To Cruise or Not to Cruise? That is the Question


#1

OK, guys…I need opinions.

Currently, I have my timeshare villa readily available at the Atlantis from 5/10-5/17. So we wouldn’t have to pay for accomodations. However, airfare is $400 per person now…total of $1600. And the food at Atlantis is RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. So add another $1500 for food for the week. Approximately $3100 total. AND Eugene would miss 2 days of the trip! He is already going to Las Vegas with the boys 5/8-5/11. He’d then leave 5/12 to come to the Bahamas.

Next option…rent my Atlantis villas (as planned) and take a cruise (NOT a Disney Cruise though) from the New York area. I found a 6 night Cruise to Port Canaveral, Nassau and Grand Cayman for $2100 TOTAL for the 4 of us! We wouldn’t have to take another penny out of our pockets, except to tip. It leaves 4/27 and gets back 5/3. And the cruise leaves from NYC, right in our backyard. Someone could drive us to the port! The Cruise Line is NORWEGIAN and the ship is SPIRIT. Does anyone have experience with Norwegian Cruise Lines??? I’ve only been on Celebrity and Carnival myself. I just LOVE the idea of Freestyle Dining! DH thinks that $2100 is a little pricey (he’s NEVER been on a cruise and has NO CLUE what he’s missing!) and I think that price is REALLY great. How do I convince him that the price is right for what you get?

So…WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE IN MY SHOES???


#2

When we lived in NY we took a cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian that left from NYC. It was great! No airfare or parking, since we got a ride into the city. Sailing past the Statue of Liberty was neat. The price you got is very good, by the way. The food was fine and our room steward was lovely. We preferred the food on Holland America, but that cruise line attracts mature cruisers (we were the youngest adults, and there were maybe 9 or 10 kids on the ship).

If you can easily rent your week at Atlantis (and I’m sure you could), I would take the cruise. You can’t beat the departure port.


#3

It’s not Disney, but I’d take the cruise.

It’s much more affordable than ATLANTIS…

Just my two cents worth…

Of course, the MS Queen Victoria just pulled into Pago Pago today… :wub:

All 90,000 tons of her… :mellow:


#4

I would go for the cruise!! I think you’re going to get a lot more for your money that way, and you need to show Eugene what he’s missing!


#5

I’d go for the cruise - i’d love to go on another one (its been forever since i’ve cruised)! Eugene would love it once he was on board!!


#6

Thanks guys…if there are more opinions, I’d love to hear them. They will help sway DH!!!

And I was online until 1am searching various online cruise sites…and found the cruise for $1996!!! YAY! :goofybounce:


#7

My dh refuses to go on a cruise :angry: so I’ve never been, but my niece went on a Norwegian and loved it. I don’t know which ship she was on, but said it was much more casual than others that she’d been on and liked that. She’s not a dress up for dinner kind of gal so that would be one reason she enjoyed the cruise. Now that I think of it she went in April too. It was a birthday cruise for her and her best friend. I say go on the cruise. Cheaper and sounds like it would be more fun.


#8

I love Atlantis and cruising, but I would pick the cruise. My DH never went on a cruise till he met me and now he loves it. Cruise Cruise Cruise :smile:


#9

My dh was just like Eugene - FINALLY a friend of ours (travel agent) convinced him to try a cruise - now I can’t get him off them! He’s constantly checking out cruises!

Our first cruise was on Norwegian. I don’t know if it was because it was the first - but I will always remember it as one of my favourites. Norwegian doesn’t get the same press as Celebrity, Holland-America, Carnaval, etc, but we LOVED it! And I understand that Norwegian has upgraded all their ships - they were the first ones to try the innovated new dining options, etc.

So…I would say TAKE THE CRUISE! It’ll be the most stress-free holiday you’ll ever have! And one of the best values! (BTW - we did a tour of Atlantis when we were on a cruise - and NO breakfast buffet is worth $75. per person!!:eek: - it was a very cool place, though).

As for Grand Cayman - the ship could have left me there. It was the most beautiful Caribbean island I’ve ever been to. We’re actually thinking of taking a vacation there next winter.


