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roxy0209 10-16-2010 08:52 AM

I'm brand new to this site. My husband, teenage daughter and I want to book a 4 or 5 day cruise for next April. We will probably fly to Florida. Not crazy about Mexico. Don't understand how to comfortably fit 3 people in one room? Want to get a realistic total cost including all extras and ANY info that might help. We need a vacation!

Dave 10-16-2010 09:37 AM

Welcome to cruise-chat.

When looking at 4 or 5 night cruises from Florida you are limited to either the Bahamas or something which goes to Cozumel and one other port such as Key West or perhaps Grand Cayman.

With three adults (I consider teens as adults for space purposes) you need to look at a cabin with a convertible sofa as the third bed. This is often the case for balcony cabins depending on the cruise line and the ship. Older ships rely more on pullman beds (single bed that pulls down from the ceiling) for the third berth, and these are really only suitable for children.

Price is very subjective. The cruise fare is part of it, but the onboard charges can add a lot to the bottom line. You have to pay for all soft drinks, alcohol drinks, tips for the crew, specialty coffees and desserts, and if the ship has specialty restaurants they have a fee too. Tours are extra, and it depends on the tour as to how much you will be paying.

Carnival and Royal Caribbean are the two major players for the 4/5 night Florida market when it comes to having the most ships and choices. Actually, for next April Royal Caribbean has a really nice ship (Radiance Of The Seas) cruising out of Tampa. The Celebrity Century is also doing short cruises. The Century is a personal favorite ship.

peter l 10-17-2010 09:36 AM

Sherrie, if you can consider a 7 day cruise, you may find it offers more options. If you are cruising during school break times, be prepared for higher flight costs and all the more reason to look into a longer cruise if it can work for you. If its an option, look at the 4-5- and 7 day cruises for comparison purposes. Good Luck.


poormom 10-17-2010 02:14 PM

Hi Sherri
Welcome, you'll be an expert in no time.
Have you given any thought to finding a port that's within driving distance of your house?
A five hour ride may sound like a lot, but by the time you drive to an airport, park your car, pay extra for your baggage and deal with the delays it may sound better. You can often find a hotel that has a reduced rate if you combine an overnight stay with a week of parking.
Three people is a tight squeeze, but if you're daughter is the typical teen, she won't be in the cabin much. We had an overhead berth that came down from the ceiling, if you can find it, opt for the sofa bed!
Surprizingl,if you're going during school vacation week (April 17th here in New England) you should book soon as the choices get slimmer as time goes by!

MCPayne 10-18-2010 04:14 PM


Not sure what you mean by "total cost including extras." Simply put, soda and alcoholic beverages cost extra onboard just about any cruise ship. There are packages, but you have to consider how much you will be drinking for it to pay for itself. Example, for a can of soda on a specific cruise line, it runs about $2.00 A soda package will cost $6 per day. Therefore, in order to pay for itself, you need to drink 3 cans of soda per day just for the soda package to pay for itself.

Usually what is included in your cruise cost is your stateroom, meals in the main dining room or buffet, and certain entertainment, such as the evening shows, and musicians in the lounges.

Not sure what options you are looking at. I've only cruise by myself, so I can't offer any advice as to 3 people in a stateroom.

If you do a Caribbean cruise from Florida, you will have a total of two days at sea, as it takes a day to get there, and a day to get back. So for a 5 night cruise, you may have two ports of call and two days at sea. There is lots to do on the ship on the days at sea, so you shouldn't get bored, regardless of what line you choose.

As stated, if you are looking at Spring Break, book early. Also, you may find that by booking airfare separately, it is significantly cheaper than going through the cruise line. However, then you may have to consider flying down a day before depending on where you're flying from. My home airport is a hub for an airline, so I've always flown down on a direct flight first thing in the morning, and haven't had any problems.

I hope this helps.

MCPayne 10-18-2010 05:26 PM


One other thing. If there are specialty restaurants onboard the ship you choose, those will have a cover charge. An example is on Royal Caribbean ships, they have Chop's Grill and Portofino. I believe for those the cover charge is $20 per person, but supposedly it is well worth it. I haven't tried those. What I have tried, is Johnny Rockets, another restaurant onboard select Royal Caribbean ships. That is a $4.95 cover charge, all you can eat. Drinks are extra.

alexandra cruiser 10-21-2010 07:52 AM

Heres another idea,,,try more upscale Regent,etc..that offer all "inclusive" fares,,,meaning all excursions,restaurants,drinks, in fare,,,not nickel and dimed to death...can run $1000 or more if you use them a lot,,like most do...most are 7 day and leave from Ft.Lauderdale or Miami....check websites for deals...we got 2 for 1 plus $1000 off for recent booking...also search discount online cruise agencies....PS.these inc.fares have large rooms with separate couch-bed area that can be closed off..good for 3....

billybuzzy 10-21-2010 07:47 PM

roxy0209.....You have some decent options on the 4/5 day cruise schedule, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival have some very affordable and pleasant choices....Give them all some serious consideration...especially consider Your options with your Travel Agent(TA)!!

Bon Voyage,


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