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Choosing cruise for the itinerary vs the ship


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I have a bit further to fly to Europe from Australia 😀, and I would definitely choose Vision for the better itinerary (if it was a Caribbean cruise I would choose Allure because it is more fun).

 

Whatever you choose will still be excellent though

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3 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

 

I'd take whichever is going to Naples 😇

Agree love Naples, for Europe I definitely will pick ports , Caribbean I definitely pick ship, after 50 plus Caribbean cruises ports don’t matter as much.

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3 hours ago, Canadianmama3 said:

So my husband just found there is an ice rink on Allure.  That may push that one in the lead in his eyes.  My son plays hockey (like almost all Canadian kids lol) and apparently it would be great for him to get some skating practice in 🙄

Most days are port days. You will be up early and back late. Then eat dinner, watch a show then bed. So you won't have time for much of anything else.

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For my husband, teen daughter and I we have always went for the ship personally... but that is cos we like to just relax and take in what the ship has to offer . We do go out to some ports if not been before but the itinerary is not what we look for

Allure is what I think would offer most to do on board the ship. For us the ship needs to have large enough pool as our daughter spends most days in the pool and lots of entertainment for during day and night entertainment which allure would do.

Whatever you decide to do enjoy it 

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4 hours ago, Canadianmama3 said:

So my husband just found there is an ice rink on Allure.  That may push that one in the lead in his eyes.  My son plays hockey (like almost all Canadian kids lol) and apparently it would be great for him to get some skating practice in 🙄

the ice shows on RCI are brilliant and a  must to see. as well as the water shows. amazing

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Ordinarily we pick for itinerary but we have booked for Harmony of the Seas this year because she is going from Barcelona around the Western Med.  We can drive to Barcelona and have done the western med a few times so for us this time it is all about the ship

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We are retired/semi-retired now, and don't need the "get away and be pampered" as much as when we were working and raising kids. We built our own backyard paradise a couple of years ago. Pool, spa, music of our choice, cheap drinks and no chair hogs. So these days we are all about the itinerary. We may do some Caribbean cruises to be with friends and family, but our currently booked cruises are all places we've never been.. Greek Isles, New Zealand, Transpacific. Of course, all this is up in the air, but we can wait.😁

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Have you been to any of the ports before, or first time cruising Europe? We are all at different stages in our cruising life, which sometimes dictates our cruising preferences. At this point in my life, I cruise for itineraries, but with your son along, he may be more interested in the ship. Europe cruises are port intensive, so you need to factor that in also. I would definitely choose unique itineraries, since the normal Europe stops may always be there, and can be done in the future.

I’m not sure how often the ice rink will be open for the public,  since the show performers usually practice during the day, especially if ship is in port. At night they will have shows. My grandson went once on the Allure, and if I remember correctly, the open skate was pretty rare.

Since you’re on the East coast, you could always choose to do a big ship in the Caribbean, and enjoy the ship in the future.

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13 hours ago, Heymarco said:

I‘m so confused by the logic, why is a flight to Europe so much different than a flight to Florida? For me, it’s both ship and itinerary that make the cruise. I always try to go for new ports but do enjoy coming back to nice amenities in the evenings and on sea days. 

For one thing, when it is 6PM in Connecticut it is 6PM in Florida, but Midnight in Europe. Add a day on to the trip both going and coming back just to absorb the jet lag.

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31 minutes ago, crzndeb said:

Have you been to any of the ports before, or first time cruising Europe? We are all at different stages in our cruising life, which sometimes dictates our cruising preferences. At this point in my life, I cruise for itineraries, but with your son along, he may be more interested in the ship. Europe cruises are port intensive, so you need to factor that in also. I would definitely choose unique itineraries, since the normal Europe stops may always be there, and can be done in the future.

I’m not sure how often the ice rink will be open for the public,  since the show performers usually practice during the day, especially if ship is in port. At night they will have shows. My grandson went once on the Allure, and if I remember correctly, the open skate was pretty rare.

Since you’re on the East coast, you could always choose to do a big ship in the Caribbean, and enjoy the ship in the future.

Agree - when we started cruising with our boys, they were old enough to do their own thing on the ship, hang out in the tween/teen areas, etc. Having all the things to do on the ship, for all ages and stages made cruising the best all-around family vacation. And once our grandkids are past the toddler stage, it will be again. For now, our cruising is just the two of us, and new places to see is the attraction. We're still less than an hour from our front door to check-in at the Port of Tampa, and easy driving distance to the other Florida ports, so I'm sure there are plenty of "for the ship" cruises in our future, post-Covid.

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35 minutes ago, crzndeb said:

Have you been to any of the ports before, or first time cruising Europe? We are all at different stages in our cruising life, which sometimes dictates our cruising preferences. At this point in my life, I cruise for itineraries, but with your son along, he may be more interested in the ship. Europe cruises are port intensive, so you need to factor that in also. I would definitely choose unique itineraries, since the normal Europe stops may always be there, and can be done in the future.

I’m not sure how often the ice rink will be open for the public,  since the show performers usually practice during the day, especially if ship is in port. At night they will have shows. My grandson went once on the Allure, and if I remember correctly, the open skate was pretty rare.

