Need info on cruises in general

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Feb 9th, 2000, 10:43 AM
  #1
Melissa
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Need info on cruises in general

Hi, I am trying to plan a cruise for next spring and know absolutely nothing about them. I have stayed at resorts before and loved them, but I know a cruise is totally different from a resort. I guess the main things I am trying to figure out right now are the destination and offshore tours just to start with. We have been to Jamaica so that is not a must-see for us. We would love to go to Bermuda. We would also love to go to the Bahamas or Mexico so that I can swim with the dolphins. I wanted to do this long before it became popular or had even heard of it. There are many places in Mexico that I would like to see and I would love to visit the Atlantis resort in Nassau. One thing that bothers me is that you have only a few hours to tour these places - would a few hours be worth a tour of Atlantis, plus swimming in some of their pools (if they even allow this). We would also like to see Hawaii. We are very interested in the offshore tours - any suggestions of itineraries, etc.? I apologize for being so general, but I am just starting to research.
 
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Feb 9th, 2000, 01:39 PM
  #2
Debi
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Having been in a similar position myself a few months ago - I'll tell you what I did, and maybe that will help you. I am a resort person - I like the land alot - but we decided we wanted to go to several different places (happens to be in Europe - but it's irrelevant). As I started researching the different places (which is a KEY decision), we decided to pursue looking into a cruise. So - first - decide where you want to go. For example, I love the beach and last year we went to French Polynesia. I'm sure the cruises there are great - but staying in those resorts was unbelieveable and I wouldn't have changed anything for the world. But - if you want to go several different places - look at a cruise. So I started looking at websites. It gets SO confusing! I couldn't keep anything straight. I went to a travel agent that specializes in cruises and got brochures. You have to be able to answer these 3 questions - 1) when do you want to go, 2) where do you want to go - and then how much do you want to spend. After looking at the brochures, the itinerary got us down to 2 choices - Crystal and Princess. Then, the ammenities that Crystal has locked us onto Crystal. I'm sure both would have been wonderful. It took us a couple months to really decide. Getting the brochures helped us ALOT, though - as well as reading this forum. This will be my second cruise (1st wasn't too hot) and my friend's first. We're VERY excited about the whole thing. So - whatever you pick - pick something that you can get really excited about, too. I went to Nassau years ago and stayed at what was then Merv Griffins (Now Atlantis). It was really wonderful - water was gorgeous - but having been there, it probably would be a good cruise stop. I've been to Mexico on both a cruise - and a couple land trips. Depending on what you like - both were fine. I'd also look at the Caribbean islands. Some of the cruise itineraries look great. There are also a few Cruise books you can get at the book store that rates all the different cruise lines that I also found helpful. They talk about side trips and such. Good Luck!!
 
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Feb 9th, 2000, 03:20 PM
  #3
Marilyn
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Melissa, Have fun planning your cruise. Debi is correct on the main things you need to figure out first. You also need to think about what you like to do so that you can match up to a good ship. That can make a big difference. We have always liked RCCL for a fun ship with good service, food, and entertainment. We're going on a Celebrity next for the superior ( so I'm told by everyone that has been ) service and food. You make want that or you may want a more "party" atmosphere. Not that RCCL doesn't party....we've always had a blast! If you think that would be better, you might look at the newer Carnival ships. I think cruising is just the perfect vacation. The time in port seems short but you can really do a lot. Find a good travel agent that specializes in cruises and is willing to spend time helping you. That will help a lot. I am one and can answer most questions or give you referrals if you want to contact me direct.
 
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Feb 10th, 2000, 03:54 AM
  #4
peg
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Hi -- I never see anyone suggest this, but my favorite source for info (aside from bulletin boards) is the public library. lots of (free) info and they usually have lots of travel videos as well. have fun and try not to stress too much -- the planning is part of the adventure.
 
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Feb 10th, 2000, 05:56 AM
  #5
Kathy
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One advantage to cruising to Bermuda is that you only visit that island and get to spend much more time there than on cruises that stop at a different island each day. Most cruises dock at both Hamilton and St. George (these ports are on opposite sides of the island) so you have a couple of days at each port. The island is quite small, like 27 sq. miles so it's very easy to get around. If you want tours, they are available through the ship or easy to plan on your own. You can also rent scooters, a GREAT way to see the island and the bus and ferry service are very reliable as well. Bermuda is a gorgeous island - very clean, safe and friendly and the beaches are spectacular with pink sand. The shopping is wonderful, it's a British island so you have quality goods and not a lot of the touristy junk you see on Caribbean islands. There is also a hotel on the island that has a swim with the dolphins program but I don't know the particulars on it. Bermuda is quite expensive to stay at a hotel and eat on the island so a cruise is an ideal way to see it. The ship serves as both your hotel and restaurant and since you dock right in town, it is always convenient. We have been on 16 cruises on all different lines and to many different ports and Bermuda is definitely one of our favorites (along with Alaska). I would highly recommend Celebrity - outstanding food and service.
 
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Feb 13th, 2000, 12:51 PM
  #6
Rebecca
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Hi Melissa,
After you have collected info and brochures, do what I did....go to these (2) sites and look at the reviews for the cruise lines and itineraries you are interested in:
1) www.cruiseopinion.com
2) www.sealetter.com

Both of these sites helped me tremmndously and I picked my honeymoon cruise based on the research I did at them.
Hope this helps!
 
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Feb 14th, 2000, 09:33 AM
  #7
Steve w
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Melissa: If you want a long stay in the bahamas check out the Premier's Big Red Boat I. it does 3 or 4 days to bahamas. you leave from port canaveral Fri for 3 day or mon for 4 days. the next day you are at Nassau. you stay overnight and leave the next evening around 6pm. its like 30 hours in port, they do have a dolphin encounter that was very good. the 4 day cruise gives you a day at sea. The Big Red is 38000 tons and well maintained, actual name is oceanic. We have been on big red 4 times & always use "MARTIN' At cruises only. you can contact them and do everything by phone 1-800-683-7447 ex 77553. They have always been chaeper than other agency. in fact they guarantee it. the 4 day off season goes around 800 for good outside cabin including port charges. Premiers site is premiercruises.com to get a virtual tour of most major ships try MYTRAVELCO.com click on cruises on left then on 360% ship tours also on left . just pick your ship and enjoy. Port Canaverl is 60 miles east of disney so you can extend you vacation there. need any more help e-mail me. i live in fl.
 
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