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  • FIRST POST
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 25th Feb 17, 7:20 PM
    • 2,342Posts
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    melanzana
    0 WOW
    Is there a cruising thread on here? I've searched believe me!
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:20 PM
    0 WOW
    Is there a cruising thread on here? I've searched believe me! 25th Feb 17 at 7:20 PM
    I am sure I saw one ages ago.

    OH would like to try cruising now, (I'm not so sure, but what the heck, if you don't try you never know).

    So if some kind soul could link to a cruising thread, I'd be so grateful.

    And of course if you have any hints that would be great too,
Page 1
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 25th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    • 2,580 Posts
    • 5,674 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    • #2
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    I'd try a mini cruise first - it is very marmite thing even the different companies will be a personal preference.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - the Argos Card!
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 25th Feb 17, 7:50 PM
    • 10,693 Posts
    • 6,983 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #3
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:50 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:50 PM
    cruisecritic tends to be the best forum for cruising, there will be cruises that appeal to different tastes, the challenge is choosing the right one
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 25th Feb 17, 8:01 PM
    • 2,342 Posts
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    melanzana
    • #4
    • 25th Feb 17, 8:01 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Feb 17, 8:01 PM
    It is just so confusing!

    All inclusive but tips not included nor drinks.....or the opposite. No cash, some cash, ten restaurants, fifteen activities, shore leave, lol.

    My head is melting. OH is keen. I know, so let him do the research, but I would end up on a sloop to China believe me! Easy way for him to get his own way and then blame me if it all goes South.

    Anyway we are retired so I reckon the mad booze cruises won't appeal to us much.

    My big fear is being cooped up every night with a Mrs Bouquet type or worse!

    Yikes.
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 25th Feb 17, 8:40 PM
    • 10,693 Posts
    • 6,983 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #5
    • 25th Feb 17, 8:40 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Feb 17, 8:40 PM
    We enjoy cruising for the purpose of seeing lots of interesting places without having to pack/unpack and travel between (we have done Singapore to Hong Kong via Bangkok and Vietnam and India, Sri Lanka, Maldives as well as the West Indies)
    We do not want formal nights and having to get dressed for dinner every night sitting at a set table but many do
    We are not bothered about climbing walls, ice rinks, shopping malls, glitzy shows but lots of people are
    Our cruise line of choice is Azamara (not moneysaving as they are not cheap) but they have worked for us with itineraries and the food and service are second to none, about 700 passengers and 400 crew. They are all inclusive with tips included and we have always found a good mix of passengers (In January we did West Indies and was 677 passengers, approx 350 US and the remainder mostly Brits and Canadians. Age range I would average as 50+
    We had looked at P&O but have always been on smaller ships and not sure how I would feel on the big ships so we have stuck with what we know (just means it takes longer to save up to do one)
    If you can find the right fit you will want to repeat and cruising can be addictive but as an all-inclusive holiday can be pretty good value
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 25th Feb 17, 9:24 PM
    • 6,977 Posts
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    daveyjp
    • #6
    • 25th Feb 17, 9:24 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Feb 17, 9:24 PM
    I wouldn't choose a mini cruise. The staff hate short cruises which affects service, they are often full of party groups and you don't get long enough to get into what cruising is about.

    Choose a week's cruise from Southampton. The P&O Atlantic coast trips to France, Spain and Portugal are a good introduction.
    • ibizafan
    • By ibizafan 25th Feb 17, 9:48 PM
    • 633 Posts
    • 757 Thanks
    ibizafan
    • #7
    • 25th Feb 17, 9:48 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Feb 17, 9:48 PM
    We have been on two cruises, one wth Saga to see the Northern Lights, and we have just returned from doing a Caribbean cruise with Thomson. Loved every minute of both, but this was helped by the fact that both cruises were on small ships. We were berthed next to the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas while on one Caribbean island, and I was horrified at the size of it. Tripadvisor have a very good cruise forum, and as already mentioned, Cruise Critic. We have so far just decided on an itinerary that we like the look of, and gone from there. Next January we are doing a Fred Olsen cruise from South America, across the Pacific and finishing in Sydney, taking in South Pacific islands and New Zealand on the way. Cruising is a great way of seeing places that you might not get to see otherwise.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 25th Feb 17, 10:18 PM
    • 3,591 Posts
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    Katiehound
    • #8
    • 25th Feb 17, 10:18 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Feb 17, 10:18 PM
    I have become a cruise fanatic! and yes, it is very much like marmite- you love it or you hate it!

