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Loyal to Royal... but what's next


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We've been loyal to royal for many years now - tried some of the others, and Royal has been a good fit for us. Our most recent trips, not so much. I'm not sure if we've changed or the product has changed. We're getting older, thank goodness, and the product seems to be gearing more and more for lots of kids. Love mine but on vacation, not lots and lots of others. With the changes to the older ships being modified to add slides etc, it seems the line is going that way. Or is it from our mega ship experience only?

 

So where should we look next? Basics: travel from east coast us late Jan -> Feb - after that we find spring break trippers too much to deal with. 7 days or maybe a couple more, east caribbean to south preferred, we like the solarium  of royal, old school dining, caribbean music, other music

 

It saddens me that I'm thinking of trying something else - 

 

Be gentle and kind with me

 

Thanks

 

I

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5 minutes ago, Wetmib said:

We've been loyal to royal for many years now - tried some of the others, and Royal has been a good fit for us. Our most recent trips, not so much. I'm not sure if we've changed or the product has changed. We're getting older, thank goodness, and the product seems to be gearing more and more for lots of kids. Love mine but on vacation, not lots and lots of others. With the changes to the older ships being modified to add slides etc, it seems the line is going that way. Or is it from our mega ship experience only?

 

So where should we look next? Basics: travel from east coast us late Jan -> Feb - after that we find spring break trippers too much to deal with. 7 days or maybe a couple more, east caribbean to south preferred, we like the solarium  of royal, old school dining, caribbean music, other music

 

It saddens me that I'm thinking of trying something else - 

 

Be gentle and kind with me

 

Thanks

 

I

Have you tried Celebrity? We like the similarities and differences between RC and Celebrity. Also your RC C&A tier level will be reciprocal with Celebrity's Captains Club up to Elite. Tier level points don't transfer between RC and Celebrity.

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I believe it is a matter of cost. To move away from families who, like us, are driven by price when considering a vacation, moving to the higher priced lines will reduce the numb er of families with children. We have looked at some of these, but our situation does not allow us to do so if we want to take the number of cruises we want. We went on a Princess cruise and it was nice but we just cannot use them all the time. Our last cruise was on MSC and it was pleasant and I do not remember a lot of children and was a reasonable price, and I believe they do some loyalty matching.

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1 hour ago, Wetmib said:

We've been loyal to royal for many years now - tried some of the others, and Royal has been a good fit for us. Our most recent trips, not so much. I'm not sure if we've changed or the product has changed. We're getting older, thank goodness, and the product seems to be gearing more and more for lots of kids. Love mine but on vacation, not lots and lots of others. With the changes to the older ships being modified to add slides etc, it seems the line is going that way. Or is it from our mega ship experience only?

 

So where should we look next? Basics: travel from east coast us late Jan -> Feb - after that we find spring break trippers too much to deal with. 7 days or maybe a couple more, east caribbean to south preferred, we like the solarium  of royal, old school dining, caribbean music, other music

 

It saddens me that I'm thinking of trying something else - 

 

Be gentle and kind with me

 

Thanks

 

I

We are the same. We have been loyal for years but have recently been taking some Celebrity cruises. Less kids. A little more laid back. You mentioned getting older and Royal gearing more toward kids. You hit the nail on the head in my opinion. We still like to sail Royal but now we mix it up with Celebrity. Celebrity is generally priced about the same, perhaps a little higher, but not much. Also, they have a lot of 9-12 day Caribbean cruises which we like a little better than 7-day cruises. This also, causes the cruise to have less kids.

Was that gentle enough?

Cheers

T

Edited by 2chiefs
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1 hour ago, Wetmib said:

. We're getting older, thank goodness, and the product seems to be gearing more and more for lots of kids

You are no longer Royals target demographic.  They are after families which be become even more apparent in the near future as many of the ships that don't appeal to families leave the fleet.

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We are in our late 50s and have been on 20 cruises and on multiple lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian and some no longer in existence. Our favorite has been Royal Caribbean, but all were enjoyable. The time of the year seems to have a lot to do with how many children are on board. We generally cruise in the off-season and haven’t been overwhelmed with children on board. Princess and Holland America had the least amount of children, but also had the least enjoyable entertainment as well. If you go for the itinerary and not the entertainment, either of those may work for you.

