How should I search for our first cruise?

Mar 29th, 2012, 10:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 243
How should I search for our first cruise?

We are considering a cruise for next year. It would be our first. I am struggling on how to search - Do I go off of locations I want to stop at or do I search based on a specific cruise line and ship?

I ask because I found a cruise that stopped at some of my top ports (St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados) over my ideal timeframe and then when I started to research the cruise line (Carnival) and ship I wasn't sure if it is what we are looking for.

That said, ideally we want southern Caribbean in April/May on a adult-friendly (not against kids, just don't want it overwrought with them) clean, newer ship.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!
pijeta is offline  
Mar 29th, 2012, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
You need to decide what you want. Caribbean cruises are fun and often stress fun over sightseeing for instance. Carnival ships tend to be fun ships while Holland America ships are more staid. April May may find fewer kids, but you never know. Get on a cruise website - most seem to like cruise critic and read what people say about specific ships. There are also good printed guide books which discuss lines and ships. To some extent, you need to just pick something because you really learn what you like from exoerience.
Aristotle is offline  
Mar 29th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
Thats a pretty broad question. I looked at so. Carib. cruises which is my fav Carib. route BTW and do see that there are way more choices for April vs. May.

Next is how long to you want to go for. If this is your 1st cruise then perhaps 7 nights would be best to test the waters so to speak.

Then what sort of cabin do you want. We always try for a balcony cabin though of course the cost is more.

As for what line or ship its sort of like this in a nutshell. Carnival has been fine with us though I would avoid their older ships.
Royal Caribbean has some nice ships that time of yr. including the fab Adventure of the Seas which we took in 2008 and knocked our socks off. Do a google search for pics to see for yourself. I am sure you will love this ship.
I do see that the Celebrity Equinox has a slot there too during that time and this ship has won awards for best in its class for new and large ships. We hope to be on her in Oct. This would be a winner I am sure.
Generally speaking HAL and Princess tend to attract a more adult crowd. As you will be going past spring break and before kids are off for summer vacations I don't think there will be too many kids on board no matter what ship you choose.
I hope this helps. Please ask as you need. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 30th, 2012, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Best southern low/no kid experience with Celebrity RCL
[email protected] good
deals for me in the past. also sometimes. ship ratings reviews.

Happy Hunting!
qwovadis is offline  
Mar 30th, 2012, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
When I did this last flew into San Juan PR or saved the long RT cruise slog down from FL.
Had a wonderful time was able to see many more islands in the South. So might depart from San Juan as my port.
qwovadis is offline  
Mar 30th, 2012, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
You may find this helpful.
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 30th, 2012, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,314
Our first "testing the waters" cruise only a couple of years ago was exactly what you are looking at: S. Caribbbean. We opted for Princess, Caribbean Princess and absolutely loved it. We left from San Juan because flight costs were almost the same and there were more ports to visit during the seven days. Like QW, I recommend that. There was plenty to do on the ship and many adventures to have in the various ports - a great intro to cruising. Seven days is perfect for a first time. Go as early as possible in April, even Feb or March, if you can. Starting April 1, lots of ships in the Caribbean begin repositioning to the med for the summer, and many are moved by end of April. There will still be ships in the Caribbean, but your choices will be much more limited.

Cruisecritic is great for reading about the ships, etc. vacationstogo is good for getting ideas of all that is available.

On vacationstogo, near the end of the 90 day ticker, you will see how many ships are repositioning during April from the Caribbean to the Med.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 31st, 2012, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 803
Sounds like Celebrity would be a good bet for you. I took the Summitt out of San Juan for a week recently, and it was definitely an adult crowd, very few kids. It was the ship's first sailing after a refurbishment, and it was fantastic. It was a one-week cruise to St. Croix, St. Kitts, Grenada, Dominica and St. Thomas.
andrews98682 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2012, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
First, you have to figure out where you wanted to go, what time of the year, adn what type of activity.

I came across this company totally by accident. If you have an iPad, you can download an app called iCruise. They have a good search engine to look at what is available by who, when & where, and what price. You don't have to book with them but at least it helps with the search. Disclosure: I have not book with them nor do I intend to in the future as I like my TA too much. I just like iCruise search engine for finding a cruise. So, don't blame me if you book with them. I am a big advocate of supporting your local buisness (and travel agents) and the online travel agents.
Eschew is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 02:26 AM
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Posts: 3,912
AnnMarie_C is offline  

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