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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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General question. Everyone says cruising is cheaper than a land based vacation. I have tried and tried to get to a point where I can agree with this but I simply don’t agree. We have traveled all over the US and the Caribbean mainly to beaches and resorts and condo’s. For a family of 4 we can have a 7 week stay in a nice well appointed condo on the beach for 7 days with food and a rental car and airfare to get there cheaper than any 7 day cruise I can find. Will someone please try and explain this phenomenon to me please. I’m trying to plan a cruise for 4 people and I’m well over 5K and that’s with 2 inside rooms which I really don’t want to do but have to simply to keep the costs down.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:59 AM
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I've been thinking about this and staring at my keyboard trying to figure out how to answer you.

I think people find cruise deals. They do exist. If you book well in advance then that brings the price down even more. The same goes for airfare depending on where your flying out of.

The people who live near a port have the advantage of not having the addional expenses of flight, parking etc.... And they can catch those last minute deals that are real good.

Personally, I spent more on my cruise then I do on a normal vacation but it was also the best vacation I've ever had. It was worth it to me. We did save some money by doing the excursions on our own and things like that.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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I am getting ready to sail on my 6th cruise with my family, by booking thee cruise in advance and airfare for 4 people, interior room upper level we are spending around 4k, now in my opinion this is a good deal for me mayby not for everyone but for me , I like to see different places and different islands, I also like the 5 course meals every night , i also like the vegas shows ever night , now if I were the type of person that enjoyed sitting on the same beach doing the same things every day and every night for 7 days mayby someplace like sandals would work, but im not that type of person. If your only enjoyment is laying on a beach it would be much cheaper to book a land based vacation out of florida but i would take to the seas any day. My family and I have been everywhere in the carabean but this time we are sailing the west coast to the riviara , spring break in cabo what more could yopu ask for.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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It is hard to help you without more details. The cost you are quoting is extremely high. We cruised last May with two other couples - three cabins, inside - 5 night cruise to the Bahamas/Key West and total costs were around $2100 or $700/couple. We have cruised for as little as $199/couple for a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas. Costs do vary but I can't see why you would be up to 5K for two inside cabins. If you can provide a little more detail, someone on the board could advise you. We have cruised a total of eight times, mostly just ourselves, but occasionally with others and have never come close to 5K. Costs do vary by destination and cruise line, but I know you can do better.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie Lee
It is hard to help you without more details. The cost you are quoting is extremely high. We cruised last May with two other couples - three cabins, inside - 5 night cruise to the Bahamas/Key West and total costs were around $2100 or $700/couple. We have cruised for as little as $199/couple for a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas. Costs do vary but I can't see why you would be up to 5K for two inside cabins. If you can provide a little more detail, someone on the board could advise you. We have cruised a total of eight times, mostly just ourselves, but occasionally with others and have never come close to 5K. Costs do vary by destination and cruise line, but I know you can do better.
Just to give you an example here is what we are looking at....
$3,416 Cruise - 2 inside cabins - 2 adults 2 teen girls
$829 Air
$129 Hotel - night before
$160 Shuttle
$4,534 Total

See this is what I'm talking about. We will have spent 4500 and that does not even include money for ship extra's, etc... nor shore excursions.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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It depends on when you travel. I choose to travel during off peak times like September. Yes if you travel during peak cruise times like Christmas then you will be paying a lot more. I am looking at cruising on a 7 night cruise on the Conquest out of Galveston with a Balcony room guarentee in September and including airfare for the the 4 of us it is coming up to less than $3500. It depends on your tastes but usually you get better quality food and more of it for the cost.

Once you have cruised you can notice the differences and compare for yourself, but you will see that once you start adding up 3 full meals a day plus lodging, plus shows and entertainment it will be less expensive.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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Wow! That price seams very high for inside cabins to me. What cruise line are you going on? I have only done an inside cabin once and it was $499 per person for 7 days. this was a carnival ship but not sure which one. We ar going on the Glory The week of Memorial day and getting a balcony cabin and our cost is $879 per person.

