July 03, 2023


Ep. 327 - Toktet: Norwegian versus Disney Cruise Line

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 327 - Toktet: Norwegian versus Disney Cruise Line
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 327 - Toktet: Norwegian versus Disney Cruise Line

Jul 03 2023 | 01:09:24


Show Notes

This week, John is sharing his thoughts on Norwegian Cruise Line, and how NCL stacks up against Disney Cruise Line. We're comparing NCL across categories like food, entertainment, private island experience, service, value and so much more. We learned a lot about the differences between NCL and DCL in this episode, and suspect you will too. All that and more on this week's (delayed) episdoe of the podcast.

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Episode Transcript

00:00.00 dclduo Welcome back, everybody to this week's episode of the dcl duo podcast brought to you by my path unwinding travel sam. We got a ah repeat gas coming back on I thought that the last time we had talked to John was about the big red boat but he corrected me. We had talked to him before about El Lani the last time and he noted this would be his third show appearance without directly talking about some sort of recent Disney Cruise Line Cruise and ah. 00:11.80 Sam We. 00:27.44 Sam I know absolutely John it is so good to see you to have you back on the show. Welcome back. 00:29.10 dclduo Nonetheless, we're excited to have him back right. 00:35.46 John Thank you so much. Thanks for having me and great to see you guys. 00:38.96 Sam Yeah, you too and thank you for all of your tips of course for alani as you know we are now Alanni converts we now own lani via Dvc and we are obsessed with all things alani including duffy my favorite bear. 00:42.79 dclduo Yes. 00:57.30 dclduo There you go? yes. 00:58.30 John And what about duffy's friend olu right. 00:58.52 Sam So but. 01:03.18 Sam I I do love me some olu Mel as well. Um I will tell you that Nathan has 2 different duffy stuffies. A Shelley may stuffy and an olu mell stuffy as well. There are more characters but we don't have those. 01:20.95 John Um, so you have a lany but what about the new Disneyland dvc. 01:23.50 dclduo Oh gosh. That's a that's a that's a Patreon episode for yeah, for another day we were yeah I will just I will just summarize it by saying we were all in on buying. 01:24.33 Sam Oh God there's a topic for maybe a point counterpoint episode. Maybe we bring it back for point counterpoint. 01:40.24 dclduo Ah, the villas at the Disneyland hotel and after all of the announcements around pricing and the tax is not stuff even though the math all works out I am not a buyer any longer I just I who with a point yeah two thirty a point when I paid 2 25 for grand cal ah, just. 01:54.43 Sam We're sour. We're. 02:00.68 dclduo That's a that's a chunk of money that I don't know that I'm willing to spend at the moment so we may hold out we may hold out for resale. Yeah. 02:02.77 Sam Well, we're willing to spend it. Let me say we're willing to spend it but we're willing to spend it on sailing on Disney Cruise line instead maybe of Disneyland hotel. 02:09.40 dclduo Yes, yes, yes, dear Disney how about a DvcCruise ship there you go actually I did a whole show on that with the welcome home podcast that I won't get into why the economics of that will never actually work out. But anyway Sean. 02:16.43 John There you go. 02:26.80 dclduo Ah, why don't you ah reeducate our listeners on your cruising creds and your cruising background in your Disney background. So folks know where you're coming from on that. 02:36.25 John So if we go in my background so I am ah gold for Disney Cruise line so I had been nothing but the Disney dream to get there. But then we did 2 cruises on the wish last year so we did the. 02:52.50 John Dvc crews the second one and then we went and did a very merry time one in November as well on the wish I've been Disney world every year since December of seventy one so you know. 02:54.91 Sam Um. 03:09.30 John Is fifty straight years of doing that am a Dvc member have done Disneyland du lani and we're actually going and staying at Hilton head in may which will complete all the Dvc resorts and then then they announcedunce 2 more. 03:09.94 dclduo Wow. 03:24.40 dclduo Oh Wow man. 03:25.11 Sam A wow. 03:29.30 John Right? Then they announced Disneyland and the fort wilderness cabin. So I guess I have two more I'll have to put on the resume at some point correct. 03:36.74 Sam Yeah, but you have time they're not opening quite yet so you've got you know you've got some time at Disneyland hotel will be open sooner. Ah, the new cabins. It'll probably take some time before those are up and running so you got plenty of time. Yeah. 03:50.19 dclduo When you've got the the new Poly Tower that's going to come online as well. I mean you technically say the Polynesian but. 03:55.56 Sam Well if you stayed at Polynesian right? I mean it's not a new property. It's just a new tower. 04:00.43 dclduo But fair enough fair enough fair enough. 04:02.20 John Yeah, which will be interesting because the regular poly right? It was just Studios or the you know the ones on the water there the bungalow so they needed some additional choices there. We've grown out of the studios. So. 04:09.58 dclduo The bungalows. Yeah yeah. Yeah, yes, fair enough fair enough. Well with those cruise creds in mind we brought John on the show to do a little bit of a. 04:18.60 Sam Yeah. 04:28.41 dclduo Norwegian Cruise line versus Disney Cruise line compare and contrast we were supposed to go on a Norwegian Cruise line sailing out of Seattle this summer actually I think it was last summer but I can't keep track of all of the covered release. Ah, ah. 04:43.61 Sam Kit. 04:45.23 dclduo Cancellations and rebookings. But ah we were supposed to do a Norwegian Cruise line sailing to Alaska at some point and we end up converting that over to Disney Cruise line and are now stuck constantly pushing that one out. Ah, but but John where did you go on Norwegian Cruise line and and have you sailed norwegian before. 05:01.47 John We have not so we actually went. There was a bunch of different families at my first spring break and about I think 6 different families 1 of them hit done norwegian a few times before and it really just came down to let's try it and see. You know the benefits the deals the cost in that and it made sense for the whole group. So it was a week long Saturday to Saturday we left port and averal and then our 4 ports were Porto Plata and the dominican republic St Thomas and the us virgin or islands. 05:36.68 Sam Mm. 05:39.41 John Tortola and the british virgin islands and then their private island which is great. Storokey. 05:45.61 dclduo And which ah which ship were you on and where does that one fall in terms of its its age with norwegian. 05:46.19 John The escape. 05:51.88 John So escape was a twenty eighteen ship yeah so not their most recent I think there's a chance that that one is going to be repositioned and 1 the larger ships is going to go to port canaveral. 05:57.16 dclduo Okay, yeah, pretty new then. 06:10.18 Sam Um. 06:10.32 John Is what I had seen but it was I mean it was a nice ship step 1 of their larger ones I mean I would put it right in there right with the dream and the fantasy. 06:17.39 Sam M. 06:20.50 dclduo Yeah, look and looking at the cruise critic website and they say that it is forty two hundred passengers seventeen hundred crew so yeah would put it up there with a dream the fantasy the wish for sure. Um, what? So you said the group dynamics here kind of dictated trying out norwegian was. Were you sort of excited to give it a try or a little apprehensive I don't know what you heard leading into your crews about the region. 06:44.62 John Yeah, kind of both I mean our friends are again, they're big believers in norwegian we took him on the wish with us in November and all I heard about was how much more they like Norwegian. so um so I did my trying it I you know I get going into it I think a lot of the extras that came with it was worthwhile especially for something to be a you know? Acc Cruise of that length of being a week but I think there are some things that definitely hit and some things that didn't and. 07:07.30 Sam Um. 07:17.38 John At the end I'll tell you I I think at the end of the day I I would rather have done seven days on Disney. 07:26.43 dclduo Ah, well we can just stop the show right there and we put the outro music in there you go. There's the front of fun. 07:28.96 Sam Well, there's the spoiler. Ah. 07:29.43 John Yeah, we put it but there are some There are some benefits and again it's gonna fit for some people right? Some people are I think might like it better. 07:37.75 dclduo Yeah. 07:37.82 Sam Bright. Yeah. 07:42.31 dclduo What kind of cabin did you get on board John. 07:44.65 John So we were in a club balcony room. So. 07:50.23 dclduo Okay, and and where does how does that compare to some like you know Disney Cruise line has like fairly limited sort of cabin style offerings where does it sort of fit in the the Disney vernacular. 08:02.16 John So we did the club balcony with a extended veranda so I would consider that to be 1 of the family extended veranda staterooms on the disney ship. 08:14.75 Sam Now does club or does the word club as they use it is that just a vernacular for the type of room or does that correspond to any kind of concierge type status. 08:14.95 dclduo Okay. 08:27.57 John So it is some kind of status and I wouldn't say that it's anything some would should pay extra for we wanted it for the we needed it because we have four in the family so we needed it for the space I Always love the extended balcony. 08:40.27 Sam 11 08:45.74 John Um, but it did give us like a bottle of sparkling wine when we checked in so that was already in the cabin and then we got some different treats 2 or three days throughout the seven days that a regular cabin wouldn't receive. 