June 04, 2024


Ep. 430 - Live Bonus Show - Who Takes the Tiara?: Disney Cruise Line v. Princess Cruise Line with the DCL Villain

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 430 - Live Bonus Show - Who Takes the Tiara?: Disney Cruise Line v. Princess Cruise Line with the DCL Villain
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 430 - Live Bonus Show - Who Takes the Tiara?: Disney Cruise Line v. Princess Cruise Line with the DCL Villain

Jun 04 2024 | 01:12:02


Show Notes

Josh is back to share his hot takes from a recent Princess cruise he took, as we discuss how his experience on a 7-night West coast sailing on the Discovery Princess compares to his experience on Disney Cruise Line. How did DCL stack-up? Come listen to find out.

If you are looking to book your next Disney Cruise, then head over to My Path Unwinding Travel so Karen and her team of expert travel professionals can help you find the perfect vacation for you and your family.

If you use Sea Bands to prevent motion sickness, then you need to check out Blisslets (via our affiliate link), a stylish alternative to traditional sea sickness bands.

Would you like a little downtime for date night or just some time to reconnect as adults on your next Disney vacation, check out Nanny Land and use affiliate Crown Code: KING85 to get a discount.

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The views in this podcast are our own, and are not those of the Walt Disney family of companies, Disney Cruise Line or the Walt Disney theme parks or resorts. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: So one night, it was like, uh, or it was lunch, and we're, like, getting back from an excursion. I was like, cool, we'll order a club sandwich with fries or whatever and something else and some fruit. And we order it, and it was like, 20 minutes go by 30. This didn't happen any other time. And we're like, you know what? This is annoying. Let's just go to pizza by Alfredo's. So we went down to pizza by Alfredo's. They seat us right away. We put our order in. We put our drink order in. [00:00:25] Speaker B: I know. I know where this is going. [00:00:27] Speaker C: I know, I know. It's coming, too. [00:00:28] Speaker A: And then they bring a huge tray of a club sandwich and fries, and our waiter walks up, and he looks at us. He goes, oh, sandwiches. That will go great with pizza, I guess. [00:00:53] Speaker B: Welcome back, everybody, to a live episode of the DCL duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel. And we got the DCL villain back with us. Sam. [00:01:02] Speaker C: That's right. Apologize for us being late tonight. Sorry, guys. Some technical glitches. Basically, Josh gave us, like, a huge PowerPoint that was too big to upload. So. [00:01:13] Speaker A: Brian, it's all my fault. I'm just here so that you can blame someone when something goes wrong. When your cruise gets misses a port, just blame me. [00:01:20] Speaker B: Everyone, look, I was going to say, reported earlier today, there was a cruise ship trying to dock in Seattle. You can see behind me here. This is the mild version of the wind that we've been experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. There was a cruise ship that was delayed by 7 hours to get into the dock this morning. So five minutes. Five minutes. We're good. All right, so our apologies for being a little bit behind tonight. We had no power this morning. I'm nursing a little bit of a summer cold today, but we're here. We're excited. We got Josh. [00:01:50] Speaker C: That's right. [00:01:50] Speaker B: Let's get going. We're going to talk Princess cruise lines today. Josh, I'm actually super stoked for this conversation, so. [00:01:56] Speaker C: But first, we have to. We have to say hi to folks who are watching. We've got Linda watching, saying happy June. We've got Ashley E. Watching. We've got Howard goodwin watching from Virginia. We've got Krause mouse adventures saying hi. We got your magnet, Alan and Rachel today, so thank you very much. Jeff is on as well, and Tracy is on, and Karen Shelton is tuning in from her couch in North Carolina. Poor Karen just is jet lagged from just. Well, poor Karen. She just got back from a private yacht trip in Croatia, so I can't really say poor Karen, but. But she's watching. I know she's jet lagged watching. Well, Ashley's watching as well. Hey, Ashley. [00:02:37] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:02:37] Speaker B: Hey, Ashley. Good to see you. And I forgot I need to do one thing at the top of the show, which is, we got to thank our Patreon Sam. It's been a while since we thanked them, and I just want to give a shout out to our patreon, Josh. Josh. Yes. Thank you, Josh. Let's talk about. Let's get our patreons to thank you out there. So, from our animators palette tier, I want to thank Steve Elsis, Robbie and Gillian Abney. Matthew Kowalski, Josh McHenry, Heather Wilson, the Dillos, Dizzy Derek Sassman, Dave Paul, Constance Presley, Chris Brown, Chad Swindall, Beth Gentry, Ashley Norton, Ashley darling. And then at our Paolo brunch tier, all the sticky buns you can eat. Tracy and Michael and Draco. Sonia Allen Krause, Mouse Adventures, Erica, no last name there. Emily Faye Abbott, Edward Lynn, Drew Curry, Dennis Keithley, Chris Nguyen, Adrian and Emily van Zuli. And then at our palo dinner tier, for the refined palate, we've got Karen Shelton. Thanks, Karen. Big shout out to you. Jennifer Swart. Our own Dcl villain, Josh Wilson. Thank you, Josh. Cindy Leichner, Chris Vorabek, Chris Braga, Ann Witten. And then we move to Remy brunch. Thomas Rogers, Sean Burns, Eric Nyman. Nyman. Sorry. Doug Young. Art. Thank you, Art. Art Cornell, I believe it is. And then at the coveted Remy Denner, tier ct tenfoil mouse ears, who's probably out there watching somewhere. Thank you so much to all of you for supporting the show. It means a lot to us. You really helped make this show happen. And if any of you are wondering what in the heck Brian's talking about, head over to patreon.com dclduo and you can take a look at our support tiers and help support the show everywhere. [00:04:20] Speaker C: Yeah. And Tracy wants to clarify that the sticky buns at the Apollo brunch level are the old ones, not the new sticky buns. Clear. [00:04:30] Speaker A: There's a difference. [00:04:31] Speaker C: There's a difference. And Linda says she can't wait to have us to keep on in the fantasy. On the fantasy in a couple of weeks. [00:04:37] Speaker B: And Krista's saying princess, like Cinderella and Tiana have their own cruise line now. [00:04:41] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:04:42] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:04:42] Speaker C: Actually, they've had it for a long time. The wish. [00:04:45] Speaker B: The wish. All right, let's talk about princess cruises, though. Josh, welcome back. You took a princess cruise not too long ago. Not super recent, but not too long ago. If I remember correctly, it was a west coast, like, repositioning kind of cruise. Or tell folks what cruise you were on. Let's just start there. [00:05:03] Speaker A: Great memory. It was in October, and it was a repositioning from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia, which is not very far. It was a day at sea, Victoria, the second day, and then in port. So just a three nighter. [00:05:16] Speaker B: Okay. And I will say this. I am super excited for this topic because Sam and I have booked our first ever princess cruise for next year, November. A year from this November. [00:05:25] Speaker A: I can't believe 2025, because we love. [00:05:28] Speaker B: To do a Thanksgiving cruise, and we decided to try one of princess's new ships. So, Josh, what attracted you to Princess Cruise line? [00:05:36] Speaker A: That such a good question. And for me, what you have to know about me, which you will find more in this episode, is I'm like the ultimate Wheeler dealer. If there's a way to get a discount or to scheme or to, you know, figure out a way to do something cheap, I want to find it. So I believe I was on the Costco cruise website. If you guys have a Costco membership, you can get rental cars, cruises through certain cruise lines. And somehow I stumbled upon basically the cheapest cruise, and I found that three night princess cruise. And all in. And when I say all in, Wi fi, gratuities, specialty dining, you know, up to 15 alcoholic beverages for three nights was, you know, $950. Yeah. [00:06:19] Speaker C: Holy cow. [00:06:20] Speaker A: Which is why I booked the cruise. And so my wife and I went on it, and we had a great time. So much so that we decided to go on Princess cruise again. But this is where I need to. I need to confess. I need to come out and share what actually happened. And I cannot condone this. I just want. But because I'm a wheeler dealer, I did research, and I've heard that people get free cruises all the time. And the way they do this is through the casino. [00:06:48] Speaker C: And it's true. [00:06:49] Speaker A: If. If, you know, my day job, I cannot condone gambling because I've known people with gambling issues. Just like I can't condone drinking alcohol if you have alcohol issues. I don't have those issues. And so I heard, hey, what you should do is set aside a budget. So I set aside a dollar 500 budget, and my goal was to leave the ship with $500, but to play through on a slot machine. And as you guys have heard Brian Sam talk about gambling. They like table games. Um, I don't like anything I just like free cruises. [00:07:19] Speaker C: I feel like this is. This is like work you're putting, and. [00:07:21] Speaker B: I I should say my buddy told me, which I didn't realize. It is far easier to get the points that you need for the cruise offers in slot machines, because they're tracking the exact amount of money through the slot machine. It's like, some number of points. Royal is some number of points for every $5 you spend or something like that. And at the table games, they log what you first sat down with. But, like, at one point when I was playing blackjack, I was upping my bets. I ended up playing two hands for a little bit, and only if the pit boss notices that stuff does it get noted on your file for points purposes. So the slot machines are the fastest way to earn points, apparently. [00:08:04] Speaker A: And the biggest thing. And you can read, I did way too much research. That's kind of my mo. But the biggest thing is, the better the odds of the game, the less. The more money you have to spend per point. [00:08:15] Speaker C: Right? Which is why blackjack, which is what we tend