Author Topic: What do you think about cruise ships?  (Read 5178 times)

swampwiz

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What do you think about cruise ships?
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:26:46 PM »
I was reading this, and it got me interested:

https://nypost.com/2018/02/28/i-was-trapped-on-a-floating-vomitorium

Notice the cleaning worker with a face mask on!

Let's presume that you have already decided to spend cash on some of vacation.  OT1H, cruises are self-contained vacations, with port-of-calls very convenient.  OTOH, you're stuck with the ship, looking at the same faces, etc.  And it seems that with so many folks on them these days, disease outbreaks are very common. 

As for myself, I have only been on 1 cruise (with my high school class during Easter week - not a good idea to have a 100 horny lads in the midst of a regular cruise population, except for a few cougar divorcees ...), other than an overnight between Greek islands, which wasn't a "cruise" in the regular meaning of the term.  I can still remember the toilet seat being below the shower head, which to this day still strikes me with wretching.


I'm a red panda

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 06:39:49 PM »
I've been on 5 cruises. We find them to be wonderful, enjoyable vacations. I cruise for ports more than the ship. I don't really like sea days, but if you like Vegas hotels, it's basically what a ship is.

In the carribean we cruise Carnival because it's cheap, the rooms are nice, and it goes to the ports we want. The food isn't great.

Our Galapagos cruise was amazing. A land vacation would not have been remotely similar. There were about 100 people on the ship.

We have never been on a ship with a noro outbreak. My husband did get a bad sinus infection one cruise and the ships doctor was professional and knowledge. The cost of treatment and medication was a small fraction of what it would be at home.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 06:53:49 PM by I'm a red panda »

Cranky

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2018, 06:49:43 PM »
I feel like they are like giant floating malls with a lot of food. Some people love that, some people donít.

Iíve told my dh that Iíll go on a river cruise, or a Great Lakes cruise, but not a mega cruise. He always thought it sounded like fun because he likes boats, but when he looked more closely, itís not all that boat-like.

ETBen

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2018, 07:15:08 PM »
Cruises are everything people say they are, good and bad. Iíve been on many and never gotten sick. I canít say I would go on one if it werenít for my kids. As a single parent, itís a really easy vacation. I get to spend quality time with my kids with no effort (they donít go to the kids area), everything is easily available, the staff caters to me (and them).

Movies under the stars, trivia, ďfancyĒ dinners, all the hokey shows, waterslides, beaches. We donít do the cruise excursions at port but I always plan a little local adventure on our own.

Papa bear

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 08:02:38 PM »
So, my idea of a great vacation is unplanned exploring of some new cool area. Set me off and I’ll find something fun. If not, get moving to the next place.  If it’s awesome, I stick around.  Sounds nothing like a cruise.  But I’ve been on 2.  Not my idea of the Best Vacation Ever, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated and I would consider going on more.

I’ve been on cruises with regular stops - I basically had the chance to explore an island for a day, go back to my “hotel,” hang out with my friends/family, sleep, and next day wake up with a new place to go. I got off, found a taxi driver, and told them to take me away from the tourists and find something to do. Not too bad. The day at sea? If I had more than 1 day in a row, I would have been a bit stir crazy.


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exterous

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 08:35:02 PM »
Most of our vacations are not cruises but we've done 4: 4 day Bahamas, 7 day eastern Caribbean, 7 day Alaskan and 8 day Baltic. We did the 4 day one first because I don't like crowds and was apprehensive about how much I would like cruises. We've enjoyed all 4 and I think they can work well in certain situations - like the ability to get to several locations that would otherwise be hard to get to in a short period of time. I also was able to find plenty of places to get away from people (The forwards decks seem to be quite deserted and peaceful at night). It helps that we are early to rise people so its easy to shift our eating times to be slightly off 'peak' times (which seem quite busy). As a side note, on our cruises we noticed that we often pulled into port early but they never seem to announce that. So if the Arrival Time is 8am there have been many instances where we've been off the ship by 7:30am and basically have the city\port\beach to ourselves.

I think another important aspect is to take a careful look at itineraries. We like long port days but some itineraries have notably shorter in port durations than others. I think it was in Juneau where we saw one Norwegian Cruise Line ship dock for only half a day while a different Norwegian ship spent the whole day there. When we went to the Baltics I picked a trip that spent 2 days there while most others spent 8-10 hours.

