fly777s
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Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:52 am

When I say cruisers, I am referring to those who cruise on cruise ships.... not the other cruiser!  

With spring break rapidly approaching, it's time to begin making plans. It's been my yearly custom for the last several years to take a cruise since they are relatively inexpensive and make it incredibly easy to relax, overindulge, and get a killer tan.

I've cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and NCL. The last two cruises I've taken were with NCL. I enjoy their "Freestyle" concept as I like the abundance of dining options and casual atmosphere. The issue I have with NCL is that I've visited every Caribbean port they call on, so their itineraries are of no interest to me.

I've been looking at itineraries out of San Juan to southern Caribbean destinations. I've found sailings on Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity. As I mentioned above, I've sailed on Carnival, Royal, and Celebrity. However, it has been 11 years since I've sailed Carnival so I am not too familiar with their product. My Royal Caribbean cruise was on a short cruise aboard an older ship that is no longer in their fleet. The Celebrity ship is being chartered by Atlantis (gay charter) the week I'm planning to sail (If you've sailed on an Atlantis cruise, I'm curious as to your experience as well. I'm gay and have been debating about taking an all-gay cruise, but I have some reservations about it...)

I'm curious to see if anyone has sailed on any of these cruise lines and what your recommendations would be. I'm aware that each cruise line caters to a certain clientele base... Carnival and NCL are considered more down-market lines and are less formal, while Celebrity and Holland America are considered premium market and more traditional.


Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.


-Fly777s
 
zippyjet
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:50 am

I've been on three cruises all on Carnival. They have been the three and four day cruises. I was impressed with Carnival. Their staff has always gone out of their way with me. The food especially the main dining rooms is excellent. The buffets have been at least good more like very good. However, their hamburgers don't look appealing to me. My only complaints have been the slow elevators on the ships. I always go cheap (inside cabin) but if I can get an upper level near the spa I'm so there. Carnival out of Miami has a brand new (less than 4 years old state of the art) embarkation terminal facility. The last two cruises, I had my paperwork printed and filled out and from security line and processing was in my stateroom un under 20 minutes which is very good for mass market lower priced cruises. Carnival's locker rooms I swear were so clean that if I was blindfolded, I'd never guess I was in a locker room! Best is to check out
Have a great vacation/cruise!
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
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OA260
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:23 am

I have been on 20+ cruise vacations on various cruise lines. Also worked in the industry for a time.

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
The last two cruises I've taken were with NCL. I enjoy their "Freestyle" concept as I like the abundance of dining options and casual atmosphere. The issue I have with NCL is that I've visited every Caribbean port they call on, so their itineraries are of no interest to me.

My next vacation is with NCL and I love that style also .

I was on Celebrity a few weeks ago I love that brand and their ships so I can personally recommend them with no hesitation.

Holland America also have a great product so they would be a good choice also .

Avoid MSC and Costa cruises unless you enjoy canteen food !!

Finally shop around as there are some good deals to be had in terms of stateroom upgrades and OBC ( onboard credit ). Ebookers have some good rates .
 
Superfly
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:39 am

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
I am referring to those who cruise on cruise ships.... not the other cruiser!

Thanks for clarifying.  
Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
I'm gay and have been debating about taking an all-gay cruise, but I have some reservations about it...)

Don't all cruises require a reservation?
Ok that was a dumb joke!   

Years ago I was on a Royal Caribbean Cruise. It was the Sovereign Of The Seas back when was a brand new ship.
He sailed from Miami to Haiti, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. We even caught the very beginning of Hurricane Hugo. I had a wonderful time and made some friends I'm still in touch with till this day.
I can see myself getting in to cruises later in life but right now I like to see different countries but not from a 'made for tourist' port.
I do admire all that goes in to building those ships and making them luxury liners.
Bring back the Concorde
 
zippyjet
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:49 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
I can see myself getting in to cruises later in life but right now I like to see different countries but not from a 'made for tourist' port.

