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Carribean Cruise-YUK
Old 03-08-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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Carribean Cruise-YUK

Just got back from a Carribean cruise on the Solstice. Pretty bad. many of the people were overweight and the rest were obese. Everday at 4PM there was a stampede to get burgers and fries. Acres of flabby flesh everywhere you looked. Ports were poor. We only went to be with a relative who had to cancell at the last minute-leaving us in the lurch. it will be a while before we do that again.
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The Food Orgy
Old 03-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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So the fellow cruisers didn't look like they do in the brochure ? Surprise, they look more like the crowd at the mall.

It isn't just that cruise ship or cruise line they all have cruisers who look like that.

And the ports were primitive ?? isn't that what you wanted. You know - like to get away from it all.

Nonetheless did you have any fun

Personally I do like cruising and I've been on 9 now. Food orgy issues aside, I do find them to be a very relaxing and restful vacation. There is absolutely nothing quite like watching the sunset on a warm evening from your balcony with the ships Calypso band playing in the distance. Ditto for coffee on the deck at sunrise while at sea on a nce day.

However, I can appreciate that some people would be put off by the summer-camp organizated issue(s) of a cruise.

I hope that you did at least take advantage of the "inch-of-gold" jewelry deals, The Broadway extravaganza show, and the bargain of the century art auction.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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Interesting post. We just returned from a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean. There were 3,100 folks on the ship. While there were definitely overweight folks on board, but I suspect no more than the U.S. general population. The overall population was older than the general population. Service was great, food more than acceptable, especially when you figure that about 1,200 people sit down for dinner, good entrainment on board, 6 hot tubs, two dry saunas, two steam rooms, large exercise area, great music, good bars, drinks at a reasonable cost.

Ports, well if you have been to any of the Caribbean ports you have seen them all. IMHO you don't go for the ports.

I just can't imagine letting other peoples physical condition or like of it, get in the way of my enjoying the things there are to enjoy on a cruise. It sounds like you play a lot of 'Ain't it Awful!' and did not want to be there in the first place. No surprise you did not enjoy it.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:09 PM   #4
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Just got back from a Carribean cruise... Acres of flabby flesh everywhere you looked.
Good place to be when Armageddon arrives.

Ha
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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I cruised with the same cruise line about a week or so ago, but different ship. Everyone just looked kind of normal to me...a mixed bag of sizes. What I noticed was how sloppy some people were. Maybe it was the warmer weather that did that. It seems to me that people dressed a little better when I went to Alaska a few years ago.

Anyway, I lost 2 pounds while on my cruise and really enjoyed it. Loved the good healthy food. I ate what I wanted and left the BAD stuff alone. A cruise can be what you want it to be. I enjoyed eating, looking at the ocean and reading. It felt so good to be in warmer weather and to be able to WALK outside. Just a nice change of scenery was what I wanted...and I got it.

Going again next January.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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I just can't imagine letting other peoples physical condition or like of it, get in the way of my enjoying the things there are to enjoy on a cruise.
Maybe this was the swinger's cruise that an earlier poster was wondering about...
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #7
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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I've been on a number of cruises for one reason or another. Mostly I won them at work so I just went. The only cruises I like are the ones on smaller boats like a 4 masted ship. No time schedules and you can do what you want when you want. We did the Greek Isles, Costa Rica and one other place on the smaller ships.

I just don't like being told when to eat and other schedules while on vacation. Oh yeah, just can't stand the dancing waiters with plates on their heads. (heh)
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:18 PM   #9
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The only cruise we ever went on was the Inside Passage in Alaska, because there was no other practical way to do it. It was a very small ship (120 passengers) and there weren't any of the traditional cruise ship amenities, but we enjoyed it quite a bit. The ship had a good library and onboard naturalists and we went to a number of interesting paces that are not often visited by cruise ships. I don't recall the weight of the other passengers.

