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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Disney Cruise Line vs. Royal Caribbean

I recently asked for a quote on a Disney cruise.  I’d never been on the Disney Cruise Line so I thought it would be worth a shot.  After all people rave about DCL.
The cruise I asked for a quote on was a seven day cruise in a balcony stateroom. What did it come out to for two people?  Over $3,700.00.  I nearly fell out of my chair.  That is…insane.

Why is that insane?

First you need to find a good comparison.  You can’t compare NCL to Disney.  NCL is as low as you can go when it comes to the major cruise lines. It’s not fair to compare NCL to anyone because no one else is that bad (if you don’t believe me go look my up many articles on my experiences with NCL).

What about Carnival?  That’s a no go to.  Carnival’s customer service is so horrifying it wouldn’t be fair to compare them to Disney.  If you don’t believe me about Carnival go look up the articles I wrote on my experiences with them.

Royal Caribbean is another matter.  After some fairly in depth research online RC to Disney is a fairly close comparison.  Let’s set the stage by saying that DCL is slightly better than RC.  If RC isn’t as good then they should be cheaper but still somewhat close.  Well that’s half correct. For a seven day cruise on RC the quote came in at $2,500.

The difference is literally 33%.  Disney is a full third more expensive. Disney is not 33% better than RC.

Now let’s take a page out of Mythbusters book.  On Mythbusters when a myth doesn’t pan out they often try to figure out what it takes to match the myth.  So what could you get on RC for the price Disney is charging?

The next step up on RC is a Junior Suite aka category JS stateroom.  It’s bigger and often better located than a normal balcony stateroom.  Does that match up?  Nope!  A JS comes came in around $2,800.  

So what is next?  The only other feasible stateroom for a couple on Royal Caribbean is a Grand Suite, category GS.  A GS is a HUGE jump from a JS.  GS is bigger, much bigger. They tend to be some of the best located rooms on the ship.  They also come with major perks.

1 - GS gives you expedited boarding.  In other words the second worst part of cruising is almost eliminated.   

2 – GS gives you expedited exit.  You get off the boat fast and while you are waiting you are in a private lounge.

3 – GS gives you access to an exclusive lounge where you get free booze at night.  To put this into Disney terms GS gives you access to club level services. 

There are a lot of other small perks that come with a GS but those are the big ones. 

So what is the price for that? About $3,300. A super suite with HUGE perks cost $400 less than a normal balcony on DCL.  

For once I am at a loss for words.  What can you say about that?  It’s truly hard to wrap you head around that.

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