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Old 01-14-2007, 10:29 AM
 
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My husband and I would like to take our very first cruise this spring, in May or June. We are in our early 40's, and will possibly be taking our 17 and 19 yo kids with us.

We've been to Jamaica, and loved it, on a land vacation. So....we're thinking the Caribbean, or Mexico, or Puerto Rico.

Suggestions for a Cruise Line, and itineraries? We'd like to go 6 or 7 nights, and not be priced at the top of the pricing, but have a nice experience.

Thanks!
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Celebrity Solstice 12/18-12/26/2011 (San Juan, St Maarten, St Kitts, St Thomas)
Celebrity Summit 4/27/13 (Bermuda)
Celebrity Infinity 3/30/14 (Panama Canal)
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:41 AM
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Only been one cruise myself, but loved the time spent at sea. We took Carnival and was very pleased. If you haven't applied for your passports, get it done. It isn't required as of now but it sure makes things easier. Good luck and look forward to whichever cruise line you pick.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:01 AM
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Hi Deanna, welcome to cruise-chat! I am so happy you dropped by to ask us your questions.

Carnival and Royal Caribbean dominate the Caribbean market. Princess also has a presence. Any of these three would be a good choice for people your age and with the teenagers. Bear in mind that May and June are not that far off and cruise ships are filling up fast. Pricing also starts going up in those months, especially June. It is important that you find a reputable cruise specialist for this booking. You've never done a cruise before and you need someone "in the know" to guide you through this. The price offered by an agent will not be much different from what you can find on-line or directly with a cruise line, and it is nice to have a personal advocate in your corner as opposed to a nameless entity on the other end of a 1-800 phone call to "cruises r' us".

I prefer western Caribbean cruises since they have things more to my liking such as snorkeling. You can do that on the other itineraries too but the best is in the west! Try a cruise that has a stop on a private island or private beach. These are fun stops.

If you want to be blown away by what a cruise ship can offer, try the Freedom Of The Seas or the yet-to-sail Liberty Of The Seas. Both are Royal Caribbean ships and have more "wow factor" than any other ships afloat.

Carnival tends to have the best fares, but not always and remember that in many cases that cheapest fare may only be a few dollars less than what another line is asking.

Tell us what you are looking to do on a cruise. What kind of activities you want to do. How important is food to you? Do you like lots of excitement or prefer to kick back? The more info you provide, the more the experienced cruisers on this board can help you!
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:24 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the great info!

Cost is a factor, but only in that we don't want to be paying over and above. We are expecting to pay between 900-1400 per person, based on what I have looked at.

My husband and kids are very active, and I have active days and quiet days. My daughter and I would like to swim with dolphins, and we are interested in off boat excursions, especially in ruins, and more non-touristy type things.

Any help can be appreciated!
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Cruises:
Celebrity Solstice 7/3/2010
Celebrity Solstice 12/18-12/26/2011 (San Juan, St Maarten, St Kitts, St Thomas)
Celebrity Summit 4/27/13 (Bermuda)
Celebrity Infinity 3/30/14 (Panama Canal)
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:15 AM
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Hi Deanna, and welcome to cruise-chat.

Based on the activities you mentioned, a Western Caribbean cruise may fit the bill. This gives you a combination of water sports, Mayan Ruins, and sea days during which to relax or enjoy some of the many activities onboard.

There are several Western Caribbean itineraries, some of which include stops in Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica and/or Cozumel.

To add to Dave's questions regarding the selection of ship: Would you prefer to dress formally or casually for dinner? How important is after-dinner entertainment, such as production shows? Obviously, you want your kids to have a good time, but are you also seeking some kid-free areas for yourselves? How important is having a wide choice of dining venues? How active do you want to be on the ship (swimming/mini-golf, basketball, etc.)?

We can continue to narrow things down from there.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deazinn:
Thanks for all of the great info!

Cost is a factor, but only in that we don't want to be paying over and above. We are expecting to pay between 900-1400 per person, based on what I have looked at.

My husband and kids are very active, and I have active days and quiet days. My daughter and I would like to swim with dolphins, and we are interested in off boat excursions, especially in ruins, and more non-touristy type things.

Any help can be appreciated!
No problem finding a cruise in your price parameters. Those figures will fit with all of the mainstream cruise lines.

Visiting the Mayan ruins is very much a touristy thing though, as these are among the more popular excursions offered. Please stick with the ruins on the mainland such as Tulum. The San Gervasio ruins on the island of Cozumel are not worth seeing.

There are many venues for the dolphin encounter. We've done it on Cozumel at Chankanaab Park. Look carefully at the dolphin choices - "encounter" is just that...you don't swim with the dolphins you stand on a shallow platform and get a few moments to touch them, in between tricks they perform. You'll want the tour that actually has you in the water with the animals. This is not a cheap tour and it fills up quickly.

For many of us on this board, the sea days are the best part of a cruise since you don't have to keep an eye on your watch and can be more carefree.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:33 PM
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Hello,

I recommend that you look at the Carribbean Princess sailings to the Southern Carribbean. A new ship with an excellent price that is within your parameters, and very nice ports including Saint Maarten.

Hope that this helps.

Fred
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:11 AM
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FOr 900-1400 a person you can do a great cruise, especially if you dont care about cabin. If I were you I would look at trying to leave out of New york. Where are you planning on leaving out of? An 8 day caribbean cruise would be the best for you. You will have relaxing days at sea and you wont feel like your vacation was too short.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:59 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SouthCentral PA
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Great help so far! We don't really care where we leave from - anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard from NY to FL will do.

We definitely are looking at the 7-9 night cruises. We'd like to have a couple of dress up nights, but not everynight. Our kids will be 18 and 20, so we'll probably all be doing our own things......

Keep the ideas coming - and thank you all for your help!
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Cruises:
Celebrity Solstice 7/3/2010
Celebrity Solstice 12/18-12/26/2011 (San Juan, St Maarten, St Kitts, St Thomas)
Celebrity Summit 4/27/13 (Bermuda)
Celebrity Infinity 3/30/14 (Panama Canal)
 
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