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Old October 19th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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Hi everyone!

Me and my wife have just got married and we are planning a wedding trip. This might include a 7 or 10 day caribbean cruise with either Holland America Line or Royal Caribbean. The problem is deciding which company to go with.

A bit of background first. We are around 30 years old, we love food (not in the terms of "all you can eat" but rather in terms of excellent dining) and fine wines.
We don't have kids, we don't dislike kids but we don't want hordes of them running around everywhere. In the same manner we don't want the cruise to be vast quantities of senior citizens. All in all, we want a good and balanced mix I guess. Oh, and we have never gone on a cruise like this before.

Reading various internet pages and guides (here and others) you can easily get the impression that Royal Caribbean has extremely large ships, are family oriented, has tons of activities, has quite good food and might also be prone to excessive partying (thus my mind wanders overly drunk people wandering the ship at night screaming).
Holland America Lines on the other side has smaller ships taking fewer passengers thus more crew per passenger, better food, not so much activities as Royal Caribbean, has a higher average age (and it's here you sometimes read about ships being deserted at 9 pm etc).

I guess that the truth sits in somewhat in between these two rather simplified descriptions, and this is where you, the cruiser aficionados come in. Help us decide by giving us some insight or asking us further questions, perhaps even advice us if you think we should look at a third or fourth company. It might even be so that the only way to decide is to try both companies.

This has forum entry will be placed in both the Royal Caribbean forum and the Holland America Line forum, I hope that is fine with you. Our guess was that this was the best way to get answers from both Royal Caribbean fans and Holland America Lines fans.

Thank you for your help!
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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At your age you definetely need to go Royal Caribbean. You would find Holland America way too slow.

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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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As a couple that falls in your age group I would definately go with Royal Carobbean. Have been on 6 cruises with Royal and have never been dissapointed with the food, entertainment, dining options or any other aspect of their ships. The time of year determines more or less the amount of kids onboard (more in summer months and around holidays when school is out) We have cruised both with kids and without and have found plenty to do as adults and love the late night shows (love and marriage, quest and late night comedy) have not encountered any "overly drunk people wandering the ship at night screaming". The only question I have for you is which itinerary are you looking at?
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel
At your age you definetely need to go Royal Caribbean. You would find Holland America way too slow.

TM
In what way is it slower do you think? Have you been on any of the Holland America Lines ships?
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Defenintly Royal! My wife and I are in our early 40's and have been cruising Royal for 10 years. I have never expierienced the young rowdy drunk crowd on any Royal Caribbean I have been on. The dining room food is very good, the specialty restaurants are excellent and you have a multitude of fine wines to choose from.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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RCCL, much older crowd on Holland
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Old October 19th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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On the 2 HAL ships I have been on, they were like Ghost ships at night. one had absolutely fabulous service, while the later one had service that left us shaking our heads, and we were with die hard HAL afficienados..

RCI is a better fit for you in my book....age wise, and, for having so many options, that, you can choose to do, or not...at least they are available...much more lively ships at night as well...jmho....
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Old October 19th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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I would definitely go with Royal Carb. I've never seen drunks wandering the halls at night screaming or anything else. I would though, choose one one their newer, large ships--I would highly recommend the Freedom of the Seas, ported at Port Canaveral, Fla. It's a beautiful ship, has lots of activities
such as miniature golf, rock climbing wall, sports deck, flow rider, etc. if you're into that sort of thing,. If not, on promenade deck, you can always find peace and quite in a nice lounge chair to just sit and let the world go by.
They have great entertainment a couple of nights a week in the main theater, have and ice show that's not to be missed--just a lot of things to do, or do a lot of nothing.
I'm not sure what you like to do in port--snorkel, shop, nothing at all, tour the countryside or what. The Eastern Itin. is their private island CoCo Cay, St. Thomas and St. Martin. Western itin. is--- their private beach area on the Island of Hispianola ( Haiti ), Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios , Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. Either is a great trip--At your age you would fit right in.

Happy sails to you on which ever ship and itin. you decide on.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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I'll have to agree with the others, sounds like Royal Caribbean is more the cruise you are looking for. Yes, lots to do, but you don't have to do anything you don't care for and the opportunity is there is you want.

Let us know what ship you decide on..
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Old October 20th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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Hi all, and thank you for your kind answers and suggestions!

We have as of today booked a 12 day trip with the Explorer of the seas (with a balcony room) to the Caribbean from NYC. I think it's going to be absolutely great!
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Old October 20th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Congrats on booking your cruise, you will not be disappointed with Royal. We were on the 9-night Explorer cruise in March and had an incredible time, a wonderful ship and a great itinerary you will have a blast.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Congrats on your choice of cruises..I think you both will be so happy.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Congrats Rash,
I'm sure you will love Explorer of the Seas, great ship.. I think you made an excellent choice, have fun!
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Old October 21st, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Congrats on your upcoming cruise and wedding!

Been on the Explorer 2 months ago and it is a fun cruise.

Let us know how it was when you get back.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashomon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel
At your age you definetely need to go Royal Caribbean. You would find Holland America way too slow.

TM
In what way is it slower do you think? Have you been on any of the Holland America Lines ships?
Our best friends cruise three times a year or more, tell us that on Holland America there is very little night life. It's an older crowd and most people are in bed by ten o'clock.

TM
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Old October 26th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
It's an older crowd and most people are in bed by ten o'clock.
I had one of those cruises on Celebrity. You can ear a pin drop after 9pm. Booked the wrong week to cruise. :evil:
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Old October 26th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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I think it's a toss up based upon the passenger composition on any given week if you are working with a TA, have them check to see if there are any large groups onboard the week you are sailing (regardless of cruise lines) that will have a great bearing on the night life (which I suspect is the basis of CQ's very helpful comments)_

If you have a passion or hobby, then you might try to find a club or organization in your area to try to encourage them to do a group cruise

good luck
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Old October 26th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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you are on your honeymoon and worried about night life since you have a balcony (smart move) you will have lots of fun on your cruise
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Old November 21st, 2009, 08:35 AM
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Only 3 days left until we leave for NYC, 8 days to the cruise. We are really excited about this.

Can anyone clarify how the Connoisseur Cigar Club works - is it or is it not only for the ones having booked a suite on the boat? (we have not, and I happen to love cigars so it would be kinda sad to miss out on that).

Anyhow. Thank you all once again for your kind answers and suggestions. This is going to be so much fun!
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Old November 21st, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Have a wonderful time. And like the others said, please let us know how your cruise turned out. I took my first cruise last March on the Liberty and it was wonderful. I broke my toe 2 days before the cruise and I was pampered by all the staff. I enjoyed it so much I am cruising again March 2010. And children were no problem. Have a great time.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 12:32 AM
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Good choice in sailing Royal Caribbean; if you sailed Holland I'd recommend you bring your walker...haha.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Good choice, sounds like a great cruise! When you return, let us know how it went, have fun!
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Old November 29th, 2009, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashomon View Post
Hi all, and thank you for your kind answers and suggestions!

We have as of today booked a 12 day trip with the Explorer of the seas (with a balcony room) to the Caribbean from NYC. I think it's going to be absolutely great!

I was on Explorer in 2007. She is a beautiful ship. Lots to do, or do nothing at all (which I am prone to do at least 1 day of my cruise). You'll have to post when you return and let us know how you enjoyed, or not, Explorer. Happy sailing.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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We cruised the Explorer into New England and really enjoyed the ship. So much so we sail again in March to the Southern Caribbean (12 day)!!!

You made an excellent choice, enjoy your cruise and we'll be waiting to hear all about it!
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