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Help with Eastern/Western (1st time cruiser)


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which one would yall pick to go on for a first time cruiser. the western has more land days, thinking this is good, but is eastern prettier? 

 

Also, Symphony of the Seas on both. Also, which shows are better, Harmony or Symphony?  Thanks so much!

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Easy choice for me Eastern...If I'm sailing the caribbean I want to sail to these ports...The western is just Mexico ...JMHO...Enjoy what ever dates work best for you.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, hollon said:

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which one would yall pick to go on for a first time cruiser. the western has more land days, thinking this is good, but is eastern prettier? 

 

Also, Symphony of the Seas on both. Also, which shows are better, Harmony or Symphony?  Thanks so much!

Symphony is our favorite ship so you can't go wrong.   From there its all about what kind of adventure you want.   If you make me choose, I go with the first one.  St. Thomas and St. Maarten are both great touring islands.    Nice beaches on St. Maarten.    CoCoCay is a fun and/or relaxing day.

 

Shows are great on both.   Both have a Broadway Show.    Wife and I like going to NYC to see shows (when we could do that) and we both thought that Hairspray on Symphony was as good as what we saw on Broadway.   But here again, both shows are AWESOME.    All the entertainment on the big ships are super.   Just our opinion.

 

Is one itinerary better than the other....NO.    You can't go wrong.  Enjoy Symphony.

Edited by zdad59
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We have done both itineraries.  You really can't go wrong with the Caribbean, but personally I prefer the ABC island cruise if you are going to go out of PR.  We have done both itineraries out of PR and Aruba/Curacao was our favorite.  That being said, if you can get a Roatan/Belize on Harmony or Symphony that would be my first choice.  We went on Allure for the first time a couple of years ago and I don't think the kids would ever be happy with a smaller ship again.  At the time they were 12, 14, 16 and 20.  They loved the ship so much and had a blast.  I think we could have gone anywhere and they would have still loved that cruise most.  I agreed with them.  The ship was amazing.   Our favorite port was Roatan.  West Beach was amazing.  We are scheduled this summer for Symphony to Roatan and Belize.   Most of the Caribbean islands seems to be very similar and run together, but Roatan stood out.  Some people don't like Belize.  We swam with nurse sharks and manta rays and loved it.  The water was beautiful and the people were awesome.  No matter what, I think you will have a great time!

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Eastern is great, but on one of the ports the time in port sucks.  We love Western also, and love both Symphony and Harmony.  Really cannot go wrong with either, but we will always take longer days in port and more ports vs sea days.

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Years ago when I was trying to decide which route to take, an old travel agent told me to go western if you have kids and go eastern for a more romantic experience. Maybe 10-15 years ago that might have been good advice but with Coco Cay as an option for eastern cruises and the sheer size of the Oasis class ships, I think eastern cruises are about equal for families. 

On the flip side of that, my wife and I have had lovely experiences with all-inclusive day passes at resorts in Jamaica, great beach days at Nachi Cocum in Cozumel, and so on. I've never felt like I compromised going eastern or western, and, these days the ships have become an attraction unto themselves. 

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thank you so much, such a hard decision. Just trying to make this trip good for others. the ship itself is something to see. 🙂

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1 hour ago, hollon said:

I noticed you cruised on both Harmony and Symphony, which do you like better, whats the differences?Thanks

 

Both are wonderful experiences - I would not favor one over the other.  If it really matters, Symphony has a VERY good version of Hairspray, and Harmony has Grease.  My preference is Hairspray, but you and your friends may feel otherwise.

 

"Flight" on Symphony and the drones in the ice show on Symphony are FANTABULOUS.

 

Aqua show on Harmony is much better (IMO) than Symphony's.  

 

Ship-wise, they are "two peas in a pod", with different decor.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Merion_Mom said:

You cannot go wrong with either choice.  IMO, this is not worth stewing about.  Pick whichever date works best.


This exactly....I will add that the Mega in Cozumel has excellent deals on many things that need an Rx in the US.  🙂

Edited by PTC DAWG
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1 hour ago, hollon said:

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So many posters have recommended Eastern over Western, so I'm taking another look at the two itineraries.

 

If you have members of your party who like to snorkel or dive, Roatan is a paradise.  Cozumel is also a great place for both of these activities.

 

As someone pointed out above, the port time in St Thomas is not ideal for many of the things that you may want to do there.

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59 minutes ago, hollon said:

thank you so much, such a hard decision. Just trying to make this trip good for others. the ship itself is something to see. 🙂

 

No decision to make here ... pick the one that goes to St Maarten and St Thomas

 

Costa Maya is the worst port of both itineraries. If you keep cruising you will hit Cozumel an a LOT of future cruises. West Bay Beach in Roatan is nice but a LOT of cruises go there too. Both cruises go to Cococay.

 

Pick the Eastern.

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I would suggest they look at the shore excursions that they would prefer and take in their activity level and personal interests. Our first cruise had 4 port days as I wasn’t to sure I would enjoy it and it was western.  About 56 cruises later, we pick ships with great itineraries to tour like Europe or Caribbean (any kind) where we prefer ships with great entertainment like Oasis class. 

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Heres an idea do back to back, one week eastern one week western.  You will love it!

If unable to do 2 weeks then I pick the western as it as more ports.   I love st maarten but I have been to st thomas numerous times and to me it is too americanized.  I dont feel like I'm somewhere exotic.  The further south you go the clearer the water will be.  The western sailing will have great spots for snorkeling.   Honduras and costa maya are beautiful!  They all are..

 

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I haven't done a Western cruise yet, scheduled for next year, but did a Eastern cruise that had a stop in PR.  My only complaint was the time in PR was TOO short to do much sightseeing. Other than that it was quite interesting.  We took a tour around St. Marteen and it really made you appreciate what you had back at home. Either way you are sure to enjoy yourself on whatever ship/itinerary you choose.

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43 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

Western, snorkel in Roatan, nothing better.

Roatan has the best dolphin encounter in the Caribbean we did it several times and would love to do it again. 

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A lot of people I know prefer Eastern where hubby and I prefer western.  I think it depends on what you like to do.  If you want to shop for silver (guilty), Cozumel is my go to place.   It’s almost a game , how low can I get them to go. LOL. As someone else said, if you are looking for scripts, Coz is also the place.  Lots of good tequila choices to(creme of tequila, yummy).   Eastern is definitely nice, but it doesn’t rock our boat.   As you are trying to make others happy too, see what ya’ll want to do and that will help answer the question.

 

Erika

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