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Old 01-12-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Out in the stix
1,318 posts, read 1,150,901 times
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We have gone on an average of one a year since 2000.. I was inclined to not go on a cruise since back in 2000 I worked part time on weekends on a fishing boat, and didn't want to spend vacation time at sea. My then girlfriend, (now my wife) kept up on going and what a good time she had when she went, so I bit the bullet and went, a southern Caribbean cruise from Puerto Rico.

Wow was I wrong about my misconceptions, a cruise is our preferred vacation. Out of the 12 I have been on, only two have been just "ok" the rest were superb. We have been to the Caribbean numerous times (that is getting old, seen most of the islands), Bermuda (fantastic place, probably going there again with celebrity in the fall), eastern Mediterranean, through the panama canal, but our best was our honeymoon, 16 nights from New Zeland to Tahiti to Hawaii.

True, you usually only get a day, at best in most ports, but you can see a lot in a day, and if you like a particular place you can ale ays go back there on your own for a week. In Auckland we were on the ship for 2 days, that was great, same thing in Venice.

Do your homework, certain lines cater to certain groups, Carnival is for younger people I feel, not for us, holland America is mostly senior.

We used to go just with Royal Caribbean but a few years ago tried Celebrity, and found it the perfect fit for us. Celebrity is royals premium line, service, food, decor noticeably more upscale. Food choices are pretty endless from a buffet to upscale pay restaurants.

I say you should try a cruise, worst that can happen is you see some cool places, explore off the ship a little, eat some unique local food, and if you decide it's not for you, just don't go on another one.

Fair winds and following seas
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
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check out CruiseCritic.com - the message boards over there are fantastic for getting info about criuse lines, ports and experiences. I went on my first cruise last year w/ Royal Caribbean and am already planning one soon on RCCL's Allure of the Seas (biggest ship they have, Caribbean) this year or next.

I was afraid of sea-sickness but with a big ship you really dont feel it much. Only felt a wee bit wobbly 1 night but I think it was attributed to the liquor and spending too much time up on deck. Once you get used the rolling/wave-like motion of your bed at night, you find it actually lulls you to sleep..
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,820 posts, read 17,244,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
Are cruises a good way to travel to see different cities?
Are the day trips at each port enough to get a good overview, or is cruising really about what you do on the ship, like the food, activities, shows etc.
Also, is it rare to get seasick on a cruise because the ship is so big?
I'd love to try it some day! Very interested in Alaska, because I would imagine you'd see some beautiful landscape right from the ship.
Also interested in a Baltic Sea cruise to see the northern countries and especially would like to see Helsinki. That's where my family emigrated from 4 generations ago!

Thanks for any feedback!
It kind of depends on you. Personally, I am a late sleeper so when I went on cruises I found that the "shore excursions" usually began at 8 am and lasted until 2pm or 3pm and then the ship pulled up anchor and headed out to sea by 5pm or 6pm. I was very disappointed that I wasn't able to sample the "night life" of the various places we went. And, being on vacation, there was no way in hell I was waking up THAT early.

I got to see Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas which was pretty awesome, and I got to spend a little time walking around Curacao (an island off the coast of Venezuela), and I got to spend a little time shopping in Cozumel. I would have LOVED to have been able to enjoy more of the local flavor.

Fortunately, most cruise ships are pretty self-contained so it was fine to stay on board during the times that many folks were out on shore excursions. In fact, there were times when I felt like I had the boat pretty much to myself except for the really old geezers who couldn't handle the physical demands of a shore excursion. But the casinos are only open when you are out to sea, which is kind of a drag.

Fortunately, on the cruises we were on they had a "casual policy" which meant they didn't have the formal night like many cruise lines have, I was very grateful for that.

Make sure if you go that you pay the extra and get a balcony. It's well worth the price difference.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 9,214,655 times
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I am not discouraging fun vacations, but like air travel, cruising can present problems.

