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Kobrien483

Help me choose a cruise!

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Hello everyone!

 

I have been driving myself nuts that last couple of weeks trying to decide on which cruise to take!  First thing first. I am wanting to surprise my parents with a cruise with me and my partner in 2021. My parents introduced me to cruising and I have been hooked ever since!  They have always paid for my cruises for our family vacations and I am now in the position to return the favor to say thanks!  They haven’t been on a cruise since 2016, and I seem to take one every year with my partner and friends. 
 

The good news!  I have narrowed it down to two different sailings:

Option 1:  Oasis of the seas 7 nights going to St. Kitts, St. Thomas and perfect day coco cay. My budget gets us two interior cabins. Balconies are too expensive IMHO. 
Option 2:  Carnival Horizon 8 nights going to Aruba, Bonaire, La Romana and Amber Cover. My budget gets us two interior Havana cabins. 
 

I know, I know!  It’s the age old Royal vs Carnival!  My parents have always sailed on Royal. I have always sailed on Royal with one exception of Carnival Liberty in 2010. I know for a fact that my parents are very open to trying Carnival, but it’s one of those things where I go to what I’m used to. I love both itineraries, they both include stops that none of us have been to. I like the Oasis class ships, plus it will be refurbished with more to do. But very open to trying Carnival, plus the inside Havana cabins sound like a lot of fun!  
 

Normally I would ask my parents for their opinion, BUT seeing how this is a Christmas surprise, I don’t want to tip them off!  What are your thoughts or opinions? 
 

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I don't know that I can be much help, as I have been on Carnival once and never on RCL.  For me, even when I was much younger, the party crowd on Carnival was not my cup of tea.  Obviously there will be lots to do on Oasis.  IMHO if this is something you really want your parents to enjoy, I would stick with the old favorite.  They might want to go on a Carnival ship, but if they don't like it as much, you will be less happy having given them the trip and they don't enjoy it to the fullest.  One way you know it will work out, the other is a gamble. An expensive gamble at that.

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I prefer Carnival, but I agree with the previous poster and think you should stick with the line that you know well and enjoy.  I like Carnival because of the constant comedy shows and a few other things, but if not for those things then I would have chosen Royal. It sounds like you really like their ships.  Carnival could work out or you and/or your parents might be disappointed.  I would save the Carnival cruise for another time.

Edited by TNcruising02

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Thank you both for that insight!  I never really thought of that!  That definitely changes how I will look at this. Thank you both!

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How mobile are your parents?  Is there any particular reason they haven't cruised in three years?  Both are large ships, but Oasis class are much larger, much more walking...  An 8 day cruise dramatically decreases the partying.  In fact, on an 8 day cruise, there will be a LOT of seniors...EM

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9 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

How mobile are your parents?  Is there any particular reason they haven't cruised in three years?  Both are large ships, but Oasis class are much larger, much more walking...  An 8 day cruise dramatically decreases the partying.  In fact, on an 8 day cruise, there will be a LOT of seniors...EM

They are pretty mobile. The reason they haven’t taken a cruise in 3 years is because they both retired and are on a more strict budget/income. I never thought of the 8 day being less of a party environment. 

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10 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

In fact, on an 8 day cruise, there will be a LOT of seniors...EM

 

That's a bit of an over generalization and not necessarily correct, at least with our experience with RCI.  We have been on several 8 (as well as 9, 10, and 11) day cruises with RCI and have not found that to be the case.  As a family targeted demographic cruise line, there will certainly be some seniors on any itinerary, but always a lot of families, in particular with it being a Holiday cruise - and not a disproportionate amount of seniors simply because of it being an 8 v 7 day cruise.  With longer off peak season and re-positioning itineraries, perhaps.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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I prefer RCI over Carnival, mostly for the entertainment. Food can actually be better on Carnival. Are you or your parents RCI Diamond members? If so, the free drinks each evening and other Diamond perks might make a difference. Are there any RCI voyager or freedom class ships available?  These might be a little cheaper.

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10 hours ago, Jimnbigd said:

I prefer RCI over Carnival, mostly for the entertainment. Food can actually be better on Carnival. Are you or your parents RCI Diamond members? If so, the free drinks each evening and other Diamond perks might make a difference. Are there any RCI voyager or freedom class ships available?  These might be a little cheaper.

No none of us are close to diamond yet. I was also thinking the Freedom of the Seas which is my favorite ship, and also the ship that got us all cruising. I went on the Adventure of the seas last year out of San Juan and loved it. It would be nice to hit the ABC’s. 

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The ABC's are among our favorite itineraries.  There are 8,9,and 10 night itineraries on RCI Adventure, Explorer, and Serenade that go to the ABC's with additional ports of call at Labadee or, depending on itinerary, one or two other Western Caribbean islands departing from either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami that you may want to consider as well.  This provides a nice option to San Juan. 

 

We have done the 9 day from Miami on Navigator (at the time) that included Labadee and the ABC's that was very good.  The current similar 8 day alternative hits the ABC's but skips Labadee.

 

We have also done different 7 day itineraries from San Juan several times and enjoyed that as well.  Old San Juan is a good departure / return port that is worth some sightseeing as well.

