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Rae77

Which Boat Would Float my Boat

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Hi

Sorry for the title, just wanted to capture people as there is similar topic on here but with different requirements.

Earlier I was comparing 2 cruise lines & the comments received have helped me review things more. There is very mixed reviews on all cruise line's, so I have have put my list together to see what everyone else would suggest based on your experiences. We are a family ranging from 40-60's and 2 teenagers. We have chosen the Caribbean area but realise I may have to compromise on the number of nights to get the right ship.

 
We would definitely like the following:
Balcony
Drinks Package
Large Modern Ship
Plenty of choice for restuarants & bars
Views of the sea when relaxing in the evening
Good Service
Minimum extra charges
Some activities for our teenage children
Casino
 
Our stay would be over the Easter period (school holidays for the UK), should I be concerned with space and queue's on any particular cruise line?
The newest ships maybe out our price range so alternatives covering the above would be great?
What would be the extra charges occurred?
 
I look forward to any help on this, Thank you Rae
 
cleardot.gif
 

 

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Posted (edited)

I still think RCI's Oasis Class checks off most of your criteria, but also take a look at RCI's Freedom and/or Voyager Class ships.  For example, Navigator of the Seas is about to get a massive refurbishment and it looks like she's going to be an even greater ship than she already is.  Plus, Freedom and Voyager Class ships have the Viking Crown Lounge....the lounge up high, above mid ship with panoramic views of the ocean and across the ship's pool deck.  Frankly, I think they're some of the best observation lounges at sea. 

 

Furthermore, the outdoor promenade deck completes wrap around the ship and you can walk out to the bow helipad.  It's a unique view and experience you don't get on other cruise lines.  

Edited by Aquahound

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Nearly all cruise lines will meet your list. The only real problem is "minimum extra charges". I most cases, the extras are just that extra. 

 

We often have a zero dollar bill at the end of the cruise because we maximize our on board credits and minimizing our  spending. We go on Princess. We rarely take cruise line excursions. We skip bingo and the pay extra dinners. We do not buy photos. I am usually able to get either free gratuities or free Premium Beverage Package. We get about $400 to $700 in on board credit.

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I see that Easter is late next year, so ships will be making their way back from the Caribbean to Europe- you might be interested in one of those, if they have a few Caribbean ports first? I haven't checked the dates, but I'm thinking of Independence OTS, or one of the Princess ships, which end in Southampton.

There will be many others, ending in places such as Barcelona, Venice, Genoa so only a short flight back.

Just a thought!  🙂

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Posted (edited)

You haven't mentioned how long you want/need the cruise to be.  There are cruise lines that serve the UK (and don't market in the US) that do fly/cruise packages to the Caribbean.  You might go here https://www.cruisetimetables.com/#home and start looking at cruises from Barbados.  Cruises that begin in a Caribbean port can visit more islands in a week than one that starts on the US mainland and take at least a day and night to get to the first port of call, and the same returning.    As far as seeing the ocean in the evening, you may find that by the time you have finished dinner, it is too dark to really see it from your balcony or deck chair.  EM

Edited by Essiesmom

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Thanks for everyone's comments. Essiesmom, I'm looking at doing a Eastern Caribbean cruise from Orlando or Miami. I would have preferred a 10 night but this limits me on ships, so I'm happy to compromise for 7 days if it's the right ship for us. This would be for April 2020 so the flights can't be included at this stage. Does anyone have a guide price on how much flights are from Gatwick or Heathrow to Orlando/Miami? 

 

Thankyou 

Rae

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8 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

You haven't mentioned how long you want/need the cruise to be.  There are cruise lines that serve the UK (and don't market in the US) that do fly/cruise packages to the Caribbean.  You might go here https://www.cruisetimetables.com/#home and start looking at cruises from Barbados.  Cruises that begin in a Caribbean port can visit more islands in a week than one that starts on the US mainland and take at least a day and night to get to the first port of call, and the same returning.    As far as seeing the ocean in the evening, you may find that by the time you have finished dinner, it is too dark to really see it from your balcony or deck chair.  EM

Good post. Cruisetimetables to the rescue for researching again.

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check out google flights; they have lots of options when choosing what airport you fly out of.  I think if you fly into Miami, then any of the large NCL or RCL newer ships;  If you fly into Orlando and cruise out of Port Cavaveral; then again RCL has some great large ships with many onboard activities for teenagers.  I have been on Allure, Freedom, and we had 6 kids and they were never without something to do. Hope this helps

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IMO, just about any ship at sea would fit your criteria.  You should probably research specific itineraries and select based on that, rather than attempting to choose the ship first.  

 

I will say that, on Carnival, the fantasy class ships (the smallest) have the least variety of on-boarding dining/bars; however, these typically don't do the longer (7-10) routes, so no worries there.

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Your flight may come into Orlando, but NO ships sail from a land-locked city!  You will have to have transportation to Port Canaveral, or points south (if you decide to cruise from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami).  Orlando is about 1 hour from Port Canaveral.

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You mention drinks package. Are you referring to any alcoholic beverage package? They can become expensive in a hurry. Some cruise lines require that all adults in a cabin buy it or none can. Most go for $60 or more per day plus gratuity. 

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Keep in mind that on Carnival or Royal Caribbean (maybe others but I would not know), tap water is free in the dining rooms and other eating venues.  So is basic coffee and they both almost always have some kind of fruity punch drink or flavored waters.  The ship's water from your bathroom sink is safe to drink and tastes fine.  Both of these lines have decent ships sailing out of Port Canaveral.

 

If you want more drinks than that, there are soda-only packages, upgraded soft drink packages with more juices and coffees, or alcohol packages.  We usually don't bother with any of it and just pay a la carte if we do want a beverage. We don't drink enough of anything for the packages to be a bargain.

 

There is no single "right" ship.  They all offer somewhat similar experiences.  There are things I appreciate about both Carnival and Royal, and have appreciated about the other cruises I took long in the past (Disney, Celebrity) but overall they are more similar than different.  You will have to decide your budget and which ship looks good based on your preferred dates and ports.

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