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Old 06-23-2008, 09:32 AM
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We are having trouble deciding whether to take a cruise or AI vacation, (Sandals?) as we want to make this super special but don't have unlimited funds.

For our 25th we were on the Grand Princess Inauguaral to the Eastern Carib.
and it was perfect! Because of that we're not sure if we should stick with Princess and if so which ship - or try RCCL which also appeals to us. We are looking for elegance but not stuffy. We are torn between the Southern Carib. and Hawaii. Which brings me to another dilemma - we have heard such bad reviews of NCL and they are the only one who really offer a perfect Hawaiian cruise itinerary.

Has anyone stayed at an AI such as Sandals and what is your opinion of that as compared to a cruise? (We have stayed at many AI's in Mexico and love those as well but want to try a different place for our big anniversary.)

We will be traveling in February 2009.

Thanks in advance for any insight! We want to make our reservations ASAP.
Amy S.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:32 AM
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We are having trouble deciding whether to take a cruise or AI vacation, (Sandals?) as we want to make this super special but don't have unlimited funds.

For our 25th we were on the Grand Princess Inauguaral to the Eastern Carib.
and it was perfect! Because of that we're not sure if we should stick with Princess and if so which ship - or try RCCL which also appeals to us. We are looking for elegance but not stuffy. We are torn between the Southern Carib. and Hawaii. Which brings me to another dilemma - we have heard such bad reviews of NCL and they are the only one who really offer a perfect Hawaiian cruise itinerary.

Has anyone stayed at an AI such as Sandals and what is your opinion of that as compared to a cruise? (We have stayed at many AI's in Mexico and love those as well but want to try a different place for our big anniversary.)

We will be traveling in February 2009.

Thanks in advance for any insight! We want to make our reservations ASAP.
Amy S.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:29 AM
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Try a balcony on Caribbean Princess South Caribbean itinerary out of Ft Lauderdale, it it still does that route. With the at-sea days, you'd have the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:48 AM
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Hi Amy S., welcome to Cruise-Chat. I would have to second tncruiseman's recommendation. I just don't believe you can go wrong with a cruise because you get the best of everything. I prefer the southern Caribbean itinerary, too. If you enjoyed Princess, there's no reason not to go with them again. RCI is a great line as well, but I prefer Princess. They're just more elegant, in my opinion. Of course, RCI has more "glitz", more like Vegas attractions on board. But either line, would be a fantastic way to celebrate 35 years. Congratulations and once again, welcome aboard!
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:57 AM
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It sounds like you need to talk to a Travel Agent that can ask you specific questions and qualify you to what will best meet your needs. This is a 35 anniversary, a very special occasion, so you may want something specific for that. First, your budget will be a factor. Second, Are you more interested in visiting several destinations, or just the one? Do you like all the activities on the ship or are you looking at being more laid back on this vacation? It sounds like enjoyed your first cruise a lot. With cruises you can do it all or nothing at all.

NCL has one ship now in Hawaii. There have been a lot of negative reviews on their Hawaii product. But there also have been good reviews. You need to know what to expect with the NCL America cruise.
Which the TA can help you with that too. It is a great way to see several of the Hawaiian Islands in one week.

Congratulations on your milestone anniversary.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:42 PM
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We use to do AI's. The problem is that the food is usually low quality and the type of alcohol is limited. Most of the dining is buffets and the booze is of the local stuff.

The entertainment is vey poor and you are usually confined to the resort. You can take tours but you will only be on one island.

We were always told that Sandals was the ultimate. We did it and was dissappointed. It was way overpriced and the service was lacking. TIPS are included and they are not allowed to accept any TIPS. If they are caught they will be fired so that was not the issue. The brochures show fancy drinks being served in pineapples, coconuts and etc. You get them in a plastic glass and if you wait for a waiter you will never get a drink. The only beer served is Red Stripe on tap. They claim to give you a stocked bar in your room; that had 2 bottles of Red Stripe. I called and asked for more and was told that there was a limit of 2 per day. My wife likes whiskey and coke. The only booze in the room was some cheap off brand rum, no whiskey or bourbon was available.

We now stick to cruises. More dining choices, better entertainment and more choices of that also. Even though you pay for your drinks you get exactly what you want and in the long run will be further ahead.

Our Sandals trip cost us $4600 for 7 days in 2001 for a balcony room facing the pool area and also included the flight from Detroit Mi to Jamaica. Figure it out for yourself.

For us a cruise is a better deal and gives more choices.
 
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