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Greek Isles or Norwegian Fjords cruise with teenagers?


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With the release of new itineraries on my mind, I am choosing to leave whatever was 2020 behind and plan forward to the summer of 2022.  We have several options that we are tossing around for a summer sailing with our two girls.  They will be 14 and 16 by that time and both have never been to Europe.  With those ages in mind, what itinerary would be best for them at that age?  I know that I don't want to do Western Med with them yet.  I want to push that back to the summer of 2024.  So my options are:

1)  Rebook a sailing to Norway, since I am almost sure that we will not be able to go on the RCBlog GC this coming July.

2)  Book a sailing to the Greek Isles.

Hubby and I are not really leaning in one direction or another.  We have never sailed either itinerary so it would be new for us too.  I think it would come down to which itinerary appeals more to teenagers.  What do you all think?  Open to any suggestions. 🙂

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That's such a tough question, not knowing them specifically. I do not have kids, nor have I done any formal cruises to either place (just ferries in Greece, and a couple of sightseeing cruises in Norway), but I have been to both Greece and Norway several times each and I would, without a doubt, choose Norway. I prefer that scenery and that weather. I would expect a Norwegian cruise to be a bit older audience, probably less families, and be a bit quieter. That may or may not be a good thing, not knowing your family. 

Just personally, I prefer Norway to Greece in just about every way. 

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24 minutes ago, Gears said:

Norway will be a Radiance class ship.

I should have stated that ship would be irrelevant.  We have always known that if we cruise back to Europe, it would be on a non-Oasis, non-Quantum class ship.  We would rather save the money for excursions.  The RCBlog GC was the exception, but sadly I cannot see us heading over there in 9 months.

23 minutes ago, Zacharius said:

I would expect a Norwegian cruise to be a bit older audience, probably less families, and be a bit quieter.

Quiet, we like that lol.  Thank you for the suggestion.

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Which ship, what kind of cabins, what ports of call?  

Both should be of interest to teenagers who are new to theses regions but....  only you know your kids and if these destinations will appeal to them or for what reasons.  I have a twenty something that still considers Alaska "meh" because it isn't a sun tanning destination with beaches.  One day she will regret choosing not to sail there at no cost to her.

Will your kids seriously lose interest or be disappointed if you made a choice and announced your decision to them?

I think it's great you are considering them but unless they are paying towards the bill I'd do what you and hubster desire and then find a way to present in a way that they will be interested.

 

"Stubborn Canadian Scorpio/#teamCK/#teamDeck17" - I think you have room for one or two more labels in there...

 

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18 minutes ago, twangster said:

Which ship, what kind of cabins, what ports of call?  

Ship - doesn't matter, whatever ends up cheapest when itineraries get released

Cabins - likely a suite of course lol

Ports - need to wait for itinerary to be released but doing to pre-planning at this point, want to narrow it down to at least a destination instead of just saying, "Let's cruise to Europe."

20 minutes ago, twangster said:

I think it's great you are considering them but unless they are paying towards the bill I'd do what you and hubster desire and then find a way to present in a way that they will be interested.

I like the way you think! lol

21 minutes ago, twangster said:

"Stubborn Canadian Scorpio/#teamCK/#teamDeck17" - I think you have room for one or two more labels in there...

🤣 We'll see...haha

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Do they love the beach or are they more into a great park?  We are hoping to take my 18 year old son to Alaska in June.  He already missed out on a normal senior year and is having a weird freshmen experience in college.  He is looking forward to Alaska but also wants to visit Norway some day.

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8 minutes ago, mjb1127 said:

Do they love the beach or are they more into a great park?  We are hoping to take my 18 year old son to Alaska in June.  He already missed out on a normal senior year and is having a weird freshmen experience in college.  He is looking forward to Alaska but also wants to visit Norway some day.

No one likes the beach  lol. They are pool kids. The older one is a city girl, the younger one loves nature. They are opposite in almost every way. Except for a love a cruising. 🙂

If it were up to my older one, we would be cruising Western Med. I want to hold off on that till 2024 because that will likely turn into a really big vacation. I will more than likely combine a land vacation and cruise with that.  So in the end, I might go with what the younger one wants, which is Norway. 

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3 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Neither lol. They are pool kids. The older one is a city girl, the younger one loves nature. They are opposite in almost every way. Except for a love a cruising. 🙂

If it were up to my older one, we would be cruising Western Med. I want to hold off on that till 2024 because that will likely turn into a really big vacation. I will more than likely combine a land vacation and cruise with that.  So in the end, I might go with what the younger one wants, which is Norway. 

