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Ologhai Jones

Cruise Holidays

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I've always struggled to have a good holiday experience. I've had some okay holidays, and one or two quite reasonable holidays, but for most of the time, good or excellent holidays have tended to elude me.

I can get pretty restless pretty quickly, so, however much I like a place, I'm generally wondering what (or where) next after two or three days. I don't dislike warmish, fine weather, but I cannot sit around in direct sunlight for a fortnight (or even for a few minutes) on the beech or by a pool. I don't burn or anything; I just find sitting in hot sun pretty unpleasant and uncomfortable.

One type of holiday that has recently showed promise is cruises. We've been on a couple: a rather cheap one back in 2005 which put us off the idea for a time, and then another one last year that was much better (and cost more). In fact, it was good enough that we've booked another with the same company for next Spring.

Does anyone else around here do cruise holidays? Or have you tried one and didn't like it? What cruise companies seem better than others? Any thoughts really... :)

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I've always struggled to have a good holiday experience. I've had some okay holidays, and one or two quite reasonable holidays, but for most of the time, good or excellent holidays have tended to elude me.

I can get pretty restless pretty quickly, so, however much I like a place, I'm generally wondering what (or where) next after two or three days. I don't dislike warmish, fine weather, but I cannot sit around in direct sunlight for a fortnight (or even for a few minutes) on the beech or by a pool. I don't burn or anything; I just find sitting in hot sun pretty unpleasant and uncomfortable.

One type of holiday that has recently showed promise is cruises. We've been on a couple: a rather cheap one back in 2005 which put us off the idea for a time, and then another one last year that was much better (and cost more). In fact, it was good enough that we've booked another with the same company for next Spring.

Does anyone else around here do cruise holidays? Or have you tried one and didn't like it? What cruise companies seem better than others? Any thoughts really... :)

Trapped in a high cost environment, with nothing to see and nothing to do but eat.

Doesn't speak to me.

Have I got it wrong?

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1. Food poisoning or vomit bug would be my main worry.

2. Heard a chap on radio last week complaining about lack of choice of food at meals and cheap booze used instead of branded names.

3. Friends just came back from one to Norway and they loved it. Another friend goes on a cruise a year and loves them.

4. Think it depends on the firm and location. Some are like 18 - 30 parties now with all the bad sides.

5. Never been on one. Let us know how you get on.

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Trapped in a high cost environment, with nothing to see and nothing to do but eat.

Doesn't speak to me.

Have I got it wrong?

Sounds about right to me..... ;)

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Trapped in a high cost environment, with nothing to see and nothing to do but eat.

Doesn't speak to me.

Have I got it wrong?

Quite a lot of it can be all-inclusive (apart from drinks i think)

Stopping at a new place every day is what you'd be seeing. Obviously this is not all-inclusive though.

I haven't been on one but my parents have a few times in the last fews years and enjoyed it, you can get away from people if you want as they're big boats!

I'd think if you want to be free and do your own thing at a whim then cruising would be a nightmare.

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I have done a couple of cruise's. They were not too bad. But both times we had storms, people were chundering over the side, while the buffet served fish curry within smelling distance. I ate the curry ^^. The dance floor was a laugh step step, slide 2m, step step, slide back :D. The trips are all very generic, and sometimes you get hassled for money when you get off the boat (Morocco).

My preference these days are Dancing holidays in the UK (although you can go abroad), breakfast and 3 course dinner all in. Then you get 2 bands a night to dance too. Around £150-180 for Fri pm / Mon am. Learn to dance for 3/6 months then off you go.

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I was dragged on once by my parents when I was in my early twenties. I have nightmares about it to this day. They loved it though. No accounting for taste I guess.

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I've always struggled to have a good holiday experience. I've had some okay holidays, and one or two quite reasonable holidays, but for most of the time, good or excellent holidays have tended to elude me.

I can get pretty restless pretty quickly, so, however much I like a place, I'm generally wondering what (or where) next after two or three days. I don't dislike warmish, fine weather, but I cannot sit around in direct sunlight for a fortnight (or even for a few minutes) on the beech or by a pool. I don't burn or anything; I just find sitting in hot sun pretty unpleasant and uncomfortable.

