Help me decide on a cruise

Old Oct 31st, 2005, 08:11 AM
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rhy
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Help me decide on a cruise

My family is trying to decide on a vacation for next summer. My wife and I would like to go to Italy for a week, but the 2 girls (17 and 12) would prefer a cruise and are really pushing it. The trip will be for the older girls high school graduation, so I kind of feel obligated to try and like a cruise.

Can someone help me to see the benifits of cruises? (I was in the Navy and have been on enough ships) What is there to do besides gamble and eat? I need convincing that this would be fun.

What cruise lines would be best for a 13 and a 18 year old girl? Which islands would you go to? And, any other tips that you can provide would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.

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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 09:32 AM
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And a cruise in/to/from Italy is out of the question?

There are numerous cruise itineraries that start, end, or call at various Italian ports. Your girls could share a cabin, you and your spouse in another. Meet at meal times or for shore visits/excursions, otherwise many ships have facilities and activities aimed at younger passengers.

Yes, cruises will present plenty of opportunities to exercise various vices - gluttony, avarice, sloth, vanity... but also a Mediterranean cruise can feature gorgeous villages, ancient history, great shopping, hikes, bikes... plenty. Plus economically it often turns out to be a pretty good deal, given the high cost of shore-based rental cars, hotels, restaurants, train fares, all that.

As for which cruise lines would be best, because of your family composition I'd be inclined to think one of the more mass-market oriented lines, like Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Costa (Italian-themed) or Carnival might be more to your liking than Holland America or Oceania, which appear to focus more on older passengers and/or make few accommodations for younger passengers.

You might want to go lurk on the boards at cruisecritic.com for tons more input.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 01:26 PM
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Eighteen can be a difficult age on a cruise (we went when our son was 18) unless she is very outgoing - and even then it can be an in-between age. Too old for teen activities (on many lines over-populated by 13-15 year olds) and too young for some adult activities (bars, etc.)

That said, our 13 year old dtr and 18 year old son had a great time (we did Boston-Bermuda)
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 03:53 AM
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I would consider Royal Carribean or Carnival to anywhere in the caribean. Think both these ships have a teen only disco or the adult disco is for teens til 11 or 12PM. They can meet other teens there 1st night. If school is out, there will be many kids on any ship.
There is more to do than you can do on a cruise ship! There are pool games, a calipso band on the deck, trivia, tours of parts of ship, bingo, dance lessons, how to fold napkins, how to make animals out of towells, etc., etc., etc. But I just like sitting on deck with a good book. There isn't as much to do when you're in port cause you're off the ship but whenever you are at sea, there are tons of options! And, a cruise doen't have to be as expensive as people think! We are going on Carnival's Glory, 7 days for [email protected], NCL Majesty, 11 days, New Years for $850. We have a great cruise agent!If you'd like her name or have any othe questions, email me at [email protected]
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 05:09 AM
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rhy
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Thanks for your replys. We are probably going to stick to a cruise close to the US just because of the extra travel time, although a Med cruise is tempting.

My older daughter is a bit introverted, but she is the one that is pushing for a cruise, so I am pretty sure she would enjoy herself.

bonniejns, thanks for your help. I will probably email you later once we have decided on a cruise. Do you find it better to use a travel agent vice the internet? Is the cost difference that much? I am sure I will be asking for you travel agent number in the future (unless the internet is a big savings).
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 05:30 AM
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You have received some wise advice.My husband, an x-Navy guy,
also thought "there would be nothing
to do" But that was before his first
pleasure cruise.
You are also wise to stick to a
Bermuda or Carib itinerary as you
would not get enuf time on a Med.
7-day'er or so to do more than get
a feel for each port.
Do some more R&D by reading
cruise critic etc & go w/a line that
offers teen activities (I would not
suggest HAL in this case).
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 06:37 AM
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Princess offers teen activities. I sailed on the Caribbean Princess in August of 04. We had loads of kids on board, but they seemed very well engaged in their own things!

Caribbean Princess western Carib itinerary offers some great stops with lots of things kids would enjoy. You might check out the Carib Princess, as well as Royal Carib and Carnival.
Carol
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 07:21 AM
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Consider the weather factor too - Caribbean and summer = hot and possibly some storm action.

What about Alaska? Tons of itineraries available from Vancouver or Seattle, both nice towns on their own, and plenty of opportunities for independent travel in Alaska or the Pacific NW before or after.
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 11:17 AM
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rhy-

I would do a Princess cruise to the MED with the kids...Not only is the kid program (while at sea) is good,the ports are fabulous...

Also remember all your food is taken care of...

It is super hot in the Carib. but if you decide to go there, I still would take Princess. They also have Personal Choice dining (which means you call down and make a reservation to dine at anytime)...We love that.

I think the kids would be so psyched from the Med that on your rare days at sea, they will probably want to relax and just get some sun....

Either way, have a blast!
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 11:49 AM
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You can find great deals at vacationstogo.com. Has a really good search engine to really narrow down your cruise. Just one tip to throw in - like a previous poster said, you and your wife can share a cabin and your girls the other. However, the cruise lines won't let you book one cabin with two minors in it. So on paper, it would have to be one adult and one minor in each cabin. Then just swap when you board.

A caribbean cruise that calls at grand Cayman would be really fun. You can book an excursion where you swim with the stingrays. Another port, Belize, also has a snorkel excursion which goes to shark/ray alley, where you can snorkel with nurse sharks and again, rays.

Good luck - there are tons of possibilities, but I really think you'll enjoy it.
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 03:39 PM
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FYI we did a summer cruise to the Med. and it too was HOT. However the port itineraries will be far more interesting there vs. the Carib. The Carnival Liberty, a new ship, has been getting great reviews for its Med. cruise BTW. Good luck.
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