Hello Seasoned Cruisers,
My husband and I have cruised only once and it was the Golden Princess, Eastern Carribean, outside balcony, November 2002. Absolutely Fantastic! Not one complaint. I was petrified to go on a ship (I am clastrophobic). Much to my surprise, I couldn't even tell that I was on a ship! We travelled with my husband's parents and his 2 brothers and his sisters and their spouses, all paid by my husband's parents (fortunate too be sure)! This time, it will only be me, my husband and our 11 yr old daugher and we will be footing our own bill.
Here's the problem. Last summer we drove to Myrtle beach and stayed a week and drove over to VA Beach and stayed for 4 days, then drove home. We initially planned to drive to Myrtle and stay for 2 weeks this year. However, we are Canadian and with the falling dollar, it would appear that we would get more bang for our buck if we took a cruise. Having changed our minds about travelling plans at the last minute, we may not have alot of options and since we have only been on one cruise, we afraid to book anything else but the Golden Princess.
Our vacation is June 30th - July 16 and August 13 - August 27th. If anyone has any tips on last minute booking, we'd love to hear from you, keeping in mind, we will be either paying in Canadian funds, or having to convert Canadian to American funds. We'd also love to hear some feedback on assurances on other cruise lines that we wouldn't have to be afraid to book. Also, if you happen to be cruising during any of the above noted times and you know there is outside balconies available, we'd love to hear from you, especially if you are travelling with children around the age of 11. Our daughter wants to go but she's afraid she will be board. Any feedback would be so greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much,
Brian, Christie & Megan Koncir
You can guarantee your daughter she will not be bored! I went on my first cruise at 12 and stayed active the entire time. So much to do and see she couldn't be bored if she tried. Any of the larger Princess or Royal Caribbean ships built in 2000 or after will meet your expectations. Of course, the earlier of your two dates will have more children on board for your daughter to interact with, but August will be a nice time of year to go as well. I would book based on price if it were up to me. Check out several of the online agencies, you can get price quotes and shop around a lot faster than if you went to actual travel agencies. Enjoy!
I don't blame you for loving the Golden Princess.I think many of us who cruised on her will agree that she is the greatest. In fact, I have some message board buddies on the Golden this week to the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan,Peurto Rico.I've been watching the WebCam and tonight I got a picture of the deck on the Golden.She's on her way to St. Kitt's.We will be on the Caribbean Princess Sept.18-25 (sold out, I read on one site) so I think it is one of more popular cruises.We got a great price through Travelocity, but, we booked in February. By the way, what part of Canada are you from? I'm originally from Montreal,and still have several relatives there, and in Nova Scotia, and my dad lives in Toronto. I've been a US Citizen since 1963, when I was in high school. Lynne
Thanks for the info! What is a BB Balcony? Is this a Eastern or Western Caribbean voyage? We did an Eastern last time and if we could we'd like to see something different. Are you cruising alone or do you have children travelling with you? Is that 999 American, 'cause that's about $1400 Canadian eh?
We look forward to hearing from you!
Brian, Christie & Megan
I showed my daughter your email and we appreciate your guarantee of bored-free crusising. Are you all grown up now.....how long have you been cruising? Do you think Royal Caribbean is as good as Princess? Do the kids go back to school earlier in the States than they do in Canada? Our kids don't go back until September. Thanks for the tip on online agencies, I've been surfing around but the difficulty I'm running into is that most sites I've found quote in USD and we are paying about 40 cents on the dollar right now. I will continue to surf though, not much time left!
Thanks again for taking the time to post!
Brian, Christie & Megan
Hi Brian, Christie & Meagan! A couple of things to consider. August is the height of hurricane season especially in the Eastern Caribbean, and since you have already done an Eastern route why not try a Western route, so much to see and do on these islands, guarantee that your daughter will not be bored. The Golden is a great ship (as you know) but so are any of the Grand Class ships of Princess- look at the destinations then pick the Princess ship that goes there.
Thanks for the tip Lisa. I didn't know about the hurricane season. One thing I liked on the Golden is that I didn't feel like I was on a ship, but we did go in November and I don't think it was too rough. One thing I do not want and that is to get on to a ship that is rocking. I want my daughter's first experience to be a great one and I myself don't want to end up seasick.
I agree with taking a different voyage this time. I think the Western Caribbean would probably be nice.
The Western Caribbean is a nice cruise.We've been there 3 times.We enjoyed Grand Cayman the best.By the 3rd cruise, it was like going home.My father and step-mother were there in the 1960's (she's a nurse) and we finally made it back for ourselves for the first time in 1998.One of the excursions includes a turtle farm, where you can see the turtles from infancy to the big, old ones.There's also a stop at Seven Mile Beach.You can go to Hell--an actual little tourist place where you can buy a postcard with that name on it and send it, because there's a post office there. (I can guarantee how fast the mail will get to its destination,though), and you can buy t-shirts,etc.. There's a lot of shopping opportunities when you first get off the ship in Georgetown, because there's an actual downtown area,with a mall like atmosphere.Very clean-outside.So,it might be worth looking into. I don't know about snorkeling or the stingrays or other water attractions as we stick to the land activities! Lynne
Hi Brian, Christie, and Megan,
I am "all grown up" now, if 28 counts. The cruise when I was 12 was my first one. It was a five day from NY to Bermuda and back on Cunard. Considering this is a ritsy line that doesn't attract many kids and I still had a great time, Megan should have a blast on RCI. RCI has a great program for kids. Scavenger hunts, games, and other scheduled programs as well as on your own fun activities. I don't have kids, but have heard many positive comments on their programs from fellow passengers with kids.
As far as RCI vs. Princess, I don't know. I will be taking my first Princess (Grand) cruise in November. I expect it to be a little more up scale, but my husband and I love RCI. US kids tend to go back to school the second week of August with school in full swing by September.
I don't know what to suggest for finding online agencies that deal with Canadian funds. Maybe just do a general search for cruises and Canadian dollars. Hope it helps! I know you will all have a marvelous experience and Megan will be ready to take her second and third cruises soon. Do make sure and have Bonine available just in case she feels sea sick. Bonine is an over the counter drug you should be able to find at any drug store/shopping mart. You can also get a motion sickness patch from a Dr. that sticks to the skin behind the ear.
Sorry for the brain lapse above. I had been reading the RCI message board before coming over to check Princess, and thought I was still on RCI. As you can tell, I have heard great things about the RCI kids programs. I expect the Princess ones to be equally good, I just don't have first hand knowledge about them. Princess may be a little more upscale than RCI, but this does not mean snooty. They are known for being a family friendly cruise line. Maybe Megan should start her own topic question with "Questions for kids by a kid". She may be able to find someone her own age on the board who can answer her specific questions about activities. It would also be a good way to get her even more excited about the trip. Have fun!