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Chief93

Advice please from those who have cruised multiple lines

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31 minutes ago, Chief93 said:

Thanks everybody.  That was usefull information.  My parents are relatively healthy but not able to walk long distances.  Im looking at Princess and loved the Yacht Club suggestion.  Gotta find the right itinerary, something with multiple sea days where they can sit outside on their balcony, and a few nice beach ports.

 

Last January we cruised on the RCCL Oasis of the Seas and NCL Epic, both large ships with over 4000 passengers on Epic and 6000 on Oasis, I would not recommend these for your parents, it was a real hike just getting to our cabin!  I would not recommend the Epic at all but I do like NCL, they do offer great suite perks.  I think they are both similar to Carnival in many ways.  NCL does offer many specialty restaurants, we enjoyed most of them.  I also like the theater seating on those ships and would agree that NCL has great shows, every night.

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Try Oceania it's all inclusive and it's comparable to Celebrity after you add everything up!

 

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2 hours ago, Chief93 said:

Thanks everybody.  That was usefull information.  My parents are relatively healthy but not able to walk long distances.  Im looking at Princess and loved the Yacht Club suggestion.  Gotta find the right itinerary, something with multiple sea days where they can sit outside on their balcony, and a few nice beach ports.

Good luck Chief93 from my old sailor and "his" commander in chief!  

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We've done several cruises each on Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America, with a total of about 20 cruises in the last 20 years.

 

We mostly cruise Carnival now because that's what my kids (16 to 23 years old) like the best. 

 

However, I did take my parents on a cruise, and at the time, my father could only walk so far because of lung issues. 

 

We did a 12 night Western Caribbean cruise on Celebrity cruise out of Miami down to Panama and over to Aruba with several stops along the coast. It was the Celebrity Millenium, which as about 90,000 tons, which is a little small by today's standards.

 

We also flew into Miami a couple of days early. We stayed at the Lowe's Hotel on Miami Beach. It's very close to Lumis Park and all the Art Deco hotels which are very beautiful and nostalgic. My parents had a balcony they could watch the other cruise ships leave the port in the days before their cruise and they enjoyed that. There's also a great outside restaurant overlooking the ocean and pool area that we really enjoyed for breakfast every day.

 

My take aways from that experience was this:

 

I got my parents a particular aft rear facing cabin, which on that ship was absolutely huge. The balcony probably extended out from the cabin 15 feet. My mother loved it so much she literally took sheets and a blanket out there every night and slept on it. If you want something really special look up the Millenium class of ships ( I think there were three or four of them) and book one of those cabins for your parents. A huge private balcony on a long cruise is the height of luxury.

 

I felt the food on Celebrity was the best of the lines we've traveled on. Like most of us, seniors are going to appreciate the best food. 

 

I feel I made a very poor choice of itinerary. We don't like how humid it can be on a Western Caribbean itinerary. In Panama it was so hot, hazy, and humid you felt like you could cut it with a knife. We learned our lesson though, and only cruise Eastern Caribbean now because on any of those islands, I never notice it being humid like the Western Caribbean. Islands like Aruba and Grand Cayman are not the problem, it's when the port is on the mainland of Central American.

 

I also think giving them a 12 or 14 day cruise is a much better and a more luxurious experience than a 7 day cruise. A long cruise really is more fun and the ship starts to feel like home (but with way better amenities). Another lesson we learned the hard way. We never book less than 7 days now and prefer longer. 

 

My parents always enjoyed having dinner every night with my family and seeing my children, but usually did their own thing the rest of the day, including going on shore excursions they picked out. It was a very good mix of doing what they wanted, but also spending time at dinner together. 

 

My father died a few years after that cruise and my mother has always said how much that cruise meant to the two of them, so I think if you can afford it, it's money well spent. So based on my experience, I would recommend a long Celebrity cruise to the Eastern Caribbean, with a cabin with a huge balcony like my parents had. They spent a lot of time out there.

 

In the end, life is nothing more than the memories you make, so make great ones!

 

 

Edited by Squadleader

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7 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

Select Cunard, HAL, TUI ships deliver higher cruising experience than Regent, Seven Seas or Seabourn for less money.

 

We'd be curious to know it what ways they do so?  

 

You may have meant Regent Seven Seas (one cruise line, not two) and a comma just got in the way and made it sound like two lines.