Malcolm Latarche is the editor of a global shipping magazine.

"According to Mr Latarche, the fact that the average tonnage of cruise ships has doubled in the last decade makes a full-scale evacuation at sea almost impossible."

Costa Concordia cruise ship pictures: Trapped survivor Manrico Giampedroni airlifted to safety | Mail Online

I am surprised that this ship was damaged as much as it was, our hearing of all the safety precautions that are built into cruise ships these days. We can only be thankful that this happened so close to shore.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/wo...ines&emc=tha22


"Questions also loomed about why the Costa Concordia listed so badly after the crash, as the captain tried to bring it closer to the island. Modern ships are built to sink levelly"

Last edited by goldengrain; 01-17-2012 at 07:52 AM..
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,450 posts, read 1,256,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
I am surprised that this ship was damaged as much as it was, our hearing of all the safety precautions that are built into cruise ships these days. We can only be thankful that this happened so close to shore.

"Questions also loomed about why the Costa Concordia listed so badly after the crash, as the captain tried to bring it closer to the island. Modern ships are built to sink levelly."

The ship was so close to shore was the reason the wreck happened. It was very close to shore for the captain's entertainment purpose.


These are the answers to why the ship listed so badly:


1- "...the £390 million vessel sailed close to the island of Giglio to greet an officer from the Italian merchant navy who was friendly with those on the Concordia.

Reports in Italy said that investigators had identified the man on shore and he would be questioned as part of the inquiry into the incident.

Last August the vessel passed close to the island sounding its whistle – prompting the mayor to send a congratulatory e-mail to the captain for providing such a 'spectacle to tourists' and 'fantastic entertainment' ".


Captain


2- "Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli said it was usual for ships to sail close to the island to give tourists a 'spectacular view'.

He added: 'It's amazing to see the ships pass close by with all their lights on. The locals find it very impressive, while passengers on the ships also have a suggestive view of the island in darkness.'

Images have emerged on Twitter of the liner passing dangerously close to Giglio last summer, as bystanders clapped and cheered."


Claims emerge Costa Concordia captain was trying to ‘salute’ an officer on shore | Metro.co.uk


3- "In a pre-planned stunt advertised on Facebook, captain of The Concordia, Francesco Schettino, sailed perilously close to the coast of Giglio so that the ship's head waiter could salute his family on land.

Cruise disaster: captain neared rocks in Facebook stunt for friend's family - Telegraph


4- "Schettino gave the order for the doomed sail-by of the island as a 'salute of respect' for former Costa commander Mario Palombo, whose parents are from Giglio, it is alleged.

The stunt – as passengers were enjoying dinner at 9.30pm on Friday – was apparently also a favour for the ship's maître d' Antonello Tievoli, who lives on the island.

Italian news reports said that minutes before the Concordia crashed into an underwater reef just two hours into a seven-day Mediterranean cruise, Schettino told the head waiter:'‘Come and look, we are passing over your Giglio.'

Tievoli's 82-year-old father Giuseppe said his son had phoned him before the accident to say the crew would salute him by blowing the ship's whistle as they passed by.

He said: 'Antonello called and said that we should look out of the window at around 9.30pm because he would be on the ship and it would pass right by Giglio. All the ships do it but they never come that close – I was at the window with my wife and, as he said, the ship went past.' "


Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino: Facebook anger at 'Italy's most hated man' | Mail Online


In an audio's clip, the captain said, "The rock was not on my map." Good Lord!


To further exacerbate the situation, the captain abandoned the ship and refused to return as per Coast Guard's order. "Schettino was heard agreeing to go back inside, but he never returned to the ship and was arrested by the coast guard upon landing."

Costa Concordia: captain accused of abandoning cruise ship (AUDIO)

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 01-17-2012 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 9,214,655 times
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Holy cow!

So, there were maritime people who had lauded the Captain for that little stunt, which he had done before to no harm.

