Only 1 week of vacation time, all expenses paid cruise or one you've been planning?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

#1
Florida
1,031 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Seems like an no-brainer easy question right?

Well we are in the process of saving up for a Thanksgiving cruise in 2012 on Liberty of the Seas to the caribbean (Me, DH - in our 30's - and DD is 3, possibly a few fam members who will pay their own way).

Yesterday we were told DH's family is going on a cruise in July 2012 and in-laws will pay for their kids and families. Initial reaction - WOOOP!!! Then they told us it's on Monarch from port canaveral (about 3 hrs from us) to bahamas. We had no desire to sail on Monarch and are doing bahamas in Jan, plus we wanted a bigger, newer ship with lots to do for 3 yr old DD.

Can only take 1 week vacation in 2012.

Give me reasons to go on either one!

(I know, what a big huge problem to have )
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Next up
November 9, 2018 - Symphony of the Seas 4-nighter from Miami!! (no kids)

Past Cruises
Sep 2017 - Harmony of the Seas to E. Caribbean *changed to W. Caribbean* (with kids)
Nov 2016 - RCI Allure of the Seas - Nov 2016 (with kids)
Nov 2015 - NCL Escape to E. Caribbean (with kids - NCL Escape Review 11/21/15)
Nov 2014 - RCI Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel (with kids)
Jan 2014 - RCI Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel (no kids)
Jan 2012 - Carnival Miracle to Bahamas
Feb 2008 - RCI Navigator of the Seas to W. Caribbean
May 2006 - Norwegian Dawn to Nowhere
May 2004 - Carnival Imagination to W. Caribbean
Mar 2002 - Carnival Imagination to W. Caribbean
#2
Texas Hill Country
16,058 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Family or Liberty and a longer cruise Your preference I'm afraid. Mine would be Liberty. But it's your choice not mine.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
167 Days at Sea with RCCL
14 with Celebrity
4 with Carnival




#3
lakewood, new jersey
8,225 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by CamaCama
Seems like an no-brainer easy question right?

Well we are in the process of saving up for a Thanksgiving cruise in 2012 on Liberty of the Seas to the caribbean (Me, DH - in our 30's - and DD is 3, possibly a few fam members who will pay their own way).

Yesterday we were told DH's family is going on a cruise in July 2012 and in-laws will pay for their kids and families. Initial reaction - WOOOP!!! Then they told us it's on Monarch from port canaveral (about 3 hrs from us) to bahamas. We had no desire to sail on Monarch and are doing bahamas in Jan, plus we wanted a bigger, newer ship with lots to do for 3 yr old DD.

Can only take 1 week vacation in 2012.

Give me reasons to go on either one!

(I know, what a big huge problem to have )
Family, Family Family share and enjoy them while you can. Change your July 2012 until July 2013.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
][/

#4
Brooklyn, NY
981 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I would chose family over Liberty, but then again I am really close to my family so it would be a no brainer. It is almost impossible for all of us to be free and the kids not in school and able to cruise together. As a matter of fact it's only happened once and the kiddies missed two days of school and my sister missed a days' pay.

Hopefully you are able to come a quick solution.....

Good Luck!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Carnival Triumph August 2007 ...the addiction begins...
Norwegian Spirit May 2008 ...Mom's B-day cruise!...
Carnival Miracle August 2008 ...boy's first cruise...
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea December 2008 ...Sisters "LiveLaughLove" cruise...
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea May 2009 ...Family Reunion cruise...
Carnival Triumph September 2009 ...Mother & Daughter cruise...
Carnival Dream November 2009 ...boy's third cruise...
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea May 2010 ...Mom's B-day cruise...
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea October 2010 B2B ...Sisters "LiveLaughLove" cruise Remix...
Carnival Miracle May 2011...Friends and Family Group cruise
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea December 2011 ...My Getaway B-day cruise...
Carnival Liberty December 2012 ...My Sparkling B-day Group cruise...
Carnival Splendor May 2013..... Friends and Family Group Cruise
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Sea December 2013 ......My Relaxcation Cruise
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas May 2014.......My Amazing Getaway Cruise
Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas August 2014[b].......My I'm Canadian Cruise
Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas January 2015........Sisters "LiveLoveLaugh" cruise revamped
Carnival Splendor August 2015.........Friends and Family Group Cruise
Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas November 2015
#6
Brookhaven, GA.
5,523 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by red devil
Family, Family Family share and enjoy them while you can. Change your July 2012 until July 2013.
Ditto....
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

GOTTA LOVE CRUISING
I am not in a hurry, I am on VACATION!!

