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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 20th, 2002, 08:30 PM
Raquel
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Default First Cruise

This is going to be my first cruise, does anyone have advice on whether or not I should get an inside cabin, or go for a view. We (my finace & I) are going to book for a Southern Cruise.
Any cruise line suggestions.?

Thanks in advance ....
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Old January 20th, 2002, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: First Cruise

Hi Raquel,
I'd definately suggest if the pocket book can handle it, definately an outside or better yet a balcony cabin, they are the greatest.

Lots of ships in the southern caribbean, you may want to check out Carnival, RCCL, or Princess. Once you narrow the ship down, you can post on the "bargain finder" and travel agents will e-mail you back with what they have and how much. Just a suggestion, we cruised on RCCL's Explorer of the seas, and it was a great ship, especially if its your first cruise, lots to do and see. The newest ship "Adventures of the Seas" is now doing a southern itinary out of San Juan.

Here is a rather long list of the ships that will be in the southern caribbean this year:
SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN, 2002:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carnival Destiny cruising Sundays, round trip from San Juan to either St Thomas, St Lucia, Aruba and Curacao or St. Thomas, Antigua, Guadeloupe and Aruba with two days at sea on both itineraries. Comencing April 21, 2002, ports of call every week will be St. Thomas/St. John, Martinique, and 15-hour calls at Barbados and Aruba.

Carnival Legend (Carnival) sails from Miami on alternating eight-day "exotic" cruises commencing Nov. 10, 2002, calling at St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique OR Belize City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama (optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake excursions available).

Carnival Spirit sails round trip from Miami to St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique through March 27, 2002, and November, December, 2002 alternating with 8-day Western itineraries.

Holiday (Carnival) sails Saturdays round trip from San Juan calling at St. Thomas/St. John, Tortola, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados and St. Kitts to April 20, 2002 when Holiday repositions for 7 nights to New Orleans, calling at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Key West.

Paradise (Carnival) sails round trip from Miami on 10-day criuises to St. Thomas/St. John; St. Lucia; Barbados; Martinique; St. Maarten on Feb. 21, May 2, August 15 and Oct. 3, 2002; On 11-day cruises to Curacao; Aruba; Colon, Panama (optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake shore excursions available); Limon, Costa Rica; and Key West, Feb. 10, April 21, August 4, and Sept. 22, 2002.

Constellation (Celebrity), commencing November 16, 2002 through April 5, 2003, will sail round trip from San Juan at 11pm Fridays, to St. Croix, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and St. Thomas. Holiday sailings departing San Juan on December 21 and December 28, 2002 call at Aruba, Barbados and St. Thomas.

Galaxy (Celebrity), sails round trip from San Juan on Fridays, to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Margarita Island and Aruba through March 15, 2002 and from November, 2002 through March 15, 2003. (Commences 10 and 11-night Eastern/Western Caribbean sailings from Baltimore March 25, 2002.)

Infinity (Celebrity) sails round trip from San Juan for 7 nights on Saturdays, to St. Croix, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and St. Thomas, through April 20, 2002.

Millennium (Celebrity), sails round trip from Fort Lauderdale for 10- and 11-night Ultimate Caribbean sailings from April 29 through October 14, 2002. 10-night sailings call at St.Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Thomas; The 11-night itinerary includes visits to Key West; Cozumel; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; Aruba and Grand Cayman.

Summit (Celebrity), inaugural season, sails alternating 10 and 11-day cruises from Ft Lauderdale to St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Thomas (10-day) or Key West; Cozumel; Puerto Limón, Costa Rica; Colón, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia; Aruba and Grand Cayman (11-day), through April 8, 2002 and October 18, 2002 through March 24, 2003.

Crystal Harmony (Crystal) sailing from New Orleans to Ft. Lauderdale for 11 nights calling at Playa del Carmen, Aruba, St. Barts and St. John/St. Thomas, Oct. 27, 2002.