I'm always looking for a cruise mom... adopt me!  I want to do both!  (I had both booked but...)

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

No one likes the beach  lol. They are pool kids. The older one is a city girl, the younger one loves nature. They are opposite in almost every way. Except for a love a cruising. 🙂

If it were up to my older one, we would be cruising Western Med. I want to hold off on that till 2024 because that will likely turn into a really big vacation. I will more than likely combine a land vacation and cruise with that.  So in the end, I might go with what the younger one wants, which is Norway. 

No beaches, city, nature...Norway just fits the bill if you can get one that includes Oslo or, at least, Bergen to fulfill the city (Bergen being a bit liberal usage of the word "city", but I digress). Outside of those two places, pretty much the entirety of Norway is nature and lacks what most people would consider a relaxing beach to sit on. 

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How much do your kids like walking around? My understanding of the Greek Isles is that there is a lot of walking to get to and around any of the architectural ruins or other historical sites that are part of the draw. 

With a Greek cruise, would you just want to do those islands, or include stops in Croatia and/or Montenegro? Both are amazing based on pictures I've seen, but doing those will likely mean being on a Vision class ship out of Venice whatever port has replaced Venice. Or sail on Celebrity. 🙂  I seem to recall that Royal's "Greek Isles" cruises that don't include Croatia / Montenegro only visit one or two of the islands (want to say Athens and another, but not Mykonos), then spend the rest of the time in Italy. To get to Mykonos, where you have those gorgeous rows of whitewashed houses with the blue domed roofs, you need to go on a longer trip that includes those other stops.

A cruise to Norway will probably mean departing from Copenhagen or Amsterdam to get a good itinerary that visits a decent number of the ports and fjords, and as other noted it'll also mean sailing Radiance class. But that's a good thing, IMO -- Radiance has all of those great views from everywhere, which you'll want on a sailing day going up and down the fjords. I'd personally pick Norway over Greece in July, just because of the heat in the Med.

7 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Cabins - likely a suite of course lol

If you really want to focus on excursions with that trip, get two balconies and put the money you saved into the excursions. 🙂 On a Radiance ship you won't have any major suite amenities to leverage anyway.

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25 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

How much do your kids like walking around? My understanding of the Greek Isles is that there is a lot of walking to get to and around any of the architectural ruins or other historical sites that are part of the draw. 

With a Greek cruise, would you just want to do those islands, or include stops in Croatia and/or Montenegro? Both are amazing based on pictures I've seen, but doing those will likely mean being on a Vision class ship out of Venice whatever port has replaced Venice. Or sail on Celebrity. 🙂  I seem to recall that Royal's "Greek Isles" cruises that don't include Croatia / Montenegro only visit one or two of the islands (want to say Athens and another, but not Mykonos), then spend the rest of the time in Italy. To get to Mykonos, where you have those gorgeous rows of whitewashed houses with the blue domed roofs, you need to go on a longer trip that includes those other stops.

A cruise to Norway will probably mean departing from Copenhagen or Amsterdam to get a good itinerary that visits a decent number of the ports and fjords, and as other noted it'll also mean sailing Radiance class. But that's a good thing, IMO -- Radiance has all of those great views from everywhere, which you'll want on a sailing day going up and down the fjords. I'd personally pick Norway over Greece in July, just because of the heat in the Med.

If you really want to focus on excursions with that trip, get two balconies and put the money you saved into the excursions. 🙂 On a Radiance ship you won't have any major suite amenities to leverage anyway.

Great points you have brought up to consider. I think the walking is a given. Both kids know that any cruise to Europe is going to be port heavy and not their typical Caribbean cruise. We have told them that for years now. Going to have to take a really close look at the new itineraries when they come out. I think if we did Greece, Santorini is a must do. That has been on my bucket list for years now. 
 

And about Radiance class, there are some two bedroom aft suites that are calling me. We’ll see. 😉

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28 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Great points you have brought up to consider. I think the walking is a given. Both kids know that any cruise to Europe is going to be port heavy and not their typical Caribbean cruise. We have told them that for years now. Going to have to take a really close look at the new itineraries when they come out. I think if we did Greece, Santorini is a must do. That has been on my bucket list for years now. 
 

And about Radiance class, there are some two bedroom aft suites that are calling me. We’ll see. 😉

Clearly you should do both Greece and Norway.  

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I think if we did Greece, Santorini is a must do.

