Travel & Holidays Cruise liner recommendations

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Sackie, 11th Jan, 2020.

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  1. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Planning a cruise around Europe. There are so many cruise liners to choose from, like MSC, Costa, Princess, Norweigan etc

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Gockie

    Gockie Unicyclist Premium Member

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    I think look for the companies that have clientele that skew towards your age group. There are some where most guests are 60+. Nothing wrong with that, but it's like a floating retirement home and you might want to find a ship that has some people of your age group.
     
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  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    We’ve just gone on Norwegian Jewel - Sydney to New Zealand and return - Christmas and New Year - and found it to be very good. Average age was 49 years (due to there being nearly 400 children on board). I was surprised at that number of children/teens. I don’t know where they all were.

    The repositioning cruise to Australia before we got on average age was 75 I think they said. So yes, do some homework.

    Last year we went on the Costa Magica from Italy to St Petersburg. There were a number of issues and aspects we didn’t enjoy - Italian admin staff with not the best English made things difficult. English speaking guests were in the minority (on our cruise anyway). I would not choose Costa again.

    We also went last year on Viking Skadi longboat from Budapest to Amsterdam and that was fabulous- 180 on board I think. So easy but no pokies, no art auctions, no children under 18 on Viking.

    We are interested in their Venice to Athens cruise.

    We've also been on Queen Mary II from Southampton to New York - nonstop - seven nights at sea. That was very good.
     
    Last edited: 12th Jan, 2020
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  4. Gockie

    Gockie Unicyclist Premium Member

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    I think you can get a lot of older people on repositioning cruises because most younger people don't have the luxury of long leisure times due to work. Retired folk have all the time in the world to do cruises that crosses large bodies of water, slowly.

    Older folk can be really interesting, you'll meet people who had really interesting careers, far from what you yourself might have ever experienced. But i'm not sure you want to be the only younger folk on board for the whole duration of the cruise!
     
  5. Bunbury

    Bunbury Well-Known Member

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    Check out All-Inclusive Luxury Cruises | Crystal

    I think Princess is the most dependable out of the larger liners. Smaller luxury outfits offer an experience on whole other level in terms of service, dining and ambience. You want to get moving as those cruises can book quickly.
     
    Last edited: 11th Jan, 2020
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  6. marmot

    marmot Well-Known Member

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    We recently done a cruise on the Norwegian Epic , 7 days Rome -Barcelona-Rome(Western Med), with daily stops and we done day trips every day bar one that was a full day at sea.
    Lots of families and even spread of old and young with lots of activities for children.
    English was the prominent language and mostly North American guests
    The cost for a balcony room was very good .It was part of a 6 week trip and our first time cruising, never considered myself a cruising sort of person and we prefer to travel independently, using trains, we sacrifice a bit of luxury for travelling for a longer duration.
    There was no limitations on which time you had to have dinner in the main dining areas.Some ships are split into 2 settings , and you have to nominate which time you want.
    Very well organised for getting on and off the ship for day trips with Cannes being the only stop where you go off in tenders(life boats),all others were ports so disembarkation was easy.
    It was also interesting seeing these working ports from the 15th deck
    If we ever go again would definitely go for a balcony/ocean view room again or not at all but not really interested in cruises with multiple days at sea.
    Most are split either western Med(Naples/Rome side) or eastern Med (Venice side).
     
    Last edited: 12th Jan, 2020
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  7. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This is also how we feel about cruising, though we've now cruised four times.

    I prefer being in a city for several days, to feel I've seen what I want to see. We had eight weeks (one week was on the QMII to get from Southampton to New York). But that trip saw us on planes and trains through Europe.

    But for a family trip, cruising has its place. Unpack once, waited on hand and foot, no packing and repacking and a very relaxing way to see places, you can't go wrong.

    The downside for me is that I have no idea of which place was which. They all run into each other, whereas several days in a place cements the memories in my head.

    Some places we visited on our Viking longship we wouldn't have needed more than one day, but larger towns and cities we could have seen more, or visited surrounding places if we were there for a few days.

