Are cruises fun and worth the money?

Sep 12th, 2019, 11:55 PM
  #1  
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Are cruises fun and worth the money?

My family and I are thinking about going on a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean around Christmas. It would probably cost about $3,945 (airfare and everything) Food & entertainment will be on the ship 24/7 included-free. Is it worth it? I never been on a cruise. There are 5 of us going. the Kids are early teenagers.
chadpartner is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 05:17 AM
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That is a totally personal decision. DH would " have his hair set on fire and put out with a baseball bat before being cooped up on a cruise ship again" and DB would go almost any time one came along that went where he has an interest. There is plenty to do for a variety of ages on most cruises, but if you sign up for the cruise excursions at the stops expect the cost to multiply.
emalloy is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 06:22 AM
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There is only one way to find out if you like them, which isn't to ask other people.

I was pretty sure I'd hate them, when I went with an older friend, but then I didn't. So you never know. I'm not into the "booze cruise" scene but use cruises as floating hotels that go from place to place. Caribbean cruises tend to be more of the "booze cruise" type. Some of the pool situations can get noisy and crowded. Kind of like Las Vegas on the ocean.

Cruise Critic is a good resource, as are experienced specialist travel agents. I use Vacations To Go for discounts, some of their consultants are really good, they could help you pick the right cruise for your family.

Last edited by mlgb; Sep 13th, 2019 at 06:24 AM.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 06:54 AM
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There is only 1 way to find out! and it is true, you either like it or you hate it.
But if you are travelling with kids, this might be the perfect way to travel. Packing and unpacking only once and visiting different places while having fun!
JessicaBr is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 08:08 AM
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$3,945 = about $113/day per person. How many places can you FEED and entertain a teenager at that price? (Be sure you add in your tips in your final total. Plan ahead for what you'll do at port stops.)
If the teens are under 17, they can join the “Teen /Kids Club” (or whatever the name is on your ship) to join activities with others their ages. If you sign into Cruise Critic Roll Calls after you have booked, you can connect with others on the ship ahead of time and find out who else may have kids onboard. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/ (you can search through the boards for info also)
Here are some activities in the various clubs: https://www.familyvacationcritic.com...for-teens/art/ Just be aware that some activities may cost extra – like the video games. Check the cruiseline for what is included and extra charges. FWIW we DID NOT allow our kids to charge items to the room.
BTW – our family took a Christmas through New Years cruise one year – everyone enjoyed it.
gbelle1 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 09:12 AM
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Cruises are fine if you're over 60 and don't/can't walk too much, but for teenagers I can imagine far more stimulating activities and travel options than being confined to a huge cruise ship for a week.

If they're really interested in sea travel you could take/send them on a tall ship adventure.

https://www.windseeker.org/
BDKR is online now  
Sep 13th, 2019, 10:37 AM
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There are lots of activities on new cruise ships that are designed to appeal to all ages – not just the over 60 crowd BDKR mentioned.

Depending on which cruise line you choose, there are activities like: surfing, skydiving, a ropes course (including walk the plank), a water park with free-fall slides, bungee trampoline, bumper cars, an ice-skating rink, rock climbing wall, zipline, mini-golf, sports deck activities, movies on deck, live entertainment music & Broadway plays, There’s even a full sized Carousel on some.

My kids enjoyed our cruises very much and would go again any day.
gbelle1 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 11:28 AM
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As gbelle said cruise ships have a lot of activities for kids. It would help to know what ship you plan to take but most ships have dedicated areas for teens and as it’s over Xmas it should be fun. Some RC ships have wave runners and bumper cars and a simulator for sky diving.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 13th, 2019, 11:57 AM
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BDKR probably hasn't been on a cruise in a long time. There are lots of activities for kids of all ages and some cruises/lines actually cater to families - that is their main demographic.
janisj is online now  
Sep 13th, 2019, 10:23 PM
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Our ten year old Granddaughter loves cruises. Besides all the activities on the ship, including the kid’s clubs, movies and other entertainment, she loves the beaches in the Caribbean, loves snorkeling, swimming, hiking, seeing different animals and learning about different countries and different islands.

For families, it is a real vacation with no cleaning, shopping for food, cooking, etc.

Do double check all your costs. Add in for taxis and gratuities. You can get by without buying other stuff, but there is a cost for alcoholic drinks, sodas and any excursions you want to do. Also, you need to arrive at the port city the day before the cruise departs, so include one hotel night in cost.