I doubt that we will ever go on a traditional big cruise ship, but that is because 1) we aren't that interested in the types of things that the big cruises do; and 2) I've already seen enough open water to last a lifetime, courtesy of the USN. The "draft" of our potential shipmates is irrelevant to that decision.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:41 PM   #10
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I doubt that we will ever go on a traditional big cruise ship, but that is because 1) we aren't that interested in the types of things that the big cruises do; and 2) I've already seen enough open water to last a lifetime, courtesy of the USN. The "draft" of our potential shipmates is irrelevant to that decision.
Due to circumstances similar yet diametrically opposed to Gumby, I much prefer cruising to any vacation requiring me to squeeze into a cramped seat in an oversized aluminum cigar for hours while being fed peanuts.

We've been on half-dozen cruises and are going again in a couple of weeks - driving to the port. I find them relaxing and only as structured as you allow them to be. Other than the lifeboat drill, you aren't really required to do anything on any schedule at all. You can dine whenever you like and avoid dancing waiters if you wish.

For the record, some of my best friends are fat people.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
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I just returned from a back to back cruise on the Adventure of the Seas (RCL). Had a wonderful time. Will go again at any time I can! No one forced me to do anything, especially eat! I came back with a pound or two extra and ate everything I wanted. I think the extra weight came from the great wine I consumed nightly. We were on the Southern Caribbean routes and did a lot in the water. The warm caribbean waters and sunshine were what we were after. We have been to all the islands before and knew well what to expect at each.

My husband and I feel like the majority of the cruisers on this ship where definitely slimmer than those seen at most US malls or fast food establishments. But I don't understand what that has to do with your enjoyment on the cruise.

I was on the Solstice last Sept. We did the Italy, Greece, and Turkey route for eleven day.

The Solstice is a gorgeous new ship. I can't imagine anyone or anything standing in my way of having a good time on that particular ship.

But then I tend to be a positive kind of person.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:20 AM   #12
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Thanks for the responses, many valid comments. We generally like smaller ships (Regent/Silver Seas)and this probably clouded our experience on this one. Have been on 12-15 cruises in past 15 years so generally have enjoyed ourselves. Food was indeed excellent as we dined at the specialty restaurants each night. Service could not be faulted. Gym was good except the erobic machines were mostly broken. Our suite was the biggest we ever had-1300 ft2 so we spent several days on the balcony rather than brave the hoards at the pools. Suspect you are right about "no worse than the malls" but we don't like the malls much either. As to ports- Diamonds International, Colombian Emeralds, Tanzanite International, not exactly rustic or interesting. Maybe a little cynical or jaded at this point but enjoy more active vacations while we can. Have booked bike trips to Puglia and Laos/Viet Nam over balance of year. Cheers.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:59 AM   #13
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Went on a cruise to the Caribbean many years ago. Can't argue with anything Danmar pointed out. Still, when asked about cruising, I tell folks the same thing I tell them after doing a transcontinental train trip. Everyone should do it - once! Only a particular destination (such as the Panama Canal or the coast of Alaska) would induce me to cruise again. I've done it.

Oddly, the thing I enjoyed most about our cruise was the enormous seas we got into. Apparently there had been some winter storms someplace else which produced huge swells. Imagine, if you will, a 750 foot cruise liner with the bow coming out of the water and then crashing back down into the sea. It looked like the footage they always show of one of the preludes to a WWII pacific battle (can't recall which one) in which battle ships, cruisers and even AC carriers bounded up and down in high seas as they were caught unawares in a hurricane. (Our actual weather was pleasant, but apparently there was no way to avoid the swell we encountered). In any case, the water in the swimming pools was sloshing across the decks until they eventually pumped them out. Below decks, the creaking and groaning was perhaps the most unnerving part of the whole affair. Each of the half dozen bars handed out handfuls of sea sick pills to anyone who asked. I loved it. At night, sitting on deck in a moonless, but clear sky, the view was spectacular as the black horizon and the starry sky bounced around like the view from a trampoline. Worth the trip just for those couple of days that most people hated.