Emerald Seas 8/80-Bahamas
Carnival Fantasy 5/92-Bahamas

Carnival Fantasy 4/94-Bahamas
Norwegian Sea 11/02-Western Caribbean
Carnival Triumph 11/04-Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Celebration 3/07-Bahamas
Holland America Eurodam 4/09-Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Eclipse 4/11-Western Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas 2/12-Western Caribbean (17th Anniversary )
Holland America Eurodam 3/12-Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Epic 11/12- Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette 4/13- Western Caribbean
Disney Dream 1/14 Bahamas
Royal Princess 4/14- Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Epic 4/14 Western Caribbean
Celebrity Constellation 2/15 Bahamas (20th Anniversary)
Star Princess 4/15 California Coastal
Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam 4/16- Western Caribbean
#7
Washington
631 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Yep, do the free one. Save the money for the following year.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
05/24/2016- Carnival Legend (Glacier Bay)
11/17/2013- Carnival Miracle (Mexican Riviera)
11/27/2011- RCI Freedom of the Seas (Eastern Car.)
11/28/2010- Carnival Spirit (Mexican Riviera)
12/2007- Carnival Legend (Western Car.)
3/2006- Carnival Pride (Mexican Riviera)
4/2005- NCL Pride of Aloha (Hawaii)
#8
5,167 Posts
Joined Mar 2000
While a free cruise with family sounds great, I would go with my originally planned Liberty cruise. The Monarch just wouldn't excite me enough to change. Also, sailing in the middle of the summer with a zillion kids isn't my idea of fun either.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Oasis OTS - 11/16, 10/12
Adventure OTS - 9/16
Anthem OTS - 11/15
Liberty OTS - 9/15, 1/12
Disney Wonder - 1/15
Quantum OTS - 11/14
NCL Breakaway - 10/14
Vision OTS - 9/14
Carnival Splendor - 6/14
Freedom OTS - 2/14, Pre-Inaugural 5/06
Carnival Breeze - 11/13
Enchantment OTS - 9/13, 8/12, 2/11, 10/08, 9/08 B2B, 1/08, 2/07, 9/06, 9/04, 9/03
Radiance OTS - 5/13 (Hawaii), 10/10
Allure OTS - 1/12
Explorer OTS - 9/11, 6/11, 7/09, 10/07, 11/06
Caribbean Princess - 10/10
Crown Princess - Pre-Inaugural 6/06
Sun Princess - 5/06 (Alaska)
Celebrity Constellation - 11/05
Sovereign OTS - 3/05, 10/01
Voyager OTS - 10/04
Carnival Conquest - 8/04
NCL Dawn - 2/03
Brilliance OTS - 11/02
Majesty OTS - 9/02
Carnival Triumph - 6/02
Grand Princess - 4/01
Carnival Victory - 8/00
Carnival Sensation - 7/00

Up Next: Empress of the Seas 5/17, Navigator of the Seas 10/17





#9
Long Island, NY
16,656 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by yj2cute
While a free cruise with family sounds great, I would go with my originally planned Liberty cruise. The Monarch just wouldn't excite me enough to change. Also, sailing in the middle of the summer with a zillion kids isn't my idea of fun either.

I agree. I would stick with Liberty. If you have no desire to sail on Monarch, then you shouldn't, regardless of whether or not it is free.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
~Donna

139 nights at sea (81 with RCI):
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (7 nights NJ to Bahamas) 3/19/17
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 4/30/16
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (3 nights sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 3/4/16
RCCL Liberty of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 10/17/15
RCCL Quantum of the Seas (3 nights inaugural sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 11/18/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/17/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/25/13
RCCL Jewel of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Barbados route) 5/25/13
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (9 nights NJ to Bermuda, Labadee, San Juan and St Maarten) 5/24/12
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights NJ to Bahamas - New Years cruise) 12/30/11
RCCL Allure of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/21/11
Caribbean Princess (9 nights NY to Bermuda, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk) 7/29/10 REVIEW
Caribbean Princess (7 nights Canada/New England) 8/24/08 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/26/07 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/20/06
Carnival Miracle (7 nights NY to Bahamas) 6/26/04 REVIEW
RCCL Adventure of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Aruba route) 8/24/03
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/17/02
Costa Riviera (7 nights Western Caribbean) 5/90
Cunard Countess (7 nights Southern Caribbean) 6/89
Home Lines Atlantic (7 nights NY to Bermuda) 7/88
#10
4,135 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I'd spend the time with family....with DD being 3 she really isn't going to notice whether the ship is big or small. But she will know that Gma and Gpa are with her having fun.