Crystal Symphony (Crystal) sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale for 12 nights, to St. John/St. Thomas, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Playa del Carmen, Nov. 17, 2002. Holiday cruise round trip from Ft. Lauderdale for 14 nights to Key West, Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Aruba, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Caronia (Cunard) sails from Rio de Janeiro to Ft. Lauderdale for 16 days February 23, 2002, calling at Salvador de Bahia & Belem, Brazil; Devil's Island, Barbados, St. Thomas and Bahamas Bank.

QE2 (Cunard) sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale for 14 days, December, 23, 2002 calling at St. Croix, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique, Barbados (overnight on board), St. Lucia, Curaçao. Passengers may start or end their cruise in New York for a 16 or 18-day cruise.

Amsterdam (Holland America) alternating 10-day "Seafarer" and "Wayfarer" cruises round trip from Ft. Lauderdale October 22 to December 11, 2002 Seafarer cruises visit Bonaire; Isla de Margarita (Angel Falls tour option); Castries/Soufriere, St. Lucia; Roseau/Cabrits, Dominica; St. Thomas,(St. John tour option); and Half Moon Cay. Wayfarer cruises visit Curacao; La Guaira (Caracas) Venezuela (Angel Falls tour option); Trinidad; Martinique; St. Thomas; and Half Moon Cay.

Noordam (Holland America) sails round trip from Tampa for 14 nights, to San Juan, St Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Isla de Margarita, Bonaire, Aruba, and Grand Cayman, January 6 through March 31, 2002. Sails for 9 nights round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Cayman, Puerto Limon and Colon, Panama and Half Moon Cay, Dec. 4 and 13, 2002.

Rotterdam (Holland America) sails from Ft. Lauderdale April 16 on a new 12/14-day to the Southern Caribbean and Venezuela's Orinoco River, returning to Ft. Lauderdale or Norfolk. The cruise visits Fort-de-France, Martinique; Castries and Soufriere, St. Lucia; Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela (Angel Falls, Ciudad Bolivar tour options); St. Thomas; and Half Moon Cay. The cruise features scenic cruising on the Orinoco, one of the longest rivers in the world, affording views of pristine rain forests punctuated by occasional stilt villages and perhaps a glimpse of the rare freshwater pink dolphin.

Veendam (Holland America) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Aruba for 8 nights, March 23, 2002 calling at Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Curacao.

Volendam (Holland America) sails alternating 10-night cruises round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale through April 15, 2002; "Seafarer" calls at Bonaire, Isla de Margarita, St. Lucia, Dominica, Kitts, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay. "Wayfarer" calls at Curacao, La Guaira (for Caracas, Venezuela), Trinidad, Martinique, St.Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

Zaandam (Holland America) sails alternating 10-night cruises round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale through April 3, 2002 and Nov. 11-Dec. 11, 2002. "Seafarer" calls at Bonaire, Isla de Margarita, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay. "Wayfarer" calls at Curacao, La Guaira (for Caracas, Venezuela), Trinidad, Martinique, St.Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

Norwegian Majesty (Norwegian Cruise Line) sails round trip from San Juan, Sundays, to April 7, 2002, on alternating 7-night itineraries: "Exotic" cruises call at Martinique, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola and St. Thomas. "Deep Southern" cruises call at St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and St. Croix. Repositions San Juan to Norfolk, Virginia, April 7, 2002; Boston to San Juan for 15 nights, October 27, 2002.

Norwegian Sky (Norwegian Cruise Line) sails round trip from San Juan on alternating itineraries to either Martinique, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola and St. Thomas, OR St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, November 3, 2002 to April 20, 2003. Positions from Miami to San Juan for 5 days, calling at St. Thomas and St. Maarten, October 29, 2002.

Dawn Princess (Princess) cruises alternating itineraries round trip from San Juan on Saturdays from October 6, 2001-April 13, 2002: "Classic Southern" cruises call at Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten, and St Thomas; the following week "Explorer" cruises visit Aruba, Caracas, Grenada, Dominica, and St Thomas.

