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Royal Carib pricing us out


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Me and my family have been on numerous RCI cruises. Just back from 7 day Southern on AOS. Had planned to book for next spring break while on board, as we did this last year and got a great price. Not this yr. To go on the same cruise the cost for our family of 3 was going up well over 1000$ total.:eek: Future cruise consultant didnt seem very interested in helping us plan either. So, anyway--anyone out there have suggestions for other cruise lines that provide similiar level of service as RCI? Prefer good kids program too. son will be 9 at the time and the kids club is one of his favorite things about the cruise--thanks

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I know Carnival has a very good kids program especially on the newer ships (Conquest Class on up). We have cruised with friends on our Glory cruise and the daughter was 9 and the son was 11 at the time and did not want to leave the program. Maybe someone else could comment more on the kids program.

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We're in the same boat (pun intended). If we want to take our kids, RCCL becomes WAY more expensive than other lines. We're looking at Carnival and NCL because their 3rd and 4th person rates are much more reasonable than RCCL.

 

If it's just me and DH, we will probably stick with RCCL. But when taking the kids, we simply can't afford it.

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I haven't been on a lot of different cruise lines, so I'll allow someone else to recommend.

 

I did want to comment that I was EXTREMELY dissapointed with our future cruise consultant on Freedom in January. She wasn't helpful at all - as you said, she seemed disinterested. And she implied that we had to use our NextCruise coupons within 30 days of the day we bought it. That date was stamped on the Friends & Family coupons with a note that booking was required within 30 days. I've come to learn that the 30-days is from when the main booking is made. We felt rushed to make a decision and we didn't need to. I'll never do the NextCruise thing again. I bought stock - fortunately when it was DIRT cheap, wish I'd bought more! - and I'll take my $100 OBC as a stock-holder.

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This might be an excellent opportunity to try another line and compare the experience to what you have become accustomed to. It could end up being a better fit or it could confirm your preference for RCI but it is unlikely that it will be a terrible cruise experience. It should also give you an opportunity to compare prices. If you haven't already done so, you may find that the price difference for the dates and the itinerary you want to sail isn't quite as large as you imagine, but if it is, go for the best price. Every day, RCI seems to be reducing prices and at least on a weekly basis they announce special rates for specific sailings. If you are at all flexible, check out those sales to see if there is a fit. You might also consider finding a good local travel agent who keeps up to date on what all of the lines are offering and who may be able to steer you to a good cruise bargain.

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Just to hedge your bets, so to speak, and if you can afford a double deposit, I recommend while you're looking at other cruise lines that you book the RCCL cruise you want. Then, shop around and cancel if you see something better. This way you can get the cabin and itinerary on RCCL that you want, and wait to see if there are price drops. If you find something else, then the deposit credit from RCCL will help pay toward the other cruise.

 

I've had 2 price drops in the last 3 days on cruises 6 - 8 months out.

 

I think this is a win-win because you're going to spend that deposit money anyway, but you've got the best of both worlds until you decide for sure.

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Me and my family have been on numerous RCI cruises. Just back from 7 day Southern on AOS. Had planned to book for next spring break while on board, as we did this last year and got a great price. Not this yr. To go on the same cruise the cost for our family of 3 was going up well over 1000$ total.:eek: Future cruise consultant didnt seem very interested in helping us plan either. So, anyway--anyone out there have suggestions for other cruise lines that provide similiar level of service as RCI? Prefer good kids program too. son will be 9 at the time and the kids club is one of his favorite things about the cruise--thanks

 

 

Give Carnival a try - we tried them for the first time in November and found them to be fine - we had a great cruise - good food - good service.

At this time with the economy on everyone's mind price is an issue - give them a try - you may just have a wonderful time.

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I'm in the same "boat" as the OP right now. We've been very satisfied with our RCCL cruises, but I'm finding myself a bit priced out of the market.:( I'm restricted to the most expensive peak times because I'm in education, so unfortunately we don't have the luxury of choosing a less expensive cruise during a less crowded week. We have to choose between the options available during the limited time we can travel.