08:58.34 Sam Oh nice. 09:02.71 John Like chocolate covered strawberries or some cookies in that. So um, that's about it on the club I believe we had priority in that we were also able to book reservations for shows before regular cabins as well. 09:20.80 Sam Oh reservations for shows. So tell me what what that is because obviously we know from on on Disney Cruise line you just show up to a show. There's no reservations. You have to show up early if you want a good seat. Um, and there is a chance that you know the theater does get. Pretty packed but what is the reservations for the shows entail. 09:41.82 John So there was one Broadway type show on the cruise and it did fill up as far as reservations. It was choir of men which was a big british show now they brought it here on the boat. Really good I mean um I liked it I thought that that was a big win and a and a nice show. But that's one that you needed to make reservations for there were some other things that you could have made reservations for if we just said hey it there. 10:04.45 Sam M. Oh interesting. 10:18.32 John Our friend said it doesn't really fill up. Don't worry about it. We won't make reservations being that this cruise what's filled up I mean it was all 4200 there was some times where we probably needed some of those reservations. 10:26.11 Sam Listen. Because this was us a spring break schedule Cruise right? So we're talking high season. No matter what Cruise line you're on more especially at a port canaveral. It's obviously a very busy cruise port. But really all of the ports in Florida that's. 10:31.86 dclduo Interesting. 10:48.27 Sam Really high season for them. Yeah, so. 10:48.32 John Correct. 10:52.53 dclduo You know, let's let's rewind for one second here John and and I want to ask about kind of the process leading up to the ceiling because we kind of skipped ahead to the ceiling itself. Um, how did that process compare to disney from. Booking online which I'm guessing very few differences across different. You know Cruise lines except for the fact that Disney is now sort of perpetually keeping itself like with only about eighteen months of itineraries as opposed some of the other cruise lines that book out years but that Disney Process that's you know you book and then you've got kind of the regimented. Regimented windows that open up over time for activity and online check-in and that kind of stuff whereas some of the other cruise lines. It feels a little more relaxed and loose in terms of how you do things how was norwegian in terms of that experience of booking up until the time you ah. You actually set foot in the port to get on the boat. 11:41.73 John So I actually thought that it was pretty close to Disney with that. So just give you an idea so when we booked we had a discount on I believe the third and fourth person in our cabin. And then we were given the package of a free drink package a limited wifi to specialty dinings and then $50 off any excursion for the first person. 12:12.92 Sam Oh wow. 12:15.57 John So Those were the extras that were given and then um, the good news is we went through the process right? They had lifted most of the the Covid things so we didn't have to test so that you know all that we were kind of wondering where that was going to fall so that kind of left everything out there. Um. Dining when you book the specialty dining. You do have a window where that happens So our friends who have status with Norwegian They book those specialty dinings for us. Otherwise we would ahead of wait to do that So that was one. 12:45.61 Sam And. 12:50.00 John Benefit but again to me seems very similar to Disney right? Everybody had you know falls in line based upon their status for when they could book things um same thing of you know that wonderful. Get the early port times starting at midnight. 12:52.11 Sam And. 12:58.91 Sam Yep. 13:05.97 Sam This is it. 13:08.11 John So that wasn't a change either and that was a process that while I swear at Disney every time when I'm up uploading things and trying to get that done and get back to bed before 1 or one thirty this was no different I mean I want to say it took me. 13:08.77 dclduo Um. 13:23.64 Sam Yeah. 13:26.34 dclduo Um. 13:28.30 John You know from midnight until probably one thirty to get everything done. Um for that. So I really felt most of the process leading up to me up to it was very similar to Disney. 13:30.69 dclduo Wow. 13:40.57 dclduo Interesting. 13:42.20 Sam Wow now what kinds of things did you need to book in advance. It sounds like a um specialty dining is maybe 1 category. Um, you said reservations for some shows as another category. Um I imagine shore excursions isn't a third category were there other things that you needed to book in advance perhaps in a you know different than on Disney Cruise line 14:06.63 John No I think that's it All of those were items that you could book advance and I think it made sense to be able to do that So we had some of our other friends did not book their specialty dining in advance and then they when they were on the ship trying to do it. 14:22.40 Sam Ah. 14:25.38 John They were very limited to what was available in the times. So ah, you know by not doing it ahead of time they kind of missed out on being able to use those credits that they had um you know so shortsursion to other thing that we were able to book ahead. 14:28.49 Sam Interesting. Yeah. 14:44.00 John Um, was the thermal suite. So bright the equivalent of the rainfor room on on Disney so we were able to book that ahead of time which we made sure that we did that. 14:46.22 Sam Oh nice. 14:58.39 Sam What about drink packages did did you all um book drink packages in advance and and if so what did those you know include. 15:05.99 John So the drink package was included as part of our package and the drink package that we received was any beverage $15 or less. 15:10.80 Sam And. 15:20.35 John So if there was something more so like we wanted to have an espresso martini that was eighteen. We paid the $3 um you only paid the difference. 15:25.48 Sam Oh oh, it's just you pay the difference Actually, that's that's that's pretty nice. Yeah I didn't I kind of always assumed you just paid for it if it was above those the limits but that's nice to hear you don't you just pay the difference I Assume that includes soda then as well or you know oh. 15:42.90 John No, so that's the interesting part. So um, it does so 2 adults 2 children in our party when they give even though they give you the drink package for free. You pre you must part of your. 15:44.94 Sam Oh. 15:51.90 Sam M. 16:00.15 John Cost is prepaying the gratuities for that I believe for that week and for the crews at 20% our gratuities based upon what they charge for the drink package was like 500 and something dollars for the 4 of us. Well the kids can't have the alcohol beverage. 16:01.40 Sam M. 16:13.89 Sam And. 16:19.54 John And when you really look online and do stuff. There's be some that well the kids ah they get the drink package the soda package out of it and then there was other things that said they don't so we paid a gratuity for 4 of us and then we got on board and they're like nope. 16:27.20 Sam Oh interesting. 16:36.58 John The soda package isn't included for the children that would be extra and I said well I paid the gratuity for it and they said well if you could show us where you paid it. We'll reimburse you those 2 gratuities because technically you shouldn't have paid for which I'm there you know I didn't have access to be able to do that. 16:48.51 Sam Um, wow. 16:55.72 John Most of the times the kids were able to go up now if they were with me I got the soda because I had the drink package they got it and I gave it to them. They were fine most I'd say 50% of the time they were able to get it 50% of the time they were told no so. 17:04.78 Sam Um. 17:09.21 Sam Oh interesting. That's so weird. That's weird that they got they. So if you had been 4 adults they would have had a free drink package but because they were kids they didn't essentially you would have had to paid extra. 17:14.57 John So. 17:23.88 John Direct. 17:28.25 Sam The soda when the soda package presumably is of a lower value than the drink package that you had because it included alcohol that makes no sense whatsoever. But um, that's actually really helpful to hear just because if people are listening in your're booking on Norwegian just something to know if you haven't included drink package. That is the $15 and under beverage package. It's not going to apply to your kids. 17:52.50 John Yeah, and they have different so we could have upgraded our beverage package I thought it was too much to do it but the upgraded beverage package includes all the top shelf licker. So and then I believe it takes it up to either 20 or $21 so all beverages at that price. 18:06.70 Sam Um. 18:09.93 Sam Right. 18:11.67 John Or less is included but at 15 we said ah that was fine and looking again if there's plenty of vodkas. Plenty of jeanins you know, scotch everything included. We were even able to get some shots of fireball which is included in the in the drink package. 18:22.23 Sam Yep. 18:29.35 dclduo I I guess how much of the the pre cruise ad on stuff because you know I'll get to a question in a little bit about value right? and some people will say well you know you pay a lot to get on Disney but once you're on board. 18:29.50 Sam Ah, nice. Yeah. 18:30.99 John Because it was under $15 18:48.86 dclduo You know you got to pay for your drinks like drink packages aside you got to pay for your drinks. Yeah, but you know free soda all 99% of the restaurants are included except for the adult dining up charges. But there's a sense of like well when you start to add in all the little things that you prepay for on the other cruises like you don't necessarily. 