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stay-cruise-stay

scotland
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stay-cruise-stay

We are from Scotland staying with relatives in North Palm Beach in July. We would like to do the discovery cruise to Bahamas, staying two nights in Bahamas. Online, dates are not available for July. Can anyone advise when we can book cruise, also

is it more economical to book Cruise n stay package rather than book accommodation separately?

Also, pre cruise and post cruise we would like to stay in Ft Lauderdale, ? best place to stay for a short visit to see the sites of Ft Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale...
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1. Re: stay-cruise-stay

PLEASE, PLEASE read these reviews before deciding to spend your money this way

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34227-d62…

If at all possible , see if you can save enough for a three day cruise on a nice ship - maybe Royal Carribean , NCL or Carnival. Those are real, clean and pleasant ships 9 not old converted ferry boats) and you use your ship as hotel. Many hotels used for theee cruise and stay rip off trips are overpriced hovels.

There is a competitor to Discovery now, Celebration , which I'm sorrry to say is equally bad- there are reviews of that here as well if you want to read them. I think most posters here would tie you up and lock you away if we could prevent you from making this mistake.

Chicago
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2. Re: stay-cruise-stay

Please be aware this is a ferry boat, not a cruise ship. On a sunny day, it's ok. On a bad day, it is almost miserable. If your expectations aren't too high, it might be tolerable.

scotland
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3. Re: stay-cruise-stay

Thank you for your advice. I will start researching other cruise options.

Chatham, Ontario
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4. Re: stay-cruise-stay

I completely agree with the advice you've been given!

If you give me the dates you're travelling, I'd be happy to do a quick price search and make other recommendations.

If you prefer to do it yourself, here's a website that makes the search easy:

http://vacationstogo.com/

When it comes to price, I also search several other online agencies which can be cheaper.

The ships likely to pop up on your search are Norwegian Sky, Majesty of the Seas, and Carnival Imagination. These sail from nearby Miami instead of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Please feel free to come over to the cruise forum and ask questions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i10703-Cruises.…

Edited: 8:24 am, February 13, 2010
Chatham, Ontario
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5. Re: stay-cruise-stay

Postscript: in July Grandeur of the Seas will be dong 4 day cruises from Fort Lauderdale. If it fits your budget, this would be my pick - great itinerary.

scotland
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6. Re: stay-cruise-stay

Thanks for your help. We are interested in a 3/4 day cruise to Bahamas or Key West/Mexico, leaving Ft Lauderdale 7th or 8th July, our dates are flexible.

My husband and I both qualify for the age 55 discount.

I have an American Passport but my husband is British, do you know if he requires an additional visa to enter Bahamas?

Chatham, Ontario
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7. Re: stay-cruise-stay

The one perfect fit would be Grandeur of the Seas departing Fort Lauderdale July 8 for Key West Florida and Cozumel Mexico

Royal Caribbean is currently offering outside cabins for the same price as inside on this sailing. RCCL is one of the lines which dose NOT allow discounting , but by shopping various online agencies, you can often get extra perks from the travel agencies.

A low deck cabin near the middle of the ship is preferable, and there are lots of cabins that qualify in "Category I" (2104, 2106, etc.) Cruise fare $459 + taxes of $85.77 = $544.77 pp x 2 One website I often use, SmartCruiser.com, was offering $90+ per cabin in on board credit (which you spend on the ship like cash).

Another alternative is Carnival Destiny, which has the same itinerary, and sails the same day, but sails from *Miami*. This ship would be $40 pp cheaper for an oceanview cabin.....or, for $40 pp MORE ($499) you could get a balcony cabin. Regarding Carnival, you can usually get a 10% discount on listed prices through online agencies like SmartCruiser, which would give you back $100. Carnival is also listing taxes and port fees as less for the same stops - $49.55 not $85.77. That will be due to sailing from Miami.

If you're looking to spend a little less, Carnival Imagination, Norwegian Sky, and Majesty of the Seas all leave *Miami* (not Fort Lauderdale) for 3 day cruises on July 9.

Norwegian Sky visits Nassau and private island Great Stirrup Cay. NCL is offering a free 2 category upgrade (which gets you from a basic inside cabin to a nicer inside cabin) plus a coupon booklet. (Experience has proved the booklet to be basically worthless). The free upgrade made Superior Inside Stateroom 7115 available, and got a price of $261.14 + taxes of $78.29 = $339.43 per person. x 2

Carnival Imagination overnights in Nassau - which gives you a great chance to explore nightlife. Regarding Carnival, you can usually get a 10% discount on listed prices through online agencies. Cheapest cabin is 1A which I don't recommend - upper and lower bunks. An "inside guarantee" means Carnival picks the cabin for you - many people find this results in getting a better (but usually still an INSIDE) cabin , but the risk it it may be in a noisy location. This would be priced at $319 + taxes $46.66 = $366.66 pp x 2 (discount would be $64 for both of you) Carnival cabins are generally larger than other lines.

If you want to pick your cabin, prices are $40 pp more, on up.

Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas visits Nassau and private island Coco Cay. Lowest price would be on a M cabin, $295 + $67.12 taxes = $362.21 each Similar on board credit as mentioned above.

If it was my choice, I'd go for the 4 day cruise, either Grandeur or Destiny. Reasons:

* 4 day cruises feel twice as long as 3 day. First day you unpack, last day you pack. On a 3 day, only one free day in between. On a 4 day - 2 free days in between. Much more relaxing

* Grandeur and Destiny are both rated as 4 star ships. The others are rated 3.5 star.

* Grandeur is the only ship which sails from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades). Not only is it more convenient for you, it's a much pleasanter port IMO. However, I might be tempted by the extra savings (and low price to upgrade to a balcony) to pick Destiny.

* visiting Key West normally involves a 4 hour drive each way. It's difficult to do in a single day, because you need time to stop and gawk along the way, as well as time to tour when you get there. Overnight accommodations in Key West for a single night can be hard to come by - many places have a several day minimum - and there are few bargains. A cruise stop can be the cheapest and easiest way to see this unique town.

Neither the Bahamas nor Mexico require visas from U.S. or U.K. citizens. Just your passport.

Hope that helps.

8. Re: stay-cruise-stay

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