with tax season for adam, and much too much wall painting for me, we are looking into cruises for our first get-away... any recommendations on lines and routes?
I'm a lurker, but I know a lot about cruises. Where do you want to take off from? Also, how long do you want to spend on the ship and is price a big factor?
gosh, i love enya.
hey carlee, not so sure on price... and i just don't want to go anywhere cold (alaska)... i'm open!Nicole
If you go through an agent, you can often find last minute cruise deals, up to 50% off the price (so you can get a balcony for an interior price!). I've been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean & Norwegian - of those, RC treats you the best, but Norwegian's the cheapest. Norwegian offers an awesome 7 day Hawaiian cruise, the only Hawaiian cruise to both start and end in Honolulu. That's been our favorite so far, and it was only $540/person. I typically do my research on orbitz and then buy from the cruise line directly; their prices are typically a bit better.My advice is to do a lot of research and avoid doing the cruiseline's shore excursions when you can. We've had a lot of luck renting a car (carrentals.com is good) at each stop and having the freedom we want. In Hawaii we rented snorkel gear from Snorkel Bobs on Maui and returned it on Oahu and had a great time using it in between.Have a great time!
Don't know how long you want to go, but I did a Scandinavia/Russia cruise last year and it was AMAZING - so many beautiful stops.
Yes, I am a frequent cruiser.Best for food: Celebrity (Norwegian isn't bad either, I'm told.)Best (cheaper) Food/Luxury: Princess . . . very nice.Best All Around Fun: Royal Caribbean.Best Ports: St. John's (really beautiful and natural), Grand Caymen (Sting ray city is awesome, so is 7 mile beach), St. Maarten isn't bad, Cozumel is okay too. Not so excited about anything on the western side of Mexico, but if you take a Princess Cruise out there you won't be too disappointed, the ship is fabulous.Best place for deals: Orbitz.com, and then check the cruise line you decide on . . . they might match it.We're off on a Celebrity cruise next week! Can't wait!
Oh if I were you and I could afford to I'd get over to the Mediterranean. Imagine all the gorgeous photography you could take there!
Royal Carribbean is a good cruise line. Especially if you can afford the airfare to Puerto Rico and sail out of that port. AMAZING! You hit Barbados, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Lucia. This cruise is great mainly cause you get to explore Puerto Rico AND you only have 1 day at sea. Good luck!! So exciting!
Ok, so I would highly recommend going through an agent. The reason being that you won't pay any more and he/she will take care of everything for you. Also, if the price drops or if an upgrade becomes available, he/she will get right on it. On our cruise 2 years ago, about 4 months after we booked the cruise, our agent called up and told us that he upgraded us to rooms 2 floors higher for free and the price dropped about $75 per person. Anyway, we always go through Gary Hoffman at Cruise One in SLC (I think he's in West Valley. I've never met him in person, but he's super helpful).As far as pricing, Carnival is by far the cheapest we've ever found. Their newer ships are super nice and are usually stationed over in the Caribbean when they are first launched, but their newest ship, the Splendor, will actually be stationed along the west coast for the remainder of this year. I think it was just launched like last month and it looks amazing. Anyway, it will depart from either LA or San Diego and hit up Puerto Vallerta, Cabo, and one other port. That would be a great cruise and probably the cheapest route for you guys since you're already in CA. We've actually really enjoyed Carnival in the past. They have great service and great food and the price is the lowest. People say they are party boats, but I think you can find whatever you're looking for on all ships. I'd say avoid going over spring break or in the summer to avoid having too many kids/college students.If you are looking to spend more, Royal Caribbean and Princess are probably the best 2. Norwegian used to be nice, but the more I talk to people about it, the more I find out that they don't care for it anymore. The reason being that a few years ago they switched everything up by offering free-style cruising. Part of the fun of cruising is having a set dining time in the dining room and having a waiter who knows who you are and having a guaranteed seat. Well, free-style cruising takes this away and if you want to eat in the dining room, you have to basically get reservations and sometimes wait for up to an hour for your seat. Otherwise you eat on the Lido Deck, which is basically buffet-style...not as nice! Anyway, apparently people don't like the change. Royal Caribbean is geared more towards families, just like Carnival. It's a little more expensive than Carnival, but I've found people either prefer Carnival or they prefer Royal Caribbean. Not sure why. I'd say you can't go wrong with either one.Princess is more up-scale. I haven't ever been on a Princess cruise but they are supposed to be really nice. They are more expensive than either Carnival or RC, however, so I'm sure they serve even more exotic food and such. I've heard they're geared towards more of an older crowd, so everything quiets down at about 9:00 p.m., where on Carnival and RC, that's when the party starts! :)The best website I've found for cruises is www.cruisecritic.com. This site has everything. You can look up ship and itinerary reviews, etc. My family takes a cruise every other year and I'm always the planner, so I spend a lot of time on this site researching everything.And as far as ships go, I say the newer the better! I really don't think it matters so much which cruise line you go on as long as the ship is newer, because everything just seems to be nicer on newer ships. Also, like Kristee said, avoid the cruise lines excursions. You can find the same excursions from independent companies for half the price and they're usually less crowded!
