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Old 03-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Pesky
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Dream cruise -- Aug or Dec?

FIL has his bucket list wish (only one): to have a family cruise with all of his children and grandchildren. Everyone pays their own way. We've had to cut his 7 night dream down to 4 nights because it's just too expensive unless we want to cruise Carnival and given my ILs' cruising preferences (HAL, etc.) and my own experiences, that's a no. We've looked around at what is a good fit and MIL and I both settled on DCL. We are looking at a 4 night Dream cruise. If it makes a difference, there will be (hopefully) 12 of us. FIL and MIL; DH, me, DD, DS; BIL, SIL and their DD (who is 10 now); SIL, BIL and hopefully their baby! (she just discovered she is pregnant after years of trying and a recent miscarriage). So we'll have quite the age range with the majority of the kids on the younger side (so later seating likely a no).

I've been talking with my SIL and BIL about it. DH and I would prefer to go end of April, as that would tie in nicely with MIL's bday and the ILs' anniversary. Plus it is one of the cheaper times with decent weather! BIL and his wife stated previously that given the industry in which they work, they can only guaranty being available Christmas to New Year's. They do take vacations at other times but it is more unpredictable (although for a shorter cruise we are betting they will be available). Well, that is the MOST expensive time to cruise. It's pretty unattractive for us cost wise but we could do it.

DH's sister asked for the first week in August as that is slow for her and her husband (college workers) and guess what? That is the SECOND most expensive time to cruise. Good grief. We can't go further into August because of school.

The difference between cruising over New Year's and the first week of August is $300. Not an indifferent amount but not enough to sway us one way or the other. If you had your preference, which would you choose and why?

Choice 1: 4 nt first week of August
Choice 2: 4 nt over New Year's Eve

Just curious if there are some factors I'm not thinking of that might make one vastly more attractive than the other. FYI, we would be first time DCL cruisers so guessing our chances of getting Palo reservations or dolphin excursions or even preferred nursery times might be slim. TIA (thanks in advance)!
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesky View Post

Choice 1: 4 nt first week of August
Choice 2: 4 nt over New Year's Eve

Just curious if there are some factors I'm not thinking of that might make one vastly more attractive than the other. FYI, we would be first time DCL cruisers so guessing our chances of getting Palo reservations or dolphin excursions or even preferred nursery times might be slim. TIA (thanks in advance)!
I've never cruised in either of those months but do remember that August is hurricane season in the Caribbean. I think it would be awesome to cruise over NYE.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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Could run into travel delays and or more exoensive flights around Xmas.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pesky View Post
FIL has his bucket list wish (only one): to have a family cruise with all of his children and grandchildren. Everyone pays their own way. We've had to cut his 7 night dream down to 4 nights because it's just too expensive unless we want to cruise Carnival and given my ILs' cruising preferences (HAL, etc.) and my own experiences, that's a no. We've looked around at what is a good fit and MIL and I both settled on DCL. We are looking at a 4 night Dream cruise. If it makes a difference, there will be (hopefully) 12 of us. FIL and MIL; DH, me, DD, DS; BIL, SIL and their DD (who is 10 now); SIL, BIL and hopefully their baby! (she just discovered she is pregnant after years of trying and a recent miscarriage). So we'll have quite the age range with the majority of the kids on the younger side (so later seating likely a no).

I've been talking with my SIL and BIL about it. DH and I would prefer to go end of April, as that would tie in nicely with MIL's bday and the ILs' anniversary. Plus it is one of the cheaper times with decent weather! BIL and his wife stated previously that given the industry in which they work, they can only guaranty being available Christmas to New Year's. They do take vacations at other times but it is more unpredictable (although for a shorter cruise we are betting they will be available). Well, that is the MOST expensive time to cruise. It's pretty unattractive for us cost wise but we could do it.

DH's sister asked for the first week in August as that is slow for her and her husband (college workers) and guess what? That is the SECOND most expensive time to cruise. Good grief. We can't go further into August because of school.

The difference between cruising over New Year's and the first week of August is $300. Not an indifferent amount but not enough to sway us one way or the other. If you had your preference, which would you choose and why?

Choice 1: 4 nt first week of August
Choice 2: 4 nt over New Year's Eve

Just curious if there are some factors I'm not thinking of that might make one vastly more attractive than the other. FYI, we would be first time DCL cruisers so guessing our chances of getting Palo reservations or dolphin excursions or even preferred nursery times might be slim. TIA (thanks in advance)!
I would love to cruise during Christmas holidays simply for the ship being decorated so lovely and the activites that are offered during that time, however, my family loves to play in the water at Castaway Cay and it would be too cold for us to do that in December. So, it depends on what you want to do during your trip.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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I agree with 'tweis'. i've cruised in both months and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I would say that since the age difference for your cruise will be so varied, I'd probably recommend the August cruise.

Weather wise, the temperature is HOT in August, but the water is wonderful. On the flip side, in December the weather is very pleasant but the water is COLD!!!! brrr

I know that whichever month you finally decide on will the best for all involved. I wish you all a great and memorable cruise.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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You might also consider the RCCL Freedom class ships as a good fit for your family, slightly cheaper than DCL.

May prior to Memorial Day is often reasonably priced. We always cruise within a week of Labor Day in September (during, before, or just after), and it's reasonably-priced.

Half the year is hurricane season, and if it's not weather, it's colds and flus and norovirus. I'd buy trip insurance and not worry too much about hurricanes.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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If cost isn't a factor for everyone cruising, I would go with NYE. The weather is more comfortable and the ship is decorated for Christmas. We found the water to be cool when first stepping in but once we started moving around we had no problem.

We cruised in August one time. If and only if it's the only time of year we were be able to cruise; I would go in August again.

It was very HOT and very HUMID. I was able to acclimate to the water but never could adjust to the August weather. Couldn't wait to get back into an air conditioned area including the ship when we were on CC. And I LOVE wandering around CC! Even swimming didn't help.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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We went in July and had gorgeous weather other than a short squall at cc. Went mid jan and had very nice weather except too cold to swim on one of our beach days. Heat didn't bother me on ship at all bc of breeze. When we were on port, we were at beaches etc so can't say humidity was a factor for us
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Hurricane season in August, I will never take another vacation during that month, tropical storm rained for the entire week I was on vacation during the month of August at Las Brisas in Acapulco. Could not even drive around in the cute pink jeep.
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