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Old 06-26-2010, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,417 posts, read 5,400,693 times
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My husband and I have never taken a cruise, feeling that we would be "closed" in. Seeing so many different commercials lately we are starting to think that we might try a cruise. I would love to hear some of your experiences and which cruise line recommendations you might have. Thank you, kelsie
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Choosing a line and itinerary depend on what you and your husband's preferences are; where you wish to sail; and your budget.

As a guideline: What kinds of Hotels do you prefer to stay? What kind of Restaurants?
The cruise lines target different demographics, and half the fun (IMO) is choosing.

Holland America, for example, will have a much more quiet atmosphere; a well traveled, older group although all ages do cruise them, if that is their preference. Won't find the elaborate, glittery broadway-type shows, and festive loud music on this line. Very subdued, if you will.

Celebrity & Disney are my personal favorites. Celeb, casually elegant. Disney, while ideal for the youngsters, is also great for adults. The Disney standards make this worth looking into even when cruising without children. Disney's prices higher, but, IMO you get what you pay for.

Carnival & Royal Caribbean tend to cater to the folks who look for more fun on board, where the ship's the destination and Ports of Call are more a bonus, IMO.

Norwegian is more budget-friendly, although you will get nickled and dimed like crazy on board to compensate for the lower fare ( (even more so than the other mass-market lines, which are guilty) .

The Luxury Lines such as Cunard & Regent Seven Seas = more like The Four Seasons Hotels.

Also depends on where you'd like to sail. Some lines, especially the Luxury lines, focus more on the Ports of Call, and even have lecturers on-board.

Since Travel Agents seem to be going the way of the dodo bird, the more research you do before hand, the less "surprises" you'll encounter on board.
cruisemates.com & cruisecritic.com have forums and you could spend forever on these getting insight on the pros and cons (subjective, of course, depending on your own preferences.)
(Heads-up: They can be quite addictive!!)

Those forums will also give great scoop on choosing a cabin and deck. Check out deck plans -- especially if the price seems "too good to be true." You could be stuck under the nightclub, or Promenade deck where they are cleaning & moving the deck furniture at 5 am ... or forward in a lower cabin where the anchor being dropped will require some Tylenols ...Some folks take earplugs and don't mind. All depends on you.

Also, beware of Hurricane Season in the Carrib. Fares are cheapest then, for good reason
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,412 posts, read 6,466,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelsie View Post
My husband and I have never taken a cruise, feeling that we would be "closed" in. Seeing so many different commercials lately we are starting to think that we might try a cruise. I would love to hear some of your experiences and which cruise line recommendations you might have. Thank you, kelsie
The top forum on everything about cruises is cruisecritic.com

They have reviews of all the ships, cruises line forums, etc. It's a must read.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:21 AM
 
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I agree, cruisecritic is a great resource.

My advice- start with a two day cruise. Carnival offers them from a few places. A short cruise will either leave you wanting more or knowing you don't like the cruise experience. Just keep in mind that these 2 dayers are often sailed by the partying crowd. So don't base all cruises by these passengers.

I've sailed on these 2/3 day cruises several times because my budget wouldn't allow a more lengthy cruise. But now 2 of my children are living away from home and I only have 1 left, we sailed on a 4 5 day in January and are sailing on a 7 day coming up in Nov.

I do worry that 7 days may be to much to handle, that I may get bored....but I'll find out!
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:09 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,126 posts, read 17,133,831 times
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Carnival has cruses out of Charleston 5 to 7 days. A easy drive from NC, You dont spend much time in your room, but if you feel closed in in small spaces, go for a room that overlooks the central plaza in the middle of the ship. Or a outside state room with a outdoor deck. If you can go for the left side of the boat, when you are at port Most ships dock on the right side.

A lot of hotels give stay-park-cruse deals where you stay one night and get parking included (and a shuttle to the ship). Charleston Cruises 2010 & Charleston Cruise Deals For Port of Charleston Cruises | Charleston Area CVB Parking at pier is about 8-10/day
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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I have only been on one cruise, Norwegian and you had to pay for everything separate. My four girlfriends and I want to go somewhere next month for not that much money for a few days... say if we go with Carnival what is included? Because I went to the website and found a trip and acted like I was going to book it and the cheapest I found was for 4 people for around 1065.00, but does that include food? And drinks/liqour is separate? Thanks
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,126 posts, read 17,133,831 times
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All the Mass Market Ship are in to on-board revenue. They Expect to make at least 50/70% of what you paid to get on the ship.. on the ship, so if you spent 1065 to get on there plans is to get 500/700 out of you once you get onboard. Basic food in Main dinning room/Buffet are included, Coffee, tea, Ice tea, lemonade are included, all other drinks cost extra. (that where they make most money). Tips are Not included in the base price, so you will need to tip your cabin staff, waiter, asst waiter etc. Each drink you buy has a tip built into it so you don't need to add extra tip to it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:30 PM
 
12,284 posts, read 18,405,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelsie View Post
My husband and I have never taken a cruise, feeling that we would be "closed" in. Seeing so many different commercials lately we are starting to think that we might try a cruise. I would love to hear some of your experiences and which cruise line recommendations you might have. Thank you, kelsie
It's a valid fear. Cruises aren't for everyone. I myself do feel, not closed in, but I just feel limited. No freedom. Even the port stops seem artificial, like you are not really traveling to somewhere different.

If you have traveled independently alot and enjoy it, then a cruise is probably not for you. If you don't travel alot, enjoy "tropical/beach" type vacations with little thought or decisions, or are somewhat hesitant on independent travel to distant lands - then you might enjoy a cruise.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,417 posts, read 5,400,693 times
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Thank you so much for all of your responses, they have been very helpful for us to make a decision. First thing I learned was to spell "cruising" right
I think after investigating on the sites that you have suggested we will probably opt not to take a cruise. It does seem as if they nickel and dime you to death. I like to know what everything is going to cost up front, so that we can enjoy our vacation. We will be vacationing in Key West in a couple of months where we have been going for 18 yrs. and will toss the idea around again. Once again, thank you. kelsie
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,256,313 times
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My husband and I took our first and only cruise two years ago. We did the seven day cruise from Philly to Bermuda. DH thought it was the best and most relaxing vacation that he ever had. The only things that cost extra were alcoholic beverages, spa services, and the specialty restaurants. For me, there just was not enough to do. I walked at least 10 miles a day around the deck when we were at sea. Since I a beach person, I did not like having to get transporation to a beach once we got off of the ship. Because we were on a small ship, there was not much shopping on board. We had an outside cabin and I never felt claustrophobic even though the bathroom was very small. Crew is very attentive and the person assigned to your cabin will make sure that you have everything that you need and want.

We made some good friends and have kept in touch. There were many food choices and the entertainment was pretty good.

I imagine we will go on another cruise and it will be on a larger ship. However, we used to go to KW several times and year and I always enjoyed that. Now, we go to SXM and that is more preferable to me than a cruise.
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