first time cruise

Old Dec 5th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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first time cruise

My husband and I are thinking of a cruise. We always plan our own trips in Europe and have enjoyed our freedom but it is a lot of work and decided maybe we should have someone take care of us. could you suggest a destination to get a taste of a cruise where we would have plenty to see. We are in our early 60's and very active.

Rose G
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Like you I have traveled Europe,but decided on a cruise for the next trip as I have hit the 70ies. We have a trip booked on Soltice(Celebrity line) in Sept. Their newest ship. This ship leaves from Rome and returns there. See what areas or cities you want to visit and then decide if that is important to you. I have sailed on RCL and know they have cruises in the same area.
Check cruise critic and Vacationtogo
and then I think you will be able to make the decision.
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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We've done three European cruise: Scandinavia & the Baltics, Venice to Athens, Barcelona to Lisbon. Loved them all.

Our favorite cruiseline is Oceania--smaller ships, wonderful staff, open seating dining, no formal nights, port internsive, a Tourist Office rep from each city gets on the ship the morning the ship is in that city.
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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It may help to know what you have already seen and what is on your wish list. A Scandanavian cruise is perfect in terms of a multitude of sights to see. esp. in St. Petersburg but as you say you have been to Europe I wonder if this would be a bit redundant. Another possibility is a European river cruise too. These boats are much smaller of course and hold around 150-200 passengers vs. the 2K plus for a sea going cruise ship. Whats nice about them is that usually the tours are included.
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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I'd recommend taking a look at some non-traditional cruise itineraries that would let you explore a single destination in more depth.

This might seem an incongruous recommendation, but I think you should seriously consider easyCruise. The ships are bare-bones affairs, but if you have any interest in Greece, these cruises offer an unbeatable value-packed way to reach a lot of smaller islands that are rarely on a cruise itinerary. And the ships have been improved so that they are marginally more comfortable. This isn't for everyone, but it's something to consider.

I'd also recommend a cruise on a modest small ship throughout Croatia (a local, not a big-ship). These cruises are a little pricey for what you get, but you will visit a wide range of islands and destinations along the Adriatic that would be hard to visit on such a short itinerary on your own.

Finally, you could do the Hurtigruten cruise through the Norwegian fjords. The company is offering some really good deals right now, and you combine the cruise with airfare from the US and a land tour in Norway for a very good value. Of course, prices will be higher this summer, but with the dollar strengthening, this is a good way to see the Norwegian coast.

If you want to visit a wider range of countries, then the recommendations to go upscale are well-founded. If you don't want the big-ship experience with all the good and bad that entails, you might like an upscale cruise in the Med.

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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the info. Would rather do the rest of Europe on land on my own but Norway by way of Hurtigruten seems interesting. Anyone tried it. What kind of accomodations? Would my 6'5" husband be comfortable in the stateroom? Anyone ever been to South American - Argentina around to Chile by way of Falkland Islands and what cruise line recommended.

Rose G
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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If you are the adventurous sorts then Hurtigruten would be good. Do be aware that their cruises are not the same at all as mass market lines, like Princess, Celebrity, Royal Carib. et al. That is their accomodations are basic, food selections are much more limited, no casinos or shows, etc. I think you can get a brochure or check them out online.
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Old Dec 18th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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We have enjoyed cruising Europe on the Star Clipper and Windstar ships. The sailing and the small size of the ships is a bit more adventuresome.

Our favorite ship is the "Windsurf".

We also always plan our own European land trips, but the cruises are fun to get to some out of the way small ports we would never see otherwise. Our favorite ports were Portofino,Elba, and Corsica. The Venice-Croatia route looks very interesting.

We love driving around Europe, but you're right, it's alot of work. Sometimes it's nice to have the luxury of a floating hotel take you to many new places in a short time.

Yes, you only have a few hours in each port, but it gives you a nice taste of a town you may want to return to.

IMO, smaller is better. It takes too long to get on and off the big ships, and they can't get in the smaller ports. But in their defense, they do have more entertainment.
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Old Dec 19th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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You don't say what level of cruising (how luxurious) you might be interested in. With regard to South America, Regent has just announced their 65-day Circle South America cruise for the beginning of 2010. We plan on signing up for the 30-day segment from Lima around to Rio, which for the first time includes 3 days of crusing around Antarctica. The cruise will be on the 700 passenger all suite all balcony Mariner, which is also all inclusive (drinks, tips, etc.). (My understanding is that you do pay for most shore excursions, unless you do the whole 65-day cruise.) We have spent 47 days on the Mariner, and it is one of our favorite ships. Initially, Regent is doing 2-for-1 initial pricing on this cruise, though that doesn't make it inexpensive. If you'd like any other information of our experiences on Regent, drop me a line at [email protected].
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Old Dec 21st, 2008, 04:09 AM
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We cruise once or twice a year. We love
to cruise. Our favorite destinations are Alaska, Panama Canal and South Americe. Last year we cruised out of Santos. January 4, 2009 we are leaving out of Valparasio and going around the cape to Buenos Aires.
Last year Rio was our favorite destination.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 06:59 AM
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An excellent "cheap" cruise option for Norway, is the once/year NCL sailing which is out of Southampton and does all Norway. I took this last year and it was just fantastic and well organized. Plenty to enjoy in each port and the bonus of sailing a couple days above the Arctic Circle. The cruise was about $1100pp discounted, plus air, and I stayed another 2 weeks for touring.

With Norway such a costly country, the cruise was about 1/4 the costs, roughly figured out for comparism.
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Old Dec 31st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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I think that a So. America cruise that you mentioned is a great cruise. Princess has one that goes from Santiago, Chile(Valparaiso)to Buenos Aires, Argentina that includes the Falkland Islands as well as Cape Horn. I think it also goes in reverse. It was a wonderful cruise for us when we took it last year. Good Cruiseing.
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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My wife and I recently returned from a 14 day cruise beginning in Valparaiso (Santiago), going through the Chilean Fjords, the straight of Magellan, around Cape Horn and hitting Uruguay (not litterally) before docking in Buenos Aires.

We sailed on Royal Caribbean and loved every day of the cruise. I specifically requested a port side balcony since most of the sites were on that side and it really paid off. EVERYTHING was on the port side.

The Norweigian Sun also travelled as a sort of shadow for most of the time. The big difference there was that they stopped in Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) and we skipped that in lieu of the added stop of Punta Del Este Uruguay. This was the home of the most gorgeous beaches we saw on the continent. We took a city bus from there north to a sleepy little beach town called Jose Ignacio (sp?). It was absolutely the most relaxing day of all 14 and my wife and I absolutely fell in love with Uruguay that day. It's nothing like the stop of Montevideo,the capital, at which both lines stopped. We got more of the flavor of Uruguay, I believe, by stopping in Punta Del Este.

Many on these sites have sailed far more extensively than myself. I have only cruised (before this) the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska's inside passage. Alaska's "Misty Fjords" was hands down the most beautiful day my eyes have ever witnessed. I was told that not many ships are granted passage each year though. If choosing Alaska I highly recommend a sailing including the Misty Fjords.

If I had the opportunity to sail again tomorrow to any of the places I've already been it would be the Royal Caribbean around the Horn.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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My only advice is to chose a smaller ship with fewer passengers. I've gone on some of the larger ships but was quite disappointed. South America would be a wonderful choice for an adventurous couple like yourselves. (like you we went from land trips to cruising)
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