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New to cruises

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
34 replies 1.5K views
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  • KonkyWonkyKonkyWonky Forumite
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    If you want the Med most cruise lines cover it, generally the Western Med covers Spain, Italy, Portugal, France etc and the Eastern covers Greece, Macedonia, Italy, Malta etc.


    Most cruise ships use Barcelona as the hub for Western Med cruises, it's easy to get to and the port is close to the city. It's really easy for a first timer. Personally I would book flights myself as it's generally much cheaper. We always fly in at least a day before the cruise to explore the city and make sure we get onboard even if there are travel issues.


    I can only really recommend Norwegian Cruise Lines as it's the only one we have used. Great ships and for £99 on top of the advertised price you can add two perks, most choose the drinks package and 3 nights in any of the specialty restaurants.
  • edited 12 January at 9:59AM
    getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    edited 12 January at 9:59AM
    When it comes to first timers Med can be a good choice if you can fly but there are 2 issues to look out for with the Med

    Its not that warm in the winter and can get storms
    It gets very hot and busy in the summer.

    when are you thinking of going and how flexible are you?

    As mentioned TUI/Marella are a decent first choice basically your package holiday at sea, flight transfers and AI cruise one price.
    They also do cruise and stay where you combine 7n cruise with 3|4|7 night in a hotel resort.
    7n cruise £500+
    7n+7n under £1k(AI in the hotel a bit more)
    14n lat they start under £1k £1,500 is plenty
    One great thing with Marella is a good choice of regional airports

    I think you may be up north, they also have cruises out of Newcastle.

    P&O run ships a ship out of Malta on a package basis(not AI but drinks OK prices).
    7night from £550, 14n from £999

    Both the above are quite British but sensible prices and easy to work out what you are getting.

    International/American you have
    RCI
    Celebrity
    Princess
    NCL
    All are good product(we do them all) but vary in style quite a bit and current pricing is a bit high,

    Interantional/Italian
    MSC
    Costa
    A bit marmite many hate them other love them, good prices on some trips some of the embarkation ports are a little out the way.

    quite a few others, probably worth a bit of research on the style of each to see where you might fit best.

    when it comes to looking I find Iglu has the best UK search engine but they tend to price as packages when for the med you can often find your own flights cheaper.

    For just finding itineraries the best is https://www.vacationstogo.com/ but they don't cover all the British lines.

    Where ever you look shop around once you decide.
  • HagmanHagman Forumite
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    I think you may be up north, they also have cruises out of Newcastle.


    Even further north - from Rosyth
  • badger09badger09 Forumite
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    Hagman wrote: »
    Even further north - from Rosyth

    Fred.Olsen has some cruises from Rosyth. Also from Newcastle. They currently have a sale on - as mentioned earlier.
  • KatiehoundKatiehound Forumite
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    and just to mention that Fred. Olsen has an 'Enjoyment Promise' so that if you find that the cruise really isn't for you they will get you back to UK and refund cruise price.

    I quote: "Simply book more than 12 weeks in advance on cruises of five nights or more and if you find that it’s not for you within a couple of days of sailing, just let us know and we promise to arrange and pay for your flight back to the UK from the next port and repay the cost of your cruise."
    Check their full t&cs
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks


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  • edited 15 January at 1:40PM
    NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    edited 15 January at 1:40PM
    It appears many of the Newcastle and Rosyth itineraries are very similar.

    "and just to mention that Fred. Olsen has an 'Enjoyment Promise' so that if you find that the cruise really isn't for you they will get you back to UK and refund cruise price."

    I wonder if anybody has exercised that right ?

    Would be interesting to hear of any examples.
  • zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    Has anyone been with Fred Olsen? We're looking at an Iceland cruise with them as they seem to have some quite good ones, and northern departures, but a bit confused by their offers.

    They're offering either a drinks package or a "freedom" plan and it sounds like if you don't take the latter, they tell you which restaurant and what time you'll eat! Is that really the case? Does it also apply to the buffet restaurant, surely there you can just turn up whenever you want?

    Find it a bit odd to be told what time we must eat when on holiday! We hate eating late so if we're forced to we'd probably invoke the guarantee above!
  • happyandcontentedhappyandcontented Forumite
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    zagfles wrote: »
    Has anyone been with Fred Olsen? We're looking at an Iceland cruise with them as they seem to have some quite good ones, and northern departures, but a bit confused by their offers.

    They're offering either a drinks package or a "freedom" plan and it sounds like if you don't take the latter, they tell you which restaurant and what time you'll eat! Is that really the case? Does it also apply to the buffet restaurant, surely there you can just turn up whenever you want?

    Find it a bit odd to be told what time we must eat when on holiday! We hate eating late so if we're forced to we'd probably invoke the guarantee above!

    I imagine they have 2 main dining room sittings - early (6-6.30pm) and late 8-8.30pm and they may decide for you which sitting you are on. That is fairly standard.

    The buffet is not restricted in any way.
  • edited 15 January at 11:01PM
    NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    edited 15 January at 11:01PM
    FO will decide which dining sitting is allocated if you elect for their reduced fare offers.

    Usually the first one, as most full fare paying punters prefer to choose the second.

    The buffet restaurant is anytime dining for evening meal if memory serves - tables are covered with linen tablecloths and placing settings laid, all very presentable.
  • zagfleszagfles Forumite
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    Thanks - may give them a try then. At least the buffet is available if we don't like the time we're told to eat! Sounds like the dress code is quite casual too.
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