Take the money and save it for the following year when DD will be a little older and can enjoy the big ship more.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Spreadsheet for 5/24/16 roll call: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...gid=1135979365

Previous Cruises (97 days at sea)
Norwegian Jewel - 05/31/15 (Venice to Barcelona)
Brilliance of the Seas - 8/7/14 (Baltics)
Navigator of the Seas - 3/9/14 (Western)
Allure of the Seas - 8/4/13 (Eastern)
Adventure of the Seas - 3/10/13 (Southern)
Rhapsody of the Seas - 7/27/12 (Alaska/Sawyer)
Grandeur of the Seas - 3/18/12 (Panama/ABC)
Voyager of the Seas - 12/31/11 (Western)
Navigator of the Seas - 5/22/11 (E. Med)
Adventure of the Seas - 12/19/10 (Southern)
Majesty of the Seas - 11/19/10 (Bahamas)
Liberty of the Seas - 4/11/10 (Western)
NCL Jewel - 12/13/09 (Western)
#11
Halifax, NS
2,454 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
does the vacation time have to be in 1 week blocks or can you take days? If the latter is it possible to do both cruises? Since you're in easy access of the ports does the July cruise fall on/before/after the weekends or a holiday?

If you're set on doing both can you downgrade cabin type and take a day without pay to make up the difference?

I have become a master of extending vacation time with holidays and weekends for those pre-post cruise travel days I need to have
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Already Sailed:
April 1, 2017 - NCL Escape Eastern
March 25, 2017 - NCL Epic Western
Feb 2, 2016 Carnival Glory B2B 11 Day Southern Caribbean SJU MIA
Jan 23, 2016 Carnival Glory B2B Journeys 10 Day Southern Caribbean MIA SJU
Jan 31, 2015 NCL Getaway
Jan 25, 2015 Carnival Breeze
April 27, 2014 NCL Dawn 13 day Southern Caribbean Repo
May 11, 2013 Rhapsody of the Seas 13 day Hawaii to Vancouver Repo
Apr 14, 2012 Oasis of the Seas
Jan 30, 2012 Liberty of the Seas (B2B part II)
Jan 26, 2012 Liberty of the Seas (B2B part I)
Dec 5, 2010 Allure of the Seas Inaugural
Apr 19, 2010 Grandeur of the Seas
Dec 5, 2009 Oasis of the Seas Inaugural
#12
Ocala, Fl
9,961 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
How close are you with your In-laws? And how often do you see them..if it's often I'd stick with the Liberty...I've sailed Monarch..it's a nice little ship...but the cabins are super tiny...3 people is going to be tight...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


#13
2,906 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by red devil
Family, Family Family share and enjoy them while you can. Change your July 2012 until July 2013.
Couldn't have said it better.

The Liberty will be there to enjoy at a later date, your in-laws might not. Plus, the fact that they seem to want to take the vacation with family and are willing to pay for it...in my eyes it shows how important you are to them. Not everyone is lucky enough to have that.
#14
Near Baltimore, MD
1,752 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I love family cruise time. I am the one that books family cruise get togethers. I understand that you all want to do Thanksgiving and the family wants the Monarch. Could you possibly change their minds to the Majesty? If they are thinking dollars that could be their reason for the shorter cruise. Or maybe some people can't even begin to imagine being on a cruise for a week since they never cruised before. The Majesty does go out of Miami instead of Port Canaveral but it also has a nicer itinerary. Yoiu would go to Key West, Nassau, and Coco Cay. The M-F intinerary is actually nice and the Kids camp is good for the little ones. Maybe they only want the shortest drive along with all the other wants they have in mind. Whatever, talk with them. Let them know you had already started to plan a holiday of your own. Maybe there are some family members that can only cruise in the summer and they really want everyone to be together. No maytter, think about family...maybe it would be nicer to go with them this year and plan your own cruise for next? If that is something you decide upon, book it on board and save money that way too. Many this will be a thing your family will all love and will want to do yearly or even every other year. If so, then, everyone will need to be in on the dates, ship and intineray choices. I have a set figure in mind when I book for the family, if they want something outside that range, they have to pay the difference. We have sailed different lines, small and large, old and new ships all seasons just so everyone (or as many as could) got to go with the family. It will be a tough decission. I wish you all a good cruise whatever you decide.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Addicted to cruising and hope I never kick the habit!!!!
#15
Minneapolis, MN
492 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I would opt for the free cruise and push your exisiting cruise reservation to 2013. 2 for 1!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Disney Magic - January 2012
Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas - February 2011
Disney Magic - October 2009
Disney Wonder - January 2008
Carnival Festivale - March 1985
#16
Wilmington, NC
1,215 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I'd take the free Monarch cruise in your sitiuation. You are getting a free cruise, daughter gets to spend time with her relatives, built in babysitters, your daughter will enjoy the extra ammenities of Liberty more when she is a little older, the Monarch cruise might bump your C & A level for your Liberty cruise, book Liberty for 2013 when on Monarch cruise for credit, you and your relatives might enjoy cruising together so much that you all book Liberty for 2013 while onboard (it happened to us) and you are getting a free cruise.
#17
Florida
1,031 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Thanks for all the replies, we really are leaning towards the free cruise but was so looking forward to Liberty. I love my in-laws so cruising with them would be great. Just have to get more info as to why the other fam members want to choose monarch out of port canaveral? We live right near the miami port. But the aunt putting this all together is a travel agent so I guess she has a reason??

