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First cruise help needed!

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Gave the kids a choice of vacations this year and a budget. They choose three days in Orlando staying at a cheap hotel and using existing Disney passes from a past trip. And, they want to go on a cruise! Our ages are Mom and Dad 40, son 13, daughters 12 and 10.

Travel will be right after school lets out in early June to mid July depending on any deal we can get.

We will be driving from Cleveland mid week and expect to arrive in Orlando Wednesday sometime. So we hit the parks Thursday and Friday then start the cruise on Saturday.

This is out first cruise and need some advise.

Would like to keep the price around $800 per person. Realize that this may keep us in the Carnival line, but if spending another $100 - 200 a head guarantees us a better time, then it may be worth it. Figure Dad and son will be in one cabin, mom and the girls in another.

We would like to cruise out of Tampa or Port Canaveral to keep the drive home to a minimum, but again if we can get a great cruise price and value out of the Miami area we will consider driving the extra three hours.

Ports are not important, just as long as we can get to a beach. Don?t expect to spend much on excursions. Would much rather upgrade the cruise than spend $600 for the five of use to do a fancy day trip. Mom would like to see the Caymans, and we have been to the Yucatan with the kids in the past.

Looking for seven days, but five will also work. We could use the extra two days to saunter back to Cleveland driving up the coast and seeing some of those sites as well.

So - to the cruise experts in this forum - where would you spend your hard earned dollars with these facts?

Thanks to all for your help with this?


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