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Old 03-12-2022, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default The Cruise Discussion Thread

The 'Cigars & Cruises' thread made me look and see if there was a dedicated thread for cruises and cruisers (NOT Tom Cruise. ). There are several discussions about them but most are at least a decade old. So I thought I'd start one.

Do you enjoy cruises? What's your favorite cruise line? Best/worst cruise you've been on? Are you thinking about taking your first cruise and have questions? Ask away!

Our first cruise was in 2007 when we were stationed in Europe and we've been fans ever since. It was on the Costa Concordia which was made infamous five years later when the drunken captain ran it aground and capsized it while trying to impress his girlfriend.

We've been on 15 total ocean cruises:
- 10 Norwegian
- 2 Carnival
- 1 each MSC, Costa, and Holland America

We've also taken two Viking river cruises, on the Danube and Rhine.

We've got a backlog of cruises on the horizon due to the craziness of the last few years. We'll be on NCL in July going out of Reykavik to Greenland and back around Iceland and again on NCL next January going to the Southern Carribean. Then we have two "special occasion cruises", one next April on Oceania out of Tahiti going around French Polynesia in celebration of Steph's 50th; the other is February 2024 on Viking Ocean going up the coast of Norway to above the Arctic Circle in search of the northern lights for my 50th (3.5 years after I actually turned 50).

Favorite cruise line: NCL. We like their itineraries, life on the ship, the food, and we love the Haven. Plus we've sailed on them so much that with our rewards level they toss a whole bunch of freebies at us every cruise.

Least Favorite: MSC. The ship was old and creaky and the crew was apathetic at best. The itinerary (Eastern Mediterranean) was great, though.

Best cruise: NCL out of Sydney, Australia going around New Zealand. We splurged on the Haven so went in style. Every stop was fantastic. The only downside was flying to/from.

Itinerary we want to repeat: Glacier Bay, Alaska. I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time overseas during my military career and have been in 50 different countries. I don't think any place I've been matches the beauty of Glacier Bay. We did it in 2016 on Holland America (they sail a smaller ship on this itinerary so they can get closer to the glaciers than other lines) and when we disembarked after the cruise I turned to Steph and said "We're doing that again."

How about you?
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Old 03-12-2022, 02:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

We're thinking about Royal Caribbean one of their Oasis class ships with the central park on the ship. What makes it funny is I can't be in the sun for extended periods of time I have what's called Erythropoietic protoporphyria so I have photosensitivity to the sun so I'm looking for a cruise with plenty of indoor activity and that seems to be one of the cooler and better ships for it but i'd also love to travel on a cruise the has a dedicated cigar lounge and just chill, smoke cigars and meet new people. So, that's where we're at, at the moment but that could change. Definitely considering NCL because of their smoker friendly lounges. God bless you!
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Old 03-12-2022, 03:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I think that it would be good to also talk about fave destinations and time of year.

For example, I really want to do the Inside Passage to Alaska and would do it almost any time of year. The cruise line is an issue, primarily in the difficulty in getting a balcony with a hot tub. Mind you, convincing the family is impossible, but I may have to take a solo trip before too long.

Hate almost all of the cruise itineraries that I have seen of the Caribbean, but my brother's cruise of the Baltic has me interested.
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Old 03-12-2022, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by markem View Post
I think that it would be good to also talk about fave destinations and time of year.

For example, I really want to do the Inside Passage to Alaska and would do it almost any time of year. The cruise line is an issue, primarily in the difficulty in getting a balcony with a hot tub. Mind you, convincing the family is impossible, but I may have to take a solo trip before too long.

Hate almost all of the cruise itineraries that I have seen of the Caribbean, but my brother's cruise of the Baltic has me interested.
Steph and I did the NCL Baltic Capitols cruise out of Copenhagen in May of 2016 and it was a great time.

