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Old 08-02-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,191 posts, read 83,901,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidyankee764 View Post
No, not the clientele at all. I haven't found the clientele to be much different between Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean. Celebrity clientele is a little more upscale though, as are their ships.

I mean the ships. I also sailed the Dawn and the Epic (and the SS Norway, but that was completely different and I wish she were still in service). It felt like I had to wear sunglasses just walking around the ship because the colors were so damned bright! LOL The colors they use, the shapes of public spaces (especially on the Epic), etc just wasn't for me. Carnival is worse though. RCL can clean it up a bit in that department too. Princess ships are all soft colors, lots of marble, lots of glass. It's beautiful.

Also, re: snobbishness on a longer Princess cruise, the longer the cruise the older the clientele, and the more expensive (generally) the fare. Go on a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Princess and you'll find mostly laid back, fun-seeking passengers.
You are right on about the snobbishness, somewhat based on the longer cruises. Yes, the worst was our 12 day cruise last fall, but we experienced a little of this on our first Celebrity cruise, none others particularly.

As for the Norway, I too wish she was still with us. I know some of the cabins were really small, but what a ship,or so I have been told. We were booked on her but she had the accident not too long before we were to sail. Even though I am not a huge lover of Princess the ships are beautiful, the cabins almost identical to NCL but not as nicely laid out I don't think, but the public areas can't be beat.

I agree Carnival is really gaudy and yes, I guess the Epic is as well, yet remember the Epic is geared to the younger, trendy, set. That is why the 2 new ships will not be much like her.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,978,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
It totally depends on the ship as much as the line: the 3 smallest cabins we have had: 2 were RCI ships, one inside, one outside: the other small cabin was NCL. We did Princess last fall, inside and it was so small you had to climb over the other person to get into the bed. I agree about Carnival cabins; they are not as large as HAL or Disney but they are larger than the other lines.

Kids do not go free on NCL except for the occassional special and most lines offer that, plus they limit it to 2 kids per cabin; if an extra cabin is needed the kids pay full price, all kids pay the port charges and the taxes plus the tips are the same for kids as for adults: as for free excursions, where in the heck did you get that idea? Kids under 3 often do not have to pay for excurtions or only a small amount which is the same as other lines and private tours, but free excursions, NOT!!!!! You obviously do not like NCL and that is the reason there are so many choices out there, but you also do not have your facts correct which is midleading to others who might be here checking information.
Read the above bolded while looking yourself in the mirror. I would have to search my cruise411 e-mails to find where NCL absolutely grants free excursions and fare to children; but I won't. They have done it in the past for a period of at least 1 month each time. It was while we were on our cruise that we heard 2 families discussing it and we made inquiries at the desk and our horror was confirmed. Shortly after returning from that cruise from heck, we got another "special" in our e-mail making a similar offer. So you may not know that it does happen.

As for NCL's cabin size, we knew the size in sq footage before taking the cruise. We checked all cabins on all decks and, except for the suites, they were all the same. We also checked cabins on other ships in their line that would have been within the time frame we needed that cruise to be; and those ships had the same size as well. My 1-car 1920's garage is larger.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,978,887 times
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Since it's too late to edit my above post, I'm adding the links below here, just to make sure others reading here aren't misled by the assertions of the poster insisting that others get their facts correct:

NCL gives free cruises to children:
http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2012/06/norwegian-cruise-line-deal-kids-free/792709/1


And if free cruising isn't enough to encourage people who expect to vacation without minding their own children, let's add in some free babysitting/daycare.

http://www2.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/freestyle-family-fun/kids-crew-and-teen-crew

And let's not forget those shore excursions. Will NCL birth the children, too? How about pay for their education? Put up a sign, romantic cruises not found here.

"Introducing Splash Academy and Entourage. Our newly redesigned, complimentary kids and teens programs."

http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/pressroom/pressRelease.html?storyCode=PR_041612


It's always a good idea to get one's facts straight before telling another poster s/he doesn't have correct facts.