Talk to cruise ship employees. Ask them about off the beaten track non touristy spots.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
MIAspotter
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:56 am

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):

Why don´t you take a Mediterranean Cruise? a week long departure from BCN to France, Italy, Balearic Islands and back to BCN?

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
I was on Celebrity a few weeks ago I love that brand and their ships so I can personally recommend them with no hesitation.

Yeah Celebrity is cool, I worked for a Port Agency here and CCL is one of their customers, their ships are really cool, I told my manager if I ever took a cruise, I wanted it to be on a CCL, she said they were boring and for old people... but that´s what I like... peace and quiet!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Sovereign Of The Seas

That ship is now owned by Pullmantur, it sails weekly from BCN to the Med, I personally hate it because it was also one of our clients at my previous job, and invoicing their turnarounds was a pain in the ass, I call it the ¨Suffering of the Seas¨

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
Superfly
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:10 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
Talk to cruise ship employees. Ask them about off the beaten track non touristy spots.

I'll do that next time. I have a lady-friend down in Phuket that used to be a cook on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. They paid her very well and she is already semi-retired and under 40.
I was still a teenager at the time of the cruise and wasn't a savvy traveler at the time. I was wasting my time chasing a fat girl from Ohio.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
hat ship is now owned by Pullmantur, it sails weekly from BCN to the Med, I personally hate it because it was also one of our clients at my previous job, and invoicing their turnarounds was a pain in the ass, I call it the ¨Suffering of the Seas¨

It was a nice ship back in 1989.
Bring back the Concorde
 
asuflyer05
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:46 pm

I've been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises, most recently on their new Allure of the Seas. I highly recommend them. Which Royal Caribbean ship are you considering?
 
windy95
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:23 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
San Juan to southern Caribbean destinations



Have done two different itineraries out of San Juan. The Seaward back in the day and the Adventure of the Seas. Getting to go to Puerto Rico is a bonus for this trip.

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
However, it has been 11 years since I've sailed Carnival so I am not too familiar with their product.



Sorry But Carnival is the fast food of the industry here in the states. If you want a younger more loud crowd this then you may want to try it again. We went on one a few years ago because of the price and destination and regretted our choice.

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
My Royal Caribbean cruise was on a short cruise aboard an older ship that is no longer in their fleet.




The best all around line. Just booked our fifth RCL trip this for this summer on the Freedom of the Seas

We have done NCL, RCL, HAL, Disney, Princess and Carnival.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:26 pm

Thanks everyone for all your input. I plan on having my mind made up in the next couple of weeks.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
My next vacation is with NCL and I love that style also .

Which ship are you sailing on? I sailed on the Jewel last year and Epic earlier this year. I stayed in the Studio's aboard the Epic... awesome experience! I'm going to miss out on NCL this spring.. I love the no-fixed seating and dinner times, upwards of 15 dining options, and the fact I'm not obligated to get into a suit/tux right after spending the day at port. I'm sure I will book another cruise with them, though... Maybe Alaska or the Mediterranean at some other date.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Years ago I was on a Royal Caribbean Cruise. It was the Sovereign Of The Seas back when was a brand new ship.
He sailed from Miami to Haiti, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. We even caught the very beginning of Hurricane Hugo. I had a wonderful time and made some friends I'm still in touch with till this day.
I can see myself getting in to cruises later in life but right now I like to see different countries but not from a 'made for tourist' port.
I do admire all that goes in to building those ships and making them luxury liners.

I was on the Sovereign of the Seas for my only cruise with Royal Caribbean... I think it was 2007. I think she's with Pullmanturs now. Anyhow, cruises really don't offer the level of culture that I prefer, but they do offer a good respite. My life is face paced, so a cruise is always a welcomed escape from it all. Traveling abroad is often times exhausting. Also, I love ships just as much as I do planes...  
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):

Talk to cruise ship employees. Ask them about off the beaten track non touristy spots.

