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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 27th, 2001, 11:38 AM
Rich Vierra
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Default First Time--HELP !

Good Day !
My wife and I have just won a cruise. I won't bore you all with the details but we have several choices regarding cruise lines to choose from. Could be 7 days to the Caribbean if we want. I need help ! What cruise line ? What ship etc etc. I have been looking at the Voyager and the Radiance from RC. Are these the best ?I'm 58 she's 48 she likes reading and the beaches and I like golf. We both enjoy good food. I would like this event to be special. Let me hear from all of you seasoned cruisers. Many thanks,
Rich :>)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 27th, 2001, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

You might want to consider the cost of the airfare involved (I'm assuming that wasn't included in your prize). I think the airfare to San Juan would be significantly higher than the airfare to Miami. (Radiance-San Juan, Voyager-Miami).

However, all things being equal, having never been on either ship, I'd be more inclined to go on the Radiance. Just my personal preference.
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Old February 27th, 2001, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

I forgot to say that I'm pretty sure both ships have golf simulators (other folks might know for sure) and climbing walls. If you're interested in golfing, I'd find out which itinerary has better golf courses.

List the itineraries for each and maybe folks could give advice on which ports are better for golfing and beaches.

andrea
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Old February 27th, 2001, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Congratulations!! You will get many varied opinions from message boards but my advise to you is to find a reputable travel agent and get some brochures. They have photos of ships, the layouts, etc.

Also try mytravelco.com. They have virtual tours of many ships from most cruise lines.

Our favorite line is Royal Caribbean. Both ships you're interested in are great. We were on the Voyager last year and I've seen many photos of the other (it looks goergous).

Good luck and happy cruising! Denise :-)
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Old February 27th, 2001, 07:59 PM
Pam Pam is offline
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Congratulations! You would love RCL, but don't rule out sister ships with Celebrity. I have been on both and RCL is for a more active lifestyle and Celebrity is a little bit more classy. Don't get me wrong, I love both cruiselines, but you have to match it with your personality. I once made the mistake and went on Carnival - not my style at all. It was a good cruise and great destinations, but it is definately a party ship and not one for a person who wants to unwind from a hectic career and family by finding a deckchair, a good drink and a good book! Also, I found the best times are the days at sea.

Have a great time. I'm leaving on the Legend of the Seas in 4 months to Europe so I can't wait.

Pam
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Old February 28th, 2001, 09:11 PM
Bob T.
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

First of all, Congratulations!! If you have never been on a cruise, you are in for a treat!! Both ships that you are considering are beautiful new ships. You will have a great time on both!!

The Voyager will have a few more things to do, but more people and therefore a slightly lower quality of service.

The Radiance is a beautiful new ship, but the airfare to san Juan may cost more as Andrea pointed out. If you have a choice of ships, cruiselines, and itineraries, you should speak to a travel agent. There are great cruises to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, etc. Also be careful what time of year you visit the Caribbean. August-October is the peak hurricane season.

As you can tell, you have some pleasant choices. Post some more questions. We will all be glad to give you some feedback, but remember, if you speak to 10 people you will probably get 10 different opinions.
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Old March 1st, 2001, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

I thought I should post a few more questions regarding our first time cruise. What's a good time to visit the Carribean and stay out of the way of vacationing school kids? RCI or Celebrity ? We are looking at Vogager but some reviews say Celebrity is better.Should I book my own flight arrangements and join the captains club? What's a good location for a cabin on the ship.Anything you all can add would be helpfull. Thank you Rich :>)
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Old March 1st, 2001, 10:20 PM
Bob T.
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

First of all, RCI or Celebrity is a matter of taste. celebrity is considered a little more upscale. I like it a little better. Some people like RCI better. I just came off of the Celebrity ship Millennium and I loved it. It was my 28th cruise and it was one of the best.

If you are a first time cruiser, you want a cabin toward the middle of the ship where there is less motion. Try not to be too close to heavily trafficked areas, or underneath the gym, pool or restaurant.

If you travel when kids are in school you certainly should see fewer kids on board if that is a concern.

If you haven't travelled the Caribbean, you might like an Eastern Caribbean Cruise a little better than a Western. St. Thomas is beautiful, and if you can find an itinerary that also goes to St. Maarten, that island is also great. Whatever you decide, I'm sure that you'll have a great time.
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Old March 4th, 2001, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Bob, I may be taking your advise about the Eastern Car. The Explorer of the Seas sails there.Have you been on this ship? How much cash money should we take. We are limited shoppers but love a good beach. We want to do some limited touring. Are there some spots,beaches or activities you would recommend? It looks like sometime in Dec for our trip. Is this a good time? Thank you Rich
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Old March 4th, 2001, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Hi Rich,
When you are in St. Thomas be sure to get over to St. Johns, the island is as close to paradise as one could imagine. The snorkeling at Trunk Bay is also very good, great beach day. You can do this by yourself. Take a cab from the pier and go to Red Hook Ferry, then a short cab ride to the beach. If you take off early in the morning, you should have plenty of time to get back to St. Thomas and get in a little shopping, either right at the pier or go downtown.

We're scheduled for Explorer in April and can't wait.
Actually December is a good time to cruise, but if you are going during the school break time, there will be lots of kids on board. Are you cruising with a few, they would also love the ship and the activities.

Here is a recent members review, seems almost all the reviews on this ship are very positive, enjoy:

<http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/cruiseguide/shiptour/memreviews/mr_RCI/explorer2.html>

Donnassei
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Old March 4th, 2001, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Rich - Congratulations on the wonderful win! We also enjoy golf though we are pretty bad. You can play golf at Mahogany Run in St. THomas through the ship. It is not a particularly pretty course with the exception of three holes along the ocean which are spectacular (especially since we are from Tennessee). Had a good day and the ship had the early tee times we like. Still had time to shop a bit but not make the beach. You can also play in San Juan if it is on your itinerary. Have a great trip.
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Old March 19th, 2001, 10:15 AM
Rich V.
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Default Re: First Time--HELP !

Thanks to all of you for responding. We have almost locked in an early Dec date. Before the school break. In winning this trip we are automaticly booked into an interior cabin. What's the best way to upgrade? We are told we can't do it through the organization we won the trip from. We would like to have a balcony cabin. Isn't early Dec a good time to get DEALS? Rich:>)
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