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Where, oh where, to cruise to???


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#1 cruisingreece

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    Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

    Hi!

    So in a nutshell, FI and I are considering a Caribbean cruise with a shoreside wedding. We're looking at 7 days or so, trying to keep all costs low. Most likely it will be just the 2 of us...perhaps maybe 2-4 guests.

    I've heard all sorts of wonderful things about all these different islands and I'm so lost!! Here's some thoughts I've gathered:

    1) I'm not heavily leaning to the Western Caribbean. Though Jamaica sounds lovely, I'm not too keen on Mexico. Any thoughts?

    2) Southern Caribbean sounds like the nicest islands, though very port-intensive on a 7 day cruise. Is it hard with 7 ports in 7 days?

    3) Eastern Caribbean sounds nice too...would love to see the USVI.

    Like I said, I'm kind of lost. Anyone who's been to these areas and can shed some much-needed light would be great!

    And lastly...what time of year is best to go? I know hurricane season is in the fall. Our original plans were for May of this year, but seeing as how that's only 2 months away, I'm not sure it can be done. It seems pretty simple because we don't have tons of guests coming, but I don't know if perhaps June or July would be better?

    Thanks ladies!

    #2 katrina

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      Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:43 PM

      i like southern cruises the best, and then eastern. i've hit a lot of those islands so if you have specific questions, let me know.

      also, i do think that 7 ports in 7 days is a lot. it's nice to have a day at sea to relax. what cruise line are you thinking of? i've done princess and royal caribbean and i liked rc much better.

      #3 Banana11

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        Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:48 PM

        First of all, congrats! I just got back from my cruise wedding and it was a great time. When choosing a location look at marriage requirements. You won't be able to have a legal wedding everywhere coming off a cruise. I also recommend picking a docking port vs. a tendering port. Tendering ports can be missed due to weather, sea conditions, etc. From our experience with the weather in February I would avoid December - February. I attended a cruise wedding to the Eastern Caribbean, wedding in St. Thomas. It was gorgeous!Check out my review (link in my siggy) for more info on our wedding cruise.

        #4 cruisingreece

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          Posted 05 March 2009 - 04:51 PM

          Thanks for that tip. I think I'm looking for a combination of relaxing, beautiful, with options for exploring if we wanted to. Between Jamaica, St. Thomas, St. Lucia & all the others I can't for the life of me pick on that would be best to get married on! So, that's where the ideal cruise itinerary comes in.

          We're open to cruise lines right now. So far Carnival and Princess have the best rates. Do you have any bad things to say about Princess?

          #5 TA Dina

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            Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:49 PM

            If you're not planning for a lot of guests, May is definately doable. Weddings during a cruise are very easy to plan.

            Andrea is correct...avoid the tendering ports. Too easy to miss the port due to bad weather.

            At that time of year though you probably won't have weather issues on any of the itineraries you mentioned. The southern carib islands are absolutely beautiful and personally that is my favorite caribbean itinerary. St Thomas has some really great beaches for weddings that are nearby the port so that's always a popular spot for cruise brides. We've got some contacts for a great WC on the island too that helps out with our cruise weddings and does a fabulous job (if you choose not to use the cruise line WC).

            As far as the differences between the cruise lines, it's really a personal preference again. Princess is definately a step above Carnival though. Their ships are more muted, elegant looking. Whereas Carnival ships are bright, vibrant and glittery (think Vegas at sea). The atmosphere on Carnival will be a bit more "party-like" but that's not to say Princess is a snooze cruise. Usually you'll see more families on Carnival but again, at that time of year, with kids out of school, they'll be on each. It really depends on what type of cruise experience you are personally looking for. Ask 10 people here what their faves are and you'll get 10 different answers. And we'll all be right

            If I can help you narrow anything down some more just let me know.

            #6 KimmyG

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              Posted 06 March 2009 - 12:14 AM

              May seems like the perfect time to go. If you can get a dress by then, you'll be all set :) Maybe search by price and that can help determine which location you should go to. Don't forget to tell the cruise line that it's your wedding/honeymoon and you may get upgraded!!

              #7 Sapphire723

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                Posted 06 March 2009 - 01:51 AM

                I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE PRINCESS! And that's not just because I got engaged on the Crown Princess. I think their food is pretty good and their service strives to be perfect (not just good... perfect). They're very reasonably priced IMO for what you get. It's definitely less of a party scene than Carnival, but I've enjoyed my cruises with them way more than I enjoyed my one Carnival cruise. Plus, Princess is one of the few lines where the Captain can legally marry you if you decide you want that.

                As for islands, I would recommend going to a USVI like St. Thomas, because it would be less of a hassle to have a legal wedding ceremony and get the marriage license and all that jazz.

                The only big thing to keep in mind is that some times ships change their route due to various issues such as weather or damage to the island or some sort of disaster. If you can keep your cool when faced with this possibility, then I'd say go for it! June-November is typically hurricane season, with August and September being the most likely bad weather (I think, but I'm not 100% certain).

                I also definitely agree with Andrea about not picking a tendering port. All I remember from my last tender is being covered in half a margarita (I bumped my drink trying to sit down... klutz!) and super hot, sweaty, and sticky for the ride back to the ship. Not the ideal scenerio for a beautiful bride!

                #8 pbandj2010

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                  Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

                  I agree with the other posters here, Spring is the best time for the Caribbean. And April/May is the 'shoulder' season, so costs should be a bit cheaper than the high touristy season. We just booked an 'At Sea' wedding on Princess for April 2010. I'm really looking forward to it! We're doing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. I really liked the Southern Caribbean itineraries too, but seemed like leaving roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale would be easier for my guests.

                  Good luck with the planning!
                  Jill

                  #9 pbandj2010

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                    Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

                    I agree with the other posters here, Spring is the best time for the Caribbean. And April/May is the 'shoulder' season, so costs should be a bit cheaper than the high touristy season. We just booked an 'At Sea' wedding on Princess for April 2010. I'm really looking forward to it! We're doing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. I really liked the Southern Caribbean itineraries too, but seemed like leaving roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale would be easier for my guests.

                    Good luck with the planning!
                    Jill

                    #10 Wedded Bliss Photography

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                      Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:34 PM

                      Hi

                      If you have any questions that haven't been answered, I worked on cruise ships for 4 years. I personally love Royal Caribbean (rather than Carnival) but I have heard great things about Princess. I would also recommend St. Thomas & St. Martaan over Jamaica and Mexico. Unless you can get away from the ports, these countries are unfortunately set up more for shopping than scenic beauty.




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