first cruise

Jul 27th, 2011, 01:24 PM
  #1  
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first cruise

Wy wife and I have never been on a cruise. We would like to try it. We have no children, we are in our 50's. Should we start with a short cruise? Should we go to Europe for a cruise?. We can go in September, October. We live in new Jersey. Thanks. My username should be confused
Dannydog is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 02:01 PM
  #2  
 
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I prefer at least a week long cruise, gives you time to settle in, learn your way around the ship, meet people, etc.
Our first cruise was in the early Spring to the Carribean. Really liked it, so much that we booked a TA right away. In the fall, you might consider the Med or Greek Islands. You don't see as much as if you were on land, but you get a nice cruise experience, and the weather is nice there in September - October
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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If you have never cruised before, I would recommend a short cruise to start, maybe 7 nights. Then I would decide where you would like to go, or look at several cruise lines for itinerary ideas. A lot of people book cruises a long time in advance to get the best deals, but if you are free to travel on short notice, ie this fall, you might find a good deal on a unbooked cabin. Go to cruisecritic.com and read around. Also, think about whether you want to be on a large ship or want to travel on one of the small ship lines. Ask you friends, perhaps they have a travel agent who specializes in cruises, they can be really helpful. It's a big world, many oceans and many great trips out there. Good luck. Oh, and think about your budget, cruises go from moderate to high end.
socaltraveler is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 02:39 PM
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priceline.com vacations2go.com cruisecritic.com

try a nice moderate cruise of short duration based on

destinations you like... some like it some do not

Carnival families Celebrity HAL more upscale NCL "freestyle"

RCL more party all good based on your travel style...

Pay a little more for a great deal on a balcony on a newer

ship for best experience inside cabins claustrophobic.

Carib/Alaska works best cheapest for firstimers...

Spiritair.com cheap flight packages down to FLL
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 02:41 PM
  #5  
 
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Bermuda in September from NY

might also check on that...

cruiseone.com
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 03:12 PM
  #6  
 
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One option, as you are in NJ is Canada/New England. However as 1st timers consider the Caribbean. A southern Caribbean route out of San Juan would be a good start. SJ by itself is very nice and the islands are usually great stops as well.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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I would recommend a Caribbean cruise of 7-10 days on a "medium" sized ship - 70-80,000 tons (The USS Wisconsin - a battleship is 35,000 tons). Not too big, not too small. Any itinerary in the Caribbean will do for starters. The ports are fun, the stops frequent and the seas are usually smooth. Try to get an understanding of the cruise lines by checking the cruise guides. Fodors have good ones describing the character of the various companies. We loke Holland America.
Aristotle is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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I would recommend a Caribbean cruise of 7-10 days on a "medium" sized ship - 70-80,000 tons (The USS Wisconsin - a battleship is 35,000 tons). Not too big, not too small. Any itinerary in the Caribbean will do for starters. The ports are fun, the stops frequent and the seas are usually smooth. Try to get an understanding of the cruise lines by checking the cruise guides. Fodors have good ones describing the character of the various companies. We loke Holland America.
Aristotle is offline  
Jul 28th, 2011, 12:24 AM
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Actually the Wisc. is closer to 50K tons as are all the Iowa class battleships.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 28th, 2011, 12:26 AM
  #10  
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Jul 28th, 2011, 06:23 AM
  #11  
 
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We're in our 60's, about to take our 3rd transAtlantic, our 8th cruise. We LOVE cruising, and love it more with each cruise. We enjoy the days at sea almost as much as days in port. Since you will cruise in the fall when kids are in school, you won't encounter many kids on any of the lines. We think Carnival has the best value for the money, good food, good service,roomy cabins.Unless you live near a departure port, cost of flight to and from port will be a consideration.
1965 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2011, 06:28 AM
  #12  
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Thanks to everyone. You've been a big help
Dannydog is offline  
Jul 28th, 2011, 08:56 AM
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I saw something this morning that AAA is having a cruise sale; if you are a AAA member, check it out; they also have cruise specialists in their offices and perhaps you could talk to one of them for information/advice.
socaltraveler is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 09:03 AM
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I LOVE cruising, & totally agree that you should take like a 7-nt to start. Anything shorter, & you're just starting to really relax & get to meet people & it's over.

Although a med cruise is beautiful, peo tend to spend all day on sightseeing tours of the ports, & so you're exhausted at night & don't get alot of time to really enjoy the cruising itself.

