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JMosey

I'm Lost - Special cruise for wife while traveling with teens

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I am trying to surprise my wife with a cruise and am completely lost at the options, where to find the best deals, etc.  We will be traveling with two teens (14 and 16) and would like to have two rooms, most likely connecting (thoughts on having a nearby but not connecting room for kids that age?).  I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for something special for my wife (large balcony or suite) but don't need to go crazy on the room for the kids.  I'm still not sure of our schedules, but looking at January or February of 2020.  I am looking for something to keep the kids busy, decent excursions for my wife, and good places to eat without having to sit with strangers for dinner (sorry, just not a fan).  I would prefer not to have to pay a lot extra, especially for drinks and food.  The last cruise we want on had so/so food unless we paid extra every night to go to the special restaurants and that didn't sit well with me.  We are pretty open as to where we go, but I'm thinking the Caribbean or Alaska are the most likely... and leaning towards the Caribbean b/c it's cheaper to get airfare to FL.  I've looked at a few of the big ships (Symphony of the Seas, Horizon, etc) and am curious if anyone has any recommendations.  We are a pretty quiet family if that matters... things like night life have no appeal to us, but my wife and kids would enjoy a show.  I've spent the morning researching rooms, ships, various websites to book through, etc. and the more I look the more confused I get!  Pricing seems to vary incredibly from website to website for what appears to be the same cruise.  Any recommendations?  Are there smaller cruise lines I should be looking at?  I apologize if this is pretty vague, but at this point I don't even know what information to provide! 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer!

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Destination thoughts: I think you're looking at the Caribbean if you want January or February 2020.  See this article about "The Alaska Cruise Season"

 

Narrowing it down thoughts: I'd start with duration and destination -- how much time do you have and where in the Caribbean have you previously travelled?  If you have an upper cost limit then you can use that as a limiting factor too but I'd hold off on doing price comparisions until you are able to make it apples to apples.  For example you may find an itinerary for early January, when everyone is off from school, may cost more than late February.  If your timing is flexible then see what is out there in February.

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8 hours ago, JMosey said:

I am trying to surprise my wife with a cruise and am completely lost at the options, where to find the best deals, etc.  We will be traveling with two teens (14 and 16) and would like to have two rooms, most likely connecting (thoughts on having a nearby but not connecting room for kids that age?).  I wouldn't mind spending a bit more for something special for my wife (large balcony or suite) but don't need to go crazy on the room for the kids.  I'm still not sure of our schedules, but looking at January or February of 2020.  I am looking for something to keep the kids busy, decent excursions for my wife, and good places to eat without having to sit with strangers for dinner (sorry, just not a fan).  I would prefer not to have to pay a lot extra, especially for drinks and food.  The last cruise we want on had so/so food unless we paid extra every night to go to the special restaurants and that didn't sit well with me.  We are pretty open as to where we go, but I'm thinking the Caribbean or Alaska are the most likely... and leaning towards the Caribbean b/c it's cheaper to get airfare to FL.  I've looked at a few of the big ships (Symphony of the Seas, Horizon, etc) and am curious if anyone has any recommendations.  We are a pretty quiet family if that matters... things like night life have no appeal to us, but my wife and kids would enjoy a show.  I've spent the morning researching rooms, ships, various websites to book through, etc. and the more I look the more confused I get!  Pricing seems to vary incredibly from website to website for what appears to be the same cruise.  Any recommendations?  Are there smaller cruise lines I should be looking at?  I apologize if this is pretty vague, but at this point I don't even know what information to provide! 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you might be able to offer!

Hey, I am an older teen myself so that I can help out with the teen stuff. If you go on Royal Caribbean's larger ships (Quantum Class, or Oasis Class), they have royal loft suites that are two rooms stacked on top of each other. Choosing them would allow you and your wife to have a private space on the second floor with your own bathroom. Let me know if you need more assistance!

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RCI's Voyager and Freedom class have balconies that connect to an INSIDE cabin.  They are the last two cabins on the aft sides of the ship.. (not facing the wake, but all the way at the rear of the ship, port or starboard).  Kids don't give a flying fig about balconies, and that's a great option!

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You will find best entertainment on the Oasis class ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony, or Symphony), and they will offer about everything anyone could need - and in January you are likely to find better rates than in Feb as you start to run into winter breaks.  That being said, if you are looking for more bang for your buck, I would look at the 9-day Southern Caribbean cruise on RCI Explorer of the Seas.  It is fantastic itinerary, and the ship does offer lots of activities.  We did this same cruise over Christmas on Navigator in 2017, and was one our favorite Caribbean cruises - better than Harmony.  

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