How does Royal compare with Disney

Cackyschmackers

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
I just learned something super fantastic that I will preliminarily add to the pros list for Royal Caribbean: I just learned that on the Anthem, their adult only Solarium, which is an immense glass covered indoor pool with fabulous views of the sea, is actually accessible to those 16 years of age and up! Maybe some of you will think that is good or some of you may think that is bad, but it is great for us since I will be with my 16 year old daughter. I am thrilled that I am able to share this beautiful space with her. In addition, because the
Anthem sails out of New Jersey, it seems that it will be a great choice for us in the Winter months. We sailed from New York on DCL in November, and I felt the 1st, 2nd, and last days of the cruise were kind of wasted with chilly, windy inclement weather. Having the solarium pools in the glass enclosed space would be such an advantage. We would not feel we wasted any sea days getting to where we are going. I was also on a very impressive Viking ship about a year ago, which also has the enclosed glass retractable roof on the pool deck. It is amazing for sailing in inclement weather. Just a side note I was very happy to learn. I know some of you may have mixed feelings with 16 year olds being allowed in adult spaces but we can save that for another thread. Lol
 

Denise W

Disney Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
I just learned something super fantastic that I will preliminarily add to the pros list for Royal Caribbean: I just learned that on the Anthem, their adult only Solarium, which is an immense glass covered indoor pool with fabulous views of the sea, is actually accessible to those 16 years of age and up! Maybe some of you will think that is good or some of you may think that is bad, but it is great for us since I will be with my 16 year old daughter. I am thrilled that I am able to share this beautiful space with her. In addition, because the
Anthem sails out of New Jersey, it seems that it will be a great choice for us in the Winter months. We sailed from New York on DCL in November, and I felt the 1st, 2nd, and last days of the cruise were kind of wasted with chilly, windy inclement weather. Having the solarium pools in the glass enclosed space would be such an advantage. We would not feel we wasted any sea days getting to where we are going. I was also on a very impressive Viking ship about a year ago, which also has the enclosed glass retractable roof on the pool deck. It is amazing for sailing in inclement weather. Just a side note I was very happy to learn. I know some of you may have mixed feelings with 16 year olds being allowed in adult spaces but we can save that for another thread. Lol
We sailed on Anthem in January 2018. It was 13 degrees when we boarded. Anthem is a great ship for colder climates and it was warm enough by the second day to walk around outside. We are sailing her in July this year and January again next year.
Denise
 

ForMyBoys

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2013
I do love Disney cruises, but I find many of the activities separate the family. On our Royal Caribbean cruise my teen was able to attend all shows with us, but on Disney many are labeled adult only even if they aren't really risque.
 
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  • starvenger

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2015
    My 10 and 12 year old said the same thing in January! We loved the Symphony, and have the Mariner booked for next year :)
    As luck would have it, the rc blog is doing a live(ish) blog of their b2b Mariner cruise.
     
  • KashasMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2012
    We're Crown and Anchor and we just sailed with friends that have recently done multiple DCCL cruises. I can't speak for them but what I gathered from asking is..

    It's a theme park vs. beach resort analogy. They're both good in their own way. Are you more comfortable being 'bored' by reading a book in the Solarium, staring out into the horizon on your balcony, people-watching strolls down the promenade, longer formal dinners? Then RCCL is the more laid-back cruise for you. Do you need suggestions for how to fill every minute of your day? Do you need popcorn and a movie available 24-7? Then DCCL's floating theme park is for you.

    And I don't mean to say RCCL doesn't have activities constantly going. You just have to take on more initiative to find them. I think on RCCL your average cruiser is just 'taking it easy'. I'm loving the water-slide and splash park renovations. That's one thing Disney has improved for everyone.
    This is the complete opposite of our experiences on the Oasis class ships. Other than the Very Merrytime cruises we find the Disney cruises so boring! We moved away from DCL because my daughter was looking for more active cruises. With rock climbing walls, multiple pools, Ultimate Abyss, Flow Rider, multiple slides, ice skating, movies, Zip Line, etc. she's got plenty to keep her busy. As far as longer formal dinners - dinners on DCL are so long they are painful. Love having a dinner buffet on Royal for those nights where we don't want a longer dinner.
     

    mousefan73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2012
    The more I read this thread the more I am going excited for our Oasis sailing this June in the Med. my kids are 12 and 14 at sailing. Only bad thing she goes intondry dock after our cruise.
     

