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txwriter

Disney or not to Disney?

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So, I’m contemplating my first solo trip.  I like Disney.  I like cruising. I thought I might try my first Disney Cruise.  (I’m due for a Disney fix).

 

A friend of mine is going with her husband on a Merrytime Christmas cruise 5 nights out of Miami later this year, so I could go on the same cruise and have someone to buffer my solo status especially at dinners.  But I wonder if there will be children everywhere.  I like kids but am not used to having them around.

 

The price is really high to me.  So even though I’d like a verandah, an ocean view or navigator’s veranda to save some money. 

 

Any advice is appreciated.  Should I try a solo cruise on Disney?  If yes, what room type would you pick?

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In all honesty, I would not do a solo cruise on DCL. Too expensive. However, if you want to cruise with your friends, go for it. I would probably pick the cheapest inside.

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For me, it would cost the same if I did the same cruise by myself or paid for someone to go with me, but it is more expensive than another line (Princess) I am considering.

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We just did a Merrytime Cruise over the holidays - our adult 26 year old daughter joining us. Yes, there are more children on DCL. There are also adults-only areas where (1) there were no children, (2) there was fabulous service, (3) there was calming music or total quiet, and (4) there were always (lounge and other) chairs available in any venue. The entertainment venues are family in the early evening, and most go adult-only after 9 PM as the kids have their own clubs. We enjoy the DCL adults-only areas, DCL entertainment, etc. I think the dining room food is rather bland, but it is generally well-prepared.  The general entertainment will be family oriented, so yes, there will be many kids. You will pay a premium for holidays on Disney, and I believe the single supplement is steep. If your Merrytime Cruise is not directly over Christmas it will be less than if it were directly Christmas and New Years.  We enjoy DCL as adults-only as we enjoy Palo & Remy (the upcharge restaurants), the entertainment in the main theater and smaller venues, the adults-only lounge areas. Our daughter would go back on DCL as an adult, no hesitation.  Would I cruise DCL single? Honestly, I don't know - the single supplement I believe is the same as paying for two people in a cabin - so if I got a great last-minute deal, perhaps, but those are few and far between.

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for the price of DCL I'd recommend you checkout higher quality lines like Viking Ocean (no kids)

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Viking is way more expensive than Disney. Their lowest fare is about the same before the single supplement of the highest fare I’m considering on Disney.  Secondly, they don’t have an 7 or fewer day itinerary in the Caribbean (closest is an 8 day Cuba cruise).  

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I'm not sure I'd pick Disney for a solo cruise. Yes, there are kids, but there are also adult only sections of the ship, with adult only pools, etc, so you can get away from the kids. But, because it's Disney, it's mostly family/kid oriented. We cruise Disney with our kids all the time. If we don't bring the kids, we usually pick a different cruise line.

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Yes, there will be children everywhere and most of the activities are geared toward children and families.  There are some adult-only areas, but the majority of spaces will, literally, be swarming with children.  No joke - the main pools will be "kid soup".  If you don't want to be around a ton of children, I would highly recommend going on another cruise line.  We just sailed on Celebrity over Christmas and there may have been 40 - 50 children on the entire cruise and most of them were older (tweens and teens).  The price point is significantly lower than DCL as well.  If you don't want to be around kids, DCL is not the cruise line I would choose.

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Based on the replies, I feel like maybe I came off as anti-kid.  I am not.  In fact, one thing I always enjoyed at the parks is seeing little kids get excited to meet characters or just their pure glee over things.

 

My friend who has been on many Disney cruises assures me the adult only areas give ample space in kid free environments if desired, so I’ve decided to go.  Since my friend will be on board with me, I can always hassle her if it turns out she was wrong.  

 

 

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I say do the cruise! I’ve done three Disney cruises, all adult only. Yes there are kids, but Disney does a great job keeping them out of adult only areas. Love the adult pool, the bars are greatly themed. They have adult only dining for an upcharge that are fantastic. A lot of people sail on Disney without kids it won’t be odd at all if you do. And it’ll be fun to have your friends there too. The Merrytime cruises are great, I’ve done two of them. 

