Hi there. I am giving my daugther a gift for her graduation & 18th birthday. She's a great kid - lots of fun - and she wants to visit Italy, Greece, and maybe even Turkey, Spain, and Egypt. There are so many options to choose from so I can really use your help.
It seems that RCI would be the most fun for both of us (I'm 40 - not a party animal but I like to have fun). Do you agree?
We went on a Carnival cruise once and didn't have a great time. Not really "nice" and too many young kids (hogged the pool the entire time). But we do want to have fun. Celebrity seems really nice but may be a bit too stuffy? We will do a lot of things together, but I'm sure she will want to explore and find some folks her own age.
IF RCI, WHICH SHIP?
If RCI is the best, than which ship? Legend of the Seas has some good itineraries... so does Brilliance. Any thoughts?
Should I buy with a travel agent, online through the cruise line, or try and rack up points by ordering it through American Airlines? Anyone have any experience?
Is June or July better in terms of weather, seasonal things, etc. Is 12 days too long? Is 7 too short?
I can't help with all the questions but I'll try to help with something.
I found that RCI had a nice mix of age groups. Carnival had many families with smaller children.
Inside/Outside/Balcony . . once you go Balcony, you never go back! Oh it was so nice to have breakfast on the balcony! Taking 1/2 hour out there to relax after a day in port was equally as nice. While your daughter is taking a shower, you can wait on the balcony.
Online is the way to book, if you ask me. Of course, I spend a LOT of time researching all the ports myself. You may opt to hire a travel agent as they can have a ton of info and experiences. Some people like travel agents as they can be a one stop "set it up please" type vacation planning, which can save you many hours. It's all up to you on that.
What else? If I brought my 18 year old daughter, I would bring a deck of cards or some other similar form of family game (played out by the pool somewhere is fun). A cruise is a great place to spend quality time with your daughter. Don't forget to take lots of pictures together!
We did the Brilliance to the Greek Islands with our family a couple of years ago. It has been our best cruise so far. The ports on the trip are a great mix and the weather in summer - at least when we went - was fantastic. The sights are all awesome from the
The passenger mix is a about 1/2 US&Canada, 1/4 Spanish, and the rest from UK, Australia, Latin America, & Middle East. The kids are a bit older on this trip which should be great for your daughter.
We liked the Med trip so much we are going back again this summer on the Navigator.
We have got balcony cabins in the past and it is a really nice treat - especially when the weather is nice.
In terms of purchasing the cruise, my understanding is that RCI does not allow discounting by travel agents any more than the price they are quoting (can anyone confirm this?). However, some agents will give extra benefits like free shore excursions, wine, etc. At least you can pay with an AA credit card to get some miles.