to play, is not a way to earn a free. You know, a free cruise, because your odds of winning are about 50 50 with the casino, whereas in slots, your odds of winning are, like, very, very, very low. So the more you spend in the machine, you actually will get. [00:08:35] Speaker B: As you mentioned, Chris was telling me they actually have a slightly lower pay through rate on board the cruise lines, but it's like, something like 86% pay through. Like, I mean, you're eventually. That ten, that 14% brings you down to zero over time, but their goal is to kind of keep you there and keep. [00:08:51] Speaker C: Oh, yeah, they keep you there for a long time. [00:08:52] Speaker B: Yeah. So they just, like, took your money in the first five minutes. You'd be like, well, that was. I'm out of here. [00:08:56] Speaker C: Sure. They're not. Yeah, they're gonna. They're gonna take your money over time, but you get addicted to it. That's all. [00:09:01] Speaker B: Right. So, Josh, did you leave the ship with the dollar 500, and did you leave with a cruise? [00:09:06] Speaker A: Started with 500, went down about dollar 300, and I thought, just trust. Trust. The process then ended up up dollar 500, and played that until I got back down to my initial fun, and that took a long time. I got very lucky. I left the cruise with the exact amount of money I came on with, and six weeks later, I got a beautiful card in the mail that said, free interior stateroom and $100 free play. And then I went and looked at what cruises are available. Basically, all of their cruises. I'm talking 14 night mediterraneans. I'm talking 20 night Hawaii cruises. You have to pay taxes and fees and if you want to upgrade from. [00:09:46] Speaker C: The room, you get there. So. Yeah, you have to get there. So you might have flights and stuff. [00:09:51] Speaker A: But this is, this is, this is the wild part. Absolutely bizarre. When princess offers you a free cruise, it always includes three of those offers. So technically I got three free cruise offers to princess in each of them, a free interior with a free play. [00:10:10] Speaker B: Wow. [00:10:10] Speaker A: Yes. [00:10:11] Speaker C: That's crazy. [00:10:13] Speaker A: And because I did the research, I learned that and I knew about the points I had to get in order to receive that and praise to the powers that be. It worked out and I didn't lose a dime and I was stoked out of my mind. [00:10:25] Speaker B: All right, I'm gonna, I'm gonna rewind to a few minutes ago and just don't do this. [00:10:29] Speaker A: Don't do this. [00:10:30] Speaker B: Re advocate. This is not a strategy. I guess it could be, but my gosh, it could be. It could be. I want to go back. Josh, you mentioned that your cruise. I'm going to pull up the lovely PowerPoint. You did. Thank you for doing this. Josh is the second live guest we've had who's done one of these, and it's been fantastic. I'm going to skip through some photos really fast because I want to get to a slide here. You mentioned upfront, a bunch of stuff included. These are the levels at which you can book your stateroom on. Bring it a standard one that includes nothing, really. Get the princess plus the princess. And I'm wondering, did you take advantage of the princess plus or princess premier while you were on board? And what did you think of the value of that? [00:11:17] Speaker A: Yeah. So basically your base fares that you're going to see when you look it up online is the standard, and then you can choose to upgrade. And basically the plus gets you up to, it's like $15 drinks, two casual dining meals, which I'll talk about later, wi Fi for one device, tips and gratuities. And that's, you know, $65 a day per guest. We opted for the premier on our first cruise, and again, that was all in for the three nights, the $950,000 for this cruise. If we wanted these packages, we would have to pay the upcharge. And we also bidded, placed a bid to upgrade our room, and that went through as well. So we went for the premier, which included four Wi Fi devices, tips and gratuity drinks up to $20, which is some high end whiskeys and scotches and nice mixed drinks. Unlimited casual specialty dinings, which we'll talk about how amazing that is. Think sushi, think Paulo pizza as many times as you want throughout the day. And then two sit down dinings, specialty dinings that are valued at, you know, dollar 45 a thing. The photo package is included, and unlimited workout classes, which I took advantage of. And you get prioritized seating in the theater with your premiere. So it's like, all of that is included for, what is it, $80 a day? And when you start adding that up, if you add gratuities, wi fi, two alcoholic drinks, you're like, 90% there. [00:12:49] Speaker C: Well, and that's a lot of the benefits of, like, being suite level or concierge level, depending upon what cruise line you're on, that's included in a lot of those things. So for that, I mean, that's a good price for those benefits. Wow. [00:13:02] Speaker B: I wanted, I wanted to find a few things on here and ask you one question. So just, just in case folks don't know, princess is kind of famous because. Cause they have these sea medallions that they hand out that are, I think, RFID equipped, and they do some really interesting things with it. It's essentially a magic band, except it's a medallion. Uh, they do some really interesting stuff. [00:13:19] Speaker A: With it that we ought to talk. [00:13:20] Speaker B: About in a bit here, Josh. But if you see medallion class, that's getting your, your sea medallion. Um, the, the question I wanted to ask you about was, uh, premium desserts, two per day as a benefit. And I was like, what's the not what. What's a non premium dessert versus a premium dessert? Cause that, that, for me, that gets into a little bit from, like, that's nickel and diamond. If you gotta, like, pay it up charge to get the chocolate cake, you know? [00:13:45] Speaker A: Yeah. Kind of like Disney Cruise line on the fantasy dream and wish, where there's the separate dessert area that you have to pay for it. Kind of like that, right, Brian? Oh, wait, it's the same thing. So the regular soft server is included. You know, there's, like, cookies included, and then if you want the gelato, like, fresh hand scooped gelato, then that's included as a premium dessert. And I think they have, they have some, like, over the top sundaes, too. [00:14:07] Speaker B: So this isn't like in main dining. It's like, here's the poultry dessert menu versus the super dressed up dessert menu. [00:14:14] Speaker A: No, this is not the Titanic. They do not have a class system in the main dining hall. [00:14:21] Speaker B: We'd let you hang off our door, Josh, don't worry. [00:14:24] Speaker A: We'd let you know and I would hang on for dear life. [00:14:26] Speaker C: Just knocking. There was room for the two of them. Let me just say that. Yeah. [00:14:31] Speaker B: All right, let's. Okay, so you book the cruise, you use the princess premiere. How is everything leading up to the cruise? Was it like the rigidity of a Disney cruise? You got to book all this stuff? I mean, my sense is princess is owned by car. No, carnival. Carnival. Princess is owned by Carnival. I'm guessing it's a lot like royal. That stuff opened up. You book stuff kind of when you felt like it. But how was that pre cruise kind of booking and check in process, all that sort of stuff? [00:14:59] Speaker A: Yeah. And give a little background if you haven't heard from me, the DCL villain. I've been on three Disney cruises, two royal, and this was our second on princess. And so for princess, it was the easiest out of everybody because they save all your information. And so when you go to sign, you know, basically sign up for the cruise, it's like copy and paste everything. You, you know, accept your consent or whatever, whatever lawyer thing you guys know about and I don't. You accept that, right? And then in the premiere, they mail you your medallion, which is your, it's your, it's your boarding card. So you show up to the terminal, you scan the medallion, you show them your passport, you walk on the ship. And I'm not exaggerating from being on the curb of being dropped off from our uber. It took nine and a half minutes to touch the, the ship floor. That's how. [00:15:49] Speaker B: Yeah, that's fast. That's really, what's, what was your, like, port arrived? Did they make you choose a port arrival time? And like, was. [00:15:55] Speaker A: No, they, they don't have port arrival times. Imagine this. They, they literally just say, come whenever you want. And for ours it was like, what, 1030 to 230 because they were leaving at 230 or whatever. And so everybody shows up when they want and there's no huge crowds, there's no huge rushes. There is sometimes, right. We can't, I can't lie about that. We all know when, you know, when 3000 people are trying to get on a ship, there will be busy times. But we showed up pretty early at like eleven. Our flight got in that day. We traveled that day, which again, don't advise, but on the west coast with repeated flights coming down, we knew we could risk it. And. Yeah, super smooth. [00:16:29] Speaker C: Where did you embark out of, is this out of like Long beach or where is this out of. [00:16:33] Speaker A: Yeah. So this was a seven night California coast cruise. So it was out of Long beach, which is about a half hour from LAX, Los Angeles. And this cruise, in case you guys were curious, it was a day at sea, went up to San Francisco, which Disney used to go to on their repositioning cruises for Alaska, which I'm going to talk about how amazing this port is for a cruise port. Then it went down to Catalina island, which I've been to before Sam and Brian had San Diego. It makes a port stop, which is pretty interesting. Getting on the Disney wanderer there and using it as a port stop. And then Ensenada, which last time we didn't get off the ship on Ensenada, we did an excursion this time. And I'm looking forward to talking about because we had a spectacular excursion. [00:17:16] Speaker B: So one way Long beach to, well. [00:17:19] Speaker C: But it goes north and then it goes back down south. [00:17:22] Speaker B: Sure, sure. [00:17:23] Speaker A: And it ends in Long beach. [00:17:25] Speaker B: So it is, it is round trip. Okay. Okay. Wow, okay. [00:17:30] Speaker C: Yeah, it's an interesting itinerary because it goes north to then go back south. But anyway, yeah, but it, like you said, it's a closed loop so it goes back to Long beach. Okay. So you guys have a very easy embarkation. You got to tell us like, yeah, let's