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Choices...choices

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We are cruising virgins. We are a couple, mid-40s to mid-50s...trying to plan a mid-October vacation. It's our birthday week (14th and 15th).

Started with Costa Rica and nixed it due to October is the rainy season.

Then started to explore cruises. We've never been on a cruise. Found what we thought was a pretty good deal on Celebrity for a 12 night Mediterranean cruise (Rome, Palermo, Haifa, Ashod, Naples, Rome).

Our concerns:

It's a guaranteed cabin class with no pre-assignment. What are the chances we'd get an obstructed view or limited view cabin? To choose our cabin increases the prices by over $1k.

The added cost of excursions start to REALLY add up. For virgin cruisers are the shore excursions the way to go? From my research we could possibly do Haifa on our own since the port is close to the city...but???

Our cost: coach airfare to FCO, plus cruise, plus 1 or 2 excursions, beverage package + tips is roughly the equivlavent of our 2nd choice:

Returning to Kauai....

1 FF first class ticket, one purchased first class ticket, condo in Princeville, meals, etc.

Which would you choose???? and why???

Help...I vote cruise, DH votes Hawaii.....

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