18:49.95 Sam Alcohol. Yeah. 19:07.60 dclduo Equal out to what you pay for Disney but you know it's eroding that kind of perception that the sticker price for the cruise is the same as the ultimate price for the cruise a little bit and I'm just curious how much of the stuff that you pre-bought or that was available to pre-buy did you feel like you had to do to make the cruise experience. You know good for you versus. Yeah, it was stuff that you bought and you thought and I didn't really need this onboard or looking at it I don't think I'll ever need this like what? what was the calculus for you and some of these pre-purchae cruise items. 19:35.33 John So if I would have bought So so again being that they gave us that package right? Technically if I would have bought it all a card. Yes I would have probably paid for the same but alcohol beverage package that we received. 19:40.56 Sam Right. 19:52.57 John Ah, would have done the thermo suite the $50 credit for the first person on shore excursion was right? We did one short excursion. It really wasn't that big of a deal to be able to have that wi-fi. 19:52.66 Sam Um. 20:11.99 John Was terrible on the ship and you didn't get any communication and we could get through that if we kind of compare and contrast some things I could talk about that in a second so I would have did those 2 and that would have been it. Um. 20:12.73 dclduo Oh well. 20:26.80 Sam Is. 20:29.23 John And I don't know if there was really anything else that you had to the specialty dining you know specialty dining I probably might have paid for those or even if I did that San Cruz again 20:42.74 Sam Um. 20:45.39 John I might have purchased a couple more specialty dining nights. 20:47.70 Sam Listen. 20:51.56 dclduo Well, let's start with some of the compare contrasts for a second. So um, let me start with 1 thing you never see on Disney are cruise fair sales unless you're unless you are in a special category right? They'll do vet sales for veterans or Florida residents. Although they've. Pause those here recently for a little bit but those kinds of things did you notice the price fluctuate on your Norwegian Cruise after you purchased it and could you call in and say I want the the new lower price for this cruise. Okay. 21:22.65 John So you could have but this one did not drop at all so to give you ah ah just a difference. So I booked my cruise through Costco um, because I got back? Whatever 200 and something dollars cash card and you know I think I get. 21:26.32 Sam Um. 21:35.70 Sam And. 21:39.69 John Use the Costco card and I get right? 3% on travel back. You know once a year from that. So I'd book through there. Um, my 1 friend books direct with norwegian with his it where they keep track of it and they'll. 21:42.30 dclduo E. 21:50.80 Sam And. 21:55.83 John Be able to if something drops rebook it form and do all that. But this cruise had none of that so you know a sold out Cruise Spring break. There was no chance but he did say in the past there's been those periods of time where they've been able to you know fers have dropped and they've been able to get a lower fare. 22:00.30 dclduo Okay. 22:14.37 John Forget what the days out you are for no region I forget if it's thirty days or sixty days out that you would have to do it once you're within that window if the price drops then you're locked in at whatever you pray correct. 22:14.62 Sam Um, yeah. 22:24.94 dclduo Okay. 22:25.30 Sam Right? So the very last minute probably that you can't take advantage of the very last minute deals but they allow you to take advantage of some deals that may be three months out or four months out something like that that makes sense. 22:36.50 dclduo That that makes sense but it's a key difference. You're never going to really be able to do that with with Disney Cruise line maybe in a rare scenario. What about just so if I put up a seven night cruise on Disney Cruise line as against the Norwegian Cruise line seven night itinerary like the one you sailed. 22:36.74 John Correct. 22:54.32 dclduo What would you say the? um like I'm assuming the Norwegian Cruise is going to be less as an initial starting point than the Disney Cruise like how much less like do you think it's a 50% less 75% less like what what was the savings on the initial sticker price. 23:08.72 John So when I originally looked so this one was just over five thousand dollars for 4 of us for right 7 nights that same period of time for seven night which would have been on the fantasy. 23:16.26 dclduo E. 23:23.23 John Was running anywhere depending on cabin like if we would have done the family extended veranda cabin that would have been close to 11 So yeah. 23:27.40 Sam Listen. 23:31.41 dclduo Yep, that's what I would have guessed all right? So a little a little over 50 percent in terms of the price difference. Um, let's fast forward? well yeah well yes it's it's half of or more than half of what you would pay on Disney. 23:36.23 Sam Yeah, or 200% to your meaning you you mean? yeah and right. 23:47.89 dclduo Ah let's fast forward here I I recently had the experience of checking in for a royal caribbean cruise that's coming up at the end of this month for me and my son and was blown away by how fast the check-in experience went it was to the point where like we had to scan. Ah, passport and I was like trying to adjust the camera to get to the passport before I could even do it. It had extracted all the information off the passport and then I was like I I literally had 1 screen of information to fill out I was like you're checked in I was like really I feel like I need to go through a whole process here. Um yeah, filling out. 24:14.12 John It. 24:15.33 Sam A question and answer and tell them my mother. My mother's made a name and my father's first pet and yeah. 24:21.11 dclduo How are you getting to the port. How are you getting back like all this stuff right? did not have any of that and so John I'm curious. How is the online check-in experience for norwegian and I'm assuming they have an app because every cruise line seems to have an app so we ask about that check-in experience. We're able to do it through an app and how was the app. 24:39.80 John Their app is terrible. So I got to say it's not. It's really not a good app and once we were on the boat for whatever reason we couldn't even get the app to work for the all seven days the app never worked at all. 24:40.65 dclduo Itself. 24:49.19 Sam Oh no. 24:54.47 dclduo All right? So I I think we have now identified where it is Disney Cruise line must be getting their ideas for this stuff but okay, ah so. 24:57.68 John Yeah, and so in then my thing where I said it took me from midnight to like 31 to check in I believe I was traveling I was in a hotel room and I'm trying to remember oh yeah I had photos saved of the kid's passports of. You know, selfies of them and then it was like it didn't accept one because my son had his glasses on and we needed one with the glasses off and it it just it I sat there and said this is the same as all my Disney frustration. 25:17.50 Sam Move. 25:23.20 Sam Oh my god. 25:33.56 dclduo All right? all right. 25:34.69 Sam Ah, well and that's funny because I want to tell I want our listeners to understand like John is not a novice at this right? He has checked in for many Disney Cruises he also travels a lot for work so he's probably often doing this from a hotel room. In fact, he's talking to us right now from a hotel room. So. This is not like a unique scenario where he doesn't have his his stuff together right? John I want I want people to understand this is obviously it's an issue like with Disney technology an issue now apparently with norwegian technology. 26:10.76 dclduo Yeah, so let let's yeah, so let's let's rewind for one second and let's just play this out. So I'm going to say from what I heard you say John the booking experience itself sounds like a tie for between norwegian and Disney ah price. 26:11.10 John Um, yeah. 26:19.94 John Taught. Yep. 26:26.20 dclduo At least initial price we'll get to the full value here in a second but initial price I think you're saying Norwegian would win as against disney by by a wide mile here all right and then online check in sounds like. 26:33.13 John Correct. 26:39.24 dclduo Is a wash maybe a slight edge to Disney but I I would say from your description. It's a wash. Yeah, all right. 26:45.83 John It's a wash. Yeah, there's no there's no I can't tell you that a great experience I ever had checking in at Disney. So. 26:54.83 dclduo All right? So so so so far for those keeping score at home. We got norwegian ahead slightly against Disney on price. All right, let's get to the port experience the boarding experience. Um, you know we've had some I think mixed reactions to Disney's boarding process depending on where you are in the world. 26:54.85 Sam Ah. 27:10.31 dclduo But overall they do a pretty good job of a regimented boarding experience keeping everything organized and moving how did Norwegian fare for you in Port canaveral. 27:16.68 John I thought it was really good. So obviously their terminal is not as nice as Disney's terminal terminal I think there is is very nice but I thought the check in process was extremely smooth so we had a. Believe a port arrival time. So again I live in st augustine it's 2 hours from myself to get to port canaveral. Um I think we left at close to 7 30 a m because we had like a nine thirty a m terminal arrival time and. 27:42.13 dclduo 2 27:54.95 John We did that no problem got checked in with no problem and it waited. We were probably called maybe 10 beats somewhere between ten thirty and eleven to board and the boarding process was fine that was smooth where. You know sometimes Disney it doesn't matter what number you are everybody crowds the area to try and get on the ship and you have to kind of maneuver through all that this was pretty organized so you know it didn't have that at all so it was pretty smooth now. What's interesting is right disney you board they announce your name and you walk right? onto the ship norwegian was you went up and down these gateways and then you're walking on the outside of the ship before you go in a different door in. You know there is no announcement of the marone family or anything. It was a welcome aboard and that that was about it so it was pretty smooth I'll give that one a tie because I've never really had problems at all boarding with Disney. 