Zikoris

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 10:02:09 PM »
We tried it once and didn't have a great experience - the ports were really cool, and the entertainment was great, but the on-board experience left a lot to be desired - they air conditioned that ship to within an inch of its life, and we had to wear sweaters and coats constantly. Also, the food was terrible, people were trying to sell us crap constantly, and I got horribly seasick until near the end when I finally figured out some tricks to help with that.

That said, it's been about six years, and we're thinking about giving it another shot with a different cruise line. Our city is a cruise port, and we really like the idea of being able to walk 15 minutes from our front door and hop on board vs flying somewhere. There are also a lot more Caribbean islands I want to check out, if we decide to go that way instead.

rdaneel0

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2018, 09:28:01 AM »
Husband and I went on a cruise once and loved it. It was our first vacation together (for our 5 year anniversary) so I'm sure that colored things some, but we went to gorgeous beach destinations, the food was well above average (and I'm extremely particular), and it was a lot of fun! I would definitely do a cruise again, maybe a more specialty one to see the fjords in Norway or to travel around the coast of Asia. If you don't drink much onboard it's very affordable. I will say the live performances were pretty bad, IMO, but I both have a dance background and live in NYC, so I am a snob.

I think the hate on cruising is somewhat elitist. There's this idea that there is REAL traveling and then just vacationing, which is so stupid because both are signs of disposable income and trying to intellectualize one into being some morally superior thing is absurd. Also, cruises are awesome if you have any mobility issues. Not everyone can backpack around the wilderness and take busses across unpaved roads through the mountains, or whatever, lol.

I should also mention there was a 24-hour ice cream bar. I don't care for ice cream, but my husband practically had a fit. He got our money's worth in ice cream and toppings alone. 10/10 recommend.

CheapScholar

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2018, 09:46:51 AM »
I find that people either love cruising or hate it.  I love it.  Iíve been on 4.  Alaska with NCL twice, Western Caribbean with NCL, and an awesome 13 nighter of the Mediterranean with RCCL.

You can get real bargains on cruising if you donít need to go on the newest ship and/or youíre willing to go off peak season (save even more with interior room).  Although, I monitor cruise prices quite a bit and itís harder and harder to find deals with the economy this hot.

Iíll also say that cruising can be a great family vacation if youíre a one child family.  My son loves cruising because heís never bored with the activities and thereís always other kids (often other spoiled only children) to play with.

Lastly, Iíll note that some people ďtestĒ cruising to see if they like it by going on a short 3 nighter.  Donít do this.  The short cruises are often on rather crummy ships and attract a party crowd mentality.  If you really want to see if you like cruising Iíd suggest doing a traditional 7 nighter on a decent ship (somerthing built in the last 10 years).  I highly recommend NCL but thatís just my opinion.

Dave1442397

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2018, 09:53:37 AM »
We did a seven-day cruise on the Disney Dream, and I must say it was fantastic. It's the only cruise I've ever done. We really enjoyed it, but I wouldn't do it again - it's just not the kind of vacation I'm really into. I would consider an Alaska cruise, but that's about it.

PizzaSteve

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2018, 11:03:45 AM »
Agree people can love or hate cruises.

There is actually a lot of room to control your own experience.  Good decisions about chosing where to eat and what onboard activities you participate in will greatly enhance the trip (can read a book on your balcony and order room service, for example or spend most the cruise in dancing lessons or the gym, outside of port calls).

That said, I did catch a bad cold in one `sick ship`.  This particular one was a continuation of a longer cruise, with 2/3rds of passengers staying onboard for over 30 days.  It seems for health, starting the cruise with mostly new people is better as any sick persons would takes time to spread through the ship.  The ship is pretty good at sanitizing, but I might avoid the buffet room and adopt the traditional sit down dining option instead. Less temptation to over ear by piling on food, civilized, supports jobs for serving staff and nice for social conversation with new people.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 01:50:34 PM by PizzaSteve »

PiobStache

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2018, 12:07:07 PM »
We did our first and only cruise back in 2015 for our ten year wedding anniversary.  The first thing I liked was we could book over a year in advance and only had to put down a refundable $300 or so.  We splurged and got the biggest suite on the boat and I have to say it was worth every penny.  From being personally escorted on board directly to our suite while everyone else was lined up to included upgrades to the premium restaurants every night to priority...well, everything, it was a great experience.  Can't afford to do that more than a few times in a lifetime but we'll have these awesome memories forever.


Askel

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2018, 12:40:35 PM »
In general, cruise ships are everything I hate about pretty much anything all crammed into one stupid gigantic boat. 

