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help us pick a first cruise - Caribbean in June

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Jan 24th, 2010, 02:47 PM
  #1
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help us pick a first cruise - Caribbean in June

We are a family of four with "kids" who will be 18 & 22 this summer. Looking to take our first cruise in June after DS's high school graduation. We all like beaches & snorkeling. The parents would like some nice food. We all want entertainment - but of course, our music tastes & our kids are not the same. We'd appreciate piano bar, jazz, oldies while they'd like modern stuff, dancing, maybe karaoke.

Based on itineraries, departure dates etc, I have narrowed it down to 6 trips, listed below. Please give comments on which you would recommend/not recommend & why. Also, which do you think is more important - the ship or the itinerary?

Thanks in advance.

RCCL Liberty Of The Seas Departure Port: Miami, Florida
Ports of Call: Miami, Florida; Labadee, Haiti; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; Miami, Florida
2010 Date(s): 06 Jun , 20 Jun


RCCL Liberty Of The Seas Departure Port: Miami, Florida
Ports of Call: Miami, Florida; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Labadee, Haiti; Miami, Florida
2010 Date(s): 13 Jun , 27 Jun

Princess- Emerald Princess Embarkation Port: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Ports of Call: FLL, Princess Cays, Bahamas, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Grand Cayman, Islands, Cozumel, Mexico, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
2010 June 6,20

Princess- Emerald Princess Embarkation Port: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Ports of Call: FLL, Princess Cays, Bahamas, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Grand Turk, FLL
2010 June 13,27

Celebrity Solstice Embarks Ft Lauderdale, FL
Ports of Call:FLL, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico, Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, Roatan, Honduras, FLL
2010 June 6,20

Carnival Valor Embarks Miami, FL
Ports of Call: Miami, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Isla Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Mexico, Miami
2010 June 6,13,20
jerirl is offline  
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Jan 26th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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I'm going to choose Princess - the one that goes to Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. I did that same exact cruise 2 years ago....absolutely loved it!
My favorite thing about it, is that it was perfect for both age groups. We had a few of us 22-25 year olds, and a few adults in early 50's. Great mix of entertainment for both. Princess has great food and food options for everyone, and there were always a million things to be doing! Many of which both parties can enjoy. It was fun to watch the staff have a volleyball match in the pool, to trivia games, bingo, hypnotist, live music, and of course karaoke!
As for the itinerary itself, I think it fits both parties. If you do take this one, I highly recommend in Ocho Rios just doing the Dunn's Rivers Falls excursion...it was a BLAST! Hiking up a waterfall in the jungle?? Something you'll never do again!
Let me know if you have any further questions about this specific trip...thanks! And good luck!
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Jan 26th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Also, I forgot to mention, I do have some pictures of the cruise ship itself if you'd like some. Let me know!
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Jan 26th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Off your list, I've sailed on RCCL and Princess and found the food on Princess much better.

"Also, which do you think is more important - the ship or the itinerary?" - for me, the itinerary comes first, for some people I know - the cruise company or the ship, it depends.
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Jan 26th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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Actually we try to find BOTH ship and itinerary to match up. That being said I think the one I would choose would be the 2nd Emerald Princess route you listed. as much as I would like to try the the Liberty of the Seas the Princess port stops appeal to me much more and the Emerald is a fairly new ship too. St. Maarten is on eof my fav islands. Overall the Emerald should have plenty to do for the kids and you guys too. Have fun. Larry
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Jan 29th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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I think the kids will have a better time on Carnival or Royal. Princess does have better food and service, but the entertainment at night doesn't compare.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 09:36 AM
  #7
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Thanks for the responses. Let me update the situation. Remove some ships and add others.

I said we are cruise newbies, and that's true - for me, DH & DD. However, our son, the 18 yo went on a cruise with his cousin's family last year. He loved it & convinced us to give it a try. I recently checked through the old records & found the itinerary he took. He went on the Ruby Princess & the Western Caribbean itinerary was the exact same one as the Emerald Princess above.

So...Don't want to take the Emerald Princess June 6 trip which would be an exact repeat for DS. Also, the other western Caribbean cruises are very similar. Right now, I am leaning towards the Emerald Princess Eastern Caribbean or the RCCL Eastern Caribbean, both June 13. The RCCL sounds like a more fun ship for the kids, but there is an extra at-sea day which I think the parents would not find interesting. (We love the beach, but are not big pool goers & don't gamble or shop much.) What do you do during the day on a cruise when you're at sea?

Also want to add in two more possibilities, both southern Caribbean on RCCL Serenade of the Seas. The itineraries are better for us as we haven't been to any of these islands & there are less at sea days. However, they embark from San Juan instead of Miami or Fort Lauderdale (but later in the day which allows more travel time). Also, it is an older ship - Serenade of the Seas.

What do you think?
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