Ocean Princess (Princess) sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale on alternating 10-night Eastern/Southern Caribbean itineraries to Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cay or Curacao, St. Thomas, Barbados, Dominica, Isla Margarita and Princess Cays from October 11, 2001 through April 9, 2002.

Radisson Diamond (Radisson Seven Seas) sails from San Juan to Aruba for 5 nights, Jan. 8, 2002.

Seven Seas Mariner (Radisson Seven Seas) sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale for 9 nights, Dec. 19, 2002 calling at Port Antonio, Jamaica, Puerto Limon, Panama City and Grand Cayman.

Regal Empress (Regal Cruises) , sailing from Port Manatee (near Tampa) on 10-night cruises to the Panama Canal, Grand Cayman, San Blas, Puerto Limon and San Andres on January 2, Feb. 23 and April 1, 2002.

Adventure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) sails round trip from San Juan on Sundays to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas November 18, 2001-March 31, 2002. Alternates with itinerary calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados, Sundays from April 14, 2002 through October 27, 2002.

Brilliance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) sails alternating 10 and 11-night Western/Southern Caribbean cruises from Miami, calling at Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao (plus Key West on the 11-night cruises) from November 22 through December 23, 2002.

Grandeur of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) sails 10 and 11-night cruises, round-trip from Miami to Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Aruba and Curacao plus Key West on the 11-day sailings. Sails the 11-night cruise every third Monday on November 19, 2001-March 25, 2002. Sails the 10-night cruise every third Friday on November 9, 2001-March 15, 2002.

Nordic Empress (Royal Caribbean) through April 20, 2002 and from October 28 through December 28, 2002, sails alternating 4 and 5-night cruises round trip from San Juan; for 5 nights on alternate Mondays to St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Barbados or on alternate Saturdays to Tortola, St. Maarten and Antigua. Sails 4-night cruises alternate Thursdays from November 8, 2001 through April 11, 2002, round trip from San Juan to St. Croix, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Radiance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) sails 7-day Southern Caribbean round trip from San Juan to St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Barbados, through March 30, 2002 and November 23-December 28, 2002

Seabourn Legend (Seabourn) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica or reverse calling at Belize City, Hunting Caye, Belize; Roatan, Honduras; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Panama Canal; Gamboa, Fuerte Amador, Panama; Playa Flamingo, Puerto Quepos, Costa Rica, 14 days, Jan. 27-March 10, 2002. Sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Barbados for 10 days, Jan 4, 2002; San Juan to Ft. Lauderdale for 6 days, Jan. 21, 2002.

Seabourn Pride (Seabourn) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Valparaiso, Chile for 18 days, Jan. 6, 2002 and Manaus, Brazil to Ft. Lauderdale for 16 days, March 3, 2002, at the beginning and end of a circumnavigation of South America.

Silver Cloud (Silversea) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Buenos Aires calling at Caribbean ports of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Martinique, St. Vincent, Grenada, 26 days, Jan. 5, 2002. From Barbados to Cristobal, Panama calling at St. Vincent, Grenada, Los Roques, Curaçao, Aruba, Cartagena, Puerto Limon, 10 days, Dec. 2, 2002. From Cristobal, Panama to Ft. Lauderdale calling at Cozumel, New Orleans (overnight), Key West, 10 days, Dec. 11, 2002. Round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Virgin Gorda, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Aruba, Key West, 12 days, Dec. 21, 2002.

Silver Shadow (Silversea) sails from Ft. Lauderdale to Barbados calling at Tortola, Dominica, St.Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent, 9 days, Oct. 22, 2002.

Silver Whisper (Silversea) sails from Barbados to Ft. Lauderdale calling at Dominica, St. Martin, Tortola, San Juan, Key West, 9 days, Nov. 7 2002. From Ft. Lauderdale to St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Los Roques, Aruba, Cartagena, Grand Cayman, Key West, 14 days, Nov. 16, 2002. From Ft. Lauderdale to New Orleans calling at San Juan, Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Curaçao, Cartagena, Cozumel, 16 days, Nov. 30, 2002.

