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Old 09-05-2017, 07:47 AM
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Default I Guess Cruises Aren't My Thing

Just returned from a ten day Alaska cruise. I won't say that I totally disliked it, but will say that it's not something I will do again. There were good points and we did manage to see a lot of pretty scenery and some wildlife.

This was a group tour deal, several days on land, then several on the cruise ship stopping at ports. The worst part of the whole deal was you are in the least crowded, wildest state in the nation, yet never truly got away from the people or crowds other then when in your motel room or ship cabin.

A whole lot of being crowded in lines waiting, riding on crowded planes, trains and buses, crowded dining areas, etc. When you got to the small AK port towns and dropped off the streets were jammed with people from our ship and several others, restaurants and bars were jammed, etc.

Port towns were mostly tourist traps with tons of jewelry stores, tee shirt shops and over priced junk to sell you. Even the excursions we took involved large groups, waiting in lines and usually a crowded bus or boat ride.

If you like to eat and drink, it was pretty fantastic, but that got to be too much for us after a few days. If I go back again it will be to a private lodge with a small group on our own agenda, and slow the whole thing down, get out away from people and really enjoy the outdoors.

Perhaps my opinion is skewed as I've been up there five other times hunting and fishing in remote areas. I'm sure most really enjoyed the trip, and I'm glad my wife got to see some Alaska scenery and wildlife.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:41 AM
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The people I know who don't like cruising all share a similar view. They want to have time to explore an area, not get off the ship at 9am and have to be back at 3pm. They want to be able to immerse themselves in local culture, eat at local restaurants, etc.

Cruising does give a somewhat homogenized, cleaned-up exposure to the port cities. That's kind of the general nature of cruising. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. We've been on 5 cruises and thoroughly enjoyed them all and we've gotten to see and do a lot of things that we probably never would have otherwise, but most are pretty touristy types of things: cave tubing in Belize, snorkeling in Cozumel, touring a plantation and having afternoon tea in Falmouth, Jamaica, doing a trolley tour around Key West, and more.

If you weren't turned off by the general concept of being on a ship, I'd recommend a Bermuda cruise. The good thing there is that the ship docks at King's Wharf for 3 days and just serves as your hotel and meals (if you choose). But you're on the island for 3 days so you really have time to explore, eat at local places, hang on the beach, see the historic sites, etc.

We haven't done it yet, but we really want to do a European river cruise. The ships are much smaller, just a couple hundred people, and they stop right in the towns, not in major port cities. The ship docking doesn't flood the town with 4,000 tourists all of a sudden.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:01 AM
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I get motion sick.
No way anyone could ever get me on a cruise ship.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:26 AM
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I get motion sick.
No way anyone could ever get me on a cruise ship.
That's a whole different problem. Though I know plenty of people who get motion sick but still love cruising. My mom is one of them. She does the scopolomine patch and she's fine.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:42 AM
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I hated my cruise. I've never been in jail, but I figured this was pretty close to it.

Our room was about the size of a walkin closet. I dropped the soap in the shower and couldn't even bend over to pick it up. I decided the most efficient way to wash was to get out of the shower, soap all of the walls, and then get back in the shower and just turn around a dozen times.

Everyone was just raving about the food - not sure if they were trying to convince me or themselves - it looked like TV dinners, and might have been.

We were herded around here and there for 5 days like cattle.
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Old 09-05-2017, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasHusker View Post
I hated my cruise. I've never been in jail, but I figured this was pretty close to it.

Our room was about the size of a walkin closet. I dropped the soap in the shower and couldn't even bend over to pick it up. I decided the most efficient way to wash was to get out of the shower, soap all of the walls, and then get back in the shower and just turn around a dozen times.

Everyone was just raving about the food - not sure if they were trying to convince me or themselves - it looked like TV dinners, and might have been.

We were herded around here and there for 5 days like cattle.
this cracked me up!!

