First time cruisers here again with another decision to make. We are torn between the Eastern Cruise on the Glory and the Southern Cruise on the Jubilee. Anyone been to both and can compare? The Southern islands seem much more exotic to me but because this will probably be not only our first but last cruise for a very long time ($$$$) I am torn over which would be the best overall vacation. I have always wanted to go to Aruba yet Nassau and St. Maartin sound great too. Any must see Islands???? Thank you!
Being a first time cruiser, you probably can't go wrong. That's what they do. They put you up between the newer ships (with maybe less port appeal) or the older ships (with more port appeal). I think it's a toss up. Go for what appeals to you. My first cruise was on the Tropaicale. I think it was sent to the Mediteranean the next year, but it still had its appeal. Just my thought, but maybe I'd go with the Jubilee, love it, and go on to a newer ship in the future (which I hope you will want to do).
I was faced with the same decision, as a first time cruiser, and decided that the ship is the real destination. The southern appeals much more I know, but I have read many bad stories about San Juan as the port of departure. Apparently, Carnival has a hard time selling these ships out, so they sell the extra rooms to locals from San Juan very cheaply. This results in much butting in line by the nonenglish speakers, and a real sense of unfairness on embarkation and long delays. It's so bad that people have even appealed to Carnival management, who say this is just the way it is in San Juan. And they say that this flavors the whole cruise including food and entertainment.
So I suggest chosing a ship whose decor you like a lot, and pick something out of Miami. It's the busiest port and they seem to have it down the best. You don't want any extra hassle on your first cruise.
we returned from Destiny last week, departing out of San Juan....no horror stories about"non-english-speaking" people filling up the ship (which I have read many times on this board) nor did we have any any experience of "unfairness" on embakation. We had a great time. The southern Caribbean was indeed exotic and we would do it again!!!
Have a great time where ever you go!!!!
After some research we decided that we wanted our first cruise to be able to visit some of these exotic islands we may never see again. The ports of call was the decision breaker for us. NOT the ship. If I wanted to vacation strictly based on the ship, I'd rent a room on a ship that is moored at doc all the time.
Southern Carib. was our choice on Jubilee in April. And WE CANT WAIT!!
I agree with you, that is a tough one to pick. As Coach as stated, look at your ports of call. Decide on which port or ports you want to see the most.
Since this is your first cruise, I must warn you, they are addictive. The wife and I hope to go on the Eastern Carribean cruise in Sept. of this year. Then maybe the Western carribean in 2005 .
This will be our 5'th cruise for us.I can honestly say, we never had a problem with Carnival on any cruise, and have enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.
Which ever cruise you decide to go on, I think you'll have a great time.
I don't think the Jubilee goes to Aruba. I think only the Destiny goes to Aruba. I can't find another Carnival ship that will go to Aruba. Aruba is a must visit island in my opinion. It has many different landscape to offer from beautiful beach to desert and one of the best shopping in the Caribbean. St Thomas is also very nice with pretty beaches, great shopping and nearby St John. So your only choice is the Destiny in which you will also visit St Thomas, Barbados (beautiful), and Dominica (beautiful).
Usually, a southern caribbean is overwhelming for a first time cruiser because there are not many sea days. You need the first day to be a sea day so you can get your bearing, learn the ship, learn where to eat, activities, how to get off the ship at an island port, what to see, what to do, when to get back, etc. But it is doable and you will have a very enjoyable time onboard. I say go on the Destiny since you said you won't sail again in a long time.
Don't worry about San Juan. I found it to be less of a hassle since there are not many ship departing from there. Miami can be a mad house if your ship is not the only one in port. Search for my post on "do not rent from dollar rent a car"; I had a bad experience in Miami port last October returning from the Triumph. As for the Destiny and all the long tails about non-English cruisers, themes, delays on boarding, etc, I only have one word: NONSENSE!
The Destiny is part of the Carnival line of ships. You can expect the same fun, food, and entertainment from Carnival. I found it to be no different from other ship in term of service and atmosphere. There is one exception, one of the bands play Spanish music at night such as the chachacha, rhuma, tango, etc. My family had no probem in getting on the ship and disembark the ship last summer. Plus with Carnival relax disembark policy, you can stay in your cabin until 9am on the last day; this saves you from lugging all your bags around while you get breakfast, etc. Other cruise lines don't have this policy; this means you have to lug your bags everywhere and then wait in a lounge until you get off the ship. With 15 cruises under my belt and 11 of them on Carnival, I say that if you have your heart to see Aruba , book your cruise on the Destiny and enjoy yourself. Just try to attend all the cruise talks on the port of calls while you are on the ship. Email me if you have other questions.