Spring Break & Easter 2014, Please Help!

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#1
Florida
2,095 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I thought I would ask my fellow Cruise Critic Members to give me your opinions on Spring Break / Easter Break for 2014 and when the best time to travel would be.

Can you give us your opinion?

A little about us; we are a middle aged married couple with no children. We love children, we have nieces and nephews, and we were once children ourselves! But we enjoy cruising when the amount of children onboard is limited. Having said that, we also have found that 10 day cruises limit the number of children on any cruise during the school year.

Our spring vacation window usually is between March 10 and May 1 and years such as this year (2013) when spring break and Easter are so close together it is easy taking a mid April cruise and avoiding the young ones!

I know Princess will give you numbers of children, but one year out it would probably not be accurate. We would like to secure our cabin and reservation this week.

2014 presents an unusual calendar with Easter being on April 20. We guess that spring break begins in Early March and are not sure how long it lasts. We would really like to cruise on the Royal this year so we are limited to the following dates:

March 16, March 23, March 30, April 5, April 6, April 13, April 20

We know that any date we pick will be a great experience, however, which date would you choose to sail with a reduced the number of young ones on board?

Your opinion is greatly appreciated!
Ken
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#2
Chicago, IL
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Joined May 2000
For the past 13 years I've done a Princess 10 day during the last week of February through the first half of March. You'll be fine.
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#3
14,451 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by Cruisin'Chris
For the past 13 years I've done a Princess 10 day during the last week of February through the first half of March. You'll be fine.
I think that he is asking about 7 day cruises. Big difference regarding kids on board
#4
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,741 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by A1A
March 16, March 23, March 30, April 5, April 6, April 13, April 20
Definitely not the 4/20 sailing. I was checking online and there's a huge music festival in March in Miami which will mean high hotel rates in FLL. Since Easter is April 20th, my guess is that early April would be the best time. Just like early December because most families cruise over the holidays.
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#5
Burlington, VT
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Joined Apr 2005
As you've stated, a 10-day cruise would afford the best chance of cruising with fewer children. The dates you have listed are all perfectly set for 1-week spring break cruises since they embark on Sunday. There are going to be colleges and high schools on break during all the weeks you're considering.

My suggestion would be to do a 10-day on the Emerald in 2014 and then in 2015 do a 10-day onboard the Royal.

Lew
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#6
Florida
2,095 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Yes, as Chrysalis indicated we really want to sail the Royal next year (7 day, Sunday to Sunday). I also agree with Pam that Easter (April 20) is pretty much out too. I don't know what impact college spring breaks have on Princess, I think the bigger impact is elementary, middle and high school students, since this is the family's only time off in the spring. I just am not too sure how long the spring break season is and when it ends and if there is a peak. I also know some schools have an easter break so that may also rule out April 13 & 20. The only other interesting tidbit I could find is that the lowest fare for that time of year is April 6. Since fares are based on supply and demand can I assume that April 6 might be my best choice?
Thanking you for your help, any comments!
Ken
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#7
Northern Virginia
640 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I would do a 10 day if possible...the number of kids with be alot smaller compared to a 7 day cruise.
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#8
685 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Thanks for posing the question Ken. We are also trying to decide on a Royal cruise next year. I really wish the Royal was doing 10-day cruises - I don't like a 7-day cruise - but I don't want to wait until 2015 to sail on the Royal.
I think we are going to seriously consider the April 6 sailing. Just wish the prices would come down
One advantage of the 7-day is that we are going to try our first inside cabin. If it's awful, at least it's only 7 days!!
#9
Florida
2,095 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I have been on two 10 days Princess cruises and know as you probably do that the length of the cruise makes it pretty prohibitive for students. But I, like you want to check out the Royal this Spring and not wait either. I thought my question was pretty straight forward as to the best week during March and April.

From what I have been reading and googling it seems as though school spring breaks run anytime in March and April and lots are connected to Easter. Some have Spring Breaks and Easter Breaks, I think if I eliminate the week before and after Easter and eliminate the last 3 weeks of March (what I consider spring break to be) I am left with April 6.

We have been on 8 cruises and have done an inside room, it really is not bad at all, as a matter of fact we will be doing an inside on this cruise! Hopefully we will be on the same roll call and I can provide you more info on life in an inside cabin!

Ken
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#10
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,741 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
One of the negatives to the new Royal (and Regal), is that without oceanview cabins, the jump in price between an inside and the lowest balcony category can be huge. On my T/A next year (9/14), the difference is over $2,200 as a single. I've booked my first inside in years. I just can't justify spending that much more for a balcony. I think it's a big negative.
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#11
9,548 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by Pam in CA
One of the negatives to the new Royal (and Regal), is that without oceanview cabins, the jump in price between an inside and the lowest balcony category can be huge. On my T/A next year (9/14), the difference is over $2,200 as a single. I've booked my first inside in years. I just can't justify spending that much more for a balcony. I think it's a big negative.
I'm going to make a slight correction: it's not a "big" negative, it's a HUGE GINORMOUS negative. Especially when we add in the single supplement.

OP, if you're concerned about avoiding K-12 kids and don't care as much as college kids, go with the March dates. And 30 March would probably be safest of those -- even my alma mater, which has a January term so has a late start to spring semester and thus historically late spring breaks, is back on campus by that last weekend of March next year.

