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Old September 22nd, 2011, 10:32 PM
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Default Never been on a Cruise

Hello to all, we have been reading the posts for a couple of weeks now since finding this site. We have never been on a cruise before and have been looking to try our first next September in celebration of our 20th anniversity. Our biggest question is will Carnival be a good line as we have seemed to narrow it down to the Freedom on a 6 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale. We are looking at balcony cabins, and want to know if the aft are good or stick with the less expensive ones that are not aft. We also have no clue if there might be a balcony that would show nothing other than a lifeboat right in you way. Any tips you all can provide would be great, as well as the best sightseeing to do (we would love to do a rum place, and snorkel the reefs). We also are unsure right now if we should use a travel agent, or since I am retired military use the MWR from the Army (they seem to be 0 to 100 dollars less than the other sites. Also, would like to have the special night (we will be at sea the day of out actual anniversary, but is there anything special you can buy or what not for them to do for the celebration? Been reading enough to think maybe the steakhouse that night? Thanks
Roger and Michelle
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 10:57 PM
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Hi, and welcome to Cruisemates. An aft cabin is a wonderful option. You see the wake and have a great view of where you have been...Some complaints have been vibrations, but, I have never had any issues. If the price is in question, just book a regular balcony, and most of them have NO obstructions. You will be happy there too.

What is your itinerary? We can then suggest excursions and such. I would say, call a cruise specialist TA,and tell them of your millitary status,and they can advise you of your best options. Make sure you inquire about getting travel insurance, especially since September is the height of hurricane season.

If you peruse the Carnival site, you will find celabratory options available for your anniversary. We ate at the Steakhouse on the Magic in May,and it was delish.

Ask any and all questions,and many will answer...That's what we like to do here, help newbies btw, I moved your post here, to get more info.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:53 AM
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Thank you...as for the Itinerary for the trip we are interested in with the freedom it stops in Key West, Georgetown GCM, Ocho Rios....
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Happy Anniversary (you must have clicked through 19 recently).

I would try to work through a travel agent if you can find one familiar with the cruise industry. They should be able to get your military discount for you. You don't need to book directly with Carnival.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
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hello and WELCOME!
I would definately seek out a local travel Insist on speaking with their cruise specialist, if in doubt about a cruise specialist, just ask well how many cruises have you been on??
Grand Cayman is a great place to snorkel with the sting rays, its not deep water reef snorkeling, but interacting with the rays is amazing. Jamaica has some good reef snorkeling, but the coral is very jagged and sharp,and the current is a bit strong, i got pretty cut up on our last snorkel adventure in Jamaica.
If you would like, you can PM me and i can give you the name of a really good cruise travel agency, they are local to my area but they have clients all over the country, thats how good they are.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Be sure to go to Sting Ray city while in Grand Cayman and snorkel with the rays. It is one of the highlights when cruising the Western Caribbean...
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:48 PM
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Thank you all for the info so far...yes, our date is 9/18 the same as the Air Force's Birthday (I did not plan that...) guess one more question would be is Carnival good? or shoudl we look at another line?
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:48 PM
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My last cruise was on a Med cruise on the Carnival Magic, and I loved the ship....this was after many cruises with them, including my very 1st cruise. The food gets better reviews, than RCI, the entertainment is wonderful, and, the fun factor is up a notch from them as well. I have yet to have a bad time. Whatever ship/line you choose, I hope you will enjoy cruising, as much as we all do.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for all the help you all have provided here and on all the boards!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:36 PM
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I'd book fairly early to assure that you can get the military rate. Sometimes that rate is dropped early if the ship is selling well. September is not busy though.

Carnival is a good 'first time' cruise experience.
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