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LuvToTravelWorld  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I'm not too fond of sea cruises in cold areas, I'm more a Caribbean cruiser.  I cruised the North Atlantic x 2 and got so sea sick, I had to get on meds.
AS long as there are not too many nights at sea, it is way more enjoyable.  I also hate how they charge extreme $$ for their excursions.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
...  
#2 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
...


Posts: 142

You're right about the high prices for excursions, but at least when you book one of theirs, the ship will wait for you if you're late.  I've never been on a cruise where they didn't leave someone behind at one port or another.  I consider the price to include "insurance" for that reason.  Regular travel insurance can be pretty selective in what it covers on excursions.

I certainly agree about preferring the warm cruises!
WITH GATE 1
Already Booked:
8 Day Affordable Morocco
Past tours:
9 Day Classic Russia
10 Day Affordable China
5 Day Panama
5 Day Classic Guatemala
9 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Classic France with Loire Valley & Normandy
With other tour companies:
9 Day Britain Sampler
10 Day Sound of Music
Plus 6 cruises:
Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, & Honduras
littlera  
#3 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

We normally book inside cabins on cruises - good enough for me, much cheaper, and you don't spend much time in the room anyway.

Two years ago on a  great Baltics cruise we splurged for a balcony cabin - only a little bit more $ on a special.  Even this turned out to be a waste, as even in June on the North Sea with the ship moving it was COLD and WINDY!  Did not use the balcony much!
Randy and Deanie
Up next:
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka. 3/21
14 day Classic South Africa with Victoria Falls 11/20
12 day Kaleidiscope of Scotland 7/20; rebooked 7/21
Been there, done that:
11 day Classic Colombia 3/20
14 day Majestic Balkans 5/19
16 Day Spiritual Southern India 11/18
14 Day Holland. Germany,Luxembourg & Belgium with Paris. 5/18
15 Day Indonesia: Java & Bali 10/17
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio 2/17
18 Day Nepal & Bhutan 9/16
13 Day Kasbahs and Deserts of Morocco 5/16
15 Day Classic India with Ranthambore 11/15
11 Day Classic Baltics 6/15
11 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala and Honduras 1/15
13 Day Kaleidoscope of Ireland 9/14
14 Day Israel and Jordan - 5/14
15 Day Kaleidoscope of Thailand with River Kwai 11/13
16 Day China with Tibet and 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise  5/13
8 Day Classic Ecuador and Amazon Adventure 10/12
13 Day Turkish Treasures 5/12
10 Day Affordable  Peru  10/11
16 Day Affordable Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam 10/10
15 Day India's Majesty with Nepal  10/08
10 Day Greece with cruise 3/04
...  
#4 Posted : Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
...


Posts: 142

Well, I do enjoy an ocean view (window) stateroom, myself.  Watching the water, passing ships & dolphins is part of the entertainment to me.  But I don't go for games & group participation when I'm on vacation.  I'd as soon be left alone for the most part.  My room is my sanctuary.

You're right about the weather!  On land or on sea, you can never predict what it will be!  Last year, we went to France in early May -- the week before, the temperature was in the '80's & everyone was dying of heat.  The very next week, when we went, it was cold (40's) & rainy & miserable!

That's why we always pack one thing lighter weight & one thing heavier weight than we think we'll need.  It may be the only thing we wear the whole trip!  We do that on every trip, cruise or land.
WITH GATE 1
Already Booked:
8 Day Affordable Morocco
Past tours:
9 Day Classic Russia
10 Day Affordable China
5 Day Panama
5 Day Classic Guatemala
9 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Classic France with Loire Valley & Normandy
With other tour companies:
9 Day Britain Sampler
10 Day Sound of Music
Plus 6 cruises:
Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, & Honduras
gotta travel  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

Looks like the gangs all here (aka the faithful posters).  Seems we all run in similar travel circles (land and sea).  I'll admit, I'm a balcony snob as my ideal cruise is more days at sea sitting outside reading away from the noise and crowds (though we do like a change of scenery at times and can be found on the promenade deck.  Haven't done a Transatlantic yet.  Most of our cruising has been Caribbean as it's convenient.  Also saving Alaska as for some reason I can't get too enthused although everyone I know who's done it has just raved.  Did one out of Copenhagen to Norway and the fjords and it was spectacular.  

So bucket list for cruising is (in order):  Baltic, Aegean, Transatlantic, some river cruise and then Alaska.  Too many places, not enough money.
littlera  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

I can sure recommend a Baltics cruise.  We did HA Eurodam out of Dover at the time as our daughter was living in London.  There is much grandeur to see in St. Petersburg, and we loved Tallin, Estonia so much we will surely take a Gate 1 tour that goes back there as soon as next year.  HA food onboard is probably the best we have experienced over maybe half a dozen lines.

