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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2003, 12:32 AM
Vivian
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Default Totally Overwhelmed

Help!!! We are first time cruisers and overwhelmed by the choices!!! The port of departure is not important (we live in Anchorage so getting to any port is going to take awhile) - the destinations, fellow travelers and atmosphere are the most important. Here's some info about myself and my husband. Can anyone help recommend a ship? We are interested in either a 7 or 10 day Mexico or Caribbean cruise .

Early 40s; no kids, have traveled extensively in Europe; lived in Uzbekistan and the western US before AK; consider ourselves dressy casual versus formal; like live entertainment, high energy and love to party but also like to have quiet, private time; enjoy meeting locals vs hitting the tourist traps; enjoy meeting down to earth people from varied backgrounds; enjoy nature's beauty; enjoy exploring ancient cultures. Don't scuba dive but would love to try snorkelling.

Thanks in advance for your advice and opinions!!!!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Hi Vivian,
There are lots of choices for ships in this area, below is the list that will be in the Mexican Riviera, from what you've said, I'd look into Celebrity Mercury, Star Princess or even RCCL's Vision of the seas:

Mexican Riviera Itineraries
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For the Yucatan Peninsula ports of Playa del Carmen,
Calica (Cancun), Progreso and Cozumel see Western Caribbean itineraries.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One to Six-night Cruises:

Carnival Cruise Lines:
Carnival Spirit : round-trip From San Diego to Ensenada, three nights, April 17, 2003.


Ecstasy: from Los Angeles year-round, three nights, Friday, to Ensenada; four nights, Monday to Ensenada and Catalina Island.


Radisson Seven Seas Cruises :
Seven Seas Voyager: round-trip from Los Angeles, 5, nights, Dec. 14, 2003 to Cabo San Lucas and San Diego.


Royal Caribbean International:
Monarch of the Seas: round-trip from Los Angeles, four nights Mondays, three nights Fridays, year-round commencing June 2, 2003 to Ensenada plus San Diego and Catalina Island on four-night sailings.


Seven-night Cruises:

Carnival Cruise Lines:
Carnival Pride: from Los Angeles, Sundays year-round from September 21, 2003, to Cabo San Lucas (9 hour stay), Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Carnival Pride will sail from the new, state of the art, Long Beach cruise terminal which is being built beside the Queen Mary Hotel and attraction.


Elation : from Los Angeles, Sundays to September 21, 2003, to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.


Celebrity Cruises:
Mercury: round-trip from San Francisco, 7 nights, October 5, 12, 19, 2003, March 21, 28, April 4 11, 2004, calling at Monterey and Catalina Island, California, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


Clipper Cruise Line:
Yorktown Clipper: round-trip from La Paz, seven nights, April 20 and 27, Nov. 12, 2003, exploring the Sea of Cortez with optional rail journey to the Copper Canyon.


Crystal Cruises :
Crystal Harmony: round-trip from Los Angeles, seven nights, Feb. 27, 2003, calling at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.


CruiseWest:
Spirit of Endeavour: round-trip from La Paz, 7 nights, January 4 to April 3, 2003, calling at Bonanza Beach, Isla Espiritu Santo, Isla San Jose, Isla,


Holland America Line:
Ryndam: round-trip from San Diego, 7 nights, September 29 to Dec. 14, 2003 to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. Round-trip from San Diego, 7 nights, Oct. 6, 20, Nov. 23, Dec. 7, 2003 calling at Loreto, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and cruising the Sea of Cortez.


Statendam: round-trip from San Diego, 7 nights, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 2003 to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta Round-trip from San Diego, 7 nights, March 31, May 1, Sept. 24, Dec. 15, 2003 calling at Loreto, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and cruising the Sea of Cortez.


Princess Cruises:
Dawn Princess: Acapulco to Los Angeles, seven nights, April 30, 2003. San Francisco to Acapulco, seven nights, September 24, 2003.


Sea Princess: Acapulco to San Francisco, seven nights, April 30, 2003.


Star Princess: round-trip from Los Angeles, Saturdays through May 3, 2003 to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.


Radisson Seven Seas Cruises :
Seven Seas Voyager: round-trip from Los Angeles, 7, nights, Dec. 7, 2003 to San diego, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan.


Royal Caribbean International:
Vision of the Seas: round-trip from Los Angeles, seven nights, Sundays through April 20, 2003 and September 28, 2003 through April 25, 2004, to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Round-trip from San Diego, May 4, 11, 2003, May 2, 9, 2004 to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Mazatlan, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.


Eight to Thirteen-night Cruises:

Celebrity Cruises:
Mercury: round-trip from San Francisco, 10 nights, October 26, 2003, April 25, 2004, calling at Monterey and Catalina Island, California; and Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; 11 nights, November 5, 2003, calling at Monterey and Catalina Island, California; and Mazatlan, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; 11 nights, November 17, 2003, calling at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, and Manzanillo, Mexico. Round-trip from San Diego: 10 nights, November 28, December 19, 2003, January 9, 30, February 20, 2004, calling at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico; 11 nights, December 8, 29, 2003, January 19, February 9, March 1, 2004, calling at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, and Manzanillo, Mexico.


Crystal Cruises :
Crystal Harmony: round-trip from Los Angeles, seven nights, Feb. 27, 2003, calling at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.


Crystal Serenity: round-trip from Los Angeles, 14 nights, December 22, 2003 calling at Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Acapulco, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.


