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geochick73

First cruise in 7 years...need help deciding. :)

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It's so fun being back on these boards and reading everyone's posts.   We haven't cruised since 2012 and decided that it was time to get back on a ship.  We have just enough funpoints on our credit card to pay for the majority of a summer cruise (yay!).  I would love to get something booked within the next couple days.   

 

I've found 2 cruises that we are interested in:   

1.  leaving NYC on the Legend (9 nights) and traveling to San Juan, St Maarten, St Thomas, and Grand Turk. 

2.  leaving Baltimore (7 nights) on the Pride and going to Bermuda.     

 

The Legend cruise is about $250 cheaper than the Pride cruise (looking at a balcony room) even thought it is 2 nights longer.   However, parking in NYC and extra gratuities will negate those savings.  We've never been to either NYC or Baltimore so I expect to do a little sightseeing before/after the cruise.   We haven't been to any of the ports so we would hit 4 new places with the Legend cruise and 1 new place with the Pride.    We've been on the Legend before (in 2007) though I'm sure it is quite different since our last time onboard.   It will be my husband and I (mid-40s), our 19yo daughter and 14yo son...and the kids enjoy spending time at waterworks & pools, mini-golf, and eating.   It seems that the Pride is ranked slightly higher (overall) than the Legend, but they are the same class of ship so I don't expect them to be that different.

 

Anyone have any thoughts, comments, insights, etc.?    Is there one of these you would absolutely choose over the other (any why)? Choosing to go to Bermuda and dock there for 3 nights would be a different experience than our past cruises and I think you would get a better feel for the island with that amount of time...but I know almost nothing about Bermuda (except it is expensive) or how kid & family friendly it is. 

 

Thanks for any input!

~Jeana 

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18 minutes ago, geochick73 said:

It's so fun being back on these boards and reading everyone's posts.   We haven't cruised since 2012 and decided that it was time to get back on a ship.  We have just enough funpoints on our credit card to pay for the majority of a summer cruise (yay!).  I would love to get something booked within the next couple days.   

 

I've found 2 cruises that we are interested in:   

1.  leaving NYC on the Legend (9 nights) and traveling to San Juan, St Maarten, St Thomas, and Grand Turk. 

2.  leaving Baltimore (7 nights) on the Pride and going to Bermuda.     

 

The Legend cruise is about $250 cheaper than the Pride cruise (looking at a balcony room) even thought it is 2 nights longer.   However, parking in NYC and extra gratuities will negate those savings.  We've never been to either NYC or Baltimore so I expect to do a little sightseeing before/after the cruise.   We haven't been to any of the ports so we would hit 4 new places with the Legend cruise and 1 new place with the Pride.    We've been on the Legend before (in 2007) though I'm sure it is quite different since our last time onboard.   It will be my husband and I (mid-40s), our 19yo daughter and 14yo son...and the kids enjoy spending time at waterworks & pools, mini-golf, and eating.   It seems that the Pride is ranked slightly higher (overall) than the Legend, but they are the same class of ship so I don't expect them to be that different.

 

Anyone have any thoughts, comments, insights, etc.?    Is there one of these you would absolutely choose over the other (any why)? Choosing to go to Bermuda and dock there for 3 nights would be a different experience than our past cruises and I think you would get a better feel for the island with that amount of time...but I know almost nothing about Bermuda (except it is expensive) or how kid & family friendly it is. 

 

Thanks for any input!

~Jeana 

Sister ships so the itinerary is the decider.  New York has. The best sail away views in any US homeports, I would choose Legend.  

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Why would you need to park in NYC? Can you fly or take a train into NYC? Even if you come a few days early, you can easily get around by public transportation or Uber/Lyft.

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Take the longer one - same ship, 2 extra days = more cruise time. 

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27 minutes ago, Stick93 said:

Take the longer one - same ship, 2 extra days = more cruise time. 

This!! 

 

I've been on the Legend when it sailed out of Tampa Florida. I happen to like the Legend. The casino was really kind to me on the Craps Table. I would pick this ship and those ports are great!

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34 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

Why would you need to park in NYC? Can you fly or take a train into NYC? Even if you come a few days early, you can easily get around by public transportation or Uber/Lyft.

 

We may decide to take the train in, but we enjoy road trips and DH would rather drive.  I'm an anxious flyer...so I would rather avoid that.  I do worry about driving around NYC...would much rather use public transportation.  I found a hotel in NJ that has a stay and park for cruisers with free shuttle to the cruise terminal.   I think that might be our best option to avoid the pricey parking near the ship.

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Thanks for the input...I'm going to go ahead and book the Legend tonight.   Longer cruise + 4 new ports sounds amazing right now.   

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In St. Maarten, if you enjoy the beach, get a cocktail and/or burger at Corney's, St. Maarten... the beach is right there near the port.  They take your order and serve you right on the beach... whether you are sitting on the sand, or on an available lounge chair.  Great cocktails… we had either a Mai Tai or a Singapore sling... I don't recall now... that was back in 2007. 

