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  #21  
Old April 9th, 2012, 05:51 PM
JoeZTW JoeZTW is offline
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Thank you all again for such quick responses! I'm going to try to respond to a bunch of posts in this one.
1) Our schedule is not that flexible. With summer camps and other stuff we are left with a two week window in the beginning of Aug.
2) The whole purpose of this vacation is to go with the kids, so not an option to leave them at home.
3) To that end, I've been told that Carnival and Norwegian are the best in terms of activities for the kids (I want to be with them, but not every minute of the day!). Does anyone disagree with that assessment?
4) We had considered going to San Juan to make it a combo vacation - we'd start by visiting the west side of the island and then cruise. Airfare from NY to San Juan is killer though, which might put the kabosh on the whole thing.
5) We are going to price some other two room options, from a variety of departure ports. I've got no problem putting two of the kids into an inner room, but I'd like the other room to at least be ocean view.

To give a little more context, my teen kids are BIG. Our 15 year old is 6' 5", our daughter is 5' 9" and our other son is 5' 9". I'm 6' 4" and my wife is 6' (please hold all "land of the giants" comments :-) )

Thank you all again for the great comments/suggestions
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  #22  
Old April 9th, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Nebr.cruiser Nebr.cruiser is offline
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Try looking at the Royal Caribbean Family OV suites. You will have to call in as they don't usually price these over the phone, I think because they don't want two people to book these rooms that hold six.

I'm not sure if they will let you book with five. We have had one of those rooms (I wouldn't really call it a suite) and it was very spacious and did have good sleeping facilities for six; one queen (or two twin) beds, a large sofa sleeper and a bunk room for two. Also very large windows and lots of storage.

There is only one bathroom; maybe having the guys go to the fitness area to shower sometimes would help. We were on the Navigator of the Seas.

We never cruise in summer, so maybe those prices are typical, but they sound really high to me. We took 7 grandkids on a five night cruise last year, in two cabins, including air from Nebraska to Florida and 3 days in Ft. Lauderdale and for about that amount. It was in January, though.

Have you looked at the discount web travel agencies? I get some great deals and honestly, Carnival does not usually have the best prices, at least for us.

Teens would love RCI, but then I think they'd love almost any cruise. If you're trying to save money, cruise out of Florida and get two cabins. I personally think it would be very iffy to try five in a regular sized balcony cabin, especially the size you all are! If it was three little kids, doable, 5 tall adults/teen, wowser!
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  #23  
Old April 9th, 2012, 08:29 PM
EGG EGG is offline
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You are flying from NY. You are looking at the first 2 weeks of August. You have 2 adults and 3 teens. Why don't you give us a budget and see what people come up with. Have you considered leaving from NY or Baltimore where you would not have airfare for 5.?
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  #24  
Old April 9th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeZTW View Post
Thank you all again for such quick responses! I'm going to try to respond to a bunch of posts in this one.
3) To that end, I've been told that Carnival and Norwegian are the best in terms of activities for the kids (I want to be with them, but not every minute of the day!). Does anyone disagree with that assessment?
I truly think the ages of your kids you would be better on a freedom or oasis class on royal caribbean, maybe a lower class, you can review each class with what they have to offer on RCCL.com. They have the flowrider, rock wall, ice skating rink, full size basketball court, etc. Carnival is great but I would think kids your age would only enjoy the waterslide so long before getting bored. My kids (who are 5, 5 and 8) love the kids program so if your kids are outgoing they may enjoy the teens program on carnival, but other lines have this too.
5) We are going to price some other two room options, from a variety of departure ports. I've got no problem putting two of the kids into an inner room, but I'd like the other room to at least be ocean view.
I would personally look into either 2 connecting balconies (if you don't mind them having their own balcony in case you can't open the divider), a balcony for DW and yourself with kids across the hall, or the balcony/ocean view combo at the front of deck 9 on some of the ships (all the freedom class have them and some lesser classes also, but not oasis class). If price for a balcony/inside is out then do 2 connecting cabins or another category, maybe 2 ov or 2 insides.

To give a little more context, my teen kids are BIG. Our 15 year old is 6' 5", our daughter is 5' 9" and our other son is 5' 9". I'm 6' 4" and my wife is 6' (please hold all "land of the giants" comments :-) )

Thank you all again for the great comments/suggestions

Ok considering the size of your kids I wouldn't do a family ov or family balcony because the bunk area is very small. Here is a link to some pics of the family ocean view and you can get an idea for yourself: http://travel.webshots.com/album/554145591lvGmdZ
Hope all of this helps. I know it is hard to decide which cabin combos to do with 3 kids. Have fun planning!
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  #25  
Old April 9th, 2012, 10:39 PM
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NoobCruise NoobCruise is offline
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There's been a lot of help suggested here to try to optimize your space. Many encouraging you to go for the bigger cabin, or 2 cabins, or some even suggesting skipping the cruise in the interest of comfort. If you can afford bigger, then by all means go for the bigger.