I love cruising it is my preferable way to vacation. Of course not all cruise ships are created equal, but I love the whole concept.

I get motion sickness, but except for when we first head out and I get a little queasy, I'm ok the rest of the time. I drink ginger ale with all my dinners and take a bonine every day. If you go on one of the mega ships you won't even feel the motion, the stabilizers are great!
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:45 AM
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Its a cheap way to travel. If you dont have the pocket then cruises are the way to go.

Its also good for people who arent good at booking trips. They either get stressed or are unsure where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc. Its an all in one package.

Ive never been on one and hope I never am.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:20 AM
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Ive never been on one and hope I never am.
I'm always curious when someone says something like this about an experience they've never actually had.

Cruising is not one set thing. There is a huge variety of experiences from small European river cruises to party ships to family-friendly cruises to high-end luxury voyages.

Unless you are outright opposed/afraid of being out on the water, I don't know how someone can say they would never want to take any type of cruise.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:40 AM
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10 years ago I did Royal Carribean (sp?) for $349 for 3 nights, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and returned on Monday, from Los Angeles to Ensenda, Mexico. If you break it down it came out to a little over $100 a night all inclusive. We did not drink any alcohol and ate at all the "free dining" options or should I say all the included dining options. We refused to pay for the more expensive dining options. We watched all the show performances. Overall it was a very enjoyable trip. We had a higher floor room with a tiny port hole view. I can see where an inside stateroom on a lower floor with no window can seem very claustrophobic.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasHusker View Post
Our room was about the size of a walkin closet. I dropped the soap in the shower and couldn't even bend over to pick it up. I decided the most efficient way to wash was to get out of the shower, soap all of the walls, and then get back in the shower and just turn around a dozen times.
I've never been on a cruise, but showers are the most likely thing to annoy me about any vacation accommodations. Earlier this year, I stayed in a cabin with a terrible shower. The cabin was pretty big overall, but the shower was a tiny little glass case in the corner of an otherwise spacious bathroom. The shower head was in the back corner, and it was impossible to turn on without shooting water out the door. The door itself was finicky and difficult to open and close. The shower head was positioned below the top of my head, so I had to stoop to get under it. The water pressure stung my back and wouldn't adjust, and the shower wasn't big enough for me to get away from the stinging water while lathering up my hair. I think I prefer painful water pressure to water pressure that isn't strong enough to get the soap out of my hair, but not by much.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:42 AM
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I'm always curious when someone says something like this about an experience they've never actually had.
Just to be clear, I certainly don't think every has to like cruising just because I do. I just find it odd to totally write off a huge segment of the travel industry without actually giving it a try.

One problem I have seen, though, is that folks who want to try a cruise to see if they like it often pick poorly. They pick a 3 or 4 day trip like a Bahamas cruise out of Florida. The problem is those short cruises tend to be on older ships and tend to attract more of a party crowd. Then they have a lousy experience and decide that cruising just isn't for them. Well if that was my only experience, I'd probably say the same thing.

You need to find a cruise that matches what you like in a vacation. And choose one traveling to destinations that interest you.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:46 AM
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The shower head was positioned below the top of my head, so I had to stoop to get under it.
I hate when that happens, and I'm 5'10" so it's not like I'm exceptionally tall. I haven't had that problem on cruises but I have in hotels.

The biggest problem with cruise showers is when they have a curtain instead of a door. The curtain tends to be drawn into the shower and you're constantly fighting with it. I liked the Royal Caribbean shower better because it had actual doors. It was small but at least you didn't have the curtain sticking to you.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:40 AM
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I'm always curious when someone says something like this about an experience they've never actually had.

Cruising is not one set thing. There is a huge variety of experiences from small European river cruises to party ships to family-friendly cruises to high-end luxury voyages.

Unless you are outright opposed/afraid of being out on the water, I don't know how someone can say they would never want to take any type of cruise.
This is a slippery slope meaning you cannot comment on something you've never experienced.

