The wife and I are thinking about a Caribbean cruise

BULLDOG

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First decide what you want the trip for. If you want to spend a few days on a floating hotel, take the cruse. If you want to visit the islands, fly down there and take a ferry or commuter plane back and forth between the islands. The cost is about the same. The islands aren't that far apart, and I get to see and do more of the the stuff I enjoy that way. You won't get to ride the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, see a boiling lake, or Trafalger Falls if you're on a 2 hour excursion from a boat
 

malnila

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Hi. I'm new but I thought I'd chime in. Hope you don't mind. I love cruising and most cruises I know DO include meals but not drinks/alcohol or shore excursions. Those excursions lead by the ship are very expensive. I've been on a few to the Caribbean and no matter where you go, IMO, it's fun and lots to see. Also, if the price is making you hesitate, please remember that you divide that price by how many nights/days. Most, even those including meals, are a bit cheaper or equivalent to a 7-day stay at a hotel. Most the cruises I've taken are through Royal Caribbean and I've never had a problem or gotten sick. I'm not so sure about those Windjammers though since they don't have stabilizers like cruise ships. Oh, if you're taking kids, try the Disney Cruise Line. Good luck and have fun.
 
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miketx

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Hi. I'm new but I thought I'd chime in. Hope you don't mind. I love cruising and most cruises I know DO include meals but not drinks/alcohol or shore excursions. Those excursions lead by the ship are very expensive. I've been on a few to the Caribbean and no matter where you go, IMO, it's fun and lots to see. Also, if the price is making you hesitate, please remember that you divide that price by how many nights/days. Most, even those including meals, are a bit cheaper or equivalent to a 7-day stay at a hotel. Most the cruises I've taken are through Royal Caribbean and I've never had a problem or gotten sick. I'm not so sure about those Windjammers though since they don't have stabilizers like cruise ships. Oh, if you're taking kids, try the Disney Cruise Line. Good luck and have fun.
Thank you. We'll probably go on a cruise ship. We're getting to old for much roughing it type of stuff.
 

malnila

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I have to tell you I've been cruising for over 40 years and to me, it's the ideal way to travel, especially as you get older. Most of the places I've cruised to recently, I've already been to so while the crowds are onshore, I enjoy the pool and activities onboard ship. The other plus is you do exactly as little or as much as you want. Who knew I loved playing bingo (LOL - also additional expense but fun).
 

malnila

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But the cruise ship IS your mode of transportation and while you're waiting at the airport for the plane to leave, I'm in the bar waiting for the ship to leave. And you do as much or as little as you want.
 

westwall

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I won't be for at least a year, but I'd love to do it and so would she. We'd like to travel on a large sailing ship, but from what I have found out, that may be impractical for us. Most of those cruises are very expensive and usually you have to fly in and out to get to the cruise adding to the cost. I don't want to go on one of those floating cities but we will if that's all we can get. We can spend 8 to 10K and would love to get close in to some of the deserted islands and take tons of pictures and also see some of the local customs and natural sights.
Any suggestions?

Prefer this:



But I guess this would do:

How far do you live from a cruise ship terminal?
We live about 350 miles from the closest one, so we could drive, but it's a "floating hotel" kind of ship.
I've ridden ships in typhoons and it's no fun. A cruise ship has stability systems that keep the ship from pitching and rolling and sometimes you think the ship isn't moving. You could almost play billiards on it.
My wife and I use a tour service called Christian Tours who have bus, train and ship tours and go all over the world. We've used that tour group for about 15 years and have gone on 6 cruises, 7 bus tours and in 2018 we're taking a train tour thruAlaska and Canada. Here is an example using the Christian Tours website. There are many good deals.


Christian Tours - Bus tours, Adventure tours, International tours, Christian travel - Newton, North Carolina

Thanks, look at this crap!





Ahhh, heck. That's nothing! Take a gander at this!

 

strollingbones

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fly to the islands and charter a sailboard with capt...and hope they dont just toss you overboard....cruise ships are not friendly to the photo traveler....you have to be there and here at certain times....booze is pricey...and when you get off the boat...you get off the boat with a herd of others...
 
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miketx

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I just wanted opinions, that's all. We may not even go. Might buy a motor home instead.
 

Fueri

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Abaco Islands

This is a small chain east of Grand Bahama. It's about an hour flight out of Fort Lauderdale or West Palm beach.

It has deserted islands east of great abaco island that you can hop out and explore. These are cays that form the eastern edge of the Sea of Abaco, which lies between Great Abaco and the cays. The Sea of Abaco is easily navigable on a DIY basis or you can hire a boat and captain to cruise you around either for the entire time or on a daily basis. We've always rented a house, but I know people do cruise it also.

