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Cruise Discussion Thread

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Cruise Discussion Thread

Hey guys so since the last cruise thread(s) are several years old, I thought I'd create a new one.

I've never been on a cruise, and looking to treat my mom for her bday next year.

If possible I'd like to find one that caters to both older and younger people - so activities for both young and old. I don't want to be stuck on a cruise where it's predominantly old people and mainly activities that just cater to them, and on the flipside, I don't want a cruise with just young people where my mother would be the odd one out.

Ideally somewhere in the Western hemisphere. Food should be good. Plentiful of activities both on and off the boat. Friendly staff. And one that won't shatter the bank.

I guess this would be good to start off with, and from there I'll further additions/requirements later.

So can any of you guys recommend me a few cruise lines, inform me as to which to avoid, and any other tidbits of valuable info? Thanks
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Your best bet is to use www.crusecritic.com for cruise advice and information. They have lots of forums and even first time cruisers forum. They also have cruise line specific forums.
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How about an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruise line?
My wife, my daughter (under 2) and myself went on an Alaskan cruise last year and it was more than we expected (in a good way).

At the time we went, it was a mix crowd of families and seniors (very little teenager/college groups), which was great; but not much activity on the ship itself.
But, the port of calls had more than enough activities (shopping, sightseeing, hiking and excursions).
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Pete_Coach wrote: Your best bet is to use www.crusecritic.com for cruise advice and information. They have lots of forums and even first time cruisers forum. They also have cruise line specific forums.
Cool, I'll give them a look and possibly even post my questions on there.

vkizzle wrote: How about an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruise line?
My wife, my daughter (under 2) and myself went on an Alaskan cruise last year and it was more than we expected (in a good way).

At the time we went, it was a mix crowd of families and seniors (very little teenager/college groups), which was great; but not much activity on the ship itself.
But, the port of calls had more than enough activities (shopping, sightseeing, hiking and excursions).
I actually would want some college/single 20-30 groups since they'd be the ones to fuel the nightlife and even competitive sports, which I'd definitely want to dabble in.
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vkizzle wrote: How about an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruise line?
My wife, my daughter (under 2) and myself went on an Alaskan cruise last year and it was more than we expected (in a good way).

At the time we went, it was a mix crowd of families and seniors (very little teenager/college groups), which was great; but not much activity on the ship itself.
But, the port of calls had more than enough activities (shopping, sightseeing, hiking and excursions).
I've always thought that if I ever do a cruise, I would love to do a beautiful Alaska cruise. My mom went and loved it.
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Stock R wrote: I'd like to throw in here. Has the prices of cruising increased significantly? I'm trying to price out cruises and the prices seem to have almost doubled for comparable cruises.
I think another good question is whether other feels cruise lines have really watered down their "included" offering and nickel and dimes their customers on items that used to be free.
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glover78 wrote: Cool, I'll give them a look and possibly even post my questions on there.




I actually would want some college/single 20-30 groups since they'd be the ones to fuel the nightlife and even competitive sports, which I'd definitely want to dabble in.
I think that what you and your Mom would like for a cruise experience is quite different.
Cruise lines are generally not a "party" atmosphere with the exception of Carnival...on the Carribean cruises in the winter.
Alaska cruises are quite sedentary and for nature lovers.
William W wrote: I think another good question is whether other feels cruise lines have really watered down their "included" offering and nickel and dimes their customers on items that used to be free.
Just like the airlines and resorts, cruise lines have added many things...all for a fee. What you get is a cabin on a ship and meals. Anythng else or above and beyond, you pay extra. There was this belief (or myth) that at one time that cruise lines were all inclusive but that was never true.
There are a lot more things on a ship nowadays, more resturants, more bars, spa's etc but, they ain't free. Exclusions off the ships always had cost you extra.
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Pete_Coach wrote: I think that what you and your Mom would like for a cruise experience is quite different.
Cruise lines are generally not a "party" atmosphere with the exception of Carnival...on the Carribean cruises in the winter.
Alaska cruises are quite sedentary and for nature lovers.


Just like the airlines and resorts, cruise lines have added many things...all for a fee. What you get is a cabin on a ship and meals. Anythng else or above and beyond, you pay extra. There was this belief (or myth) that at one time that cruise lines were all inclusive but that was never true.
There are a lot more things on a ship nowadays, more resturants, more bars, spa's etc but, they ain't free. Exclusions off the ships always had cost you extra.
Alright, time to look into Carnival.
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Pete_Coach wrote:

Just like the airlines and resorts, cruise lines have added many things...all for a fee. What you get is a cabin on a ship and meals. Anythng else or above and beyond, you pay extra. There was this belief (or myth) that at one time that cruise lines were all inclusive but that was never true.
There are a lot more things on a ship nowadays, more resturants, more bars, spa's etc but, they ain't free. Exclusions off the ships always had cost you extra.
I understand the items you mentioned were never included. I was referring to things such as Room Service (NCL), Character Breakfast (RCCL) or Lobsters (NCL) served at the Main Dining room, these items used to be included, now they all carry a charge. Another example of this is cruise lines used to serve a standard 5 course meals in the main dining room. And now, it has been pared down to 3 courses where if you asked for an extra appetizer, some server may give you a strange look. The last time I was on RCCL, as a cost cutting move, items like Grapes, Strawberries or Smoke Salmon are either no longer available or served behind a counter in the buffet.

