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Old December 12th, 2005, 01:57 AM
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Default Carnival Spirit Excursions for mom w/ kids & reluctant h

Hi! I haven't cruised since I was 18 years old. I am now 37, have two 8 year olds, and a husband who has FINALLY (after 10 years) agreed to try a cruise (he's figured to date that it would be boring and claustraphobic). We live on the west coast so are choosing (well I'm choosing for us) a mexican cruise due to bad experience flying to florida last spring break. Hubby has never been to mexico. We are considering the carnival spirit cruise out of san diego, (acapulco, ixtapa/Zihuatenejo, and manzanillo). I hope that is the right choice. Basically had heard that mazatlan is full of drunk young adults and teens from someone who went there for a honeymoon so decided to go with a cruise that was to somewhere else.
1: is this a good choice of cruise.
2. should we go with the early meal sittings (or will it interfere with us having to rush back onto ship from port, etc.)
3. there was a big article in our newspaper this weekend about how some shore excursions on cruises generally can be a rip off compared to doing it independently (both $ and time wise).
so ...
3a: for acapulco, i read a few posts that say to definitely book something from the ship, and that the cliff divers are the best thing there. is that true also for someone with kids? if not, what else?
3b: what would u recommend for ixtapa/Zihuatenejo, and manzanillo...just getting off the ship and wandering? or booking something from ship? and if from ship, what?

I'd REALLY appreciate feedback as I want husband to like this trip so that we can cruise again
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Old December 12th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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I haven't cruised the west coast yet (we're booked for March 2006) but have cruised with my kids before. I take the early seating. I've found its too long for the kids to wait to eat for the second, especially at their ages. We also tend to be very active during the day and in bed by midnight so the early seating works best for us.

I have booked excursions both through the ship and on my own. If its something that takes most of the day in port and time is tight, or if is somewhere that may not be safe in small groups I book through the ship. Many times I've found I can book on my own and not only is it cheaper, but you get a much more personalized tour. If doing something on your own you really need to keep track of the time. The ship will not wait for you if you're late. When traveling with the kids we tend to book things that interest everyone. I make a list of the possibilities and then we discuss what we want to do. We tend to be water/beach people so we always do a snorkeling trip or two.

While I haven't been on the Spirit, I have cruised Carnival before and I really like them. I've also cruised Royal Carribean and like them too. In fact, my upcoming cruise is on RCL.

Hope this helps.

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Old December 12th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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Thanks! Still tossing up whether the princess sapphire (puerto vallarta, cabos san luca, & mazatlan) might be better for us, or this carnival cruise. Also I heard that there is no downside to going during SPring break because regardless of when u go its always fully sold out so not like spring break will be more crowded? Can anyone CONFIRM?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:01 AM
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Spring break tends to run from mid-February through the end of April. Someone started a thread a while back and people posted when their children's spring break was. Here in NH our kids have the last week of February and the last week of April. We've cruised with them the last week of April and while the ship has been full, I haven't felt it was over run with kids.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 02:36 PM
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Mom, I think I would stick with Carnival, because your kids will love the Camp Carnival activities. Princess is a little more sedate.

The itinirary you picked is great -- beautiful ports and the two days at sea down and back make for a relaxing vacation.

By the way, my brother and his family just did the same cruise -- loved it.

I would do the early seating for the reasons Darcy said.

In Acapulco, do an excursion, especially because it will be easier to watch the kids.

Ixtapa has great beaches, while Zijatenejo is just gorgeous. Manzanillo my brother went to some cocoanut farm or something with the kids.

And that your husband will be bored -- not on Carnival! Tell him to keep an open mind and then watch him take off with the activities, pool time, shows, eating, art shows, etc.

here are two photo galleries -- one of the ship:

http://<br /> http://cruisemates.co...ew.php?id=1524

and one from the ports:


Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards

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Old December 18th, 2005, 09:41 PM
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mom may i suggest instead of just doing the normal city tour in acapulco with the kids you might want to look into this one.....we did a tour that was called coyuca lagoon which did the diving show and then we were taken out to a nice lagoon where the kids could do some swimming or get there hair braided for a great price....that is if they are girls of course lol.....right across the street from the lagoon is the ocean with other little goodies to see as well...horse back riding beach vendors.etc.....hope this has been of some help.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 10:53 PM
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Our family did Carnival Spirit and Princess cruises last year. Hands down Carnival wins. We are going back on Spirit 2-12 and we are bringing 8 families with us. The ports are amazing. Do the early seating for sure.
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