    TJA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2000
    I just learned something super fantastic that I will preliminarily add to the pros list for Royal Caribbean: I just learned that on the Anthem, their adult only Solarium, which is an immense glass covered indoor pool with fabulous views of the sea, is actually accessible to those 16 years of age and up! Maybe some of you will think that is good or some of you may think that is bad, but it is great for us since I will be with my 16 year old daughter. I am thrilled that I am able to share this beautiful space with her. In addition, because the
    Anthem sails out of New Jersey, it seems that it will be a great choice for us in the Winter months. We sailed from New York on DCL in November, and I felt the 1st, 2nd, and last days of the cruise were kind of wasted with chilly, windy inclement weather. Having the solarium pools in the glass enclosed space would be such an advantage. We would not feel we wasted any sea days getting to where we are going. I was also on a very impressive Viking ship about a year ago, which also has the enclosed glass retractable roof on the pool deck. It is amazing for sailing in inclement weather. Just a side note I was very happy to learn. I know some of you may have mixed feelings with 16 year olds being allowed in adult spaces but we can save that for another thread. Lol
    So good to know! I hate to wish my girls to get older, but it was such a bummer last summer on the Wonder when we couldn't go in the fitness room as a family each day (my girls were age 15). I'm hoping this summer on Royal (Jewel of the Seas) that they will be considered old enough to go in that pool you describe (if there is even one on the Jewel) and also into the fitness room with us without a hassle. They have never been interested in the kids/teens clubs, and we really love our family time together. Can't wait to try the Jewel and very excited to start out in Rome!
     

    hkriw

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2012
    we are on Liberty of the Seas in 2 weeks for Spring Break. This is our first RCCL and we have had 3 DCL trips. For us it was the price and timing- we can not longer go during the school year as they get older- the amount of school work that is to be made up is absurd. So for spring break the price of this trip (cruise alone) Spacious Panoramic was about 1/3 of all the DCL quotes we got for the same week (various ocean view to obstructed verandah). We are excited to try something new and I'll do my best to remember to report back. DD is 14 and DS is 10.
     
  • Amw1064

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2012
    I am a big Disney fan too.... I wanted the 7 day out of Barcelona for 2020 on the Magic.... It was $8300 for oceanview only, OBB, 2A1K. THAT PRICING IS INSANE. For a 7 day out of Barcelona on RCCL next summer, my agent just quoted me $4500 for a room with a balcony. (And $6200 for a suite....) Saving $4,000 is soooo worth it. (Disney magic is nice - but not an extra 4k nice!) Perhaps that will really sell it for you! We might use that money to tack on a week in Paris before our trip. I spoke to my daughter about doing a non-disney ship and she was super excited. But she is getting a little older and not as into the character meet and greets like she once was.... Also, it sounds like there is less reliance on screen time in the RCCL kids club and at the pool. I'm pretty pleased about that because we really try to limit screen time.
    I have been looking for 2020 as well. We have been on many Disney cruises and all the ships. My daughter would be 17 when we would sail and she never goes into the Vibe or Edge but did love the kids clubs when she was younger. We want to do a European cruise and are thinking of trying RC. We like the itinerary (and price) of the 12 day on the Vision of the Seas but it doesn't look like there would be anything to do on the 3 sea days. Anyone have any insight on this ship? I keep wanting to hold it but the deposit is nonrefundable. Is this something that is normal with RC? Would 12 days on this ship be to long?
     
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    Daisimae

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2000
    My husband and I are in our 50s and we travel with an older friend who is more like a mother to us. For what we spend on a 3-night Disney cruise to the Bahamas, we can have a 7 night on Royal. So we do a 3-night on DCL if we are going to the parks, (usually for five nights), to give us a good weeks vacation. If we aren't going to the parks we are on Royal. We like things like the characters and rotational dining, but, being able to cruise longer and to different places makes Royal worth it for us. We've been on two of the Oasis Class ships and a couple of ships in the other classes too. The Oasis class are our favorites, especially with the Boardwalk Balcony cabins. We vacation once every year more or less. Since we have no plans to go back to the parks until the 50th Anniversary upgrades/new attractions are available, we will probably be on RCCL for the next few years.
     
