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Carribean cruise, first time, which line to pick?

Carribean cruise, first time, which line to pick?

Jun 12th, 2008, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Carribean cruise, first time, which line to pick?

My wife and I are first time cruisers living in the MidWest and would like to go to the Carribean on a 4-7 day cruise. I was looking for a good value cruise.

I noticed that the prices range from $259 for Carnival to $1200 for Princess and more.

Which cruise line would you recommend, which package?
Last year, it seemed Carnival had a lot of stomach flu cases and some years ago, I read in the news that there were criminal assaults - but I hope all that was cleaned up.

thanks,
Anil
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Jun 12th, 2008, 11:21 AM
  #2  
 
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I love Celebrity, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Holland America is also wonderful, but draws an older crowd. Carnival and NCL have mixed reviews, aren't rated as highly. Try to go with one of the 3 I listed first, they seem to have the happiest passengers as a rule.
Celebrity & Princess might be a little bit above Royal Caribbean, but not enough to worry about.
Please try a 7 night cruise, 4 nights is too short, and not worth the airfare.
linda8 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 11:22 AM
  #3  
 
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Also, Fall (go late October or later to avoid hurricane season) is the absolutely cheapest time to go, you can get some real steals!!!!
(if you don't have to work around kids schedules).
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Jun 12th, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #4  
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Thank you for replying! Do you recommend we book through a website - should it be the cruise home page, or through travelocity/expedia/other?
Any recommendation which?
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Jun 12th, 2008, 02:20 PM
  #5  
 
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I truly recommend a Travel Agent!
You can call or visit one in your area. You get personal attention that way, and their price should be the same or close to online. The cruiselines pay their commission, you don't! And I feel it's much safer that way. They also have brochures and a wealth of information. Happy Sailing!
Linda
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Jun 12th, 2008, 02:48 PM
  #6  
 
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I like Princess for their Anytime Dining, because we don't like being locked in to eating at the same time and with the same people every evening. Plus, for us, early is too early and late is too late.
abram is offline  
Jun 12th, 2008, 03:15 PM
  #7  
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Princess is rather expensive. We plan on going in July-August.
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Jun 12th, 2008, 04:25 PM
  #8  
 
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Personally I have always gotten my best prices from Costco so if you are a member you can look into that. You can do better than expedia or travelocity. Try www.cruisecompete.com. as another good alternative.
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Jun 12th, 2008, 06:43 PM
  #9  
 
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Hi Anil - I am a first time cruiser and you answered a posting of mine asking me to post my cruise here. So here goes... We booked with Carnival not really investigating the difference in cruise lines. I picked it because of the ports - honduras, belize, grand cayman, cozumel. Being that I have not had a cruise experience to compare to, I am hoping I will be happy with it. But sounds like people are suggesting others besides carnival so I would definitely heed their advice.
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Jun 13th, 2008, 02:19 AM
  #10  
 
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For more info try www.cruisecritic.com. You will get extensive reviews on virtually all ships out there.
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Jun 13th, 2008, 05:57 AM
  #11  
 
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You say Princess is too expensive, but that'll depend on where you choose your room location.
I went on a Princess cruise and absolutely LOVED it. The staff is beyond nice. Even made a few friends that on their "time off" we hung out with at the ports, and they showed us the best places and things to do.
Also, the entertain is great! Everything from fun trivia games (we did this as I went with a group of 7 friends, and nothing better than competition), pool games, bingo, and much more. Always something happening. Personally, I was a HUGE fan of the "Movies Under the Stars." Being on top of the boat, having some strawberry daquiris, as the sun sets, and you can see Mexico all while laying down watching a movie? Um...perfection perhaps?
The food is great too!!!!! I loved all of the options, whehter it be the anytime hamburgers, fries, pizza, or the buffet! Or the dinner every night in the nicer restaurants! I really do recommend Princess, and will probably not even attempt other cruise lines!
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Jun 13th, 2008, 07:10 AM
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We have been on three Princess cruises and loved them. No complaints. In fact we had put money down on a future cruise. Last month we sailed on Royal Caribbeans Adventure of the Seas and were very impressed as well so much so that another RCI cruise will be in our plans. We have also sailed once on Carnival and would have no hesitation to sail with them again either. By and large the major mass market lines all do very well. BTW I assume you are Indian based on your name. Mt wife is Indian too and I'll bet you did not tknow that you can, if you wish get Indian food on the ship every night for dinner. Cruise lines will try their best to meet your needs. On Carnival and Princess all we had to do was tell the head waiter the first night. On RCI there is a request for Indian food on their website which you can use after you book. I would encourage you to use the website I mentioned above for more info than you will get here. Cheers, Larry
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Jun 13th, 2008, 03:03 PM
  #13  
 
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For Carribean, tehre really isn't that much difference between all teh mass market lines.

Some caters to youngfer crowd and some to the mature crowd.

I have been on different ships and cruise lines and enjoyed them all. For the price, you really can;t go wrong and they are all good value.

If it is any indication of my preference, I am going back this November on the brand new Ruby Princess. I booked the Ruby because of the novelty of the new ship and I have enjoyed Princess in teh past.

A lot has to do with what you like. Go to cruisecrtics and research what their comments are on each ship/cruise line and see if you find a match. If you want to cruise with kids, Disney is the one. If you like party, then it's Carnival. Want some peace and quiet? HAL. Good food? Celebrity. They all have their so call "specialties" or perception by the public of thir specialities.
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Jun 14th, 2008, 07:01 AM
  #14  
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@Larry (jacketwatch)
thanks for the excellent tip about costco/sams club. I checked sams club.


No, we don't want curry on a cruise

chgeeb, thanks for the tip...

We live in Kansas City; for a Western Carribean cruise, which port should we embark from?

We are open to the type of cruise - would you recommend Bahamas or Bermuda or Western Carribean?
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Jun 14th, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Actually I found Costco be less $$ than Sams, at least in terms of the cruise comparisons I made. Between the Bahamas and Bermuda I would go with Bermuda. For me my overall preference is the southern Caribbean route. I like those islands more. If you go to say Yahoo! and search cruises by so. Carib. rte. then see for yourself if this suits you. You can call Costco for any cruise by the mass market lines except. NCL. No big loss there IMHO. They also do Silverseas and Regent as well. Have fun. Namaste.
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Jun 14th, 2008, 08:16 AM
  #16  
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@Larry, thanks! you are welcome to email us if you wish.
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Jun 14th, 2008, 02:35 PM
  #17  
 
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Done!
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Jun 15th, 2008, 12:50 PM
  #18  
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On Sams Club, it is a $50 gift card on a cruise priced at $500-1500. I dont know about Costco
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Jun 15th, 2008, 03:38 PM
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As for Costco I'll give you some examples. Last yr. their price for three in a balcony room for a 10 day Baltic cruise on the Star Princess was nearly $600.00 less than Expedia, Travelocity, etc. Two yrs. ago we found their price for a 10 day Tahitian cruise to be about $400.00 less than the next best price. Last mo. we took RCI who does not discount but we did receive a $400.00 OBC from them. So for us they have been very good. Larry
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Jun 15th, 2008, 04:00 PM
  #20  
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the downside of costco/sams club seems to be that very few cruises are actually listed.
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