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hrmkr

Which Itinerary would you choose?

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Well, I can't really comment on 2 and 3, as we haven't been to most of those ports yet, but we did #1 last year and enjoyed it. Going to see the Mayan ruins in Belize made the whole trip worth it in my opinion. 

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1 minute ago, jbethel11 said:

Freedom sails from Galveston, so none of those options work. From my extensive research, Option 1 is the Conquest from Miami or the Miracle from Tampa. Option 2 is the Fascination from San Juan, Option 3 is the Magic, Horizon or Breeze, from FLL,   Port Canaveral or Miami. 

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

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Just now, hrmkr said:

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

Oh, lol why did you post it in the Carnival thread then ...

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1 minute ago, jbethel11 said:

Oh, lol why did you post it in the Carnival thread then ...

Tapi posted saying they would choose the Freedom of the Seas over the Fascination if there was not a big price difference.

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1 would be last because that cruise is a dime a dozen where I cruise out of. Belize isn’t popular. You almost can’t go on a cruise from Texas, Louisiana, or Alabama without going to Cozumel. 

 

During the CD Q&A last cruise Matt Mitchem was asked what cruise was best. He said ABC. You have two of them in option 3 so I’m going to go on his expertise on that.

 

I really want to go to San Juan, St. Maarten..I’d like to go to Amber Cove and St Thomas. I’m going to put your 2’s next.

 

So I’m 3, 2, 2, 1

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1 minute ago, Saint Greg said:

1 would be last because that cruise is a dime a dozen where I cruise out of. Belize isn’t popular. You almost can’t go on a cruise from Texas, Louisiana, or Alabama without going to Cozumel. 

 

During the CD Q&A last cruise Matt Mitchem was asked what cruise was best. He said ABC. You have two of them in option 3 so I’m going to go on his expertise on that.

 

I really want to go to San Juan, St. Maarten..I’d like to go to Amber Cove and St Thomas. I’m going to put your 2’s next.

 

So I’m 3, 2, 2, 1

Sure Bet! Except for those Eastern Caribbean cruises from Galveston and NOLA to "Been there, Done that" ports!

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I really enjoyed option 2. So much so that we are going again.

 

Now saying that, I must say that I didn’t realize Carnival had dropped a port and added a sea day. That is one of the reasons as to why Royal is more $ they still have Antigua. 

 

If I was paying more attention when I booked, I may have had to strongly consider jumping ship and going to Royal on this itinerary simply because I liked Antigua a lot and I enjoyed a new port every day.

 

A sea day on Fascination does not make me excited. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the boat. But other than sit at the pool, there isn’t much to do during the day. I live in Florida, so sitting at the pool isn’t a vacation for me. 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Mm13 said:

 

A sea day on Fascination does not make me excited. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the boat. But other than sit at the pool, there isn’t much to do during the day. I live in Florida, so sitting at the pool isn’t a vacation for me. 

 

Fascination is in my future plans. I’m excited about it because I love the comedy club and the alchemy and they’re right together on fascination. 

 

For me on a sea day I usually try to sleep a little more. Get up and hit the coffee bar. Find a place on deck to enjoy that. Grab a Bloody Mary. Hit the morning show. Grab another Bloody Mary. Hit brunch. Hit the red frog rum bar and catch whatever is going on up on lido deck. Usually the hairy chest contest, mixologist contest, or lip synch battle auditions. Grab lunch at some point. Casino may be in there at some point. Hit the alchemy bar when it opens. Get ready for dinner. Dinner, show, alchemy bar, comedy club in the evening. 

 

I can do all of that on fascination. There isn’t much more to do during the day on ships all the way up through the  Dream. Once you get to breeze and Magic you have some more things...but I have to find a way to force them into my schedule.

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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4 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

 

Fascination is in my future plans. I’m excited about it because I love the comedy club and the alchemy and they’re right together on fascination. 

 

For me on a sea day I usually try to sleep a little more. Get up and hit the coffee bar. Find a place on deck to enjoy that. Grab a Bloody Mary. Hit the morning show. Grab another Bloody Mary. Hit brunch. Hit the red frog rum bar and catch whatever is going on up on lido deck. Usually the hairy chest contest, mixologist contest, or lip synch battle auditions. Grab lunch at some point. Hit the alchemy bar when it opens. Get ready for dinner. Dinner, show, alchemy bar, comedy club in the evening. 

