My wife and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in Feb, 2007. We have NEVER done the cruise-thing before. We have been to the Carribean 4 times, always doing the all inclusive, stay at a resort for 7 days thing.
I have NO idea where to begin picking the "right" cruise. We are 31 years old. I have lots of reading to do on this site....I guess my main question is should I be looking to book something now (8 months in advance)? Are the postings on your "Cruise Bargains!" page for trips in the next 1-3 months, or for trips many, many months away?
Any pointers on how to sort out the seeminly hundreds of cruise ships would be greatly appreciated.
Also, keeping my options open...what cruise destinations do I have available in mid-Feb? Alaska? European/Mediterranean? or is it just Carribean?
First of all, let me congratulate you for making one of the best vacation decisions possible. Cruising is an amazing adventure! In mid-Feb, you will not be able to crusie Alaska, as it will be dark mopst of the day (not to mention FREEZING). Caribbean is your best bet. Sign up fpr newsletters from Carnival, RCCL, Princess, etc and they will send you emails with specials. Also, conatct a TA to help you. If you are looking for romance, RCCL and Princess are your best bets. The new Freedom of the Seas may be an option for you (it does 7 nt Carib). You can also try Celebrity Cruse Lines aka "X", which is generally more expensive. Norweigian Cruise Lines (my personal preference) offers some amazing itineraries in Hawaii, especially on the new Pride of Aloha. This ship was built especially for Hawaii cruising and features a new concept known as Freestyle dining, in which you can eat whenever you want (between set times) for each meal, much like a restaurant, instead of the traditional two-seating dinners on other lines. Whatever decision you make, it will be rewarding! If you have any more ?'s, PMP me and I will be happy to help. RW
you need to booking something NOW, especially since February is high cruise season (school vacations, college breaks) in the Caribbean. I would strongly suggest that you get to a local travel agent, sit down and talk with him/her, pick their brains, let them make some suggestions for you. My top picks for a romantic cruise would be Princess or Celebrity.
Another great tip is to use the cruise quotes feature on this site, click onto the cruise shopping banner and go from there, you submit your cruise request and you will get e-mail offers from reputable travel agents, there will be telephone numbers for you to call and talk directly to an agent if you wish.
If this is a for an Anniversary I would book fairly soon in order to pick the cabin and location that you want.
I would research the type of cruise and cruise line that you would want:
Do you like non-stop entertainment?
Laid back elegance?
Do you like to dress up?
Vegetate for days?
No kids or teens?
All age groups?
What price range?
What type of itinerary? Water sports, Sun, Exotic, Europe, Shopping.
How long of a cruise?
Is gourmet food what you like?
These are things to think about. There are ships, cruise lines and itineraries that fit all of them.
Check with some agents, ask questions here on the various message boards and visit the websites of Celebrity cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Norwegian Cruiselines, Regent Seven Seas and others.
Mike (The research is half the fun)
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I am a travel agent **edited to remove commercial**. I would suggest that you book your cruise as soon as possible as good cruises fill up fast, and as they become full, the price will sometimes go up. You also risk the chance of not getting a desirable stateroom. You can occassionaly get a last minute deal, but you risk not getting the boat you want.
The cruises to Alaska start in mid-May, but the scenery is just gorgeous! We've been to the Caribeean, but all you see when you cruise there is water and then you come to a port. In Alaska, you basically see land every day and it is constantly changing. If you do the first cruise of the season (usually around May 17 or so) there will still be snow on the mountain peaks and in some locations, on the ground. For our cruise in May of this year, we booked the cruise in Oct. '05. Typically the first or second cruise of the season to Alaska, is the cheapest and there will not be many children on board. If you want to wait until May, I just don't think you can beat the scenery in Alaksa.