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?
Yes to the Cruise Critic Forum. Loads of helpful people on there.
RCI have a 14 night European cruise on 26th July from Southampton on Independence of the Seas which could be exactly what you are looking for.
We booked direct last time as we knew exactly what cruise we were after, felt it would be easier. We were given $400 of onboard credit as an incentive, which we used instead of buying drinks packages. RCI have a drink package offer on at the moment. There was a thread on CC recently asking whether to book direct or with RCI and most people said direct is easier. I have only cruised with RCI btw.
Cabins - ours were low down midship promenade cabins, with a view over the central atrium of the ship. Interconnecting limits your choices a bit. I didn't want balconies as I have a fear of heights, but a window would have been good to see the weather in the mornings and the views. We were quite near the lifts which was very handy.
Tabby - do you cruise with DCs? We are looking at Aurora next year and have DCs (9 and7), wondering if it will live up to RCI for them.
We had mid ship cabins on the 8 th floor . The middle of the ship is meant to be more steady , but we did feel quite a lot of movement in the Channel and the Bay of Biscay . and the scary storm in the south of France
The front doors were adapted to go into both cabins ( can't quite remember how , ) and the balconies connected too . I loooooved the balcony , but DD refused to go on it !
Nice having a big glass of wine looking at the sea ...
We kept the curtains open one night as we were sailing along the coast of Spain , and we could see the lights and big landmarks .
We were on Celebrity Eclipse too , we booked early seating dining and were allocated a table by the window which was wonderful ( saw whales and dolphins as we were eating ! )
On RCI you can opt for either fixed time dining (which I think was 6 or 8.30) or My Time dining, when you can book daily at 15 min intervals from 5.45 to 7.15 or 8 til 9 (or thereabouts). Or just turn up in those times and maybe wait. We did My Time and booked in the mornings, our cabin was close to the dining room so easy to pop in. There is also a massive buffet restaurant you can use any time, and one or two specialty restaurants which you may need to book. You aren't committed to the main dining room, if you decide to use the buffet you don't have to cancel the main one. The main dining rooms have different dress codes on different evenings, formal, casual and smart casual, if you want to avoid formal for instance, just go to the buffet instead. They send a newsletter to your cabin every night with everything that is happening the next day, including dress codes. The theatre shows in the evening are usually on twice to fit round the two seating times.
Just to add a point but you are hardly in the cabin as there is so much to do on board and in the ports. We've done 5 cruises as a family with 4 different cruise lines each time with different cabin combinations and have come to the conclusion booking a balcony isn't worth it for us as it just doesn't get used enough. I wouldn't book a cabin without a window again so would probably stick to ones with a window. Interconnecting are good as during the day you can have the door open and they feel nice and spacious and you can nip next door and use the other bathroom etc. I've booked the later dining and also my time/any time dining and prefer the flexibility of any time/my time. I've not done the early dinner sitting as I think it would be too much of a rush after a long excursion. Although for a family with younger children or if you enjoy pottering around the ports as opposed to longer trips it's a good option. So pleased for you Triplets xxx
Yes, agree you don't spend much time in the cabin, but we found we were popping in and out frequently for changes of clothes, getting swimming gear after breakfast, fetching a book etc so handy being near the lifts. Two interconnecting bathrooms is handy as well, DH used the DCs one in the mornings to shave in while I used ours to do my contact lenses etc, plus having the door open made the whole thing feel more spacious.
We actually liked the early dining ( I think it was 6-30 ) But then we didn't book any excursions ( as they are pricey ) We would eat together , the children wouldn't have dessert with us , but the teenagers all got together in the buffet restaurant on the top deck and had ice creams / cake up there . After dinner , DH and I would go to the theatre and watch the show . We don't do late nights ! So it suited us .
Celebrity Eclipse has a brilliant teenage club , from treasure hunts and midnight pool parties to a tour of the bridge and staff members giving talks about a career at sea .
Although we were on My Time dining we ate early most nights because we started doing a quiz evening at 8, also the DCs were keen to get into kids club as soon as the evening session started. I liked the flexibility of My Time though.
As for cabin positions near lifts, yes you can ask, on the RCI website there are detailed deck plans for the ships so you can see where you are.
Not sure about fly/cruise as we boarded directly in Southampton.
whoknowswherethetimegoes re: your question. We've always cruised with the kids since they were babies and their favourite cruises were always on Aurora, the kids club (according to them) is the best, the clubs are all at the back on deck 8, right by the family pool area.
Now they are adults and have their own lives. We hope that one day they will cruise with us again.
Thanks Tabby - it's on our shortlist for next year. Hope your DCs do decide to go with you again one day, it seems like the perfect hoiiday for extended families. We holiday with my parents for one week a year, in a cottage, only started once we had our own DCs, it's quite different frrom holidaying by ourselves but works well.
We asked not to be near a lift , and resolved to never use a lift , always the stairs . Our cabins were 8th floor , sun deck 12th floor , restaurant and theatre 3rd and 4th floor . Lots of stairs . No weight gain ! I know that wouldn't suit everybody though ,
Still better to be near the lifts though as that's where the stairs are (or were on our ship). We resolved to use the stairs too, and did where it was only up or down 3 or 4 decks, but mostly we were going at least 5 and it took ages. I don't think that minor amount of added exercise would have made any difference to my weight gain TBH, it was all down to eating and drinking far more than usual!
Hello yes I`m still around! No we didn`t book but really really want to now as y/day my dh got an all clear ct scan and won`t be scanned again until next May So oncologist is saying "GO". Was wondering about a cruise in Easter hols but would the Med be warm enough? Don`t want to spend a fortune if I can`t sit out on the deck in the sunshine!