    You don't say where you live. That could make a difference as some smaller cruise lines operate out of regional ports meaning you don't have to travel far for starters. If you cruise ex UK (as opposed to fly cruise) there is no real limit on your luggage amount or weight.

    If you like to dress for dinner and have waiter service then you can. If you find you are seated with awkward folk just chat to the maitre d' and he will move you. If you want to dress casually then there is usually a self service option.

    I have always cruised with Fred.Olsen. Real ships and not so many folk, max 1200 on the largest ship, the others are around 800. No climbing walls ...... If you drink a lot then an all-inclusive deal would suit you. Generally tips are added but you are not forced to pay!
    Fred. has an enjoyment promise- I don't know the t&cs but they will get you back to UK within a couple of days if you hate it!
    Choose your destination.
    Summer sun? or scenic places? I think the Baltic is lovely especially in late May/ June/early July with the very long days. Lots of fascinating places including St Petersberg. Or if you want to go with Fred they really specialise in Norway- and think of all that yummy food.....

    Generally speaking it is not a cheap holiday but it is good value as the food is all in from breakfast to late night buffet, evening entertainments and loads of things to do on 'sea' days such as bridge, dance classes, craft /art, deck games, port talks and lectures.... or do nowt and sit on deck with a book!!
    Last edited by Katiehound; 25-02-2017 at 10:22 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 25th Feb 17, 10:49 PM
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    PompeyPete
    • #9
    • 25th Feb 17, 10:49 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Feb 17, 10:49 PM
    Thomson for us.....3 times on CELEBRATION [preferred], and 1 on DREAM. Small ships are best, and if you can get an Adults Only even better.

    I think the negative side of marmite is mainly down to the passenger. When we did Transatlantic on CELEBRATION, there were quite a few moaning about having to spend a week continuous at sea.....well it's a long way across that pond!

    Also consider a Stay/Cruise or Cruise/Stay, ie. A week in a hotel followed by a week on a ship, or visa versa.

    Do your homework though, as some cruise ports are a very long way from the city, especially in the Far East like Bangkok and Saigon.
    • Archergirl
    • By Archergirl 26th Feb 17, 8:35 AM
    • 1,045 Posts
    • 563 Thanks
    Archergirl
    Another vote for Thomson, although we hated Celebration lol, it was very vibrationy and like a ferry to us. 3 times on Dream, 2 x Caribbean and 1 x Med, also Fred Olsen Fjords was lovely.
    We also prefer the smaller ships and these were quite informal if that's what you like.
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 26th Feb 17, 3:45 PM
    • 2,342 Posts
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    melanzana
    Thank you all for your insights.

    I will think about it again.

    OH would like the Norwegian Fjiords trip, so Fred Olsen is looking good for that.

    But.... I would like a balcony, and I don't recall seeing that option on Freds. But maybe I missed it.

    Anyway nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose.

    It's the tipping thing that kind of worries me. Not that I worry for having to do it, but if I could incorporate it into a package, all the better.

    Thanks again.
    • ibizafan
    • By ibizafan 26th Feb 17, 4:23 PM
    • 633 Posts
    • 757 Thanks
    ibizafan
    Thomson and Saga are the only companies I know that include tips, although we tipped on top for really good service. I believe that most Cruise lines add so much per person per day, and sometimes you can pre pay. I know some people get the tips taken off as soon as they get on the ship, but personally I wouldn't. There are several threads on Tripadvisor cruise forum on the subject, and people who want to do it get flamed.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 26th Feb 17, 5:30 PM
    • 2,580 Posts
    • 5,674 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    I wouldn't choose a mini cruise. The staff hate short cruises which affects service, they are often full of party groups and you don't get long enough to get into what cruising is about.

    Choose a week's cruise from Southampton. The P&O Atlantic coast trips to France, Spain and Portugal are a good introduction.
    Originally posted by daveyjp
    Our experience has been different - started off on a 4 nighter to see if we liked the idea and have graduated to a fortnight's cruise twice - and tbh there's been no difference in service.

