Need Help About Cruises

Updated on April 20, 2010
N.W. asks from Des Plaines, IL
21 answers

We're thinking about going on a Cruise from Miami, I want to ask you ladies who have been on a Cruise to give us any tips on which Cruise line to go with, or which ones to avoid. I have heard of some bad experiences that happened to some people in cruises. Just want to know if there's a good company that provides a good service and is reasonably priced. We are thinking about a 3 or 4 night stay, going either through Cozumel, Key West, or the Bahamas. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for your answers! Based on what the majority recommended, we went with Royal Caribbean and we got an ocean view room, There wasn't a Balcony room available in this ship, and the only other upgrade was a Suite and was about $400 extra!

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answers from Boston on

We've cruised Royal Carribean and Disney and they were both good. But Disney is a real family trip, and not as fun for a couple without children or extended families.
A key to cruising is to be on the ship before it sails. I mention this because with all the airline cancellations, I know folks who have not gotten to their ship. So they recommended flying to Miami a day ahead and staying in an inexpensive hotel the night before. Then they could enjoy the morning of the cruise, totally not concerned or rushing.
Have a wonderful time!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love Royal Carribean and if I could afford it, I would cruise with them every year. I have been on Norweigen and did not care for it at all. The food was not as good, the ship wasn't as nice. All in all it just wasn't a great experience. Have fun.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

wooo hooo, do we love to cruise. We have been on about 6 of them. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian. Carnival would be the least expensive, and usually has lots of kids, families with kids. We have really had a great time on all, overall best would be Royal and Norwegian. Holland and Norwegian are usually more expensive than the other 2, but shop around. We got great deals on those, actually cheaper than Royal, the times we sailed with them. I would definately use a travel agent, like the one post recommended, we always got better deals with them than I could find myself.

Book your excursions prior to boarding to insure you get the ones you want, some have limited space and sell out fast. You can't use any cash on board, you must use their equivalent of an onboard credit card, KEEP TRACK of your purchases and all receipts. Twice, we had "charges" on our account that we didn't make, they were supposedly made on-ship but we were off on an excursion (can't be in two places at once), thanks to the fact that we could prove that, they removed the charges. One good thing to know about cruising that would have helped. The last night you have to put your luggage out early (times depend on the cruise line) to be picked up. We didn't know this and didn't have any carry-on bag with us...we didn't have anything to put the clothes we were wearing, pajamas, all our toiletries, etc. the next morning. We didn't want to buy one of their "overly priced" bags so we (along with some other first timers that didn't know it either) just used garbage was funny and something we will laugh about and remember. Happy Sailing!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My friend Angela is an awesome travel agent. She can answer all of your questions about cruises and guide you to the right cruise line and the right itinerary. She can get you the best prices - she can even beat the prices on the internet. Her company is Home Run Tours; her email is [email protected] and her phone is ###-###-####.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We I can give you and answer that answers 1/2 your question. We have only cruised Regent and LOVE it! The service is amazing and when they say "all inclusive" they mean it. In room mini-bars are replenished daily. Wine with dinner (unless it is an exquisite wine) included. Water bottles handed to you when you get off the ship for an excursion, included. Shore excursions are now included too since the travel industry is hurting. Regent's largest ship is only about 700 passengers and almost all rooms are balcony rooms. But they are quite a bit more expensive than other lines.
My brother has been on cruises on regent and another line that I honestly can't remember which. He's the one that noticed that when we did a shore excursion on Regent you just grabbed a bottle of water when you got off. With the other line, you could grab a bottle for $2. He also said the food was much better on Regent as well.

Good Luck



answers from Chicago on

I've been on Norweigan Cruise Line out of Miami. It was a good experience. They have a kids' club for little ones (though we didn't use it). The ports were good. The only thing I wouldn't recommend was the specialty restaurants - we tried quite a few in our week-long cruise, and each was more horrible than the last! Definitely not worth the extra money.

We also cruised on Royal Carribean out of Orlando and liked that line a little better. The service and food were better, and they offer babysitting at night in your cabin for your kids (though again, I didn't use this service).

Hope this info is helpful!



answers from Chicago on

CARNIVAL!!! Cant go wrong with Carnival Cruise Lines!



answers from Minneapolis on

We just went on our first cruise over winter break - and it was FANTASTIC. We were on Princess - and I have to say that although I was nervous about going on a cruise for many reasons, it turned out that all my worries were for nothing. Princess went above and beyond all my expectations and it was fantastic traveling with my daughter. The staff on board did lots of extra special things for her; the entire trip, she felt like a queen and is still talking about her favorite staff members. They also had so many activities and opportunities just for children that she was never bored - I would sail with Princess again in a heartbeat.

Have a great trip!


answers from Barnstable on

DISNEY CRUISE!!! Awesome! They go out of Port Canaveral, so you fly into Orlando (which is cheaper than Miami).

We did it 2 times - both times with a toddler!


answers from Cincinnati on

We took a carnival cruise in January, first time ever, and we loved it. We chose carnival for their price! And I truly believe that you get what you pay for! We're middle class people, my family of 10 went with low expectations and just wanted to have a little fun, and we enjoyed it more than we ever thought we would. We got a "fun ship" called the Inspriation.(waterpark on board, very kid oriented), and we had a blast. We left from Tampa. Our stops were Cozumel, and Grand Cayman, and even in the 2nd week of January, the weather was 80's and gorgeous! The rooms on ship we're sparkling clean, and the beds were soooo comfortable. The 24 hour soft serve machines were our favorite :) The food was everything from average, to really good.



answers from Chicago on

You need to go with an expert! My mom is Kim at Thompson Travel ###-###-####. Years of experience and knowledge. Agents know so much in depth info on services available and pricing promotions and specials. Especially when traveling with kids you want the correct info and no surprises.

