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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2006, 09:02 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
We are celebrating my 40th birthday and our 18th anniversary in August. We're trying to decide between Eastern or Western Caribbean, and the Mariner or the Navigator. I think we've settled on Royal Caribbean. Any input would be appreciated. (Including the age old question of balcony or cheap inside!) Thanks!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2006, 05:33 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,370
Since it's a special occasion, go for the balcony! As far as the other choices, you can't go wrong with either one. Happy birthday & anniversary (in advance!)
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2006, 07:03 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22
Book the Navigator, Western Caribbean, with a balcony! That's what I've booked for my family this coming Christmas. It's our first cruise too. If you do it first you can report back to me!!! lol..We are also considering Snorkling with the Stingrays in Grand Cayman, River tubing in Ocho Rio's and Swimming with the Dolphins in Cozumel. You could check out these for me to if you like! Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be wonderful! Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary...From what I've heard you can't go wrong with Royal Caribbean!
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2006, 12:30 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6
We recently took our first cruise - the seven night Western Caribbean on the Jewel. It was fantastic - best vacation I have ever been on. The only negative was Cozumel - it was really hit hard by the hurricane. We were there the first week of April 06 and were the first ship to dock since the hurricane hit.

I am sure you will enjoy the Western Caribbean.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2006, 06:47 PM
Sonny V's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Racine, Wisconsin
Posts: 4,906
My birthday is August 10th and our anniversary is August 22nd . The Mariner and Navigator are identical ships. Both the Eastern and Western itineraries are good. You really can't make a poor decision. It's your first cruise so you really won't be able to compare until your next cruise. You did make the right choice for the cruise line. Our first cruise was on Carnival, second on NCL, and the next 29 on Royal Caribbean. You're going to love cruising!
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2006, 04:44 PM
Posts: n/a
which ever is suited to you i would go for western
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2006, 07:01 AM
chemical x's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 60
i would recommend a 5 nighter for a first cruise. gotta figure out if you have sea legs.
i think a western 5 nighter would be fine.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2006, 07:08 AM
Geoff & Janine
Posts: n/a
My first cruise was this past March on Mariner - Western Caribbean. We had a balcony, and I am now absolutely spoiled forever!

Western Caribbean is nice because you see a number of different ports. Mariner is a gorgeous ship. We loved the balcony - I watched the sun come up, or set pretty well every day. Natural light is important to me - I don't think I could handle an inside cabin or one of those that overlooks the Promenade.

We're going back on Mariner again in September, with a balcony cabin once more. But we've booked the Eastern Caribbean route. My husband has had 3 cruises now, and all were Western Caribbean - he's ready for a change.

BTW - someone mentioned that you might prefer a 5-day cruise. I was quite concerned about taking a 7-night cruise my first time out, especially since I get seasick. We got a good deal on Mariner, which is why we went with 7 days. I was so glad we did - at the 5 day point I was just getting into the routine and DH was finally relaxed!
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2006, 09:34 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 110
Between Eastern and Western is totally up to you. If you like shopping then you need to go Eastern where there are stores galore and bargains to be had. If you prefer laid back then Western is the direction.

I won't sail without a balcony anymore. My first 3 or 4 cruises were without one - back then the only cabins with balconies were the giant suites. Then I got lucky enough to be upgraded to one of them one time by Celebrity and I was spoiled forever. Two years ago I caught a bargain out of Boston - my hometown, for $99 to Bermuda. (Yes for a one-week cruise.) It was very short notice; I booked it on a Friday and sailed on Sunday but for that price I couldn't say no. Anyway it was a 'best available' cabin. We were lucky enough to get an outside cabin but no balcony and I did miss it. (For the price I was beyond happy to do without but if I am paying any sort of normal cruise price I won't sail without my verandah.) So be warned that if you go for the better cabin on your first cruise you could easily get hooked and demand one on every sailing thereafter.

No matter what you decide enjoy it all!

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-19-2006, 10:01 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks so much for all of the input--we've settled on the Mariner- Western, and we're really looking forward to it. WITH A BALCONY!
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