I just did a quick check of the July and August 2021 sailings that include (or at least mention) the Greek Isles. Found these, going from longest to shortest:

  • 8-night Greek Isles Cruise (Rhapsody of the Seas - Ravenna; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Santorini; Mykonos; Olympia; Koper, Slovenia; Ravenna)
  • 7-night Greece and Croatia (Rhapsody of the Seas - Ravenna; Kotor; Mykonos; Santorini; Split, Croatia; Venice)
  • 7-night Greek Isles (Rhapsody of the Seas - Ravenna; Kotor; Corfu; Athens; Mykonos; Argostoli, Greece; Ravenna)
  • 7-night Greece and Italy with Late Stays in Santorini and Mykonos (Odyssey of the Seas - Rome; Santorini; Mykonos; Athens; Naples (Capri), Italy; Rome)
  • 6-night Greece and Croatia (Rhapsody of the Seas - Ravenna; Split, Croatia; Athens; Olympia; Ravenna)

As you can see, with one exception you have to do a Vision class ship (in 2021, at least; who knows how things will be in 2022), but that one exception is a a pretty good one to have available. But let's take a look at Celebrity in that same window, where as Diamond on Royal you're already at Elite level:

  • 11-night Italy, Turkey, and Greek Islands (Celebrity Edge - Rome; Messina, Italy; Santorini; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Istanbul (not Constantinople); Mykonos; Athens; Naples, Italy; Rome)
  • 11-night Italy, Malta, and Greek Islands (Celebrity Infinity - Venice; Rijeka, Croatia; Split, Croatia; Santorini; Mykonos;Athens; Catania, Sicily; Valletta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain)
  • 10-night Venice, Turkey, and Greek Islands (Celebrity Constellation - Venice; Olympia; Santorini; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Mykonos; Athens; Chania, Crete, Greece; Zakynthos, Greece; Venice

Much better options for seeing the Greek Isles with Celebrity, and you get to enjoy all the recently refurbished / newly built ships. Norway has the same kind of differences in itineraries between Royal and X, and I'd seriously give X the longer look if this is a trip about the itinerary. It's what I'm doing for my 2022 plans. And if you really need that suite, the lowest-end Sky Suites on X are way better for amenities than a Jr Suite on Royal while still not breaking the bank.

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11 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Sky Suites on X are way better for amenities than a Jr Suite on Royal

No comparison.  Sky Suites offer a lot more than even a GS on non-Oasis, non-Quantum.  To be blunt GS on older Royal ships has never enticed me but Sky Suites on X did when I was merely gold on Royal.  It's why I chose X for my first Alaska cruise.  Sky Suites were less and you get more. Hmmmm.    I could have climbed faster with C&A but chose X back then.  No regrets.  

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Can't beat a Quantum with teens. I have 13yo and 17yo and they by far enjoyed Ovation the most, even more than Harmony, If it were me I'd be doing Greek Isles on Odyssey!

The best thing is that now instead of being bored watching them compete in SeaPlex activities you can now sit up in Playmakers and drink at the same time! 😉

Just waiting on the 2022 itineraries to book myself.

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9 hours ago, JLMoran said:

As you can see, with one exception you have to do a Vision class ship (in 2021, at least; who knows how things will be in 2022), but that one exception is a a pretty good one to have available.

I compared those itineraries too over the weekend but I hesitate to mull over them too much because a lot can change in 2022.  I would rather focus right now on narrowing down destinations rather than worry about what ship will take me there.  I saw the Odyssey itinerary a while back but honestly it doesn't appeal to me.  I have always been of the mindset that when I go back to cruise Europe, it would be on older ship without all the bells and whistles.  I would never want to pay the premium to sail Europe on Odyssey or Oasis class unless there was a special circumstance like the RCBlog GC or some itinerary that I could not pass up.  And we would all feel really torn between spending time on the ship and exploring the ports if we were to sail a newer ship so we would try to take that factor out completely.  I know it is hard to believe, but sailing non-Oasis/Quantum class in Europe does not bother us one bit. lol

And about X, while I definitely want to try that one day, this year really took a hit to the climb on C&A ladder, so not yet, and especially not with my kids.

2 hours ago, Big Tule said:

I would lean towards a Baltic cruise ..........Copenhagen as a great starting point..... the itineraries are spectacular and your whole family would be blown away with most if not all of the stopovers

Funny you mention that.  I have wanted a Baltic cruise forever, ever since the first time we cruise Europe.  But not with the kids, that is a Hubby and I cruise. 

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4 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

 Nice sleuthing on the Greek isles itins, Joe.  If Odyssey has a similar itin in the summer of 2022, you have a winner, IMO !

Actually, I would be more inclined to do the Celebrity Edge or Infinity 11-night sailings. Remember, I'm still an "itinerary BAE" guy. 😉 

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