We just Returned from a 9-day Cruise and were somewhat disappointed.

Sure they are way more expensive, we get it, but many of us absolutely will not take a large ship cruise.
I completely understand... but is it kinda unfair to compare the two... like comparing McDonalds to a good restaurant... both feed you, but one is better but costs are a lot more...

I have never done the expensive cruises but my oldest sister has... she is of the opinion that the cost is not worth the trip..

BTW, I put in a bid for a suite on this cruise and told my DW I did not want to since if we get it that will establish the floor for us going forward...
:2funny:
 
I completely understand... but is it kinda unfair to compare the two... like comparing McDonalds to a good restaurant... both feed you, but one is better but costs are a lot more...

I have never done the expensive cruises but my oldest sister has... she is of the opinion that the cost is not worth the trip..

BTW, I put in a bid for a suite on this cruise and told my DW I did not want to since if we get it that will establish the floor for us going forward...
:2funny:
Have booked a junior suite once. Usually we go for the balcony, no suite.
 
Have booked a junior suite once. Usually we go for the balcony, no suite.
We have a restricted view balcony as the regular balcony was much higher cost... but they sent a bid option and the mini-suite minimum bid was not that much more than the regular balcony... SOOOO, here is hoping for the upgrade...
 
We have a restricted view balcony as the regular balcony was much higher cost... but they sent a bid option and the mini-suite minimum bid was not that much more than the regular balcony... SOOOO, here is hoping for the upgrade...

Good luck! Let us know if you win.
 
YEA.... we did win... so a min-suite it is...

Hope I do not get used to them as the regular cost (meaning the regular discounted cost) was so much higher than what we are paying...
Excellent to hear.
 
YEA.... we did win... so a min-suite it is...

Hope I do not get used to them as the regular cost (meaning the regular discounted cost) was so much higher than what we are paying...

That's great news, you both should really enjoy it!
 
Oh, this is timely. I'm going on my first cruise, with my sister, in a few weeks.

I am 69 and she is 72. At this age we are appreciating being siblings who get along well enough and that we should do things together while we can.

My sister and her husband have taken many cruises with many different cruise lines. They take three or four cruises a year. They have done all the Caribbean places, Panama and Central and South America, the Mediterranean, Norway and Iceland and Alaska. Probably a few more than I can remember. They used to do a regular balcony stateroom and have moved up to suites, and now they only cruise in the top tier "ship within a ship" thing like the Haven on Norwegian. Or they go on more upscale lines like Oceania.

On arriving home from their last one in March my brother-in-law (77) fell on the jetway leaving the airplane. He went down hard and broke his shoulder. Emergency Room, surgery a few days later, moved to a rehab for a few weeks and then home with a hospital bed in the living room. He's recovering slowly but coming along and gaining his independence.

But my sister needs a break. So she asked if I wanted to do a trip together. We've done sister trips before and always enjoyed it. They have a timeshare that they never use in a system where they trade points and places so we've taken trips from her timeshare system. So we considered doing that again. We would have to fly somewhere, rent a car, shop for groceries, cook and cleanup.

So she suggested a cruise because they do all the cooking and clean up and she loves her cruising! So I said ok, even though the idea of vacationing with 4,000 other people makes me cringe. I'm just up for doing something different and this will certainly be different for me!

She lives her life through her travel credit card and has a long relationship with her travel agent so I let her arrange everything and then we split the cost.

The cruise is 1 week to Bermuda on the Norwegian Joy. We got a Club Balcony Suite with a larger balcony. Two excursions booked. Lots to see on the ship and about 4,000 other people (eeeekk!). My sister is a people person and I am not. She loves to talk to everybody and what do they talk about? Their CRUISES!

I've been watching YouTube videos about the Joy. Looks like a good time if I can deal with the numbers of people. At least I know I won't be the oldest/grayest/slowest/dumpyest/most clueless person around.

As our mother used to say, "It takes all kinds."
 
Last edited:
We have not been on a cruise since covid. Prior to covid we had 20 cruises. Different cruise lines from Cystal to Carnival. They were all good. Different of course. Caribbean, Mexican, Med, TA, South America,.

