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Old 08-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
KCmike
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To Cruise or not to Cruise /20th Anniversary Question/ Any East Coast Resorts Instead

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this november. We would like to find something quiet and nice along the ocean and preferably somewhere we haven't been to. We are also open to cruises but have never done one before. We only have a weekend (Fri - Mon) to away. This is also our first time away from the kids!

Which city/hotel do you recommend for November along the ocean?
Which cruise line is the best for a first timer on a short trip?
What other things do you need to know for a first time cruiser?
Should we forget about cruising and just book a nice hotel and sit on the ocean in say one of the Carolinas or Virginia Beach? We have been to San Diego (Love it!), LA, Monterey, and San Fran for just a day. Better keep me away from Disney or I will beg the wife into a day trip to DL or DW.

Any advice???
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Last edited by KCmike; 08-23-2010 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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My dh & I love cruising. It is an absolute fabulous way to vacation. We like Royal Carribbean, they have some really great ships, food is divine and they usually have great port of calls.
We've never gone in November so I'm not sure of the prices or weather.
from L.A. they have great cruises through Mexico. East coast has tons of Carribbean island.
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Have you looked into the availability of a cruise for your dates yet? One thing about a cruise is just because you want to leave on a Friday doesn't mean there is a ship leaving on that day. I would absolutely go on a cruise though.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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I don't know when you are planning, but there is a Royal Caribbean Cruise on 11-18 = 11-22.... Would that work?
Leaves from Tampa, is pretty CHEAP and looks to be a great time. I would give it a whirl. Get you Addicted to cruising
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
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There's a three day cruise out of Port Canaveral for Royal Carribean for a good price but I'm worried about all the extra fees they don't tell you about. I've done some reading since my post and they tell you that gratuity fees are outrageous. I'm wondering if we just shouldn't visit a place like Hilton Head Island or something. Some also say a three day cruise is not worth it because it takes too much time to get started etc.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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One more question...Can you eat anytime you want?
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #7
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Gratuity fees are usually ten dollars per person per day. I know on Carnival all food is included with the price of the cruise. You do have to pay for all sodas and alcoholic beverages, the only beverages included in the price of the cruise are tea, coffee and lemonade. You can pretty much eat 24 hours a day on your cruise. For more info go to cruisecritic.com, there is wealth of information on that board.

DD and I went on first cruise last October and had the best time. There is indeed no better way to relax.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Another for a cruise, especially on Royal Caribbean. You might call the cruise line - their customer service reps are great and can give you some good advice with out being pushy. They will tell you exactly what your cruise will cost - no hidden fees. I called them several times before I booked each of my 3 cruises with them. IMO, cruising is a great vacation - park the car, unpack once, and travel. Great ports, great entertainment, great food.

I agree that cruisecritic.com has a lot of information, including cruise reviews, recommendations, etc.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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For your first cruise you might want to use a travel agent. You have a lot of (valid) concerns they could help with. Cruises are a great experience, and I think a short cruise is a great way to dip your toe in the water(ha! I made a pun!) With respect to the availability of food: They have organized meals PLUS buffet type setups that are available for a big chunk of the day/night. You won't hear anybody telling you they couldn't get enough to eat on their cruise.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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We've got the same thing going on- we can't decide what to do for the 20th. We are leaning towards a city thing I think. We thought cruise- but where are we going to go in October? Plus we are late in the planning- I said I would be happy to just be alone for the weekend(4 kids)
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:13 PM   #11
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Okay, I will give you my personal lowdown....

We took a short cruise, like what you are looking at, early last December...
We were very lucky, and the weather the day we stopped at the private island was just warm and wonderful!!!!
The cool rainy winter weather hit the very next day.

About cruising...

Yes, you can eat whenever you want.
There are usually always the buffet and other venues open.
What you need to do is find out if the cruise line offers a 'freestyle' or 'anytime' dining plan. Otherwise, for supper, you will select early or late seating, and be given an assigned table, often with 6 or 8 other passengers. Some people like this... I just HATE it. We wanted our short cruise to be 'romantic', so we signed up for anytime dining. But, what they called a table for two was NOT a table for two. you could literally elbow the people sitting on either side of you. Limited personal space on cruise ships, serving yourself at crowded buffets, etc... and 'romantic' do not always go hand in hand.