Royal Clipper (Star Clippers) sails Saturdays round trip from Barbados to either St. Lucia, Isles des Saintes, Antigua, St. Kitts, Dominica, Martinique OR Carriacou, Grenada, Tobago Cays, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Martinique through April 20, 2002.

Star Clipper (Star Clippers) sails Sundays, round trip from St. Maarten to either St. Barts, Nevis, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Iles des Saintes and Antigua OR Anguila, Sandy Cay, Sopers' Hole, Norman Island, Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts, St. Barts, St. Maarten through April, 2002. May to November, 2002 sails a new 7-day itinerary, Sundays round trip from Barbados to Martinique, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Barts, Bequia, St. Kitts, Tobago Cays, Iles des Saintes, St. Marten, Grenada and the Grenadines.

Amazing Grace (Windjammer) 12-night cruises year-round, northbound/southbound between Grand Bahama Island and Trinidad with port calls in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands, St. Barts, St Maarten, St Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Iles de Saintes, Dominica St Lucia, Bequia, Grenada and Tobago.

Legacy (Windjammer), sails summer and Fall, 6 nights, from Castries, St. Lucia to Soufriere, St. Lucia, calling at St. Vincent, Bequia, Grenada, Barbados and Tobago.

Mandalay (Windjammer), winter and spring, sails 6 and 12 night cruises between Antigua and Grenada departing 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, with alternating itineraries; when there are five Mondays in a month, the ship sails a 5-night cruise round trip from Grenada on the 5th Monday to Palm Island, Union Island, Bequia, Canouan, Tobago Cays, and Young Island. Summer and fall sails 6-night cruises from Grenada to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, calling at Testigos, Margarita, Isla Blanquilla, Chimana, Segunda, Mochima national Park, Arapo and Playa Blanca.

Polynesia (Windjammer) sails in winter and spring for 5 nights round trip from Sint Maarten on alternating itineraries to St. Barts, Anguilla, Tintamarre, Saba OR St. Barts, Eustatius, Nevis and St. Kitts. Sails summer and fall, for 5 nights, on alternating itineraries round trip from St Lucia to St. Vincent, Bequia, Mayreau, Canouan, St. Vincent (again) OR Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Iles des Saints.

Yankee Clipper (Windjammer) sails Mondays, year-round for 5 nights round trip from Grenada on alternating itineraries to Bequia, Carriacou, Mayreau, St. Vincent OR Bequia, Canouan, St. Vincent, Union Island.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a link to the Bargain finder:
<http://www.cruisemates.com/findcruise/index.cfm>
Also some cool info for taking your first cruise, great tips in here:
<http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/cruiseguide/first-time/index.cfm>

Have Fun,
Donna
Tuesday Chat HOst
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 21st, 2002, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: First Cruise

Hi, Raquel ...

I am going to echo Donna's statements ... but not that list !!! That lady is something wonderful !!!

There are two schools of thought on the inside/outside thing. Insides are less expensive, to be sure. "Inside" people say that you don't spend that much time in your cabin anyway, so why pay extra? Then, if you spend less you can cruise more often.

Some people (I would be one) are somewhat claustrophobic. If I had an inside, I'd have to keep the door open Wouldn't THAT be a treat for the staff and other passengers?

The best of all worlds is a balcony, especially in the Caribbean.

My theory is that if you have an outside, especially one with a balcony, you WILL spend more time in your cabin which makes for more "together time" with your travelling partner. And that makes for a better vacation. At least for me.