Since you’re on the East coast, you could always choose to do a big ship in the Caribbean, and enjoy the ship in the future.

This will be our first med cruise.  My husband has been to Rome before.  And I know our son would love allure.  But he also love Brilliance which doesn’t have the bells and whistles.  The ice rink was my husband talking not me lol.  My son does not need to go skating, he’s on the ice all the time at home. 
 
So I haven’t been to any of these places, but we are really researching all the ports.  And given we are going in the busy summer months some of the smaller ports that Vision goes to are appealing.  It’s also 8 nights vs 7.  

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13 hours ago, Canadianmama3 said:

So my husband just found there is an ice rink on Allure.  That may push that one in the lead in his eyes.  My son plays hockey (like almost all Canadian kids lol) and apparently it would be great for him to get some skating practice in 🙄

 

The ice rink is very small and has very limited skate times for passengers.  Numbers are limited on the ice, no sticks, no skating fast, sometimes no skating backwards, no tricks/jumping.  Fun for someone who has never skated before and wants to try, probably a one and done for someone who skates regularly.

 

I would pick the best itinerary and would sail Allure or one of its sisters in the Caribbean.

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We go by both... Although we have only been on 5 cruises so far we have been fortunate to be able to sample a different ship as well as different ports each time with no repeats so far. My wife and I are very different... I go by the ships and she goes by the itinerary. (If I ad my way I would never get off the ship!) We are now booked for our first Oasis class experience... can't wait!!!

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34 minutes ago, Canadianmama3 said:

This will be our first med cruise.  My husband has been to Rome before.  And I know our son would love allure.  But he also love Brilliance which doesn’t have the bells and whistles.  The ice rink was my husband talking not me lol.  My son does not need to go skating, he’s on the ice all the time at home. 
 
So I haven’t been to any of these places, but we are really researching all the ports.  And given we are going in the busy summer months some of the smaller ports that Vision goes to are appealing.  It’s also 8 nights vs 7.  

there will be time to go on ice rink but as ive said please take in the ice shows as you will not be disappointed so if you are going  on tours make sure to book the ice show

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I think it depends on where we're going....if it's the Caribbean, for us, the specific islands don't make much difference, and I'd choose the ship.  We go to the Carib for sun and warm weather.     If it was Europe or the Med, I would choose based on the ports and what sights I wanted to see.....

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1 hour ago, Canadianmama3 said:

This will be our first med cruise.  My husband has been to Rome before.  And I know our son would love allure.  But he also love Brilliance which doesn’t have the bells and whistles.  The ice rink was my husband talking not me lol.  My son does not need to go skating, he’s on the ice all the time at home. 
 
So I haven’t been to any of these places, but we are really researching all the ports.  And given we are going in the busy summer months some of the smaller ports that Vision goes to are appealing.  It’s also 8 nights vs 7.  

 

If the bells and whistles aren't really a thing for the fam, then you have options which is nice. I can tell you that a Med cruise is soooo different from a Caribbean cruise. Your Med cruise will be packed w/ things to do & places to see. There will be little time to leisure on a beach etc.  It will be a completely different vibe on & off the ship.  Having said this, the port days vs the sea days become important. I remember when we went on our first Med cruise it had five port days in a row. All amazing stops and we wanted to take in as much as possible. But after five days, we could not wait until we finally had a sea day just to relax a bit. So what I'm saying is, if one itenerary offers a sea day (break) in between the five or six port days, I'd be inclined to look real hard at that cruise. But that's us as it is that important. 

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23 minutes ago, Goodtime Cruizin said:

 

If the bells and whistles aren't really a thing for the fam, then you have options which is nice. I can tell you that a Med cruise is soooo different from a Caribbean cruise. Your Med cruise will be packed w/ things to do & places to see. There will be little time to leisure on a beach etc.  It will be a completely different vibe on & off the ship.  Having said this, the port days vs the sea days become important. I remember when we went on our first Med cruise it had five port days in a row. All amazing stops and we wanted to take in as much as possible. But after five days, we could not wait until we finally had a sea day just to relax a bit. So what I'm saying is, if one itenerary offers a sea day (break) in between the five or six port days, I'd be inclined to look real hard at that cruise. But that's us as it is that important. 

Very good point. Back in 2016, I did a B3B. 2 Meds cruises, because there was so much to see and do, and I wanted to see as much as I could. I was so thankful for the TA that followed, because I was exhausted after the 2 Meds.

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3 hours ago, orville99 said:

For one thing, when it is 6PM in Connecticut it is 6PM in Florida, but Midnight in Europe. Add a day on to the trip both going and coming back just to absorb the jet lag.

So it’s not that much different than going to the West Coast, both in travel time and time difference. Coming back from Europe is pretty easy, one long day, but easier adjustment. My point is that people shouldn’t put up these “barriers” and just get out there and do it. 

Edited by Heymarco
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17 hours ago, Canadianmama3 said:

I think many cruisers in the US are just used to driving to a port.  For us flying to Europe is really not that much more of a big deal then flying to Florida.  It’s a few extra hours on the plane.  So the flight has nothing to do with our decision.  
 

 

But some embarkation ports are just so much easier to fly into and get to the ship - Amsterdam and Barcelona are a couple of my favorites and that might possibly affect my decision in Europe.

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