 

Just some alternatives to consider.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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4 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

We have also done different 7 day itineraries from San Juan several times and enjoyed that as well.  Old San Juan is a good departure / return port that is worth some sightseeing as well.

Good point. If you want lots of ports, consider flying to San Juan and doing a Southern Caribbean route. And of course Miami / Ft. Lauderdale have lots of options.

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My wife and I are both in our mid 60's, Oasis class has become our ship of choice. Itineraries have become 2nd on the list. Oasis Class has far superior shows, nite life and specialty dining.  We sailed Independence last year and found it a little mundane.  We have sailed Carnival and it was once and done for us. I would have second thoughts on Oasis Class if your planning on sailing during summer months, it is overloaded with kids. We mostly sail Oasis Class on westbound transatlantics. happy cruising

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On 10/7/2019 at 7:18 PM, Kobrien483 said:

Hello everyone!

 

I have been driving myself nuts that last couple of weeks trying to decide on which cruise to take!  First thing first. I am wanting to surprise my parents with a cruise with me and my partner in 2021. My parents introduced me to cruising and I have been hooked ever since!  They have always paid for my cruises for our family vacations and I am now in the position to return the favor to say thanks!  They haven’t been on a cruise since 2016, and I seem to take one every year with my partner and friends. 
 

The good news!  I have narrowed it down to two different sailings:

Option 1:  Oasis of the seas 7 nights going to St. Kitts, St. Thomas and perfect day coco cay. My budget gets us two interior cabins. Balconies are too expensive IMHO. 
Option 2:  Carnival Horizon 8 nights going to Aruba, Bonaire, La Romana and Amber Cover. My budget gets us two interior Havana cabins. 
 

I know, I know!  It’s the age old Royal vs Carnival!  My parents have always sailed on Royal. I have always sailed on Royal with one exception of Carnival Liberty in 2010. I know for a fact that my parents are very open to trying Carnival, but it’s one of those things where I go to what I’m used to. I love both itineraries, they both include stops that none of us have been to. I like the Oasis class ships, plus it will be refurbished with more to do. But very open to trying Carnival, plus the inside Havana cabins sound like a lot of fun!  
 

Normally I would ask my parents for their opinion, BUT seeing how this is a Christmas surprise, I don’t want to tip them off!  What are your thoughts or opinions? 
 

 

What a kind thing to do for your parents ❤️

 

Since you know your parents are open to trying Carnival, and it is an extra day, I would probably go with it.  I thought the Havana cabins offer some extra perks too.  Freedom would be my other choice since you said that is what you started on and it's your favorite.

 

I have sailed 3 Carnival ships and 2 RCCL and find pros and cons to both.  I've never gone hungry on either 😉 Have a great trip whatever you decide 🙂 

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Having done multi generational trips in the Caribbean over Christmas many times, hands down, Oasis! One year did oasis the first week, and our one and only carnival the second week. There was absolutely no comparison. 

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Assuming you have not decided yet, can you give us some more data:

When will you travel?

From Florida?

Have you been to any of these ports before?
How old are you?

How old are your mother & father? Are they retired?

Where have they cruised - and liked?

 

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17 hours ago, Canuker said:

Assuming you have not decided yet, can you give us some more data:

When will you travel?

From Florida?

Have you been to any of these ports before?
How old are you?

How old are your mother & father? Are they retired?

Where have they cruised - and liked?

 

Thank you everyone for all of the input!  
Looking to travel 3/7/21

now comparing Oasis out of Florida and Freedom out of San Juan. Leaning towards Freedom for the southern Caribbean. 
my parents have never been to the southern Caribbean before. I have done almost all but the ABCs. 
iI am 36 my partner is 34

my parents are 64 and both retired. 
they love to cruise!  
 

I know my mother really wants to try an Oasis class ship because of the entertainment and Central Park. I was in the Allure this year and really liked it. Especially the aqua theater and Central Park.  The Oasis sailing goes to coco cay, st. Kitts and St. Thomas. I’ve been to all three. My parents have been to coco cay (not since renovations, and my mom has mentioned that she would love to see Coco cay) and St. Thomas. I love all 3 ports. The Freedom goes to St. Marten, St. Lucia, Aruba and Curaçao.  We have all been to St. Marten. I went to St. Lucia last year on Adventure and none of us have been to Aruba or Curaçao. Which my mom has also mentioned she would love to visit the Southern Caribbean. At this point it’s a toss up. But I’m leaning towards Freedom for the southern Caribbean plus refurbished ship. What are your thoughts?

Edited by Kobrien483

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I don't think you can go wrong with either (I know, not much help 😉 ), but one more thing to consider is what is most important to your parents: ship or itinerary.  If the focus of the cruise is primarily the ship - and by extension Coco Cay - then Oasis wins hands down.  If the ports are the bigger draw then Southern Caribbean.  That time of year I think you will have less kids on a Southern itinerary if spring break is hitting then.

 

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Thank you for everyone’s input!  I ended up choosing Oasis of the Seas!  Now I just need a creative way to present it as a gift for Christmas... 

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