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Old 06-19-2005, 07:01 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Okay, my wife and I are looking to take our first cruise in December (the only month we can both take a week off). We're looking for experienced cruisers' suggestions for which cruise & deal are the best. We live in Phoenix, and would like to leave out of San Diego or L.A.

Our choices:

4nts @ $269 (OV) R.Car. (Monarch): LA-SD-CAT-ENS
4nts @ $299 (OV) Carn. (Paradise): LA/LB-CAT-ENS
6nts @ $600 (OV) Celeb (Infinity): SD-CAT-CABO-ENS
7nts @ $599 (OV) R.Car. (Vision): LA-CABO-MAZAT-P.VALL
7nts @ $709 (OV) $799 (BAL) Carn. (Pride): LA/LB-P.VALL-MAZAT-CABO
7nts @ $749 (OV) $849 (BAL)Princ. (Sapphire): LA-P.VALL-MAZAT-CABO
8nts @ $779 (OV) $879 (BAL) Carn. (Spirit): SD-ACAP-IXT/ZIH-MANZA
8nts @ $729 (OV) $899 (BAL) Norw. (Star): LA-ACAP-IXT/ZIH-P.VALL-CABO

Anyone have any recommendations for which might be more "bang for the buck"? The 4 nite cruises are priced so low that we could spend a couple nights in the L.A. area and still make it a weeklong vacation. Also, does anyone know how cold it will be in December?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
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Old 06-19-2005, 07:58 PM
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Location: Valley Center, CA 92082
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A lot depends on what you folks like to do. If you like sunshine and your intent is to get a tan and see some interesting ports, then I would choose the Norwegian Star itinerary. It offers great ports and an excellent price.

However, be prepared to spend more on dining in the alternative restaurants in order to have a fabulous time. If budget is an issue, this might not be the best choice.

If the cruise experience was more important, then I would select the Infinity, as while the itinerary is not a sun oriented one (except the Cabo portion possibly) the ship and dining is GREAT!

Finally, for a balance between the two suggestions above, choose the Vision of the Seas. Great sun time, and also a great cruise experience.

Regarding your question about the weather in San Diego in December....It is a crap shoot. It can be Santa Ana winds, hot and wonderful (as good as it gets) or it can be raining and cold. It just depends and you can't count on it.

Let us know what you decide.

Tom
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Old 06-20-2005, 02:36 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wickliffe, OH
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Here are my thoughts: The Star definitely has the best itinerary, but as for the best deal - that would probably be the Vision. I agree with Tom, that if you go with the Star - plan to spend the money at the alternative dining spots for the best experience. I know I cruise a lot so my opinion may differ from yours, but I would definitely not consider the 4 nt options -if you are able to go for 7 or more, they are just toooooo short. By the time you get settled and are relaxed - you are packing to go home.
Nancy
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