As mainstream cruise lines move toward a "ferry" model, you'll only find yester years of service or offering on premium cruise line or Disney.
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William W wrote: I understand the items you mentioned were never included. I was referring to things such as Room Service (NCL), Character Breakfast (RCCL) or Lobsters (NCL) served at the Main Dining room, these items used to be included, now they all carry a charge. Another example of this is cruise lines used to serve a standard 5 course meals in the main dining room. And now, it has been pared down to 3 courses where if you asked for an extra appetizer, some server may give you a strange look. The last time I was on RCCL, as a cost cutting move, items like Grapes, Strawberries or Smoke Salmon are either no longer available or served behind a counter in the buffet.

As mainstream cruise lines move toward a "ferry" model, you'll only find yester years of service or offering on premium cruise line or Disney.
We normally cruise on Celebrity and they still have lobster night in the main dining room. The buffet at breakfast and lunch still have smoked salmon and a great variety of foods.
We could still order cabin service form a menu on the TV. We could even order main dining room dinner to our cabin.
Yes, the meals are 3 courses but you can order as many appetizers as you want. I had a dinner where I only chose appetizers and had no problem. I found in the past with the big meals, 5 courses, people were just leaving too much on their plate so, being wise and less wasteful, they pared down the quantity yet allow you to ask for seconds of extras. I think the next step will be to serve you at the buffet instead of letting you overfill your plate and leave it half full n the table. I have seen this far too often on cruises. So, as I said, I do not look at this as a reduced service , just becoming wise and less wasteful.
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The best cruise I ever went on was Hawaii.Great way to see the Islands and the cruise past a live volcano at night with lava flowing down into the sea was unforgettable!
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yao416 wrote: Whatever you do. Don't be late!
Everyone knows that except every so often the occasional person chooses to ignore the fact.
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Stock R wrote: I'd like to throw in here. Has the prices of cruising increased significantly? I'm trying to price out cruises and the prices seem to have almost doubled for comparable cruises.
I would say yes, the wife and I cruised Celebrity at the end of 2014, paid around $1,100 Cdn pp including 'Classic Beverage Package' for a veranda, 7 nights, eastern Caribbean. 2 weeks before the cruise left we did see the price dip to $600/pp no beverage package.

Lowest I've seen since is somewhere around $1,500Cdn.
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William W wrote: As mainstream cruise lines move toward a "ferry" model, you'll only find yester years of service or offering on premium cruise line or Disney.
I agree. Been on over a dozen cruises on the past decade. Last year was probably the only year we did not set foot on a cruise ship. We stuck with land based travel. We use to be sold on the amazing value of a cruise. But every year there seemed to be more cuts.

And then everything started becoming available for an additional fee.

Finally we started feeling like service quality was declining. Not sure what it was but the level wasn't where it use to be. So we went land based. I'd like to go back to cruising but with the increases in price, I'm not as inclined to give it another go.
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Stock R wrote: I agree. Been on over a dozen cruises on the past decade. Last year was probably the only year we did not set foot on a cruise ship. We stuck with land based travel. We use to be sold on the amazing value of a cruise. But every year there seemed to be more cuts.

And then everything started becoming available for an additional fee.

Finally we started feeling like service quality was declining. Not sure what it was but the level wasn't where it use to be. So we went land based. I'd like to go back to cruising but with the increases in price, I'm not as inclined to give it another go.
I am sometimes confused by what people expect.
In reality, nothing is as it was "years ago". Expenses go up and therefore so do prices. "All inclusive" means less today than before, even on shore based vacations. Hotel prices have gone up, gas has gone up, food has gone up, ...everything has gone up and by rote, so as the cost of vacationing. Cruise ships are no exception. Even Disney has jacked upprices many times...their food included.
So why is everyone pooping on cruise lines?
As for service, I think that the service on cruise lines is still very good. I have rarely heard complaints except by people that have over expectations. The staff on cruise ships (or resorts or even restaurants) are not your personal servants, they are there to they are thee to keep things clean and tidy and to assist clients the best they can but, as I said, they are not your servants. I think expectations are sometimes out of line and then people complain because they do not get what they thought they should.
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Prices for Candadian's have gone up....an inevitable result of the Canadian $$'s fall,being that cruises are priced in US $$'s.
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Stock R wrote: I agree. Been on over a dozen cruises on the past decade. Last year was probably the only year we did not set foot on a cruise ship. We stuck with land based travel. We use to be sold on the amazing value of a cruise. But every year there seemed to be more cuts.

And then everything started becoming available for an additional fee.

Finally we started feeling like service quality was declining. Not sure what it was but the level wasn't where it use to be. So we went land based. I'd like to go back to cruising but with the increases in price, I'm not as inclined to give it another go.
I definitely share your feeling especially with the mainstream cruise lines, you're paying more but getting less.

I just booked with Disney as they recently release their fall 2017 schedule. Even though, I'm paying 100% more than what I paid 6 years ago when I sailed with them, and that's before exchange rate. At least I know I'm still getting the same level of service and amenities that got me into cruising and I'm not getting a water down experience.
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I think I've been on 13 cruises.... including 5 on Carnival to the Caribbean. The reputation as a "party" line is incredibly overblown. Yes, it's a younger crowd than a Holland ship going to Alaska. But as a non-party person, I think the overall environment is great and the value is incredible.

Every year we talk about going on another line, but Carnival often ends up being hundreds cheaper... so it's hard justify that extra cost. I'd rather use the savings on activiities. We typically pay around $60/day. My last 6 day cruise with them on the Breeze was $280US pp. My last 10 day cruise on the Triumph was $650US pp.

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