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Cheryl O'Leary Jan 14th, 2003 12:38 PM

First Cruise
We are a family of 4 - kids are 17 and 12 and we might let them bring friends. We are thinking of going on a cruise in April, but we are clueless.<BR><BR>We have never been on one before and need some help chosing a cruiseline, etc. We care more about good food, weather and a nice ship than about Vegas like shows.<BR><BR>Any suggestions?

sara Jan 14th, 2003 12:51 PM

My father sells cruises- so I have been on a few. I would steer clear of Carnival- food and decor are not too great (a little tacky if you ask me). In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity- both have great food and a fun but elegant atmosphere. If you are choosing between those two cruise lines- I would base your decision on the itinerary of the ship and the cost- because they are both very good. Enjoy your trip!

Nancy Jan 14th, 2003 02:05 PM

I suggest researching the cruise lines for their itineraries. We went on our first cruise in 1994 and chose Princess because we liked the itineraries. I agree with Sara, skip Carnival. Try Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland. They are all very good cruise lines.

Cruiser Jan 14th, 2003 07:03 PM

Carnival's newer ships are a improvement over the older ones. We just got off the Carnival Pride and I was impressed with the cleanliness and the decor. I also like Royal Caribbean and Princess. Celebrity is supposed to be tops in food but it is haute cuisine. I don't know haw you define good food. RCCL's Voyager class ships are great for kids because they have so many activities, especially the rock climbing wall and the ice rink.<BR><BR>Weather of course, can be variable.<BR><BR>Since this is your first cruise, a good book to read is Cruises for Dummies. Don't be thrown off by the title. It is a part of the &quot;For Dummies&quot; series of books and they are very helpful. I used the Europe for Dummies book when I first started traveling to Europe to completely plan a trip for my family. These books usually have a checklist in them that help you decide what options are best for you.<BR>

andrea Jan 15th, 2003 01:51 AM

I took my three boys on a cruise last year- they loved it! It was RCI on a voyager class ship and we will be going again soon. If you are bringing teens up, I would pick the navigator. I does both western and eastern caribbean, but with older kids I might suggest western.<BR><BR>Andrea

Vicki Jan 15th, 2003 07:17 PM

Be sure to check out the cruise board on the Fodor's site. There is a posting there about how Celebrity has gone down recently.<BR><BR>One of my favorite sites is I have gotten some of the best advice there.

andrea Jan 16th, 2003 02:55 AM

I agree with Vicki,<BR><BR>although I checked the cruise board here, I found the cruisecritic ones the best.<BR><BR>Andrea

jim Jan 16th, 2003 03:49 PM

Just got back from a Western Carribian cruise on Costa. We were treated elegantly and had a great time. They have a staff to keep the kids interested and that allows mom &amp; dad time with each other.

Judy Jan 19th, 2003 08:41 PM

Agree that Celebrity and Royal Carribbean are best for the age of your kids. Princess is 21 and older for casino and obviously drinking. Other lines are 16 and over for casino. This may or may not be an issue with you. Celebrity has bigger cabins, also. It really will be a personal issue but I would check out Adventure of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and the Navigator ships on these lines. Because you are going in April, weather will not be a factor but some of the best itineraries covered include the islands of St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Martin, Barbados, and Tortola. Have fun.

xxx Jan 20th, 2003 06:16 AM

Try RCCL, Voyager of the Seas. That ship is incredible. The kids will love it. (Rock Climbing, Baksetball Courts, Put Put Golf, ICE SKATING rink, teens activities, to name a few.) Also, theres a Johnny Rockets restuarant. The kids will never get bored

Anne Jan 20th, 2003 08:04 AM

Our last cruise was on a Celebrity ship. It was a BIG disappointment. The food was good, but I think that a child would have been bored. We love NCL. They seemed to have lots to do,and the &quot;anytime..anyplace&quot; eatting was a real plus. Lots of fun things going on.

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