U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel > Cruises
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-04-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,894 posts, read 20,179,975 times
Reputation: 35922

Advertisements

I would like to thank everyone for their feedback about their cruising experience. I've been wanting to try cruising as I like the idea of sampling different locations and having a "mobile hotel". Sounds like I just need to research the various lines and decide which is the right fit for me. What has held me back so far was:

1. Pricing is geared towards double occupancy and I am planning on solo cruising. Yes, I've looked into the Norweigan EPIC but not really into the itineraries
2. Concern about the fact that I don't swim in the event of evacuation, although incidents are not as common as other modes of transit.
3. The fact that I have to fly to another port as all the LA-departing cruises go to Mexico, a location I'm not comfortable visiting with the current issues going on.
4. Cost of shore excursions and tipping ...

What makes cruising something that may appeal to me are:

1. Opportunity to sample multiple destinations in one trip
2. Plenty of entertainment/food options
3. "mobile hotel" that travels with me
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-04-2012, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,490,329 times
Reputation: 8778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
I would like to thank everyone for their feedback about their cruising experience. I've been wanting to try cruising as I like the idea of sampling different locations and having a "mobile hotel". Sounds like I just need to research the various lines and decide which is the right fit for me. What has held me back so far was:

1. Pricing is geared towards double occupancy and I am planning on solo cruising. Yes, I've looked into the Norweigan EPIC but not really into the itineraries
2. Concern about the fact that I don't swim in the event of evacuation, although incidents are not as common as other modes of transit.
3. The fact that I have to fly to another port as all the LA-departing cruises go to Mexico, a location I'm not comfortable visiting with the current issues going on.
4. Cost of shore excursions and tipping ...

What makes cruising something that may appeal to me are:

1. Opportunity to sample multiple destinations in one trip
2. Plenty of entertainment/food options
3. "mobile hotel" that travels with me
I have never used the services provided on this site, and some people on Fodors (sp?) said they got a better price elsewhere, but once you get used to their site, you can get a heck of a lot of information on it.

I was looking for cruises that left from US ports and got this:
United States (Continental) Cruise Ports

I get their newsletter, and think maybe you have to sign up to use their
website.

You don't seem to be able to cruise Europe from the US unless you go on a very long and expensive cruise. You might think about flying to Australia and picking up some cruise to the Far East, if that's possible.

Sometimes a good travel agent can come in handy, but as discussed previously, it is hard to get a good, knowledgeable person without someone recommending them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2012, 06:12 AM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,925,738 times
Reputation: 18020
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
When there is a lawsuit the parent/owning company is also often named. They may be responsible. People may believe they have allowed Costa to operate without as much oversight as it should have, and can reach their own conclusions about the rest that they own. That's all.

Sorry. I did not mean to upset you, but that is my take.
I have absolutely no idea why you think what you wrote upset me. I was merely pointing out that your referring to Costa as "Carnival/Costa" would lead to people mistakenly believing that you were talking about Carnival Cruise Lines when you were actually talking about Carnival Corporation.

You may know that Carnival Cruise Lines is not the parent/owning company of Costa, but others may not. I was simply clarifying that point.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2012, 07:08 AM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,925,738 times
Reputation: 18020
Branson: It sounds like you haven't been on a cruise in quite some time since some of your info is outdated. Also, some of what you complain about pertains to cruising in the Caribbean, not cruising in general. I'll try to address some of your concerns below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I have been on several cruises. The one thing I really did not like about them is that *everything* about getting off the boat, is geared toward the early riser. Shore excursions often started at 9 am, if you did not want to get up early to go with the group, you were stuck on the ship all day.
Many cruises that I have been on have had port stops that last until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, especially in latin american or european countries with a thriving nightlife. Some stops were even two full days including an overnight period.

I don't understand your comment at all about being stuck on board the ship if you didn't go on a ship-sponsored tour (which I never do). Nothing prevents people from planning their own private excursions for whatever time they want to go. Moreover, even if you don't want any type of planned activity, you can simply walk off the ship at whatever time you want and just go exploring on your own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
If you want to get off the boat and go explore the town, there usually isn't enough time because you have to be back on board by 3 because the ship usually shoves off at about 4:30 to be at sea for the next destination.