talk ports first. I feel like because you mentioned San Francisco being amazing as a port stop, obviously we've been to San Francisco before. I know you've been to San Francisco before. What was great about getting to visit it from a ship? [00:18:02] Speaker A: Yeah, the, the first coolest thing is sailing under the golden Gate bridge and we got to take pictures on the, I woke up early on the way in, my wife stayed up late on the way out. Um, and it was absolutely stunning. And when this is a tall ship, it's the same size as the, the wish. It's, you know, 145,000 gross tons. It holds about 3700 passengers. It's a massive ship. And they're like, yeah, we have like 20ft of clearance from the top of the golden gate or, you know, the bottom. And I like, that's wild. And so being under it, watching it was so cool. Um, we've never, my wife and I, we visited, um, San Francisco. We haven't stayed there long, uh, but we went and did the Alcatraz tour and that was great. You know, we had great weather that day. I just felt like the whole experience of like if you're going from anywhere south, you know, Long Beach, San Diego to Vancouver, it's like a no brainer to stop there. So for me, we did the, um, DCl repositioning from San Diego, and it went to Victoria and then Vancouver, and I heard it used to go to San Francisco, and I was just so bumped because it's just a cool, different place to stop. And for us on the west coast, if you've been to all these major cities, it can feel a little redundant if you've done it too many times. But. But for my wife and I, it was a good mix up, a change up. [00:19:19] Speaker B: So just a second to go back for a second. Josh, you mentioned the size of the ship and how many. How many people, again did it hold? [00:19:25] Speaker A: About 3700. [00:19:27] Speaker B: Okay. And then how old or new is the ship? Do you remember? [00:19:30] Speaker A: So this is the Discovery princess. It had its maiden voyage in March 2022. So it is brand spanking new, and it is. It is nice. I have a picture, Brian, of us in the main atrium, and it's very much an atrium, just like Disney cruise line. It's. But it's like everything's very nice and new, so all the tiles, all the carpet, all the paint, everything's fresh. The stateroom we were in was just a. It was a obstructed balcony. There was no obstruction. We bid for that upgrade, and it was just. It felt so fresh and nice. And my wife walked in and was like, this is great. Now you can see here if you're watching on YouTube, it definitely looks tailored towards an older audience. [00:20:09] Speaker B: Yeah, I was curious. [00:20:11] Speaker C: There's no Mickey ears. Yeah, there's no Mickey ears on the bed or anything, so. [00:20:15] Speaker A: And there's one thing you cannot deny about princess cruises is that it leans older. Did I feel like I was at a geriatric retreat? Absolutely, I did. [00:20:24] Speaker C: But I bet you loved it. [00:20:26] Speaker A: Did we. Did we tour the kids clubs because we were excited to see what they looked like for our kids on this cruise ship. Yes. And they listed how many kids were on the cruise, and it was like, under 80, under the age of, like, 14. It was wacky, but it was very. It felt. It felt like an updated classic, if that made sense. It felt very nice. And yet something you would be comfortable with if you've been with princess before, which I really enjoyed. [00:20:52] Speaker B: I was gonna say. Their newest ships seem targeted at families. So like the star print, the sun princess was just launched. The Star princess, which we're going on in 2025. They're like, they're. They're adding zip line or not zip lines, but like ropes, obstacle courses and water. Some kind of, like, there's a ride, there's like a zip line ride that they're doing and like, it. It looks like it's tailored more toward, like, families trying to draw that market in. So interesting to hear your experience about the crowd on board because I'm going to be really interested to see what it's like on their newer ships. If it starts to moderate down to kind of a younger family audience or not. Because your point is well taken. Princess is kind of known for being skewing older in terms of its demographics. I wanted to put up, Karen said, if you're in San Francisco, the audio tour at Alcatraz is one of the best anywhere in general. [00:21:43] Speaker C: Visiting Alcatraz is a fantastic attraction. I mean, really, really interesting history. And it's cool because he gets to take the boat over there. It's just, yeah, it's a, it's a really good attraction. [00:21:56] Speaker B: And Lauren's saying she just booked a princess cruise. Yeah, I'm. Look, I will continue to say this princess Cruise that we're going on next November, it has me the most intrigued of any of the things that we've booked right now. That includes the main voyage of the treasure. So. [00:22:10] Speaker C: Don't say that, Brian. [00:22:11] Speaker B: I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I'm really excited for the main voyage of the treasure anyway. [00:22:15] Speaker A: And I'll go into the details later on of what to watch out for because it's not a Disney cruise. Right. And Brian, you, you should be a podcaster because I listened to one of your podcast guest appearances. I think it was the DCl duo, and talked about the, you know, the price of a royal caribbean cruise if Disney's ten out of ten, royal, seven out of ten. And the difference in value. And I just, when I heard that, I was like, Brian's nailed that. And that's what I look for in this. And so we'll talk about that. And to your point about Alcatraz, when we went to San Francisco, the, where the Alcatraz ferry takes off from is like a two minute walk from the cruise terminal. And so we went and did Alcatraz. We've never done that. And we were both like, this is such, it's like the best thing you can do. [00:22:56] Speaker C: It's just so cool. [00:22:58] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. You just book through their Alcatraz ferry. You walk right up and go do the audio tour. It is beautiful. We had great weather. It was like every, every port stop we had. I feel like we lucked out and it was just amazing. And for us, we had such a fun day on Alcatraz. It was so worth it. [00:23:19] Speaker C: Awesome. All right. Okay. Where should we move next? Brian, you've got the PowerPoint, so it's hard for me to know, like, what. [00:23:26] Speaker B: I'm ready to jam anywhere we want to head. So let's go back. Let's go back a few slides here. So there's, there's. There's a picture that's clearly ensenada. I have seen. [00:23:36] Speaker C: We know that port. [00:23:37] Speaker B: We've been there. In fact, I think that was the same photo we would have saw with Dan and McHale when we met up with them in Ensenada. Um, yeah. [00:23:44] Speaker A: And so let's. So, Brian, you can go down one more because this is one thing I wanted to start with. So you'll notice here, this is my wife. Amazing seafood dinner. Just like, spectacular. I'll talk about that later. But look at. Look at this. Two staff behind you. And you're like, oh, I love Disney staff. No, this is not Disney cruise line staff. Right. But what I. A couple things I noticed, and I kept thinking, what's the same on this cruise as a Disney cruise? Number one, stellar employees who love to be there and care deeply about you. Is it because I am extroverted and just a delightful human being? Probably. Well, but no, we should have your. [00:24:21] Speaker C: Wife on to talk about that. [00:24:23] Speaker A: Oh, my poor wife. When we, when we eat at like, palo or specialty dining, if there's anybody nearby, I'm like, honey, I won't talk to people today. I promise I'll leave. I'll be just the two of us. And she's just like, thank you. Like, finally you've learned your lesson. [00:24:37] Speaker C: Um, but this is what Brian said. And I. These are Brian in my conversations, by the way. But I'm the josh and yeah, he's your wife, but the. [00:24:46] Speaker A: The staffer are super great. And that is the number one thing I noticed. Bartenders, you know, the people at the coffee shop. The second 2nd day. Oh, your wife gets a iced lavender latte. It's like, yes. You remember day two. That's amazing. Um, that was great. I felt like the cool thing. They had an adult area on this cruise, which was hilarious. [00:25:05] Speaker C: They need one. [00:25:06] Speaker A: Exactly. And here's the thing. It looked like a retreat. Like a. You had to pay to play kind of retreat pool. And so nobody went there. And it was awesome. It was protected from the water. Um, they had a huge workout area that was very much similar to Disney. And classes. They had very nice kids spaces with, you know, they had skeeball. They had a couple of arcade games. It was themed very, very well. You can tell. Like Brian was saying, they're trying to match the kids. They're not going to have the programming. They're not going to have the IP, they're not going to have Mickey and Minnie. Right. But it looked very good. And then the other things, like Disney, the fast casual food up on the deck was great. [00:25:45] Speaker B: They had. They've. [00:25:46] Speaker A: I would agree with it, the best pizza at sea, they have up top, lido deck pizza. And then they have specialty pizza, Gigi's pizzeria, which is great. And the buffet. The buffet looked amazing. I mean, it was brand new. It was like marble everywhere. Yeah, that's Gigi's Pizzeria by Alfredo, which, if you're an office fan, you know, pizza by Alfredo versus Alfredo's pizza kitchen. That's a deep cut for y'all. [00:26:12] Speaker C: That's awesome. [00:26:13] Speaker A: But anyways, it was. [00:26:15] Speaker B: Talk to me, Josh, about the. You mentioned briefly there for a second, the pay to play pool. [00:26:20] Speaker C: No, he said it wasn't, but it looked like. It looked like it was. People didn't go there, but it wasn't. It was open to anyone, any adults, but people didn't really know that. [00:26:30] Speaker A: And they also have a spa area. My wife went and got a spa treatment, and they have, like, a huge. It's kind of like a hot tub, but it's, like, different, like, massaging jets and it's massive in different areas. [00:26:42] Speaker C: It's a. What is it called? [00:26:44] Speaker B: The loss of therapy. [00:26:46] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:26:47] Speaker A: I don't know if I would never. I don't like people touching me in general, giving me a back rub. So if I pay for that, that's like. That's like hell to me. I'm not going there. I don't want anything to do with it. But my wife