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Author Topic: Cruise lovers? Help!  (Read 845 times)

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katiescarlett

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Cruise lovers? Help!
« on: April 25, 2015, 04:07:41 PM »
My parents will celebrate their 40th anniversary on January 29, 2016, and their life long (well, marriage long) goal has been to go on a cruise.  It is also my mom's 60th birthday in March.  So, two major milestones within a couple of months.  I am wanting to send them on a cruise for their anniversary/birthday/Christmas gifts.  (Dad's birthday is in May).  This may also have to be their Mother's/Father's day gift as well.  So, I want it to be a great cruise, at least a week long.  Mom wants to go on a cruise in the Carribean, Dad doesn't care where.  They also want to go to Hawaii, but Mom is terrified of flying and won't get on a plane to go there.

So, what are the best cruise lines to go on, the most cost efficient, but also nice, for a couple in their early 60s?  They have a 10 year old that would have to be left at home with me, and while I know they would want to take her, I want them to have this as a sort of second honeymoon, free of children.  They are not drinkers or smokers, so I don't have to take that into account.  I know nothing about cruises, so want the best I can get for my money (and I really couldn't afford to spend more than $2000). 

Help, please?  Thank you!

Thipu1

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 05:21:41 PM »
As a woman in her mid 60s who is a veteran of 41 cruises, I think I can say that you are going to be facing problems. 

It's laudable that you want to provide your parents with a nice cruise vacation.  However, a budget of $2000 for two people on a cruise lasting a week isn't going to work.

Please, provide us with a bit more information.  At least let us know how far your parents live from a port.  Tat could help us a lot.   



 

 

katiescarlett

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 05:42:46 PM »
We live in southeastern Oklahoma.  Perhaps it should just be 3-5 days, and if my siblings want to contribute then a bigger budget.  So, maybe an 8 hour drive from a port?  I wish I had more to contribute at the moment, but I just graduated college and have been working at my new job only a couple of months right now. 

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2015, 05:51:03 PM »
A really good place to ask cruise questions is on the boards at Cruise Critic. There is little that those folks don't know about cruising. You might also want to look at the section on the main site about First Time Cruisers and Best Budget Cruises

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Kiara

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 05:57:37 PM »
I've only been on 5 cruises, but a couple of thoughts:

* I'd look for a cruise out of Galveston or Houston.  Galveston is Carnival, Royal, and Princess, Houston is Norwegian.  Closer drive.  However, you want to drive in the day before and get a hotel.  Trust me.

*I wouldn't take anything less than a 7 day.  3-5 day cruises tend to be "partier," for lack of a better term, especially the Bahamas cruises.

* Your budget is just barely doable.  I just looked up a Norwegian cruise for this November, and an Oceanview cabin for two on the Norwegian Jade would be $1463, plus either the all inclusive dining package, all inclusive beverage package, or onboard credit included.   Also remember, there's tips every day, which is $15 per person per day on NCL, and pretty similar on other lines.  My family doesn't drink either, so a budget of $2000 would cover us in that cabin.   The Jade's a lovely ship.

*If you'd want to get them a balcony, it's about $1800 just for the cruise.  Personally, I'd get your siblings to chip in and get that, but I like balcony cabins.

*Seconding the advice to look at Cruise Critic. 

buvezdevin

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2015, 06:12:14 PM »
I've only been on 5 cruises, but a couple of thoughts:

* I'd look for a cruise out of Galveston or Houston.  Galveston is Carnival, Royal, and Princess, Houston is Norwegian.  Closer drive.  However, you want to drive in the day before and get a hotel.  Trust me.

*I wouldn't take anything less than a 7 day.  3-5 day cruises tend to be "partier," for lack of a better term, especially the Bahamas cruises.

* Your budget is just barely doable.  I just looked up a Norwegian cruise for this November, and an Oceanview cabin for two on the Norwegian Jade would be $1463, plus either the all inclusive dining package, all inclusive beverage package, or onboard credit included.   Also remember, there's tips every day, which is $15 per person per day on NCL, and pretty similar on other lines.  My family doesn't drink either, so a budget of $2000 would cover us in that cabin.   The Jade's a lovely ship.

*If you'd want to get them a balcony, it's about $1800 just for the cruise.  Personally, I'd get your siblings to chip in and get that, but I like balcony cabins.

