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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 24th, 2003, 07:43 PM
nvreid
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Default Cruise advice needed

I am a first time cruiser and have found message boards to be an invaluable resource.

Here's what I need help with (so far!):

1. My travel agent gave me a quote for an RCI Adventure cruise (Southern Carib) that is $300 more than a quote I got from cruise-n-more.com. Does anyone have any experience dealing with this website? From what I can tell, they are legit.

2. My husband and I are in our early 30s and cannot decide between the RCI Adventure and Carnival Destiny cruise. We're not huge partyers but definitely not duds. Our main concern is the food and service.

3. Both cruises leave from San Juan. Does anyone have any recommendations for hotels that are not too expensive (around $200)?

Thank you in advance,

Nicole
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 24th, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

Nicole,
Cruises-N-More is definately a legit agent. They are even one of our advertisers here on Cruisemates and therefore have meet some pretty tough standards such as being allowed to sell in all 50 states, (a number are not BTW), and have very few complaints against them. Are they the very best for this cruise? I have no way of knowing, that is up to you to decide. I would not hesitate to book with them.
Both the RCI Adventure of the Seas and CCL's Destiny are nice ships. The Adventurer is larger with more onboard activities such as the ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, rollerblade track. The Destiny is typical CCL fun ship with lots of group activities. The food is most likely pretty equal between these two ships and the service is probably a little better or more formal on the RCI ship. The cabins on the Destiny are probably a little bit larger.
I can;t help you on the hotels as I have not stayed there but I have heard people talk about the Wyndham. Maybe someone else can tell you more about those choices.
Jim

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Old September 24th, 2003, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

There are southern Caribbean cruises that leave from Florida which would cut your airfare considerably. I prefer sailing from Fort Lauderdale (Princess among others) and just booked Embassy Suites through Hotwire for $64 + tax (that's 1/3 of the price at the hotel's web site.)

Been to San Juan but don't know anything about their hotels ... it was just a port of call.

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Old September 25th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise advice needed

After my own extensive research, we booked a room in San Juan at El Canario by the Sea. There's a sister property nearby called El Canario by the Lagoon. They are both on Condado Beach, very close to the Marriott and described as in a good location for the cruise ships/ports. I haven't been there yet but have had excellent exchanges via e-mail with the hotel management. Check them out. They are definitely within your price range.
Cheers,
MaryC
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Old September 25th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

Hi Nicole,
You may want to check out the Wyndham in Old San Juan if you want to be right by the pier, no beaches, but you can walk around Old San Juan, see the forts, etc. For location, its a great spot, there is even a roof top pool.

Just a thought to why a difference in the cruise prices you received, did both include the port charges and taxes, its possible one has them included in the price and the other does not? Also make sure you're getting prices for the same catagory cabins, they do differ in price.

My vote would be for Adventures of the Seas, we loved our Explorer cruise, could of used another week to finish exploring the ship.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old September 26th, 2003, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

1. let me tell you about cruise-n-more. I get their email specials. I find something I like and call them as soon as I can and lo and behold that deal is no longer available. This happened several times. Finally I got tired of it and contacted another TA who works out of her home and showed her the ad. She was able to match it! Shortly after I confirned that she could, cruise-n-more calls me back and said guess what I was able to get that cruise for you after all but it was now only $120 more than the ad vs $400 more . I don't plan on doing business with them. I don't know if that's a common practice but it happened 3 times to me. So what I will do is continue to get their emails and when I find a deal that I like I will send it to my current TA and let her match it. To answer your question they are legit but I am concerned about their "specials".

2. either is a great ship, I would look at the iten to decide which to take.

3. don't know about this. For me $200 a night for a hotel is very expensive so you shouldn't have any problems. My next cruise departs from San Juan but we fly in and leave without staying the night.

Happy sailing to you wherever it shall be!
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old September 26th, 2003, 12:47 PM
nvreid
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

Thanks everyone!!! We like the itinerary of the Destiny but have heard the food and service is better on the Adventure. Is it this hard for all first-timers or is it just me? I feel like I'm going to lose my mind!
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Old September 26th, 2003, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

It's probably hard for most first timers ... don't lose your mind. Keep asking questions - and you'll find it gets easier. You'll have a ball and then after the cruise you'll be able to answer questions like a pro!!!

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old September 29th, 2003, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise advice needed

You will hear the food and service is always better on this or that ship depending on what reviews you read and what the reviewer experienced. For a first timer though I rather doubt you will be dissatisfied with either ship.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old September 29th, 2003, 09:30 AM
captnangel
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

We leave from San Juan next month, We are going on the Destiny! We are canadian so we researched alot of accomadations! El Canario by the Sea or El Canario By the Lagoon are very nice! 200$ is way more than what we would pay! We are staying at a guest house on the beach, continental breakfast included, for us being Canadian it works out to be approx. 100$ a night! I believe it was 72$ USD>We are also staying for 3 nights prior to the cruise! From reading all the information from these boards, it seems you can find some great deals on the net! Goodluck!!!!
captangel
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old October 12th, 2003, 06:30 PM
am57
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

has anyone ever booked a cruise thru cruise depot.com? they quoted a good deal lower than my TA. please let me know if anyone ever booked with them and how it went.
thanks
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old October 12th, 2003, 07:12 PM
am57
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

SORRY ITS CALLED CRUISE & VACATION DEPOT. PLEASE LET ME HEAR FROM OTHER CRUISERS THAT BOOKED THRU THEM
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old October 13th, 2003, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Cruise advice needed

nvreid, I would do as nushnakka and print the best deal you find on the web, then take it to my TA and ask if he/she can match or beat that price. And yes, you do have to check if the price includes port charges or not. But I would much rather have a flesh and blood TA book my cruise in the rare case that I have a question or 2 about my cruise.

Enjoy your cruise,
DJ Bob
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old October 14th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise advice needed

DJ, I have just about given up on my TA since he has been unable (or unwilling) to match any online pricing. We just booked the Fantasy again for January and got an outside for $291 including port charges through bestpricecruises.com and my TA was $100 over that price.

If a flesh-and-blood TA can get us a price within $25 or so pp then I will use him/her. But lately ours has been unable to get that close, for whatever reason I don't know.

Regards,
Thomas
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