loved it. They have very much, like, Disney's room, you know, the different things. So. Yeah. Anyway, those are a lot of the things that were the same. Similar buffet styles. Obviously, they don't have the, like, the wish does, Donald's cantina, which everyone's raving about, and the barbecue, which I'm jealous of, but they. They have sushi, and my goodness, did I eat sushi every single day on the cruise? Yes, I did. Did I eat there more than once? Yes, I did. In a day. Do people think I have an addiction and a problem? I don't know. Leave me alone. I'm on a cruise. I do what I want. [00:27:30] Speaker C: Do you have mercury poisoning? [00:27:32] Speaker A: I don't care if I have mercury poisoning, Sam, because it was included in the premier package. So I'm taking care of. [00:27:38] Speaker B: It's only a. [00:27:40] Speaker C: You ate your money's worth of sushi. [00:27:42] Speaker B: It's a gambling addiction. But the sushi thing is totally manageable. Don't worry about it. You can quit anytime you want. All right, Josh, anytime you want. [00:27:50] Speaker C: Free cruise. But you probably cost the cruise actually money in your sushi eating. [00:27:56] Speaker B: I think that's what Josh was going for. [00:27:59] Speaker A: I'm wheeling and dealing everywhere I can go. Sam, you know how it goes. [00:28:02] Speaker B: But talk to us about the food quality. Josh, did you do main dining? How was the quality overall of the different kind of dining venues that you experienced? [00:28:12] Speaker A: Yeah. So doing a seven night cruise, we did main dining, what, three of the nights? We did specialty dining two of the nights. Um, and we experienced all the dining that you can. Um, this. This is a picture of my lovely wife, and this was the dessert at the sabatini's, which is the italian paid for restaurant. And they're like, hey, here's the four desserts we have. Or we just have a dessert that's a sample of each of them. And my wife's eyes are like, why does everyone not do that? It just makes so much sense. I want all of them. Um, but anyway, the. The food was good. One thing that is right off the bat, the main dining food quality is not as good as Disney's. I feel like Disney does a very good job. I felt like this was on par, maybe a notch below royal Caribbean. I really like Royal Caribbean's main food dining. I didn't have issues with princesses by any means, but I think because we were doing specialty dining both for lunches and for dinners, um, we got to see the more upscale stuff, and really, obviously, that's going to be better. [00:29:13] Speaker C: Yeah. Now tell us. Somebody was asking about escargot. You have compared the escargot on Disney cruise line in Royal Caribbean. I didn't. I don't think the last time you went on princess that you tried the escargot. Did you have escargot on this cruise? [00:29:28] Speaker A: Yeah, we only did main dining once last time, and we did it three, so we missed it. And I would have ordered it because I. Oh, man, I love esco. Like, thinking about it right now, I'm, like, getting hungry. I didn't try it. I wish I did. [00:29:41] Speaker B: What were the other. So you may have to go to the casino again. So you had main dining, Josh, is it anytime dining? How does the main dining room work? [00:29:54] Speaker A: So here's the other thing that's really neat about princess, and I would say royal Caribbean, but I hear they may be doing away with it is on princess. You can schedule any time you want to go eat dinner. So you go in the app and you pick a time, and you pick a table for two, or however your group size is, or a shared table. They had three different main dining restaurants. They all serve the same thing, and they were based on. This is an Alaska themed ship. So it was like, ketchikan juno. I don't remember. Skagway. Right? Or I think that might have been the third one. So you can we every night, like, two months before scheduled exactly when we were going to eat at what restaurant, um, and what our tables look like. So there's the three main dining venues. There's the Lido deck pizza, burgers. Um, they have some other cool things, like a fresh chicken sandwich, when by fresh, I mean, like, fresh fried. It was great. Um, the buffet, the pizza, and then they have their specialty options. So they have three. Um, and I think I have, Brian, a slide that shows the specialty options. They have three specialty lunch dinner options. Um, and that. There you go. So, uh, they have the salty dog pub, which this ship, it was closed, and they're turning it into O'Malley's, which has just a phenomenal menu. I'm so jealous that they didn't have it when we were there. But basically, really good burgers, like, cooked medium rare, you know, cooked perfectly. Um, I went for lunch one day at salty dog, and what did. What did I have? They had, like, fresh calamari frites, and it was just the lobster Mac and cheese. The list goes on. They have the sushi restaurant, and that one you do have to pay for. But for the premier package, all this casual dining, the $15 price point is unlimited. So you get as much as you want. [00:31:36] Speaker B: I want to. I want to highlight that. Cause there's a comment here. Oh, wow. Sushi's included. It's not included. But if you buy the premier upgrade for your cruise as an add on, then all of those restaurants become included. And then Karen's dying to know, do they still have the fettuccine Alfredo that they serve in a bread bowl? [00:31:53] Speaker A: Karen? Not that I saw it, and I can tell you for sure they didn't serve it, because I have not met a fettuccine Alfredo in a bread bowl I wouldn't order. I'd be like, just bring. Bring one on the side, please. [00:32:02] Speaker C: Yeah. Okay. But now this. They say casual dining does that mean that it's like, they don't serve you at the table like you order, and then they bring you the food? Or. Or is this still sort of sit down, but just casual sit down? [00:32:16] Speaker A: It's sit down. It's casual sit down. It's a little quicker paced. So you probably expect to be in there about an hour. Whereas the specialty dining is like a full two hour meal. [00:32:24] Speaker C: Right. [00:32:24] Speaker A: Okay, so they had those three options. The salty dog pub, the sushi, and then, uh, pizza Balfredo. And then the specialty dining, they have the cool part, so they have, like, their standards. They have the crown grill, which is like Paulo. They have Sabatini's, which is italian restaurant, again, kind of like Paulo. Um, and then they had the catch by Rudy, which is hands down the best. It's fish, seafood, the best cruise ship meal I've ever had. [00:32:50] Speaker B: Wow. [00:32:51] Speaker A: Paulo brunch included. Now, would I choose to go to Paulo brunch before? Absolutely. But the food quality, I felt like, was on par as Paulo brunch. Um, and. And the last thing they have, they have something called 360 dining. So it's exclusive. We didn't do this. [00:33:05] Speaker C: We. [00:33:05] Speaker A: I was debating it. It's $150 a person, includes a wine pairing. It's like 16 people in a circular room with, like, projected displays projected on the table. They take you on a journey through the meal. It's a whole experience. [00:33:18] Speaker C: This is like the wonderland or the. What's the other one called, Brian? It's like the. Yeah, there's a few different. Oh, le petite chef. Like, there's a few of these on different cruise lines. Disney doesn't have one like this, but it's like an interactive where the food is like Michelin star food, but it's like, with projection mapping on the table and stuff. It's supposed to be very cool. [00:33:38] Speaker B: But what do you mean by invite only? Like, what does that mean? [00:33:42] Speaker A: So it was. So we got invited, and. But. And it's just, I think it's based on, if you're on there from the casino offers or if you've traveled with them enough, they'll probably sweet. [00:33:54] Speaker B: Probably sweet guests or something. Probably, yeah. [00:33:56] Speaker A: Or you've done enough cruises. It's the people who love Princess cruise line. And, Sam, unlike Wonderland, it's very limited and it's very high end. So think, um, have you guys done chef's table at. Is it California grill at DCA or what's the Napa rose? [00:34:11] Speaker C: Yes. Yeah, chef's. Chef's counter there. And we've done and we did the chef's table on Royal Caribbean on the oasis, and that was. It was only six of us. This table could have seated, I think, maybe twelve, but. Yeah. [00:34:23] Speaker A: So that's the level that is. It's. It's a. It's a notch above. Yeah. [00:34:27] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:34:27] Speaker B: And what. What's the difference between chef's table, Lumiere and chef's table? Do you know? [00:34:31] Speaker A: So the. The differences there are based on what ship it's on. [00:34:34] Speaker C: Gotcha. [00:34:35] Speaker A: Yeah. And there are a little bit different experiences. So, like, there's Alfredo's and then there's Gigi's pizza. They're different or. Yeah. [00:34:41] Speaker B: All right, Karen also wants to know if there are french fries available on the pool deck. [00:34:45] Speaker A: Okay. Is this, is this an insider question? Did I miss it or. [00:34:49] Speaker C: No, I. Well, there's. The issue is, on, on Royal Caribbean, there's, like, no food available on the pool deck. Right. Like, you have to go into buffet. Yeah, go into the buffet. So you can't get, like, your chicken fingers and french fries and your hamburgers without going into the buffet. And then you have to schlep it outside with you versus there being, like, pool deck food. Yeah. So is there pool deck food? [00:35:10] Speaker A: Yes. Not only do they have burgers, chicken burgers, fries, chili cheese fries, but with the medallion, you just pull out your phone, you click what you want, and they come and find you where you're at. It is an elevated experience. [00:35:22] Speaker B: Let's talk about that for a second. So I mentioned briefly the medallion and talk. That princess is oddly known for being kind of a high tech cruise line in terms of what it does. So with your sea medallion, you can order food, you can order drinks. They bring them to you. They find you on the ship. Heard. I'll be candid and say, I've heard a few people say more than once, that doesn't always work 100% of the time, but the idea is they know where you are on the ship and they can bring your food. I've also heard that you can, like, find other people in your party from maps on the cruise ship, so you can see where they are and go find them and meet up with them. But, like, what