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Old 07-04-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,256 posts, read 16,207,366 times
Reputation: 6610

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Hi All,

Next summer my family & I are going on a cruise. I've been on a Carnival cruise but it was with my friends and we mostly drank, swam and went to clubs. So I was hoping you all might have some suggestions about the best lines and places to go.

It'll be my mother who is in her 50, and big on being entertained. She needs to have something to do as sitting on the deck watching the sunset is not likely to appease her very long.

My brother and his wife are in their late 30s and just wanna have fun. They're not drinkers or gamblers so they prob won't set foot inside the casinos. None of them will enjoy a raunchy comedy show.

My nephews are teenagers and very active. I've heard some cruise lines offer skating and bowling and rock climbing but I haven't seen any...is that one specific cruise line?

Then me & my son are easy. I just want to relax and he just likes to be out.

Also as far as destinations, can you recommend places that port in nice areas or that have cool excursions?

I'm in charge of planning and I have no idea. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
16,737 posts, read 23,166,303 times
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If I were you, I'd check out Royal Caribbean, specifically the Freedom out of Port Canaveral. It's affordable, active yet relaxing. Ports of call are generally good (Eastern vs Western Caribbean). Best part? You live in Orlando, so you can drive to the port!

You should join CruiseCritic.com and post some questions there. It's a well known forum that might be even more active than C-D.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,357,860 times
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Actually, any of the mainstream lines will do an admirable job for everyone in your party! All are more similar than different!
Decide where you want to go and when, then see which ships will take you there. Pick the one where you get the best cabin for the best price....cabins are nowhere near the size of hotel rooms, so pay attention to sq. footage!
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,256 posts, read 16,207,366 times
Reputation: 6610
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
If I were you, I'd check out Royal Caribbean, specifically the Freedom out of Port Canaveral. It's affordable, active yet relaxing. Ports of call are generally good (Eastern vs Western Caribbean). Best part? You live in Orlando, so you can drive to the port!

You should join CruiseCritic.com and post some questions there. It's a well known forum that might be even more active than C-D.
Thanks; I did as you suggested and looked at the cruise line and joined cruise critic. The Freedom of the seas looks GREAT. It has ice skating, rock climbing, the on board surfing, water park and the Dreamworks experience. The price is a bit higher than what I was thinking (because we're locked into summer months) so it's about $900 per person. I have to check with my family to see if that's what they want to do.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Coastal Northeast
16,737 posts, read 23,166,303 times
Reputation: 5847
Quote:
Originally Posted by natalayjones View Post
Thanks; I did as you suggested and looked at the cruise line and joined cruise critic. The Freedom of the seas looks GREAT. It has ice skating, rock climbing, the on board surfing, water park and the Dreamworks experience. The price is a bit higher than what I was thinking (because we're locked into summer months) so it's about $900 per person. I have to check with my family to see if that's what they want to do.

Thanks again for the advice.
No problem! The Freedom is my favorite RCCL ship - stop by and let us know what you end up booking!
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:55 AM
 
693 posts, read 817,857 times
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Hello!

In addition to the great advice that you've received thus far from other posters, I think another important thing to consider is what kind of cruise you are going on. In other words, where do you all want to go?!? While the onboard amenities that you and the other posters have talked about are definitely a major part of the cruising experience, the other half (and, perhaps, the more important half) is the excursions and ports of call that you will be experiencing! So, obviously, you have a vast plethora of options of what kind of cruise you can go on and where you can visit. Every cruise offers a different experience. I'll try to give some brief insight from some of the cruises that I've been on:

1) Caribbean:
This one would probably be the most convenient (and possibly the cheapest) given your location in FL. For me, these types of cruises really are just for some real R&R and having some fun! This is a massive generalization, but the way that I view it is, once you've seen one of the islands in the Caribbean, you've basically seen them all. While there is a great amount of diversity in terms of the kind of excursions that you can do, a lot of them just have to do with water sports, beach things, etc. etc. I feel (again, massive generalization) that many of the excursions tend to repeat themselves at many of the ports of call. Now, with that being said, I think that there are some cruises which do indeed stop at some real cool and unique islands/ ports of call as part of their itineraries. A lot of these type of cruises you spend at the beach the days that you're at port and the rest of the time that you're on the ship, you can really take advantage of all of the things that the ship has to offer. Nowadays, cruise ships offer a TON of different activities going on at all times. Things are going on CONSTANTLY and you never have to feel bored, there's always something to do. From reading your OP, I'm sure the overwhelming majority of major cruse ships should be able accommodate everyone in your party with something. On the other hand, there's also tons of places where you can go just to relax and get away from it all.

