Me and my husband took our first cruise (honeymoon cruise) in Sept. 2002 on the Carnival Victory. We had a great time and loved just about everything on the ship. There were a few minor things we felt could be better, but nothing really important. We are definately hooked on cruising now, but we don't know if Carnival Victory is really the best boat out there that Embark from the southeast coast, USA. I've searched on the internet to see if I could find a place that will allow me to choose an aminity search for large cruise lines and can't find one.
Here's what we are looking for (Carnival Victory was lacking)...
Pools: chlorinated not saltwater (and deeper than 4ft would be awesome).
Drinks: "Alcoholic Drink Card" that will let you buy mixed drinks at one price (kinda like the soda cards)
Dining: An option of a casual restaurant for dining option so you don't have to "dress up" in order to eat at a nice restaurant. Also it would be nice to be able to order room service off of anything on the regular dining menu.
If anyone knows of mega cruise ship that offers these or most of these things and also embark from the southeast coast, PLEASE let me know. Or if you know of a website that lets you do this kind of search, that would be helpful as well.
Princess has freshwater pools and they stay open 24 hrs, but they tend towards more dressy in the main restaurant (they DO have alternative dining so you wouldn't HAVE to dress up). I don't kow of any cruise lines that have booze cards like soda cards.
Princess is known for its little extras, things like fresh robes in your cabin, fresh fruit everyday in your cabin, you can order anything off the menu from room service 24hrs a day, if you want breakfast in your cabin you place your order the night before and if you don't see it on the menu, you can add it on. (within reason of course) The pools are not saltwater, Princess de-salinates its water on board. Horizon Court the buffet is open 24hrs, there is a Pizzeria. The dinner dress code is resort casual-nice with 2 formal nights on a 7 day Caribbean cruise. Soda cards available no alcohol cards.
I also agree with the other posters, you may want to check out Princess, they are the only cruiseline I've been on that does not use salt water in the pools. Plus they do have the 24 hours Horizon Ct, so you can eat just about anytime you like.
I too agree, that Princess may provide you with the "majority" of amenities that your are looking for:
Embark from the southeast coast, USA.- Ft. Lauderdale for the Grand and Golden Princess
Pools: chlorinated not saltwater (and deeper than 4ft would be awesome). - Princess but not indoor or dome covered.
Drinks: "Alcoholic Drink Card" that will let you buy mixed drinks at one price (kinda like the soda cards)- RCI has a Soda card for adults. Although many ships have a Drink coupon that can be purchased in advance of sailing, especially nice as a Bon voyage gift. Suggest that you think about bringing on some of your own favorite beverages to save money.
Dining: An option of a casual restaurant for dining option so you don't have to "dress up" in order to eat at a nice restaurant. Personal Choice is available on Princess, too. Dine when you wish with whom you wish. Also their buffet is open 24 hrs. and the Grand & Golden offer 2 alternative restaurants for a nominal fee. Also it would be nice to be able to order room service off of anything on the regular dining menu. - Celebrity allows this during regular meal times.
While I would have been glad to answer your question as so many did and I would have given the same response I am curious why you did not consult your travel agent. This is exactly the type of thing a good agent should be handling.
Actually, these are the things I told my travel agent I wanted to begin with for my honeymoon (I even typed it out for her so she could keep it) and the Carnival Victory was the best thing out there that met all of my criteria (although there were a lot of things that didn' t meet what I really wanted, I had a great time--beside, I figured what's the chance that I would actually find a cruise line that met all of my criteria). It wasn't until I got back that I heard there may be some other cruise lines out there that had a lot of what I was looking for originally.
In our small town, there's only 3 travel agents. I spent a year asking around at who the best travel agent around was and that's the one I went with. Since my honeymoon, 1 has gone out of business, the other is about to go out of business, and then there's the one that I used which is still doing quite well...so I feel I made the right decision as far as a travel agent goes. That's another reason why I started searching the internet.
Thanks for everyone's response! (I love this message board)
Which Princes boat do I choose (has to be one that sails out of the southeast coast)?
Is there one better than the other?
PS - I did find out that the RCI line does have alcohol cards for adults but they are only for wine or "house" alcohols (the cheap stuff). I found a favorite drink on the Carnival Victory called the Bahama Mama (Mexican Mama). I don't drink a lot and don't like the taste of beer or strong liquors and the Bahama Mama was great. A Bahama Mama is made with Malibu which is a premium liquor and a Mexican Mama is made with "house" tequila and cocunut liquor which was really nasty tasting (you could really taste the alcohol in it), so that's why I fell in love with the Bahama Mama. Unfortunately since the Bahama Mama contains a premium liquor, it doesn't qualify for the alcohol card discount.... oh well. :o)
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Searching for cruise amenities...
The Grand, Golden and Coral Princess sail out of Fort Lauderdale. The Island Princess will join them this fall (the Golden and Coral will reposition to Europe and Alaska respectively) for the summer season. The Royal Princess also occasionally sails out of Fort Lauderdale as does the Dawn Princess (but those ships reposition for the summer season also.)
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
I sailed on the Grand Princess last year, but never had fruit or bath robes in my cabin. Perhaps this amenity is only for those who booked a suite! Also sailed on the Pacific Princess in a suite but never had robes or fruit in room!