 

I can do all of that on fascination. There isn’t much more to do during the day on ships all the way up through the  Dream. Once you get to breeze and Magic you have some more things...but I have to find a way to force them into my schedule.

 

 

 

I loved how the comedy show was never crowded on the Fascination. Often they had a show going on in the main or you could catch a comedy show.

 

If I remember correctly most of the comedy shows started at 8 with the adult at 9 or 10. Which was nice when I had a port the next day I had to wake up for. 

 

On other ships I felt like I was fighting to get into the comedy show then also trying to stay awake. 

 

I did miss not having the sea side theater.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Mm13 said:

 

I loved how the comedy show was never crowded on the Fascination. Often they had a show going on in the main or you could catch a comedy show.

 

If I remember correctly most of the comedy shows started at 8 with the adult at 9 or 10. Which was nice when I had a port the next day I had to wake up for. 

 

On other ships I felt like I was fighting to get into the comedy show then also trying to stay awake. 

 

I did miss not having the sea side theater.

 

See I never watch the movies. I think I’ve seen part of 2 movies in 7 cruises with a seaside theater. If I see the schedule in advance and there’s a movie I want to see on it I’ll try to watch it before the cruise so I don’t waste valuable prime time watching a movie.

 

on elation  I used to slide to the bar outside of the comedy club between shows..then slide back in...now it’ll be the alchemy out there...awesome! I wish every alchemy bar was right outside the comedy club.

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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I think they are all good options, but Aruba and especially Curaçao are two of my favorite ports.  But people like ports for different reasons, so responses are very subjective. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, hrmkr said:

So sorry everyone.

 

I typed in the wrong islands for option 2.  The previous option 2 would not work because of the sailing dates.

 

New  Option 2: 

St. Thomas

St. Maarten

St. Kitts

St. Lucia

Barbados

 

Does this change your opinions?

I would do this one. Sounds very tropical, Some ports we have not yet hit.

 

We are doing the Magic in May and hitting St Maarten & St Kitts for the first time, along with Grand Turk and San Juan.

 

We have done 1 & 3 and loved them both.

 

Have an ABC booked for next May, what I like about that 8 day is a few Sea days before and after in the Havana Area and all day and night in the ABC ports.

Edited by thesmiths

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This is just MY opinion. 🙂  #2 would be the one I would choose.  As for Amber it is fine.  I do love San Juan, St. Thomas, and Turks and Caicos, and have been there more than once! 🙂

 

I'm sure whatever itinerary you choose, you will like it.

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Anything but 1 but that is because 75% of my cruises go to that area.

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I would do #3. If you cruise often, you can't throw a rock without hitting #1 and #2. Not that they're bad ports at all, but you will get to them. #3 is a destination, and one not to miss.

 

11 hours ago, Mm13 said:

 

I loved how the comedy show was never crowded on the Fascination. Often they had a show going on in the main or you could catch a comedy show.

 

If I remember correctly most of the comedy shows started at 8 with the adult at 9 or 10. Which was nice when I had a port the next day I had to wake up for. 

 

On other ships I felt like I was fighting to get into the comedy show then also trying to stay awake. 

 

I did miss not having the sea side theater.

 

My thoughts exactly. I could walk into the Punchliner at the start of the show, and still find a decent seat. Most other ships, I'd be behind people in standing room, if I'm lucky. 

 

I also missed the theater. I really did not care for the lido deck on the Fascination. That big stage is unnecessary. Put a screen up!

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12 hours ago, hrmkr said:

Yes, obviously my new option 2 is on the Fascination.  Compared the price between Carnival and Royal (Freedom of the Seas) and the Royal cruise was about $300 more.  thoughts?

After our last cruise on a Fantasy class ship, and comparing that to my experience with Royal Caribbean’s larger and newer ships, I think that it’s money well spent. We did have a fun time on our last cruise aboard the Fantasy, but sadly, she’s aging and not so gracefully. Maintenance issues seem to be piling up. We were on a 5 night itinerary and after a few days, things do start to feel repetitive on these smaller ships, in terms of food options, entertainment and activities. But I want to reiterate that we had a fun cruise, and the staff was truly wonderful. They did an amazing job, specially when we were delayed 10 hours due to fog. 

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12 minutes ago, Tapi said:

After our last cruise on a Fantasy class ship, and comparing that to my experience with Royal Caribbean’s larger and newer ships, I think that it’s money well spent. We did have a fun time on our last cruise aboard the Fantasy, but sadly, she’s aging and not so gracefully. Maintenance issues seem to be piling up. We were on a 5 night itinerary and after a few days, things do start to feel repetitive on these smaller ships, in terms of food options, entertainment and activities. But I want to reiterate that we had a fun cruise, and the staff was truly wonderful. They did an amazing job, specially when we were delayed 10 hours due to fog. 