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I have done 7 DCL cruises, with #8 in 10 days. All solo. I have not done a Merry Time Cruise, but I did Halloween. Disney charges as if you were traveling with another person for the cabin, but gratuities and upcharge meals is per person. You can link your reservation with your friend and you will have the dinner meal with them, same table and rotation. The cabin I usually get are Navigator verandas. Less money than regular verandas. There are kids around but you can go to the adult areas to get away from them, since you will be on the Magic or Wonder, you can go to Cove Cafe and read without being bothered. Disney crew members are very attentive and will make sure you are comfortable without being intrusive. Enjoy!

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I have done DCL as a solo, but it was many years ago before the outrageous prices.  I chose an inside cabin to save money, knowing there were plenty of public spaces where I could enjoy the air.  Yes, a balcony is nicer, but the price is not.

Yes, there will be kids everywhere.  IMHO, the one place that DCL has not performed as promised is the restriction of kids in adult only areas.  SOME areas, like the fitness center, are well controlled.  Other areas, like the adult pool and Cove Cafe area are not controlled, allowing children to walk/run/skate/scream their way thru with or without parents (this happens on ALL DCL ships), kids come into the adult area to "touch base" with mom, etc.

 

Like you, I am not anti-kid.  But I can't go to the Oceaneer's Club; they shouldn't be able to come to the "adult" areas!  And I really didn't appreciate the one cruising thru on his "heelie" shoes (yes, they are against rules too), and slammed into me while I was sitting in a chair outside the Cove Cafe drinking hot tea.  He then skated off without so much as a "sorry."  Not cool!

 

They do a good job of restricting in adult only restaurants and nightclubs after 9pm.

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yes by all means do a Disney cruise solo.  Get an inside room and enjoy. I will be doing one this OCT on Fantasy and for Halloween.  Watching others kids can be fun.

Kids for the most part do behave as they have lots of things to do.

Also the ship will let adults into some of the stuff once each cruise so an adult can do some of the simulators etc etc.

 

The food and dining is good.  Best part is the last day.  No calling out luggage numbers or deck.  No shuffling around the buffet.

Everyone gets assigned to dining room for a nice full breakfast and you walk off the ship when you want.  At least I did in 2016.

 

No extra charge for soda and the entertainment is top notch and the ship is clean.   Go ahead and go alone.  Castaway Cay if you can is the best private island and even the family area is enjoyable as well

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2 hours ago, Oceansaway17 said:

yes by all means do a Disney cruise solo.  Get an inside room and enjoy. I will be doing one this OCT on Fantasy and for Halloween.  Watching others kids can be fun.

Kids for the most part do behave as they have lots of things to do.

Also the ship will let adults into some of the stuff once each cruise so an adult can do some of the simulators etc etc.

 

The food and dining is good.  Best part is the last day.  No calling out luggage numbers or deck.  No shuffling around the buffet.

Everyone gets assigned to dining room for a nice full breakfast and you walk off the ship when you want.  At least I did in 2016.

 

No extra charge for soda and the entertainment is top notch and the ship is clean.   Go ahead and go alone.  Castaway Cay if you can is the best private island and even the family area is enjoyable as well

 

Thanks.  I’m really looking forward to it! 

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:13 PM, txwriter said:

So, I’m contemplating my first solo trip.  I like Disney.  I like cruising. I thought I might try my first Disney Cruise.  (I’m due for a Disney fix).

 

A friend of mine is going with her husband on a Merrytime Christmas cruise 5 nights out of Miami later this year, so I could go on the same cruise and have someone to buffer my solo status especially at dinners.  But I wonder if there will be children everywhere.  I like kids but am not used to having them around.

 

The price is really high to me.  So even though I’d like a verandah, an ocean view or navigator’s veranda to save some money. 

 

Any advice is appreciated.  Should I try a solo cruise on Disney?  If yes, what room type would you pick?

 

Here's a review I wrote about the Disney Fantasy from an adult's perspective.  It's from a couple of years ago but it does address a few of your requests.  http://whereswalter.tv/2016/10/11/disney-fantasy/

 

In short we will cruise Disney again when we can get a good deal, but as for kids being everywhere, it's not as bad as you might initially think.  

