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Old 11-26-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Anyone have any experience with this cruise line? I'm looking at one of their cruises, but have never even heard of them before.

What cruise lines would you personally avoid like the plague?

One more question, and this one's a biggie for me. Which lines or ships should we avoid if we don't want to be surrounded by a few hundred snobby socialites? What cruise line would an active 65-year-old woman and 71-year-old man enjoy? We are not big partiers, but are looking for a cruise where we could relax on board, get to know like-minded couples, and really enjoy sightseeing at the ports-of-call? We're thinking primarily of either a European cruise or an Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific Cruise.

The only cruise we've ever taken in the past was a Carnival one in the Bahamas that sailed for 3-4 days in conjunction with a visit to Walt Disney World. We had two pre-teens with us. We did have a fun trip, but were very disappointed in the ship itself, the "Carnivale." It's probably not even sailing any more. It was extremely old and not at all well-maintained. We didn't fit in AT ALL with the other passengers.

I really don't want to cruise with a bunch of mega-wealthy snobs, and I don't want to cruise with the riff-raff that we encountered on the Carnivale either. We would prefer not to be either the oldest passengers or the youngest ones either. While I guess that, at our age, the liklihood of our being the youngest would be pretty unlikely, I'd say that an average age of 55-65 would be good. Having a bunch of kids running wild all over the ship would also not be my idea of a great time.

Last edited by Katzpur; 11-26-2013 at 02:00 PM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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Katzpur,

Perhaps your best bet might be a cruise to Alaska. I found that the people on that cruise were neither "riff raff" or "wealthy snobs" for the most part. Most of them were retirees. I ran into many federal and state retirees. A number were school teachers. This strikes me as a group you might connect with a little better. I know you like a bit of diversity and there were also plenty of people from foreign countries onboard. The average age here was definitely older than groups I encountered in the Caribbean.

I'm just speculating here. However, a short cheap cruise to the Bahamas probably draws a lot of younger people who are interested in chasing the opposite sex and drinking all the liquor that they can. The same might be true of many of the week long Caribbean Cruises that are available. Mexican Riviera? Never been on one, but I can imagine the younger "party crowd" would like that too.

Europe or South Pacific? That group is going to be a little more "well healed" and you are more likely to find the rich snobs that bother you. These tend to be longer and more costly cruises and tend to draw the more well-to-do. Although, its hard to say. We did a South Pacific Cruise in our thirties and were certainly not than or now "mega wealthy".

Again, I think for meeting the people you want, that Alaska might be the best choice. Although, maybe that 's not warm and sunny enough.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Again, I think for meeting the people you want, that Alaska might be the best choice. Although, maybe that 's not warm and sunny enough.
Thanks, Mark. I appreciate the insight, even though it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped to hear. As for Alaska, I hear those cruises are great, but there is no way in the world I'm ever going to go anywhere that's colder than where I am right now!
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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MSC is an italian cruise line. The names you are probably familiar with (Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian, Celebrity, NCL, Carnival) all cater to Americans, and no matter where you go in the world, the vast majority of clientele will be Americans. Entertainment will be typical "american" humor or musical acts, announcements will all be made in English, and food will be geared towards American palates.

MSC will likely have a vast majority of European cruisers, especially if you do a Med. cruise. Expect announcements in other languages, entertainment that may or may not be familiar, etc. Not bad, just different.

Celebrity is supposed to be one of the nicer cruise lines. I have not traveled them. I found NCL to be extremely cheap and mediocre. Holland America was really lovely (it has the reputation of being an old fogey line, but as a 20-something I enjoyed it!), and Royal Caribbean was a nice family line that catered to all ages and was a big step up from NCL or Carnival. If cruising is something you are really interested in, I would check out cruisecritic.com for detailed itinerary/ship reviews. Their boards will give you a good feel for the demographics, and you can find a "roll call" for specific itineraries you're interested in.

The demographics on your ship will largely depend on your itinerary and time of year. A Caribbean cruise over spring break will have lots of younger passengers (families, college kids, etc) while a European cruise in October will be mostly couples.

My husband and I have done several Caribbean cruises, an Alaskan cruise, an Eastern Med/Egypt cruise, and a Baltics cruise. The Eastern Med/Egypt was honestly the best vacation we've ever done in our lives. It was go go go go go in port all day, and then relax on the ship at night. Wonderful balance.

Word to the wise: Never book ship excursions. Go on tripadvisor and find independent companies in each port. You will appreciate it!
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,118,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
MSC is an italian cruise line. The names you are probably familiar with (Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian, Celebrity, NCL, Carnival) all cater to Americans, and no matter where you go in the world, the vast majority of clientele will be Americans. Entertainment will be typical "american" humor or musical acts, announcements will all be made in English, and food will be geared towards American palates.

MSC will likely have a vast majority of European cruisers, especially if you do a Med. cruise. Expect announcements in other languages, entertainment that may or may not be familiar, etc. Not bad, just different.
Thank you! That's extremely helpful to know.

