I tried posing this question on the family crusing section but nobody seems to be answering. We are wondering what choice we should make for our cruise next January. These prices are in Canadian dollars and including everything including suggested gratuity. There are 3 of us travelling, including a 3 year old. We are trying to compare apples to apples so all room are "junior suites" and range from 231 to 277 sq. ft.
We have narrowed our scope to:
Royal Caribbean Voyager - 7 nights departing Jan 6th.
Itinerary : Nassau/Sea/St. Thomas/San Juan/Labadee/Sea
- $4405 CDN. for a 277 sq. ft. junior suite + 69 sq. ft. balcony
Norwegian Jewel - 7 nights departing Jan. 7th.
Itinerary: Sea/San Juan/St. John's/St. Thomas/Sea/Great Stirrup
- $3914 CDN. for a 231 sq. ft. mini suite + 54 sq. ft. balcony
Princess Star - 7 nights departing Jan. 6th.
Itinerary: Sea/Ocho Rios/Gr. Cayman/Cozumel/Sea/Princess Cay
- $4000 CDN. for a 255 sq. ft. mini suite + 64 sq. ft. balcony
Bases on these choices do you have a recommendation? We like good food and good service, and aren't so concerned about night life...
Since you are cruising with a 3 year old, my choice would be Royal Caribbean, the kids programs are wonderful and being that you are with a group, there are activities for everyone, all ages. I'm partial to Royal Caribbean, basically for a well rounded cruise and I love Labadee. I also think you'll have more people onboard around your ages on Royal Caribbean and lots of entertainment, including parades, an awesome ice show, etc.
Unless your quotes include airfare your prices are quite high. I would check around for some other quotes.
You could grab an aft balcony cabin on Voyager. It will give you the larger cabin. They are available on all January sailings. The Voyager does have a great kids program and many activities for families and also things for adults. I personally didn't like the covered balcony but many people do.
An AC mini-suite on Princess will give you a bit smaller cabin but will give you a more "traditional" cruise and will give you a Western itinerary that is more "water" sport related with many snorkeling and beach activities in Grand Cayman, Princess Cay and Cozumel. Ocho Rios will give you a chance to climb Dunn's River Falls but with a 3 year old that is probably not an option.
I haven't sailed on a Jewel type ship but I have sailed on the Norwegian Star and I did like it but the number of restaurants and the layout of the mini-suite cabins weren't quite as nice, but fine for two adults, on the "NCL STAR" as other ships. The Jewel may be different.
If it was me I would do the Voyager for the size of the cabin and the number of activities and options the ship has to offer, for adults and kids. This is based on you having a three year old. Now that I'm a Grandpa I would opt for the cabin size and activities if I was cruising with my granddaughter and/or grandson.
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i think that the Star Princess has the best itineary out of all three.
Mini-Suites on Princess are great! you get a larger bathroom with a tub not just a stall shower, more closet space, and more floor space.
I think out of the three I would definitely pick NCL. The NCL fleet is all beautiful and their Freestyle Dining programis wonderful. You can eat whenever you want, just like a restaurant. The cabins are slightly larger on NCL as compared to the other two ships and I personally like the E. Carib. itinerary better than the W. Carib. St. Thomas is amazing and beautiful as well, and P.R. is loaded with history and culture. Hope this helps! RW