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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:09 PM  
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amandathepanda
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Never cruised before... advice please

So we have 2 weeks booked in Orlando, no parks, just me and DH.
We have never cruised before and was thinking of maybe going down to Port Canaveral to do a short Caribbean cruise while we are there.
Ive been looking and its a minefield. Royal Caribbean looks good, is all the food included, what about drinks, Im teetotal, strange I know 😂 .
Any advice for a novice please.
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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:26 PM  
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mick
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We've done six cruises in total so we are far from experts.

Three in the Caribbean from Florida (two Carnival and one Princess), two in the Med both with RCI and one to the Canaries on Princess. By coincidence both Princess were on Emerald.

Our first cruise was in 2005 when we were both around 60. We always take a balcony cabin as we love pulling the curtains back in the morning to see a new place (apart from at sea days )

Dining options can be a little different but generally all ships have a formal dining room and a separate buffet where all the food is included but they all have a few "signature" places where you get a bit more choice for an extra charge - something like $25 a head. I spent 50 years wearing a suit and tie so the last thing I pack on holiday is a DJ. Some people love dressing up but I was happy in chinos and short sleeve shirt even in the restaurant. Always had dinner in the buffet on formal nights.

We worried at first that it might be Butlins on sea with constant ding-dongs to go and see the knobbly knees contest. There is a bit of that but equally there are bridge clubs and fine art appreciation classes.

For the most part the shows in the main theatre are excellent. Mainly song and dance but some occasional comedians, conjurers etc.

We don't drink alcohol either but sodas and coffee are free all the time.

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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:31 PM  
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PS

Our first ever port of call was Nassau in the Bahamas which, in our opinion, was nothing to write home about but our other ports include Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya, St Thomas, St Martin, St John (possibly the prettiest of them all)

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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:31 PM  
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stupet11
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We did our first cruise last year - booked with Travel on a Dream (TOAD) who helped us with all the silly questions we had.
We did 3 nights with Royal Caribbean - the Perfect Day Cruise. It was fab.
We didn't pay for anything - no tours, no extra food or drinks and did't feel we needed to at all! Plenty to eat and drink. Nassau we just got off and walked around the port and spend day enjoying the boat, at the island, again just did free stuff - took our own snorkel gear, had the free food / drink.
A great experience - and a great way to find out if it's for you.
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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:45 PM  
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Billy Beatnik
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Done RC cruises 5 times and really enjoyed them, apart from the snobby formal nights. As others have said St Thomas was gorgeous and really enjoyed Mayo Beach at St Maarten, especially the low flying aircraft over the beach.
Drinks with RC are really expensive, so will save you a fortune being teetotal. We did the formal dining on one night and hated it, but you may love it. Loved waking up each morning at a new destination, not knowing what to expect.
On board shows are really good
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Unread 19 Oct 19, 08:58 PM  
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Omega1
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If you drive down to Fort Lauderdale or Miami you will have much more choice of cruise lines and itineraries. More itineraries are available in peak season of November to April.
A website like Vacations To Go gives a good overview of what is available. A short cruise from Port Canaveral wont get you down into the Caribbean Sea, only to the Bahamas/Key West. A seven day cruise from southern Florida will get to St Thomas, St Maarten, etc or Cozumel, Costa Maya, Cayman Islands, etc and a ten day cruise will get to the southern Caribbean (Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua etc) or a partial transit of the Panama Canal.
My advice would be to read around to get a feel for which cruise line would suit your tastes (theres cruise lines for all ages, tastes, budgets etc) and go for at least a seven day cruise.

Edited at 09:00 PM.
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Unread 19 Oct 19, 09:00 PM  
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SimonB
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Originally Posted by Billy Beatnik View Post
Done RC cruises 5 times and really enjoyed them, apart from the snobby formal nights. As others have said St Thomas was gorgeous and really enjoyed Mayo Beach at St Maarten, especially the low flying aircraft over the beach.
Drinks with RC are really expensive, so will save you a fortune being teetotal. We did the formal dining on one night and hated it, but you may love it. Loved waking up each morning at a new destination, not knowing what to expect.
On board shows are really good
From the negatives it doesnt sound like RC are really for you. I guess youve done 5 cruises with them but other lines offer non snobby formal nights?
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Unread 19 Oct 19, 10:27 PM  
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mitch84
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Sorry to jump in, but anyone who has been to Havana, Cozumel or Grand Caymen?
What did you do in port there? If a tour how much it did cost?
Thanks
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