First time cruisers to Caribbeans

Reply

Feb 12th, 2004, 09:50 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
First time cruisers to Caribbeans

Hi All:
My wife and I are going on a cruise for our wedding anniversary at the end of May, and I need some opinions and suggestions. I'm doing the planning and I read some of the posts here regarding choosing the ships and cruisecritic.com for the reviews.

My general feeling is that Celebrity Century have better food and smaller crowd (2000 people/ship), where RCL ships have more people and long lines everywhere (3000+ people/ship).

That said,
(a) which trip below would you recommend?
(b) Which ocean view deck do you suggest?

(1) 5/29th - Celebrity Century - Eastern Carib, leaving from Fort Lauderdale
(2) 5/30th - Royal - Adventure of the Seas, Southern Carib, leaving from San Juan
(3) 5/30th - Royal - Explorer of the Seas, Eastern Carib, leaving from Miami

My friends just came back from RCL (Explorer of the Seas), and they said the shore excursions are so much more expensive on the book than off. Where is the best place to book them then?

Should I book airfare from JFK and airport to seaport transfer with the agent?

Thanks for your help!
David NY
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 10:46 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Hi David:
Do you care to disclose which anniversary it is?
Cruiser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 11:09 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
Sure, it's the 3rd year anniversary and we're both 30 years old.
Thanks!
David
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 12:05 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Okay, David, here is my opinion.
With your young age I would guess you enjoy active games, sports,activities, etc.. Century, my favorite ship, is more laid back. They have many activities, but more sedate ones than RCCL. The food is very good on Century;the staff and crew are very professional yet friendly. By going the end of May, most young couples with kids will not be on board (we had 11 under age 17 last Nov. on the Zenith another Celebrity ship), so the clientele will probably be a higher average age. (The ship got very quiet after 11:30pm nightly). Like I said it is my favorite ship, but RCCL might be more to your liking.
If you end up booking Century, post again with any questions you might have about her. I have cruised on the Century 3 times and can't wait to cruise her again.
Happy planning!! Sure hope you enjoy your first cruise!! Let us know here how you liked it!!
Cruiser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 02:21 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
Hi Cruiser:
Thanks for your reply. Anyone else want to comment or give me your opinion?

Here is the price quote I got:
Century - Ocean view Cat.7
$771/pp + $139 port fee/pp + air $329/pp + tax $69.19 = $1308.19

Adventure & Explorer both came out to be $2006/pp and $1952/pp with Balcony D3 and D2 rooms (cause ocean views are sold out).

I think I'll go with the Century this time to save $.
David
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 12th, 2004, 03:28 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Hi David:
Where are you flying in from? That $329. sounds awfully high? Is that the rate from Celebrity? If it is, try booking air on your own.

No need for transfers from airport to pier in FLL. It is a VERY easy port to get to. Cost of a cab will be around $7.00-10.00. It seems to be a safe area also. (I travel solo many times and that is especially important to me).

Another consideration: try to fly in the day before your sailing date. The month of May shouldn't have give you any problems, but why worry about missing the ship due to a flight problem. Get a good night's sleep (or check out the nice city of FLL) and then the next day head to the pier around 11:30AM for boarding.

Feel free to do more postings. I'm sure others can help with your other questions also.
Cruiser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 11:06 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
Got the airfare from Song & Delta for only $250/round trip from JFK-FLL. Each deck is around $20 difference. I have a choice amongest Deck 7-4. Any recommendations on that?

I'm still debating between the decks and with whom to book. My agent gave me a quote but from a web, I found better pricing.

Thanks!
David
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 02:01 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 890
Personally, for a wedding anniversary I'd be hard pressed to recommend either of these ships. There are just sooooo many passengers! Have you considered going on a smaller ship such as the Diamond where it is much nicer, more intimate, very close to all inclusive with only 300 passengers total? If you like water sports....Radisson Diamond has the marina platform where you can waterski, jet ski, kayak, snorkle etc. and it's all included in your cruise fare. They have great 2 for 1 pricing so it's an excellent value. I often cruise in groups on other lines such as NCL, Celebrity, RCI etc (and have a GREAT time) but when it's just my husband and I we always opt for the more romantic, personalized, better valued cruiselines with far fewer passengers. Just something to consider since you're first time cruisers. Whatever, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun! Happy Anniversary!
petlover is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 18th, 2004, 07:33 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
I've been doing some homework on pricing. Fortunately, I read someone's post on CruiseQuick.com and requested a quote from them. I was amazed about the price discounts I was getting.