Our experience pre covid is that we focus on the ship rather than the cruise line. Any cruise line can give you a mediocre cruise or a fabulous cruise. Very much depends on the crew and the ship management IMHO. It can come down to the luck of the draw. One thing though...we never booked a cruise that we about to go into dry dock or was just coming out of dry dock. My spouse had a definite preference for certain Celebrity ships.

Considering an Oct Med cruise but I have heard from frequent cruisers that post covid cruises are not the same. Have not decided what we will do.
 
Last edited:
.....

Considering an Oct Med cruise but I have heard from frequent cruisers that post covid cruises are not the same. Have not decided what we will do.

We have been on 2 , one when we thought covid was ending, and then the last one "post-covid" (Nov 2023).

For us, since we were still concerned about Covid , we wore masks and felt uncomfortable being with larger groups. Especially like in the theatre where we and a few others would be masked, but 90% were not, so every time somebody coughed around us, it bugged us.

During one show , four people came over to talk to their friend while waiting for the show to start , and a couple complained how they still feel sick for the past few days and haven't gotten better, of course none were wearing a mask. I hoped they had an STD as the sickness :)

So, yes for me the cruise feeling of mingling, carefree, was less, and we spent more time on our balcony.
We did catch Covid from our Nov 2023 cruise.

The Viking cruise line had stopped all Covid precautions, no vaccination requirement, no masks, basically an attempt to return to normal.

If I had no worries about Covid, then I wouldn't feel any change, except for the occasional masked worry wart walking about.
 
Please share your cruise experiences.
Great write-up. Very informative, glad overall it was a good trip.

I think part of your negatives stem from being a small ship. Though you may believe that the megaships are too crowded when they hold 6000+ passengers, it's really less crowded, because overall there is more space on a per person basis. Additionally, there are significantly more activities and venues. Sure, the popular areas of the ship are still going to be crowded, but overall, it feels and is less crowded. We've been on three NCL cruises and enjoyed them all. One of them was on the Epic, which was their biggest megaship at the time.

I've been on 10 or 11 cruises since 2000, I forget how many at this point. I've sailed on NCL, Carnival, RCL, Disney, and MSC. None of them were bad. All had their pros and cons. Our last cruise was on one of Royal Caribbean's megaships (largest at the time) 6 years ago for our 25th anniversary. It was truly incredible, so much so that DW said we'd probably never go on another cruise because it would be impossible to top it. A week or two before that cruise we got the phone call from the upgrade fairy and took it - moved to one of their two floor sky loft suites and received personalized "genie" (concierge) service the entire cruise, among other things.
 
Lindblad/Nat Geo has always been fantastic the four times I've sailed with them. Small ships, expedition style cruising, relaxed and totally enjoyable. You get to see and do a lot more than on a bigger ship. I'd do another with them any time. Expensive, but well worth what you pay.
 
Lindblad/Nat Geo has always been fantastic the four times I've sailed with them. Small ships, expedition style cruising, relaxed and totally enjoyable. You get to see and do a lot more than on a bigger ship. I'd do another with them any time. Expensive, but well worth what you pay.
Same here Lindblad and UnCruise Adventures offer small 100 passenger active cruises. Consider the fact most ships have beer and wine included and excursions are all part of the cruise, I think they are priced right.
 
Lindblad/Nat Geo has always been fantastic the four times I've sailed with them. Small ships, expedition style cruising, relaxed and totally enjoyable. You get to see and do a lot more than on a bigger ship. I'd do another with them any time. Expensive, but well worth what you pay.
We are just coming to the end of our first expedition cruise and I totally agree. We are now heading for Aberdeen where we disembark. 80 crew, 96 passengers and no sea days on this particular cruise. We are sailing with Noble Caledonia on one of their small boat cruises, on a cruise called “Islands on the Edge” which started at Portsmouth and every day we visit one or two of the small islands that make up the British Isles. 16 islands over a 10 day period where all but one or two are landings using 10-passenger zodiac boats. Walks/hikes/strolls to places of interest including bird watching, museums, cultural centers etc. Fabulous food on board, comparable with other cruises we have done on Cunard.

Dinner for everyone at 7 each evening, preceded by a talk on the previous day’s highlights, and short talks on a variety of subjects.

There is a piano bar, library, cafe, viewing areas and a promenade deck. Despite the physical aspect of the itinerary the vast majority of folks are retired and there are no children, although children are not excluded. Last night we had a local quartet of excellent young musicians serving up typical Shetland Isles music, and after they had introduced themselves one of our expedition team said he counted up their ages which was a combined total of 68. Probably less than the individual ages of many of the passengers (certainly less than my age).