I can only go off of things I know I dont like. I dont like being around crowds or waiting in lines. When I travel I dont like having a schedule anymore..."be back on the ship at this time," "dinner is served at this hour" etc etc.

When I travel I like to spend as little amount of time getting to my destination as possible.

What else can you do on a ship...I dont like malls, casinos, water parks.

Id rather visit places that took millions/billions of years to form. Im not into the bright lights and loud noises from these floating entertainment things.

Like I said they're great for people who are on a budget or would rather not plan out a trip. Its an all in one bundle deal which makes it really convenient.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:07 PM
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they're not really my thing either.

I guess the main attraction of them is to travel to a destination leisurely and with a good view and activities versus being cramped and cooped up on a plane for X hours.

The smaller accommodations don't bother me too much, it's more the type of activities available and being pigeonholed into certain activities and set times, one reason why I don't like travel tours either. I also dislike being sardine canned with a ton of people with no escape, which is the definition of a cruise ship.

to each their own though. Perhaps when I'm much older and want my vacations to be simple without the need for me to plan or desire to wander doing things I find interesting, I'd re evaluate tours and cruises.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rennigade View Post
This is a slippery slope meaning you cannot comment on something you've never experienced.

I can only go off of things I know I dont like. I dont like being around crowds or waiting in lines. When I travel I dont like having a schedule anymore..."be back on the ship at this time," "dinner is served at this hour" etc etc.

When I travel I like to spend as little amount of time getting to my destination as possible.

What else can you do on a ship...I dont like malls, casinos, water parks.

Id rather visit places that took millions/billions of years to form. Im not into the bright lights and loud noises from these floating entertainment things.
But that's not what you complained about.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:17 PM
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I can only go off of things I know I dont like. I dont like being around crowds or waiting in lines. When I travel I dont like having a schedule anymore..."be back on the ship at this time," "dinner is served at this hour" etc etc.

When I travel I like to spend as little amount of time getting to my destination as possible.

What else can you do on a ship...I dont like malls, casinos, water parks.

Id rather visit places that took millions/billions of years to form. Im not into the bright lights and loud noises from these floating entertainment things.
All fair points.

Again, I don't think cruising is for everyone. I just think despite it's popularity, the cruise industry still has an image problem. It has a reputation based on what it was 10 or 20 years ago even though it has changed dramatically. Plus, most people still hear "cruise" and think of a mega-ship with 5,000 passengers and hundreds of screaming children. They don't picture something like a river cruise that holds 200 people or a Viking ocean cruise that holds under 1,000 and is only for passengers 16 and over. You won't find a casino or bright lights and loud noises anywhere. There are cruises focused on fine dining. Cruises that offer all sorts of educational opportunities. And much more.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:20 PM
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Perhaps when I'm much older and want my vacations to be simple without the need for me to plan or desire to wander doing things I find interesting, I'd re evaluate tours and cruises.
That's funny because one of the things that I love about cruising is that it affords us the opportunity to wander and do things that appeal to us in a variety of places that we might not otherwise get to. In most ports, we don't do an organized shore excursion. I prefer to research the ports in advance and explore when we get there. The only time we usually do a tour is when we're visiting a location where it really isn't so safe to just go off on your own.
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:05 PM
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That's funny because one of the things that I love about cruising is that it affords us the opportunity to wander and do things that appeal to us in a variety of places that we might not otherwise get to. In most ports, we don't do an organized shore excursion. I prefer to research the ports in advance and explore when we get there. The only time we usually do a tour is when we're visiting a location where it really isn't so safe to just go off on your own.
They normally offload you on shore and tell you be back by a certain time. I guess the difference for me is

trip by plane = travel for 8 hours, explore for 8 days
trip by cruise = travel for 8 days, explore a port town for 8 hours

maybe an exaggeration, but that's the gist of how I feel about that particular issue. Not to mention the port towns that they stop at tends to be tourist traps and possibly not a good representation of what that place/culture is really like. I guess that's kinda repeating what fishingdude mentioned.

between tours and cruises, I think I might prefer the tour, although I don't particularly care for either. At least with the tour, you might get to see and eat at a variety of places. Normally after the set itinerary(assuming you aren't too tired), you have some free time as well.

