About Taking A Cruise

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dean C, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Dean C

    Dean C Second Unit

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    FAMILY wants to go on a cruise.

    So we want to know from people who go on them alot. Which are the best ones?
    CARNIVAL, PRINCESS, CELEB, NORWEGIAN OR DISNEY ONES

    Why so many ships with the names Norwegian, Dam in name, and Princess

    Which ships has the Dams on it. Example Princess's are Princes Coral, Diamond.
    Norwegian are Wind, Sun, Star
    Dams Volen, OOster, or Ryndam.

    Ideas would be appreciated, also Tipping, Excursions, stuff for Srs, Teens Kids, Adults. I choose Disney from what Im getting so far.
     
  2. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    We recently went on a Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Miracle. I can't speak about the other cruise lines, but we didn't have a single complaint. The entire experience was fantastic.

    As for tipping, we had the option of it being automatically charged to our account so we didn't have to leave it ourselves-- but we did leave extra because the sevice was fantastic. The auto-charged tip, was $10 per person per day if I remember.

    For excursions, you can get them cheaper by not booking through the cruise line. We still booked through the cruise line though. If you book through the cruise line and your excursion is late getting back, they'll wait for you. All the tickets for our excursions were waiting in our cabin for us when we boarded.

    There are plenty of things to do on the ship for all ages. You shouldn't have any trouble at all finding something to occupy your time while on ship (gambling, shopping, spas, exercise, swimming, sunning, shows, music, you name it).
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I've been on 3 cruises total and was in the travel industry.

    Carnival Cruises are generally the cheapest and also draw the type of crowd looking for a cheap cruise. They are also a bit more "party hearty" than the others. This is both a negative and a positive.

    The better ones will be Celeb, Princess and Royal Carribean. I have no experience with Disney as I'm not looking for kid friendly cruises. These are also more expensive.

    I have been on a Princess cruise and it was top shelf and it cost a bunch. The ship was newer, nicer and the food tasted better than the Carnival Cruises I have taken.

    With Cruises, you get what you pay for.

    Excursions are cheaper not booking thru the cruise line but I think it's a gamble. I think the convienence of buying them on the ship makes it nice. You can look at a few cruise sites and they go thru the different excursions and tell you what's best.

    Tipping wise: everything is auto tip on anything you get. If you want stuff from the stores on board, buy at the last day. If you go out of the US, then be prepared to deal with the customs issues. The last day of sailing you will settle up. You auto tip to your account and if you wish to tip more(we did) then do it. The stewards have been always great.

    Regardless of which cruise line you take, you should have plenty of things to do and keep you busy or not if you don't want to be busy. Just don't excursion yourself to death.

    If you get car sick or anything of the sorts, then buy some patches thru your doctor or buy some dramamine from the store before you leave.

    Something else to mention: If you drink pop and want it, you will want to buy a coke card for $25-$30 for unlimited cokes/soda. You should if you want bring some on board with you before hand. Those little 8 oz cans work wonders [​IMG]

    If you go thru the Eastern/Southern Carribean or go thru the western carribean, let me know. I can recommend a few things.
     
  4. Jason Pancake

    Jason Pancake Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Jason Pancake

    Jason Pancake Stunt Coordinator

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    I missed an opportunity to share my own cruise movie with everybody...

    This was taken on the Star Princess...

    Cruise Videos
     
  6. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    I did a 7 day Disney a year ago. What are the ages of your kids?

    I found the Disney ship very nice. As a ship lover, I think it looks a lot better than the other modern art "masterpieces".

    I have no comparison, except the U.S. Navy. Disney beats that though [​IMG]
     
  7. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I've took a 7 day Royal Carribean cruise (Mexican Riviera) a couple years ago. It was an absolutely great experience. I'd love to go on another.

    However, if you are really counting on seeing and getting to know the ports of call, you might be a little dissappointed. You don't really get a lot of time. But the "at sea" days are lots of fun too.
     
  8. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    I went on two cruises, both with Carnival. Since I have no experience with other cruise lines, my opinions might be biased.

    I loved every minute of it. The shows on the ship are top notch, and I think I spent more at the casino than I did off the ship [​IMG]

    Do as much as you can off the ship. It only docks for a short period of time and then you're back on the sea for an extended period of time.