One type of holiday that has recently showed promise is cruises. We've been on a couple: a rather cheap one back in 2005 which put us off the idea for a time, and then another one last year that was much better (and cost more). In fact, it was good enough that we've booked another with the same company for next Spring.

Does anyone else around here do cruise holidays? Or have you tried one and didn't like it? What cruise companies seem better than others? Any thoughts really... :)

not personally, but my sister and brother and their spouses do one a year. however they are very selective as to company and ships - none of those enormous things with 4000 people on board. MY sister usually waits till fairly last minute and gets some amazing deals.

Can't say we've ever fancied them - I was put off for life by once seeing hordes of cruisers pouring off a massive ship in Barbados. Many of them plastered in make up and covered in bling, , leopard skin bikinis,etc. But it's probably unfair to judge by that. We are actually doing a 3 night one - just to Ghent and Amsterjam, in Oct, with brother and SIL. I don't like the sound of the dress code for dinner - no jeans in main dining room - can't be arsed to dress up when on hols, but I think that is what some people actually enjoy about cruises. A colleague used to do relatively cheap cruises out of Miami, going round the Caribbean. she said many of the passengers were fat black Americans and all they wanted to do was eat all day and tart up to the ninety-nines and party all night. Wouldn't be our sort of thing at all, but it takes all sorts.

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not personally, but my sister and brother and their spouses do one a year. however they are very selective as to company and ships - none of those enormous things with 4000 people on board. MY sister usually waits till fairly last minute and gets some amazing deals.

Can't say we've ever fancied them - I was put off for life by once seeing hordes of cruisers pouring off a massive ship in Barbados. Many of them plastered in make up and covered in bling, , leopard skin bikinis,etc. But it's probably unfair to judge by that. We are actually doing a 3 night one - just to Ghent and Amsterjam, in Oct, with brother and SIL. I don't like the sound of the dress code for dinner - no jeans in main dining room - can't be arsed to dress up when on hols, but I think that is what some people actually enjoy about cruises. A colleague used to do relatively cheap cruises out of Miami, going round the Caribbean. she said many of the passengers were fat black Americans and all they wanted to do was eat all day and tart up to the ninety-nines and party all night. Wouldn't be our sort of thing at all, but it takes all sorts.

I'm a cheesy ******er, Mrs Bear! I would quite like that! :(

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The reasons why I would not chose to go is the thought of being tied in the confines of a vessel with people I don't know or could escape from....the thought of the noise of arcade slot casino machines, the style of shows that are not my type of entertainment, the ballroom dancing, organised sports to keep people busy, the food far too much of it, the smell, the feeling of restriction, the plush carpets, the tiny often windowless cells to sleep in. no escape....the traders and touts at the ports waiting to pounce on you...the restrictions of what can be seen, not enough time...the high cost of excursions...... where if you were free enough with time enough you could travel to the places of your choice, in your own time and would be completely free to go where the rest don't venture because they can't on a cruise. ;)

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Sounds like you need to fly into one place - and fly back from another.

Done this many times myself is past years - all pretty budget like. However you could do it with a bit more money and miss out on some of the more dodgy encounters.

South America for example is great to get around (much of it anyway)

Great comfortable sleeper buses for little money. Amazing sights and many of the places are fairly 'modern'.

Fly into somewhere like Peru and fly out of Argentina perhaps ? 3-4 weeks would be very pleasant and would prob cost less than a decent quality cruise.

Just an option to consider.

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We had a genius week on the good, and relatively small, ship EasyCruiseOne a few years back, crawling from Athens through the Corinth Canal to Ithaca and back again. Not much sailing during the day. Managed to tick off Delphi, Olympia and Mycenae in the process. Backpacker money for a relatively comfortable experience. Much 'smuggling' of food and drink on board by all passengers. Our tab for the week came to one cup of coffee each.

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What struck me on that trip, and also during a few days on a twenty berth Nile steamer between Luxor and Aswan, was the gargantuan size of the more conventional cruise liners. A couple of dozen of us would get off our steamer and mosey around a site, first thing in the morning, in relative peace and tranquility. Then the behemoths would start turning up after breakfast and disgorge thousands of silver surfers, completely smothering the place.

