To cruise or not to cruise?

(54 Posts)
Rizzlekicks Mon 04-Feb-13 15:25:42

We have never been on a cruise but have been told that it is a fun holiday to do with children. Our dc are 6 and 7 yr old.
Has anyone been on one before and if so, would you recommend it?

chicaguapa Wed 13-Mar-13 13:01:21

gottasmile I haven't heard good things about MSC personally.

We went on an RCI cruise around the med last year and we all loved it. DC 11 & 8 are desperate to go on one again so we are waiting to book one for summer 2014 later this month. Either with RCI or NCL.

We were a bit worried about DS falling in, but he never even looked over the side once, let alone thought about climbing over. He was too focussed on what was happening on the ship tbh.

For us we felt it gave everyone the holiday they wanted. DH & I had time to wander around the ports, have a coffee and soak up the forrin atmosphere. And we didn't lift a finger the whole time as the cabin boy tidied our cabin and made our beds and someone else did the cooking. There was plenty of time for relaxing and I felt properly pampered and relaxed when we got back.

DD(11) came ashore with us when she fancied it, but stayed on the ship when she didn't and enjoyed the freedom of choosing what she wanted to eat and when. She says the best thing about the holiday was being able to do what she wanted.

DS(8) stayed on the ship the whole time as he was having too much fun in the kids club and wasn't interested in the ports. Once he went to lunch with them even though we were back on board. He loved trying new foods in the dining room as he could always order something else if he didn't like it. And he enjoyed the unlimited free frozen yoghurt.

We had an outside 4-berth cabin with the bunks above us and we thought it was fine for what we needed it for. It was nice to go back before dinner and relax on the bed with the sun coming in the window. And looking out first thing to see where you were. We didn't find it too small.

herecomesthsun Wed 13-Mar-13 09:55:50

I have been wondering about cruises. We have a 1 year old and an almost-5-year old. I am a little anxious though about a) swimming pools and the risk of kids falling in and b) the whole idea of being on a boat when I am the only member of the family who can swim (though I am trying to change that).

waterbabyabroad Wed 27-Feb-13 19:12:00

Geordieminx - just caught up. We booked through cruisedirect.co.uk. We had to push for a discount though - they didn't offer it upfront.

gottasmile Mon 25-Feb-13 10:30:47

Has anyone ever done a cruise with MSC? They have a great one that leaves from Venice and it seems like children don't pay. At the moment the cost is around 749 pounds.

Geordieminx Sun 24-Feb-13 20:33:01

Waterbaby... Which agent did you book through?

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:12:10

Basically if you book 3 or 4 people in a cabin you pay 2 times standard price and the third and 4 th person pay a reduced price. If you book 2 cabins all four people would pay the standard price. Often it's actually cheaper to book for instance 2 cabins with a window than 1 balcony cabin. It's just a case of doing a bit of price research.

gottasmile Sun 24-Feb-13 20:05:07

Thank you, that's interesting. I'm definitely going to make some enquiries!

I priced ours up for all of us in one room or two interconnecting rooms with two of us in each, the difference was about £500 for a 14 night cruise.

gottasmile Sun 24-Feb-13 16:56:12

Just caught this thread and have a question...

Do you pay per person for interconnecting rooms, or do you pay for the rooms? I hate the idea of those high folding out beds and 4 of us squashed into those tiny cabins.

I've enjoyed reading about your cruising experiences. I've only done one and loved it.

Thanks!

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 16:18:05

Grandeur of the seas which is much smaller than yours but this May Independence of the seas which is large with the iceskating etc. Adventure of the Seas looks amazing.

Adventure of the Seas. Which were you on?

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 16:06:43

What ship are you sailing on?

I need to start making notes! Room service breakfast sounds lovely. We are not early risers unless we need to go out (as you could guess from our bedtimes).

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 15:21:52

I'd recommend ordering room service breakfast as a lovely treat. It's usually included and you just tip whoever delivers it. You chose what you want and hang the order on your cabin door at bedtime. It's good for lazy sea days or to save time if you have an early trip.

There is that, but DH rarely goes to bed before midnight, often nearer 1am and I'm not much earlier, so even if they stay up till say 10pm and we go earlier than usual, which is likely, we are still not likely to want to go to bed at the same time as them most nights.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 24-Feb-13 14:50:37

First cruise we went in with dcs they were 9 & 5 didn't go to bed much earlier than us to be honest, far too much happening on board for them to miss out on smile

We wondered about the hardly being in the cabin thing, but the DCs are going to be going to bed earlier than us at least some of the time (they are 9 and 7) and we didn't fancy being stuck whispering in the dark every night while they try and get to sleep, esp as we will not have a balcony. Don't mind for the odd night in a Premier inn here and there but not a whole fortnight.

Fluffy1234 Sun 24-Feb-13 13:51:05

We had two interconnecting cabins with windows on a Royal Caribbean cruise last summer and was very impressed with the layout. We had the door open most of the time and it felt like a suite. Having 2 bathrooms and double the wardrobe space was great too. Although it sounds like a cliche we were hardly in our cabin as so much to do on and of board.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 24-Feb-13 09:30:32

Definitely think about booking some excursions before you board. Nothing worse than an excursion you really want to do & it's fully booked. But leave yourselves free time for wandering around if you want to also.

Ships excursions are fairly expensive so only do the ones you really want & then plan what else you want to do. When we were on Disney you could just book your coach seat into Rome for example & just do your own thing when you got there.

My DH thinks I'm mad, I said we'll need to think about excursions and he was oh, we can just sort those out once we're on board. I am the plan ahead person in our family, he just turns up and wings things. Thing is, I used to have a friend who meticulously planned holidays, I used to think she was a bit of a saddo, but then I went on holiday once and didn't bother at all, spent half the week trying to find out tourist info, getting bearings etc, wasted a lot of time and didn't see as much as we would have liked. On comparing notes with the friend after our hols it was apparent she was getting a lot more out of hers by planning and researching ahead. Hers were like military operations though, with no room for flexibility at all and every minute planned, I'm not that bad!

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 24-Feb-13 09:13:12

I'm going to inform dh that I'm not the only person who studies the ships map 9 months in advance. You'll have a ball.

zumo Sun 24-Feb-13 09:10:32

You now need to give us a list of ports and we can give you some tips for trips out, Cruise critic forum is also excellent

Royal Caribbean - we are really restricted on dates this year for various reasons so there was only one choice. Booked direct, I had got quotes from various online agents which were all identical, the person on the phone was very helpful WRT fear of heights, types of rooms, other questions I had because of DS having SNs etc. Been looking at pictures/diagrams of the ship to help get my bearings too, the DCs are very excited.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 24-Feb-13 09:00:12

We only did self catering or centerparcs when dcs were little also. It's obviously more cramped in your cabins but you won't be in them that much.

Aftereightsarenolongermine Sun 24-Feb-13 08:58:41

Which cruise line did you go for in the end? I find studying the ship layout before I get on board helps me get my bearings. Dh says I'm just a saddo. smile

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