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Best cruise line

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Best cruise line

Hi - my husband and a couple of friends, we are in our early forties, want to book a caribbean cruise. I'm really confused about the conflicting reports, if anyone has tried a few of the different lines and can let me know their favourite it would be a big help. We are considering the QM2 but it might be to old for group, we would like a couple of formal nights and would like the dressing up and we don't want to queue at mealtimes. Stories about long buffett lines really are not for us. We also don't mind children but don't want to be surrounded by hordes of them.

By the way this will be our first cruise so don't want to be put off going on one again.

Thanks for your help

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Best cruise line

Whether you encounter alot of children on board, depends on the time of year you book your cruise....go during school and there will be just a smattering of children. Also, shorter cruises have more families than the longer itineraries.

My recommendation for a first try at cruising, Royal Caribbean.


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2. Re: Best cruise line

I agree with Cynda. Royal Caribean is the 1, (been with them in med and caribbean.) Children have there own section on the ships and are very well taken care of. Even on school holidays they shouldn't be a problem. There shows are excellent and there is lots to do during the days. The cabins are on the small side.

Otherwise, Celebrity are a bit dull. Holland America a bit old for you. Ncl too casual for my liking but dont rule them out. There where a lot of first timers on Ncl but didn't like the food (I don't do buffets) and they don't really do formal nights. I went with my mother, it was her first cruise and she really liked it.

Never been on QM2.

Hope this is useful.

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3. Re: Best cruise line

I agree, go with Royal Carribean. We have been on Carnival and Celebrity also, but love RCCL. We are sailing on the Mariner out of Port Canaveral Sept 3, 2006. Children and teens are seldom a problem there is so much for them to do. They don't want to be with adults either. I don't remember the other ships, but RCCL does have an adult only pool. Also there are shows that are not reccomended for children; usually they are after 10:30PM when most kids would be in bed.

The usual tip: pack adn then take half of it out and you still are taking too much. Don't take anything you can not use at least twice! You will need a sweater or light jacket for the show areas and walking on the deck at night. The breeze can get cool.

Board the ship as soon as possible. If the boarding time is 2 PM you can usually board by noon and sometimes sooner. The Windjammer buffet will have lunch ready. Take a small carryon or backpack with a swim suit and change in one of the comon area bathrooms.. The room you choose is strickly personal. We love a dark room in case we want an afternoon nap, so we always get an inside cabin. Also, I am frugal and I would rather spend my money on something else on the trip. Our best friends would not think of cruising if they could not have a balcony. They like to sleep late and have coffee on their balcony. By the time they get up I have already run 5 miles on deck, been to the fitness center, bathed and had breakfast. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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4. Re: Best cruise line

Royal is royal!

Calhoun, Georgia
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5. Re: Best cruise line


I've cruised over twelve times. My best cruise was Princess, the Coral Princess to Alaska. My worst was RCL to the Mexican Riviera. I don't know what was going on but something was with the crew, the cleanliness and the food. It wasn't horrible but it was substandard compared to my other cruises, including Carnival.

Whistler, Canada
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6. Re: Best cruise line

just posted about the Qm2 on the other thread for you, but i think you will fine, i would say its the boat for you! and for your first cruise then well you will be amazed.

Rhode Island
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7. Re: Best cruise line

My family has cruises Disney, Carnival, Norweigan and RCL. The last one was the RCL Seranade of the Seas, April 05. For the price we paid we were not impressed. Food not very good, and the service at dinner not much better. When someone asked for mayo and they can't come up with any that is pretty bad! Each night I had to ask for a soda with my dinner when everyone else already had there soda at their seat. I can go on but I won't. We are goning on Carnival Miracle in April.

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8. Re: Best cruise line

Hi. I work for RCL , so no offence to all of the others that have responded to your question, but without trying to sound cocky, I know best.

First of all you may think I am biased but remember I have spoken to hundreds if not thousands of cruisers and I have also worked for Carnival.

Absolutely without question most of people I have spoken to would not go with any other cruise company.

Carnival is too young and the majority of the others too old for your age group .

The Mariner would be perfect for your first cruise. I don't think I spoke to many that did not have an absolutely fantastic time.

It is a seven day cruise and has two formal nights and everyone raves about the food and the shows etc ( the ice skating show especially). There are fantastic italian and steak restaurants, and the staff are second to none.

If you want to avoid hordes of children you should take into account american school holidays but anyway there is so much for them to do that you will not see many.

My top tip though is to pack your favourite tipple in your case, as if you like a drink it can get very expensive, especially as about the only place you can use cash is in the casino. Also, any bottles of spirits you buy wil be confiscated and given back to you at the end of your trip. Obviously if you are drinking alcohol you have bought you are taking away bar business.

I hope I was of help to you.

Lodi, California
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for Cabo San Lucas
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9. Re: Best cruise line

Most folks tend to find their first cruise to end up being their favorite, unless for some reason, it was really horrible! I wouldn't presume to try to tell a client which line is the BEST...........It depends on so many things. Seabourn, Crystal-excellent, but expensive-Princess, hold it's reputation quite well, RCCL-does a good job, Carnival-less of a party cruise than in the beginning-a bit too neon for some-Celebrity, mixed reviews, NCL, also mixed-some folks love them, others don't! Holland America-keeps things pretty standard and does a good job..........Cunard-seems to stay steady in good reviews....One think to remember is that Carnival is the parent company for several lines now, so your past passenger credits may work on other lines. One of the best lines was Royal Cruise Lines, but they got purchased prior to the companies realizing that keeping the original names and quality was an advantage. One oft times overlooked line is Costa.......they have perked things up and seem to be doing a good job. I know I have missed some, but it's much too hard to remember them all these days.

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10. Re: Best cruise line

Hi scaryc!

Since it's your first cruise go for either RCCL or Princess, I don't think you could go wrong with either. Decide whether you want to do the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean or Western Caribbean. Check all the cruises websites and look at the ports of call and the shore excursions. If you choose a cruise from one of these two lines, you'll love it! Happy cruising and planning!