    Everyone was extremely friendly on the ship. EVERY SINGLE employee that I met on both ships greeted me with a genuine smile and hello. It was weird b/c at any retail store here, I have never experienced that, but on the cruise, it's there job.

    My negative expereince was the second time I went. There was a hurricane warning near our port, so they had to detour to a place three hours away. Normally it wouldn't be a problem, but when you tell all the guests on the ship that "we have no further information" other than we are detouring at a dock three hours away.... We got lucky b/c our flight was five hours off the anyway, but it sucked to be anyone with a close flight since Carnival had difficulty helping them. And then the actual day of docking was an even bigger mess. They crammed everyone in the main lobby and tried to get people off by priority.
     
  9. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    My first ship, children stayed home, was the tiniest..The Norwegian Star, (I believe they’ve built a new one-same name) no mass balconies, I had a little porthole which I knelt on my knees in bed and looked out every night…loved every second ..the crew was the most formal,(and our favorite) the ship the most nautical (in an aging old world kind of way) Our first stop a Princess docked next to us and I felt like an ant, I don’t’ think we came to her waterline. More wood, more brass, best food. No climbing walls or skating rink, (very old world cruising) just a ship and the ocean, - loved it. One night passing through the Yucatan peninsula, many got sick (often rough at that section)..we had no problems. Being the smallest and oldest ship of this batch this ship would have been a nightmare in weather for landlubbers in the seas which we experienced in Alaska.

    The second, one of the largest Princess ships (can’t remember the name) but I believe it was aging.
    ..my least favorite ship..most convention-center-hall like, least exciting food, incredible trip though…it was Alaska. Alaska trips tend to have (in general, a few more of the older crowd). I had two boys in pre-teens, and even though a fairly quiet ship they loved it. FIFTY-ft seas one night…unusualy rough as half the crew were sick…captain fell down….we pretended we were at something like Six-Flags roller coasters- fun-house barrels and had a blast. One son started to get sick, we put him to bed on Dramamine, and he slept through the rough night and was fine in the AM.

    The next were on 3 of the Royal Caribbean ships, its late, I’ve gone blank, but two of these were the sister ships (largest in the world when they launched) Brand spanking new, most efficient use of bathroom space, (on cruise ships the joke is …soap the walls…and turn around) The latest in high tech stablility devices.
    These are literally floating cities with staff/guests, at capacity, something like 5-thousand on-board. That fact worried us as we were already familiar with queue up to get off and past security on port days. …This process was no worse than on the smaller vessels …they handled the number well. One trip, we also had the distinction of being escorted by the US military (on site, practicing maneuvers) into and out of a few of our ports as this was a ‘high alert’ time. Food was better than Princess, not as good as Norwegian.
    Plus: I’m not sure about Disney but the RC was the only to have your room account on the TV, you can check your totals each night, for the drinkers on-board this saves screaming at the purser when you settle your tab at the end of the week.

    I have one Sister-in-Law who took 7 on a Disney cruise..she was not overly impressed, (I’m not sure why).

    For safety sake, not knowing your family’s makeup I’d highly recommend the largest ships on Royal C. More drunken teenagers on the large RC’s, but very good broad age range programs.
    For a first time cruiser they are well appointed, large enough for any frightened of becoming sea-sick, and have a good all-age friendly feel. Balconies on the newer ships are more numerous (less pricey to upgrade to). But if you have small children make friends with your fanny pack…. it’s a long dash back to room on these larger ships for something your child needs.

    On all above trips I been most happy, getting a balcony every time. Picking only one (voted on by family) excursion each trip. This is not normal [​IMG] most people kill themselves fitting in as many ship excursions as possible. The only excursions we purchased on the Alaska cruise was to be flown to and dropped off on a glacier hike with crampons and pic-axes. Carribian cruise; the mini-sub 1000’ down the Grand Cayman wall. In other words ..we went for the single most exciting choice offered during each trip.
    For all other port days, we would read the ship info and take our own taxi to whichever beach looked best, find our own scuba center, (you can choose the same one the ship listed) or just got to the mountain we wanted to hike.
    Pack half of the clothing you think you’ll need, but don’t forget Dramamine and anything you and children use, as a 2-dollar item can be 8-12 in the ship stores.
    You have to choose a seating for dinner…we love the “Late” seating, this gives you a couple of hours more to run around in port or in your bikini on at-sea days, which is weird when the women already dressed on formal night pass by you still sitting poolside.
    …..I wrote an essay [​IMG] thanks for trip down memory lane…hopefully though it gives a feel for our take, but ships can be very different across the same line.
    ….I just noticed you said teen kids (how teen?) International waters they may drink beer/wine at 18. This makes me a completely sleepless mother …I just knew they were going to fall over that rail
     
