We are planning on taking our 9 and 7 year old kids with us on our first cruise. The travel agent has found 3 different choices and I have no idea what would be best as far as the kids are concerned. I would also like my husband to enjoy cruising so we can go again!!
We have a choice of RC Ind. of Seas, Carnival Dream or Liberty or Norweigan Pearl. Can anyone help me make an educated decision?
Are the prices and itineraries comparable for your needs?
All things being equal, I'm partial to Independence of the Seas. Great kids' programs, lots of thing for adults to do. It's a huge ship with a lot of choices.
That said, you'll find people saying the same about each of the choices you've listed. Does your travel agent think one of those cruises would best suit your needs? Your agent is the one who actually knows you and would be in a better position to suggest which cruise suits your needs the best.
The eastern Caribbean itinerary is generally good for people who like to shop, who like a lively atmosphere when they walk around town, and enjoy some organized sightseeing tours available.
Western Caribbean is big on water sports, beaches, boating, etc.
One thing you can do is take a look online at the shore excursions offered at each of the ports. This will help you determine if the activities available on an eastern or western Caribbean itinerary sound more like what you'd like to do.
Getting a penthouse will certainly give you a lot of room. Getting connecting rooms gives you the luxury of two bathrooms and lots of storage space, and some privacy as well. Having one balcony room for four people will be a lot less room than the other choices.
I wish I had your dilemnas. First things first. My kids are teenagers now but when they were under 9, I never let them alone in a balcony room. So the connecting balcony scenario would be a not to do for me. What if they open the door at night, sleepwalking, type of thing. No way. At those ages, we had them in the cabin with us. We did not do balconies until they were a little older. Large family oceanviews were fine. The penthouse would be a luxury on the Pearl = but pricy I am sure. We used to do two insides with a connecting door when they were young as well. We liked having two bathrooms between the four of us. Much cheaper too to have four people in one cabin as long as it is a large cabin. Just returned from INDY and we just adored it. Kids would love the parades, the entertainment that takes place on the promenade at night. There is a great fun water zone for kids on the Indy. A place for the adults to hang out in the sanctuary once you put the kids into their programs. Very large hot tubs that hang over the ship. Just wonderful. You see I have become partial to the Indy. Liberty was fine and so was the Jewel (very similar to PEarl) but without the rock climbing and the bowling. As I said, I wish I had to make the choice. One of the other suggestions someone gave was to check out the ports. We have decided that future cruises will be governed pretty much now by the ports. Some are just basically cruise line owned stomping ground. Happy choosing.
We booked a family oceanview on Royal Caribbean. It has a seperate room with 2 bunk beds.The bunk room was tiny, but it was perfect for them. It opened out into a large living room. Then there was a curtain that closed side to side with a queen bed for us.It gave us plenty of privacy, two large windows facing the bow. There was only one bathroom, but it had the best of both worlds for us. These cabins are limited in number,but I'm sure your agent could find you one.
I love the water park idea, but most of the ships have some water slides in the children's area.
If you do the penthouse on your first cruise, it will spoil you for everything else...unless of course money is no object.