First-time cruiser: WHICH LINE?

Feb 25th, 2008, 03:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Very recent. I do groups on HAL and tried to book the cigar bar for a private function and was infirmed that it no longer exists and that we can only smoke outside.
kfusto is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,922
That is interesting cause I will be
on the Noordam Weds & was told the Oak Room (off the Crow's Nest) is
where one may smoke a cigar. It is
not a bar; just a room; let you know
when I return.
Rhea58 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
The Oak Room used to be the cigar bar and we used it for a private cigar function last year. Per my conversations with HAL very recently, it no longer is.
kfusto is offline  
Feb 27th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 128
Royal Carribean Freedom of the seas is the nicest ship out there, but I also love the explorer. As far a the kid problem they due have a adult pool, other than that i didnt find kids to be a issue, they are mostly by the pools and game areas. When planning balcony is definitely worth every penny, i wouldn't cruise w/o it. Itn. to jamaca, cozumel, grand cayman,& labandee was nice but i definitely preferred st thomas st martin bahamas pr. I agree jamaica isnt great but go to dunns rivers fall lots of fun. This cruise line has a variety of food choices you can you choose formal or informal depending on your mood, my fav was the italian rest. it is an extra $20pp but definitely worth it. food is great and it is definitely a five star dining experience, perfect evening away from the crowd.But overall the food was very good and trust me my husband calls me a food snops must make reservations for the italian place)As far as the bars and casino, there are cigar bars, and we had a lot of fun at the casino. But before choosing I would research each island according to the things u prefer to do. I love to shop and go to the beach, so the secound cruise I mention was definitely a better choice for those things. Overall cruising definitely makes u feel like your on an adventure everyday. PS If you choose to cruise plan out your day before you arrive, this way you can make the most of your day. I bought the fodor's cruise book and it was very helpful.
flep is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 04:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Sorry but I did not like Freedom of the Seas. For some that like huge, latest, greatest and gimmicky it might be the best but it is huge, crowded, a cross between Mall of America and a convention hotel.

Food is average.

What it it is very pretty, full of activities, immaculate and great for families. Good nightlife as well.

The OP said as few children as possible and the big ships of RCI are kid magnets, absolutely!
kfusto is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 20
I personally think that for the most part, all ships are the same. I make my decision based on itinerary, price of a balcony cabin, and thats basically it. I have sailed on NCL, RC, and Carnival, and while RC and Carnival have a slight edge in my book all things being equal, NCL had a great deal and I was very happy with my trip. Go for a week, get a balcony, have a good attitude, and you will have a great time.
(we like casinos and smoking too, but we have kids, but never found too many kids on our cruises because we hate to travel during peak vacation times, prefer May, Sept) Check out vacations to go, they have some good deals, as do travelocity, expedia ,cruise brothers,
NOPETSAL is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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<<I personally think that for the most part, all ships are the same. I make my decision based on itinerary, price of a balcony cabin, and thats basically it>>

I respectfully disagree that ships are much the same. Size matters a great to us as does passenger demographic, dining quality and ships amenties (not gimmicks). We stay way from mega ships, family oriented ships, casual ships, etc.

It is great that those are your priorities and all that matters to YOU. For us, we decide that we want a warm weather cruise or Alaska cruise and then see if a line and ship we enjoy is sailing there. If not, then we do not go as to be stuck on a ship that we do not care for is not worth spending our hard earned money and limited vacation time. There are way too many great options for land trips to waste time and money.

For us, Carnival, NCL and others are not what we enjoy so we don't book if that is all there is available.

We all have different priorities and that influences how we make our choices.
kfusto is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
RCI is resting open dining "My Choice" on three of their 21 ships. It is by no means a standard offering.

HAL and Princess do offer it.
kfusto is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 28
Before you decide, you may want to check out this website . . .
travelpoor is offline  
Mar 1st, 2008, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 155
"I personally think that for the most part, all ships are the same"

Now this might be the most incorrect statement I've ever read. How can you possibly think a ship holding around 200 people is the same as a mega ship holding 3,500? This really is not correct information and could be very misleading to a new cruiser. This is like saying a Motel 6 is the same as the Ritz Carlton!
patsy120 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,922
for Kfusto: Obviously Seattle does not have a handle on things.
Noordam's Oak Room was open during
my 10-day cruise and sold cigars (one was $19!!) to willing passengers throughout the
I found that there was also misinformation at the front desk so not matter what the issue, I'd advise to check and re-check.
Rhea58 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2008, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 109
Also, be sure to do your research on what the cruise line does with the waste from the passengers on board. Of course, this is a problem on land, as well, and "Waste Happens", but we need to be sure the cruise industry is environmentally responsible. I don't think any of us wants our vacation to ruin the oceans.
sandals is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 21

Royal Caribbean stinks.
rosie170 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2008, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
RCL, HAL, Celebrity and Princess are good choices for older adults. Carnival, especially any cruise with them under 7 days, I would hesitate to recommend. Others can take the time to explain why if needed.

But and recommendations from friends are good places to start your research. Ask a few agents what they know and if they have booked their parents or family members on any ships and what the feedback was like.

We have often obtained great tips from agents about vacations that turned out exceptional.
Dad is offline  
Jul 5th, 2008, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,465
Actually there are many who could explain why Carnival IS a good choice. We all have our opinions. Cruisecritic is a good place to start, perhaps THE best place really. I recommend the southern Caribbean rte. We have done this twice, once on the Carnival Destiny and last May on the RCI's Adventure of the Seas. My preference is the latter but we had no problems on the Destiny either. She is a very nice ship. In fact we saw her in port in San Juan as we had opted to fly in one day early B4 our AOS cruise and I must say her lines are very sleek. You will get a better price on her vs. the AOS but the latter is a knock-out. As for shore excursions its pretty easy. I can provide guys we used in the ports we were in or just go to cruise critic and check the port boards. In any case expect to spend about $40.00 pp but if gas prices cont. to rise then by April 09 it will be more. As for kids I would think late April would be best because by then, at least I think you will be in between spring break and summer vacatons. Have fun. Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5
My understanding is that the Caribbean is a place where you are likely to have plenty of children on cruises. Assuming you are set on your location, at least be sure to avoid school vacation periods. And find a cruise with ports of call less likely to have lots of families with kids. We took a cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago last year and there were virtually no kids on the ship.
Fattony is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Hi Christie,
I am in process of getting up to minute answers for you. Seminar information touched on all your questions and I want to be sure when I contact you again with info. Please remember my name: Virginia : )
accetta is offline  
Dec 27th, 2008, 07:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 921

Having hit some TA links from 's search and finding them broken etc it appears TAs are hurting too.

Therefore I'm wondering how to predict their survivability if I book for Aug/Sept 2009 and give them $$ !

I usually do my own booking but I'm a novice where cruising is concerned.

Looking especially at Alaska inside passage etc.
pspercy is offline  
Dec 28th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 309
If you book through TA and assuming the worst, they don't survive, your booking will be taken over by cruise line or you can transfer it to another TA if you want. Just make sure you pay with credit card and cruise line received it. If you need a good reliable TA, here is my one: Alex of, e-mail [email protected]. Many businesses are hurting now but there are obvious advantages of booking with TA. Usually you get lower price, good TA will watch for any possible rate drop or incentives, and will be on your side in case of any issues with cruise line.
spurs is offline  

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