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Old 02-09-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Who's taken a few cruises?

Cruises involving boats, not sitting in traffic on Atlantic avenue on spring break.

I need to get schooled on these things. Never been on one, don't know what to look for or where to start looking. Don't want to get ripped off, thinking I got a good deal when I didn't.

Time frame would be mid-Augustish.

What are the good lines? Lines to avoid? Any good sites or companies, or ones to avoid?

Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Got any kids?

I personally liked the DCL Dream, but then I'm a little biased.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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I know this may not be helpful but my experience with cruises is that they tend to be like midwest mega malls with all you can eat 24 hour buffets.

I tend to like a little bit more freedom and foreign culture when I travel so they're really not my type of thing anyway.

That said, I've been on Carnival to Puerto Rico, Bahamas, & Virgin Islands. Everything was very flashy and there was always something to do. I chose to pick up on older women (hey I was 11) and play video games.

Consider a trip to, say, La Fortuna, Costa Rica and hike a volcano and zip line over some waterfalls. Way more fun.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #5
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I like cruises. I usually bring out the pinky ring.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Got any kids?

I personally liked the DCL Dream, but then I'm a little biased.
Yep, two. They'd be staying with the parents, so we're looking at a 4-day cruise at most. Limits us to the Carribean, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
I know this may not be helpful but my experience with cruises is that they tend to be like midwest mega malls with all you can eat 24 hour buffets.

I tend to like a little bit more freedom and foreign culture when I travel so they're really not my type of thing anyway.

That said, I've been on Carnival to Puerto Rico, Bahamas, & Virgin Islands. Everything was very flashy and there was always something to do. I chose to pick up on older women (hey I was 11) and play video games.

Consider a trip to, say, La Fortuna, Costa Rica and hike a volcano and zip line over some waterfalls. Way more fun.
Definitely don't want the Mega-Mall experience. That's what I'm trying to avoid.. Had my fill of foreign culture, too. Really, just trying to relax and enjoy some all-inclusive something-or-other.

If a cruise isn't the means to the end I'm after, that's alright. But I figure these MT off-topic advice threads are usually really helpful, so let's keep going with the cruise idea.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kotomile View Post
Definitely don't want the Mega-Mall experience. That's what I'm trying to avoid.. Had my fill of foreign culture, too. Really, just trying to relax and enjoy some all-inclusive something-or-other.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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If you're just wanting to relax, a boat is not gonna beat a little shack on a beach somewhere. Seriously.

With a boat, you have a few mandatory safety meetings at the beginning of the cruise, organized dinners, shipwide events, shows, noxious smells coming from the kitchen constantly, and the fatties that you can never ever ever escape from. Every time you leave your cabin, you see the same fat people with the round teeth and yet another sammich tucked under their arm while they waddle to the next scheduled "fun."

With a cabin on the beach, you show up.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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With a cabin on the beach, you show up.
...and ****. I remember when Bond was telling me about his parents' honeymoon. Apparently, his parents fucked the whole time on a beach somewhere. That must have been hot.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:10 PM   #10
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some friends just went to st lucia for their anniversary. won the trip on the newlywed game. w00t.

the trip looked like a light adventure, heavy relax kind of trip. lots of beach dwelling and fufu cocktails.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #11
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We've taken 3 so far 1 every year since we got married. Its awesome and we loved it.

DO NOT take a 4 day. Take a 7 day. The difference in ships is huge. The smaller 4 day ships are usually garbage compared to the big 7day cruise ships.

We were very happy with NCL eastern carribean, and Princess is also very good.
Carnival sucked ***** in terms of customer service, but that was a west coast cruise, so perhaps they're better in the east.

Another tip: don't get the cheapest cabins/staterrooms.
Spend a little extra and get a balcony or something like that. Its much better IMO.

Also watch your spending on the ship: they don't let you use cash and just charge everything to your card. Most don't realize how much **** they buy/drink/etc. Its hilarious to see their faces at the end when they're given their bill and **** themselves
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:43 PM   #12
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TIP: Don't pay retail, buy em on sale. The prices I've been seeing lately are amazing.

And don't book the shore events through them. Shop directly, by internet and email. On our last cruise, we had 2 shore events where we saw our cruise-mates, and we paid 40% less.

I've done a 7-day Mediterranean cruise, and a Mexican west coast cruise, the same company and the same trip in the news where the ship had an engine fire and got stranded. Both were excellent.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
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That was Carnival. We had a TERRIBLE experience with them on our west coast/mexico cruise.

And +1 on the "don't book anything through the ship. Buy directly. Its almost always 50% or more cheaper
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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get a ship with a V8.

my one and only cruise experience we got a shitty little ship. we were the first to leave port and the last to arrive at the next stop - and so always got shitty parking spots.

we were island hopping from greece over to turkey and back. its actually that - and back - part that gave me trouble. we were on a day excursion in turkey (ephesis) and i was taking pictures and the charter bus left me there. i hitchhiked back to the port to discover they were leaving. the gangplank thing was all the way retracted and they were on the gas. (i had no passport, no money, no nothing). they saw me waving though and let me back on. the rest of the trip was uneventful, but i watched my watch i'm tell'n u.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:44 PM   #15
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I'll preface this by admitting that my cruising experience is limited to ships I was getting paid to be on and not the other way around, and that it's only ever happened three times; once on the QE2 and then a couple of tours on the new DCL Dream.