This is one of the few places I've found that will actually allow you rent a boat, which is why I went there in the first place. This is due to the Sea of Abaco, which is fairly protected, uniformly shallow @ around 15ft, reasonably easy to navigate (plenty of maps available) and full of other folks if you get your ass in trouble (worst case, it's shallow so you can toss an anchor out and get on the radio). We rent a boat, fish, dive, island hop etc.

There are also great beach houses for rent both on Great Abaco and the outer Cays. If you don't care about being right on the beach housing gets less expensive. I've stayed at a few and could recommend a couple, based on what you are looking for in terms of location, atmosphere, proximity to civilization etc. For instance, Great Guana Cay is party Central, Lubber's Quarters is for fishermen (beaches suck, more like reef than sand), but super close to the deep stuff for marlin and other big daddy gamefish, Green Turtle Cay is a good balance wiith a small town, plenty of bars, restaurants, great beaches and easy access to fishing, diving, boating. We've stayed on Great Abaco also, but have kind of migrated to the outer keys.

I don't know what you guys are looking to do, but you can fish (DIY or hire), dive (great, clear water and a huge barrier reef), chill on some of the most pristine, deserted beaches you will find in this hemisphere, or party like a rock star.

we've done all of that, and then some in several trips to the Abacos at this point. High season is Juneish, with a sailing regatta going on or some such shit. It's also calmer in terms of wind and seas and the mahi and sailfish are running. December, Jan, Feb is low season. Less people, but more wind, which can be a bitch if you're looking to DIY cruise or fish or whatever.

see this forum abacoforum.com for more info. If you have questions just post them there. Someone will answer them, or PM me. I love the Abacos......
 
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miketx

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Abaco Islands

This is a small chain east of Grand Bahama. It's about an hour flight out of Fort Lauderdale or West Palm beach.

It has deserted islands east of great abaco island that you can hop out and explore. These are cays that form the eastern edge of the Sea of Abaco, which lies between Great Abaco and the cays. The Sea of Abaco is easily navigable on a DIY basis or you can hire a boat and captain to cruise you around either for the entire time or on a daily basis. We've always rented a house, but I know people do cruise it also.

This is one of the few places I've found that will actually allow you rent a boat, which is why I went there in the first place. This is due to the Sea of Abaco, which is fairly protected, uniformly shallow @ around 15ft, reasonably easy to navigate (plenty of maps available) and full of other folks if you get your ass in trouble (worst case, it's shallow so you can toss an anchor out and get on the radio). We rent a boat, fish, dive, island hop etc.

There are also great beach houses for rent both on Great Abaco and the outer Cays. If you don't care about being right on the beach housing gets less expensive. I've stayed at a few and could recommend a couple, based on what you are looking for in terms of location, atmosphere, proximity to civilization etc. For instance, Great Guana Cay is party Central, Lubber's Quarters is for fishermen (beaches suck, more like reef than sand), but super close to the deep stuff for marlin and other big daddy gamefish, Green Turtle Cay is a good balance wiith a small town, plenty of bars, restaurants, great beaches and easy access to fishing, diving, boating. We've stayed on Great Abaco also, but have kind of migrated to the outer keys.

I don't know what you guys are looking to do, but you can fish (DIY or hire), dive (great, clear water and a huge barrier reef), chill on some of the most pristine, deserted beaches you will find in this hemisphere, or party like a rock star.

we've done all of that, and then some in several trips to the Abacos at this point. High season is Juneish, with a sailing regatta going on or some such shit. It's also calmer in terms of wind and seas and the mahi and sailfish are running. December, Jan, Feb is low season. Less people, but more wind, which can be a bitch if you're looking to DIY cruise or fish or whatever.

see this forum abacoforum.com for more info. If you have questions just post them there. Someone will answer them, or PM me. I love the Abacos......
Thank you, I'll check it out.
 

Fueri

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Abaco Islands

This is a small chain east of Grand Bahama. It's about an hour flight out of Fort Lauderdale or West Palm beach.

It has deserted islands east of great abaco island that you can hop out and explore. These are cays that form the eastern edge of the Sea of Abaco, which lies between Great Abaco and the cays. The Sea of Abaco is easily navigable on a DIY basis or you can hire a boat and captain to cruise you around either for the entire time or on a daily basis. We've always rented a house, but I know people do cruise it also.

This is one of the few places I've found that will actually allow you rent a boat, which is why I went there in the first place. This is due to the Sea of Abaco, which is fairly protected, uniformly shallow @ around 15ft, reasonably easy to navigate (plenty of maps available) and full of other folks if you get your ass in trouble (worst case, it's shallow so you can toss an anchor out and get on the radio). We rent a boat, fish, dive, island hop etc.