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    pangyal

    #TeamSven
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    This is a very timely thread! We are multiple-DCL cruisers and are currently on our very first RCCL cruise, on Anthem, heading back to NJ for disembarkation tomorrow. OMG, this was the best week ever. I will say that having the internet for the whole time on our cruise was life-changing (both the hubster and I need to be accessible while away)...I cannot stand the “per MB” nonsense on DCL.

    Overall, there are so many pluses and minuses on both sides that I feel they come up equal, but very different products for sure. We have already booked on Allure for 2021 (already on DCL next winter) and hope we love it as much as Anthem.

    I will say that we have not had a dull moment on this cruise. I will also say that I have not opened even one Compass. I seriously don’t know where this time went!
     

    nancy drew

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    I think it really is the Disney experience that I myself would miss. My kids will miss the Disney character meet n greets, my husband will not like that there is not a movie theater, I'm not sure about the shows, but we love the Disney shows on board thus far (we've only done Fantasy and Dream as we can only sail out of PC at this time).
    I don't care which ports we go to, we have only done 1 port excursion and I hated it. I'm there for the ship honestly. I don't like casinos, and don't want to walk through or by one. I don't want to constantly walk by stores which my kids will beg for things in I'm sure. We would love to do an Eastern Caribbean to explore those ports possibly (might like them), but we can only sail during fall break and that's always Western Caribbean week for some reason. Castaway Cay is our very favorite day, we look forward to that beach every time and can't imagine another beach/island being as nice, with free food as well? The kids club, as mentioned, my boys adore and spent much time only the play floor and did many of the "events" that were scheduled and centered around Disney characters. We'll miss the Aquaduck and knowing that we can eat anything and it's included (obviously with a price).

    Also, we are a family of 5. I need a room that can fit 5 of us, and online I can not get a quote... SO annoying!

    I'm sure I am missing something.
    We were just on Symphony and movies were shown at the Aqua Theater several times. Although we were so busy we never had time to sit and watch a movie.

    The shows on Symphony were FAR better than any Disney show I have ever seen. RCI definitely has better shows.

    My kids never once begged for anything in the stores and we were not "constantly" walking past stores. I found the stores on DCL to be much more kid-friendly and tempting. If your kids will beg for Kate Spade, Chanel, etc. then you might have an issue. My kids walked right past all of the watches and jewelry and make up and alcohol and headed for the free pizza.

    RCI has 2 private islands, with plans for several more. There are many beaches that are nicer than Castaway Cay, and when you get off the ship and do excursions you will find them.

    My kids did not enjoy Disney kids clubs, but have enjoyed clubs on other cruise lines. They do not like chaos and hundreds of kids running around. They like activities and counselors who interact with them.

    There were 3 water slides on the Symphony, vs two on DCL.

    Most food was included, unless you were looking for filet mignon, lobster, or sushi. We had access to pizza until 3am, hot dogs, buffet food, Mexican food, sandwiches, fruit, pastries, salads, and more all day in different parts of the ship.

    There were so many activities that we could do at any time. The rock wall, Flow Rider, Abyss slide, carousel, ice skating, climbing structure, and multiple shows (Broadway/stage show (x2), Aqua (x2), skating (x2)) etc. are available during the day. There is almost too much to do!

    Symphony has 3 pools, 4 if you include the adult pool, and they were not nearly as full of people as any DCL pool, which is disgusting.

    You can get an idea of the price for a family of 5 by looking at the cost for one child and adding that to the price of a quote for a family of 4. That should give you an idea of what you would spend. A travel agent can also find pricing for you.

    I just learned something super fantastic that I will preliminarily add to the pros list for Royal Caribbean: I just learned that on the Anthem, their adult only Solarium, which is an immense glass covered indoor pool with fabulous views of the sea, is actually accessible to those 16 years of age and up! Maybe some of you will think that is good or some of you may think that is bad, but it is great for us since I will be with my 16 year old daughter. I am thrilled that I am able to share this beautiful space with her. In addition, because the
    Anthem sails out of New Jersey, it seems that it will be a great choice for us in the Winter months. We sailed from New York on DCL in November, and I felt the 1st, 2nd, and last days of the cruise were kind of wasted with chilly, windy inclement weather. Having the solarium pools in the glass enclosed space would be such an advantage. We would not feel we wasted any sea days getting to where we are going. I was also on a very impressive Viking ship about a year ago, which also has the enclosed glass retractable roof on the pool deck. It is amazing for sailing in inclement weather. Just a side note I was very happy to learn. I know some of you may have mixed feelings with 16 year olds being allowed in adult spaces but we can save that for another thread. Lol
    We enjoyed the Solarium on Symphony, which is also 16+. My daughter is 15 and went in, and no one said anything. It was my favorite place, and you didn't have little kids parading through all the time like you do on DCL. Much more of a quiet adult retreat!!

