Hello fellow CruiseChatters~~~
I would appreciate your ideas and input on a bit of a conundrum....
I had wanted to book for our next cruise a trip in March out of NYC (no flying necessary in snow season), and I need a cruise longer than seven days in length. March is the month that I can swing for time off; to wait would mean delaying until summertime or fall--which would be too long since our last July cruise. (My goal is to wait no longer than eight months between cruises!)
I saw with delight that Celebrity's Constellation has a sailing scheduled on March 26th that would be perfect. Sadly, according to Celebrity, there are no category CC staterooms on the aft end of the ship available. For my Brian, having an aft stateroom is paramount. I might as well add right here that for Brian, the standard to be challenged is sailing as a Diamond Member on RCI on a Radiance class ship....(now spoiled, he is limiting our range of possibilities!)
My alternative for a longer cruise out of NYC at this time is Holland America's new Noordam. We have never sailed with Holland America, however, I have learned that there are aft staterooms available! It would take some positive points from people such as The CruiseChatters to help me convince him to book this trip.
I understand that a Cat A will have a bathroom with a bathtub, which means to me that two large people will enjoy some turn-around space there. There is traditional dining--we love having a set time with six or eight other newfound friends. Holland America is still known for their wrap-around promenade decks. The average age onboard will be older and the atmosphere a bit more sedate and hopefully refined....
What can we expect to "replace" our love of the "solarium pool"? Can HAL be counted on to indeed make use of the ceiling/covering that can enclose the main/central pool area in the cold weather of March while on the Atlantic to and from the Caribbean?
What is your opinion of the food in the dining rooms vis-a-vis RCI and Celebrity? Is there more than one lounge offering an elegant cocktail setting for enjoying a bit of time before dinner that would be an enjoyable alternative to having use of a concierge lounge. (I am understanding that those who book the highest suites have the Neptune Lounge, but I know that we won't be going that route.)
I am hoping to hear that we could expect as nice of an experience on Holland America that we have enjoyed on Celebrity and most of all on RCCL.
Lastly, and perhaps as important as all of the above----what are your experiences on sailing on the THIRD sailing of ANY new ship. Just how "lumpy" should we expect this cruise to be? It is entirely possible that this cruise just may not be "ready to go, or up to snuff?"
Should I push for this cruise with my dear other half, or should I "can" the whole idea and look towards the summertime on another known quantity......
I am thanking you for reading so far along with my questions.
With gratitude for your opinions,