Although you posted under the HAL forum, I would suggest not taking your daughter on HAL for your first cruise, even though their private island Half Moon Cay, is gorgeous. Depending on the timr frame, kids of any age could be scarce and I think there are better options.
I would suggest taking an RCI ship, one that goes to one of their private islands, Labadee, or, Coco Cay. Ladadee has all the bells and whistles to keep an 18 yr old in teen bliss, and, you lounging on a chaise taking it all in, reading a good book, and watching her enjoy herself.
The 2 newest ships, Allure or Oasis, have so much both of you can do together, or, on your own,,as does the Freedom class..,smaller, but, still filled with parades on the promenade, cafes and people watching, and, tons of entertainmant options.
The best advice I can give you is: to talk to a cruise specialist travel agency. Explain what you want out of this cruise,and let them match you to the best ship for both of you.
Anything you need, we are here to help.
Also, make sure you take out travel insurance, for peace of mind...
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Thank you so much. I've thought about checking with a travel agent since this would be new to me. I figure they would have a lot more experience with what I need to know and do.
This would be my suggestion.... go into a local Travel Agency office, speak to a "seasoned" travel agent (one who is CLIA certfied and has at minimum a MCC credential), collect some brochures and begin a nice chat with them. If they are worth anything in their profession, they should NOT be high pressuring you to book right then and there, but more so explaining all the in's and out's of cruising as well as answering all questions you may have, then finally, trying to fit your likes and dislikes with the cruiseline/ship/itinerary that best fits what you are looking for in a cruise vacation.
I personally WOULD NOT SUGGEST just looking on the internet and making a cruise booking on your own for the first cruise..... let a seasoned TA take you thru the steps in selecting the perfect cruise for you and your daughter.
What a great gift for her graduation and a chance for the two of you to bond and celebrate her success !
Let the memories start with a TA first though !
Good Luck and Welcome to Cruisemates...... we are all hear to help you just for the askin'
__________________ Your Travel "angel" ~~~ Curtis
"January" Blizzard Flavored Treat & Cake Of The Month "Strawberry CheeseQuake"
Last edited by fun2cruiz; August 5th, 2011 at 10:55 PM.
Thanks for the welcome! I've been reading the posts and and getting some sort of ideas. Neither of us are big on hanging out at the pools or swimming, but she would like to go to the beach at least once. She's never even seen the ocean before. I'm looking forward to the food and entertainment myself! And the casino! And since she'll be 18, she wants to go to the casino too. Penny slots, here we come!!
I would strongly sggest a travel agent! And as Trip mentioned, I think that a RCL ship would be great for an eighteen year hold.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
My first cruise (SS Universe Explorer), I was about 14yo on an educational cruise in Alaska, most passenger were retired school teachers and educators. I had a blast with everybody, including my grandparents that took me. The conversation was amazing, as was the food and the numerous lectures.
The second cruise I went on I was 19 and in college, I'm not the stereotypical crazy college student (I took my grandmother with me). Carnival's Miracle was a lot of fun, tons of excursion options and the demographics of the passengers seemed very broad. I had a BLAST on both cruises. my grandmother shocked me with all the excursion she was willing to try with me.
In my opinion, every cruise is what you make it. Go with an open mind, enough money to do what you want and HAVE FUN!
Travel and adventure keep me going!
Living in Germany
- SS Universe Explorer August 2000(?)
- Carnival Miracle March 2005
I would like to leave out of a port on the east coast that's close enough for me to drive to so that I wouldn't have to pay a small fortune on airfare. We live in Georgia so I'm looking to leave out anywhere in Florida or as far north as Baltimore. Flying into New York or Boston would run me in the neighborhood of $700 to $1000 right now. I'd rather drive it and just stop overnight at a hotel along the way if I have to.
I guess one of my main concerns is safety in the ports that we would stop in. Especially since it would just be me and my daughter. We won't have a large budget so we wouldn't be doing a lot of shopping or sightseeing. But I would love to go for at least 7 days so that we have time to explore the ship and try out the restaurants and entertainment. The pools really don't matter to us since neither one of us are big into sunbathing. I like the shade!
I was reading on one of NCL's that at their private island they have parasailing. That's something that my daughter and I would both like to do. I didn't know if any of the other cruiselines offer that at their islands. My daughter is wanting to go to the Carribean or Bahamas. I would love to go to Alaska but I'll do that one a few years down the line.