However, I do make the occasional exception. i.e.- take a russian nuclear icebreaker to the north pole: https://www.polarcruises.com/arctic/ships/icebreaker/50-years-of-victory-p

I'd delay FIRE by an extra year to do that. 

Candace

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2018, 12:46:29 PM »
We did a seven-day cruise on the Disney Dream, and I must say it was fantastic. It's the only cruise I've ever done. We really enjoyed it, but I wouldn't do it again - it's just not the kind of vacation I'm really into. I would consider an Alaska cruise, but that's about it.

We've also been on the Disney Dream. It was for a four or five day cruise in the Bahamas. My parents wanted a vacation that three generations could enjoy together. They're in their early eighties, and my nephews are six and seven. I am one of those people who think that cruising isn't traveling, except perhaps for a river cruise which is definitely on my list. I still think that. However, for a family vacation with multiple generations, especially with little kids and elderly grandparents, it's a wonderful way to vacation together. The ship was beautiful and incredibly engineered like everything Disney. The food was pretty darn good. The experience was quite cheesy, but well done.

nick663

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2018, 01:10:36 PM »
I'm kind of meh about cruises.  My wife likes them.

Pros - Per day rate is pretty reasonable when compared to a normal (non-travel hacked) vacation.  Variety of destinations.  Ships I've been on have been pretty nice and had decent food (I'm not picky).
Cons - Limited destinations and you drop 3k passengers per ship into that area meaning an industry of touristy garbage is built around the port.  Pushy sales tactics from locals.  Ridiculously priced shore excursions.

My favorite stops have been ports where we rented a scooter from a local place and got away from the cruise ship traffic.  We have only done that in places we knew were safe no matter where we went (Key West/Grand Cayman) but those days were great.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2018, 01:35:34 PM »
In general, cruise ships are everything I hate about pretty much anything all crammed into one stupid gigantic boat.  However, I do make the occasional exception. i.e.- take a russian nuclear icebreaker to the north pole: https://www.polarcruises.com/arctic/ships/icebreaker/50-years-of-victory-p
I'd delay FIRE by an extra year to do that.
I took a 13 day cruise to the Antarctic peninsula through that company back in 2009. It was amazing, and not as outrageously expensive as you might think. Including flights from the US, and a few days in Buenos Aires, it was a tad less than $10k all-in. Also, the passengers weren't exactly typical cruise goers. For example, we didn't get room keys, all cabin rooms remained unlocked at all times, and there wasn't a single problem with anything going missing the entire trip.

Cassie

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2018, 01:37:42 PM »
We have been on 6 cruises that were for a week each. We went on RC and the food and entertainment was great.  Lots to do onboard. Love taking tours at the ports.  My favorites were Alaska and New England and Canada. The rest have been Caribbean ports.  We always watch for sales.  We took one princess cruise and it was awful in every respect.  I have heard that Holland is great too but the average age is 80.

DaMa

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2018, 01:01:09 PM »
I just went on my first cruise -- 4 nights from Miami to Cuba on NCL Sky.  I was told it was a small older ship.  I enjoyed it, and plan to go again.

1.  There were dispensers of hand sanitizers all over the ship, and staff standing at the entrance to the buffets with spray bottles of sanitizer spraying everyone's hands on the way in.

2.  Food was just ok.  I thought the dining room meals were much better and preferred it, but they did eat up a lot of time.  I like to sit and read, so I went to the DR for breakfast while my husband slept in on sea days.  The buffet was mediocre.

3.  We booked an inside room and got upgraded to outside for no charge.  Others in our party pushed the balcony option, but it was substantially more $.  We were fine with our small room, which we really only slept in.  We found several options to hang out quietly in lounges and on deck.

4.  We had a great time dancing on the ship the night we were docked in Havana (many people were off ship), but it was just too crowded on the dance floors the other nights. 


Lanthiriel

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2018, 02:23:30 PM »
My husband and I did a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine last December. After planning my ideal Christmas market experience myself, I realized I could see a lot of great places for much less money on Viking. We had a GREAT time. Amazing food. Good itinerary. Decent onboard entertainment, though we were so jet lagged that we basically slept whenever we weren't out and about. Lots of time to explore on our own. We're in our 30s and most of the rest of the folks were 60+, but that did nothing but make for better conversation.

My husband is out on ocean cruising for both sea sickness and too many people purposes. I think the Viking ship had fewer than 100 rooms, which made everything much cozier. I imagine there's another river cruise in our future.

