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Best and worst cruise destinations
Old 01-05-2020, 01:02 PM   #1
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Best and worst cruise destinations

DW and I are thinking about our 1st ever cruise for her 60th birthday. We're all over the board in terms of our thinking for a destination. We live near the Gulf Coast so not sure if we are too interested in a beachy destination although we haven't completely ruled it out. We've also considered an Alaskan cruise. We are pretty certain we want to keep it close to North America (i.e., no Europe, Asia, etc.).

To help us with our thinking, just curious what some of your own best and worst cruise destinations were. I'd also be interested in the particular cruise lines for each.

Thank you.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:12 PM   #2
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Keeping it close to North America Alaska is an excellent option with very good side travel options in Alaska, Seattle and Vancouver.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
DW and I are thinking about our 1st ever cruise for her 60th birthday. We're all over the board in terms of our thinking for a destination. We live near the Gulf Coast so not sure if we are too interested in a beachy destination although we haven't completely ruled it out. We've also considered an Alaskan cruise. We are pretty certain we want to keep it close to North America (i.e., no Europe, Asia, etc.).



To help us with our thinking, just curious what some of your own best and worst cruise destinations were. I'd also be interested in the particular cruise lines for each.



Thank you.


Alaska is an excellent choice, but donít rule out the cruises up into New England and Canada.
We prefer Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. Have always had good experiences with them.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:24 PM   #4
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We've been on dozens of cruises since 1977. In this hemisphere, my favorite cruises are out of San Juan to the southern Caribbean. You can hit 6 different islands on a 7 day cruises. We would suggest avoiding Carnival's festive cruises.

We've been to Mexico, Jamaica and the Western Caribbean so many times that we're through visiting that region.

In the last couple of years, we have been taking repositioning cruises to Europe--a very strong value.

But our favorite cruise was a Baltic Cruise to the Scandinavian countries and St. Petersburg. We also loved cruising out of Italy to Malta and the Greek Isles--and over to Turkey. We do not enjoy cruising along the Spanish coastal cities in the Mediterranean, however.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:28 PM   #5
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European river crusies look appealing. Have any of you tried them? It seems like the old towns, the castles, and the beautiful countryside would be great.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:29 PM   #6
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I agree about Alaska. We cruised with Princess, as they are one of the few lines that cruises Glacier Bay.
Canada and New England cruises are also great.
I have attached 2 trip stories from our cruises. We are happy to answer questions.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ALASKA APRIL 2019.pdf (2.00 MB, 15 views)
File Type: pdf CANADA 2011 short.pdf (1.97 MB, 11 views)
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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Keeping it close to North America Alaska is an excellent option with very good side travel options in Alaska, Seattle and Vancouver.
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Alaska is an excellent choice, but don’t rule out the cruises up into New England and Canada.
We prefer Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. Have always had good experiences with them.
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We've been on dozens of cruises since 1977. In this hemisphere, my favorite cruises are out of San Juan to the southern Caribbean. You can hit 6 different islands on a 7 day cruises. We would suggest avoiding Carnival's festive cruises...
With the OP living near the Gulf Coast, I think an Alaskan cruise will get them further from homebase and seeing some places different, if they are not already familiar with the NW part of the continent.

+1 on the Carnival cruise line. We have not taken one with them, but just from seeing the ships docked near ours, know that they have a wild and younger party crowd. Between the RC and Princess, I think the Princess clientele is older and more to our liking, but that could just be due to the trips we took.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:46 PM   #8
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Best and worst cruise: Alaska. This is a taxing trip in terms of expense, length of flights, the active tours, the length of daylight, wild weather. If I did this trip again I would fly or drive up. Rest for a day or 2. Board. Cruise up. Debark and rent accomodations and a car. Do some land vacatuoning on my own. Board another cruise going in the opposite direction. Cruise that. Make my way home. I dont think I would do cruise and land your together with the cruiseline. YMMV

I think overall best cruise was an odd 10 dayer we booked really last minute march of 2018 on Holland. Went to all the rarely visited islands (think st barts.) Ship was small to begin with, not very full, lovely and they upgraded us. Great time.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:46 PM   #9
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I agree about Alaska. We cruised with Princess, as they are one of the few lines that cruises Glacier Bay.
Canada and New England cruises are also great.
I have attached 2 trip stories from our cruises. We are happy to answer questions.
Wow, great information. Keep it coming. Very helpful!