29:03.41 Sam Yeah. 29:03.62 dclduo all right? all right well first impressions of the ship John after you got on you've been on the Disney ships. What was your first impression of the norwegian ship. 29:15.10 John Um, it was nice. You know it's just it was different so walking through it's more of what you would consider a cruise ship so you know to me sometimes you get on Disney and there is that wild factor for it. Um. 29:29.00 dclduo O. 29:31.82 John You know it's a little bit more upscale norwegian to me maybe a little bit more less upscale than Disney but still very impressive in the layout I was pleased with the cleanliness of the ship so you know, very nice there. But I mean Disney to me is just a. 29:42.80 Sam Um. 29:51.11 John You know a notch nicer in how it's set up. 29:56.80 Sam Um. 29:56.49 dclduo All right? So point point to Disney on first impressions. It sounds like all right I'm keeping I'm keeping I'm keeping score in my notebook here so that when we get to the end we can declare the winner. Ah. 29:57.51 John If. 30:00.92 Sam Ah I I'm curious. 30:07.40 Sam I'm curious about um casino because obviously we we always we we have to talk about the fact that there is a casino because Disney Ships don't have a casino. Um, we hear mixed reviews of casinos on other ships. They tend to be smoking areas which is a turnoff to a lot of people. Um and they also tend to be I think slot machine heavy which is also a turnoff to a lot of people but I'm curious about norwegians casino. Um, what you thought of it if you spent any time in it. That sort of a thing. 30:39.26 John Um, we did. So we I we probably spent less time in it than we probably thought we were going to um, first impression right? away was we were surprised that they allowed smoking So um. 30:44.59 Sam M. 30:52.10 Sam Right. 30:55.42 John Was interesting and also because of where the casino is so the casino is midship and it's not closed in. So I mean you if you on the floor below 4 above, you weren't smelling smoke but certain areas of casino you were um I thought it was pretty well spaced out and. 31:00.50 Sam Listen. 31:14.95 John Plenty of table games. So while they did have the slot machines they weren't all packed in they were spread out even they were down the hallway as well. So the walkway where you would walk from midship to you know aft There were slot machines there as well. 31:24.98 Sam Even. 31:33.31 John But plenty of table games. Um for that and I thought ah you know I thought it was good. It didn't detract from the crews at all and then again we probably used it 2 nights out of the whole stay and. If it wasn't there. We wouldn't have missed it. But you know the 2 nights we were there. We had fun giving them money. 31:53.96 Sam Isn't. Now when walking around the ship is it an area that kids have to walk through or is it an area that can sort of be avoided. It's I know it's different on different ships of course but I'm always curious because obviously casinos are. Generally on land. Well on land they are always in the United States 21 and older establishments in other countries. They might be you know, 18 and older. Um, but I'm curious about um on the ship whether or not it was an area that you know anyone could walk through. Or if it was sort of off the beaten path. 32:34.81 John Nope anybody could walk through so you know we were sitting playing one night in the kids game and found us and stood by us where right in Vegas they would got tossed out of that this there was no big deal. Also there was even some arcade games. 32:47.95 Sam Ah, yeah. 32:51.68 John Like right at the front of the casino area. So like some of those papa shop basketball games. They had 2 little bowling alley lanes that were right there as well as a couple video games so they had another self-enclosed arcade up towards the. 32:54.22 Sam Oh interesting. 33:11.40 John Um, after the ship but there there was still a couple of arcade games right? there by the casino as well. 33:11.89 Sam Who. 33:17.12 dclduo So let me ask the question then casino or no conceit casino or no casino because I think that's the that's the question right is the casino make the cruise better or does casino deck degrade the cruise a little bit in which case you know Disney would be the better option. 33:32.65 John Yeah, it doesn't degrade it to me if somebody wants to use it. Great. You know my wife and I were married in Vegas we enjoy casinos you know it's fun to to do every now and then so i. I'm fine with it. But again, it's not huge and it didn't take away from anything so you don't say well if the casino wasn't there what would be in its place. Well maybe some stores right? It wasn't. 33:56.51 Sam Um, right. 34:03.00 Sam Right. 34:04.83 John It wasn't anything right? I even look at that at Disney if there was a small area that had a casino. What are you taking away. You're really not taking anything away. 34:09.12 Sam Right. 34:09.35 dclduo Yeah, so I'm going to put the point in the tie column that because see it's okay to have one ok to not have 1 34:16.42 John Yeah, yeah. 34:16.50 Sam I I see and I I disagree Brian I actually think you have to put it in the positive column. Um, because John spent 2 nights playing in the casino. So I feel like you know all right? ah. 34:27.99 dclduo all right? all right I've I've added it's in the norwegian column. Let's let's keep going. Let's keep going all right? We talked a little bit about the cabin that you got John but we didn't ask you know what did you think of the cabin and you know the key question for a Disney cruiser is going to be does. It have a split bathroom. 34:30.67 John Minute I. 34:44.76 dclduo Right? And so I'm curious about the split bathroom and then what your overall impressions of the cabin were as against what you've experienced on disney. 34:49.70 John So you're going to have to do a good job of figuring out who wins this one because no it is not a split bathroom so Disney gets the advantage on bathroom there. The bathroom would be in the size right? It was fine. It had a nice shower in there. The toilet double sink. 34:53.69 Sam Is. 35:08.34 John Now Not all the cabins have that but this club level cabin had double sink which was wonderful. So the bathroom was fine I know it wasn't split but it was still a okay I think the overall cabin was better. 35:18.67 Sam All right. 35:25.56 John And the reason for 1 simple reason when you walk in the cabin you open the door. The bathroom's immediately on your left fine. But then as you continue to walk into the room. The very first thing after the bathroom is the living area which is the couch. 35:27.44 Sam Um, ah. 35:40.56 dclduo M. 35:42.49 Sam First. 35:44.24 John Which then would fold out to the bed and then we had the um bunk bed pull out from the ceiling then there's the king bed and then the door to the balcony so you were able to walk around that cabin. So with Disney having that big bed first where it's always. Trying to scoop by it to get past it to get to where the couch is or that this I liked it much better. So I think the layout of the room I'd like better if it I'd rather have the split bathroom but I like the layout of the room better. 36:19.85 dclduo Well and a key mention there you said king bed. Ah which very few Disney Cruise line rooms have was it a true king size bed. Yeah. 36:26.34 John Yeah, it could be split to two twins but it was a king. Yeah so you put the 2 twins together. Yep yep. 36:30.42 dclduo Oh wow. 36:32.37 Sam Yeah, well, that's I mean the Disney's only Disney's only a queen. So um, yeah I I agree I agree with you Brian I don't I think that while the bathroom is better obviously on Disney you're you know you're. 36:36.20 dclduo All right I'm given that one to norwegian I think based on John's description yeah 36:49.28 Sam Description of the bathroom is you know it's a good size. It's just not the split bathroom but everything else goes for norwegian so I'm with you Brian. 36:55.67 dclduo Well, let's let's talk about an area of lots of use on board a disney ship which is the pool deck you're on a Caribbean Cruise so should be at least some decent weather. Although I know for a spring break for us. It was a little rough ceiling out there and I don't know how the weather hold up for your seven night but what did you think about the pool deck. On board. Ah yeah, how'd that go. 37:16.62 John We did not have the rough sailing that you had so our waters were pretty calm but for me being Florida I find the water to still be too cold in March in the caribbean so the kids don't have a problem getting in there I do. 37:32.17 Sam Um. 37:35.39 Sam You Floridians in your cold blood. 37:35.72 John Um, you the the pooled. Yeah, it's true. It's true. Um, yeah, the pool decks fine I like it or not I like the way that the wish is laid out for the pools I don't mind that they're small I like that there's a bunch of them I like the different levels. 37:48.62 Sam Um, yeah. 37:51.77 John You know I'd like the adult in the back and all that um I think overall and we did not do a lot of the pool deck. Um, but it's more of 1 big pool kind of like how you know to me the dream is and that of. That 1 big pool and then they did have the adult pool and everything as well. Um, which was fine so I don't you know the pool decks find good bars around there on the outside all the kids activities are in the back now I I will say like they um. 38:15.37 Sam Um, moving. 