Which cruise line, and how long?

Mar 8th, 2004, 07:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 73
Which cruise line, and how long?

We are in our late 20's and are thinking about taking a relaxing cruise vacation to the Caribbean. We had a Celebrity cruise booked for our one year wedding anniversary, but had to cancel for various reasons. We're coming up on our third anniversary, and will be taking a vacation in May.

I'm hesitant to go on Carnival, hearing about the party atmosphere, but we are on a budget. We aren't big party people. We want to be able to relax, but also have some activies when we're in the mood. We don't want to have to get TOO dressed up for formal nights, as it would mean spending more money on clothes that we don't have.

Also, do you think 7 nights is too long for first time cruisers? The only way we can take some of the higher end lines is to do the 7 night cruise. 5 nights seem to all be on Royal Caribbean and Carnival in May.

Just looking for some advice and suggestions. Thanks in advance!
fllady is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 03:51 AM
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I think 7 nights is PERFECT for first-time cruisers. And I think you need to remember that you should NEVER pay the brochure price because if you act early enough you can get just about any accomkmodation on any ship at a discount. Use several discounters and compare prices for the same ship/cruise date/accommodations and take the lowest offered price.
On those so-called "formal nights" there is no requirement that you wear VERY formal clothes such as a tux for men...dark suits/sport coats are very often seen.
Go to a site such as cruise-addicts.com and read all the reviews of the ships you might be interested in which may give you some better idea of the ambience aboard. Good luck.
Mar 9th, 2004, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6
We went on RCCL Enchantment of the Seas for our honeymoon. We were also first time cruisers. You will love the cruise and in the end you will feel that 7 days is not enough! Depending on where you live, maybe you could find a cruise that you can drive to the ship instead of flying (if that is an available option). This would save you lots of money.
basketballmom is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 63

I am a travel agent, specializing in cruises, and I think that you should look at Princess or Norwegian. Princess is a level higher in the cruise line hierarchy, but prices are very competitive with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Norwegian's ships are generally very nice and get good reviews, plus a lot of people enjoy the Freestyle Dining program, too.

A word of caution about discounters - do you really know what you're getting? What about hidden fees? A lot of travel agents really know what they're doing and can get you some really nice, free value-added services that add value to your experience, such as shipboard credit, free upgrades, exclusive shore excursions, complimentary private cocktail parties. But, everyone has their preferences, so it is great that there is an option for everyone.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

Best Regards,
jelzie is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 63

I am a travel agent, specializing in cruises, and I answer these type of questions often.

I would suggest looking at Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, for you. Princess is a level higher on the cruise line hierarchy, but their prices are very competitive with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Norwegian also has very nice ships and people seem to generally like the Freestyle Dining. Princess also has the Personal Choice dining option as well.

If you do work with a discounter, please be aware of what you are really getting and of any hidden fees. Also, some of the cruise lines are starting to "crack down" on these discounters in the last couple of months. A lot of the times, travel agents have the same or similar prices, but have shipboard credits, free stateroom upgrades and will often have a price reduction applied to your booking, too.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

Best Regards,
jelzie is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 138
I think you ought to look at one of the Windstar cruises - a good travel agent can find you a great price for a wonderful experience on a small (150 pax) ship which sails about the Caribbean. These ships are wonderful - we leave in 3 weeks for a transatlantic cruise on one of them!!!
wpcx2 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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7 days should be perfect for your first cruise. Any shorter and you'll be disappointed. I too am a big fan of the ships with fewer passengers!
petlover is offline  
Mar 9th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 92
I just did a 7 day Carnival cruise. Way too many little kids to enjoy myself. I felt like I was baby sitting at the hot tub and everywhere else. I found myself up on the topless deck just to avoid them. Be careful when you go and avoid school vacations.

As far as party... I didn't see anything wild on Carnival, only dance rooms that were easy to avoid.
7 days is a minimum. When you are on a cruise 7 days feeels like 7 minutes and I hate boats!
Friends of mine liked Norweigan a lot and they have an adults only pool.
Besides too many little kids carnival was great. Lots of fun entertainment and food.
Kelabel is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13
My husband and I are close in age to you, and I know you would not be disappointed with Royal Caribbean!
7 days is perfect, just make sure there are not too many days at sea if you get bored easy. I really loved Voyager of the Seas, lots of fun stuff to do onboard like rock climbing and ice skating!!! Definitely a good mix of ages there. Plus if you request a big table when you book, they generally seat you with couples in the same age range, we met some nice people that way, but didn't feel obligated to party with them!
TOGirl is offline  
Mar 13th, 2004, 05:05 AM
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flllday- I take it from your name, that you live in Florida............

From that note, I would recommend going out of Ft Lauderdale and trying Princess ( esp. the Golden Princess)...we did that in Dec. and also had personal choice dining- which we loved , as you can opt for a table for 2 one nite, or sit with another couple another nite..etc....

RCL is also a great recommendation for people your age who want a NICE cruise with a NOT so heavy party atmostphere ( which Carnival definitely is)..In additon, the clientele on RCL,Princess and Celebrity is more a laid back atmosphere--not party ,party , party.

My niece ( age 28) just came off RCL Serenade of the Seas for her honeymoon and she LOVED it!!

As far as dress for formal nite, a dark suit for hubs and a cocktail dress or dressy slax and top- will be fine for you..Hardly anyone wears long gowns , but you will find a nice smattering of tuxes, but it is not necessary...

While Windstar is an awesome cruise line and wonderful,I think budget wise, you will be priced out of the market as it is much more expensive..like $2500 pp...

So stick with Princess,RCL or Celebrity..Food on NCL is the pitts..
Our Dec Cruise on the Golden Princess ran $549 pp ( all taexes included!!)...But we did NOT have any air to deal with...So this should be in a good budget for you to start looking...we did BOOK the cruise in Sept for a Dec sailing...
andy is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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We had no problems with Carnival. I think the party ship rep. and connotations as such are over the top. The food was actually ALOT better with them than RCCL. We would actually do Carnival over RCCL. And May shopuld pose no problem with vacationing famalies and children. Bon voyage.
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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One more thing as to the cost. We got a great deal with costco, better than anything I found on the web or with my TA. Sorry TA's out there.
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Actually I just got 2 quotes from quickcruise.com and they beat Costco. Perhaps you should try them.
jacketwatch is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Sorry, that should be cruisequick.com
jacketwatch is offline  

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