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So I live in an area that cruises are a popular option for many and yes RC seems to win out over Carnival and Disney. I will say it would be RC, Carnival, then Disney if I counted all the cruises people I know have been on. Yet, some people feel they HAVE to do Disney and if they do it when one kid is a certain age they need to repeat it. So there is still people who want to do Disney and frankly Disney has less ships so they are not going to get everyone. I am not in that have to group and will stick with RC Oasis and Icon. I unfortunately have an extremely picky family and if there are no trees on the boat (Central park on Oasis and Icon) my family won't go on the ship.

However, I will say I priced out and Icon cruise and wow, $3 to 4k more than what I paid for Oasis in 2022.
RC in that sweet spot (well until Icon)--cheaper than DCL, not trashy like Carnival. At least in terms of perception. IMO, while DCL still pricier, not as much nickel-and-diming as RC, which evens it out a bit.
 
RC in that sweet spot (well until Icon)--cheaper than DCL, not trashy like Carnival. At least in terms of perception. IMO, while DCL still pricier, not as much nickel-and-diming as RC, which evens it out a bit.
Ironically I know many who have done carnival and loved it. I was shocked as I always hated Carnival. We almost did carnival but their Covid policies would have potentially not allowed my son on the ship and we weren't willing to risk that so we went with RC who guaranteed under 5 to be allowed to board unvaccinated. Now I can't get my family to even try Carnival as there are no trees.

I really didn't feel nickel and dimed on RC, but we don't do a lot of the extras like drink packages, dining packages, etc. I am not sure what you don't pay extra for on Disney to know the difference.
 
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Ironically I know many who have done carnival and loved it. I was shocked as I always hated Carnival. We almost did carnival but their Covid policies would have potentially not allowed my son on the ship and we weren't willing to risk that so we went with RC who guaranteed under 5 to be allowed to board unvaccinated. Now I can't get my family to even try Carnival as there are no trees.

I really didn't feel nickel and dimed on RC, but we don't do a lot of the extras like drink packages, dining packages, etc. I am not sure what you don't pay extra for on Disney to know the difference.
Carnival can be fun for grown-ups -- my mother-in-law is a huge fan -- but the perception is of a trashy booze cruise, and that's not entirely inaccurate for their short trips. They do a lot better than RC if I'm being honest, particularly food and adult activities. But I'd think twice before bringing a kid.

Re RC. On DCL, I think main dining is equivalent to the RC upcharge restaurants. All the upcharges on Castaway Cay. A lot of things on the ship. Generally on DCL my only expenses are drinks (and without a drink package, that ends up being ridiculously pricey).
 
Carnival can be fun for grown-ups -- my mother-in-law is a huge fan -- but the perception is of a trashy booze cruise, and that's not entirely inaccurate for their short trips. They do a lot better than RC if I'm being honest, particularly food and adult activities. But I'd think twice before bringing a kid.

Re RC. On DCL, I think main dining is equivalent to the RC upcharge restaurants. All the upcharges on Castaway Cay. A lot of things on the ship. Generally on DCL my only expenses are drinks (and without a drink package, that ends up being ridiculously pricey).
Well ironically it was all families that had good impressions of Carnival, but they were all longer cruises. I didn't like it pre-kids and didn't really think about going until I saw positive reviews from similar families to mine. In the end we didn't go on it and probably never will as my family is more picky on what they want. It will be Oasis and Icon for us. Ironically none of my kids even want DCL, they all said no after experiencing RC.

Yes, I have heard dining is better on DCL. But I am not sure what you mean by castaway cay, I assume you mean the private RC island cococay. They have areas that are pay, but majority of people go for free on the private island. Does DCL not have cabanas to purchase? I just assumed all of them have cabanas, but I also know that RC private island is the best by a mile in what it has to offer.

