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Thinking of booking our first cruise
advice from experienced cruisers


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21 replies to this topic

#1 PaulineN

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

Hi DH suggested we go on a cruise this year for our yearly get away.  Every year we usualy go up the coast and stay in an appartment on the beachfront. So, looking for something totally different.

People have said cruises are great for kids as there's heaps for them to do as well.

So my questions are:

How was your cruise holiday? would you do it again?
Did you kids enjoy it? if so what were their ages? (my ds is 6.5yrs)
How did you cope with the tiny tiny tiny cabins?
Who did you book through? the cruise line itself or a travel agent.

Any other advice for someone who knows nothing about cruises and finds some of the info on the web a bit hard to follow - for example if there is 2 adults and 1 child, do we pay as if it is twin share or quad share?

thanks in advance

#2 Hufflepuff

Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:25 PM

Don't hesitate just do it!!!

You pay for three people & need a 3 berth cabin. A travel agent will be able to help you or you need to look at the deck plans there will be a symbol for 3 berth cabins.

Your son will have a ball in kids clubs. You will have a ball doing  activities without him. You will all have fun together too discovering the ports, swimming,  having meals together etc....
Don't worry about the size of cabin. You really are only in there to sleep.

Unless you get a 'Suite' you will be sleeping in bunk beds. We cruise every year & our kids have been cruising since 12 months of age.

Cruise Sale Finder is a good place to book through & usually have the cheapest fares. I have used them for my last few cruises with no problems at all.

#3 LittleMissPink

Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

You will pay for 2 adults and one child, there will be 3 beds in the room, one bunk and one single.

PP is right, you only sleep in the cabin and shower.

#4 amabanana

Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE (LittleMissPink @ 14/02/2013, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You will pay for 2 adults and one child, there will be 3 beds in the room, one bunk and one single.

PP is right, you only sleep in the cabin and shower.


Why do you sleep in the shower.   biggrin.gif

#5 whatnamenow

Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:49 PM

As PP's have said.

Although I would choose Just Cruises to book through as they will change the price for you if it drops.  (ie say you book for 799 and suddenly the price drops to 599.  Usually they will honor the new price and refund you the difference.)

Think of what cruise line you want to use.  Royal Carribean has a drinks package ( all you can drink sotdrink packages) which can save you money if you drink alot of it.  But P & O allow you to take cartons of soft drink and poppers on board.

Some people say you should get an outside cabin as some people are sensitive to not seeing daylight in their room, but some people with young kids say it helps to get them off to sleep.  If you do get an inside cabin switch the tv over to the view from the front of the ship and leave the tv on all night.  That way when you wake up you can see straight away if its daylight or not.

Book early if you have kids as they only let a certain number of kids at certain ages on and it fills up fast.

Be careful about ticking yes to upgrades.  It may not actually be an upgrade ie you can go from outside unobstructed view but midship to 2 floors up unobstructed but at the front or back, as long as its considered a more expensive cabin then p & O consider it an upgrade and once changed you cant go back to your original cabin.

Speaking of which midship and nice and low is considered to be the best for sea sickness.

If you can afford a suite go for it.  Sooo nice and with only 3 of you you can fit into a mini suite on p & O.  

Some people have issues with using credit cards for paying for their on board credit as p & O uses a holds system similar to car rental companies, so use cash or simply get a credit card purposely for the cruise

P & O have a fantastic facebook page.  If you have any questions if you ask on there someone will tell you.  Which islands are you considering heading too?  I can help with suggestions for most of them.

#6 7LittleAustralians

Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

How was your cruise holiday? would you do it again?
Definitely. I have 2 more lined up already

Did you kids enjoy it? if so what were their ages? My children loved it and can't wait to go again. They ranged in age from middle school to toddler.

How did you cope with the tiny tiny tiny cabins?
Didn't require anything bigger, we were barely in them.

Who did you book through? the cruise line itself or a travel agent.
Travel agent.

#7 pascalls

Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

We went on the Carnival Spirit last October and that was our first cruise. We had a 9 year old & a 5 year old & we all loved it! The kids went to kids club a bit & enjoyed it. We would check the timetable & they only went if there was something on they wanted to do.

Our cabin was actually bigger than I was expecting (though not huge). We had enough cupboard space to unpack everything for the 4 of us & store the suitcases under the bed. We had a king size bed for DH & I, a sofa bed for DD and a bunk bed that came down from the roof for DS.

Our cabin was classed and priced as an inside cabin but it was actually on the outside with the lifeboats right outside the door. There were french doors that we could open & get some fresh air and our room was at the front of the lifeboat so we could see a bit of the ocean underneath the curve of the boat.  

We booked directly through Carnival and got some onboard credit. I'd definitely do it again!

#8 B.feral3

Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

I absolutely hated cruising and you wouldn't get me on another cruise-liner again!!

It might have been better if I'd managed to get my head out of the toilet a little less often. OMG I was so sick. For the times I was able to compose myself, I found the entertainment cheesy, the activities and drinks expensive and the food really really average.

We won't do it again. We love taking the kids to a different resort every year though. Last year we did Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast and loved it.

#9 Peppery

Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:57 AM

How was your cruise holiday? would you do it again?

- Most definitely. I booked our next cruise (DD & I) while we were on the cruise. We will be cruising again this October. I am counting down the days.

Did you kids enjoy it? if so what were their ages? (my ds is 6.5yrs)

- DD was 3 when we went on the cruise. She absolutely loved it. The staff make such a fuss of the kids. DD wanted to stay in kids club the entire time.

