CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums

CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums (
-   First-Time Cruisers (
-   -   Too many choices, can't pick first cruise! (

Birthdaygirl October 11th, 2015 10:27 PM

Too many choices, can't pick first cruise!
Hi everybody!

I am new on this site! I have been doing a lot of research for our first cruise that I am planning on taking in November 2016 for my 40th birthday in the Caribbean with my husband and 2 kids (7 and 9 at the time of the cruise).

I would love to have suggestions from the any of you that have done numerous cruises.

So far from what I have read, I am leaning towards RCI because I was told that it is better than Carnival for food and accomodations but still very family oriented. The people that I know that have been on cruises have only been on Carnival or RCI so I don't know much about any othe ones.

I wanted to be on the cruise on the day of my birthday wich is November 20th but not finishing the cruise on that day, 7-10 day cruise.

I am not sure if I want to depart from Florida or from San Juan. Would there be a very big advantage of departing from San Juan that I wouldn't know about?

We want a ship where we will be eating well. Nice beaches is what is most important when visiting islands.

Please let me know if I should be providing any more info in order to get help. Thanks in advance!

aerospace October 11th, 2015 11:04 PM

For a family trip with kids your age I would choose Disney. They can be more expensive obviously but less than a cruise and 1 day at Disney would be considering added costs of food, lodging, tickets etc. Adults tend to have a great time on board too as some areas are kid free so you can relax a few hours here and there.

Best beaches would be eastern Caribbean(St Thomas, St Kitts, St Martin, etc). Some cruise lines call this Southern Caribbean if you pick a 10 day it will likely go here as it can be a bit farther.

I've been to San Juan and wasn't impressed a bit poor and dilapidated but if you just get off/on there it doesn't matter. Every port has water sports like snorkel, jet ski etc so if the ship you pick visits San Juan then I'd do that here. No big sites to see.

I would pick RCL over Carnival for the adults and Carnival over RCL for the kids. Not a big difference but enough.

Hope it helps. If you have more specific questions let us know.

Donna October 12th, 2015 04:57 AM

A real advantage of cruising out of San Juan, is you get to visit more islands within the 7 days, only drawback, is the airfare, a real killer.

Birthdaygirl October 12th, 2015 09:10 AM

Thank you for the suggestions! It is great to have feed back!

We have been to Disney not that long ago so we feel like the kids got their treat.

If we were to go with the RCI, we are hesitating between 3 cruises:

1- Serenade of the Seas ( 10 days cruise, going to BVI, St-Kitts, Dominica, Antigua, St-Marteen)

Pro: It appears to me there are amazing ports that you don't get to visit that often, the price is good too.
Cons: Read it is a bit of an older ship, considering we would travel in Nov 2016. There are not that many choices for restaurants

2-Anthem of the Seas (10 days cruise, going to Puerto Rico, St-John, St-Kitts, St-Marteen)
Pro: Departing from NY, we don't have to take the plane. New ship, great features, great restaurants although I read complains regarding all the extra that you have to pay) Cons: The cruise is more expensive. Read that is not good value for your money

3-Allure of the Seas (7 days cruise, going to Bahamas, St-Thomas, St-Marteen). Pros: Beautiful ship with all the different sections, Cons: only 3 ports and only 7 days.

aerospace October 12th, 2015 02:01 PM

Longer vs better ship vs better ports isn't something we can pick for you. It depends what matters more to you. Personally though I'd go Anthem overall best average plus air can be stressful if you can avoid it do so.

green_rd October 12th, 2015 02:51 PM

That was a reference to Disney Cruise Line not Disney World.

Carnival is often rated higher for food than RCCL though I don't think there is a big difference. October 12th, 2015 08:08 PM

Obviously, I'm prejudice on the matter, but you really need to talk to a Cruise Specialist so they can answer all your questions about the various ships and the various ports you're considering. It's important to find the best cruise for you based on your lifestyle, budget, and requirements. They will not charge you any fees and the prices will be the same as the cruise lines, but their expertise can be invaluable.

Now, with that said, the three ships you're considering all have something good to offer you. It really does depend on how much you want to spend and where you want to go. The Allure of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas will have many more amenities to offer than the Serenade of the Seas, so if having things to keep the kids busy is important, those two are wonderful choices.

As for San Juan, it's a good port to sail out of and gives you the opportunity to visit the Southern Caribbean, which offers a more international experience than the Eastern or Western Caribbean. As was mentioned, the airfare can be more, but often the cruise fare can be less.

But RCCL will offer you a very good experience for a family, so you're off to a good start for your first cruise.


Truck Cruiser October 17th, 2015 03:34 AM

Don't discount Norwegian Cruise Lines as they have some remarkable cruises and awesome ships. NCL also has a great kids program and they too sail from NYC. October 17th, 2015 12:37 PM

I agree with Truck. You should take a look at NCL as their new ships are very nice, their prices are reasonable, and they do have alot of amenities for the kids.


marek3021 October 24th, 2015 10:00 AM

For traveling with kids I'll choice Disney (theme cruise), NCL (activities on board) or Royal Caribbean (many activities).

nishitha October 24th, 2018 07:49 AM

Disney will be the first cruise.

CoW mAn October 28th, 2018 05:33 PM


Originally Posted by Birthdaygirl (Post 1525519)
I wanted to be on the cruise on the day of my birthday wich is November 20th but not finishing the cruise on that day, 7-10 day cruise.

This is wise, cruising when kids are in school is the best way to keep prices down

Aerogirl November 7th, 2018 04:30 PM

I’d personally go with the Allure. You and the kids with never be bored on this ship .

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:49 AM.