*Seconding the advice to look at Cruise Critic.

Completely agree with them above, and also very much recommend getting a balcony, if possible.  Most cabins are very compact, or small.  I really enjoy using the balcony when I cruise, and even when one is in the cabin, having a balcony really gives a much more spacious sense to the quarters.

Regardless of which cruise may be in consideration, it is so valuable to read reviews on Cruisecritic.com.  The things which people love, hate or don't care about for a cruise experience varies for everyone, so reading about other cruisers experience will really help you get a feel for what will be most appealing to your folks.

For example, some cruise ships may have a higher number of passengers to open space ratios, or to specific spaces - if your folks would really enjoy lounging in deck chairs by a pool on sea days, checking the ship specifications and reviews will help you avoid ships more likely to have highly crowded decks or a shortage of deck chair availability.
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AmethystAnne

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 06:26:31 PM »
In April 2012, DH&I went on our only (so far  ;D) cruise. We were on Carnival cruise line's ship, Miracle. I had so much fun.

We had a room with a balcony. If was wonderful sitting on the balcony in the morning in my nightgown, drinking coffee and enjoying the ocean. At the time, DH was a smoker, and could go on the balcony to smoke.

katiescarlett

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 07:38:22 PM »
Thank you, everyone!  I will check into all this.  I am the oldest of 5 siblings, and 4 of us are adults, so we could most likely come up with a reasonable budget.  I can contribute the 2K, and can probably get at least another thousand to 1500 between the other 3, so I will talk to them about it.

kudeebee

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2015, 02:18:35 AM »
Thank you, everyone!  I will check into all this.  I am the oldest of 5 siblings, and 4 of us are adults, so we could most likely come up with a reasonable budget.  I can contribute the 2K, and can probably get at least another thousand to 1500 between the other 3, so I will talk to them about it.

$3000-$3500 sounds more reasonable.
Should cover cost of cruise plus port taxes and tips and travel insurance.
Should be money for excursions and "extras" onboard.
Other items that they should not have to cover (IMHO)--parking for the week, hotel the night before.

We have done Royal Caribbean out of Galveston.  Easy to get to port, parking was convenient.  Definitely want to go down the day before.

cicero

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2015, 02:44:43 AM »
No idea about the cruises etc., but just wanted to say that you are a wonderful daughter and this is a lovely idea!

I don't know if gifts are done in your wider circle of family/friends, but maybe *if* people ask, you could "spread the word" that your parents would appreciate GCs or gifts of cruise wear, new luggage, travel size cosmetics, fancy flip flops, etc

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2015, 03:39:33 AM »
You can also purchase gifts for them on the cruise. Bottle of champagne, canapés, flowers, bathrobes, framed photo of them on the trip.

PlainJane

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2015, 01:19:08 PM »
I don't know how useful this will be for you, OP, but I just saw this today and thought of you:
https://www.yahoo.com/travel/10-amazing-budget-cruises-that-feel-dont-117056920667.html

katiescarlett

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2015, 07:31:31 PM »
I don't know how useful this will be for you, OP, but I just saw this today and thought of you:
https://www.yahoo.com/travel/10-amazing-budget-cruises-that-feel-dont-117056920667.html

Thank you everyone, and Cicero, I appreciate that!  I will check into this, and speak with my brothers and sister and see if they want to help.

Thipu1

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Re: Cruise lovers? Help!
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 02:32:46 PM »
I agree with others that Cruise Critic is a good route to take. 

We have had excellent experiences with Princess, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean.  The last line tends to be a bit more high energy than the others but old fogies like us had a wonderful time.  For a more dignified cruise, Cunard or Holland America might be in order.  We're in our mid-60s and sometimes find ourselves considered 'youngsters' on Holland America. On a HAL cruise to Hawaii five elderly passengers died of natural causes. Let your parents be warned.       

Norwegian does cater more to families but we've had three cruises on that line and never had a problem with children who we would consider a bother. 

We haven't sailed with Carnival, Costa or MSC but we know those who have and their experiences have been quite positive.

You've been given excellent advice.  Talk to your parents and your siblings who might be willing to help.   Planning a cruise can be a lot more fun than planning a Wedding.