That said, I'm guessing few if any college kids will be able to afford the Royal rates compared to other ships, and it's not really a ship designed to appeal to that age anyway. A junior who works here at the tutoring center was peeking over my shoulder when I was watching one of the videos Princess has released about the ship and said it looked like a snooze -- and she's the opposite of the stereotypical wild spring breaker! So it just may not get traction among the party crowd.
#12
24,826 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by A1A
From what I have been reading and googling it seems as though school spring breaks run anytime in March and April and lots are connected to Easter. Some have Spring Breaks and Easter Breaks, I think if I eliminate the week before and after Easter and eliminate the last 3 weeks of March (what I consider spring break to be) I am left with April 6. [/size]
I have cruised 2x during that week when not associated with Easter and there were plenty of kids. Most were well behaved.... Some Pacific Northwest schools seem to have this week off.

You are sort of stuck regardless of week - but you know that. Good luck!
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#13
Issaquah, WA
3,910 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Coral
I have cruised 2x during that week when not associated with Easter and there were plenty of kids. Most were well behaved.... Some Pacific Northwest schools seem to have this week off.
I can confirm that a lot of PNW schools had off the 2nd week of April this year. Most schools out here start after Labor Day and go until mid-June. We have a mid-winter break in February and spring break in April. Some local schools (that my friends' kids attend) had the first week of April. We (and many others) had the second week of April. But a lot of my mid-west and east-coast friends' kids had off in late March. Spring breaks aren't necessarily linked to Easter any more. They spread out breaks somewhat evenly through the school calendar.

I think you are probably best going in early-March, but you are likely to encounter kids any of those weeks.
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#14
So Cal
405 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by sherryf
I can confirm that a lot of PNW schools had off the 2nd week of April this year. Most schools out here start after Labor Day and go until mid-June. We have a mid-winter break in February and spring break in April. Some local schools (that my friends' kids attend) had the first week of April. We (and many others) had the second week of April. But a lot of my mid-west and east-coast friends' kids had off in late March. Spring breaks aren't necessarily linked to Easter any more. They spread out breaks somewhat evenly through the school calendar.

I think you are probably best going in early-March, but you are likely to encounter kids any of those weeks.
Exactly what I was going to add. Spring break is often from mid March to mid April depending on the school district and although traditionally spring break was attached to Easter, that isn't the case any longer. Many school districst even in the same city have different spring breaks. Elementary, junior high and high schools are varing times even within the same city.

In order to really avoid Spring Break I would go early in March or wait until May. If it is important to you then I would definately avoid the second half of March and most of April...to be safe.

My wife and I are in the exact position and have the same preference regarding kids on board. We generally avoid summer and spring break and will certainly avoid 7 days cruises if we find a good enough reason to cruise during those times.
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#15
24,826 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by rdsqrl
[color=Indigo][font=Comic Sans MS]I'm going to make a slight correction: it's not a "big" negative, it's a HUGE GINORMOUS negative. Especially when we add in the single supplement.

OP, if you're concerned about avoiding K-12 kids and don't care as much as college kids, go with the March dates. And 30 March would probably be safest of those -- even my alma mater, which has a January term so has a late start to spring semester and thus historically late spring breaks, is back on campus by that last weekend of March next year.
I disagree - March is still prime spring break time. All of our schools (college and k-12 are all mid to end of March where I live). I think maybe the first week of March would be the safest but it isn't listed on the OP's list.
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#16
24,826 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by jpthomas27

In order to really avoid Spring Break I would go early in March or wait until May. If it is important to you then I would definately avoid the second half of March and most of April...to be safe.
I agree.
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#17
Ohio
349 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Here in Ohio, our district is going the week of 3/30. We usually go around Easter, but since it is late and the Ohio Achievment Tests are the 3rd week of April, we are going early. Schools like the kids to get back into the school routine for a week before taking the tests.

Hubby has been analyzing spring breaks around the country, it looks like the week of 3/30 maybe the best week to go if the OP has to sail in March. Also saw evidence of that over at a Disneyworld website(the have an annual poll on when is your Spring Break).

The big universities around us break in early March(1st or 2nd week) and one goes the last week of Feb.
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#18
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Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Twinkstarr

The big universities around us break in early March(1st or 2nd week) and one goes the last week of Feb.
Some k-12 schools also have President's week off in February. These schools have the week in February off and then a week in April for Spring Break. Some colleges start at the end of February also.

I have worked in Education my entire life and also watch this.
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#19
Ohio
349 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by Coral
Some k-12 schools also have President's week off in February. These schools have the week in February off and then a week in April for Spring Break. Some colleges start at the end of February also.

I have worked in Education my entire life and also watch this.
Being a Disney Vacation Club member for years, I have gotten the "feel" for other parts of the country's school schedules. I remember stumbling upon the term "Jersey Week", thinking it was some sort of ESPN event at WDW. Turns out it's the week of the NJ teachers' union meeting and they have a short school week, so it's off to visit the Mouse.

Also some UK schools have a term break President's Day week also(plenty of DVC'ers in the UK).
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2012 NCL Epic 7 day Eastern Caribbean
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1985 Cunard Princess 7day Caribbean
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#20
Davenport,fl.
425 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Hi there A1A. In case you didn't realize it, Florida schools are on spring break the week of March 22 thur March 30 2014. Have a great cruise. Gary (marty 1950).