That's a very good point. The last two cruises I sailed on NCL, I made friends with a few of the crew. When we disembarked at ports of call, I met up with them and they took me on tours of the destinations that are away from the tourists... We always ended up at bars.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 5):
Why don´t you take a Mediterranean Cruise? a week long departure from BCN to France, Italy, Balearic Islands and back to BCN?

I wish I could take a Mediterranean cruise this spring... Unfortunately, I only have a week that I can take off. It's possible that I may take one this summer, though.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:36 pm

Quoting asuflyer05 (Reply 7):

I've been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises, most recently on their new Allure of the Seas. I highly recommend them. Which Royal Caribbean ship are you considering?

I'd love to check out the Allure... Or the Oasis. I swore a few years ago that I would never sail on either one.. I was sore because I entered their ship naming contest and didn't win... I'm finally over it. The Allure and Oasis tend to be more on the expensive side.. I guess since they're new builds. If I have a second person to sail with me then it's doable, but if I sail solo, it's a no-go.

RCCL has two ships based out of San Juan at the moment... The Serenade or Adventure.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 8):

Sorry But Carnival is the fast food of the industry here in the states. If you want a younger more loud crowd this then you may want to try it again. We went on one a few years ago because of the price and destination and regretted our choice.

I've heard that Carnival has a bad reputation. I've had friends who have sailed on the 4/5 day sailings out of Mobile and New Orleans. One friends referred to the cruise as a puke fest, since it was full of young cruisers boozing it up nonstop and getting sick.. I wonder if that's just the case with certain cruises, out of certain ports. I would think Carnival cruises out of ports like San Juan or out of the Mediterranean wouldn't be full of that type of clientele since it would be more than likely cost prohibitive due to the higher cost of traveling to the embarkation port...
 
TurkishWings
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:27 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
(If you've sailed on an Atlantis cruise, I'm curious as to your experience as well. I'm gay and have been debating about taking an all-gay cruise, but I have some reservations about it...

I was on an Atlantis cruise about 2-3 years ago. I must say that it was a lot of fun as one would expect. The ship is usually full of American muscle marys. They seemed to have even more fun... The shows were great, food was very good and other activities were quite sufficient. There were several theme parties and people seemed to have taken them very seriously.

The entire staff on the ship had great fun too... They even participated in the white party and had a blast. I am actually Facebook friends with a few of them...

They match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone though I highly recommend going with a good friend...

Feel free to contact me if you need more information...
Coffee - Tea or Me?
 
Superfly
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:47 pm

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
Talk to cruise ship employees. Ask them about off the beaten track non touristy spots.
Quoting Fly777s (Reply 9):
That's a very good point. The last two cruises I sailed on NCL, I made friends with a few of the crew. When we disembarked at ports of call, I met up with them and they took me on tours of the destinations that are away from the tourists... We always ended up at bars.

Come to think of it, by the time we arrived to Saint Thomas, I was already sick of the touristy spots. Me and a friend walked up a long hill in the hopes of getting a good view. We just ended up at the dump yard. Smelled like crap and there were rats & lizards running around.
I also got a chance to see poverty face to face in Haiti when we ditched the tour group and wanted to see the average Haitian population. It was very sad to see.
Bring back the Concorde
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:56 pm

I´ve booked a part of the world cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in spring. Three weeks on the greatest ship out there.
It´ll be my third cruise with Cunard, the second on QM2, and the fifth cruise all-in-all. I love cruising in style, dont care for 24-hour parties or floating funparks, hate it when people go for dinner in shorts and/or T-shirts, but care a lot for the looks and decoration of ships. I´m a ship-buff, classic style. Generally I´m more the type who enjoys "cultural" holidays as opposed to beach and booze. I like a cosmopolitan companionship with a lot of Britishness. For me thats the best way to cruise, even if the majority on board is older than me.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:15 pm