Holland America Line:
Ryndam: round-trip from San Diego, 12 nights, Mexican Riviera/ Sea of Cortez, April 24, 2003 and 10 nights, Oct. 27 2003. Round-trip from San Diego, 10 nights, Nov. 6, 2003 to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Zihuatanejo.


Statendam: round-trip from San Diego, 10 nights, Jan. 30, Nov. 9 and 8 nights, April 23, 2003 to Mexican Riviera/Sea of Cortez. Round-trip from San Diego, 10 nights, Jan 4, Feb. 24, March 21, Oct. 1, Dec. 5, 2003, to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Zihuatanejo.


Princess Cruises:
Sun Princess: round-trip from Los Angeles, 10 nights, September 27, 2002-January 15, 2003, and March 26-April 25, 2003 calling at Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.


Radisson Seven Seas Cruises :
Seven Seas Voyager: Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles, 14 nights, Nov. 23, 2003 calls at Mexican Riviera ports. Round-trip from Los Angeles, 8 nights, Dec. 19, 2003 to Ensenada, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego.

Let us know what ship you decide on and good luck, its a tough choice!

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Don't let it get to you. My first suggestion would be to go to your local travel agent, sit down with him/her and tell them what you have told us. I can make some very, very general guideline suggestions. Celebrity - great service - very classy line. Holland-American - classy- tends to attract an "older crowd" Princess - my personal favorite - great service, good size cabins - all ages. Carnival- really good-midrange cruise line, tends to attract more families and younger crowd. Royal Caribbean - another really good line - lots to do on ships -especially the Voyager class ships.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Re: Totally Overwhelmed

LisaK is exactly right. One of the things travel agents do best is to match the client with a cruise line and ship. Cruise lines and ships are not all the same and the choice, to a large extent, depends upon your own life style, tastes, other preferences, budget and so forth. If you don't have a good t/a, skilled in selling cruises, you may want to check the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) website. Plug in your zip code and they'll give you a selection of agents who have met their criteria. URL is: www.cruising.org. Good luck and let us know what your final choice is.

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Don't stress out about choosing the right ship. There are dozens out there that would be great matches for you. A 10 day cruise will probably have a bit older crowd than a 7 day. Not to say that the young-at-heart can't be as lively, or high energy, as you described.

If you are interested in snorkeling, you might consider the Caribbean over the Mexican Riviera. And definitely come back here to help you plan your time in port for lots of do-it-yourself tips and suggestions.

Personally, I would begin choosing a cruise by itinerary. Then cruiseline and ship.

Fire away with questions!

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Vivian i went back and re-read your post, if you are interested in history, culture and snorkeling then i think a cruise that inclues Cozumel would be a good consideration. Cozumel has awesome snorkeling and the ruins at Tulum. (a place to start,maybe?)
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Totally Overwhelmed

I agree the Tulum ruins are awesome and more than likely any ship you take would be fine. There are also some ruins that have only been recently discovered in the Costa Maya MX area. Also look up the various ports you may be interested in as to what is available in the port that would interest you. While Donna gave some excellent info on ships and itens I was even more confused and overwhelmed with all that. You really need to get with a TA and discuss what you have explained here and see if you can find a match. Or more like see what, not if, match you find. There is certainly something for everyone!

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Hi Vivian,

Since you are casual people I wonder if you'd like the small ship experience. There is no such thing as formal nights onboard. Entertainment is more likely to be a lecture on the area visited rather than Las Vegas type entertainment. Cruise West is in Mexico in the winter. Clipper does that too, but also has some really unusual Caribbean itineraries. I sailed Clipper a number of years ago and count it as one of my happiest cruise memories.

Carole
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

I'm thinking either Carnival or RCI on one of the Voyager Class ships going to the Western Caribbean or maybe Central America like the Legend. Ernie is correct, a TA is a great source of info just make sure you find one that knows cruising as not all of them do. You can also find tons of information right here at cruisemates by looking in the "Ships Review" area under the professional review as that give a great 'overall' feeling of what the ship and cruisline is like and who it is geared to. The personal reviews get more into what the average person experiances and also a good source. Anything we can help you with, just ask.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

I agree with the others in that you should get hooked up with a Travel Agent who specializes in cruises.

Some other things to consider are whether you would prefer a cruise that visits a lot of ports or spends a lot of time at sea. Port days can be very hectic and if you are on a 7 day cruise which visits 6 ports you may feel exhausted by the end of each day leaving little energy for nightlife.

If you enjoy meeting other people of varied backgrounds consider sitting for dinner at a table for 8 or 10. You're sure to find interesting conversation, and maybe somebody to pal around with on the ship.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 09:38 PM
Vivian
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Thanks to everyone for their advice! You are all too kind.

We are now leaning towards the Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas 10 day out of Galveston. I'm sure that I will change my mind as I research. From the original description of my husband and me, does this sound like a good fit for us?
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Sounds like a good plan to me. And I commend you on choosing a 10 day for your first cruise. You will enjoy it, I promise.

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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Totally Overwhelmed

Would like to chat with Vivian abou Uzbekistan.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Re: Totally Overwhelmed

It does sound like a good fit. I would think Carnival would also be a good fit since they bill themselves as the "fun ships" and from our experiences (mid-40's, no children, energetic, late nighters) we have not had a bad cruise on either line. But then I can honestly say we've never had a bad cruise period.

Regards,
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