Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Castle Rock
    • By Castle Rock 11th Jan 20, 5:32 PM
    • 200Posts
    • 9Thanks
    Castle Rock
    0 WOW
    New to cruises
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:32 PM
    0 WOW
    New to cruises 11th Jan 20 at 5:32 PM
    Me & the wife are quite fancying a cruise this year.

    Somewhere around the Med would probably be best as we don't want a long flight to get to the port.

    Our budget is probably about £1,500 pp.

    Ideally we would like A.I. & plenty to do on the ship to keep us entertained.

    I don't really know where to look or who has the best deal, is there a place to start? Not sure if it works out better to arrange your own flights are just book everything through one company.

    Thanks
    David
Page 1
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 11th Jan 20, 5:40 PM
    • 12,608 Posts
    • 8,229 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:40 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:40 PM
    cruisecritic is a good resource for all things cruises
    • Hasbeen
    • By Hasbeen 11th Jan 20, 5:44 PM
    • 1,601 Posts
    • 1,261 Thanks
    Hasbeen
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:44 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:44 PM
    Me & the wife are quite fancying a cruise this year.

    Somewhere around the Med would probably be best as we don't want a long flight to get to the port.

    Our budget is probably about £1,500 pp.

    Ideally we would like A.I. & plenty to do on the ship to keep us entertained.

    I don't really know where to look or who has the best deal, is there a place to start? Not sure if it works out better to arrange your own flights are just book everything through one company.

    Thanks
    David
    Originally posted by Castle Rock
    Been on a few with TUI "thomsons" Quite like the older smaller boats, majesty, dream etc all includes flights. AI, and you can add a holiday in hotel at the return port for extra.

    Back to back 14 day cruises are good.

    https://www.tui.co.uk/cruise/
    • caz07
    • By caz07 11th Jan 20, 5:46 PM
    • 141 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    caz07
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:46 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:46 PM
    Try planet cruise , Tui or Iglu .
    • Caz3121
    • By Caz3121 11th Jan 20, 5:55 PM
    • 12,608 Posts
    • 8,229 Thanks
    Caz3121
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:55 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 20, 5:55 PM
    just to point out that not all cruises are equal...pick the right cruise and you may end up hooked...pick the wrong one and you could be put off for life :-)
    check out reviews of the ships
    what is a great cruise for a family with young children looking for flumes, climbing walls and kids entertainment could be a terrible cruise for someone looking for a relaxing holiday
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 11th Jan 20, 6:55 PM
    • 14,935 Posts
    • 13,521 Thanks
    zagfles
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 20, 6:55 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 20, 6:55 PM
    For the best deals, if you're flexible, book late as possible. Friend of mine has just booked a 2 week cruise round India/SE Asia for about £500 each.

    Cruise lines vary a lot. Most include food but will then charge you loads for drinks, some are AI, most have very expensive shore excursions and try to scare you into not doing your own thing or booking with a local agent as the ship won't wait if you get delayed.

    Some will charge you up front for "tips" - which is very cheeky. Some have dress codes for dinner etc, varying levels eg from a simple "no shorts" up to tux and dicky bow! With some you get a butler!
    We did all this research and ended up going with TUI (Marella) who are very relaxed, none of the pretentious stuff and great food and shows, and AI, inc drinks. Excursions were expensive but not horrendously so.

    As above cruisecritic is an excellent forum for cruise questions.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 11th Jan 20, 8:48 PM
    • 7,568 Posts
    • 8,088 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 20, 8:48 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 20, 8:48 PM
    Friends of ours who do a lot of cruises often use Cruise Nation. I have no personal experience of Cruise Nation, but they aren't easily pleased and seem happy with what they have had through them.
    • Techno
    • By Techno 11th Jan 20, 10:28 PM
    • 1,132 Posts
    • 917 Thanks
    Techno
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 20, 10:28 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 20, 10:28 PM
    Be careful if you leave it late as suggested by zagfles. The cruise might be cheap but the flight cost could be very high as many cruise lines don't include it. Safe to do if you are sailing from the U.K. though.
    If you think you are too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 11th Jan 20, 10:59 PM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 40,216 Thanks
    Katiehound
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 20, 10:59 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 20, 10:59 PM
    If you book a cruise which includes the flights you are ATOL protected. If you book your own flights and it is delayed so that you miss the ship the onus is on you.

