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fatdogbeads 05-14-2011 07:29 AM

Confused about which cruise line to choose
Hi! I haven't sailed for a few years, but my last few cruises were on Windstar and (formerly) Radisson (now Regent). I've been on RCCL loads of times, HAL once.

My husband and I are looking for Caribbean cruise in fall. Looking at some ships from Celebrity, HAL, Princess. (mostly newer ones).We're in our late 50s

And I am SOOOOOO confused. read many reviews. Need recommendations.
Things we like: not too many kids, not stuffy. Balconies. Good service. Great food.
Things we don't care as much about: fancy entertainment (we like the casino), ports we visit (we've been there/done that with most of the islands).

any help would be greatly appreciated. Especially comparing Celebrity and Princess.
Thanks fellow cruisers!!!

Sonny V 05-14-2011 09:15 AM

I was total impressed with sailing on the Allure of the Seas. Even after over 65 cruises on Royal Caribbean I felt a total new experience on the Allure.

LisaP 05-14-2011 09:54 AM

Welcome to cruisereviews! You sound a lot like us in terms of what we enjoy in a cruise. Only difference is that we have a teenaged son, so we have to go when school's out, which means we generally stick with HAL or Celebrity. As you plan to go while school's in session, you have many more choices. (And, I realize that's the problem!)

What appeals to you about the ships you've been looking at? Also, do you want to be on a large vessel (4,000 passengers) or a smaller, but still somewhat large one (2,000 or so passengers). Which ships (not just lines) have you been on previously, and what did you like and not like about them?

Sorry for all the questions -- they will help us help you.

Sandy 05-14-2011 01:30 PM

I find Celebrity to be a bit more upscale than Princess, in terms of food and service. I haven't sailed Princess a lot, but when I did, it seemed more comparable to Royal Caribbean than to Celebrity.

Cruise Fanatic 05-14-2011 03:16 PM

While Celebrity, Princess, and HAL are all great cruise lines it sounds like Azamara might be right up your alley. They also have a lot of inclusions like bottled water, soda, designer coffees, boutique wines, and more. They are smaller ships like Regent.

Sandy 05-14-2011 03:24 PM

Not all cruise lines have Caribbean sailings when you want to go. It's a good idea to see which ships sail there during your desired dates. That will help narrow your choices.

LHT28 05-14-2011 04:16 PM

It depends on whether you want a big ship or smaller size ship
Oceania has some good deals on right now I would have a look

No formal nights, no children's programs, limited smoking areas (2 small ones)
Good food (subjective) :)

Just depends on what you are looking for

wooddon 05-15-2011 08:19 PM

We love Princess and I think this line would be best for you. We try Celebrity once and never again. The service on Princess compare to Cebebrity was 100% better.

penny3333 05-16-2011 08:19 AM

Hi fatdogbeads, welcome to CruiseReviews! Have we confused you even more?

Princess is our favorite, we have sailed on Princess, Celebrity, HAL, RCI, Costa, Carnival, and NCL. HAL, Princess, Celebrity, and Royal all have most of what you are searching for. Royal will have more children than HAL, Princess or Celebrity. The newer Princess ships are large, but never felt crowded. The Sanctuary is a marvelous place to get away from the crowds and they do offer half day passes. They do not have rock climbing walls, ice skating shows, or a lot of Vegas style shows, but they do have some wonderful entertainment and the Piazza area is magnificent. Princess's service to me is among the best, so is HAL, but for my taste, the food on Princess is better than HAL or Celebrity.

Royal's new ships, the Allure and Oasis are truly magnificent. They have loft suites on them that are just amazing (not that I could afford them, just saw some videos). They will have more children on them, but I've never heard that anyone has felt overwhelmed by them on board. In fact, every report I've read is that you would never know there were 5600 fellow passengers on board. The only negative thing I have heard is that there are lines, at some times.

It sounds to me like you really need to sit down with a good travel agent, one that is certified in cruises (CLIA). They can narrow it down for you and can offer you sound advice.

We can all tell you our likes and dislikes, but these are very subjective. What I like, you may not. I'm in my late 50s and my hubby's in his early 60s. I've been cruising since my 20s. I try other lines and come back to Princess because it just feels like home, to me.

I can honestly say, though, that our cruise on the Epic last year was one of the best one's we've been on. The ship was absolutely beautiful, on the inside, a little odd looking from the outside. The food was great, too. The entertainment was over the top.

Please let us know what you decide:)

susanmaz 05-16-2011 12:27 PM

I'll add my two cents and recommend HAL - mostly for a stop at their private island, Half Moon Cay. We've done Caribbean twice on HAL - love the smaller ships and top notch service. While there will be more (reletively speaking) children on Caribbean itineraries, compared to other lines, still not that many. And Half Moon Cay is a wonderful day in paradise.

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