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Old 01-29-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,385,098 times
Reputation: 22357

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
enjoyed...
St Thomas (hope to get over to St Johns someday).
Puerto Rico

Nassau, Bahamas was OK, but I wouldn't rush back.

La Ramona, Dominican Republic was a waste of fuel and time.
Well, I am not "into" shopping, which is the main reason, I think that most people go on cruises. I used to joke about the cruise that we took being the "worlds' most expensive shopping shuttle".

I am not particularly interested in shore excursions either because frankly they are dumbed down for the tourist sector.

One thing I would REALLY like to be able to do is enjoy the local night-life, but alas, most cruises depart for sea around 4 or 5 pm. We were very lucky when we went to Curacao because we were there for two days and were able to hang out at the casino and experience a little more of the local flavor. I really enjoy talking with locals who are not "into" the tourist scene. But you have to get FAR AWAY from the dock and cruise ship to find that.

I had a friend who went to Jamaica and took off on his own the minute the ship pulled in. He ended up in some restaurant that does not often see a white American and he said it was "interesting". He did not feel as though he was in danger, but he was cautious anyway. He does not look like a man who has anything to steal (old hippie type), but he still did get a lot of interest from the locals.

Not that I would necessarily want to do that (sounds too dangerous to me), but I would certainly like to experience the real country rather than just the sanitized "American Tourist" version.

And snorkle. I love to snorkle.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,364 posts, read 21,922,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Well, I am not "into" shopping, which is the main reason, I think that most people go on cruises. I used to joke about the cruise that we took being the "worlds' most expensive shopping shuttle".
Evidently most of the shops that are near the ports are owned by the cruise companies and few if any of the "locals" can afford the rents/real estate prices that inevitably result. The cruise message boards are filled with jewelry, watch, electronic purchases that break down or are over-appraised with little recourse for the buyer to recover their costs. Liquor can be quite a bargain, especially in Puerto Rico where the permissible amount allowed to bring back (duty free) is higher than the other Caribbean ports.

Quote:
I am not particularly interested in shore excursions either because frankly they are dumbed down for the tourist sector.
Did one ship-sponsored excursion (a golf outing in Ensenada, Mexico) and would never do it again. Not to say you can't find excursions easily and cheaper on your own that are heavily reviewed and recommended. We have hired personal guides, rented vehicles, gone off with an independent tour co. and just wandered around on foot and taxi with just a general idea of where we were going.

Quote:
One thing I would REALLY like to be able to do is enjoy the local night-life, but alas, most cruises depart for sea around 4 or 5 pm. We were very lucky when we went to Curacao because we were there for two days and were able to hang out at the casino and experience a little more of the local flavor. I really enjoy talking with locals who are not "into" the tourist scene. But you have to get FAR AWAY from the dock and cruise ship to find that.
A few of the cruises originate and end in San Juan which would allow an extended stay before or after your cruise to do some more leisurely exploring. Great city to walk around in too with the narrow streets, Spanish architecture and old forts. Great beaches and easy to get around on your own.

Quote:
And snorkle. I love to snorkle.
St Thomas, USVI (Magens Bay)

snorkeling w/Capt Booby on the "Rumbada"












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Old 01-29-2011, 02:44 PM
 
1,637 posts, read 3,017,953 times
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I retract my previous post. I was looking around at cruise search websites and finding some decent deals. Then I went to Expedia, Travelocity and some other big name travel websites, and I found much better deals with more information and reviews. We've pretty much decided on ours already. Check there.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,187 posts, read 7,075,282 times
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We did Silversea a few years ago, not on our dime and have been spoiled for any other cruiseline. Amazing service, no children, you know all the goodies. Now and again they run really good specials, it doesn't hurt to check and see if they have a deal.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:46 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,345,435 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Many years ago we cruised on Seabourn (we did not pay for it, someone else did). This line was purchased by Cunard, and I believe the ship the "Pride" still sales under that ownership.

We loved the cruise, but now that we ARE paying for it, we can't afford the $1,000 per day that it costs (roughly).

