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Old 03-03-2007, 04:45 PM
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I am in charge of planning a cruise for about 20 family members and I need some help!
We are planning this cruise for the week of Nov 3 or 4' 07. We would like to go to the Caribbean. All of us have been on a cruise before but to different places so some will probably go somewhere they have already been. I am trying to choose the ship that will please the most people. Ages will be 5-59. I have read many reviews but some are so
depressing! Please give me your insight on the following ships and which one you would choose.....Victory, Valor, Triumph, Glory, Legend, Norwegian Sun, Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess and Holland America's Zuiderdam. I want to make sure all the children 5-18 have fun. I do not want the 25-35 crowd to feel like they are on a Geriatric ship and the 50+ group all think they are still in their 30s.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated and considered. I will let you know the final decision.
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:45 PM
SanDee's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Keller, Texas
Posts: 404
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I am in charge of planning a cruise for about 20 family members and I need some help!
We are planning this cruise for the week of Nov 3 or 4' 07. We would like to go to the Caribbean. All of us have been on a cruise before but to different places so some will probably go somewhere they have already been. I am trying to choose the ship that will please the most people. Ages will be 5-59. I have read many reviews but some are so
depressing! Please give me your insight on the following ships and which one you would choose.....Victory, Valor, Triumph, Glory, Legend, Norwegian Sun, Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess and Holland America's Zuiderdam. I want to make sure all the children 5-18 have fun. I do not want the 25-35 crowd to feel like they are on a Geriatric ship and the 50+ group all think they are still in their 30s.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated and considered. I will let you know the final decision.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:10 PM
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Royal Caribbean has a great mix of age groups. The Adventure Ocean program for the kids is outstanding. I had heard that Alaskan cruises were primarily geriatric cruises; when we took the Radiance of the Seas in 7/2005, I was really pleased with variety of age groups represented (we're 52 and 47, with an 11 & 15 year old). We also had some 40 somethings, 50 somethings, 60 somethings, and a couple of 80 somethings on the cruise with us. No one on the cruise had a bad time. Personally, I've got nothing but good things to say about Royal Caribbean.

Wow, you're in charge of pleasing 20 people?! Be prepared, you'll never make them all happy; set the ground rules right up front and let everyone know concensus rules and to check selfish attitudes long before you board. Get lots of support from your allies! You will need it!
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:26 AM
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Hi SanDee. Of the ships you mentioned, I'd be most inclined to go with Princess. Friends of ours travel Princess a lot with their kids, who love the kids programs. The entertainment is also quite varied, so there's something for everyone. Personally, I'd prefer Grand Princess to the much larger Caribbean Princess, but I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

I agree with goin' cruisin' that Royal Caribbean is also a good choice, either the Voyager or Radiance ships and their sisters.

Have fun with your selection!
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:01 AM
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My first cruise was on Royal Caribbean and it is my favorite. The food was the best and so was the entertainment but unfortunately it is not one of our choices. The Grand Princess has the most votes from the family but it has the worst reviews! That makes me nervous. The Caribbean Princess has better reviews. Everyone has said...it really does not matter to me, but I want it to be a mutual decision so if it were to be a bad cruise I would not be blamed. I don't think anyone would do that but I just want to make it a special cruise.

Our mother died unexpectedly just before Christmas and she was the one that kept the family together so we decided that we would all get together for this cruise for mom. Keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:39 AM
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SanDee: Your family will love the Caribbean Princess and the atmosphere is great for all ages. Another good choice would be Carnival Valor. That series of ships seems to be laid out better than Destiny class ships. Since you are the planner, choose the one that makes you happiest!
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:08 AM
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tncruiseman: I have not been on a Princess ship but I have wanted to. I do not understand the different class of ships. Can someone explain? Besides the ship I am considering the itinerary. I have not been to the Eastern side but others in the family have. I was in Nassau, Grand Turks and Half Moon Cay in Nov and loved it. I have no problem going back to any of those as my children have not been.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:45 AM
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SanDee..if you haven't been to St Thomas & St Maarten that is the route you should go. I would choose Caribbean Princess mainly because of the day spent at Princess Cays rather than a stop in San Juan. The ship has fantastic pool decks for the days at sea, and they are freshwater also. No one ever complains about a fresh water pool! When balconies are advertised, they are same price as Carnival Destiny class and CP is a newer ship. Although I have a better time myself on Carnival (something about letting my hair down?) the Caribbean Princess will be your best bet in satisfying everyone in the group.

I have not been to Half Moon Cay but imagine PC is very comparable to it. I haven't been to Grand Turks but would choose St. Maarten/St Thomas over it any day from what I have heard.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:46 AM
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Hi SanDee.

I understand your dilemma about choosing the right cruise and I would like to help.

I will happily give up my free time to travel on say a short list of six cruises, and take loads of photos for you to look at.

I am sure we can negotiate a reasonable fee... plus expenses!

LOL

More seriously.....

Zuiderdam: definitely no. Even the 59 yr old's will feel the ship is too "old" for them.

Carnival: very much an "all action" ship. If your family party all want to join in every activity, it's great, but not so good if you want to unwind with a good book.

I reckon Grand Princess or Caribbean Princess to be best. There is a great range of activities to provide something for everybody, plus the sheer size of the ship gives a massive choice of bars, 4 pools, all sorts of distractions.
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:51 AM
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Forgot to mention above that Grand Princess and Caribbean Princess are basically the same ships. They both have the "Skywalker" nightclub (which from a distance looks like the handle of a grocery buggy and similar amenities. Caribbean Princess is 6 yrs newer, but also will have more passengers due to an extra deck of cabins added.
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