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You didn't mention your sailing date, but a big factor for me would be your sailing date. Personally I wouldn't sail out of a northern port unless it was summer. If it's winter, it's a thousand miles before the ship will hit warm waters, both coming and going. I really buy cruises for the warm weather, beaches, and warm water of the Caribbean. If it's winter I'd rather drive to a Florida port and start the cruise there, even though I'm in Virginia and it's almost a thousand mile drive. We have gotten very good at it though, and can do it in about 14 hours flat, by driving straight through only swapping drivers every two hours at rest stops, and only one fuel stop. 

 

Nine days is so much nicer than seven days, the only thing better is 10, 11 or 12 days. There's a certain cost in time and aggravation associated with packing, driving, boarding, unpacking, repacking and disembarking for a cruise. Dilution is the solution to pollution, is the old axiom of diluting the bad, by mixing it into the most amount of good you can lay your hands on. Same goes for cruise lengths. 

 

We've cruised to Bermuda, it was out of New York, and like always, what's not to like, but I will tell you it was one of the roughest times I've seen on a ship. It's not the Caribbean, it's the Atlantic, and even though it was clear, the ship was banging up and down on the waves with the sea washing over the bow. The ship was in full sea sickness mode with sea sick bags out and available all over the ship. I've never been seasick myself, but many people were on that trip. Maybe we just hit a bad patch, but that was our experience.

 

It's a beautiful island and because of the narrow roads, they don't rent cars there, so the old joke has always been it's the only place you're likely to go, that the guy driving the cab makes more than the people in the back seat. I wouldn't mind going back, but I've never gotten around to it, and probably never will, I think I just like everything about the Caribbean better. Back to the weather and the time of the year, Bermuda is parallel with Charleston South Carolina, so it does cool down in the fall. 

 

If you do take the Legend out of New York, and since you and your children haven't seen it, if you could take two or three days before the cruise to explore it, it would be a nice education for your kids. It's a very strange place, really almost a different planet, everyone living in the sky, incredible population density that produces little stores and restaurants everywhere, and I'm a sucker for street food. Times Square is an amazing thing to see. Don't waste your time at the top of the Empire State Building, go to 30 Rock and Top of the Rock. You'll have great views of Central Park and the Empire State Building, plus you'll see Radio City Music Hall across the street and the ice skating rink/patio by the building.

 

We usually rent bikes and ride through Central Park (make them pump up the tires to full pressure or that will be torture, instead of floating along, they hate me, but I won't rent if they don't do it). They also have a great dedicated bike trail that runs right along the Hudson River, from the George Washington Bridge all the way down to the Battery, overlooking the Statue of Liberty. The Intrepid aircraft carrier is there for tours, the new Freedom Tower. There's a restaurant at the top of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square call the View. It slowly rotates, take the kids up there when it opens at 5:30 and get an outside table on the lower level bar and buy them a coke (they have an expensive dinner one level up, but I'm not that extravagant with kids, coke at the bar is my limit).

 

I'm sure y'all are going to have a wonderful trip!

 

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Thanks for the tips Squadleader!     I actually just booked the Legend out of NYC.   I'm looking forward to exploring the city for a couple days prior to departure.  The cruise leaves on Memorial Day so hopefully it be warm weather and smooth sailing. 

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6 hours ago, geochick73 said:

Thanks for the input...I'm going to go ahead and book the Legend tonight.   Longer cruise + 4 new ports sounds amazing right now.   

I think you made the right decision.   We went to Alaska on the Legend and loved it.  Also, loved going out of New York once.  Your family will enjoy going to more ports and the longer cruise!  Have a great time!

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You may want to look into staying at a hotel near Newark, NJ Liberty Airport that has a free park and fly package.  For example, Courtyard by Marriott near Newark Liberty has a package of up to 8 days free parking with a minimum one day weekend stay and only $25/day for additional days of parking.  It is easy to get into downtown Manhattan for sightseeing from there by taking the hotel's free shuttle to the airport and NJ Transit train to NYC Penn Station.  On the day of the cruise, you can take the hotel's free shuttle to the airport and use Carnival or other transportation services to get from the airport to the port.  One member of our group is doing this on a Carnival cruise from NYC later this month.

Edited by TomCruise48

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We love lots of port days, and even though we've been to San Juan, St Maarten, and Grand Turk a couple of times, we'd go again. We haven't been to St Thomas yet. I think your family would enjoy an excursion to MaHo Beach to see the planes land right next to the beach. We've book through ShoreFox and gone to Orient Beach (not the nude section) and MaHo on their Beach Bum tour. 

 

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For decades, I was reluctant to travel to NYC as a tourist.  A couple of years ago, I took my daughters for a week of Broadway shows and was blown away by how helpful and friendly people on the street were to visitors.  We had a wonderful time and I'd visit again.  We didn't see/do it all in a week.  You made a great choice (and I've got another Legend cruise upcoming myself)!

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I don't think you can go wrong either way. So there's that. In fact, my advice is usually try one now and one later!

 

If I had to pick, I would pick the pride though. 2 more days is 2 more days of so much FUN! Plus, I love that itinerary.

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