Cruisin'-Giving it a second shot.

Dec 28th, 2006, 03:00 PM
  #1  
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Cruisin'-Giving it a second shot.

My first cruise was a 16-day QEII holiday cruise last December. My parents loved it, but I was a bit disappointed, enough to say I'd probably never cruise again. But now I'm having second thoughts as the QEII has a lovely November cruise (Lisbon, Malaga, Alexandria, Athens, Rome!) I'm interested in. Anybody have a disappointing cruise experience, only to give it another shot and then enjoy themselves? If so, what contributed to the positive experience the second time around?

For me, I think I'd organize my ship-board time better by having a more set schedule (gym in the morning, reading time, lectures), foregoing heavy breakfasts and/or tea so I could enjoy dinner more, and sleeping in so that I wouldn't be so fatigued for all the activities they seem to schedule later at night (dancing, music, etc). Any thoughts?
Roundtrip is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 07:45 PM
  #2  
 
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Without having an idea why the first cruise was disappointing, it is hard to suggest improvements for the next cruise. We have cruised for about 60 days total over the past ten years and have never been disappointed -- even this summer when we booked the cruise that went to a whole different area than we had planned.

fmpden is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Roundtrip, I agree that it would be helpful to know what you did not enjoy. Perhaps it was the atmposhere of the ship itself? The class segregation for dining? the formality?

As one with 111 cruise under my belt, I can only say that the current version of cruising across almost all cruise lines is no longer something that appeals to me. The mass market lines have become ala carte amusement park like experiences with huge ships, too many people, too many kids running around unsupervised, and people dressed for dinner like they are going to a tractor pull.

Even the formerly nicer mass market lines are succumbing.

So, for my money, unless I can afford a luxury line, I am over cruising altogether.
kfusto is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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FUSTO... Agree with the party times on the mega ships...but we cannot afford the high end cruising...but I have always gone by the motto..."ports, ports,ports or itineraries, itineraries, itineraries"..With that in mind we have discovered Celebrity and their trans-atlantics...We have been on ships that have now since been dumped (Dolphin and Premier) because they were going to ports that the average tourist/cruiser turns up their nose..BTW te Ocean Breeze or the Sea Breeze (can't remember which one sunk off the Csrolinas)..was like a huge tug boat, a staff with a heart of gold and was going to9 places we had never been off the East Coast..Now, I'm getting ready to book Celebrity for either the Galaxy or Century to see ports in Morocco and the Canary Islands... BTW Roundtrip....Malaga turned out to be a jewel port especially when we hired a guide to go to Mijas..Corsica..the biggest disappointment... We cruise to see parts of the world we never have seen in our younger days...and perhaps want to go back...we want to go back to Malaga.. Days at sea are important to us...those days are what cruising is about... sitting in a lounge chair and reading..Last time Parrot Pop took a digital camera course and to his amazement found it was the best thing he's ever done on a ship...he ended up taking a second.. We have been on approximately cruises give or take...and if $$ and our health allow...we will keep going.. I have a list of places yet to see and places to go..
ParrotMom is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:35 AM
  #5  
 
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Cruising is not for everybody, and I know people who didn't like it. If you want to give it a second try, fine, but you don't have to force. Whatever kind of vacation makes you happy.
spurs is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 08:33 AM
  #6  
 
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PM, I feel differently about ports and itineraries. I have always cruised for the experience itself, which is not even close to what it once was.

When I am off to somewhere exotic, I prefer to fly and stay awhile, rather than just have a few hours in port. I love Italy but not on a cruise, as I miss the late afternoon strolls on the piazzas and watching the sun come up over the hills of Tuscany or having a cocktail on a rooftop overlooking the Colosseum at midnight.

As for a TA, I do not have the time for it nor do that many sea days appeal. I wish they did as they are a great value but I am very type AAA and hanging around all day on a ship just makes me crazy : )

BTW, I was on Century in November. She is looking good but food and service are not what they used to be.