 

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I'm going to recommend you look at cruises on the Jewel, Radiance, Rhapsody, Vision, and Serenade.  We find these smaller ships to be a much better fit for us.  We spent 40+ days on the Jewel last year and LOVED that ship.

 

These ships attract families, but not in the huge numbers that the very large ships to, but they still have the amenities you speak of above.  

 

We have 2 Vision cruises booked for late next year, and the Rhapsody in 2022.  

 

What I like about the Vision is she has 10 and 11 day cruises from Fort Lauderdale, so you get a good deep Caribbean itinerary.

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My husband and I discovered the joys of 10-11 night cruises...and there are significantly fewer kids on board than 7-night trips.  It's sometimes harder for families to justify taking their kids out of school for that long.

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Prior to kids, we were pretty loyal to Princess and an occasional HAL cruise, although we were usually the youngest ones on the ship...  Princess was a nice mix of younger couples w/o kids and retirees.  HAL was mostly retirees but made for a very quiet relaxing cruise.  Service on HAL was excellent and the cabins tended to be bigger.  Princess overall had great food and at the time, late 90s early 2000s, had some great new ships.  Both had very few kids on the ships regardless of the time of year we cruised.

Our kids are now getting close to college age so we will most likely give those two a try again and see whats changed. 

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23 minutes ago, JT1962 said:

We are in our late 50s and have been on 20 cruises and on multiple lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian and some no longer in existence. Our favorite has been Royal Caribbean, but all were enjoyable. The time of the year seems to have a lot to do with how many children are on board. We generally cruise in the off-season and haven’t been overwhelmed with children on board. Princess and Holland America had the least amount of children, but also had the least enjoyable entertainment as well. If you go for the itinerary and not the entertainment, either of those may work for you.

 

Good points. We use the same strategy. We like to cruise early December. Fares and volume of kids are lower.

 

OP: As others have said, the Radiance Class has less kids than the mega ships. If you want to stick with Royal, try a 10 day cruise on a Radiance class and there are even fewer kids on these longer cruises (many families can't take long vacations).

T

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18 minutes ago, pcur said:

I'm going to recommend you look at cruises on the Jewel, Radiance, Rhapsody, Vision, and Serenade.  We find these smaller ships to be a much better fit for us.  We spent 40+ days on the Jewel last year and LOVED that ship.

 

These ships attract families, but not in the huge numbers that the very large ships to, but they still have the amenities you speak of above.  

 

We have 2 Vision cruises booked for late next year, and the Rhapsody in 2022.  

 

What I like about the Vision is she has 10 and 11 day cruises from Fort Lauderdale, so you get a good deep Caribbean itinerary.

LOL

You posted this while I was typing a similar recommendation.

Brilliant minds think alike I guess.

T

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22 minutes ago, 2chiefs said:

LOL

You posted this while I was typing a similar recommendation.

Brilliant minds think alike I guess.

T

Don't know about brilliant, but I do know I have similar opinions to the OP's.  The Adventure is our exception.  The cruises are less expensive, and the crew is AMAAAAAAAAZING!!!

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44 minutes ago, 2chiefs said:

Good points. We use the same strategy. We like to cruise early December. Fares and volume of kids are lower.

 

 

😃 2chiefs, you got us smiling.  We also like to cruise early December (found it to be cheaper as well)......then sailed in Australia in December.  It felt like 2000 of the 3,800 were children.  Found out December in Australia was school break for kids.

 

Wetmib...we are the same.  We became loyal to Royal after trying other cruiselines.  Royal was a nice fit.  We love Royal when we have the children and grandchildren with us.......but now prefer some "quiet time" when by ourselves.

 

Funny how "time and getting old" changes all of us.  When we were much younger, we sailed with Celebrity more than we did with Royal.  We switched to Royal because we were younger and wanted more activities.

Fast forward to now...older...more laid back............😄 we sail with Celebrity when we are by ourselves.

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3 hours ago, Wetmib said:

We've been loyal to royal for many years now - tried some of the others, and Royal has been a good fit for us. Our most recent trips, not so much. I'm not sure if we've changed or the product has changed. We're getting older, thank goodness, and the product seems to be gearing more and more for lots of kids. Love mine but on vacation, not lots and lots of others. With the changes to the older ships being modified to add slides etc, it seems the line is going that way. Or is it from our mega ship experience only?

