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Caribbean in Oct 2011

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    Caribbean in Oct 2011

    Can anyone inform us if a cruise in Oct to the Caribean is good. We have never done a cruise and would like some coments of the best locations to go to and the best cruise ship to try.We are travelling from N. Ireland and want to know if it is better booking a package or doing flights and cruise separate.

    Discount Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cruise, Cruise Line, Cruise Vacation then research research your ports - ask here some Qs on each port and each ship.

    It can be quite daunting and confusing. Don't worry, you will not make a mistake as cruising is just a fab holiday - and addicitve.

    We have had 6 now and we never had a bad one on upmarket ships, mass market ships and the very cheap ones!

    Go for it man! Even the worst ship can be a great cruise if you go with the correct mindset.



      Thanks Tom for the help. Just want to make the right choice. Is it better booking all together or flights seperate. We have been told to take a week in Orlando first and then cruise. I thought it would be better the other wat around. Did you fly from Dublin to the USA direct or via the UK. Is it worth booking a cabin with a balcony.


        Oh no! Week first and then cruise. You cannot get off the ship and then have to fend for yourself while still on holiday. Get the hard stuff over before ultimate relaxation. Both times we flew from Shannon to Miami and San Juan via Newark with Continetnal. Continental fly from Dublin and Belfast to Newark. You could also go US Air from Dublin via Philly.

        Balconies are nice but for us not a must at all. We do not spend time in our room only to wash and sleep. We are always afraid of missing smething and we tend to patrol rather than sit all day. If you like to sit out on your own you may get value from a balcony but remember you only get sun at one side of the ship at anytime so you may find you are in the shade. A compromise is an ocean view. We had a port hole on the Thomson Destiny and it was at the level of my navel so when you have to bend down to look out you just dont. Another advantage of a balcony is if you are scenic crusing esp in Norway when its bright til after midnight.

        The only disadvantage with inside is in the morning you tend not to know your ass from your elbow. We just get straight out of bed annd up to the buffet for daylight. 5 mins in it you are back to normal. We use inside for affordability reasons and it allows us to cruise more often or for longer. that said we didn't decline our balcony upgrade.

        Cruising in Oct - its the tail end of hurricane season- you should be ok! Anyhow ships dodge them but missing or substituting a port of call may be more likely this time fo the year which can be a real ass pain if you choase the cruise for the itinerary and more esp for the missed port! It happens unfortunately!

        You are spolit for choice and as I said I have never been on a bad one!


          Hi Declan, Have cruised the carribean several times with carnival. In my opinion southern is best. We book our own flights and car. Spend a few days in Orlando then drive to port Canaveral or Tampa that is your two nearest to Orlando port choices. (pick up car in orlando drop off in Port Canaveral or Tampa) Go on cruise pick up car then spend a few days in orlando before we go home. We flew into Orlando last year. Had a few days there and drove to Fort Lauderdale. Where we took a cruise on Celebrity Solstice. For Carnival we always use Vacations to go. The prices are very good and have had no problems. Hope this helps


            I think Carnival are great - though not everyone's cup of tea. An advantage of using vactions to go is that your are free to change you mind up to final payment date with out loss of your deposit. They are also great value . the disadvantge is that you cannot book all lines with them e.g. Princess will not allow US agents sell cruises to non-US residents. If your granny lives in US, you can use her address, no problem!


              Have a look at the different routes and see which resorts appeal to you.
              They do Eastern ,Western and Southern itineraries and they are quite different.

              The Eastern has the established resorts like St Thomas, St Martin, SanJuan, PR and usually one of the cruise line's private island resorts. These islands have lots of tourism infrastructure, beaches, some sophisticated shopping and dining , every kind of ocean activity excursions,sailing, watersports...
              The Western resorts are much more exotic, less tourism infrastructure, often very primitive towns roads and facilities, basic souvenir type shopping, excursions tend to be of the very active variety, jungle tours, cave tubing, canopy ziplining, dive and snorkeling excursions, kayaking etc. The W routes will also include a day on the cruise line's private island. Parts of Mexico and the Cayman islands are also included in the W tours but they have much more established tourist facilities and good shopping..
              The Southern route includes Aruba,Curacao and Bonaire, may start from Puerto Rico and go down into the far S Caribbean to Barbados and Trinidad. Much less chance of hurricanes in that zone.
              One of the best parts of cruising is all the reading of resort reviews,deciding where to go..

              If you intend to sail from Port Canaveral (Orlando) I would say look at Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas to the E Caribbean. The ship is a resort in itself too.
              Last edited by Cruise Fairy, Indiana USA (2); 21st June 2011, 01:03 AM.


                Nice to see Tomvet has given you a lot of info.
                As its your first cruise and you are coming a long distance you need to be relaxed both ways coming and going to a ship.
                First I live on Vancouver Island with family in Barbados so we also have a long flight with stops in our case.
                All the routes in the Caribbean are lovely, all the ships will avoid hurricanes but you might miss a port and prices adjust for those seasons but these days you will not notice the weather that much.
                Course I'll tell you to ensure you stop in places like Barbados, St Kitts, St Lucia, Curacao vs/ Mexico ports, it is trhe flavour man.

                First advice, price out cost and convenience for cruises and flights direct to USA or via cruises from the UK tours combo.
                Second , book two nights in a hotel prior and one after if you go direct to the USA as you can adjust for time, relax and board the ship like you just got up for a normal day.
                When you come off a ship, it is a bit of a shock if you have to get a plane the same day so again in the USA, overnight in a hotel.
                From the UK, Thomson and others say to Barbados will fly you from various airports in UK to the ship directly and back. You might be tired from the flight but you arrive , get off the plane, onto a bus on the tarmac not through the airport and your luggage is in your cabin, reverse trip is to the airport , thru security only, wait and back on the plane while luggage makes its way on the plane from the ship direct.
                Sure , sometimes delayed but ship will wait.
                We went last year in mid November with a ship full of Brits , some of us Islanders and some good Irish folks.

                all the best , check out my blog in my signature
                Last edited by RobBar, Canada; 21st June 2011, 04:06 AM.
                Next Cruise:> QM2 2016 / My Blog robbarcruises.com


                  Hi Declan,
                  P&O do a once or twice a year direct flight to Caribbean cruise from Belfast International - there is one in November (19th) and one in January 2012/2013. Its fantastic to fly direct to Barbados from Belfast - Im sure Cruise.co.uk could give you a price!
                  You get on the plane in Belfast and don't see your luggage until it is in your stateroom. If its too late for November you could always check again.


                    Thanks Heather. I will check with P+O tomorrow but was thinking around the 23rd Oct .November may be a little late for us. have looked up vacationstogo.com and some good deals on line but as we have to get flights etc it may be best to do as a package. all flights from Belfast usually go via Heathrow, and thats a pain. But beggers cant be choosers.
                    Good luck to Rory Mc Elroys home coming tomorrow.
                    Thanks again


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