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Cruise questions

Poll #692481 Cruise questions

Have you ever been on a cruise?

Yes
2(25.0%)
No
6(75.0%)

If you had to select one of these three destinations, which would you pick?

Alaska
2(25.0%)
Canada
2(25.0%)
Hawaii
4(50.0%)


No, we're not about to book anything, I'm just sort of daydreaming about the future, and I figure it can't hurt to be informed.

If you've been on more than one cruise line, what was your favorite? Do you have any tips and insider tricks, like which cabins to pick and whether there are any special ship services that should be reserved before departure, like massages and stuff? (I know it's advisable to reserve your preferred dinner seating beforehand.)

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
spring_1970
Mar. 16th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
We're going in May :) Alaska!

And I'll ask my friends who cruise all the time questions if you want me to. I can tell you the massages are expensive as are the other excursions on the trip. But nothing "had" to be reserved beforehand.
pointedview
Mar. 17th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
Woo! How many days will you be there?

I'd welcome any information from your friends regarding cruises, and any feedback from you after your trip. Which line did you end up going with? What features made you choose that one as opposed to another one?

Natch, I hope you have an absolutely marvelous time!
twr
Mar. 17th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
Well shit, while I hear all the time how wonderful the alaska cruises are--FUCK THAT. If you're on a damn boat, why the fuck go to where it's goddamn freezing? Go to the motherfucking tropics. It's not like the boat isn't air conditioned. You've got your air conditioned cabin, and then you've got the warm ocean.

Shit, if you want togo to alaska, how much will you miss by doing it by land? Hell, who really wants to see the place the Valdez wrecked anyway?
pointedview
Mar. 17th, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
My husband is the one who is advocating the Alaska trip. It frankly never occurred to me to go there until he mentioned it.

He was in the Navy, and says that the Inner Passage is one of the most spectacular and beautiful things he's ever seen. I think he envisions a beauty-in-the-wilderness experience without actually roughing it in any way.

I dunno. I'm researching and keeping an open mind. :)
lsbd33
Mar. 18th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
cruising
okay, i've been on 5 or 6 cruises. all on holland america. it's less expensive than a lot of others and you get more for your money. the rooms are bigger than princess and the service is nicer than royal caribbean (my parents have been on royal caribbean & carnival.) carnival is for the partying crowd - you'll like it if you like to drink a lot. if you go on holland america, the alaska trip has everyone from all walks of life - it's an amazing trip. the eastern canada trip up the st. lawrence river was lovely as well, in a different way. you'll love prince edward island - absolutely gorgeous. my folks have been to hawaii a few times, so if you think about going, ask them, they would love to tell you about it. :)

as for holland america - the week trips, especially in the summer with the honeymooners, are a different crowd than the longer trips. you get a younger crowd for the caribbean summer trips.

the menu on holland america is lovely in that every evening you have a choice of vegetarian, chicken, pasta, beef, pork, fish, etc. if you get interested, maybe the next time we bake, i can show you some menus.

oh, as for the movement of the ocean. the smoothest trips were alaska & canada. eastern canada, you're never far from port, as there is a port every day (we started in montreal, then onto quebec city, sydney, halifax, prince edward island, bar harbor, & someplace else, i think...) - i'd skip sydney unless you do a tour, the rest are lovely. (one of my favorites was being serenaded by bagpipes as we pulled into & out of port at halifax) :) as for alaska, well, everything is wilderness and beautiful. either trip, you can't go wrong. :)

don't forget about tipping. you tip your cabin steward, your dining room steward (if you have the same one - we didn't one voyage), and anyone else you have really good service from.

