Never cruised, would love to, but scared to book ahead....

(55 Posts)
triplets Sun 18-Aug-13 00:13:23

We have spent weeks trying to get a last minute cruise as we truly need a holiday, no luck! We have 15yr old triplets so need two cabins, it seems that the three berth cabins are snapped up a year up front! We cannot get insurance to cover my dh, he has cancer though is currently in remission. We haven`t been on a proper holiday since 2007, only w/end breaks, and were really looking forward to getting away somewhere exciting............no luck. We are tempted to book 2 cabins for next year, but I get so scared the cancer will return and we will have to cancel and lose our money. What would you do?

TheFunStopsHere Sun 18-Aug-13 00:15:34

To be honest I think I would book another kind of holiday. Something else less complicated but still great. And save the cruise idea until it's just you and DH.

Tabby1963 Sun 18-Aug-13 00:30:01

Wow, triplets, it sounds like you have had a tough few years.

Before you book anything, check out travel insurance for your husband, ring around and find out what companies will actually be prepared to cover him even if he is in remission, and what this will cost. There may be specialist insurance companies who will consider your situation.

Some ships have cabins that hold five people, so you won't need two cabins. I recommend you have a look at cruisecritic.co.uk or cruise.co.uk. They both have loads of information for would be cruisers.

I do hope you can sort something out because cruises are fab for families, and the modern ships offer so much to do, or peace and quiet if you prefer that.

triplets Sun 18-Aug-13 08:32:51

Thanks Tabby. We have rang dozens of insurance companies, all claim to cover any kind of cancer. You spend 10 mins giving them all the details then they turn you down. Its not fair, its almost 6 years since he was diagnosed, the only time he is ill is when he is on chemo, and he hasn`t been on that since Aug 2010! It would be such a good holiday for us, we both get a complete break, kids have everything to entertain them etc. He said last night we should book it for next year and if he was unable to go me and the kids should still go sad

Cerisier Sun 18-Aug-13 08:42:03

I am another one who thinks a cruise doesn't sound ideal. My PIL recently did a luxury cruise and there were lots of illnesses on board and the food was poor. They have done many cruises in the last few years but are saying never again.

How about finding an all-inclusive resort with things for the DTs to do and where they are more likely to find friends their own age. My FIL reckoned the average age on their cruise was 80.

triplets Sun 18-Aug-13 09:01:47

Sorry but we know lots of families who cruise, there are literally 100`s to choose from obv you find the right one! My brother cruises regularly and he for instance only goes on adults only! Another friend has done 2 with Royal Caribbean who are really geared up for families, average age was up to 50. The other reason wold be all the diff ports of call, I know you only get a taster bit its an opportunity to experience places I won`t otherwise get to.

We recently travelled with Royal Caribbean Intl, there were people on board with all sorts of disabilities, a lot of broken bones and there was a fully equipped sick bay with a doctor, it seems to me to be a good holiday for all sorts of people. They can provide all sorts of medical equipment. If however your DH has lowered immunity due to chemo I would worry about norovirus. We insured with Explorer Travel - DH is diabetic and sometimes has been quoted outrageous premiums but theirs was reasonable. There were lots of teenagers and younger children on board and catered for very well with clubs and sports facilities, as well as the ports of call being interesting. The deposit was about £600 for 4 of us, that is all that would have been lost if cancelling before the full amount paid 6 weeks before sailing, still a lot to lose, but nothing like the full amount.

Yes to researching your cruise though, some lines/ships are much more family oriented than others.

Have you got a Kindle? I downloaded the free sample of Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports, you don't get the sections about the ports but do get the first couple of chapters with a wealth of useful info.

triplets Sun 18-Aug-13 18:09:24

Thank you for the info, very useful smile

Fluffy1234 Wed 21-Aug-13 10:53:58

I'd say go for it, there is a risk you may cancel and lose your deposit but it could work out really well and you get to pick the perfect cabins for your family and the iteanary you really want. You may only have a couple of years left with the DC wanting to go away with you. We've just got back from a fab Baltic cruise and DS2 has announced he's not sure if he wants to do any more family holidays. dS1 stopped joining us when he was 17. I'd say go for it.

triplets Wed 21-Aug-13 14:37:47

Thank you Fluffy...........we are smile

SmallFarAway Wed 21-Aug-13 14:44:20

I booked a cruise last week, leaving in 8 weeks time and had a choice of several 3 berth cabins (3 of which were adjacent).

