To cruise or not to cruise....

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott_Sch, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Scott_Sch

    Scott_Sch Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats the question thats killing me right now. The fiance and I are determined to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon (not till October 2005) but we're having a real tough time trying to decide how our time (and money for that matter) would be better spent in Hawaii.

    First of all we love the idea of a cruise but have never been on one. We tend to be somewhat independent and to enjoy our privacy which I'm not sure works to well with the cruise philosophy plus some of the requirements as far as dining options and attire kind of worry me a bit (we like it casual). The thing that a cruise does seem to give you is bang for the buck, by including all your meals and what not in the price (sans alcohol..bastards and excursions obviously).

    On the other hand by just staying at a hotel on one of the islands we would be able to plan all of our activities ourselves, plus we could rent a vehicle and just cruise around and enjoy the sites without a tour guide sort of mentality. The other real reservation I have about a cruise is that it seems like the cruise becomes the focal point of the vacation rather than the destination itself. You would have like four days at sea (say for a 10 day cruise)and then when you were at port it seems like you would have basically one or two options for an excursion at each location...basically a site seeing tour. Hawaii seems like one of those places where you just want to immerse yourself in your surroundings and not come up for air until its time to go home. Not sure I want to be towed around each port at someone else's speed and potentially miss out on sites I may not get to see for another 30 years.

    So anyway (sorry about the rambling), I'm curious if anyone has any personal experiences they could share related to the same type of decision or simply a recommendation based on a trip you have taken, etc.. Any information you guys could provide that may make our decision easier would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It does not exactly sound like you are cruise material, Scott. A few comments before you reject the idea completely however. And so you know, I fall into the non-cruise category—except in special circumstances.

    If you are interested in a major cruise line, you might check out a video (usually available in video stores and from travel agents) and there are some WEB sites that offer decent information. Checking one of these out (Carnival) convinced my wife, son and I, that we would rather have root canals than be a part of enforced merriment. Plus some of these ships are really big (of course you can argue that there is a lot of chance for avoiding people in a case like that).

    On the other hand, there are some things that are really hard to see any other way (the Inside Passage, for example). My wife and her father took an Alaskan cruise on a very small ship and they just loved it. My wife and I took a cruise from Java to Sumatra where we passed through where Krakatoa used to be. Very cool to imagine the explosion that happened—and to see the new volcano growing. That was an overall OK trip, but mostly I’d have soon done something else.

    There are plenty of cruise ships with very relaxed dinner dress standards. You pretty much have to hit the upscale ones in order to have to dress up.

    You might very well find a specific cruise with which you would be comfortable—and love it all. They all vary so much that I’d be cautions however.


    As an alternative have you considered spending the time in one of the very nice resorts on one of the islands. This will probably cost about as much as a cruise, but the accommodations will be far better, the food as good (or better) and, depending on where you stay you can could go snorkeling or diving or sailing or horseback riding or whatever every day.

    My wife and I have stayed at one on the Big Island that we loved. Even better was a very small place (about 20 or so individual units) at a resort in Fiji. Everything was included, including Veuve Clicquot champagne and unlimited. No phones allowed. In fact there was not even a cell on the island. No TV. There were way more staff than guests. Basically you could do whatever you wanted (at least in the island context) and if you did not like what was on the menu, you just talked to the chef beforehand and he would fix what you wanted. Plus you could stroll down to the wine cellar and decide what went best with your meal.

    We swam, snorkeled and dove every day—mostly right from our own private beach.

    About as romantic as you can imagine—it only cost money.

    Here is a link for Kona Village Resort on the Big Island. We stayed there and I can highly recommend it.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    We thought we weren't cruise folks until we took one. We took one about 2 years ago in the Carribean and got to see 5 islands and loved it. Now we know when to go back and what islands we liked. The food is good(on the line we chose) and we had nothing to worry about. Thumbs up for Princess here. Their Alaskan Cruises are great too.

    For Hawaii, I'm not sure I'd cruise that. Then again if you want to see a variety you can. You are allowed to be on your own for the day so if you want to do that you can. If you want to eat in the buffets and eat casual you can. If you want to dress up for the night you can do that too. Lots of variety.

    In fact we are doing it again for the Western Carribean(unless we get derailed by a Hurricane).

    Personally atleast do one cruise. You won't know until you try one. We loved ours.
     
  4. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    I have to second Shane's words. I never thought I was a cruise-type person until my family took one a couple months ago to celebrate my parent's 50th anniversary.

    We sailed on Royal Caribbean and I enjoyed it so much I want to do it again.

