(Closed) Cruise – Advice Needed

posted 8 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

1. I think either way would be fine. If there are only a few days on the ship you can always stay on the ship and not go to the port. Or on the other hand, sea days the cruise director always has so much planned, days at sea can be really fun!

2.If you feel like you would get sea sick I recommend trying for one of the middle decks in the middle of the ship. If you don’t think that you will get sea sick I would try for the back of the ship. One time we had a cabin on the very back of the ship and it was very nice to sit on the balcony at night.

3. I have been only been on RCI but I have loved them. I highly recommend them. The food is great, the service is phenomenal, the cruise director always makes it so much fun. If you go on RCI I highly highly recommend going to the show “The Quest” it is so much FUN!!!!

Post # 5
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Let’s see

1) It’s up to you because it depends on how ‘lazy’ you want to be. on a 12-day cruise, you def want at least 1 day at sea. 5 days is getting up there. I’d say anywhere up to 5 is ideal.

2) the only thing you need to worry about with cabins is if they are inside or outside cabins, ie have a ‘window’ or not. The rooms tend to be uniform throught the length of the ship so that shouldn’t matter. Inside cabins sort of feel like a closet but they are cheaper, so it depends on what you are going for. Cabins higher up in ship (upper decks) tend to be more desirable than the ones down below.. also you can pick cabins that have a balcony.

3) I’ve been on several RCI cruises and never been on Princess so I can’t say for sure, but RCI tends to attract a younger/more active crowd and have fun activities on-board.

I’ve done one Greek island/Italy cruise.. i loved it. I think you can’t go wrong with either of those itineraries, and Egypt is definitely one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ destinations where I’d think to myself, ‘how likely am I to go back to egypt if not on this cruise?’ – whereas the greek islands and cities and italy are a bit easier to get to if i go back in the future. But they both look great.

Feel free to PM me if you want – I’ve been on probably 15 cruises in my life (this was my family’s vacation-of-choice as a kid, as opposed to road trips or other kinds of vacations) and my mom runs her own cruise-only travel agency, so I have access to lots of info if you need more help πŸ™‚

Post # 5
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

First off- Cruises are so much fun! i have never been on RCI or Princess but i have done a few carnival cruises. i think for a 12 day cruise the average is 3 days at sea…I enjoyed the days at sea just as much as the ports because A. you get to sleep in! b. you are in no rush to go anywhere. (though let me suggest – i woke up early on the days at sea to lay towles out at the pool because most ships dont have nearly enough lounge chairs – plus Fiance and i liked to be in the adults only section at the back of the ship looking over the water as opposed to the pool but i got up at 7 and laid towles out and a book or something to mark our territory, then went back and got in bed.)

to avoid sea sickness i reccomment an ouside cabin somwhere in the middle of the ship. the outside cabins are great because they have windows. Fiance hates crownds, small spaces and gets motion sickness – he wore one of those writsbands and never had a problem

Never been to the med but i bet a cruise there is AWESOME! you will have a blast. Also remember – they have dress up nights, probably 2 or 3 of them on a 12 day cruise so bring some dressy clothes!

 

Post # 7
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I went on a Med cruise in the fall of 2009 (16 days).  I went to most of the places on both of your lists.  If I were going to pick one I would pick the Princess itinerary for your first cruise over there.  You also might want to come in early and spend at least an extra day in Rome.  The port in Rome is approx. 2 hours from the actual city.  I don’t agree with the Kusadasi comment at all.  Turkey is absolutely amazing and Kusadasi is probably one of the highlights of Greek archeological sites.  Now Katakolon is a total bust.  One street town and the only tour there is Olympia (place where the Olympic torch is lit and starts for every Oympics). *Snooze* πŸ™‚ I used this day to sunbathe by the pool on the ship!

As far as days at sea, on my cruise we only had 3 and honestly it wasn’t enough.  Everyday you are pushing to see all the amazing sites and somedays you want to just hang out on the ship with a drink and rest the feet!! I hit the spa 2 different times to get massages and relax!

I also highly recommend at least a balcony level cabin.  Pulling away from the greek ports and being able to see everything from a comfy chair on your balcony is perfect! Doesn’t really matter what side your are on of the ship.  Each port is different so both sides see different things.  12 days is a lot, and you will more than likely be ready to come home by the end of it.  Leave yourself a good 2 days when you get home to recoup.  Oh, and last thing…I would pick a cabin that is close but not next to the staircases for easy access to the different levels on the ship.  Stay away from a cabin near the large lounge where they host all of the entertainment shows.  Those could disturb your sleep. 

