20 days - Too long???

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Feb 10th, 2008, 08:40 AM
  #1
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20 days - Too long???

Hi! I love reading these message boards; everyone is so helpful. I am hoping for any and all help.

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon for July 08. I am 45 and he is 47. We were thinking of going to Paris for 4 days and then going on a cruise. We found a great deal on a HAL mediterranean cruise that is for 20 days. The longest cruise we have been on is 12 days. Is 20 days too long?

Also I have read the negatives about HAL regarding age. I have no problem travelling with older people, but will they age group drastically increase because of the length of the cruise??? Please help!!!!
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Feb 10th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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HAL is known as the senior citizen cruise as folks who are retired have the necessary time for longer cruises so the answer is a possible yes.

However, since you are sailing during summer vacation you may also run into more kids than usually travel on HAL. This becomes a problem when HAL does not sufficiently staff their program w/enough counselors.

You might register (free) at
www.cruisecritic.com & pose your queries there as this readership is
a devout sailing one.

As an inside I would love 20 days at sea. What ship & what itinerary
are you being offered? It might be
one that is too port-intensive which
becomes problematic if you wish to see any sights in depth.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I think HAL gets a bad rap when it comes to age. They are not a party cruise line like some of the others so people don't recommend them to those who want a week of fun and parties. I have over 100,000 miles with HAL and have many cruises with Princess, Celebrity and a few with RCCL. I started cruising with HAL when I was in my early 30's (no I am not ancient to have that many cruises - just like long cruises) Anyway I have always met plenty of people in my own age bracket (and I don't qualify as a senior yet either) Longer cruises are great because you can relax more and you would get to see a lot of great ports as well. We are doing back to back Baltic and Western Med on the Rotterdam next summer a total of 28 days. We won't be bored!!!
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Feb 10th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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HAL is a wonderful cruise line. If you were in your 20's, you might give the age issue some thought but unless you are tireless party goers, the HAL ships are great.

20 days is not too long if you can afford it and as long as you don't get sick. That is the biggest concern when cruising today.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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Personally, my wife and I think a 20 day cruise would be too long for us. We have been on several 14 day cruises and although very interesting and enjoyable, they were hectic and from our viewpoint more than we would like. I assume such a long trip is in Europe(which is where we cruised for 14 days) and stopping almost daily becomes quite exhausting, as you try and see as much as possible in the one day you are in the place.

Consider that your 12 day experience will almost double and that is a longtime aboard a ship.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Thank you all for your helpful responses. The ship is the Noordam, sailing in the Meditteranean. We are not late night, party people and I think the age issue would not be an issue with us. I guess I am more concerned with the lenghth of the cruise. The response from Picky is exactly what I am afraid of. This will be our honeymoon (we are spending the first 4 days in Paris)and I want it to be spectacular. I am nervous that 20 days will seem too hectic. Now while I realize that the helpful people here cannot decide what will be hectic for us, I would greatly appreciate your experience/thougths.

Thanks,
Marie
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Feb 10th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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Marie

Just because you visit a lot of ports doesn't mean you have to take long tours etc. I would choose the ports you really want to see and perhaps just take a quick trip ashore at the others if you feel like it. I know that because you are there you feel you should visit but you can always do it again. We enjoy the ship when most of the passengers go off on tours. If we have been there before and want the ship to ourselves we just stay on board. No lines - no problem getting deck chairs etc etc. Its always as good excuse to do another cruise. The Noordam is a wonderful ship. Whatever you decide have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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If this is the July 16th Noordam
sailing, pls. allow me to amend my previous statement.

16 ports are WAY too much to do justice to not to mention the heavy excursion charges you will incur.
Dubrovnik & Malta do not require a ship's tour (I did on my own) but Rome is 1 hr by train from the port.

I am looking forward to my first Noordam sailing in 2 wks & she is a
beautiful ship BUT I would feel compelled to tour in ever port & come home needing a vacation...
just 1 person's thoughts.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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That looks like a great itinerary if it's the July 16th cruise. I would do it in a heartbeat.

But, as a honeymoon? Not sure about that. I'd probably just go to one place like the Villa d'Este or someplace else where we could relax in luxury and get away from people.

On the Noordam, you will have 1900 other cruisers around you all the time and then even more crowds when you are in port. As others have said, it would not be the most relaxing time. But, it would certainly be interesting and memorable.

