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Old October 17th, 2016, 07:36 PM
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Default first time family cruise

I wanted to surprise my family by taking them to a cruise this coming thanksgiving, it would be a first time for all of us and i want it to be perfect. We are a group of 4, husband and wife and 2 kids aged 20 and 13. My daughter and i are not that adventurous but my husband and son are. Any suggestions on where we should go? Can you also give me a rough estimate on how much would it cost so i would know if the money i have would be sufficient for the trip? So i would know if i need to apply for a personal loan in case the money i saved up for this trip is not enough. Thanks!
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Old October 17th, 2016, 08:22 PM
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First of all, the best thing to do is talk to an agent, preferably a cruise specialist, who can answer all your questions and help you find the best cruise for you based on your requirements, lifestyle, and budget. As I always say, what one person loves, another will hate, so it's important the find the best one for you, not the best one for somebody else.

Second, you're very late to be booking a Thanksgiving cruise for this year. It's a big travel time and prices have gone up from what they were several months ago. Plus, there are relatively few cabins available, so your choices are going to be limited as to location. This is especially the case for those wanting cabins that will sleep 3 or 4 people, since those are the first ones to get booked. It also depends on the type of cabin you're interested in (inside, oceanview, balcony, suite). All of this will have an impact on how much it's going to cost. So, no one is really going to be able to provide you an estimate as to the price, because there are just too many variables involved.

And third, as to where to go, it really depends on what you want to do. Some people want to go snorkeling, while others want to just lay around on the beach, and yet others want to go shopping.

Pete
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Old October 18th, 2016, 10:50 PM
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Also do you live near a port city or do you need to fly there?
That will factor into the costs
How long do you want to cruise?
Do you have specific area to see EG" Caribbean, Bermuda, Pacific coast, Mexico

I would plan on at least $1000 pp you may get a late deal if you shop around
As Pete suggested talk to a cruise specialist but do have some idea of where you want to cruise
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Old October 18th, 2016, 11:18 PM
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I'm thinking maybe a 7 night cruise from Fort Lauderdale. Either the Bahamas or Caribbean would be good. We'll have to take a plane from LAX to FLL.
And also, I contacted a cruise specialist and I'm a few thousand dollars short so I'll have to take a personal loan. My sister said credit unions are better so I'll probably go for Cal Coast because they have good rates.
And I've learned my lesson. Next time I'll book early lol.
Any other tips?
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Old October 19th, 2016, 12:18 AM
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Definitely want to plan early, for sure. Contrary to what you read and hear, waiting until the last minute will not get you the best rates anymore. Especially during times when schools are out, prices do nothing but go up. Obviously, rates are better when school is in, it's not conducive for families. The later you can go in the Summer, the better the prices. As soon as school lets out in June, prices go up and will basically stay there until August, when they start to come down. Christmas/New Years is the most expensive time of the year, followed by Spring Break. One of the cheapest times of the year starts the weekend after Thanksgiving until right before Christmas. That's when we like to go as we get really good rates. But alas, not a good time for families. I've actually had families keep their kids out of school for an extra week to take advantage of these rates.

As for where to go, obviously any cruise along the West coast is going to save you some money due to airfare. Although right now, there are some really great rates for flying cross-country.

You might even look at sailing out of Houston/Galveston.

While it's always nice to have a balcony cabin, you can get much better rates doing an inside quad.

Personally, I'm not crazy about the Bahamas. Ships will go to either Nassau or Freeport. Both of these are way down my list of places I want to go.

While the newer Royal Caibbean ships are really good for families, it's tough to beat the rates on Carnival and NCL.

And try to do what we use to do when our kids were younger and it was expensive for traveling with a family of 5. I would have a certain amount taken out of my paycheck every 2 weeks and put into a savings account. By the time our trip would come around, everything was paid for. Hate for people to borrow money to go on a vacation, as it just adds stress when you should be relaxing. Once you've made your deposit, you can make payments anytime you want in whatever amounts you want. Start planning now for next year and it'll make your life much easier and you'll enjoy your vacation more.

Anyway, just some ideas that might help.

Pete
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Old October 19th, 2016, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamebumper View Post
I'm thinking maybe a 7 night cruise from Fort Lauderdale. Either the Bahamas or Caribbean would be good. We'll have to take a plane from LAX to FLL.
And also, I contacted a cruise specialist and I'm a few thousand dollars short so I'll have to take a personal loan. My sister said credit unions are better so I'll probably go for Cal Coast because they have good rates.
And I've learned my lesson. Next time I'll book early lol.
Any other tips?
If $$ is an issue why not look at cruises from LA or San Diego, SFO down the coast
may try an oceanview cabin instead of the balcony ones
You are usually not in the cabin much
Shop around to find one to fit your budget
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