My daughter is shy so she's not going to be looking for other teens to hang out with. She'd be content just hanging with me. June is when we want to go because she graduates May 25th and my birthday is June 9th. Hoping to be on a cruise on my birthday.
You can parasail at just about all the private beach days, I know Royal Caribbean offers it at both Labadee and Coco cay....You can usually find that at quite a few ports, either on your own or through the cruiselines...
Are there any islands that are a "must see" for you?
My daughters been seeing the commercials for the Atlantis Resort in Nassau and said she said that she'd love to go to their waterpark they have. I just hate to spend that sort of money for a few hours at it. Saw some reviews where people said that it was so crowded that they hardly got to do anything for the price they paid.
I wouldn't mind having several sea days just to explore the ship. Would love to take the NCL one out of New York but the air fare would tack on way too much to the cost.
But really there aren't any places that are a must for me. Never traveled anywhere so I don't know. I was reading some reviews for Jamaica and they didn't sound too good. So if it stopped there then we would probably just stay on the ship that day.
May-be look at doing an Eastern itinary with stops in St. Thomas and St. Maarten....The next cruise I am doing also stops in Nassau either on the way or the way back. You can also do a tour of Atlantis and see the dig/aquarium, it isn't as expensive as doing the day with use of the water parks...Just something to consider..
you have gotten some really, really good advise from my fellow cruisemates ( as usual). I totally agree about going to talk to a local travel agent, ask for their cruise specialist. Just sit down and talk, tell them what you have told us. I think that an Eastern route would be good for you and your daughter, would Ft. Lauderdale, FL work for you as a cruise port? I also think that Royal Caribbean cruise lines would be a good fit for you and your daughter, for me personally i would look into the Freedom class of ships, i think that the larger Oasis and Allure might be a bit overwhelming for you, Another really good option would be the Grand Class ships of Princess, these are big ships but not huge ships. Dont rule out a cruise just because it stops in Jamaica, Jamaica is a gorgeous island that unfortunately has a bad reputation, there are so many reputable safe tour options to consider in Jamaica.
Thanks everyone! Leaving out of Florida is what I'm hoping to do. I will have to check out the Freedom class on Royal Carribean. My daughter and I watched a special on the Oasis or Allure and we both thought it would be neat to go on, but they do look overwhelming and I figure they would be packed since they hold so many people. Especially since we won't be able to go until June and school will be out.
On the ships, is there enough entertainment to where you could go to something different every night?
Hi Perky, Yes, there is different entertainment each night, plus with any Freedom or Oasis class ships, they also have an amazing ice show. Now, the Oasis and Allure also have a water show, so there is always something to see either before or after dinner, depending if you eat early or late.
Now, even though these ships do hold lots of cruisers, rarely will it seem overly crowded, don't let the size fool you there.
Just saying, take your time picking the right cruise and ship for your group, it can make or break a cruise expierence, especially if it will be a first for some. A good travel agent will come in very handy, start reading ship reviews too.
I think I'm leaning towards a 7 day on NCL out of New York going to the Bahamas on June 9th, which is my birthday. I been reading reviews from people and it seems like the entertainment is good on NCL and my daughter and I like the idea of the freestyle cruising. Thinking about splurging on a suite since it's a special occaision cruise for the two of us.
We'd have to fly in and out of New York but at least I've got enough airline points to cover a hotel room for a couple of nights before and after the cruise. But I'm going to keep on looking too to see if anything else catches my eye.
I have sailed on both the Oasis and the Allure. Let me tell you that you don't feel crowded on those ships because they have many actvities and people are not concentrated in one particular are.
I have sailed twice on the Liberty of the Seas and that class of ships does have a lot of stuff to do and mkes for a great cruise.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
I don't really drink so I won't be spending money on booze. My daughter and I both prefer water or iced tea to sodas, so we may buy one soda the entire trip. Don't plan on doing the spa, and if we book the suite we want then I'm under the impression that we have access to one of the extra fee restaurants to use for breakfast and lunch for free. So we might pay extra for one of the restaurants once or twice for dinner. Won't be using my phone or internet. And will probably just stay on the ship while it's in port at Orlando. Not going to splurge on a bunch of shore excursions.
Looks like the Carnival cruise that's a 7 day out of Baltimore is cheaper than the NCL I'm looking at, but you don't get the perks that I'd be getting with the NCL cruise.