  10. Dean C

    Dean C Second Unit

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    Thanks on your tips.

    I went on a Panama Canal Cruise back in the early 1976 when my Grandparents took us all on it.

    At that time it was called the SS Santa Maria Dont remember what cruise line it was but the 5 children aboard was me, my sibling and 3 cousins all under 15.

    Now in 2006 that many years have gone by and now Im wanting to take my family on one.

    We chose an Alaskan cruise.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    We've been on three cruises, the most recent being an Alaskan cruise through Princess. I highly recommend them -- service was outstanding.

    Princess offered the option of charging your tips for room steward, waiter, etc., to your account, and you could give them an envelop with the charge slip at the end of the cruise. It was a nice alternative, IMO, because we were still able to hand the tip to the person and thank them personally at the end of the trip, yet I didn't need to carry additional cash.

    Regarding booking excursions through the cruise line vs. on your own, I think a lot depends on your destination. For our Alaskan cruise, we booked most through the cruise line, but also did some exploring on our own where possible. In Hawaii, we simply rented a car at each island and went out on our own, which I thought worked best for there -- driving around all the islands other than Oahu is pretty easy. For our Caribbean cruise, we booked everything through the cruise line, since we felt uncomfortable heading out on our own on those islands.
     
  12. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Alaska!
    Please consider doing this:
    [​IMG]

    We were a group of eight, this excursion; I took the above shot of the other 4 hikers with us.
    If your family is athletically inclined, I cannot recommend enough taking advantage of the opportunity to hike a glacier. My family agrees it is the most exciting thing we have ever done together. Be aware of ‘vacation gone wrong’ considerations.
    They are serious about your release forms. The week after our trip, at the same location a helicopter hit the side of the glacier killing all 9 on board.
    They told us to maintain situational awareness; take no step without checking your footing first. Once I was about to take a step back for a better angle with the camera, at last second I looked behind me first and there was a narrow crevice with no bottom in sight directly behind me.

    My all-time favorite pic of my eldest son in Alaska:
    [​IMG]
    I hope you have a wonderful time.
     
  13. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    We just went on a 7-day Disney cruise in Feb. Your kids will love it. They really cater to the kids and they also do not forget the adults. One whole deck is dedicated to the kids camp. My daughter (6) had so much fun in the camps that she didn't want to leave when I came to pick her up. You can drop off and pick-up at any time you wish. Drop them off, pick them up for lunch (although they provide meals if they are there during a mealtime) drop them back off etc. We had a cabin with a balcony. It was a nice sized cabin. The only thing was that they had so much organized for the kids to do, my daughter would get upset when she was going to be at 10:00 that she was missing something (her normal bedtime is 7:30). They have kid friendly activities planned well into the night. My wife and I would've preferred a less structured vacation as your dinner times are at a set time and you can't come in from the pool to dinner, you need to get dressed. It was also hard because our son was 11-months at the time and we had to schedule his naps in too.

    So to sum up, it was a great vacation. My daughter will have it as a great memory. Good shopping on St Marteen and St Thomas, wife got jewelry and I got another Tag at a great price. Our next vacation will be one were we will sit on the beach and relax (less structured). We've been to Atlantis and that was more to our liking, although we're glad we experienced a cruise.
     
  14. Dean C

    Dean C Second Unit

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    THANK YOU THANK YOU ONE AND ALL.

    NOW MY FAMILY WILL LOOK FORWARD TO THIS.

    THANKS FOR THE HELP. WOULD LOVE TO HEAR SOME MORE.
     
  15. Jason Pancake

    Jason Pancake Stunt Coordinator

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    Dean,
    Have you picked a cruiseline and ship?
     

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