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Old 09-06-2017, 02:06 PM
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Its a cheap way to travel. If you dont have the pocket then cruises are the way to go.

Its also good for people who arent good at booking trips. They either get stressed or are unsure where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc. Its an all in one package.
These are two of the big reasons that I love cruises.

There's probably an underlying anxiety disorder in there somewhere, but I really struggle with planning vacations. I really appreciate that cruises provide a simple, easy way to include multiple locations in a single vacation, especially to places where I've never been. I see it as a really good "trial run" for vacation spots, because if we really enjoy it, we can go back later for a more in-depth vacation, or if we're unimpressed, we're gone within a day or two & we can put it behind us without concern, and look forward to the next stop. It's a very relaxing way to travel, because I don't have to worry about packing up repeatedly, catching a series of flights, or blowing entire days in airports & cramped airliners. Show up at the boat, then entertain yourself for the next week while they drive you around to see different places.

They can also be very, very cheap. You can often cruise for less than $75/day without even trying... Even cheaper if you snag last-minute deals, etc. That gets you travel, food, lodging, and limited entertainment for the duration of your vacation, for less money than you'd spend on merely staying in any average hotel. Cruises are a very cost-efficient way to travel & see a variety of locations, especially if you're within driving distance from the port & don't need to buy airfare.

I don't know why people restrict themselves so much with the shore excursions. You can do literally anything when you pull in ashore. We've only rarely used the cruise line's sponsored trips. More often, we find opportunities online & do those instead. We explore the towns, take advantage of what is fun or interesting to do/see, and basically make our own plans for what adventures we'll have. Yes, you have to make it back to the ship. Often that only means a single day in port, but again, plan your own adventures, and you can still see/do at least 2-3 things in that period, enough to at least get a sampling of the area. Again, cruises make for great "trial runs" of the places you visit.

I've been on 3 cruises so far, and loved each one. We have another in the works for Jan/Feb, and our plan is to do an "anniversary cruise" of this sort every year or two. As with many things in life, they are what you make of them. Are the bathrooms tiny? Yes. So are the cabins (typically). But I don't see that as a major problem, because I plan to spend most of my time NOT in my room. Whether on shore, at the pool, in the gym, playing board/card games, watching shows or other presentations (I've been pleasantly surprised by the academic nature of some presentations I've seen on cruises), enjoying the restaurants, watching movies, or whatever else. Very little of my time is spent in my cabin/bathroom.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:23 PM
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trip by plane = travel for 8 hours, explore for 8 days
trip by cruise = travel for 8 days, explore a port town for 8 hours

maybe an exaggeration, but that's the gist of how I feel about that particular issue.
This is the main reason I hear that people dislike cruising, and I can understand that. When we travel, we also like to explore. My wife and I are going to Kentucky in a few weeks for 7 days, 5 of which will be spent in and around Louisville. We have a whole list of things we want to see and do. If you dropped me in Louisville and said, "You've got 8 hours - go!" I'd probably be disappointed. But my expectations on a cruise are totally different than my expectations on a land vacation and I love both ways of doing it.

If the idea of visiting a different place every day doesn't appeal to you but you would still like to experience a cruise, or perhaps the rest of your family really wants to do one, I would repeat the advice I gave above and recommend Bermuda. If you sail from NYC, it's 2 days on the ship, then 3 days docked in Bermuda where you can come and go freely 24 hours a day, then 1 day on the ship to get home. You can basically just use the ship as your hotel and nothing more if you'd like. We spent the vast majority of our time on the island exploring every corner of it.
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* Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
* Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
* There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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