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Old 03-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #21
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Carnival - among the best food we've had. Ship was ok but definitely more of a cheaper Vegas hotel decor. Crew was good and entertainment was excellent. Would cruise them again, but definitely not our first choice.
Interesting. We found Carnival to be too crowded, too noisy and the buffets had the same spread every single day. The food wasn't bad, but it was pretty monotonous. We also found that when the ship was in port, there were almost no activities on the Carnival ship at all. Usually there are less, but on other cruise lines we've tried, there have always been some.

We do most of our cruising with Princess, as much because we have some "standing" and get some perks based on our past business with them. Seems silly, though, that Princess is just one cruise line *owned* by Carnival, and that the "frequent cruiser" rewards don't go across lines owned by the same parent company.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #22
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We have been on Carnival, Crystal, NCL, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, and HAL.

We liked them all-never had a bad cruise. Our favorite would be Celebrity Solstice class ships.

I think that the ship is just as important as the cruise line. There are large variations between ships in the same cruise line.

We are currently booking last minute specials. We watch for a good price and then jump on it-usually 30-45 days prior to sailing.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #23
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Interesting. We found Carnival to be too crowded, too noisy and the buffets had the same spread every single day. The food wasn't bad, but it was pretty monotonous. We also found that when the ship was in port, there were almost no activities on the Carnival ship at all. Usually there are less, but on other cruise lines we've tried, there have always been some.
.
We had the same experience. We did have fun on the Carnival cruise and it was certainly a bargain, but it was also crowded, gaudy, and there was a lot of cigarette smoke. Our fellow cruisers weren't the most mannerly, lots of pushing and very few "excuse me's."

On the flipside, we LOVED our two Disney cruises, even though we're not kid people. gorgeous ships, first class service, great food, and lots of fun stuff to do.

SIS
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:04 AM   #24
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We have been on Carnival, Crystal, NCL, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, and HAL.

We liked them all-never had a bad cruise. Our favorite would be Celebrity Solstice class ships.

I think that the ship is just as important as the cruise line. There are large variations between ships in the same cruise line.

We are currently booking last minute specials. We watch for a good price and then jump on it-usually 30-45 days prior to sailing.
What web site do you use to find last minute cruises?
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:48 AM   #25
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My new girlfriend has invited me on a cruise with her later this year. I said yes. She mentioned Carnival. Looks good to me, although all I want is to share time with her and rest...
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What is your favorite cruise line?

Which is the worst?
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:46 AM   #26
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Over the years have cruised with Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Carribean, Silver Seas, Regent. All pretty predictable and generally offer good value. Recently have gravitated to smaller ships( Regent, Silver Seas). Most recently we have gotten a littled bored with cruising. The excursions don't appeal- too crowded, always waiting fo "aunt Matilda" to get back on the bus, etc.
Our last cruise was an exception. We took an 11 day river cruise up the Irrawaddy River in Burma on the Orient Express " Road to Mandalay". This was superb! The people were so friendly. So much to see. Sure beat the usual Carribean cruise experience.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #27
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We have been on 11 cruises to date on 6 different cruise lines. They are all good. Carnival has the most energy and the most frat-pool party atmosphere. Some of the more upscale lines have great food and service and are ever so dull and lifeless. In general the more you pay the older the crowd gets. We tend to like the mid-scale lines like Royal Caribbean and Princess. They tend to have a little more class but are not so lifeless. But again, they are all good.

The best cruise line is the one that's going where you are and is on sale !
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:57 PM   #28
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I've cruised Carnival and Holland America. I much prefer HAL. Took a cruise with a friend over Super Bowl Sunday.....Big mistake...BIG party!!!! Going back to Alaska on a cruise/tour and looking forward to it in April. I enjoy the good understated service on HAL.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #29
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I have used NCL 4 times, and have stuck with them because I've always been happy. On our last cruise in the Eastern Med, I noted that the Europeans (mostly Italians and Spanish) did not like the cruise (yea, I was eavesdropping), but the Americans did. The Italians didn't like the US system of waiting in line for tender passes at 6AM for a boat at 8AM or having to make a reservation at the sushi bar 5 days early. They were used to showing up to wait in line at the time they wanted something. By then it was too late, and waiting in line didn't do anything. Anyway, I think NCL caters to the US mentality about most things.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #30
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Only cruised once, and that was on Norwegian/Star Cruises in Singapore. Great experience, interesting port calls. Mind you, we avoided the "cattle call" shore excursions and just wandered around getting into trouble on our own in the ports. YMMV.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:51 AM   #31
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Thoroughly enjoyed Princess to Alaska on 25th anniversary in 95. That was our only "cruise line" cruise. However, we (at, um, 44?) felt young and a bit out of place. Not sure big ship cruising is our thing although I'm sure we'll return to it sometime.

