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amandafmv April 9th, 2013 09:56 PM

New to Cruises
My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary next February. I have wanted to send them somewhere to celebrate for a few years now but never knew where. Lately my dad has been dropping hints on taking a cruise. He would like to go somewhere tropical.

I would love to send my parents on one because I feel like after all the sacrifices they have made for me and my siblings (6 of us) that they really deserve one.

Problem is that I know nothing at all about cruises. I would like to send them somewhere nice where they will really enjoy themselves. Maybe something romantic.

I can spend up to $2000 on a cruise for the both of them. I would like for the cruise to depart from North Carolina, Georgia, or Florida. I am in the Army stationed at Fort Stewart and I'd like to spend some time with them before they leave.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what cruise lines I should use?

I really appreciate all the help with this!:D

-Amanda April 10th, 2013 01:15 AM

Hi, Amanda;

My first recommendation is for you to work with a reputable travel agent who is a cruise specialist and can answer all you questions and help you find the best cruise for your parents.

Now, with that said, I would assume your parents are probably in their 50's based on celebrating their 30th anniversary. Personally, I think they would really love Holland America or Celebrity if they want a more sedate cruise with great food and wonderful service. If they'd like a little more activity and still good food, you might want to look at Princess.

It really does depend on their lifestyle and what they like to do. Some people prefer a more relaxing cruise, while others want alot of activities.

Again, if you work with an agent who is a cruise specialist, their assistance can be invaluable in situations just like this and the prices will be exactly the same or maybe even better than what the cruise line offers. Plus, they can assist with what to do in each port.


Donna April 10th, 2013 08:40 AM

I think you'd have more options when cruising out of Fl....I would also consider Princess and Royal Caribbean. What are some of your parents interests??

Trip April 10th, 2013 09:28 AM

Pete is right Amanda, please contact a cruise specialist,and not directly with the cruise line. Getting the right ship is step one, in really enjoying a cruise.

An important fact for us to help you is with the timing, as in the summer, many ships are in Europe, so the choices are limited. Late fall, brings them back here, with Florida,[Miami & Lauderdale,] the embarkation ports with the most ships. Have a date in mind?

Some lines are more family orientated,and others have a more relaxed adult sensability.

We'll be glad to help you all along the way!

Paul Motter April 10th, 2013 11:34 AM

The closest ports to your preferences are Charleston, SC, or Port Canaveral FL, or Baltimore. I mention driving because it a good way to save money.

This is my advice - but keep in mind I know nothing about you or your parents. A qualified travel agent can judge the real situation the best.

The only problem with Charleston is that the only ship that sails from there is older and the cruises are short, so you don't get "really" tropical. If you really want to give them something special arrange to drive them to Port Canaveral and give them a cruise to the Caribbean, east or west.

If they like snorkeling & other water sports the west is probably better, if they like shopping then the east Caribbean is probably better. But either is fine for both, really.

For the best selection of ships & itineraries Ft Lauderdale or Miami are the best bets, and from your proximity a plane ticket to Fort Lauderdale might not be too much. Why not ask your 5 siblings to help you pay for the cruise so it can be a gift from all of you?

amandafmv April 10th, 2013 01:34 PM

I would love to have them chip in but they don't really have to money to right now. I am looking at buying them a cruise for next February or March. I have read a little about Barbados and I think my Dad would love the caves there. I've also read about a volcano on St. Lucie they would like. My parents love the outdoors. Most of my childhood was spent outside with them exploring.

I will have to talk to a TA next week.

Thank you!

Paul Motter April 10th, 2013 02:05 PM

Those are beautiful islands, but no cruise will reach islands that far away unless it leaves from Miami or Fort Lauderdale (or is more than 7-days).

If your folks could fly to San Juan (Puerto Rico) there are some good deals on cruises going to those islands, but honestly $2000 is a little tight.

You can possibly get air and an inside stateroom for a San Juan for about $2000, but that would be most of your budget.

You will see as you do your research, you can get your parents on a 7-day cruise for $2000, but where it will go (not leaving from someplace further south than South Carolina) is a different story.

amandafmv April 10th, 2013 05:00 PM

I can swing them leaving further south. I would like them to drive to me and I can drive them to 5 or so hours to Miami.

I really want to make this happen for them. It's going to have to be a Christmas and and birthday and anniversary gift...Lol.

Paul Motter April 10th, 2013 05:23 PM

Well, I am glad to hear you are that close to Miami.

There is a really good site called that will tell you exactly how much it will cost to drive to any port.

I am not sure where you are but from the northern border of FL to Miami can be about 400 miles - bigger than it looks, but still manageable.

It makes ME really happy to see that you can work this out, too, and in truth, for the best value and trip options driving to either Ft Lauderdale or Miami, will most likely give you the itinerary your dad has been dreaming about - (as opposed to cruising from farther north).

But, I would also still check on Port Canaveral, too. It is a lot closer and it has some really good cruise values right now as well. Might be the best choice in the end. April 10th, 2013 08:03 PM

If you're interested in them visiting St. Lucia and Barbados, they're going to have to do a Southern Caribbean cruise. While there are some leaving from Florida, most of these will leave from San Juan, so you'd incur airfare.


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