Both cruise lines are fantastic, so either one will be great.  Alexandria and Turkey can be rather intimidating, so if this is your first time over to the Med I would stick with Greece and Itay.      

Post # 8
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@nighthawk: It’s not that important to book the flight together, it’s just a convenience for people who don’t want the hassle of doing it themselves. We never booked them together (plus you will probably find a better deal just booking online than booking through your travel agent or the cruise line – even my mom will tell you this). Especially if you have miles, just do it yourself. As one other Pp said, def give yourself a few days on either end to explore the cities you are coming in and out of, and to make sure you have enough padding for delayed flights, etc on your way there.

I promise 5 days at sea won’t feel like very much – the days you are in port are VERY HECTIC- you often have to be off the ship at like 9am if you are doing a tour/shore excursion, spend the entire day running around trying to see as much of the port-of-call as you can, rush back to the ship in time before the ship departs so you can shower and eat dinner, etc. I usually love the days at sea the best because that’s your chance to sleep in, enjoy a leisurely breakfast buffet, go to the pool, get a massage, etc., sit on the balcony with your Darling Husband and watch the sea go by. If it were 5 in a row that would be too much, but you’ll come to depend on those days to decompress! By The Way – the RCI itinerary only has 4 days at sea, it seems?

ETA: I checked with my mom and she said those two lines are comparable in the cruise experience, and to go with which itinerary and price suits you better. Sorry that doesn’t help much πŸ™‚ She also said the RCI ship is one of their newer big ships with tons and tons of things to do -including an ice skating rink, different dinner options (not just one big dining room like traditional ships), different evening shows and entertainment options, and a promenade in the middle (I think these have a central park type environment sometimes even with a carnival – merry-go-round and all!). Definitely the kind of place where you won’t be bored the days you’re at sea.

Post # 9
Member
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I know that on my first cruise which was island hopping in Hawaii, we never had 1 day at sea…it was a different port everyday and even though it was exciting because it was my first cruise, it really wasn’t very relaxing…we were on the go a lot….I love to cruise so 5 days at sea would be awesome for me!!!!  Definately try to get a cabin on one of the upper levels….I’ve heard, never experienced, that the bottom levels can be a little rough!!  Never been on a Princess cruise, but loved RC.  Good Luck and enjoy…..very jealous:)

Post # 10
Member
1537 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

When going on a cruise I prefer more days at port than at sea. You always have the option of staying on your ship if you don’t want to disembark at every port. A couple of days at sea is nice, but I don’t like anymore than that. I love the adventure of seeing so many places when on a cruise, so that’s why I prefer it this way.

When booking a room definitely get one that has a balcony. It’s so much nicer to be able to step outside your own room and enjoy the scenery or the sea. It gets a little stuffy if you have a room with no opening windows. My mother (who gets sea sick) was totally ill the whole time she cruised in a room that was on the inside with no windows πŸ™ Also, I like rooms that are higher up to the main decks and more centered to the elevators. It’s a pain to be at the end of the hall on the bottom of the ship if you’re on a large boat.

Make sure you check with trip advisor or a similar vacation review site to ensure that you are going on a cruise line that caters to your needs. Some cruise lines attract more seniors and that isn’t the most fun for young honeymooners. You also wouldn’t want to be stuck on “family week” with a ton of screaming families and disney activties lol.

#1 tip: Arrive early when boarding the ship. It’s usually like a cattle call if you’re not travelling first class, so to avoid total mayhem make sure you’re at your gates and check in locations as early as possible.

Post # 12
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think in terms of “days at sea” less is typically better.  Another thing to be sure to look at is the length of time in each port.  You may hit 5 major ports but if you have to tender to port (take a ferry boat) that can take time and if the city/attractions aren’t near the port you can also have travel time. If you are only in a port for half a day or so that may not be enough time to see/do the activity you are wanting. 

Another point about “days at sea” is that usually the day you board you can board around noon.  That gives you almost a half day extra on the ship. 

Post # 13
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2011

Yes, when you get into the booking phase online you can actually pick the cabin and deck you want.  With Princess you choose the cabin type first (balcony, suite, etc.) and then you will pick your deck and available cabin. It walks you through it and you can see all the floor plans of the decks.  Also, with Princess you can book all of your tours and any spa services you want before you even get on the ship! 120 days out from sailing. We are also doing a Princess cruise for our honeymoon to the Virgin Islands, so I have been planning all of days online with their “cruise personalizer.” Makes things so easy, since the spa always fills up so fast on the days at sea! We are planning another Med cruise for our 1 year anniversary!  You will have a fabulous time no matter which cruise you pick. RCI should have the same booking features, I am just more familiar with the Princess settings right now since I am on them all the time!! πŸ™‚    

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