Now, in 96 and 00 we did Windjammer cruises. That was our thing. Food was great, totally casual, visited isolated places, slept on the deck under the stars, total chill out. Unfortunately they went belly up I believe in large part because they lost a ship (and crew, no passengers) trying to outrun a hurricane. I'm sure there are alternates/substitutes to that available today and we will eventually return when our situation allows it. If you're the laid back sort who can put up with somewhat cramped quarters (you literally could sit on the toilet, brush your teeth in the sink, and take a shower at same time!) and wants to be really near the water, I'd recommend something like this.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #32
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My new girlfriend has invited me on a cruise with her later this year. I said yes. She mentioned Carnival. Looks good to me, although all I want is to share time with her and rest...
We just went on a 5-day cruise on Carnival Ecstasy out of Port Canaveral to the Bahamas. Did no excursions, just hung out on a deck chair most of the time. The Serenity Deck was 21 and above but it didn't get much breeze. We also hung out at the back of the boat on the top deck with the waterslides/waterpark. Some screaming kids but lots of room and you can just point yourself so you look off the back end of the ship. We found it to be very relaxing and priced right!
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:02 AM   #33
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DW and have have done three cruises, all Princess, all eastern Caribbean (different islands). We are booked on Celebrity to the western Caribbean for late this year, and are excited about the destinations (Mexico & ruins, Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia and Grand Cayman).

I'd be interested in hearing about others' experiences at those destinations and on Celebrity.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #34
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DW and have have done three cruises, all Princess, all eastern Caribbean (different islands). We are booked on Celebrity to the western Caribbean for late this year, and are excited about the destinations (Mexico & ruins, Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia and Grand Cayman).

I'd be interested in hearing about others' experiences at those destinations and on Celebrity.
In Panama we went on a tour with "My friend Mario ". I highly recommend his tours . You go in small vans and the guides are very knowledgeable . They also provide soda , water & beer .
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:58 AM   #35
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Did HAL to Australia, and Celebrity back. Talk about total contrast in food quality, services, treatment of passengers, nickel/dime extras, and general overall experience. HAL 100, Celebrity 13. Would not take Celebrity again if it was free - too taxing on spirit and experience. Turned in two very detailed evaluation forms (back to back cruises on Celebrity) and they had the gall to call me when I returned home, said they were looking at my evaluations, and wanted to book me on another cruise at their normal rates. Blaah!
This was first qtr of 2012.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #36
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Did HAL to Australia, and Celebrity back. Talk about total contrast in food quality, services, treatment of passengers, nickel/dime extras, and general overall experience. HAL 100, Celebrity 13. Would not take Celebrity again if it was free - too taxing on spirit and experience. Turned in two very detailed evaluation forms (back to back cruises on Celebrity) and they had the gall to call me when I returned home, said they were looking at my evaluations, and wanted to book me on another cruise at their normal rates. Blaah!
This was first qtr of 2012.
We're booked on a W Caribbean Celebrity cruise for late this year. So, would like to hear details of what made your experience so bad.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:34 AM   #37
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Was on a HAL cruise when this thread started. It was a 4 out of 5 but we would give NCL a 4.5 out of 5.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:37 PM   #38
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We've done two cruises with HAL in the past 5 years; Alaska on the same trip that MickeyD took, and through the Panama Canal in 2010. We'd agree that the avg age of the HAL traveler is prolly 50+, but balance that against a company that really knows what it is doing, presents the cruise extremely well, handles everything for its customers, and is vertically integrated enough to have all elements covered for you. Their Alaska cruise/tour ("Tour #3"), was simply incredible. Their 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal was much older demographically, and got a tad b-o-r-i-n-g for us. The crew was excellent; we stayed out of one port because of rough seas and the captain's desire not to be a former HAL skipper by grounding his ship, but they made up for it with extras during the rest of the cruise.
It's the specific ship as much as the cruise line. Our Alaska trip (Ryndam) was ~10 years' newer than its sister ship (Statendam) through the Canal, and the differences showed. Do your homework, read CruiseCritic's comments, and have a great time.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #39
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We did a week on the Carribean Princess a couple of years ago. No complaints. Most were older than us, 60+.

Start a Danube cruise with Viking an about 10 days, will report.
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