Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX
FI and I have been all over the place regarding our honeymoon because we can’t agree on where to go! We’ve finally settled that maybe a cruise would be best because we get to go to multiple places, it’s affordable and there’s lots of stuff to do. We are trying to decide which cruise line to do. The itineraries are almost exactly the same. It’s a 7 day cruise out of Galveston or Houston.
Option 1) Royal Carribbean, Navigator of the Seas – Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan
Option 2) Norwegian, Norwegian Jewel – Cozumel, Belize City, Trujillo
Option 3) Princess, Emerald Princess – Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan
Royal Carribbean and Princess are more expensive, so with them we could do an ocean view room. Norwegian we could do a balcony. I’ve heard SO many mixed things about each cruise line, so I’m just not sure which one to choose. Would love to hear from other honeymoon cruisers about which line you took and whether you would recommend it.
Post # 2
I’d pick the one with the balcony. Honestly, it’s just so nice to be outdoors in your own private space and not trying to get a couple chairs together just to have a drink! We often propped our door open at night to get the sound of the ocean (although, that’s technically not allowed, so be careful if you do it!). We’d cruised before without a balcony, and now that we had one, we’d never go back to a non-balcony room.
ETA: We did our honeymoon cruise on Carnival, and loved it, but we had cruised with them a bunch of times before our wedding, too, so we knew exactly what to expect!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We just finished a Royal Caribbean cruise and really enjoyed the experience. We had a suite with a nice balcony. The balcony was, hands down, our favorite spot on the whole ship. My previous experience was with Carnival, whom I will never cruise with again. But I’d recommend Royal Caribbean in a heartbeat. The ship was nice, the staff was great, the food was tasty, the wine and beer list was really good, things were well organized and clean, onboard activities were decent, excursion options were plentiful, etc.
Post # 4
We’re going on Carnival. I had heard good things from family, and we needed something budget friendly. I think Norwegian is supposed to be on par with Carnival. Royal Caribbean is not something I have personal experience with, but I’ve heard their new ships are very nice. I checked out cruisecritic.com before we made our booking. You can find lots of info and reviews there.
Post # 5
Anything but Carnival is fine. Of the ones you listed, I’ve been on both Norwegian and Princess and they were both awesome.
Post # 6
I went on NCL for my honeymoon, we had a balcony. I enjoyed it, it had a more casual feel to it. We went on a Celebrity cruise before, also with a balcony (same company as Royal Caribbean) and hands down I much preferred the Celebrity cruise.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
kimmo416: I have only ever been on Celebrity (which I absolutely looooved). We are going with them for our Hawaii cruise (they honestly have amaaazing food!) for our honeymoon. I have only heard good things about Norweigan, but I think that it is usually an older crowd whereas Carribean attracts more families.
I have a friend who swears by Princess – that’s the line that they are going on for their honeymoon to Europe. My other friends who have been on various lines said to not go with Royal Carribean when we were looking at our first cruise because they ding you for pretty much almost everything. Either way I think you will have a good time. Oh, and totally recommend getting a veranda if you want some quiet time on the ship away from the crowds but still be able to go outside. Have fun! PS make sure you get one of those blue bands from the pharmacy if you have never been in case you are sea sick.
Post # 8
Either get a balcony room, or an inside room and spend the extra money elsewhere, like spa treatments. I don’t think it’s worth the money for “ocean view”.
More expensive cruise lines means better food and fewer children/partying college students and more seniors. If food and quiet are very important to you, it might be worth the extra money. BTW, have you researched hurricane season??
Post # 9
We went with Princess for our honeymoon, and we were a little disappointed. There was supposed to be a gift in our room when we got there since it was our honeymoon. We got nothing. The food was just okay; we were a little disappointed because everyone talks about how AMAZING food is on cruises, and it really wasn’t. It wasn’t BAD, it just wasn’t anything impressive.
We also felt there were a lot of hidden charges. I didn’t expect alcohol to be included, which was fine because we aren’t big drinkers. But soft drinks and bottled water weren’t included either. We ended up buying a soft drink package on the first day, which was worth the price, but I was really surprised that we had to pay extra for POP. We were also offered a bottle of water at the restaraunt we went to, and I accepted not realizing there was an additional charge for the bottled water as opposed to the water in the pitcher they served to those who declined the bottled stuff.
We had a good time, but nothing really stood out as being really special or fantastic. And it ended up costing us quite a bit more money than we had planned on because of all the nickle-and-diming. If we went on another cruise, it would probably be with a different cruiseline.
Post # 10
kimmo416: I’ve done NCL, Princess and Celebrity. NCL had a nice variety of ages on-board and the ship was great. Princess had a great ship and service but mostly older folks (like 60+ for the UK cruise we took). Celebrity was nice.
I’d love to do RC so I vote for that. They are a good mid-class cruise line that has folks 30+ on board and not all older folks like Princess.
Post # 11
Miss Apricot: Hi there. The “hidden extras” are fairly well disclosed if you read the fine print. It’s like that on most lines with the exception of the super high end lines. It sucks but Princess was not deceiving you. Unless you buy drink packages (some offer them, other’s don’t), Princess, NCL, Celebrity and Carnival, to name a few, will charge you for soda and bottled water.
Doesn’t seem right but they make a lot of money that way.
Post # 12
kimmo416: I’ve been on NCL and princess and I would choose NCL any day! that’s actually who we are cruising with for our honeymoon. It’s much more relaxed, affordable, and in my opinion a better atmosphere. You can eat whenever you would like and just the two of you which was my favorite so you aren’t stuck with random people eating at the same time everyday. their rooms are nice and a decent size and the staff has always been wonderful.
Post # 13
I would recommend checking out cruisecritic.com – they have some pretty detailed reviews on boats and itineraries. I found it helpful when I planned a cruise! Other than that, I do agree – having a balcony is really nice!
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX
Thanks everyone! I’m leaning toward Royal Caribbean with Norwegian as my second choice. I keep hearing over and over again that the balcony is worth it. We would be about $300 over budget to go with the balcony on Royal Caribbean. Trying to decide it it’s worth it!
canadajane: We won’t be traveling during hurricaine season.
Also, do y’all think the drink packages are worth it? FI and I will drink a good amount, but we also plan on not being on the ship much the three days we’re at port.
Post # 15
I have done RC and NCL– both of which I recommend.
If you can get a balcony– it totally makes up for everything else because it gives you a space to chill out without being around other people. The food on NCL is just average, the food on RC was great and I liked the dinner time(s) as opposed to freestyle dining. However; NCL had some great on board activities that stayed open later than RC. It just depends on what you want! Overall, I would probably do NCL again because, even though the food was subpar, the experience was just really great. We went on a 4 day cruise for our honeymoon and we both really enjoyed it!