I would have loved to be able to sample the "night life" of some of the destinations we visited, but it never happened.
Again, this is a function of being in the Caribbean. Other than San Juan, I don't know any other Caribbean port where ships stay past 5:00 or so. But as I noted earlier, there are ships that make longer port stops depending on the locale. Last year, I was on a cruise in February that stayed in port for two days in Argentina so that people could experience nightlife in Buenos Aires as well as two days in Valpariso, Chile, so that we could visit Santiago. A cruise I took in May included an overnight stay and two days in Barcelona, Spain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I also was not happy about the room steward knocking on the door at 9 am to see if the room was available for cleaning. They did not have "do not disturb" signs, so about three days into the trip I made a paper sign in the computer center so that they would stop bugging me. Even so, when I finally woke up at 11:30 or so, I could tell that the room steward was not happy that she had to wait for me to get out of the room so she could clean it.
I'm not doubting your story, but every ship I've been on had do not disturb signs in the cabins, and I made good use of them, lol. My wife and I usually order room service breakfast and then stay in the room until noon or later on most sea days. It's never been a problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
As for the stops, usually they are "tourist traps" and most of the reason for people going to them is to buy things. On St. John, the timeshare salesmen swooped down on us as soon as we were off the boat to offer us "free rum" in exchange for a timeshare presentation. Fortunately, I don't care much for rum LOL so we weren't interested.
Once again, your experience is because you cruised to Caribbean islands whose major industry is tourism. Your comment that port stops are usually "tourist traps" is simply not true, unless you consider places like Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Caracas, Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Athens, Prague, Stockholm, Sydney, Singapore, etc., etc,. etc., to be tourist traps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
On board the food was good, but you were limited when you could eat. There was no food available after 10 pm, which stinks. My understanding is that on some boats there is food available 24 hours a day, so that would not be an issue, but when I went, it was not available so I had to get food earlier and stick it in my stateroom for later. Since there was no microwave available I either had to get something cold (like a sandwich) or eat whatever I had cold. That was ok some times, but as we all know, cold french fries are the pits.
How long ago was it that you cruised? Most ships now either have cafes on board that are open 24 hours or offer 24-hour room service. There is no period of time on any ship of any of the major cruise lines where you can't get something hot to eat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I did not like "formal night" because I am not one to get dressed up. So I stayed in the stateroom (feigning illness), and had someone bring me dinner, which made me mad.
On any ship that has a formal night (and not all do), that suggested dress code only pertains to the main dining room. People who don't wish to dress can always go to one of the alternative restaurants, such as the buffet on the Lido (or pool) deck. Moreover, cruising has gotten a lot less formal over the years and I would estimate that even in the main dining room only about 60-75% actually dress up. Nobody is refused entrance for not dressing up (as long as you're not is shorts and flip flops). Nobody has to stay in their room if they don't want to participate in formal night activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Also, we had to put our alcohol in coke bottles to bring them on board because they won't let you bring in your own alcohol.
Again, different cruise lines have different policies. For example, on Holland America, you can bring as much wine as you want aboard, but you have to buy liquor from them. However, you can purchase bottles or complete set-ups and have them delivered to your room. Most other cruise lines limit the amount of wine to one or two bottles, but still allow you to purchase bottles for your room. The premium cruise lines even provide free bottles for your room and/or include all alcohol drinks in the cruise price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Since we like to drink, it was annoying to have to take your "drink" back to the room to put in the booze and then go back up to the bar to drink it.
I'm sorry, but what you are trying to do is just flat-out wrong. Do you take liquor with you when you go to a bar in Branson? Of course not! That would be reprehensible as that is how the bar makes money. It is the same with cruise ships. Without the money they make selling drinks in their bars and showrooms, the cruise lines would lose money. The fare itself is not enough to pay for the entire cruise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
What I loved about cruising is the ocean.
This is the part that I like the best too. Most cruises we take are at sea for more days than they are at port. For example, we are taking a 13-day cruise next month from Miami to Malaga, Spain. The cruise includes a straight 7-day period at sea, and we are only in port a total of 4 days out of the 13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I would definitely take another cruise one day, but I would look for one that was more flexible with their departure hours and one that offered flexible eating times.
I'm glad to see that you are still amenable to future cruising and I hope that you find one that fits your needs. By the way, most cruise lines these days have completely flexible dining plans rather than the old style fixed-time dining where you selected either early or late seating. Now it is more akin to going to any land-based restaurant where you can either make advanced reservations for a particular time each night or just show up whenever you're hungry and be seated at any available table.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-05-2012, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,490,329 times
Reputation: 8778
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
I have absolutely no idea why you think what you wrote upset me. I was merely pointing out that your referring to Costa as "Carnival/Costa" would lead to people mistakenly believing that you were talking about Carnival Cruise Lines when you were actually talking about Carnival Corporation.