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3 hours ago, blyle said:

Try Oceania it's all inclusive and it's comparable to Celebrity after you add everything up!

 

 

Have to note that Oceania is not all-inclusive.

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8 hours ago, Chief93 said:

Thanks everybody.  That was usefull information.  My parents are relatively healthy but not able to walk long distances.  Im looking at Princess and loved the Yacht Club suggestion.  Gotta find the right itinerary, something with multiple sea days where they can sit outside on their balcony, and a few nice beach ports.

Now it's much easier to make a choice.

Princess (Royal, Regal, Majestic, Sky) are floating blocks of flats (with small uncomfortable balconies, many with obstructed views).

The itineraries are among the poorest.

Best Princess ships (Sapphire and Diamond) are sailing in Europe and Asia.

You can safely forget about Princess.

"YC on MSC" does not exist.

Why do I say so? YC experience differ from ship to ship. 

Yes, YC on MSC is one of your two options, but it must be MSC Seaside only, nothing else, unless you choose a longer itinerary on the Divina.

My YC Seaside review is not ready yet, so no detailed pictures at the moment.

But believe me, this is a good product.

 

You'll be lucky if you catch one of the two best HAL ships in the Caribbean (Nieuw Amsterdam or Eurodam) & their classic itinerary. Although your parents seem to be going to miss some features of this outstanding ships (best spa at sea, vast sun decks, large sports court), they will enjoy the comfort, space, and classic atmosphere of cruising that these resort ships deliver for their 2100 passengers.

 

211-1.jpg

 

8.jpg

 

12.jpg

 

Verandah Suite balcony:

1A.jpg

 

41.jpg

 

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If December is OK for you, grab this cruise (get Verandah Suite - from $4,700 for 2 pers.) :

11 Days Caribbean-Southern

Holland America Line • Eurodam

Fort Lauderdale, Philipsburg, Castries, Soufriere Bay, Bridgetown, Fort-de-France, Mount Pelee, Basseterre, St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie, Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale

1 departure date: Dec 9 2020

 

And lastly, if you are "brave" enough to try something  very different,  something absolutely great, not cheap, but is worth the occasion:

14 days on MS Mein Schiff 2 (other dates are available):

 

Fri 12/02/21

La Romana / Dominican Republic

22:00

Sat 13/02/21

At Sea

Sun 14/02/21

Fort de France (Martinique) / Lesser Antilles

07:30

19:00

Mon 15/02/21

Bridgetown (Barbados) / Lesser Antilles

07:00

23:00

Tue 16/02/21

At Sea

Wed 17/02/21

St. John's (Antigua) / Lesser Antilles

07:30

19:00

Thu 18/02/21

Roseau (Dominica) / Lesser Antilles

07:30

19:00

Fri 19/02/21

Port Castries (St. Lucia) / Lesser Antilles

07:30

19:00

Sat 20/02/21

Grenada / Lesser Antilles

07:30

19:00

Sun 21/02/21

At Sea

Mon 22/02/21

Willemstad (Curaçao) / Netherlands Antilles

07:30

22:00

Tue 23/02/21

Oranjestad (Aruba) / Netherlands Antilles

07:30

19:00

Wed 24/02/21

Bonaire / Netherlands Antilles

07:30

19:00

Thu 25/02/21

At Sea

Fri 26/02/21

La Romana / Dominican Republic

07:00

 

Happy cruising!

 

 

Edited by ronbe65

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3 hours ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

 

We'd be curious to know it what ways they do so?  

 

You may have meant Regent Seven Seas (one cruise line, not two) and a comma just got in the way and made it sound like two lines.

Hi Silver Sweethearts,

Yes, the comma dropped in the wrong place (I am on the go - greetings from Rome!)

To make it short, we cruise on the ships, not labels.

Seabourn, Silversea, etc. with no doubt excel in "luxury bed and breakfast".

However, it's not enough to provide top class cruising experience overall

Small so-called "luxury ships" lack a lot of facilities that a true luxury resort ship must have.

Top price tags do not automatically mean top cruising experience.

Do we get what we pay for? This mantra does not always work in cruising.

 

Happy cruising!

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I also say Celebrity first , BUT since you said you're looking for some additional sea days, how about one of Princesses 10 day itineraries?  We've done one 10 day to Mexico out of LA on the Ruby Princess, one 10 day Mexico out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess, and one 10 day partial Panama Canal Transit out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Island Princess.  Love the 10 day itineraries!

