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Itinerary/Ship Help: Eastern Caribbean vs. ABC


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Hello, fellow Celebrity enthusiasts! 

 

I am trying to narrow down some Caribbean itineraries for this fall/winter. The two I am looking at include the following stops:

Puerto Plata, DR - San Juan, PR - St. Croix - Antigua - Basseterre, St. Kitts - St. Maarten (10 nights, Millennium, Concierge Class)

 

Grand Cayman - Aruba - Curacao - Bonaire (11 nights, Silhouette, Standard Balcony)

 

The only place I have been before was Grand Cayman (twice), and on one occasion, it was very crowded and not very enjoyable. That being said, which itinerary would you choose, and why? The 11-night costs just a little more (basically the cost of the additional night, pro-rata). 

 

Thanks!

 

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FYI, Grand Cayman is not accepting cruise ship passengers for the remainder of the year.  I know some of the ABC itineraries have swapped Grand Cayman out for Nassau.  I did an ABC itinerary on Royal 2 years ago and loved it.  The snorkeling in Bonaire was great!

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5 minutes ago, M&JfromSDL said:

FYI, Grand Cayman is not accepting cruise ship passengers for the remainder of the year.  I know some of the ABC itineraries have swapped Grand Cayman out for Nassau.  I did an ABC itinerary on Royal 2 years ago and loved it.  The snorkeling in Bonaire was great!

 

I wouldn't be upset about losing Grand Cayman, but I'm not thrilled about gaining Nassau, either. 

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What do you like to do when in port? Do you enjoy sea days? The first cruise has more port days than the ABC sailing, even though it is a day shorter, while the ABC route has more sea days. If I was looking for a relaxing cruise with time ashore spent snorkeling or otherwise in or around the water, I'd definitely go with the ABC cruise. If I wanted a more energetic cruise with the opportunity to see more and explore a variety of islands, I'd go with the most port days.

 

As it is, we've been to all of these locations multiple times, and would probably opt for the ABCs.

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Trip no 2  sounds like a better choice..we like the Silhouette our fav S class ship..  ABC is always a great itin,..we would just not get off in Gr Cayman.. we dislike the tendering and port is often   crowded...,.We would enjoy a day on board. If you are a diver then GC is a plus,

 

 

Millie.... older ship but refurbished recently...Concierge Class not much to it , but maybe a larger stateroom on M Class????  Ports: DR, PR, ST CROiX are not very appealing  to us, but we do like St Kitts and St Maarten.

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Posted (edited)

I would favor the 2nd itinerary:

  • one night longer
  • I prefer Silhouette over Millennium partly because of the extra specialty restaurants (e.g. Lawn Club Grill)
  • we love the ABC islands
  • great diving at Bonaire, Grand Cayman, and Curacao

 

Edited by mahdnc
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16 minutes ago, hcat said:

Trip no 2  sounds like a better choice..we like the Silhouette our fav S class ship..  ABC is always a great itin,..we would just not get off in Gr Cayman.. we dislike the tendering and port is often   crowded...,.We would enjoy a day on board. If you are a diver then GC is a plus,

 

 

Millie.... older ship but refurbished recently...Concierge Class not much to it , but maybe a larger stateroom on M Class????  Ports: DR, PR, ST CROiX are not very appealing  to us, but we do like St Kitts and St Maarten.

 

Correct about Concierge Class- larger room is the only benefit that I consider worthwhile (M-Class only). As for PR and St. Croix, why don't you like them? 

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I have only sailed Solstice class before. Which class (Millennium vs. Solstice) utilizes outside deck space the best? Sea days in the Caribbean warrant time in the sun, so I'm wondering if Millennium (with fewer passengers) has a less-crowded pool deck. 

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1 hour ago, M&JfromSDL said:

FYI, Grand Cayman is not accepting cruise ship passengers for the remainder of the year.  I know some of the ABC itineraries have swapped Grand Cayman out for Nassau. 

Do you have a link for this? I'm on the Nov 13 APEX sailing which has a scheduled stop in Grand Cayman. I understand the island is currently closed to tourism, but I've not read anything definitive saying it was until the end of the year...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

It’s always hard choosing between the better ship vs better ports vs fewer days at sea. 

1) Solstice class ships (Sillhouette) are newer and have more bells and whistles than the Millennium class. I’ve been on both and would choose the Solstice class in a heartbeat. 

2) The Eastern Caribbean itinerary would include 5 new ports for you, whereas the Southern Caribbean itinerary would only include 3 new ports. However, I’ve never been to the ABC islands, so I can’t comment on the quality of those places compared to the Eastern Caribbean. 
3) The 2nd option includes 2 additional days at sea compared to the 1st option. 
 