I'm accustomed to prices on all cruise lines spiking during busy vacation periods. Unfortunately what I've found in looking at 2010 is that the price difference between Royal Caribbean and their competitors is very substantial. I enjoy the RCCL ships, but I just can't justify a $1,500 difference in price (JS) for 2 of us.

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I would try Carnival. The bigger ships (Conquest) are great and have lots of activities for kids and adults. Camp Carnival seems to be very enjoyable for the kids. I haven't tried Princess, so can't comment on them, but I'm sure they would be fine too...I have yet to find Carnival the "party and puke" ship like several seem to think it is.

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I strayed from RCL and tried NCL a couple weeks ago. LOVED them! LOVED the freestyle cruising - so stress-free. They had this wonderful kids pool at the back of the ship with water slides and a pirate ship. We were actually quite envious of the kids.

 

Good luck in your decision. Sandy

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We have sailed with Carnival for our last 7 cruises. We really enjoyed the Conquest class ships. Their service is good & the food is actually, for the most part, excellent in the main dining room. The Lido buffets are standard buffets, nothing exceptional but seems that is the same with RCCL. Mongolian grill & specialty stations are great. Their pizza & pool grills serve wonderful, freshly cooked items! Alternative restaurant is excellent. Loved their 'for a moderate fee' coffee/desert bar! Far better than Starbucks!

 

Drinks are a little cheaper than RC. The shows are decent. I will miss their last nights passenger talent shows. They were awesome!

 

They have a very comfortable bedding system in the cabins. Balcony cabins are a nice size & they will open the particians between balconies if requested.

 

While we really did enjoy our Carnival cruises, we decided after our last one, we would like to go back to RC as it had been 11 years since we last sailed with them. Plus, our favorite ship, Mariner, had moved out to our neck of the woods! We have been admiring her for several years while in some of the same ports. One last comment on Carnival....be prepared, the decor is a bit 'loud'. Sometimes, it was down right irritating to the senses.

 

For the money, Carnival is a nice choice.

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Carnival - kid's programs are amazing

 

Princess - Friends of ours swear by Princess, but they admit, their kids have less to do that the Carnival cruises (2) they were on.

 

I would do Carnival again in a heartbeat, especially with kids.

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When my daughter was 9½ and 10½ she had an excellent time in Princess kids' programs. The Star Princess had a wonderful, huge area for the different age groups. And, she really liked her counselor. Met some nice kids, too. The Sun Princess also had a good program, although smaller, since it's a smaller and older ship. And she met a group of nice kids who she hung out with outside of the program, too. My brother-in-law's two young sons absolutely loved their time on Golden Princess in their kids' program in '07. The Star had a larger dedicated area, though.

 

Even though we've been on the older Carnival ships, my daughter really not involved with the kids' programs. She was always at that in-between age or just wanted to hang out with us.

 

Me and my family have been on numerous RCI cruises. Just back from 7 day Southern on AOS. Had planned to book for next spring break while on board, as we did this last year and got a great price. Not this yr. To go on the same cruise the cost for our family of 3 was going up well over 1000$ total.:eek: Future cruise consultant didnt seem very interested in helping us plan either. So, anyway--anyone out there have suggestions for other cruise lines that provide similiar level of service as RCI? Prefer good kids program too. son will be 9 at the time and the kids club is one of his favorite things about the cruise--thanks
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I strayed from RCL and tried NCL a couple weeks ago. LOVED them! LOVED the freestyle cruising - so stress-free. They had this wonderful kids pool at the back of the ship with water slides and a pirate ship. We were actually quite envious of the kids.

 

Good luck in your decision. Sandy

 

 

I have sailed Norwegian as well, and find them to have a decent product. I love the Freestyle and the freedom it gives you. Some posters think because you do not "have to" dress up - that everyone is dressed way down - not true - I see you sailed the Spirit - we were on her last May and loved her - truly an outstanding ship and crew.

