This one may seem a little obvious, but when you are paying for each and every soda, pastry and snack, you really begin to wish you were on a cruise and that those little numbers didn't keep just adding up in your head. Now, we got a refillable mug at the resort that we share, and get a percentage off due to our Tables in Wonderland card, but that doesn't mean that the cost wasn't high. One meal in particular at Les Chefs de France had us a little perturbed at the cost vs. enjoyment ratio. We have eaten there before, and always enjoy the appetizer and the dessert, but the main entree has always left us cold. We have continued to try different things, but to no avail. This time, we each got the $39.99 meal with app, entree and dessert and had the same results. Plus, we would have been full only on the app and dessert. (Well, we were since we decided not to eat the entrees in order to save room for dessert. They just weren't worth it.) On a cruise, none of that annoyance would have existed because we could have had extra apps or desserts, and wouldn't have felt at all guilty about skipping the entree. Or, if we didn't like it, we could have ordered something different.
I have, in the past, blasted cruise lines a bit for the prices they charge for specialty restaurants, but compared to Disney, cruise lines are an amazing deal. I know that, in theory, you are paying more than the $25 or $30 cover charge because you are also skipping your main dining room meal, thus giving the cruise line a freebie there, but the actual out-of-pocket cost is what I tend to get emotionally attached to, and that cover charge with no extra tip required is dramatically less than what we pay for high quality meals at Disney. Le Cellier, I am looking at you : delicious, but overpriced.
Disney is touted worldwide as having amazing service, and with good reason, but the best service I have ever experienced has been on cruise ships. The fact is, they hire more people per guest to make your vacation great. There are jobs that don't even exist at Disney like pool servers (there were a couple of times at the pool when I thought, "when is the guy going to come around to get me a drink?" and then realized where I was). Room stewards on cruise ships just about can't be compared to their land hotel counterparts. I mean, where else can you go where your room gets cleaned TWICE a day? And they always seem to be able to get in there and clean it without disturbing my sleep, which is more than I can say for ANY hotel housekeeping. The only hiccup in service I experience fairly regularly on cruise ships is getting a coke with dinner. Other than that, usually impeccable.
Another fairly obvious one, but nonetheless true. And, I am sure that this one can be problematic for people who get stuck on cruises with lots of annoying people because they aren't going anywhere. But, the fact remains that once you are on that boat, it isn't getting busier or more crowded. People aren't coming out of the woodwork for no good reason, making it difficult to even steer your stroller around the World Showcase or causing you to wait in line for over an hour to meet Rapunzel at a Halloween party in September. (Seriously, the party was busier than I have ever seen it, and last year I went mid-October.) Also, you can be pretty sure that if the kids are in school, cruise ships aren't going to be overrun with them. And there are always particular lines you can choose where you are pretty much guaranteed a relaxing time. Of course, none of that holds true at Disney, and even if you go during a "low period"
, it is still likely to be crowded in some way, shape or form.
When cruising, if you want to go back to your room for a nap or a change of clothes or to simply apply the sunscreen you forgot to bring up on deck, it is quite simple. At Disney, it is at least an hour endeavor, and that was with us staying within walking distance of a couple parks at the Boardwalk. And, the whole time you are in your room, you are thinking about the money you spent on park tickets and hoping that you are not "wasting" too much time. Clearly, on port days it is not so easy to jet back to your room, but you don't have that nagging feeling that you are missing out on things on the ship because the activity schedule is lighter, and you have nighttime entertainment to look forward to. At Disney, you are trying to jam pack as much as you can before park closing, and then there is nothing going on unless you head to Downtown Disney or Jellyrolls.