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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 7th, 2003, 09:02 AM
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Default new to cruising.....

wow, I am so glad I came across this forum. We have never been on a cruise before, but have decided that will be our vacation for next summer(after just returning from Disney, we think next year we would like to RELAX...) Anyway there will be atleast 4 familys going. In our group it will be myself, husband and son(will be 7 1/2) and daughter(she'll be 3 1/2). Here is my problem, I have no idea "what" do begin looking for. What if there are no family suites? There is no way we could split up into 2 rooms...


We want to leave from either Phili. or Baltimore. We are not dead set on where to go, just know we want 7 days....

So, where should I start???

Thank you,

Melissa
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 7th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: new to cruising.....

While this message board it a great resourse, it isn't the only cruise message board out there. There is also www.cruise-addict.com and www.cruisecritic.com

Cruise message boards are a great communitiy and source for information, but the best results come from specific questions, but as a true beginner, you might not know what questions to ask. In my opinion, I think a better way to start is with a cruise guide book, such as "the Unofficial Guide to Cruising", or one of the Frommer's guides to cruising. Also, a Travel Agent would be a good resourse for you to help you answer questions and more importantly, give you the cruise line brochures for those that depart from your port of choice. While you are at the TA, you might want to discuss setting up a group cruise, since you have at least 4 familys going. Just by setting up the group, you should get additional benifits, such as shipboard credits. Once you have 8 cabins booked, usually the person orginizing the cruise (you in this case) will get a "free" cruise, meaning one passenger will only have to pay taxes and port fees. You can share this discount with the whole group, or just us it youself.

The first step is to determin which cruise lines depart from the port you want to leave from. Since you want to leave from Phili or Boston, you will have a very limitied choice, as many more ships depart from a port in Flordia. Once you know which ships are available, you will have a much better idea of what to choose.

You do not have to get a "family suite". Most ships have cabins that will accomdate a third and fourth passenger. They come in almost all cabin catagories, from inside to balcony suites. A lot of this does depent on the cruise line and the individual ship. Holland Americe doesn't seen to have many quad cabins, if any, while Royal Caribbean usually has quite a bit.
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Old June 8th, 2003, 02:38 PM
Jodi
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Default Re: Re: new to cruising.....

We have sailed with our kids on Royal Caribbean and we get two cabins either side by side or across the hall from one another. This is because there is 5 of us and it is less expensive than a family suite. The quad cabins have bunks that pull down from the ceilings and have small guard rails, and after our roll throw Hurricane Isadore the rails hold the kids in bed just fine. You can have the bottom twin beds pushed together to make a queen size bed (feels like a king). You can, if you are quick to book and want an ocean view room, get connecting rooms. No more expensive than rooms next to each other not connecting. Request a mid ship room you feel less movement in that region of the ship. You won't regret your choice to cruise, it is great fun!
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Old June 9th, 2003, 08:48 AM
Lisa K
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Default Re: Re: Re: new to cruising.....

Since you are new to cruising i would strongly suggest going to a travel agent. Tell them exactly what you are looking for, your needs, wants, likes and dislikes and they will find a cruise for you.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 08:59 AM
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Location: New England
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Default Re: new to cruising.....

Also, consider leaving from NYC. There are many more ship's sailing from this port in the Summer: Carnival Legend is doing a Caribbean tour this year. Their Quad cabins are great. Do consider a balcony if you get a Quad, at least you will have some extra space. There is a full size sofa plus a drop down bunk in outside and regular balconies. Carnival is fairly priced as well. I totally agree the way to start is with a local Travel Agent. Try to find (personal recommendation) someone who is recommended from your acquaintences or a large agency that does cruises or large amount of travel business; like American Express, Galaxsea, AAA (although they are always more expensive for some reason). I usually do a spread sheet and compare facts; size, itinerary, dates, features of each ship, costs of various cabins and 3rd & 4th. passenger price plus taxes.
Recently I did a cost comparison for our family. The 3rd & 4th person rate was so low, (Celebrity Millennium) it enabled our daughter & her husband to buy a Huge Family 2 room cabin with verandah for about the same price as a regular Quad on another cruise line.
Don't hesitate to ask question of the many wonderful cruise forums like cruisemates.
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