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Universal Orlando takes on Disney by getting into cruise vacation business

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Published: March 17, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Universal Orlando today announced that it is getting into the cruise business, partnering with Royal Caribbean.

Disney's long cornered the market for people wanting to combine a cruise with a theme park vacation. Even before launching its own Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World offered package deals where visitors would split time between Disney World and the Caribbean.

Now, Universal's in the game, with what it is calling the Way More Than a Cruise vacation package.

The land and sea vacation packages combine a three- or four-night stay at Universal Orlando Resort with a three- or four-night Bahamas cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas, or a seven-night Caribbean cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas. Way More Than a Cruise includes hotel and shipboard accommodations, multi-day passes to both Universal theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, complimentary admission to select live entertainment venues at Universal’s CityWalk and ground transfers between airport, hotel, theme parks and the ship at Port Canaveral.

Thoughts? I'm turning to you on this one, 'cause I don't do boats unless I'm the one sailing them.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on March 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM
I thought they would have learned from Disney with cruises: Do it on your own! While Royal is no Big Red Boat, Disney seems much happier and better with their own line. Its a very tall order to go up against the soon to be four boat fleet of the Disney Cruise Line. I am actually suprised that they are doing it in this economy since GE has not had a strong showing in these times lately vs Disney. Of course their stock is no Six Flags!
From Corey Romberg on March 17, 2009 at 2:44 PM
Its a good idea, but theyre still not really in competition with Disney...Disney has its own cruise line, which is very "Disney" in every way...this will just be regular Royal Caribbean Cruise, with some package for Universal parks...RCL is still not the greatest family cruise...Disney is tops and Carnival is better than Royal Caribbean for families, and cheaper....so unless Royal Caribbean changes and becomes more kid friendly for these cruises, or adds in some Universal-themed entertainment, this won't change the cruise industry much...even if Universal got its own line, it still couldn't compete with DCL
From on March 17, 2009 at 5:35 PM
Mr. Niles writes: I'm turning to you on this one, 'cause I don't do boats unless I'm the one sailing them.

I Respond: Oh sure Mr. TSI Big Shot! Try navigating a crew of guests through a pool of ravenous, aggressive, fiberglass hippos! THEN you can show off!

From Nate Mitchell on March 17, 2009 at 5:55 PM
Honestly, I was on a RC cruise about a year ago and they were selling passes to Universal as separate excursions for when you get back into port. Surely theyve had some deal with them already, but I guess now they will advertise it a little more?! Plus RC is launching what will be the largest ship in the world early next year, so I guess universal will be just in time, and with the opening of Potter, may be a good idea.
From Robert Niles on March 17, 2009 at 6:10 PM
Trust me; I shall remain forever thankful for however I managed to avoid the Jungle.
From Mike Deitz on March 19, 2009 at 1:44 PM
WHEN WILL UNIVERSAL LEARN! Disney wins in every entertainment industry there is! Disney Cruise Line is the absolute best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From on March 19, 2009 at 8:40 PM
Nothing, I do mean nothing beats Disney. Take it from someone who has sailed with Disney 4 times and tried other lines and yuck ! Disney is the best in anything!!!

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