Noodle

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2018, 02:49:46 PM »
My extended family did one to Alaska on Norwegian last year and had mixed feelings.

Good: Excellent for multiple generations. My parents could sit on their balcony and read or nap while the young kids were rock climbing, but we could all eat dinner together.
The food was good quality, and I am picky about food. I was quite impressed.
For Alaska, the cruise lines give you the opportunity to get to areas that would have been a lot more work traveling on your own.
The ship we were on was a little older, but it was very clean.
The staff was incredibly pleasant and helpful. I was also impressed when at one point one of the younger kids in our group got separated from her parents, and it was clear that every staff member had been well trained on what to do in that situation.

Bad: It is a LOT of people in a small space, and if you don't like crowds you have to do some planning to stay out of the way of the herd.
In such a large ship, it was a bit of a headache to keep track of twelve people in staying in five different rooms. NCL has its own messaging app (because you're out of reach of cell service a lot of the time, and when you do have it, it's international and expensive) but it was buggy.
Everything was very well organized, as it has to be if you're dealing with 2000 people. But it does mean that you don't have the flexibility that you would vacationing on your own, and sometimes you feel really preprogrammed.

One other thing that impressed me was how accessible the public areas of the ship were, and how well prepared the crew was to deal with passengers with physical disabilities. If you had a family member with disabilities, it must be really nice to be able to vacation with them and have it be relatively frictionless.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2018, 03:44:20 PM »
Noro can happen anywhere.  I've gotten Noro at a hotel along with about 94 of 100 co-workers who were also there for the business trip.

Johnez

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2018, 11:20:58 PM »
Interesting thread. Is there any somewhat impartial site that compares companies and destinations? I never thought about a cruise till I opened this thread.

Linda_Norway

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2018, 06:39:08 AM »
I regularly (once a year or so) cruise overnight when I take a car ferry from Norway to Denmark. I don't enjoy being on the boat, but we try to eat in a decent sit down restaurant, or don't eat there at all. And we often watch a movie if they have anything interesting. And we shop tax free booze. These ferries have a varying degree of luxury.

My fear against being on a cruise boat for a longer period is that you need to pay for all the food and each drink that you consume. You can't just drink water from the tap like I do at home or like I do at normal camping trips. You can't buy your breakfast and lunch in a normal shop, but have to eat restaurant style. And from the ferry-experience, you can't sit anywhere quietly for yourself, other than in your own cabin. You also need to eat dinner in a restaurant every day. This is something we also have to do if we take a city trip or a week's trip to the south. I do enjoy it, but it is an extra cost that we don't have when camping. I would also be sceptic about not being able to get off the boat. I love to be in a forest or otherwise outside.

I have a couple of elder outdoorsy friends who have gotten into cruising from time to time. They seem to love it. They try to do it in a Mustachian way, by not buying the expensive trips ashore, but finding out for themselves what to do. After they first cruise the male friend went up 8 kilograms (roughly 16 pounds) in weight. That scares me.

Nickyd£g

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2018, 07:07:44 AM »
My husband and I did a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine last December. After planning my ideal Christmas market experience myself, I realized I could see a lot of great places for much less money on Viking. We had a GREAT time. Amazing food. Good itinerary. Decent onboard entertainment, though we were so jet lagged that we basically slept whenever we weren't out and about. Lots of time to explore on our own. We're in our 30s and most of the rest of the folks were 60+, but that did nothing but make for better conversation.

My husband is out on ocean cruising for both sea sickness and too many people purposes. I think the Viking ship had fewer than 100 rooms, which made everything much cozier. I imagine there's another river cruise in our future.

I did a Viking river cruise on the Nile. It was amazing! Quite a small ship, food was lovely, service was excellent, excursions were well planned, informative and interesting. I was on my own but met three couples who I sat with at meals and were lots of fun.

I am thinking of doing a Mediterranean cruise in a year or two.

Pizzabrewer

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2018, 07:17:00 AM »
What do I think?  I think being stuck on a ship with a few thousand people out on the  ocean sounds like the worst kind of hell.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2018, 07:18:01 AM »
I regularly (once a year or so) cruise overnight when I take a car ferry from Norway to Denmark. I don't enjoy being on the boat, but we try to eat in a decent sit down restaurant, or don't eat there at all. And we often watch a movie if they have anything interesting. And we shop tax free booze. These ferries have a varying degree of luxury.

