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Old 02-22-2010, 10:31 AM   #21
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You mean you were uncertain?
Someone must have been watching him type.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:45 PM   #22
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I enjoy going on a cruise but cruise ship destinations haven't been about the destinations in a long time. When we want to visit another country we make a trip to that country.
Agree. In fact I think we went on one or two when we didn't even get off the ship. Caribbean islands are all much the same. Pretty tacky. St Barts is one that is a little more up markel.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #23
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Someone must have been watching him type.
Good one
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #24
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I've cruised at least a dozen times . I really don't mind the fake beaches in the Bahamas that the ships bring in a picnic lunch to . It's usually a nice beach day . I did think Costa Maya was pretty awful . It is totally void of any Mexican experience unless you consider Taco Bell Mexican . I enjoy cruises as one of the ways to vacation and living in Florida you get incredible deals . I agree with Cuppa Joe . It's a great way for family bonding because all the work is done by someone else . I've taken several cruises with my daughter and those memories are priceless .
Some people think that you don't get a "real" experience unless you get dragged through the likes of the slums of Calcutta.

regarding Costa Maya - It was pretty commercial. However if you walk out the back way you can catch a short cab ride to a little fishing village called Majahual (also called Mahahual). We spent an enchanted afternoon there. The wife had a massage right on the beach. I found a tree and a plastic chair at the shoreline and let the gentle waves lap on my toes. The locals would bring you a cool one whenever you waved to em'. It was a wonderful afternoon - a world away from Costa Maya.


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Old 02-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #25
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Taking a 7 day Caribbean cruise is probably the wrong format if you are trying to "go local", mingle with the natives, and spend time in the country you are visiting. From the 2 cruises I have taken, on the mass market cruise ships you have roughly 6-8 hours of actual time in port in general. You can do an excursion or two. Not a lot of time in other words.
I always figured that if I were going to "cruise" the Caribbean to see the area I would go on one of those tall sailing ships.

Either that, or charter a sailboat - in which case I would be stuck to a few close islands because I won't cross blue water.

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Old 02-23-2010, 10:11 AM   #26
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I always figured that if I were going to "cruise" the Caribbean to see the area I would go on one of those tall sailing ships.

Either that, or charter a sailboat - in which case I would be stuck to a few close islands because I won't cross blue water.
I have acquiesced to the fact that I will never lure DW onto a small ship like the tall sailing ships or a chartered sailboat.

And in terms of convenience, relaxation, and comfort, the large mass market cruise ships have them beat. Inertial stabilizers is one thing that sets these large ships apart from smaller vessels. Given DW's propensity for seasickness, inertial stabilizers are a must.

And in terms of the value proposition, the mass market ships are way cheaper than sailboat charter or tall sailing ships.

But I would like to take at least one cruise on a tall ship, just don't see it happening anytime soon.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:35 AM   #27
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I just love being close to the water, so for me a small boat is a must. The largest I have been on had 100 passengers, and I think that was about my upper limit.

We had a long journey on a 80 foot boat with 30 total (including crew) and it was a blast. The cabin was horrifically cramped - good only for sleeping, and shared baths for the entire boat. But the public use upper decks were spacious and comfortable and really great food. Just loved it! This was a whale/ocean life watching cruise and it was perhaps the best wildlife watching experience of my life!

I am not totally immune to seasickness. Fortunately it seems to be limited to blue water sailing - and those rough waters off of Hawaii.

We are both experienced sailors (owned a sailboat for many years) and so I am more used to the deck NOT being horizontal!

Yep - small boat cruising to me. I don't care for large, self-contained hotels/resorts floating or otherwise. But to each his own!

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Old 02-23-2010, 12:44 PM   #28
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Another perspective on cruise ships....

Maybe we are just lazy, but we have enjoyed cruising to destinations that we would have never seen otherwise.

Our first cruise was a typical big ship Alaska inside passage trip. We loved it, beautiful scenery and spectacular whale watching on excursions (got to see them bubble net feeding!). I know it is possible to arrange pretty much the same trip by car and ferry, but we would have never put that much effort into planning it: too many unknowns. However, now that we have been there, the car and ferry idea is appealing for a return trip.

Next cruise was from Lima to Buenos Aires via Antarctica and the South Georgia Islands. Wow.
Prinsendam 2008.jpg
Penguins on South Georgia.
South Gorgia.jpg

Last summer we cruised the Baltic. Just about every day was another beautiful European capital. It allowed us the thrill of seeing famous places without any hassle of hotel reservations or catching trains or planes. Spend the day in a great city then back to the ship in the evening for cocktails and dinner. Wake up the next morning arriving in another fairy tale city. Repeat. Except for St. Petersburg where two days in port were not nearly enough, it was a great first visit.
Baltic.jpg
Sights like this make the Russian revolution a bit more comprehensible.
Peterhoff.jpg

We have not yet been on a small ship cruise, but hope to. There are advantages and disadvantages. Small ships can go where big ones can't. In the Antarctic for example, folks on small ships typically get Zodiac landings at penguin colonies. One downside is that they are slower. In Alaska they can't cover nearly as much area in a weeklong cruise. As for Antarctica, I am not sure that I would want to cross the Drake passage in a small ship. On the previous year's cruise, our ship was hit by a wave while in route from Ushuaia to the Antarctic that broke out the windows in the casino --- on deck eight!
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