That being said:

Quote:
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DO NOT take a 4 day. Take a 7 day. The difference in ships is huge. The smaller 4 day ships are usually garbage compared to the big 7day cruise ships.
I have to assume that to some extent, this varies by cruise line.

Take the Dream, for instance. At 128,000 tonnes (that's more than the USS Nimitz, if you were wondering) it's the 16th largest cruise ship ever constructed and the largest ever to come out of Meyer-Werft (they had to build a new drydock first). 1,250 staterooms holding 4,000 passengers. The vast majority of the staterooms (maybe 90%) have a balcony. 14 passenger decks, a 9-hole mini golf course, and a water coaster.

That ship does primarily 3 and 4 night cruises.

Now, don't get me wrong. A 7 day cruise is definitely the way to go. My last visit to the dream was two weeks working followed by 4 days with the family which, in reality, was one evening, two days, and one very early morning. Although the shorter cruises are good if you have kids (not enough time for them to do/see everything, so they don't get bored) it's definitely too short if you're really looking to get fully into the "**** it all, I'm on a cruise" mindset.



Quote:
Another tip: don't get the cheapest cabins/staterrooms.
Spend a little extra and get a balcony or something like that. Its much better IMO.
^ This. Sitting out on that private balcony at night is just surreal. Also, waking up in the morning and having actual sunshine streaming through the windows is much better than waking up in a pitch-black cell and having to remember where the light switch is.



Quote:
Also watch your spending on the ship: they don't let you use cash and just charge everything to your card. Most don't realize how much **** they buy/drink/etc. Its hilarious to see their faces at the end when they're given their bill and **** themselves
Heh. Yeah, I covered the incidentals bill when the family came out on the Dream last time. Even though damn near everything was already comped, they still managed to run up a $750 tab in four days. Oh well. They had fun, and that's what matters.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
Another tip: don't get the cheapest cabins/staterrooms.
Spend a little extra and get a balcony or something like that. Its much better IMO.

This. I think my hatred of the whole cruising concept would be somewhat less if I'd not had a tiny closet to sleep in on my last (and only) cruise.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
I know this may not be helpful but my experience with cruises is that they tend to be like midwest mega malls with all you can eat 24 hour buffets.

I tend to like a little bit more freedom and foreign culture when I travel so they're really not my type of thing anyway.

That said, I've been on Carnival to Puerto Rico, Bahamas, & Virgin Islands. Everything was very flashy and there was always something to do. I chose to pick up on older women (hey I was 11) and play video games.

Consider a trip to, say, La Fortuna, Costa Rica and hike a volcano and zip line over some waterfalls. Way more fun.
I went on one years ago, I couldn't get away fast enough. You're constantly getting butt-fucked by annoying service and there are too many people, too close. I'll take a week at a beach, sitting on my *** before I do another cruise. Actually, I'll stay in America because I hate foreigners.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:06 PM   #18
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AMERICA

**** YEAHHHH
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:59 PM   #19
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Interesting comments and I guess I agree. Meg and I have been on 3, two on royal carribean and one on celebrity. All 3 were bigass ships, two 7 day and one 9 day. First cruise was an outside room with a port hole, not a balcony. it was ok. Second was with a balcony, and hell yah, simply amazing but you will end up spending a lot of time in your room (a bad thing?). I was on the side of the boat that typically docked against the pier so it was fun just chillin, drinking smuggled booze, watching what goes on in the distance, cheering the idiots who almost miss the boat as it's leaving, etc. The balcony rooms tend to be high so that's nice. You see all sorts of weird things in the ocean, little waterspouts, dolphins, even a bunch of brittish warships. The last cruise we went with an inside room to save and personally I liked the room a lot, and we typically aren't in our rooms that often. I like sleeping with zero light, I don't get that in my house at all but you tend to sleep wayyy past when you normally wake up! For the extra price for a balcony room I don't think it's necessarily worth it. The porthole room was not worth it at all, if you're going to spend the money then get the balcony, otherwise enjoy the pitch blackness. If you're close to a port, take a cruise from that port if possible (duh). Stay away from Bahamas. Bermuda & st. john (via st. thomas) are the nicest islands I've been to but I've never been to st. lucia. All the other islands tend to look the same. Oh, dominica is nice too, they have nice zip lines there, and the local rum is gooooood.

Smuggle soda and booze in your luggage. Your backpacks get sent thru a xray when you come back onto the ship so it may be tricky to smuggle booze you buy for cheap on an island. The little mini bottles are easy to pack and tend to be a buck at the little shops by the pier. I have seen an obvious 6 pack in someone's backpack on the xray screen and the crewman didn't take it so it may be hit or miss with that.

Trips where you're at an island, then a day at see, then an island, etc are nice, and also if you stay overnight at an island then you can F'around at the local places where booze is much cheaper than on the boat and you can get beer you never heard of.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:27 AM   #20
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A cruise is basically a trailer park on a small island.
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