Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
What cruiseline are you going on? Some of the newer Royal Caribbean ships have family suites that are wonderful when cruising with kids, etc. They do book up quickly, so I'd enquire about them ASAP if you are on that line.
Kids are 11, 10 & 7. We want to go somewhere between 12/20 and 12/27. I would like a 5 day cruise to the Western Carribbean. We have looked at the Holiday out of Mobile, the Inspiration out of Tampa and the Fantasy out of NO. This is our first cruise. We would like to keep it under $3000 if possible. When looking at cabin availability what are the pros and cons of an ocean view? What about the pros and cons of the different decks? Is it better to have an inside room on a higher deck or an ocean view on a lower deck? When they say that 5 people can fit in a cabin ... what does that mean? The pictures on the internet show two single beds. Even the ones with the uppers only have two uppers, where does the fifth person sleep? Thanks in advance for any help!
You may want to consider 2 cabins as the ships you have mentioned are much older and the cabins are really small and cramped. Most lines will allow your children to be booked in an adjoining or adjacent ( across the hall) cabin. If you really want an ocean view then book the kids in an inside cabin across the hall. The lower decks will usually have portholes so it is not much of a view anyway.
If you can swing two cabins, definitely do it esp. since you have teens -- the girls especially spend a lot of time in the bathrooms and with two cabins, you'll have two bathrooms. Even a mini suite will be a bit cramped for five unless you get a family suite which will be better equipped for a fivesome.