After doing some more research and looking at options.  It is now down to either the Fascination or the Horizon. Options 2 and 3.  The Freedom of the Seas is out.  The main reason is there is a chance that we may have to cancel before final payment.  On the Carnival cruises, they are running a special with discounted deposits, we would lose $100 and then have a $150 future cruise credit.  On Royal, we would lose the entire $500 deposit. 

 

Now it comes down to price and island stops. The Horizon cruise will end up being around $400 more.  

 

Looking at the differences, The Fascination is much older and smaller compared to the Horizon which is the biggest and newest.  Finally, on the Fascination there are 5 ports and the Horizon cruise has 4 ports. 

 

I am so confused.   HELP!!!

 

 

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When I cruise, I take ports and ship into consideration... so if it was my choice, I would choose the Horizon. (I don’t remember which ports these were, but all of your stops looked good to me!) I personally, would prefer a newer ship to an older one, 

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Having done all the others, our next longer cruise is almost certainly the Aruba run.

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My wife and I had a great time on a option#2 cruise out of San Juan. By porting out of Puerto Rico, you have the opportunity to extend your cruise a little by flying in before or staying after the cruise and seeing the island and all its beauty. Its like a having a 6th stop. Happy Cruising! Let me know if you are going to do this and I can give you a few ideas on what we did on the island.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Mm13 said:

3,2,1. 

 

Ive done the updated 2 itinerary a few times, it is great. Never done 3. 

 

Time of year might be important to consider. If you are booking hurricane season and booking because of ports, booking an eastern and suddenly being forced into a western might be disappointing. 

 

Also look into how many on 1 & 3 are tender. I’ve heard Cayman gets canceled a lot, although it hasn’t happened to us, yet. 

My daughter and her BF are on the Dream right now and Grand Cayman got cancelled. I have been a few times and once was cancelled.

 

I think I would go with majority and pick 3, 2, 1 also.

Edited by crzndeb

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hrmkr said:

The Freedom of the Seas is out.  The main reason is there is a chance that we may have to cancel before final payment.  On the Carnival cruises, they are running a special with discounted deposits, we would lose $100 and then have a $150 future cruise credit.  On Royal, we would lose the entire $500 deposit. 

 

Now it comes down to price and island stops. The Horizon cruise will end up being around $400 more.  

 

Looking at the differences, The Fascination is much older and smaller compared to the Horizon which is the biggest and newest. 

 

I am so confused.   HELP!!!

 

 

Trying to weigh itinerary and ship, I’d be inclined to go with the Horizon. Great itinerary and currently Carnival’s newest and largest ship, with the most amenities. I truly believe you have a winner with that one.

 

About Royal and the Freedom, they do offer a refundable deposit fare, but it’s usually more expensive. What I do when I find myself in your predicament is that I book the refundable fare, and then once I get closer to sailing date. I switch it to the non refundable fare if the savings are substantial. 

 

But once again, I think that you have a wonderful choice with the Horizon and the 8 night itinerary. Just keep the Southern Caribbean in your bucket list for a future cruise. It’s truly a wonderful cruise, and it will give you a better glimpse of what Caribbean cruising is truly about.

 

Sadly Caribbean cruising has shifted to the  more commercialized, Americanized, cruise line built destinations. These days, the only way to truly have an authentic Caribbean experience is to sail deep into the lesser Antilles, either from San Juan, or on a longer itinerary from Florida. 

Edited by Tapi

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I would choose #3- that’s my favorite itinerary but I’m a beach person with young daughters who love the beach. And good weather in Aruba is almost guaranteed. La Romana is often a boat day for us.

 

My husband would pick new #2 as 2 stops we’ve never done (st Lucia and Barbados) and he is one of those who walks around and gets the local feel. Surprisingly he hasn’t been kidnapped/robbed or gotten lost and missed the boat yet (🙏🏻 knocking on wood).

 

Wichever you pick- wishing you a wonderful cruise!

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I forgot to add. Like someone mentioned above, if you ever sail from San Juan, make sure that you allow a few days pre or post cruise to explore Puerto Rico. It’s truly a fascinating destination! You can spend a week there and you won’t have enough time to see everything that it has to offer. It may be the best destination in your itinerary! 

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