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I have 25 cruises under my belt starting way back in the last century [1974]  I have taken 7 cruises on Carnival, 7 on NCL,  4 on RCCL, 1 on HAL and several other lines - some that don't exist any longer.  Never have we had a bad cruise. Yes there is a difference to each line.  I found HAL a bit stuffy and I find the mixture of classes of people on Carnival intriguing.  That being said I recommend a cruise to a wonderful location your parents will love and the " ship " that fits your families needs.  Then relax and don't worry about which line just which ship.  

Edited by Czecholady

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We are booked for our 22nd cruise in early 2020. We have mostly cruised with Carnival and Celebrity, however we have also tried RCCL, NCL, Cunard. I would take them on Celebrity. We love both Celebrity and Carnival, but Celebrity seems a bit more  sedate. Since they are celebrating their 60th Anniversary (congratulations to them), you may not want one of the new Mega ships, but rather a mid-size ship with less bumping cars, climbing walls, zip lines, etc. We love the Carnival Spirit class ships though, nice size, etc. One note, we haven't been on Celebrity since 2007. I always raved about Celebrity to friends of ours, however they cruised on the Celebrity Silhouette, and they did not like it, which was a surprise to us. 

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Have you considered a Carnival Journeys cruise? The longer cruises to more unique ports are not the same as the more standard Carnival cruises. 

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Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity would all fit the bill. I personally recommend Princess because it’s younger for your sake than Holland and provides a refined, classic cruise experience with quality food and entertainment. We felt the food on Celebrity was subpar, but from what I’ve heard, if you sail on one of their newer ships in an Aqua class stateroom or a suite, the food is supposed to be much better. 

 

By being past passengers with Carnival, you’ll be entitled to the past passenger discount on Princess and Holland America, since they’re owned by the same company. 

 

It’s quite wonderful of you to take them on a cruise!

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If you are interested in leaving from Tampa, there are many cruise lines to choose from. I have sailed from there 4 times. The 7 day Carnival Cruises are usually older people from Florida especially in the winter months. Also the ship size will be easier for your parents to get around the ship. Tampa is much less hectic than other cruise ports. The Celebrity Constellation (totally refurbished) will be coming to Tampa as well as the Holland America Veendam.

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Since your parents are older and experienced cruisers, I'd recommend Holland America.  HAL is known for impressing older, experienced cruisers.  One of the best benefits I can think of is that HAL offers hot food in-cabin, and in the past I've been able to order from the evening dining room menu to be delivered to my cabin without cost except for tip.  And I could order hot breakfast for room service without charge.  That can be a nice perk for experienced Carnival cruisers who've never had that option.  HAL's atmosphere is more subdued and they tend to attract a different clientele that older cruisers might appreciate (think cooking demonstrations and wine tastings on HAL vs. hairy chest contests on Carnival).  Considering HAL visits mostly the same Caribbean ports that Carnival visits, you might find HAL to be a good match for them, all at a reasonable price.  And unlike Carnival, HAL allows you to stipulate when you book whether you are interested in upgrades after booking.

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#1 celebrity

#2 msc

#3carnival.

All 3 are price wise similar if you go balcony ,ocean view or inside.

They all go to the same ports.someone said carnival goes to more ports which is not true.food and entertainment is much better on the first 2. I'm going msc again next year.i do have another carnival booked and paid for.but it will be my last I don't care about loyalty perks.carnival has gone to far down hill for me the other lines have much nicer ships love the msc seaside.it is a bit passenger heavy though.just my $.02.

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On 9/5/2019 at 12:58 PM, Chief93 said:

I am Platinum on Carnival but have only sailed Carnival.  I want to take my parents on a cruise next year for their 60th wedding anniversary.  They have both been on several cruises, all Carnival.

 

Im looking for advice from those who have crusied both Carnival and other lines.  Im looking for a more upscale experience.  I think they have moved past a lot of the Carnival activities.  Ive read the reviews here for Celebrity, Crystal, Princess, Holand America, etc and found them to be a mixed bag.  I cant afford Regent Seven Seas or Seabourne.

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

We are a little younger than your parents (married 46 years.)  Like you, we are Platinum on Carnival and have sailed with them 21 times.  We are also Platinum on Princess and Royal Caribbean.  We have sailed NCL, Celebrity and Disney as well.  In December we will enjoy our 49th and 50th cruises.  

