Planning our first cruise...any suggestions or feedback?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by chickenlickin8, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This will be our first cruise ever! So exciting! I'm looking at Carnival Cruise Lines (The Inspiration or Paradise). They have a Carribean cruise to the Bahamas and Cozmel for 5 days (Mon-Fri). Looks nice. Any feedback on them? I don't want to spend a ton of money on our first cruise...like 500.00 or less per person tops. Planning for Nov, probably a Thanksgiving cruise leaving out of Tampa, FL. I really don't want to drive down to Ft Lauderdale or Miami if we can help it.

    Would love to hear your cruise experiences...Thanks!
     
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Carnival is fantastic! MUCH better than Royal Caribbean. Those are the only 2 I have experience with. Cozumel is a lot of fun...if you like to drink and have fun you have to visit Carlos & Charlie's while you're there. We're thinking about going on a Bahamas cruise in Nov/Dec too...I think they have the 4 night ones for $180/person right now. Just remember to have money set aside for drinks and shore excursions/shopping. [​IMG]
     
  3. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    The ones out of Port Canaveral are good and close by too.
     
  4. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Unless you're young enough to still do the spring break thing, avoid weeks with college holidays. Since we homeschool we go in the middle of non-holiday weeks, that way we get the relaxing part and the ship isn't packed.
     
  5. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This sounds like fun! [​IMG]
     
  6. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    I heard that the bottled water on cruises is really expensive and people were packing an extra suitcase with some to avoid this. I wouldnt drink the "tap" water as you never know where they filled it up from....oh and take plenty of hand wipes or hand sanitizer. I heard lots of horror stories of whole ship full of peeps getting sick all at once so I would use one to open doors and avoid touching railings and such. In rough weather avoid the lower part of the ship as this rolls more and you can feel a bit sick or dizzy.
    Don't mind all the negatives....I'm just really jealous!! [​IMG]
     
  7. chicken995

    chicken995 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been on Carnival twice (Carnival Miracle and Carnival Glory) and Norwegian once (Norwegian Pearl). Can't have a bad time on a cruise, but I had a better time with Carnival. There staff was a little more friendly and even though Norwegian advertises their "free style cruising" I still felt like Carnival was more laid back. Check http://www.vacationstogo.com/ they have a 90 day ticker of upcoming cruises. Most of the time you only save $50, but then they charge you about that much in fees, so its a wash if you go through them or the cruise line directly. However every once in a while they have some screaming deals. Obviously if you are planning on going in November that is more than 90 days away so those won't be on there yet.

    If you plan I going on shore excursion I would advice you book them with a private party once you get off the boat. A lot of people like to book through the boat because they feel it is safer, but at the same time you will pay 3x even 4x as much if you just book it with a private party. For example, our most recent cruise was to Alaska. We went whale watching and to Mendenhall Gkacier. Through the boat it cost $250 per person.. We booked with a private company when we got of the boat for $70 per person. My wife and I haven't had any trouble doing this yet. YMMV.

    Whatever you choose to do you will have tons of fun. Nothing better than relaxing in the caribbean with a cold drink in your hand. And as KellyHM said, Cozumel is great.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Our daughter and her family took the cruise that you are planning with Carnival and had a great time. Cruising is a competitive business so you can bet that you are going to be treated well. They thrive on word of mouth referrals and repeat business. Use the hand sanitizers religiously!!! The Princess and I just came back from a river boat cruise in Europe during which we contracted the Noro virus. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lots of good feedback...THANK YOU! Now, I'm a little nervous about getting SICK on a cruise boat! Both weird air viruses or sea sick.....YUCK [​IMG] Do you feel like you are moving when the ship is out there? We will use lot of hand sanitizer and maybe take some sea sick medicine just in case. What about that airborne stuff?
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Didn't mean to cause any health anxieties. We've been on several cruises and this was our only instance of sickness. I get seasick, and have never been even slightly ill while on a cruise ship, and we hit some rough water on our New Zealand/Australia trip. To me the motion is way different from that on a smaller vessel. Get the patch that goes behind your ear, and if you feel slightly ill start on the ginger ale--it helps. On the trip that you are planning, you will hit no bad weather.
     

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