overton - Answered a Question by ross (21 Oct 08 13:01)

You say you have no preferences, but it all very much depends on what you are looking for or what you like. If it’s any guidance at all, we too have booked our very 1st cruise for next summer. The only things that we were certain of was the size of ship (big – therefore less likely to experience sickness in high seas) and where – the Med, since we always enjoy holidaying Greek islands/Turkey. So, spent many hours researching all the lines and itineraries. We eliminated certain lines since we wanted some degree of luxury and fine dining and wanted to find cruisers of a similar age – we are young mid 40’s with a son age 12. We narrowed it down to Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity and then it all came down to price. Overall Celebrity won where we could get a balcony stateroom for the price of an inside cabin on the other 2 lines AND on a brand new ship – SOLSTICE. All there is to do now is wait, plan, get ever increasingly excited and keep reading these dreaded forums which you WILL become addicted to. Happy Sailing .

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birkett - Answered a Question by ross (21 Oct 08 12:37)

You really need to decide where you want to go By and large it is the Med or Baltic in the better months and the Caribbean in winter although you can go to the Canaries most of the time Do you want to fly -if not this limits your choices I can only really comment on cruise lines I have used (i am a fun loving 50+) who has found some too dull for me so you would hate them In my view avoid Fred olsen (rest home at sea) Celebrity (very classy but probably not what you are looking for) and P&O with the possible exception of their ships Arcadia and Ventura (which I am going on in January and from what I have heard it caters for a lower average age) I have done Thomson which does seem to appeal to most ages although the ships are showing their age Of the lines I have used in your place I would go for either RCI or Princess There was a lot of people in your age group and they catered well For example RCI has climbing walls,surf riders etc and an on board disco as well as being more "fun"orientated and less formal Whatever you decide I am sure you will love the experience .

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Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by ross (21 Oct 08 15:34)

Hi Victoria. There is a huge amount of product on sale out there. I would read the Berlitz guide with reference to "New to Cruising", go and get as many brochures and really study what different cruise lines have to offer and then when you have an idea as to what might suit you read the cruise reviews and if necessary ask again then. Sorry that sounds so negative but we could keep advising you without really knowing what the answer is for you....only for us. … Neil.

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wilde - Answered a Question by ross (21 Oct 08 16:11)

Hi im a great fan of rci independence of the seas and for your age group its great , flowrider, golf rock climbing and thats on the ship! great bars discos etc and lots of fun check it out ! we enjoyed our med cruise we have booked 2 next year med and canaries so go for it .

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Cowan - Answered a Question by ross (22 Oct 08 09:24)

To add my penn'orth, the possibilities are almost endless so you will have to consider preferences at some point! One thing I'd add is whether you are most interested in the destinations, or whether its a case of being more interested in simply cruising? We've just come back from an Iberian cruise, our first; we knew that most of the destinations were not going to be anything more than pleasant - but that was OK, because as cruise virgins it really was more about the cruise experience.

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Cooke - Answered a Question by ross (27 Oct 08 10:16)

I know exactly what you mean. There are so many variables that you need to sort out the questions, before you can begin to consider the answers. To start at the beginning, where do you want to cruise from? UK or fly cruise? UK is much less hassle, but you may not want to spend too long at sea at first. Some people consider 'sea days' a wate of time, I love them. Next climate. Hot - Med, Canaries, Greek islands. Warm Southern Norway, round Britian/Ireland. Not so warm, North Cape, Spitzbergen, Iceland, Greenland. Next interests - Wildlife Norway, Spitzbergen; sunshine and beaches, Canaries; history, Greece etc. As for age groups, larger ships cater more for familes and 'younger' cruisers but I believe children can be a bit of a problem on some ships. Smaller ships tend to attract older people, and have fewer facilities e.g. one or two pools, not five, no climbing wall or ice rink. Basically you have a problem! But a very nice problem. Have a great time, but be warned, cruising is addictive.

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