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Old 02-02-2008, 08:49 AM   #21
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I've been on eleven cruises when you live in Florida not only can you drive to the ports they have Florida resident specials . My all time favorite is Bermuda because you are in port for longer than a day and it's so beautiful . We haven't been to Alaska but maybe this year .
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:43 AM   #22
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How difficult is it to put some bottles in your luggage. Or, am I missing something?
I have 'heard' that the plastic bottles of booze works just fine within layers of clothing in the suitcase.
A little cocktail hour in the cabin before dinner or afterwards is nice. Or you can enjoy them on the promanade deck.
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:49 AM   #23
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I have 'heard' that the plastic bottles of booze works just fine within layers of clothing in the suitcase.
A little cocktail hour in the cabin before dinner or afterwards is nice. Or you can enjoy them on the promanade deck.
And remember, you generally can bring wine and champagne and be legal
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:50 AM   #24
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Actually, according to frequent cruisers on cruisecritic.com, the cruiselines are cracking down on people bringing alcohol on board. The most stringent of cruiselines is supposed to be Norwegian. They scan the luggage. If you have anything resembling a bottle they keep your luggage, and you get a note to come to the "naughty room" where they will inspect it with you. They keep any alcohol you may have brought on and then return it to you at the end of the cruise. This is all just what I hear, never experienced this myself!

Oh, and most cruise lines don't advertise it, but typically you can purchase what is called a "bar set-up" ahead of time. You can buy a liter or two of alcohol that you can have delivered to your room so you can have a drink while getting ready, on the balcony, etc.
So I'm guessing the setup I used to bring, which included a battery operated blender, wouldnt fly very well these days...
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Old 02-02-2008, 09:57 AM   #25
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Reminds me of the year (1977) a buddy and I went to the Kentucky Derby. We took a couple of cases of beer with us. It was early in the day, so there wasn't much of a line. We got right in! Only one slight problem... After we get in, they confiscate our beer!!

Now you tell us...

Anyway, as the day passed, more (and more) people started showing up (imagine that), and soon, the hoard of people, and the resulting pile of confiscated alcohol, grew to, shall we say, critical mass. Being resourceful types, we casually walked over to the "piles", and helped ourselves to whatever looked easy and inconspicuous to grab.

My bounty included two pints of Jack Daniels...
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:00 AM   #26
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dang good trade!
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:18 AM   #27
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We just got back from our first cruise to the Western Caribbean. I actually think it's a pretty darned good deal, and LBYM as far as nice vacations go! We had a 7 day cruise for something like $1120 per person.
I think this 10-day cruise will only cost us about $1500 per person, plus the usual tips, extras, etc. We can drive to the cruise terminal. So, $3-$4K for two people including meals, entertainment and all the rest. Not bad, and a well-neede break form the job.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:26 AM   #28
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Love cruising! First one was on our honeymoon - in 1976. The only folks who took cruise vacations at that time were OLD RETIREES! On that ship, we were the youngest vacationers and took a lot of ribbing for being on the ship with these old timers. (Thinking back, those retirees weren't much older than DH and I are now. Bummer.)

We've taken cruises to Eastern, Western and Southern Carribean; Bermuda and Panama Canal. Loved the Panama Canal transit and had the chance to do some eco-touring in Costa Rica.

The Bermuda cruise was wonderful as well. It departed from and returned to New York City so we got a little sense of what the European immigrants must have felt when they first saw the Statue of Liberty upon arriving in New York Harbor. At Bermuda, the ship docked for three days at St. Georges and then relocated for three days at Hamilton. So the ship was like our hotel and we could come and go as we pleased during the day. Highly recommend.

Yes, the ships are really cracking down on folks bringing adult beverages on board. Even if you buy alcohol in port, you are supposed to check it when you re-board and it is delivered to your cabin on the last day. Most ships now do have wine packages you can purchase for your dinners, at the end of the cruise, you can take home any bottles you bought but not opened.

We generally go through cruise consolidators like Discount Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cruise, Cruise Line, Cruise Vacation or Cruises, Last Minute Cruises, Cheap Cruises, Cruise Deals, Cruise Bargain, Cruise Line -- we've saved as much as 75% off the brochure rates on cruises.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:09 AM   #29
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We had a 7 day cruise for something like $1120 per person couple. That is $160 per day per couple for a room, all the food you want, free entertainment, and transportation to various ports.

Just noticed the error above. We booked an inside room which was really cheap. Also, we organized a small group (4 couples total) and got a discount on the fare, plus our travel agent gave us each a $25 on board credit. It was a pretty sweet deal, especially since we could drive to the port (New Orleans).
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:23 PM   #30
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I think Nords has been on a couple. I've been on 4 or 5.
Two great retirement leisure activities that my PILs taught me are Elderhostel (sorry, I'm still too young) and cruises. They've been cruising for over 20 years and have probably done 30 of them.