Quoting na (Reply 13):

I´ve booked a part of the world cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in spring. Three weeks on the greatest ship out there.
It´ll be my third cruise with Cunard, the second on QM2, and the fifth cruise all-in-all. I love cruising in style, dont care for 24-hour parties or floating funparks, hate it when people go for dinner in shorts and/or T-shirts, but care a lot for the looks and decoration of ships. I´m a ship-buff, classic style. Generally I´m more the type who enjoys "cultural" holidays as opposed to beach and booze. I like a cosmopolitan companionship with a lot of Britishness. For me thats the best way to cruise, even if the majority on board is older than me.

Sounds very nice! I think the QM2 is the most beautiful ship that's been built since the ending of the golden era of trans-Atlantic crossings.. It's on my bucket list to sail a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard her. It would be an amazing experience to sail in the of style, grace, and grandeur that is the QM2.
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:57 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 14):
It's on my bucket list to sail a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard her. It would be an amazing experience to sail in the of style, grace, and grandeur that is the QM2.

That was actually what I wanted to do until Cunard offered me one week more for the same price somewhere else with the same ship. A TA is therefore something still on my list for the next years, or to be saved for a special occasion.
 
chepos
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:55 pm

Never been on a cruise myself, not really at the top of my list. Growing up in Puerto Rico all my friends and relatives loved doing them. I would not do a Caribbean/Mexican/Hawaiian type of cruises they don't appeal .A gay cruie would not do it for me either- no thank you (way too many queens in one area) I am gay so I can say this.

I would love to do a cruise through the middle east, or through Southeast Asia. I was looking at this one cruise in the paper that sailed from Hong Kong and ended up in Dubai, I would love to do that. However, working for an airline I can just step on a plane and I am at my destination in a matter of hours.

Regards,

Chepos

[Edited 2011-12-30 13:04:36]
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:41 pm

Quoting chepos (Reply 16):
I would love to do a cruise through the middle east, or through Southeast Asia. I was looking at this one cruise in the paper that sailed from Hong Kong and ended up in Dubai, I would love to do that.

Sounds like an amazing itinerary, more appealing to my tastes than any other cruise. Although, a south American cruise could be just as exotic.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:01 pm

Quoting na (Reply 15):
That was actually what I wanted to do until Cunard offered me one week more for the same price somewhere else with the same ship. A TA is therefore something still on my list for the next years, or to be saved for a special occasion.

Sounds like a great deal!

I turn 30 in just 2.5 years, so I am thinking a TA cruise on the QM2 would be the perfect way to celebrate.
 
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OA260
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:37 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 9):
Which ship are you sailing on? I sailed on the Jewel last year and Epic earlier this year

The Jade is the one Im going on . Ive been on the Jewel and loved it . Was on another one but forgot the name of the ship. The standard of the food was great I hope its still as good. Want to try the Teppanyaki.
 
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ER757
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:44 pm

Been on two - Holland America to Alaska and Princess to the Western Caribbean.
Definitely preferred the service and food on Holland America. The ship I was on with Princes was much larger and had more on-board activities, restaurants, pools, etc but Holland America was definitely classier IMO
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:49 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 19):
The Jade is the one Im going on . Ive been on the Jewel and loved it . Was on another one but forgot the name of the ship. The standard of the food was great I hope its still as good. Want to try the Teppanyaki.

On the two cruises I've done with NCL, I've found the food in the main dining rooms to be similar to your average banquet food... However, in the specialty restaurants the food was great. On the Epic, I dined at Moderno's (Argentine steak house), Teppanyaki, the Italian Restaurant, the French Bistro, and the Spiegel Tent. Moderno's was my favorite, followed by the French Bistro. Teppanyaki was good too.

