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Old 01-31-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
Jenny-momof3
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Best cruises for families..besides Disney!

As much as we would LOVE to take a Disney cruise I just can't stomach the thought of spending that kind of money for 4 or 5 days!

I know nothing about cruising...I was on once 20 years ago but it was all planned for me! Would like to go next summer ( probably June)...the kids will be 18,14,8 and 3. So I need a cruise that would be good for ALL ages! Looking at 4-5 nights out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami since we would combine it with a Disney trip too.

Suggestions? I assume we'll have to get 2 rooms? TIA!
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:04 AM   #2
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We love cruising on Carnival. We live in Miami so cruising is a really inexpensive vacation for us.

We just went on a New years cruise and are taking another one for spring break!
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
Jenny-momof3
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I'll look into Carnival..thanks! Any idea of a ballpark figure for a family of 6 for a 4 night cruise?
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
momto2inKC
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I agree, check out Carnival. We're in the process of deciding on which cruise to take with them. We are a family of 4 and can do a 5 night for about $1,000, a 7 night for $1,400. It's easy to price out on their website so you can get an idea of what it'll cost.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:29 AM   #5
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It really depends on what time of year you go, how many nights, how new the ship is, if you get interior on the bottom of the boat or balcony on the top.

I always start researching on cruises dot com for prices. Cruise Critic is a message board site (similar to DIS) that has tons and tons of info.

Good luck and have a great time!
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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We took a cruise to the Western Carribean on the NCL Spirit out of New Orleans this past summer that was lots of fun. They've since changed the ship that they have running that route and have moved the Spirit over to Europe I think but I would still expect it to be a good cruise.

The crew on the Spirit was fabulous if you can make it to Europe - my DD11and a waitress from one of the restaurants now consider themselves "sisters" They write and keep in touch. If anyone happens to be cruising on the Spirit and would be open to delivering a small package for me to one crew member, let me know!!!
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
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I would also recommend Carnival or RCCL for family. I like going to their web sites and inputting different dates to see how much $ it would cost. We are looking to go again next summer. We did Carnival two years ago and had a good time, kids included.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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If you are going to Disney, check out cruises that sail out of Port Canaveral (about one hour from Orlando). I recommend Carnival too. They have family cabins that sleep five.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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With little ones (under 10ish) I would stick with Royal Carribean or Disney. Disney is incredible but pretty pricey. RCCL is almost as good (great kids clubs, great pools on the Freedom and Oasis class ships) and costs a little less. Its not that I don't like Carnival, but I think they are geared more toward couples, singles and families with older kids. I know some of the newer ships have improved pools and water slides, so that may help some. We were on the Destiny and the pools were crowded and dirty and the kids club really wasn't great. I think WHICH SHIP is more important that WHICH LINE in a lot of cases.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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Rccl

I agree with considering Royal Caribbean. I am not sure where you are coming from, but they have ships that leave from Port Canaveral which would be much more convenient for combining with Disney. I have not done RCCL yet (headed out this summer) but the ships look great for kids. We loved Disney, but as my son got older and less interested in Disney, I just could not justify the prices. Frankly he didn't want to say it was going on Disney anyway! We have loved Celebrity and liked Holland American. I would not recommend Holland for kids. Celebrity was great for my son (10-11 at the time), but I did not get the impression it was great for the younger kids.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny-momof3 View Post
As much as we would LOVE to take a Disney cruise I just can't stomach the thought of spending that kind of money for 4 or 5 days!

I know nothing about cruising...I was on once 20 years ago but it was all planned for me! Would like to go next summer ( probably June)...the kids will be 18,14,8 and 3. So I need a cruise that would be good for ALL ages! Looking at 4-5 nights out of Ft. Lauderdale or Miami since we would combine it with a Disney trip too.

Suggestions? I assume we'll have to get 2 rooms? TIA!
Rccl or celebrity....beautiful ships, great amenities for all ages...quality run, I find the travelers more to our liking.....more ...dare I say responsible adult/family types versus, rowdy/loud/boisterous types....just my opinion.........
its all about what you choose...value....moderate or expensive.....there is something for everyone in a cruise line.....RESEARCH before you go to know what to expect....cruise critic dot com is great .....Good Luck Choosing!
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:45 PM   #12
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Royal caribbean, norwegian, carnival. There is an entire article on best family cruise ships over at cruise critic. Some of these mega cruise ships are attractions in of themselves.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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For shorter cruises (4-5 day), you are not likely to get the newest, biggest and best ships (most of those ships do 7 day runs). If you're talking about this summer, out of Port Canaveral, you'll be able to choose from:
Carnival Sensation: Doing 3 and 4 night runs to the Bahamas
Carnival Ecstasy: Doing 4 and 5 night runs to the Bahamas
Royal Caribbean's Monarch: Doing 4 night runs to the Bahamas
And of course, there's the Disney Dream, which I agree with you is TOO expensive!!

The Ecstasy is a sweet ship-- she used to live here in Texas !! For the kids, it has the "evolutions of fun" upgrades which added a waterworks play area to the back of the ship, as well as some smaller waterslides, in addition to the one big slide (the Sensation has this same upgrade, as well). Carnival ships' decor can be a bit garish (lots of neon lights-- think old style Vegas) in comparison with RCCL's ships, which seem to be really beautiful inside). RCCL's bigger ships have a lot more fun stuff to do, but the smaller ships really have offerings similar to Carnival's. The Monarch has a rock climbing wall, but no waterslides. Both the Carnival and RCCL ships have a mini golf course and at least one pool. The kids clubs are similar in comparison. We've only taken our kids on Carnival so far, but that will change in about 40 days when we take the kids on RCCL for Spring break. DH and I have sailed both lines and like both lines. Good luck in your choice! --Katie
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:57 AM   #14
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I agree that you should head over to cruisecritic. They have tons of info different cruise lines. There is even a family cruise board.

That said - we were dyed in the wool Disney cruisers, but this year we strayed and went on NCL Epic. It only does 7 nighters, but if there is any way that you'd consider a longer cruise, this ship is awesome! My kids had a great time, and even my picky husband was impressed. Water slides, rock walls, bungee jumping, bowling, and awesome entertainment (Blue Man Group, Second City, Legends in Concert, Howl at the Moon).

The only problem is... we are now ruined for other boats (although the Oasis and Allure have me thinking...)
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltzol View Post
I agree that you should head over to cruisecritic. They have tons of info different cruise lines. There is even a family cruise board.

That said - we were dyed in the wool Disney cruisers, but this year we strayed and went on NCL Epic. It only does 7 nighters, but if there is any way that you'd consider a longer cruise, this ship is awesome! My kids had a great time, and even my picky husband was impressed. Water slides, rock walls, bungee jumping, bowling, and awesome entertainment (Blue Man Group, Second City, Legends in Concert, Howl at the Moon).

The only problem is... we are now ruined for other boats (although the Oasis and Allure have me thinking...)
I'm excited to hear this as we are going on our first cruise ever and it's on the Epic in June.
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