    This is the complete opposite of our experiences on the Oasis class ships. Other than the Very Merrytime cruises we find the Disney cruises so boring! We moved away from DCL because my daughter was looking for more active cruises. With rock climbing walls, multiple pools, Ultimate Abyss, Flow Rider, multiple slides, ice skating, movies, Zip Line, etc. she's got plenty to keep her busy. As far as longer formal dinners - dinners on DCL are so long they are painful. Love having a dinner buffet on Royal for those nights where we don't want a longer dinner.
    Advice for next time: we told our servers on Symphony that we would like a shorter dinner and they had us out of there in under an hour each night. More time for shows and night life, both of which are very well done on RCI! LOVED our serving team for our Main Dining Room dinners!
     

    Frozen2014

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    We were just on Symphony and movies were shown at the Aqua Theater several times. Although we were so busy we never had time to sit and watch a movie.

    The shows on Symphony were FAR better than any Disney show I have ever seen. RCI definitely has better shows.

    My kids never once begged for anything in the stores and we were not "constantly" walking past stores. I found the stores on DCL to be much more kid-friendly and tempting. If your kids will beg for Kate Spade, Chanel, etc. then you might have an issue. My kids walked right past all of the watches and jewelry and make up and alcohol and headed for the free pizza.

    RCI has 2 private islands, with plans for several more. There are many beaches that are nicer than Castaway Cay, and when you get off the ship and do excursions you will find them.

    My kids did not enjoy Disney kids clubs, but have enjoyed clubs on other cruise lines. They do not like chaos and hundreds of kids running around. They like activities and counselors who interact with them.

    There were 3 water slides on the Symphony, vs two on DCL.

    Most food was included, unless you were looking for filet mignon, lobster, or sushi. We had access to pizza until 3am, hot dogs, buffet food, Mexican food, sandwiches, fruit, pastries, salads, and more all day in different parts of the ship.

    There were so many activities that we could do at any time. The rock wall, Flow Rider, Abyss slide, carousel, ice skating, climbing structure, and multiple shows (Broadway/stage show (x2), Aqua (x2), skating (x2)) etc. are available during the day. There is almost too much to do!

    Symphony has 3 pools, 4 if you include the adult pool, and they were not nearly as full of people as any DCL pool, which is disgusting.

    You can get an idea of the price for a family of 5 by looking at the cost for one child and adding that to the price of a quote for a family of 4. That should give you an idea of what you would spend. A travel agent can also find pricing for you.



    We enjoyed the Solarium on Symphony, which is also 16+. My daughter is 15 and went in, and no one said anything. It was my favorite place, and you didn't have little kids parading through all the time like you do on DCL. Much more of a quiet adult retreat!!



    Advice for next time: we told our servers on Symphony that we would like a shorter dinner and they had us out of there in under an hour each night. More time for shows and night life, both of which are very well done on RCI! LOVED our serving team for our Main Dining Room dinners!
    Great feedback on Symphony. We were just on her as well and OMG what an amazing ship! So much to do and just beautiful with the decor and art work (and so fun to explore).

    Same experience with dining. Our waiter was quite efficient but the one evening iSjate was playing early at 7pm. We just mentioned to him that we wanted to catch a show and he made sure we were out in plenty of time.
     

    braycon

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2007
    I must admit I always find these comparison threads interesting. As many have suggested, your preference depends a lot on you, your family, and what you’re looking for/value in a cruise. Our cruises have pretty much been a 50/50 split between RC and Disney (about 7 on each line). When our boys were teenagers, they greatly preferred RC - we were on the larger ships and the activities and additional teenagers (girls) were a big plus to them. We enjoy RC - no real complaints - but if the price were the same, my wife and I would choose Disney. We enjoy the rotational dining, and have generally preferred Disney’s dining, characters, ship aesthetics, spa, service level (although both are generally very good) and, despite some other enthusiastic perspectives in this thread, we enjoy the Disney shows more. We also find Castaway Cay superior to RC’s Labadee or Coco Cay (perhaps this changes with the new version of Coco). So, although everyone is entitled to their opinion, I adamantly disagree that RC is better and certainly not - IMHO - significantly so.

