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Rhian is offline
North Wales
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17-03-2019, 06:40 PM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

Originally Posted by realspeed ->
Apart from the adventure of doing something for the first time, realising a different way of living in the countries one visits.

The shore trips in Egypt were amazing, seeing places only seen before on TV. ONly about 35 people on board a boat for 125

one huge laugh on board with a great fun loving people, listen to the laughter
Nubian guy pulling out guests for a dance??
The first guy was horse from shouting at other from a camel the day before. Not a typical cruise you are looking at

Well you did ask,
Ooh yes that does look great adventure and fun

My cousin and her husband are hooked too
But she says the Bay of Biscay has her in bed for the first day or two of the cruise everytime
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realspeed is offline
east sussex
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17-03-2019, 06:53 PM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

I have seen special events for cruise people

To just sitting down listening to "side" performers on board ship

What is more you can chat to them as well. his guy he told me learnt to play in church as a kid
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22-03-2019, 02:52 AM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

Cruising for us has allowed us to see places like being on My Etna to the caves of Drax, From Norway to Sicily.and too many countries to mention in between. You have to try it before prejudging from what others say
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07-05-2019, 04:42 AM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

Rhian, I drug my feet for years when it came to cruising, and have been pleasantly surprised.

The one thing I have to agree with on realspeed here is the balcony. I wouldn't cruise without one.

I have sometimes booked late, and have had good luck, probably reserving the cabins from those who have changed their minds.

Be sure to research where you are going and check the boards and forums. Some ports are fabulous just to take in the sights on foot with a little preparation, while others are well-worth the excursions.

I can't speak for Southampton, but I have found it best to arrive the night before the embarkation port just to alleviate the stress of worrying about traffic, flights, etc.
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Wollongong, Australia
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07-05-2019, 10:17 AM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

I am not a seasoned cruiser the very idea filled me with dread, the thought of being stuck on a ship and not being able to get off until you were in port was my idea of hell (I sailed from Australia to the UK in the 1960s I discovered that the sea looks exactly the same in the middle as it does at the edges - so I would rather watch it from land).

In the event I have been on one cruise and it was much better than I expected but not enough to want to go again. I went with a family party of about 20 for my daughter and her husband's 30 birthday.

My cabin was excellent with a spa, living room and a massive balcony at the stern of the boat so I was very happy with that.

The entertainment was OK, comedians and shows on most days sort of like Butlins but without the redcoats, there were quizzes and games if you like that sort of thing.

The food was plentiful and there is an adults only bar but anyway kids seem to have their own entertainment provided so you rarely saw them. Family members with kids said they would go again as it is a cheap holiday where the kids are looked after (Butlins again).

Can't say anything about tipping because it is illegal in Australia to add gratuities to the price (drip pricing) and Australians don't tip anyway. No one asked for a tip and I saw no one give a tip.

I used both the restaurants and the buffets often bringing my food back to my cabin to eat on the balcony in the sun either alone or with friends. The balcony was great - being long and L shaped you could have quite a gathering on it.

Some things made me laugh; at the start of the trip you couldn't get into the gym for love nor money after a few days it was largely empty (not that I went at all). There were a large number of retirees on board who seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time reading - why not do that at home?

One of the best things I did was a 'behind the scenes' tour of the ship seeing the crews quarters, back stage, dressing rooms, the engine room, the bridge, food storage preparation areas etc. (no cameras allowed) Best thing on the trip, definitely recommend that if you get a chance.

If you like that sort of thing cruising is a very cheap holiday but as I said I probably wouldn't go again unless someone organises a similar family occasion. I took a couple of grand with me for the fortnight but actually spent slightly less than $1000 including trips at each port. I did drink a lot and you have to watch what you eat but there is not much to spend money on! (unless you gamble)

We had a family meal at the 'paid' restaurant which was surprisingly good and relatively inexpensive I thought, I would have gone there again.

Overall it was not my type of holiday but some people like them.