    We were never forced to join in the entertainment, in fact, the atmosphere was a very relaxed "do what you want" type of attitude and the only time I spent with the 15 other members of my family was for breakfast (sometimes) and Dinner. Even in the formal dining room, there's quite a bit of leeway in what people wear.

    Rafael.
     
  5. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    After planning and running your wedding, just vegging and letting someone else take of you for 5 days might be pretty attractive. After wife and I got hitched, we honeymooned in Washington, DC. It was great, but you pretty much just want to stay in bed for a day or two and "recover" from the wedding day (how you recover in bed is up to you [​IMG].)

    I think a cruise sounds awesome.
     
  6. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Or for the same price as a luxury cruise, you could rent a furnished apartment in hawaii for four months and spend your days/nights "slumming" with the locals and soaking up the sun! [​IMG]
     
  7. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    We took a cruise for our honeymoon in March 2002 on Norwegian around the Hawaiin islands. We were lucky enough to get a suite with a balcony which helps in enjoying the cruise.

    Having been on a cruise the previous year, I was more of a sea person. I just liked being out at sea. When it got to hitting each island everything seemed kinda hectic.

    As for food, most of the food available is free and its mostly casual. The ship had about 6 places where you had to make a reservation and pay like an extra $5 to $10 person just because the food was a lot better then the other casual places. We only dressed up one night when we went to the fancier place.

    I was also worried about having enough activities to keep me interested on the ship, but found out that my favorite activity was getting drinks and sitting out on a deck and laying out. Also evenings are great! Sitting out and watching the waves hit the ship, its very peaceful and relaxing.

    Paul
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i've never been on a cruise, but i've been to hawaii several times.

    you're correct about the flexibility you have on the island. rent a car and you can go anywhere you want. there's plenty to do in hawaii (but stay away from the touristy places) and you can isolate yourself, but only to an extent. (somebody recently did a hawaii thread...there was a lot of good info in it).

    but, i suspect a cruise is also pretty kickback. in reality, do you think they really give a hoot if you don't engage in all the activities? the only thing i always wonder about a cruise is just how crowded it is on the ship? it seems like there would always be people around you? plus, aren't the cabins kinda small?

    but, i think either choice will be solid for ya. it seems like you're leaning towards hawaii....so go there first! [​IMG]
     
  9. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I will third Shane's comments too.

    We cruised Princess and it was awesome. Throw your clothes and crap on the floor in your room and someone comes and cleans it up. Hungry at 1 am? Go to the all you can eat buffet for anything you want excellently prepared.

    Yeah there are people around, but you can always go to your room. You don't have to worry about.. where are we gonna eat? How are we gonna get there? Is it gonna be a dive? I forgot something back at the hotel.
    Wanna go see a show or watch a movie? It's all right there.
    You can eat by your self or you can join other people. You don't have to go formal like Shane mentioned either.
    YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. Just laze around, nobody cares. Your wife can go get a full body massage and you can go watch sports at one of the bars. (if that's your thing).

    I would definitely stay away from the party barges like Carnival has unless you are in to all that. Your travel agent should know which cruise lines cater to which lifestyle.

    You could also go to one of those all inclusive places like "Sandals" or "Beaches" or "Atlantis".

    A cruise IMHO is less of a hassle cause it's all right there and you get a variety of things to do without having to run around trying to find where they are at and you are pampered and waited on hand and foot.
    OTOH there are other people on board and so if your idea is to not see anybody at all so you can re-enact the beach scene from "Here to Eternity", then maybe Hawaii might be a better place.


    Ps. Hey Shane, when are you going? We are doing the west side in March sometime.
     
  10. Scott_Sch

    Scott_Sch Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow...thanks for all the speedy replies. We're now thinking that we may try to do some sort of combination trip. Maybe stay on Kauai for four days and then take a shorter duration cruise to catch the highlights of the other islands. Of course the fun part is now trying to figure out all the different transfers and flights and what not.

    Anyway, I don't have time for an in depth response now, but please keep the suggestions coming and I'll hopefully have some time tomorrow to check them out and reply. Thanks...
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    If you've never been to Hawaii, a cruise is a fantastic way to island hop and see several islands. If you do this by plane, you will waste a lot of time dealing with airports and checking in/out of hotels. That all goes away with a cruise.

    Our first Hawaiian trip was a cruise, and we loved it. We also stayed on Oahu for a couple of days before the cruise as part of the package. We have planned our second visit for this winter to celebrate our 15 year anniversary, and this time we just selected the two islands we enjoyed most from our cruise -- Maui and Hawaii.


