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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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My husband and I are looking to take our first cruise in October of this year. We've pretty much narrowed it down to two cruises:

#1. Carnival Dream out of Port Canaveral to Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya for 7 nights.

OR

#2 Carnival Freedom out of Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica for 6 nights.

For reference: We're in our early 30s and we won't be taking our children.

I am having trouble deciding if we should take a shorter one since this is our first, or is 7 days okay? I'm one who likes to take week-long beach vacations, so I think 7 sounds heavenly, but my husband is concerned it's too long if we hate it.

Also, which cruise has the better beaches? I'm a huge beach lover and not big on a ton of adventure stuff, although husband does want to do some type of 4x4 excursion on one of our stops. I'd LOVE to see Key West, but Jamaica doesn't appeal to me really.

I would appreciate any and all help!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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I'd go with #1, but I have been dying to see Belize for a long time now.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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can you share with us your process that you arrived at these two choices ?(i.e. how many cruise lines did you look at...did the itineray dictate the ship or was it reversed, drive vs fly to the port of embarcation etc) it might help us give you critical input ?

IMHO bottom line, I would do the 7 day vs the 6 day because it's really not a full 7 or 6 day, (last day is really not a day. first day, is really not a full day)..a day is not going to make a big difference and if the cost is equal

both have great beach options
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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
can you share with us your process that you arrived at these two choices ?(i.e. how many cruise lines did you look at...did the itineray dictate the ship or was it reversed, drive vs fly to the port of embarcation etc) it might help us give you critical input ?

IMHO bottom line, I would do the 7 day vs the 6 day because it's really not a full 7 or 6 day, (last day is really not a day. first day, is really not a full day)..a day is not going to make a big difference and if the cost is equal

both have great beach options
Venice: It was a combination of price of the cruise, the fact that we only have a one week window and needed a cruise that leaves on a Saturday versus Sunday and then one of the ports has a cheap airfare from our local airport. The 6 day is a bit cheaper ($250 for two), but I don't think I'll like the stops as well (and the airfare is more costly and not a local airport).
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeamanda View Post
My husband and I are looking to take our first cruise in October of this year. We've pretty much narrowed it down to two cruises:

#1. Carnival Dream out of Port Canaveral to Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya for 7 nights.

OR

#2 Carnival Freedom out of Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica for 6 nights.

For reference: We're in our early 30s and we won't be taking our children.

I am having trouble deciding if we should take a shorter one since this is our first, or is 7 days OK? I'm one who likes to take week-long beach vacations, so I think 7 sounds heavenly, but my husband is concerned it's too long if we hate it.

Also, which cruise has the better beaches? I'm a huge beach lover and not big on a ton of adventure stuff, although husband does want to do some type of 4x4 excursion on one of our stops. I'd LOVE to see Key West, but Jamaica doesn't appeal to me really.

I would appreciate any and all help!
I would choose the Dream, seven day, cruise.



The reasons are:
  • One more day
  • Great snorkeling and diving in Cozumel
  • 4x4 available in both Cozumel and Jamaica
  • Dream is a newer ship
  • Belize has decent snorkeling at Caulker Cay and wonderful diving on the reef
No matter which you choose you will have a good time but you will really wish you had that extra day if you take a six day cruise.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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I would sail on the Dream - she looks fabulous and sure to make a great impression for your first cruise. I heard Rotan has had the port spruced up, and there is a ski type chair lift that drops you at the beach. I love Belize and don't care for Jamaica, so I think #1 would be the best choice.

No matter which cruise you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great time!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:43 AM
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based upon your selection criteria, I would do the Dream

have fun
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:00 AM
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I would also go with #1.

We took a smaller 3 day cruise on our first one, then jumped to a 7 day cruise on the next. I thought the 7 Day was just about right. It went pretty fast, there was plenty to do and you only get bored or don't have fun if you let that happen. We even had a bad experience on one of our 4 day cruises, but still decided to make the best of it and had a good time and would do it again.

As was previously mentioned Day #1 and #7 are half days or less at best so you really have 5 as full days.