All the other costs seam pretty fair it just looks like your cruise ticket is way too high. Just my 2 cents.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Just to give you an example here is what we are looking at....
$3,416 Cruise - 2 inside cabins - 2 adults 2 teen girls
$829 Air
$129 Hotel - night before
$160 Shuttle
$4,534 Total

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I would have to agree with you when looking at the breakdown of your expenditures. Are you booking your own cruise? If so, I would suggest that you visit a local travel agent in your area and get them to assist you. That's their job and their services are free. When we went to Alaska, I thoroughly researched the cruises myself and knew what the best price was that I could book a cruise for, and I had booked several myself prior to that. So, armed with all my research info, I went to my TA and gave her the parameters, dates, ship, expected cabin class, etc. and asked her to give me her best price; told her that if she could beat my price, she would have my business. Keep in mind that I did not give her my price that I got. She beat it by $500. That was the first time I used a TA and have used her for my next three cruises since then. Now, though, we are planning a cruise in Sept/Oct to New England and Canada and I have been able to beat her price myself through a online TA - go figure! If you are not booking your own cruise, then I would suggest that you do some shopping around for price either with other TA's or online. Without knowing your destination and ship, I would have to say that the price you are showing for inside cabins is steep. I or anyone else on this board can offer you suggestions and assistance and would be glad to. I have often heard from others that vacation packages on land that include meals, resort amenities, etc. can often be competitive with cruise fares; there are a lot of variables involved and it can be mind-boggling for the first-time cruiser, at least it was for us. But we may be able to offer a little insight and assistance.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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You can certainly shave money from the figures you quoted. First off, which ship, which week, which departure port? Your figures broke down to $854 per person for a week, which is high for an inside cabin. Of course, some weeks are higher than others, and the highest weeks tend to be those when the kids are not in school. I've been real fortunate getting good prices for Spring Break cruises. Otherwise, I'm willing to take my kids out of school for a week as I figure they learn more on a cruise than in school.

You might also save money on the hotel by carefully shopping the net rather than booking thru the cruise line. Similarly with transfers - if you're going out of Ft. Lauderdale, the airport is a $10 cab ride from the cruise terminal, for instance.

Do you need two rooms? Most lines give a discounted rate to the 3rd and 4th in a room. Depending on the age of your girls, and whether you and your hubby want a room to yourselves, it may be cheaper to put you all in one room (even an outside cabin).

There's a good search engine at vacationstogo dot com - you can search by dates, ships, ports, etc. Their prices are good for comparisons, so you can tell which ships/lines/routes/times have the best rates. (If the above url didn't come thru, email me at dana at logicsmith dot com).

If your land vacations consist of eating at Dennys and McDonalds, staying at Comfort Inns, and visiting museums, then a cruise vacation could well be more expensive. However, when you compare it to a week in NY, Chicago, SF, or Atlanta with activities all day and night, then its much more reasonable. And my kids will grow up with fond memories of petting sea turtles, swimming with dolphins, diving with barracudas, and ziplining thru rainforest canopies. That, certainly, is priceless...
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Old January 5th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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We are going on our 6th cruise, Glory 3 Nov 2007, and we did not pay alot for all of the other cruises or this one.We try to figure out ahead of time(12-16 mts) and you can get better than the regular off season deal.
Wher can you be catered to, fed, amused, play in the casino,swim, meet new friends, sleep late, go to bed early or late. Have your food set right in froint of you and call room service for free( alcohol is $), and not to forget the placed in the world you can visit.The cost is your own, you dont have to have the most luxurious accomodations or top of the line room, to enjoy. We are bothinn our 50's and look for the best deals. Everybody makes their own mind, and can decide where and how to spend it.Shop around. I like 7am on the balcony with a cup of fresh coffee, and a crusant
not having to fight the traffic for a week
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Old January 5th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Default Suggest you try Cruise Compete.

[color=darkblue] Hi, I suggest that you give 'Cruise Compete' a try. They are made up of a number of online agencies and they will give you their best price for the cruise you are interested in. There is no obligation to go with any of them and they are very highly recommended. I booked a cruise through them and it was a very good price. I checked them out thoroughly & felt very confident that they were safe to deal with. You can get to it from the link near the top of this page. Go to Cruise Shopping - Cruise Quotes - Get Cruise Quotes. Fill in the info and pretty soon you'll hear back from them.

Have a great day!
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Old January 5th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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From the numbers I've aleady posted.... Carnival Glory Jul 21 7 day Eastren Caribbean. I've been told that I'm going the most expensive time of the year (when kids are on summer break) and yes we have to book then just because of that fact. As far as needing two cabins, YES! I will not be in the same cabin with a wife and two teenage daughters if you know what I mean. My price quotes are through a local TA but I've called Carnival direct to compare the 2 and my TA is the same as direct from Carnival. Any other ideas?
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Old January 5th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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What category?
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Old January 5th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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One option you would have that would lower your rate by about $400 is to select category IS. yes it does not let you choose your own cabin numbers but it will give you about $200 per room discount compared to booking category 4A. I usually elect to do this as I do not care where rooms are located as much as the savings.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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WOW!!! That’s an expensive cruise at $1700 per cabin inside. Honestly that is 2 times our usual rate for inside cabins on a 7 day. You are going in prime season but even then rates seem pretty high.

