on the ships and the MDR rotational dining.

On a 4-night cruise, I always feel like I’m running around trying to do it all. So I’m never bored on the 4 nights. There’s always a movie, or craft, or trivia, or lounge, or character meet, or open house to check out when it’s not dinner/show or beach time. And there’s still beach and pool time to fit in.

I hope it does for you! Every bit helps!!