Post # 1
I’ve never been on a cruise and I’ve always wondered what they’re really like. To all the people that have been on one, what’s your opinion of them? Are the rooms private? Did you feel like you got to see everything or were you more on a time crunch with a herd of people coming and going from the boat? Is it romantic or do you feel kind of trapped? If you wanted to see a lot of places in a set amount of time, would you do a cruise again or just travel from city to city?
I’m looking at prices, and they seem pretty reasonable. Actually, they seem downright cheap. I don’t know if that reflects the quality or the demand. Also, what’s the best cruiseline to use and the ones to avoid (and Disney isn’t an option-adults only).
Post # 3
To me cruises are hands down the most relaxing vacations to go on! The boats are so big that I have never felt trapped and the rooms are always private. You don’t have to get off the ship if you don’t want to and if you go on a cruise that is like 5-7 days you usually have more time at each port. The food is included which is really nice and they usually have awesome entertainment on the ship! I love cruises and would seriously recommend them to anyone! We are going on one for our honeymoon.
Post # 4
@ananeele: I’m interested in this as well. FI and I are going on our first cruise in October for our honeymoon. We booked through http://www.directlinecruises.com (his grandparents and parents use them and love it). We are sailing out of Bayonne, NJ to King’s Wharf, Bermuda on Royal Carribean’s Explorer of the Seas. I’ve been told they’re the best cruise line to go on.
Post # 5
@Rouquine: Royal Caribbean is an awesome cruise line and their ships are gorgeous! I have never been to bermuda but I am sure it is beautiful! I have been on 3 cruises and have never had a bad experiene on any of them!
Post # 6
I have been on a few different cruise lines and Royal Carribean is hands down THE BEST. Carnival is hands down THE WORST. I don’t mind cruises and you can get some pretty good deals on them but personally I get a little stir crazy around day 5. I think it all depends on the person!
Post # 7
I love cruises – they’re so relaxing because everything is planned and taken care of for you.
The rooms are definitely private, there are a ton of activities and the food is scrumptious (and there is a lot of it!). I’ve cruised with Royal Carribean and Carnival. While both are nice, if I had to pick one, I prefer Royal Carribean. I’ve never heard of an adults only cruise line though so I don’t know if you’ll be able to find that.
Post # 8
LOVE THEM! I have done 3 Carnival and 1 Royal. My Fiance did two of those with me (he loves them too).
Sorry this is long….
I didn’t notice any real differences between Carnival and Royal. It’s just when I have booked cruises I look at which one is less and since I’m a past guest on Carnival I usually get better rates.
It is more bang for your buck and very low stress. Your lodging is there, your food is there, your transportation is there and you have entertainment at all hours with a big show every night. There is literally always something to do and somewhere to eat.
Excurisions through the company and overpriced and you can find them cheaper through local vendors. Also, never pay for the beach experience. Usually there is one near the port or you can hop in cab and ask to go to the nearest free beach.
The rooms/bathrooms are not particularly huge but you’re not very likely to spend much time in them. They are pretty quiet and PITCH BLACK (which I love when I’m sleeping). I’ve never heard noisey neighbors either. Sometimes you will hear kids running down the hall but that’s anywhere. The closests are roomy so it’s easy to just unpack. Room service is included, so we did this a lot for breakfast.
The formal dinners are fantastic and coursed. Everyone dresses up and it’s fun! You meet new people because you’re sat a table with other couples but you can request a private table if that’s not your thing.
You get a daily schedule with all of the happenings on board so usually you can find something you want to do. If you plan on laying out on deck get a chair early because they fill up quick. There’s usually less crowded spaces on the upper or side decks.
For the romance aspect…if it’s just the two of you it’s really as romantic as you make it. The last one we went on we just hung out on the beach at the ports of call just the two of us and it was lovely. At night we would watch the sunset over the ocean, get ready and go to our formal dinners. The back of our ship had windows across it with chairs and we were able to sit and watch the sunset there…it was really nice. At 11 pm or so the ship is dead so you can walk around and just feel the ocean breeze. So there are ways to get away from all the people.
Time crunch…take at least a 5 dayer. We did a 3 once and it felt very rushed. All of the 5 days were much better. Usually you get a full day at the port of call and honestly, for us, it was enough.
Our honeymoon will be the first vacation together that we didn’t cruise. We absoilutely love it because it’s so low stress and cheap. We plan on taking one in the fall though.
Post # 9
dissenting opinion but here goes:
i went on one cruise (carnival) and would never go another. the main reason i won’t is that i felt the crew members were treated badly. talked to several of them during my cruise. many of them are from other countries and are gone months (no break) at a time from their families (yes i know THEIR choice, but still), they live with roomates in small room for months at a time, work 18 hour days, all so we can have sushi at sundeck.
i couldn’t help but think half the workers hated their jobs and didn’t want to be there. it was very strange.
i realize there are worse problems out there and they ‘should be happy to have a job’ but no, i felt icky about the cruise and won’t be going on one in the future.
Post # 10
I love cruises. I’ve been on two cruises with Princess, and they were fantastic. It is the most relaxing time you will have, you won’t be stressed for time. If you want to see a lot of places in the a short time this will do (assuming you’re taking a cruise to the places you want to see). Just keep in mind that the boats will drop you right in tourist central, so unless you pay the bucks to travel far from the boat, you will just see the tourism side of the place you’re visitng and not all of the real culture of that place (though you will see some of course).
