Cruise ideal for a couple?

Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 10:32 AM
Susan R.
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Cruise ideal for a couple?

My husband and I (healthy 30s) are thinking of doing our first cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We thought about doing the southern caribbean itinerary on the Holland amsterdam because of the shore excursion activities, but now we are having second thoughts. We don't like to gamble, or go to shows. (We can do them in NYC; we want to get away from it all!) On the boat, we're looking forward to quiet evening deck strolls and reading by the pool. Does anyone have experience on the Holland lines -- or cruising as a couple? Will it be crowded, noisy, not ideal for us? Any stress-free cruise suggestions? Is it worth it to get a balcony room? Thank you for your help.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 12:20 PM
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I like to get away to relax too and am not into gambling or shows. I know Celebrity can provide the atmosphere that you're looking for. Haven't sailed on HAL but from everything I've read, it's a quiet atmosphere. HAL's ships also tend to carry less passengers than most other lines which is good if you don't like crowds. You might also want to look into some of the smaller ships like Windstar or Seadream but these are more expensive options.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 12:23 PM
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I think Hal will be perfect.
Yes, it is worth it to get a balcony.
Hal tends to have an older crowd. You will enjoy this. No hairy chest contests or groups of drunks.
It is a more laid back cruise.
Do not cruise during spring break, holidays, or the summer, if you want to avoid kids.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 12:37 PM
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Forgot to mention, Celebrity has some sailings designated as 'Escapes' cruises which are adults only (not sure if they have a S. Caribbean itinerary planned). Sometimes the pool area can be noisy with kids playing. Neither of these 2 lines gets a large amount of kids except maybe during holidays but it might be a consideration.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 03:36 PM
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First choice: Celebrity as a totally elegant experience. First and a half choice: HAL, even though I've never been on it. Personally, we like Celebrity's "Ultimate Caribbean" itineray - 10 days on the Summit for an extraordinary cruise.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 03:38 PM
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Food for thought...I'm willing to bet that you can get a larger balcony cabin on a Celebrity ship than you can on HAL. I'll check into this and get back to you.
Old Sep 23rd, 2002, 11:59 PM
Paul Therault
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Hi Susan,

For romantic evenings and quiet, sail HAL.

Also the new pricing makes the cruise equal to Celebrity.

Old Sep 24th, 2002, 09:03 AM
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I've done that cruise on the Amsterdam and it is a joy.

But I am older than dirt, as are many of HALs passengers. If you enjoy the company of your parents, you will enjoy this cruise. My kids went with me, [they are in their late 30s] and also enjoyed it, although I didn't join them for para-sailing.
Old Sep 24th, 2002, 11:25 AM
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If you could, consider Windstar Cruises. I think the average age is much lower than HAL. It seemed like a refinded, athletic group of younger people with the water sports marina at the back of the ship. And it's "dressy" casual; no jeans but no need for jacket or tie.
Old Sep 24th, 2002, 03:48 PM
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I've done the Amsterdam and it is a lovely ship. We went through the Panama Canal on her during Christmas of 2000. Very laid back with an older crowd. You sit out by the pool and you hear Julio Englasis or Frank Sinatra instead of "Ole, Ole" or rock n' roll. At night they would have 3 violins playing classical music in a lounge which we loved. They also have the big shows but this is a cruise line and ship you can find a lot of quiet time on. I would get a balcony. Very nice to sit out on your balcony. We watched part of our transit through the canal from our balcony and enjoyed it immensely.
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 04:30 AM
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Susan, to fulfill all your desires you probably should shy away from the big lines. This is obviously one person's opinion. My wife and I, like you, are young (late 30's) and generally only take cruises for our vacations. So- no shows, no long lines, quiet times at the pool and just plain personal time (relaxation) not bothered by screaming kids jumping in the pool, running around or annoying ship activities ( I think that is what you are aiming at). Your best bet is Seadream. They are running specials now 50% off, and you probably can get away with 5k for the two of you. (if this fits your budget) Don't expect too much "left alone time" on the other ships. If you decide on Seadream, call the company before and ask if there are any children on the sailing you want. These boats are not meant for children. We just went for 2 weeks in the Med. The first week was exactly what you want. The second week there were young children who frankly detracted somewhat, not totally, from the quiet personal experience for most except for their parents, obviously. These are Yachts, not mega-ships, so personal service is the key. Consider this before booking a mega-ship (HAL, Princess, etc). This is not to say that you can not have a quiet romantic experience on these mega-ships, but with long lines at food, set times for dinner, people being herded here and there for shows and ubiquitous parties, not to mention the horde that hovers around the smoke filled casinos,(we have done both and will only try to do quieter cruises from now on because we, too, do not go to the casino or shows) it seems that you long for a quieter trip.Don't get me wrong, the big ships are fabulous too, just a different experience. Investigate it if you have time.
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