Focus On Cruising

Exploring the Wonderful World of Cruise Ships

Your Questions About Cruise Deals And Cruise Vacations

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Sandra asks…

Do you get good deals for booking a vacation/ cruise last minute?

Is it possible to get a last minute deal?  I am looking to go in the end of June, but I want a good deal and I don’t mind taking a chance for the last minute.

John answers:

There’s always the possibility.  Is it likely?  No.  The more likely outcome is you’ll wind up paying more and settling for whatever is still available.  You’ll have a better chance of getting just the right cabin on the cruise you want by booking in advance.

Thomas asks…

What are the best deals or places for a cruise and stay vacation?

My girlfriend and I are looking to take a week vacation in the Bahamas or Caribbean and we want the experence of both a cruise and an island stay. We plan on going in a year from now but that may change based on when the best time to go is.  We will both be 23 at the time of our trip.  Any information or help is appreciated.

John answers:

Because of your age, don’t bother looking at Carnival as their rules state that one person must be 25 or older in your cabin.  The best weather, but the highest prices,  occur during the winter months.  Summer is less costly but very hot and humid.  Avoid mid-August through the end of October, if you can.

Now, combining a hotel stay with a cruise is certainly possible, but the options are limited.  Cruises to the Bahamas are roundtrip, beginning in the US.  You can’t just get off the ship and stay.  So if you have your heart set on the Bahamas, you should just do a land package and save the cruise for another time.

If you opt for the Caribbean instead, look for cruises that either begin or end in San Juan, or offer San Juan roundtrip.  Princess Cruises offers regular sailings from San Juan, as do other lines.  You could then combine a pre- or post-cruise hotel stay with the cruise itself.  You could stay in Puerto Rico or the nearby Virgin Islands, or even go a bit further afield.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a cruise, you should also look into Windstar Cruises which offers roundtrip sailings out of Barbados and St Martin.

Donald asks…

When you’re thinking of going on a land vacation (not a cruise) how do you go about finding deals?

I want an all inclusive vacation.. do I have to go to a travel agent or can you actually get it online… help

John answers:

Well, Donald, although this column is focused on cruises, I’ll take a shot at the answer.  You can find packages on line, many people do it.  Try Travelocity or Orbitz.  You can also go to tour operators’ websites, such as GoGo or Travel Impressions.

You might find, however, that the abundance of information and choices is a bit overwhelming.  It’s always best, I think, to use a good travel agent.

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Technorati Tags: Bahamas, Barbados, caribbean, cruise deals, Cruise lines, cruise ships, cruise vacations, last minute cruise deals, Princess Cruises, Puerto Rico, San Juan, St. Martin, Windstar Cruises

Your Questions About Cruises From Miami

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William asks…

Are there any cruises from miami to bahamas and stay on the island for one night and cruise back?

We want to go to the Bahamas for just one day.  We want to cruise there and get a hotel on the island.  We want to then cruise back another day.  Is there anything like that being offered?

John answers:

There are a couple options, but not out of Miami.  Discovery Cruise Lines offers a two day sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island, with a choice of hotel options.  Price will vary with the hotel chosen.

Celebration Cruise Lines offers a two-night sailing from Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island.  The ship sails overnight to the island, stays the day, and then sails overnight back to Florida.  You don’t overnight at a hotel.

Two caveats:  these ships do not sail to Nassau, and they are not in the same category as Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, etc.

Lizzie asks…

What cruises from Miami (Fort Lauderdale), the most interesting (Caribbean,Bahamas,Bermudas)?

(mexican island)

John answers:

All of these are sun, surf and sand destinations.  If this is what you are looking for, I’m not sure you can say that any one destination is more interesting than the other.  Each of these destinations will have their champions, but you won’t miss out by choosing one over the other.

Now, if you’re looking for something a bit different, Mexico has some very important archaeological sites that you might find very interesting.  If this is something that resonates with you, then Mexico should be your focus.

Steven asks…

What are the best cruise lines from Miami?

My grandparents ( 63 and 67) and my cousin (12) and I (13) want to go on a 7-10 day cruise from Miami around the Caribbean ( anywhere really). What cruise lines are the best and funnest.  We also don’t care about price, but just want to have a good time.  We are going during the February school break next year.

John answers:

I don’t think you can say that any one cruise line is the best.  Each has its own personality and focus.  In general, some lines may appeal more to older people and some more to younger people, but this is not universally so.

Royal Caribbean might be a good middle ground.  Their ships have features your grandpaerents would enjoy, while also having an excellent teen program and great activities.  Princess and Celebrity would also be worth checking out.

My suggestion is that you all sit down with a travel agent and discuss what you hope to get out of the cruise.  The agent will be able to tell you what is available for your dates and help you make a choice that is acceptable to everyone.

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Technorati Tags: Bahamas, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebration Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise lines, cruise ships, Discovery Cruise Lines, Grand Bahama Island, Miami, Princess Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines