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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Default First Cruise - Which One Should We Take?

Hello, folks. The wifey and I are taking our first cruise. We're buying the cruise in a week. We know for sure we want a Carribbean cruise. We don't really want to spend a ton of time in Cozumel and such. We really want to go to more relaxed islands for our first cruise - places that aren't full of 4 for $10 T-shirt shops and party locations. I would *really* love a stop or two where I can snorkel in crystal clear water.

These are the cruises we are considering. Please weigh in on which one would be the best.

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This first one is the most expensive (because we have to buy plane tickets to San Juan). This ends up being, with tax, $2300 for the two of us. We like the idea of this cruise the most, but the idea of spending that much for a first cruise makes us choke a bit.


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This second one goes through mutliple countries and is only $699 each before taxes.

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This one is also $699, but stops at Costa Maya. Don't they have some neat ruins there? I love me some ancient ruins. I'm tempted to just buy this one right now, but what will the rest of the locations be like? Will there be crystal-blue water for snorkelling?




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This one seems to have even more interesting stops for just a bit more $729




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This Eastern Carribbean one looks neat, including a private island. Are private islands nice? $799 per.

There was also another one for $100 more that went to St. Maarten.




Which one do you recommend? Why? We are just so stumped. Please help us!Also, what is the difference between a "Western Carribbean" and an "Exotic Western Carribbean" cruise? I really would like to know!

Thank you so much in advance!

Erik and Tonya
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Old April 12th, 2011, 11:57 PM
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The last one.. the Carnival Liberty looks the most interesting to me.

The middle three you listed all look pretty similar. I didn't see one going to Costa Maya btw.

The private island , Half Moon Cay, is absolutely gorgeous. Horseshoe shaped bay with deep white sand.

From St. Thomas you can scoot over to St John to Trunk Bay, and actually snorkel through an underwater marked trail.

Grand Turk is very underdeveloped, with excellent beaches.


The differrence in Western Carib and Exotic Western Carib is cruise line terminology
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Old April 13th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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Exotic Western usually means they go farther down toward central America like Panama and Columbia, etc. Costa maya is on a coast, there is a nice beach within walking distance from pier that is not disturbed that is good for snorkling, watch for rough surf in some areas. Water is very clear there. Water in Cozumel is also nice. You can see sting rays on bottom at the pier where the ship docks. The beaches on east side of Island is deserted with no hotels, etc. Good for snorkling and also has surf rolling in. Eastern is better i think. St thomas and St marteen are great for beaches and snorking. Rememeber to take Milk Bone dog bisquits with you to feed fish. They dont disolve in water and you can hold it in your hand right in front of your face and watch tons of fish go to town eating it.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 06:40 AM
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Exotic Western usually means they go farther down toward central America like Panama and Columbia, etc. Costa maya is on a coast, there is a nice beach within walking distance from pier that is not disturbed that is good for snorkling, watch for rough surf in some areas. Water is very clear there. Water in Cozumel is also nice. You can see sting rays on bottom at the pier where the ship docks. The beaches on east side of Island is deserted with no hotels, etc. Good for snorkling and also has surf rolling in. Eastern is better i think. St thomas and St marteen are great for beaches and snorking. Rememeber to take Milk Bone dog bisquits with you to feed fish. They dont disolve in water and you can hold it in your hand right in front of your face and watch tons of fish go to town eating it.
Hey, that dog biscuit thing is a neat tip! You can bet I'll be done that!
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Old April 13th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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What are the actual ships that do these itinaries?? The one that goes from San Juan is a Southern, which are great, except for the high air fare to SJU....Basically, you need to decide what islands and route you'd like to do and then check out the ships that go there and the prices...
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Old April 13th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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This Eastern Carribbean will give you 3 nice ports, and are alittle different for your first cruise. St thomas the shopping capt, HMC is great beach, GT has the beach and alot of fun at Margaritaville.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 04:52 PM
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Now you are driving me nuts picking out a cruise. As much as I love an intensive cruise like #1 from San Juan, it's terribly exhausting and after a few days all the places start to look alike. I'd pick out the last one for you. I don't know anything about the ship.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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I just noticed the ship, never been on it, but my friend LOVES Liberty. I just got off Dream on Saturday, but all I heard about was Liberty. I guess it's pretty good sized too. Sounds like a good setup.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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You are not really going to avoid shopping and partying spots, but I think for what you are looking for, the last one would be your best bet. As for the Southern Caribbean one, as someone else stated, it's port intensive. You'd be exhausted by the time you got home instead of relaxed and happy.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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I did the Liberty's itinerary on the Freedom,and I really enjoyed it. Half Moon Cay, is a slice of paradise, to veg completely, or enjoy water sports. You can get a cabana or a clamshell, chow at the buffet lunch,and just enjoy the postcard beach.

Turks is another beach or pool day with Margarittavillee tossed in for good measure

That one gets my vote!
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Old April 15th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcdonel View Post
Hello, folks. The wifey and I are taking our first cruise. We're buying the cruise in a week. We know for sure we want a Carribbean cruise. We don't really want to spend a ton of time in Cozumel and such. We really want to go to more relaxed islands for our first cruise - places that aren't full of 4 for $10 T-shirt shops and party locations. I would *really* love a stop or two where I can snorkel in crystal clear water.

These are the cruises we are considering. Please weigh in on which one would be the best.

Show Cruise Information
This first one is the most expensive (because we have to buy plane tickets to San Juan). This ends up being, with tax, $2300 for the two of us. We like the idea of this cruise the most, but the idea of spending that much for a first cruise makes us choke a bit.


Show Cruise Information
This second one goes through mutliple countries and is only $699 each before taxes.

Show Cruise Information
This one is also $699, but stops at Costa Maya. Don't they have some neat ruins there? I love me some ancient ruins. I'm tempted to just buy this one right now, but what will the rest of the locations be like? Will there be crystal-blue water for snorkelling?




Show Cruise Information
This one seems to have even more interesting stops for just a bit more $729




Show Cruise Information
This Eastern Carribbean one looks neat, including a private island. Are private islands nice? $799 per.

There was also another one for $100 more that went to St. Maarten.




Which one do you recommend? Why? We are just so stumped. Please help us!Also, what is the difference between a "Western Carribbean" and an "Exotic Western Carribbean" cruise? I really would like to know!

Thank you so much in advance!

Erik and Tonya
Well???? What's the verdict??? We gave you our time and thoughts from past experiences.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Thank you for all of your input! We ended up picking the Costa Maya cruise.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I did the Liberty's itinerary on the Freedom,and I really enjoyed it. Half Moon Cay, is a slice of paradise, to veg completely, or enjoy water sports. You can get a cabana or a clamshell, chow at the buffet lunch,and just enjoy the postcard beach.

Turks is another beach or pool day with Margarittavillee tossed in for good measure

That one gets my vote!
What is a clamshell?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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I think it's the chair for 2 with a hood that comes up in the back like a baby carriage. Saw chairs like this on Dream in the adult Serenity area.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 03:19 PM
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IMHO - The Eastern ports are more beautiful. We booked the 8 night Eastern to get Tortola and Antigua. I will always pick East over West!
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Old April 25th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Sorry for my delay in answering..A clamshell is alike a double wide chaise, with a canvas cover that goes up and down, for shade or sun.....not sure what the fee is , but, it offers a bit of protection from the sun, especially if you have kids..
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