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Old December 17th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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I'd like to book the Mexican Riviera cruise for June 2010 but have seen mixed reviews about Carnival vs. Royal Caribbean...any thoughts?

Is it better to book through an online agent? And if so, which one?

We are a group of 8 adults with an infant and would like the best deal but also do not want to get stuck on a bad ship!!!

Any help on this would be appreciated
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Old December 17th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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Check our group cruise forum to get the name of the travel agent that books them. She will be able to match your needs to the most compatible ship. It's always best to book with a travel agency, rather than the cruise line...this way you have an advocate if you need one. Our very own Mike, loves this itinerary, & is sailing it in January,on an RCI ship,and has recently done the same on Carnival..I am sure he will pop in here soon, to give you the real skinny on the ships he has sailed this itinerary.

Not sure if this would be a deciding factor, but, RCI has infant care now.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 07:18 PM
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There really aren't any 'bad' ships anymore. Just look for the cruise that interests you the most. Good Luck.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 11:53 PM
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I appreciate the one on one...human to human interaction of a traditional travel agency myself.
And *no* ....I'm not one myself.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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If you have a more specific question, please ask. Most of us know the differences well, but there is much to articulate and easier if we know your specific concerns.

I believe Carnival now goes down to 6 months old for babysitting as well in most cases.

Personally I find not a HUGE difference in ships:

RCI: more sports facilities, more active ship for young adults, plenty for kids to do but less "fun" service personnel. But lots of sports; rock climbing, mini golf, basketball, ping pong, etc.

Carnival: less sports activities but more crew "fun" interaction, singing waiters, goofy games, funnier stage shows, etc. Food & service generally better, bigger staterooms.

Both ships have extensive kids programs. Carnival has water slides, RCL has a great video game room.

Keep in mind prices may go UP in June-August because many ships go north to Alaska, also this is a peak family cruise market so summer prices just go up. Suggest you book early if possible and ask cruise agent about price guarantee. For Carnival the early savers program requires at least 5 months pre-booking time.

If you can get a substantial bargain on one ship over the other, that is the way I would go.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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We just did the Mexican Riviera on Carnival Splendor and really enjoyed our selves. Ask any questions you have - questions are also a good way to check out Travel Agents, if they can't give you answers to your questions, you might need a different TA.

[Paul - nice new pic]
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