A Baltics cruise is the very best way to get a taste of Scandanavia, as it is much cheaper than land tours that go to these areas.   Not a fully immersed experience by any means, but just a taste. 

I was able to cross off the Vasa Museum from my bucket list in Stockholm.  Incredible museum with wonderful display of this unique vessel.  Don't fail to see it when you go!
Randy and Deanie
Up next:
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka. 3/21
14 day Classic South Africa with Victoria Falls 11/20
12 day Kaleidiscope of Scotland 7/20; rebooked 7/21
Been there, done that:
11 day Classic Colombia 3/20
14 day Majestic Balkans 5/19
16 Day Spiritual Southern India 11/18
14 Day Holland. Germany,Luxembourg & Belgium with Paris. 5/18
15 Day Indonesia: Java & Bali 10/17
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio 2/17
18 Day Nepal & Bhutan 9/16
13 Day Kasbahs and Deserts of Morocco 5/16
15 Day Classic India with Ranthambore 11/15
11 Day Classic Baltics 6/15
11 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala and Honduras 1/15
13 Day Kaleidoscope of Ireland 9/14
14 Day Israel and Jordan - 5/14
15 Day Kaleidoscope of Thailand with River Kwai 11/13
16 Day China with Tibet and 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise  5/13
8 Day Classic Ecuador and Amazon Adventure 10/12
13 Day Turkish Treasures 5/12
10 Day Affordable  Peru  10/11
16 Day Affordable Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam 10/10
15 Day India's Majesty with Nepal  10/08
10 Day Greece with cruise 3/04
...  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, October 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
...


Posts: 142

I'd love to do a river cruise from Moscow to St. Pete!    And... and.... and....   Like Gotta Travel, it's a case of "too many places, not enough money"!
WITH GATE 1
Already Booked:
8 Day Affordable Morocco
Past tours:
9 Day Classic Russia
10 Day Affordable China
5 Day Panama
5 Day Classic Guatemala
9 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Classic France with Loire Valley & Normandy
With other tour companies:
9 Day Britain Sampler
10 Day Sound of Music
Plus 6 cruises:
Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, & Honduras
gotta travel  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, October 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

Littlera, I second HAL as one of the better ones.  Though I'm inclined to tell folks the best cruise is the one I happen to be on at the time.  Our truly best time was on the Zuiderdam where we had the best table (included the on-board chaplain and a traveling friend, a retired Dutch sea captain and spouse, a single self-proclaimed 'ladies' man and ourselves).  What a hoot every night catching up and the Dutch couple helped us in Curacao get around.  The chaplain and the single ladies man bantered back and forth the entire cruise to the point that one night we all stalked the single guy to see if his pick up lines actually worked (they didn't).  

We did the Baltic trip with Gate 1 which I would highly recommend for Tallinn.  We got there three days early to spend more time (my brother in law said that would be way too much time, though we found it to be the opposite). It was the highlight of the trip.  Highly recommend that itinerary (Baltic Capitals).  

But back to sea cruises, what I find fascinating is that every person who cruises keeps a running tally of how many.  It's almost the first topic of conversation at any first meeting - 'how many cruises does this make' if they don't offer it up right out of the gate.  Little bit the same with land packages, but it's typically starts 'is this your first Gate 1?"  Love to hear people talk about where they've been and want to go as it breaks the ice and you get some ideas.  

Read recently that RCCL is building yet another largest cruise ship in the world.  I've thus far avoided anything in the 130,000+gross ton class as sailing on a floating city doesn't do much for me. Just means more crowds and lines.  So I'll stick to the small and medium please and they can keep the supersized to themselves.
littlera  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, October 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

We were unsure of larger ships too, but took an 8 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on RCCL Independence of the Seas, which is over 150,000 tons (largest ship in world when built inn 2008) this past March.  We actually really enjoyed this ship very much.  Don't remember standing in line for anything really.  Last year we did Western Caribbean on Carnival Dream, a ship almost as big.  We preferred the RCCL ship, but the Dream was pretty nice too, and again crowding and lines were not problems.
Randy and Deanie
Up next:
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka. 3/21
14 day Classic South Africa with Victoria Falls 11/20
12 day Kaleidiscope of Scotland 7/20; rebooked 7/21
Been there, done that:
11 day Classic Colombia 3/20
14 day Majestic Balkans 5/19
16 Day Spiritual Southern India 11/18
14 Day Holland. Germany,Luxembourg & Belgium with Paris. 5/18
15 Day Indonesia: Java & Bali 10/17
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio 2/17
18 Day Nepal & Bhutan 9/16
13 Day Kasbahs and Deserts of Morocco 5/16
15 Day Classic India with Ranthambore 11/15
11 Day Classic Baltics 6/15
11 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala and Honduras 1/15
13 Day Kaleidoscope of Ireland 9/14
14 Day Israel and Jordan - 5/14
15 Day Kaleidoscope of Thailand with River Kwai 11/13
16 Day China with Tibet and 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise  5/13
8 Day Classic Ecuador and Amazon Adventure 10/12
13 Day Turkish Treasures 5/12
10 Day Affordable  Peru  10/11
16 Day Affordable Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam 10/10
15 Day India's Majesty with Nepal  10/08
10 Day Greece with cruise 3/04
LuvToTravelWorld  
#10 Posted : Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I like HAL too, I like the fact that the age group is white haired and the pools are almost empty because of this.  Probably my most enjoyable cruise.  Fun, happy people.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
LuvToTravelWorld  
#11 Posted : Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

My least enjoyable was Princess, full of drunks; then Royal Caribbean, too big too many people.  
In spite of what we have heard, Carnival was not the worse.  Did a Bahamas cruise with them and it was ok
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
gotta travel  
#12 Posted : Thursday, October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

I've heard the Dream was nice (one of our travel friends, a die-hard Princess loyalist has done two cruises on her and gave it good reviews).   My personal take:

Big Red Boat - sailed on two of their ships (Premier Cruise Line, now defunct):  our entry into cruising and loved them.  Large staterooms and some our best memories with the kids wide-eye and crew just the friendliest ever.

RCCL:  have only been on two of their smaller ones.  Was ok, but I find them a little more pricey than they ought to be.  The older I get, the less I'm looking for always on the go activities (don't see myself on a climbing wall though I would like to try the wave pool thing). 

NCL: has the oddest decor combinations.  Just seems they shop at some 'going out of business' cruise ship furnishing establishment.  Nothing special, rooms are dated (haven't sailed on Epic or their new Breakaway).  

Princess:  rate an A for entertainment not for their main shows but for the alternative options (on one cruise they had this killer hand-shadow guy).  Been a couple of years since we sailed on them and I hear the quality of their food has diminished (along with most others).  Fantastic mini-suites.

HAL:  my preference thusfar, though they price at the upper end of the non-luxury group.  Just feels like they are polished and a little less 'go, go, go' atmosphere.  Maybe just a little more relaxing.

Celebrity:  use to be neck and neck with HAL in my book.  Kind of just lost it's luster.  Still it's in the top tier of my preferences.

and of course

Carnival:  Tried them out when they had the non-smoking ship (Paradise), and then the Fantasy a month before they had a fire on board (years ago).  They kind of deserved their rep as the Walmart of the cruise world for a while but either they are getting better (our last with them (Freedom) was very enjoyable along the New England coast) or the rest of the industry is coming down.  I suspect a little of both.  Since we spend a good amount of time in our cabin (sleeping and reading, coming up for food and ice-cream), the 'party' thing they try to portray doesn't bother us much. You can get more room for your money with Carnival so that's a drawing card.

Was looking forward to doing Disney with the grandchildren but have read mixed reviews (surprisingly).  Maybe in a couple of years.  

Well back to watching for deals.
LuvToTravelWorld  
#13 Posted : Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I did an Atlantic Crossing too, x 2. ::bad-tongue:: Don't think I would do that again.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
gotta travel  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, October 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
gotta travel


Posts: 128

LuvToTravel: interested in knowing if your TransAtlantics were Spring or Fall?  Read that you had some sea sickness and wonder if either season is better than the other?  Did a crossing as a teen many years ago but on a converted troop ship (USS Geiger, dad was transferring to Germany and thought it neat for the family to go by sea, NOT - hit hurricane out of New York two days out and suffice to say not a pretty sight).  Much smaller ship than today's liner and before azipods and super-duper stabilizers.  

Did you find enough activities for the sea days to keep you busy?
LuvToTravelWorld  
#15 Posted : Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

Actually I think they were summer, but it was cold some of the time but nice because I remember being in the pool and how weird it was to be salt water.  
We were on the SS America, both ways, an awesome ship, and original super liner, first class all the way!  I mean the women wore gowns to dinner and all that.  Great experience.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
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