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esly

First time Cruise _please help!

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My Husband and I are planning our first cruise for March 2019.

Is there any suggestions on cruise lines? We would prefer something without a lot of kids running around (We have no problem with children, would just like some quiet)

Drink packages, yay or nay? aren't huge drinkers but would probably have a few beer throughout the day/evening. Is food on the cruise lines included or is that all extra as well?

Any other helpful advice before booking, should we go through a travel agent vs. an online site say *****.com?

any helpful advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you in advanced.

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Welcome to Cruise Critic.  Way too many variables to answer you without knowing lots more information.  Departure port.  Budget. Length of cruise.  Spend some time reading here and you’ll get a very good idea where to start.  

 

Without knowing anything about you, my only helpful advice is, leave your unrealistic expectations at home.  

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First, if you are choosy about your accommodations onboard, you are going to be disappointed because a cruise this March is pretty short time to plan and book.  Most of the desirable cabins will be booked.  Second, March until after Easter is high season for Spring Break, so there will be lots of families with kids.  There is plenty of food included so there is no need to pay for the upcharge specialty restaurants.  If you are not big drinkers, a beverage package/plan is probably not a good value for you.  Especially as you would not be using it while you are off the ship in port.  

 

And we are not permitted to name or discuss travel agencies/agents on Cruise Critic.  EM

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I would suggest talking with a live cruise specialist travel agent regarding your preferences and let them help direct you to the choices that would best fit your expectations.  

 

And as EM indicated, March is rapidly approaching and you will likely find your choices limited with the short planning period and a time frame that is likely to be more premium priced and to have a lot of families and spring breakers on board. 

 

Planning and booking times of 6 - 18 months in advance of the sailing date for the best options are common and in the US, the summer months and Holidays (to include the spring break period) are typically the higher priced times that will usually include the most families and children.

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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OP is well beyond Planning for their cruise . Must be ready to react when consulting a Good TA and 

seeing a good close in deal on a cruise that fits them.

Caution that looking at Spring Break dates will result in more school age kids and college students.

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March thru April is spring break for schools, you'll have many more families vacationing.  You may want to look into getting a balcony room so you can enjoy more time in the room as well as take advantage of the Adult only areas of the ship. Other than the pool areas kids are usually at camp. For tips on items to bring you can check out my list I use on kit.com
Cruising Must Haves https://kit.com/WheresMondo/cruising-must-haves
Cruising Optional Items https://kit.com/WheresMondo/cruising-optional-items Hope that helps 😀😀

 

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12 hours ago, esly said:

My Husband and I are planning our first cruise for March 2019.

Is there any suggestions on cruise lines? We would prefer something without a lot of kids running around (We have no problem with children, would just like some quiet)

Drink packages, yay or nay? aren't huge drinkers but would probably have a few beer throughout the day/evening. Is food on the cruise lines included or is that all extra as well?

Any other helpful advice before booking, should we go through a travel agent vs. an online site say *****.com?

any helpful advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you in advanced.

 

 

Given you are new to cruising, are booking last minute, and during peak school break times (virtually every k-12 school in US and Canada gets a week off in March or April), I strongly advise you goto a travel agency in your town that books a lot of cruises.   You will want to talk to someone who knows a lot about all the various cruise lines and will be able to compare and contrast properly.   

 

This website (the review section) describes most of the main cruise lines and gives you an overview of their main "personality".  Take a look through that first so you at least know who the main companies are.   In March, you'll find more kids on pretty much all of the lines.   Talk to your travel agent about some lines that might be more adult.   But the main lines do have (on most ships) adult only areas - some are included, some are pay extra - so you likely can find a quiet area even if you are on a ship full of kids -- some of these if they are pay extra must be booked as soon as you get on board though so you should be aware of how they are booked and of capacity restrictions.  

 

Where do you want to go?   Your choices may be narrowed simply by how many ships go to that particular place during the time you want to go.   

 

There will be limited availability for you and you will have to pay in full right upon booking as most lines require "full payment" approximately 3 months prior to the cruise.   Being able to talk in person to a travel agent who will be able to point out the differences between options will help you make the right decision for you.   

 

Depending on where you live and the departure port, please also look at air fare and flight availability - given it is peak school break time you may find flights sold out.  

You should also ALWAYS fly in the day BEFORE the cruise in case of flight delays so you have some cushion.  That requires a hotel stay as well - they too book up early - so check hotel availability the night before too.    Make sure you can get flights and hotel before you book the cruise.   

 

On board extras can add up - generally most main stream cruise lines include all food (there will be pay extra specialty restaurants but they are optional) and water, coffee, tea, juice at breakfast and ice tea/lemonade at meals.    Pop, specialty coffees, and alcohol are extra.   If you are a light drinker,  pay as you go is likely best for you.  Each cruise line has different drink packages, and different on board drink prices, so further research will be required once you narrow down which lines you are interested in.   

 

Whatever you end up with, enjoy it!     And start planning your next one early! :)   

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Be aware that ship cabins are nowhere NEAR as roomy as a hotel room...unless you book a suite of some sort.

 

 

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Food is included on all cruise lines, although they also have specialty restaurants that cost extra and usually offer better food.  

 

If you would prefer few to no kids, Celebrity and HAL are good mainstream choices.  But, I'm wondering if you both might enjoy something a bit more sophisticated and romantic?  If so, I would suggest you consider small ship cruising on  Windstar Cruises: https://www.windstarcruises.com.   The price is similar to a larger ship but there are fewer guests and really nothing for kids, so these cruises don't really attract families.  They have really good food and while the entertainment is minimal, there will be some music and dancing and there is a watersports platform which big ships don't have.  They have a spa and a gym.  The bridge is open for guests to visit.  I think it would be a very special first cruise.

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Really just find a cruise that visits ports you wish to go to, then relax and enjoy.

 

you don’t give your age so which line is a hard one.

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