also, holland america is always running a deal a few months before trying to fill up the ships for alaska or canada - with alaska, i was about to say you would need frequent flyer miles, but as david works for delta, maybe that would be easier, b/c the alaska trip is reasonable, it's just the airfare can double the price of the trip. oh, and don't forget to budget in the cost of the tours you might want to take, b/c some of them can be pricey, but worth it. :)

we ended up stopping in skagway instead of sitka on the alaskan trip b/c of bad weather, so we went on the white pass railway to a few miles shy of yukon territory. richard was in heaven. :)

we also went whitewater rafting (very tame version) in juneau. on the flip side, one of my favorite eating/sightseeing tours was in quebec city, when we did a travelling dinner, appetizers & soup at one restaurant, dinner at another, and dessert at the chateau frontenac. a lot of fun. :)

i went on those trips b/c rad loves alaska & canada, and i have to admit, i would do them all over again!! :)
pointedview
Mar. 18th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: cruising
Oh, I'm definitely taking your advice about Carnival -- that just does not sound like our crowd. I liked the look of the Holland America cabins as compared to some of the others that I researched. I even went so far as to check bookings (not that we're ready to go anywhere -- see previous F-only post), but noticed that both of their dinner seatings were entirely waitlisted!

Yeah, Quebec is beautiful. It's one of my favorite cities in the world, so much so that I'd rather fly there and stay for several days. One day there would only be enough to taunt me. :)

D. is the one pushing for Alaska. It's not that I have anything at all against Alaska, it's just sort of not something that ever occurred to me, but I'm willing to try it. Why not, y'know? :)

How far in advance do you recommend planning?
lsbd33
Mar. 18th, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
Re: cruising
alaska never occurred to me either. it's beautiful. i'd go back in heartbeat, i really would. (of course, at this point, i'd have to research on children's activities...) we went in september b/c rad didn't get vacation until then, as he was with his icky company. and, it was cheaper. we lucked out with weather for the most part. it will rain at least one day when you're there.

the ports are beautiful, middle-of-nowhere, wilderness. just seeing the glacier itself was worth the trip. rad bought me blue topaz earrings which were like a chunk of the glacier.

we took the trip that started in vancouver and went straight up to seward, alaska, leaving from anchorage. vancouver was wonderful, and a perfect start to the trip. there's a farmer's market on granville island (it's a little ferry ride from vancouver) along with a micro-brewery. :) the only downside to the trip is taking the bus trip from seward to anchorage in the wee hours and then the wait to take the flight from anchorage home...

(we did stay at a b& b in downtown vancouver...) - we also bought some lovely artwork, a small picture, right by the aquarium in vancouver, which you should go see if you go, as it's a lovely aquarium. :) more beluga whales...

i told rad that i didn't care where we went, as long as i could be on a cruise ship...which is how we ended up doing alaska & canada. now i love them too. :)
lsbd33
Mar. 18th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
Re: cruising
how far in advance to plan??

well, hon, with your T mentality, decades...*wink*
if you can get a good deal on the cruise and you can take off from work, i'd say jump on the nearest ship, but that's me. you will most likely want the 2nd dining shift, so you can do later tours. keep that in mind. and, you can go on waitlist, as someone will invariably switch.

when packing, you need to pack, even for summer in alaska, with layers of sweatshirts & long pants, along with good socks and walking shoes. for our "whitewater rafting tour", they provided us with the main gear, as did our other tour of kayaking. i'd still pack a lightweight rain poncho for each of you that you can throw in your backpack, along with waterproof comfy shoes to walk in. (you can see the lumberjack show in ketchikan if you don't have time for anything else...)

the only thing i'd worry about is if you have your heart set on certain tours, check to make sure they're available - some of the other tours do sell out quickly. almost every port has a kayaking tour, so you should be able to get one if you want. i think there's so much to see that it wouldn't really matter.

not a tour - as part of the cruise, you will cruise by all the mountain/valley glaciers and the hubbard glacier.

oh, and bring warm jackets for nighttime, along with dress clothes for dining. they don't dress as much as they used to, and you don't have to dress up at all unless you want to, you can always have a romantic candlelight dinner in your room. or, go to the lido.

you'll love it! :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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