Why cruise?

Old Aug 16th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Why cruise?

I'm sincerely wondering why cruising is better than a "typical" vacation at one destination. We were planning a trip to Mexico this spring with our friends, when another couple jumped in and have swayed them to go on a cruise. Now we're wondering if we should cruise with them. I've always been against the idea of a cruise (being stuck on a ship, seasickness, crowds at the pool, etc), but my husband seems interested and I am open to the idea, but I really need to be swayed. The cruise they are thinking of would have us on the boat for 4 days with 3 stops in between, 7 days total. I keep going back to that 4 days stuck on the boat. I know the food and entertainment are great, but I just see us pigging out (I don't need the extra pounds) and racking up a bar bill while we're on the boat. Not my idea of vacation necessarily. Plus, they even admitted I'd have to get up at 5 am to find a chair at the pool. Are you kidding me? I never have this problem on our beach vacations... and oh, the beach... I will miss the beach. Someone please sway my opinion or tell me what you love about cruises. I just can't seem to understand it.
yale is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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I love cruising on small elegant ships like Windstar or Radisson Cruises. They are not glitzy, very low key with almost all-inclusive values (no nickel and diming you to death). I am not so crazy about the big ships, but there is a whole industry out there for a reason. Some people LOVE them! You just have to figure out which type you are.

I love just being on the water (a balcony is a must, if possible) and getting a little flavor of a new place every day. I feel stuck when I am on an island and can't get off!

I also love not having to plan my meals, but having the option if I want to do so while in port. That is great. Also, if you know your where your meals are coming from, a nice leisurely drink in port is always good.

I also love strolling up and down the decks with the wind in my hair. And being able to see life from a different perspective.

If you are afraid of being sea sick, be prepared. Don't get stuck. I don't get seasick, but my husband does and he found out the hard way!

Go to Cruisecritic.com and read the review of the ship/cruiseline they want to book and see if it jives with what you think of as a vacation. Also, read about the type of people who go on each cruise and see if that fits you.

Where are you going and on what cruise ship are you booked? I have done a lot of research. I am not an expert but I am happy to help.

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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Maybe cruising isn't for you. We have taken 5 cruises since we started in 2002 and have booked two more to take yet this year. We love it.

There is as much or as little to do as you'd like. There are ships with rock climbing, ice skating, golf simulators, and lessons in digital photography, software, and ceramics. Not to mention casinos, bingo, trivia games, karaoke, the spas and salons, fitness centers, movies in the theatre, champagne art auctions, and much much more.

Yes, if you want a lounge chair in the sun during prime time, you may have to reserve it early. I'm not a sun worshipper and haven't had any trouble finding one in the shade (my preferred spot) mostly any time of day.

A bar bill can add up during a 7-day cruise, but that is true of a land vacation as well unless it is an all-inclusive.

Unlike your thoughts on this, I'd prefer 7 days (or more) on the ship with no island stops. I can't think of anywhere I've been that you can't visit a beach during most ports of call visits. There is your "beach fix".

If you are cruising in the spring, do be aware of spring break time which varies greatly. You may not want to be sailing with tons of children or college kids.

I highly recommend cruisecritic.com as an excellent place to educate yourself on cruising options before you commit to spending money on something you are not sure of.
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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People who save lounge chairs are known as "chair hogs" as it is considered rude to reserve chairs when not in use. Many frequent cruisers, including myself, are happy to unsave them!

I do not cruise to eat and have only once gained weight on a cruise. I keep active as I am at home and eat no differently. That is, however, the exception, not the rule.

I love being at sea, love getting dressed for dinner, love lazy days reading. I cruise with a balcony whenever possible. I have coffee there in the morning and HH there in the afternoon.

It also depends on the ship and line. They are not a one size fits all and you should make sure the personality and demographic on the proposed cruise meet your tastes.

And, yes, if you are big drinkers, expect a BIG bill at the end.
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Old Aug 16th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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yale, Like you, I had always been against cruising because I was concerned about sea sickness, over eating and crowded pools. I won a cruise on one of the large cruise ships and recently went on my first cruise. Honestly, I much prefer a vacation at a resort. Both my husband and I felt the motion constantly. The size of the pools were ridiculously small and very crowded. I did not care for the food, I thought it sacrificed quality for quantity. But thats just me. I guess you will never know unless you try it. If I were ever to try a cruise again I would go on a smaller more elegant ship. I definately would recommend a balcony. It was a highlight of the cruise.
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Old Aug 17th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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We're sold on cruising. We've done 25 including 3 around the world. Eating is not a problem. What you don't sample today will be there tomorrow. Our drinking is limited to one per day. My husband lost 4 pounds after a 73 day cruise.

The facilities generally depend on the ship. (You get what you pay for.) The new ships have so may places to "hide" or hang out that you don't have to run for a deck chair. Boredom only occurs if you permit it. We enjoy meeting new people and getting to know them. Many lasting friendships have been formed over the years.