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07-05-2019, 07:34 PM

Re: Questions for you seasoned Cruisers..

Originally Posted by Rhian ->
I'm thinking of booking my first one for this coming August
Either southern Europe or the Canaries..

My first question is..
Does it make a lot of difference if you have an inside or outside cabin.. And is a balcony a must?
And secondly..
How expensive are things like food and drink and entertainment on board?
Being used to All-inclusive holidays I don't really fancy paying through the nose every time I fancy a drink or meal while we sail
Hi Rhian

I haven't read any of the other responses so apologies for any duplication.

For a first cruise I would 100% recommend you go to the Mediterranean. Either Western Med (which would typically do Barcelona, Rome and so on) or Eastern Med (which would include Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu etc) or a combination of both.

A KEY element of a first cruise is to get accustomed to the movement of a ship and that causes issues for many people, myself included. The ships's motion in rough weather can be initially frightening to newcomers who are not used to it and who think the ship is going to sink at every lurch. You learn of course that the movement is all normal and no problem at all.

For that reason I would advise AGAINST choosing the Canaries for a first cruise IF you are going to do a round trip Southampton to Southampton. Doing so would see you cross the Atlantic Ocean which is hugely fickle and invariably a rough ride.

Cruising in the Med is delightful as it is for the most part, a big lake. You don't get that much wobble in the Med.
If you are intending to Fly-Cruise then you'll find some great cruises that do both East and West Med. The ports are fantastic and the sailing is idyllic.

Choose your cruise line VERY carefully. Everything depends on what type of cruise you want, what type of people you want to be with and so on. There's a wide range of cruise lines. There are "chavy" party cruise lines with zero formality, constant party atmosphere and tons of drunk people. There are very formal cruise lines which others might deem old fashioned and stuffy where certain behaviours are expected. And there are other cruise lines inbetween.

On the basis that you are a classy chick who enjoys dressing up I would think one of the more formal/semi-formal lines would suit you.

I only cruise with P&O. It has a good balance of smart casual and formal nights. So you get plenty of ladies in lovely dresses and gowns and gents in tuxedos on formal nights and a more relaxed atmosphere on smart casual nights. It works for me. Cunard is a step above this, more formal and operates a "class" system which I doubt I would like.

In terms of cabins, YES it makes a hell of a lot of difference what type you have. Again it comes down to how you are likely to spend your time.

On my early cruises back in 2004 we had inside cabins. We spent almost no time in the cabin and were up and out and about all day. These days we chill out much more and love to sit on a balcony reading a book or watching the sea roll by and spotting dolphins and whales etc.

I will warn you now, once you take a balcony, you will never go back to an inside or outside cabin. A balcony cabin is utterly wonderful. Every time you go to your cabin you can just open the French doors and get a breath of fresh sea air and see the sights. Especially good coming into ports and absolutely essential imho on some cruises. If you can afford it, get a balcony.

Position is also vital unless you know that the ship's motion doesn't affect you. If you don't yet know, then definitely make sure you get a cabin which is "midships", right in the centre. Those cabins have the least movement. Do NOT be tempted to get a cheaper cabin right at the front or back of the ship. The movement there is horrendous in comparison if you hit bad weather.

Generally speaking the food is all-inclusive on a cruise. One of the reasons we all put lbs on !!!

Drink varies per cruise line. Personally, and it is personal choice, I wouldn't go with a cruise line where drinks were included or where there were drinks packages. That just results in people drinking to excess (to get their money's worth) and thus you get a ship constantly full of raucous drunks. Each to their own though.

Drinks on P&O cruises are priced about the same as your local pub. So no problem at all.

All the entertainment is included too. There's a "show" every evening in the theatre and a wide range of activities during the day such as dance lessons, seminars, crafting, aerobics, quizzes and so on. Nothing to worry about.

A tiny number of activities have small charges but not many. For example watercolour painting classes charge a small sum for painting materials.

If you do opt to go with P&O let me know and I will explain the different ships and what to expect. Ship selection can be important.

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