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Need help from cruise experts.

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by pressboxramblings07, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. I'm (finally) booking the cruise for our honeymoon this weekend, and neither the future wife nor myself have cruised before. So please treat me like I'm completely ignorant. Because I am. We're departing from Galveston (Texas) and doing the route with Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel.

    But a few questions:

    1. Royal Caribbean or Carnival? Prices are essentially the same. I've read reviews online that favor both, so I don't know whether to be indifferent or not.

    2. As much as I want to get a balcony room, I don't think I'm going to have enough money to get one. Do cruise lines give that kind of upgrades to couples on their honeymoon, like from an ocean view room to a balcony? Or just deck upgrades?

    3. Is it better to book excursions before departure or on the ship? Or does it matter?

    Any other information/advice would be awesome. Thanks.
  2. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    My two cents:

    1. If you want to party, Carnival. If you want to relax, Royal Caribbean.

    2. Usually, you can book the room you want, but you can sometimes book "best available" for the rate, which could result in an upgrade. It worked for us once.

    3. If you know you want to do the excursion, book it now to be guaranteed space. If you don't know, wait.
  3. markvid

    markvid Guest

    Try this page...

  4. We're actually undercover pirates, but don't tell anyone (and thanks!).

    We're definitely looking to relax more than party. Me especially ... working every Saturday but one this year and not a single holiday off has resulted in some good burnout. Just personal time for us together away from everyone.
  5. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    I wouldn't consider myself a cruise expert, but the wife and I took a Carnival cruise out of Mobile for our honeymoon last year. We shelled out the bucks for the Verandah room, which will likely ruin all future cruises. It was a relaxing five-day cruise, one I'd highly recommend. (The ship we were on was the oldest in the fleet, but Mobile has been recently upgraded. Even then, we had a great time.)

    One recommendation when considering shore excursions: Consider the weather. We were in Cozumel/Playa del Carmen-Tulum in early September when it was hot as Hades. Both our tours were only four hours or so, leaving a lot of shore time left, but we were both so gassed and sweaty that we just went back to our rooms to nap and get ready for dinner and nightlife. Take into account your physical activities and weather.
  6. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Though I've sailed on both, the one thing I'll offer is if you're into cigars, smoke a Cuban while out at sea.
  7. Magic In The Night

    Magic In The Night Active Member

    I've been on a lot of cruises and always avoided Carnival because I heard they were packed with partyers and the food wasn't very good. My favorite is Celebrity, which I think you get the best value for your money. But I've been on Royal Caribbean and it seemed nice enough. I don't think you really lose out if you don't get the balcony because you never spend much time in your room anyway. I always get an inside cabin because I don't care that much about that. But my last cruise, to Alaska, we took the best available and let them give us what was best available and we got a pretty good room that was really conveniently located. If there's a shore excursion you really really want to go on, I'd book it now. Sometimes these things fill up and they don't open up a new one. Otherwise, I'd wait and see how you feel or what the weather is like. A lot of times you can find people in town to take you on these tours and do these things for much less than what the ship offers but you need to be careful on the timing because if you're on a private excursion, they don't hold the ship for you. That's about it. I've cruised the Caribbean a bunch, as well as Alaska and Europe so if you have any more questions, PM me. Have a great time!
  8. joe

    joe Active Member

    Read David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," the story in the same-named book.

    Compare and contrast.
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Royal Caribbean vs. Carnival is like Mercedes vs. Yugo.

    If you can spare whatever's necessary to upgrade your cabin, do it. Especially on your honeymoon, the extra little bit of luxury will be worth it. Be careful at all those ports; the local scam artists are relentless.
  10. Can you explain why?
  11. bagelchick

    bagelchick Active Member

    Everyone always talks about how great the good is on a cruise. There's a ton of it, but I wouldn't classify it as great. Go in with low expectations on that.

    The last cruise I was on they took us to a private island that RC owned. We opted to stay on the ship. Best decision ever. We had the entire pool area to ourselves. It was awesome.

    You will never in your life see a smaller bathroom then you will see in your cabin. Take advantage of the larger public restrooms when you can.

    We booked an outside cabin with a window, but no balcony. This was mostly because my roommate gets sea-sick.

    Have fun during the muster drill. It's the worst part of the cruise.
  12. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    1. Royal Caribbean. A little more upscale.
    2. Don't know.
    3. Usually doesn't matter very much.
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