So, I would suggest the Caribbean. You can take shore excursions, but they don't generally go all day long, most are like 4-5 hrs, & you get more time to enjoy the boat.

Which line depends on what you want -- Carnival is probably the best value all around & the cabins do tend to be roomier.

RC has slightly more upscale ships, better food, more elaborate entertainment - however, in our experience although the entertainment was more elaborate, the entertainers did not interact at all w/ the passengers, except for David in the piano rm.

Ron Pass, piano player for Carnival, was fab & so fun -- we ended up there every night.

NCL has smaller rms, & the food isn't generally as tasty - however, as far as the entertainers & staff engendering a sense of comraderie w/ the passengers, ec time I've done NCL it has the other lines beat. We had a blast! We were out every night, met lots of folks, played loads of silly games, danced the night away & hung w/ the cruise dir & entertainers after their shows.

So-its what you're looking for.

I understand that HAL tends to get an older clientele, & so is quieter.

Sept is a great time, because kids are back to school & so you don't have loads of them running amok, screaming, etc.

Have a blast!
jojoblais is offline  
Jul 30th, 2011, 10:58 AM
  #15  
 
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Since no one has mentioned it, the Princess ship, Caribbean Princess does some great cruises from San Juan. While the ship is large, it never feels crowded. Getting on and off was quick and easy. It still gets into all the ports without using any tenders. The entertainment was better than on any of their other ships. The food was also very good, and the ship is beautiful. It is a big mix of ages.

We got the best price through vacationstogo. Check their 90 day sticker prices. They have only a few on the their 90 day sticker, but you can then click on Caribbean Princes and look at all the cruises that ship is doing for the next year. You will see that some from SJ are currently $450-$600. You might get the same price directly from the cruise line though. If you can plan for a last minute cruise, then watch prices, you can get a really great deal.

You can take one of their cruises that departs from NY (or Florida), but then you will have more days at sea and fewer on the islands. I love days at sea, but some people do not, so, for a first cruise, I suggest you take one that offers the most opportunity for sightseeing. Also, the cruises departing from NY cost more, so it comes out to about the same as getting tickets to SJ and departing from there.

I would spend the money to fly to SJ the day before the cruise, enjoy SJ and get a bit of a rest so you are able to enjoy the cruise from the first moment you board. You can board several hours before departure time and swim or enjoy a welcoming buffet. Also, by going the day before, you won't be worried about a delayed flight and missing the cruise.

One more thing about the islands. I don't know how temperatures are in the summer or fall. We went in March, and it was very warm. It will probably be fine in September/Oct, though the chance of storms is probably greater. Late winter/early Spring is absolutely perfect, and wonderful to get away from NE winters.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jul 31st, 2011, 07:52 AM
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I agree with Sassafrass........My fiance and I took our first cruise ever March 2010 on Caribbean Princess out of San Juan and it was one of our favorite trips we both have ever done. We are in our early thirties from NJ. We flew to San Juan a day before the cruise to get a good night sleep and boarded the ship the next day around noonish or so with no waiting and no lines. We were one of the first on the ship which gave us time to enjoy exploring for our first time and grabbing some lunch in the buffet. We did an excursion at each stop which lasted only a few hours of the day so we were still about to sightsee on our own if we wanted or just go back to the ship to relax and enjoy all the ship has to offer. Going in March was great because it was warm weather, calm seas, and a break from the cold winter weather in NJ. We are planning to do another March cruise on Princess in 2012. We love cruising and all it has to offer. The Princess experience for us was wonderful. Nice size room for the limited time you spend in it, fun excursions at each port, great food & entertainment. The spa and gym were very nice. We felt very well taken care of the entire time. We even took advantage on the at sea day to book two chairs in the adults only santuary sitting area to enjoy the sun and quiet area for swimming and relaxing on board. I highly recommend Princess and a 7 day Caribbean cruise to get away from the cold weather and enjoy the Princess experience!
jerseygrl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 09:13 AM
  #17  
 
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One thing to keep in mind~August thru October is hurricane season in the Caribbean. Although a hurricane most likely wouldn't result in the cancellation of a cruise, it may change the ports.

I have been on Princess, NCL and Carnival; Carnival was my least favorite, as the ship seemed more crowded and the food not as good as the other two. The Princess ships were nicer, with a little better food and entertainment than NCL, but I would certainly (and have several times) cruise NCL again. The initial cost of a cruise on Princess is more expensive, but the cost of drinks on NCL made up for it.
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