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Kuki January 22nd, 2011 12:02 AM

Do You Remember Your First Time?
Do you remember your first time? Was it TERRIFIC? Or did you have to get some experience before it was really good?

CRUISING - I'm talking about CRUISING!

share your stories

DiamondMember January 22nd, 2011 12:21 AM

First cruise was in December 1990 on Premier (aka Big Red Boat); it was an older small ship. The cruise that changed everything and truly hooked me was Feb 1993 on Majesty of the Seas! She was the largest ship afloat and the most sought after ship to sail, they coined "mega ship" based on her class of vessel. Since then I've sailed on her 6 times, still one of my favorites.

Kuki January 22nd, 2011 12:21 AM

Mine is a simple story ;)

When Mrs. Kuki and I got married I had promised her a cruise for her 10th anniversary.. if she put up with me that long. I managed to stall until our 15th anniversary.

In Dec. 1994 I caved, and we went on a 5 day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Nordic Prince. I insisted on no more than 5 days, as I was sure I would feel "island fever" and want OFF.

We had an inside cabin, bottom deck, as far aft as we could get without working in the engine room. The cabin had single beds built at right angles into the superstructure. Each bed was about 5 1/2 ft long (I'm 6 ft 3 in.)
There was a bathroom and a telephone, and that was IT.

And we were hooked! Who knew what that one 5 day cruise would bring to our lives. And who know that in 2011 we'd be heading towards maybe 60 cruises (I've lost track).

DeepSpace January 22nd, 2011 12:33 AM

Our first cruise was on the Carnival Elation. It was in Sept. of 1999. We were so excited about the cruise, we looked at every book on the Elation. We had so much fun we did not want to get off. We have been hooked every since that time. Now our cruise line of choice is Princess.

radiofreebc January 22nd, 2011 01:06 AM

My first ship was the Vision Of The Seas, in Jan 2000. I was hired to work as Stage Staff, and it was the best 6 months of my life...until my next contract, which was then the best six months of my life...haha.

I started with Panama Canal cruises, then a drydock, then Hawaii, then Alaska. That was my first contract.

My second contract changed my life...but that's not what this thread is about ;)

felix_the_cat January 22nd, 2011 08:09 AM

Although not mine, DH and I together for our first cruise was on the Song of America in 1987. We splurged on that one with the highest category they had on deck 7. We had a huge round window but it didn't look over th ocean - it looked over the walking deck.

Our first stop was Labadee. It was just a beautiful beach at that time, with a small market. None of the commerical stuff.

That was also the one and only time we were invited to dine with the captain. I have all my pictures, seapass card - everything from that one.

(My first cruise was on Cunard - the actual first one I can't remember - only a baby but the next 2 I have bits and pieces of memory - I can remember 4 and 5 on Cunard quite well.)

It was because of my Cunard cruises back and forth to England that I convinced my DH we needed to cruise.

john_galt January 22nd, 2011 08:18 AM

After a year of nagging, my wife finally consented to taking a cruise on the condition that we go on the RCI Song of America. It had been recommended by a friend as more kid friendly and less formal than the lines/ships I'd been suggesting. It was 1988 and the occassion was our 10th anniversary. We sailed with our 8 year old daughter. As I recall, Main deck had a grand total of 4 outside rooms with a 3rd berth. I guess it was RCI's way of keeping the kid population to a minumum. How times have changed! The highlight of the cruise was the turtle farm in Grand Cayman. Our daughter loved it. In March, I will be revisiting the turtle farm after an absence of 23 years. It will be interesting to see how it has changed. A great time was had by all!

LizandPhil January 22nd, 2011 08:52 AM

Mine was one the jubilee I won the cruise from my company. We had so much fun and the rest is history. NO, I mean the rest are future!

Skipper's Mom January 22nd, 2011 09:10 AM

Our first was on the Regency line which sailed out of Montego Bay and Puerto Rico. We did one of the first partial transits of the Panama Canal in 1987 and also was the first ship into Limon, Costa Rica. Much different than it looks today. Had to really pressure my DH to go, but he was hooked!

A&B January 22nd, 2011 10:01 AM

My first cruise was on the Stella Solaris out of Galveston in May 1991. The ship was moved here only temporarily due to the Gulf war. I remember it very well. I was devastated to learn that we would miss one of our 3 ports due to a tropical storm. (Cayman), but still made the other two- Cozumel and Jamaica. I think the entire ship must have been on Dramamine but it hardly made a difference. I never did get sick but was very queasy. You had to watch where you stepped as there was vomit everywhere.

My ex and I traveled with another couple and we were some of the youngest couples on the ship. For that reason, I believe we were picked on during disembarkation when customs decided to tear into my bags and toss around all my dirty laundry in front of everyone, probably one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. Once they were done and of course found nothing, they left that mound of mess for me to clean up and somehow fit back into that already over-packed suitcase. Many people would probably never have cruised again after suffering through such an ordeal on their very first cruise, but I am happy to say that after 25 cruises to date, I have yet to experience such a nightmare since! Praying it never happens to me again!

I did make it to Cayman the following year on another 7-day cruise and I must say, was a much more uneventful cruise.

