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1st timer - advice on final options...

Old Feb 26th, 2004, 02:47 PM
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1st timer - advice on final options...

I am trying to select a 7 night caribbean cruise late March/early April. My boyfriend and I are in our early 30s, it's my first cruise, his second. I would prefer something more traditional less like a Vegas hotel.

The following is my final list in order of preference - I would welcome any advice you can offer about these options...

Royal Caribbean - Radiance
Princess - Golden Princess
Celebrity - Millenium (but I assume DR will be skipped due to issues in Haiti?)
Holland America - Oosterdam (Zuiderdam has mixed reviews)
Carnival - Legend, Spirit, Victory, Paradise (any difference?)

I was initially interested in Holland America for size of cabins, service, and food but I've read they cater to an older crowd. Would we feel out of place? Has anyone traveled on Oosterdam in March/April? Atmosphere?
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 02:51 PM
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Was on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas to Alaska. A beautiful ship. Highly recommend it. There was a rock wall for climbing, miniture golf, and pool tables that other ships don't have. Holland America attracts more senior than others. Celebrity is very nice and upscale. Enjoy.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Just returned from a Caribbean cruise on Radiance of the Sea. I think it is a ship that has something for all age groups and interest. The service and food were outstanding. I am a senior,but took my son and daughter in their 30ies on the trip. They enjoyed it as much as I did.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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I have not noticed any huge difference in the age of passengers on any of the major cruiselines. I think it really depends upon the week you cruise and the specific itinerary. Caribbean especially....you will fit in great on any of the ships you're considering. I have cruised on HAL with lots of younger people and Carnival with many active seniors...I think a lot of this is myth. (over Spring Break you will have more of the college crowd, over Christmas more families, etc.).
Of the cruiselines you mentioned, I think you will find that HAL is the more traditional and probably has the best food IMO. Have a great time!
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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IMO choose Celebrity or Princess if it is the Vegas atmosphere you are trying to avoid but still want a 30 - 40 year old crowd, beautiful ships and very good food.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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BTW - I have been on the first three ships you mention.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Cruises are like all vacations, it depends on what you are looking for as to which is best for you. They are all fun and you get to see great destinations without unpacking.

IMHO - mid-30 traveler

Carnival - too crowded and tacky. Lines for everything and not much attention to the finer details.

Celebrity - a bit more expensive, but wonderful ships. More upscale travelers for the most part. Not rich, but willing to spend more to enjoy more.

Holland - You are right. An older crowd, but great cabins, some of the best service, good food and atmosphere. I found that even though the average age was a bit higher, I enjoyed this cruise because the people were so wonderful. They aren't all seniors and the staff spent a lot of time with our group because we were younger and stayed up a lot later.

Royal and Princess - Both good lines and have a lot to offer.

I am taking two cruises this year and both on Holland. I love the size of the cabins and splurge on a suite with a balcony. Once you do, you will be too spoiled to do anything else.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old Feb 28th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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I would not choose the Golden Princess. This ship is way too big with too many passengers. I spent a week on this ship and although it was very nice, it was just way too large for my taste. I never did learn my way around and you just don't establish much closeness with fellow passengers or the staff. We spent too much time lost on the ship and waiting in lines to disembark. I have sailed on the HAL Maasdam once (only HAL experience) and I loved it. I think any smaller ship with fewer passengers would be my choice if I were you. I am married and just about your age, no children yet. We sailed on the Radisson Navigator once in the Caribbean and this was our favorite of all our cruises. Although I've only been on 5 cruises, I'd rank Radisson 1st choice and HAL 2nd choice. I've never cruised on RCCL.
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