Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

family of 4 with adult kids -- new to cruises


zana1204

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I'm a newbie to cruising, looking to treat my family of 4 (parents, I'm a 27 year old female and sister who's 25). Any info would be greatly appreciated!

 

First off, we're trying to figure out which cruise destinations are best for us (western, eastern, or southern caribbean?). I notice that a lot of the port excursions are very active. My parents enjoy walking around but would likely not particpate in 5 mile hikes or snorkelling. they are also not the type to lie on the beach all day. They would really appreciate the natural beauty of places, cultural sights, shopping, pretty beaches, trying new foods, driving around the city. I am leaning towards a Southern Caribbean cruise since the ports are apparently very diverse and beautiful. What do you think?

 

Next, the cruise line. What are your thoughts on that? The cruises we are looking at Princess Caribbean as well as Carnival. We have heard from our travel agent that all cruise lines are good except for carnival. But carnival cruises are in abundance in May/june (when we're planning on travelling) so I'm considering them.

 

Any other tips/tricks for booking my cruise would be greatly appreciated.

 

thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have not sailed on Carnival yet, but the consensus on cruisecritic seems to be that they are just as good as any other mainstream line. Norwegian, well that's another story.

 

With the ages of you and your sister, and I presume your parents are somewhere between 45 and 60, pretty much any of the lines would suit you well. Disney might be a stretch. So, have a look at RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, and maybe Holland America (might also be a stretch).

 

I've been on Southern, Eastern and Western. Eastern is best for shopping. I like Western for visiting Mayan ruins and culture. We're going on a Western cruise with Carnival next week that hits Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize and Nassau. Southern is more exotic, but Western and Eastern can be exotic too.

 

I would make your decision based on ease/cost of getting to the port, cost of the cruise, your interest in the ports and the time spent in each port. Some ships have more amenities than others, so that would be a factor too.

 

If you can narrow it down to certain ships or itineraries, people can give you better recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first cruise was with my mom and sister. My sister and I were both in our twenties at the time. We did a Western Caribbean on the Carnival Destiny, and we had a blast! I've also been on Princess and Celebrity, and I have a Royal Caribbean cruise scheduled for September. My favorite line so far is Celebrity. If you want my personal opinion, I would say try Celebrity. Especially since you have no children in your party...although I've heard Celebrity is great with kids. But, I don't think you could go wrong with Celebrity, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean. (I'm not a fan of Princess). Especially for your first cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know travel agents are suppose to guide you in the right direction by making recommendations....but I don't think the TA should have said Carnival was a bad choice. I personally think Carnival is a great choice.

 

There are some Carnival ships (older ones, short days) that I prefer not to cruise. But that doesn't make the entire cruise line "bad"

 

Carnival has a huge selection of ships to some great ports. And some of their most recent prices are incredible. I think if budget is somewhat a concern...your travel dollar will stretch farther on Carnival than on any other line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I honeymooned on a cruise. We ended up on a southern Caribbean route out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our itinerary was St Thomas (which was both of our favorite port), Martinique, Barbados, Antigua, St Maartin.... then back to San Juan. It was WONDERFUL! We didn't schedule any tours/excursions. We ended up jumping in a cab and telling the driver to show us the island and take us to a nice beach! In St Thomas we ended up at Coki Beack which was fantastic... the water was crystal clear, we could see our feet with the water up to our necks! We paid I think 6 bucks for a couple of snorkels and masks from a guy on the beach who also handed us a couple of dog bones.... when you stick them in the water you are surrounded by fish! In Barbados we ended up with an older man... in a little beat up car/taxi. He had no air conditioning but said to us... just wait till we get over that little hill... wouldn't you know it there was the most amazing ocean breeze and we had a wonderful tour of the island. The cab driver drove through neighborhoods and honked at his cousin as he drove by. He took us to a small beach tucked between a couple of resorts. Again he hooked us up with a guy who took us out in a slightly scary glass bottom boat (think a big window sealed into the bottom)... we ended up snorkeling along side a fancy catamaran full of tourists in excursions they paid a bundle for! This cab driver basically stayed with us most of the day... took us to the Mt Gay rum factory... then up to a bar in the middle of the island that was just out in the open... they had pens with zebras and monkey.... not what we expected to see in the Caribbean but it was cool.

 

Sorry to go on and on but this was 10 years ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday! My best advise would be to do it yourself... find a local cab driver and tell him to show you want the island has to offer! You can always look up shore excursions and if there is something specific you would like to see then ask about it... chances are the locals will know how to get you there and you will be on your own terms!

 

As far as cruise lines... go with the one that has the amenities you want on the ship that has the itinerary you like and the right price. We sailed Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon cruise and the Monarch was the ship... she is older now and only doing 4 days cruises. The room was not big by any means but we didn't spend much time in there anyways. We loved it! I cruised Carnival as a child and remember having a blast ... this was before they really offered what they do today! My mom has cruise Carnival in the last 8 years and had a great time too. I think if you like to have a good time and are mellow about things you will have a good time on any cruise. It's when people ALLOW others to ruin their vacation that they have a bad time and boycott a particular cruise line! Granted there will more than likely be more children on Carnival and Royal Caribbean... they cater to families and have good kids programs. If you are not fond of kids having fun and the noise and activity that comes with that then go for Princess or Celebrity. If you don't mind kids and are active and would enjoy a rock climbing wall and an ice rink etc then jump on a RCCL boat!

 

I hope you have a wonderful cruise!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In many ports it is easy and safe to rent your own car and do your own thing w/ your parents at your leisure. This requires research as some ports are very safe IMO, like St. John. where on others we only use cabs due to difficult driving or saftey concerns. ( like Jamacia). Cruise excurions are far more expensive but it may be well worth your peace of mind. This site can recommend many excellent local tour companies that offer identical excursions, but you may run the risk of missing the ship if you are late.

Also, unless you must be somewhere early, we chose to leave the ship after the mass exodus upon disembarkation. We find it more pleasurable to go at our own pace. We are older parents w/ young kids and this works well for our family. Others have their own style.

enjoy your cruise!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have sailed on Norwegian, and love it just as much as any other cruiseline. BUT--and here's a big BUT, I wouldn't recommend it for a first time cruiser. NCL is notorious for their casual ships. So, if you truly want the "authentic" cruise experience, with night-time extravaganzas, formal night, and fancy food, then stick to the other cruise lines.

 

We enjoy sailing NCL when we want a "break" from the formality of cruising.

 

CeleBrat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ended up booking a good deal on a Celebrity triumph cruise:

 

Destination

Arrival

Departure

Miami

Wcities destination guide available

05/10/09 ---

05/10/09 4:00 PM

At Sea

05/11/09 ---

05/11/09 ---

San Juan

Wcities destination guide available

05/12/09 5:00 PM

05/13/09 12:00 AM

St. Thomas

Wcities destination guide available

05/13/09 7:00 AM

05/13/09 6:00 PM

St. Maarten

05/14/09 7:00 AM

05/14/09 5:00 PM

At Sea

05/15/09 ---

05/15/09 ---

At Sea

05/16/09 ---

05/16/09 ---

Miami

Wcities destination guide available

05/17/09 8:00 AM

05/17/09 ---

 

 

I agree that it would have been nice to have 4 ports rather than 3...but we did get a pretty good deal (529/person incl taxes).

 

any thoughts/suggestions on our ports?

 

thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance - Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise News
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...