    Also have never noticed that the mini cruise is full of party groups - my heart did sink when on my last mini cruise I saw 2 hen parties checking in but we never heard them & only occasionally saw them in the restaurant.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - the Argos Card!
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 26th Feb 17, 6:29 PM
    • 7,055 Posts
    • 7,531 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Thank you all for your insights.

    I will think about it again.

    OH would like the Norwegian Fjiords trip, so Fred Olsen is looking good for that.

    But.... I would like a balcony, and I don't recall seeing that option on Freds. But maybe I missed it.

    Anyway nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose.

    It's the tipping thing that kind of worries me. Not that I worry for having to do it, but if I could incorporate it into a package, all the better.

    Thanks again.
    Originally posted by melanzana
    I've done just one cruise which was exactly that, one week out of Southampton so no flying. Big ship, it was with Princess, a US company, but you didn't really feel how big it was until you got off and looked back. Tips were all wrapped into the price. We had a balcony which was nice meant you didnt feel confined even when you were in your room.

    You had choice eac evening, could eat "in style" dressing up (just a lounge suit not penguin), casual self service, or room service and we were on individual tables, so near to other people but not sharing the same table with Mrs Bouquet every night.

    I'd probably do it again if the itinerary was right. The nice thing was, apart from day one and seven which were out and back, you were in port doing something every day, either self guided or a tour, then evening meal and then on to next port whilst sleeping so no packing unpacking. So really you'd be unlikely to really hate it, I'd say give it a go.

    (if you really want to go small scale, Hurtigruten (sp?) is the one to go for but you need to fly to and from. One big attraction for us was a one hour drive to and from the port, but if i did it again i might go for Hurtigruten ).
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 26th Feb 17, 6:40 PM
    • 3,591 Posts
    • 36,191 Thanks
    Katiehound
    If you are thinking about the Norwegian fjords then Fred.Olsen would be a top contender since the family are Norwegian!
    Their smaller ships can get up many of the smaller fjords too.

    Fred's ships do have balconies but are limited in number. However all the ships have a deck where you can walk round rather than many of the huge ships where the top deck is the only access to the outside world. I suspect the balconies sell fast because people are allowed to smoke there since the inside of the ship is very strictly non-smoking.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 26th Feb 17, 7:07 PM
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    melanzana
    Wow. Thanks again for the information!

    I will check out Fred Olsen, that sounds like just what we are looking for, and a balcony would be great.

    It has nothing to do with smoking BTW lol, it is just having space outside as we love that wherever we go!

    I appreciate the comments. I will look back later. There are so many options!
    • Claireharper
    • By Claireharper 15th Mar 17, 5:07 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Claireharper
    Hi. Just seen your post. I'm travelling with Princess in July from Southampton to Norway. Please can you help me as I have not received much info from my travel agent regarding the service charge added on when you buy a drink. is this automatically added on or can it be removed? I've seen on other forums that a drink can become quite expensive? Would love to hear you thoughts. Thank u
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 15th Mar 17, 9:42 PM
    • 6,977 Posts
    • 5,336 Thanks
    daveyjp
    The tip is added automatically and cannot be removed. It is shared between the bar staff and waiters.

    Go around the bars and find the cheapest drinks, not all bars sell the same products!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Mar 17, 12:28 PM
    • 29,478 Posts
    • 17,617 Thanks
    getmore4less
    cruise critic has been mentioned but tends to get dominated by USA centic chat.
    There is also a uk based general forum.
    www.cruise.co.uk/forum
    • blindman
    • By blindman 17th Mar 17, 7:59 PM
    • 4,950 Posts
    • 3,990 Thanks
    blindman
    The tip is added automatically and cannot be removed. It is shared between the bar staff and waiters.

    Go around the bars and find the cheapest drinks, not all bars sell the same products!
    Originally posted by daveyjp

    You can remove it.

    Go to the office the night before or on the day of disembarcation and get them to take it off.

    No fuss.

    ANother tip is to NOT book through UK brokers.

    Use the US ones as they are way cheaper

    I used WMPH
    Last edited by blindman; 17-03-2017 at 8:16 PM.
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