We mainly cruise in the off-season.
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Old 03-12-2022, 10:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by bruceolee View Post
We're thinking about Royal Caribbean one of their Oasis class ships with the central park on the ship. What makes it funny is I can't be in the sun for extended periods of time I have what's called Erythropoietic protoporphyria so I have photosensitivity to the sun so I'm looking for a cruise with plenty of indoor activity and that seems to be one of the cooler and better ships for it but i'd also love to travel on a cruise the has a dedicated cigar lounge and just chill, smoke cigars and meet new people. So, that's where we're at, at the moment but that could change. Definitely considering NCL because of their smoker friendly lounges. God bless you!
I have moderately photosensitive eyes and bright light can trigger migraines in my wife. So we rarely indulge in what many people think of as the typical cruise activity: laying around the pool suntanning and sipping umbrella drinks.

Even the smaller ships have plenty of indoor activities to keep people busy. There's always something going on, be it trivia contests, dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, casino tournaments...or just finding a quiet corner to sit and enjoy a drink and play some cards with friends.

Back in 2010 I worked with a guy who went on his first cruise with his wife and kids. When he came back I asked how he liked it. He said "Meh. All you do is eat and drink." I told him no, that's all he chose to do.
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Old 03-13-2022, 12:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I took my first cruise back in '89 on what was then NCL's newest ship, the Seaward. I've been cruising ever since. I honestly have no clue as to how many I've taken though I'm Platinum level on two lines. I'd guess I've been on around 40 or so. The industry has really changed since my first cruise.

Recently we've started to try the riverboat cruises. We actually had one scheduled when the rona virus hit and it was canceled. Since then I'm taking a wait and see approach.

When I do eventually book something again it'll probably a Mexican Riviera trip out of Long Beach or L.A. That's an easy drive for us from Vegas and we always enjoy Mexico. Not in any hurry though. Being quarantined on a ship isn't on my bucket list.

If things ever really do get back to normal I'll look at South America and possibly one to the Orient. That's a big if at this point.
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Old 03-13-2022, 12:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by Ashcan Bill View Post
I took my first cruise back in '89 on what was then NCL's newest ship, the Seaward. I've been cruising ever since. I honestly have no clue as to how many I've taken though I'm Platinum level on two lines. I'd guess I've been on around 40 or so. The industry has really changed since my first cruise.

Recently we've started to try the riverboat cruises. We actually had one scheduled when the rona virus hit and it was canceled. Since then I'm taking a wait and see approach.

When I do eventually book something again it'll probably a Mexican Riviera trip out of Long Beach or L.A. That's an easy drive for us from Vegas and we always enjoy Mexico. Not in any hurry though. Being quarantined on a ship isn't on my bucket list.

If things ever really do get back to normal I'll look at South America and possibly one to the Orient. That's a big if at this point.
Our Rhine River cruise on Viking was last November. It was really enjoyable. The boat was only at just over 50% capacity so it had a much more intimate feel than usual. We got to hit some Christmas markets (proof of vax required to enter) which was great. And it was over Thanksgiving so they even did Thanksgiving dinner for us including some of the best turkey I've ever had.
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Old 07-17-2022, 02:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

Stephanie and I are on the NCL Star right now. Our last time on it was 2016. Back then it had a nice cigar lounge. The ship was refurbished in 2018, and no more cigar lounge, sadly. Now the cigar smoking area is at one of the outdoor bars on the top deck.
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Old 07-17-2022, 04:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I am glad there are so many of you that enjoy cruises. My dad met his 2nd wife on a cruise, almost 9 years after mom died. It was soooo good for him.

Personally??? Never been on a cruise...
...hope to never have to endure it...

WHAT??? You ask in utter astonishment?

OK, here's my thing...
Surrounded by water on a boat for 5-10 days... and unable to fish while doing it? (no, stops where you can fish in between long times where I could be trolling do not count)

Arrrrgggg...I am not Roman Catholic, so that would be my idea of purgatory.