Beth—cruising history below…

Sun Line cruise lines
SS Stella Salaris 05/1991
Commodore cruise lines
Enchanted seas 06/1992
Echanted Isle 11/1995, 08/1997, 03/98
Celebrity cruise lines
Horizon 12/2000
Seawind cruise lines
Seawind Crown 06/1995
Carnival cruise lines
Celebration 08/1993, 02/2000, 04/2001, 09/2001, 08/2003
Festivale 05/1994
Facination 05/2000
Inspiration 09/2002
Conquest 11/2010
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Sea 03/1999, 06/1999 03/2004
Star 06/1997
Dream 03/2006

4 cruises still unaccounted for but still digging.

Norwegian Spirit booked for 03/11
Carnival Magic booked for 11/11

Lakers Fan January 22nd, 2011 10:09 AM

Our first cruise was in 1973 .We booked the Amerikaniis to sail to Bermuda but on the way back to port the ship had major problems and was not going to sail for awhile .Our TA offered either a refund or the opportunity to sail for the same price on the luxurious Cunard Ambassador . We opted for the latter .
The ship was wonderful ,however in those days other than a pool ,skeet shooting and volleyball there were no other activities on board and no shore excursions .

MercedMike January 22nd, 2011 11:22 AM

The FIRST time
In 1971 the friendly USAF sent me to a small radar site on an isolated mountain in Alaska. In the middle of the tour I got a month's leave, and my Dear Wife went to a local Travel Agent to investigate WARM places we could go. That wonderful agent suggested a cruise, a very new idea to us.

So when I got home on leave, we flew to Los Angeles and were packed into a cattle car overnight charter to Miami. On arrival they drove us around the city on a bus for about 3 hours and then took us to the SONG OF NORWAY! We were entranced from the first moment. The Cruise Director passed out ticker tape to the passengers (all 600 of us) and we merrily tossed it on the Port of Miami as we sailed away!

All meals were served in the dining room. The only dining choice was hamburgers on the deck for lunch. Otherwise the dining room was it. Gentlemen wore coats and ties and ladies dresses to dinner every night. It was not on this cruise, but our third cruise that we dined at the Captain's Table.

Of course we booked nothing but ship's excursions, having no idea how to do it any other way.

In two months we leave on our 40th cruise. Obviously we are hooked.

check out our trip reports and pictures at Cruising with the Halls

johnthed0g January 22nd, 2011 11:36 AM

Before we met, as children my wife & I used to holiday with parents on the Isle of Wight (just off the coast of Southampton), we used to see all the classic liners of the day, Queens Mary & Elizabeth United States, France etc. Without knowing we both thought how nice it must be to go on a ship like that (my dad used to be a seaman on these ships) but also thought they are not for the likes of us! This eventually came up in conversation some 40 years later & we thought we would try a cruise, we were unsure if it would be "too posh" for us so when the "Ocean Village" brand of casual dress cruising was launched we thought that would be a good one to try. We did a Caribbean fly cruise & we just LOVED it, we did however prefer waiter service for dinner but other than that we were hooked! Some time later we took our first cruise on P&O's Aurora, sailing down Southampton Water just like those posh people did when we watched from the beach. We still live near Southampton & go down to watch ships come & go, earlier this month there were SIX in on one day, would have been a sight watching them go out in convoy.

TravelMike January 22nd, 2011 03:37 PM

Hi Kuki, our first cruise was in 1973 on Sitmar Fairseas to Mexico, I think we were the youngest people on the ship at that time. There was not that much to do, after three days I sat by the pool and drank beer. No shore activities, and you paid as you went for drinks/wine. I won't say it was a bad experience, but it was not until 2001 that we tried cruising again. Alaska on Princess totally different product. I did not plan to like it, but rented a tux and joined in on loads of on board activities. We both had a blast and were hooked. I think we will complete number twenty five this year. Not to bad considering I have only been retired for two years. Mike

jlauntz January 22nd, 2011 05:26 PM

Our first cruise was in 2000 on the Fantasy,to Nassau and Freeport. Having been in the navy and aboard an aircraft carrier I was amased at the size of the ship. I could not believe it is as large as it is and not painted gray. We were hooked. We leave on our 10th cruise in April, I look almost daily trying to find my next destination.

Queen of Oakville January 22nd, 2011 05:30 PM

My first cruise was the Carnival Ecstacy. My parents had found the love of cruising and wanted to share it with us. My father said that at least once, he wanted to treat the whole family to such a wonderful cruise. He passed away a few years later, and this was our last family trip.

I remember being awed by the Ecstasy. At the time, she was one of the largest ships afloat. I loved everything about cruising. After meeting my DH, I was so excited to introduce him to cruising.

Trip January 22nd, 2011 06:20 PM

While we did sort of enjoy our Carnival Celebration cruise, back in the olden days of 1990. It wasn't till our 2nd that the addiction kicked in, on the Majesty of the Seas.