About the extra's....
Any alcoholic drinks, as well as the required tips, are indeed extra.
Regular food, coffee, tea, juice at breakfast, etc... are included.
I think most all cruise lines offer a soda-card type program where you can purchase a card (or sticker for your cruise card) that allows unlimited sodas.

November (barring Thanksgiving) will be a good time for an adult cruise, with fewer kids/families onboard.

Last December was our second cruise... The first was a Disney Wonder, family cruise, with our son, who was six at the time... We loved it!!!!

This second cruise was a more adult cruise on the Ruby Princess.
The ship, just incredible!
Our balcony cabin... wonderful.
The weather... perfect!
The food and beverage service.... OMG... a nightmare... almost ruined the whole experience..... They didn't serve us icewater, I started kind of coughing/choking and they finally showed up, trying to SELL us an expensive bottled water. Every food and beverage experience was just THAT bad. Downright rude service at every turn. Several other people that cruised around that time posted the exact same complaints.

I have decided that the only thing that will get me back on a cruise ship, in a cabin, instead of a nice room/suite at a resort on a beautiful beach, would the opportunity to sail the Alaskan glaciers.

Last edited by Wishing on a star; 08-22-2010 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:35 PM   #12
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If you are talking about flying....
Have you considered an all inclusive resort somewhere?

Three nights is really a very short trip for the travel time and expense of flying... But, if that is what you are considering, then how about an all inclusive package? Adults only resort....
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:31 PM   #13
KCmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishing on a star View Post
Okay, I will give you my personal lowdown....

We took a short cruise, like what you are looking at, early last December...
We were very lucky, and the weather the day we stopped at the private island was just warm and wonderful!!!!
The cool rainy winter weather hit the very next day.

About cruising...

Yes, you can eat whenever you want.
There are usually always the buffet and other venues open.
What you need to do is find out if the cruise line offers a 'freestyle' or 'anytime' dining plan. Otherwise, for supper, you will select early or late seating, and be given an assigned table, often with 6 or 8 other passengers. Some people like this... I just HATE it. We wanted our short cruise to be 'romantic', so we signed up for anytime dining. But, what they called a table for two was NOT a table for two. you could literally elbow the people sitting on either side of you. Limited personal space on cruise ships, serving yourself at crowded buffets, etc... and 'romantic' do not always go hand in hand.

About the extra's....
Any alcoholic drinks, as well as the required tips, are indeed extra.
Regular food, coffee, tea, juice at breakfast, etc... are included.
I think most all cruise lines offer a soda-card type program where you can purchase a card (or sticker for your cruise card) that allows unlimited sodas.

November (barring Thanksgiving) will be a good time for an adult cruise, with fewer kids/families onboard.

Last December was our second cruise... The first was a Disney Wonder, family cruise, with our son, who was six at the time... We loved it!!!!

This second cruise was a more adult cruise on the Ruby Princess.
The ship, just incredible!
Our balcony cabin... wonderful.
The weather... perfect!
The food and beverage service.... OMG... a nightmare... almost ruined the whole experience..... They didn't serve us icewater, I started kind of coughing/choking and they finally showed up, trying to SELL us an expensive bottled water. Every food and beverage experience was just THAT bad. Downright rude service at every turn. Several other people that cruised around that time posted the exact same complaints.

I have decided that the only thing that will get me back on a cruise ship, in a cabin, instead of a nice room/suite at a resort on a beautiful beach, would the opportunity to sail the Alaskan glaciers.
Wow such great information. I am thinking that a cruise would be fun for a day or so and then I would want something else. I think personally I might want to just go to a beach and relax. I tried to find some good resorts on the east coast (something like Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego) but I am striking out. Why is this so hard. Cruising just seems like there are too many hidden gimmicks. I personally don't want to eat with anyone else either!!! This is suppose to be a romantic time together not a group date.

Any east coasters out there that can recommend a good resort?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:03 PM   #14
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No recommendations for an east coast resort?
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #15
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When I hear people complain about their cruise, it's often a 3 day cruise, or a cruise to no where or a short cruise. I would not suggest your first cruise be a short one. I think it might turn you off from cruising all together. Short 2-3 dy cruises are often party cruises. I love to cruise and cruise often, but would never go on one that short.

For that short of time, if you are up to flying for just a few days, the Outer Banks would be nice. Nothing further north, since it would be too cold.
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