38:29.50 John The water play area for the kids is much larger than especially if you're the little ones so you know if you if I think about the wisher to dream right? The water play area is usually that smaller self-contained area in this way. The little ones don't escape from it. 38:48.50 Sam Yep, like Nemo's the nemo thing on the dreamer the fantasy or the toy story themed one on the on the wish. Yeah. 38:49.38 John This yeah. 38:57.98 John Yep so I think what they called the aqua park or that much larger and much more impressive for the kids including the water slides as well than what Disney has so I again, the adult pool wise. It's a wash or I like disney a little bit better, but for the kids I think there was actually more because so much is put around right? The aqua doc or the aqua mouse um, a little bit less in the pools here I think having that one area was much nicer. 39:29.31 Sam Wow! All right? Another score for norwegian I know I know but I've but we haven't but we haven't hit some really important categories Brian and I want to. 39:31.90 dclduo So are all right? It's it's I mean they're pulling away here see him. It's not. It's not. It's not close at this point I know I know let's let's. 39:37.66 John Okay. 39:45.48 Sam Can I jump to one which is I want to know onboard activities. Let's talk daytime activities. We're not going to talk about shows and nighttime activities yet. Um, but you know on the Disney ships. We know we've got lots of trivia going on. We've got lots of family game shows. We've got character meet and greets. Um. 40:03.20 dclduo Well and I want to add in here I Want to add in here I Want to add in here Cm things like because on activities on other ships can get really far afield too because you're talking about like some ships have bumper cars and like other things so I want I want to loop I Want to lump it all in. Yeah I Want to lump it all in. 40:04.73 Sam Of course you know both have the pool deck. 40:15.89 Sam Um, right laser tag? Yeah yeah, so um, yeah, so amenities onboard activities daytime. 40:21.34 dclduo Um, want to lump it all in John how are the onboard activities. 40:25.77 John Okay, so they have trivia and they have all those types of things here's where I didn't like it so usually on Disney if you're doing most of that daytime trivia right? on the wish it's in Luna on the dream. It's in one of the bars. So it's contained right? It's you. 40:42.99 Sam Okay. 40:45.61 John You want to go you go and that's it so they had the regular study they had Bingo and they had everything there during the daytime. So I don't think there's anything missing what was unique to me though is their stage is right in the middle of the center of the ship. So there's no walls seating is. 41:01.11 Sam Hello. 41:05.18 John Kind of folding chairs put out on one side of it is the um guest relations desk as well as the port excursion desk um behind it is a bar. 41:06.67 dclduo Wow. 41:23.11 John And then a little coffee shop. So it's wide open. So I know we're talking about daytime but most I most all the trivia the activity the dollar and no dollar all that that they did takes place right there so it could get pretty crowded. 41:36.24 Sam Listen. 41:40.46 John But also at night if you think about like the newly we game and the stuff like that that they do That's wide open so anybody walking by can hear that see that kids the whole ball wack. So I just thought that that was. 41:49.37 Sam Um, yeah. 41:53.86 Sam Yeah. 41:58.82 John Ah, unique place in that they didn't use. You know any other any other facility to be able to have some of those items. Everything took place in that main lobby area. 42:11.28 dclduo And did they have any of the amenities on board on like you know, wave riders and water slides and that kind of stuff. 42:17.71 John So yeah, so this one has a ropes course which is actually a pretty big ropes course they had the miniature golf. They had the Aqua park and those are probably the big ones. So this one doesn't. Didn't have the go cards or the flow rider or that so I know the newer ships have that. Um, so that's what they had. 42:44.14 Sam All right. 42:44.42 dclduo So who's who who would you give the point here to John in terms of the overall kind of onboard activity experience. 42:52.36 John So on that I think on Disney for that. So um I think there's a lot that goes into it so because ah, again, if we're talking about activities I think you have to lump in kit's club. Right? because of their activities, especially if for're counting the ropes course and all that like my kids on the wish they loved the new right? Gym area. You know whether it's the incredibles course or whether he can my son could go in there and play basketball so they had basketball as well. That was outside so they they had all that. 43:14.48 dclduo N. 43:14.50 Sam M. 43:26.31 John All the normal stuff. Um, but if you want to get into the kids club being one the activities I think that is a you can almost give Disney 2 checks for that one over norwegian. So. 43:39.40 Sam Ah I would so I was going to ask you that as a separate category because I think that kids club is a separate category. But I think you yeah but you've given I'm going to say you've given the daytime activity stuff to disney 1 check. So but tell us what what was. 43:39.69 dclduo Oh ah, right. 43:44.53 dclduo I agree. 43:57.26 Sam Yeah, what's the differentiator here with the kids club because you have 2 kids and what was there how old are they again? okay. 43:58.40 John So yep to so two twins twins who are 12 Okay, the kids club under norwegian is ages 3 to 12 so we took them. 44:13.17 Sam Um, okay. 44:13.45 dclduo Ah. 44:17.74 John To go see it um to check them in get the wristband which is how they do it and just see it at the time we were checking them in there was families checking in children who were pretty much three who were just having meltdowns just screaming. 44:34.89 Sam Um, well yeah. 44:36.45 John Just everything and then when you looked around their kids club. It's like well there's not much separation here right? It's kind of more of 1 big room when you go through it and the only thing that they're looking at is I don't want to spend my time in the same room as a three year old 44:44.69 Sam Um. 44:51.73 Sam Yeah, well to be fair though. Disney does also their kids club the The Ocean Ear Club and ocean ear lab are also 3 to 12 But then they have the tween club which starts at age eleven and that goes 11 to 14 44:54.93 John Inst. 45:11.35 Sam And then the teen club is I think 14 through 17 so you've got they had 2 choices on Disney is that right? they've got they can go to the ocean or club or lab if they want to do those kinds of activities but they also can go to the tween club. Yeah. 45:23.70 John Which they love the tween club on the wish which that's not an option so there is a teen club here. They were too young to be able to do it so so they're in the 3 to the 12 nothing for the tweens. So. 45:34.79 Sam Oh they have nothing then for the tweens. Ah yeah. 45:38.60 dclduo No no. 45:43.50 John So when they went and saw it they and then there were some different things. So if you drop them off. They must stay a minimum of 2 hours unless you're coming to check them out so you know on Disney we let them. 46:02.67 Sam Right. 46:02.72 John Check themselves in and out all right? We know where they are. They're contained and you know they can text us we we know where we are where they are on here if they. 46:13.81 Sam Yep. 46:17.42 John Were to check themselves in and out then when they went in it was a minimum 2 hours before they can check themselves out. 46:21.83 Sam That doesn't make any sense I wonder why they do that and then my I haven't I if you know please tell us but I have another question which is is the kids club an extra cost or is it included like on Disney. 46:35.79 John Yeah, it is included so it's not an extra cost and I guess the only thing I could think of where they try and do it is so kids aren't just in and out in and out right? if they're going to be in there. They're goingnna be in there so that turned them off so they probably they went. 46:47.71 Sam Um. 46:55.12 John Once during the whole trip that was all that they went in there and on that they asked 1 of us to check them out right? all their friends so they spent the majority of their time on the ship um playing basketball going in the arcade. 46:55.52 Sam Yeah. 47:13.81 John Now the arcade is a separate cost so there's 2 things on the arcade. So you pay a flat fee I believe it was $79 for the cruise and you can play all the games that don't give tokens. 47:14.81 Sam Um. 47:24.40 Sam And. 47:29.52 Sam Okay. 47:32.51 John Any of the games that give tokens are an extra charge correct. Yes. 47:37.50 Sam Um, I Assume that's because those have prizes the tokens lead to prizes. Yeah. 47:45.40 dclduo All right? Well we're giving kids club to Disney then it sounds like ah all right? Let's go to short excursions here. Did you take any short excursions on norwegian and what did you think of the. 47:46.29 John Absolutely yep. 47:59.53 dclduo Offerings that were available better or the same as disney. 48:01.54 John Yeah I think overall the same as Disney when you look at the short excursions, especially for the places they go I think it's pretty consistent for that. Our first stop being the dominican republic we just went and walked. You know there was a nice area there in porta plata so we were able to they have these pool beach clubs so you can go to the beach club grab some chairs listen to music you know, get some drinks. 48:34.63 Sam This. 48:36.27 John Do whatever so we did that for a little bit and then we went and grabbed a taxi and went into town and the neat thing about the taxi there. So this wasn't something that we booked through the cruise we just did it while we were there and the good thing is the taxi driver. 