Hope it works out for you :)



answers from Chicago on

if you are going without the kids we just did princess the crown over spring break we were on dophin deck rm 515 midship
food and entertainment was great let me know if you have specific questions

it went to grand cayman honduras cozemel and bahamas



answers from Chicago on

I have been on one RC cruise and four Carnival cruises. (I even got married on a Carnival cruise.) They are really comparable as far as service is concerned. For the money, you can't go wrong with Carnival, especially when it comes to room sizes. Not that you will be spending a lot of time in your room, but when you are in there, you do want to be comfortable. Even my cheap, rinky-dink inside cabin on Carnival was much bigger than my 'upgraded' outside cabin on RC. If you can swing it, go for the balcony. It is a nice option to have. Either way, cruising is so much fun. You will love your first experience regardless of the cruiseline.



answers from Chicago on

Carnival has a nice cruise that covers Key West and Cozumel. They are also very reasonable price wise...........



answers from Columbus on

We loved Carnival too, it was great for the kids, and great for us to have time not to worry about them. They had as good a time as we did, and can't wait to do it again. It may not be as luxuerous as some of the others, but at the price and the kid friendly attitude, we had zero complaints.



answers from State College on

We've done two Royal Caribbean (1 Caribbean and 1 Alaska) and one Carnival (Caribbean) cruise. We both really enjoyed them all. On one of the Royal Caribbean cruises we had a balcony and I think the other two were interior rooms and it really didn't make a difference for the price since we spent most of the time somewhere else on the boat (onboard activities, watching the whales and anything else going by, eating, swimming, etc) There is really a lot planned on the ship and we did some shows and dinner every night. We did a couple of excursions on each cruise and enjoyed those as well, we read up on them before going and some we booked ahead of time and some once we were there.

Probably check into the specific ships and what they have onboard that you might be interested in. Check where each ship goes and see what there is to do that you might be interested in too. Some ships are more geared towards family or have special themed cruises once or twice a year. Have a great trip!



answers from Orlando on

We just got back from a Carnival cruise. We have nothing to compare it to, but we had a great time! My advice is to find a person who books cruises as their job. There are travel agents, but I actually have an aquantanence who books cruises as her part time job. She has been on over a dozen cruises herself, plus has been able to board and tour other ships. She took the ages of my kids under consideration, plus a variety of other factors and she was able to give me a few options for cruises based on different prices and ports and help guide us to the right decision for your family. Find someone in your area, or I can give you her info if you are interested (she lives in the Orlando area, but I see no reason why she couldn't assist you long distance)


answers from Detroit on

i enjoyed the disney cruise. we went the first year it was out ( the disney magic) back then they only had the one ship and it a Land/sea deal. but now they have the disney wonder wish you can do the 7 day cruise if you dont want to go to disney world. they have something for all ages and they go to the main bahama island and they have their own island in the bahamas! we had great fun. i shecked their website after i posted my response and found out they have expanded GREATLY!!! when we went they only had one ship and one destination now they have many . so check them out!


answers from Kansas City on

We have been twice now, the first was Carnival which was fine - it was our honeymoon so lots of young people. The food was good, the shore excursions were great. The second time we went with another couple - at the time we had one child (4) and they had one child (5). We went on Royal Caribbean which was a step up from Carnival as far as food and accommodations. However, we had looked into the kids programs prior to booking and there were a few small details they don’t provide. Like they split our kids up! We thought they would be together but because of the age difference they were in different "camps". Our daughter was incredibly shy and not used to being away from us. The first time we left the kids she ended up wetting her pants because she was too shy to ask where the bathroom was. No big deal, we were on board and they had us bring her another change of clothes. The next time we left them was the night of the formal dinner. We got the call just as dinner was served - she wet her pants again! (I just want to say she was in pre-school and had never had this happen!) So we go back to the room, get her clothes and when we got to the place where the kids were we were informed she was not allowed back in! Needless to say, we ended up eating dinner in the cafe with her. But the fact that they wouldn’t allow her back the rest of the cruise really steamed me. My point is...if you’re traveling with kids look for a kid friendly line! We thought we had done our homework but apparently not well enough! Have fun - in fact reading the post before mine makes me want to go again! Now that she is 12 maybe we'll look into Regent!



answers from Chicago on

We have been on 2 cruises, both with Royal Caribbean and had great experiences both times. The boarding of the ship is pretty fast, we were on and through all the checks within 1/2 hour once boarding started. I would not choose Carnival, I have heard from several people that it takes HOURS to get on the ship. The rooms were nice (I would definitely spend the extra money for a balcony room - worth every penny!), the staff was very friendly and there was a lot to do on the ship the days at sea. When we take another, we will choose Royal Caribbean again. Have fun!!



answers from Chicago on

My sister went on a Carnival cruise and I then went with her and we went on Holland America and she said the room in that ship was twice as big (for the same prices as the Carnival one she had taken previously). So, she said she'd only do Carnival. Ironcially, I just learned Carnival owns Holland as well as many other cruise lines. If you sign up with their website, they will send you deals after deals. Which ever you decide, you have to figure out what age group you'd like to be on the boat with. Some are more for the younger crowd (drinkers) and some are for family and others are known for older crowd. We went to Alaska and was told Alaska was only for older crowd, but ironically, there was a pretty good mix of people.

I have heard that you should look at your personal insurance and figure out if you get sick and need medical assisance, if your insurance would cover the cost. Most do not and you might want to buy supplimental insurance because seeing a doctor on a ship at sea - you are talking major bucks.

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