Cruising - should I?

Dec 28th, 2004, 08:02 AM
  #1  
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Cruising - should I?

The last time I was on a cruise was 1985...so I need info and help. If I choose to do a cruise it would be at the end of February, 2005. Also, I'm thinking I'd like to do the Mexican Rivera out of San Diego. I've never been to California and I hear SD is beautiful. Also, I'm 49 and the wife is 46. She's a young 46 and I'm a stodgy 49. I like to relax, get some sun and have a beer. She likes to go, go, go.

First - the reason I've never been on another cruise is because I felt I was treated as a cash cow...dropping us off at one tourist trap after another. It got old.

LIKES:
I loved just laying on a deck chair looking off the back of the ship and getting a great tan. I Liked the fact that the ship usually sails in sunny weather. That's not always true with land based vacation spots. I liked the food...even back in 1985 it was the thing about cruise ships. Good food and lots of it. I like the cost. It's generally cheaper than doing an all-inclusive resort.

DISLIKES: I don't like gambling, I don't like the fact that booze is extra cost. I don't like tourist traps.

Is a cruise the right thing for me? Or, should I just go to an all-inclusive resort?

Thanks
1WayOut is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 08:25 AM
  #2  
 
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Try to do a search here - several threads recently on people who get annoyed at cruises "nickle and diming" them for everything while on board - it sounds like you would be included in those who find this very annoying.

Also, a discussion here some time ago about alcohol charges while on board. I still maintain that I would not want to be on a cruise that had unlimited alcohol included - just imagine how some would abuse that privilege.

My husband has a difficult time seeing the bill at the end of any vacation - we have reached a simple compromise that both of us our comfortable with - he just does not see the bill - I take care of signing it off, etc. Then we both have a good time.

We took a cruise Boston-Bermuda this summer. Ship docked in Bermuda for 3 nights and we used it like a floating hotel. Something like that might work for both of you. I understand your dislike of being dropped off to shop and drink for 6 hours - that does get old.

PS - San Diego is beautiful. The one place I have visited that I would move to in a second!
gail is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 08:30 AM
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1WO, Go cruising...we just came back from our first cruise on Radisson and loved it..already booked another in late November..and we're off to Tahiti for two weeks on the Paul Gauguin in March (#1 rated cruise ship)...Radisson includes wine/drinks with dinner (you never have an empty glasss) and includes a bar set up in room (premium liquor or six pack at start of cruise) good for before dinner cocktails...you can do anything you want (drink beer, lay out on the pool deck) while your wife does excursions, wine tasting, cooking classess, goes scuba diving, etc.,..the choice is yours..Radisson is little more expensive than others but worth it...find a good T/A and get a deal...BTW, we had been to three Sandals at Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antiqua..and I now prefer cruising!

Hope this helps and good luck.

r/wes
colonelwes is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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As a veteran of ten cruises (4 out of my hometown of San Diego), I have never gotten the feeling that I was "nickeled and dimed" on a cruise ship. I bring a bottle of rum with me (smuggled in suitcase) for cocktails in my stateroom, then purchase a modest amount of drinks during the evening hours. The only other expense on my shipboard account is the well-deserved and reasonable gratuities for the staff. IMO, most ports of call can be enjoyed, without spending a lot of money on tours. For us, a one week cruise to Mexico (balcony cabin) from San Diego, costs less than a one week, all-inclusive stay in Cabo, Mazatlan or P.V.. Cruising, IMO, is not better than land trips, just a nice change.
sceneisle is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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I think you got a good answer from colonelwes in that if you decide to cruise, you should focus on a luxury cruise line that includes alcohol and avoids most of the "nickel and diming" that you'll find on the less expensive cruises.

I love cruising for the exact reason that I can do as much as I like, while my travel companion can also do their own thing - and we meet up later for lunch, dinner, etc.

If your wife really prefers to go, go, go - maybe the cruise is a better choice. Many activities on board, as well as different ports and shore excursions to experience at each. I'm not sure that an all inclusive resort, while chock full of activities, will offer as much diversity in the same amount of time.
chepar is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 01:08 PM
  #6  
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Thanks all for the help and info.

What cruise lines offer the more luxury and complete services? I know about Crystal...but they seem very expensive. Is it a value in the end to pay that much more?

Is there a cruise line between Crystal and Carnival that I should consider?