However, I detect a negative attitude on your part. Unless you approach this new experience with an open mind, you may be miserable. Although nothing is perfect all the time, we look forward to our cruises because we know something good will await us, but we must finding it.
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Old Aug 18th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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For me cruising isn't better... just different to... a land resort.

If you go in thinking about that beach you could be lying on and the extra large lagoon pool you could be swimming in then you will not enjoy the cruise.

You have be open to it and go in with a positive attitude. If you have to be pursuaded then you will find fault with everything and not enjoy yourself.

'Four days with three stops'... isn't quite right. A seven day cruise usually goes something like this; day one boarding the ship, usually after midday, checking out the ship and unpacking. Day two at sea. Days three,four and five in port, where you will be able to go to the beach or any other excursion that is offered and get a taste of three different cities which you won't get staying in one place at a land resort! Day six and seven at sea. Last day disembark after breakfast. So you will have three full days at sea in which you can do as much or little as you like eg, lounge chairs can usually be found somewhere, maybe not right next to the pool but not too far from it. Read a book on your balcony if you have one or on deck, go to a show, watch a movie, make a ceramic plate, play trivia or bingo, sunbake, afternoon tea, chatting with people from all walks of life... if this does not appeal to you then you may not want to do the whole cruise thing.

The average stateroom is small but most people don't spend a huge portion of their day there plus you will have a cabin steward who will look after that room for you, making up the room in the morning and turn down service with chocolate on your pillow and towel animal (depending on ship) awaiting you at night.

It's not for everyone so if you're going to be thinking the whole time that you are missing out on the beach at the land resort then don't go.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 08:22 AM
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In my case because

a) it was the only way at the time to get all my belongings home - Cunard had very generous provisions for stuff 'not wanted on the voyage'

b) it was the only way that an elderly and frail relative could travel to exotic ports

c) I discovered I really enjoyed the small and elegant Seabourn cruise lines for a short vacation (hated the mass market tawdriness of Princess - would never go back; and would probably go stir crazy even on Seabourn after 2 weeks)
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 01:22 PM
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I would definitely stay clear of the larger ships feeling the way you do and stick with one of the smaller, luxury lines such as Radisson or Silversea (I've never tried Windstar but people also seem to love these ships too) and make sure you get a balcony if possible. This way you will not feel the need to get up at 5am to get a pool chaise. They will also cook whatever suits you if you're on a special diet of sorts. I think you should give cruising a try. Like many of us, you too may get hooked. As for sea days, this is part of the fun and the great experience. I find these days very relaxing yet still plenty of onboard activities to keep you busy from morning to evening if this is what you want. If you go on a luxury line you will NOT feel nickel and dimed as you will on the mass marketed cruise lines. Good luck in your decision.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 05:50 PM
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I gather the cruise line has already been determined by your friends, so check into what it offers and go with your gut. Cruising is not for everyone. It really depends on what you enjoy doing.

I have been on two cruises and they weren't my favorite vacations. I felt that, for the money and time, I could have had a vacation that I would have enjoyed more. I will say, though, that my kids loved the cruises. They had a lot of freedom they don't have at home and made good friends. My husband enjoyed just sitting around and reading, so he had fun.

I like to explore where I vacation and don't like having land visits so time limited. I feel rushed on a cruise. Also, I don't care for the crowds on the ship or on the land, when the ship docks. It is just not my cup of tea.

I definitely agree you should spring for a balcony if you go. That way you can spend time alone without feeling cramped.

I do like being on the water, though. We have our own boat and I love going out on it, but we make our own itinerary and do things on our own time.

I don't think anyone can decide this for you. Think about what you like and what you look for in a vacation. Think about your time and money and your alternatives. Going with friends might be a lot of fun, if these are people you enjoy being with.
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Old Aug 28th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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....Because you can see many different places in one vacation, a packed European itinerary will leave little time for the onboard stuff you may not like and you can visit a new historic site each day...that would be my main reason anyway...
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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A cruise vacation is very easy, board the ship, unpack your stuff and never worry about another thing. Your time is yours to enjoy anyway you like. Each day you will receive a daily planner with the ship's activities for the day. Pick and choose what you want. You will get info on all the ports of call and available excursions in advance. You can have all these arrangements made before you go. Sea days are very relaxing. The chair hogs are getting more obnoxious but it is not impossible to find a chair by the pool. Sea sickness usually isn't a problem, the ships have stabilizers and you hardly feel any movement most of the time. Food is plentiful but you don't have to eat it all. Be sensible and eat the way you would at home. There a lot's of healthy choices available. Splurge on the stuff you love. Most ships have fitness areas so you can work some of it off too. The service feels more personal than on a typical land vacation. You have to try it at least once to know if it is for you.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Consider the moderately priced small ship Clipper Cruise Line which has many active itineraries.
If you are a USAA member you can often find a two fer which is a screaming bargain.
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