Which caribbean cruise line is the best?

Old Jan 25th, 2016, 11:36 PM
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Which caribbean cruise line is the best?

Never taken a Caribbean cruise before...any suggestions in terms of the best cruise line there are for Caribbean? THanks so much!
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Old Jan 26th, 2016, 01:40 AM
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Each cruise line has its own features. Suggest you go to cruisecritic.com where there is a plethora of info.
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Old Jan 26th, 2016, 06:27 PM
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You need to find a cruise line that's a good fit for you.
Some factors to consider:
size of ship
# of children aboard
price, what's included/extra
food quality, traditional/open seating
formal nights or not
itinerary
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Old Jan 26th, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Depends on what you want.
We like a nice ship, but sometimes the itinerary is more important.
There are so many islands. Which ones would you like most to visit?
Seeing the Southern Caribbean requires either a longer cruise or departing from San Juan.
Do you want to see a lot of islands or hang out on the ship, enjoying the warm balmy air?
Some of the super ships can only dock in places with bigger ports. That limits the itinerary unless they are using tenders. Sometimes iffy - weather dependent.
Most ships have a fairly wide appeal, but each has something a bit unique.
Some ships have fantastic food and entertainment.
Some ships have great kids' programs.
Some ships have more popular music, some have more classical.
Some have very casual dress codes, some more dressy.
Departure ports vary in ease of getting there, airfare costs, etc.
Some ports have reputations for better weather with fewer delays.

Our first Caribbean cruise, we departed from San Juan, on a nearly new ship, with visits to five islands. It was magical and got us hooked on cruising.
We love visiting the different islands.

We also enjoy sea days, swimming, movies, dining, etc.

The last couple of years, we just wanted to get away from Northern winters with our DD and DGD. DGD is too young for most excursions, so we didn't care about islands or ports. We choose ships with good food, nice pools, great entertainment and good kids' programs. We wanted short, easy flights. We are booked for three weeks from now departing Ft Lauderdale on a cruise that has only a couple island stops and mostly days at sea.

What we do now is not seeing the Caribbean. It is just a nice vacation with our family, on a ship, in the sun, with lots to do for everyone.

So, you see, there is no best. It is what is best for you.

All that being said, if possible, for a first Caribbean cruise, I recommend a seven night cruise from San Juan, on the nicest ship you can afford that goes to the most (and most interesting) islands.

Also, IMHO, a cheap, even inside cabin, on a great ship with an interesting itinerary, is better than a great cabin on a poor ship.

Read reviews on cruisecritic.com
For a quick overview of some (certainly not all) cruises available, look at vacationstogo.com
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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 06:05 AM
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>>So, you see, there is no best. It is what is best for you.<<

So wise.

There are so many factors to take into consideration and so many individual preferences and criteria.

I personally don't like so much the new mega-huge ships with inner courtyards where the ocean feel is missing, but others seem to love it.
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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 09:03 AM
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Traveler1959,
"I personally do not like so much the new mega-huge ships with inner courtyards where the ocean feel is missing, but others seem to love it."

I feel exactly the same. My favorite ships are the somewhat older Crown Princes and her sister ships that have grand all around promenades. They also have wide connecting hallways from one side of the ship to the other so you could quickly go from side to side to see the landscape or catch the sunset. On those ships, the decks are teak (unless they have been covered) with old fashioned teak loungers. Elegant! No plastic! Being out on the open deck with no high rises or wires in sight - the sense of space is like total freedom. I do hope to go on one of those again with DH.

We have been taking our DD and little DGD with us the last couple of years and have chosen the mega ships because they have good kid's programs and fabulous shows, were more affordable for us and departed from The East Coast of Florida where we get short, cheap flights. They do seem a bit more like resorts than ships, but DD and DGD adore them. They both love the shows. They also like dressing up for dinner and the waiters have been wonderful with DGD. We are going to spoil them next month - the Princess Regal in February.
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Old Jan 29th, 2016, 09:06 AM
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Best for you may even be different at different times.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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All of the above comments are valid. Best is very relative and depends on a lot of personal factors. For your first cruise I would stay with the eastern and southern Caribbean. Western is a our least favorite area.

We like the mid-size ships of Holland Am. Food is excellent, good value, entertainment is good, but tends to draw an older, more retired crowd - few families with children. Their Half Noon Cay is terrific. Just back from two weeks in the Caribbean. We booked two one week cruises back to back on the same ship. Already booked for next year. We go each year for a min of two weeks, sometimes more. Far cheaper than renting a condo in south Florida or the Keys.
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