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Old 06-10-2010, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 8,512,838 times
Reputation: 1436

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I've tooken one cruise before in '04 on Norwegian Dawn from NY to Bahamas. It was a 1 week cruise. It was a wonderful experience. We had a balcony cabin. Now I want to start planning for another one, this time taking someone who never been on a cruise. Norwegian seems to have the best prices and I was satisfied with that trip so I'm thinking why not go on another one with Norwegian and stick to what I know is good. But maybe there's another good one. What are the pros and cons with cruiselines or ships you've experienced? When's the best time to book it?

Carnival
Royal Caribbean
Princess
etc.

Heard the Disney cruise is great for kids but we're grown up. We probably prefer a Caribbean cruise because its warm. We'll probably get an inside cabin so we want one with good excursions, food, and things to do on the ship besides drink or gamble.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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Everyone will have different answers for you. It all depends on what you like. Excursion wise, there should be plenty of options on any of those listed.

IMHO, Carnival is ok, if you are young or with younger children, but isn't really my thing. Princess is the more upscale of the 3 and probably the one I'd choose of those. Years ago, I started with Carnival, but never took it again. After that was Royal Caribbean, then Princess, then Celebrity. Every time I went on a new one, I liked it better then the one before.

I also really like Windstar, but that's not really comparable to the others listed here since, it's really more about the ports then onboard entertainment.

Talk to your travel agent who should have a good idea of your personality fit for the right cruise.

Bon Voyage!
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 8,512,838 times
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Sounds like the more expensive the cruiseline the better your experience has been.. I don't think I'll book through a travel agent because of the extra cost, actually my family use to sell cruise vacations but we never been on many.

I heard bad about Royal Caribbean.

Do any other cruiselines have something called "freestyle cruising" or something? Where u can walk into any restaurant at ur own convenient time and not worry about the bill.. My one cruise experience was that. Any cruiselines with a rigid schedule I should avoid?
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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Carnival has added 'your time dining' which we opt for each cruise. We can go anywhere we want, any time. It's the main dining room that has set times, but includes the walk ups. On the ships I've sailed there have been at least a buffet, sometimes 2 different buffets, on the pool deck and then one inside a restaurant.
And some have steak houses where there is a cost- but most who've eaten there say the food in the dining room is just as good. Plus on formal nights, there are lobster/steak on the menu, for free.

I've only sailed on two cruiselines so far and Carnival seems to always beat out others prices. But for my purposes, it suits me just fine. But when I get older I'll probably move away from Carnival to a more mature cruiseline.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Spring/The Woodlands area
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I dont know why you think Royal Caribbean is bad, but Ive never been on a bad one! Ive never been on a bad cruise period! I love cruising and have been on most lines. I guess it depends on where you want to go and what port you cruise from. I live near Galveston, so I cruise Royal C, and Carnival a lot. Cruised Princess when it was here.

IMO, Royal Caribbean food is not as good as Carnivals in the last few years. But, they have some ships that are a destination in itself, such as the new Oasis. Ive cruised for a long time, so I dont book excursions thru the ship unless Im worried about getting back to the ship on time. They would pretty much offer the same excursions.

I would not spend my money with a TA. I do use one of sorts, but you find what your interested in, and then call to book or with any questions you might have. I use Vacations To Go..they seem to have the best prices.

You didnt say if you want to cruise from your home or if you are going to fly..Probably the best advice I could give you, is go to Cruise Critic, and check out anything you want to know. Cruiselines, ships, ports, excursions. I dont book any cruise without it! Smooth Sailings! Dot
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 8,512,838 times
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I think I'll consider Carnival next to Norwegian since it looks fun and affordable. I rather cruise out of the NY or as far as DC because I rather not worry about a plane ticket plus I think the 1 day ride to the destination is nice.

Is there much difference with the ships or do they each just go seperate places?
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
192 posts, read 367,218 times
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I've cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean, both out of Galveston, TX. Carnival definitely caters to a younger crowd, and there is a higher "cheesy" factor (think: much more chrome and neon lights). This is not necessarily a bad thing - it just depends on what you want. Plus, the water slide on the Carnival ships is pretty fun.

The major downside to the Carnival cruise I took is that they allowed smoking in all of the public areas - and it got really, really, smoky. If this is a problem for you, you might want to avoid Carnival.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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I think you'll find all of those cruiselines are more alike than different. I'd pick by itinerary, then price!
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,665 posts, read 6,496,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
I think you'll find all of those cruiselines are more alike than different. I'd pick by itinerary, then price!
Exactly.

I have been on

Holland America
Royal Caribbean
Costa
Carnival.

All have their quirks, but, its basically the same thing. I don't do any ship excursions, I do my own thing. So, I base it on itinerary and price and where it leaves from.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Leaving from a NY port really limits your cruiseline and destination choices.
I don't think Disney leaves from a NY port.
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