else? Like, talk to us about the sea medallion, Josh. And how was the tech? Did the tech work? [00:35:59] Speaker A: Oh, the tech was excellent. It did not work as well as our last cruise, and I'll explain why. But it was still nine and a half out of ten. It is an airtag. It's literally, you can buy air tag accessories, and that's the same size, it pinpoints you on the ship to about a five foot radius. So if you're in the casino, if you're in a main dining restaurant, they're not going to find you perfectly where you're at, but you'll. You'll see your drinks or your food coming, and it also is your key to your door. And so when you get about six doors away, it's like that far, you hear the click of your door and you see it turn green on the outside because it opens for you automatically. And then you can order food and drink almost anywhere on the ship. It excludes, I think, specialty dining, so because they want their sommelier to bring it to you. But here's the funny thing. So one night it was like, or it was lunch, and we're like, getting back from an excursion. I was like, cool, we'll order a club sandwich with fries or whatever and something else and some through, and we order it, and it was like 20 minutes go, by, 30. This didn't happen any other time. And we're like, you know what? This is annoying. Let's just go to pizza by Alfredo's. So we went down to pizza by Alfredo's. They seat us right away. We put our order in. We put our drink order in. [00:37:13] Speaker B: I know. I know where this is going. [00:37:15] Speaker C: I know, I know. It's coming, too. [00:37:16] Speaker A: And then they bring a huge tray of a club sandwich and fries and another thing. And our waiter walks up and he looks at us, he goes, oh, oh, sandwiches. That will go great with pizza. I guess. [00:37:29] Speaker C: I mean, you should invite other people to eat with you. [00:37:32] Speaker B: I guess you should have emphatically taken the sandwich, pulled it in half, put a piece of pizza in the middle, put it back together, and be like, damn right it will. [00:37:40] Speaker A: And just stare at him. Yeah. So I didn't want to mess with Jesus too much on that cruise. [00:37:49] Speaker B: Are you listening to our show? Because you want to make the most out of your next vacation? Great news. The fabulous team over at MyPath unwinding travel can help guide you so you don't miss a thing. Their team of professional travel advisors are caring, knowledgeable, and experienced. It's why we use them to book our own travel. Mypath Unwinding Travel is an authorized Disney vacation planner, which means they are recognized by Disney for their expertise and service. They have sailed on all the Disney ships, including in concierge, visited the theme parks, adventured with Disney, relaxed at Alani, and so much more. Whether it's a Disney cruise, a theme park vacation, or adventures by Disney. Or if you are looking to expand beyond the mouse, Mypath unwinding travel will elevate your next vacation planning experience. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your vacation even more magical. Ready to talk to the experts? Head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email dclduoypathunwinding.com so they know we sent you their thanks. My path unwinding for sponsoring today's show. Now back to the episode. [00:38:47] Speaker C: Well, we gotta bring up Howie's question, because this is an important dining question for Josh. Did they have trouble? [00:38:56] Speaker A: Every time. Every time I become the butt of the joke about trouble per sets, it makes my heart so happy. And then when a logical, beautiful, wise, what should we say? Delightful person says, they're not that good, I'm like, finally, right now, the other, the other thing people can't get behind me on is the saying your name when you walk in the atrium. I feel like no matter how many people you talk about, people are like, I love it. And I'm like, guys, you can go buy a Bluetooth speaker and get a microphone and you can do that everywhere. Every time your car opens, I will program it so it says, and now, introducing the Flock family. [00:39:32] Speaker C: Oh, my God. I want a recording of that, Brian. You're going to. You're going to snip the audio and I want that recording. [00:39:38] Speaker B: I'm actually, what I'm going to do. [00:39:40] Speaker C: Walk in the house. Actually, I want that. [00:39:42] Speaker B: What I'm going to do, Josh, is I'm going to design a Lorcana card for you, the DCL villain, and it's going to have a superpower related to truffle percents and escargot. And that's. That's how we're going to roll. [00:39:52] Speaker C: That's right. And, and Howie's saying that his wife Martha made him ask about the truffle. So just FYI, shout out to Martha and Howie. We're going to see them actually very, very soon on the inaugural DCL duo podcast crew. [00:40:05] Speaker B: So this, I take it Josh, was the breakfast spread that I'm showing now the picture of. [00:40:09] Speaker A: Yeah, if you're listening, listening. I love breakfast. Did I eat two breakfasts a day and two sushis a day? Yes. Did I gain breakfast? Did I gain twelve pounds on a seven night cruise? None of your business. Of course I did. [00:40:21] Speaker B: But you know what? [00:40:21] Speaker A: I had a great time. So another thing that's not going to be as good as Disney is the shows. [00:40:27] Speaker C: Yeah, we got to hear about those. [00:40:28] Speaker A: And here's what we have to know, Brian. Sam, your Royal Caribbean cruise review is so good, because you talked about. They're like, royal Caribbean. It's like, hey, we have people who do really cool stuff. [00:40:39] Speaker B: Awesome. [00:40:39] Speaker A: And it's some interns, like, have you guys thought about doing a storyline? [00:40:42] Speaker B: And they're like, what? [00:40:43] Speaker A: No, we can afford that. [00:40:46] Speaker C: Just put them on stage with some music and nobody will care that there's a. [00:40:49] Speaker B: What story would people be diving into a pool? [00:40:53] Speaker A: I've not heard anybody else talk about. What was that? That dang show that I saw on the quantum of the seas? It was. It was the worst. It was the absolute. It's. Every time I hear people reference it, they're like, it couldn't have been that bad. No, it was. Anyway, they had. So they had a illusionist, you know, a magician. One night they did, like, some singing shows, but they had two shows that are, like, their thing, and one is called rock opera. And so it's a mix between rock and opera singing. And then this one on the screen here is spotlight bar. And I will say it is a not. It's a huge notch above Royal Caribbean, which not hard to do because it is a cohesive storyline in the sense of the theming. And this one, it's like a bar where people are coming in and they're coming in from different circumstances and why they're coming to the bar. And they sing modern songs and it's just kind of fun. So it is. It's still just a spotlight singing show, but it was really good. [00:41:51] Speaker C: But a musical review like that, that doesn't try too hard to have, like, a cohesive overall plot. I feel like that's fine, you know, as long as each person has a story and a character that they're playing right when they're singing their song. Yeah. [00:42:05] Speaker A: Yeah. And so that was, you know, that was great. And we both, of course, we're gonna go to the shows, and we went to the illusionist. He's from anacortes. So that was another funny thing. Cause that's close between, you know, Bellingham. But anyway, the shows are pretty in Washington. [00:42:18] Speaker C: For those. For those who don't know, anacordist, it's. It's. It's near the Navy base, one of the Navy bases up here in Washington. [00:42:26] Speaker A: And the best part was there is reserve seats for premier people, which I don't know why Disney can't seem to do that for concierge. But if I was paying a concierge fee. Why not just put a couple little caps on the best selection or ask concierge where they want to sit and go put it in their spots so that they don't have to show up 45 minutes early? Yeah. [00:42:43] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:42:43] Speaker A: It seems like it makes a lot of sense and it's something simple to do. [00:42:46] Speaker B: Don't. Don't get me started. I mean, like Dennis Miller. I don't want to get off on a rant here. [00:42:50] Speaker C: I will say I actually think Royal is the same way. Royal, though, they have a reserved area, but they still make you get there early to go use, do that reserve area. And that just seems kind of silly to me. I don't. I don't really understand it. So I don't think Royal or Disney are doing that. Right. To be perfectly honest, I would love. Yeah. If they want to reserve the first, like three rows or the first four rows or something like that, to me, that's how it should be. [00:43:15] Speaker B: Yeah. So, Josh, let's. Sorry, it looks like you want to finish up on shows. Did you have more to say on shows? [00:43:20] Speaker A: No, no. [00:43:21] Speaker B: I want to shift this over to Catalina for a second because it's a port stop that Disney does. We've talked about on the show, haven't had too many people who've gone on a Disney cruise and experienced it. I want to get your impression. What did you think about Catalina as a port stop? [00:43:36] Speaker A: Yeah, we went when we were on the wonder, just my wife and I. That was our second Disney cruise, and it was great. We rented the golf cart for an hour, did the whole tour, and thought it was a great stop. This time we had done the golf cart tour, so we didn't need to do that. Our plan was just to walk, and there was one viewpoint that was pretty. We like walking. And when we got off the ship, or, sorry, not off the ship, off the. Is it catamaran? [00:43:59] Speaker B: I don't know. [00:43:59] Speaker A: It's not a catamaran. The shuttle, the tender. [00:44:02] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:44:03] Speaker A: I saw a stairway that is like, was just up a little bit from the casino, and anybody who's been there knows. And I was like, I want to find that stairway. And so we went and found it, and it looks kind of private. And my wife's like, I don't know if we're supposed to walk up this. I was like, if there's no sign, it's not my problem. I'm just going to walk up it. And so if you go to the next picture, I think the next picture is a picture of my wife and I in the ship, and it's, like, such a beautiful. [00:44:25] Speaker C: Oh, that's awesome. What a great picture with all the