My fear against being on a cruise boat for a longer period is that you need to pay for all the food and each drink that you consume. You can't just drink water from the tap like I do at home or like I do at normal camping trips. You can't buy your breakfast and lunch in a normal shop, but have to eat restaurant style. And from the ferry-experience, you can't sit anywhere quietly for yourself, other than in your own cabin. You also need to eat dinner in a restaurant every day. This is something we also have to do if we take a city trip or a week's trip to the south. I do enjoy it, but it is an extra cost that we don't have when camping. I would also be sceptic about not being able to get off the boat. I love to be in a forest or otherwise outside.

I have a couple of elder outdoorsy friends who have gotten into cruising from time to time. They seem to love it. They try to do it in a Mustachian way, by not buying the expensive trips ashore, but finding out for themselves what to do. After they first cruise the male friend went up 8 kilograms (roughly 16 pounds) in weight. That scares me.

I think a ferry experience and a typical ocean cruise are very different.
First, I have never had a problem finding somewhere out of the way to sit where I could read alone in near peace and quiet (maybe in a library where others were also reading, so not alone; or maybe in an abandoned corridor that occasionally someone came down.)
Second- most cruises include food. Perhaps there are pay restaurants where you can get upgraded experiences, but a sit down meal or buffet is always included. (I rarely eat at a buffet on a cruise- with few exceptions, we don't pay extra for food.)
Third- I've always cruised on a ship where fountain water was provided for free (also tea and lemonade). Again, with rare exception, I've never paid for a drink on a ship. (I don't drink alcohol.)
Fourth- the cruises I've had always included room service, though basic, with only a tip needed.  If you really didn't want to go to the restaurant for a meal, you could have sandwiches in your room.

We cruise on one of the least expensive lines, Carnival, for the most part (we've also been on Celebrity)- because I don't really want to pay more when it's "good enough".  But really, you have to pick the line that is the best match for you.

The lines I am familiar with- Carnival, Royal Carribean, Disney, Celebrity, Princess, HAL, Azmara, NCL all cater mostly to English speaking demographics; but there are certainly lines that don't (MSC does announcements in 3-4 languages?)- none of these are like the ferry experience you describe.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2018, 07:18:26 AM »
What do I think?  I think being stuck on a ship with a few thousand people out on the  ocean sounds like the worst kind of hell.

I think Disney World is way worse, personally :)

CheapScholar

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2018, 09:45:51 AM »
Interesting thread. Is there any somewhat impartial site that compares companies and destinations? I never thought about a cruise till I opened this thread.

Cruise Critic message boards are almost as entertaining as MMM.

mm1970

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2018, 10:49:10 AM »
With the unrest south of the border, we get a LOT of cruise ships in our town now.  Which is okay, I guess.  But one of the ships stopped and they were having an noro outbreak.

I don't ever really want to go on a cruise.  Too many people.  While it seems "fun" (pool, rock climbing, water slides, looking at the ocean, shows, etc) - I just don't want to be cooped up with that many people.  I have friends who LOVE them.  Then again, I get seasick sometimes, so maybe it's best that my Navy days were spent mostly driving a desk.

bognish

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2018, 01:07:46 PM »
I am in the not my idea of fun group. But last year my wife's family wanted to do a family vacation. Cruise worked really well for grandparents, little kids, shopaholic aunt and boozer party uncle at a pretty reasonable price. We would meet for dinner each night and maybe bump into each other around the boat, but I wasn't trapped with inlaws the whole time. We didn't have to play the where should we eat, what are we doing today, keep quiet in the rental house so kids can goto bed games. And didn't have to grocery shop or clean. It was pretty easy to find a quiet part of the boat to read or relax. If I had to do another in-law trip I would recommend a cruise. Never thought I would say that.

Laserjet3051

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2018, 01:16:36 PM »
Put me in the "hate them" category. don't get me wrong, I love boating. Kayaking an archipelago, white water canoeing, deep sea fishing, ferry to Catalina, etc...

But you will never get me on a cruise ship. The very thought of it makes my skin crawl.

Askel

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2018, 01:17:19 PM »
...and boozer party uncle....

Hmmm. I don't remember this. Must've been open bar.  :D 


mathlete

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2018, 01:38:17 PM »
I move at a very brisk pace and so my vacations feel like work a lot of the time. Booking flights and AirBnBs. Plotting out drives. Making time tables. Managing around the schedules of family and friends that I'll be seeing. I get more done on vacations than anyone I know. This blistering pace has allowed me to do a lot of really cool things like visiting 11 countries before turning 30.

