Four women, first time Caribbean cruise

Dec 30th, 2010, 10:47 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Four women, first time Caribbean cruise

I'm trying to plan a cruise for myself, my sister, and two friends - all in our 50s and 60s. We're active and enjoy a variety of activities. Nightlife is not terribly important, as we're not big partiers, although we would enjoy some evening activities. Ports that offer scenic beauty, good beach time, and/or more adventurous opportunities would be great. Shopping's not critical, but some would be welcome. We rented a house on Oahu last year and had a blast - are looking for something different this time around.

I've started some basic research, but it's overwhelming! We're leaning toward the Caribbean and/or Mexico, we don't want to have to dress up, and we're not into silly poolside games.

Help! Would we be better off on a small ship? Or a mega-boat? And where? Are there specific islands/itineraries we should focus on?

Thanks in advance for any guidance to help me get started.
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 11:52 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 18
If you're looking for something different,consider Star
Clippers Cruise Line. They have 3 different modern
clipper ships that really sail. No need to dress up but
they are upscale ships with all the modern amenities. Great
itineraries, the ability to go into smaller ports, an
international mix of guests and all in all, a fantastic
experience. I lean towards the Caribbean rather than a
Mexican route. Much better choice of ports to visit in my
opinion. Check out their web site www.starclippers.com.
We are going on our sixth trip in a month to Costa Rica.

Deanna
dcary is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 12:43 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19,814
I would pick Caribbean over Mexico, and would go with itinerary instead of a ship. Usually I start with Expedia, it allows you to sort the list of cruises by whatever you want to see them in a certain month, compare the ports.
Dayenu is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 01:11 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
For first time cruisers, a mega boat offers more to do on sea day and more places to explore. It is a mini floatig city. You may not even need to get off the ship to have fun.

We equate the modern cruise ship to a moving hotel that takes you from place to place. And you only have to unpack once!

Pick the place you want to go, pick a main stream mega ship. Not to stero-type anyone, your best picks would be Celebrity/Princess, and then RCCL/Carnival. Anyone of those 4 cruise lines will work for you. Nothing is compulsar7y so you do not have to participate the pool side games. You can always be a spectator and watch the silliness.

If you have never been to Mexican Riveria, by all means, it would be a great trip. caribbean has lots to offer, West, East, South ... they are all different, and is considered more "exotic" than mexican Riveria.

Here is a recomemdnation. Take the Pricness western Caribeban cruise. They will have 3 ports plus one stop at their own priavte beach, 4 stops in all for a 7 day cruise.

For the other 3 ports, Grand Cayman offers decent shopping, sight seeing and beach activities. The subamrine ride is highly recommended but pricy. Corsumel offers beach, Mayan ruins, hiking sight seeing and many bargains on a flea market.
The third can be a number of palces and you can take your pick of activities.

There are 2 formal nights. ANy typically office/buisness attires would be fine, If you don't want to dress up, east elsewhere. They put table cloth on the buffet area and offer waiter service for the people who doesn't want to dress up for the formal days. Of course, you canalways have the buffet or just a pizza or pasta, burger by the pool or at the for fee restauarnts.

There are plenty of night life to choose from. You can do it quiet or do it loud. Night club, piano bar, jazz, big screen movies (outdoor), stage show (song/dance/comic), casino, library, spa. They are all available.

Good luck and welcome to the world of cruising. Once you have experienced it, you'll be hooked!
Eschew is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 05:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Congrats on your trip.

www.cruisecritic.com great info ship line reviews

NCL "freestyle" cruising might appeal to you great values

less formal than others...

www.vacationstogo.com

www.priceline.com

affording me best prices recently on Caribbean Cruises

picked up a balcony from under $500 pp like 70% off

on Priceline recently for a 1 week cruise...

So shop around...Eastern Carib generally works best

for first timers pretty islands great shopping

less dodgy than Western Carib and Mexico usually.

www.weather2travel.com keep in mind lots of rain in fall.

www.insuremytrip.com always wise...

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:34 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Thanks for the responses! I checked out vacationstogo and will likely book with them. I've still got a lot of research to do, but I appreciate the help. Thanks so much.
althom1122 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 03:36 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,428
Hi Karen. IMHO do a southern Caribbean rte. out of San Juan. The islands this rte. typically goes to are very nice. We've done this twice and I just love. If you do go try to spend a few days pre or post cruise in San Juan. There is a ton to see and do there as well. As for the ship I recommmend A voyager class ship from Royal Caribbean. These are great, have alot of attractions or amenities including a skating rink with an ice show. Also if you can get a Freedom class ship these are nice too. They are the next generation after the Voyager class. Thses ships are amazing and if its fun you want you'll get it. If you decide to go this rte. I know some excellent private tur guides for St. Lucia, St. Martin and Antigua if your ship stops there which most often they do or at least some of these. Good luck in deciding. The preparation is ahlf the fun. Larry.
jacketwatch is offline  

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