Quote:
Celebrity is supposed to be one of the nicer cruise lines. I have not traveled them. I found NCL to be extremely cheap and mediocre. Holland America was really lovely (it has the reputation of being an old fogey line, but as a 20-something I enjoyed it!), and Royal Caribbean was a nice family line that catered to all ages and was a big step up from NCL or Carnival. If cruising is something you are really interested in, I would check out cruisecritic.com for detailed itinerary/ship reviews. Their boards will give you a good feel for the demographics, and you can find a "roll call" for specific itineraries you're interested in.
Thank you again! I am going to check out cruisecritic.com right now!
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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I did book clients on MSC a few time with mixed reviews. They are very much like Costa, mainly due to the Italian influence. The prices are right, the ships are nice, but I think you would be happier with a line more geared to the American life style. We were on a Princess cruise, a few years ago. At a few of our ports we ran into several people sailing MSC. None of them were very impressed. I don't like to knock any line because everyone has an idea of what they want and like many things: what makes a cruise line good is very subjective.

Now, what would I choose if I were in your shoes? I would go with either NCL or RCI. Both will have lots of activities for your age, neither will be over run with kids (especially if you are thinking Med) Celebrity is very popular and might be another for you to consider. It is slightly more upscale and yes, a little more snotty, but not bad. Their passengers are just very loyal, so don't seem to think there is anything wrong with the cruise line and many don't understand how anyone could like another line. HAL is a great line. You might find the clientele a little to subdued. Another possibility, if you want to spend the extra money is to look into river cruising. The ships are small, everyone gets to know everyone else and they are the latest trend. But there isn't as much ship activity.

I notice someone mentioned NCL as being cheaper and just mediocre. I am not sure which ship she was on or where she sailed from, but they are not dirt cheap and are on a par with RCI as well as a few other lines. Maybe they were on one of the older ships that no longer are owned by NCL.

The one line you notice I haven't mentioned or two actually are: Princess and Carnival. I don't think you would enjoy either of them. Princess passengers can be very snooty, I don't know why and Carnival is more for people who want to sail the Caribbean and just have a fun experience.

I would suggest you find the itinerary that suits you best or maybe a couple of them. then you dan narrow your choice down. BTW, I agree with your idea about Alaska. Most people love their Alaskan cruise experience, we are so glad we did it, but probably would not do it again. I want to see the warm ocean when I cruise.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: NC
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I have done Regent's Baltic and Mediterranean cruises and they are definitely great. The price point is higher, but they are all inclusive including shore excursions, alcohol, and luxury dining. In interesting cities you can do as many shore excursions in a day as you can fit in.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Okay, we're seriously thinking about a 12-day cruise on the Celebrity Equinox. Ports are: Barcelona, Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Capri, Mykonos, Ephesus, Athens, Dubrovnik, and Venice.

Most of the sailing is at night. I guess that's typical. I'd just never stopped to think about it. Two full days are at sea. We'd depart May 8, and we can get an inside room for $1789 per person (that's a discount rate). Any red flags anybody can think of?
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,957 posts, read 83,625,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Okay, we're seriously thinking about a 12-day cruise on the Celebrity Equinox. Ports are: Barcelona, Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Capri, Mykonos, Ephesus, Athens, Dubrovnik, and Venice.

Most of the sailing is at night. I guess that's typical. I'd just never stopped to think about it. Two full days are at sea. We'd depart May 8, and we can get an inside room for $1789 per person (that's a discount rate). Any red flags anybody can think of?
The ship is supposed to be great, the itinerary is wonderful and I think you will have a great trip. 2 days at sea are fine. My only concern and this isn't a true negative is the inside cabin. For a 12 day cruise, an inside cabin can get pretty boring. I know, we did the same thing, 12 days, on Princess, 2 years ago; we decided we would never do an inside again. Of course the other side of the coin, some people cruise constantly and always choose the inside cabin. It leaves more money in the budget for excursions and other things.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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We do inside cabins all the time (in fact, we book inside guarantee and just let the cruiseline assign us). Never been a problem, as we don't spend much time in the cabin with our eyes open unless we are in the shower.

Although I nearly always agree with nmnita, our preferred cruise lines are an area where we differ. The NCL cruise we took was one of our worst - people bringing booze to the dining room disguised in Gatorade bottles, shorts allowed in the dining room, and upcharges for nearly everything. I admit, the departure of Galveston and the itinerary probably had a lot to do with it, and we may reconsider if we ever want to do a totally non-formal cruise experience. RCCL is also a cruise line that we do not like, primarily because it caters to families. I mean, a ship that has a rock climbing wall, ice rink and mini-golf isn't aiming for the senior citizen crowd.

We're in a similar age group to the OP, and 'get' what you mean about snooty people. Our preferences have been HAL and Celebrity.

To avoid the snooty people, avoid the high end luxury lines like Windstar, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, etc.
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