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Cruise Discussion Thread

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  • Jul 21st, 2017 9:08 pm
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johnnycash10 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 3:23 pm
We, 2 adults, are planning to take a one week (or 10 days) cruise of Mediterranean in mid May. This is our first time. We just want to relax on the ship and tour the cities. Which liner (Celebrity???) should we choose, which city in Europe should we start and can fly in from Toronto, should we choose balcony or interior, and which on-line site or agent can provide competitive pricing? Thanks in advance for any advice.
Med cruises are very port intensive and many ports are quite far from the city/sights of interest except maybe a Greece intensive cruise. A Europe cruise isn't one to relax and enjoy the ship. Maybe you want to consider a river cruise instead If you want to see the cities but not get wiped out from travelling to and from Port
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loonie wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 5:05 pm
Doing exactly that and having some misgivings, too late now though. Where to stay in Barcelona to be in a convenient location for airport, port and attractions in Barcelona, any hotel recommendations? Any one has positive experience with Airbnb?
The port is right in the middle of the city and the airport is not so, there is no place convenient for both.
How long are you intending to stay in Barcelona? Personally, we like being in the middle of things so we always choose to stay in the center of the city (or where the main "action" is). I suggest staying on Las Rambla somewhere. Many people will say not to stay there and yes, it is the touristy place but really, it is touristy because that is where people go. It is the main street with lots of things going on and from there you can walk to many of the citys' attractions incuding Port Vill, casino, beach etc. Most restaurants are in the area and of course, La Boqueria market is there. There are many hotels on Las Ramblas to choose form.
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 4:50 pm
We have done 2 Celebrity cruises in the Mediterranean.. one departing from Barcelona and one departing from Rome.Both were 12 day cruises.
You can fly to either one of the cities from Toronto.
It also depends on what part of the Med and cities you want to see. Western, Barcelona, Monaco, Florence, Rome, Dubrovnick, Venice Kotor etc and Eastern, Rome, Messina, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos, Kusadasi.
Points to ponder, if leaving Barcelona and stopping in Florence and Rome, both cities are well over an hour from the ports so a couple hours are just transport to get to the city. Port intensive cruises in Europe will wipe you out as you will have to get up early and will be gone all day and do it again the next day and even the day after.
Pete_Coach. Thanks for your advice. The 12 day cruise sounds great. Where do you get good prices and how much are you paying? Is it worthwhile to take a balcony room? Thanks.
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johnnycash10 wrote:
Mar 18th, 2017 8:51 am
Pete_Coach. Thanks for your advice. The 12 day cruise sounds great. Where do you get good prices and how much are you paying? Is it worthwhile to take a balcony room? Thanks.
I've had 4 different types of rooms. Interior (no window), interior (with window), balcony, suite.

Now, rhis will come down to personal preference but I personally preferred no window or balcony. Other than sleeping and getting a change of clothes, I was never in the room for more than an hour so for me, the extra expense wasn't worth it. I also like to cave it up when I sleep so the less light the better.

But. Some people enjoy getting room service and eating on the balcony. Some people enjoy a cuddle out there at the end of the day.

It's really going to be based on preference.
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johnnycash10 wrote:
Mar 18th, 2017 8:51 am
Pete_Coach. Thanks for your advice. The 12 day cruise sounds great. Where do you get good prices and how much are you paying? Is it worthwhile to take a balcony room? Thanks.
We love the balcony. Firstly, we like the idea of fresh air, secondly we like the idea of watching the scenery go by. We love to have breakfast on the balcony as we get into port. There will be days when you spend time in the cabin and to have the light and air from the balcony is great. Also, depending on your route, watching the scenery of the islands or the shore while having an afternoon cocktail really makes it feel like a vacation. By route I mean, if leaving Barcelona, a port side cabin is good as the shore will always be on the left as you travel outbound.
Balcony cabins are more expensive and the cost of a balcony cabin rises the higher deck you are on.
Prices vary greatly depending on the cruise line and the cruise and number of days. Lots of online offers and specials if you get on mailing lists. Just remember most online are from the US and are in US funds.
Is it solipsistic here? Or is it just me?
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has anyone sailed from Galveston, TX? Does it have an airport?
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Faith786 wrote:
Mar 18th, 2017 10:40 pm
has anyone sailed from Galveston, TX? Does it have an airport?
Yes, in Houston, which is a little over an hour away. (Houston is about an hour but the airport is on the far side of the city. )

There are plenty of transport options. I took a cab to a nearby mall and rented a car from Avis. There are closer rental car places, but the one I went to let me return to the airport without any extra cost. But I usually spend a day or two in town before and after a cruise. If you're going direct airport - terminal, then you'll need to get a shuttle. Taxi is an option, but expensive.
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Does MSC still have the cheapest balcony with free kids deals?

Do you guys prefer cruise vs all inclusive?
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Hotel Miramar. Wife and I loved it before our cruise. Rooms were huge and modern. Had breakfast on the balcony overlooking the water and our ship docked in port. Took about 20 minutes to walk into town. Loved it so much we went back a few years later and stayed in it again.
loonie wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 10:51 pm
Thanks @Pete_Coach
Three day before the cruise and two days after.
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Does anyone have an experience with MSC? How are they with children and families, and activities/amenities? Or do they pretty much cater to adults and/or ports of call?

I'm pretty much a RCL guy.
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greg123 wrote:
Mar 19th, 2017 7:13 pm
Does MSC still have the cheapest balcony with free kids deals?

Do you guys prefer cruise vs all inclusive?
I prefer cruising.

I had a destination wedding and looked at all-inclusive prices for the better part of a year. And I find cruising a lot cheaper. I usually pay $3-400 to get from Vancouver to Miami, and about $60US/day to go on Carnival. Compare to a nice all inclusive at $1500 minimum when coming from the West coast.

My thoughts in point form:
-Cruising lets you see more, you wake up most days in a new place and do the activity that's most appealing. The variety is what I like most about cruising.
-All-Inclusives are better for people that are less interested in exploring and more interested in relaxing on the beach.
-All-Inclusives come with alcohol. I don't drink nearly enough to get significant value from this. And it gets worse when you consider that if you spend a lot of time away from the resort, you're not getting free drinks anyway.
-All-Inclusives have bigger rooms that a cruise cabin. But I don't spend much time in the room anyway.
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chimaican wrote:
Mar 20th, 2017 10:01 pm
Does anyone have an experience with MSC? How are they with children and families, and activities/amenities? Or do they pretty much cater to adults and/or ports of call?

I'm pretty much a RCL guy.
I'm wondering the same thing
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greg123 wrote:
Mar 19th, 2017 7:13 pm
Does MSC still have the cheapest balcony with free kids deals?

Do you guys prefer cruise vs all inclusive?
They are different experiences. One major RFD difference is going to an AI, what you pay is pretty much it, add local excursions and souvenirs, there's not much planning required.

On a cruise, factor flight costs. Alcohol, pop/juice, specialty coffees/teas are extra. Ideally you want a hotel the night before the cruise, otherwise waste your first day tired. You'll need to rent a vehicle the day before, or arrange transportation from hotel to port, plus on the way back.
Excursions at each port are usually expensive through the ship. You can do DIY but taxis, admission, food where you're going is still extra.
Paying daily gratuities are normal and automatically added on your final bill. Specialty restaurants and snack bars on the ship are extra.

Basically budget up to doubling the cost of the cruise upfront. You have to plan a lot more, and if DIY, look up popular things to do on Cruise Critic and map them out ahead of time.
Planning can be part of the fun and excitement, but you do need to do it to get the most out of your cruise.

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