So my husband and I are in the midst of planning a much-needed vacation! Neither of us has been on a cruise before and we wanted to give it a try! We’ve settled on the location/timing: Caribbean cruisin’ in the spring!
We are really looking forward to it…I’m personally excited for laying out to soak up the sun while reading a book and/or trashy gossip magazines, hitting up the gym & workout classes, checking out the various forms of entertainment and excursions and the food. OH the food! (I’ve heard about a cruise with a midnight chocolate buffet. What?! Sweet genius!)
Anyways, since we are new to cruises, I need your input!
1. Which cruise line?
I’ve heard good things about Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We’d prefer something that isn’t geared towards families or kids…makes for a more relaxing vacation for us!
2. Type of room: interior, ocean view or balcony
Part of us wants to go with an interior room and get the best bang for our buck, but I kinda want to be able to see outside. But if I’m going to pay more money for a little porthole window just to see sunlight, I’d rather go ahead and get the balcony. But I guess it all depends on how much time you plan to spend in your room? Argh- I just don’t know!
3. Best place for deals?
I’m subscribed to Travelzoo and scour their Top 20 emails for deals, but are there other sites I should be monitoring? I did notice that there are lots of last-minute deals so the cruise lines can reach full capacity, so we might wait to book until the last minute (and hope airfare isn’t crazy expensive!) And hopefully we can get a deal with some specials thrown in, like an in-room credit, coupon booklet, drink package, etc.
Have you been on a cruise? What did you like/dislike about it? Do you have any tips or recommendations for us? Where do you splurge versus save on a cruise?
Erin @ Loop Looks says
Fun! I’ve been on two cruises to the Caribbean and one to the Mexican Riviera but all of them were on Carnival which is like the Walmart of cruises. But, from what I understand, they all basically have the same on-board things (Bingo, karaoke, trivia, bars & dance clubs, etc) and the same access to off-ship excursions.
My suggestions? Spring for the balcony room. We actually spent a decent amount of time in our room when we needed a break from the sun and the people but still wanted to enjoy seeing the water.
Book your excursions when you book your cruise. It’s so nice to have them paid for and out of the way before you get on the ship.
If you want a nice, quiet day on the boat where they waiters wait on you hand and foot and you have access to the pool or the water slide without a wait then skip a day of excursions and spend an in-port day on the ship. Sounds crazy but it’s actually really nice!
And don’t be like me and pack an entire suitcase full of shoes.
Valerie @ The Style Files says
Erin- what great advice! Thank you! I think it will be worth it to spring for a balcony- sometimes we just like the peace and quiet without constantly being around people…and we definitely love the idea of skipping a day of excursions to have better access to stuff. SUPER helpful- really appreciate it!