As a sales incentive, DH was given vouchers for a cruise. We'll need to go when school is out of session, so our questions are:
1) which port to leave from? We live outside of Houston, so Galveston makes hte most sense, but he is also interested in the Triumph out of New Orleans because of the potential for scuba diving in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel.
2) when to go? We could go either this summer or over Christmas vacation. I imagine either time will be nuts, but we're more concerned about the weather and whether or not the ships will be able to dock at the ports. During summer, I know we'll have potential hurricanes. What might we experience duing winter months?
What are thoughts on going over Christmas? I see that the Magic will be in Galveston during that time.
This will be our first cruise, and we will be traveling with a teenager. First thoughts are summer will be better, weather wise. Now to choose a ship!
When planning your cruise, remember anytime school is out, the ship is generally full of kids. Spring break... I would stay away. Christmas time will be a lot of families.
Thousands and Thousands of people cruise during hurricane season. Dont let that be a concern. YOu will be totally safe, the cruise line wont put your life or the life of that multi billion dollar ship in danger.
Plan your trip to the things yall want to do. Roatan is a beautiful island. Belize, I am still trying to figure out why the ships stop there. do you research and you will make the best decision for you and your family.
We have cruised out of Galveston and New Orleans. I prefer Galveston. Some things to consider about when to go: cruising in the fall (sept or oct) is cheaper and fewer children because of school. Weather can be a factor, although it worked to our advantage on one of our cruises. Got 9 days for the price of 7 thanks to the hurricane. As for me, cruising in December is too cold. Usually more port choices out of New Orleans. Have a great cruise.
I would not use the word "cold" to describe cruising in December. It can be "cooler" than normal, but then it might be just fine too. This past December I went on a Bahamas December 6th cruise and it was cooler where I needed a sweat shirt to walk around. Those that don't get cold easy probably enjoyed the weather.
The diving in Belize, Roatan and Cozumel are definitely great. Especially Belize and Roatan. How about Thanksgiving? We've done quite a few then. Christmas is great, the water may be a couple of degrees cooler, but with a wet suit you should be fine. To me, anytime is the right time. Hurricanes do happen, but normally you don't have to worry much. They'll reverse the route, call on different ports, or refund your cruise.
I'm with Penny on this one. My wife's a teacher so we have the same time constraints as you. If you are diving/snorkeling people, then yes Belize/Roatan/Cozumel is a great itinerary. However, you can go out of Galveston and do a western Caribbean that hits Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Both Cozumel and Grand cayman have great diving.
I'd go in the summer as soon as you can. That way you are going early enough in the hurricane season that you reduce your chances of having issues. But as also said earlier MOST of the people sail during the season and it is not normally an issue. If there is a hurricane, the cruise ships will sail to avoid it.
As to which ships, you are limited by the choice of ports but both the Conquest and the Triumph are great ships. You wouldn't be disappointed in either (although for me the scales would tip in favor of the Conquest)
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Not sure when your kids school is back in session. Our kids don't start until after Labor Day. With that in mind we just booked Dream for the last week in August, excellent price. Yes I know it's hurricane season but if and when diversions occur ....just go with the flow. Last August on Oasis of the Seas we were diverted, it was no big deal other than missing St. Thomas. Good luck.