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Old 09-07-2007, 07:54 AM
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Looking at sailing on Freedom or Liberty over Thanksgiving. The wife, 2 kids (11, 13) and I.
One room

Ships now have balconies! I guess the advantage is fresh air. Does anyone really hang out on their balcony? Is it worth the added cost?

I can see the need for an outside cabin as it perhaps subsides some of the clausterphobic aspects...but 4 people in a 170 sq ft room??? Is it doable...Basically we're in their to sleep...right?

My son gets car sick sometimes. Where on the ship should we be for the calmest experience?
I imagine access to fresh air would help him and thus a need for a balcony unless the windows open? Also why does the deck level matter so much? 3 versus 10?

I have also noticed some balcony rooms at the rear of the ship on higher decks (9 or 10) that
have their balconies facing the rear...Any advantage or disadvantages?

Ports: Labadee looks like fun...eventhough it really isn't real Haiti. If we were to stay on board (Liberty)would you miss Grand Cayman or Jamaica? If we were to stay on board Freedom...
St. Maarten or San Juan...We plan to ferry to St. John for the day when we arrive in St. Thomas...

A lot of questions but it has been 20 years!
Thanks
Cozumel I have been to and may decide to miss.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:08 AM
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Welcome to cruise chat Ol'Salty they are both very nice ships I liked the balcony because of the great view out to the ocean and if I decided to stay in my cabin I could still be outside. I didn't feel any motion enough to get ill over but then that is just speaking for myself, I was on the 9th level and NEVER felt the ship rock. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:40 PM
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If in your budget:
Verandas are the best.
Outside views are next best.
In terms of selection:
Midship is best
Forward is next best.
Aft gives rise to vibrations.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:46 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by Ol' Salty:
I can see the need for an outside cabin as it perhaps subsides some of the clausterphobic aspects...but 4 people in a 170 sq ft room??? Is it doable...Basically we're in their to sleep...right?
[quote]

My brother and I were slightly older than your kids when my family cruised for the first time. All 4 of us stayed in one INSIDE room, and it really wasn't all that bad because we spent very little time in the room. (However, my parents weren't at all overprotective; they allowed my brother and I to wander around the ship on our own and hang out with the new friends we made... had they not allowed that, we might have gone crazy hanging out with our parents 24/7.)

My parents swear by balconies (they got one once and have never looked back), so I imagine they are worth the extra cost. If it is in your budget, I am sure that a balcony would be preferable in your situation. The fresh air does help when you're feeling a bit seasick, and will certainly make the room feel less cramped.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:20 PM
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Definitely go with the outside with a balcony. They are great and you can leave the sliding door open at night to hear the ocean if you like that. We stay on the balcony a lot and have even done many breakfasts there. We would not trade the balcony cabins for anything. In fact, we have made the decision that we would do fewer cruises with nicer cabins than more cruises with smaller cabins. Check into the family size cabins for pricing as well. They may not be as bad as you think.

As far as skipping ports, I can tell you about Grand Cayman and Jamaica trade off. I would take Grand Cayman any day of the week over Jamaica and wouldn't think twice about it. Some folks may disagree and maybe I just have not seen the "good" side of the island!! Cruise ships have changed a lot over the years as well. Our first cruise, on our honeymoon, was in 1982 so you are not too far behind us in ship age!! Go for it and you will love it.
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Old 09-09-2007, 12:27 PM
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You'll be on the ship for many hours...visit the ports! A balcony gives you beautiful views as you come into ports in the morning. Enjoy room service coffee with a mountainous view (which we don't have in So FL) Labadee was a great place to parasail/zipline. Jamaica was good for us to do the Dunn's River Falls.
The balcony was great to lay out our diving fins,masks, snorkels etc to dry out and our bathing suits..if needed. Splurge...you get what you pay for.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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I spent a lot of time on my balcony while waiting for my wife to "Get ready" to go out to dinner/show or whatever. It's nice to sit out on it in the evening before bed and just enjoy the quiet breeze. I have personally found it to be well worth the extra expense.

Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:15 PM
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The room size is pretty small for 4 people especally when getting ready for dinner, shows, or leaving the ship to go into port. You may want to consider getting 2 rooms, and inside and and an outside or blacony across the hall from each other. Remember there is only 1 bathroom...And yes a blacony is worth every penny (imo)
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:59 AM
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Hi Ol' Salty, welcome aboard. It's time to go cruising again! My personal choice is a balcony, but if it was a choice of being able to cruise or not due to the cost, I'd go with whatever I could to get on board. You're really not in your room that much, but with a balcony you find yourself spending more time in your cabin on the balcony. It's wonderful to watch the sunrise/sunset without having to dress to go up on deck. Have a cup of coffee or a pre-dinner drink and watch the ocean and all of it's beauty and surprises is magnificent. Definitely do the ports, even if it is just to go to a beach. To be able to see, firsthand, a different culture and the different topography of the islands is well worth the time. Even if you've been to Cozumel before, it would be nice for your kids to visit the ruins or one of the beautiful beaches there. Either ship or itinerary you chose, it will be something new for the children. Have a wonderful time and best wishes!
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:35 AM
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Hello Ol'Salty,

With four people in a stateroom I'd highly recommend a balcony. The balcony staterooms start on deck 6. Labadee is a blast! The zipline is the longest overwater zipline in the world. If I were to stay on board in one of the ports, it would be Jamaica. I would recommend the Stingray Island tour in Grand Cayman. Taking the ferry to St. Johns is a great plan, Trunk Bay is one of the world's most beautiful beaches.

We welcome your questions here on Cruise-Chat. Let us know which ship you book.

Sonny
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