48:50.70 Sam Isn't. 48:52.55 John When he parked the car he got out with your tour got tour guide and took us around to see the different sites so that was fine I don't um, not much else even people that we talked to who did shorts versions there. There wasn't anything that I felt like oh that we missed out. Um. 48:55.29 Sam Oh nice. 49:12.46 John St thomas the reason we didn't is my wife's twin sister and family lives in St Thomas so they came and met us and we did Megan's bay um and spent the afternoon there with them. Um, which plenty of people did that as part of their tour anyway. Um. 49:17.34 Sam Oh nice. 49:29.54 Sam Yeah, yeah. 49:32.17 John For the british virgin islands and Tortola we did pay for the tour and so the good and bad for this so we did a 45 minute cattaran ride from Tortola to yast band dyke. Um, great. Um Yas Van dyke to me. 49:43.93 Sam Move. 49:44.00 dclduo N. 49:51.95 John Beautiful if you ever do the virgin islands find a way to get there. It is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. So I know you guys have talked about Megan's bay be in 1 of the nicest places I will take this place over Megan's Bay um 50:07.71 Sam That's what we've been hearing so we haven't we've been to tortola once or twice on like our first couple of cruises with Disney. Um, it's been quite a while though and then we've more recently heard of Yas Van Dyke and have heard as you have said very similar reviews. That it is amazing. Beautiful. The it's that it's just an awesome place and that we have to go next time we go to Tortola so we will um at some point we'll get back to Tortola and and head there but it sounds amazing. 50:35.91 John Yeah, yeah, it was great now. The only thing that I'll say is this our port stay in Tortola was seven a m to one PM too short considering it's a 45 minute academyran ride there and back. 50:46.25 Sam Oh that's too short. 50:52.86 Sam Right. 50:55.56 John So um, we didn't have a lot of time to sit there and enjoy the beach right? a couple hours and then next thing you know you're right back on the cap moran back. So I thought that was that even say time I think St Thomas was like 11 to 5 Um. 51:04.25 Sam Yeah. 51:09.63 Sam Those are short. Yeah. 51:12.76 John Yeah, porta platto was I think a fool like 9 to 4 in their private island was like 9 to 4 Um, so shore excursions to me a wash. You can do the same for any cruise line that comes in. So. 51:17.90 Sam The. 51:26.55 Sam Yeah, so so I think that's a great segue to the private island question right? We've got um obviously Castaway key and I'm forgetting the name you said it earlier on the show. 51:29.10 dclduo Um, well. 51:40.96 dclduo Sting Ray Sting Ray something I think or stirrup stirrup k stirrup k yeah. 51:42.82 Sam That Sting Rayy great stirrup k ok so castaway k key key I'm going to say it right? So castaway key versus great stirrup and I'm going to call it key even though I don't care that and Ncl calls it. K. 51:42.88 John Yep, Great great stirrup kid. Yep. 51:49.30 John Okay. 51:54.33 dclduo so so I'm going to pause you for 1 second Sam I did take some time earlier this week to look up the word CAY and Mirrim Webster's dictionary and it does afford both pronunciations. So. 52:03.23 Sam Ah I know they're both correct. 52:10.42 Sam I know I just like to wait to say it the way the bahamians do but John I want to hear um tell us what the maybe the differences are between stirrup and Castaway and who's got the better private island. 52:12.23 John Make it. 52:12.67 dclduo My. 52:24.13 John So again I going back if anybody's listened to me before I have a vacation house that is named Castaway cottage named after castaway key or k it so it has a deep deep place in my heart. I think that Disney where I like it is. There's all the things you can do there absolutely so you can just sit on the beach and do nothing but at least they have the 2 different things in the water that the kids could do right? They could do the slides on the one side and then they had the ropes that they could climb on the other one. 52:53.53 Sam E. 53:00.84 John That was missing from great stirrup key so they did have some things that you can do that are extra so like you can zip line. Well, that's an extra charge. You can you know they have the snorkeling as well. But to me they were missing. 53:04.12 Sam Um, oh interesting. 53:19.48 John The activities that the kids can do out in the water so that to me is probably the only thing to me that was a big difference. The food almost identical, right? Go get your lunchtime barbecue that if you if you would have. 53:20.82 Sam M. 53:33.77 Sam Oh. 53:38.33 John Said here's the food in blindfolding me on the way there I wouldn't I wouldn't have been able to tell you what one I was at right? It was identical. Um, so I think to me where. Castaway key gets it is really on just having a little bit more for the kids to do. 53:55.99 Sam Interesting. So no water park type feature like we hear about it like Royal Caribbean has. 54:00.26 John Now Now here's the other thing which really tilts it in Disney's favor. Great Stirrup key is a tender island so you have to book your time. 54:10.89 Sam Oh no. 54:10.91 dclduo Yeah, yeah, good. 54:18.93 John To get on a tender to go to their private Island Now their private Island is literally right next to um Royal Caribbeans which is what whatever they call that is that coco. 54:23.62 Sam Ah. 54:34.20 Sam Um, Coco. Yeah. 54:35.52 dclduo For perfect day at Coke. Ok yeah. 54:38.84 John Perfect day at Coke. Okay, so there so sitting on the beach at great start key I could see their boat docked on their private Island right next to us while I see our tenders going back and forth. 54:42.82 Sam You can see it right? but. 54:50.55 Sam And ah, then. Right? So that kind of adds a little.. It's like the knife right in the you know, just twisted a little bit there when you have to see it right across the way that that makes sense. Yeah. 54:58.40 John Yeah, yeah. 55:04.70 John Yeah, and so that was another thing where to be able to book the tender. It's like 24 hours in advance and they had these touch screens at different places in the lobby by the elevator bank so you can book your tender there or you can do it at the guest relations desk. 55:21.99 Sam Wow. 55:23.36 John If you miss that your time just gets later and later and later so like we had an early tender time. Maybe it was eight thirty or something it was one of the first ones I think we were a tender two. So of our other friends forgot to do it and they were tender time like twelve o'clock now if they showed up. 55:38.45 Sam Wow. 55:42.94 John They were fine. Probably any time after you know 9 thirty ten it wasn't that big of a deal. but yeah but again another thing that you had to pay attention to of booking that tender to be able to get to that. 55:46.14 Sam Right? after the morning rush. Yeah. 55:59.49 John Um, yes, yeah. 55:59.55 dclduo Well point Disney um, the scoring here which I will not reveal yet is is interesting. All right, let's head back on board and we have to talk about the shows. So. 56:09.60 Sam Yes, I was waiting. 56:13.18 dclduo Well I always say food for last I've got a couple more questions here, but let's talk about the shows. Ah, who's going to win the day on shows here John yeah. 56:21.45 John Disney so again, the um, their one show right? The choir of man was really good show. Um, enjoyable. 56:30.69 Sam Um, even. 56:32.82 John That one I really liked and I'll take that up against any of the Disney ones right? which is fine that was the 1 again looking at it for the week that show went on twice but that was it. So now you had the other days to fill up. 56:37.70 Sam Here. 56:48.81 Sam Right. 56:51.80 John They had a magician who to me was okay, but also it was supposed to be somewhat of a family show and he was pretty inappropriate. Um, yeah, which was which was interesting and he overall wasn't that good. Um, he. 56:59.24 Sam Oh is that right? wow. 57:08.60 Sam Um, really wow because that that's odd because I would say like on Disney even the variety act performers that they have like the ventriloquist the magician juggler um hypnotist. Ah. 57:09.45 John He failed on a lot of his tricks. Um and then. 57:11.70 dclduo Well, ah, ah. 57:25.27 Sam They are really at the top of their game I would say I know and I I wouldn't say I've loved every single performer I've seen on Disney that would be a lie but I will say I don't ever I can't think of one that I saw that was really bad. Or that messed up multiple tricks or anything like that and most of the performance of I would say have a really high quality. 57:51.51 John Yeah, so that was it the other nights they had like an Elton John tribute they've had they had a tribute to some other bands and they um it just it wasn't that good. They have a supper club. 57:58.84 Sam M. 58:08.31 John Which is would be considered one of your regular dining and the supper club we went in it one night because it was doing I forget what? maybe it was disco songs or something or r and b and we lasted about 3 songs and left it was. 58:11.38 Sam E. 58:25.60 Sam Wow. 58:27.92 John It wasn't that good. They had another So how at the moon is one of the places on the ship right dueling Pianos um. 58:36.13 Sam Um, yeah, there's one in Baltimore where I went to you know in downtown Baltimore I went to college in Baltimore and we had a hall at the moon bar in downtown and it was a great dueling piano bar. Um. 58:46.50 John It needed a bigger location so this would be something that people would get in there save the seats and we were never able to get in there so it was probably a fun show but it was packed right? People would go grab their seats hours before the show and that was it. They had another one which was actually good. It was like an 80 s band the only reason I say it was good is we were able to listen to them. Um and see it on a Tv outside the actual club they were playing in because that was packed as well. So and that was one where. 59:17.84 Sam Oh my goodness. 59:23.99 John You know at least an hour ahead there was a line to be able to get into that show. So I think it was a combination of the shipping and crowded but 2 I think it lacked on overall entertainment. So if something was good. It just people flocked to it and grabbed it and. 59:28.25 Sam Wow. 59:40.55 Sam M. 59:42.21 John Wasn't hard to get into see the Magician but it was difficult to get in to see the other stuff. So um I was wasn't overly impressed with the entertainment. 