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Old 01-05-2007, 09:37 AM
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General question. Everyone says cruising is cheaper than a land based vacation. I have tried and tried to get to a point where I can agree with this but I simply donít agree. We have traveled all over the US and Caribbean mainly to beaches and resorts and condoís. For a family of 4 we can have a 7 week stay in a nice well appointed condo on the beach for 7 days with food and a rental car and airfare to get there cheaper than any 7 day cruise I can find. Will someone please try and explain this phenomenon to me please. Iím trying to plan a cruise for 4 people and Iím well over 5K and thatís with 2 inside rooms which I really donít want to do but have to simply to keep the costs down.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:08 AM
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Simple - cruises are not always cheaper than a resort or condo. But a cruise is different and offers different places almost every day as opposed to spending a week in a condo at Gulf Shores. And those of us who cruise do so because we like the shipboard life.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:09 AM
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First of all, you have to be seriously wanting to take a cruise to begin that comparison. Then you have to put a value on each activity you participate in and duplicate it on land, such as Vegas type shows, comedy, movies, etc. Then when you figure the price of a 4-course meal every night of your trip, and then throw in breakfast and lunch also, you will quickly justify the value of cruising. After you try the cruise experience, I think you will have no problem making the same statement, especially with the many cruise promotions out there.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:32 AM
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Good post - there is the monetary cost and then the value of what you paid for. Does that condo vacation involve eating out at a nice restaurant for every meal? Snacks too, whenever you want them and you don't have to prepare them? I'll bet that condo has a kitchen sink with a bottle of dishwashing liquid sitting next to it. Does it have maid service?

Value is the word! Thanks, tncruiseman for a great post!
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:48 AM
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And I'll chime in here too.. You mentioned the airfare... Many of us who make that claim, live close enough to a cruise port city were that is not a factor. But I would still make that comment even if I fly to a cruise. I have also used Freq flyer miles to pay for the airfare. And my final point, if you are booking airfare through the cruiseline, that could also add to the cost. I typically book my own airfare and come out ahead. Ex. Cruiseline wanted $400 each for airfare to our May cruise, I found airfare for $160 a piece....

Dave and tncruisemand are correct.. if you add up the "value" of what you get, then you come out on top. You must get your condos in the carribean very cheap, our family of 4 is going on a 7 day cruise and it is roughly costing us $4000 (with airfare) But I have also done 7 day cruise for as little as $1600 for the four of us. It really depend on the cruise line and where you are going. While an "all inclusive" in Grand Cayman is $400 a night (not sure what the "extra per person charges" are but if they are like cruises and the adult are full price and the kiddos roughly half price, that is still $7200.. if the kids were free its still $3200 for 7d/6n and I have not flown to the island yet.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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I did our 7 day cruise for 6 people for less than $4500 and 2 of the cabins were balconies. The amount we paid all together for the cabins, shore trips and all the ship board charges for the 6 of us was less than $6500 and I didn't even try hard to save money.

I'm doing a 5 day in February for 10 people in outside cabins on Empress deck for less than $4K!
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:48 AM
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I truly thank all of you for your input. I told my wife the other day that this whole process of trying to figure out what cruise we wanted to go on, finding the cheapest rate, airfare, hotels and a shuttle has got to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I relate the experience to a "computer" term and that is "not user friendly" at all. My mind is like a wet noodle from having to consider all the possibilities.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:11 PM
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That's what we are all here for...to share experiences and make recommendations from those experiences! If you've never been on a cruise, be safe and pick a 4 or 5 day and go for it. Stay away from holiday weeks, time your flights to being the same day as ship departure and arrival and you have just saved even more. Don't let it become stressful because planning the trip is supposed to be part of the fun!
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:14 PM
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And now a plug for Dave's Carnival Holiday .....I simply cannot imagine any vacation being a better value, much less cheaper!
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:17 PM
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You have to look for the deals. We are booked on the Liberty for September 23, 2007. This is a 6 day, three port cruise on a Conquest class ship. The inside stateroom prices right now are a rock bottom $279.00 with balconies at $509.00 I cannot beat that price anywhere with all inclusive resorts. Heck, I can't even feed my husband on vacation for that amount Keep looking...you'll find the right one.
Hope this helps
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