sailboats docked in the. In the harbor. Wow, that's beautiful. But in short, Catalina, you wear your mariners jersey. I love it. Josh. [00:44:36] Speaker A: Of course, Catalina is very much an excursion port, and there's not too many excursions. I debated going and playing golf on their little nine hole course, but it looked pretty rinky dink. And, um, overall, it's a great port. Stop once after that. I don't know if you need to get off every time. It's very cute and quaint and, you know. Yeah, what more can I say? [00:45:00] Speaker C: Yeah, it's cute to, like, get off and walk around the little, like, downtown area and maybe go do a little bit of shopping, but there's not a whole lot there, as you mentioned. I mean, most of the island is, like, you know, nature preserved, so there's not. Unless you're doing one of the excursions, like, you know, the parasailing or visiting the. Seeing the bison at the nature preserve or something like that. There isn't a whole lot to do there, but it is a cute little town. So I just really. I really enjoyed the day. [00:45:28] Speaker B: I liked it for that aspect. I wanted to pull up Linda's comment that she said she's lived in Los Angeles her entire life and never been to Catalina Island. Linda, I lived there for four years, didn't go, and then went back and decided to go to Catalina island, and then we went on the cruise, but that was about it. Um, but I think it's a great. It reminds me of a California beach town, right? Like, going to a Newport beach or someplace like that where there's, you know, the water's right there, lots of little, you know, shops and restaurants and things like that. But what I love about Catalina is it's just compact. You can see the whole thing, and it's not like getting off in, like, uh, you know, Rome, and you're going to do one thing and that's it. Like Catalina. You can really get a sense of the whole. The whole island pretty quickly. So I think it's a really fun, uh, port. Stop now, Josh. I wasn't sure sure if this was from Catalina. [00:46:15] Speaker A: No. So this was. So that was Catalina. This was from San Diego. That's not that drink. That drink. I'll get back to that story. I'll get back. [00:46:22] Speaker B: No, no, go ahead. Okay. Go ahead, go ahead. [00:46:25] Speaker A: Oh, you. [00:46:25] Speaker B: Okay. [00:46:25] Speaker A: Okay, so this is. It's called trident, I think. Coffee and this was in San Diego. So in San Diego, we were like, we've ported out of San Diego. We've been there enough. What are we going to do? And my wife's like, I want to go to the beach. And I'm like, okay. San Diego's had historic, historically, like, awful weather this year. It's, like, cold. It's, like, you know, high sixties and overcast. And she's like, I want to go to the beach. And so we found there's a little ferry literally right off the. Where the cruise ship docks. You can jump on a Coronado ferry and just go right across the bay. It's a little putsy. If you go, like, two pictures over Brian, you'll see it. It's a little putsy ferry. And then you can walk, like, a mile and get to Coronado, the hotel and stuff. Yeah, there it is. And so that, like, that day was awesome. My wife's been really into houseplants recently, and, like, succulents, and San Diego's covered in them, and they're beautiful. And as we're going before that on the awesome cruise wi fi, which is. What's it called? Starlink. [00:47:24] Speaker C: Starlings. [00:47:24] Speaker A: Amazing. And we have four devices. My kristen's like, okay, I found where we're going to eat lunch. I found a cute little bakery that has, like, the best cookies. And I found the best cold brew coffee at this trident coffee shop. It's right next to Starbucks, which, of course, we're laughing at, because, of course. But they had a nitro cold brew flight, and it was phenomenal. [00:47:47] Speaker C: Wow. [00:47:48] Speaker A: Yeah. The son of a sailor was. It was, like, whiskey inspired. So it was, like, brewed with, like, whiskey notes, and it was delicious. It was very good. [00:47:55] Speaker B: Yeah. For those listening at home, again, emphasizing. Come watch the video. Josh put a lot of pictures. [00:48:00] Speaker C: This is awesome. [00:48:01] Speaker B: So this, he's showing us the cold brew flight currently. [00:48:03] Speaker C: This is totally, by the way, up Brian's alley. Cause. So we both like cold brew, but I'm not big on the nitro cold brew. Cause to me, it tastes too much like beer, to be honest. It's like. I don't know, something about it, but, yeah, but this is, like, where I feel like we would go there. I would just get a different coffee. [00:48:19] Speaker B: I guess what you couldn't tell Josh is they were right next to Starbucks. The taps were actually run between the walls. It was a stealth Starbucks. [00:48:27] Speaker A: They're like, we can just save so much money. They'll never know. [00:48:30] Speaker C: Never know. [00:48:31] Speaker A: It was a very whole new wall. But very cute, um, aesthetic. And then we went to the beach by the Coronado, uh, Hotel del Coronado. We went to a little mexican restaurant that had rave reviews on, like, happy hour and just had a splendid time in San Diego. [00:48:45] Speaker C: Okay, we got to go back to that drink now. [00:48:47] Speaker B: Oh, the drink. [00:48:48] Speaker A: So go. Go ahead to that picture of me, because, uh, that will explain it. Uh, so this. This is Mike and Judy. And so I, uh, look at your. [00:48:58] Speaker C: Outfit, by the way. [00:48:59] Speaker A: Just wait. Just wait, Sam. [00:49:01] Speaker C: I love it. Love it. [00:49:02] Speaker A: So my dad, before the cruise, is like, Josh, I. They went on a cruise. They went on a norwegian cruise. It was abysmal. Like, they didn't have a good time. But my dad's like, all these young guys were wearing these cruise outfits, and I looked it up on Amazon, and they're like, $25. And so he bought me a purple, and it's got, like, martinis and other drinks and palm trees, I think. Yeah. I was like, that's amazing. So he bought it for me, and my wife's like, please don't wear that. Please. It's not that warm. This is not the Caribbean. But. So I met this guy Mike at the bar one night, and I don't know how, but we started talking about motorcycles. And, of course, Mike becomes my new best friend. I'm like, I love this guy. And I was like, who you here with? He's like, oh, I'm here with my wife Judy, and she's down in the casino. He goes, we cruise for months at a time, and she gambles until she gets the free cruise offer. It's good for three free cruises. They take those three free cruises, and on the third one does it again for the next three and just keeps going and going and going. And they said on. They've been on that ship, I think it was, like, three or four weeks. And he's like, and now we've gotten to know the bartenders. And he goes, each seven night cruise, we have a color. That's the theme. And so he said, the color theme for this cruise is purple. And I was like. And I was like, oh, my gosh. I have this purple jumpsuit. I'm gonna surprise them and wear it. And the drink that his wife got made for her, she likes lemon drops. They made her a purple lemon drop. This had. I think it had some sort of, like, gray tea or something and something else to make it purple. And it was delicious. And my wife loved it. And the bartender would only make this for Judy, but Mike said, come on, you got to make it for Josh's wife. And the problem was, as soon as my wife got it, ten people. What drink is that? What drink is that? I want this. And the bartender is like, I told you not to tell anybody. Soon enough, everyone's ordering. [00:50:53] Speaker C: Everyone's drinking this drink. [00:50:55] Speaker A: And of course, I show up in my. My purple, purple outfit, and we, like, exchange numbers. He's like, hey, you know, he told me where he lives. He said, come and visit us. And I want to try to, because it's like, that's just crazy. Cruising in a nutshell. Meeting delightful people, the salt of the earth, and having a drink together and having a great time. [00:51:10] Speaker C: I love that. Those are the best. Like I always say, cruise friends are the best friends. But, yeah, that we. We love meeting new people on board. And now I feel like when we sail, that we are never sailing alone. Like, we always have somebody we know or, like, we sort of know through the podcast, and we're meeting on board, and it's just. Yeah, it makes it more. More and more fun. [00:51:31] Speaker B: Well, let's talk about Ensenada, Josh. So port stuff that some people, you know, like, into Nassau on the Mexican Riviera, it is. It is a. You know, it's a. It's a shipping port. There's a huge shipping amount of shipping. Traffic comes in and out of Ensenada. Looks like you got off. I think you did some bike riding and some other things. What did you get up? [00:51:50] Speaker C: You look like you're wearing reflective gear there. [00:51:52] Speaker A: Yeah, we were. The only day it rained was when we were in Ensenada. And of course, we're in a bike excursion. If you. If you know me, I'm a. I'm a hugely addicted mountain biker. Most of the times I listen to Brian and Sam, I'm pedaling a bike, which is super funny. It's like, next time, you just be thinking, Josh is out there huffing and puffing. Hayden is life listening to us? And I went on, I think it's called cruise excursions. It's like cruises excursions.com. you can, like, google it, and they have really good options. And this one was a bike excursion. It was, like, $40 a person in Ensenada. All the reviews were like, most likely, you'll be the only two people doing it. And sure enough, we were. And so it was us. [00:52:32] Speaker C: Yeah, kind of crazy, but also awesome, because you basically had a private tour. [00:52:37] Speaker A: Yeah. And it was. It was an amazing tour. Now, if you have not been to Mexico. I've been to Mexico City. I've been to Puerto Vallarta, um, you know, a couple of places. Mexico. I mean, it's a little dingy, and so you're. And that is offensive. I hope that's not offensive. It's just the reality of, like, these cruise ports are very overpopulated. It's very americanized. You know, mexican culture pushed together. The streets are a little beat up, and you're biking, and I think I have a video. I don't know if you can show it, but you're biking on a sidewalk. That is not all put together. And it was a little sketchy. And my wife, who does not ride bikes very often, did an excellent job. But here was the cool thing about the tour. This is a four hour bike tour. You go to two awesome taco spots. The first one has, like, an