Suggestions:
1. Try all the online cruise booking sites (can’t mention names here because of board policy I believe). Like any vacation you have to search to find the best deals. 5 different sites will likely give you 5 different prices. Don’t feel bad about getting all the prices and calling the second lowest one and telling them you got a better price and “can they beat it??

2. Call the cruise lines and figure if you are able to get any corporate or military or special discounts. Many people don’t realize they qualify for these. Also bargain with them and ask if they can do better. Ask for discounts on the kids, even though they are older it’s sometimes possible to swing something.

3. Since you are flying you aren’t tied to Port Canaveral right? Try searching at another port (all over the country). Many ships go to the exact same destinations as the “Glory? even on the same days. Florida alone has 4 other ports with cruise ships (Tampa, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, and Jacksonville). For example I found a 7 day leaving from Florida on the Carnival Liberty in July for under $500 per person.

4. Depending on where you live consider driving (not applicable to all). Cruises are leaving from all over these days and one may be convenient for you. New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston all have ships and you can also choose many on the east and west coasts. Depending on where you are coming from you may even schedule a stop of mutual interest to the family. Road trips are also a lot of fun in my opinion and some of my best childhood memories surround them.

5. This makes a few people and some TA’s on here upset but I hate using TA’s to book any vacation. I know people who love their travel agent but I have NEVER had one be cheaper than what I can find online.

Good Luck
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Old January 5th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Well you sure are getting tons of responses and I agree with alot of them. June and July can be pretty pricey. When do your teens go back to school? Check late August if able to. We recently booked our first FAMILY cruise because we found such a good price. Our kids don't go back to school until Sept. so we were able to book the 6 day Carnival Liberty on Aug. 26th. The itinerary is similar I believe to the Glory you were looking at. I checked and the inside cabins are $429 plus fees so near $500 per person and that's for assigned cabins. If you don't care where your cabins may be located it's $100 less per person. Like I mentioned, I don't know when school starts where you are but check out August. I never seem to find any lower rates no matter what websites I check than what Carnival's site offers. They set the rates so no one else should be less unless maybe you find a package deal with airfare or something. Good luck.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhornick
From the numbers I've aleady posted.... Carnival Glory Jul 21 7 day Eastren Caribbean. I've been told that I'm going the most expensive time of the year (when kids are on summer break) and yes we have to book then just because of that fact. As far as needing two cabins, YES! I will not be in the same cabin with a wife and two teenage daughters if you know what I mean. My price quotes are through a local TA but I've called Carnival direct to compare the 2 and my TA is the same as direct from Carnival. Any other ideas?
Sorry. Two inside cabins.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 08:47 PM
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We are just a couple days away from booking a 6 night Eastern Caribbean on the Carnival Liberty sailing 7/1/07. The prices we received from our Carnival PVP was $1917 for 2 in a balcony room (believe it is an 8A) and $1557 for an inside across the hall for a total of $3474.

As for airfare we are flying from NY to Ft. Lauderdale the day ahead. We have to date found $205 pps (including all taxes). Which if you check with Carnival directly, is a better rate than what they can offer. Besides, we like to get in a day ahead just in case.

My husband has found a 3+ star hotel that is $75 a night (AAA price) that offers not only transportation from the airport, but also to the airport and free breakfast (which is good for us traveling with teens).

Now, when it comes to the $3474 for the cruise part, figure 6 nights in a hotel, 4 people x 3 meals a day x 6 days = 72 meals (not including the room service or pizza that are available 24 hours for snacks, etc). Given the way the family eats dinner, that alone each night would be $200.

Then add on the entertainment (Vegas style shows, comedians, art auction and piano bar, etc.). If you were to purchase these tickets individually they would cost you quite a bit.

We too were very unsure when we booked our first cruise. Once we sailed and had such a wonderful time, those unsure thoughts were thrown right out the window.

This summers trip with be our 4th. This year we tried to book a week long vacation in one spot and it was the kids that asked if we couldn't go on another cruise. Our teens are willing to give things up and tighten the belt so we can go again. That alone is saying just how much they enjoy the cruises.

They love the various ports of calls (which they learn about before we go), the food and fun of the ship, and meeting kids from all over the world.

Sorry for rambling on, but know where you are and hope that it all works out so that you and your family can enjoy a wonderful week.

Look forward to reading further as to what you decide. Keep hanging out here, tons of wonderful advise for experienced cruisers. This is where we gained all our knowledge.

Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Let me put my two cents in and it really doesn't have anything to do with cost. We can take a 10 day camping trip for very little money, but I have to get up every morning and make the bed, I cook breakfast, I fix lunch and I cook supper. Nobody turns my bed down at night and nobody makes me a towel animal or puts a mint on my pillow. Nobody comes and cleans for me twice a day. If you want ice cream at midnight go get it. If you want room service at 2AM, call them. You have food 24 hours a day. On a cruise you are pampered 24 hours a day. This may not mean much to a man, but us women love it. We DON'T cook, we DON'T clean, we DON'T do anything we don't want to. You can relax or do something all the time. Everything is in one place. It took me a long time to decide to take that first cruise and we did this past November. Now I am already trying to figure out our next one because it is the one vacation that I get to totally relax and enjoy and not worry about the bed making, the cooking, the cleaning. And what women wouldn't enjoy that
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Old January 6th, 2007, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floridanamaw
Let me put my two cents in and it really doesn't have anything to do with cost. We can take a 10 day camping trip for very little money, but I have to get up every morning and make the bed, I cook breakfast, I fix lunch and I cook supper. Nobody turns my bed down at night and nobody makes me a towel animal or puts a mint on my pillow. Nobody comes and cleans for me twice a day. If you want ice cream at midnight go get it. If you want room service at 2AM, call them. You have food 24 hours a day. On a cruise you are pampered 24 hours a day. This may not mean much to a man, but us women love it. We DON'T cook, we DON'T clean, we DON'T do anything we don't want to. You can relax or do something all the time. Everything is in one place. It took me a long time to decide to take that first cruise and we did this past November. Now I am already trying to figure out our next one because it is the one vacation that I get to totally relax and enjoy and not worry about the bed making, the cooking, the cleaning. And what women wouldn't enjoy that
I agree!!! This will only be my second cruise, but we're taking our six children, so figure in the "keeping the kids entertained" factor, and I know cruising will be a real winner. Invariably, wherever we go, someone wants to do something else or wants to eat somewhere else or...(fill in the blank), but now everyone will have his/her OWN program and they should be happy happy happy !

And then there's the wonderful benefit of having someone else do the "driving"; especially while you're sleeping! There you are in a new place the next day and didn't even have to pack up your suitcases!

This time we went the cheap way. $2077 for eight of us for the cruise. We have a "boys" cabin and a "girls" cabin. We chose to go guaranteed inside to keep the costs down and figure we won't be in the cabins too much anyway! We are 5 hours away from the port and will be driving, but decided to go a day early so we won't have to fight traffic and road construction the day we are to sail. I found a great rate online for two hotel rooms at a Baymont Inn, total cost $126.39, which will include a continental breakfast. (I've got 3 teens, so that's REALLY a perk!)

So, adding in the tips and gas, (and since my dh speaks fluent Spanish, we're going to try our own shore excursions!) I figure it will cost us about $3500 for this vacation!

Can't wait!
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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The ladies are SOOOOOOOO right! We went on our first cruise in 1998 and we can't cruise often as some, but we just went on our seventh and are in the process of booking our eighth to New England/Canada for this fall. The value of a cruise cannot be measured in just dollars and cents. There is so much included in a cruise. Not just the pampering, the service, unlimited food, great entertainment, etc., but the logistics are important, too. Drive or fly to the terminal, park, board the ship, unpack and you are done for the entire trip. No more stop at a hotel, unload the suitcases, pack up, go to the next one, drive, drive, drive, hunt for a place to eat, a place to "use the facilities", etc. We have had our share of vacations at land resorts which are one-stop vacations, but they do not compare to a cruise. Plus, you can't stay at a land resort for a week and see 4-5 different islands in the Caribbean. Anyway, cruise lovers know what I mean and the value cannot be determined until one has tried a cruise for themselves.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Cruising is definately cheaper for me, my husband & 14 yr. old daughter. Up until 2005 we went to Myrtle Beach, SC every summer for vacation. We drove about 7 hours to get there and spent on average of at least $1,500 for a 5 night, 6 day vacation (that was just hotel & meals). In 2005 we drove to Port Canaveral, FL (11 hours from our house) and went on our 1st cruise to the Caribbean, it was 5 nights also. It cost us $1,400 total, gas & everything; the key was booking 6 months in advance and of course not flying also helped a lot on the cost. Yes it was only about $100 cheaper than Myrtle Beach but we went to wonderful, exotic islands, ate gourmet meals, was pampered & treated like vips on the ship, etc........I could go on & on. Then in 2006 we drove 9 hours to Mobile, AL & took a 5 night cruise on Carnival to the Mexican Riviera. It was A LOT cheaper because we booked in advance plus when you pay full price for the 1st two people you get a discount for each additional when you book with Carnival. We only paid an average of $300 per person on that cruise!! I do extensive research online to get the best deals and we even got a free snorkeling shore excursion this last time by booking through Cruise.com. They were absolutely wonderful to work with by the way.
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