There are also great beach houses for rent both on Great Abaco and the outer Cays. If you don't care about being right on the beach housing gets less expensive. I've stayed at a few and could recommend a couple, based on what you are looking for in terms of location, atmosphere, proximity to civilization etc. For instance, Great Guana Cay is party Central, Lubber's Quarters is for fishermen (beaches suck, more like reef than sand), but super close to the deep stuff for marlin and other big daddy gamefish, Green Turtle Cay is a good balance wiith a small town, plenty of bars, restaurants, great beaches and easy access to fishing, diving, boating. We've stayed on Great Abaco also, but have kind of migrated to the outer keys.

I don't know what you guys are looking to do, but you can fish (DIY or hire), dive (great, clear water and a huge barrier reef), chill on some of the most pristine, deserted beaches you will find in this hemisphere, or party like a rock star.

we've done all of that, and then some in several trips to the Abacos at this point. High season is Juneish, with a sailing regatta going on or some such shit. It's also calmer in terms of wind and seas and the mahi and sailfish are running. December, Jan, Feb is low season. Less people, but more wind, which can be a bitch if you're looking to DIY cruise or fish or whatever.

see this forum abacoforum.com for more info. If you have questions just post them there. Someone will answer them, or PM me. I love the Abacos......
Thank you, I'll check it out.

Sure. Abaco is the shit. I found this place about 6-7 years ago when looking for a place I could rent a boat to diy fish and dive. Haven't gone anywhere else in the carribbean since.

I don't like crowds, but love the carribbean. I mean, who doesn't, but you get the best of both worlds here. We get a house, sometimes with friends, sometimes on our own, stock it with food and booze and it ends up being not all that crazy expensive. We're airline mile whores also, so normally we pay nothing on flights.

Decent beach house maybe 2500/week, food, booze another 1,000, boat another 1500 or so, daytrips, whatever can be more, car rental (or golf cart on the outer cays) another 300-400, throw in another 1,000 for who knows whats. All told I'd say the beach house route is about 5-6k per week, if you're renting a boat for the entire time and it's just the two of you.

Go with another couple, or an even larger group, and all that comes down quite a bit. If you don't stay on the beach, knock off about 1,000 from the housing. I've never done it cruiser style, so I don't know what that would look like but the folks on the forum could point you in the right direction to figure that out.
 

heil hitler

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I won't be for at least a year, but I'd love to do it and so would she. We'd like to travel on a large sailing ship, but from what I have found out, that may be impractical for us. Most of those cruises are very expensive and usually you have to fly in and out to get to the cruise adding to the cost. I don't want to go on one of those floating cities but we will if that's all we can get. We can spend 8 to 10K and would love to get close in to some of the deserted islands and take tons of pictures and also see some of the local customs and natural sights.
Any suggestions?

Prefer this:



But I guess this would do:

Cruises never appealed to me. I have never been on one...trapped in a boat with a bunch of people...yich!
I wouldn't worry too much about air ticket prices though. Fuel prices are one of the leading cost drivers for airline tickets. Oil is trading around $50/b keeping the tickets moderately priced.

CheapTickets Travel: Vacations, Cheap Flights, Airline Tickets & Airfares
I have used this site at least 50 times...good prices. Always buy from a consolidator.

If you are ever interested in getting over to Asia let me know, I can give you a lot of pointers. If you want island hopping, next to Greece, SE Asia is island hopping heaven. Hire yourself a local fisherman or tour guide for $15-25 a day. Indonesia, Malay, Thai...gorgeous man. The wild east...that's traveling.
 

malnila

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I just wanted opinions, that's all. We may not even go. Might buy a motor home instead.
Now getting a motor home sure appeals to me. Why not see our country. Also, I only see it getting more difficult to travel overseas in the next few years. It is what it is.
 

SeaGal

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I won't be for at least a year, but I'd love to do it and so would she. We'd like to travel on a large sailing ship, but from what I have found out, that may be impractical for us. Most of those cruises are very expensive and usually you have to fly in and out to get to the cruise adding to the cost. I don't want to go on one of those floating cities but we will if that's all we can get. We can spend 8 to 10K and would love to get close in to some of the deserted islands and take tons of pictures and also see some of the local customs and natural sights.
Any suggestions?

Prefer this:



But I guess this would do:

Suggestions? Yes. All cruise lines are not created equal. It's not the size of the ship, it's the passenger to crew ratio. It's the # of overall passengers on board.

Check out the offerings on Cunard. I've taken several voyages on both the Queen Mary II and the Queen Victoria. Never do you feel as though you are on a crowded, noisy ship...because you aren't The service is excellent and the ships are elegant. Unless you live within driving distance of NYC or Ft. Lauderdale you will need to fly in. Those are the only two East Coast ports of embarkation.

We basically sailed '3rd class' (Britannia balcony) but always felt royally treated.
Cruise Vacations
 

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