@Souschef, thank you so much for the travel stories.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:12 PM   #10
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I would also vote for Alaska ,Canada or The Panama Canal. We went To Alaska at the end of May and the weather was perfect and it was not yet crowded with tons of ships .
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:15 PM   #11
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My 2 favorite cruises were a New England cruise in September and our Alaskan cruise. We normally use RC which have all been great. The one princess cruise was awful and I would never use them again. They were bought by Carnival and then quality declined. RC ages ranged from 30-80 if you go when school is in session. I would never take carnival after hearing other people’s stories.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:21 PM   #12
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We enjoyed cruising the Panama Canal on Crystal. If you or spouse have any interest in engineering, the passage is fascinating.

Another fave was London->Scandinavia->St. Petersburg (also on Crystal).

Had a completely different (and fun) experience on a very small ship from Seattle up the coast of British Columbia. Less opulent, but the ship could navigate shallow-ish fjords. Can't remember the name of the line, but an alternative to consider.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:40 PM   #13
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Depending on the time you have available, cruising from Vancouver up the inside passage is a great exposure to parts of Alaska. We then rented an RV in Anchorage and drove for 3 weeks and 3000 miles to see more of the interior of that very large state. Did snorkeling, dog sledding, flew to Katmai to see some bears, biked, hiked and whitewater rafted. You can just pull off the road with the RV at a scenic overlook...no need to stay at an RV or National park.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:47 PM   #14
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My 2 favorite cruises were a New England cruise in September and our Alaskan cruise. We normally use RC which have all been great. The one princess cruise was awful and I would never use them again. They were bought by Carnival and then quality declined. RC ages ranged from 30-80 if you go when school is in session. I would never take carnival after hearing other peopleís stories.
Agree completely. Every port on the Alsaka (10 times, 7 to 21 days) and New England (1 tme) cruises has great walking / hiking options. I use Holland America, which also declined after being purchased by Carnival but is still best for me.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:48 PM   #15
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Another vote for Alaska.

We have only cruised twice (Alaska and Caribbean). For the Caribbean we have always preferred all-inclusives, and the cruise just confirmed that.

Alaska was a real nice trip. Lots to see and do in each port. The experienced cruisers will tell you to book your own excursions without the cruise line. We booked through Princess.

We sailed out of Seattle, and spent three days on each end of the trip exploring the city. I highly recommend doing this. If you do, don't miss Chihuly Garden with all the beautiful glass sculptures.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:08 PM   #16
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Depending on the time you have available, cruising from Vancouver up the inside passage is a great exposure to parts of Alaska.
This is the only cruise I have ever taken. I did reserve a room, rather than raise my tent on the deck. Be aware these are working ferry boats, and they have goals that go beyond entertaining travelers. Our boat got held up for about three hours while they tried to get a truck full of supplies for an island town off the boat. A motorhome was parked a few inches outside its assigned space and was preventing the truck from leaving.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:27 PM   #17
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If you are healthy and active consider an active small ship cruise. Alaska inside passage, included hiking with a naturalist, kayaking, stand up boarding, and for the polar bears snorkeling. Plenty of time to have time with the other 50 or so guest and enjoy adult liquids and great food. May-June seems to have the best weather. Try National Geographic, or UnCruise Adventures.

Sea of Cortez/s is a great active cruise snorkeling with whale sharks and sea lions, kayaking, hiking, mule rides through a palm oasis. Again great food and open 24 hour bar. Look at UnCruise Adventures again, great line to cruise with.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:39 PM   #18
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If you live near the Gulf already, I'm one that also would suggest Alaska. Do it now while you are young! The Alaska cruises are filled with people in their 70's and above, which is too bad. Though it's still a great cruise regardless of age, in my opinion the best part of Alaska is getting off the boat EARLY in the morning and going on strenuous, but rewarding hikes.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:55 PM   #19
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If you live near the Gulf already, I'm one that also would suggest Alaska. Do it now while you are young! The Alaska cruises are filled with people in their 70's and above, which is too bad. Though it's still a great cruise regardless of age, in my opinion the best part of Alaska is getting off the boat EARLY in the morning and going on strenuous, but rewarding hikes.

I took my last Alaska cruise last year at the age of 80. There were passengers of all ages. I was able to take a flight over Misty Fjord and any other activity I wanted.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:03 PM   #20
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I should have said do it when you are young, and then do it again when you get older! It's a great place regardless of age, but for different reasons
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