Perhaps second most enjoyable thing was a tour of the ship. I was totally surprised at how few people went on the tour. I learned about how the ship was propelled (turbine steam ship - hence the term TSS in the ship's name) fueled with bunker oil (as I recall, something like 60,000 gal/day - is that possible or is memory fading? Maybe it was 60,000 pounds.) Got to watch other ships on the radar screen as we left one of our ports. Cool!

Probably third most fun was the optional ($4) wine tasting at 4:00PM. Haven't been so sloshed since college - guess maybe you are supposed to spit or something, but no one else did, so... Got my sea legs in one hour! Highly recommended if your liver is in good shape.

The food - which most folks had really built up for us ahead of time - was like that found in most finer "troughs" - Think Ryans, Golden Corral, etc. Not bad, just not great. But - there was plenty of it. The ship bragged that they served 7 meals each day. One day - just to say we had done it, we got up at 6:30 went to breakfast and then ate our way through the day, ending at midnight snack - which turned out to be leftovers from the rest of the day (including breakfast!)

I did enjoy the various entertainment offered on the ship. It wasn't Vegas quality, but it was as good as you would find in for instance large regional amusement parks like 6 flags or similar during the summer sessions - college kids exercising (or is that exorcising) their talents for peanuts (I'm guessing) and the experience.

We don't dig gambling, but we heard comments from friends that the casinos were either run amateurishly, or at worst dishonestly.

I'm not by nature an outgoing person nor do I mix all that well at parties. I consider myself a good friend, but I don't make a lot of friends. Still, on board, you are more or less forced into mixing with lots of folks, and on a very superficial level, I enjoyed the interaction. It was the same on the train by the way. Admittedly, there was a fair amount of social "lubrication" involved - both versions of travel. I AM much more charming after a couple of pina coladas if I do say so myself.

The cabins were a joke. Ours was supposedly for four people although there were just the two of us. It was set up much like a sleeper car on a train with two fold down bunks over two about 2/3 size beds below with just enough room between to squeeze in. The whole bath room was smaller than our shower at home. As I was fond of telling folks "A room so small you had to go outside to change your mind."

The whole "cabin steward" thing was a trip! I don't think we saw our steward more than once before the end of the cruise - at which time everyone met their respective steward to insure that he got his requisite "tip". Anyway, if you so much as went inside your room to pick up a wrap for the deck, the steward would go in afterwards to clean up. (A gum wrapper carelessly left in the ash tray would be policed up before you had made it up on deck.)

Speaking of tips: A tip for prospective cruisers - If the lady doesn't wear a nightgown or is shy about leaving it out, be sure to leave some semblance of a nightie where the steward can find it. If he can't he'll go through every piece of luggage until he finds something that appears to be a nightie. It could be a slip or even your fanciest lingerie. He will fold it into a swan or sea gull or fish or whatever and place it on your turned-down bed while you are out of your room in the evening. Bizarre to the extreme - but there it is.

Danmar complained about some of his fellow passengers, but I found them to be rather interesting. For instance, during our orientation, a fellow passenger asked if the crew stayed on board at night. I kid you not! There were a fair number of ladies on board who looked good in their bikinis, which was a nice diversion. Of course, there were plenty of ladies who wouldn't look that great in a bikini - but they wore them anyway. Life is like that.

The ports-of-call were The Bahamas, St. Thomas USVI, and San Juan PR. Each had its own charm, but once was enough for each of them. DW complained that the Vegas style show we saw in San Juan was a gyp. They apparently didn't spend enough money producing the show to provide tops to all the dancers. And here I thought that was the way they were supposed to dress. Silly me.