1WayOut is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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I agree with everything Colonelwes said. I think you will really enjoy a ship like Radisson (or perhaps Seabourn or Silversea). These cruise lines are a lot different than the larger mega-mainstream ships where you do feel like a "cash cow". The larger ships carry so many passengers that when you get into a port, it's more like an evasion. I think you'll really enjoy the relaxation, lack of crowds and lines, and pampering that you'll experience on a luxury line.

Crystal is a top notch cruiseline but it is more formal and the fare does NOT include tips, in-suite bar, alcohol or wine with dinner etc.

I hope you give cruising another try!
petlover is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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Petlover;

Thanks for the info. Radisson stays much too long in port. I checked out cruises available in the Caribbean in Feb. They stop in Key West for 1-1/2 days....I want to sail.

I will check on the others you suggested.
1WayOut is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 02:20 AM
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While some higher end cruises have more expensive price tags, when you get done paying for all the extras on less expensive cruise lines, the cost differential is not all that great.
gail is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 04:41 AM
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1WO, I also agree with Petlover--marcie..she practices what she preaches too...next week she boards the Radisson Voyager for their World Cruise (over 120 days)...good luck in finding the right cruise line..r/wes
colonelwes is offline  
Dec 31st, 2004, 12:40 AM
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I'd go for Crystal at least, if not the other two. The service aboard Crystal is so pampering. Their ratio of crew to passenger is much better than even Celebrity, which is a close second.

As for the "nickel and diming" just don't buy the watered down "fro fro" drink of the day with glass, the bingo, the gambling, the art auction, the photos. I much prefer to raid the library than play the poolside games. At the end of any cruise my bill only for the pre dinner cocktail and dinner wine.

I tip of course, but am most happy that I am not coerced into this auto tip policy that HAL has instituted. On Crystal, the crew are paid actual wages, serve shorter terms before breaks, and as I said, there are more of them per passenger. They pamper you on Crystal. You pay more up front but in the long term I think you spend about the same.

The age of passenger on Crystal will generally be older, but these are experienced travellers who have led interesting lives. I found them very gracious and welcoming to a solo.
everittp is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 11:15 AM
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Silversea and Seabourn are all inclusive. I never signed even one bill except for massage at spa. Radisson is not all inclusive, and it gets annoying sometimes, but not as bad as say Celebrity. FYI - contrary to what many people think, I have never seen people abusing unlimitted drinks on Silversea. I had seen drunks on Radisson when they had open bar because they had to cancel one port due to weather. Crystal is over priced for what you get in my opinion. You need to compare lines on per day price, then add tips, wines, drinks, etc. Then you get real picture.
simonv is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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JJ5
 
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Sounds like you have gotten some very good advise.

This may be sacriligious to say on this titled board, but cruising is also not for everybody. And it isn't because of the motion sickness etc.- although you sound like you might be happy cruisers on the "right" lines.

If you are very, very budget minded you can do/see more for less $$ if you plan extensively/ research with land travel. But try the cruise out from SD and see how you like it. SD is a week in itself with non-stop activity. We loved our stay there in October '03.

If you are a "sitter" and she is a goer, then a resort with activities may be your thing. Try different vacations styles out. You can't know unless you try them. But either way (inclusive or non-inclusive), cruising is not cheap. I have spent weeks in Italy/ Germany and have seen 5 to 7 cities in depth for the basic cost of one Princess 7 day cruise with balcony minus the airfare. And that line (Princess)is not inclusive. Didn't scrimp on ourselves in those European cities either with the land travel trip. And when you go, the best advice is to NOT look at the bill yourself, that was a good one.

With land travel you are not centered in such groups/ not tied to heavy scheduling and extras/food $ resources. You do spend more time in groups, group lines etc. with cruising You just do. You also can be very lazy and not have to plan much at all. Many people like that aspect about cruising immensely.

My one son and daughter-in-law are go-go people and went on a E. Caribbean cruise last summer for 7 days. They say they will never cruise again, and they went top drawer all inclusive. They just don't like the "group" scheduling etc. and having to leave a port so fast. And they are not into fine dining etc. as much as they thought they were. You need to try it to find out, if it is for you as a couple.
JJ5 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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But cruising is such an easy way to travel. You unpack once, and your hotel moves while you sleep. Granted you can't do in-depth kind of trip, but you don't have to pore over guidebooks to decide where to go or what to do, either. Just look at the excursion list, and the major highlights are there already. Cruising is a lazy person's way to travel most painlessly, if the ports of calls are interesting.
simonv is offline  

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