Being an independent traveler at heart, who likes a bit of space, it looks like complete @rse.

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I can get pretty restless pretty quickly, so, however much I like a place, I'm generally wondering what (or where) next after two or three days. I don't dislike warmish, fine weather, but I cannot sit around in direct sunlight for a fortnight (or even for a few minutes) on the beech or by a pool. I don't burn or anything; I just find sitting in hot sun pretty unpleasant and uncomfortable.

A monster US road trip?

The Southwestern states are particularly interesting impo - Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico. I've done a couple of circular trips covering all four. Loved every minute of it.

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Trapped in a high cost environment, with nothing to see and nothing to do but eat.

Doesn't speak to me.

Have I got it wrong?

I wouldn't say you'd got it wrong. Or right. There are many ways of describing essentially the same thing depending upon your angle.

Cruising isn't intrepid. It's not 'Dr. Livingstone, I presume.' I might suggest, though, that it has the capacity to be more adventurous than a fortnight by the pool, which is as intrepid and many holiday-makers get. On a cruise, you get to visit a new place every day (or most days anyway), even if they are the Obvious Classics.

My experience on the last cruise was that the ship (somewhere to eat, drink, sleep and, for some, to be entertained) is just a hotel really. I don't know what you mean by high cost environment. I imagine a cruise holiday for the most part is a bit more expensive than the land-based hotel equivalent, but all inclusive means that, assuming you're okay with the price up front, once it's paid, you're pretty much done. And if you're not happy with the up-front cost, I assume you just wouldn't do it.

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I have done a couple of cruise's. They were not too bad. But both times we had storms, people were chundering over the side, while the buffet served fish curry within smelling distance. I ate the curry ^^. The dance floor was a laugh step step, slide 2m, step step, slide back :D. The trips are all very generic, and sometimes you get hassled for money when you get off the boat (Morocco).

My (limited) experience on cruises is not being able to tell I'm at sea at all. I recall that on the 2005 cruise we went on, there was one night when I disturbed in my sleep and was aware (but only slightly) of movement, presumably due to rougher than normal seas.

I assume that any tourists in Morocco can get hassled whether they've arrived there on a cruise ship or not?

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not personally, but my sister and brother and their spouses do one a year. however they are very selective as to company and ships - none of those enormous things with 4000 people on board. MY sister usually waits till fairly last minute and gets some amazing deals.

I would've said the two ships we've tried felt pretty huge, but there was 'only' around 1,250 passengers or something. On the last cruise, there were about 500 crew--which I felt was a pretty impressive passenger/crew ratio. I assume not all of the crew were waiting staff, but I felt pretty well looked after by my, on average, 0.4 of a crew member.

Can't say we've ever fancied them - I was put off for life by once seeing hordes of cruisers pouring off a massive ship in Barbados. Many of them plastered in make up and covered in bling, , leopard skin bikinis,etc. But it's probably unfair to judge by that. We are actually doing a 3 night one - just to Ghent and Amsterjam, in Oct, with brother and SIL. I don't like the sound of the dress code for dinner - no jeans in main dining room - can't be arsed to dress up when on hols, but I think that is what some people actually enjoy about cruises. A colleague used to do relatively cheap cruises out of Miami, going round the Caribbean. she said many of the passengers were fat black Americans and all they wanted to do was eat all day and tart up to the ninety-nines and party all night. Wouldn't be our sort of thing at all, but it takes all sorts.

I hope you enjoy your cruise.

I wouldn't have said that 'dressing for dinner' was my thing either, but I found it did give it quite a sense of occasion. And also, the difference between the 2005 cruise (which was advertised as a cruise for 'people who don't do cruises' and the dress code was definitely casual) and last year's (which required smarter dress) was quite noticeable. The 'casual' cruise was definitely a lot more riff-raffy. If there's a connection between dress code and average riff-raffy-ness of passengers, then I think for me it's worth having to stick a proper shirt on to go out to dinner. ;)

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I did a Fred Olson cruise with my mum last year and it was much better than I thought. We'd booked some excursions together and some on our own and it worked for us. The food was more than plentiful with coffee available 24/7. I thought it would be hell but I really enjoyed it. The cruise was around Norway and the fjords and the excursion options, although expensive, were good. I really enjoyed the day kayaking in the fjords, partly because I left mum behind.

