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Old July 20th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveB85 View Post
Hi, I have never cruised before but am getting married next year and fancied a bit more of an exciting honeymoon than our average holiday. We are both in our late 20's and are looking for a cruise that will wow us, but also we don't want to be the only under 40's on the boat or be on a ship full of children. To put it in context we recently had a great holiday where we stayed in a really nice adults only hotel with great food and places to relax. The hotel was around the corner from a major party town where we could head to and drink till dawn dancing the night away. We wouldnt have enjoyed the holiday if we were stuck in the hotel full of oldies with no nightlife, and we wouldnt have liked to have stayed in the party town without the great food and places to relax. Maybe we are just a bit too picky, but if it is possible to get both from a cruise thats what I'm really looking for. The lines I have initially narrowed it down to (although I am still open to new ideas) are:-

Celebrity
From what I've read its a cut above some of the other mainstream lines and is likely to wow us. The dining does sound better than the other lines I have looked at and for the honeymoon this does sound ideal. However I have a major concern we will be the steretypical newlyweds surrounded by nearly deads and the ship may be a bit quiet after 10pm when we would be looking to go out for a few drinks and enjoy a nightlife geared more towards our age group.

Royal Caribbean
A lot more for us to do in terms of activities, and the hope is there may be more like-minded young couples so the ship might stay alive at night. As the largest mainstream company though it does concern me that the overall quality might be lower particularly in terms of dining and it does seem very family orientated so I would be concerned about being surrounded by children.

Princess
My parents in law to be cannot speak higher of Princess as they cruise Princess regularly although they have never been with another liner. The movies under the stars does sound appealing and I get the impression overall there is a slightly improved service levels and dining than with Royal Caribbean. However I am concerned they may be more geared towards attracting my parents in law sort of age group and although there may be less children there may be hardly anyone under 40 and the nightlife may be a little stale.

I know I can't expect to find a cruise ship full of 20-40's thats impressive with top notch dining and not just a pure party boat but something extra special aswell. But I figured all the reading I do doesnt match the experiance of actually cruising and so I wanted to know from the experianced, which cruise lines would best suit what we are looking for. And which lines should we avoid!

Thanks for your time any comments would be invaluable to me.
Princess is a family oriented line. Go during the school holiday time and you will find plenty of kids. Go while school is in session and there will be very few kids. But it is less likely to look like an old folks' home than Celebrity. Thus Princess is more likely to be active at night than Celebrity.

Once you start looking at a cruise that is longer than eight nights you are going to see a substantial drop in the number of children. I have been on a Carnival cruise that was eight nights, but the cruise started on a Monday (ending the following Tuesday) and there were very few children (around 20 out of over 2000 passengers). The same with my twelve night cruise on Royal Caribbean. Since both Carnival and Royal Caribbean attract a younger crowd (about your age), both will have an active night life.

The dining on both Celebrity and Princess is likely to be better than Carnival and Royal Caribbean. You can upgrade your dining experience on most Carnival ships, and I believe all Royal Caribbean and Princess ships - for a price. You just have to eat in the optional, extra cost, specialty restaurants.

Another option is NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line). NCL is a lot like Carnival and Royal Caribbean. However, NCL has something described as a ship within a ship. The highest price suites on some of the NCL ships are behind closed doors. Only those passengers in cabins behind those closed doors can enter. As these are expensive, they are less likely to have families with children. A typical NCL ship has ten or more restaurants (there is no assigned seating or time - NCL calls this Freestyle), four of which would be free (included) and six of which would cost extra ($5 to $30 more per person). Since NCL is aiming for the younger more active crowd, you will find an active nightlife.
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