You may know that Carnival Cruise Lines is not the parent/owning company of Costa, but others may not. I was simply clarifying that point.
Oh, glad to hear that. I am on a couple of forums about cruising, as my husband and I are interested in taking the leap . One, based in the UK, is very civil and open, but there are two based in the US which seem to be very heavily controlled by the industry and get bent out of shape when people post anything that might discourage cruising. I posted a few items on killer waves which got some nasty responses. I was considering that you might be one of 'them'. Again, I'm sorry, I was just trying to have my say and avoid an argument.

I don't think that all the lines owned by Carnival are suspect, but I do feel, especially if the crew are taking drugs, that there is not enough oversight going on in some of them. It's scary to think the captain is up there not being able to see instruments because he left his glasses elsewhere.

Drug taking varies, just like alcohol consumption does and I don't give a hoot if he has a willing lady friend on board.

I am not sure, either, whether a nasty news article may be planted to make the captain look bad, when who knows - many others may be doing the same?

I think, especially since there was a prior incident, that oversight was missing, and you can often go up the ranks even to the parent company to place the blame for that.

Last edited by goldengrain; 03-05-2012 at 12:06 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-31-2012, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,490,329 times
Reputation: 8778
Am I just noticing this more, or have there been this many cruise problems in the past?

Cruise ship carrying Western tourists en route to Malaysia after engine fire - NYPOST.com

The Azamara Quest is carrying about 600 mostly American and European tourists. A fire in the engine room of the ship injured five crew members and left the ship adrift late Friday.[LEFT]
[/LEFT]
Passengers are safe.
This is, I think, a six star line. I wonder if WE will ever find out how these things happen - the back story.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-31-2012, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,397,418 times
Reputation: 5806
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
As for the stops, usually they are "tourist traps" and most of the reason for people going to them is to buy things. On St. John, the timeshare salesmen swooped down on us as soon as we were off the boat to offer us "free rum" in exchange for a timeshare presentation. Fortunately, I don't care much for rum LOL so we weren't interested.
Someone from Branson is disturbed by tourist traps?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-31-2012, 06:00 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 28,638,351 times
Reputation: 8781
There are only a couple of places I'd like to see via a cruise ship. The Western Mediterranean and Europe's islands in the Atlantic, New England/Quebec, and possibly the Caribbean. I think cruises are more for someone who likes shipboard life and the ports are sort of a bonus. I couldn't imagine going on a cruise to the Pacific side of Mexico, with a bunch of blithering idiots from SoCal partying heavily. I know that, when a ship calls on Lisbon Portugal, it pulls in at 8 am and departs at 5 pm. That's NOT enough for such a great city.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-31-2012, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,490,329 times
Reputation: 8778
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
There are only a couple of places I'd like to see via a cruise ship. The Western Mediterranean and Europe's islands in the Atlantic, New England/Quebec, and possibly the Caribbean. I think cruises are more for someone who likes shipboard life and the ports are sort of a bonus. I couldn't imagine going on a cruise to the Pacific side of Mexico, with a bunch of blithering idiots from SoCal partying heavily. I know that, when a ship calls on Lisbon Portugal, it pulls in at 8 am and departs at 5 pm. That's NOT enough for such a great city.
From what I have read some of the higher rated cruise lines try to spend more time in ports.

The reason some cruises advertise cheaper cruises is that they try to spend a lot of time on sea where they can rake you over the coals paying for extras and buying stuff on board. You also have tips to contend with and pay extra for tours while on land.

The more expensive lines (I think Regent and maybe some of the Silversea and Seabourn) are more inclusive of those extras and do spend more time on land.

It's also a good way to figure out which countries you might like to spend more time in for tours on later vacations.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-01-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,449 posts, read 4,441,334 times
Reputation: 2467
I got back last week from my first cruise - a 7 day cruise from Manhattan down to the Bahamas on Norwegian - and had such a great time I've already booked our next one, a 10 night Eastern Caribbean cruise coming up in December with Royal Caribbean.

I splurged and got us a mini suite on Norwegian, which was great, but cheaped out and just got us an interior room for our upcoming one with Royal. I was deciding between getting a nicer cabin and maybe going once a year or year and a half, versus getting a lower quality cabin and being able to go a couple times a year, the later choice won out.

The 10 night cruise with Royal was $559 per person; I can hardly live at home for that much!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel > Cruises
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top