I'm looking for some advice on a family vacation. There will be eight of us traveling; my boyfriend and I (we are in our 20s), my parents, his parents, my sister (16) and his brother (24). My boyfriend and I have been on one cruise (RCI Majesty of the seas) and everyone else will be new to cruising. We are open to any cruise line. We would like to visit the caribbean and/or mexico. Additionally we would like to see as many different places as possible (would rather have extra ports than extra days at sea). Any cruiseline/ship suggestions? Additionally we are seeking advice on booking rooms. We would like to give everyone plenty of space but would like to be together as a family. I have read extensively about RCI's Freedom of the Seas Family Suite. Do any other lines offer anything like this (we would need a suite with at least 3 bedrooms)? Thanks!
These huge RCL ships are just wonderful for cruising with your family and there is something for everyone.
[/color][color=darkblue]With the group you are cruising with, I'd highly recommend any Voyager or Freedom class ship, but be sure to check into booking a family suite, they book up quickly. Only other option would be to book cabins next door to each other or book a balcony cabin and then an inside cabin. Compare the prices of doing that.
I would suggest Family Suites, adjoining cabins, or cabins near each other.
Royal Caribbean is the cruise line that will give you the Family Suite option. There is only one person in your group under 21 so the booking problem of having someone over 21 in the cabin is not a problem.
Having a mix of balcony and an inside cabin across the hall would be a good choice. People could share the balcony and the guys could take refuge in the inside cabin or use it as a second bathroom or "escape" to the balcony when the ladies are getting ready.
I would suggest Royal Caribbean for the Family Suites and Voyager or Radiance Class ships that appeal to a wide variety of people. Carnival, Spirit Class ships are also a good choice for a wide range of people, especially with a mix of first time cruisers.
NCL is also an option but I would choose a newer ship such as the Dawn, Star, or Jewel that was built for Freestyle cruising. Be prepared to make more choices in regard to dining but it also allows you to choose when you want to dine and it will also allow you to dine with your family or on your own.
Lastly: A Western Caribbean itinerary will usually give you more port days on a seven day cruise than an Eastern Caribbean.
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For a port intensive cruise I would look at Carnival Miracle. 7 days and 4 ports. Also, with that many people I would look at getting 3 cabins all near each other. That way you all have your privacy but are close together. If one couple gets a balcony cabin you could all meet up there.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
The only downside to a family stateroom is that is only has one bathroom. You probably would do better booking 2 staterooms. I would book one balcony and one inside. I agree with the Voyager or Freedom class of ships from RCCL. Southern routes are the most port-intensive.
I would stronly suggest you go to a travel agent. Let them make some suggestions, handle ALL details and questions.
Check RCCL Adventure og the Seas.they have a seven night cruise to the southern cribbean with only one day at sea..You sail out of San Juan to St Martin,St Thomas,Antigue,Barbados,St Kitts.We have done this cruise twice and have enjoyed it.We will be doing another cruise on AOS in August with eleven people.And cant wait till august 6.