My only expense on RC was my excursions on my longer cruise (did none on my weekend one) and if I wanted a drink, which I really don't drink much. I think we as a family bought under 10 drinks over two cruises. But again we don't do upgraded dining as with kids it is easier to do the main dining room. They have odd rules on pricing and adult menu. Basically kids end up on kids menu in upgraded dining depending on waiter and main dining kids can eat off any menu they want. On our longer cruise we did purchase a bed at cococay, but that was a splurge and not really needed. I did love it, but next cruise we did the chairs and umbrellas that were free and had a great time that time too.
 
Honestly, Carnival's new ships look great. I never thought I would be in the "ship too large" category because hello... Royal's ships are almost theme park-like behemoths. But I actually do think there is such thing as too big. We didn't have the best time on Wonder of the Seas. Virgin was a mixed bag (I enjoyed it, others not so much) but we have had some great sailings on Norwegian's newer ships too.

Booked on Disney Treasure for next year and looking forward to that one. Of course, it's nearly double the price of our last NCL cruise.
 
So I live in an area that cruises are a popular option for many and yes RC seems to win out over Carnival and Disney. I will say it would be RC, Carnival, then Disney if I counted all the cruises people I know have been on. Yet, some people feel they HAVE to do Disney and if they do it when one kid is a certain age they need to repeat it. So there is still people who want to do Disney and frankly Disney has less ships so they are not going to get everyone. I am not in that have to group and will stick with RC Oasis and Icon. I unfortunately have an extremely picky family and if there are no trees on the boat (Central park on Oasis and Icon) my family won't go on the ship.

However, I will say I priced out and Icon cruise and wow, $3 to 4k more than what I paid for Oasis in 2022.
I did the Oasis in 2019 and then again in November. Great ship. The tree thing sounds silly, but it does make the ship feel like it has an actual park onboard which imo is a big mental thing. The Central Park area on RC ships is just a great place to chill out and get away from the action.
 
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I did the Oasis in 2019 and then again in November. Great ship. The tree thing sounds silly, but it does make the ship feel like it has an actual park onboard which imo is a big mental thing. The Central Park area on RC ships is just a great place to chill out and get away from the action.
Yes, my husband feels "stuck" when on a ship and having central park really helps him. We have done Symphony and Allure, I would really like to try Icon class next but that is $$$$
 
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Yes, my husband feels "stuck" when on a ship and having central park really helps him. We have done Symphony and Allure, I would really like to try Icon class next but that is $$$$
While we were on our cruise last week, we booked the Star of the Seas for 2026 which is Icon class. Looks like a pretty cool ship and the water park looks like it could be legit
 
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Throwing in my two cents, RC has always been my favorite (I’m diamond on RC), but recently with Carnival’s new ships (vista and above) I can go on their new ships for about 20% less then a RC Oasis class ship, and I don’t think there is a big enough gap in service/ experience to be able to justify the price difference.

Something high level I’ve always told my friends when trying to convince them to go on a cruise. Carnival is better at lunchtime food with more comfort/basic food and a more comedy/gameshow focused experience. While RC is better at dinner time food with a slightly more “fancy” food experience and more Broadway show focus.

As for Disney I don’t have kids but it’s hard to justify paying more for a 3/4 day cruise then I’d pay for any 7 day cruise on RC or carnival. I personally am not a huge character person either and that is one of the major draws of a Disney cruise.
 
Throwing in my two cents, RC has always been my favorite (I’m diamond on RC), but recently with Carnival’s new ships (vista and above) I can go on their new ships for about 20% less then a RC Oasis class ship, and I don’t think there is a big enough gap in service/ experience to be able to justify the price difference.

Something high level I’ve always told my friends when trying to convince them to go on a cruise. Carnival is better at lunchtime food with more comfort/basic food and a more comedy/gameshow focused experience. While RC is better at dinner time food with a slightly more “fancy” food experience and more Broadway show focus.

As for Disney I don’t have kids but it’s hard to justify paying more for a 3/4 day cruise then I’d pay for any 7 day cruise on RC or carnival. I personally am not a huge character person either and that is one of the major draws of a Disney cruise.
My friend said after going on RC she preferred Carnival for comedy and the activities were in bigger venues allowing more people. But that the shows and food was better on RC. She said she would go on either ship, but probably be more inclined to book Carnival because she is really into Comedy and didn't like it was basically the same comedians every night on RC which we didn't like one of them so then going to another show is pointless.
 