If they deviate from the coarse I thought they were supposed to record that somewhere.

So he lied in his reporting in the past or people he reported to never bothered to read or comment on his little escapade until the s--t hit the fan.

Thank you very much for the contribution, but I did read that these ships were supposed to right themselves when damaged. It did not happen here. I mean, it was fully afloat when it hit the rock, surrounded by water.

Also, the fact that it would be almost impossible to rescue the full load of one of these ships at sea is disconcerting to me. There ARE rogue waves which no ship is built to withstand. Every now and again a ship gets stuck in ice, but they are either cracked out of the ice or the crew is rescued.

I wonder what size passenger load actually COULD be rescued if a ship were in danger in high seas?
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
10,057 posts, read 7,890,834 times
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Boy what a thrill for the families of the Costa employees to be able to see their sons' ship all this time when they venture out to pick up a loaf of bread at the market. How proudly they must gesture while walking with their friends..."did I tell you thatsa my Antonio's boat right there and he is a pretty big deal on hisa boat!"
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:41 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,450 posts, read 1,256,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Also, the fact that it would be almost impossible to rescue the full load of one of these ships at sea is disconcerting to me. I wonder what size passenger load actually COULD be rescued if a ship were in danger in high seas?
IMO, it all depends on the capability and leadership of the captain, the organization skill of the crew, and the familiarity of the drill on the part of the passengers.

Passengers on Costa Concordia did not receive the evacuation drill even though that is the number one must-do in international maritime regulations.

The captain and important members of his crew were very much at fault as well. When both the captain and the first mate jumped ship, no one else was left in charge. Passengers pretty much had to fend for themselves, thus casualties were much greater than it would be in less chaotic situation.

A scenario with better ending happened in 1991 with the Greek cruise ship MTS Oceanos. When Oceanos encountered flooding, the crew and captain fled the ship and left the passengers behind with not even a PR announcement. The ship's entertainers were the ones who took over and organized the rescue. All 571 passengers were saved, no thanks to the captain and his crew.

MTS Oceanos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:41 PM
 
10,559 posts, read 7,365,522 times
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I love cruising but hate the big ships. Our next cruise will be on a ship with just 450 passengers. That is big enough for me.

Quite rightly, this accident has put the safety of cruise ships into question. Nevertheless, we do need to compare with other modes of transport. In this case, out of over 4000 people, only 11 are confirmed dead with another 20 or so missing. And this despite the fact that the ship pretty much went over on its side and that a lot of the lifeboats could not be used. By contrast, in an airplane crash, there are usually no survivors. This suggests that they can be evacuated.

We usually cruise with the same line. Emergency drills are always held before we sail. I have never know a drill to be held after sailing. Because the ships are smaller and because I have been on them multiple times, I also know exactly where the lifeboats are and where the muster station is. Hopefully, I will never have to put that knowledge to use.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 9,214,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
I love cruising but hate the big ships. Our next cruise will be on a ship with just 450 passengers. That is big enough for me.

Quite rightly, this accident has put the safety of cruise ships into question. Nevertheless, we do need to compare with other modes of transport. In this case, out of over 4000 people, only 11 are confirmed dead with another 20 or so missing. And this despite the fact that the ship pretty much went over on its side and that a lot of the lifeboats could not be used. By contrast, in an airplane crash, there are usually no survivors. This suggests that they can be evacuated.

We usually cruise with the same line. Emergency drills are always held before we sail. I have never know a drill to be held after sailing. Because the ships are smaller and because I have been on them multiple times, I also know exactly where the lifeboats are and where the muster station is. Hopefully, I will never have to put that knowledge to use.
Oh, gee. No, respectfully. I don't think so. They were evacuated because they were so close to shore. Some people put on life preservers and jumped in and started swimming to shore. I don't know if they made it or were picked up. There are pictures showing some of the rocks nearby leading to the island and shots showing the ship over the rooftops of buildings.
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