 

We have enjoyed all of our cruises, but find Princess suits us best at this point in our lives.  Princess ships are beautiful and more elegant than Carnival.  The food on Princess is as good as or better than Carnival.  Entertainment is where Princess is far superior to Carnival (and about the same as Royal Caribbean.)  

 

I like to plan far in advance and that worked for us with Carnival.  With Princess, however, we find it is often to our advantage to book at the last minute.  Now that we are retired and spend most of the year in Florida, we make it work very well.  We'll sail with another line, but Princess is now our first choice.  

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My vote is for a Neptune Suite on HAL. They'll feel so special in that category of cabin.

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32 minutes ago, GottaLuvCruising said:

We are a little younger than your parents (married 46 years.)  Like you, we are Platinum on Carnival and have sailed with them 21 times.  We are also Platinum on Princess and Royal Caribbean.  We have sailed NCL, Celebrity and Disney as well.  In December we will enjoy our 49th and 50th cruises.  

 

We have enjoyed all of our cruises, but find Princess suits us best at this point in our lives.  Princess ships are beautiful and more elegant than Carnival.  The food on Princess is as good as or better than Carnival.  Entertainment is where Princess is far superior to Carnival (and about the same as Royal Caribbean.)  

 

I like to plan far in advance and that worked for us with Carnival.  With Princess, however, we find it is often to our advantage to book at the last minute.  Now that we are retired and spend most of the year in Florida, we make it work very well.  We'll sail with another line, but Princess is now our first choice.  

If you liked the food on Princess, you should give HAL a try. We've sailed on both of those lines and I have to say Holland blew the socks off Princess with regard to food quality.

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Just my 2 cents here:

 

Sure a mass cruise line has a certain culture, but when comparing lines, it's imperative to compare ships of the same size and age.  You cannot compare a 20 yr old Carnival ship to a brand new ship that holds 4,000 or more pax.  Compare like size and age ships and don't sweat it too much.  If you have similar ships from different lines, then look for the ship and itinerary that your parents would enjoy for their interests.

 

While it's helpful to get ideas and opinions here on CC, you aren't taking the cruise with any of the posters.  It is your parents cruise.  You say a few beach ports, some sea days, not so much walking would be good for them, that's a great place to start.  Do they enjoy the shows, and if so what kind?  How do they like their meals?  What size balcony would be good for them? 

 

I'm sure Celebrity, Holland or Princess has a ship to fit your parents' interests. I tend to like the newer ships myself, but if a smaller ship fits your parents needs, then tilt that way.

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On 9/5/2019 at 1:15 PM, havanadaydreaming said:

you can see by my signature who I've cruised with. 

 

Question - where would you see folks signatures?

I remember them from years ago but haven't located them since.

😊 Thanks!

 

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12 hours ago, fyree39 said:

If you liked the food on Princess, you should give HAL a try. We've sailed on both of those lines and I have to say Holland blew the socks off Princess with regard to food quality.

Entertainment is my #1 priority.  After several disappointing cruises with Carnival, we started going to Las Vegas often so we could choose the shows that most interest us.   Then we began sailing Princess and found a great balance!   We are just a couple cruises from Elite on Princess, so that keeps us coming back, too.  

 

Princess works for us because it isn't stuffy.  We found Celebrity to be stuffy, so sailed with them only once.  Feedback I have read is that Holland America is also stuffy with guests uptight about dress codes.  We are mid-60s, but not old enough for HAL 😉  Maybe someday we will try them, but based on Cruise Critic HAL board, it just doesn't sound like a good fit for us.  

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I haven't sailed Celebrity yet (booked for March 2021!), but I'd vote for HAL.  Only 1 on NCL (14 nights eastbound TA).  Didn't think NCL was any more upscale than Carnival but I don't sail in the upper-tier cabins/suites.

 

HAL's Caribbean sailings are not as "old" as some of their others.  I sailed both Zuiderdam and Koningsdam for 11 nights each and loved them both.  Those who haven't tried HAL need to do so and see whether that "stuffy old octogenarians" rep is real.  There aren't a lot of millennials on HAL, but not everyone is >80!  And even if they are, they seem to have enough fun (and love their Happy Hours!).

 

They have some very good entertainment.  I loved their Lincoln Center Stage and BB King's Blues Club (not really blues, more R&B) as well as their main theater shows on Koningsdam.

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