That being said I’m going on a Southern Caribbean itinerary next summer 😆

 


 

Edited by better_at_sea
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No doubt which one I would choose - the ABC islands are my very favorite of Caribbean cruises.  And one more day is a big plus.  If they swap out Grand Cayman for Nassau I would just stay on the ship and enjoy a quiet day (not a big Nassau fan).  

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On 6/30/2021 at 1:35 PM, stickey_mouse said:

I have only sailed Solstice class before. Which class (Millennium vs. Solstice) utilizes outside deck space the best? Sea days in the Caribbean warrant time in the sun, so I'm wondering if Millennium (with fewer passengers) has a less-crowded pool deck. 

Not sure of the answer to your question as we prefer hanging out on our balcony, but as far as what I have seen on my walks around the ship, there is no such thing as a less-crowded pool deck on any Celebrity ship except early to mid-day in port!

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4 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

Not sure of the answer to your question as we prefer hanging out on our balcony, but as far as what I have seen on my walks around the ship, there is no such thing as a less-crowded pool deck on any Celebrity ship except early to mid-day in port!

 

I only meant less crowded than the other ship (by comparison).

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Both great itineraries... edge to ABC. (Aruba & Curacao are our fav ports! Haven't done Bonaire)

Yes, Silhouette gets  edge over Millenium.

I LOVE sea days...AND one more day on a ship?

Itinerary 2 is THE WINNER!

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On 6/30/2021 at 12:48 PM, stickey_mouse said:

 

I wouldn't be upset about losing Grand Cayman, but I'm not thrilled about gaining Nassau, either. 

I have to agree with you, it seems the private islands are not being used by any cruise lines in this shortened season

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The Silhouette is our favorite ship so it would get our vote.  Actually any S- or E- class ship would.     I found the Millenium to actually feel more crowded than the Silhouette.  We were on the Millenium four years ago and she was in need of updating which I understand has been done.  I found the interiors to be dark but that has probably changed as well. 

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6 minutes ago, deliver42 said:

I love both itineraries, but I'd go with the Silhouette because it leave from Florida, and i don't need the hassle of flying in and out of Ste.Martin.

 

Both itineraries sail from Fort Lauderdale. 

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My vote would be the Silhouette w/ABC islands.  We were on the first sailing out of dry dock on the Silhouette in Feb 2020 and so she was obviously newly updated and beautiful.   Lawn Club Grill was fabulous.  Extra day on the ship/extra day vacation with your second itinerary!  Love the ABC islands whether you want to tour, snorkel, beach day. 

Have only been on one M class ship and for me, although the ship was great and we certainly enjoyed our cruise, for some reason that I cannot explain the S class ships just feel more like "home" to me when I board.  Whichever choice you make, have a wonderful time 😊

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Another vote for SIL and the ABC

we love beaches and you can find them easy in Aruba and Curacao.

SIL is a much more comfortable then the M class.

I also have described it as it feels like home lol.

Cheers !

Brockmom

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On 6/30/2021 at 1:42 PM, M&JfromSDL said:

FYI, Grand Cayman is not accepting cruise ship passengers for the remainder of the year.  I know some of the ABC itineraries have swapped Grand Cayman out for Nassau.  I did an ABC itinerary on Royal 2 years ago and loved it.  The snorkeling in Bonaire was great!

I've seen some 'rumblings' that Costa Maya will likely replace Grand Cayman as the first stop....

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On 6/30/2021 at 1:37 PM, stickey_mouse said:

 

I am trying to narrow down some Caribbean itineraries for this fall/winter. The two I am looking at include the following stops:

Puerto Plata, DR - San Juan, PR - St. Croix - Antigua - Basseterre, St. Kitts - St. Maarten (10 nights, Millennium, Concierge Class)

 

Grand Cayman - Aruba - Curacao - Bonaire (11 nights, Silhouette, Standard Balcony)



 

 We have been to all of those except Puerto Plata.  

 

 We are doing the 11 day Silhouette in March / April of 2022.  The ABC's are one of our favorite Caribbean cruise destinations.  

 

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Definitely the ABC's!  Aruba has the best beaches.  Rent the golf cart on Bonaire for the day, it's so much fun!!  Curacao is such a beautiful area to walk around, see the floating bridge, and they have a great casino 5 minutes from the ship.   

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1 hour ago, micheleata said:

Definitely the ABC's!  Aruba has the best beaches.  Rent the golf cart on Bonaire for the day, it's so much fun!!  Curacao is such a beautiful area to walk around, see the floating bridge, and they have a great casino 5 minutes from the ship.   

These are our feelings as well.

We always enjoy the beaches in Aruba and have twice rented the golf carts in Bonaire. 

 

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