2) Mexican Riviera:
This kind of cruise I found to be extremely similar to the Caribbean ones, except that I didn't enjoy it has much as I have Caribbean ones we've been on. Ours left from Long Beach, CA (convenient for us since we live in LA) and basically just went down the west coast of Mexico. We stopped at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallerta, and Mazaltan. With the exception of Cabo (which I love), I really didn't care for the other ports of call too much. To be fair, PV has just alright (but I wouldn't go back), but Mazaltan was a dump imho and I didn't enjoy it. The types of excursions/ ports of call/ activities on board on this kind of cruise tend to parallel to a great extent the kind of things you would/can see on a Caribbean cruise. IMO, the east coast of Mexico is far nicer than it's west coast, and throw in the Caribbean islands and I'd rather do the Caribbean cruise. But, again, that's just me and everyone has their own opinions and experiences.

3) Mediterranean:
Possibly my favorite types of cruises. We've done a couple. We did 2 Western Med. cruises and left from Barcelona, Spain and stopped at places like Nice/Monaco, Majorca, Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Tunisia, etc. On the Eastern Med. one we left from Rome and stopped at places like Venice, Croatia, Athens, Greek islands, Cyprus, Istanbul, Ankara, and Egypt. Personally, I LOVED both of these cruises. However, they are very different from the two types of cruises talked about above. These types of Med. cruises tend to be extremely active and busy. You basically run around, non-stop, for 10-14 days. Since the ports are all so close to each, you're at a port nearly every day and there are only a handful (2-3, maybe 4 if it's two weeks) of sea days and days just to do nothing or to spend your time fully exploring the ship. On top of the many, and consistent ports of call, you have to remember that the places/ countries that you're visiting have virtually ENDLESS things to do and see. I mean there is so much to see in a place like Rome, for example, that you're not going to want to spend your precious time sitting onboard the ship at a pool. The history, architecture, food, city itself, etc. are all so amazing that you'll definitely want to get off the ship and go explore the ports for as long as you possibly can. Basically, you're out at port all day (from like 7-8am until 6-7 pm) and then you come back eat dinner and then you can party or do whatever you want on the ship. And you basically keep this exhausting schedule for the entire duration of your trip. The sea days are a godsend though, b/c after a while you really do just need a break. You'll actually be tired from your vacation lol! But, it's completely worth it. I mean, first off, like I said, the sights are just amazing and secondly, if you're going to go all the way to Europe then you better go and actually see the sights and enjoy them. These types of cruises are so fun and are a great way to see a lot (several countries/cities) in a relatively short and convenient space of time.

4) Alaskan:
The Alaskan cruise is one of my favorites too. What we did was we flew from LA to Anchorage and then took the train and spent a few days in Denali National Park (so stunning) before then actually going on and doing our cruise for the week. The Alaskan cruises are just beautiful, plain as that. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and the beauty knows no ends. We had 4 stops I think and we just did a lot of fun, very nature-inspired activities. We went zip lining, we went dog- sledding, we went hiking through the forests, we explored some of the cities/towns. The Alaskan cruises are a lot of fun, but also very relaxing imo. For me personally, being surrounded by the nature made it very soothing and I really just loved it. It's very action-packed and fun ,but not nearly as busy as the Mediterranean cruises. It's almost like a mix of both the Med. ones and the tropical ones b/c you have a nice mix of adventure/fun and relaxing.

5) South Pacific:
I actually haven't done this one myself, but some of my family members have. The cruise they did was 3 weeks. They left from Hawaii and hit some islands in the south Pacific (French Polynesia, Fiji, etc.), NZ, Australia, Bali, SE Asia, and then ended up in Hong Kong. From what I've heard, they absolutely loved this trip (as I imagines anyone would) and they rave about it all the time. I, personally, would die to do this one myself. I heard it's similar to the Alaskan cruises b/c it's also a very big mix of adventure,craziness/fun, but still relaxing and soothing a lot of times as well. I imagine the big thing on this would be the price and the distance. God knows how much it must cost and then flying all the way back home from HK is no fun after you've been traveling for so long. But, hey, if this is for you, then GO! I'm sure you'd love it.


Sorry for all of that at once, but I really do think that you should first perhaps try and lock down where you want to go and then go from there in choosing the cruise that's right for you. There are so many options and cruise ships these days are all modern and amazing well-equiped that I'm sure everyone in your party will be able to find things that they want to do no matter which line you're on (although some more than others).

No matter what you decide to do, I hope you guys have a marvelous time and make sure to check back and let us know what you decide and how everything goes!
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