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)!