Fact is, Norwegian is encouraging parents who think the crew is supposed to babysit/mind their children and has done everything possible to encourage families to cruise. We specifically avoid ALL holidays and times when children might be off school because we prefer a quieter time, not listening to screaming children - whether they are screams of delight or tiredness, we avoid them. We have plenty of time with our grand/great-grand children and we vacation for romantic/quiet times.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,191 posts, read 83,901,743 times
Reputation: 41978
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
Since it's too late to edit my above post, I'm adding the links below here, just to make sure others reading here aren't misled by the assertions of the poster insisting that others get their facts correct:

NCL gives free cruises to children:
http://travel.usatoday.com/cruises/post/2012/06/norwegian-cruise-line-deal-kids-free/792709/1


And if free cruising isn't enough to encourage people who expect to vacation without minding their own children, let's add in some free babysitting/daycare.

http://www2.ncl.com/freestyle-cruise/freestyle-family-fun/kids-crew-and-teen-crew

And let's not forget those shore excursions. Will NCL birth the children, too? How about pay for their education? Put up a sign, romantic cruises not found here.

"Introducing Splash Academy and Entourage. Our newly redesigned, complimentary kids and teens programs."

http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/pressroom/pressRelease.html?storyCode=PR_041612


It's always a good idea to get one's facts straight before telling another poster s/he doesn't have correct facts.

Fact is, Norwegian is encouraging parents who think the crew is supposed to babysit/mind their children and has done everything possible to encourage families to cruise. We specifically avoid ALL holidays and times when children might be off school because we prefer a quieter time, not listening to screaming children - whether they are screams of delight or tiredness, we avoid them. We have plenty of time with our grand/great-grand children and we vacation for romantic/quiet times.
Ok, let me explain where I am getting my information: I just retired from the industry a few months ago, I worked for the largest cruise line agency in the world and I do know a little about the various companies. You are talking about an article that mentioned certain sailings. The kids cruise free and the rest do not apply to all sailings, just a handful and the 3 mid priced companies all offer these deals from time to time...Yes, right now NCL does have a "kids sail free" if in the same cabin with the parents special. But it isn't with all sailings as you seem to think...

As for the kids program, it really hasn't changed much except they now offer on board coucilors if parents want to go off the ship. They decided to add this as an incentive to encourage familes to consider NCL as other lines have done this for many years. The 6 mo-2 year program is not included and I still would like to know where you get the idea, as you posted earlier, kids do not pay for excursions? What you are quoting was a 1 month promo.

This is why sometimes, it is better for those who are new to any type of vacation to use a travel agent. This way they are not depending on information that might be taken out of context...
Nita
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,978,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Ok, let me explain where I am getting my information: I just retired from the industry a few months ago,


This is why sometimes, it is better for those who are new to any type of vacation to use a travel agent. This way they are not depending on information that might be taken out of context...
Nita

The one time we used a TA, she got every single thing wrong. I spent more time in her office having her change things and RE-READ my WRITTEN requirements than we did ON the 2 week vacation itself. Thank goodness we booked our own B&B in Barcelona as the other couple she arranged got stuck in a 5-star hotel AT THE AIRPORT, while we had the most fantastic B&B experience in our many years of travel. She got the requirement for confirmed seating incorrect; she got the requirement for all 3 of us together incorrect, she got the departure airport incorrect, and she got the oceanview requirement incorrect. Thank goodness we were not new to travel or cruise travel or we would have opted to have a pool dug in our yard after her help.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:58 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,371,690 times
Reputation: 13682
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
The one time we used a TA, she got every single thing wrong. I spent more time in her office having her change things and RE-READ my WRITTEN requirements than we did ON the 2 week vacation itself. Thank goodness we booked our own B&B in Barcelona as the other couple she arranged got stuck in a 5-star hotel AT THE AIRPORT, while we had the most fantastic B&B experience in our many years of travel. She got the requirement for confirmed seating incorrect; she got the requirement for all 3 of us together incorrect, she got the departure airport incorrect, and she got the oceanview requirement incorrect. Thank goodness we were not new to travel or cruise travel or we would have opted to have a pool dug in our yard after her help.
As with any profession, there are good travel agents and bad travel agents and a lot in the middle.

