April or May for Western Med and Azura P&O ship?(5 Posts)
DH and I are thinking about a cruise for the first time with DD who will be 3.3 yrs when we are thinking of going. We have never been on a cruise before and it seems a bit complex; however, we went to the travel agent yesterday and had most of our questions answered, but I wondered if anyone here can help?.
Agent gave us a price of £1,299 pp and £389 for DD for a 14 night cruise and free Southampton car parking departing on 19 April 2014. Is that competitive? I called P&O direct and it's the same price. This is for a GC Grade Balcony.
We like the family friendliness of this ship, but I was worried that as this is just after Easter and the school holidays will have a week to run, the ship will be over-run with children. Will there be space in the children's activities and night nurseries and pools (they look quite small)? Can you pre-book the kid's activities and night nurseries?
Ideally we wanted to go in May 2014 and not fly so there is nothing then that departs and returns to Southampton. There is another cruise (not inc Rome which I'd like to see) which goes in May and costs £1k more. Does anyone know if the weather in April is that much worse than May - would we still get days when we can sit on deck or is it likely to be chilly for that and outdoor pools?
Re excursions - we don't think a say 10 hrs excursion is going to work with DD, but we would like to see Rome. Has anyone else gone on the excursions and are they very family friendly or would we be better off using the shuttle bus and doing our own thing?
It seems such a huge amount of money and (unlikely to be able to spend this again) so we want to get the best from it so trying to decide if spending another £1k to go in May just to get weather is worth it?!
I can't answer all your questions, but the price seems a bit steep to me. Though we never go with P&O as they don't let you leave your DC in the kids club while you go ashore, so it's too limiting for us. One of the reasons we like cruising is that we don't have to drag reluctant DC around with us.
There should be enough space in the kids clubs as they should know how many DC will be on board and staff accordingly. The pool areas IME are always busy.
We went a few years ago with p and o on the oceana from Southampton at Easter. It was warm enough to sit out on deck most days and was warm enough to walk around the ports in a t shirt. There were a lot of children on board but at that time they were offering free child places so that could be why ! In Rome I would recommend smart cruise tours who are lots cheaper than the ship tours we had a great day with them and they will get you back to the ship in plenty of time !
We've done 2 Med cruises in April. On both the weather was OK by the time we'd got to Italy/Spain but it wasn't great on the sea days at the beginning/end of the cruise.
TBH the cooler it is in Rome, the better. Personally, I wouldn't do a tour of Rome with a 3 yr old - it's hot, the coaches are often held up in traffic going into Rome and it's very busy. But I understand of course that it's a one-off opportunity.
We've just got off Azura, she's a lovely ship. We were on in the Easter hols (prob the same cruise you are considering next yr) and there were about 500 kids on board. There will certainly be room in the kids' club for your child as they only let you book if there is room, but it will be much busier than if you go outside of the hols. You don't need to book any activities, your child can turn up to kids' club whenever they want. You can only use the night nursery if your DD will just go to sleep, as they have to be settled to leave them in there, its more likely you will be using the kids' club at night. In the evening they get lots of beanbags out and put on a DVD with the lights down and some of the kids do go to sleep.
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