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We were very underwhelmed with both NCL and Princess kids programs. I guess you get what you pay for as far as kids programs on RCCL. The best kids program we've encountered was Disney but they cost even more than RCCL.

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I used to be very loyal to RCCL. When pricing got too high for 3rd and 4th during peak times, I went and tried NCL and Carnival. I have now sailed NCL 15 times and can say I love freestyle dining. I will agree RCCL has more for my kids activities wise ( minigolf & ice skating- but kids programs are equal), but the price difference makes up for it. Venture out and try a new cruise line...I am glad I did. I have likes and dislikes for all the cruise lines I have cruised...they all have their good and bad.

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... I'm restricted to the most expensive peak times because I'm in education, so unfortunately we don't have the luxury of choosing a less expensive cruise during a less crowded week. ...

 

Me too as we travel with our kids for cruises. I guess if too many people back away from RCCL they'll be forced to lower prices.

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Keep an eye on the prices. The original cruise we wanted to go on was almost $6000!! :eek: We decided that was way too much! Well, we had a future cruise voucher and we found the Enchantment for around $2000. (4 ppl) Ok, fine. Well, now months later, we just upgraded from an outside cabin to a JS for less than $200 total!! So, for around the same $2000, we are going on a cruise in a JS!! Yes, it's a 5 day, but that's what we decided we could afford. We are discovering the mega ships are way too pricey. I am sure that with the economy the way it is, prices will surely come down, especially as it gets closer to sailing time.

 

We've done Carnival and Celebrity as well as a smaller cruise line, and for us the service on RCCL is so much better!!! We might go back to Celebrity as they are the sister line of RCCL, but we've had enough of Carnival.

 

Good luck in finding your perfect cruise!

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We felt rushed to make a decision and we didn't need to. I'll never do the NextCruise thing again.

 

As one who has never purchased a "next cruise" and is thinking about doing it next month, you say you felt rushed to make a decision? What decision do you have to make while there? Just whether to purchase it or not, or do you have to be more specific?

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Of course if you want to really save money you could book MSC -kids under 18 are free in the same cabin. Not a great kid program but the ship was beautiful and the cabin was good.

 

We also did Costa and certain dates kids are free too. Got a Quad balcony for 2 adults and 2 teens in Mar. 2008 for $2100.00 total (all taxes in). The teens program on Costa was fine and we certainly couldn't complain about anything for the price we paid.

 

Looking at trying RCCL now that we will be traveling without the kids.

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We're in the same boat (pun intended). If we want to take our kids, RCCL becomes WAY more expensive than other lines. We're looking at Carnival and NCL because their 3rd and 4th person rates are much more reasonable than RCCL.

 

If it's just me and DH, we will probably stick with RCCL. But when taking the kids, we simply can't afford it.

 

HHHmmmm....think it more depends on the sailing, dates and itineraries. I just booked IOS for 14 night Italian Med sailing for 2010 and they easily beat out Princess and Celebrity by thousands of $....you must make sure you are comparing apples to apples. 3rd and 4th were only $587 for a 14 day European:eek:it was over tipple that on Celeb and Princess for the comparable category. Also keep in mind that the Freedom class ships easily have the most bells and whistles out there when it comes to kids....I would even go as far as saying when it comes to entertainment....that promenade area just had so much to offer most evenings.

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Of course if you want to really save money you could book MSC -kids under 18 are free in the same cabin. Not a great kid program but the ship was beautiful and the cabin was good.

 

We also did Costa and certain dates kids are free too. Got a Quad balcony for 2 adults and 2 teens in Mar. 2008 for $2100.00 total (all taxes in). The teens program on Costa was fine and we certainly couldn't complain about anything for the price we paid.

 

Looking at trying RCCL now that we will be traveling without the

 

kids.

 

MSC was just voted worst cruise line....do a search here on CC, it was just on the board a couple months ago.

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