Sometimes, I just want to chill out in the sun and drink cuba libres while someone else takes care of the point A to point B. Cruise ships are great for that.

TheAnonOne

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2018, 05:50:12 PM »
I have been on two Caribbean Cruises with Royal and we have done some slower international travel on foot (staying in Tokyo/HK/Singapore/ect) for 2-3 weeks at a time.

The main difference is that a cruise feels more like "Eating dessert for dinner" it's highly stimulating but the brain cells fired borderline on 0.

We enjoy them for "Get away for a week" but travel to more distant lands using AirBnB to get "in with the locals". Overall we might try to do (in a given year) 1 cruise, 1 long international trip and 3-5 shorter local trips (Vegas and the like)

First world problems either way.

Rosy

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2018, 08:37:52 PM »
Every time that I've been somewhere cloistered with a huge throng of people I catch something. Some evil superbug that takes months to get rid of. So no, thanks.
I also don't like the idea of floating out in the open sea at the mercy of the elements.

I would entertain a Viking Cruise in Europe or a cruise on the Mississippi River. Germany has these little river cruises that are hop on and hop off - but they are day trips mostly, a leisurely way to see the countryside, visit a castle or two or an interesting medieval town and drink some wine while floating down the river.

I love to travel, just not so much in a crowded plane or a crowded ship. Every plane trip I've taken I've vowed to myself to become rich so that I can have my own plane or at least hang out in first class.

Megma

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2018, 09:20:01 PM »
My husband and I did a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine last December. After planning my ideal Christmas market experience myself, I realized I could see a lot of great places for much less money on Viking. We had a GREAT time. Amazing food. Good itinerary. Decent onboard entertainment, though we were so jet lagged that we basically slept whenever we weren't out and about. Lots of time to explore on our own. We're in our 30s and most of the rest of the folks were 60+, but that did nothing but make for better conversation.

My husband is out on ocean cruising for both sea sickness and too many people purposes. I think the Viking ship had fewer than 100 rooms, which made everything much cozier. I imagine there's another river cruise in our future.

I am solidly anti cruise (ocean ones seem like floating crowded hotels to me so never done it) but Iím dying to do a river cruise, probably with Viking, they look awesome. The average age is about 55, my husband and I are early 30s but might be a plus 🙂

dude

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2018, 09:29:55 AM »
There's some pretty good info out there about how terrible an industry the cruise ship industry is, from an environmental, work conditions/workers' rights, tax cheating perspective, just to name a few of the externalities. Personally, I have no desire to do one (I did my time in Uncle Sam's cruise ship industry!).

Also, if you've never read David Foster Wallace's "Shipping Out," I highly, highly recommend it.

MsPeacock

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2018, 10:13:54 AM »
Wasn't sure that I'd like cruises until I took one. I find them relaxing. I don't see them becoming my major means of vacationing - but they have their place.

I've done 2 cruises and have reservations for one in February. The first one was a Disney cruise - 14 days transatlantic  - when my kids were fairly little (I think 3 and 7). It was terrific - great food, tons for the kids to do, lots of activities. Loved it. At the time the cruise was less expensive than airfare to get to Europe (the Disney transatlantic cruises tend to be cheapest because they are re-positioning the boats and because you then have the cost of a flight back). We used a military space-A flight back so our airfare was $6 per person to get back from Spain.

Summer of 2017 took a cruise with my now much-older children (11 and 15). They HATE the go-see-a-ton-of-stuff adventure type trips. So that summer I had agreed that we would keep it small - took a cruise out of Baltimore (30 minute drive) for 10 days. It also was great - kids got to lounge around and do what they liked. I got to lounge around, read, etc. Food was good and we had dinner together every night. Absolutely no complaints. It was also cheaper than just about any other vacation that I've taken with them in recent years.

I have reservations for one out of Ft Lauderdale for this winter. I usually try to make a get-away in FEB to warmer climates. The airfare and cruise costs were quite low.

I figure there are two kinds of trips for me - some trips are about doing and seeing new things. Climb a mountain, go to Rome, etc. They tend not to be restful - they are fun and I love them. OTH, sometimes I just need to relax and unwind. This mostly means that I go somewhere that I can lie on the beach or in the sun and read books, and also that someone bring me food and cocktails. A cruise fits this, as dose a "beach vacation" to places like Cancun or other similar destinations. This cruise this winter (6 nights) including airfare is about the cost of going to Isla Mujeres in Cancun and staying at a cheaper hotel. No food costs on the cruise and I tend to spend minimally on alcohol. I don't do shore excursion - generally can find my own way if there is a port that the ship stops at.

