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Old December 28th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Default Need Help planning cruise

I am planning on taking my wife and two children on a cruise this next year and am having a hard time deciding on what to do. The ports don't matter very much (would rather not visit Costa Maya). My children are going to be the ages 4 and 1.

The main thing I am concerned about is the cost as we will also have to factor in airfare from Salt Lake City, Utah. And the amenities the ship offers as we will want to keep the kids entertained.

My dates are pretty flexible however I was looking at cruising during the Sept - Dec time. I would like a 5-7 day cruise

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Consider Inspiration outta Tampa on it's 5 day to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Tampa's a great port to sail from and these two stops are among the best in the Western Caribbean. Can never tell bout the weather during the months you mentioned, that is hurricane season. With children and bein your first cruise, I'd suggest booking "OV (oceanview) guarantee". That will get you a window, which the wive and kids will enjoy, and won't cost much more than an inside stateroom. If you can get cheaper airfare to Miami, I'm sure some of the Fantasy class ships leavin there do the same itinerary. I would advise against the Bahamas. Just my personal opinion, I'm sure you'll get other great suggestions. Bon Voyage!
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Old December 28th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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I guess to keep airfare low & to have the easiest flights is shop around for airfare - / flights to the different ports where the ships leave; with little ones, it would seem that the shortest & most direct flights would make a better start for a vacation.

THere are so many choices, once you have it narrowed down to which ports you want to leave from, post again and you will be sure to get a lot of feed back
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Old December 28th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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I think that I am leaning towards departing from either Los Angeles, or Galveston. I like a lot of the beaches and ports better in the carribbean but either would be fine. I thought that my 4 year old daughter would love the sting rays in Grand Cayman so that is one port that may be nice to visit.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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I did the stingray tour w/ my family and they totally enjoyed it and would do it again, I am just tooo scared of the critters;
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Old December 31st, 2006, 08:05 PM
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Carnival Liberty (newest ship so far) sailing August 26th out of Port Everglads. 6 day cruise - great value, might help with the hurricane season also - little earlier in the season. It may also help with school for your children. Some schools wont start until after Veterans Day. 6 day ocean view was $488 (taxes and port fees included) per person as of a couple weeks ago. 3rd and 4th person was $418 per person.

Movie screen on pool deck should be a big hit with the kids.

Leslie Jones, carnival sales rep, is a blast and very helpful.

Enjoy your cruise -
Tinks husband.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I think as of right now I have it narrowed down to 3 ships that are in consideration. I am considering the Conquest, Valor, or Vision of the Seas and information or advice on these ships would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 10:52 AM
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if the vision of the seas is anything like the radiance of the seas, you will truly enjoy the ship, as to the other ships you mentioned, I have no experience on those. But all three sound wonderful!!!
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Archie,

Of the three ships you mentioned, I have only cruised on the Conquest. It goes to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. My DH and I took that cruise and had a great time. (Just be careful in Jamaica. It can be kind of scary.)

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time!!!

Libragirl from Texas
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 03:13 PM
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I was thinking that with the Conquest I would be able to use enough airmiles to pay for one of our tickets and with the extra savings I would be able to upgrade to a Balcony as with the other two cruises I would be staying in an OV room
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 04:27 PM
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re: balcony vs oceanview

I have done both; if the cruise is shorter than 7 days stick wiht the oceanview and save the $$; you will rarely been in your room much less on the balcony and also depending on which time of year, the balcony may be windy and just not very desirable.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 06:28 PM
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If you are going out of Galveston, you would be pleased with either Carnival or Royal Carribean! I'd check the airfares for your dates then go to Vacations to go dot com to compare the cruise rates. Money talks, so take the less expensive cruise and have a blast.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Hey Archie, sounds like you're getting it narrowed down. I was on the Valor 2 years ago and it was wonderful! Have only cruised with Carnival--you can't beat the price and we have always enjoyed ourselves. Valor and Conquest are in the same class so they will be very similar except for decor. You should love either. I agree with the others--check prices and take the best deal unless one has an itinerary you would prefer. It looks like Sept. has some pretty good prices for both. Also, keep in mind that the interior of the balcony cabins will be smaller than the ocean view. The balcony takes up more of the total space. Don't know if that matters to you. Have fun deciding!
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Old January 4th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Archie,
I feel your pain about flying out of SLC, I've only lived there 10 years but it seems like once they get you here, they don't want you to leave.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Archie, if you are flying into Houston from SLC, the most convenient airport for Galveston is Houston Hobby Airport (HOU). Southwest Airlines flies SLC to HOU and usually has the lowest fares and the best service. I live 25 mi or so from Galveston, so if you need any additional info, just ask!
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