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Eastern or Western?

L

Lollipop's Mom

Guest
#1
Looking at various cruises for January 2006, but leaning with Disney or Carnival. Mom & 9 yr old daughter (mature). We would not be doing excursions - just want to lay on beaches and relax, and also do some souvienier type shopping. I have read about the ports and really can't decide. Thanks.
Also, which one could we expect better weather for in January? (basing it on DCL's ports of call ..

Eastern
Ports of Call: Departs From Port Canaveral, Florida visiting Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Castaway Cay (Disney Private Island)

Or...

Western
Departs From Port Canaveral, Florida visiting Key West, Florida; George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel; Castaway Cay (Disney Private Island)
 
N

Natalia

Guest
#2
Personally, I like the western itinerary, I've done it 3 times. But I like it because its more fun. However, if you dont care about the excursions then I would just go for the better price. Why is it that you dont want to do any excursions? Im not trying to get too personal, but I was wondering if it were a matter of costs, then you could find a better cruise price on another line and have the savings for doing a few excursions. Either way, it will be a great trip. I hope you have a wonderful time!
 
L

Lollipop's Mom

Guest
#3
Well one thing is the cost....but the other thing is... I just want to do our own thing. We HATE guided tours!
We just did Disneyland/Hollywood for 10 days for this years January vacation (we plan to vacation every January - best time for me to get a couple weeks off), and by the time we got home we were both exhausted. We have decided to make next years vacation something relaxing where we can do stuff if we feel like it, or just lay on a beach if we want. I am now REALLY leaning with the Carnival Triumph Western after reading alot of reviews. The price is right, and they have lots of options if we do decide to do an excursion. I like the sounds of just going to Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville for a day too....that is the type of thing we would like to do. Also, I don't really want to be forking over 100s on extra excursions, when we will be just as happy to have fun at a beach swimming and sunning for the day. Thanks for your input!!
 
N

Natalia

Guest
#4
I've heard the newer Carnival ships, such as the Triumph, are really nice. I don't personally know, I've never sailed with Carnival. But I think the price would have to be cheaper than the Disney ones you were looking at. I've not been to Margaritaville, but make sure you ask around before taking your 9 year old there, Im not sure the environment is conducive to kids. If you do decide on the western itinerary, I would highly recommend doing Stingray City in Grand Cayman with Captain Marvins. Its a fantastic tour, costs is around $30ish for an adult, and it is an experience of a lifetime... provided your daughter wouldn't be too scared to swim with the rays. The ships tours usually have around 100 or more on them, but the Capt Marv's usually has 12-15 people, much nicer. Cozumel is great, rent a jeep (they are open-air, way fun!) and drive around on your own, you could hit all kinds of beaches or just plop down at one and stay as long as you like and not have to worry about getting a taxi. Good luck with your decision.
 
M

Mbandy

Guest
#5
We went to Eastern Caribbean Last week (well Jan 23) Weather was not that great. I have a friend who lives in St Croix who says that this in not their best weather time of year.

I'm with Nat... stick with Western Caribbean in January :thumb

Happy Cruising,

Michael
 
S

sailboat

Guest
#6
Well here is my two cents worth. If I knew someone was going to the Carib for the first time I'd vote to send them to the EC--it's more exotic, more like what you want a tropical paradise to be. The WC is more like, well, a theme park. Not that there is anything wrong with that! It's all according to taste and my tastes are for lush, sparsely populated beaches, laid back shopping, and maybe lunch or a cool drink at an interesting shore cafe that is NOT a chain.
 
S

SassyGirl

Guest
#7
I' ve been to both and like the Western Caribbean more - especially Key West and Cozumel! The Eastern route was okay, but there wasn't as much to do on the islands, unless you are really into shopping.
 
H

Hal

Guest
#8
We have done both the Eastern and Western routes and different cruise lines. I agree with the previous poster that the Eastern is more shopping oriented. As far as guided tours go, we are independent travelers, even with our children, however, many ship excursions or those bought independently are nothing more than transportation to and from a point of interest. The beach is great but don't lose out on the experience of a foreign land by going to other places. Out of the way shops, restaurants and the like are great in both the eastern and western. We, however, prefer the western caribbean because of its historical sites and ruins. There is something very adventuresome climbing a mayan pyriamid in the middle of the jungle vs going to the beach or to shop. Also, at some of the eastern ports, the working port and downtown are such that the beaches are farther away and inconvenient. But, either itinerary is great and we are planning this year's christmas cruise again.

Hal
Voyager - Christmas 2004
Zaandam - Christmas 2003
Norwegian Sea - Christmas 2002
Monarch - Christmas 2001
Color Festivale - Summer 2001
 
H

hkolln

Guest
#9
I also have to agree with some of the posters...Eastern is much better for relaxation and beaches.
It is also cheaper then the western from what I've seen.
We have been on 4 cruise (3 carnival and 1 Royal Caribbean) and we did 3 western and 1 eastern and the eastern was the BEST! Western is more like shopping stops (especially cozumel!) and not much to do unless you go off away from the main port areas.....
Our next cruise in in March 2006 and it's going to the Eastern cause we are all westerned out! LOL

But if you want relaxation and want some nice beaches then Eastern is much better.
 
C

Cruzman

Guest
#10
Having been on a total of 19 cruises, all of which either to the western, eastern Car. , or to the Bahamas, I give an edge to the eastern Caribbean Itineraries. I like the scenery better, the beaches are more like what one would expect of a tropical paradise and the shopping is much better than in the western ports. Having said that, I'll do the western again in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, we are booked on the Veendam for a western Car. Itinerary in November. In April we shall return to the eastern Car. on the Carnival Glory.
 
M

MDXter

Guest
#11
I have been to only four cruises to both Western and Eastern and i would have to give the edge to the Eastern. I am partial to the Eastern not only b/c I have a condo on Sapphire Beach, but I liked the scenery and more options as far as port of calls. You would still have fun no matter which side you pick.