However, rather than cancelling out of fear of discomfort, I'd like to suggest you look at things from a little different perspective......ASSUMING you can't afford the roomy suites or 2 cabins. When our kids were in their teens (1 girl, 1 boy), we did several big trips that the only way we could afford it was for all of us to cram into one tiny room. We were crowded and cramped and tripped over each other. They bickered and argued over space and who's stuff was crowding who's space. No doubt about it, it was NOT comfortable.

If you asked my kids now, they wouldn't have traded those trips for anything. We visited some beautiful places, did some amazing things, bonded and built memories we all will hold forever. A cruise will be different then the AI you usually do. I would recommend discussing it with your teens. If you can only afford one cabin, then search online, get all the info on the cabin type you would book, find photo tours of the cabin so everyone understands what the situation will be and what to expect. Also show them the ship - descriptions and photo tours, so they know what the rest of the ship looks like. find out what all activities are available when they're NOT in the cramped cabin. You may find your kids may not mind being cramped for a week in order to get to go. If they all still want to go, then book it!

You'll only be in your room for a short time each day.....and the rest of the cruise will be amazing!
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  #26  
Old April 10th, 2012, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoobCruise View Post
There's been a lot of help suggested here to try to optimize your space. Many encouraging you to go for the bigger cabin, or 2 cabins, or some even suggesting skipping the cruise in the interest of comfort. If you can afford bigger, then by all means go for the bigger.

However, rather than cancelling out of fear of discomfort, I'd like to suggest you look at things from a little different perspective......ASSUMING you can't afford the roomy suites or 2 cabins. When our kids were in their teens (1 girl, 1 boy), we did several big trips that the only way we could afford it was for all of us to cram into one tiny room. We were crowded and cramped and tripped over each other. They bickered and argued over space and who's stuff was crowding who's space. No doubt about it, it was NOT comfortable.

If you asked my kids now, they wouldn't have traded those trips for anything. We visited some beautiful places, did some amazing things, bonded and built memories we all will hold forever. A cruise will be different then the AI you usually do. I would recommend discussing it with your teens. If you can only afford one cabin, then search online, get all the info on the cabin type you would book, find photo tours of the cabin so everyone understands what the situation will be and what to expect. Also show them the ship - descriptions and photo tours, so they know what the rest of the ship looks like. find out what all activities are available when they're NOT in the cramped cabin. You may find your kids may not mind being cramped for a week in order to get to go. If they all still want to go, then book it!

You'll only be in your room for a short time each day.....and the rest of the cruise will be amazing!
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  #27  
Old April 10th, 2012, 03:16 AM
fleckle fleckle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeZTW View Post
.......
5) We are going to price some other two room options, from a variety of departure ports. I've got no problem putting two of the kids into an inner room, but I'd like the other room to at least be ocean view.
.................
Good thinking! It will give you privacy as a couple in addition to the extra bathroom and the additional storage space and TV, and two of the kids can get to sleep in comfortable beds.

Although you can sometimes find bargain prices on the FV family cabins I mentioned previously so that they may end up costing less than booking two separate cabins, I would rather have two full cabins and the second bathroom, especially with teenagers.
Besides, you get so much more flexibility with more ships in more locations to choose from that way.

Cramming everyone into one room may sound idealistic to some people when all goes well, but in reality doing that can easily turn into misery.

When someone gets sick and needs to be quarantined, it sheds an entirely different perspective on those nostalgic memories of family vacations.

Outbreaks of norovirus or other intestinal disorders are not uncommon on cruise ships. Having even one person spend a night throwing up or moaning is not a pleasant experience for others who must share the tight quarters. It is helpful to have another bedroom where others can at least get some sleep.

It is so easy to tell children glibly in advance that they will only need to be in the room for a short time each day, but there is really no way to predict.

Even healthy, active people sometimes get sick or sustain injuries that limit their mobility and end up spending more time in their cabin or on their balcony than they had originally intended.

Not everyone is so enamored of childhood family vacation memories where everyone was squished together in one small room.
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  #28  
Old April 10th, 2012, 06:02 AM
beachchick beachchick is offline
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Originally Posted by shheriii View Post
We can't..all the state rooms are sold out...and we are going w/ my brother in law & sister in law... is it really that different from sharing a hotel room because we've done that before.
What category and size of cabin do you have? If you are in any standard cabin, then the answer is no, absolutely not. Take the size of a standard hotel room with two queen beds and a regular bathroom. Now, imagine instead that the four of you are sharing a space maybe 30%-40% of that. Let's say you have a balcony cabin that is 220 sq ft total. The number includes the balcony (not really large enough for four people), the sleeping area, the living space, the closet(s), the entryway, and the very small bathroom. As mentioned, there will be a regular oversize full or queen for one couple and the other couple will either be sharing a sofa bed, sleeping in single pullman berths (come down from the ceiling), or one on a small sofa sleeper and one on a pullman.