My favorite part of the day on Carib cruises is sitting on the balcony wearing a towel, having a glass of wine, and thinking and talking about the day just past and the one to come.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time !!!

pamda -- CM FIrst-Time Cruisers Editor
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Old January 21st, 2002, 04:13 PM
david d
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Default Re: First Cruise

NO to Carnival! Celebrity is great. Try the Infinity. RCL is also very good.
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Old January 21st, 2002, 08:54 PM
Raquel
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Default Re: First Cruise

Donna for your knowledge and extensive list...Thank You so much. You are great!

Pamda, Thank You upon talking to a few friends today we understand having a view is a must! Plus I'm big on picture taking.

David: Why not carnival? Actually I was tending more towards Norweigan.

One more thing...should I book with or without air fare. We figured we can save about $500 w/out air (is it worth it?)

Once again thanks guys!!!

Raquel
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Old January 21st, 2002, 09:04 PM
Raquel
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Default Re: First Cruise

Forgot to ask one more thing you guys...As I was pricing on some search engines, I came upon an option that let me guarantee a room. Is anyone familiar with this option and how good or bad is it.

Thanks R
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Old January 21st, 2002, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: First Cruise

Raquel:
PLEASE don't go with Norwegian before you do a lot more investigation!!!
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Old January 21st, 2002, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: First Cruise

Hi Raquel,
I think you are talking about booking a guarantee cabin catagory. Just make sure that you guarantee the catagory you will be happy with, no guarantee is a sure thing.

Here is an article that explains booking a guarantee, hope this helps:

<http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/cruiseguide/before/guaranteed.cfm>

Donna
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 09:32 AM
david d
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Default Re: First Cruise

While I have not been on Carnival, I've heard many complaints. I mean awful. I have heard some positive things but the # of negative things make me wonder. I've heard it is a Holiday Inn on water. I know Celebrity is GREAT (going on our 3rd in March)--so I would never take a chance. I have heard that Carnival is good for kids. But I also know that Celebrity and Disney are good or great with children. Good luck!
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 10:44 AM
Hucc
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Default Re: First Cruise

Being a 4 time Norwegian cruiser, I can say from experience that it is a "mixed bag." I would rate them as fair to average. If you have a problem, they are not very good at resolving it. Do some more research on NCL, because it may not be right for you. What are you looking for in a cruise? What kind of activities, people, etc.?? The right cruise line for someone, depends on that someone. Good luck with your search.
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Old January 22nd, 2002, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: First Cruise

Raquel.. if u're watching your budget, and considering you're looking at the southern caribbean itin, for a first cruise there's nothing wrong with an inside cabin.
The Southern Caribbean is very port intensive, so you'll be out alot. PLUS having an inside cabin will force you out of the cabin more to enjoy the ship's activities.
Then, of course, after this cruise u'll be hooked on cruising, and that'll give u a chance to work up to a balcony cabin for your next cruise <G>


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Kuki
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Old January 23rd, 2002, 12:27 PM
jp garnier
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Default Re: First Cruise

Right on. JP
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Old January 23rd, 2002, 12:31 PM
jp garnier
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Default Re: First Cruise

Took two offsprings on Millenium with run of the ship option. Could have been assigned to an inside, but these are all sold very early, and sure enough they were assigned to an outside. It is a gamble, but not much of one. But then, calculate the per diem difference between the two, and the decision ought to be easy. JP
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Old January 24th, 2002, 10:27 AM
David Starkey
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Default Re: First Cruise

Save the money........go for an inside on that inten and the money you save, put toward your next cruise.
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Old January 26th, 2002, 06:17 PM
Cathey
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Default Re: First Cruise

Go with the outside. Trust me if not for the view you'll want to know what time it is AM or PM. Don't wait to upgrade when you get on the ship. If they have rooms available! they will charge you top rate to change. You'll do better with an early booking with the outside.

Stay away from Carvinal unless you intend to stay in your cutoff's and t-shirt all week and be happy with Diner quailty food. Celebrity is a better choice. They come closet to Holland American's old days of white glove service. Food is excellent, service superior. Have fun. Enjoy the view as you open your eyes and look out your window. For your Honeymoon book a balcony room.
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