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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 24th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Default Planning our First Cruise - need help picking

Hi all,

I love how there is a message board for anything in the world these days.

I just finished cancer treatment and my hubby and I need a vacation! We're thinking a cruise.

We live in Alaska so we want to go somewhere warm, ASAP (Like Jan or Feb).

Most convenient would be to fly to LA and cruise to Mexico. There are SEVERAL choices for cruise lines. I have no idea where to start.

Somebody point me in the right direction?

Thanks.

Piglet
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February 2009 - Mexico on Carnival Spirit, with kids!
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Old November 24th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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I should mention that we have it somewhat narrowed down, by packages through Alaska Airlines.

They offer seven 7-night cruise packages to the Mexican Riviera on:

Carnival Pride
Dawn Princess
Vision of the Seas (Royal Carribbean)
Golden Princess
Oosterdam (Holland America) - listed as a "customer favorite)
Norweigian Star
and
Carnival Spirit

We are a thirty-something married couple traveling without the kids. We are not big drinkers or partiers..... we want to relax and still have a good time. I do NOT need "formal dining."

Thanks in advance for your responses.

P.
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February 2009 - Mexico on Carnival Spirit, with kids!
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Old November 24th, 2007, 04:52 PM
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OK I just posted questions on the Carnival, Princess, Norwegian and Holland America boards..........

Any input is much appreciated!
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Old November 25th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Piglet --

Congratulations on your recovery. Best of health to you.

Carnival has a party hearty reputation.

HAL tends to have older folks.

I love NCL b/c I like freestyle dining (not being told when to eat dinner, not having to sit with strangers & optional formal night -- the dress code for everything is resort casual, which still means no jeans).

RCI bills itself as a line for active people -- they have rock walls to climb & ice skating rinks etc.

Personally, I shop by price. Just make sure you are comparing the same cabins -- look at size, amenities etc. Next look at the ports -- where is each ship going? Is one going someplace you have always wanted to go? When are the cruises leaving -- Saturday or Sunday? If you leave on Saturday, can you get there in time? but you'll have a day to settle in when you get home. If you leave on Sunday you can more easily go a day early but you come home & go right back to work without even enough time to unpack.
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Old November 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Thanks Trish!

This was just the kind of comparative feedback I was looking for!

All the cruises we are looking at go to the same ports in Mexico.... and the timing isn't too important......

I'm leaning toward RC, Norwegian or Holland......... but I've read the food isn't great on RC.......

Sounds like really we can't go "wrong" with any of our options...... so shopping by price is probably good advice!

Thanks again.

P.
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February 2009 - Mexico on Carnival Spirit, with kids!
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Old November 26th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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You are going to hear & read bad things about every cruise / line / destination / ship. Take it all with a grain of salt. People have different tastes.

I thought the food on RCI was OK. They do have traditional dining which means everybody on board eats at 1 of 2 times. It's kind of like catering a giant wedding every night. think about the logistics -- too much food to prep. It's all just not going to be amazing but it will be very good.

Happy planning.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Food
Good to Better

NCL, RC, Princess and HAL

Atmosphere
Casual to Formal

NCL, RC, Princess and HAL

Age
Younger to older

NCL, RC, Princess and HAL

Are you leaning more casual or more formal?

If in the middle, might go for Princess or RC?

Have fun
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Old November 28th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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For the most part I agree with Divermaster but my (albeit limited) experience is that the age ranges between RCl & NCL are imperceptible but I'd put RCL just a wee bit younger given all of the activities.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 06:33 PM
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Thanks for your replies. We are more casual and like to be active. I'm thinking RC ..... although it sounds like I can't go "wrong" with the choices I have.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 08:01 PM
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Yes, Trish, I guess I would agree, especially on the RCL ships fully loaded with those innovations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trish1c
For the most part I agree with Divermaster but my (albeit limited) experience is that the age ranges between RCl & NCL are imperceptible but I'd put RCL just a wee bit younger given all of the activities.
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