We changed ours a couple of years ago because he was administratively incompetent. He did have a very good knowledge of unique hotels and restaurants but when he screwed up our Australian visas (the last of many small screw ups ... nothing major) that was a step too far.

The one we have now works for a very large international agency and he has done a good job so far. Our relationship is with him but we get the benefit of the infrastructure he has behind him. No screw ups and he has found us some great hotel and flight rates. We are savvy travelers and know how to do a lot of stuff ourselves but he got better rates than we could have got (e.g. saved us $1,900 on our hotel stay in Sydney; same hotel, much better rate). So he is getting our business.

There is no benefit to booking a cruise yourself and quite a lot of benefit to using a travel agent. This is because travel agents are a primary sales channel for the cruise lines and they will often 'share' a little of the commission they get from the cruise line in the form of a reward for using them. Thus, we get $300 in onboard credit plus a bottle of nice wine plus a 'treat' sometime during the cruise. The last 'treat' was fresh strawberries with a Grand Marnier dipping sauce that was waiting in our room one evening. In addition, as our TA is with a large international agency, we have access to their network should something go wrong.

I appreciate that you had a bad experience with your TA. But the solution is not to do everything yourself especially if you are planning a cruise. The solution is to find a good TA.

Last edited by Jaggy001; 06-09-2013 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:02 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,706,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
This is why sometimes, it is better for those who are new to any type of vacation to use a travel agent. This way they are not depending on information that might be taken out of context...
Nita
I couldn't disagree more. If that travel agent doesn't have specific personal experience with where I want to go, they are no better than I am. In fact, I'm better as I'll take the time to research and get the best deals and find the hidden gems, instead of taking some pre-packaged craptacular mainstream trip that TA's love to spoon feed to customers.

Obviously if you use a boutique/concierge travel agent who is incredibly well traveled and has the ability to pull strings to get you into places not typically open to the public, private tours during after hours, chef's tables, etc., then they are worth their weight in gold. They are also few and far between. Unless you are using one of these TA's, you're better off doing it yourself.

The exception might be mainstream cruises. I prefer to sail on lines that half of the TA's out there haven't even heard of, let alone have any experience with.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:13 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,706,123 times
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My current favorite is Windstar. I prefer small, intimate ships with a very low passenger to crew ratio. On my last cruise (14 incredible days!) we were about 1:1. I like the personal service, the great food, having everything you need only a minute away (instead of four football fields) with no lines, ever.

Even the smallest cabins are comfortable and well appointed with plenty of storage. There is plenty of quiet space on the ship, there is always a place to curl up with a book or watch the waves go by. There is also always something to do--a spirited game on the Wii, sunbathing, afternoon tea, two lounges with entertainment, a casino, a spa, a health club with great views of the sea. It's truly the best of allh worlds.

No blaring music at the pool, no chair hogs, no people who can't understand evening dress codes. Just a wonderful ship with sophisticated fellow travelers and an incredible casual elegance. Did I mention the sails?
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:17 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,978,887 times
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I understand that we could shop around and try to find another TA - especially now that we have moved halfway across the country; but we had been doing our own cruise and other travel arrangements for 15 years before deciding to try a TA. Now that we're retired, we'll be travelling even more often and I don't find a bottle of wine to be much incentive. As for the $300 OBC, I can't imagine spending that much except on excursions and at this stage, we prefer to explore on our own.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:20 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,706,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I understand that we could shop around and try to find another TA - especially now that we have moved halfway across the country; but we had been doing our own cruise and other travel arrangements for 15 years before deciding to try a TA. Now that we're retired, we'll be travelling even more often and I don't find a bottle of wine to be much incentive. As for the $300 OBC, I can't imagine spending that much except on excursions and at this stage, we prefer to explore on our own.
Especially because it's usually some craptacular bottle that was the cheapest thing on the wine list.

I could use a $300 OBC at the spa, but I agree, shore excursions? Nope. We're much happier exploring on our own for almost everything.
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