How did you cope with the tiny tiny tiny cabins?

- I found the size of the cabin comparable to motel rooms i have stayed in. We didn't really spend much time in the cabin though.

Who did you book through? the cruise line itself or a travel agent.

- We booked directly through P&O.

I am a single mum, normally i am the one doing all of the driving, meal preparation and keeping DD amused. I got to switch off and just relax.

Edited by Peppery, 15 February 2013 - 11:58 AM.


#10 ~Kee~In~Hawaii~

Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:06 PM

I think I am well known around here for being cruising obsessed original.gif

Though I don't have kids, I have friends who have been on a cruise with their kids and they all loved it. The kids club kept the kids entertained during sea days and all the shore excursions they did were tailored to suit families.

I think cruising is fantastic because you unpack once and it's like your hotel room goes to all these different places with you in it, rather than having to re-pack and make the mad dash to the airport to get from place to place.

If you do drink, it pays to get the drinks packages. Also check what you are allowed to take on board with you so far as snacks and non-alcoholic drinks go as having some juice and soda with you in your cabin may cut down on costs.

I've done 5 cruises and I have always made it a point to have a sea sickness tablet every morning with breakfast. I have no idea if I get sea sick, I've never waited to get sick to find out. Prevention is better than a ruined holiday.

I purchase my cruises through a cruise wholesaler based in Texas who deals with Aussie customers all the time. So far the actual cruise line hasn't even been able to beat their prices each cruise so I will continue to book through them. They have some really great cabin credit offers as well.

So far I've cruise multiple times around the Hawaiian Islands, the Bahamas, I'll be cruising this year from Hawaii to Australia, I'm in the process of booking an Alaska cruise and after that it's a cruise to Mexico and Jamaica. I definitely think cruising is THE way to travel original.gif


Edited by ~Kee~In~Hawaii~, 15 February 2013 - 12:07 PM.


#11 PaulineN

Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

Thank you so much for all your feedback. I really appreciate it original.gif

One thing I've found strange when looking on the internet is there are no prices or it says n/a for Balcony Cabins, Mini Suites or Suites if there are 3 passengers.  Which seems weird with the suites - as they are larger? On the P&O sight when looking at mini &b cabin descriptions it says king bed plus a roll away. Might have to ask a travel agent.

Could you also tell me what you think is a good length of time? DH thinks max 7 days before we'd be sick of it?

thanks

#12 7LittleAustralians

Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:02 PM

My DH thought he'd get bored or sick of it too, he didn't. There were so many things we never got time to do. I will admit the food kind of got a bit boring though towards the end, however we really only tried 1 of the restaurants and could have quite easily tried the others. 7 days would be a good place to start though to see if you like it or not. Everyone is different and although some of us love it, it might not be for everyone.

As for the cabins, if it says N/A it means they are not available either because they don't have 3 berth cabins to begin with of that class or they have already all been booked out.

#13 whatnamenow

Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

balcony cabins are max 2 berth, they actually are smaller than a standard cabin in that the balcony makes up the inside space in a standard cabin.  

Mini suites can sleep up to 3 but do sell out fast.  Suites sleep 4 and are usually the last to sell.  If you keep getting N/A it could also be because the ages of the kids have been filled.  to give you an idea of hw fast that fills up i just did a quick search and even up to november all the kids spaces have limited availability left.

Try this site to give you an idea on prices and availability and then start hunting..

ozcruising

#14 LouiseA1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:24 PM

It totally depends on which cruise company you cruise with as to how many each cabin will hold and how big the cabins are.  wink.gif

We are a family of three and always have a balcony.

#15 JAMFC

Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:47 PM

Are there any cruises out of Brisbane or Sydney that can take 2 adults and 3 children in a cabin?

#16 2girlzandhoney

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

I would love to go on a cruise but as a family of 5 i have often wondered whether or not there are inter-connecting rooms? My kids are 11, 8 and 4 so I'm not really sure if i would be comfortable with them being entirely on their own.

#17 Fabulous

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

This family took their 7 kids on a cruise!
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...039091&st=0

#18 PaulineN

Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE (2girlzandhoney @ 18/02/2013, 03:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would love to go on a cruise but as a family of 5 i have often wondered whether or not there are inter-connecting rooms? My kids are 11, 8 and 4 so I'm not really sure if i would be comfortable with them being entirely on their own.

I was looking on P&O website and it did show a piciture of an interconnecting room.

#19 KT1978

Posted 18 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

I think if you aren't sure if you'll like it or will get sea sick, consider a cruise with a larger land component. We have done two-a captain cook one in Fiji, and pride of America in Hawaii. Both cruises we were off the ship everyday, but used it more as a traveling hotel and a base to eat, sleep, leave our stuff.

We are pretty certain we would never do an Australia to south pacific cruise as being on the ship for days on end would do our heads in.

#20 LouiseA1

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:01 PM

There are quite a few cruise lines that have interconnecting rooms. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are Holland America Line, Royal Carribean Line, P&O.

I'm pretty sure that princess do also.


#21 antiq

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:09 AM

MSC offers kids cruise for free and they do have a cabin for 4 (with bunk beds).

#22 mards

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:53 AM

KT1978 - We have done 2 Captain Cooks - one in Cairns and the other in Fiji - OH HOW WE LOVED IT!! - we took the kids to Fiji - and they were the ONLY kids on board and they were treated like KINGS> - there is a swimming pool on the boat  - the kids were in there ever second. It was the best holiday we had ever had - HIGHLEY recommend it - they have 3 or 4 or 7 night cruises...




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