I went on three cruises last year and my favorite was RC. We went on Carnival as well. We didn't enjoy carnival nearly as much as RC and the food wasn't comparable. The service you get on RC is great!! I would also recommend not going on the shore excursions. They are so touristy and you don't actually get a feel for them. The only one I would recommend is sting ray city. Sting ray city was so much fun!!
Royal Carribean all the way my little sis danced on a RC ship and it was know they are the best. Dont go on Carnival..
I've heard skimp on your room but not your cruise line. We loved Celebrity.
I've been on two Princess Cruises, and loved them both. If its not your honeymoon, or some other romantic occasion, save money a lot of money and go with the interior room. It doesn't make that much difference. Good luck!I've heard good things about RC, but I always hear negitive about Carnival. I haven't been on either though, so, tough to say.
The Eastern Caribbean is the way to go. St Johns is the best place on earth. Book it through Costco. It's cheaper.
i've been on four crusies:1)Holland America - Alaska 2) Royal Carribean - Eastern Carribean3)Holland America - Panama Canal 4)Carnival - Mexican RiveraGoing through the Panama Canal was A-MAZ-ING and the port stops were awesome too.Holland America had hands down the best accomodations, service and food. However there are a TON of older folks on board. I'll never go on another Carnival Cruise. Food was disgusting and the boat was just 'eh.*PS STAY AWAY FROM NORWEGIAN*have fun planning!
I went on a Royal Carib. cruise last Christmas--Belize and Cozumel--it was really great!
I lived in the Dutch West Indies for three years. I just moved back to the states in April. YOU MUST GO THE CARIBBEAN! It is beautiful! Take a cruise that goes stops in Sint Maarten. It is so beautiful (I actually had a baby on that island) and wonderful. Of course, I would recommend the island I lived on, Saba, but cruise ships don't dock there. It's too small. I don't know what cruise line to recommend, but I sure saw a lot of Royal Caribbean shops pass by. Enjoy!
thanks for asking the question...we've been wanting tips on cruises too so it was nice to read everyone's responses! :)btw...we got our car broken into AGAIN tonight - we don't leave anything in there anymore so nothing was stolen, luckily - but still! :(
I went on a cruise over Christmas to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on Norwegian. Despite everyone's comments, we really liked Norwegian. I liked not having to eat at certain times and we could dress up if we wanted to. I think it's just your preference. We never experienced wait time for dinner and the food was delish! Good luck planning!
i have been on 4 cruises, and have been the most impressed with Royal Caribbean. it is so nice and classy and has yummy food and all that. i would also recommend going to cozumel, grand cayman islands, bahamas, jamaica - all those ports are oh so nice. happy travels. oh and good luck with tax season, i am enduring it as well.
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thank you all for your comments!
Hi Nicole! I know you said you don't want cold, ie No Alaska, but we went last August and it was AMAZING. We took Holland America the first week in August and the avg temp in the ports was 60 mid day (except for on the iceburg-it was more like 30ish there). We also had perfect weather-sunny and lovely. I have also done Celebrity in the Carribbean (Cayman Islands and Jamaica) and it was very nice and affordable. Our interior room was approx $450 for 5 nights. I also loved this line bc it has a little more grown up feel (not very many kids as there are less games/pool slides/etc on the boat) and the food is great!Whatever you pick, I know you will love it!Ashley
All I have to say is do NOT go on Carnival...we just got back from one with them, and the food was seriously horrible! Also, I think a balcony room is a must! We have done both, and I think that it makes the biggest difference. Sometimes its just fun to hang out in your room, but when you have an interior, you will want to spend the least amount of time possible in there. We loved Royal Carribean!
Hi Nicole:I highly recommend Princess cruise to the Caribbeans.We had a blast last May and hoping to go back again soon.Have fun.Valerie
Princess is absolutely fabulous. A little less party and a little more sophisticated. I have been on both a Carnival and a Princess cruise. I found Carnival to be very focused on partying, and because of that I enjoyed it less. I absolutely LOVED Princess and would recommend it to any one. Go for a balcony room, it really changes the experience...there is nothing like standing on your balcony in the middle of the night and just watching the ocean go by. I also highly recommend the Carribbean....OOOOOHHHH so beautiful! I have never seen an ocean so clear and blue!
Hi ~ We have been on many cruises, and we have found Princess and Celebrity to be the best! I would never do a Carnival cruise again ....read reviews, great prices available right now.Dreaming of an Alaskan cruise one day. I have never heard anyone complain about an Alaskan cruise! Also, once you get a balcony, there's no going back to an "inside cabin". :)We do our research thru Travelocity or Kayak, and then book thru cruise company directly ... for better deals usually. Enjoy! They are such a value ... with room, food, entertainment, included ... it is fabulous!
Hey Coe,Royal Caribbean or don't laugh, Disney. We just did it and it was fabulous. RC does the Mexican Riviera for 7 days that will be nice after April 15. Check out the best website for great deals: www.vacationstogo.com. They have all the cruise lines, all itens and all departure cities and amazing bargins.Love ya!Steph
We went on Disney to the Bahamas. But it was all pretty much geared to children but we were there for a wedding. It was 3 days but too long for me. Flying was much easier. Came from Taza :)
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