My mouth is salivating from thoughts of all the food!
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Thread starter):
atmosphere. The issue I have with NCL is that I've visited every Caribbean port they

NCL cruises the Hawaiian islands too I think .... Something to consider ?
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:55 pm

The wife and I went on our first cruise last January. We did a seven night Eastern Caribbean aboard the Ruby Princess. On January 7th, we board the Carnival Dream for seven nights in the Western Caribbean. We wanted to try Carnival this time since we felt the Princess crowd was a bit... "old." The ship was beautiful, food was great, but having to choose from learning how to use Microsoft Word at sea or participating in an art auction was just lame. We're expecting Carnival to be much more fun. At first though, I too was worried about it being a "puke fest." However I think if you stick to the nicer ships and longer itineraries, which in turn makes them more expensive, the crowd should be much better.

[Edited 2011-12-30 14:57:08]
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:11 pm

NCL and Royal Caribbean are my recomendation. Both for atmosphere, staff, itinerary and service.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:11 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 22):
NCL cruises the Hawaiian islands too I think .... Something to consider ?

That's true. I've visited Hawaii before and enjoyed it, but I'm not too sure I want to cruise there. They have a northern European itinerary this summer, which looks appealing to me..

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 23):

The wife and I went on our first cruise last January. We did a seven night Eastern Caribbean aboard the Ruby Princess. On January 7th, we board the Carnival Dream for seven nights in the Western Caribbean. We wanted to try Carnival this time since we felt the Princess crowd was a bit... "old." The ship was beautiful, food was great, but having to choose from learning how to use Microsoft Word at sea or participating in an art auction was just lame. We're expecting Carnival to be much more fun. At first though, I too was worried about it being a "puke fest." However I think if you stick to the nicer ships and longer itineraries, which in turn makes them more expensive, the crowd should be much better.

I've heard good things about Princess, but have also heard exactly what you mentioned. I'm not a big partier by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm also not the type that goes to sleep at 9pm, either... I like at least a little energy.

I'm sure Carnival caters to a higher clientele on the longer cruises... You'll have to let me know your experience when you return from your upcoming cruise. Hope you enjoy!
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:58 am

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 25):
Quoting Mortyman (Reply 22):
NCL cruises the Hawaiian islands too I think .... Something to consider ?

That's true. I've visited Hawaii before and enjoyed it, but I'm not too sure I want to cruise there. They have a northern European itinerary this summer, which looks appealing to me..

Cunard has some good bargain offers for Northern Europe this year as well, just received them. And they have the better ships. Imho those tacky bow paintings on the NCL ships are horrible.
 
nipoel123
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:15 am

I can only speak for Royal, but I enjoyed every bit of it last summer in the Mediterranean. There was a very American atmosphere on-board, that works both ways as I'm sure you are familiar with  .
one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
 
babybus
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:44 pm

Don't know if you guys agree but I was told the trick was to get on the smallest ship you can find?

You get to know more people, have a better relationship with the staff, the food is better and the ship can get into smaller harbours.

I've never been on a cruise and the thought of being with hundreds of thousands of people on a gigantic ship just doesn't float my boat.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
baguy
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:05 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Avoid MSC and Costa cruises unless you enjoy canteen food !!

Agreed! Costa was horrendous. We'd never have chosen them if I'd had a say in it!!!!

I love Celebrity and HAL - but I consider Celebrity to have the better product.

BAguy
 
Superfly
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:32 pm

Quoting Babybus (Reply 28):
Don't know if you guys agree but I was told the trick was to get on the smallest ship you can find?

Not if you're prone to getting sea-sick.
The smaller ships rock & sway more. I hate that feeling!
If you're going on a cruise, forget about getting an interesting, exotic and cultural experience. Enjoy the time on the ship.
The only suggestion I have would be to avoid Carnival Cruise lines. They attract a lot of low-hanging fruit. I've heard many horror stories about them and one friend of mine told me about a gang fight that took place on one of their ships. Apparently some hood-rats from New York were on the cruise and there had happened to be rival gang members on the ship and a fight broke out.
Carnival cruise lines attracts the Jerry Springer crowd.
Bring back the Concorde
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
Not if you're prone to getting sea-sick.
The smaller ships rock & sway more. I hate that feeling!

