Hi stevo. Welcome. Are you traveling alone, with friends, or with children? Are you the tour type or do you like water activities?
The Caribbean encompasses many islands. Personally, in the Caribbean, it's Cozumel, Belize, Grand Cayman and Key West for us. If you are a snorkeler/diver, these islands and their reefs are awesome. Depends entirely on what you like to do. We have sailed RCCL and Carnival. For my dollar, I like Carnival. A'ndrea
Really any time is good. The only drawback to cruising during hurricane season is the chance that some of the ports may change if a storm is in the area. And the chance of the cruise being delayed if there is a storm at the port you are leaving from.
So far I have been happy with Carnival.
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Princess does it best! We've sailed on HAL, NCL, RCCL, Costa, Carnival and Princess. To me, Princess wins, hands down. If you're cruising to the Caribbean, you have to check out some of the ports there. Grenada is absolutely beautiful, the Grand Anse beach is wonderful, and Flamingo Bay has the some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. Tortola is a wonderful island, and the snorkeling over near Norman's Island is great. Trunk Bay in St. John is an absolute must (you port in St. Thomas). Dominica's Champagne Reef is a wonderful snorkel and a beautiful, lush island. St. Lucia is a beautiful, laid back island with plenty of friendly people. St. Kitts is great for it's Batik. BonAire is wonderful for snorkeling/diving. Trinidad is fun to visit, if you go, try a Doubles for breakfast-awesome. Barbados is a great port, do the Tiami sail/snorkel-great crew, good snorkeling, great catamarans. You say you want to just hang on the ship, then Princess will not disappoint you. The ships are immaculate, the service is impeccable, and the food is great! Best wishes, and enjoy the islands!
Hello stevo60, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Asking which cruise line is best is like asking which color is best. Every has their own opinion on that. Someone may just do one cruise on a certain cruise line and draw an opinon from that. I've been on a lot of cruises but almost all of them were on Royal Caribbean. Guess that tells you which cruise line I prefer. I like the Caribbean itinerary from October to May. I live in a cold climate and it's nice to get some warm sun when there is none here. I've asked hundreds of people which cruise line they like best and the majority tell me Royal Caribbean. Especally when it comes to a Radiance or Voyager class ship.
Welcome Stevo...when I first cruised I thought of just staying on the ship and lingering all day on the deck soaking in the sun, but boy there is just sooooo much to do and see that the excitement bug hits and you are gone. That is why in this forum you hear of all the doc dances going on and the people just itching to go on another cruise. You will have so much fun that you will be like a kid in a candy store.
1998 Holiday CATALINA-MEXICO
2000 Viking Serenade CATALINA- MEXICO
2002 Fantasy BAHAMAS
2004 Esctasy CATALINA-MEXIC0
2005 NCL SAN FRANCISCO
2006 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2007 Pride MEXICAN RIVIERA
2008 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2008 Destiny SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
2009 Liberty EASTERN CARIBBEAN
2010 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2011 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2012 Crown Princess EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Originally posted by stevo60:
hi as i'm new to cruising and i was thinking of trying the caribbean area could anybody advise on when is the best time to go,also which are best lines to go through,thanks
IMHO . . . .
I would suggest taking a 4 or 5 day cruise to the Caribbean during the late April to late May time period. The reason for this suggestion is that 4 or 5 days is long enough to get comfy but not so long to drain you the first time out. The time period is the best time to avoid the spring breakers but not be overrun with the children who are out of school.
I would also suggest that you start with Carnival unless you know that your taste go to the more refined/higher end of things. Carnival is a great starter cruiseline because it is so friendly, relaxed and unformal. You can do as much as you please, there is always some sort of activity to keep you entertained but there is also enough calmer or refined activities to make you feel special. For example, the formal dining room, dress up for formal night, the art auction, the cigar bar, the jazz trio in the bar on the main deck -- lots that cater to a more refined, calmer spirit. For just silly fun, head straight to the Lido Deck or the Promenade Deck for the party, party, noise, laugh, giggle environment.
Carnival is priced more modestly so that too may be a good entry level for you.
Many people start with Carnival and stick with Carnival (as I have done).
However, any of the mass market cruiselines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Holland) would be a good first step on the water.
Good luck and happy cruzin'
I B CRUZIN'
(solo cruzin' by design)
The entire Caribbean is great. The best time to go is as soon as you can get on a ship. For the best ships, I'll leave that to everyone here who has their favorites. For a first cruise do the one that fits your budget.
Get the newest ship and maximum number of days for the money you set aside for this cruise. I'm about to go home for the evening and that pint or two you mentioned is sounding really good right now.
I just have one comment about the length of the cruise. We have been on one 5 day cruise. The rest were 7, 8, and 11 days. Since we have to fly from Illinois, we found that we prefer at least 7 days (if that fits into your budget). You will pay the same for airfare, so you might as well get your money's worth! Also, it was just as much work to pack for the 5 day cruise as the 7 day cruise. Just a couple things to think about.
We have been on RCCL and Celebrity and love those lines. However, we are going to go on Princess next month so we will see if our loyalties change!
Enjoy planning your trip. It is part of the thrill of cruising!