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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-24-2012, 11:34 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Southern Arizona
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For another point of view - my husband and I, after 9 cruises, prefer the smaller, more intimate Holland America Line ships. The service and food is top notch. The sailing experience is slower paced, with not as much "things" as the Royal Caribbean or Princess or Carnival ships (think water slides, rock climbing, pool side movies). We also prefer the Eastern Caribbean to the Western Caribbean. It's all very personal. To repeat what everyone else has said - do talk with a cruise specialist travel agent. This person can match your wants to a product that will make you happy. A happy cruiser is a repeat cruiser. Whatever you choose, Bon Voyage and Happy Sailings. And do check back with us with any further questions and to let us know what you've decided to do. Susan
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2012, 08:05 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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We like Oceania ..they have smaller ships but they are a premium line so do cost a bit more
No formal nights, limited smoking, food is good (but that is subjective) no extra charge for specialty dining room, sodas, bottled water, special coffee (non alcoholic)

I agree talk to a TA so they can tailor a cruise to suit your needs/wants

enjoy whatever cruise you choose
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FORMER CRUISES:
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress

FUTURE CRUISES:
Scenic River cruise June 11,2012
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wonder Lake, Illinois
Posts: 479
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See! You were right to come to this board. You now have three or four different cruise lines to help you be just a little more confused. However, the constant here is the agreement to think about the what, where, when,and then take those ideas to a Travel Agent who deals in cruises and let them help you find what will be your first experience in what WE all here love as a vacation. Our first time was Eastern, and the second was a Western. After both, we picked Western as our favorite. However, we're now going to throw into the mix a Southern next year. You'll do the same, so once again, Welcome to Cruise Chat and we're glad to have be able to help, if even a little bit.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2012, 09:01 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
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Thank you again for all the wonderful information! My husband and I talked a lot about this over the weekend! We were hoping to go in April 2013 but I kinda get the feeling that it may take a little more preparation than that! One of our biggest downfalls is that we live in a small town and really do not have any travel agencies. Guess we will keep doing the research and then see where it takes us. If nothing else, I did get the applications for the passports, lol.
Once again, I thank you all very much and I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!!!

Lori
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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At least I was able to rule out the Oceania cruise. The maximum amount of nights we can take is 7 but their ships are very nice. Maybe we can go on a longer one when and if we retire! lol
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-25-2012, 09:28 PM
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A cruise agent need not be local. My agent is in Texas. She has been handling my cruises for almost 15 years. Many well-qualified cruise specialists do most or all of their business via phone or internet/e-mail. While we do not allow agents to solicit business in this forum, or vice versa, I suggest you go to the CLIA website and search for agents.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2012, 08:36 AM
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
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I was about to post the link to CLIA, as well. Our TA isn't local, either -- we communicate by telephone (and email, when she has to send us something). A CLIA-certified travel agent knows the questions to ask to determine the ship, itinerary, cabins, etc. that are a good fit for you. We've been cruising for more than 20 years, including several cruises in Europe, and we still seek the expertise of a travel agent with CLIA certification.

Good move on starting the passport process!

And, welcome to our forums (belatedly)!
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2012, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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If you can find a TA that you can ask questions of etc...
Ours is in California
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FORMER CRUISES:
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress

FUTURE CRUISES:
Scenic River cruise June 11,2012
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2012, 12:03 PM
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Location: Maryland
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Lori, do you have the capability of doing a video chat? Several travel agents have that ability, which allows a sort-of face-to-face consultation. It's the next best thing to being there!

Sandy
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
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Wow guys...y'all are amazing! Thank you again for the info!!!
Unfortunately Sandy, we do not have that capability right now. We're a little slower than some on getting up to speed with technology!
I will definitely check out that website and with any luck, we will also find an agent that is as good as what y'all have!
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