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Neil and Ida Down - Answered a Question by First timer (30 May 08 20:18)

Thanks for the date... There is no doubt in my mind now. Because you are new to cruising I would head for the Caribbean and not go any earlier than mid to late October because of the hurricane season. I say the Caribbean because it is so set up for cruising that it makes most things so much easier for the novice cruiser. I would pick a four or preferably five or six star cruise line and a medium or large size ship. Have a couple of days extra at your starting port as this allows you to relax, lose the jetlag and acclimatise. Try to get a cabin with a balcony and even consider two cabins, one inside for your daughters, as it is your anniversary. The Eastern or Southern Caribbean would be my choice for the first cruising experience. Keep your eyes open for a really good offer for that area from now on having looked to see what the offers are like at the moment to give you a good idea of price. My choice would be Celebrity, Azamara or Holland America or if you see a really good offer Regent, Oceania or Silversea but these three are expensive so it would have to be a really good offer for your budget. Start doing the homework now and get as many cruise agents sending you offers by post and e-mail .... Good Luck .... Neil .

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Neil and Ida Down - Answered a Question by First timer (28 May 08 11:02)

Good question but in order to get a good answer please will you tell us the time of year you intend to cruise as this will affect the answer enormously ... Nei.

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Park - Answered a Question by First timer (28 May 08 14:04)

QM2 NY / Caribbean. Nice weather, good fun, plenty to do. Cabins at all prices especially if the girls are not too worried about a seaview. Remember to add tips per person approx 13 dollars per day and excursion costs ranging from 30 dollars for an island tour to 200 dollars for SCUBA. Drinks also reasonable e.g. a pint approx 4 dollars and a G&T 6 dollars. So af amily of 4 visitng 5 islands you might be looking at an average of 2000 dollars for excursions. Not bad at the current dollar / pound exchange rate. have a great tim.

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First Timer - Answered a Question by First timer (28 May 08 15:29)

Q: Million Dollar Question. It is my 25th Wedding anniversary, my wifes birthday & probably my eldest daughters last holiday with us, my other daughter is 15, We never have been on a cruise before, So If you had a £4,500 Budget the simple question is who would you advise me cruise with and which boat, would prefer a hot climate, good food & entertainment and If the port of depature is non uk then we require good transport links, thanks in advance for all your help & guidance dont worry not going to hold you accountable just need the benefit of someone with plenty of cruise expierence....sorry anytime between August-Nov 2008 .

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b - Answered a Question by First timer (28 May 08 22:58)

Questions to ask yourself.. 1 Do you want to share a cabin with your children? Cheaper but .... 2 do you want to fly transatlantic? cruises cheaper but flights put price up. Med cruises can be 3 times the price however 3 can you go low season? last minute and low season is the most economical option 4 are you satisfied with food in abundance whenever you want it regardless of quality? Food is always in abundance and quality does vary but I am yet to go on a cruise where I thought the food was bad given the value for money. 5 do you want 'intelligent' entertainment? Very little of it about - best at it are Fred Olsen though no friends for the children on this line. Are your children looking for friends? Royal Carribean, some PO sailings and NCL. 6 Does the idea of a week at Butlins fill you with horror? If not, Thompson would be a good option (or Ocean Village) 7 Do you want to dress up? There are opportunities to dress up on most lines but more on P&O and less on NCL 8 Do you mind being in a linguistic minority? Costa Victoria is very European(Italian) but good food and prices 9 Are you willing to organise your own flights and transfers? This can cut a chunk off the bill- ask for cruise only prices and do a comparison 10 Do you want to do your own excursions? This will keep the budget lower. I ahve emphasised cost because 4500 for 4 people is a bit tight. Try to find a 2 week or at least 10 day cruise because the time flies (when you are having a good time...) This probably means no transatlantic flying and cruising on a mid range boat out of Barcelona/ Rome/ Venice. Bon voyage.

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