Hey all, we just got back from our first cruise and are hooked. We are looking at booking another. But I would like your opinion on the pro's and con's of each month and of the decks. We splurged and got a balcony suite, which was nice, if FULLY obstructed not partially. BUt I do not think we can afford that each time. It was hot , but cloud cover helped a lot, but we are not sun worshipers so we are trying to find the best month for our next trip. Also the deck? What are the pro's and con's? I know I can count on you veterans to help me out.
I am about to go on my 3rd cruise and for my wife this will be her 7th. I love cruising in late August or early September once all of the kids are in school.
We too are hooked on balcony rooms and will never have anything else. We sailed on the Conquest last September and had a balcony room on the Lido deck (deck 9, I believe). It was great because we walked right out to the pool, restaurant, etc.
We are going on the Miracle out of NYC at the end of this month and have another balcony room on the 7th deck.
I'll never take another Summer cruise. The kids drive me crazy!
We had a balcony in Alaska which was very nice. We have had inside and outside cabins, but prefer picking by price. We go with the inside usually. May is a good month to cruise. Lots of smooth sailing.
we just ruised july 29th in the bahamas as I originally wanted early June but was too late to get my frequent flyer award free flights so we had to do it in July. Never again. Just booked cruise to Key WEst and Cozumel for June 9th next year.
With respect to tyhe deck, howo didyou like your first experience? If you have problems, learn from it. We were on the Main deck on Sensation in the middle of the ship. It took a LOT of stair walkign to get uyp and down to the activity decks. Because the elevators are such a wait, if you don't like walking up and down stairs you should pick a floor near the floors you'llbe on themost. For my next cruise, I'll be oin the same class (Fascination), same layout, different decor So I booked an inner/inner at the rear of the ship, but on the Empress deck, so it's only 3 decks up to the Lido, not 5. I also decided I'll be patient and just wait for the elevators. I have a bad left leg (damaged nerve) and can walk stairs to some extent, but certainly not for the whole cruise. You also want to make sre you don't have (or don't mind) having a noisy club or lounge above or below you.
In addition, since we can't officially go to our cabins till 1:30, I can easily roll my one carry on down to my room when I board, drop it off, then head up to lido for food and fun!
In the carribean the temperatures do not change much throughout the year...so close to the equator. But there is a 10 degree or so change from winter to summer. Also, summer is probably more humid. Watch out for hurricane season. I don't think I will book again in September at least not anytime soon. In Alaska, I would stick to summer months. I don't think there is much sailing in the winter anyway, but you want the length of your daylight to be as close as possible to normal....not days in a row with little sunlight. I think I'll be looking for Jan-April and late October to mid-December cruises for awhile, unless we go to Alaska.
As far as rooms go, I've only been on lowest deck, midship, oceanview. Enjoyed it so much (partly due to price) that I chose a similar room for second cruise. I have done a lot of research though, and think one should pick their room based on their itinerary, length of cruise, where they spend the most time while on board, and propensity for seasick-ness (is that a word? ) oh and price usually. For my next booking, I will be on a short cruise that is in port every day...no sea days. So we might try an inside room since we will really only be in there to sleep, shower & dress. I'd love to get a balcony next but we'll be in port during the day, then dining room, then club, etc. For an Alaska itinerary, I would definitely wait until I can get a balcony because of all the time you can spend enjoying the views. The lower the deck, the closer to midship, the less you feel the movement of the ship.
And I ditto all the advice from Michelle...rather than repeating it.
Life's a Beach ... enjoy it on a Cruise!
Cejay, everyone is going to have their own personal opinions. If you think you can be comfortable not seeing daylight when you are in an inside stateroom, these rooms are less costly. I stayed in an interior room just once, hated it, too claustrophobic. At least in an OV room, you can open your curtains and let some light into your room and you don't have to look at your watch to know if it's day or night.
As far as travel months, if pricing is important to you, you can get some good deals after New Years until maybe March then they escalate because of the spring break crowd (avoid this time period if you can). The best deals we have gotten have been on cruises booked the latter part of April thru May and September thru mid-November (excluding holidays). Whenever school is in recess, that's when the prices are highest and availability is at a premium. Sailing anytime between June and November offers the greatest risk of changes in itineraries due to inclement weather. If I had to choose just one month to sail, it would be in May, lovely weather, rainy season hasn't started yet, and prices are good.
I will say this, I think that the suite was nice but it was expensive and not worth it every trip. I do like the quite on the Veranda deck, I do get easily irritated with noise so a quite deck and room is a huge factor. I did like the balcony, it was very nice to sit out there in the morning and drink coffee. I took the stairs every time since the elevator was so slow so the stairs are not a problem. I will spend the money that I need to have what I want. I also liked the ports we had and feel that going back would be okay, there was so much to do and see and another trip will be entirely different. I do like the 5 day cruises, think a 3 or 4 day would be too short. This cruise was booked thorugh Expedia and I think next time I will go with a travel agent just so I can give her my list of likes and dislikes and then go from there. Is that a good idea. I think that I am still on the "cruise high" so booking another one is a big deal. I probably need to settle down and digest what happened and what I want. I really liked Carnival and would use them again, hubby on ethe other hand wants to try another line. But isn't Carnival the least expensive? Sorry so many questions but I have more questions after than before my cruise. AHHHHH why did I get this addiction?????
I have and an oceanview room, a balcony, and soon (Feb 08) I will havea Cat 11 suite. I suggest looking at the deckplans of the ship before you decide on a cabin to aviod an obstructed view.
I have a balcony cabin on Panorama deck for Sept 15 and had a balcony on Verandah in January and I do like being up higher. I don't know if I will be able to go back to a balcony cabin after having a suite, but if I can swing it, I'll go for a suite..
2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty