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Ok verteran Cruisers. . help!


Which is the best option for an ENJOYABLE cruise with family?  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is the best option for an ENJOYABLE cruise with family?

    • 1) Holland America 10-day Caribbean Cruise on the "Noordam"
      1
    • 2) Carnival 8-day Caribbean Cruise on the "Freedom"
      1
    • 3) Royal Caribbean 7 day Mexico Cruise on the "Navigator of the Seas"
      16


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So my elderly (and very sick) Mother is insisting that she wants to take "the whole family" -- minus my druggie loser sister, but that's a whole 'nother story -- on a Cruise later this year while she is still able to make a trip.

 

they want to go all out and get suites for them, myself/partner, and Brother/Sis-in-Law. So it's going to be an expensive trip.

 

we have gone back and forth for a few weeks, and today, my Dad presented me these 3 options.

 

I know what my "gut" is telling me, but figured I'd get an opinion from folks that have maybe been on these ships?

 

the choices are:

 

1) "Noordam" (Holland America). Leaves from Ft Lauderdale (so flight from Austin to FL before boarding). Caribbean 10 day with stops in Grand Turk, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Curacao

 

2) "Freedom" (Carnival). Leaves from Ft Lauderdale (so flight from Austin to FL before boarding). Caribbean 8 day with stops in Grand Turk, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Curacao.

 

3) "Navigator of the Seas" (Royal Caribbean). Leaves from Galveston, so a drive from Austin to Houston, then go with parents/family down to Galveston. 7 days, with stops in Cozumel, Georgetown, and Falmouth.

 

 

I think option 3 is least likely, as we are pretty well traveled in Mexico, and my Mother really, really likes the idea of going to Aruba and Curacao. So I'd say we REALLY are looking at between option 1/2.

 

My gut instinct is that #2 is Carnival. . . ew. But it's a much bigger ship than the Holland America one, meaning more options for things to do (as well as more people on it).

 

so . . . opinion?

 

Is my gut correct and we should go with #1?

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On a more serious note:

 

1. Holland America. You're only 47. You need to age another 40 years before you can sail this cruise line.

 

2. Carnival. Do you like Wal-Mart, Coors Light, and Guy Fieri? This is the ship for you.

 

3. Royal Caribbean. Good, clean, fun. No brainer.

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On a more serious note:

 

1. Holland America. You're only 47. You need to age another 40 years before you can sail this cruise line.

 

2. Carnival. Do you like Wal-Mart, Coors Light, and Guy Fieri? This is the ship for you.

 

3. Royal Caribbean. Good, clean, fun. No brainer.

 

Thanks.

 

tho keeping in mind it's my elderly Mom wanting to treat us, I guess that's why her first choice is the Holland America line

 

 

good info that I'll pass along to them!

Edited by bert425
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No question Navigator. I've never done Holland America as I hear it's comparable to a floating retirement home and my experiences with Carnival have been somewhat like a mixture of Tijuana and the Jersey Shore on a ship so I wouldn't recommend it.

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And also, the reality of RCCL ships is that the crowd isn't just young or old, I feel it's the perfect mix where no matter what age you are there is something to do and you won't feel out of place.

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

oy. . and of course, this is her first choice!

 

she was going on about how Noordam is a 5-star ship.

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

In a book about the cruise lines from the 90s, I read that they used to keep deceased passengers in the same freezers as the food, I'm not sure if that's still the case...

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

 

I believe this. I did a Holland America cruise and I would say 97% were 60+ on board.

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

 

I believe this. I did a Holland America cruise and I would say 97% were 60+ on board.

60+??? Wow, you had a young Holland America cruise!

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and just got off the phone with her.

 

even tho they haven't booked yet, she really, REALLY wants to go to Aruba and Curacao

 

and my Sister-in-law told her Carnival is a non-starter (yay, I don't have the be the "bad" guy). . LOL

 

 

but it certainly sounds to me like we're gonna end up on Holland America.