    My wife and I prefer to be on our own, too, but still have really enjoyed the three cruises we've taken. We requested a table for two for our permanent dinner assignment for each of our cruises -- Hawaii, Alaska and a Carribean honeymoon trip -- and were accommodated each time. You will be treated like royalty on the ship, dine in a 5 star restaurant every night, and can still adventure out on your own in each port. There are lots of diverse distractions on ship to satisfy almost any taste while you're at sea. Dining is usually casual except for one or two nights, and a sports jacket and tie will be sufficient for those "special nights" (we are casual people, too). Just think of it as a floating hotel with entertainment and the best restaurant you've ever been to, where you wake up in a different place every morning.

    For our Hawaiian cruise, we simply rented a car each time we were in port and went where we pleased. We avoided the cruise's "official" excursions and just created our own. Other than Oahu, traffic is not that bad on any other island, and finding your way around is rather easy.

    I have never spoken with anyone who's taken a cruise and not had a wonderful time.
     
  12. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    my husband and i are diamond members on royal caribbean. we cruise every year with his parents and i absolutely LOVE it. my son just turned 3 and will be going on his 5th cruise in october. we always take the kids. royal caribbean has fantastic programs for just about anything you want to do. just one warning: if you want to see the entire ship, see it early. we've gone on some ships and havent even seen the entire ships. the islands are beautiful. i'm not the type of person who likes to spend a lot of time at any given place. even though we were going to hawaii next year. the cruise ship is a floating city. they have everything on the ship and if you want, you dont have to get off at the ports. i cant say enough about cruises. the top two cruise lines are royal caribbean and carnival. i've taken one carnival cruise and the rest have been royal caribbean. they both are fun ships, but carnival is known as the party ship. there are several message boards for cruising so i would check those out if you wanted to get a good idea about which cruise line would be for you. i will tell you this though, for my personality (pretty laid back but still like to have a good time) if carnival would have been my first cruise, i probably would not have gone on another cruise or be so passionate about it. good luck in your decision. by the way, we've made friends in several of the places we've gone. also, we enjoy meeting other couples on the cruise. we always have others at our table and it's really nice. i like meeting people. have fun.
     
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    When you're out on the open water, do you notice much "rocking," or "motion from the ocean," so to speak?

    I think my Mom would love a cruise and I've thought about booking something as a Christmas gift for her and my step-father. But I broached the idea to her one time awhile back and she didn't like the idea since she thought she'd be seasick. I've never cruised, but I would think those ships are huge enough that you would not even notice you're on the ocean unless you encountered a significant gale-force storm.
     
  14. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Oh, I thought you meant THIS kind of cruising...

    Shanice, What do you do w a 3 yr old on board? My understanding is that most childrens prograns are ages 4+
     
  15. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Yes but if you get the patch, you won't get sick. My wife gets motion sick and these things ROCK for that purpose. You will still feel the motion but you won't get sick from it. We never ran into large storms but you can feel the motion. It's not that bad though. If someone gets car sick, i'd recommend the patch from your doctor. Easy Easy fix.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I do not think that Princess offers a Hawaiian cruise between the islands (my wife checked before we scheduled are upcoming Maui/Hawaii trip). We did take Princess for our Alaskan cruise -- a week through the Inner Passage and a 2nd week on land -- and they were fantastic. I would highly recommend them. We had a balcony room, too. Princess has some newer ships with more balcony rooms, which makes that type of cabin more affordable than with some other cruise lines.
     
  17. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    eric, he was 8 weeks old on his first cruise. grandma and grandpa were there and we had a really good time. after he got older he just hung out with the grown folk. the children's programs start at age 3. he most likely wont go to the adventure ocean this year anyway unless i can confirm that they are cpr certified, which they probably are. but because he is a special needs child i dont want to expect someone else to be able to handle it. but everything we do, he does. my oldest one, we just never see her. she is turning 12 this year. we see her at dinner (maybe) if she isnt at johnny rockets with the other adventure ocean crew. they have an amazing children's program and have three different age groups. the kids have their own area of the ship. they have a half a deck. have an arcade, disco, johnny rockets, they have plays, sleep overs, etc.
     
  18. shaniceMW

    shaniceMW Stunt Coordinator

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    scott, for motion sickness i use the wristbands. doesnt look great on formal nights, but sure took care of my motion sickness. dramamine made me so sick i could not enjoy the cruise we went on.
     
  19. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I just looked. They do but its not to all of the islands unless you want to pony up for the 15 day cruise from LA otherwise you are stuck going to Tahiti and Bora Bora... [​IMG]
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Yes, I do remember my wife saying they had one that sailed from LA and another that went to other island chains. We were just looking for something between the islands again, and NCL was the only good option (except they were booked for the time we wanted to go).
     

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