1st Timers:Maybe We Should?

Apr 25th, 2004, 05:23 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 34
1st Timers:Maybe We Should?

Hi All,
My wife and I ("young" mid-40's) have been wracking our brains planning a Caribbean trip for Feb. '05. We were going crazy trying to decide on which island to vacation. Then, a waitress at a local restaurant suggested a cruise. Hmmm, that way, we wouldn't have to decide on a single island, but sample many - and for about the same price as staying at one property on one island! So, here we are, never having considered cruising before and seeing all the choices - wow! Do we ever need help! Our trip could be a 7 or 8 night total.We like a good pool scene, casino, show, good bars/food(gee, how unique!) We live in NY. I've noticed some posts debating the big ship vs. the smaller ship. As for this, we wouldn't be hung up on the # of passengers per se, but would be disappointed if finding 2 lounge chairs poolside was hard to do if we didn't get there super-early. Some kind suggestions, please? Thanks.

tabcourt is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 06:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 757
You have the whole cruise 'scene' open to you !big decisions-but don't worry , if you don't like one line-next time try another to see which one suits you.

There are ships going out of NY, but really have to travel thru some winter to get to the Carib., so go out of FL in Feb. 5 ports to choose from-then as to cruiselines.

We were die-hard Holland America fans (after 6 other lines) now we are going on Princess (Oct) and Carnival (Feb. '05). To try other ports.

I would suggest you go to a travel agent(online or other) and get some brochures-then do research about schedules and ports.

I would pick from (IMO) Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, maybe even Windjammer .

Bear in mind that Feb. passengers seem to be about your age and older (except President's Week) as the younger crowd is at school,work, and/or broke from Xmas. That is why we like to cruise then.
maryann is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 07:58 AM
  #3  
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Maryann, are you going to S.Caribbean ports on either Princess or Carnival? What made you pick these 2 lines in particular? I've been online now for 4 hours and haven't gotten any closer to a decision! Thanks.
tabcourt is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 09:48 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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(not sure if you know that this question is posted twice....not sure which one to reply to??)

I've been on two Caribbean cruises, Princess and NCL. I really did not care that much for either...so so. It seemed like they quoted such low fares to get you to book but once you're on board everything cost so much. The boarding process was also nightmarish and took over 1 1/2 hours. We're going to give cruising another chance though but this time I'd like to opt for one of the smaller ships. On both ships I've been on there were too many children. My husband and I are 30 and are anxious to try something with as few children as possible). My favorite port is San Juan. If you haven't been there, I think it's very nice and I would select a ship that stops there. I also like Barbados. Let me know what you're finding out in your research, we can hopefully learn from each other. Jill
jillllybeans is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 03:13 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi-S. Carib. ports-we love them-If you are leaving from FL you need a 10+ day cruise, if leaving from San Juan-7 days is OK.

We have gone on 16 cruises-at first it was price - Carnival, Costa, MSN, then it was ports and ambience-Holland America & Princess. Then a longer cruise -7 days was not enough-and then loved HAL.

Now-we need new ports, so we are back on the Princess & Carnival-but with a balcony ! (spoiled , now).

We love snorkeling (E. Carib.) History (W. Carib.) and great scenery ( Alaska & Panama Canal)-not that all those don't intermingle (ex. snorkeling in AK).

We can always find good food and music on any cruise, have Celebrity on our list for Next Time but all of the others are great.
maryann is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 09:29 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,585
You'll have a great week. We always go that week or the last of Jan. No hordes of teens. Easy to get a chair. We love snorkeling and prefer the Western route( Cozumel, Grand Cayman)Also, during that time of the year , the water and weather are better in the W Carib. One year, we did the Eastern route and Nassau and Puerto Rico were 60 and windy.We starting cruising at early 40's 7 yrs ago. My favorite line is Royal Caribbean; we especially love the Voyager class of ships- so much to see and do! The Mariner was our last cruise and we plan to sail her again.Whatever you choose, at least pick a newer ship. The older ones lack amenities, IMO. Best of luck!
LLindaC is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 02:52 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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My husband and I have done the Southern itinerary 2 years in a row. One on RCC and last year on Celebrity. Both lines are fabulous and we enjoyed both cruises. I think you would be happy with either line. I would choose the Southern route for it allows only one day at Sea, and you can experience more Islands that way also the Southern Islands are the warmest. Coming from the East Coast we like the warm weather. Late Jan/Feb. is a great time to go. Have fun and enjoy.
diann is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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My husband and I are 51/48....we LOVE cruising. We like different lines for different itineraries. LOVE Royal Caribbean and tend to book them most, but also was very pleased with Princess(loved Personal Choice dining) and Holland America(outstanding in the room comfort area). For the Caribbean, my choice would be Royal Caribbean or Princess. Both are quality products and loads of fun! I haven't sail Carnival in quite a few years, but I understand their new ships are beautiful. I just don't have personal experience to speak from. I've not yet cruised Celebrity but have heard excellent reviews on them as well. Just my personal opinion. Hope it helps! To me, cruising is the best vacation experience and value around!
mrsogni is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 06:02 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8
Tabcourt,
I would suggest RCL. We have been on several cruises over many years. RCL goes the distance and have a great crew in making your experience a grat one. Try to stay with carribean "frendly islands" Cozumel, St Thomas, Grand Caymen and there are others. There are a few islands that are not tourist friendly. A new york cruise to the Bahamas and Nassau is a blast...New yorks know how to PARTY!! Cruising never goes to on island which is a great part of the experience. Enjoy. Barb_and _Lou
Barb_and_Lou is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:16 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 36
My wife and I are mid to upper 40's and we had our first cruise last year in November on the Carnival Cruise ship Victory. The one thing you'll realize right away is that you relax more,...no trying to find a parking spot, or racking your brain over what to do and what to do next,....the cruise allows you to sample so many different activities you never make a mistake with your vacation time. From Broadway shows, comedy acts, vocal groups and movies to the casinos and these ships have so many places for live fun and different musical tastes they accommodate. The ports are great anywhere you go because they have so many things for you,....one word though about buying on the ship,...wait until toward the end of the cruise when things are a lot cheeper,....from dessert bars, all night pizza, and every variety you can think of in food tastes,....we had the time of our life and you don't have to get a veranda or fancy cabin because you probably won't spend alot of time in it! I worried myself sick trying to get answers that kept popping up after reading articles, searching a ton of websites learning everything I can so that I could make the trip easier and more enjoyable,....FORGET IT! I used nothing of what I read,...and they have this cruise thing done pat! If you have questions let me know and I'll give you my e-mail address. My wife and I are going back on another cruise line just for variety but we loved Carnival and we did the 7 day cruise. Wish we could have gone longer! GOOD LUCK!
jasantus is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:23 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 36
I almost forget to tell you about the best part of our cruise,....the incredible people you will meet. We dined with people for the entire cruise and in that short period of time we found life long friends,....I've heard this from others,...the sad part is that often unless you persist and time it right,...you may never see them again,....but we are pulling off a trip where 6 of our former party will be aboard another ship and we can't wait to join them. We docked before in the Western Caribbean with stops in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas/St. John & St. Martin. We had a fabulous time and you will to. Again If you need help everyone who has responded is great in fact many of the same names that have responded to your request helped me out greatly.....HAVE FUN!!
jasantus is offline  

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