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Old 07-27-2011, 11:31 PM
 
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I would never want to go on a cruise- it includes everything I can't stand- groups of strangers with nothing in common, boats, waves, parties and some clothes stuff.
I do know people who absolutely love cruises. More for them!
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:23 AM
 
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It seems that many people here only think of this topic in terms of the mass market cruise lines that advertise heavily (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, etc.) with their megaliners filled with thousands of unsophisticated passengers all doing the same thing. Sort of like a Disney World on the ocean. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many cruise lines that specialize in upscale travel on boutique ships that is nothing like your preconceived notions of what cruising the world can be like.

One of my favorite cruise lines is Windstar. Their ships are motorized sailboats with only 72 cabins (but with over 100 crew to pamper its passengers). There are no dress codes, no set meal times, and passengers are free to do whatever they prefer, both on board the ship and while in port. Being aboard a Windstar ship is akin to being on a large private yacht. Here is a short video that gives you some idea of what sailing on Windstar is like. (It is a portion of a longer promotional video that also includes info about the ports of call around the world that the ship visits.)


‪Windstar Cruises‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:37 AM
 
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Better website for info is cruisecritic.com. They have a big forum for cruisers where you might find info or ask questions.

I would never do it without first finding out if I absolutely love cruising and the cruise line itself. It is a big adjustment to live the cruise lifestyle for a long period.

I know I dont like cruising to see the world. You dock at commercial ports, it is super expensive to see the actual cities/countries and you only get one snapshot. Dont learn much. Visas need to be obtained for any country you want to enter and this just alone is timeconsuming and/or very expensive.

You have to ship and store what you want for the whole time gone. Internet is super expensive and slow.

I guess the negatives outweigh the positives for me. We love to travel to a foreign country and just spend a month at a time to learn about the culture.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
I know I dont like cruising to see the world. You dock at commercial ports, it is super expensive to see the actual cities/countries and you only get one snapshot. Dont learn much.
Cruising definitely is not for everyone, but I'm not sure what you're talking about here. In many ports, you walk off the ship and you are right in the middle of town. For example, that's the way it was when my cruise in May stopped in Barcelona and Monte Carlo among other ports of call. (Now of course, that doesn't work if the city in question is not on the coast.) While cruiseline tours can be expensive, there is no reason to sign up for them. In fact, most experienced cruisers tour independently or arrange their own private or group tours. The ship's tours (usually by bus or van) are well-suited for older passengers who are may be mobility-impaired.

I have no idea what you mean about only getting one snapshot and not learning much. Obviously, a port stop of one or two days can not come anywhere near the immersion into the culture one can acquire with a month-long visit. But that's not the purpose of a cruise. It provides the opportunity to visit several cities/countries on one trip without the need to pack and unpack and gives you an overview of the city/country so that you can decide whether you want to return for a more indepth land trip.

Earlier this year I took a cruise from LA to Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Trying to arrange such a trip on my own would have been a planning nightmare and prohibitively expensive compared to the ease of scheduling and cost of the cruise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
Visas need to be obtained for any country you want to enter and this just alone is timeconsuming and/or very expensive.
Another head-scratcher. There are very few countries that require U.S. Citizens to acquire a visa. The ones that come to mind immediately are China and Russia. There are none in western Europe that I'm aware of. Only Brazil in all of Central or South America. Only Australia in the South Pacific. Moreover, the countries that do require visas make it very easy to obtain them. Sometimes, as with Turkey, you can just do it upon arrival. Others, such as Australia, you can simply do it online for about $20.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
You have to ship and store what you want for the whole time gone. Internet is super expensive and slow.
The ship's Internet service is expensive and slow. That's why I rarely use it. However, in most ports, there are free or very low-cost Internet cafes right where the ship docks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
I guess the negatives outweigh the positives for me. We love to travel to a foreign country and just spend a month at a time to learn about the culture.
I, too, sometime like to visit countries for extended periods of time. But sometimes, I'd rather enjoy the journey itself. And if you have the time, it is much nicer traveling from the U.S. to Europe or Asia by ship than in a cramped airline seat. And no jet lag either!
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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Madman, great response! I'd enjoy having you at my table on a cruise anytime!
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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My wife went on her first Cruise (Bahama's) in 2000 with her two sisters......she loved it! We had met just prior to her Cruise, and I couldn't afford to go with her, but kept in contact with her over the phone. In 2008, she talked to me about going on a 4-day Bahama's Cruise. She told me "let's do this before we get too much older and possibly can't" and I agreed. I spent some years in the Navy, so this Cruise ship ride was fine to me. Nice, but small cabin w/a small porthole window.......cool. Food was good, stage shows ok, gambling ok (couldn't win though) and the 1\2 day tour to Blackbeards Island was great. Crystal blue water and warm; great for swimming! Would I go on another Cruise, YES! But, first, a trip to the Florida Keys, Washington D.C., Niagara Falls and possibly New York City. She's been to these places, but I haven't.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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Anyone go to Thailand?
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:24 AM
 
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Spent a month in Thailand last November. Wonderful place and cant wait to go back. Even crazy busy noisy Bangkok was interesting and worth going back to.

We went up to the Myanamar border and then Chiang Mai. Then back down to Bangkok and down to Krabi and 3 days on a private island.

Wonderful country with friendly people.

A good site to visit is thaifoodandtravel.com

She is a photographer and spends half the year in Thailand.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
How did you like it? Just trying to find out some information for friends of parents who are thinking about it.
I would post on Cruise Critic Message Boards

You need to tell us something about the couple. Do they cruise alot? If not then they should try some 14 to 30 day cruises. How old?
The cruise will be doing about the same thing each day. When you are in port then probably a tour. They have to make sure their budget can handle it. You could be talking up to a quarter of a million dollars.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
You need to tell us something about the couple. Do they cruise alot? If not then they should try some 14 to 30 day cruises. How old? The cruise will be doing about the same thing each day. When you are in port then probably a tour. They have to make sure their budget can handle it. You could be talking up to a quarter of a million dollars.
Where in God's name did you come up with a figure like that?? I suppose one could spend that much in a luxury suite on a super premium cruise line, but there definitely is no necessity to do so if one is on a budget. For example, Holland America has a 112-day Grand World Voyage with prices starting at less than $20k per person. Even factoring in tours (which aren't required or necessary), tips, and other ancillary charges, it would be easy to do the four-month cruise for about a fifth of what you are suggesting.

Cruises to Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and the world on Holland America, one of the best cruise lines

I do agree with your recommendation that if the couple have not cruised much that they should start with shorter cruises. I've done a couple of 30 day cruises, including one earlier this year, but I don't think that I'd want to spend almost four times that amount of time on a cruise ship on one voyage.
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