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We booked our 4th cruise on NCL recently  on the Epic for January 26th 2020. I’m a little anxious/ excited! My husband and I always remark that 7 days just completely flies by especially the first two days and the last day before disembarking. We spend so much time running around the ship and feeling the excitement that we rarely have relaxing days. I’m hoping with an 11 day cruise we can really enjoy the ship and some relaxation. This itinerary is very port intensive but it’s to places I have never been so I’m ready for that. What are your experiences with an 11 day? With port heavy cruises? Is it unrealistic to expect fewer children? 

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I think generally there are fewer children on longer cruises, but more so it depends on date of cruise. An 11-day cruise is more relaxing in our experience, but if you plan to get off at every port you could find yourself just as tired as before

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Yes, school is also back in session Jan. 26th after xmas. An 11 day'r will have less kids than a 7 day and especially off peak times for kids being on cruises. I prefer cruises longer than 7 days ..... 

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It will be relaxing and wonderful. Have a great cruise. The Epic is a great ship (sailed on her 7 times). 

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5 hours ago, Sweetnspicy said:

We booked our 4th cruise on NCL recently  on the Epic for January 26th 2020. I’m a little anxious/ excited! My husband and I always remark that 7 days just completely flies by especially the first two days and the last day before disembarking. We spend so much time running around the ship and feeling the excitement that we rarely have relaxing days. I’m hoping with an 11 day cruise we can really enjoy the ship and some relaxation. This itinerary is very port intensive but it’s to places I have never been so I’m ready for that. What are your experiences with an 11 day? With port heavy cruises? Is it unrealistic to expect fewer children? 

 The only way I would do an 11 day is if it is port intensive. Seems to me you have the best possible deal, especially if you hit 9 or 10 ports.  We have a B2B coming up and have 12 ports in 14 days. Nothing better, except 14 or more ports in a 14 day (yes we have been on cruises that hit 2 ports in a single day).

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47 minutes ago, zqvol said:

 The only way I would do an 11 day is if it is port intensive. Seems to me you have the best possible deal, especially if you hit 9 or 10 ports.  We have a B2B coming up and have 12 ports in 14 days. Nothing better, except 14 or more ports in a 14 day (yes we have been on cruises that hit 2 ports in a single day).

I used to do only port intensive cruises because I love seeing and doing things and was very worried about our 15 day Panama Canal cruise that had 6 sea days, but I loved them and the cruise as a whole.  Our Canada/New England was 12 ports in 14 days and Hawaii no sea days were both amazing, so I'm comfortable now with both types of itineraries.  😉

 

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14 hours ago, Sweetnspicy said:

We booked our 4th cruise on NCL recently  on the Epic for January 26th 2020. I’m a little anxious/ excited! My husband and I always remark that 7 days just completely flies by especially the first two days and the last day before disembarking. We spend so much time running around the ship and feeling the excitement that we rarely have relaxing days. I’m hoping with an 11 day cruise we can really enjoy the ship and some relaxation. This itinerary is very port intensive but it’s to places I have never been so I’m ready for that. What are your experiences with an 11 day? With port heavy cruises? Is it unrealistic to expect fewer children? 

Not at all unrealistic and 11 days cruises are really the way to go if people have the time. Much longer is too long in my view and even 7 day, like you said jut flies by. 

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The longer the better. We have only done a couple of 7 day cruises in the last few years, the rest being longer which I much prefer. 10 or more is best in my opinion.

 

As for port heavy cruises, my main advice would be to not try to pack too much in. Plan a few ports where you just take it easy rather than always rushing around everywhere. Sometimes they can be the best days.

 

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15 hours ago, Sweetnspicy said:

We booked our 4th cruise on NCL recently  on the Epic for January 26th 2020. I’m a little anxious/ excited! My husband and I always remark that 7 days just completely flies by especially the first two days and the last day before disembarking. We spend so much time running around the ship and feeling the excitement that we rarely have relaxing days. I’m hoping with an 11 day cruise we can really enjoy the ship and some relaxation. This itinerary is very port intensive but it’s to places I have never been so I’m ready for that. What are your experiences with an 11 day? With port heavy cruises? Is it unrealistic to expect fewer children? 

Most of our cruises are in the 14 day range.  We don't do the Caribbean or Bahamas.  Our longest cruise was a 23 night TransPacific cruise from Sydney to Seattle, and it was great.  Also, have done a couple of B2B cruises that totaled 24 and 28 nights.  The longer cruises are nice after a great land trip.  We like to do TransAtlantic cruises after touring in Europe.  You save on airfare coming home and those cruises are cheaper than others.

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We are ready to go home by the 6th day due to lack of personal moderation.  Eleven days would require restraint, which is difficult on a floating restaurant/bar/casino.  

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I'm new this year to NCL, in the past cruised on Costa and Celebrity.  I've always found the longer cruises to be great, if they weren't too port intensive.  An 11 day cruise with only one sea day as an example can be brutally exhausting.

 

As far as children, at least on NCL this year, there have been many more children on the longer cruises.  The 5 to 7 day cruises have had just a few children where the 11 day cruise was packed with children.

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11 days is nice. It's good to have a day or two at sea to relax (ideally one at the start and one at the end) with the ports in between. 