Having cruised on big and small ships I must agree. I have been seasick on a small 10.000 ton ship during relatively average weather, and suffered nothing on the 70.000 ton QE2 in a storm.

I would say that "the right size" of a ship depends on how many are onboard rather than the absolute size. Also something that speaks in favour of Cunard ships which have the best pax-to-space ratio of all cruise ships apart from the smaller millionaires-only boats. Other cruise lines pack 30% more people into the same space as Cunard does. Take RCCLs "Freedom" Class for example, 3600 pax, vs Cunards "Queen Mary 2" of about the same size and just 2600 pax. Or, even a bigger difference, take Disney´s new ships, which carry 4000 pax, but are considerably smaller than QM2.

Another important thing is deck space. Most modern cruisers just have a single sun deck high up, totally enclosed all around, and some space below the lifeboats. QM2 has beautifully tiered decks in the back on multiple levels and a vast promenade deck with classic wooden deck chairs.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
If you're going on a cruise, forget about getting an interesting, exotic and cultural experience. Enjoy the time on the ship.

Generally you are right, but not in absolute terms. Some of the most exotic places I have seen by cruise ship. The bigger the ship, the smaller the chances for an exotic destination though. If you do prepare yourself well before a trip and are able to organize an individual day trip you may be able to find an exotic experience as much as on a daytrip when on a one-destination-trip by any other transport.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
The only suggestion I have would be to avoid Carnival Cruise lines. They attract a lot of low-hanging fruit. I've heard many horror stories about them and one friend of mine told me about a gang fight that took place on one of their ships. Apparently some hood-rats from New York were on the cruise and there had happened to be rival gang members on the ship and a fight broke out.
Carnival cruise lines attracts the Jerry Springer crowd.

Cant tell from my own experiences but depending on the routing thats what I heard too. Carnival is cheap, and I surely would avoid them especially on a 5-day Caribbean cruise out of Miami. Their decoration shouts tacky Las Vegas all over, and the average crowd aboard wont be much better than in a 2000-bed 3-star Las Vegas hotel, a hundred slot machines included.
 
Ken777
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:23 pm

My better half & I took our first cruise this past September - the Mariner of the Seas out of Rome (Royal Caribbean). Except for BA failing to deliver our luggage to Rome before the ship sailed the entire trip went smoothly. (BA was very good at making up for the little problem.)

my recommendation? First look at new places you might want to visit. Or old places you REALLY want to go back to.

Our cruise was Rome-Genoa-Cannes-Ajaccio-Barcelona-At Sea-Rome. While I could have spent a few days in each port we both loved each stop. And we want to go back when we don't have to spend any time looking for clothes!

The ship was excellent and we had a balcony off of our room. This was my first cruise where I didn't have to polish the brass or clean the deck or stand watch or even working a normal day. I wanted to plop my bum in a chair and put my feet up on the railing and just enjoy sailing. And I did. The wife also enjoyed that balcony.

The food was fine. We found that a lot of times we went up to the Windjammer - a buffet high and aft that gave a great view of leaving ports. Worth missing the meals in the dining room for those views.

The shows on board were also excellent and worth watching.

As far as you being gay, I don't think that should be that much of an issue. While the cruise "appeared" to be a straight cruise there obviously had to be a normal balance of individuals on board. I have a feeling that on any cruise on a larger ship you are going to find people to meet, be they guests, entertainers, or ship's cruise. My guess is that it will be like a balanced city in terms of people. Might be normal enough for you to invest in a balcony cabin for sharing morning coffee with.
 
thomil13FRA
Posts: 81
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:32 pm

Quoting na (Reply 26):
Cunard has some good bargain offers for Northern Europe this year as well, just received them.

