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Old October 25th, 2015, 01:30 AM
xpanmanx xpanmanx is offline
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Default Ok, it says, novices ask here!

Greetings! First post. I'd like to share some info up front to help sand the tracks

It's been less than a week since DW and I first discussed taking our family on a first cruise. We're in our late forties, living in St. Louis, with DS16, DD14 and DS12 at home. DD29 might join us with no "plus-one" from her home in SoCal.

Our family has a lot of energy and endurance on vacation. We tend to cram every last minute with activity. But DW and I recognize the value of lounging on a pool deck, and maybe on a cruise ship we can turn the kids loose and relax, or head off on an adventure of our own.

I've got 13 days of vacation starting the evening of 2015-12-22, when the kids begin their winter break. They'll be back in school the morning of 2016-01-05. We've got no reason to be in St. Louis over the break.

OK! A few novice questions, apologies if they're silly.

1> With this original post, we're 59 days from December 22nd. Does enough time remain to plan a cruise and purchase fares?
2> In ignorance, I assume that most cruises have a huge guest load during that time of year. If so, which might be better equipped to handle the crush?
3> Which cruises have a good rep for kids as old as ours?

Thank you .... and I'm sure I'll have a BUNCH of follow-on questions as I dive into the forum
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Old October 25th, 2015, 04:02 AM
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Mike M Mike M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpanmanx View Post
Greetings! First post. I'd like to share some info up front to help sand the tracks

It's been less than a week since DW and I first discussed taking our family on a first cruise. We're in our late forties, living in St. Louis, with DS16, DD14 and DS12 at home. DD29 might join us with no "plus-one" from her home in SoCal.

Our family has a lot of energy and endurance on vacation. We tend to cram every last minute with activity. But DW and I recognize the value of lounging on a pool deck, and maybe on a cruise ship we can turn the kids loose and relax, or head off on an adventure of our own.

I've got 13 days of vacation starting the evening of 2015-12-22, when the kids begin their winter break. They'll be back in school the morning of 2016-01-05. We've got no reason to be in St. Louis over the break.

OK! A few novice questions, apologies if they're silly.

1> With this original post, we're 59 days from December 22nd. Does enough time remain to plan a cruise and purchase fares?
2> In ignorance, I assume that most cruises have a huge guest load during that time of year. If so, which might be better equipped to handle the crush?
3> Which cruises have a good rep for kids as old as ours?

Thank you .... and I'm sure I'll have a BUNCH of follow-on questions as I dive into the forum

1. You still have plenty of time to plan your cruise. Just be flexible on what ship and departure port. There are cruises out of New Orleans, Houston and Galveston that have availability at this time.

2. There are still cabins available, in the Caribbean on NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean on 7, 8, 10 and 12 day sailings. Just be prepared to pay more for cruising this time of year. Right now a 12 day on Royal Caribbean's, Serenade of the Seas is $1800 pp for an inside cabin.

A seven day on Carnival Splendor is $799.

3. I would look at a seven day cruise on Carnival, Royal Caribbean or NCL. They are good choices for a mixed age. My personal feeling is that Western Caribbean cruise is more active with plenty of beaches and activities. Eastern Caribbean is still active but is a bit more laid back.

I would contact a cruise specialist who can give you more information and really get into what your family likes or dislikes.

Take care and enjoy,
Mike
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Old October 25th, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Mike has stated it very well.

Families plan such cruises a long time in advance knowing that Christmas is the most popular time of the year. It's also the most expensive time, so as ships get full, the prices go up.

The only thing I would add is to say if you're expecting to find a cabin for 5, you're probably not going to find it. Those types of cabins on holiday sailings tend to sell out many many months in advance. You might even find it difficult to find a double next to a triple as well.

So it's important to figure out how you want to put the family in various cabins, keeping in mind that the kids can't be in a cabin by themselves unless they are right next door to yours or directly across the hall.

As Mike said, the best advice is to contact a Cruise Specialist and let them help you. They charge nothing for their service and the prices are going to be exactly the same as what the cruise line is offering, so it makes sense to utilize their expertise so they can give you all the options available to you. This can be especially important given the time and the specific requirements of your situation.

Pete
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Old October 25th, 2015, 04:24 PM
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With the ages of all the kids, I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean for a ship that offers tons of activities for all the kids, all ages...They can easily take off and do "their" thing and you can enjoy some relaxing time. It does look like you would be sailing during a holiday season, so your cabin choices could be limited. I would certainly contact a good cruise travel agent and see what they can find for your time slot....Best of luck and, do let us know what you end up booking..
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Old October 26th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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With the ages of all the kids, I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean for a ship that offers tons of activities for all the kids, all ages...They can easily take off and do "their" thing and you can enjoy some relaxing time. It does look like you would be sailing during a holiday season, so your cabin choices could be limited. I would certainly contact a good cruise travel agent and see what they can find for your time slot....Best of luck and, do let us know what you end up booking..



I agree with the above post 100%. It's great advice on all counts.


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Old October 26th, 2015, 08:51 PM
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I would also suggest checking the west coast Mexican Riviera cruises. Very nice area to visit.
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