 

 

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Here's a couple of things to think about. My husband and I don't have children. We went with a couple of friends and their kids. We were both Disneyland season pass holders and love Disney.

 

When on vacation, we are also late risers and tend to close down bars. That's where the rub was for us. When we got up at 10am and wandered up at 10:30 to eat, they were shutting down the buffets. The first several days we had to go get pizza or burgers because the buffet was closed. Their pizza and burgers are really bad. 

 

The other thing was, the bars closed early. I think it was maybe 11:30/Midnight? We were ready to continue drinking and chatting and they were rolling up the side-walks. So, while we enjoyed the cruise, the timelines didn't really work for us. 

 

We may cruise Disney again, with the right itinerary and group of friends, but sadly, it's not the top of my list. Which is a shame, I liked everything else about that trip.

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2 hours ago, Nightrythm said:

Here's a couple of things to think about. My husband and I don't have children. We went with a couple of friends and their kids. We were both Disneyland season pass holders and love Disney.

 

When on vacation, we are also late risers and tend to close down bars. That's where the rub was for us. When we got up at 10am and wandered up at 10:30 to eat, they were shutting down the buffets. The first several days we had to go get pizza or burgers because the buffet was closed. Their pizza and burgers are really bad. 

 

The other thing was, the bars closed early. I think it was maybe 11:30/Midnight? We were ready to continue drinking and chatting and they were rolling up the side-walks. So, while we enjoyed the cruise, the timelines didn't really work for us. 

 

We may cruise Disney again, with the right itinerary and group of friends, but sadly, it's not the top of my list. Which is a shame, I liked everything else about that trip.

 

I definitely think Disney is designed primarily for families and their adult areas are designed mostly for parents traveling with kids.  They do close down early, but this is not unusual in the realm

of Disney as it is the practice in the parks as well (outside of some things that are open late during Extra Magic Hours).

 

I am not a big fan of bars, so it’s really not a factor for me.  Neither are casinos.  I do see the appeal though of just having a place to hang out and chat besides your room.  The Piazza was a great place on Princess to just sit and chill or chat or people watch; I will miss that.  

 

What Disney does best is be Disney.  They have some things that other cruise line’s do not, which primarily is their vast array of intellectual properties, so they could theoretically do any number of specialty cruises though right now they are only doing Star Wars at Sea and Marvel at Sea.  They have figured out a way to leverage these properties to avoid slashing prices in non-peak cruising seasons.  

 

Disney is not trying to be like other cruise lines.  They are being Disney but doing it at seas.  This will attract Disney fans who might not normally cruise.  Some of them will be loyal to Disney (a win for Disney). Others will find they enjoy cruising and then try other lines (a win for the industry).  

 

For me, one reason I wanted to do a solo cruise was because I wanted to see if I truly like cruising or it was just the specific combination I had last June in Alaska.  This cruise I’m planning is a perfect opportunity to do so.  I believe the differences are enough for me to better judge things I like or don’t like about cruising.  And I may have a must have/can’t stand list by the end of it.  Also, it is also the first legitimate opportunity I’ve had to try a Disney Cruise; and I’ve wanted to try them since they launched their first ship.  It is that first ship, the Magic, that I will be sailing on this December. 😄

 

 

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reply to TwWriter:

You can mingle with the crowds on Disney and feel like a kid again.

All dining at night is in the dining room so you can meet people.

 

I am solo traveler and I had a ball watching the cute kids as well as mixing with adults.

The shows are great and you will ENJOY  I know you will.  Especially the last day with they way they have breakfast in dining rooms and walk off when ya want.  Very organized and relaxed.  I can't wait for my Fantasy cruise 6 days Western in Late October.  Did the Dream for 4 nights and always wanted to do another.

 

BTW, just wait and see what Disney new ships will be like in 2022 and beyond

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Oceansaway17,

 

Thanks for the post.  I am really looking forward to my cruise in December, and am interested to see what the new ships hold—if they will be basically the same with perhaps some ship specific themeing or will be offering completely different or new experiences.

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It sounds like you are a Disney fan.  If that is the case then go on the cruise!  My wife and I are big Disney fans and have gone on 3 Disney cruises (without our kids) and enjoyed them all very much!

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