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Eastern or Western Carribean? Miami or Port Canaveral Port? Help!!!

Eastern or Western Carribean? Miami or Port Canaveral Port? Help!!!

Nov 6th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Eastern or Western Carribean? Miami or Port Canaveral Port? Help!!!

Hi everyone! I am in charge of planning our family cruise next May. What are the pros and cons of Eastern vs Western Carribean destination and Miami vs Port Canaveral Port? Our group is composed of about 25 people and of different age brackets---my parents and aunts 60-70's....their children 35-40's and kids 7-18.....We are considering Royal Carribean---Liberty or Freedom of the Seas from Miami or Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral.......Which cruise destination and port would you recommend?!?! I need HELP from all of the seasoned cruisers!!!
endosmom is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 04:34 AM
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Something else to add to the mix - airfare to departure city. From many parts of the country there are more non-stop flights to Miami than to Port Canaveral area.
gail is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Most probably we will be coming from Los Angeles....Are there more things to do in the Miami Port? Do you know how far Orlando is from Port Canaveral? Are the Florida Keys near Miami?!......Pardon my ignorance...Im from the Philippines!
endosmom is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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You will find the REAL experts at www.cruisecritic.com.

Port Canaveral is one hour by bus from Orlando airport.

I think Miami is about one hour from the northern keys.

7-day Western cruises often stop at Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, among other places.

7-day Eastern cruises often stop at San Juan, St. Thomas, and Grand Turk, among other places.

If this is your first cruise, with that many people, I strongly recommend you use a knowledgeable TA.

Good luck!
Jimingso is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Thanks for all your input jimingso. Actually we all went on an Alaskan cruise about two years ago and tremendously enjoyed it cause it was great family bonding and there were activities for everyone in all age groups. We were very happy with Royal Caribbean and would like to cruise with them again next year.

Have any of you guys done both the Eastern (San Juan Puerto Rico, Philipsburg St Maarten and Labadee Haiti) and Western (Labadee Haiti, Montego Bay Jamaica, George Town Grand Cayman, and Cozumel Mexico)?

Would appreciate your input in the port stops in both cruises. Which cruise itinerary did you enjoy more?

endosmom is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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We enjoyed our Western cruise but we went on another line (HAL).

One note about Labadee Haiti: It is a private beach owned by RCC with a guarded fence around it...so you don't actually get to visit the "real" Haiti.
Jimingso is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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How is HAL compared to RCC
endosmom is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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We have done 12 cruises with RCCL and loved their ships. By far prefer Eastern Carribean. When you leave through Miami or Ft Lauderdale and book pre cruise hotel package through the cruiseline the transfer process is very easy once you are at the hotel. Book the cruiseline transportation back to the airport after the cruise it is not expensive and effortless. Our all time favorite is Southern Carribean. All the newer ships are fantastic. Good Luck Have fun!
sanjuan is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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HAL has smaller ships and fewer onboard activities than the RCC mega-ships.

For a large family of 25 w/ toddlers to grandparents my guess is you'd prefer RCC.

You'll get a lot more info on cruisecritic.com.
Jimingso is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Based on your list of ports, I would pick Western Carib itinerary.

If you fly into Miami there are quite a few hotels with free shuttle from airport. Cab fare from many hotels to pier is $10-15. Port Canaveral/Orlando gets a little more costly and difficult.
gail is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM
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Have you considered South Carribean?
Eschew is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:52 PM
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We went on a super cruise with RCC -with kids and grandkids - to the Western Caribbean out of Tampa.
A great itinerary - Grand Cayman (Sting Ray City), Belize and Cozumel (snorkeling and Mayan ruins), etc. I don't know if they're still doing the same itinerary.
It was one of RCCLs "smaller" ships.
We've done the Eastern, Western and Southern routes and think the Western has more variety.
BTW- we tend to be happier with RCCL itineraries than with HALs.
NGail is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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We have done cruises with RCCL out of Port Canaveral, Miami, San Juan.
For Port Canaveral you fly to Orlando and are bussed over (take the ship transfers and it is effortless). For Miami, you can fly into Miami or Ft Lauderdale. Ft Lauderdale is easier, especially for the return (Miami airport is awful-all the cruise ship returnees are "dumped" into the airport for departures that may be late in the day-very crowded). San Juan is also easy.

For a large group, pick a cruise that everyone can get to easily. We have never had to overnight since there are lots of air opportunities (we are from Boston).

The "classic" cruise is Western that does Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Cozumel, pvt island.
John_T_Cuttino is offline  

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