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#1
34 Posts
Joined May 2008
I have a hard time deciding destinations and cruise lines, does anyone know..
1. what is the difference between cruising eastern, western and southern caribbean in terms of things to do etc.?
2. I'm not very into sports and sea activities so does that mean I shouldn't go for Caribbean cruises? I mean I love the sun and swimming (pool only cause I'm allergic to sea water) but I don't do beaches and water sports. I haven't been to Caribbean and would love to visit but is there anything else to do, like museums, monuments, sight seeing, fishing, etc.? If yes where should I go (travelling with my husband tentatively April-June)
3. Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, which one should I pick? We would want a nice new big ship but we also want good service. Is Celebrity more expensive and more catered to adult travelers? But are the ships less equipped i.e. fewer things to do onboard? Cause it seems to me the RC ships got more facilities...
#2
Southaven, Ms
8,306 Posts
Joined May 2006
compare the ports...do research...by checking out the port-of-call board and googling each island. some are more beach/party places, while other have great historicial places to visit.
i live the western caribe, exploring the mayan ruins at 1 or 2 ports..still leaves me a port for just bumming around. find the islands/ports that suit you and then find the ship that gets you there.
some of the ports are less developed and offer less, some are more touristy...
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#3
6,888 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Definitely research your ships also... because many of them use sea water for their pools. Just a tip...

I prefer the Southern Caribbean by far...
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#4
Mountain Home, Arkansas
4,023 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
We have only done the western itineraries, but for someone who is not into the beach options there is still alot to do in the western Carrib. The Progreso area has access to several Mayan ruins, cenotes and the city of Merida is well worth a day of exporation. Other ports with worthy ruins are Costa Maya, Calica, and Belize. Coz and Roatan have good shopping and the food is to kill for.
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#5
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,352 Posts
Joined May 2001
If you go with RCI, book a Freedom class ships--all the other classes use salt-water in their pools.
You may want to check with a travel agent--it cost you nothing, and they can give you all the materials to make a truly informed decision, and get the most "bang" for your buck!
#8
Bolingbrook, Illinois
5,476 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I would suggest that you find a good travel agent. When we first decided to cruise, the travel agent we saw asked us a ton of questions about our likes and dislikes and our vision of an ideal vacation. He then thought about our answers and told us he thought we might enjoy this fairly new cruiseline with a brand new ship. We booked a cruise on Celebrity Zenith and couldn't have been more pleased. It met nearly all our expectations. The cruiseline was a perfect match for us.
But it might not be for you - a good travel agent will help you find the perfect cruise for you. A cruise shouldn't be bought by price and specific itinerary alone. Each line has their own ambience and has their own niche. Remember, you will be on that ship for good portion of the trip and if it doesn't meet or come near to your expectations, you won't be happy.
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#9
Savaneta, Aruba
262 Posts
Joined May 2008
I like the Southern Caribbean. You have the islands, but you also can have stops in places like Colombia which give you a "continental" experience.

Cruise lines have their specialties with regards to the types of passengers they appeal to. You'll find great info right here on the boards that will help you decide.

Be patient, look around, and don't worry... there's always another voyage to be had.
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#10
Las Cruces, NM
2,409 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by 6rugrats
only cause I'm allergic to sea water

Just curious, how can one be allergic to sea water?
There are also people allergic to plain old water. I am also sensitive to sea water. Makes me itch terribly as well as giving me hives at times.
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#11
Washington state
152 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Princess uses fresh water in the pools, btw.

My suggestions: read some of the postings in the Destinations threads, and see if any of the places sound "interesting"... then, pick an itinerary based on going to those places... then, choose your cruiseline/ship!
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#12
6,244 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by buramiko
I have a hard time deciding destinations and cruise lines, does anyone know.. 1. what is the difference between cruising eastern, western and southern caribbean in terms of things to do etc.?...
In my opinion....
  • Western = lots of Mexico
  • Eastern = islands like St Thomas or St Maarten
  • Southern = closer to South American, islands like Aruba
Originally posted by buramiko
2. I'm not very into sports and sea activities so does that mean I shouldn't go for Caribbean cruises? I mean I love the sun and swimming (pool only cause I'm allergic to sea water) but I don't do beaches and water sports. I haven't been to Caribbean and would love to visit but is there anything else to do, like museums, monuments, sight seeing, fishing, etc.? If yes where should I go (travelling with my husband tentatively April-June)...
Western would have more sites to see (Mayan ruins).
Originally posted by buramiko
3. Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, which one should I pick? We would want a nice new big ship but we also want good service. Is Celebrity more expensive and more catered to adult travelers? But are the ships less equipped i.e. fewer things to do onboard? Cause it seems to me the RC ships got more facilities...
RC does has more glitize stuff like ice rinks, climbing wall, wave machine.......
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#13
6,250 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
How can you be allergic to sea water? Your entire body is made up mostly of salt water.