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I did a Fred Olson cruise with my mum last year and it was much better than I thought. We'd booked some excursions together and some on our own and it worked for us. The food was more than plentiful with coffee available 24/7. I thought it would be hell but I really enjoyed it. The cruise was around Norway and the fjords and the excursion options, although expensive, were good. I really enjoyed the day kayaking in the fjords, partly because I left mum behind.

That's shameful, leaving you mum in a fjord! Whales will eat her! :blink:

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That's shameful, leaving you mum in a fjord! Whales will eat her! :blink:

Mr Pin! I have heard all about you and 'cruising'!

Walking the streets in high heels with a badger on a leash might be 'on the wild side' in your part of the world but in more civilised parts it is considered just showing off!

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I would've said the two ships we've tried felt pretty huge, but there was 'only' around 1,250 passengers or something. On the last cruise, there were about 500 crew--which I felt was a pretty impressive passenger/crew ratio. I assume not all of the crew were waiting staff, but I felt pretty well looked after by my, on average, 0.4 of a crew member.

I hope you enjoy your cruise.

I wouldn't have said that 'dressing for dinner' was my thing either, but I found it did give it quite a sense of occasion. And also, the difference between the 2005 cruise (which was advertised as a cruise for 'people who don't do cruises' and the dress code was definitely casual) and last year's (which required smarter dress) was quite noticeable. The 'casual' cruise was definitely a lot more riff-raffy. If there's a connection between dress code and average riff-raffy-ness of passengers, then I think for me it's worth having to stick a proper shirt on to go out to dinner. ;)

I have absolutely no objection to the sort of dress code that says no shorts or singlets (yuck) - smart casual is fine, but I don't want to do dressy-uppy and Mr B doesn't want to do ties.

still, we will enjoy the 3 day one, thanks!

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I don't want to go on a cruise....someone else can have my ticket. ;)

Something--possibly all your replies[1]--tells me that your mind's made up. ;)

I can imagine that cruises aren't everyone's cup of tea. And there are aspects (such as the West End shows blah blah) that aren't mine. But I do the same thing as I do if I holiday (or, indeed, live) anywhere--I don't go to or do the things I don't want to. There are plenty of other places for a quieter drink, chat, read (or what have you). It possibly sounds terribly bourgeois and spoilt, but I quite enjoyed being waited on a little, with nothing much to think about for a few days other than what I might fancy for my next meal.

For some reason, when the scenery changes each day, it seems to alleviate the restlessness that I often find soon sets in when I've holidayed in a specific place. I also find that I like being at sea, and, indeed, on a boat. I have no clue why this should be--I was brought up in a land-locked county, I currently live in another land-locked county, and I feel as if I should be as much a stranger to any kind of maritime tradition as I am to lunar exploration. (And, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that slobbing around in a huge floating hotel complex is akin to sailing a clipper around the Cape of Good Hope... ;) )

Anyway, as I said in my OP, I was wondering if anyone had particularly enjoyed (or not) a specific cruise line or destination, but it's interesting that many responses are of the 'over my cold, dead body' variety. :)

[1] Which are beginning to sound a bit like: 'I told them I didn't want to go even as they dragged me onboard'. It's okay; cruises are optional (now's your cue to say: 'I know they're optional and I wouldn't be seen dead on one!' :D )

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:D I very much understand the attraction of water coming from land locked countries....water like all the elements has a pull, it is highly attractive to be around.....being waited on and not having to think about the next meal is also good for people that work hard and need some respite so as to relax and contemplate.

Surely you can have a relaxing holiday with changes of scenery, lots of water, mountains, fresh air, nature and good food being served to you without being put with lots of other people on a moving vessel you can't escape from even if you wanted. ;)

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