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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 27th, 2006, 11:11 PM
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Default reccs for family cruise August 2007

We have a large group (13 adults, 4 children) planning a cruise next summer. We are considering a western mediterranean destination though I wonder if it may be too hot at that time of year. We are fixed on the dates in early August due to work schedules and schools. We have previously all cruised together on Holland America to Alaska which was enjoyable but the younger adults on the cruise did not enjoy the lack of activities after midnight. We want to be sure that the cruise line we choose has activities for the children (ages 2-7), younger adults (30-40) and the seniors (65-70). We are also limited to a 7-8 day trip.

Any reccs regarding cruise line, specific destinations/itinerary, as well as pre or post cruise suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 02:32 AM
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reemasd,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We have a large group (13 adults, 4 children) planning a cruise next summer. We are considering a western mediterranean destination though I wonder if it may be too hot at that time of year. We are fixed on the dates in early August due to work schedules and schools. We have previously all cruised together on Holland America to Alaska which was enjoyable but the younger adults on the cruise did not enjoy the lack of activities after midnight. We want to be sure that the cruise line we choose has activities for the children (ages 2-7), younger adults (30-40) and the seniors (65-70). We are also limited to a 7-8 day trip.

Any reccs regarding cruise line, specific destinations/itinerary, as well as pre or post cruise suggestions would be appreciated.
I won't recommend one cruise line or another because the best choice of cruise line depends heavily on the tastes and personal style of those involved. If you have a crowd that likes dressing up for dinner and French cuisine, for example, Celebrity would be a good choice but if you have a crowd that prefers casual attire, it would not. Such factors have very little to do with the destination.

As to your choice of destination, the Mediterranean region tends to be quite hot and humid in July and August and the main activity ashore is sightseeing -- with no shorts and no bare shoulders because the major attractions include many churches that have very strict dress codes.. If you must go at that time of year, it probably would be better to go to western or northern Europe, including the Baltic region, and defer the Mediterranean for a year when you can go in late September, October, or November.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 08:26 AM
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A cruise would be a great family vacation. But I think I would have to disagree with Norm about August being a bad time for a western Europe cruise. I did a Med cruise in August several years ago and the weather was not so bad. Sure it was hot, but I didn't find it any more uncomfortable than other warm weather destinations in August. And the cruise passengers wore shorts and light clothing at each port. And there are lots of activities other than visiting churches. Some Med towns are easy to explore on your own and so you can do whatever you want with just the help of a guide book. Even in the towns where a tour is better, you can choose from so many different things that I am sure your family will find something they would like other than just visiting churches.
Lots of people think that if you visit churches in Europe you have to dress in long pants and long sleeve shirts. But not really so. You can get into most every church now with longer shorts and a short sleeve shirt. If you are wearing a tank top or other kind of top you can just bring along a more modest shirt in your purse or backpack, and then just put it on over your tank top while you are in the church. This is a good way to do it in hot weather.
A cruise through the Greek isles might be a fun trip for your family. Or if you want cooler weather how about the Baltic cruise? I have done both of these and they were each wonderful.
As for selecting a cruise line, I can recommend Royal Caribbean and Celebrity as good for a family. They have activities for each age group and there is no lack of things to do on the ship all day and into the night.
You should talk to a good travel agent who knows cruises. You can get a good discount for a group with so many people. (Example, my neighbor recently used my travel agent to book a family cruise and he was able to get one person free plus about $500 shipboard credit for booking a group.) If you don't have a good agent, email me and I'll tell you how to contact this person. (sueswny@yahoo.com)
Good luck in planning your vacation, and I hope you have a wonderful time. Sue
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:10 PM
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sueswny,

