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I voted for Ports in the poll, but it really is a mix.
Here is basically what I do:
1) Look at a timeframe to travel
2) Look at ports that are visited
3) Look at prices / and cruise lines going there
4) Pick ship / cruiseline that I am going to like more (Princess ships/Radiance class/Spirit Class getting preference).
5) Book cruise and then obsess here on CC.
We have to work around dates. Our kids are in school, so we usually do Spring break. After we finalize the dates, we look at itinerary, ship, then price.
We've cruised in the scorching heat of July. I don't think we will do that again. We live in South Carolina, so we're used to the sweltering temps, but I'd rather spend my summer days NOT walking around ports sweating to death! LOL I'd rather sit by my pool and save my cruising for when the weather is unpredictable here in SC!
The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
Carnival Legend-March 2013-First aft wrap!
Carnival Valor- April 2011
Carnival Destiny-July 2010
Last edited by Carolinagirl82; April 14th, 2012 at 08:49 PM.
We look at all the factors but the bottom line is often the price. But Port and dates work together to make the price work out. We look at how long to drive (yes, we only drive) to the port, how much gas will cost to get us there, plus hotels, food, and parking. It all works together to come to a final price. We compare a few itineraries this way and weigh the cost vs. the trip and figure out what we want to do.
Norwegian Dream 07/08 - Anniversary Cruise
Carnival Pride 02/11 - Family Cruise
Carnival Ecstasy 07/12 - Family Cruise
Carnival Sunshine 7/14 - We're walking on sunshine!!!
Sometimes price. Usually the itinerary is the deciding factor.
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Carnival Mardi Gras 06/93
Carnival Fantasy 05/95
Carnival Fantasy 10/95
Carnival Fantasy 11/96
Carnival Glory 11/2010
Carnival Victory 11/2011
RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas 06/15/2012
Carnival Victory 11/2012
Carnival Imagination 01/2013
Carnival Paradise 05/2013
Carnival Valor 11/3/2013
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas 06/06/2014
Norwegian Breakaway - Bermuda, June 2015
Carnival Dream - Western Caribbean, April 2013
Norwegian Dawn - Bermuda, June 2012
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean, August 2011
Ruby Princess - Eastern Caribbean, January 2011
Norwegian Pride of Hawaii - Hawaii, June 2007
Golden Princess - Southern Caribbean, June 2004
Grand Princess - Western Caribbean, June 2002
The cost of the per person cabin rate is only a fraction of the total cruise vacation. Being from the mid-west, we have to drive in excess of 12 hrs or fly to any port. What will be the cost of driving (gas, on-the-road meals, time - extra days off) vs flying per person (air fare, parking per day if we can't get someone to drop us off & pick us up), hotel stay the day before embarkation and the day of debarkation, meals.
Traveling with the whole family or just as a couple or BFF's. More folks = more costs.