We will definitely be using them again.
 
We are sailing with Noble Caledonia on one of their small boat cruises, on a cruise called “Islands on the Edge” which started at Portsmouth and every day we visit one or two of the small islands that make up the British Isles. 16 islands over a 10 day period where all but one or two are landings using 10-passenger zodiac boats. Walks/hikes/strolls to places of interest including bird watching, museums, cultural centers etc. Fabulous food on board, comparable with other cruises we have done on Cunard.
Thanks much! I looked at that trip online and it sounds wonderful.
 
BTW, I put in a bid for a suite on this cruise and told my DW I did not want to since if we get it that will establish the floor for us going forward...
:2funny:
That's no joke - completely true...I can attest to it.

On the other hand, we ended on a high note. DW has had no inclination to go on another cruise since, because she knows that we cannot top it. Been 6 years now, the longest stint we've gone without a cruise in the past 25 years.
 
Oh, this is timely. I'm going on my first cruise, with my sister, in a few weeks.

I am 69 and she is 72. At this age we are appreciating being siblings who get along well enough and that we should do things together while we can.

My sister and her husband have taken many cruises with many different cruise lines. They take three or four cruises a year. They have done all the Caribbean places, Panama and Central and South America, the Mediterranean, Norway and Iceland and Alaska. Probably a few more than I can remember. They used to do a regular balcony stateroom and have moved up to suites, and now they only cruise in the top tier "ship within a ship" thing like the Haven on Norwegian. Or they go on more upscale lines like Oceania.

On arriving home from their last one in March my brother-in-law (77) fell on the jetway leaving the airplane. He went down hard and broke his shoulder. Emergency Room, surgery a few days later, moved to a rehab for a few weeks and then home with a hospital bed in the living room. He's recovering slowly but coming along and gaining his independence.

But my sister needs a break. So she asked if I wanted to do a trip together. We've done sister trips before and always enjoyed it. They have a timeshare that they never use in a system where they trade points and places so we've taken trips from her timeshare system. So we considered doing that again. We would have to fly somewhere, rent a car, shop for groceries, cook and cleanup.

So she suggested a cruise because they do all the cooking and clean up and she loves her cruising! So I said ok, even though the idea of vacationing with 4,000 other people makes me cringe. I'm just up for doing something different and this will certainly be different for me!

She lives her life through her travel credit card and has a long relationship with her travel agent so I let her arrange everything and then we split the cost.

The cruise is 1 week to Bermuda on the Norwegian Joy. We got a Club Balcony Suite with a larger balcony. Two excursions booked. Lots to see on the ship and about 4,000 other people (eeeekk!). My sister is a people person and I am not. She loves to talk to everybody and what do they talk about? Their CRUISES!

I've been watching YouTube videos about the Joy. Looks like a good time if I can deal with the numbers of people. At least I know I won't be the oldest/grayest/slowest/dumpyest/most clueless person around.

As our mother used to say, "It takes all kinds."
You are going to have a fantastic time. Get excited!

We really like cruising to Bermuda - have taken 3 cruises there over the years. You can get an overnight stay in port with a 5 day itinerary. I really like that.

If you are able to cancel one of your excursions, I can give you the scoop on a free one to do on your own that will be every bit as good as a paid one and you'll enjoy yourself immensely. The only cost will be the ferry (depending on docking location, and if you choose) and bus fare (which is cheap). Tom Moore's jungle:


We did it 6 years ago on our last cruise and it was great! We went swimming in the caves, nice trail hiking, found a nice place to hang out on the beach. We did it on our first day in port, so we didn't have any requirement to be back on the ship by any specific time.
 
this is the way: search for CHARTER cruises that match your interests. There are blues cruises, rock cruises, EDM cruises, Jamcruise.com, etc. Do that and ALL the folks onboard are your brethren
 
There are many specialty cruises that you can go on with like minded people. Things like Star Trek Cruises, Blues Cruise, Rock Cruise, Jam Cruise (my favorite), etc. Look for one of them and you'll have a better time, IMHO
 
We have resigned to the fact that one has to live with the negatives of cruising in order to achieve the goal (I.E. Seeing lots of places on the list). So, putting up with the plebs and the obese, both of which can be easily avoided by not eating at the buffet is worth it. So much so, as we booked another cruise to the Panama Canal in December. :)
 
Did an Alaskan cruise early on, picked a smaller Holland America ship at end of season, did not enjoy it for a variety of reasons:

1) Should have picked departure from Vancouver BC instead of Seattle WA. The boat has to sail AROUND the outside of Vancouver Island to reach the Straits; we ran into rough weather (see #2 below) and had to turn back. Thus, we lost almost 2.5 days in passage, never got even as far as Skagway.