But thank you for your response. I will check out Holland America and Norwegian and see what they offer.

20yrsinBranson
Seabourn is now owned by Carnival as is Cunard. They are still excellent but pricey.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,385,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmama50 View Post
We did Silversea a few years ago, not on our dime and have been spoiled for any other cruiseline. Amazing service, no children, you know all the goodies. Now and again they run really good specials, it doesn't hurt to check and see if they have a deal.
Silversea was Seabourn's main competitor. They have an awesome reputation too. I might just check them out to see if they have any "last minute" deals. Thanks for mentioning them, I had forgotten.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,385,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Seabourn is now owned by Carnival as is Cunard. They are still excellent but pricey.
Yes. We were so fortunate to have experienced Seabourn. We met the man who invented the "Beeper", the heir to the Bacardi legacy and the couple who started Lancome cosmetics, who were great dancers, by the way. LOL

It was great fun.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,197,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
The better cruise companies are more upscale and cater to adults not families, in my view. Personally I would avoid cruising on a ship that is nothing more than a giant shopping mall with attached hotel floating on the sea! Who wants to be served free hot dogs by the overcrowded pool?

You might want to avoid, besides Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc.

A better choice would be Holland America or Norwegian.

The best choices would be the pricey but super luxurious lines like Crystal, Silver Sea, and Cunard. It's all about the cuisine and service and sophistication.
Celebrity is the best choice. HA and NLC are family cruise ships. Celebrity is more for the older crowd, they do not have the super ships which are made for families. Celebrity is owned by RCL and it is supposed to be their upscale older crowd line. I took a cruise with Celeb when I was 13 in Northern Europe I was one of the maybe 30-40 kids on the whole ship!

Also it helps not to go during school breaks.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Now in SP, hopefully for a very long time
249 posts, read 396,862 times
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I just started to look at a cruise a few days ago, as I was disgusted by the airfares. My purpose is not the same as 20yrsinBranson, I need to go to France in May. That will be kind of vacation (well needed) for me.

ALL the prices are exactly the same on all TA, horribly high but less than a flight (well.. at the end it will be more, but I hope I will enjoy, not shopping but relax), and since I am alone I will pay for 2 . I checked a lot. I ended up with Priceline, that offers me 2 nights in a hotel. So I will go on the Celebrity Equinox from FLL to Rome, and I HOPE I will be happy!!! I hope also I won't eat hamburgers . And I will spend 2 nights in Rome, that I don't know.

I only cruised once looooooooong time ago, and I keep wonderful memories, but it was a themed cruise (ballet) in the Mediterranean, with a show every night, including one unforgettable in the open theater of Ephesus (Turkey).
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,948,102 times
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We love cruising - just returned from 2 weeks in the Med out of Barcelona on a Royal Caribbean - our first and last RC cruise. We are back to Carnival - checking out a cruise for April or Sept (my fav time of year for the Caribbean).

As noted, stay away from school vacations - the week before and after Easter and do NOT, repeat DO NOT, sail out of NYC. UGH. Our 2nd worst cruise right after the RC cruise. I have absolutely no desire to ever set foot in the Bahamas again after our experience there. What a pitiful place. I went in the straw market to get some souvenirs and was literally attacked - pawed and grabbed at by people wanting my business. Being poor is one thing, being poor and so totally desperate is another. I also have no desire to ever set foot on Tortola again. What a nasty place - poor but trashy - literally trash everywhere; open sewers; chickens and other animals running wild and pooping everywhere, dragging trash out of open huge overflowing dumpsters.

Now the places I cannot wait to visit again: St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Cozumel, the Med. But first we are exploring a cruise to St. Lucia and Barbados out of Ft. Lauderdale. I would love to retake a cruise of the med out of Barcelona but it would not be on RC. Carnival does that trip as well.

The problem with sailing from any of the northern ports - Philly, Baltimore, Boston, NYC, is that you spend 2 days just to get to the warmer water and near any ports. I'd rather sail out of Miami or Ft. Laud.
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