It's really what you are comfortable with that's the key. No one else can answer that for you.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 08:40 AM
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I do not think 20 days is too long.....I think you should go for it!! We've been on much longer and never tired of it. I think the important thing is having things in place at home so while you're gone you have total peace of mind. GO....it may be a long time before you have another opportunity like this.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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I can't thank all of you enough for your wonderful advice. I am somewhat hesitant about doing this cruise - only because I really want my honeymoon to be special (I guess everybody does). That is why we thought we would first go to Paris. Neither of us have been there and everyone says it is the most romantic place. My fiance really wants to do the cruise and he keeps telling me that we do not have to get off at every port - we can have the ship to ourselves. I am just really nervous - it is a lot of money for us, I want to make sure it is money well spent.
We have been changing our minds about this honeymoon for two months now - I want to make a decision and begin planning. Just this morning I was thinking of maybe Paris and then a Per Deilmann river cruise. Any thoughts?

Thanks for putting up with a frantic and confused bride!
Marie
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Feb 11th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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One question - what cabin type are you looking at? As i have said I am all for it and I know you will have a wonderful time. Are you planning on getting a balcony? That would really make a difference. If you have your own balcony you can dine there when you want to - very romantic!
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Feb 11th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Yes we would definitely get a room with a balcony.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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First of all congratulations. I am not sure about the idea of not getting off in every port. I mean you are that close so I would think one would feel like they had to get off and see at least some sites. The question is would you later regret not getting off. Its up to you really. A river cruise would be slower paced, more intimate and more relaxing though you would not have the nightly shows and all the fun stuff on a big cruise line. Also IIRC don't the river cruises come with excursions already included in the price? I do know that some do. Also consider the cost for excursions in so many ports. The Euro is very strong vs. the USD so it won't be as favorable as before. I do think you can save considerable $$ by doing the excursions on your own. We did for our Med cruise and saved ALOT of money though then the USD was 1:1 w/ the Euro. For example the ship wanted $170.00 pp ($510.00 for the 3 of us) for a Rome excursion. We did all that they offered on our own for $200.00. There will be plenty of private tour operators just waiting in port. Still its worth it not to mention that if you decide this route and are on your h'moon you will be by yourselves. It'll be much nicer. Good luck! Larry
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Feb 11th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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I love HAL and have been on the Noordam. She is one of the prettiest ships out there and a perfect size for the Med.

For me, 20 days is too long on nay ship but what an opportunity for a land trip where you could truly experience 2-3 places.

IMO, July is a really bad time for the Med. It is very busy, with large crowds everywhere, and the heat is suffocating. Tons of kids around as well.

A cruise this long will always have an older demographic as they are the ones who have the time and money to travel. Normally, I would not have any probkem with that but again, I would not do the Med in July period.

I agree with Larry that to do a cruise like this and stay on the ship would be a waste.

Personally, if July is when you really need to travel, I would book a 10 day on Regent. Small ships, no appeal to families/kids, extended port times and often smaller, more interesting ports, some with overnight stays.

If it were me, I would rent a villa in Tuscany away from the heat and crowds and settle in for a couple of weeks. Add Paris if you wish (not one of my personal favorite cities and also packed in July).
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Feb 26th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Marie. I would do it in a heartbeat - my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary on a 16 day cruise through the Panama Canal. It was wonderful. We were on Celebrity and were about your age - 45 (we got married fairly young). Yes, the age of our fellow travellers was a little older than the typical Celebrity cruise. We sat at a table for 8 and the other 6 were all retirees but wonderful table mates. It was also very nice to be with one of the most beautiful women on the ship! I would say that 80% were over 60 or so with another 10% in their 40s and 50s and about 10% honeymooners. There were very few children and we considered that a plus for an anniversay cruise. We had several port calls and several days at sea. We never felt pressured to take tours in ports although we did several but several other ports we just went into port and walked around. You can do whatever is best for you. Best wishes - you will have a great time whatever you choose. David
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Feb 26th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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We have done that cruise. It is actually two ten day cruises back to back out of Rome. Some of the stops are small ports where a half day off the ship is plenty. It will be what you make it. Great area.
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Apr 15th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Do you have to do the 20 day cruise? Why not incorporate a 7 or 14 day cruise instead? When my husband and I got married, we spent 4 days in Rome and then took the 7-day Windstar cruise along the Ligurian Coast ending in Nice. It was fabulous to get a taste of France, Italy, Monaco and Corsica. Once the cruise was over we spent 4 days in Nice relaxing.

We also didn't really do any excursions. We figured we were newly weds so we got off at each port, walked around, drank wine, saw a few sites and basically absorbed the beauty in our newly married state!

Our experience was blissful and I would do it again in a second. BTW - I was 38 and my husband was 34 when we got married.

Congratulations and enjoy! Whatever you decide will be wonderful I'm sure!
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Apr 17th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Our first cruise was 14 days and our next will likely be 30+. I think it depends a lot on the itinerary, the number of days at sea versus port stops and for sure, having a room with a verandah.

Congratulations and bon voyage!
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