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stuntman_mike87

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  1. Hi everyone, I've never been on a cruise before (obviously, from the title!) and I'm looking to book a cruise for me and my girlfriend for next year, ideally February 2020. There's a couple of reasons behind the choice of time - her birthday is just before Christmas so this is a great gift, she's always wanted to go on one and February is the month we got together, plus, the latter part is pretty significant as I'm planning something for the trip that you can probably work out! Anyway, putting my little life story aside, I'm looking for some good cruise options for next year. I'm looking for a shorter cruise, 2-5 days, because this is our first time and around Europe and at a reasonable rate if possible. I appreciate cruises aren't "cheap" but from the research I've done so far there seems to be lots of deals out there but there's such little background info behind them, so I've got a few questions if anyone's able to help.... I'm guessing that Amsterdam/Belgium are probably the best European choices for shorter cruises that time of year? I know there's Canaries on offer but we're going there in May, and the Caribbean is out of my price range and time constraints currently, plus it's a heck of a cruise to jump into first time! I've had a friend of a fried recommend P&O cruises from Southampton, I've also had Marella recommended as they're "all inclusive" completely (is this true?) but they don't seem to go to European cities and I've looked at Fred Olsen etc. So.... - Which cruise liners and deals should I be focusing on and what price per person should I be expecting to be looking at, before any additional costs, or including an average if you know? - My girlfriend is not a huge fan of formal events, whereas I don't mind them. If you are on a cruise liner which offers formal evening events, do you have to attend them or are other restaurants/bars open for smart/casual attendance? - What kind of dining experiences do you tend to get for these kind of cruises? From what I've seen there is a multitude of restaurants and different dining experiences, is that correct? I'm guessing there are some that charge additionally? - Is the extra expense for an outside view, or balcony cabin worth it? From the deals I've looked at so far, the increase is so minimal which seems strange to me, am I missing something here? - I know that food is all inclusive on most cruises, but how do drink work? I know that soft drinks/hot drinks are all inclusive, but is a drinks package for alcohol beverages worth it on a shorter cruise? My girlfriend is not much of a drinker (she'll have a couple of cocktails across a few days sort of things) so am I better just paying at the time if I can, or is that ludicrously expensive and a package more beneficial? - I understand tipping, like in the US, is expected, not really optional, which is fine. What's the average a day? - Can anyone explain any additional costs to me and how they work like the port taxes and daily charges? I've seen these referred too but have no understanding of them. I'm genuinely interested to hear anyone's experiences for February cruises in the regions I'm looking at. If I book, I'm probably going to go completely off someone's recommendation so this would be much appreciated. As much info as possible would be great. Thanks in advance.
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