View Full Version : Planning a cruise- need input!
02-02-2011, 12:09 AM
Hello all! It's been a long time since I've browsed around here, but I have a topic I'd like input on: cruises. I'm trying to plan a cruise with my children for after my daughters graduate HS in May '12. They will be 18 and my son will be 11. I've looked around and even though it would make much more sense financially to depart from Galveston since we live in Oklahoma, the sailing we've fallen in love with :swoon: departs from Ft. Lauderdale. It's on the new Allure of the Seas, and we chose it primarily because of the Dreamworks deal, Chicago musical, carousel and the Cupcake bakery. (Those are everyone in the family's most anticipated points of interest!)
Basically, I would like to hear from anyone who wants to share their cruise experience, but especially anyone who has cruised either on this ship, with this line, or with kids who were stuck in the dreaded "over 18 but under 21" category.
Also, what is everybody's favorite source for 1) super-cheap airfare. (Looking at DFW to Ft. Lauderdale) and 2) excellent travel agency?
02-02-2011, 12:24 AM
I went on a cruise exactly 2 years ago (tomorrow... *sigh*) It was absolutely fabulous! The cruise director had things planned throughout the day throughout the ship, through the day it included everyone (all age groups) In the evening there were shows each night in their theatre so there was a ton of stuff to do. On my particular cruise, they had 2 bowling lanes and a karaoke bar. So kids in the under 21, still had lots to do. The day excursions are worth it. We were on Norwegian Cruiselines Norwegian Pearl and we ported/ tendered in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel and Key West. Belize by far was my favourite one.
Have fun and I am so jealous!! Oh... my only bummer... I had sea sickness so had to take meds pretty much everyday. I had sea legs for a couple days after too. Haha
02-02-2011, 02:02 AM
We took a cruise with our 19 y.o. daughter, and it was a little more challenging for her than some of the earlier cruises, because you're not allowed in the teens club, and you're too young for the 21 and up stuff. She still had a really good time and would like to do another. I'd think that two girls together would be just fine -- maybe better.
02-02-2011, 03:07 AM
You need to go to cruisecritic.com. they know everything. Dfw to fll try southwest. In fll we stayed at Hampton inn plantation. Free airport and cruise shuttle. I have only cruised carnival but allure of the seas should be amazing. Ice network had an article on shaun Rogers skating on the ship. Apparently he can do a quad toe on that tiny rink!
02-02-2011, 08:19 PM
Wow, I thought more people would have something to say about cruises! Many thanks to those who have responded.
Skitt- thanks for the hotel rec. I'll check them out!
02-02-2011, 08:37 PM
You definitely need to go to cruisecritic.com. I am also planning a cruise for Thanksgiving and I am getting a lot of info from that site.
Since you already know the ship you want, you can just go straight to the RCI section. They are very knowledgeable and will be able to answer just about everything.
One word of caution though, people there are very passionate about their favorite cruise lines, no less so than us about our favorite skaters, and can be easily offended if you indicate you like one line over another.
02-02-2011, 08:42 PM
I've taken two cruises in my lifetime, both on Royal Caribbean (who owns the Allure of the Seas), so I can't compare them to another company. I was over 21 both times so I account for the nightlife for the 18-20 crowd, but I remember them having special dances at night for that age group specifically. I sailed on the Grandeur and Enchantment of the Seas and liked the latter boat better. I'm not so much into all of the social activities because I like to just relax but they are there if you need them. If anyone gets bored on a cruise then its his or her own fault.
I loved the food on Royal Caribbean, but again, I can't compare to another cruise line's food so I guess my opinion doesn't matter much. However, I will say, I really hated seeing all these gross overweight people acting like gluttons in the buffet. So I rarely went to the buffet for lunch or dinner and enjoyed the sit-down service in the dining room.
02-02-2011, 09:31 PM
I really hated seeing all these gross overweight people acting like gluttons in the buffet. So I rarely went to the buffet for lunch or dinner and enjoyed the sit-down service in the dining room.
There are no words, except that your comments and your signature certainly complement each other.
Check the FSU archives; I think we've discussed cruise vacations here a couple of times....
02-02-2011, 09:55 PM
I actually thought of that before I posted the thread- I tried to find the forum search feature, but didn't see it, and had a feeling this suggestion would pop up. If you could point me in the right direction, I'd be more than happy to let this thread die.
Ok- ironically, just found it. Thanks anyway. Off to search now.
ETA: Tried it, and I don't think I have access to the search feature.
02-02-2011, 10:15 PM
Sorry my post was so short- that was my first time typing on my new phone.
I don't know anything about Royal Carribean, but I love cruising, we've done 2 of them on Carnival.
Cruise Critic is without a doubt the place to go to help you plan. You can even look at the different ports and help you plan your day, which for most of them will help you save money so that you don't have to buy cruise excursions.
If you can, fly in the day before the cruise (hence the hotel recommendations), and if you don't purchase insurance for sure! A kid over 18 should be able to do everything a 21 year old can do but drink, as a non-drinker, that means to me they should have plenty to do. They can go into the dance club, casino, comedy clubs, R-rated shows, etc that adults can do. They just can't go into the kids clubs. Since you said you have 2 daughters, they should be able to make their own fun together :)
I've heard some people say if they are still in high school they can ask to be put into the teen club, but it apparently depends on the ages and capacity of the group.
02-02-2011, 11:08 PM
Check out cruisecafe.com. You send a request with the cruise you want and various travel agencies will provide quotes. You may get a quote better than booking with the cruise, and it may also include onboard credit.
I have taken 2 cruises, both Carnival, out of NYC, one to Maritimes/Canada and second to the Bahamas/Grand Turk. Both were fab.
I have a friend that has taken over 40 cruises, and she highly recommends cruisecafe.com and cruisecritic.com
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