2) Last cruises leave the final week in Sept. Weather can be very iffy, and of course(!) rainy season came early that year, hence the rough weather that shortened our cruise. Just after the Labor Day crowds end is a better time - well, CHANCE of better weather, the crew told us.

3) Small ships can get closer to Glacier Bay (which really is disappearing FAST), but our small ship was old and inconvenient to navigate internally. Experienced HA travelers said it was the worst HA cruise they had ever been on.

4) We're gourmets - serious foodies. We thought the food was mediocre - average at best, blah for the majority. Sure, you could get pizza 24 hrs a day, but it was lousy pizza. And HA is known for its food! Even the specialty restaurant was really just an average bistro, compared to what's available in the San Francisco Bay Area to us.

5) The push to buy jewelry is taken really seriously by passengers. You save on customs duty and there's a fair amount of discounting, apparently. Jewelry shops are everywhere in the ports, as close to the ship piers as possible.

6) The weather turned foggy in the Straits so we were gliding by islands in the fog. As we live in the SFBA, we can do this at home. I needed to pay $3K to do this on a boat? Yeah, I don't think so. And the bigger boats, with their carnival-like atmosphere, are not what we like.

Cruising, we decided, is just not our thing. In contrast, we loved our Road Scholar trips (formerly Elderhostel). Educational, scenic, great people, got to see/hear/experience many places that tourists on their own, or on big tour buses, never can do.

===

I love the PNW and have relatives in Seattle/Bellingham/Bellevue WA, so I have visited over a dozen times. The best whale watching experience we had that was far better than our Alaskan cruise special excursion, was in the San Juan Straits off Vancouver Island. There are several companies operating out of Victoria and for $125/pp (prob more now; this was 10 yrs ago), our friends and us got an amazing show. Even the crew members said this was some of the best whale watching they'd seen all year.

Also, exploring Seattle and then driving/sailing over to Victoria/Vancouver Island is wonderful and a sadly underrated vacation destination. July & August are the best weather there, the food is absolutely terrific, and it's a simply gorgeous area, even if you only skim by Olympic National Park. Hike or drive up to Hurricane Ridge and the interior view of the Park's mountains is absolutely stunning!
 
I am sorry it was a disappointment for you. My late wife and I took an Alaskan cruise about the same time of year and it rained almost every day. I wanted to fly over Misty Fjord, but it was socked in.
Many years after, my new wife and I sailed on a Princess ship at the beginning of the season and had great weather. I was even able to fly over Misty Fjord which I booked on the pier, rather than through Princess.
I have attached a copy of the story of our trip.
 

Attachments

  • ALASKA APRIL 2019.pdf
    2 MB · Views: 23
BTW, we did an independent excursion at one of the ports and the guy said that at least 90% of the shops near the docks are owned by the cruise lines... they are making money on and off the boat...
 
I'm on our first Viking river cruise right now. Smallish ship, constrained by lock size and bridge clearance, so 190 pax max. No under 18 allowed. Not too many fat ppl. Decently good food.
No casino or similar foolishness

Viking does ocean cruises also; haven't yet done one but very well might. Similar rules/amenities as their river cruises, so something for the OP to consider...
Been on both Viking River and Ocean cruises. Didn’t love the River (Rhine) cruise. Have very much liked the Ocean cruises. About 950 passengers. None of the casino/water slide foolishness. More mature (read: older/over 55) clientele.
 
We looked at Viking Ocean Cruises spoke to folks who sailed them as well as others, but in honesty we could not justify triple the cost of the balcony. We compared exact prices, and it was literally triple the price on Viking compared to others for an 11 night cruise. All other folks we spoke to agreed that one can put up a few less desirable things for a difference of ~$4,000 per person.
 
Back
Top Bottom