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Recommendations on overall experience


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:confused: We've been comparing the 10 or 12 day cruise towards end of August for 4 people. NCL $3100. HAL $3400, RCCL $7500 :eek: and Princess $4100 (10 days) for the same categories. We have cruise rewards already with NCL and have never sailed with HAL or Princess (unsure about the ship ratings or kids program)

 

Which cruiseline and air do you recommend for kid's entertainment or overall experience? ease of embarkation, self-service laundry, cabins, service, etc.

 

Overwhelmed with choices, thanks :)

 

 

...

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We're booked on Emerald Princess Aug 24 r/t Copenhagen 10 days. Sorry, can't give an opinion on Kids' programmes (our son is 28 now!) but this will be our 3rd Princess cruise because we love the service and the ships. We were on the Emerald in summer 2007 for a Med cruise and enjoyed it so much. Maybe we have just been lucky, but we have found the stewards and wait staff provide excellent service and really try to go the extra mile to make your experience special. The Emerald is a beautiful ship. We thought we might find it too big, sfter the smaller, more intimate Dawn Princess, but we never felt crowded and we enjoyed things like Movies Under the Stars (MUTS).

We haven't tried other cruiselines (haven't felt the need to because we have been so satisfied with Princess) so I can't comment on those. Perhaps other posters will be able to give you an insght there.

Margaret

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are booked on the emerald for sept 13 and this is our 3rd princess cruise. we also had a cruise on HAL and one Disney.

 

Princess is great because the pricing is good and we prefer the any time seating and dinner options love the movie under the stars like the fact that you can go as formal or informal as you choose

 

HAL was stuffy and we felt like little kids the average age was around 70 we were 50 at the time and there were 3 people under 21 on an alaskan cruise

 

Disney was fantastic sooooo many kids but you really did not see them

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Princess is great because the pricing is good and we prefer the any time seating and dinner options love the movie under the stars like the fact that you can go as formal or informal as you choose

 

Nan,

 

I should probably post this on the Princess Board (maybe I will ;)), but I was curious. Do you think or know if MUTS will be offered on our 9/13 Baltic Cruise on the Emerald? I would think it would be too cold. It certainly wasn't offered on the Diamond last July in Alaska (BRRRRR!!!).

 

Thanks,

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Hi there,

 

we are also a family of 5,(kids 16,15,11) we booked the HAL vikings and czars for 7/30. We sailed on HAL once before with the kids to belize, guatemala, and mexico over christmas break. There were not too many kids on board ( more would have been better) but there were enough. The teens loved the oasis (teen club) and the round the clock pizza bar and ice cream bar. My 11 year old ( then 8) refused to go to kids club though, there were not enough kids his age ( they were younger). I've heard RCL is great with kids but was much more expensive than HAL. join us!

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We like Princess for longer European cruises. They really have their act together. The anytime dining is nice as it lets you stay that extra time on shore or grab an early dinner before heading out. You can bring your own wine onto the ship - a nice plus.

 

A couple times during the longer cruises Princess has laundry specials. Our clothes have come back neatly folded or on hangers. You can also do your own laundry and pressing. That's something that helps with the packing!

 

There are usually very interesting lecturers on Princess. John Lawrence will be the lecturer on this season's Baltic cruises. We've also been happy with Princess shore excursions. We frequently do private tours but don't feel cheated when using Princess.

 

There may have been MUTS on our last Emerald Princess cruise but we were too tired to check it out. There's a lot to do on these port intensive cruises! On cooler cruises I believe blankets are handed out. I seem to remember table mates telling us about it.

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We are Princess fans. However, when we cruised Baltic in 2007, we chose HAL because we liked their itinerary better. Princess cruise is only 10 days, and therefore does not give you enough time in several ports.

 

There were indeed a lot of seniors on that HAL cruise. Our kids did not enjoy the cruise ship so much, though they had a wonderful time in various ports.

 

You didn't mention the ages of your children and the importance of kid activities. IMHO, you may want to evaluate the importance factors of port calls vs. on-board activities to your family members.

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We did the Gems of the Baltic 10-day cruise with HAL and it was probably our best of our nine cruises. Baltic cruises are normally very port-intensive, so you will not have as many opportunities for onboard activities. And don't believe the "average age of 70" claims that are so frequently quoted with regard to HAL. In our opinion, HAL offers the best in Europe itineraries.

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:confused: We've been comparing the 10 or 12 day cruise towards end of August for 4 people. NCL $3100. HAL $3400, RCCL $7500 :eek: and Princess $4100 (10 days) for the same categories. We have cruise rewards already with NCL and have never sailed with HAL or Princess (unsure about the ship ratings or kids program)

 

Which cruiseline and air do you recommend for kid's entertainment or overall experience? ease of embarkation, self-service laundry, cabins, service, etc.

 

Overwhelmed with choices, thanks :)

 

 

...

First of all you mentioned the cost of the cruises as a whole. If cost is an issue, then try comparing them on a $ per day basis.

 

We sail with HAL because we are more interested in the port activities than in the sailing and HAL seems to spend more time in each port than Princess. I am one of those 70 year olds that HAL is famous for, but I would venture to say that we (my young bride and I) live more active lives than many of those in their 40s and 50s. We just don't party as much as they do.;)

 

In Europe, the cross section of the passengers seems to be 30s and up primarily, with the largest number in their late 40s and early 50s. We haven't sailed the Caribbean, but our experience is that the older generation :D in Europe don't behave like the horror stories you hear about from the Caribbean cruisers.

 

Ease of embarkation has not been an issue in past cruises, it has been swift and efficient.

 

Laundry services depend on the size of the ship. The larger ships have laundry by the bag (all the tightly rolled clothes you can fit in their laundry bag) for $20 per bag. Dry cleaning service is also available. On the smaller ships there are DIY laundry facilities.

 

Cabin size depends on the type of cabin. Just as with land based real estate more $ = more room. The service we have experienced has been excellent. The crew try their best and being friendly goes a long way to getting the best service.

 

The success or failure of the kids programs depend on the number of kids aboard. I would venture to say that is true whatever the line. We met a couple on our last voyage that brought their four children with them, ages 7 to 14. The kids all seemed to be enjoying the programs that were set up for them.

 

Finally, as to dining. HAL has two dining programs in the main dining room(s) with two fixed dinner hours and As You Wish Dining, which is exactly what it says. In addition, there is the Lido buffet and also an extra cost restaurant (Pinnacle), which in our experience has rivaled eating at Ruth's Chris steakhouse.

 

We hope that helps.

 

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:confused: We've been comparing the 10 or 12 day cruise towards end of August for 4 people. NCL $3100. HAL $3400, RCCL $7500 :eek: and Princess $4100 (10 days) for the same categories. We have cruise rewards already with NCL and have never sailed with HAL or Princess (unsure about the ship ratings or kids program)

 

Which cruiseline and air do you recommend for kid's entertainment or overall experience? ease of embarkation, self-service laundry, cabins, service, etc.

 

Overwhelmed with choices, thanks :)

 

 

...

 

Which specific ships? When you compare just prices you need to know what is included.

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Hello,

We narrowed it down to NCL Jewel and HAL Rotterdam and then compared airfare to the different ports, round trip from Dover vs. one-way to Copenhagen and one-way back from Rotterdam to LAX. We decided to book NCL Gem for 7 days out of Barcelona instead, because we want to take our teenagers with us to the Baltics and they are away in the military until October 09. In the meantime, we're taking a couple of grandmas on the Gem:). We'll re-visit this issue at a later date. Thanks for the recommendations :rolleyes:

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