1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Planning a cruise to Caribbean...need help!

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by 1LuckyMomma, Jan 16, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 1LuckyMomma

    1LuckyMomma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    461
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    All my twins want for their 16th birthday is a cruise with the family to the Caribbean. We've never been anywhere tropical. I really need some advice as we've never cruised before. We need something that is a good value for our money as it will probably be the only time we do this. Can you help?

    I've done some searching. It seems as if we have to cruise out of Florida. LA is closer to us but all of the cruises seem to be to Mexico and my husband doesn't want to go there. So, I was thinking we would fly to Florida, spend a couple of days and then go on the cruise.
     
  2. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    We flew to Miami and crused out of there many years ago for our Honeymoom. Since then they've built a cruise port here near Galveston and we have some options from there. If flights to Houston are significantly cheaper you might check those options. I know they used to be limited but I think the've expanded significantly.

    As with anything search hard for deals, prices for the same cruise can vary wildly depending on where/when you get them.

    My one tip: Cruise ship rooms can be TINY. A window or better yet a balcony can go a long way towards not making you feel like your in the cargo hold and makes your room seem MUCH nicer. Window rooms can be had for a little bit more but balconies are often a good bit more than an interior room.

    Ok, one other tip: DO NOT get caught smoking on a non-smoking ship. Our Honeymoon cruise was on Carnival's all non-smoking ship. Someone on our cruise got kicked off the ship on one of our island stops because they were caught smoking on-board. They had to find and pay their own way home from there.
     
  3. 1LuckyMomma

    1LuckyMomma Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    461
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Wow...we don't smoke so that won't happen :) It's nice to know that there are non-smoking cruises though. My daughter and I both have asthma and smoke really affects us. On a smoking cruise do people only smoke outside?
     
  4. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,131
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Each line & ship has its own rules - you need to check before you book. And you really need to research on a cruise form - Cruise Critics is the most common:thumbsup:
     
  5. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,295
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Just some basics

    The 3/4 days over to the Bahamas are usually the cheapest,also the are on the older ships.
    The seven days basics are:
    The Western Carib. goes generally to ports in Mex. so forget that
    The Eastern Caib. normally to Bahamas,St Thomas and possibly San Juan
    The Southern does from San Juan South to Aruba .
    There are tons of variations of these ,you really should get some brochures or go into the cruise lines websites.
    I would recommend with children you should look into the big Royal Carib. mega ships only because of the tons of on board activities ,but if money is a big issue,NCL and Carnival.
     
  6. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,295
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Insurance,Insurance Insurance!!

    Did I say that enough? Youre leaving theUSA, yes some credit cards cover you for some things,compare yours with travel insurance to be sure.
    Everybody and his mother is booking cruises these days I wont tell you where to book .
     
  7. UTE

    UTE Plastics

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,699
    Location:
    Salt Lake/Las Vegas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    0
    Wifey and I are regular cruisers. We've gone to 41 countries on varied lines and have enjoyed cruising immensely. We started on the original Princess Love Boats (Island/Pacific) and were hooked.

    Many first time cruisers end up with sticker shock after they discover "all inclusive" is not even close to being that. It's easy to spend money (particularly with the cashless systems) and not realize it until the final bill appears at your door the last morning of the cruise. The price of the cruise itself can actually end up being the least expensive thing about the trip.

    Having said the above, don't cheap out. Though pricing does vary, you will also find you generally get what you pay for. That more expensive room/ship you pass up to save money may have a lot of amenities and activities that are well worth the extra money. And, some of the best excursions and events do cost extra - there's often no way around it.

    For tips and general cruise knowledge make sure and check out CruiseCritic.com. We now have over 900,000 members and you'll find we are very helpful with any questions you may have. Membership is free and will allow you to interact in the Forums (found under the "Community" link).

    Bill
     
  8. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    You need a family fun ship

    My advise is to book a Carnival ship for a 7 days cruise. Your twins will have the best time ever. Carnival has the larger cabins and better prices for a cruise.

    My favorite website to look up cheapy cruises is vacationstogo.com
    It will list all the Carnival ships leaving out of Florida ports.
    Click on "Bargains", type in, Caribbean, Carnival cruise line, month when you want to travel, and put a check-mark on return back to port.

    I cruise a lot and I am not a travel agent. But... if you give me the month and dates that you would like to cruise at I can give you some names of some ships and give you an estimate of total cost for the cruiseship.

    Presently, there are many great deals but you need to tell me the month to find you several choices of cruises.

    My favorite ports are St. Thomas, Key West, Bahamas, etc. I like all of the islands.
    You must get passports for all of your family members. I think you can do a family passport.
    You must go to CruiseCritic.com and go to the Carnival section of the website to get all of your questions answered. They have what is called a "Roll Call" section once you book a cruise where you get to meet other
    member cruising on the same ship as you are and they will answer lots and lots of questions that you may have about cruising.

    Never fly to San Juan to get on a ship because it will be super expensive.

    It is best to book a cruise leaving out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The air
    is cheaper.
    Carnival does have "Freedom of Seas" cruise ship that would be a lot of fun for the whole family.
    I am a VIP on Carnival which is a fun ship. Please send me a private message if you have a personal question. I am also known as LucyR. on
    that website. LucyR.
     
