From: Mark (SF) on
On Jun 5, 9:22 am, D Ball <dianakb...(a)> wrote:
> Hi, Ohioguy, welcome to RTC.
WOW - Send me a cuppa that coffee, Diana!
Excellent advice, all around (and amazingly comprehensive)

I think that Diana's conclusions are right-on, but let me offer one
more alternative itinerary - Alaska - if you can cruise a month or two

I suspect that the pricing and convenience of the Carribbean are best
for your needs, but if you're looking at a quieter, more northern
cruise, Alaska might be a better choice then New England.

There are more ships (and hopefully some great deals) and, especially
for some, the passenger mix might be younger than New England (still
significantly older than Caribbean, however) There are many wildlife
excursions that are simply outstanding.

Please keep us posted on how it turns out!


From: Harry Cooper on

<gmbeasley(a)> wrote in message
> On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 16:41:17 -0400, Ohioguy <none(a)> wrote:
>> I'm most interested in buffets, magic shows, and perhaps
>>40's/50's/60's type nostalgia music shows, or just some variety shows.
> All the ships will have buffets and some kind of variety show.
>>I'm not very interested in formal dining, because by the time you've
>>waited to be seated, waited to order, waited to get your food, and
>>waited for the bill - I find myself thinking, "gee, I could have fixed
>>something like that in half the time". I am looking forward to having
>>time to relax and read as well, rather than change diapers, get kids
>>ready for school, etc.
> The formal dining does not take any more time than any other kind of
> dining on a ship. You either have an assigned table which you go
> directly to at the assigned time, or you go to the dining room and are
> seated - wait time depending on when you go. We usually go early and
> are seated right away but going late is the same. You only have to
> wait if you go between 6 and 7 which is when most other people go.
> There's no waiting for the bill as others have mentioned.
>> I've used a website,, to come up with some
>>possibilities. They are all Carnival ships - Legend, Victory & Liberty.
>> Oct. 3 7 night Western Caribbean from Tampa shows $569 for balcony, so
>>that is one possibility.
> Once you decide on your trip, buy it from a travel agent that knows
> about cruises. Can be on-line but use an individual person and not a
> mass marketing agency. The travel agent's fee is paid by the cruise
> line and they do NOT give you a lower price because you don't use and
> agent.
> Also I would caution about using cruise line air. I talked to a
> couple from Toronto on our last cruise who had done that, and they had
> three flights to connect on, starting at 5 am and getting to the ship
> just before it sailed. It was January and they were worried about the
> weather disrupting one of the connections which were pretty tight.
>> I'm also considering the Norwegian Epic. I think I heard that it has
>>Blue Man Group show, which I've always wanted to see - and was trying to
>>decide if it was worth the extra cost. (and smaller room, most likely)
> NCL does not really have formal dining or assigned seating. Also this
> cruise goes mostly to Mexico and Central America.
>> If anyone has advice or suggestions, I'm very interested in
>>benefiting from your experience to hopefully improve the quality of the
> I looked on Vacations to Go for cruises a max of 7 days leaving Oct 1,
> 2, 3 or 4 and I have some other suggestions that might suit you better
> than what you have listed as the weather will be cooler.
> Bermuda for 7 nights departing October 3, 2010 on Holland America's
> Veendam from New York. This is a smaller ship and Bermuda is cooler
> than the Caribbean. If there is a hurricane the cruise will probably
> default to Canada. When you get to Bermuda you can get off the ship
> and walk around on your own - ride the bus, hike the old railroad
> trailbed or whatever. And your wife can shop or even stay on the
> ship. There's also a shorter 5 day cruise to Bermuda from Baltimore
> There are four 7 day cruises going to Canada on those dates
> Oct 2 out of Boston, MA Royal Caribbean / Jewel of the Seas
> Oct 2 New York (Brooklyn), NY Caribbean Princess
> Oct 2 New York (Manhattan), Carnival Glory
> Oct 3 New York (Manhattan), NY Norwegian Dawn
> There is a 7 day Bahamas cruise on the Carnival Pride out of
> Baltimore. Later in the winter the Bahamas will be a lot cooler than
> the Caribbean, but probably this time of year it will be warm. However
> the trip down will be cooler. There is a danger of hurricanes on this
> itinerary.
> There are also two river cruises out of Portland Oregon.


Hope my post comes through ok, my computer passed away this week and its
reincarnation has some differences.

You have some good thoughts for Ohioboy and his cruise. I imagine he will
enjoy researching them. My first cruise was to Bermuda, 50 years ago this
month, so that is a worthwhile consideration.

He seems to be spending time worrying with things that won't be problems.
Maybe assigned seating dinner will handle the eating phase of the cruise and
he can experiment with other options on future cruises after he has some
experience on board. Likewise, entertainment will happen on whatever
cruise, several different choices. Food will come from everywhere, buffets

Pick a time frame, cruise length, departure port and then check out
itineraries for places that look like fun. Every cruise line has fans and
detractors, but I would start with, well no, I won't influence because I
enjoy all cruises. Pay some attention to cost and room style, I like
balconies, and a good TA can help find good prices. There is a lot of
similarity among prices.

