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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:18 AM
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Default Caribbean in February? Eastern or Western Caribbean?

My husband and I would like to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary. Our anniversary is in February, but we aren't absolutely set on going then. We could go a month or two later if the weather isn't good in February. I've heard that it's fairly nice in early Spring and not as humid or hurricane prone as other times of the year. Would we be likely to have nice weather if we went in February?

Also, what's the difference between Eastern or Western Caribbean? We are looking at two different Carnival Cruises - one that leaves out of Galveston and hits Montego Bay and the Cayman Islands, coming back through Cozumel. The other leaves out of Miami and hits St. Maartin and St. Thomas. What are the major differences between these two routes?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Adrian
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Old August 19th, 2007, 05:50 AM
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There are more water type activities on a Western, not as good shopping. Eastern does offer some great shopping if you are into that. The weather should be perfect in late winter/early spring. You'll need to watch out for spring break, prices tend to be higher when more people can cruise.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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My wife and I will be going on a 7 day cruise (leaving January 26th) from San Juan to the eastern islands. This will be our third cruise and you can't go wrong in January. Most of the kids are back in school and most of the college students dont take spring break until February. The weather is not terribly hot during that time of year and you can usually find several bargins as far as cruise prices are concerned. Lots of shopping and activities to keep you occupied. Few tropical storms to worry about. Depending on which islands you visit there are plenty of water activities.

Keep in mind a lot will have to do with what cruise line you go with. For example: Celebrity, it caters towards the 40 and older passengers, while Carnaval tends to host a younger group, usually with more children.

As for the Caymen Islands vs the Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands win easily. Lots more to do and see and it's not as expensive. We have not been to Montego Bay (Jamaca) as of yet but hope to go eventually. As for Eastern or Western Caribbean, Cozumel is a fun place to go but from what little we have seen of the Eastern Islands its no contest. Hence we are going back this coming January to see more.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Good info! Thanks so much. It sounds like February would be a great time to go and I'm thinking that the Eastern Caribbean package sounds more appealing. I'm much more of a shopper than a snorkler! Plus, it sounds less expensive than Western and I won't miss Cozumel. Mexico is not high on my list of favorites.

I'll have to check out the Celebrity vs. Carnival lines. Since we aren't bringing our children this time, we are looking for more pampering and fun social activities on the ship. Our first cruise was on Norweigan and while we had a great time, we heard from several passengers that the food, service, and entertainment were not as top notch as on some other lines.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 07:00 PM
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Hi Agentil,
You may also want to look into Princess and Royal Caribbean ships. Both have Eastern itinaries. If you are into more shipboard activities, Royal Caribbean beats them all hands down. Just depends on what you are looking for in a cruise.

Happy cruise shopping :-)
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Old August 19th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Default Eastern Caribbean with RCCL

Donna is absolutely on the button. RCCL has everyone beat hands down on shipboard activities. Suggest you go there!!!!!!
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Old August 20th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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Gosh! Thanks for all the great info. I've been on-line for hours looking at the different options and I'm getting confused with so many different cruise lines and so many different choices. I'm thinking maybe I should ask a travel agent for help in selecting the best options for us.

Does it cost any more to go through an agent? Seems to me that they used to make their commissions off of the cruise lines and other companies they book for, but the system may have changed since then. I know there is a lady at my church who is a travel agent. I'm sure she can help steer me in the right direction. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us, so I want to be sure we get the best package for a good price.

Thanks!

Adrian
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Old September 7th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentil
Gosh! Thanks for all the great info. I've been on-line for hours looking at the different options and I'm getting confused with so many different cruise lines and so many different choices. I'm thinking maybe I should ask a travel agent for help in selecting the best options for us.

Does it cost any more to go through an agent? Seems to me that they used to make their commissions off of the cruise lines and other companies they book for, but the system may have changed since then. I know there is a lady at my church who is a travel agent. I'm sure she can help steer me in the right direction. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us, so I want to be sure we get the best package for a good price.

Thanks!

Adrian
I recommend a Voyager Class ship on Royal Caribbean for the Eastern Carib. We did the actual Voyager ship last Jan (hubby and me) for our second cruise; first w/out kids. I'm in my 40's and he is in late 50's.

These ships have a promenade that is such a fun place for a couple to stroll, have a drink, snack, whatever; plus, a lovely ice show, comedians, etc.

I have only cruised twice and feel more comfortable using a TA since there are so many things I'm not yet familiar with. The only bad thiing is that you can't call the cruise line to make any changes on your own. You have to go through your TA, and sometimes I feel like I'm working her to death!
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Old September 7th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Adrian - by all means contact your local travel agent. Most do not charge for their services, they them do all the leg work for you!
Eastern is a great route if you want gorgeous white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, decent snorkeling and amazing shopping.
February is a great time to cruise.
If you are looking for lots of shipboard activites i would look to either the Grand Class ships of Princess or the Voyager Class ships of RCCL. I am not sure if the Freedom class ships of RCCL sail an Eastern Route.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Yep, we're calling the travel agent tomorrow! I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to go, but I got some unexpected money and paid off some bills, so we're Caribbean bound - yay!

Thanks!

Adrian
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Old September 9th, 2007, 11:58 PM
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Top point to remember-Western Caribbean means Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Eastern caribbean offers at lot greater pickings-St. Martin, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, are the most popular. Then there are the Southern areas-Barbados, Grenada, Aruba, Matinique, St. Lucia, and others.
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