Never got sick on a cruise. Got sick 2 years ago from a hot dog at a carnival in France.... I figure you can get sick anywhere.

Slee_stack

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2018, 10:51:29 AM »
I disagree that cruising is love or hate.

We just finished our first 7 day (I'd been on a 3 day prior, DH never before).

We both agreed it was OK.   Far from the best type of vacation for us, but also not the worst.

I'm good with doing another one...in maybe 3, or 5, or whatever years.  I don't need to do another anytime soon though.

We went on a HAL Alaskan one.  We were probably the third youngest couple on the boat.  Average age had to be mid sixties.

Entertainment was somewhat lacking.  We thoroughly enjoyed the chamber music shows, but the big stage acts were remarkably cheesy.  Nightlife was non-existant.

All in all, that was fine by us.  We aren't huge partiers. 

Food was impressive.  I ate seafood almost everyday.  I also intentionally avoided eating too much...except for one day towards the end.

We didn't drink much.  I averaged (2) beers per day on ship.  DW, 1 or less.  In ports, I had a few more as they were half the price and local...and far better tasting... craft ones.

We travelhacked for points to spend on the cruise.  Still, it was a bit pricey for a balcony cabin.

Excursions (booked on third parties) were also a bit steep.  Still we had our most fun hiking/exploring just outside of the tourist centers.

There was a little garbage selling/shopping stuff going on, but it was easy to avoid.

We also paid extra up-front to have access to the Spa/pool/thermal suites.  It was a great way to dodge pool/hot-tub crowds and we used it every day.

Our cruise experience ended up being a change of pace to our typical vacation, and because of that, we enjoyed it.
 


JetBlast

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2018, 09:13:34 AM »
Wife and I did a 7-day Alaska cruise on HAL this summer for our anniversary and had a great time. We are mid-30s and while the average age was probably low 60s, there were several other couples our age and some families. We didnít feel totally out of place. Probably helps that we arenít big partiers.

We had the thermal suite spa package and used it every day. We kept busy enough in ports that we just wanted to relax and unwind when we got on the ship. Spa, then a nice dinner and maybe a drink while hanging out at the jazz club. Did room service and a movie in our cabin a couple nights too.

For me it was a great change of pace. I spend my days in airplanes, airports, and hotels, living out of a suitcase for half the month. It was nice to just unpack on imbarkation day and wake up in a new port. Also nice, we didnít spring for WiFi so our phones didnít work!! 

Iíd hesitate to do a longer cruise on HAL as a younger couple, but a seven day during summer or winter break will have a mix of ages. As others have said, cruise critic forums are loaded with information.

nessness

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2018, 09:53:54 AM »
I've been one ocean cruise to Mexico and one river cruise in Europe and really enjoyed them both. We haven't been on a "real" vacation since our kids were born (1 and 4) and I've thought a cruise might be a good choice for a first vacation, although I'm not sure how sleeping in a small room would work out. Also I know the environmental impact of cruises is pretty significant which is another drawback.

nkt0

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2018, 09:56:31 AM »
You couldn't pay me to board one.

AMandM

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2018, 11:40:09 AM »
When I was 14, and when I was 15, my family crossed the Atlantic on a ship. We spent a year in England in between (my father was on sabbatical).  Those trips are still among my favourite memories.

My parents loved it, because for not much more than the price of airfare, they got a huge baggage allowance and a week of rest between packing and unpacking. We kids loved it, because it was like the kind of glamourous vacation we had only ever read about.  We enjoyed the daily activities and saltwater pool. We won prizes in the fancy-dress party. We loved not having to do any housework, even make our beds! The meals seemed the height of luxury to us, with multiple courses and sets of silverware, and the food was new and interesting (it was a Polish ship, and we're Irish-Chinese). We even had a land excursion in the Netherlands the day before we docked in England. Plus, on our return trip, we had the same waiter and he recognized us!

I'd do it again in a heartbeat as a means of travel, but as a vacation in itself it would feel pointless now.

o2bfree

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2018, 11:50:57 AM »
My family and some family friends went on a cruise back in 1978 when I was 16. I had a blast, partly because the drinking age was not enforced at sea or in port! I'm not sure what my folks were thinking, but they left me and my brother pretty much unsupervised, and even paid our bar bills at the end, with just a little grumbling. Hmmm, they did have insurance policies on us...

