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smashof904

What cruise to pick?? Looking for input

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Hi all! I’ve cruised once before on Allure when she was new and it was one of the best vacations/experiences ever! My husband needs some convincing to do a cruise... I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what cruises/lines I should be looking at. I want the most bang for my buck, I know NCL throws in freebies like open bar often, do any others? I want to plan a Caribbean cruise, hopefully Western. I just want your opinion on what line, ship, itinerary might be best with the most included. (all ignoring the fact that covid has changed so much). Thank you!!

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Pretty much you can get deals on all the cruise lines.  The one thing that is a must-do when shopping for the best deals is to make sure you ALWAYS read the fine print for what the promos include.  For instance, NCL does indeed have the free booze/dining packages etc, but you will have to pay a 20% gratuity charge for each person who has the package.

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right now Carnival has the best deals and best value for money Cruises leaving from ports in Florida to the Western Caribbean eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean.

Carnival is also the ultimate party cruise and even suitable for families.

 

Even if they cancel the cruise, you can choose either

1. a full refund

or

2. FCC (future Cruise credit) + $600 onboard credit.

 

 

But book Cruises for next year please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi 

 

As you said, if you ignore anything regarding Covid, then you should first consider the intention of cruising and that is to see new places. So, first decide where you would like to go, then when you would like to go. These are things only you can answer. 

 

Once you decide on those two questions, it becomes much easier. Then you just check which ships/companies actually can fill your requirements. That process normally narrows it down to only a handful of options. At that point, come back and ask again, with your choices. You will get many more specific responses. 

 

If, however, you felt the cruise was all about the ship, then you would probably be happiest with the biggest, newest ship with all the bells and whistles, but that would necessarily be  not be taking Covid into consideration.

 

hope this helps

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12 minutes ago, drsel said:

Even if they cancel the cruise, they will give you FCC (future Cruise credit) + $600 onboard credit

 

I'm pretty sure if THEY cancel the cruise, you can get a full refund not just FCC.

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Of course you can get a full refund, but people are choosing the FCC to get the $600 extra onboard credit

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1 minute ago, drsel said:

Of course you can get a full refund, but people are choosing the FCC to get the $600 extra onboard credit

Considering the possible future of the cruise lines I'd take the money. As I've said before I don't want to be in line as an "unsecured creditor" in bankruptcy court.

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OP, your situation makes the use of a cruise specialist TA ideal. You can discuss your wants, needs, and budget with them in detail, and they will have the expertise to suggest the cruise most likely to satisfy you. We can make all kinds of recommendations off the top if our head, but without knowing you better, it's a craps shoot whether or not you would be happy with anything we might suggest.

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3 hours ago, smashof904 said:

I know NCL throws in freebies like open bar often, do any others? 

Although it is not lying, it is massively deceiving. "Free" is a relative term. An example is that a room is $700pp without the "free" stuff. The same room with the "free" stuff is $825pp. Then, they have this little funny wording at the end about gratuities paid below the taxes. That is nice, but it does not include the gratuities of $15pp/night. So, what appears to be about $1700 for a couple to cruise is $1700 + $200 drink gratuities + $225 for other gratuities + $300 taxes and port charges = $2500 for 2 people.

 

I am not against it, but I think cruise lines should clearly define at the time of booking all of the other charges you are hit with.

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3 hours ago, smashof904 said:

Hi all! I’ve cruised once before on Allure when she was new and it was one of the best vacations/experiences ever! My husband needs some convincing to do a cruise... I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what cruises/lines I should be looking at. I want the most bang for my buck, I know NCL throws in freebies like open bar often, do any others? I want to plan a Caribbean cruise, hopefully Western. I just want your opinion on what line, ship, itinerary might be best with the most included. (all ignoring the fact that covid has changed so much). Thank you!!

 

I think all he needs to do is try it once and hopefully everything works out fine.  As others have said, do your research based on cost and other factors.  I would consider the onboard environment as just as important as the cost.  Pick the line that best matches his style and if you spend a few extra $'s it's no big deal as he is more likely to have fun and want to go again.

 

My own preference is for the Eastern Caribbean over the Western.  I just prefer the islands on that side better.  Try to go for more than a week if you can.  This will give your husband more time to get accustomed to cruising.

 

Good luck with your hunt!

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if you choose Norwegian, always take the sail away price, because the offer with free drinks is at a much higher price, which includes the cost of the drinks.
in addition to that you have to pay mandatory service charges on the drinks at 15%

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3 minutes ago, drsel said:

if you choose Norwegian, always take the sail away price, because the offer with free drinks is at a much higher price, which includes the cost of the drinks.
in addition to that you have to pay mandatory service charges on the drinks at 15%

 

It's actually 20% as I posted earlier.

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I would also suggest you look at the type of experience you want on board.  If you are looking for more of a party atmosphere then Carnival or NCL might be a good fit.   For a bit of quieter atmosphere, then look at Princess or Holland America.   