Does monarch have a kids pool, splash area, camp for 3 yr old, etc?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Next up
November 9, 2018 - Symphony of the Seas 4-nighter from Miami!! (no kids)

Past Cruises
Sep 2017 - Harmony of the Seas to E. Caribbean *changed to W. Caribbean* (with kids)
Nov 2016 - RCI Allure of the Seas - Nov 2016 (with kids)
Nov 2015 - NCL Escape to E. Caribbean (with kids - NCL Escape Review 11/21/15)
Nov 2014 - RCI Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel (with kids)
Jan 2014 - RCI Liberty of the Seas to Cozumel (no kids)
Jan 2012 - Carnival Miracle to Bahamas
Feb 2008 - RCI Navigator of the Seas to W. Caribbean
May 2006 - Norwegian Dawn to Nowhere
May 2004 - Carnival Imagination to W. Caribbean
Mar 2002 - Carnival Imagination to W. Caribbean
#18
Ocala, Florida
2,125 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
My vote is for the family cruise, for all of the reasons others have provided. But... since you have an additional year to save for it, you could consider changing the Liberty to the Oasis or Allure for 2013.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Majesty of the Seas, 5/17, Harmony of the Seas 12/16, Empress of the Seas 11/16, Glory 9/16, Empress of the Seas 5/16, Conquest, 4/16, Emerald Princess 2/16, Paradise 12/15, Navigator of the Seas 12/15, Glory 9/15, Majesty 7/15, Victory 5/15, Liberty of the Seas 2/15, Caribbean Princess 11/14, MSC Divina 10/14, Vision of the Seas 8/14, MSC Divina 5/14, Victory 2/14, Constellation 12/13, Ecstasy 8/13, Majesty of the Seas 6/13, Enchantment of the Seas 4/13, Liberty of the Seas 2/13, Allure of the Seas 2/13, Imagination 12/12, Jewel of the Seas 12/12, Sensation 11/12, Majesty of the Seas 11/12, Norwegian Pearl 10/12, Enchantment of the Seas 9/12, Majesty of the Seas 9/12, Monarch of the Seas 8/12, Monarch of the Seas 5/12, Norwegian Star 3/12, Jewel of the Seas 3/12, Monarch of the Seas 2/12, Miracle 1/12, Liberty of the Seas 12/11, Allure of the Seas 10/11, Navigator of the Seas 3/11, Century 1/11, Majesty of the Seas 12/10, Allure of the Seas 12/10, Oasis of the Seas 10/10, Imagination 6/10, Majesty of the Seas 5/10, Triumph 10/09, Inspiration 6/08, Fascination 10/07, Enchantment of the Seas 5/04
#19
2,784 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
While my husband and I love our families, we do not cruise with them! I believe this is your preference and only you can decide what will be best for you and your family. I would have to pass on the free cruise, just because it's not worth all the family drama that sometimes goes along with family vacations (not for everyone, so that's why you need to decide what's best for you).

I do not like the Bahamas, so I would not cruise there...not even for free. I would rather pay for a cruise myself and enjoy the ship and the ports.

Is there any reason why they can't go at Thanksgiving when you originally planned it and pay for that one?
#20
Merion, Pennsylvania
59,103 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally posted by yj2cute
While a free cruise with family sounds great, I would go with my originally planned Liberty cruise. The Monarch just wouldn't excite me enough to change. Also, sailing in the middle of the summer with a zillion kids isn't my idea of fun either.
You think that there won't be "a zillion kids" on the ship over Thanksgiving?!?!?!?!?!?