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Old 03-11-2010, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,130 posts, read 45,653,323 times
Reputation: 61804

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We went on our first cruises in the late 80's and the 90's. These were great, fun experiences. A typical beach excursion was when a member of the crew would take a group of passengers to a hotel on the beach for the day...uncrowded and private.

The last cruise was in 2004.
Even though the last one was on a new, big ship, the experience was not very good compared to those in the past. I think it was a Royal Caribbean.

Some of the things that spoiled it for me were very crowded beach excursions and the need to stake a claim to a lounge chair at 6 am in order to get one. Not to mention the fact that they nickle and dime you now for everything you drink or do. Crass.

Are there any cruise lines left that put the passenger's comfort ahead of catering to the masses?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,918 posts, read 13,669,438 times
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There are plenty of cruise lines which have smaller boats which means less crowdedness, more individual attention. But from what I know, they are usually much more expensive so it depends on your budget. I think they also tend to run cruises in more unique locations, not in necessarily in the caribbean.

Small Ship Cruise Lines
Best Small Cruise Ships - Cruises - Cruise Critic
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
9,362 posts, read 22,806,587 times
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http://www.silversea.com/

Relatives have taken two cruises a year on this line for a number of years. They like it BC the ships are small enough to get to locations that the larger ones can't, no long lines to board and the passengers are from all over the world. The trip they just took only had 50 Americans.

They are pricey, but the deals now are incredible- can't beat 60% off!
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,130 posts, read 45,653,323 times
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Yes, I suspected that smaller is better. Some of our best experiences were on older, smaller ships. I'll check these out.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:21 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
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Silversea, Crystal, and Regent would all suit your needs.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Windstar is nice and gets into areas that the bigger ships don't. We are looking at American Safari Cruises for this summer and it takes the small ship experience to another level. They explore Alaska's coast line for the wildlife and glaciers. There are posts that indicate you may not see anyone else on some days but the few that are on the cruise.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:07 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,337,177 times
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We have done two cruises on Seabourn. Its pricey but you get what you pay for and the discounts right now are amazing. We have already booked our third Seabourn cruise for October and we are getting 65% off brochure fares.

Almost no nickel and diming. The only things we paid extra for were tours, the spa and internet. All the rest, including drinks, were included.

And the biggest ship is 450 passengers so no crowds and you can always get a sun bed.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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Love Royal Carribean. They have great ships especially in the Voyager class and Freedom class.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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I thought the drinks were free on a cruise..no?
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:43 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,337,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
I thought the drinks were free on a cruise..no?
It depends on the cruise line. The majority charge for drinks and, if you likje to drink, it can work out expensive. We went with Royal Caribbean a few years ago and bought the wine package for dinner. That cost about $250 for the week. Then you have bar bill and cocktails on top.

The higher end cruise lines such as Seabourn do not charge for drink but the fare is higher.
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