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Old 12-13-2006, 12:28 PM
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Morning,
I'm wondering if any experienced cruisers have suggestions for us...we are planning a family reunion which we want to have onboard a cruise. We have 22 people ranging from 5 1/2 to 70 years old - all in pretty good shape. We need to go in either June or July because of school schedules. My folks are avid cruisers and generally cruise with Holland America -- they like the intimacy of the smaller ships. We took a look at the NCL Hawaii cruises, but the ship/service reviews are generally not-so-hot. I was thinking the Galapagos Islands with Holland, but they're mostly sold out for Summer 07. It's tricky with such a big group......any suggestions or wisdom to share?

Thanks,
Loomie
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:28 PM
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Morning,
I'm wondering if any experienced cruisers have suggestions for us...we are planning a family reunion which we want to have onboard a cruise. We have 22 people ranging from 5 1/2 to 70 years old - all in pretty good shape. We need to go in either June or July because of school schedules. My folks are avid cruisers and generally cruise with Holland America -- they like the intimacy of the smaller ships. We took a look at the NCL Hawaii cruises, but the ship/service reviews are generally not-so-hot. I was thinking the Galapagos Islands with Holland, but they're mostly sold out for Summer 07. It's tricky with such a big group......any suggestions or wisdom to share?

Thanks,
Loomie
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:48 PM
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How about a mediterranean cruise? I love the Caribbean, but that may be too warm. How about Alaska? Hope y'all have a wonderful reunion, what a great way to celebrate
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:43 PM
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My first thought was the Meditteranean too Penny! After reflecting on what I went thru Thanksgiving coordinating for 14, I could not imagine the logistics involved for 22 departing from a foreign port, and then having to arrange everything else. With that in mind, my suggestion would be the Caribbean Princess out of Ft. Lauderdale for 7 days. Easy airport-to-ship arrangements and each Port (ST Thomas, St Maarten, and Princess Cays) would have something that all ages would enjoy. Also, the 3 days at sea would allow for a lot of family activities as well.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:55 PM
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We sailed to Alaska in June and LOVED IT. We sailed on the HAL Oosterdam. Alaska is just gorgeous and you would not be a bit disappointed with the scenery. I dont know where you live, but Im in Minnesota and it was so nice to see mountains again. I was born in Alaska but moved when I was only 2 and lived in California. Im sorry, but I think Alaska is the best place to visit. I have cruised up twice and flown up twice to stay with a cousin. Give it a try, you wont be sorry.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:37 PM
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Loomie, a few questions...

What length cruise are you considering? How far would you want to fly to the embarkation port? And, how important is the destination? Given that your parents have cruised numerous times, are there any destinations they would rather not revisit, or would prefer to visit again?

With 22 people, you likely qualify as a group (at least 8 cabins on most lines). There are perks associated with a group booking --- check with your parents' travel agent. I would also urge you to buy travel insurance that will cover all of you if one needs to cancel.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:47 PM
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Hi Loomie,
LisaP has the answer; with 22 people involved, somebody has to take charge and that should probable be your parents and their travel agent.
I also agree that Alaska might be the best choice; then you could stick with Holland America. And with so many ships up there, booking now shouldn't be a problem. With a group that size everything else that comes to mind is either too far or too hot.
Whatever you decide, what a wonderful experience for the whole family.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:25 PM
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Hello,

Loomie, there are many 7-day cruises that go to Alaska round trip from Seattle. Seattle is an excellent port to use because the airport is reasonably close to the port, there are airplane flights to Seattle from all over the USA, many hotels in all price ranges, reasonable restaurants, and things to do such as seeing a Mariners baseball game. And an Alaskan cruise will have something for everyone, from the oldest to the youngest. And if your parents are Holland America loyalists this cruise line may be more helpful than others in terms of prices, etc.

But do not stress out over this and take all of the responsibilty on yourself. Suggest you parcel this out (someone looks at the air arrangements, another looks at lodging the night before the cruise which is very important, another considers transportation to and from the hotel to the port, and yet another looks at things to see and do in Seattle.

I am sure that you will have a great cruise and a wonderful family reunion.

Fred
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:51 PM
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Hey All,
Thanks for all your input. I left out one big piece of info in my original post: our last family cruise trip was to Alaska, so that destination is out this time around. Rats. That would have made it easy.

I am the point person on arranging this thing right now and I have been working with a travel agent, but she's kinda' making me nuts. She suggested we go on a NCL Hawaii trip and when I brought up concerns about the service, etc.noted in this site's reviews, she suggested we essentially dumb-down our expectations and then we would certainly have a "wonderful time." WHAT?! Oy Vay. So I think I need to find a new travel agent. F-Mattox, I note that you are in Costa Mesa -- my folks are in Irvine. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for all the input.

Best,
Loomie
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:55 PM
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Sorry,...forgot to include answers to LisaP's very good questions.

We are looking at a 7 day cruise.

Destinations are open, but we don't want to spend forever getting to whatever port we sail from...(we have one party joining us from Italy.)

I am intrigued by the Galapagos Islands as a destination, as well as a Rome - Athens route offered by Holland.

Thanks again,
Robin
 
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