Thanks for the heads up! Just checked their german website and discovered a couple of deals that even a lowly tech support guy like me can afford! I'll have to wait for a couple of days until I can finalize the arrangements. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

So far, my only "cruise" experience was with Color Line's Color Magic, which is actually a cruise ferry, shuttling between Kiel and Oslo. Let me put it this way, the only way you can tell it's a ferry is by the car ramps. Everything above Deck 5 looks like a well managed cruise ship. It isn't on par with the likes of Cunard of course, but it's certainly a very convenient, comfortable, and cheap way to get away from it all fo a couple of days! I'll be glad to post a link to a couple of photos I shot on that ship.
 
Ken777
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:17 pm

The other thing I really to take with my wife is a river cruise in Europe. VIking looks good to me (duh!) and we're looking at either the Danube for 8 days from Nuremberg to Budapest (http://www2.vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/europe-danube-budapest-nuremberg-2012/itinerary.aspx) or the Seine and Rhône Rivers for 8 days (http://www2.vikingrivercruises.com/rivers/seine-rhone/)

While the Viking line looks good a Google of European RIver Cruses will give you a lot of ideas from various lines. And some of the videos give yoga clearer picture.
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting thomil13FRA (Reply 33):
Thanks for the heads up! Just checked their german website and discovered a couple of deals that even a lowly tech support guy like me can afford! I'll have to wait for a couple of days until I can finalize the arrangements. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Let me add if you pick the QM2 that all cabins and many public spaces have been refurbished last month with new carpets, bedsheets and curtains.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:22 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
The only suggestion I have would be to avoid Carnival Cruise lines. They attract a lot of low-hanging fruit. I've heard many horror stories about them and one friend of mine told me about a gang fight that took place on one of their ships. Apparently some hood-rats from New York were on the cruise and there had happened to be rival gang members on the ship and a fight broke out.
Carnival cruise lines attracts the Jerry Springer crowd.

I've heard that numerous times. Up until recently, there was a 4 and 5 day Carnival cruise from Mobile, AL that had that type of reputation. Many people I spoke with had a lot of negative things to say about it, once they returned.. I'm wondering if those experiences are confined to the shorter cruises because I've yet to hear anything of that magnitude about Carnival's longer cruises. I also wonder if it's also confined to certain times of the year. Most people I know that have cruises Carnival were cruising in peak season when schools/universities are out...

[quote=na,reply=31]I would say that "the right size" of a ship depends on how many are onboard rather than the absolute size. Also something that speaks in favour of Cunard ships which have the best pax-to-space ratio of all cruise ships apart from the smaller millionaires-only boats. Other cruise lines pack 30% more people into the same space as Cunard does. Take RCCLs "Freedom" Class for example, 3600 pax, vs Cunards "Queen Mary 2" of about the same size and just 2600 pax. Or, even a bigger difference, take Disney

From what I've heard, Princess is similar to Cunard - in the sense that the ships are large, but carry less passengers per square foot of most other cruise ships in the same size range.
 
fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:25 pm

I spoke to my friend last night. We are pretty sure we are going to end up booking on Princess Cruises. The ship is the Crown Princess - 7 nights from Fort Lauderdale to Princess Cays, Bahamas; Aruba; and Curacao. Determining factors were the fare being a great value and easier access to get to Fort Lauderdale and us having a free place to stay the night prior and possibly the night after disembarking the aircraft. Also, I've yet to go to Curacao and Aruba. If all goes accordingly, it will be booked by the end of next week!
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:51 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
The only suggestion I have would be to avoid Carnival Cruise lines. They attract a lot of low-hanging fruit.

Like everything else in the world, there are exceptions. Cruises to no where, cruises that are less than 7 days, older ships, cheaper itineraries, those are more of what you describe. And yes, that does make up a majority of Carnival's operations. However, they do have newer and nicer ships which sail on longer and more expensive itineraries which by nature weed out the low hanging fruit.