At the fort in old San Juan, there were little girls (maybe 9 to 11) dressed in their crisp (I'm guessing) school uniforms. As folks arrived to look around, one of the girls would walk up, take the hand of the female of the couple and "take" them on a guided tour - whether you wanted a tour or not. It was all so cute that I gave the little sweetheart $5 for a 15 minute tour. It had occurred to me that there could be some danger to these little ones, but I then noticed many mothers with eagle eyes watching the whole process from a distance.

Well, i'm rambling. I guess if cruising is your thing, I wouldn't try to talk you out of it. Nor would I discourage anyone from trying it. Mentioned elsewhere in the forum, expectations are a big part of any experience. Just try to be sure you are ready for what you are getting into before you go. Pick your cruise based on your tastes (a clothing optional-cruise probably would not be for everyone, for instance).

Guess I've given you $.05 worth instead of the usual $.02. YMMV
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:20 AM   #14
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OH I am so glad I read this. DH and I want to take a cruise and I am in the process of shopping so your post was very helpful. Hubby is a tall guy, 6 foot 8 inches so a small cabin and bunk bit will not work. ( Learned that on our cross country train trip. We are still laughing over that.) Anyways any advice on ships that offer decent sized sleeping accommodations for a tall person would be helpful. Or at least where would I look.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:44 AM   #15
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Can't help you much on picking a cabin with more "leg room", but I do know you can get much larger rooms if you are willing to pay. I've seen adds which showed king size beds, for instance. We were strictly on the cheap - consequently we used the room to sleep in, shower, and potty. Otherwise, we were on deck or in a restaurant, bar or theater.

I'm guessing you could search the cruise lines' web sites, but if you find a likely candidate, you might ask back here and elsewhere if anyone has actually been on that line.

Enjoy!
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:40 AM   #16
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Ironically the smaller ships tend to have larger rooms. They will cost a lot more however. Keep in mind that all ships have relatively low ceilings although I doubt that would cause too much of an issue with your husband. I am 6'4" and it was fine. another thing to consider is whether the cruise is all inclusive. If it is all drinks, tips, etc are covered. These can easily add up to $1,000 per week and are quite aggravating.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:42 AM   #17
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Sorry to hear you were so disgusted by fat people.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:44 AM   #18
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Cattusbabe,

My husband and I cruise frequently so I will try to address your question. I don't know of any cruise line that offers longer beds. Most cabins have two twins that can be pushed together to make a king size. Most of these are rounded at the foot end so that you can walk around the bed easily in a small cabin. As for larger cabins and more floor space. There are many configurations of cabins. The sq footage is usually listed on the websites and all the literature. I would suggest if you are going sometime soon that you ask for a handicap room if one is available. They are generally much larger, they are built to accommodate a wheelchair so the floor space can be twice what a regular cabin is. Of course you will have to deal with lower light switchs,etc. If it is close to cruise time and they have some available you can get one with out a handicap! They have them in all catagories of cabins.

If you plan in advance (one year to 18 months) most ships have cabins that are larger then others but maybe in unusual locations on ship. Those usually go fast. We always try for one of those. The unusal locations are usually just what we want. Our cabin on the Adventure was twice the size of others in its catagory. Unfortuantely it is booked up solid on every sailing for the forseeable future.

Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:56 AM   #19
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Anyways any advice on ships that offer decent sized sleeping accommodations for a tall person would be helpful. Or at least where would I look.
I'd let the cruise lines know that your spouse is 6'8", see what they can offer, and then pick your destination.

It's beginning to sound as if most of the cruise lines know each others' tricks and shamelessly plagiarize. We enjoy Norwegian Cruise Lines because they don't require meal seating and you can pretty much do your own thing around their itinerary.

We've been on two interisland cruises where we barely even left the ship. It's quite nice to be aboard inport while 2000+ fellow passengers are preoccupied with pillaging & plundering the retail countryside.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:31 AM   #20
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On Carnival now you can have a set seating or do anytime dining which means you may it at a different table every night . We are opting for that as we hate to follow a schedule on vacation.
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