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Old 02-15-2020, 12:32 PM
John_W John_W is offline
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We did our first cruise August of 2018. I chose Royal Caribbean out of Tampa. It's just over a 90 minute drive and I parked across the street for $7 a day and walked to the terminal. I did reserve the spot online in advance and it was a covered elevated garage. Going out of Tampa you'll have smaller ships because they have to go under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay. I think our ship was 880' long and most cruises from Tampa stay in the western Caribbean and are just 4 or 5 days. I felt it was a good starting point. I believe we had 2200 passengers and a crew of about a 1,000.

I always heard so much about Cozumel and I like Key West, so our Cruise was Key West, Havana, Cozumel and back to Tampa, five days total. We had a room with a window, but no balcony. With all fees and taxes it was about a $1,000 for two people. We didn't have Passports, so those we got at the post office on 301 in Summerfield. Make an appointment on thier website, that was about $300 for two of them with photos.

I enjoyed the cruise, but it's not something I'm looking forward to going again. I really enjoyed Key West the most and hanging out at Sloppy Joe's. If I were to do something gain, I would just drive to Key West or go to Naples and take the hydroplane boat ride over to Key West.

If you do drink, get the liquor package, about $350 for two people. I spent about $400 extra just having a few beers and my wife a couple of wines everyday out by the pool. We could had just about as much as we wanted for less with the package.
Old 02-15-2020, 12:50 PM
JoMar JoMar is offline
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I suggest you visit and join You will find a wealth of information on your ship, ratings by people who have cruised on it, meet up groups that will be sailing with you, optional tour operators and more. We have about 25 cruises under our belt (I know, we are rookies) but never cruise without doing the research on Cruise Critic. I'm also one that disagrees with Ed, I'm retired so get me somewhere the slowest possible way. I also recommend a balcony, nothing like sitting on the balcony and having breakfast and enjoying the solitude of watching the ocean go by.
No one believes the truth when the lie is more interesting

Berks County Pennsylvania

Last edited by JoMar; 02-15-2020 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Added a comment.
Old 02-15-2020, 01:00 PM
Carla B Carla B is offline
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Originally Posted by OrangeBlossomBaby View Post
Oh you're right! It -is- the lower decks. I was going by experience - might've been psychological. We had an upper balcony room, and visited friends who were staying a few decks lower. It was raining, not a bad storm or anything but the ship was definitely rocking a bit. We felt it much more down under than we did above. Might've been because there were no windows - just movement. It's the same for me when I used to take the subway in Boston - if I was near a window and could look out of the car, it was easier to keep my balance (I always stood) than if I was in the middle of the car surrounded by people and couldn't see the windows at all.
We spent seven years living aboard, cruising on our own 40' sailboat. I know from looking at the mast swaying which level is better, and that is lower!
Old 02-15-2020, 01:50 PM
OrangeBlossomBaby OrangeBlossomBaby is offline
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Originally Posted by EdFNJ View Post
Just my personal opinion and MANY disagree with me but I wouldn't take a cruise if it was given to me for free. I'd rather be sick in the air for 6 hours than sick on a boat for 6 days. Also, everyone I have spoken with always says: "It was WONDERFUL except for that ONE BAD DAY." I have no desire to experience "that one bad day." I'm a landlubber ! Get me somewhere as fast as you can!
There's lots of people who will agree with you, so you're definitely not alone!

I was terrified of the idea of going on a cruise, when hubby said we needed to do this for our honeymoon. The notion of not being able to see land anywhere - very anxiety-producing.

I'm glad I relented and decided to challenge my own phobia. As for getting somewhere as fast as you can - with cruising, the ship itself is the main destination. The places the ship sails to are side-trips.

When you're on a ship, you are already in the "somewhere" you wanted to get as fast as you can.
Old 02-15-2020, 03:02 PM
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Spoiler Spoiler is offline
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Lots of good tips on this thread.

Mrs Spoiler and I have been on a few cruises over the years as well.

We always have enjoyed a mid-ship room away from the elevators (noisy)) and a few levels down from the top (noisy). Also the bigger the ship we were on, it seemed to be the smoothest ride. If someone does get an ocean view room, just be sure its not on the level that is looking out at the lifeboats or out at the walking track, as both would obstruct your view a bit.

If you can see springing for a few extra bucks, you would certainly enjoy a balcony room a little more. Its really not that much more and certainly worth it.

If you want to be cold, go cruise on the Pacific, if you don't want to be cold, the Caribbean may be better for you.

Another important point is that when they say what time they are leaving a port... make sure you are on the ship, as they will leave you.. ...

Last edited by Spoiler; 02-15-2020 at 03:14 PM.
Old 02-15-2020, 03:17 PM
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billethkid billethkid is offline
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Over 150 days cruising over the least once per year....many years twice....we like 7-10 day cruises.

Neither one of us can recall a "bad day".

The complete get security as little or as much as you choose.

Like most things to each his own.

Just take what everybody has to say, pro and con.
Then go and judge for yourself......relax and have a good time.

