How do you choose your cruise?

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Poll: How do you choose your cruise?
Poll Results
How do you choose your cruise?

Ports of Call

Departure Port


Cruise Director

Voters: 238.  You may not vote on this poll.

Mainer in Florida
4,811 Posts
Joined May 2000
The number of sea days is one of the most important criteria for us - especially for Caribbean cruises. When we did Hawaii & Alaska, the ports-of-call were important.
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3,595 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
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.
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6,353 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
You don't list the option that most probably use. What appears to be the best overall value when you want to cruise.

But according to your selections I base my selection on

Port of departure

Ports of call


Have never selected a cruise based on a CD and never seen that as part of the search options. When searching for a cruise it will ask for ports of departure, area, ship but CD is never listed.
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Professional Goof Off
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865 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
In this order:

Port of Departure
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Jennifer & Shane

Carnival Fascination 4/23/12 - 10th Anniversary Cruise!

Carnival Imagination 12/09 - Girl Cruise
Star Princess 11/06 - 5th Anniversary Cruise
Carnival Triumph 04/05 - Family Trip
Carnival Imagination 12/98
Carnival Inspiration 02/97
Lexington, SC
265 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
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!
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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

704 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by finoky
We usually pick the date first and then it's a combination of ship and itinerary. Price is never a deciding factor for us.
That's how we do it too. We pick the date first and then go from there.
Chicago, IL
194 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
#1 is price and #2 is ports.
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2014 December - Disney Dream - Bahamas
2012 December - Carnival Inspiration - Mexico
2007 January - Royal Caribbean Enchantment - Western Caribbean
Capital Region of New York
166 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
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.
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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!!!
Carnival Triumph 1/17 - This time without the kids!!!

Daytona Beach
5,036 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I've chosen for ports of call, departure port, and ship.
Never for a specific cruise director. Not that important to me.
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Carnival Platinum Cruiser since 2010
3,869 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Sometimes price. Usually the itinerary is the deciding factor.

Sent from my MOTWX435KT using Tapatalk 2
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Carnival Mardi Gras 06/93
Carnival Fantasy 05/95 10/95 11/96
Carnival Glory 11/2010
Carnival Victory 11/2011 11/2012
RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas 06/15/2012
Carnival Imagination 01/2013
Carnival Paradise 05/2013
Carnival Valor 11/3/2013 San Juan/St Thomas/Barbados/St Lucia/St Kitts/St Maarten
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas 06/06/2014 Baltimore/Bermuda
Carnival Conquest 11/02/2014 Miami/Cozumel/Belize/Roatan/Grand Cayman
Carnival Legend 05/18/2015 Vancouver/Tracy Arm/Juneau/Skagway/Glacier Bay Ketchikan/Seattle
Carnival Breeze 10/24/2015 Miami/Grand Turk/La Romana/Aruba/Curacao 8 night Southern
Vision of The Sea 04/02/2016 7nt Western Tampa/Roatan/Belize/Costa Maya/Cozumel
Carnival Ecstasy 08/20/2016 5 Night Charleston/Nassau/Half Moon Cay
Carnival Magic 12/10/16 7 Night Eastern Amber Cove/St Thomas/San Juan/Grand Turk


July 2017 Carnival Paradise Tampa/Key West/Cozumel
Oct 2017 Carnival Vista Ocho Rios/Grand Cayman/Cozumel
April 2018 Carnival Pride Baltimore/Bermuda
Oct 2018 Carnival Splendor Long Beach/Cabo San Lucas/Mazatlan/Puerta Vallarta
504 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Itinerary and price
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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
Decatur, Alabama
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Date of vacation/school break first, then it's price, ports, ship.
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Splendor 3/22/2015
Liberty 3/23/2012
Fascination 2/2009
Triumph 3/2007
Holiday 10/2006
Liberty 3/2006
Inspiration 6/2005
Pride 6/2003
Triumph 8/2000
53 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Banditswife
We have a general time frame we want to cruise, then we only do 7-8 day cruises. The next thing is price, then itenerary, then ship.
This is what we are looking at as well, for our first cruise. I have a very elaborate spread sheet created

Gilbert, Az/Irvine,Ca
312 Posts
Joined May 2006
Ports of call, price, departure port. Unfortunately cruise lines can change the ports of call with no repercussions.
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Steve, Eileen
Carnival Conquest 10-28-12 Anniversary Review
Carnival Triumph 1-2-12 Sisters Cruise
Carnival Spirit 10-10-09 Mexican Riviera Review
Carnival Elation 11-05-08 Cabo, Ensanada
Carnival Destiny 10-15-06 1st Cruise 10th Anniversary
Review at 1 2 3

USS Houston SSN-713 1990-1991

1,622 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We figure out which week I can get of work thats the cheapest all around.... (summertime, so usually Memorial Day week)... then we look at all available and choose for ports... 7+ days is a much
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Inspiration- 09/22/08 -first cruise- Grand Cayman/Cozumel
Valor - 5/30/2010 - Western Caribbean
Liberty - 5/28/2011- Eastern Caribbean Review:
Liberty - 12/17/2011- Western Caribbean Christmas Cruise Review:
Valor - 5/26/2012- Southern Caribbean (Aruba/Curacao/LaRomana/Grand Turk!) 526ers!
Victory- 3/14/2013- GIRLS CRUISE to Key West/Cozumel
Imagination - 11/29/2013- Nassau
Breeze- 5/24/2014 - 526er Reunion Cruise
Victory- 12/4/2014- Key West/Coz
Fantasy- 3/14/2016- Key West and Cozumel
Fantasy- 10/21/16 - Girls Cruise to Nassau

Victory - 6/5/2017 - Girls Key West/Cozumel

Chicago, IL
194 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
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.
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2014 December - Disney Dream - Bahamas
2012 December - Carnival Inspiration - Mexico
2007 January - Royal Caribbean Enchantment - Western Caribbean