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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:07 AM
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Default 1st time cruiser...eastern or western...interior or balcony

Hi everyone,
We are planning our first cruise this Oct or Nov. We have a pretty good deal on a Western cruise, interior with Princess. However, due to some of the unrest in Honduras (Roatan), we are considering moving over to the Eastern cruise. Any thoughts on this?

Also, since this is our first cruise, should we spring for the extra to get a balcony? How much do you really use these?

Finally, I have the current cruise on hold via the cruise line. Would I be better off going through a travel agent? Do they charge for their servies?

Thank you...
Kimberly
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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Hi Kim,
Since this is your first cruise, I would suggest using a good cruise travel agent. Are you more interested in water type actuvities or some good shopping. The western has some good stops if you like to snorkel/swim, etc. While the Eastern has some nice islands, good shopping.

What ship are you looking at and how much more is a balcony. While I love to cruise and have a balcony, sometimes the price difference may now allow that?

I think if you have a good travel agent, they will be better at picking a cruise that works for you. They also, sometimes have groups of cabins on different ships that can save some money for you.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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I agree with Donna. For your first cruise you are better to go thru a TA.
They sometimes have better deals than the cruiseline.
They usually don't charge cruise fares but might charge a flat fee
for airline tickets . The TA also can act a rep for you if
you have a problem with the cruise that can't/won't be
dealt with on board.

I will always use a TA to handle my booking's.
The cruiseline can transfer your booking
to a TA at anytime.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Hi Kimberly,
Welcome to cruise mates!
We are booked on a cruise that includes Roatan also. Have been there before and loved it. As to the current political troubles, I am not concerned. A- the cruise lines will not go there if there is a chance of real trouble, and B-since Roatan is an island, trouble in the rest of the country does not normally spill over to the island. I'm not saying that it can't, but the last time they had "civil unrest", it turned out that a few people on the island cut down trees to block roads. And the cruise line still chose to skip that port, just in case. When that happens, sometimes they go to another port, but sometimes they can't.
We have had a balcony and enjoyed it, but I am happier up on deck. Hubby loved the idea of the balcony, so I spent more time than I would have sitting out there chatting with him. But, we prefer to book inside cabins and save our money. Especially in today's economy, we're not going to splurge on anything other than the cruise itself. Other people "have to have" a balcony. I totally don't get that. So, it really is a matter of your finances and preferences.
Marty
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Old July 20th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Default balcony

The reason I prefer a balcony is for the escape. If you are perfectly happy with an interior cabin for 'just sleep', you would be fine.

However, if you enjoy being outdoors away from the crowd (with an IPOD or a good book), there are benefits to having time to yourself outdoors.

I enjoy fresh air and watching the world go by, but others would rather take more cruises than splurge for extra comfort.

It's a personal choice.

Sweet Sailing!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Thank you everyone...we did select the Western Carribbean with an interior room...now how in the world are we going to wait until cruise time.

Kimberly
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Kimberly,
Now you know the downside to cruising....waiting until the sail date. Agonizing!
Marty
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