    For one thing you need to figure out if you want a large floating 'block of flats' with inside shopping mall, top deck pool, zip wires, children and maybe 2k other guests.

    Or you might want a smaller 'real' ship with teak decks but without the frills

    Or a very exclusive experience with your own butler- but that won't be in the price range you have quoted.

    Be advised that all cruises quote a 'from price'- this is usually the cheapest type of shared inside cabin and is a per person price.

    As far as I am aware all cruise prices include food and entertainment, however if you want fine dining that comes extra (usually)
    One cruise line that includes pretty much everything is Saga- reflected in the price 'though.
    Fred Olsen (and others have a sale on now) Fred adds £5 pp per night gratuities & £19pp per day if you want all inclusive drinks. About 100 cruises being advertised have these included.
    Last edited by Katiehound; 11-01-2020 at 11:03 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks


    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 12th Jan 20, 8:13 AM
    • 14,935 Posts
    • 13,521 Thanks
    zagfles
    Be careful if you leave it late as suggested by zagfles. The cruise might be cheap but the flight cost could be very high as many cruise lines don't include it. Safe to do if you are sailing from the U.K. though.
    Originally posted by Techno
    Indeed - check the flight prices too, though my friend managed to get some flights (booked about 2 weeks in advance) at reasonable prices. Very last minute flights are generally expensive.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jan 20, 9:28 AM
    • 38,439 Posts
    • 23,875 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Indeed - check the flight prices too, though my friend managed to get some flights (booked about 2 weeks in advance) at reasonable prices. Very last minute flights are generally expensive.
    Originally posted by zagfles
    Far east flight go very low once Xmas/NY has gone

    Still adds to the cruise prices, med flights are often under £100pp, middle/far east tend to start around £400 for decent airline and timings.
    • KonkyWonky
    • By KonkyWonky 12th Jan 20, 9:33 AM
    • 640 Posts
    • 257 Thanks
    KonkyWonky
    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.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jan 20, 9:56 AM
    • 38,439 Posts
    • 23,875 Thanks
    getmore4less
    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.
    Last edited by getmore4less; 12-01-2020 at 9:59 AM.
    • Hagman
    • By Hagman 14th Jan 20, 8:19 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Hagman
    I think you may be up north, they also have cruises out of Newcastle.

    Even further north - from Rosyth
    • badger09
    • By badger09 15th Jan 20, 11:37 AM
    • 7,626 Posts
    • 7,131 Thanks
    badger09
    Even further north - from Rosyth
    Originally posted by Hagman
    Fred.Olsen has some cruises from Rosyth. Also from Newcastle. They currently have a sale on - as mentioned earlier.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 15th Jan 20, 12:23 PM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 40,216 Thanks
    Katiehound
    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 itís 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


    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 15th Jan 20, 1:31 PM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    NoodleDoodleMan
    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.
    Last edited by NoodleDoodleMan; 15-01-2020 at 1:40 PM.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 15th Jan 20, 5:45 PM
    • 14,935 Posts
    • 13,521 Thanks
    zagfles
    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!
    • happyandcontented
    • By happyandcontented 15th Jan 20, 5:53 PM
    • 2,322 Posts
    • 4,910 Thanks
    happyandcontented
    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!
    Originally posted by zagfles
    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.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 15th Jan 20, 6:03 PM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    NoodleDoodleMan
    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.
    Last edited by NoodleDoodleMan; 15-01-2020 at 11:01 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,893Posts Today

5,484Users online

Martin's Twitter