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

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Old August 9th, 2004, 09:03 AM
hopegirl
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Default Which cruises are usually less?

I'm trying to figure out which cruise line wil be the best value. My family consists of myself, DH, son 14,son12 and son 8. My nieces are going and they will be 15 and 4. All together we will be a family of 15. I am hoping to cruise western caribbean. We live in Pa so I was thinking flying to Fl. Maybey we should look into going from MD to save on airfare???
Any advise is welcome!!
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Old August 9th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

I've generally found that the best prices are out of Florida (we live in NH and have to fly down too). While it's cheaper to fly to Baltimore it costs more to cruise, and I don't believe there are any cruises to the Western Carribean from Baltimore, just eastern. We've cruised both Carnival and Royal Carribean and liked Carnival better. Hope this helps.

Darcy

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Old August 9th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Re: Which cruises are usually less?

Thanks for the info. Why do you like Carnival better??? I know its personal preference but I was just wondering?
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Old August 9th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

We are cruising w/ our 4 yo and 2 yo old. I shopped around and researched FOREVER b4 I made my decision. I chose Carnival, because they are the best value (lowest priced) and have a WONDERFUL kids program for kids of all ages. Another reason we chose them is because we don't get to trave much, so I wanted a cruise w/ as many port days as possible. That way we get to see lots of new and different places. We finally booked the Miracle out of Tampa (7 day). It is their newest ship, and sails to Belize, cozumel, costa Maya and Grand Cayman. Many cruises only have 3 ports or even less. From what I have read on this board and other cruising boards, I don't think I would EVER choose another line. Carnival seems like the best bet for a FAMILY vacation. Now if I were cruising as a couple, no kids, I may consider other lines, but I think I would still choose Carnival in the long run for the price. Be sure to shop around online, ta's and carnival direct. I had no idea that the same cabin on the same ship could vary in price so much. Good luck!
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Old August 9th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

I found the food and entertainment was better on the Carnival ship. I also found that it tended to be a younger crowd. There were a lot more families and children. On the RCI cruise the majority of the people seemed to be over 50 and there were few children. We liked it so much we booked another Carnival cruise about a month after we got back.

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Old August 10th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

Well, I like Carnival too, but I have to put my 2 cents in for RCI. I have 2 sons, ages 6 and 4, and although Carnival's kid program is very good, RCI's is just a bit better. The kids are taken to explore the ship and get exercise time (games and stuff) out on deck. Carnival is mainly inside in Camp Carnival. You will see tons of famalies and kids on the Voyager class ships, you will see lots of famalies and children during school holidays, and even during school RCI always has some families. I think RCI definitely has the advantage when you're trying to satisfy the needs of a wide range of age groups (pre-K to teenage), Carnival doesn't seem to do much for the teens, RCI has cool places for them to hang out. We experienced less problems from boisterous pre-teen and teenagers on RCI than on Carnival, which led me to believe they had more interesting things to do than bug passengers who were trying to sleep at 2 am.
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Old August 23rd, 2004, 04:12 PM
Emm
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

I have often found flying to some ports cheaper than others -- which you should consider in the cost -- we usually cruise with 8 in our family, so even saving $100 pp is a big deal. I wouldnt rule out any cruise , sailings out of tampa, port canaveral, galveston and New Orleans are often cheaper than miami for some reason.

Unlike the previous posters, I never found Carnival to be that much cheaper --

Other things to consider -- if some line is offering a shipboard credit-- Or if you have 5 cabins or more you might get a group rate -- If you are able to travel non school holidays you will get the best "value" on any cruise line.
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Old October 4th, 2004, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

I've been doing a lot of price comparison between Carnival and RCI. Right now, all the Carnival sailings I checked were approximately $300 more than RCI. That's on the total for a family of 4. Again, it does vary from port to port, date and itinerary. I was looking at cruises out of Florida and close to where we live in So. California.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

a couple of things to consider - if you have to travel during school breaks you will not find any really good deals on either your cruise or your airfare.
Consider booking with a travel agent since you are a group of 15. Let her handle all the little details that might pop up. A group rate might be possible.
Sometimes price isn't everything. Consider what you and your family wants in their cruise experience, write it down and go talk to a travel agent it doesn't cost you anything.
My personal choices for you # 1 - Princess Grand Class Ships
- casual elegant but not stuffy. Service is great, food is wonderful, kids/teen programs are great, lots of activities and classes for adults. Good entertainment - think of Princess as a floating resort hotel
#2 - RCCL - Voyager Class Ships - very close to Princess - not quite as elegant, more Las Vegasy style, too big for my personal tastes but still good for families - kids/teens programs are great.
# - Carnival - i have "outgrown" my taste for Carnival - but that's just me. Carnival is fine- lots of families with very young kids,toddlers & babies. I would look into the newer, larger ships,Camp Carnival is very good.
Its cheaper to fly out of Ft. Lauderdale than Miami
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Old October 5th, 2004, 03:03 PM
MJ MJ is offline
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Default Re: Which cruises are usually less?

We live in Maryland and it was cheaper for us to fly to Florida than it was to get the ship in Baltimore. Go figure!
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