Help with planning parents first cruise

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Nov 10th, 2003, 08:24 PM
  #1
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Help with planning parents first cruise

I'm planning on treating my parents to their first cruise (7 days) in Jan/Feb '04. They're in their late 60's/early 70's and live in Florida
between Tampa and Orlando. I usually visit europe twice a year but have only been on one cruise so now I have lots of questions:

1) What would be the best cruise line/itinerary?

I figure it would be most convenient to leave out of Tampa or Port Canaveral unless we can get a super deal from Miami/Lauderdale.
My parents aren't into the super fancy things and are non-drinkers. I've read alot of good things about the Holland America cruises
that leave Tampa.

2) Where is the best website for finding good deals? Other than the third week of each month my calendar is somewhat open so
we could even do a last minute booking if these are better bargains (are they)?

3) I'll be traveling with them but booking a separate cabin. Will I basically have to pay double for the single supplement? I
definately don't want to take on a roommate, especially a stranger. Will I be able to get a room in the same general area as my
parents?

That's all I can think of for now. Any other advice is more than welcome. Thanks in advance for your help.
CathyM is offline  
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Nov 11th, 2003, 01:59 PM
  #2
 
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Take a look at the "90 day ticker" section of vacationstogo.com to get an idea of what last minute fares are going for.

Some cruise lines have reductions on single supplements on certain sailings and you will not have to pay double. Unforturnately, I'm not familiar with any website that posts a listing of singles specials.

Unless you book a guarantee category, you can select your cabin number at the time of booking.
Patty is offline  
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Nov 11th, 2003, 03:29 PM
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Cathy, you may want to find out how many cruises are leaving from Tampa or Port Canaval. My guess is there are many more leaving from Port Everglase or Miami. So if you want to leave from Tampa or Port Canaval, you don't have many cruises to choose from. Try Cruise Value Center (you can use google.com to find out the website). Use expedia.com or travelocity.com to search cruises based on departing city. Once you decided on a cruise, use other sites to find a low price.

For single rate, you should call the cruise directly to ask about single rate. Some website allows you to enter 1 person and give you a rate quote for 1 person in a room. Carnival has a 1 1/2 single rate. Don't know about others. Like the other post said, in general, you can pick your own room if it's not a garantee rate. Happy travel.
wt88 is offline  
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Nov 11th, 2003, 04:45 PM
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Holland America is a good choice but there is a very limited itinerary from Tampa. One ship out of Tampa that I would avoid is Holland America
s Noordam. This ship is old and will be sold soon. All other Holland ships are ok.

Depending on how active your parents are and what they like to do might help with advice.

The Western itinerary out of Tampa usually includes Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Not much on Caymen accept to snorkle with the sting rays.
Cozumel has a lot of shopping, and some beaches.

The Veendam is doing Belize and Guatemala in Jan and Feb. Not my idea of great places to visit on your first cruise. This same cruise also goes to Cozumel and Key West.
There is a second intinerary in Jan/Feb, for the Veedam, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay Jamaica.

You may want to look into the Eastern cruises also.
Starfish is offline  
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Nov 12th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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Shop around, then call 1-800-cruises and they will match/beat whatever rate you get. There are less choices and older ships out of Port Canaveral and Tampa, but the rates may be better and it may be worth the convenience of not driving to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale.
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