    It comes down to how you want to travel, relax and let someone do everything for you, or more independent travel. We've done both and both have upsides and downsides.

    With Viking, all the tours were included in the pricing and the gratuities were optional (but I'm sure most people pay them as the service truly is amazing). Most ocean going ships seem to have a madatory gratuity that is charged separately, and it annoys me that they just don't add it into the price. I'm never bothered about having to pay it, just get annoyed that they don't include it in the fare, so comparing prices is not as easy as it should be.

    Norwegian had open dining, where you can go to dinner any time, which was good. And the Jewel had a children's area so you could leave children in safe hands and enjoy some time without having to constantly watch them.
     
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  8. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys. I think I'll do half the trip on a cruise and then rent a car and visit the other countries at my own leisure. Similar to what I did in the past minus the cruise.
     
  9. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Do you have kids? If so, check out which ones have babysitting services if you are wanting some times to yourselves. Some have nothing for under 3s while others cater for them well. I'm currently on a carnival ship in the south Pacific.
     
  10. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm taking a nanny with me so should be ok. But great tip thanks.
     
  11. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    I have never been game to call my wife “a nanny” :D.
     
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  12. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    We have cruised 4 times (3 ocean, 1 river), 2 more booked.

    We choose by the itinerary, our booked trans-Atlantic is on HAL because we can go via Norway, Iceland and Greenland with only 2 consecutive sea days at a time (Copenhagen to Boston).

    We have been happy with Princess (2 cruises, 1 booked) and Celebrity.
     
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  13. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    I've been on a couple of cruises with my parents, who have themselves been on perhaps a dozen or so. They are huge fans of Princess, but... they are in their 70s. Hahaha We also went on Cunard and that was also a very limited demographic. (Never seen so many wealthy old white people in one place before.)

    I loved Carnival, and my parents were impressed, too, even though they usually go on Princess. Super broad demographic, because they have lots of things for kids and older teenagers, and still a wide mix of ages because often extended families go (as we did). Amazing value and service.
     
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  14. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Celebrity looked interesting but I thought the name was just a gimmick so kind of didn't take it seriously. I'll look again thanks.
     
  15. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Celebrity is probably a step up from Princess, and is usually highly recommended.

    We particularly liked the chef stations in the buffet where your choice was cooked to order in front of you - omelettes and eggs in the morning, at lunchtime it was steak, chicken or fish. Usually dislike buffets, but these fresh stations were a whole different story.
     
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  16. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks I'll definitely check them out.
     
  17. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    What I liked most about HAL was the smaller ships compared to those floating cities, very similar standard to Viking.

    What I liked most about a Scenic river cruise was we mostly stopped at tiny villages and towns where you could walk around for several hours, with or without a guide. Very flexible and for me, I was absorbing the local culture. Didn't get drowned in any "tourist attractions" until we got to Amsterdam and Paris.
     
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  18. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    Living the life! Make sure you book rooms a fair distance from each other then. The rooms are tiny and sound carries. I'm sure you don't want to hear your child crying through the walls while you're trying to relax
     
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  19. Sackie

    Sackie Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Kids got her own room. Nanny and I have ours. :oops:
     
  20. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    We just got back from a cruise with Princess, that makes it cruise number 3 with Princess and number 5 in total, we go on number 6 this weekend which will be with Carnival.

    Princess used to be the benchmark in Food and Entertainment but it's not the case any longer, we have seen a sharp drop in the quality of both. The food is basically the same night in night out now and any theming is restricted to a small section where as they used to theme the entire eatery with the cuisine style of the night. There is only so much beef casserole and mash you can eat.

    Princess used to be our first choice for cruise companies but now there is nothing to set them apart.

    In saying that though, the boat we went on all 3 times was the Sea Princess which is one of their smaller boats. A friend of ours just got back from a cruise through NZ on a Princess boat twice the size and she said it was amazing.

    We won't go on a small Princess boat again.

    This time was our first balcony room also, we will never take less than a balcony again, it was worth every cent of the extra for that room.
     
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