Hi, I'm looking for an extra special present for my wife for our 25th anniversary. I know that she has always wanted to go on a cruise, but not being fond of boats and water I have always managed to put it off. Well, I've finally decided to give in, but I'm basically clueless where to begin. I see a lot of specials with attractive prices on Yahoo travel and similar sites, but was hoping that some of the cruise experts on this forum would be willing to offer their advice.
Some questions that I have:
Is Holland a good choice for an initial cruise, or would another line be more enjoyable?
What is the best type room to get, I'm 6'6 and like my space.
Is WC a good cruise for a neophyte like me?
Although our anniversary is in May, I'm looking at dates after Labor Day, are there any advantages or disadvantages to the months from Sep - Dec?
How much will the cruise cost over and above the initial cost, such as tips, etc.
Any and all information dealing with cruises would be greatly appreciated, this is one occasion that I really want to make memorable for my wife.
'congrats" on making your 25th and treating your wife..You may want to ask friends that have been on cruises to recommend a travel agent that specializes in cruises as a starting point. good luck, have a great cruise
Please give us a little bit more information as to what you are looking for in a cruise? Are you looking for a party cruise with lots of night life, or a more quiet and somewhat refined cruise experience with great service? What do you like to do? hit the beach, snorkel?, shop, swim with stingrays, climb water falls, explore Mayan ruins, swim with dolphins? etc etc.
Hmmm, with only a couple of weeks to make my decision, I'm glad that I posted on here for advice.
First off, thanks to everyone who responded, I really appreciate the feedback. However, after reading the posts, I think that my idea for a cruise may have been somewhat misguided.
As far as our age range, we are both in our late 40's. I get the impression that cruises are apparently designed for more active, adventurous individuals than ourselves. Unfortunately, my wife is not recovering very well from a recent knee operation, so nightlife activities, dancing, swiming, snorkeling, all that is a mute point. I guess that I was under the impression that a cruise was a little more laid back, slow paced type of vacation. You'll have to excuse my ignorance, as I stated initially I'm not a fan of boats or water, and know absolutely NOTHING about what a cruise involves. And after being advised by another poster that I should figure on additional expenditures of $500 or so for tips and the like, I'm starting to reconsider my idea.
Again, thank you to all that responded, at least I found out before making reservations that a cruise isn't quite what I thought it was.
Dave, cruises are so flexible you can be very active or you can do nothing. The choice is totally up to you. There are so many options out there. If you just want to laze around in a loung chair by the pool with a good book on sea days, that's fine. If you just want to relax on the beautiful beachs and just veg that's great. If you want to relax in a nice quiet little bar with a drink before or after dinner you can do that. The reason that i asked what you and your wife like to do, is so that you can pick the islands and their attractions to fit what you want to do or not to do.
On the tipping point - a good place to start is $10.00 per person per day- that's a conservative figure - that figure covers the tipping of your room steward and your wait team in the restaurants. Do the math- figure out what you tip at a restaurant for each meal you eat out when on vacation. Figure out how much you tip the maid at your hotel.
Your only out of pocket expenses on a cruise would be for alcoholic drinks - they are about the same price on the ships as you would pay at a nice restaurant back home. IF you drink soda- look into the soda cards/stickers, gambling, anything you buy in the boutiques on the ship, any salon/spa services, and shore trips - all things you would have to pay for on any vacation.
Cruise ships are floating resort hotels
I just wanted to add another perspective as far as budgeting goes. I have heard lots of people talk about spending $500 or more in addition to their cruise price,but my husband and I have NEVER even come close to spending that. Our total Sail and Sign bill for our last cruise (7 days) was around $150, including the $50 credit we got for missing a port. We do not really drink, maybe one drink each for the cruise, as well as the complimentary drinks at the parties. We do not drink sodas as we prefer water or tea. We book our own shore excursions, or just enjoy the simple things in port. We like to shop the area and observe the locals (free unless we find an awesome deal). We also like to take a cab to a local beach and lounge in the sun and swim. We take books or borrow from the library to read in the sun. We do not usually play any of the bingo games, but participate in the MANY, MANY free activities onboard. We also usually take $20 each to gamble . . . not really our thing.
We have always enjoyed our cruises as a chance to relax, see new places and spend lots of time together, rather than spending lots of money.
<<<<<We have always enjoyed our cruises as a chance to relax, see new places and spend lots of time together, rather than spending lots of money.>>>>>>>>
I agree with you on that Ashley--I've never cruised before, myself and am looking forward to our planned cruise next Aug 2005. I've been following these boards to kind of get an idea exactly how much do we really need to bring. We plan on doing a few shore excursions--hubby really wants to do the beginners SCUBA thing, and maybe the family golf thing in cozumel (Sunrise) and or the Atlantis submarine but probably won't do much more than that. We don't drink--(and diffinitely NOT doing the Party boats ) but thinking maybe a few Virgin Daquaris or something for the whole cruise. and i think we can get by with water, lemonaide and the "freebies" for the rest of the time. And also plan to spend maybe $20 each to gamble but that's all.
You can cruise and have a great vacation for little more than the price of the tickets and tips. But for me, there is no way, NO WAY, ZIP, ZERO, NADA where I can go on a cruise and not enjoy a cold fresh brew in the hot Caribbean sun.
If you and your wife have never been on a cruise, I think that would be a great way to celebrate your 25th anniversary!
As everyone else has mentioned, you can make it as active or laid back as you want. There are many activites on board during "at sea" days, or you can just roam the ship or enjoy the peacefulness of the libraries, art galleries, and many other areas on the ship, perhaps even some "hidden" areas you will both discover. There is not much else more romantic than a cruise!
If you're still unsure about it, you could always take a 3 or 4 day one and plan something else around it. But I, along with the others, vote for a cruise vacation...
Enjoy whatever you do!
8/92 Mex. Riv. Commodore
9/98, 9/00, 9/02 & 7/04 Caribbean - Paradise
10/00, 08/05 Pac. Wtrs. Holiday, Monarch
04/06 Hawaii - Celebrity Summit
09/07 Alaska - Celebrity Summit
07/09 Western Caribbean RCCL Liberty of the Seas
add my vote for not giving up on the cruise idea !!! you might ask your wife's doctor if getting a massage treatment onboard is ok (and added expense but if it helps well worth it)..if nothing else the warm sea air will help her spirits..when the ship is in port you can stay onboard and almost have the entire ship to yourself, plus if you pick the right line (celebrity, princess, hal come to mind) you'll fine alittle more "laid back" pace which sounds like it could be condusive to what you are trying to accomplish..you only celebrate one 25th anniversary so go for it !!!!
We took a cruise after I hurt my back---we were originally going to go skiing, and after I got hurt we booked a last minute cruise and it was great---very relaxing. We mostly soaked up the sun, relaxed, read, and took it easy on that cruise (although we love water sports and have been very active on all of our other cruises). My husband and I are mid 40s. We love Princess, and are going on a cruise for out 20th anniversary in June. We are not big drinkers, but enjoy good wine and usually bring a few bottles of our favorite wine onboard with us because the wine lists are rather limited, and the corkage fees (when they are charged at all) are very reasonable. If you are not a big drinker and just do your own thing in port (taxis to beaches), rather than booking the onboard excursions, you will not incur big charges on your shipboard account.