Lots of time to pick excursions at the ports. Read cruise reviews as they
appear. Planning is part of the fun. Enjoy

Harry Cooper

From: Tom K on
On 6/5/10 10:58 AM, Stu wrote:
> On Fri, 04 Jun 2010 23:57:24 -0400, Tom K<tkanitra(a)>
> wrote:
>> On 6/4/10 4:41 PM, Ohioguy wrote:
>>> It looks like my wife and I will be going on a cruise in early
>>> October. It just works out that several relatives can come by and watch
>>> our kids (all are 7 or under). I think this will be the first time my
>>> wife and I have had a week to ourselves since our first child was born
>>> over 7 years ago.
>>> My preference for a vacation is actually hiking in the wilderness for a
>>> week or so, but my wife wasn't interested in that. I find that when I'm
>>> around crowds of people, it typically makes me feel worn out. I tend to
>>> recharge when I have time to reflect in nature, in my garden, or similar
>>> activities. Probably has something to do with growing up in the country,
>>> out on a farm.
>>> Anyway, details: we can take a 7 day cruise, with up to a day allowed
>>> for travel on both ends. In other words, we can be gone a grand total of
>>> about 9 days, and wouldn't want to push it past that. Due to a "Disney
>>> on Ice" show that various folks in the family want to see, we can leave
>>> either October 1, 2, 3 or 4. Sort of wish there was a website that could
>>> also lump in airfare - I'm trying to do it separately. (from Dayton,
>>> Ohio) I think we will focus on the Caribbean 7 day trips.
>> I would also suggest staying away from Carnival.
>> In addition... regarding your question about travel agents. Cruise
>> lines include commission in the quoted fares. If you book through a TA,
>> the TA gets the commission. If you book directly with the cruise line,
>> the cruise line keeps the commission. But that's never a good idea.
>> First off, you want an ally in case something goes wrong (airline
>> delays, etc.). Second, if there are potential upgrades to better cabins
>> to be had, or if there is a price drop, a TA can help get those, but if
>> you book directly with the cruise line... little chance of that
>> happening. And you want a TA with major cruise experience like many of
>> the TA's who post here, like Susette and George.
>> Let me offer some "trade offs"... or other things to think about.
>> Some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have the BEST ships. Period.
>> Ice shows, rock walls, surfing pool, mini golf. But food isn't their forte.
>> On the other hand, lines like Celebrity and Princess do better with food
>> and pampering, but the ships aren't like the Royal Caribbean ships with
>> a zillion things to do. They're more into elegance, rather than non
>> stop action and activities.
>> You mention that you do have a day on each end to travel.
>> Given that... would you consider something in Europe? You might find
>> something more active, with things to see and do, than the Caribbean.
>> Maybe something in the Mediterranean. I believe there are a number of 7
>> day Med sailings. You could visit places like Monte Carlo, Nice, Rome,
>> the Greek Isles.
>> Or maybe a northern Europe sailing around the British Isles (England,
>> Ireland, Scotland).
>> Or, how about Alaska? Hiking glaciers. Going on a sled dog excursion?
>> Whale watching? It's a little late for the Alaska season, so prices
>> might be very inexpensive in early October.
>> If you had a little longer, you could even look at something like the
>> Norwegian Fjords, where you could hike along 10,000 foot cliffs, get wet
>>from waterfalls
>> I guess I'm saying, don't just think Carnival in the Caribbean.
>> In fact... if my only option was Carnival... I wouldn't go. I did one
>> Carnival sailing out of 40+ cruises. It was my first and last Carnival.
>> To me... the other options (Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean) are
>> just much better cruise experiences.
>> And while I do love the Caribbean (snorkeling with Stingrays in Grand
>> Cayman is wonderful), there's a whole world out there besides the Caribbean.
>> But if you decide Caribbean... at least expand your horizons past
>> Carnival. Look at Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess.
>> --Tom
> Hey Tom, how long ago was your carnival cruise?

About as long ago as my last NCL cruise... at least 5 years ago or more...

But... For what it's worth... I went a good 5-6 years without doing
Royal Caribbean because their food was so horrible... and if it wasn't
for the Vikings liking RCI... and the Explorer being so convenient out
of Bayonne to Bermuda (less than 30 minute drive from my house) I could
go another good 5-10 years without Royal Caribbean. I wouldn't miss it
in the least.

Nor do I miss Carnival.

Could Carnival have changed? Maybe... but when they position Holland
America, Princess and Cunard as more premium products, I simply stick
with those. Same with Celebrity and RCI... I far prefer Celebrity.

If you give me my choice... I'd be on the Queen Mary 2. That's more my
cup of tea. And you can't tell me that Carnival compares to the Queen
Mary 2. Otherwise they'd have no need to keep Cunard as a separate line.

From: Surfer E2468 on
I would consider booking your own airfare.The cruise lines are not
usually cheaper,and if you book by them,they send you on round about
flights,sometimes with several hours between flights that you have to
change planes. With your own booking you have control of where and when
you leave

cruise lover(~~~~~)


From: Surfer E2468 on
If you decide on royal caribbean cruise line ,we enjoyed our cruise on
explorer of the seas,not too small and not overly big, shows were
good,and do not miss the ice shows,they are fantastic.

cruise lover(~~~~~)