planning our first cruise
I'm new here and was hoping to get some expert advise. Im looking to go on my first cruise with my girlfriend, most likely in June of 2011. I don't know the first thing about cruises, so I'm still browing your forum for help.
We are looking to leave from a port in New York, and take a cruise lasting about 7 days or nights. I say June bcause it works best with our schedules as of now.
I was hoping someone could help me plan this out. I have a budget for about $900 each for tickets. I know alcohol and other items are seperate. We discussed possibly going to the bahamas, but we are open to anything sunny.
It seems as if most members here are knowledgeable with cruises, so I was hoping you could recommend some good lines, ships, sites to book, what deck to stay on etc. I haven't dealt with any travel agents as we are beginning our search. I thank you in advance for your help, and hope I haven't asked too many questions. Thank you!
Also, we are 23-24 years old if that makes a difference. A ship with a decent bar would be a nice feature.
NCL has a number of Bahamas cruises out of NYC on the Jewel and the Gem. Two nice ships.
NCL is Freestyle and will give you many options in dining times and venues plus an easier disembarkation and some great entertainment options.
With NCL there are a number of additional charge restaurants but plenty of included restaurants. If you add $100 to your cruise budget you will have a great time. NCL is usually a little lower in fares and even with the additional $100 it will be equal to many other lines.
The 1st piece of advice is to speak to "cruise" specialist agency. They have the expertise to guide you through the process. You have chosen to sail, when most kids are out of school, so, factor in lots of kids.
You have to add on port charges and taxes too, for your total price. Cruises from NY, with 7 days, basically only go to the Bermuda/Bahamas...you would need a longer sailing to get you deeper into the Caribbean.
Thanks for the input everyone! We have been tossing around a bunch of ideas. I think we are leaning towards a norwegian cruise in the gem or jewel to aruba. Looks to be about 2200 in total for the both of us, in a balcony. We are both graduate students here in NY so with work and school, June is the earliest we can travel.
After your initial deposit you can make payments up to 90 days before the cruise is to take place. You can also prepay your shore excursions and your gratuities too. This might make things easier for you as there is no interest charged by the cruise lines to do this.
Since you are not flying in.....you can take all the luggage you want but my advise is keep it simple as most ships do have laundry facilities aboard.
Since this is your first cruise.....I would book a port intensive cruise so you can see as many places as you can.
Last but not least, enjoy planning you vacation! Do check as some cruise lines will not let anyone book a room that does not have at least one person who is at least 25 years of age. (I believe I am right in saying this)
Cruising is the most wonderful experience in the world. There is lots of excitement and enjoyment in the elegant world of cruising. Planning your first cruise can be a challenge for those who either haven't traveled much or who haven't taken an organized tour or vacation.
***Edited to remove commercial reference***
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