Obviously that doesn't help with your insurance problem but getting a 3 berth cabin shouldn't be impossible at short notice.

SmallFarAway Wed 21-Aug-13 14:51:10

I should add that I initially contacted the cruise line directly who told me that they had no 3 berth canins left on that cruise. But I then made a general enquiry with a travel agent saying that I was looking for a cruise leaving between x date and y date (was flexible on departure points and ports of call) and they came back to me with plenty of availability on the cruise that had apparently no 3 berth cabins left confused

Fluffy1234 Wed 21-Aug-13 15:15:09

It's always a bit more tricky when you need 2 cabins next door or opposite each other during the school summer holidays but I think you would be fine for a couple of more months.

We booked our two interconnecting cabins on RCI (direct with them) in Feb this year for a school summer holiday cruise.

triplets Wed 21-Aug-13 17:42:29

Hi my husband is on the phone now to an ins comp..........fingers x`d! The problem is of course we can only go in school holidays, he is answering lots of questions!

AnneElliott Wed 21-Aug-13 18:04:05

I would agree a cruise USA great holiday.MIL got travel insurance last year after cancer and she had only been clear for one year. It was through age concern and you don't need to be old!

Try Thomas cook for cruises. We've always found them to have a great selection and with P&O all cabins had 4 berths, 2 of which dropped down from the ceiling. It wasn't a problem for us to be just 3 people in a cabin that technically slept 4.

triplets Wed 21-Aug-13 23:36:29

Thanks Anne...............well after a very long grilling o the phone the ins comp will cover dh for the cancer...........................but.......will not offer an annual policy, not offer worldwide. So basically they will offer cover for a one trip holiday, not longer than 14 nights and must be in Europe. She quoted £253.21p for a 14 night holiday in Europe next Aug. If we had to make a claim we would have to pay the first £75 excess...........but if the claim was cancer related then we would have to pay the first £600. That is the only offer out of 31 ins companies we have tried. She is holding the quote for 14 days, so we need to get looking!

That's great, just one more thing to check about the insurance, Spain is classified differently to the rest of Europe with some of them (we had to ask for it to be specifically included on ours).

triplets Thu 22-Aug-13 00:29:35

Yes she explained that to me, so it covers Europe and Spain. Not sure why though?

triplets Thu 22-Aug-13 07:56:43

Can you give me any tips for my first booking please, who do you go through, travel agent/website/ phone direct? Which decks are best to be on etc............thank you.

We went on a cruise in August 2010 ( to celebrate my 50th birthday )
I studied the brochures thoroughly ( I like planning ) then went to a local travel agent who helped us a lot .
We booked in February , to make sure we had the cabins we wanted

They gave us a good deal ( I did a phantom online booking , and they beat the price )

Cruise critic is a brilliant website , loads of tips , jokes , a roll call where you can " meet up " with others booked on the same cruise .

We did a Celebrity Cruise , leaving from Southampton sailing around France , Spain and Portugal .

It was a fantastic holiday , we had interconnecting balcony cabins , food was lovely and plentiful and no one was ill !

The DC ( 15 & 13 at the time ) had the best holiday of their lives , we hardly saw them as they had so much to do

Tabby1963 Thu 22-Aug-13 08:18:26

Wow, so pleased to hear your news about the insurance. Pop in to your travel agents, Thomas Cook usually have very good knowledge about cruising for example, and have a chat about what is available.

You can get quotes from them and look online for comparisons.

Where to stay on the decks? Some people like being low down and in the middle for stability during rough weather, but then again, some like being high up at the back or front. Some like to be by the lift or the dining room or the kids club.

P&O and Thomson ships have a British feel, Princess, RCCI and Celebrity have more of an American feel. RCCI has fab activities for families to enjoy. Celebrity (just been on Eclipse) has a wonderful Spa pool and café - I spent a lot of time there in summer. Thomson have small ships but a lovely friendly atmosphere. I feel most comfortable and relaxed on P&O ships (Aurora my fave). Princess (been on Ruby) has Movies under the Stars which is a great way to watch films or concerts (or sporting events). Going out from Southampton or another British port means no flights.

Generally, you will be spoiled rotten on your cruise. Most people who have done one, can't wait to do another!

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