kfusto is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 09:36 AM
  #7  
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It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly why I wasn't as thrilled about my first cruise as my parents had been. For one, the crowd was both very old (not just "older") and a bit stuffy in my opinion, although our tablemates were wonderful. Many of the travelers seemed to know each other and seemed less open to meeting or talking with new people. I also thought the "activities," what little there were, were geared totally for the really older crowd (I'm in my mid-30s). But, again as I said, I'm wondering if I just didn't approach the cruise the right way. I'm on the shy side, and maybe that hindered my enjoyment. My friends have told me the QEII isn't necessarily the perfect ship for everybody, but it does have some lovely itineraries. I'm not interestged in 7-day cruises to warm water ports in the Caribbean as I'm from California and already have the beach around the corner. It's the longer cruises, with more interesting ports, that I'm attracted to. But those seem to draw the very older crowds. If I were to go on a second cruise, one thing I'd do differently is I'd have a more set schedule. Perhaps I'd meet the same people at the gym, library, etc. on a regular basis and maybe get to know somebody and not feel so separate. Just wanted to know if anybody else had to have a few cruises before they found their niche, so to speak.
Roundtrip is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 11:08 AM
  #8  
 
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If a Cunard ship had been our first cruise - there might have been another. Luckily, it wasn't and we knew there was better out there.

Tey the different lines and you'll find one that suits you.

Have fun
maryann is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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I'm sorry I mangled my post - If Cunard...there might NOT have been another cruise.

Try another line ...

Glad I didn't have to make a living with my typing !!!
maryann is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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KFUSTO.. Cruising isn't what it used to be I can agree. On our first cruise the NCL Seaward.. the white glove service, the formality, the whole experience set us up for cruising...We are NOT the type of people who want to climb rock walls or go bowling.. We are now 20 years older and gettng around for Parrot Pop is more difficult.. I was raised a block from the beach in Boston and when I wanted calmness I would walk across the street in the early a.m. and sit listening to the ocean and feeling the hot morning sun on me..We like a cruise to be broken up by days at sea...I only wish we could afford staying in Tuscany or Malaga for a few weeks at a time.. but we are off in February for a week of sun, pool, beach and decompression.. In our younger days we went to S.D....we have been to Machu Picchu...when it opened in 1988...We hire private guides and we are off..Ås you may guess I'm a "white hair"...lol..but I go and want to go where other tourists aren't interested. One year we spent a week in St. Thomas...going to the city was and is the reasonIwill never get on a cruise that stopsthere..NEVER...thousands of cruisers getting off the ships...rushing to the shops..
\As for Rountrip... you need a little less stuffer group.,. don't do Holland America....Sadly we have found a snobbism with some cruisers..about the price, the cabin or suite or where they have been.. it's true..but who cares.. I'm out to have a good time while I can... and build memories
ParrotMom is offline  
Dec 29th, 2006, 06:19 PM
  #11  
 
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aaahhh Parrot Mom, there you go again, making me long for another vacation. It is so great that both you and your Parrot Pop have the same wanderlust.

and kfusto, after sooo many cruises, maybe your tastes are just evolving. I don't cruise much (really only with family groups), but on regular land trips, it was the same for us. I remember my DH and I started out enjoying all inclusives, then went to small hotels., and now we're stuck on private villas. It might be time for you to try a Moorings sailboat cruise, or a barge, something small?

Roundtrip, I agree with Maryann, find your line (and in your 30's it won't be Cunard or HAL)! Check out the message boards for the different lines at cruisecritic.com, and you will see the subtle differences.
joan is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 04:01 AM
  #12  
 
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I agree that my tastes have evolved from my first cruise at nine to what I enjoy at 50. It certainly is NOT the droves of kids and families, the drunk 20 somethings that are there to party hearty and those that dress no better than I do to clean my garage.

I admit to being a traditionalist.

I cruise on Star Clipper in the Med and it was great but not my style. Too rough and I need my balcony and room service : )

I do like HAL because it has slid as downhill as some of the rest. I'll take stuffy over tacky, though stuffy did not apply to my last HAL cruise.

I think I am jsut tired of the new cruiser mentality that "I will do/dress/act as I want to becasue I paid for my cruise". It is part of the fabric of our society these days and I prefer to avoid it.

2007 is going to be 2 weeks in Italy and a long weekend in the Caymans. 2008 we plan to spend Christmas in Germany and Austria.

After 40 years of cruising, I simply am just not interested any longer.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #13  
 
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We just returned from the Mexican Riviera on HAL's Oosterdam. It was our 3rd cruise, and we have only cruised on HAL.

I must say that we were shocked at the number of passengers who chose to ignore the dress code. It seemed to be a very different demographic than we experienced on our prior cruises, probably due to the fact that it was a holiday week, and there were a large number of families, with many more children than we had ever seen. For the most part, the children were very well-behaved. However, on the 5 informal nights, jeans seemed to dominate (and interstingly enough, it was older men who wore them); the younger passengers were dressed more appropriately.

We won't cruise during a holiday period again.
Arizona07 is offline  
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