Hi everyone! Me and my boyfriend are thinking of going on a cruise together sometime next spring/March, provided all the finances are in order and we have the time (and if he's behaved himself, of course). We're both young adults, looking for a week of fun in the sun, with plenty of opportunities for both relaxing on the beach/on the deck as well as exciting activities and ways to get out and see new things. We have our hearts set on a Caribbean cruise, but since neither of us has ever been on a cruise before, we've got no idea which lines are the best, which locations in the Caribbean are must-sees and rank above others, and how we can get the best value without sacrificing the quality. So basically:
1. Any recommendations on cruise lines? I've heard good things about Royal Caribbean, some not-so-good things about Norwegian, and don't know much else on the other big-name lines.
2. Locations you would recommend? Western Caribbean leaving somewhere out of Florida might prove to be the most affordable; I've been told there's some wonderful sights and things to do in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Again, sort of in the dark about all of this.
3. I know the cruise crowd can be pretty varied, so I guess I should specify that we're both fairly active and ready to get out and do things (but we love to laze around and soak in the atmosphere too, of course), and we don't smoke and would prefer to stay away from it (but I don't expect many cruise lines to ban smoking, so this isn't a deal breaker).
4. Also, while we don't mind paying a bit extra for top-notch food and an unforgettable experience, we're not looking to spend a fortune, but then again - I don't know what a typical cruise price for 7 days in the Caribbean looks like, so feel free to throw some numbers at me.
Thanks so much in advance for the help - I realize this is a potential cruise that's 10 months away, but we're already getting excited thinking about it, so please let us know what you think!