Victoria, this is mainly for you. I feel I was maybe, a bit too hard on you.
On a cruise--as to whether or not you're going to like it.
It all depends on what you are looking for.
In October...we cruised on the HAL Zuiderdam. We took our daughter...and it was NOT the cruise for us.
Why? Not because of carpet stains---nor because of bad decorating (both I had read complaints about before we left)....but, because HAL caters to the older, more subdued crowd. There were only 25 kids on board---of which there were only about 4 girls in her age group--and 2 of them did not speak English (they spoke only German.)
We all thought the ship, however, was absolutely GORGEOUS! But, for now, HAL line is not for us. Is it a blow to HAL? Absolutely NOT! Think of it as a boat load of apples...and we were 3 oranges on there. Just didn't fit in. (however, the ice cream man on board knew my daughter loved Cinnamon ice cream--and would have a little bit behind the counter for her each day.
So, it wasn't all bad. That's what I meant about being kind to the crew---they'll be your friends too.)
We've cruised on the Grand Princess last May. Again---complaints about carpet stains. Sheesh....OK, yeah, 100,000 people per year---and you're gonna get carpet stains!
But, we found Princess to be a nice, quality and 'in between' cruise line. It had some party--but it wasn't rowdy. We loved it, it was very relaxing! My daughter, who was 10 at the time---had a WONDERFUL time!!! There were several kids on board that she 'bonded' with. And, she mainly played in the pool with them all day.
We were on the Paradise 2 weeks in a row in October 2002. We found Carnival to be party and rowdy---and it was just a really active and 'young' cruise. We really had a great time.....if I had to choose between Princess and Carnival...it'd be a toss up and totally dependant on my mood. I'm not a 'party harty' person...and neither my husband nor I drink....but the music and the dancing and the activity was not only fun to join in...but it was fun to watch! One of my favorite things was the week long Survivor activities. We weren't part of them....but we sure enjoyed watching them. Again--my daughter developed friendships of some girls that she still keeps in contact with via email.
We've also been on the Disney Magic. We loved that too! And, it too had 'carpet stains'. BUT....they had the most fabulous kid program...and at the time, our daughter was 8 years old. The entertainment was more 'Disney style'.....and, if you've ever been to a Disney themepark--you know they spare no expense when it comes to entertainment. (Wow---has anybody else been as amazed as me in Anamators Palace? That was cool!)
So, to say 'loyalty' to a cruise line might be misleading. I'm not loyal to a cruise line at all! Before our daughter was born--our cruise line (well really ship) of choice was the old lady of the sea--the Norway. We sailed on her several times....and what brought us to that ship was the entertainment. One time we sailed with Frankie Avalon...the next time with Sid Ceasar. (Big names in their days.) But, back then--the Norway was 'the biggest'--it HAD these types of entertainment...and that's what we wanted. We didn't have kids then, so I can't say how young cruisers liked that ship....to be honest, I didn't even notice if there were any kids there.
So, when Victoria, when you chose to use the word 'suck' in your email....knowing that 1--you'll be on the cruise that she will be on.....and also, being privy to your age...I felt that you needed a little wake up call.
Victoria---if you want to know....there will be LOTS of girls your age on the ship. Don't worry about it!! You WILL have a good time---and I guarantee that by the end of the 7 days---you're gonna have tears streaming down your face because you are not going to want to leave your new friends....AND.....those stains on the carpet won't be a big deal.
Then, when you have somebody come up and say...did your cruise 'suck'....you'll also think that person needs a wake up call...because, you won't remember the stains--you'll remember your friends.
Come onto the ship with a good attitude. If you're shy, and afraid to approach somebody? Head to Camp Carnival---the counselors will make sure to introduce you to the other young women and young men your age. Or you can approach my daughter, even though she's a bit younger, she'll be your friend, and you guys can have fun together.
I was your age when my parents took me on my first cruise. I was hooked for life.