Pauline's folks wanted to take us (and her siblings and their families) on a cruise for our 25th Anniversary. I said, "Y'all have a great time! While you're gone I will be taking my dream trip, a 10-day guided trout fishing excursion out west somewhere...Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, somewhere like that." Her dad thought I was kidding until Pauline informed him that I was very, very serious.
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Old 07-18-2022, 07:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

LOL Todd. I've never been on one either. With our Thousand Trails membership we can trade some of the perks in for cruises, short ones or or partial cost for longer ones. I am interested in what options would suit us best. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I watch Dream Cruises on AWE and seldom do they look like something I want to go on. Mostly grey hairs and just average food and wine.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

No Cigar Lounge & Good Chance Of Staying Quarantined In Your Room The Entire Stay Because Of COVID??? I'm Out.
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Old 07-18-2022, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I have been on a cruise a few times, just short 3 day to Ensenada Mex. They are quick leave San Pedro Fri. afternoon wake up in Ensenada Sat. You get to spend the day then back on the ship sat night and out at sea sun. wake up Mon. am and get off. Back then I was able to smoke cigars on the upper deck bar. Then the wife worked at a large wholesale mortgage company where she was one of may VP's. and as a year end bonus the big wigs got to go on a Cruise and since she won employee of the year we got to go. But it was not just any cruise to the Caribbean it was the WindStar which is a large yacht.
Wind Star is a sleek, 4-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks and a gross tonnage of 5,703, Wind Star feels like your own private yacht.
Wind Star features wide open, teak decks—quite unusual for small ships.
All Accommodations Feature
Queen Size Bed with Luxurious Linens
Waffle Weave Robe and Slippers
TV with DVD Player
Fully Stocked Mini Bar/Refrigerator
Safe
L'Occitane Bath Amenities
Fresh Fruit
Hair Dryers and 110/220 outlets
Wi-Fi (internet cards can be purchased at reception)
Bathroom with granite countertop and shower
Granite vanity with magnifying mirror
It only has 148 guests and 100 people taking care of them.
You’ll find fresh fruit and flowers always waiting for you after a day of sun or sightseeing. And, of course, everything else you need and expect — flat-screen television and DVD, private safe. And always at your fingertips, anything you wish from room service 24/7
Also a private chef to make you anything at ever breakfast
It was 7 days Saint Thomas, Saint Martin, Saint Bart's, Jost Van Dyke, Saint Kits Saint, Lucia.
We even raced on the Stars and strips Regatta where we were part of the racing teem The wifes company owner was a Cuban Cigar smoker and that is were my cigar journey stared back in 1996. This guys was a baller he had the yacht stop on a private beach and we had a lobster boil. I could go on and on but I think you get the gist of it.
After that I could never go on a reg cruise again
I would go on one of there cruises agin in a heartbeat, but a $5,000 a head "That will never happen" (Just checked they are down to only $2500 + air Great still not going to happen unless I win the lotto)

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Old 07-18-2022, 01:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

Yeah, I don't do masks, lockdowns, or vax mandates. If that's on the itinerary, I'm out.
If I can't smoke a cigar I'm probably out for that reason too. I've got better things to do with my time and money.
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Old 07-18-2022, 02:06 PM   #15
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I've been on about 15 cruises. All Norwegian. There's always either a cigar lounge or a place on deck to smoke. My wife and I always loved cruises. So much fun and everything under the sun is included. I highly recommend it.
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Old 07-19-2022, 03:20 AM   #17
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I watch Dream Cruises on AWE and seldom do they look like something I want to go on. Mostly grey hairs and just average food and wine.
Regent, Oceania, or Viking Ocean would probably change your mind about that. Oceania has been described as a Michelin-starred restaurant at sea.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:56 AM   #18
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Yeah, I don't do masks, lockdowns, or vax mandates. If that's on the itinerary, I'm out.
If I can't smoke a cigar I'm probably out for that reason too. I've got better things to do with my time and money.
You and me both.
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Old 07-19-2022, 01:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Cruise Discussion Thread

I've been on one cruise, Royal Caribbean, Alaska.
Six days, three nights in early July about twenty years ago. I had a fantastic time and used the cigar lounge a lot. It was a very multinational and age diverse group of people aboard. It was like a floating all inclusive resort. I have stayed at a few all inclusive beach resorts and I think I like that better. It's a close call.
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Old 07-19-2022, 03:35 PM   #20
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I've been on one cruise, Royal Caribbean, Alaska.
Six days, three nights in early July about twenty years ago. I had a fantastic time and used the cigar lounge a lot. It was a very multinational and age diverse group of people aboard. It was like a floating all inclusive resort. I have stayed at a few all inclusive beach resorts and I think I like that better. It's a close call.
Lance, what did you do those other 2 nights?
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