I just got back from a weeklong RCL cruise on Sunday and had a great time on the Anthem. For an off season cruise, the value for what I paid was great, and the drink package wasn't too expensive this sailing which is a plus. My only big issue with RCL is their main dining is severely lacking in variety and taste, and even for a somewhat newer/larger ship like Anthem, the lack of dining options after 8-9PM still boggles me. The food quality in speciality restaurants is great though, and I definitely substituted dinner with a large lunch on a couple days. Even the buffet was more appealing than main dining on a couple nights.

I'm probably going to do a shorter RCL cruise in the summer since I have a good casino discount from this sailing, but if not for the offers I would do NCL again or try out Carnival next. RCL succeeds at being a catch all cruise line, but other lines are better tailored for certain vacation/cruising styles. I'm not likely to sail Disney anytime soon given I don't have kids and their prices are too expensive to justify even for a couple.

My friend said after going on RC she preferred Carnival for comedy and the activities were in bigger venues allowing more people. But that the shows and food was better on RC. She said she would go on either ship, but probably be more inclined to book Carnival because she is really into Comedy and didn't like it was basically the same comedians every night on RC which we didn't like one of them so then going to another show is pointless.
In my experience on RCL ships, it's always one comedian that is only performing 2-3 nights max. I never saw the comedian once on my last sailing since there were plenty of other more appealing and casual entertainment options.
 
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If you want drink packages and are not gonna drink more then 15 in a day, Carnival has the cheapest drink package at 60ish a day. Royal has dynamic pricing which means the pricing for that kind of thing change daily but I typically see royals drink package at 80 or so a day (but no 15 drink limits)
 
Sailing off on the Disney Wish today! I believe this is my 8th disney cruise now? I did them a lot as a kid and haven't been on one in 7 years so I don't really remember. I've explored most of the ship already and it's definitely different, has a unique modern vibe that sets it apart very much from the other DCL ships. I'll say that the ship does feel really cramped. Lot of tight and small hallways/spaces it's a little off-putting, lol. Besides that I'm really digging the ship so far. I haven't really tried any of the food yet but I had some of the desserts and my favorites out of the ones I tried are the Oreo Cheesecake and NSA chocolate marquise. I'll post again here on Monday when the cruise is over. Very excited!

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Sailing off on the Disney Wish today! I believe this is my 8th disney cruise now? I did them a lot as a kid and haven't been on one in 7 years so I don't really remember. I've explored most of the ship already and it's definitely different, has a unique modern vibe that sets it apart very much from the other DCL ships. I'll say that the ship does feel really cramped. Lot of tight and small hallways/spaces it's a little off-putting, lol. Besides that I'm really digging the ship so far. I haven't really tried any of the food yet but I had some of the desserts and my favorites out of the ones I tried are the Oreo Cheesecake and NSA chocolate marquise. I'll post again here on Monday when the cruise is over. Very excited!

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Oops, forgot to reply back to this. I'll keep it short but I mostly had a really fun time! My favorite restaurant was definitely Arendelle. Had the best theming and entertainment. I can't really comment on the two other restaurants because I got really sick on day 2 and wasn't able to try that much food from the marvel restaurant or 1923. I'll just say that 1923 was my least favorite restaurant. It looks nice but it felt lacking to me, nothing really special about it. At least with Worlds of Marvel it has a really entertaining story to it and I really enjoyed the videos they played. As for the shows (Goofy/Minnie, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) I thought those were fantastic! Aladdin was my personal favorite but I just really love that movie so I'm a bit biased, however Little Mermaid had some really great performances. I would definitely go back on this ship again so I can try the food I missed out on and also the Hyperspace Lounge which I also didn't get to do. It just felt really nice to be back on another Disney Cruise, outside of getting really sick for the last 2 days I enjoyed it :sob:
 
The reviews make the island seem bland and boring. Kinda seems like the best part is that you could just stay on the ship and have the pool all to yourself as everyone is off trying the new shiny island.