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Old 10-25-2012, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
You mean September, 2013 I'm assuming?
That's their plan. They know a few other couples going on the cruise as well. Dad was a bit hesitant about a 25 day cruise but after seeing the different ports of call and itinerary, he decided it sounded enjoyable.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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Regent is a lovely cruise line. It's definitely more than a step above Royal Caribbean who we detested. We haven't sailed Crystal as they seem too "stuffy" for us.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
That's their plan. They know a few other couples going on the cruise as well. Dad was a bit hesitant about a 25 day cruise but after seeing the different ports of call and itinerary, he decided it sounded enjoyable.
Wow! 25 days! Do you have any idea what the cost of that cruise is going to be?
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Regent is a lovely cruise line. It's definitely more than a step above Royal Caribbean who we detested. We haven't sailed Crystal as they seem too "stuffy" for us.
Would you mind elaborating on why you didn't like Royal Caribbean?
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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There is concurrently a thread called "Your Favorite Cruise Line and Why?" If you drill down, you will find it. The answers therein are varied and informative. Moderator cut: see comment

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 10-26-2012 at 10:34 PM.. Reason: no personal comments/attacks per TOS
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Wow! 25 days! Do you have any idea what the cost of that cruise is going to be?
When I talked to my parents about it, my mom mentioned they booked a small suite and it was $21K/ per person. I did a quick search and actually found the cruise if you want to check the itinerary:

http://www.rssc.com/cruises/VOY13090...y/default.aspx

According to the website it starts at $17K per person which is actually cheaper than cruises on smaller, more intimate vessels. They've really had great experiences with Regent cruises though so primarily they don't even look at other cruise lines anymore; the line seems to cater to an older crowd who are more seasoned travelers. If you want any information, I'm sure I could get it for you!
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Would you mind elaborating on why you didn't like Royal Caribbean?
The food was marginal unless you wanted to pay for the specialty restaurants which were OK, but definitely not anything special.

The service was mediocre at best.

Our cabin had a host of maintenance problems that were reported several times but remained un-addressed through the entire cruise.

The entertainment was cheesey.

There were far too many other passengers who were... well, trashy is a good description.

There were too many drunks.

Royal had their hand in your pocket constantly--it seemed like anything other than the cafeteria food in the dining room and water had an added charge.

We felt like we were being herded everywhere we went.

The ship was crowded and the noise level was horrific. The only place to escape the din was our cabin.

When we cruised them there was a lot of smoke in many of the public areas, although to their credit, I believe they've corrected some of that.

We prefer an atmosphere of understated elegance and enjoy meeting fellow cruisers who are well traveled and enjoy many of the same past times as we do. We've found that type of traveler on Regent and Wind Star, it was very lacking/non-existent on Royal Caribbean.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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First and foremost, you need to decide where in Europe and/or the Mediterranean you want to go. While there are Scandinavian fjord cruises (probably the equivalent to Alaskan Inside Passage cruises, thus very Medicare), you have to decide which cluster of locations you want to see.

These are as follows, having looked at enough itineraries:
1) "Meat and potatoes" Western Mediterranean - some combination of Civitavecchia (port for Rome), Livorno (port for Florence), Cannes, Barcelona, one of the Balearics such as Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar, and Sicily
2) Eastern Mediterranean - some combination of Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete or Rhodes, Istanbul, Alexandria, Haifa (port for Tel Aviv), Malta, and Eastern Sicily
3) Limited Eastern Med and Adriatic - some combination of Athens, Malta, Corfu, another Adriatic Greek port, Dubrovnik in Croatia, and Venice
4) Iberian cruise - some combination of Lisbon, La Coruna, Gibraltar, maybe a port barely inside the Med, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madeira island of Portugal ... and maybe even Casablanca in Morocco

The next thing you should do is go to your Barnes and Noble or library and get the book that rates the cruise lines, or individual ships, from 1 to 5 stars. I know it exists and I only looked up Cunard, and they got 5 stars. Cunard uses their flagship (QM2) for transatlantic, an around the world voyage, and filler cruises in Europe, none of which are that fleshed out in terms of ports. Their ugly boxy non-flagship liners (QV and QE) go on cruises most of the year. I can't imagine many cruise lines that would do a cruise with a never-ending itinerary of ports of call in Southern Europe/the Middle East, from Iberia to the Holy Land. It would be both lengthy and costly.

The best thing to do is get that book. From such a guide, you can pick out a cruise line, and a ship, that works for your personality. Costa is a constant in the Mediterranean and has probably lost a lot of consumer confidence after the Concordia disaster, but what I've heard that they are really filled up by Europeans. The Carnivals and the Princesses seem to be the tacky ones in that industry. The only cruise line I know of that seems to be more somber while not stuffy might be P&O (meaning Pacific & Orient), having seen either their Arcadia or Aurora pull into the port of Quebec City one fall. Again, different P&O ships have different personalities, but I know they go on cruises around Europe. They used to own the Canberra, which was used for transoceanic immigration service to and from Australia. Some of the lines are for big-spenders and I'm sure fraternizing with these people wouldn't be pleasant for the "regular" folks.

A couple of caveats:
- The ports of Marseilles France, Naples Italy and Malaga Spain are kind of scuzzy, so one needs to stay close to their "kindergarten teacher" with the banner if a wide-eyed tourist
- Ships have gotten nice and hefty, so staying above the threshold of 50,000 tons will make for a more comfortable ride, while ships over 100,000 tons might be ginormous and lack intimacy

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 10-27-2012 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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If you use the Limited Eastern Med and Adriatic itinerary you can cruise a very small ship and feel no motion--the water is like glass. Choose a ship that goes to Kotor--and make sure you are awake and on deck early to see the fjords as you sail in to port--stunning! (Plus you'll see the old soviet sub bases carved into the rocks--creepy!)
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Regent is a lovely cruise line. It's definitely more than a step above Royal Caribbean who we detested. We haven't sailed Crystal as they seem too "stuffy" for us.
i have never done Regent or Crystal but agree with you on Royal C. Your comment about Crystal is interesting: I have a friend who said the same: it was just to stuffy and uppity for them. I do know Regent would be my pick if I wanted to try a line that was closer to luxury than mass marketed..
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