Hi everybody, this is my first post here. Our family have recently decided we'd like to try cruising, so I've been madly researching the options. I've narrowed things down a bit, but I need some advice about which line might best balance the needs and wishes of everybody in the family.
Please excuse the novel (just waiting to see if this post bounces on some word limit) (!) but I'd like to give some experienced cruisers a good picture of what my family is like so you can best help.
My family could generally be described as close (we enjoy each other's company), casual (Kiwi and living in Australia, used to being pretty relaxed), fairly intellectual, and a little bit alternative (eg we homeschooled our kids). We are early 50s/late 40s, with two daughters who'll be about 22&20 when we travel.
DH likes having lots to do, and doesn't like dressing up. I'm sociable and like to relax on holiday; I like meeting people and seeing new places without overdoing it. DD1 is the quiet serious type while DD2 is a social bunny.
We're thinking mid-size ship in the Med. I'm prone to seasickness so not interested in small ships or ocean crossings. None of us like crowds and noise so we don't find the idea of a big resort ship appealing, but we do want to try the classic cruise experience with entertainment etc. We'll enjoy lots of port days and a choice of active, relaxed or cultural excursions.
We're not too worried about particular destinations - anywhere we really want to see we'd want more than a day there anyway. For us, choosing the right ship/line is more important. If we don't have a good time we'll probably never go cruising again!
Cost isn't a big factor. We're not rolling in money but if the best cruise for us is too expensive, we'd rather wait and save another year than settle for something we might be disappointed by. If we really need to get away, we can take a cheapie trip to Thailand in the meantime.
So far I've looked into Crystal, Regent, Azamara and Oceania. It seems they all have their good points. The thing I'm finding hard to get a feel for is whether any of these lines has more young people on board? The girls say they don't mind if the ship is full of oldies, but I think it would be nice if they had at least some
company. I saw that Crystal seems to have one bar that is more "clubby" - does that mean they have some mixed groups like ours? (Or just oldies like us who like to boogie?) Crystal obviously involves more dressing up than the other lines I'm considering, but we'd be happy to do it if it means the girls have a better time.
Also, are there any other lines we should be considering? All advice would be welcome! Thank you!