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Trying to book a spring break trip


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We are taking our children (12 & 15) on a spring break cruise in March 2014. I have a deposit with RCCL Freedom of the Seas (7 day western Caribbean) and just put a 24 hour courtesy hold on celebrity silhouette (7 day eastern Caribbean). I have until Dec 31 to cancel with RCCL without losing my money. There is very little difference in price & I was able to get connecting staterooms with balconies on both. I will post this on Celebrity page as well.


These are my concerns:


I hate crowds, waiting in line, and frustrating unsupervised kids. I am concerned about spring break travel because of this, but have no choice due to school schedules. Therefore, I am thinking the Celebrity cruise would feel like a vacation - thinking less kids since they don't cater to kids. I want to have some fun with my kids, not be separated from them all week while they do teen club stuff. Maybe one date night with my husband, but that would be it.


Celebrity has a much better non-alcoholic package for the kids than RCCL.

Especially since it includes bottled water, etc.


Celebrity has no smoking. We did a Mediterranean cruise last fall and you couldn't see to walk thru the pool area because the smoke was so thick. I am sensitive to smoke & suffered allergy problems during the entire trip.


I like that RCCL seems to have more fun stuff to do on the boat, but I won't enjoy sexy leg contest, etc. plus thinking if the lines are long, will we even get to do the surf simulator, rock climbing wall, etc. I am worried that my kids will be bored on Celebrity. Anyone got suggestions for having fun with kids on celebrity on days at sea. We will have 3 days at sea on Celebrity vs. 2 days on RCCL.


We are in Georgia so the drive to Ft Lauderdale for Celebrity is 2 hours longer than the drive to Port Canaveral for RCCL.


Which is better - eastern or western itineraries. We really just want to snorkel, play on the beach, and swim with dolphins. My son would enjoy the Mayan ruins in Mexico, but he would also enjoy the fort IN Puerto Rico & we wouldn't have a long bus ride to see it.


As you can see we really need help! I want it to be an awesome trip. My husband didn't enjoy our Greek Isles trip last year because the days at sea were pretty boring & the night time entertainment was terrible. If this one is a flop, I will never talk him into a cruise again! He would rather just go someplace in a plane and stay than be "stuck on a boat" as he says. I'm afraid if there's not enough to do on Celebrity he will feel that way when we have 2 back to back days at sea.

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can not speak about celebrity at all never been on one. I can speak about the freedom oct 6 through the 13th I just came off. this being my 8 th total cruise . customer service was the best ever . We was told it was sold out but the only real crowd was for the 70 s show in the royal promenade. flow rider had a 30 minute wait but the staff ensured even the less capable guest had ample time to try it. rock wall I waited 5 minutes to climb. Both done on sea days. unruly kids I did see any of course it wasn't spring break. the cd doesn't normally effect my opinion of any cruise . this time it did he was the best ( Richard spacey) check You tube for a sample of his energy. good luck and happy cruising I myself am headed for the oasis march 28

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Which line did you cruise on in the Med?


RCCL is likely to have 1000 or more kids during spring break. It sounds like Celebrity would be more to your taste. My teens are able to make their own fun on ships. They've never been on a surf simulator or rock climbing wall. Once was enough on the skating rink.

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First, we are huge fans of both Freedom and Solstice-class ships, so personally, I don't think you can go wrong.


With that said, we've done both Royal and X with our young and older teens, and I think you have nailed all the concerns. Gut says Freedom, but you know your kids better than anyone. If both are pretty laid back and just happy hanging out, then they'll be fine on X. There will actually be a lot of kids on X during those March Spring Break weeks. On the other hand, if you know they'd be a lot happier with all the Royal fun stuff, then go for it. While Freedom will be crowded, if you can get there pretty early on embarkation day, then they can make a beeline to sign up for the climbing wall, surf rider, etc. The thing about Freedom is, it's a very happy ship. We felt it, I see a lot of reviewers remark on it, and I've been told by crew who rotate among ships that it's true. In our experience, a happy staff and crew can set a really positive vibe for the pax, so even if there are a few crowd issues, I don't think it will be a major problem. We've done several Spring Break cruises and haven't noticed much if any deterioration in experience.


Re: smoking on Freedom, I think the fact it will be a heavy family cruise will help. I don't recall an issue on that ship per se--the divided casino doesn't do the trick, but helps. Be sure to double check each line re: outdoor spaces, whether port or starboard, and if you book balconies that could be subject to upward drift, be sure to book on the opposite non-smoking side.


Uh, I just noticed your last comment about your husband. I have to say, I think *he* might be happier on Freedom! There is a lot of discussion here about whether X offers enough nightlife for adults. We thought it was a little on the slow side. Sometimes, that's okay. But if you are trying to keep him cruising...I dunno! The Silhouette will certainly feel more edgy and sophisticated and offer far better dining, so if those are things that are important to him, maybe all the fun with your kids will keep him happy!


We're a Western Carib family, hands down. Better snorkeling, for sure. But if all ports are new to you, it doesn't matter, you'll find fun stuff in every one.


My reviews of Freedom and Reflection are a little dated now (both 2012), and neither involved kids as young as yours, but you might find something of use here.





Happy researching! :)

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Generally, crowds aren't a problem on any ship....except at the height of mealtime in the buffet....there are other places to eat, tho! And, when shows let out....that's always a bunch of folks going the same direction. The pools can be quite packed on sea days, of course.


But, other than those times, we've never encountered "lines"....


I'm thinking that your family might enjoy a land-based vacation more than a cruise! Pick a destination (maybe, an AI) that has the beaches/dolphins you're looking for! Your rooms will be more spacious, and you can do your own thing!

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Which line did you cruise on in the Med?


RCCL is likely to have 1000 or more kids during spring break. It sounds like Celebrity would be more to your taste. My teens are able to make their own fun on ships. They've never been on a surf simulator or rock climbing wall. Once was enough on the skating rink.


As spring breaks are spread out from February till April it is doubtful that you will see 1000 or more kids on the ship. Easter may be the exception to that. We cruise in March and while there are more kids, including ours it never has felt as it is overrun with children.

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We love Celebrity too....just not with our kids. Service and food is wonderful, but for us they are just a little too sedate for families with active teens.


I think your teens would have a ball on Freedom...as well as you and your husband. Royal Caribbean ships have something for everyone. You can do as little or as much as you would like.


One site that is fun to see pictures of different ships and what they offer is beyondships dot com. May make it easier for you to decide.


Hope this helps!

Edited by Heatherco
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To the poster- I love the Freedom of the Seas- it is actually my favorite cruise ship. We have the done the Freedom 3 times and the Liberty of the Seas( sister ship) once at Spring break with kids. Our Spring break is the week after Easter. The Freedom has nice families and nice kids on board during this time. Actually a ton of kids- but they are never rude. Fun things to do- flow rider,ice skating, minature golf and kids club/teen club. The Freedom leaves out of Cape Canaveral which you can drive to( depending on where you live- 12 hrs for us from NC) vs. longer distance from other ports such as Miami/FLL. If the kids have never been to Kennedy Space Center- it is very educational and a great excursion. Overall- it is a wonderful ship. I have not done one of the newer /bigger Celebrity ships yet- but did southern carib. on Summit last year in Nov. Cant really compare the two. Not very many kids. MY TA has actually recommended Celebrity to us last year because of the perks and kids getting older. We did Carnival Dream and kids had fun but I like RC ships better:) I would book the Freedom again this year-but price is high. :rolleyes:

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