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Please help married couple (30s) with basic cruise questions

Please help married couple (30s) with basic cruise questions

Mar 12th, 2003, 07:00 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 179
Please help married couple (30s) with basic cruise questions

Message: Please help married couple (30s) with basic cruise questions...

1) When are the best times to go on a carribean cruise? Times not to go?

2) How does one get the best rates?

3) Any suggestions on what cabin to choose (difference between a ocean view or below deck)

4) What's the deal with the drink plans? Anyway to get all inclusive including drinks?

5) Anyone been on Royal Carribean Voyager or Navigator?

6) Any other tips, tidbits..

7) Best day trips for snorkeling

8) What is the best cruise line for service, food quality?

Many, many thanks...
Amanda
Atlanta, Georgia

(About us: 30 year old married couple, money is not terribly an issue but we always want the best deal )


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amandaamanda is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:23 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92
Amanda--(1 and 2)The Best time to Cruise(IMHO) is anytime you want. Historically the best deals for a Carribean Cruise are Nov thru Jan excluding Xmas and New Year's week with peak season during the Feb to April time frame. But with the Cruise industry hurting for passengers right now I've sceen some big discounts for cruises if you're able to go within the next 2 months(less than $100 a day for a balcony). Discounts which were unheard of a year ago and they may continue throughout the year. Check web sites and subscribe to their free newsletters to find some of the best deals. Sites like MyTravelco.com, seasavers.com, icruise.com or allaboardtravel.com and numerous others are some of the largest cruise providers. Also check out Frommers.com and cruisecritic.com for some great cruise advice.
(3)Which Cabin you choose is a personal choice. If your claustrophobic don't get an inside cabin. If motion sickness is a concern then a cabin low and in the middle is recommended. If you're never in your cabin except to sleep, shower and change then an inside is ok. Or if you spend a lot of time in your cabin then a balcony is in your future.
(4)On Drink Plans most of the mainline cruises only have a soft drink plan, with alcohol and beer going for $3 to $5 per drink. You'll have to check with each individual Cruise line or their web page to see if they offer drink plans.
(5) RCI's Voyager and Navigator are great ships that you would definitely like. Check cruisecritic.com for reviews on these ships and more.
(7) IMHO Cozumel, Buck Island(St Croix), St Johns and Curacao offer some of the best snorkling but that is just my opinion.
(8) IMHO RCI, NCL, Celebrity and Princess are roughly in the same category with Carnival just a notch below and all will give a great cruise experience depending on the ship. Also check out Windjammer Barefoot cruises as an alternative, a completely different cruise experience you may want to consider.
Happy Travels. CB
cbo86 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 05:55 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23
You may want to consider that the hurricane season runs June through at least October into November. So your route may be affected if storms are in the path of the cruise.

As for which line, it depends on your expectations on a cruise. It's a very personal matter. We aren't all night partyiers and we like bigger cabins for the money (and always a balcony for us). Hence Holland America is the main line we prefer. We liked Royal Caribbean but the crowds were too much for us. HAL ships are smaller though their new Vista ships (includinging Zuiderdam in the Caribbean) are bigger. Still more space per passenger though than the other lines. Less children on HAL, too, though they are cattering to families moe now like other lines. But if you go when schools are in session around the country, there should be less children on board.

A few of the luxury lines include bar sets ups and some drinks, but you pay for that among other benefitrs of going with a luxury line) in your cruise price. So the price you want to pay for the cruise will also help steer you to a particular line.
ashuma1 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 09:16 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 97
Best time depends on you, but there are certain times I'd try to avoid unless don't mind hoards of kids. Families tend to cruise during the summer, Christmas, New Years and Presidents weeks, and spring break (which can vary widely, but is usually close to Easter). I also wouldn't go from mid August to mid October because that is the height of hurricane season.

Best mainstream cruiseline for service is probably Holland or Celebrity. Food is another hotly debated subject, but we like Celebrity's offerings and their overall presentation.

Once you've thoroughly researched the cruiselines/ships/itineraries and have narrowed it down to 2-3 sailings get quotes from several web based cruise agencies such as mytravelco.com, bestpricecruises.com and cruisequick.com Always make sure your quotes are inclusive of all the taxes and fees and you are comparing apples to apples (same cabin type for the same sailing etc). You may even want to talk to a regular travel agent just to get your feet wet, plus they'll have lots of brochures for you to look through. However, do NOT book with them until you've gotten quotes from at least 3 other agencies....preferably web based since their prices seem to always be lower! Hope this helps and happy cruising!!!
Lenore is offline  
Mar 13th, 2003, 07:14 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 179
Many thanks for the kind replies. This truly helps a ton... God bless you all... Amanda
Atlanta, GA
amandaamanda is offline  

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