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Appreciate feedback on our 1st cruise holiday.

woodyren

Deckhand
Recently semi retired and have never been on a cruse before but have had plenty of encouragement from friends or colleagues to take one. So we are not only taking one but have strung 4 of them almost back to back.
Would really appreciate any good or bad issues with this and handy hints along the way.

Nov 1-Nov 16 Rome to Miami on Celebrity Reflection (inside) need to save some cash. Berthing at Miami scheduled for 6am.
Nov 16 -Nov 23 Miami -Miami Bahamas-Caribbean Oasis of the Sea (park view balcony ) outside too expensive inside not that much cheaper
Nov 24-Dec 1 Miami - Miami Carnival Glory Mexico, Columbia Belize etc Balcony.
Dec 8-Dec 23 Miami LA Norwegian Star Balcony.

Biggest issue before we finally pull the trigger on this is the connection between Reflection and Oasis in Miami-Ft Lauderdale. Travel agent says little risk. Both lines owned by same company. How often are ships late.

Love to hear from others who may be traveling on any of the ships. Experienced cruisers very welcome to provide advice. Also happy to talk about potential sharing of shore excursion or transfer costs.

We are Australian citizens, live in Sydney.

Thanks in advance for your replies.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Sounds like you're jumping in with both feet! You're going to have a great time. The cruise lines you've selected are quite different and you'll have a different cruise experience on each.

The Oasis sails from Ft. Lauderdale, not Miami. Getting to/from Ft. Lauderdale and Miami won't take long. You can literally see Miami from Ft. Lauderdale. I think it's about 20 miles.

I don't know if Celebrity will offer transfers to Ft. Lauderdale but the worst that happens is that you could take a transfer to FLL (Ft. Lauderdale airport) and then take a taxi to the Oasis. It's only a 10-15 minute drive. You can see the Oasis from the highway into the airport. If the Celebrity ship arrives at 6AM, you'll probably disembark by about 8AM which will give you plenty of time to get to the Oasis. You probably won't be able to drop off your luggage until at least 10AM as the porters are busy with disembarking passengers and would just set your luggage aside. Not something you want to do.

It's unfortunate but none of the cruise lines you've chosen allow you to go directly to your cabin upon boarding. Carnival does but for a fee. Its called "Faster to the Fun" but isn't available on all Carnival ships. Expect to be directed to the Lido and buffet to sit and wait until about 2PM. Once you drop off your luggage for the Oasis, you might consider going to a nearby hotel or restaurant where you can relax and watch the boats. Almost just outside the entrance to Port Everglades is a really nice restaurant called the "Bimini Boatyard" that's not expensive. It'll cost less than $10 for a taxi to or from the Oasis.

Have a great cruise experience!
 

jack100

Deckhand
Its good that you have such confidence that you decided to take 4 cruises but I would be interested to know why you decided to start your cruising experience so far away from Australia.
I'm sure you are well aware that lots of different cruises start & finish from the port of Sydney & I notice in November that several major cruise lines ( Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean have cruises starting from there so I am curious to know why you didn't begin with a cruise from there ?

+++ big saving on airfares which would have meant more to spend on a better stateroom & no worries on luggage weight of cases that you might get when flying.

Rome is a great place to start your cruise from & the cruise will start from Civitavecchia which is easy to get to by train if you don't want the expense of a taxi.
If possible try to give yourselves 2/3 days in rome before the cruise as there is so much to see.
There is a possibility of slight delays when you reach Miami because you have to go through the usual procedures of entering the USA and depending on how many other ships have also arrived, the process of collecting your luggage and waiting in line might take longer than you think.
I agree with your travel agent that you should be ok and it's good advice from Pam that the Oasis departs from Ft Lauderdale.
 

woodyren

Deckhand
Thanks Pam and jack.

Jack. There were no cruises from Sydney that I could find that linked in. The cruises from Sydney at this time of year are also much more expensive than those from USA ports and through USA discount sites. We actually started out looking at a South pacific or NZ cruise out of Sydney BUT I then found a couple of very well priced repositioning Trans Atlantic cruises. We ended up choosing Celebrity over a similarly priced Costa cruise. I have also wanted to do a Panama canal transit so when we looked into the TA on Reflection I noticed there was a cruise to LA via Panama Canal 3 weeks or so later and then we just filled in the gaps with a few local cruises and will also spend a week (not sure where) in Florida between the two. Also once in LA we can spend 8 days there and do Vegas Grand Canyon or other places (still to be planned) As the cheapest by far air fare was through Beijing we can also spend 2 weeks in China (where we regularly visit and have a place to stay) on the way to Rome breaking up the flight.
So we end up with 11 weeks away and get to spend 2 weeks in China, 2 weeks in the USA, 4 days in Rome along with 43 days on cruise lines.
 
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