The Carribean for 14 of us - Dec '09

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Jul 8th, 2008, 09:53 AM
  #1
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The Carribean for 14 of us - Dec '09

What with grandkid's schedules, it's the only time we can go, so now is not too early to reserve.
Any advise re itineraries with kids in mind (ages will be 7-14) would be appreciated.
The ships keep getting bigger, which I hate, but we don't seem to have much choice. Which do you think are fun without too much rowdiness or glitz?
Some itineraries I've seen include Labadee, Haiti, or Roatan, Honduras, or Jamaica. Any opinions on these stops?
Thanks for any and all help.
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Jul 8th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Hmmm- why hasn't this shown up on the cruise forum yet??
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Jul 9th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Have you looked at any eastern or sourhtern Caribean cruises? If you want info on ports go to cruisecritic.com. This is a BIG cruise site and they have info on ALL the ports. You can also ask questions on it like you did here about tours, etc.
You should also consdier what a ship has for those kids. Some don't have as much for them as others. Know Carnival, RCCL, Costa and of course Disney, have great kids programs.
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Jul 9th, 2008, 03:42 PM
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We've done all three Caribbean routes and our favorite seems to be the Western. We did the RCCL itinerary (Belize, Georgetown etc.)with some of the family and loved it, but don't necessarily want to duplicate. That's why I'm curious about the ports I mentioned- they're ports on other lines.
What are Princess and Crystal like for kids?
Re cruisecritic, I've been on it, but I find it has almost too much info. Like Fodor's feedback best.
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Jul 10th, 2008, 02:58 AM
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Frankly NGail you will get much more feedback if you post a query on Cruisecritic as there is infinitely more traffic. And you don't have to check it daily, just select thread select & NEW posts to your query will be daily e-mailed to you.

From what I have gleaned Princess &
certainly not Crystal, geared to high-end sailers, would not be a good fit for your grandkids.
Carnival & RCCL would. You may have to compromise ports for a better-suited ship for the children.
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Jul 10th, 2008, 03:54 AM
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A western Carib. itinerary including Grand Cayman would allow grandkids to do the StingRay City thing - I think they would love that.
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Jul 11th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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Gail, I agree.
We did the western caribbean with RCCL - stingray ciy, Lamanai in Belize, etc. The 2 grandkids we had with us then adored it- as did their parents. That was three years ago, and the trip we're planning now is 12/09.
We may yet take the same trip with RCCL with different shore excursions. (but would include the stingrays again!)
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Jul 11th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Just reread this thread. Can't beleve I wrote Crystal instead of
Celebrity!
Crystal is probably too high end for us even without the kids!
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Jul 20th, 2008, 09:10 AM
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I also use cruisecritic.com when planning a cruise. We booked a lovely cruise last Feb. for our family on the Celebrity Century. It is an older ship, but has been redone. We actually had sailed this ship when it was brand new and Celebrity was a separate cruiseline. It's now owned by RCCL.

This was only a 5 day cruise but was an excellent get together for our family. The total cost of the cruise, including port charges, taxes everything was $400pp for double occupancy. This was a great deal. We were footing the bill.

This ship did the Western Caribbean, not my favorite ports but we had a great time. Hired a guide to drive us around in Jamaica, did Dunn River Falls. In Grand Cayman, we loved spending the day in a quiet section of 7 mile beach(found a great spot under the trees).

We have taken about 9 cruises but hadn't cruised for about 10 years. It was a perfect family get together though. We thoroughly enjoyed it and our kids (they're 25 and 27) were thrilled to join us.

Our friends bemoan the fact that their children are getting so old and that they won't be able to travel together any longer. From what we and a lot of others have found though---if you pay, they will come.
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Jul 21st, 2008, 07:10 AM
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I love RCCL for families, but don't completely exclude Princess - it is a great cruise line, especially for extended families of all ages. Great food, nice staterooms, great itineraries. It often prices out similar to RCCL. As a cruise agent, I recommend both lines to families. Let me know if you need more answers!
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Jul 21st, 2008, 02:58 PM
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Thanks all for your responses.
At this point our agent is looking into prices. We want the Western Caribbean cause I think it has the most interesting ports for kids (tubing, Mayan ruins, stingrays etc.).
The RCCL ship now doing the Western itinerary has 3600+ passengers (regular occupancy, not holiday!) which I'm not happy about.
Travlgal- what's your opinion of Carnival's Legend? It has a nice itinerary and "only" @ 2300 passengers. I'm leary of Carnival's party-boat reputation but my agent says they've come a long way.
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Jul 21st, 2008, 08:11 PM
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There will be a difference between sailing on Carnval and/or Princess. That being said, Carnival is definitely trying to change its reputation and become known as more of a family ship - not a party boat. I have sold lots of Carnival to families as its price point becomes quite attractive - all of my clients come home surprised how much they enjoyed it.
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Jul 22nd, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Hubby & I have booked Carnival Conquest for a family vacation Dec.08. We will be leaving 12/28 so this will be a New Yrs cruise. Taking daughter,son-in-law,2 grdaughters and two sons. Daughter picked cruise because of ports, Jamaica, Grand Cayman,and Cozumel and we can drive to Galveston. If sons get married we will take wife but no girlfriends. It will be more prcey going NY's, but this is their Christmas. We have sailed on Conquest before and enjoyed it. Christmas cruise was less exp.but girls (2 &7) wouldn't understand about Santa. Just enjoy family being together.
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Aug 10th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Still leaning towards Carnival's Legend, both because of the itinerary and the size. We've some reluctant cruisers in the group and I'm afraid RCI's 3600+ passenger behemoths (on all the Caribbean routes) would be more than they could stomach. Did look into Princess, but sailing is on 12/26 -would likely mean flying in on Christmas Day.
This being said, would still appreciate hearing any plus/minus feedback on the Legend.
Fosterag- enjoy your New Year's cruise! We'll also be going New Year as Christmas '09 falls on a Friday and we are slaves to 3 different school district calenders - not sure which ones, if any, will have that week off.
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Aug 15th, 2008, 02:47 PM
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Here is the link to the review of the Carnival Legend on cruise critic. Good luck!

http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/...cfm?ShipID=253

Have you looked into Disney cruises?
You will be amazed at how 14 year olds (and older) still like Disney stuff.

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Aug 17th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Cruisecritic reviews for the Legend are pretty good - 4+ star from the critic review and 5 star from member reviews.
Disney is too pricy for me - and as my agent once said - "You may love YOUR grandchildren, but do you love EVERYBODYS?"
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Sep 6th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Good point! I have to remember that when we have grandkids. Have you look at Princess or RCCL or anyone else?

I think we have out grown Carnival and enjoyed Princess more on the last few trips. We seems to be able to relax more on a Princess ship.
There seems to be more drinking on the open deck on a Carnival ship.
With that said, my wife misses the towel animals in the cabin and the song and dance by the wait staff at dinner (I like quiet dinners so I am happy) We also liked the any time dining option.

Good luck and enjoy your cruise with the grandkids.
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Mar 4th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Fosterag-
By now you've been on your cruise with your family on Carnival's Conquest and I hope you had a wonderful time. Any hints for our upcoming trip this winter - on Carnival's Legend?
How were the excursions? Did you book your own or go on the ships?
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Mar 5th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Why not a big ship? I think that there will be more for kids on thye bigger ships.
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Mar 5th, 2009, 08:40 PM
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There's big and there's BIG. A ship with @2000 guests is plenty big enough for me. I think 4000 is way over the top.
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