For five, I would get two cabins, even insides to save money, but have more space. You would book an adult with one or two kids in each cabin, but sleep however you want.
Sassafrass is offline  
Sep 14th, 2019, 05:25 AM
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I would never take Carnival, they have more "incidents" always, and we only have cruised on small boats (600 passengers), but with kids you should perhaps try a larger boat (2,000 max) such as what Royal Carib, Celebrity, offer. You cannot beat the value and activity level that such lines offer.
aliced is offline  
Sep 14th, 2019, 07:15 AM
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While not my personal favorite, we have cruised Carnival three times and it was fine, especially the kids’s Water sports area with multiple slides. Granddaughter loved it. I would not do one of the short, “booze”cruises.We have also done a couple of really big ships and that was fine also. Itinerary and activities and quality of the kid’s programs are more important to the kids. They will have fun regardless, so I would try to find a 6-7 night, and let cost be a major determining factor.
Sassafrass is offline  
Sep 14th, 2019, 11:52 AM
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I'm signed up on a Norwegian Cruise (Bliss) in two months, with a friend in his 30's. He's the more experienced cruiser (Platinum on NCL). NCL is popular with families since they have a lot of teen activities. This will be by far my largest vessel and it remains to be seen whether I use any of the entertainment (other than going to Jersey Boys ) but they do have a race track, Water Slide, Laser Tag, as well as the Teen Club and the typical stuff like pools.

My preference might be the more sedate Holland America, but obviously BDKR hasn't got a clue.


mlgb is offline  
Sep 14th, 2019, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
I'm signed up on a Norwegian Cruise (Bliss) in two months, with a friend in his 30's. He's the more experienced cruiser (Platinum on NCL). NCL is popular with families since they have a lot of teen activities. This will be by far my largest vessel and it remains to be seen whether I use any of the entertainment (other than going to Jersey Boys ) but they do have a race track, Water Slide, Laser Tag, as well as the Teen Club and the typical stuff like pools.

My preference might be the more sedate Holland America, but obviously BDKR hasn't got a clue.
We had friends who took this ship recently and loved it. It was a multi family affair including 6-7 kids too. No complaints.

As someone who has 16 cruises under my belt with one more upcoming I would not hesitate to say kids can have a ball on a cruise given the right ship and itinerary. To say cruises are only for those over 60 who have ambulatory limitations is very misinformed to say the least.

The newer ships from Royal Caribbean are packed with activities for kids. They will be fine.
jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 15th, 2019, 12:41 PM
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I think the Observation Lounge is likely more my speed and hopefully I will be able to find a seat!
mlgb is offline  
Sep 16th, 2019, 01:30 AM
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I have always opined that a cruise is a very economical family vacation. Some lines (such as RCL) have numerous activities that young folks enjoy.
As mentioned above Cruise Critic is a trove of information. And I have used Vacations to Go for many years.
Rhea58 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2019, 06:23 AM
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My kids have always enjoyed cruises with us from an early age and in fact, now go in their 20's and 30's with their significant others.
kwren is offline  
Sep 17th, 2019, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the feedback jacketwatch. I have taken an older and smaller NCL ship (the Sun) around Cape Horn and we liked that experience. I like the service on NCL. They do have a reputation for extra charges (such as $7.95 for room service other than continental breakfast/coffee). Although the dining gets a little boring, I'm sure I will make do on Bliss.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 18th, 2019, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
Thanks for the feedback jacketwatch. I have taken an older and smaller NCL ship (the Sun) around Cape Horn and we liked that experience. I like the service on NCL. They do have a reputation for extra charges (such as $7.95 for room service other than continental breakfast/coffee). Although the dining gets a little boring, I'm sure I will make do on Bliss.
They did drop the service charge for room service after much protest. Did they reinstate it?
Have you considered asking for something different at dinner? My wife is Indian and we always request and get Indian food for dinner time for example. Once I asked for jerk chicken on Celebrity and it was made. It won't hurt to try. They do try to be accommodating.

jacketwatch is online now  
Sep 18th, 2019, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by aliced View Post
I would never take Carnival, they have more "incidents" always, and we only have cruised on small boats (600 passengers), but with kids you should perhaps try a larger boat (2,000 max) such as what Royal Carib, Celebrity, offer. You cannot beat the value and activity level that such lines offer.
Carnival has a reputation for having booze cruises, especially on the shorter itineraries. Avoid them if you can.

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