#10

Kim, go for the cruise, you know I’m gonna tell you that! We opted for Carnival for our cruise in June because it fit our schedule perfectly and we’ve cruised with them before. The only caveat is that DH and I need to drive down to Norfolk, VA, which really won’t be that bad because we will be sans children. As far as the cruise line, my parents just did Royal Caribbean and loved it, RC tends to be compared to Carnival. I would suggest not leaving out of Cape Liberty, it is logistically a nightmare, very poorly planned.
If your are contemplating sailing on the NCL Gem, she’s getting decent reviews.

I would DEFINATELY shop around for some good pricing, your close to the sailing date so you should be able to get a fair price.

Also make sure you get your kids their passports!!!

Happy planning and can’t wait to hear what you decide.


#11

Check out Discount Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cruise, Cruise Line, Cruise Vacation.

You can get great “last minute” deals.


#12

The cruise sounds great- no experience of cruising or Norweigan my self but it sounds really good.


#13

CRUISE

That is the answer. :laugh:

Seriously, Kim, take the cruise. You’ll have a wonderfully relaxing time, and you can introduce your hubby to the joys of time shipboard. Once he’s gone, he’ll probably be a cruise convert – I’ve never known ANYONE who didn’t enjoy themselves once they were aboard.


#14

I would do the cruise. DH and I did the Spirit from NYC last August for 6 nights to Port Canaveral, Nassau and their private island. We LOVED it. All you need is tip $ (I think $10 per person per day, $5 for kids) and $$ for drinks (which are expensive). We went by ourselves (DS stayed with his uncle and DD was at camp) and kept wishing we had the kids with us. They have a great kids program. We loved freestyle and we loved the ship. I would say do it.


#15

We don’t need passports. YAY!!!

I got a price on the Norwegian Spirit for $2000 for ALL of us. I think that’s a pretty great rate! Do you think I can do better? That’s the LOWEST I’ve seen!


#16

I would definately contact your TA or the cruiseline directly, I believe you are going to need those passports as of Jan. of this year, I may be wrong though.
I know have to get one for our cruise and we are only going to Nassau and Freeport.

That is a great rate no doubt about it, but I’m always the bargain hunter in search of the BEST possible price. You are booking late so there may be some special prices offered to fill up the empty cabins on the ship. Are you going with a guaranteed category or are you going to select your cabin?


#17

the cruise!


#18

I called the Cruise Line directly. We ONLY need ORIGINAL or CERTIFIED copies of Birth Certificates and state issued photo ID. Passports are DEFINITELY not needed to sail yet. I think they are needed as of June of this year…that’s what the rep at NCL said. But according to the official government website, it says passports will be required “AT A LATER DATE”.
See below…

LAND AND SEA TRAVEL
The following summarizes information available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

JANUARY 31, 2008
U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. DHS also proposes to begin alternative procedures for U.S. and Canadian children at that time.

LATER
At a later date, to be determined, the departments will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have either a U.S. passport; a U.S. passport card; a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI; a valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or a valid U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders.

So the rate I got is really low. I called the Cruise line directly and got a rate of $469 MORE for my family of 4. Do you think I should wait a bit longer?

And yes, we will be choosing our own cabins. This is for an inside cabin on deck 10 of the ship. There are only 12 decks.


#19

We sail on June 1, explains why I need the passport then.

The only way I could see you saving anything is just to book the guarantee category. The prob with guarantee you never know where you will end up, sometimes you can get a fantastic upgrade though. It’s funny, I prefer inside or ocean view staterooms when I cruise with my kids, the balconies make me a nervous wreck. For this cruise we splurged for the balcony.

Whatever TA you chose, NCL may honor their pricing to have you book with them directly.


#20

Kim, I just checked some rates real quick, looks like your rate is awesome, the lowest I could find was 829.00 per adult, I’m sure the child’s rate is a little less. The only advice I have is to maybe just bump up to an oceanview, sometimes having that sunlight and being able to look out at the ocean helps to not make the cabin feel so “cozy”.
Have fun planning and can’t wait to hear what you decide.

I’m on Cruise Critic - Cruises, Cruise Ship Reviews, Ratings, Cruise Deals, Cruise Forums constantly planning DH’s and my cruise.