I like to watch "ship tour" videos on YouTube.   I look for things like what people are doing (do you like waterslides and climbing walls, etc) and how loud (or not) the music is in public spaces.  

 

You can also ask on the board for the specific cruise line about how people think that line will fit with your style of cruising.

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1 hour ago, Smokeyham said:

I would also suggest you look at the type of experience you want on board.  If you are looking for more of a party atmosphere then Carnival or NCL might be a good fit.   For a bit of quieter atmosphere, then look at Princess or Holland America.   

I like to watch "ship tour" videos on YouTube.   I look for things like what people are doing (do you like waterslides and climbing walls, etc) and how loud (or not) the music is in public spaces.  

 

You can also ask on the board for the specific cruise line about how people think that line will fit with your style of cruising.

I’m obsessed with YouTube ship videos lol

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18 hours ago, drsel said:

if you choose Norwegian, always take the sail away price, because the offer with free drinks is at a much higher price, which includes the cost of the drinks.
in addition to that you have to pay mandatory service charges on the drinks at 15%

Good point —- NCL markets to people who do not read materials too carefully.  What they call “free drinks” are drinks that you have paid for in advance by paying more than the basic cruise fare.  You do not get a refund if you happen to not drink all the drinks you might be entitled to, you do pay more if you want premium drinks or a bottle of wine for your table, and you get billed for a “service charge” of 20% of the book cost of each “free drink” which you pre-bought.

 

”Free” has different meanings.

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Celebrity had a genuine free classic alcohol beverage package with an Ocean view and above.

That was long ago.

Now Celebrity is very expensive (and it deserves to be for what they provide).

No more bargains available.

 

The best value prices are still available on Carnival.

 

 

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5 hours ago, drsel said:

Celebrity had a genuine free classic alcohol beverage package with an Ocean view and above.

That was long ago.

Now Celebrity is very expensive (and it deserves to be for what they provide).

No more bargains available.

 

The best value prices are still available on Carnival.

 

 

The cheapest prices are available on Carnival — and on NCL.   But there is a real difference between cheapness and value.   

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Right teacher, Carnival is definitely the cheapest right now from ports in the US

 

Which would you consider to be the best value for money cruise line or Cruise ship?

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21 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Good point —- NCL markets to people who do not read materials too carefully.  What they call “free drinks” are drinks that you have paid for in advance by paying more than the basic cruise fare.  You do not get a refund if you happen to not drink all the drinks you might be entitled to, you do pay more if you want premium drinks or a bottle of wine for your table, and you get billed for a “service charge” of 20% of the book cost of each “free drink” which you pre-bought.

 

”Free” has different meanings.

We like the free drink package, just don’t think of it as free, but reduced. It still costs us less than purchasing the package (which we did before it was a perk). The 20% is on the cost of the package, not each drink.

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On 7/31/2020 at 11:16 AM, smashof904 said:

Hi all! I’ve cruised once before on Allure when she was new and it was one of the best vacations/experiences ever! My husband needs some convincing to do a cruise... I’m interested to hear your thoughts on what cruises/lines I should be looking at. I want the most bang for my buck, I know NCL throws in freebies like open bar often, do any others? I want to plan a Caribbean cruise, hopefully Western. I just want your opinion on what line, ship, itinerary might be best with the most included. (all ignoring the fact that covid has changed so much). Thank you!!


Tell us what kind of person is your husband: active, likes loud, likes quiet, likes music and shows, food is important (or not), likes to relax on vacation? If it was me and I knew that this one cruise could make or break another with your husband in the future, I would try to gear as much as I could to cater to his likes. Not to the extreme, but just enough to 'help him' enjoy his vacation.

As for most bang for your buck, it would help to know what your expectations are. A few years ago, I was able to book an inside room for our family of four on Carnival for a great price and it was a lot of fun. But we know going in what to expect, that is so important. I'm sure there are some that would never do it even if it was free.

My philosophy is to spend what I need to, to have a great trip.

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1 hour ago, Mike981 said:


Tell us what kind of person is your husband:.......

I think this is hugely important point.   For example, If your husband enjoys a quieter environment, perhaps with enrichment lectures and a slightly more formal atmosphere then he may love Cunard and be very unhappy on board a Carnival Fun Ship.   Rather than focus just on the price I would suggest you look at the experience you are aiming for and then look for good value for money among the lines that provide that experience.

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It all depends on what you want and budget, since you have done allure that or a sister ship would be good but you need to buy drink package, carnival and ncl would most likely be cheaper but you get what you pay for. Celebrity has deals where they offer 4 perks that would cost more but includes drink package, internet , tips and spending money. Since you live in Jersey rccl and celebrity leave from there and that would cut travel cost.

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If cost is not a consideration, then please go for Celebrity with all 4 perks.
A really classy experience

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