 

I did a 12 day on the Spirit where the only sea day was right in the middle, and overnight every cabin sprouted a 'do not disturb' sign because we were all so exhausted from the back to back excursions. It was quite funny.  But my most relaxing cruise was a 14 day with three sea days spread throughout the trip - it allowed me to maximise my enjoyment in the ports because I had the energy to properly explore them.

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We also booked an 11 day on the Epic (Jan 5).  We cruised on the Breakaway at the end of January last year. There were maybe a dozen kids on the ship. It was fantastic! (no offense to those of you traveling with children LOL) We love a longer cruise. With all of the wonderful ports on your itinerary you probably won't feel up to staying up late partying, but it makes for a fantastic vacation. 

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10 to 12 days is our preference.  7 days just seems a bit too short.  We took a 14 day cruise and started to get anxious to return to reality on day 12.  Our ideal itinerary would have a sea day on the first day or two to relax, a sea day in the middle to recover, and sea days the last day or two to relax before disembarking.

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We did a 10-day this past spring, with two sea days at the beginning and two sea days at the end -- we found it very relaxing. I'll take 7 day cruises over none at all, but I like the longer ones, too.

 

We've got a 21-day cruise planned for next spring, which will be our longest yet (14 days being our longest to this point). Some might say it's too long, but honestly, when we disembarked the 10-day cruise earlier this year, I would have been fine with staying another 10 days -- so we'll test that theory next spring.

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If the ports are "repeat ports" we tend to get off the ship, walk around for an hour or so, then get back on the ship.....and use the ship facilities.  After all, the islands become one big blur.

I don't really care for sea days....but this system let's us enjoy a less crowded ship.

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We almost always pick a cruise that is at least 10 days or longer.  14 is ideal for us, but we have done 21 (10 + 11)day cruises.  It is imperative to find a cruise when school is in session, because the number of kids is very low.  There are exceptions to this rule, and we discovered this on our last cruise.  We were on the Jade (10 day) this last Easter week (my bad), and there were 700+ kids on board.

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More days on vacation, always better than less days on vacation, IMHO..YMMV. 

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On 7/16/2019 at 3:47 PM, tallnthensome said:

Yes, school is also back in session Jan. 26th after xmas. An 11 day'r will have less kids than a 7 day and especially off peak times for kids being on cruises. I prefer cruises longer than 7 days ..... 

Not for Australia and NZ

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We have our first 11 day cruise coming up in January 2020, with 10 ports of call. Not a huge fan of days at sea, so this is perfect for us. I'm not sure if I would enjoy being on a ship much longer than that, plus I don't have the luxury of getting enough vacation time to be gone for much longer. Even if I saved up my time, there's no way my job would allow me to be off more than 10 work days in a row.

 

Our next biggest trip we just booked earlier this week with the 20% off deal for New Zealand/Australia. Cruise itself is 10 days, and we'll be adding on another 5 pre/post cruise. Would love to spend more time on the other side of the world, but just don't have that luxury.

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You will appreciate the longer cruise even if you run yourself ragged. I’m sure there’s at least 1 sea day in the itin, so soak it all up when you can and explore while in port. When the 7 day mark hits, and you don’t have to get off he ship, you’ll be doing the happy dance!

 

 

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I love the longer cruises and pretty much book those exclusively now.  The downside of the last 11 day cruise I was on was that I felt like I needed to check into the Betty Ford Clinic afterwards😀😂

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Posted (edited)

I have been on several of these late Jan / early Feb cruises, the most recent a 21 day back to back Jan 2019.  Your cruise is the same as one of those legs.  There will be few kids, but there will be several around.  We tended to get off the ship at the ports, taking excursions on some, just walking around finding a place for a beer on others.  Found a great outdoor cafe in Willemstad, did tours in Aruba, drove golf carts in Bonaire, took it easy in St. Lucia and stayed in the tourist area there, same in Bridgetown.  Lots to do on the ship in any of these ports as well.  Also did the jets landing at Maho Beach in St. Maarten.  You will have a great time !!   (P.S.  If you are a Star Wars fan, google "the yoda guy" at St. Maarten and visit the place.  It is walking distance to the ship)

Edited by monl765
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10 hours ago, monl765 said:

I have been on several of these late Jan / early Feb cruises, the most recent a 21 day back to back Jan 2019.  Your cruise is the same as one of those legs.  There will be few kids, but there will be several around.  We tended to get off the ship at the ports, taking excursions on some, just walking around finding a place for a beer on others.  Found a great outdoor cafe in Willemstad, did tours in Aruba, drove golf carts in Bonaire, took it easy in St. Lucia and stayed in the tourist area there, same in Bridgetown.  Lots to do on the ship in any of these ports as well.  Also did the jets landing at Maho Beach in St. Maarten.  You will have a great time !!   (P.S.  If you are a Star Wars fan, google "the yoda guy" at St. Maarten and visit the place.  It is walking distance to the ship)

We have never stayed on the ship.  We have waited for the crowds to disembark, got off, walked around town to soak in the culture, and returned for lunch and a quieter ship. 

 

You can always seek out a nearby beach, if that interests you.

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