From my travel agency, I was getting $1786 (excluding air, including taxes & port fees) for Cat7. From MyCruiseValue.com I got $1717 and from CruiseQuick.com, I got $1686. So I can literally purchase Cat4 from CruiseQuick and pay $1736.

Has anyone use CruiseQuick before?
They're 100% Internet based, so they have no phone # listed for us to call them. That's why their cost is lower than other Internet based companies.

Thanks!
David
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:33 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8
We have cruised on both Century and Adventure of the Seas and had a nice time on both. We also went on the Golden Princess last year and loved it. More choices on board and it was a beautiful ship, much nicer than Century and Adventure of the Seas. The itinerary was great also because it gave you a chance to relax and enjoy the ship. Princess also a better mix of age groups. Century is nice but to laid back, Adventure of the Seas is to big and mostly cabins we didn't care for the way it was laid out. Both had good food and service..
4279JACKIE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 21st, 2004, 10:43 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 34
Haven't use cruisequick.com. Did use mycruisevalue.com and got a good rate to the caribbean last year. I received the documents 2 weeks after booking on the internet. They also have live people to talk to if you need help. I'm very surprised that it cost you $300 to fly from JFK to FLL or MIA. It should be about $200. Check around travel sites such as orbitz.com expedia.com or travelocity.com also go to airline sites directly to find out the price. Airline sites are: aa.com united.com usairways.com or delta.com I didn't recommend nwa.com because Northwest doesn't have none stop flight from New York to Florida. You have to fly to Detoit then down to Floriday. I see prices to Florida from New Your are as low as $150 round trip recently. My friend booked a fly from Boston to FLL for $190 traveling in May.

I haven't been on a Celebrity ship but read a lot & heard a lot about it. It's very nice and also more upscale and mature. Royal Caribbean is more fun with more amenities on the ship, such as the rock wall climbing(my favorit), pool tables (had fun with it), miniture golf (kept me busy for an hour). Took Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. Very nice and had all kinds of fun activities. Also took Norwegian SUN. The two ships were similar but Royal Caribbean had more activities on board than the Norwegian. For your age, I think you'll like the Royal Caribbean ship more than the Celebrity ship. I understand your concern about having more people on the ship. You really don't see any crowds except in the dinning rooms. The ship is big and there are many lounges and activities to keep others busy. However, you'll feel the crowd at the tender port of Grand Cayman. All ships have to anchor away from the shore and all passangers have to take tender boats ashore. So with more people on the ship, there would be a longer wait to get ashore unless you take a ship excursion. Expect to wait about an hour before you get ashore. Whatevery you decided on, you'll have a great time anyway. After all, you're going to the warm & sunny Caribbean with blue sky and crystal clear water, away from the snowy cold New York. Enjoy
wt88 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:51 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 18
Thank you all for the help, suggestions and opinions. I was able to get a great rate on Celebrity Cat4 oceanview, so I took it. Now I have to book the air and shore excursions.
changd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:54 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 277
Most of the talk here has pertained to ships that carry a very large amount of passengers. If this is your choice, I think Celebrity does a good job. (better IMO than RCL) I've been on several ships that carry over 1,500 passengers at any one sailing and some with as few as 250. You need to decide what is your preference. Some cruisers seem to prefer the large mega liners, some prefer the smaller more intimate liners.

Have you considered ships of similar size that carry 1/2 the amount of passengers? There is a huge difference in cabins and service with fewer passengers. I will never go on another liner that carries the size of a small town...but this is just my opinion. You need to decide what is best for you.
traveller333 is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:32 PM.