Young couple, 1st TIME CRUIISERS

Jun 22nd, 1997, 12:11 PM
Scot & Kim
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Young couple, 1st TIME CRUIISERS

This will be our first cruise. 7days, like to depart from the US, Oct-Nov. Please, any suggestions on Western vs. Southern, Boats you liked, Room locations on boats, etc. We usually go to less touristy places on the Pacific side of Mexico and like to explore a lot. Will we feel totally confined? Any advice would be appreciated!! Every travel agent has "the BEST deal" and it's getting confusing.
Jun 23rd, 1997, 10:00 PM
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Hi, First of all, you won't feel confines at all because the ships today are so big with so many public areas. I would suggest after having both, a cabin with a window is much worth the extra 100 dollars. Its alot of fun to look out at the sea.
If you like a lot of things to do, carnival is a great bargain. The rooms are big and the service has always been great. Also look into the Celeberty line, thier new ships, the Century and the galaxy are suppose to be just wonderful. The difference between the southern, and the western and the eastern is you usually stop at more islands on the southern cruises, however, they usually start out of San Juan. There are a lot of greeat cruise books out including Fodors and Frommers. Have a great time, you can't go wrong with a cruise. One more piece of advice is, I would wait until November to go as October is still hurricane season.
Jun 24th, 1997, 03:16 PM
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First, you need to decide your budget. This can limit your choices. Also, if you like to SCUBA dive, Western Caribbean stops in Cozumel and Grand Cayman may be appropriate for you. Regarding the ship and the cruise line that is best for you, consider whether you prefer the larger "floating city" type ships with lots of passengers (1,500+),entertainment, shopping "malls", structured seating arrangements for meals, etc. If you like anonimity and lots of night time entertainment, then this type of ship would be right for you. If you like smaller, more intimate settings, then you might prefer cruise lines such as Windstar and Sea Goddess, though they will be more expensive. These ships have about 150 passengers and 80 crew members to serve them. They tend not to have much night time entertainment, however, you will get Five Star Service and gourmet food plus you can go into smallerports of call that can't accomodate large ships. Windstar offers an environment of casual elegance while Sea Goddess will be more formal. You might also consider the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises if you like really casual settings and a more "party" atmosphere.
Try using a "cruise only" travel agent. They will usually have been on just about every cruise line/ship and can suggest the best match for your age, interests, etc.

Jun 28th, 1997, 12:15 PM
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if this is your first time cruising, I would suggest the western carribean since the southern cruise has so many stops and very little rest time. cozumel and grand caymna are great places to snorkel but ocho rios in jamaica is downright dangerous - we had a young couple taken off the boat because they had purchased drugs from undercover cops. carnival is great and if you go out of miami, the prices are cheaper. have a great trip!!!
Jul 9th, 1997, 12:58 PM
Mindy Bilker
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If you can afford it, I would suggest the Southern
Caribbean. The ports are better. The Western stops
in Jamaica, and we were there twice. The first time
we stayed on the island, and saw drugs being used
in front of the police, and on the beach. The second, was on a cruise, and we stayed on the ship.
Jul 9th, 1997, 01:12 PM
Mindy Bilker
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If this is your first cruise, you'll want to check
out Princess. Our first cruise was to the Southern Caribbean, and we enjoyed it. Almost any cabin is good. If you can afford the extra cost for an outside cabin, it is well worth the difference. The food was supberb--like dining in a five-star restaurant every night. If you go, take your formal clothes, as there are two formal nights, one semi-formal night, one island evening, and the rest are informal. I suggest second seating for the meals. There are less children in the dining room. You won't feel cramped for space, as Princess has the largest cabins.

Good luck. Hope you enjoy it.
Jul 13th, 1997, 10:55 AM
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Thanks to all for the info!! Especially the details like seating for dinner etc. Celeberty (sp?) has a deal now for $849 pp with a triple upgrade that our T-agent told us about. 7nights, Southern. I know we will want an outside room but, do we need a triple upgrade? I understand that the rooms are not any larger, just higher up on the deck.
Aug 5th, 1997, 05:51 PM
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Suggest the following website for totally expanded info about many cruise ships: Also, see the message entitled "CRUISE" for other similar addresses.
Aug 7th, 1997, 08:56 PM
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Aug 7th, 1997, 09:18 PM
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Hi. As an employee on board a cruise ship I canconfimt virtually all this advice is correc and quite important if you are to enjoy your curise. In my opinion the Western Itineraries are much better, but if you can avoid Jamaica do so. Do not let this deter you from the Western however. All the nasty stories of Jamaica are pretty much true, but if you are a smart traveller, leave your Rolex in your cabin safe, and ignore the pestering folks on the island, you should have no problem. I suggest of all the islands to take an organized shore excursion in, it would be Jamaica and Regradless if you are in Montego Bay or Ochos Rios, the Dunn's River Falls are the best. If money is an object, I would think twice about the window cabin. On the western caribbean routes, most ports are the whole day and you get back and go to dinner and it is then dark. There are usually two sea days on a seven nighter, but evaluate how mush time you will actually spend in your cabin. Of course, if you are claustophobic, virtually all inside cabins would be considered "small and confining." There is always something fun or different to do on the islands and I suggest you ask the front desk/pursers for their personal experiences. If you take one of the southern routes with islands every day, you are exhausted because you feel you have to see and do everything. Also, it is NOOOOOO fun traveling out of Puerto Rico. You have a lot of traveling time to get there, the flights have an annoying tendency to be late, and your luggage often sees the Western Caribbean before you do. Many Western runs are out of Fort Lauderdale and Miami which will be a lot more familiar to you. I highly suggest that you go to your travel agent and get a deck plan with all the categories on it. If they say they do not have one, call the offices of the cruise company and ask them to send you their brochure. If you get sea sick, shich is mostly a metal thing anyway, it is wiser to try for a cabin in the middle towards the bottom. A higher deck is not necessarily a good deal. Check where the Galley is, usually near the dining room, and get out from under it. Seating... 2nd is better only for dinner. If you plan on a sit down breakfast you won't get to the islands until late. There is always an alternate buffet for breakfast and lunch, but usually not for dinner. Most early or first dinner seatings are around 18.00 and that is real early for some. Check your dinner assignment with the maitre d' when you come aboard. Do not go on what your travel agent says the cruise line told her and do not go on what your cruise ticket says. The wording is often tricky and a confirmed dinner seating is often a confirmed REQUEST for a certain seating. Whoever recommended Celebrity and Princess are on the money. Evaluate if you want small or big and remember that most lines that have big ships, like Celebrity, are really not that crowded feeling. I hope I want to add one more thing about your luggage. Label your bags inside and out with tags that will not come off. Pack any essentials like medication or contact solutions in the carry on and make sure you carry it on the boat. Pack your stuff in each othersactive=150

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