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Old 02-09-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
heymundy
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Bahamas VS. Caribbean -- first timer here!

Hi Friends!

Because I'm obviously incapable of making decisions on my own, I'm enlisting any help I can get! I'm planning my first cruise for October 2013 (25th birthday for my significant other :] ), and our two options are ...

- 7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise, Disney Fantasy, Sails Oct. 26th

(ports: Port Canaveral, Florida; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Costa Maya, Mexico; Cozumel, Mexico; Castaway Cay)
- 7-Night Bahamian Cruise, Disney Wonder, Sails Oct. 26th
(ports: Key West, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Castaway Cay)

Neither of us have been on a cruise or any of the two destinations, so I know regardless it's going to be a new and fun experience. BUT for those of you guys that have been on any of those cruises, any feedback? Thoughts? Experiences? Do people tend to favor one over the other?

I also don't know diddly squat about the ships, except that the Fantasy is newer ... than the Wonder? lol. Does that mean the Fantasy is "better" or "nicer"?

I know we all have different opinions, and I'd love to hear them! Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:08 PM   #2
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LOVE the Western Itinerary! I would definitely choose that.

We have done 3 Westerns, and loved each one. Our favorite port is Grand Cayman, we always do the "Island Tour with Stingrays", which takes a small "bus" to Hell, Grand Cayman, then to the Sea Turtle Farm, and then to a dock, where a boat takes you out to the Stingray Sandbar. It is awesome!

Good luck deciding!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:04 PM   #3
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I prefer the Western Caribbean, too! Snorkeling is my favorite cruise activity, and Cozumel has excellent snorkeling opportunities!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #4
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For a 1st cruise, you can't go wrong with which ever you choose.
You will have an amazing time.

We did our first one in the Eastern Caribbean.
Had a blast, the following year we did the Western.
Do 1 and you will be hooked!!!

Have a wonderful time!!!
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
heymundy
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Thanks for all the input guys! From everything that I've read on other threads as well, most seem to favor the Caribbean! Anymore input is still appreciated!

How about thoughts on the Fantasy and Wonder? I would assume that aside from the size difference (I think Fantasy is larger), they should structurally be the same? Does the Fantasy have a fancier setup in the rooms or anything?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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The ports are a matter of preference. It depends on what you want to do. We did not like Cozumel in general & have no desire to go anywhere in Mexico again. We didn't like Key West either but did like Grand Cayman even though we didn't care for the shopping. We haven't done Nassau yet. My best advice is to do research like trip adviser on each port to see what they are known for & find out what the family is looking for out of the ports.
The Fantasy is the newest ship, will be bigger & prettier. We have done the Magic twice (sister ship to the Wonder) & we loved it. I would look at the dates to see if one works better than the other & the price. Not just the price of the cruise. If you are flying & the two cruises are at different ports, is the price different?
I don't think there is a wrong choice, just one that works better for your family. My family liked the Eastern better than the Western but we don't regret taking the Western.
Enjoy!
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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We weren't big fans of Nassau in general and won't be in a hurry to get back there but, we've only been on one cruise so far. We're going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel in April. From my reseach, I think Grand Cayman sounds pretty fun, we plan on snorkeling and shopping while were out there.

You can't really go wrong either way though, at least you'll be on a Disney cruise, right?
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #8
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I just got back from an eastern cruise on the Fantasy. The ship is absolutely amazing. I have never been on the western cruise, but several of my friends have, and they really enjoyed it. They have also been on every ship but the Magic. They said they loved all of them, but the Fantasy is their first choice. :-)
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:30 AM   #9
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The Fantasy is gorgeous, very glitzy, and has all the latest technology. She's also humongous. Sometimes I felt like I needed to pack a lunch while hiking from one end to the other. Are we there yet? o.k. a little exercise didn't hurt. But we prefer the "smaller" Magic and Wonder. Which doesn't mean either of the classic ships is row-boat size. they're just more manageable. And since they're older they don't have all the latest modern technology. yet. The Magic will be updated in a few months -- looking forward to seeing what DCL has in mind for her. The Wonder most likely will be updated next year.

The Fantasy and Dream have a water coaster -- the Aqua Duck. The Fantasy's Animator's Palate has a show that is Disney Imagineering at its finest.

In three months we'll be on the Wonder for the 3rd time because of the itinerary. We don't have any qualms about going back on one of the classics. They're all Disney ships, and the cast members do whatever they can to make your cruise practically perfect in every way.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone! So far I'm definitely leaning towards the Caribbean Cruise ... also love how it'll fall on Halloween! We never tend to do anything for Halloween, so this should definitely be fun!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:46 AM   #11
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I would go on the Western Itinerary on the Fantasy. We just went on this trip last month, and it was absolutely fantastic!! We loved all the ports (except we missed Costa Maya due to medical emergency).

Grand Cayman was simply gorgeous! We did the wave runner tour through Fat Fish Adventures, and I would definitely recommend them. We went to Sting Ray City, snorkeling and to Star Fish Point. It was so much more of a personal experience, because we only had 6 people in our tour vs the hundreds on the cruise ship excursions.











In Cozumel we went on the Cozumel Bar Hop, which was a blast. It takes you to the opposite side of the island where there are no resorts. The land is protected by the Mexican government, and there isn't even any electricity. There are just a handful of bars that are open during daylight only (it is illegal to drive on this part of the island after dark). Cozumel is very beautiful...even on a gloomy drizzly day!












Castaway Cay is a good time as well. It was a great beach/bike riding day for us! We didn't do any water activities since the water was quite cold in January (and we are from the upper midwest!) It is very beautiful and obviously perfectly maintained. I was a little bummed that there is so much brown vegetation due to Hurricane Sandy, but it is still really beautiful.



I do think the ports on the Fantasy itinerary are probably better. I have never been to Nassau, but have not heard that many good things about it. I am sure you will have a fantastic time on whichever cruise you choose!
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences and thank you nurse2011 for the post and pictures! With the help of you guys, I felt more confident than ever solidifying my reservation for the 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise sailing on October 26th! Hope to see some of you guys there!
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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we've done the 7 night WC twice; last August and 2009.....terrific...Costa Maya is the only "okay" place but the rest are great with lots to do....
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvDisneyCruise View Post
I just got back from an eastern cruise on the Fantasy. The ship is absolutely amazing. I have never been on the western cruise, but several of my friends have, and they really enjoyed it. They have also been on every ship but the Magic. They said they loved all of them, but the Fantasy is their first choice. :-)
we are going on the 7 night EC next August...looking forward to it...
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:01 PM   #15
heymundy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelin View Post
we've done the 7 night WC twice; last August and 2009.....terrific...Costa Maya is the only "okay" place but the rest are great with lots to do....
Been hearing nothing but overwhelmingly positive things about the WC, so I'm stoked!

Just curious, why did you think Costa Maya was just "okay"?
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