exposed, like. Yeah, right here. It's like an exposed open kitchen. Kitchen. Just delightful. People who know you're with this excursion, you know, the first tacos on them on the excursion, which is great, you get a mexican coke, and I got another taco. That was awesome. Then you go and bike to the home of the margarita, and they tell you the story of this big hotel casino, that when prohibition happened in the states, celebrities would come down to Ensenada, and that's where they'd spend their leisure time, and they tell the history. It wasn't the first margarita, but it's where it got coined. So we got a margarita there, and then you go to Anthony Bourdain's number one rated street mexican taco place. [00:54:08] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:54:08] Speaker A: Which is like a tostada place. Yeah. This is it with tarps over because it's raining, and I had the best ceviche tostadas. We had, like, three of them. I was like, this is amazing. And it's literally a food cart. And it was so good. And so, again, 4 hours a margarita, two tacos in the rain. We're, like, laughing like little kids. We're like, this is beautifully awesome. Um, and such a good time. I. A bunch of the other excursions in, um, ensenada don't excite me that much, but this one, I was like, I would love to ride a bike. And they were like, terrible Walmart bikes. But it was great fun. [00:54:42] Speaker C: Yes. And eat tacos. I mean, that's. It doesn't get better than that. [00:54:46] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:54:47] Speaker B: Nice. Nice. Well, Josh, what have we missed? [00:54:53] Speaker A: Yeah, I think. I think the biggest thing. Thing that. I don't know if we missed anything. Well, I'll say, if I had to summarize, I think I shared. Here's what's not as good as Disney. The main dining restaurant is not as good. The shows aren't as good. Hey, there's a photo package from us. The photos are cheesy as all can be, and they are delightful. [00:55:09] Speaker C: They're adorable. [00:55:11] Speaker A: But the, like I said, the newness of the ship was the same as Disney. The staff care. They did have some trivias. They're not going to be as good as Disney's. But here's the things that I felt like they do way, way better. Number one, being able to schedule your dining is so nice. Just schedule when you want to eat. And I know Disney has their shows, so I understand why they do that. Um, secondly, the specialty restaurants, the availability of lunchtime, of kind of fast casual, of more options than two that are basically the same and have been the same for years now. And I'm just like, guys, what are you doing? The fact their main dining restaurant menus change and adapt. And, you know, I didn't. We've been on Disney cruises, and they're like, don't order this item. I was like, they don't change their menu. So every rater was, tell people not to order this item. Why not change it? [00:56:01] Speaker C: Right. That I get that. Take that item off the menu and replace it with something new. Yeah, Jeff. [00:56:05] Speaker A: And I'll just say the plus and premium packages makes things feel all inclusive. And it is the experience I want to have on Disney cruise line. [00:56:14] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:56:15] Speaker A: I want to prepay for my tips. I want to prepay for the photo package. I want to prepay for my watch fi and have it be one package that's competitively priced so I don't have to think twice. And that right there was the best part. It's all taken care of. You paid for it months ago. You don't. You're not being nickeled in dime. You're not debating at specialty restaurants. You don't debate how much to tip. It's included on there already. No, you can tip extra. Of course we did. But you don't have to think about it. And it's. I feel like that is the biggest thing I wish Disney would jump on board with is make an all inclusive option, make it astronomically high. I don't care, but just throw it out there, and I feel like it would create a nice experience. [00:56:58] Speaker C: Yeah. Now, you, you know, we mentioned at the top, or you mentioned earlier in the show about Brian, sort of rating scale, right. You sort of price and value and quality. Right. You put, you know, if we. [00:57:10] Speaker B: Well, here, let me. Let me set it up. Let me set up as my rating scale. So, yeah, on price, we have decided royal is like a six on price, but the gap of the four points there on the price scale, it's not that Disney is somehow twice as good as royal. Royal gets to about 80% of the Disney experience in many cases. In some places, it's 120% or 10%. In some places, it's 20%. Shows and main dining food, at least for some people. Josh loves it. Um, so on that scale, Josh, so if Disney is the ten, what's the price from your estimated? [00:57:50] Speaker C: I mean, yours is hard because you did the free casino. Let's say you weren't doing the free casino thing. Where can you have some idea of sort of where it falls? [00:57:57] Speaker A: I knew this question was going to come up, and I've done the research, and, like, the cheapest, for instance, seven night alaskan cruise, right now, the cheapest one, you can go on, like, a better date on princess with a premier package, and you're still cheaper than the cheapest priced seven night alaskan cruise. And so to me, the. I would say the prices match to Royal Caribbean, and I would say probably the quality is matched to Royal Caribbean, whereas Royal Caribbean is great for families. I feel like Princess Cruise line is great for couples and those a little older in life. And overall, that's this. And this is. I keep asking myself, especially as I come on the podcast, because I want to provide new information that I wish I knew. As for listeners and for me, it's like I. We went on three Disney cruises, two with just my wife and I, one with our kids. And I am at the point now where I'm like, I don't need to go on Disney Cruise with just me and my wife. I would like to, but the value I get from cruising, which I'm obsessed with, I can get 95% there on a different cruise line, or 60% of the price. And I would argue, in some ways, more enjoyment, because I'm not worried about the nickel and diming and additional stuff that Disney keeps tacking on. So for me, I would say I would probably do three or four cruises before I went on Disney again, just my wife and I. But with our family, I would probably do a Disney cruise every other time. And so we do have a family Disney cruise. Coming up in March, we're doing the Galveston seven night that ends up in San Juan, which I'm working on. [00:59:33] Speaker C: Yes. Southern Caribbean itinerary ending in San Juan. That's a fantastic one. I want to let people know before we have a couple of questions, questions that we want to answer. But we. I want to let people know that my path unwinding travel, the agency that sponsors our show, they book Princess Cruises. They have booked us a princess cruise, as Brian mentioned, at the top of the show for thanksgiving of 2025. And so if you're interested, if this show has piqued an interest in Princess cruising and you don't have something already booked or you want to do, compare contrast of prices and, you know, because you're not sure you want to do some more exploring, you want to ask more questions, feel free to reach out to them. And the best way to reach out to them and let them know that we sent you is to go to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email them at [email protected]. dot yes. [01:00:25] Speaker B: Well, we do have a couple questions here. I want to put Ashley's question up first because it's always a big one for Sam, which is. Doesn't smell smoky from the casino. [01:00:32] Speaker C: Yes. How did you do sitting in the casino, Josh? Because you were. Had to be there on the previous cruise, you know, to spend, to get through that dollar 500 up and down. [01:00:40] Speaker B: And throughout the ship. Throughout the place. Not in the casino. Yeah. [01:00:44] Speaker A: On the first cruise, I didn't smell it. The casino wasn't open very often because it was such a short cruise. Um, on this one, it was. It was packed full, like, literally every machine taken. And so it was potent. And there was a bar right outside the casino entrance that it was. You could smell it. But there was a jazz lounge right next to it that's had, like, closed off doors. You couldn't smell a thing there. So I. I don't like cigarettes like I do. Some people enjoy the smell of cigarette smoke. I don't know. I like the smell of cigar smoke. I hate smoking cigars, but I love the smell. But anyway, it was very potent when the casino was open, but only when it's open in those two spots. Everywhere else, I couldn't smell it. [01:01:22] Speaker C: That's good. And they. I assume this ship did not have a non smoking casino or a non smoking section of the casino. [01:01:29] Speaker A: No. It was a pretty small casino, too. Compared to Royal caribbean, it was pretty small. [01:01:36] Speaker B: I don't know if you saw. Josh Tracy wants to know where the excursions priced similar to DCL. [01:01:40] Speaker A: Yeah. Almost spot on the same price. And we booked ours outside of the cruise line because I'm a wheeler dealer. [01:01:48] Speaker B: That's what I do. [01:01:49] Speaker C: Love it. [01:01:50] Speaker B: And Linda wants to know, what line are you trying next? Viking. [01:01:53] Speaker C: Yeah, Josh. I mean, I feel like you have to try Viking at some point, you know, especially just your wife and you, you know, because the grandparents. [01:02:02] Speaker B: He's a wheeler dealer, Sam. [01:02:04] Speaker C: I know. [01:02:04] Speaker B: Luxury cruise line. We gotta get Josh. We gotta get Josh on a river cruise. That's where we need. [01:02:08] Speaker A: Oh, I just. I literally just talked to somebody the other day, like, yeah, when we were on a river cruise, and I went a river cruise. Where'd you go? And they. They look at me. They're like, why are you so excited? I was like, where'd you go? Where'd you go? And they're like, oh, we went. It was in Germany. I was like, are you kidding me? I was, like, so excited. They're like, calm down, buddy. Guys, I have a dilemma. This is a whole separate podcast. [01:02:27] Speaker C: We have to have a therapy session, is what you're saying. [01:02:29] Speaker A: Just wait. I am obsessed with cruising, and my wife is not. And at the beginning of this cruise, my wife said, I think this is going to be my last one for a while. We have the Disney family cruise, but let's go to Hawaii. Why? Let's do something