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Old 01-27-2011, 11:40 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,349,542 times
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I am thinking about a cruise. Here are my requirements....

Minimal children on board (No disney)
Warm weather (no Alaska)
Return trip to US port
Prefer itinerary other than Mexico (been there already)

Based upon your experiences what would you recommend? I'd LOVE to go to Aruba or possibly the Bahamas or maybe even Bermuda (do they have cruises to Bermuda????)

Advice and suggestions appreciated. thanks

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:24 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
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The better cruise companies are more upscale and cater to adults not families, in my view. Personally I would avoid cruising on a ship that is nothing more than a giant shopping mall with attached hotel floating on the sea! Who wants to be served free hot dogs by the overcrowded pool?

You might want to avoid, besides Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc.

A better choice would be Holland America or Norwegian.

The best choices would be the pricey but super luxurious lines like Crystal, Silver Sea, and Cunard. It's all about the cuisine and service and sophistication.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:06 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
The better cruise companies are more upscale and cater to adults not families, in my view. Personally I would avoid cruising on a ship that is nothing more than a giant shopping mall with attached hotel floating on the sea! Who wants to be served free hot dogs by the overcrowded pool?

You might want to avoid, besides Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc.

A better choice would be Holland America or Norwegian.

The best choices would be the pricey but super luxurious lines like Crystal, Silver Sea, and Cunard. It's all about the cuisine and service and sophistication.
Many years ago we cruised on Seabourn (we did not pay for it, someone else did). This line was purchased by Cunard, and I believe the ship the "Pride" still sales under that ownership.

We loved the cruise, but now that we ARE paying for it, we can't afford the $1,000 per day that it costs (roughly).

But thank you for your response. I will check out Holland America and Norwegian and see what they offer.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Alll of the "mass-market" lines will have kids....if you travel during times when schools are in session, you can reduce the number of kids, but there will ALWAYS be some. As long as YOU aren't the one having to take care of them, it shouldn't affect YOUR cruise at all!

The only way to (almost) avoid kids is to cruise on a "luxury" line...they have few, if any, activities and offerings for kids and the price is prohibitive for most families.

Plenty of cruises do the Southern Caribbean routes....you should really talk to a travel agent, and compare lines, prices and amenities to get what suits you best. Using a travel agent shouldn't cost YOU a penny!
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
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Avoid week before and after christmas as the number of children spikes during that time frame.

The longer the cruise, the less likely that there will be any children. We went on a two-week Princess cruise a year ago and there were probably no more than a dozen kids out of a couple thousand people.

Would not put Norweigan (NCL) in the same class as Holland America nor would I say that Carnival or Royal Caribbean is in the same category as Celebrity. Princess is a decent mid-range option and has the most liberal policy (in-practice) regarding carry-on alcohol (including beer).
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb at sea View Post
Alll of the "mass-market" lines will have kids....if you travel during times when schools are in session, you can reduce the number of kids, but there will ALWAYS be some. As long as YOU aren't the one having to take care of them, it shouldn't affect YOUR cruise at all!
I don't know about that. I like to enjoy a nice swim in the pool without children around. I would presume that there would be an "adult" pool, but you never know about these things. It seems like these days it is harder and harder to get away from children if you do not wish to interact with them.

A very dear friend of mine went on a cruise two years ago and told me that despite the fact that there were signs in the exercise room that said... "No one under 14 can use the exercise equipment" and "children must be accompanied by parents", there were constantly small children on the equipment that refused to get off for long periods of time. When my friend complained, no one did anything about it. This friend also told me that buffets were a nightmare with children CONSTANTLY handling food or picking up food with bare hands and putting it BACK on the buffet. Parents were no where in sight.

I also have a very elderly (89) cousin who was knocked down in a hallway on her cruise by children that were running and not watching where they were going. Fortunately, nothing was broken, however, she was badly bruised and had to spend the rest of the cruise in her cabin or lying on a lounge chair.

I am not interested in interacting with children at all. I realize that there might be a few, but certainly the fewer the better.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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We've been on 9 cruises, 5 of which our best experiences were on Princess. We go during the times, as others have said, when school is in session. We rarely see any kids. Princess has a kids zone which is popular and that's where you generally find the kids. We never experienced a kid or buffet problem. Buffet attendants are pretty watchful because of previous ship illnesses that ruin it for everyone and costs the ships refunds. Princess makes everyone use the hand sanitation gels before entering the buffet.
Princess as well as most of the other cruise line have 7 and 14 day trips to various places in the Carribbean. We've experienced those plus the Panama Canal and the cruise around So. America.
Princess, Holland America and NCL usually have the older groups sailing. Peak summer is different as all ships have many kids on them.
Carnival has the reputation of being the 'party' ship and there are tons of kids on them.
Hope this helps and that you have an enjoyable trip.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,349,542 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
We've been on 9 cruises, 5 of which our best experiences were on Princess. We go during the times, as others have said, when school is in session. We rarely see any kids. Princess has a kids zone which is popular and that's where you generally find the kids. We never experienced a kid or buffet problem. Buffet attendants are pretty watchful because of previous ship illnesses that ruin it for everyone and costs the ships refunds. Princess makes everyone use the hand sanitation gels before entering the buffet.
Princess as well as most of the other cruise line have 7 and 14 day trips to various places in the Carribbean. We've experienced those plus the Panama Canal and the cruise around So. America.
Princess, Holland America and NCL usually have the older groups sailing. Peak summer is different as all ships have many kids on them.
Carnival has the reputation of being the 'party' ship and there are tons of kids on them.
Hope this helps and that you have an enjoyable trip.
Yes, yours and the other posts have been helpful. We had been looking at the end of March, but IIRC that is spring break, so we'er going to wait until a little later to avoid that crowd.

thanks to all who replied.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:25 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,634 posts, read 3,011,606 times
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I just started looking at cruises this week, and I have the same criteria you do. I don't want to be around alot of kids and would prefer the Bahamas or somewhere warmer. We've been looking at Vacationstogo.com. There are some cruises that give discounts depending on your occupation. We would like to go sometime around the end of April.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,318 posts, read 21,877,253 times
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enjoyed...
St Thomas (hope to get over to St Johns someday).
Puerto Rico

Nassau, Bahamas was OK, but I wouldn't rush back.

La Ramona, Dominican Republic was a waste of fuel and time.
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