I am planning my first cruise and would love some advice. I am thinking Feb 2005 and will be going with my fiance (both 30). We have been to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana as well as several other non-tropical destinations. Loved the atmosphere of PV best - along the Malecon but loved the amazing beaches in Punta Cana. I love beaches - my fiance would much rather be around a nice pool.
My question is...which ship/line would suit us best?? Which itinerary?
So far I am thinking Royal Caribbean or Princess...Carnival might be too much for us being Spring Break and all...also thinking Southern or Eastern Caribbean - would prefer to try something other than Mexico. We would be flying from Toronto and price is definitely a factor. The average price of a cruise including airfare in Canadian dollars for Feb 2005 is around $2100 for a balcony room on Princess or RC. Prices between the two are almost identical. Carnival is about $1800 - mind you regular rooms are much cheaper but I would really prefer a balcony. That darn Canadian dollar and taxes really hike up costs eh?
We enjoy 4-6 star quality. Eating and shopping are our two fave activities while vacationing - as horrible as that may sound! I was thinking we might enjoy St. Thomas for shopping? We do not generally participate in activities although consider ourselves to be friendly and outgoing. We are not big party people or heavy drinkers. Our idea of a good night would be an amazing dinner...relax...see a comedian or good show...and then enjoy some late night room service or even possibly a late night buffet. Hit the sack by 1...We want to stay away from rowdy Spring breakers but are too anxious to wait any longer than Feb!
So I guess good food and service as well as some fun shopping are the two biggest factors - also would like to be on one of the larger and newer ships (ice skating...or golf...etc - something interesting on board).
I think you would like the Eastern Caribbean, and with so many ships leaving out of florida you shouldn't have trouble finding the right one. There is a nice shopping mall right at the cruise ship dock in St Thomas where you can find most anything. If you like jewlery, you'll be thrilled in St Thomas, as downtown is over run with jewlery stores, however we found the prices better in St Maartin. We've not been on RC yet, but have been on Princess and Carnival three times each and were very happy with both. If you are going in Feb., spring break shouldn't be a problem, as it is in March..
Eastern Caribbean from Miami or Ft Lauderdale for 7 days on Celebrity or RCCL.
The extra sea days allow to really relax and enjoy your cruise. San Juan sailings do not offer enough sea time to enjoy all the ship has to offer.
Thanks for the info. I was really watching where the sea days were falling throughout each itinerary. I think if we have too many stops we will feel obligated to do too much and might not get enough of the R & R that we so need. There's always our second cruise eh? Haha! Thanks again!