else. And I was. I was part of my heart died. I was like, I have two more free cruise offers from princess. How could I not take those? Right? So if anybody's looking for, uh. [01:02:53] Speaker C: Do you want to take Brian? You want to take Ryan with you? [01:02:56] Speaker B: Go, Josh. [01:02:57] Speaker C: He'll go on princess with you. I sort of go. He really. [01:02:59] Speaker A: Ryan, I don't know if you can cheat on sam, but I will be your cruise wife. I will take care of you, honey. We'll have a great time. [01:03:04] Speaker C: You know, Brian needs. And he needs to be paired with an extrovert, so it's perfect. He's going to have a great time sailing with you. You got it. I'm serious. You should take Brian. He'll be your. He'll be your cruise. [01:03:16] Speaker B: We'll have a whole show, group counseling. We'll get your wife back on board. Don't worry. [01:03:21] Speaker A: Well, Brian, if you're. I'm not joking. If you're up for it. Dude, I would love, like, a little, somewhere close. Three night cruise. I would 100% do that. They have separate twin beds. It'll be great. Reach out, or we cuddle in one anyway. Yeah. [01:03:33] Speaker C: Listen, I want pictures, all right? [01:03:35] Speaker B: It is pride month, so, you know, we can explore. All right? [01:03:39] Speaker A: But next cruise line. Next cruise line. I love Disney. I have enjoyed princess. I really want to try. Try celebrity. That's the next one I want to try and experience. That's a good difference. [01:03:50] Speaker B: That is a good one to try. [01:03:51] Speaker C: Especially from princess to celebrity. Well, you're going to be a good comparison. [01:03:55] Speaker B: You're going to be hitting the luxury end of the royal Caribbean brand there. So, yeah, the value might be tougher for you to find, but I would love to hear your thoughts on celebrity. We haven't sailed celebrity in a long time. I really want to get on one of their edge class ships to try out celebrity. So. [01:04:12] Speaker C: Yeah. Okay. Now, we did have a DCL question that we have to answer. Sorry, Josh, this is not. This is not a princess question. But Ben Kennedy, you have Paulo brunch booked in a couple of months, and do you think they'll ever bring back the buffet? No, the buffet is gone forever. I'm sorry to tell you. It's. I mean, no, we don't have any inside information, but it's word several. A couple years past, pandemic reopening, they haven't brought it back yet. They have adjusted their service and the layout, and they didn't put the buffet in the wish. Like, there's no reason for them to bring it back. I'll be honest. I really liked the buffet, but it was a very big waste of food, and so I don't see them bringing it back for that reason. It's, you know, they have. Have to have more staff, and then they, like, have a whole bunch of seafood they end up having to probably throw out. [01:05:00] Speaker B: Well, the other thing is, people just need to know there were lots of changes that Disney wanted to make before the pandemic that they knew they would have a tough time landing. And so the pandemic provided them with a ton of air cover to make some changes, and so they could take the buffet away under the guise of, you know, health and safety concerns, which, to be fair, were legitimate at the time, but then they just don't bring it back. Right. So they wanted to get rid of that for a long time. I think for food waste, there was just a lot of food sitting out. Um, so, yeah, that. That's one of the changes there. There are others, uh, that fell by the wayside as well. Um, like the buffet. [01:05:35] Speaker A: Right. That. Wasn't that another Trojan horse? Because, like, I don't know about if Disney used to, but every other cruise line, the buffet's open all day. [01:05:44] Speaker B: It was never a buffet. [01:05:46] Speaker C: It wasn't a buffet open for dinner. But you could go to cabanas and have sit down dinner in cabanas. And it was. It was a little bit less formal. I mean, it was still, you know, sit down dinner. You would get waited on. It would be the same menu as in main dining, but it was. It was an additional place you could go without a reservation or specific timing. [01:06:07] Speaker B: It was also a way that they trained waiters. Yes, as I understood, because they only had a few. They only needed a few waiters up there. So they'd send them up there to serve and get practice serving, and then, you know, for the main dining experience. [01:06:18] Speaker C: Chris Kidder has a great comment about the Paulo buffet, because he would eat way too much food and not want to get up. Want to get up from his seat to get more. And I'm. I'm the same Chris. I mean, I still eat too much food at Paulo, but I go with a completely empty stomach because I know I'm going to stuff my face well. [01:06:37] Speaker B: And we should be clear, like, you can order as much food as you want at the Apollo brunch. Like, you know, so it's. It's. The buffet is gone. Some of the foods that were on the buffet never got brought back. The arancini, the. The caviar rip, the best sticky buns in the world. But, like, a lot of the stuff, they just incorporated into dishes. Right? So, like, the seafood, they bring you. [01:06:57] Speaker A: A seafood appetizer, and the cheese and meats and cheese. [01:06:59] Speaker B: Meats and cheese is the same thing. So if you wanted more of that, you can get more of that. They're not gonna. There's no limitation in Palo brunch. [01:07:07] Speaker C: In fact, our friend Craig orders. When we. He orders the seafood appetizer, he just tells them to bring him just the seared tuna, and they bring in, like, an entire plate of just seared tuna. So you can do things like that. Um, and get really, as much as you want of anything that they actually serve, so. [01:07:23] Speaker A: Yeah. [01:07:24] Speaker B: Okay, well, with that, Josh, I mean, as always, man, it's good to see you. Let's. Let's. Let's figure out a cruise together. Uh, let's make that happen. [01:07:32] Speaker C: To spoon. [01:07:33] Speaker B: To spoon. Uh, want to remind everyone we are taking a bit of a hiatus on the live shows. I leave on Wednesday to head out to Miami for the Lighthouse Point preview cruise. So this is an excellent time for you to go follow our YouTube channel for the YouTube shorts and Instagram, for the stories and reels and all that fun stuff coming out of Lighthouse Point. And I am also going to head up to Orlando for a bit. And then he's going to do the Tiana's preview. Yes. [01:08:01] Speaker A: Nice. [01:08:02] Speaker B: Yes. And so I'm going to ride Tiana's Disney's latest boat adventure and hopefully see the drone show. [01:08:08] Speaker C: The new drone show. [01:08:09] Speaker B: The drone show, I hope. [01:08:10] Speaker C: Yep. Yeah. [01:08:11] Speaker B: Yep. So. So that's happening. And then our next live show, just so everyone knows, knows will be on the 24th. 24th, June 24, which I believe is actually a Thursday. I can't remember, but it's. [01:08:25] Speaker C: No, it's not. It's a Monday. [01:08:27] Speaker B: Okay. Monday, June 24. Next live show. Monday, June Eastern. 830. No. 05:30 p.m. pacific. 08:30 p.m. eastern. I will get this right at some point. 08:30 p.m. eastern. 05:30 p.m. pacific June 24. We'll be talking about Monday. [01:08:42] Speaker C: It's right after we. [01:08:43] Speaker B: We get back, we'll be talking our trip report from our five night DVC sailing with a double dip at Lighthouse Point and a duo dip to castaway key. We'll, of course, have our podcast cruise right after that. Sailing a three nighter. We will be recording a show live on board. Well, we won't be broadcasting. We'll be recording a show before a studio audience, I should say, on board the Disney magic that we will push out later that week. So you'll get the full trip report across two shows from the five night and the three night. If you're on that podcast cruise with us, we can't wait to meet you. If you're not, you know, we'll have another one, we hope. And so stay tuned. You won't want to miss out. So with that, Josh, as always, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your fabulous experience with princess cruises. We hope to have you back in the future. We'll get your wife back on board. And just thank you for taking the time, man. We appreciate it. [01:09:35] Speaker A: Yeah, thanks, guys. [01:09:40] Speaker B: Well, thanks to everyone out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows. So be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week, Monday nights, 05:30 p.m. pacific. 08:30 p.m. eastern over on YouTube.com dclduo. So be sure to head over and check that out. If you want help support the show, be sure to hit the those five stars on Apple Podcasts. And if you leave us a written review, a five star written review, we will read it at the top of one of our main episodes. So please head over there and hit those five stars. Of course, you can also help support the show by supporting our fabulous show sponsor, Mypath Unwinding travel. You want to book your next Disney vacation? Head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email [email protected] so they know we sent you their way. If you've got questions or you'd like to connect with us, the best way to do that is to head over to dclduo.com dot. It's got links to all of our things. Full catalog of the podcast episodes, including a searchable catalog for the podcast links off to our vlog, a link to our Etsy store where we sell some fun, fan inspired magnets. Link to our Patreon if you'd like to help directly support the show each and every month, just head over to the website or patreon.com dclduo also, as a way for you to sign up for our substack newsletter that we're hoping to start really pumping out monthly here, at least on a few blog articles that we've written. So dclduo.com is the best way to connect with us. You can also, of course, email [email protected] or reach out to us on our voicemail line at 402-413-5590 that's 4024-135-5590 the DCL duo podcast is not affiliated with Disney cruise line, the Disney Company, or the Disney family of theme parks. The views expressed on the show are solely those of the individuals on the podcast and in no way reflect the views of the Disney Company or Disney Cruise line. If you have questions about a Disney Cruise or Disney vacation, please contact the great folks over at Mypath unwinding travel or Disney directly or your own travel agent. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time for another fabulous adventure with the DCL duo.

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