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 36):
From what I've heard, Princess is similar to Cunard - in the sense that the ships are large, but carry less passengers per square foot of most other cruise ships in the same size range.

I don't know the specifics, but many of the newer Princess ships carry more than 3,000 passengers.
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fly777s
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:10 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 38):
Like everything else in the world, there are exceptions. Cruises to no where, cruises that are less than 7 days, older ships, cheaper itineraries, those are more of what you describe. And yes, that does make up a majority of Carnival's operations. However, they do have newer and nicer ships which sail on longer and more expensive itineraries which by nature weed out the low hanging fruit.

I agree. A few years ago, I took a 5 day Celebrity cruise. It was incredibly inexpensive. There were quite a few people aboard who lacked in etiquette and class, to say the least..
 
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OA260
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:02 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 37):
I spoke to my friend last night. We are pretty sure we are going to end up booking on Princess Cruises. The ship is the Crown Princess - 7 nights from Fort Lauderdale to Princess Cays, Bahamas; Aruba; and Curacao. Determining factors were the fare being a great value and easier access to get to Fort Lauderdale and us having a free place to stay the night prior and possibly the night after disembarking the aircraft. Also, I've yet to go to Curacao and Aruba. If all goes accordingly, it will be booked by the end of next week!

Ive been on one of their ships years ago but only for a champagne reception in port that I was invited to. Not much of a basis to make a judgement so will be interested to hear your review of it. I did see their ship in port next to mine a few weeks back. Nice ports of call for you also.
 
na
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:43 pm

Quoting Fly777s (Reply 36):
From what I've heard, Princess is similar to Cunard - in the sense that the ships are large, but carry less passengers per square foot of most other cruise ships in the same size range.

Cunard has a better pax-to-space-ratio than Princess. Princess indeed is better here than many other lines, but I can assure you Cunard offers the most public space of all cruise lines. Btw Cunard and Princess both belong to Carnival.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 38):
Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
The only suggestion I have would be to avoid Carnival Cruise lines. They attract a lot of low-hanging fruit.

Like everything else in the world, there are exceptions. Cruises to no where, cruises that are less than 7 days, older ships, cheaper itineraries, those are more of what you describe. And yes, that does make up a majority of Carnival's operations. However, they do have newer and nicer ships which sail on longer and more expensive itineraries which by nature weed out the low hanging fruit.

If Carnival would be all bad, they wouldnt have become the most successful cruise line worldwide. They offer a variety, mainly for the money-restricted and middle-class people with a liking for loud and ordinary, very American entertainment. They have old and less desirable (Fantasy-Class) ships, and they have new ones, which are quite good.

I would advise anyone interested in cruising to first buy Douglas Wards famous annual Berlitz guide, which is very comprehensive. Absolutely worth it.
 
citationjet
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RE: Any Cruisers Here?

Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:57 pm

Quoting windy95 (Reply 8):
Sorry But Carnival is the fast food of the industry here in the states. If you want a younger more loud crowd this then you may want to try it again.

Agreed.

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 22):
NCL cruises the Hawaiian islands too I think .... Something to consider ?

I wouldn't go on NCL America in Hawaii. Worst cruise ever.


I have been on RCCL, Disney, NCL America, Holland, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, and Sea Dream Yacht Club. All have different demographics. Carnival is the party boat. Holland tends to be an older crowd. RCCL is a good all around cruise line, with better than average entertainment. Princess is a step above RCCL. Regent SS is the best I have been on. The worst cruise experience was Hawaiian inter-island cruise on NCL America. The NCL crew were all Americans (since they don't go to foreign ports). It was the worst service I have ever experienced, having been on almost 20 cruises. The dining room wait staff looked and acted like Walmart greeters. I have cruised out of Athens, Copenhagen, MIA, FLL, ANC, HNL, San Juan.

[Edited 2012-01-03 14:26:13]
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