59:52.35 dclduo All right point Disney on entertainment would that include that your you know discussion there at the end John I'm wondering same on nightlife. 01:00:08.75 John Yeah, so you know what's a mix So like I like the nightlife a little bit more on like the dream than I did the wish because again to me in the wish right in the inside the one bar. Um. 01:00:14.68 Sam It is. 01:00:14.71 dclduo Okay. 01:00:25.46 John Is usually just the piano player. So I mean that's not very rousing and then in the by you right? It's usually the 3 people who are playing and while it's nice. It's not what you would consider as much. So. 01:00:29.31 Sam A. 01:00:41.68 John You know someone with the entertainment on the wish I think the shows are good I think the nightlife part of the entertainment is a little lacking compared to the other ones in here I'll kind of say the same thing I think the nightlife was a little lacking. 01:00:48.71 Sam It is. 01:00:56.62 Sam Yeah, oh I would give it to Disney because while I think John is essentially saying the wish and norwegian are probably equal but the other ships on Disney um are better I think you know. 01:00:58.74 dclduo All right, all right? Well we will. We will leave it as a tie then on that one. Um. 01:01:16.55 Sam As you've described John on the dream the fantasy and even on the wonder and the magic you've got this sort of adult district area. They call it the district on the dream they call it europa on the fantasy and they call it after hours on the magic and the wonder and it. Does have a nice um adult after hours kind of atmosphere I agree with you on the wish. That's probably my least favorite of the adult nightlife except for the rose bar which is fantastic but I digress. Um. 01:01:48.65 John Chair. 01:01:51.14 Sam I mean give I think the edge you're giving to to the Disney but only by a smidge. 01:01:55.31 John I Will agree that. 01:01:59.20 dclduo All right I will I will add a point to the disney column all right? Um, okay, we we got a all right as we come into the home stretch here. We got to talk about food. So. Restaurant offerings. Food quality. What did you think John Norwegian versus Disney. 01:02:19.46 John So yeah I like disney a little better just a touch. My wife like norwegian better. So here's here's what I'll say um on norwegian there were 3 dining rooms that. 01:02:26.60 Sam Oh interesting. 01:02:37.57 John Are included right? They're not extra so it's taste saver in the Manhattan room. They all have the same menu now what I've found during this is when you open up their menu. There's two sides to it. The left side of the menu. The right side the left side never changes. 01:02:53.65 Sam Even. 01:02:55.23 John The same every single night. The right side has a little less items on it but it does change from day to day but I wouldn't it wasn't anything that kind of blew you away to me. You had those? The buffet is open for breakfast lunch and dinner. And the buffet did change every single night. Um, so I give an advantage there to norwegian on having at least that available like because 1 thing with norwegian what they say is right? You don't have the book a time to eat. 01:03:13.68 Sam Um. 01:03:28.79 Sam Right. 01:03:30.72 John Right? Eat whenever you want as long as it's before ten o'clock is pretty much what you what you find they had 1 restaurant that was open 24 hours but everything else you had until ten o'clock and that was it. Um, so good there. 01:03:41.85 Sam Mean. 01:03:50.25 John Upscale restaurants I think they try and drive you to those they try and drive you to those upscale restaurants so we did 2 of them which is what we received the free credits for so we did the brazilian steakhouse and we did the french restaurant and both were very good I think the brazilian steakhouse was really good for what it was. You know, just. 01:03:52.20 Sam And. 01:04:09.80 John Ah, regular all you can eat right? They bring the meats out to you in that I thought it was thought it was very good that kids loved it. The salad bar with it was good. So not much different than a fogo de chow or Texas d brazil on a cruise ship that was good I thought the french restaurant was good. The 1 thing that I will say is I think sometimes the Disney meals might be a little bit more upscale. So like what am I always going to find on the buffet of the Disney ships I'm gonna find the snow snow crap claw the stone crap clawuse I'm gonna find the peel and each shrimp. 01:04:31.35 Sam M. 01:04:39.88 Sam Right. 01:04:45.40 John There was shrimp on the buffet when we got on the boat on Norwegian and then never saw it again for the most part, the rest of the trip. Um, you never saw lobster in any form on the menu unless you did one of the um extra restaurants. So. 01:04:53.63 Sam Yep. 01:05:01.80 Sam E. 01:05:04.78 John You know I think the regular restaurants you got your fish your chicken your pasta your steak and all that. But I think they were more right here's it's a generic type thing if you want to have the more indulgent things you're gonna have to pay for it and I give. 01:05:20.78 Sam Um. 01:05:22.34 John That I I think sometimes to me on Disney is that's an advantage because I think their menus can be a little bit more upscale in the dining rooms than this was. 01:05:35.13 Sam Yeah,, that's a good point I mean just being just having some of that um higher level food included is a bonus even if it means you don't have as many dining options on board which is I think. 1 of the advantages you've pointed out that Norwegian has. 01:05:51.21 John So I mean I think one of the things. It's no different where my wife and I talked about she liked the fact that we weren't set for 7 straight days of dining at five thirty or eight fifteen right but yet for 7 straight days. 01:06:02.10 Sam Right? I can understand that. 01:06:07.31 John But for 7 straight days I think we ate the same time every night right? I I mean I you know I think that's one of the things is it wasn't like well one what night we at 5 and the next night we did at 9 and you know it worked out perfect I think there was there but I also think there were times where if those. 01:06:09.59 Sam I Like that. 01:06:19.89 Sam Right? so. 01:06:27.21 John Sit down restaurants were busy or had a way you ended up at the buffet which wasn't always bad but you knew it was there so we probably had dinner at the buffet a few more times I thought we would have. 01:06:42.65 Sam Now I think this is a great segue to the service question which I know is the next spot that Brian is wanting to talk about um because it it really ties nicely in with dinner on Disney Cruise line you always have the same. Wait staff I know I'm going to talk overall service but waittaff is a big part of that service component as we all know at least on Disney because you've got the same people every night when you are doing I'll call it anytime dining I know different cruise liness call it different things. But when you're doing an anytime dining arrangement on another cruise line. You are not going to have the same servers particularly even if you're in the same dining room every night. Um John I'm I'm wondering what you thought of the whole service experience on norwegian both on the weight staff side but also in just general with. You know, crew and in in all of the places on the ship. 01:07:36.35 John Um, so to give you an idea on cabins Disney gets an advantage on cabin so norwegian just recently like right before we went on the cruise made an announcement that they had cut staff on their cruise ships right? that they. 01:07:48.28 Sam Move. 01:07:51.56 John Again, cost savings or whatever and cut some staff so because of that there is no chocolates on your bed at night nor do they make animals out of your towels so that so it was what cleaned your cabin once a day that is it. 01:08:02.98 Sam Oh that makes me so sad. 01:08:10.12 Sam Nothing. 01:08:11.44 John So um, not as much there with the cabins and then I think on the wait staff even though it wasn't the same person every time it was hit or miss I mean I think some of them were just excellent and then there were some that were misses. We've had some misses I think on last cruise on the wish I think. That the service was okay, it wasn't great. I Think our biggest complaint on the wish recently has been um we when we've sat down to dinners. We've had it ask for a drink menu almost every single time and if our glass is empty. We've had to ask for another. 01:08:42.64 Sam E.E. 01:08:49.77 John Which usually they'd be right on top of that. Um, so I found that to be a little bit lacking as well here hit or miss as well. Some were good. Some weren't so I think overall I think it's a wash on that again. Disney is excellent service but I will say. 01:09:02.12 Sam This is. 01:09:08.90 John Last couple times it hasn't been the same level as what we pre covered um that I'll say but cabin wise Disney Wins by ah by a good mile there. 01:09:13.10 Sam Yeah, yeah. 01:09:23.55 Sam Interesting I would I would have to agree with you. We've had not quite as good service in um, in our weight staff on on the wish as Well. Um, and I don't know if it's the staff or if it's just in part. The the arrangement of where the kitchen is and it seems like things seems like food takes longer to come out on the Wish. Um, and maybe that's what hurts them in getting your drinks and getting you extra bread and think we've had um, very friendly weight staff. But yeah anyway. 01:09:54.28 dclduo All right? So I want to make sure I'm keeping track here so we gave point to Disney on food is that correct and it sounds like we're giving well who's getting the point on service I'm but. 01:10:03.35 Sam Yes. 01:10:04.44 John Yes, Disney Disney's getting the I it's a wash but because of the cabin I'm giving it to Disney. 