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Help selecting cruise time is running out

Virginia
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213 posts
32 reviews
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Help selecting cruise time is running out

I have been reading reviews and still cant decide we are first time cruisers between the age of 45-49 we have narrowed it down to either royal carribeans mariner of the sea or holland america westerdam will be cruising to eastern carribean at the end of october cant afford a suite so we read the cabins are larger on holland american but the entertainment is bad while royal carribean rates high for entertainment and activities we also are not the party type and want to avoid a lot of children running around.we are also picky eaters and need good food options can you help have you cruised any of these ships if so share your thoughts

Nebraska
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1. Re: Help selecting cruise time is running out

Zeetraveler ~ let me say first of all...I don't think you can go wrong with either of these ships. You'll have a great time no matter which one you end up choosing. Cruising is lots of fun and you'll love it.

Now, let's address your issues: Holland America generally caters to an older crowd and RCL will probably have more people your own age and younger. That being said, the end of October should be a great time to cruise with the fewest children as most of them will be in school. Don't worry about being innundated by kids...the kids that will be aboard with you have all kinds of activities to keep them busy and away from the more adult areas.

Cabins are not hotel rooms....they are smaller. BUT, don't let that worry you. Cruise ships have developed great space saving strategies and room designs, so IMHO I wouldn't choose the ship based on the stateroom size. You said you couldn't afford a suite, but are you going to get a balcony stateroom? (I looked at the Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom w/balcony on both ships and they look quite similar - but the Westerdam appears to have the larger bathroom) We always get a balcony room ..... it makes your room seem SO much larger (no need for a suite) and you get fresh air, sea breezes wafting through your room at night....the smell of the ocean....fantastic. OK, back to questions (I just made myself anxious for my next cruise!).

Food Options: you will have lots and lots and lots and lots of food options. This is what makes cruising great. I have cruised both lines (not these particular ships, however) and have found their food to be quite good - regular restaurant food, buffets, pizza, grilled food by the pools, full breakfasts or buffets, always LOTS of fresh fruit & veg....you should be just fine.

SO......which one would I personally choose? I might go for RCL just for all the activities and I have not been on the ship with the ice skating rink yet, and that looks so cool (pun intended). Plus you have tons of dining options and I think it would be good for first-timers. BUT I have a real love for the smaller ships like the Westerdam...a bit more laid back...a bit more personal. You should make your decision, I think, based on your personal interests and activity level and the food options. If you are high energy do everything kind of people - go RCL. If you're lounge all day by the pool reading a book - go Westerdam.

Boston...
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2. Re: Help selecting cruise time is running out

Zeetraveler,

I will second Fullsailmom's comments! You really can't go wrong on either cruise line/ship. I have not sailed HAL but have friends that love sailing HAL. We have sailed RCCL 2X & loved both cruises.

October is a great time to cruise and usually when we go. Children are at a minimum because they have returned to school.

I might suggest that you try RCCL for your 1st cruise. We did Grandeur of the Seas Eastern Caribbean our first cruise and this was recommended by our travel agent.

Food - you will never go hungry on a cruise ship! There are many options if you are picky. You can always go up on the "Lido Deck" where they serve the buffet style meals and get whatever you want to eat. Always have soups, sandwiches, salads, etc. There is always pizza available on cruise ships. When you eat in the dining room, you will be assigned a table for the length of the cruise (you will have the same table and waitstaff for the entire cruise) and if you don't like anything on the menu for that evening you can special order and they will accommodate you. They usually have chicken and steak and veggie meals available to order if you don't like the menu. They almost always have pasta on the dinner menu and you could just have a salad, pasta, etc. for your dinner. Of course, leave room for those fabulous desserts!

I think you will be very pleasantly surprised w/ your 1st cruise.

Cabin sizes: As noted, you can make do. The older ships have larger cabin sizes than the mega ships. It's usually the bathrooms that are smallish on a ship. But you won't be in your cabin much anyways. Trust me on that one!

Either ship will be perfect for your age category.

Go for it and enjoy your cruise.

3. Re: Help selecting cruise time is running out

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