    However, they definitely don’t cost the same, as has been pointed out repeatedly. It’s not even close, and this really can make Disney a tough choice. Disney is welcome to charge what they want - and God knows they do - but the expense means we look at other options. The value equation, therefore, is more complex. RC is much more accessible, has more ships, more itineraries, and also offers a great vacation. We have a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise planned late this summer on Freedom of the Seas, and we’re excited about it. It was about the same price as a 4-nighter on the Dream. We’ve done Nassau, but never the ABC islands and never San Juan. So, 3 more nights on a totally new itinerary, on a very good ship? Well, we’re excited to be back on RC for this. Now, we also have a reservation for Disney’s Fantasy in 2020, but it’s a 5-night cruise that’s a bit more affordable than that ship’s typical 7-night EC or WC. We are looking forward to that, too, but boy it would be nice to be on a 7-nighter. We keep hoping the new ships will drive Disney’s prices down a bit, but nothing really seems to do that.

    We are also planning to do Alaska in the future but, because we aren’t lottery winners, we will probably be sailing Princess or RC. I look at Disney’s Alaska prices, and I just laugh. I love the Wonder, but I’m pretty sure I don’t love it that much.

    In short, you can’t go wrong with either cruise line in our opinion. Really great, albeit quite different, experiences. It’s what works for you and your family. I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion on either cruise line, but the short for us is, although we prefer Disney, the Disney ticket price means we’re going to continue to cruise on RC, Princess, and other cruise lines, as well.
     

    mousefan73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2012
    We are also planning to do Alaska in the future but, because we aren’t lottery winners, we will probably be sailing Princess or RC. I look at Disney’s Alaska prices, and I just laugh. I love the Wonder, but I’m pretty sure I don’t love it that much.

    .

    That's too funny. I also laughted when I saw the Norway DCL cruise prices.. we are in Europe and that was on my bucket list. we love disney but not that much.. it's realy crazy and people pay.
     

    John VN

    DIS Cast Member
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2003
    I must admit I always find these comparison threads interesting.................
    ..........However, they definitely don’t cost the same, as has been pointed out repeatedly. It’s not even close, and this really can make Disney a tough choice............... RC is much more accessible, has more ships, more itineraries, and also offers a great vacation. We have a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise planned late this summer on Freedom of the Seas, and we’re excited about it. It was about the same price as a 4-nighter on the Dream..............
    .........We are also planning to do Alaska in the future but, because we aren’t lottery winners, we will probably be sailing Princess or RC. I look at Disney’s Alaska prices, and I just laugh. I love the Wonder, but I’m pretty sure I don’t love it that much.

    In short, you can’t go wrong with either cruise line in our opinion. Really great, albeit quite different, experiences. It’s what works for you and your family. I don’t begrudge anyone their opinion on either cruise line, but the short for us is, although we prefer Disney, the Disney ticket price means we’re going to continue to cruise on RC, Princess, and other cruise lines, as well.
    Value for length of cruise has become priority 1 as we age. Really enjoyed DCL years ago because at the time the co$t was fortunately not the major end-all part of the equation. SPLURGE if the budget allows since it's really neat to experience the MK Fireworks while in the Kingdom rather than across the water plus there might not be another opportunity to do so. We have a 7 night western Nov. cruise and again going with Value-4-Length so jumping to a new cruise line for us.
     

    mevelandry

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2013
    Value for length of cruise has become priority 1 as we age. Really enjoyed DCL years ago because at the time the co$t was fortunately not the major end-all part of the equation. SPLURGE if the budget allows since it's really neat to experience the MK Fireworks while in the Kingdom rather than across the water plus there might not be another opportunity to do so. We have a 7 night western Nov. cruise and again going with Value-4-Length so jumping to a new cruise line for us.
    "Value-4-length" ...DH and I are getting there too. I thought I had convinced my DH to try one of the new DCL ships in 2021 or 2023...

    But after our cruise last week (which was a 4 nights on Carnival & was pretty awesome), he told me point blank: "Why pay 2000$ to go 3 nights on a DCL ship when we can get a very good 7 nights cruise on another cruise line for the same price?"

    I can see his point... I guess we'll see. If the new DCL ships turn out to be carbon copies of the Dream/Fantasy, maybe I'll change my mind.
     

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