Well first I must confess I have been on one cruise before many many years ago. I hated every minute of it but my wife and girls loved it. So much they took another a couple of years later and was nice enough to let me stay home so I wouldn't be such a downer for them. Well the wife just finished up some serious health related stuff and got the all clear so she wants to take a cruise to celebrate. None of the daughters can go in the late Jan early Feb time frame she wants to go so I guess I'll give it another try. She want's to go to the Caribbean and I'm just looking for ideas for the most interesting places to go. Sight seeing is one of our favorite things to do. Neither of us are really into playing in the water or laying in the sun on the beach. We're both too close to 60 and we're not interested in partying at all. I guess I'm just looking for suggestions on what ports y'all would suggest based on your past experiences. By the way this is a great forum. I knew there had to be one somewhere online and I really like this one! Thanks.
Roatan is my favorite port because it reminds me of Hawaii in the old days and I love all the native wood work you can buy. I bought a smallish hand made bowl of mahogany and a wall thingee, and some Lenca pottery. The lenca pottery was very cheap compared to any other port for a similar sized fish I bought. The fish I bought for $16 on sale would have been $50 for that size of a fish made of anything in any other port I've visited. I find Roatan so cheap and love bargains. Its very beautiful there too. We did victor bodden once .. and twice we just grabbed a cab.
Lenca pottery has a very distinctive look you can't miss
You can get private tours very cheap for all day, about $35 pp. We spent all day doing non swimming things. The iguanna santuary, the monkeys at Victor's house and on and on.
Belize is almost always included with Roatan. You can buy any drugs you want over the counter!!! (Ok I dont have insurance, so I do). The best thing here to me would be to see the ruins. The city is kind of awful.
For more unusual ports.. I am doing a B2B on celebrity out of san juan next year. I dont know if air fare is a consideration, as its a bit more expensive to fly to san juan, but I will see ports that are not on the usual routes of call.
Maybe you could give us more to go on. Do you like to hike or walk? A walking tour like in Nassau. (free), but to me Bahamas are ugly and brown and boring compared to more mountainous ports.
How about shopping, does your wife enjoy that while on a cruise?? The Eastern or even a Southern itinary would be good for that, a bit less water sports...If you have more time, how about a Canal cruise, those are usually at least 10 days?? You do have lots of options, what islands have you already been to in your previous cruise?
We don't really mind walking. The wife likes to shop some but she isn't a SHOPPER!!! She's too cheap. lol We have looked at a couple of cruises and one that caught her eye does have Belize on it as well as Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Coxen Hole in Honduras. She likes the ideas of seeing ruins and stuff like that. Works for me as well. We haven't booked so we're still open to suggestions but that gives you an idea of what we enjoy. Thanks!
I have only been on one cruise and the wife has taken two. All were on Royal Caribbean. Her parents used to take a cruise a year for many years and have used most all the cruise lines. They prefer Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. I didn't particularly care for Royal Caribbean, too fancy for me. I'm a blue jeans and tee shirt kind of guy with a taste for real food. Fried chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes etc. Fancy does not impress me. The wife however likes to get dressed up and go out to eat to places that give you way too much silverware and small dish towels for napkins. The cruise she is looking at is on Norwegian. I really don't know anything about them.
edit to add. One thing I omitted was a question about the food. From what I have been able to gather from reading online most of the best places to eat on the ship cost extra. Are cruises no longer all inclusive? The one cruise we took I don't remember having to pay for any food although I didn't get to eat in the main dining room due to a lack of what they termed proper attire. All I took was tee shirts and shorts and sneakers.
Last edited by broncorckcrwlr; December 16th, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
I would consider NCL, RCL and Carnival to be the bottom of the "fancy" list you describe. Lower prices for the masses. NCL is the least dressy with Carnival and RCL, neither one is dressy any more. You can wear jeans and shorts to dinner now on Carnival except for the "elegant" night (which can be nice pants and capris for women).
I had been thinking you might enjoy a little more upscale .. but not if you dont like dressing up. I would stick with one of the basic lines above.
My usual deciding point is price and .. can I drive to the point of departure. Can you drive to any ports? Where do you live? Thats a huge deciding factor for me.
These days, all the cruiselines have, extra pay for restaurants in addition to the main dining rooms and the buffet area. You will certainly not starve if you don't spend the extra dollars for these alternative restaurants, although in most cases, it is worth the extra. It is totally up to you, but many cruise and don't go to these eating areas and are fine with the food, sounds like you will be too.
Thanks to everyone for their input. She decided on a Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival. It's all booked and she's really excited to be going. This will be a new cruise line for us both so we will see how it goes. Again thanks to everyone.