Welcome to CruiseMates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
But I think I would have to disagree with Norm about August being a bad time for a western Europe cruise.
It appears that you misread my post. I recommended western Europe over the Mediterranean at that time of year. Late May, June, July, August, and early September are the ideal months in which to take a cruise that calls in England, Ireland, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and/or any of the cuuntries on the Baltic Sea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I did a Med cruise in August several years ago and the weather was not so bad. Sure it was hot, but I didn't find it any more uncomfortable than other warm weather destinations in August.
Well, I don't exactly recommend cruises to the Caribbean or a visit to Disney World at that time of year, either, because the humidity tends to be oppressive as far north as North Carolina and Virginia. When I was in Ephesus in September 1999, we had a very comforatable day (mid-80's) to tour the ruinsour tour guide said that the previous cruise on our ship had encounted temperatures in excess of 100 degrees with very high humidity there about two weeks earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
And there are lots of activities other than visiting churches. Some Med towns are easy to explore on your own and so you can do whatever you want with just the help of a guide book. Even in the towns where a tour is better, you can choose from so many different things that I am sure your family will find something they would like other than just visiting churches.
I also did not say that one would just be visiting churches, but most shore excurstions do visit a church or two and there's no opportunity to change clothes either before or after doing so. Thus, passengers on such shore excursion are pretty much stuck wearing sutiable attier for visiting the church for the whole day. The churches in Italy (and most other Mediterranean countries) require clothing that covers the knees, the shoulders, and everything in between. An open collar is acceptable, but "cleavage" is not. For gents, this means a short sleeve shirt and slacks, unless one wants to invest in a pair of knickers. For ladies, this means a short sleeve top and slacks, capris, or a skirt cut below the knee (but not necessarily down to so-called "midi" length). The Catholic churches also require ladies to wear some sort of head covering such as a hat or a kerchief. Practically speaking, this is more clothing than I want to wear on in "95/95" weather (that is, 95 degrees or higher temperature with 95% or higher humidity). But YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
You should talk to a good travel agent who knows cruises. You can get a good discount for a group with so many people. (Example, my neighbor recently used my travel agent to book a family cruise and he was able to get one person free plus about $500 shipboard credit for booking a group.) If you don't have a good agent, email me and I'll tell you how to contact this person. (sueswny@yahoo.com)
Good point! The group discounts usually kcik in at ten cabins. With thirteen adults and four children, the OP's group probably is pretty close to that!

Norm.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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The Med is great! We are taking a second family med trip this summer. We are booked on RCI as it offers quite a bit for both adults and kids.

Last time we went in late June and the weather across the board was fantastic. For a 7 day trip, I at least consider something out of Barcelona or Venice on RCI.

I would also recommend looking at Costa and MSC cruises. They are starting to have much more upgraded ships in response to competition from US-owned companies.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I noticed that in the responses to your question so far, there hasn't been a comment on activities after midnight for your kids. I can't give you an answer, I'm afraid, but have the same concern about my children, ages 18 and 21, if we take them on a cruise of the Western Mediterranean. Can anyone provide advice about this? I did read several posts on Cruisecritic.com of people who took a 3-night cruise of the Western Med, leaving from Barcelona, who wrote that the vast majority of travelers were Spanish and only spoke Spanish, so much so that announcements on board began to be made only in Spanish. Does anyone know if the same might be true of a 7-night cruise?
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Old June 6th, 2007, 12:31 AM
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HSawyer,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I noticed that in the responses to your question so far, there hasn't been a comment on activities after midnight for your kids. I can't give you an answer, I'm afraid, but have the same concern about my children, ages 18 and 21, if we take them on a cruise of the Western Mediterranean. Can anyone provide advice about this? I did read several posts on Cruisecritic.com of people who took a 3-night cruise of the Western Med, leaving from Barcelona, who wrote that the vast majority of travelers were Spanish and only spoke Spanish, so much so that announcements on board began to be made only in Spanish. Does anyone know if the same might be true of a 7-night cruise?
If they are over eighteen, they are adults and thus welcome in the disco and usually the casino as well as to deck parties and whatever other adult activities might be happening onboard.

Norm.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:30 PM
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Default % of non-English speaking cruisers leaving from Barcelona?

Thanks, Norm. Do you know about what percentage of the adults who do the adult activities are young adults (i.e., 18 - 24 years old)? I'm just trying to get an idea of whether my children can meet other young adults.Also want to apologize to reemasd, who posted the initial topic. I misread your question and noticed that the children are actually 2 - 7 years age, and not in my children's age range!! Sorry about that. Can anyone help me out with the other part of my question--about whether we can expect that most of the passengers on a 7-night cruise out of Barcelona on RCI will be Spanish speaking? Thanks--
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