We've been on a couple NCL interisland cruises and I highly recommend them. I've read reviews about Caribbean storms and high seas that just don't seem to apply around here, even in winter. But I don't know if that has to do with ship displacement, better stabilizers, or the weather.

I take the same aggressive approach as Rich, plus I add a morning promenade (one mile) and the afternoon workout is designed to pay off the cookie buffet. NCL doesn't have mealtimes or dress codes (unless you want to) so it was even easier to avoid the crowds. We stroll around in the ports but generally stay on the ship. We also enjoy the talks, activities, and cheesy theatrical productions. I bring a pile of paperbacks and then swap them in the ship's library. I might check an Internet café at a port but I don't bother with shipboard web access. Judging from the crowd response, the highlight of the week is the chocolate buffet.

Cruising is a great (perhaps expensive*) way to entertain a kid between the ages of 7-18. NCL works hard at the "Kid's Teen Club" activities and ours just enjoyed having her own room (which is well worth the single's fee). She pretty much roamed free during the day or wore down the grandparents. But spouse and I managed to find ways to pass the time without her.

If you can't settle into visiting one part of Hawaii, then a few days in Waikiki (or a neighbor island) around a seven-day cruise is a great way to see all the islands.

*I guess that assessment depends whether the typical family vacation is a month of camping or a week at a DisneyWorld resort.

Quote:
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P.S. It helps when you smuggle alcohol on board Or at least that's what I hear....
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
How difficult is it to put some bottles in your luggage. Or, am I missing something?
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Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
The most stringent of cruiselines is supposed to be Norwegian. They scan the luggage.
Don't even bother. The luggage is x-rayed, the hassle is merciless, and you're on their "bad cruiser" list for the rest of your life. Ironically 10 minutes after they finish chewing you out, you'll leave steerage to meet a roving crewmember who'll be happy to serve you alcoholic beverages for a "small" fee.

Or you can go to the daily art auctions (of which "daily" is the only accurate description) and slug back the free wine.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:29 PM   #31
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Has anyone done any Mediterranean or Nordic cruises? Civilian that is They look amazing from the literature. Of course that is what the literature is supposed to do
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:03 PM   #32
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DW and I went on a cruise last summer to Alaska. The actual cruise was not too expensive, especially when you factor in all that is included. We did a number of other things related to the cruise that upped the price, and of course, our air fare was not cheap (Texas-Anchorage/Vancouver-Texas).

I thought that the overall experience was worth the opportunity to blow the 2007 budget.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:11 PM   #33
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Has anyone done any Mediterranean or Nordic cruises?
If by "mediterranean" you mean "went to greece and found myself regularly regaining consciousness on various boats somewhere in the mediterranean, swearing I'd never drink ouzo ever again", well...yes!
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:54 PM   #34
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Alaskan Cruise and it was completely worth it
We loved it and are looking forward to another, or possibly one in the Scandanavian area.
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:58 PM   #35
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If by "mediterranean" you mean "went to greece and found myself regularly regaining consciousness on various boats somewhere in the mediterranean, swearing I'd never drink ouzo ever again", well...yes!
I think he meant as in "standing midwatches"...
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:00 PM   #36
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my brother does cruises all the time and my mother used to love them. they were very good vacations for my parents especially when the ol'man's health was failing and he was no longer able to cruise on his own boat.

my brother & mom talked me into a cruise once. i thought it was going to be horrible and not that i'll be doing another any time soon but i did have a great time. it was a disney cruise out of cape canaveral. the kids had a deck all to themselves and were kept busy all day.

the biggest part of the cruise i didn't like was having so much excess thrown in your face. the amount of food is obscene. and the pollution those ships put out is just sad. i have some trouble going out to enjoy nature while i'm destroying it.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:53 PM   #37
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If by "mediterranean" you mean "went to greece and found myself regularly regaining consciousness on various boats somewhere in the mediterranean, swearing I'd never drink ouzo ever again", well...yes!

Did you enjoy it
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:52 PM   #38
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How are those interior rooms? Too claustrophobic? I'm trying to put together a cruise vacation for my family next year. I think we will need 2 cabins, one for the parents and one for the teenagers.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:04 PM   #39
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Did you enjoy it
So I was told.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:06 AM   #40
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How are those interior rooms? Too claustrophobic? I'm trying to put together a cruise vacation for my family next year. I think we will need 2 cabins, one for the parents and one for the teenagers.
Two rooms for sure.

Interior cabins allegedly have less rolling motion but I don't know if that is a big deal unless someone is really sensitive. We tend to use our cabin very little during the day other than for a nap, shower, change of clothes, short break, etc. While a window is nice in the outer cabins, I wouldn't miss it that much personally.
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