Have fun on your first cruise and enjoy the sites!
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Old April 5th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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The Dream for sure. Like you said it has better stops. Plus it is the newest ship! Enjoy.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 11:39 AM
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You don't make the choice easy.

Freedom and Dream are arguably the best ships Carnival has.

I personally like Jamaica and think it gets a bum rap.

Grand Cayman has wonderful beaches and Stingray Sandbar - one of the best shore excursions, anywhere.

Cozumel has a number of beach clubs. I love to snorkel at Roatan. There is a (nurse) shark-ray snorkel available in Belize.

Both Grand Cayman and Belize are tender ports.

Sometimes Grand Cayman is skipped; sometimes Costa Maya is skipped.

The Dream itinerary is Sea Day, Port, Port Port, Port, Sea Day. Some people don't like 4 ports in a row - it can get very busy (but how hard is it to plop down on a beach?)

Freedom is Port, Sea Day, Port, Port, Sea Day.

Some people think Dream is too big, but then some people also think Freedom is too big.

As for what happens if you hate it? Carnival has a vacation guarantee, but make sure you understand it - you have to decide and let them know before the first foreign port of call (Key West isn't a foreign port)
Carnival Vacation Guarantee | Carnival Cruise Lines

I would be happy with either. So there you go! Clear as mud?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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I would probably do the Legend from Tampa. Similar stops as the Dream, but smaller and very managable ship, especially for 1st timers. Plus Tampa is such an easy port for embarkation. Did this cruise last Sept., and after 54 cruises it rates near the top. We LOVED it!!!!
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
I would probably do the Legend from Tampa. Similar stops as the Dream, but smaller and very managable ship, especially for 1st timers. Plus Tampa is such an easy port for embarkation. Did this cruise last Sept., and after 54 cruises it rates near the top. We LOVED it!!!!
I agree with doing the "Legend", for the same reasons. (Well over 120 cruises total for us!) but out of the two you mention, I'd no doubt do the "Dream". Either will be fantastic, and you'll no doubt have a GREAT time. Let us know what you decide!

"SKY"
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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I picked the Dream as I have the same iteniary booked

other reasons is that Key West and Grand Cayman is a very common port of call; Jamaica is beautiful but not a place you can wander on your own

Dream is a new Ship!
Roatin has been spruced up
Belize: (never been but many excursions to chose from)
Cozumel is always great and the beach is very convenient
Costa Maya - carnival has the perfect excursion for you & hubby:
Sandy beach paths, the caribbean sea, and a dune buggy - what can be more fun?On this exciting excursion you will:
Climb aboard your customized dune buggy (4 guests per buggy).
Set off caravan style through the fishing village of Mahahual.
Venture of road to arrive at a pristine beach where you will have aprroximately 11/2 hours to enjoy as you wish.
Kick back and relax in a hammock, swim or stroll along the beautiful coastline.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster View Post
I agree with doing the "Legend", for the same reasons. (Well over 120 cruises total for us!) but out of the two you mention, I'd no doubt do the "Dream". Either will be fantastic, and you'll no doubt have a GREAT time. Let us know what you decide!

"SKY"
Also, I looked into the aft corner suite on the Legend and it is almost the same price as a balcony room on the Dream.... soooooo I would do Legend for the aft; but want to try out a big ole ship first
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Old April 7th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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The Dream!! Just got back from that very same cruise. It's a beautiful ship!!
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Old April 8th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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We have taken both of those itineraries over the past 2 or 3 years. They are both great and offer a variety of experiences. Port Canaveral is not as convenient for us as Ft Lauderdale, but I would choose #1 over #2. I would also likely sail that itinerary out of Tampa as some others have mentioned, but the Dream is Carnivals newest ship and would be great to have some time on her.

One day isnít going to make that much difference if you decide you donít like ships, and that extra day is in an extra port so itís not like an extra day stuck at sea.

Grand Cayman and Key West are on a lot of itineraries so are easy to pick up. If you end up cruising very much you will likely visit them without even trying.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 10:22 PM
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I think you'll have a good time either way, but I personally would rather do number 1. You will want that extra day.
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