As for not being in the cabin much, you will still all be getting ready for the day, for dinner, for bed, and sleeping in it. In fact, in some cases when all beds are set up, everyone has to crawl over or edge around to get to the bathroom. Oh, and speaking of the bathroom, it's very close to the main area of the cabin, so all...um...sounds, smells, and so forth will be pretty clearly shared.

Will you be okay all being in a space roughly 11 ft x 20 ft total? There will be no privacy, little space in the bathroom, and one couple will not be in a regular bed. If you think you'll be fine, then go for it. If not, then keep your sanity and reconsider.

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  #29  
Old April 10th, 2012, 07:43 AM
boulders boulders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeZTW View Post
3) To that end, I've been told that Carnival and Norwegian are the best in terms of activities for the kids (I want to be with them, but not every minute of the day!). Does anyone disagree with that assessment?
I would disagree with this assessment. RCCL is the best for teens, especially the Freedom/Liberty/Indendence or Oasis/Allure.
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  #30  
Old April 10th, 2012, 11:22 AM
tak81288 tak81288 is offline
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I would disagree with this assessment. RCCL is the best for teens, especially the Freedom/Liberty/Indendence or Oasis/Allure.
Very true, Royal is an option, but Carnival and NCL would be great too. There will be tons of activities and families on any of these lines.

Based on the OP budget, I highly doubt they will be able to get on one of those Royal shipsyou suggested in the middle of the summer. In this scenerio, Carnival and NCL are probably the better options. I just priced out a couple of Royal ships for the weeks they need to sail. Cheapest insides were running from $800 to over $1000 pp and the OP already indicated that they want at least one OV, so they will be paying more than that. Both Carnival and NCL are coming up to be at least $100-200 cheaper for similar itineraries and staterooms which will come out to at the very least $400-800 total savings for them. I didn't look up every single cruise, so their could be more inexpensive options, but this is what I am finding by doing a quick search for their timeframe.

Last edited by tak81288; April 10th, 2012 at 11:23 AM.
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  #31  
Old December 30th, 2012, 05:57 PM
sjde sjde is offline
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Someone posted that it's always more expensive to book a cruise during times when kids are on vacation. I don't think this is true of the Caribbean in February vs summer, is it?
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  #32  
Old December 30th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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No offense, but, ARE YOU NUTS????
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  #33  
Old December 30th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Five people in one stateroom.......
One bathroom.....

For me, that would not be a fun vacation.

I'd save a bit longer and go when we had the means to get two cabins. What's the fun if everyone is so crowded in and on top of each other? Waiting a turn for the bathroom when you are all getting ready for the day/for dinner?

JMO......

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  #34  
Old December 30th, 2012, 08:34 PM
notentirelynormal notentirelynormal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tak81288 View Post
If you are a little flexibile with dates and are not picky with what type of room you book, you can very easily take a 7 day cruise with Carnival out of San Juan for less than the $4k you were quoted and still have 2 rooms. I just went to there website and priced out an August 2012 sailing out of San Juan. 2 interior rooms (2 in one 3 in the other) and it came out to 3557.00. I priced out this summer sailing, since you have kids and I am assuming you are trying to scheduled something when school is out. However, the prices outside of that summer timeframe dropped drastically.
But how much would the airfare be for 5 people too. San Juan isn't the cheapest place to fly in to.
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  #35  
Old December 31st, 2012, 09:53 PM
SMerritt SMerritt is offline
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We have been on many, many NCL cruises......talked to families that like sailing on NCL with their families because they are able to get a balcony cabin or suite with a inside room across the hall from them for their children at an affordable price

Also, there are tons of activities for teens, they rarely hang out in the Suite

Try checking some ncl deck plans??
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  #36  
Old December 31st, 2012, 11:56 PM
fleckle fleckle is offline
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Quote:
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We are a family of 5 - two adults and three teens (14,15,16). During the pricing of Carnival cruises it looks like they can get all five of us into one room. But I've seen staterooms before and they are pretty small.

Has anyone in the forums put five people in a room before, and if so how was your experience? Are the "extra" beds of decent size? Our kids are fairly tall.

Well, even though it is something that most of us would never be tempted to do, apparently not everyone feels the same way.


Guess it could be worse than merely stuffing five in there.


If your family starts to complain, you could show them this:










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  #37  
Old January 1st, 2013, 01:04 AM
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This topic may still be of interest to others. But I have a feeling that, since the OP started it 9 months ago and has not returned, perhaps they made other plans.

Just to weigh in with my feelings on the subject, as soon as our kids were old enough to stay next door or across the hall, we never again shared a cabin with them. Of course you don't spend much time in there if you're cramped to the gills. I'm a light sleeper and every moan, fart, snort and roll
over would wake me up. Four (or even 3) people sharing a tiny cabin is just not fun.
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  #38  
Old January 1st, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Five bodies in a stateroom doesn't sound like a vacation, it sounds like a nightmare. I'd rather stay home, hire a cleaning service, and eat out every night for a week for less money.
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