One point about excursions we suggest you partake in those that are supported and sold by the cruise line.....the excursions assure you to be back to the ship on time....and the ship will not leave without you.
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it"...Mark Twain
Old 02-15-2020, 04:03 PM
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Pinball wizard Pinball wizard is offline
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Default Go low, go middle

Originally Posted by OrangeBlossomBaby View Post
Actually rooms on the upper decks are the most stable. Just like the movements on a metronome or the hands of a clock - the part closest to the point of reaction (the boat IN the water) will show the most significant impact of movement and the part furthest away (the boat above the waterline) will show the least significant impact of movement.
Sorry, not true... From cruise critic:

"The lower and more central you are in a ship, the less roll and sway you will feel. Even if you choose a balconied stateroom, choose the lowest level and the most midship one you can find. The higher decks and cabins at the very front (forward) or back (aft) of the ship will rock and roll the most."
Old 02-15-2020, 04:25 PM
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Nucky Nucky is offline
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I alway's tease the people back where we did live before that we Live On A Cruise Ship. It's just on land.

If it was for free and you picked us up in the Coolest Limo I would DECLINE the trip. No phobias just a wise old man!

My vacations from here on out are scheduled to be somewhere we can drive or be driven to with the Grandchildren. I know the statistic are against driving being the safest way to go. We had considered Cuba (Not Really) but I had faith something would gum up the works about going there and it did.

You got a whole lot of good info here and that website should help you a whole lot good luck which ever way you decide. Let us know how you do with your decision.
Old 02-16-2020, 05:43 AM
Mmarr Mmarr is offline
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Get your feet wet with 5.. then move up..
Old 02-16-2020, 05:44 AM
Westie Man Westie Man is offline
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Exclamation Seasick ?

Get a room towards the bottom center and you're room will have less motion.
Old 02-16-2020, 06:13 AM
GoodGuysAir GoodGuysAir is offline
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Default Cruise length ?

Originally Posted by tophcfa View Post
You never really know how long your cruise will be, just ask the nearly four thousand people trapped on the quarantined cruise ship right now off the coast of Japan.
There are over 300 cruise ships. 2 currently have problems. Don't worry.

take a seven day cruise. Everyone I have personally have known has taken shorter than 7 wished they had listened and took the 7 day cruise. Also older ships are used for shorter cruises. If you go on a 3 or 5 day cruise I would love to be there on your last night asking "don't you wish you had just a couple more days".

My choice for boarding is to wait until the last hour to board just because I hate to wait in lines.
If you arrive early you have long lines but once you finally get on board you will have a few more hours to look around, eat and explore the ship.

I personally like the inside cabins to save money and use for sightseeing. Although I have stayed in balcony maybe 6 times and inside maybe 12 times. What are you going to do in the room? If you are like most you will sleep, shower, get dressed and spend the rest of the day enjoying the other activities on the ship. Maybe you are going on the cruise to spend the days on a 25-30 sq. ft. area looking at the water, but I don't think so. I have trouble justify the extra 300 to 500 for maybe 1/2 hour a day to sit in a chair in a private 8 foot wide space then the ship is full of areas with recliners with a much better views. That's like a extra $100 for each days morning coffee. No thanks. If you stay in a inside be aware it will be completely dark when the lights are off.

Last edited by GoodGuysAir; 02-16-2020 at 06:19 AM.
Old 02-16-2020, 06:58 AM
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CFrance CFrance is offline
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Originally Posted by OrangeBlossomBaby View Post
Actually rooms on the upper decks are the most stable. Just like the movements on a metronome or the hands of a clock - the part closest to the point of reaction (the boat IN the water) will show the most significant impact of movement and the part furthest away (the boat above the waterline) will show the least significant impact of movement.
You have that flipped around, according to my Maine Maritime Academy graduate and 25-year-long sea-experienced son.

The top of the ship will sway much more than the bottom of the boat.

Although he doesn't agree with the term "stable." But I'm not going to get into that with him as I would be up for another two hours, and it's 11:00 pm here in Australia.
It's harder to hate close up.
Old 02-16-2020, 07:22 AM
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Bay Kid Bay Kid is offline
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Haiti is a great stop on Royal Caribbean. They own their own private beach. Great visit all day.
Old 02-16-2020, 07:25 AM
Gmb727 Gmb727 is offline
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If motion sickness is an issue, make sure it is a newer ship that is equipped with stabilizers. I would also suggest a larger ship. We were on the Allure of the Seas, hardly rocked even in 12-14 foot waves. Amazing.
Old 02-16-2020, 08:03 AM
UHH47 UHH47 is offline
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Originally Posted by Two Bills View Post

Which part of cruise ship is most stable?
Lower Decks
In addition to picking a midship stateroom, which are usually spread out across several levels, it's also a good idea to opt for one that's below the water level. This is because this part of the ship, its lowest and most central area, is the most stable during rough sea conditions.
From the 38 cruises that I have taken, I never saw a category of cabins that are below water level.
Herb H.
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