 

So where should we look next? Basics: travel from east coast us late Jan -> Feb - after that we find spring break trippers too much to deal with. 7 days or maybe a couple more, east caribbean to south preferred, we like the solarium  of royal, old school dining, caribbean music, other music

 

It saddens me that I'm thinking of trying something else - 

 

Be gentle and kind with me

 

Thanks

 

I

Our family members from Upstate NY have been cruising with Oceania.

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I’ll echo others recommendations. When we sail with the kids and grandkids, we do Royal. Just the wife and I, we have drifted towards Celebrity. 
 

We are not doing the slides and rock wall. The Solarium on Celebrity is so much better then Oasis class. Not to mention the smoke-free casino.

 

mac_tlc

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Virgin's Scarlet Lady is an adults only (18 and over) cruise ship.  While more expensive than Royal and only 4 or 5 night itineraries, it offers more in terms of perks and is more of an all-inclusive experience. 

Edited by livingonthebeach
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I think that my next one is a carnival as much as that hurts to say.  I have only cruised once with them before, but the casino group has sent me 2 offers for a free balcony.  With Royal not letting me change my July casino offer and nothing new from them, I have to find a way to get away in August and September.

 

 

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It's more money but we just booked a Viking cruise to Norway for 2022.  Really looking forward to it.  I noticed on our last few cruises we did not even go to the theater it was just too crowded.  We spent most of the time in lounges talking to people.

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We only do the 7 day Caribbean cruises if we are with the kids/grands.  We usually cruise for itinerary and not on the mega ships yet.  With that said,  with the longer cruises, we have not had a problem with kids.

 

We did decided to cruise with Celebrity and were at the port in Chile when the cruise was canceled, so figured someone was telling us to stick with Royal (I know same company) 

 

Next 3 are back to Royal.  16, 12 and 10.  I don’t expect a lot of kids.  

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Our favorite cruise line is Royal Caribbean. We find it's the best of both worlds for the adults and our 3 kids. Our next preferred cruise line is Celebrity, but the kids generally find it a bit boring. I've heard good things about MSC cruises, but haven't yet tried them.

 

If you want to avoid the kids:

cruise when school is in session (NOT summer, spring break, winter break)

the 9+ night itineraries

cruise the smaller/older ships

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The one non-Royal cruise my wife and I did was aboard the Celebrity Constellation, I think back in 2008. I remember seeing one kid. Plenty of older folks; a friend with us on the bus there whispered to my wife "I told you he booked us on the Constipation!" And one of the first people we saw on a top deck on board had an obvious sternotomy scar. So it was an older crowd (but ambulatory, not a 'nursing home of the seas.'

 

It was a February cruise (most kids in school), an 11-day (a lot of families won't go over a week from what I understand) on Celebrity (which has a rep. for catering to a more mature clientele, with less amusement park-style entertainment for kids). 

 

It was an 11-day 'Ultimate Caribbean' cruise, so we hit a couple of ports I've never been back to; Colon, Panama and Cartagena, Columbia. 

 

I missed the Royal Promende; the Grand Foyer (IIRC the name) was classy). The entertainment was more focused on talented vocalists and comedy. 

 

We had a good time. My wife preferred Royal, I viewed it has 'apples and oranges' but I'd given Royal the nod, and now that we've got a kid...Royal Caribbean big ships!

 

For you, aiming for late Jan. to Feb. - Celebrity sounds like a fine fit.  

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Maybe try expedition ships.  While pricey, they have very low kid counts and well-traveled, well-behaved passengers.  Celebrity Xpedition to the Galapagos is among our favorite expedition cruise experiences.
 

We would rather do one expensive but far more enjoyable/better-suited to our personalities exhibition trips than 4 or 5 mainstream cruises.  We have been to wonderful, remote places (our favorite kind) where the only little “kids” are baby seals, turtles and penguins.

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16 hours ago, livingonthebeach said:

Virgin's Scarlet Lady is an adults only (18 and over) cruise ship.  While more expensive than Royal and only 4 or 5 night itineraries, it offers more in terms of perks and is more of an all-inclusive experience. 

But has all the looks and ambiance of an Ikea showroom 😄

Edited by little britain
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