If you don't like the beach and water, then a Caribbean vacation may not be for you, unless you plan to stay on the ship. There is always shopping, but nothing you really can't buy more cheaply online (except perhaps for conch pearls which are usually too expensive for most people anyway).
#14
658 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Many people compare the different cruise lines to hotels. If you were going to take a land vacation would you choose to stay at a:
Sheraton
Holiday Inn
Comfort Inn
Econo Lodge

Celebrity is know for excellent food, service, venues and the best specialty restaurants.

RCI has more on-board activities on some of their ships, all of the others are not quite as good as Celebrity. I have been told that they no longer serve lobster as a money saver, but I did not see them lower any of their prices! In our personal experience their service was terrible.

NCL can be very nice if you like free style dinning. Some love it and some hate it. I have not found many middle of the road on this - we have not tried it.

Princess is a nice cruise line - very port intensive - we have not tried this line yet as we really enjoy sea days and do not want to give up this feature.

I think that just about all of the Caribbean Islands and Mexican Ports have historical features to visit and I do not think you would have any difficulty finding things to do on any itinerary you would choose. We have not been anywhere that we did not enjoy - we especially love San Juan and St. Martin. Pick a place and a Cruise Line and go. Nothing is perfect, if there is a part of it that you did not like, change that part of it and go again - keep doing that until you get it right
#15
Orlando, FL
1,940 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by forensic
Many people compare the different cruise lines to hotels. If you were going to take a land vacation would you choose to stay at a:
Sheraton
Holiday Inn
Comfort Inn
Econo Lodge

Tee hee... so what does a poor girl do who would LIKE to stay at the Ritz, but can only AFFORD to stay at her red-headed stepsister the Couryard by Mariott?? Just kidding...
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#16
Arkansas
3,362 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by ehfl
If you don't like the beach and water, then a Caribbean vacation may not be for you, unless you plan to stay on the ship. There is always shopping, but nothing you really can't buy more cheaply online (except perhaps for conch pearls which are usually too expensive for most people anyway).
I have an opposite opinion! We're not "beach people" and we've found fun and interesting things to do in every port we've visited. Personally, I've never understood why people just go to a beach at every port. Why not just go to Florida ?

forensic, we love sea days, too, and have been able to find Princess cruises that aren't port intensive. It just takes some looking ! We'd love a cruise that has every other day (or even more) a sea day. Our next cruise has 7 port days and 7 sea days. Just about perfect!
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Click for Arkansas Cruisers, Carnival Inspiration 2002, Carnival Elation 2004, Grand Princess 2004,
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#17
Kansas
1,401 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
We are not beach people either, but really enjoy the whole cruise experience. We have always found museums, ruins, or just touring the town and meeting with the locals to get a bit of history of the area and see the sights. Please consider going on a cruise to see if it is something that fits in to your style. We have been on Costa, Carnival and RCCL and prefer RCCL. We feel that the service and amenities are what we enjoy and what keeps us going back. Have a great time planning and spend lots of time at the port of call boards to research.
#18
Amarillo, TX. USA
1,265 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I am not a water or beach person either. We have only done Western Caribbean and I have always found something to do. I have enjoyed the ruins, tours, walking round, and even playing mini golf in Cozumel. Try the section on ports and see what others have recommended. I know in Coz they even offer cooking classes and some places you can go to an all inclusive club for a price. There you could swim in the pool, have lunch, and just relax. We have only done RCCL and the Rhapsody is small compared to the others, but we always found something to do. Go to www.cruiseclues.com and look at the various ships that you are interested in and what they have to offer. Have fun.
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Rhapsody of the Seas 12/2002
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#19
Newburgh N.Y.
7,944 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Bermuda is my favorite and sounds it like it's just what your'e looking for!
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#20
Fayetteville, NC
36 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
When choosing our first cruise, we contacted a TA. The TA suggested going out of Tampa on the Inspiration on a 4 day cruise. This way we had the opportunity to enjoy the ship and there was only one port of call which was Cozumel. Also, we were not sure if we would like cruising so this allowed us to "test the waters" so to speak.

I would also recommend Bermuda since you would have several sea days.

Of course, we loved cruising and we are going on our 6th cruise next month in less than 2 1/2 years.