Depends on where you want to go and which port is best for your departure.
If you are looking at Florida ports, I like the Fantasy for a short 3 or 4 day cruise. Stops are Nassau and Freeport for the 4 day - Nassau only for the 3 day. Nice ship.
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
RCCL Monarch of the seas or Enchantment of the Seas our nice 5 day cruises. One is Grand Cayman and Jamaica and the other was Key West, Belize, and Cozumel. Really enjoyed it! Does Disney do a short 5 day?? Might want to look into that. Enjoy!
I have sailed on RCCL's Majesty of the Seas (usually in October from Miami) on their 3 night cruise to the Bahamas, makes a stop at their private island, Coco Cay, and Nassau. You can usually get very good pricing on this 3 nighter and my grandson really enjoys Coco Cay and visiting Nassau.
Years ago we took our kids on 2 cruises at about the age of yours. They were so nuts about them that they both (one done, one booked) took cruises for their honeymoons.
I strongly prefer 7 day cruises since I ALWAYS have air costs (ORD). Of all the ports we have done in the carribean for kid/family activities we liked:
Jamaica for dunns river falls and rafting
Cozumel for Chanakaab Park
Grand Cayman for snorkeling with the stingrays and/or Atlantis submarine
Costa Rica for white water rafting (kids all time favorite)
All excursions were done privately or on our own.
All ports (E, W, S) have some great beaches and most have some decent shopping. Southern ports often have some real good history but kids may be bored.
Thanks...you gave me alot to think about. I will have to see who goes to Costa Rica. That sounds like a new adventure. I am off to look it up now. Which ports have you found to be cheaper to fly into?
Personally, with a child I'd opt for Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas, which sails year round from Ft. Lauderdale on four and five-day cruises. This ship just had a 73' mid-section added to make it longer. You'll find a rock-climbing wall, terrific kids programs plus a new children's pool. The ship is very classy, the staff good and the cabins large enough. The one drawback is food, which I've found to be below par. If food is a priority head for Carnival, which has excellent cuisine plus lots of good activities for children as well.
Thanks everyone. I do get better pricing w/ Carnival as they are offering the Military discount.
Also going to have to look into fly in prices. I am sure that Florida is cheaper because of the amt of air traffic. Also heard N. Orleans is beautiful. I will NEVER fly in the same day again! We did this on the Valor and it was not entertaining!
The Sensation seems OK...I think Imagination goes to Montigo Bay and that knocks out Dunns falls...right? I heard that Dunns is the only reason to visit Jamica.
We can often only cruise over a weekend... so our favorite is definitely the 4-day on the Imagination out of Miami to Key West and Cozumel. Love the ship, love the ports, love the food, love everything about it - we've done it twice.
My perspective on a 5-day cruise is that most of them are right smack in the middle of the workweek... Sun - Thurs or Mon - Fri or something like that... and for me, I'd have to miss the same amount of work as I would on a weeklong cruise, so why not take a weeklong?
If your kid wants to do Disney, go for a three-day out of Port Canaveral... the Fantasy has just been refurbished recently, and spend the rest of the time in Orlando.
Good luck deciding and let us know what you go with!
CA Cruiser...what is a interliner? Is this for airline deals? If this is a way to save $...help. I have a kid in college.
Michelle...thanks, I think you are right. However some tell me that on the flip side you are paying the same for the airfare so take the longer cruise.
Sometimes Galveston - Houston has good rates to fly into here. The Esctasy was a great cruise and does a 4 nighter Thurs- Mon. Western caribbean - Cozumel. Have fun in your search. We loved Jamaica - very pretty rainforest island. We did the plantation tour that stopped at the falls for pictures since one in our party had a hurt knee. I really liked MOntego Bay Jamiaca as they had Margarittaville. Also the snorkel tour was great there.. Debbie
We just got back from the Majesty of the Sea in May. The 4 day itinerary is great! CocoCay is wonderful and you are in Nassua from morning to midnight. Then of course it goes to Key West also. It is a very nice ship and wonderful itinerary. Questions? - Email me!