Location: A Southern Gentleman (Southern California)
What do you look for when booking a cruise
The cruise industry has changed over the years, if you are a experienced cruiser, please list some of the biggest and most critical amenities and or options you want on the ship and explain the reason you look for the particular feature (s).
Please refrain from listing any experience's over 2-years old.
Copy and paste any of the 30 subjects and list your experience separately and any suggestions for each subject.
1) Self Serve Laundry
2) Anytime Dining
3) Loyalty program
4) Spa services
5) Ports of Call
6) Main dining room
7) Pay Restaurants
10) Night Club
11) Children's Programs
12) Older cruisers
14) Cabin type
15) Cost=Shops Onboard
16) Soda Package
17) Booze Package
18) Coffee cards
19) Referral Programs
20) Buffets & hour of operation
21) Room Service & menus options
22) Ship condition
23) Ship size
24) Ship scholar programs
25) Ships Doctor
26) Medical needs
27) Cruise line insurance
28) Embarkation Process
29) Debarkation process
30) Cancellation fees from cruise lines
We are pretty much itinerary / price shoppers. Most of the the other amenities are more or less meaningless to us. We do use anytime dining, are there mainstream lines that do not offer that? If we cruise a "tired" ship we will note that before it's next dry dock. (We sailed Carnival Destiny back in 2008 and crossed her off the list. Of course now she is the renewed Carnival Sunshine.)
Two other factors
Spaciousness - open space on the ship's public areas
If I can go stem to stern without passing through the smoky casino that is a plus too
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015
First thing we look for is a cruise with some days at sea.Next is a cruise without to many port of calls.We also like to find cruise that have overnighters in port which seem to be few and far between.Next we like to book a balcony room as far forward on the ship as possable.And we also like cruise between 10 and 14 days.I know that seems a liitle out of the norm but it suits us just fine.
For me I think it'd have to be the excursions first of all. That would create the main context for the cruise – I'd have to like where I'm sailing and get a great experience while I'm there, for the rest of the cruise to be enjoyable.
Itinerary first but the ship, with having been to most of the stops in the Caribbean, are fast becoming as important as itinerary.
What do I look for on a ship?
size first! Small ships give my wife sea sickness because they aren't as steady in the water.
How old is the ship? Does it have balconies?(some of the older Carnival ships have very few)
These are really the only things that concern me about the ship as most cruise lines are very similar as far as entertainment and food goes.
Live life to the fullest because tomorrow may never come!
Caribbean Princess 07
Carnival Valor 08
Carnival Holiday 08
Carnival Triumph 09
Island Princess 09
Carnival Miracle 10
Norwegian Pearl 11
Norwegian Sun 13
Independence of the Seas Feb 14
Carnival Splendor Feb 2015
Carnival Sunshine Feb 2016