  9. CYaInVegas

    CYaInVegas Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Ohio
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    44
    As LucyR told you be sure to go to CruiseCritic.com. you will find out ANYTHING you want to know about cruising. We've been on 15 cruises and our fav port is Ft Lauderdale. Airport is only a couple miles from the ships etc. If you are going a few days early be sure to get a room by bidding. A good site to learn all about that is biddingfortravel.com. Thats another of my favorite sites. Carnival would be a great cruiseline for your family. Dress codes at dinner a lot less formal than some other lines. My favorite itinerary is the Easter Caribbean.

    You should also check into passports which may be required for certain ports/countries. And be prepared to get hooked!!! Cruises are right up there with Vegas as my favorite destinations.

    I would suggest one cabin with a balcony and one across the hall which is an interior cabin for the kids. Best of both worlds. Balcony for you & hubby budget cabin for the kids. Good luck and have fun.
     
  10. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    Nashville
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I have been ~45 cruises and typically cruise a couple times per year. We have cruised on all the major lines: NCL, Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Disney, Princess, Royal Carribean, and a couple smaller lines like Oceania and Azamara. Cruised the Caribbean many times, the Med, the Baltic, trans Atlantic, etc. All my cruises were good, although I do prefer some lines to others as I have done it so many times I know what I like in a cruise. As many here stated, go check out the forums at cruise critic. Decide what places you want to go or which ship you desperately want to go on. Ask questions there on the different boards. Price out your cruise using the big online travel agencies. After I know exactly what cruise I want, there is a site that you can have them bid your cruise out to several agencies called cruise compete. It is sort of Lending Tree for cruises. You put the cruise you want in the system and you will get several bids from different travel agencies and you are anonymous to them, so you just call the one who gives you the best deal. It typically saves me a good deal of money.
     
  11. Jenx72

    Jenx72 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Alabama gulf coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    1
    I Do not know when you plan on going,but I would like for you too keep in mind that June 1st to Nov 30th, Is Hurricane season. With the peak months being August and September. :peace:
     
  12. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Orlando
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    28
    Fly to Orlando. Visit the Theme Parks for a couple of days then take a 3 day/night Carnival Cruise
    out of Port Canaveral to the Bahamas. Be sure to book a shore excursion (day trip) to visit Atlantis.
     
  13. trooth

    trooth Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    You can cruise out of Houston area, or new Orleans are. Miami/Ft Lauderdale has a lot of cruise options. You can go out of Jacksonville or Charleston sc as well. Charleston and Jacksonville goes to Bahamas for 5 days cruises. Cheap and low hustle for those ports. But if houston/gavelston is closer that may be an option too, but they will be heavy with mexico destinations (Cozumel/Cancun). You can always stay on the boat if you don't want to get out in mexico. The ship empties and you get room for pool. At 16 they probably only want to enjoy cruise ship and beaches anyways.
     
  14. trooth

    trooth Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    Princess cruises doesn't allow smoking in any rooms. Just casino and mid deck outdoors. Casino had several smoke free nights. They have a cigar bar too.
     
  15. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    772
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    Hopefully one of the more frequent cruise travelers can confirm this but in our experience the above statement is only half true. And brings up a very important point (to me anyways): Yes, you can stay on the boat once in port but the activities are severely limited. On our Carnival cruise the pool was closed (drained I think) and the casino was closed whenever we were in port.

    I hated the fact that when I got back from my excursions I couldn't hit the hot-tub or play some BJ untill the ship left port. Not that it made cruising an less awesome though.
     
  16. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2002
    Messages:
    19,131
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Casino opening depends mostly on local laws, but yes, likely closed in port. I never gamble on a cruise so that doesn't bother me at all.

    On our HAL and Princess cruises (only 1 in the Caribbean) a pool was open during port days.
     
  17. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    I have cruised 55 times in my life-time on 7 cruiselines

    Everybody here gave you some great advise. All you have to do now is start searching for the ports you would really like to visit and the cruiseline you
    would like to cruise on.

    I think that Carnival is great for kids and teens and families.

    Princess is great for couples.

    NCL - The cabins are super small but it is fun for adults.

    RCL - Attracts lot of people from other counties and great for adults

    Celebrity - is okay for adults. Not good for teens. Mostly just couples.

    HAL - Mostly seniors and adults love that cruiseline. Lonely ship for teens.

    I have just given you a taste of some cruiselines. It is just my opinion.
    You must go to all the cruiseline websites to see their ships and what they have to offer.

    I consider Carnival a fun ship for families with kids and teens, and single adults. I cruise solo and I get to meet lots of fun cruisers.

    Take the advise of having an insider cabin for your two teens. Don't invite their friends to cruise with you because it will be a great responsibility
    that you can't imagine.
    Get a window cabin to save money or pay extra for a balcony.

    I am so excited for you. I was born to cruise and I just love cruising.
    I am a cruise-addict.com member too.lol. Have a BLAST on your cruise. LucyR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  18. trooth

    trooth Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    I knew the casinos closed, that is normally only opened when in international waters. For the pool to be closed though, that is very odd. Most people will only do a morning or afternoon excursion, not both. So food options and both cruises I have been on had everything else open. They were royal Caribbean and princess.
     
  19. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Swimming pools

    The question is..... are pools always closed while in port. The answer can be yes or no because I have cruised 55 times on 7 cruiselines and we never know if the pool will be closed or open.

    I think it may depend if the pool water gets dirty they may want to clean out the pool with fresh water. Or... the pool may need some fast maintenance.

    For example; One time I was sitting facing the pool when all of a sudden we got lots of ashes from the ship's smoke stack. The ship was in port but it got dirty with ashes. Everybody had to get out of the pool.

    All ships are super unpredictable on whether they will keep the pool open or not.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.