01:10:08.92 Sam Well he said it was a yeah because he said it So a wash on right? He says a wash on weight staff but the service on the steart The the cabin Steward makes the difference. Yeah. 01:10:14.49 dclduo And all right. 01:10:21.33 John Um, yeah. 01:10:21.55 dclduo all right? all right well then I have 1 final question which is the overall value for the cruise. So John let me put it to you this way you said up front comparable cruise on Disney would have been close to $11000 and this cruise was. You know five thousand which one would have held the value better in your estimation. 01:10:48.19 John So I look at it as being 5000 and then what we spent on board um, was only an extra couple hundred dollars like two hundred bucks 01:10:58.94 Sam Um. 01:11:02.50 Sam Is. 01:11:05.29 John That would have been for 7 nights on Disney with drinks and everything would have been at least another thousand. So I think the value on norwegian they're gonna win that I mean I think if. 01:11:11.62 Sam Right. 01:11:18.74 Sam Wow. 01:11:23.89 John You know if somebody's looking to do a good cruise and they know what they're getting going into it I think Norwegian has good value. 01:11:32.23 Sam Wow. Well now you've got to help me here John because at the beginning of this show. You kind of spoiled the whole thing for us in saying that if you were going to go again on a seven night cruise you would choose disney. 01:11:32.50 dclduo All right. 01:11:51.45 Sam Right? over norwegian so help us or really help our listeners understand why that decision if you think the value was was so good on norwegian which it sounds like it was and I'm not keeping score. But I think Brian will will reveal. Um. I'm I think actually norwegian probably squeaked out a win here on the on the standings. Oh ok. 01:12:13.31 John Well wait the way so I could give norwegian 2 more points here that we didn't talk about number one and I'll be quick on these norwegian still does a paper navigator. 01:12:13.45 dclduo Um, oh you would you would be wrong. You would be wrong. 01:12:21.18 dclduo Yeah, all right. 01:12:21.58 Sam Oh. 01:12:31.20 Sam Ah God the paper navigator all right because that right because the app worked right? ah. 01:12:31.46 John I'm giving them a point for that though. Disney's getting a point because Disney's communication online works. We could text with the kids on I message the app works norwegian we couldn't text with the kids. It was a disaster it that was it was a horrible. Experience of trying to find them figure out where it was that we never had on Disney before the second thing I'll give this the thermal suite on norwegian much better than the rainforest room on disney. 01:12:51.97 Sam Oh yeah. 01:12:59.21 Sam Um, oh I believe that. 01:13:01.77 dclduo All right? So I gave Norwegian an extra point for a printed navigator I slid a point over to the Disney Column for onboard communication and then an extra point to Norwegian for the thermal suite. So I am sure. 01:13:14.85 Sam Oh wait but we didn't say internet you did say internet was terrible on norwegian. 01:13:19.85 John Yeah, so I if you want to put that communication. That's fine, but otherwise yeah. 01:13:24.21 dclduo Yeah I've already kind of award I've awarded that 1 sam already pretty much so so I think we are done with ah the scoring here I know you're trying to find any other category characters on board who wins. Ah so ah, ah, all right? all right? All right. 01:13:26.35 Sam Um, okay, all right fair enough. 01:13:35.28 Sam No no that we included that we included that in entertainment. Okay, so and yeah. 01:13:42.84 dclduo So look let me get to the final score here and someone at home can keep me honest because I'm a little worried that I I lost track and may have awarded an extra point in the disney column so this could be a tie but if it's not a tie Disney has squeaked out a one point victory over norwegian. Ah, with a total score. So Disney would have a total score of 14 and norwegian would have actually ah more than one point. It's a let me say that again. So if I've done my math correctly. The final score would be 14 points for Disney and 12 points for norwegian so they've squeaked out a. 2 point when if my math is correct I may have ascribed an extra point to Disney somewhere along the way. So maybe a 1 point win. But at worst it is a complete tie. So ah I think that that is a a Disney win based on my math and there you go. That's why John would go on a seven night cruise with Disney because it wins out. Overall. 01:14:35.41 John That's right it it does though though I will say this I will say this and I'll ask you guys this question I think the wish is not a repeatable cruise I've enjoyed it but I don't know if I could do it again. 01:14:37.20 Sam Ah, is that your answer. 01:14:47.84 Sam Mm. 01:14:53.20 John And here's why dining the frozen show is not changing I've seen it twice I don't need to see it a third time the Marvel restaurant it doesn't change. So I knew the jokes right? I saw him the first time I knew him the second time. 01:15:01.26 Sam E. 01:15:12.97 John It's not going to be anything interesting. The third it's just the meal and so right 1923 is just overall a good restaurant I think that the wish while it's a nice cruise is not repeatable. 01:15:14.63 Sam If if. 01:15:26.39 Sam So I am going to agree and disagree and you know some of I will agree with you I I think the shows in Marvel and Aaron Dale are are you know, not. Quite as repeatable as the other dining experiences on the other Disney ships. Um, however, now having seen. Um I think each of the shows 3 times because. Technically Brian ah Brian and I have been on the wish 4 times if four separate cruise itineraries. Although of course back to back in both sets of them and we're going on 2 more times in August but another back to back I will say I do think um. I'm not itching to book more cruises on the wish. So I will agree with you there? Um, but I do still really like the food on the wish. So even though I could sort of take or leave the show experience. Um, ah I will say the the show and Marvel changed between our first couple sailings and our most recent sailing we actually liked the version on the maiden voyage the best but regardless I still think the food is fantastic and I don't mind seeing the aaronale show. 01:16:44.89 Sam More than once it it is a little loud. Um, but I enjoy it and I enjoy the food so I'm okay with um, less sort of repeatable dinner shows because I think the quality of food is just so much better than on the other ships. Um on the whole that doesn't mean just the dining rooms but because the. That pull deck food is just a huge win even including even the pizza is better and I know that sounds crazy but it is fresh, freshly made cross and so it's much much better. Um, so yeah I agree with you. It's a less repeatable itinerary. Um. It is heavily first time cruisers which is a different crowd and um, even the three night crowd is different from the fournnight crowd. Um the fournight crowd people are trying to squeeze in a seven night cruise in four night so they're trying to go to everything so the spaces are really crowded. It's actually in some ways worse than the three night crews in that respect. So yeah I mean I like I said I agree and disagree with you there. John um I would rather cruise on one of the other ships I think now that I've sailed on her 4 times I think I would say if I'm going to pick a ah so ship to sail on. I don't think I'm itching to go on the wish. Even though that's actually where we're going on our next three cruises baby. But we booked too many wish cruises right? after after the maiden we but we were really excited. We had great time on the maiden. The dvc charter. 01:18:21.20 Sam Still love her think her food is the best. Um, but yeah I'd probably ah skew towards one of the other 4 Brian what about you. 01:18:35.37 dclduo I agree with what you said we'll probably have to cut this discussion out show anyway. So I'm going to skip it. Um, ah but I I will I will gladly talk offline about it. Um, all right? Well with that So samma reads is aside are we doing a rapid fire around here. 01:18:40.49 Sam Ah. 01:18:49.30 Sam No, because we already did we kind of did it through I would normally do a compare contrast Rapid fire. 01:18:55.64 dclduo All right? Let me wrap us up then let me do that all right? Well after that discussion and a eke of a win on the Disney Cruise line side of things. Ah, let me just wrap us up by so you know saying John is there anything that you wanted to share about your experience under a region that we didn't. Get to in the show. 01:19:13.23 John No I think that we got it all I think we we covered it and I surprised that was fourteen twelve but very close. 01:19:22.32 Sam Very close. 01:19:23.81 dclduo Yeah, like I said I'm doing ah what I like to call island math. Ah you know it's close it's close math ah not not scientific and I'm sure someone will correct me by listening to the show and rescoring it and telling me that norwegian actually eked out a win if that happened so ah well. John. We really appreciate you coming on. Um, actually I mean ah John d do you have anything that you want to plug here at the end. 01:19:46.35 John Nothing listen to deep listen in Dc I do. 01:19:52.27 dclduo Ah, so all right? So John thank you so much for coming on and sharing your experience about Norwegian Cruise line we love doing these shows to understand what the other offerings are like out there and just so appreciate you coming on and sharing your experience with us. So thanks so much for taking the time. 01:20:05.82 John Thank you very much for having me. 01:20:09.97 Sam Awesome! oh. 01:20:12.22 dclduo Call me where hold on I got to find the window again I lost the window. Ah, Nope That's not it. 01:20:18.35 Sam Okay, what's your next Cruise John 01:20:21.60 John We want to do.

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