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mrsgthatsme

Famouth and Labadee vs. Nassua and CoCo Cay?

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7 hours ago, Coralc said:

How old are your kids? I would vote for Independence and Falmouth and Labadee. The actual port area in Falmouth is developed with shops and restaurants, very safe, and gated. Outside of the port area is not dangerous, but the vendors are sort of aggressive, and it might be alarming for younger kids. We just find it to be kind of annoying. Cocoa Cay is under construction and it is unlikely that the dock will be completed in a timely manner. Labadee is a great beach day for the whole family. JMO. :classic_biggrin:

They are 9 and  12. Good to know that the port area is safe. On a shorter cruise, I don’t love the idea of only one port that we actually get off at, so it’s good to know that we could get off in Falmouth and not feel rattled around the port. Is it mainly just shopping and dining in the port?

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1 minute ago, LuCruise said:

I've been on both and loved both.  You can't go wrong on either one.  They are honestly very similar.  My husband actually prefers Mariner because of its (slightly) smaller size.  I would give a slight edge to Indy, but that's because I love theater and on Indy you have Grease...plus their other production show is very good.  Also, having the extra kids pool, whether you use it or not, spreads out crowds a bit at the pools.  Mariner is very busy on a sea day.  And of course, the extra day is always a bonus. I didn't notice any difference in the rooms but we were in standard type rooms (and different categories so hard to compare).  We loved both though, and even have Mariner booked again next summer.

Thanks so much! That’s great information. It sounds like the ships are quite similar to you other than size and the extra pool? Quick question... was Grease appropriate for elementary aged kids? I know some parts of the movie are a bit questionable for younger ones and I wondered if they modified that on the cruise to make it more family friendly. 😊

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9 hours ago, mrsgthatsme said:

Thanks for the information! Was the road to Dunn’s River Falls a rocky or bumpy one? When I went years ago, I remember it being really rough. Hopefully there have been improvements since then? 

 

Bumpy, no not at all that I remember.  Windy and narrow?  Kind of.  We did Dunn's River Falls with our kids when they were ages 7, 10, and 13 and no one had issues with the car ride except that it is on the longer side.

 

9 hours ago, mrsgthatsme said:

Thank you! Would you mind telling me what things on the Independence make you prefer the larger ship?

I love both the Voyager class and the Freedom class.  To me they are very, very similar.  Way more similar than different.  The benefits of the larger ship, IMO, are:

  • Larger promenade inside
  • Separate Cafe Promenade for coffee and sandwiches, cookies and Sorrento's for pizza and some cold salads...   versus the all-in-one Cafe Promenade on the Voyager class (this may actually be a plus for some, as it's a one stop shop :) )
  • More pool space, and the Freedom class has the dedicated kids pool area.
  • Freedom class has fresh water pools versus salt water for Voyager

That's about it.  The Freedom class is essentially the Voyager class with about 90 ft extra length.

 

9 hours ago, mrsgthatsme said:

Thank you! Did you feel safe in the port area in Falmouth? I’ve heard even there the  atmosphere is on the aggressive side in terms of vendors. Was that your experience?

 

The port area is one of the safest of all ports IMO.  It is gated at the far end.  The venders at Falmouth (within the dedicated port area) are some of the least aggressive and friendliest we've found of all the ports.  It's a nice very large courtyard with a lot of vendors with "hand crafted" wares in the middle and more well known shops around the perimeter.  (Del Sol, Diamonds Unlimited, Jimmy Buffet, etc...)  If you google maps Falmouth and click to the satellite view you can see the nice port area.  

 

Hope all this helps.

 

Dan

Edited by The Fun Researcher

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4 hours ago, mrsgthatsme said:

Thanks so much! That’s great information. It sounds like the ships are quite similar to you other than size and the extra pool? Quick question... was Grease appropriate for elementary aged kids? I know some parts of the movie are a bit questionable for younger ones and I wondered if they modified that on the cruise to make it more family friendly. 😊

Am questioning this myself as we have Harmony booked in the future with our kids and that also has Grease.  The story is close to the movie though (different order of songs but not relevant to your question)...with some language, sexuality,  possible teen pregnancy, etc., and old school of girl having to change her image to be liked by the guy. and to be cool  I'll probably still take my younger one as she loves theatre (and has seen the movie)  but guess it's how comfortable you feel. 

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I have never understood the negativity surrounding Falmouth- it's just very peculiar as we've never experienced the slightest feeling of being unsafe.  Labadee and Falmouth are out favorite ports.

 

We have done Chukka without the kids, but with the kids we have done resort for day and visited the Hyatt Ziva and Jewel Runaway Bay resorts. Both were great!

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We will be sailing Mariner 4 day next week.    I will post some pics from CocoCay in case you are interested. 

We have sailed Indy and enjoyed our longer cruises very much, but I wanted to experience CocoCay prior to the transformation.   Cheap way to get out of the cold and give Mariner a try now that she is back in Florida.  We were assigned Balcony room 1230 which provides a view forward as well as outward.   

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I prefer Freedom class (Independence) over Voyager class (Mariner) because it's "a little bit bigger but not too big".

The layout is virtually identical between the two, just that Freedom class is a bit wider and a bit longer.  But because of that difference in width and length, the Solarium has more space, plus the Solarium's hot tubs are cantilevered off the side of the ship, which opens up even more space for loungers in the shade.  

Rather than go strictly off the numbers (ratio of space per passenger), I prefer to base it on the overall "feel" of the ship, traffic patterns, etc.  For me, Freedom class feels less crowded / more space to move / more places to sit.

 

I'm not a "bigger is better" person, though -- I prefer Freedom class to Oasis class any day of the week.

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I'd choose Falmouth over Nassau any day.  Even if you just walk around the shops in the port area, it is completely safe.  I think Nassau is a waste of a cruise port.

 

I also prefer Labadee over Coco Cay as it is going to be just one huge amusement park when it is finished.  Labadee has several areas to enjoy the beach day.  The vendors are not near where you would start out on Labadee, so they are easily avoided.  We rode the tram and were able to see several different areas for swimming etc.

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Columbus Cove at Labadee my absolute favorite and Falmouth and Nassau my two least favorites. I would endure Falmouth for a day at Labadee if it were me!

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