 

oh well.. l'll make sure and pack salt so our meals will have some flavor

 

 

 

(and to be fair, there are a good number of excursions that look like they are for the younger crowd -- ziplines, biking, speedboats, and such).

 

regardless, it's a free cruise, so I'll smile and we'll go wherever they take us.

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

 

I believe this. I did a Holland America cruise and I would say 97% were 60+ on board.

60+??? Wow, you had a young Holland America cruise!

 

HA!

 

 

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Holland America FACT! The cruise line carries more caskets on their ships than any other cruise lines due to the higher rate of passengers dying of old age.

 

In a book about the cruise lines from the 90s, I read that they used to keep deceased passengers in the same freezers as the food, I'm not sure if that's still the case...

 

No that's carnival. Some of them even make it out to the buffet.

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Holland America sounds like what you'll go with and it will be fine. As others have said, you'll be the youngest on the ship by far and there won't be too much late night party action but that's still better than Carnival!

 

The majority of old people kind of gross me out and seem like really terrible curmudgeons. Just being honest. You're going to have people smack you with canes to get to the buffet and sneeze in the food and stuff like that. Remember that most noro outbreaks on ships occur with either lots of old people or lots of children as they don't wash as well as the rest of us! Yum.

 

Oh well... Holland America Ship with Noro > Carnival Ship with Guy Fieri!

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Holland America sounds like what you'll go with and it will be fine. As others have said, you'll be the youngest on the ship by far and there won't be too much late night party action but that's still better than Carnival!

 

The majority of old people kind of gross me out and seem like really terrible curmudgeons. Just being honest. You're going to have people smack you with canes to get to the buffet and sneeze in the food and stuff like that. Remember that most noro outbreaks on ships occur with either lots of old people or lots of children as they don't wash as well as the rest of us! Yum.

 

Oh well... Holland America Ship with Noro > Carnival Ship with Guy Fieri!

 

 

we won't know until my Dad books.

 

but I think for sure it won't be Carnival.

 

Considering how my Mom is pushing for "nice". . I have a feeling most meals would end up being in sit down restaurants, rather than the buffet (that's what we did on our Alaska cruise).

 

hopefully that would help with not getting sick!

 

(and like I said, I'll pack my salt).

 

but like everyone here said, if I had my choice -- and if she'd listen to me?. .I'd do the one y'all are recommending for sure!

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We did the Freedom to the same itinerary a few years ago. It was nice. If you've sailed with other lines before, you'll be disappointed but its not bad for a first timer.

 

Holland has really nice ships, but like everyone said, they cater to an older crowd. They have all the typical cruise activities onboard so its not a bad thing.

 

I'd personally suggest Holland if your fam really wants to do Aruba/Curacao. Both places are amazing. Plus you can do a side trip to the Orlando parks afterward.

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Holland America sounds like what you'll go with and it will be fine. As others have said, you'll be the youngest on the ship by far and there won't be too much late night party action but that's still better than Carnival!

 

The majority of old people kind of gross me out and seem like really terrible curmudgeons. Just being honest. You're going to have people smack you with canes to get to the buffet and sneeze in the food and stuff like that. Remember that most noro outbreaks on ships occur with either lots of old people or lots of children as they don't wash as well as the rest of us! Yum.

 

Oh well... Holland America Ship with Noro > Carnival Ship with Guy Fieri!

 

 

yep. . he sent me the confirmation info I need to give the travel agent today.

 

they are going with Holland America (I figured).

 

not sure what size rooms he went for (I'll ask the agent tomorrow). . but my Mom was all excited that each bathroom has a tub in it! LOL.

 

oh well. . we'll make our own fun!. .

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HAL may have ancient clientele, but the rooms will probably be slightly bigger, better equipped, and there's a higher level of service. Any cabin (not just suites) can get the dining room menu for the evening delivered to the room. Plus, honestly- I'd rather take a 10 night cruise to those Southern Caribbean ports (you're probably going to all 3 ABCs) than going to Grand Cayman or Cozumel any day of the week.

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