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Old 03-28-2006, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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OK folks. Sorry for the trouble in advance.

Never been on a cruise but all our friends and family are talking it up so we are looking into it. Did some internet searches and holy cow there are a lot of options, ships, cruise lines, it all has its own lingo. Have seen some recent travel shows on cruising. Just joined here and will be starting to read up on your posts.

So where would you start to get the facts and feel for a cruise. Any FAQ section here? Any advice appreciated.

We are thinking of Carribbean ( maybe VI, Bahamas or others ) for first trip and sailing out of Fla or the gulf. We are a Middle age couple, active, love good food and dining.

Was thinking of a 7 day cruise for our first - is that too long ? Too short? Whats a good time of the year etc.etc.

Cheers.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:18 PM
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With all those questions, and being a first-time cruiser, I strongly recommend you work with a travel agent, especially one who specializes in cruises. They will be able to help you sort out all your interests and preferences; as you have found out, there are many, many options, making a decision on your own extremely time-consuming and difficult.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:42 PM
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As one who usually books my own trips - I agree with Karen 100%! You have a much better chance of getting what you want from an agent.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:14 PM
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Thanks .

I usually do not think I can get the straight scoop from anyone on anything if they are selling something - I usually like to chat with 'real ' users. Like my Vegas vacations, when I started going there my travel agent didnt know jack about hotels and other issues and I found much better advice on online forums. I guess my feeling is these people might not be able to afford to take trips and get the experience others can - they just sit in an office and talk about it.

Oh well. I'll go read around or try another forum. You all have a nice trip.
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:00 PM
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Location: Orlando, FLA
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Grayhorse:

Just two years ago, just like you, I was new to cruising. My very first cruise was onboard Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas. It was a 4-day Bahamian Cruise. It sailed out of Port Canaveral (within eye sight of the Space Shuttle launch pads...or at least the collosal Vehicle Assembly Building).

My second cruise was onboard Carnival's Inspiration. It was a 5-day Western Caribbean Cruise.

With any luck, later this year in November, I will set sail on my third cruise. This time it will be onboard Carnival's Carnival Glory . It will be a 7-day Eastern Caribbean Cruise.

So, with all that in mind:

- I have decided to start my cruising expieriences with a short cruise (to see if I like the expierience; of course I did) . Then progressivly work my way up to longer cruises.
I think that was a good desicion of mine, but may not necessarly hold true in your situation.

- I had a wonderful time on both ships. However, I liked, as a personal opinion, my Carnival cruise a little better than R.C. That is why my next cruise will be onboard Carnival.

- That brings to mind that everything in cruising is subjective, and can vary in opinion by each individual. What I liked on my cruise, you might not, and visa versa.

That all is all the reason why you should continue researching cruising and find what is right for you and your spouse.

The previous respondants of this posting said you should seek the advice of a good travel agent. I would agree. But also you should continue to visit this website (and it's parent website www.cruisereviews.com) and learn from everyone that contributes to it. I too, have looked around at different cruise related websites and these two websites I would consider near the top, in terms which is best.

Good luck on your first cruise. If all goes well (and most of the time it does) you will have a wonderful time and will be hooked on taking cruises.
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Old 03-28-2006, 11:11 PM
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Whats a good time of the year?

I can't say for sure, since I am just a begginer with only two cruises under my belt. But I have booked my previous two cruises and future third cruise around October and November. Why?:
- Usually Hurricane season, in the Caribbean, is all done by then (usually........unlike last year).
- The prices seam to be the lowest around that time of the year.
- The Caribbean is always warm enough, even in October and November.
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Old 03-29-2006, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grayhorse:
Thanks .

I usually do not think I can get the straight scoop from anyone on anything if they are selling something - I usually like to chat with 'real ' users. Like my Vegas vacations, when I started going there my travel agent didnt know jack about hotels and other issues and I found much better advice on online forums. I guess my feeling is these people might not be able to afford to take trips and get the experience others can - they just sit in an office and talk about it.

Oh well. I'll go read around or try another forum. You all have a nice trip.
Grayhorse, I understand why you would be leary of using a TA for your cruise, but a Cruise Only agent is trained in selling the cruise, also it doesnt cost you an extra cent to use the services of an agent. As a Cruise Specialist myself, I have had extensive training in the different cruise lines and ships, my job is to qualify the potential passenger to which cruiseline or ship to go on. Also, most cruise only agents have been on several cruises, they also continue their education and to be the best in their field they learn everything they can. A good agent is not all about making the money, they do this because they love it and they want to make the experiences of their clients the best possible. Try looking in your local phone book and find an agent that specializes in cruises only then call them and question them. If you are not happy with their answers, then try another agent. Even if you talk to an agent you are under no obligation to purchase from them if you are not comfortable with their level of experience.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2006, 05:29 AM
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You can go to www.cruising.org to find a cruise specialist in your area.
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:30 AM
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I have found this web site to be great!!!!!! If you are a real beach person - try to plan a cruise with a private island - COCO CAY is great went there in August and December of 2005. I have fallen in love with cruising doing three last year and now have two booked for this year. Bahamas are nice the Alantics Hotel (Spelling?) is great. Since going there we have seen a few T.V. with it. It's always nice to go some where then see it on T.V. - We have also seen Key West on T.V. - But to me Key West was one on thoses "Been there - done it - never need to go back"
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:43 AM
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I'm in Virginia - I have a great cruise Lady - In the last year I have booked five cruises with her. She always gives great thank you gifts with every cruise booked.
 
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