I've taken a couple cruises more recently, and they were ok. We had scuba dives booked at most ports, and those were fun. But I was a little turned off by the gluttony and waste of the ships, plus the way the cruise lines treated their employees, requiring them to be away from their families for long periods of time and paying low wages. Maybe that's not the case with all cruise lines though.

PoutineLover

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2018, 11:54:58 AM »
I've heard bad things about the environmental aspect of cruise ships, and the impact on local towns when thousands of people swarm in for a day, so for those reasons I've never really wanted to cruise. I also hate the idea of spending most of my vacation in a floating hotel surrounded by people and eating mass produced cafeteria food. However, I would consider it for a trip to Antarctica, because it's one of the only ways to get there and explore and I've always really wanted to go.

E.T.

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2018, 02:54:15 PM »
I feel like they are like giant floating malls with a lot of food. Some people love that, some people donít.

Iíve told my dh that Iíll go on a river cruise, or a Great Lakes cruise, but not a mega cruise. He always thought it sounded like fun because he likes boats, but when he looked more closely, itís not all that boat-like.

That's pretty much my take on cruises. I went on my first cruise with 20+ family members so it was a good way to hang out with everyone since meals and activities were very easy to plan. But it was basically a giant floating mall with sea sickness. The word my spouse and I used to describe it to each other was "hellscape". We loved the port stops but we'd rather get a cheap place and go directly to a beach than partake in a Caribbean cruise again. I'd go on another one only for something like river cruises or a northern one where a boat is really the best way to see interesting things.

mpg350

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2018, 03:26:05 PM »
I was the big anti cruise guy but my wife really wanted to try one and take our 3 year old daughter so we went for our first time
earlier this year.

We did Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas...ship is massive we visited Bahamas, Virgin Islands and St Maarten.
My one condition was we got a room with a balcony on the water and it wasn't that much more on that ship in April.

I enjoyed it very much it is sort of like a huge mall but there were some good shows, the food was pretty good and things to do to keep you active when at sea..was never bored and my daughter loved it very much.

Even the the ship held many thousands it was so huge it never felt crowded at all.
Glad we are frugal because they sell you a lot of different options to add onto the trip and photo packages you can easily
if not good with money made the trip twice as expensive as what it cost us.

So for this big anti cruise guy I gotta say it was a pretty good vacation.
 

Cezilous

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2018, 09:11:37 AM »
I've done 2 cruises, both with Norwegian.  Never saw myself as a cruise person.  I typically dislike things such as large crowds of people, feeling like cattle, the germs, not having enough time in places/feeling rushed around/having a strict timetable, etc..  My first (Miami to Honduras, Belize, Mexico) was great, due to various factors that played out beautifully and I love sunshine and swimming in the ocean.  It is one of my top memories in my life (never thought I'd be happy reliving a cruise, if I died and had a choice about where to spend eternity.. ;) ).  The second cruise, we threaded hurricanes Jose and Maria, to Bermuda, and it was not as great as #1.  But I LOVED rocking on the 30 foot waves and sitting on the balcony watching the storm in the distance.  There were bathroom problems since the ship tilt caused "backups" and such, but we were able to navigate and avoid these things.  Also, I was buzzed/drunk more booze this time around so I felt like I was walking like a moon man which I got a total kick out of.  Don't get me wrong - it was terrifying knowing what was going on outside the ship - so I did the best I could to enjoy everything I could and it worked.  Note to self: stop cruising during hurricane season - the tickets are cheap FOR A REASON.  I would consider going on more cruises because I determine how happy they make me.  Also I love eating and not making the food or cleaning it up.  Total win.  (Also, we seem to attract friendly people, and it made me so happy to be surrounded by other people who were so happy and smiling all the time.  People genuinely enjoying themselves and other happy people.  I loved it.)

MMMarbleheader

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #48 on: October 12, 2018, 04:57:02 PM »
I have done a few cruises, meh

I do want to try one on an ocean liner like the Queen Mary. That seems like a whole different level, more of a throw back than the current cheesiness of cruises.

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: What do you think about cruise ships?
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2018, 08:54:57 AM »
I'm trying to limit my discretionary flying due to the high carbon footprint.  I was thinking that cruising might be a good alternative but not according to this article:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/739287/Flying-three-times-greener-than-cruising.html