There are things for everyone – if you want to keep busy there are always trivia games, or golf tournaments, or buffets (if you want to eat you can, 24-7), or movies etc. But if you want to relax just pull up a lounge chair, someone will come to you in a couple minutes to take a drink order if you want one, and watch a movie or just relax. You can’t go wrong. Have fun!
Also – I thought the crew was amazing. Every one seemed happy all the time, and they are super focused on great service. But they still had fun on their own – there was a crew talent show near the end of the week and a bunch of the kitchen crew dance in their time off and it was really fun.
Post # 11
I love cruises. I could write a lot about them, but I’ll just say that I have not had a bad experience with Carnival. My grandma was a cruising fanatic (I think she’d been on like 19 cruises) so she always took us. We always went Carnival (I’ve been on 6) because she said that Royal Carribean was for an older crowd. Now this may not be true, but with all of us being young (ages 15-25), she figured that we’d like Carnival out of all the other lines she had sailed with. I’m not sure how old you are, but I’d consider Carnival a “party boat.” There is typically a younger crowd- probably college aged and younger families, basically not a ton of elderly people. There is always lots of drinking and very fun, kind of obnoxious activities going on out on the deck (hairy man contest, who can mix the best drink, etc.). My stepmom recently went on a Royal Carribean and said that it was much more laid back and the majority of the people were 50+, but that may be what you are wanting. I’ll say that a cruise is what you make it. We’ve always had an extremely fun time, but we make sure to go to the Newlywed game, comedians, karaoke (with hilarious drunk people), shows, talent shows, and other activities like the Michael Jackson tribute where we learned how to do the Thriller dance. Someone that I know said that they didn’t have a fun time, but it also seemed that they didn’t go to many of the activites. And as for the shore excursions, we always went through the cruise line because my grandma said that the other ones weren’t safe. You don’t know whether the other people are reliable, safe, etc. I will also say that they are DEFINITELY relaxing. I’ve always had great waitors, stewards, etc. It seems like you are being waited on hand and foot.
Post # 12
I’ve never been on one but I find them fascinating!
Post # 13
Normally, cruises would have never really appealed to me, but a friend of mine is a performer on Princess cruises and was able to take me as his guest for a huge discount, additionally I was invited to visit someone where the cruise landed (it was a long, one-way cruise)
It was a small cruise ship so it was possible to meet new people and actually get to know them personally. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if it was one of the really big ones. It was also a very long cruise, and there were perhaps 4-5 “at sea” days which sometimes felt like a nice break, but also got a little tedious, as there were hardly any activities I had any interest in (again, it was a small ship so much fewer activities.) Port days were of course awesome, and I always avoided doing anything cruise-organized as they charge a fortune, and I had an amazing time with my friend finding random hikes, and trekking up hillsides for free! The folks working on the ship were also soo friendly, and would say hello if you passed by them in a hallway. Heh, and I actually found it really fun when you could feel the ship rocking, it just made things more interesting. The bathrooms are really small, but it hardly matters and every on-board comedian has their own take on it. Also, if you don’t want to spend the money on formal dining, I eat at the buffet the whole time and everything was tasty and varied from day-to-day. Oh yeah, and we were both in our early-mid 20s and definately some of the youngest people on the boat. There were a handful of teenagers and some familys, but it was largely a 50+ crowd. Heh, but they were great and were always buying us drinks.
Post # 14
2 things I’ve always wondered. Do you have to pay extra to eat alone? Because eating with a group of strangers does not sound fun at all to me. The second is, how long do you get to see the area once you dock? Do you feel like you really got to experience it, or did you feel like you were on a time restraint? I always envision being forced to spend all your time with a group of crazy people and then being shuffled around from town to town running past everything so you can make it back to the boat. I’m just one of the those people that really needs my alone time and move at my own pace (when I go to cities like London, I buy those bus packages that let me get off and on wherever and whenever I want as long as I do it within a certain amount of time, not the one where I stay on a specific bus)
I guess you can say I suffer from severe tv stereotyping when it comes to cruises…..
Post # 15
As far as amount of time in a city, it depends on where you were the night before and how long it takes to travel there. In my experience, most of the time we would dock around 10-11AM, and have to be back to the ship by 4-5. Once you are off you can do whatever you like. The ship packages I THINK were mostly just for one activity each, which depending on what type of thing it is, would only be a few hours long.
I did feel like I got to experience the location as much as I could, and a took a zillion photos of every pretty thing I wanted to remember, though there are some locations I’d really like to go back and spend a few days, meet local people, eat local food, etc. Personally I enjoyed the more rural ports, and cities were harder to get the *feel* of. But I’m less of a city person in general.
Post # 16
@ananeele: The last few cruises I’ve been on, we did anytime dining (every line has a different name for this program), where we could go to the dining room for dinner anytime between 5:45 and 9. Even though we’re pretty social when we go on vacation, we like to eat by ourselves so we always requested a table for 2. We’ve never waited more than 15 minutes for a table, and usually were seated right away.
If you select a set seating time, you’ll likely be placed at a table with other couples. You can visit the maitre’d on the first day and see if you can be switched to a 2-top, but I believe that’s a first-come, first-serve proposition.