For me, sitting in a booth for dinner, was like earing supper at home. Being a novice, and ,what was offered as a change, we stuck it out... missed the port I booked that ship for, things like that. With experiancer came knowledge,and if I was dissatisfied now, I would have the know how, ot make things better....Too bad we didn't have CM, back in the 70's, 80's and 90's!

misguidedangel January 22nd, 2011 08:49 PM

My first cruise was a Xmas sailing on the Holiday in 1991. We were to be in Grand Cayman on Xmas day and Ocho Rios the next day (both stat holidays). Everything about the cruise was great! Fabulous! Amazing! Except that I was book in a Twin Share category where they paired up with a fellow cruiser of the same sex and hopefully age range. There were only a handful of cabins for that category and I hope to get a good roomie.

Not so.....

My roomie was a 31 year old nurse who smoked like a chimney--I was 22 and didn't smoke and requested a non-smoker. She was very nice and pleasant, but was really pissed that the was sharing a cabin with someone else. Her boyfriend paid for her to have a Riviera deck inside cabin and she was upgraded to a Upper deck OV cabin sharing. The ship had every single berth filled, so there was no way she would get her solo cabin.

I was having the time of my life, I was everywhere and doing everything, but sadly, my roomie was SEASICK most of the time and on two occasions she locked me out of the cabin well before midnight by locking the door. Needless to say I was not pleased at that and then she proceeded to take the bottom berth MOST nights when we agreed to switch off. I am/was fluffy at the time and wasn't so comfortable on a top bunk cuz lets just say I know waht it feels like to fall through a bunk bed (ok, so there were three of us on the top bunk of a old bunk bed and being kids we never heard the tell take cracks until it gave out...).

I totally enjoyed myself and enjoyed the ports, except I hated Cozumel and still do. The entertainment, food, ship, and the hot weather!

robh January 22nd, 2011 11:32 PM

Are we allowed to post that?
At first I was not sure exactly what 'First time experience that was terrific ':shock: you were wanting to know about.

Our first time was in August 2001 when we went on Celebrity's Infinity's Inaugural year's Alaska cruise.
Course I made two mistakes:
1) Booking a Balcony cabin, have never been able to convince my wife since than to have an Outside cabin so we can cruise more often.

2) As she is a Caribbean Island girl and I exposed her to some cool weather even though we live on Vancouver Island I booked a cruise in Niovember 2001 for Mexico.

conway scott January 23rd, 2011 01:14 PM

My first cruise was with my parents in the early 1960's. We sailed the Homeric. The cruise left from NYC in December and the only port was Nassua. In those days a long tender ride was needed to get to the Island.
Cruising was much different in those days. I have vague memories of the ship being very small by todays standard. On that 7 days cruise I remember we had maybe 2-3 days in warm weather. Most of the time we were inside.

averrette January 23rd, 2011 01:21 PM

Mine was on the Song Of America in 1985. My Dad and his girlfriend took me and my sister during Spring Break. All I remember is they had a balcony room and we had an interior cabin. I loved it though and took my next cruise for my honeymoon in 2002 (my hubbys first) on the Holiday out of New Orleans.

felix_the_cat January 23rd, 2011 03:37 PM

There weren't any balconies on the Song that I can remember nor any in the pictures I have.

LisaK January 24th, 2011 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by Kuki (Post 1344952)
Do you remember your first time? Was it TERRIFIC? Or did you have to get some experience before it was really good?

CRUISING - I'm talking about CRUISING!

share your stories

wow i am glad that you clarified that one lol, you never know with this bunch we have here.

Askabry January 24th, 2011 01:30 PM

Zenith, 1995
Booked Celebrity's Zenith for my first cruise in February 1995, mostly because of what I had heard about the food and Roux, and because it was so incredibly inexpensive. I practically was signing up for another trip on the second day.

To give credence to the message that there's never a bad day at sea ... my wife and I took a second honeymoon out of New Orleans - departing August 25, 2005. So we sailed through Hurricane Katrina and frankly it was the best trip ever - on Carnival, of all cruise lines.

This spring we'll return to HAL(Eurodam) for a second cruise for me. I think I might be more excited about this cruise than I've been for any other.

RandyinTexas January 27th, 2011 03:04 PM

It was 2005 and my wife and I were planning our 25th wedding anniversary celebration in Vegas.

For some reason (that I don't really remember) I decided I would check into taking a cruise even though I had always told her that I wasn't interested and if she wanted to go on a cruise she could go with her mother and I would happily stay at home.

When I discovered how reasonably they were priced, I emailed her a link. No comments from me, just the link. And I waited for a reply. And waited. And waited some more. Finally I emailed her again and asked her why she was ignoring me. ;)

She was blown away that I had sent her a link to a cruise (I suspect she had been in her work's bathroom crying).

We sailed on the Ecstasy that August and had the best time of our lives. We sail on the Conquest on 2/27 for our fourth cruise (can't wait to see the Bahamas again!) and are looking forward to gaining Platinum status in the future.

If we could afford it, we'd take a cruise every couple of months!

Truck Cruiser January 28th, 2011 06:54 AM

So there I was...tied to the bed....oh wait, Kuki said cruising :razz:

I was scared to death the first cruise. I had never in my life been in so close of company with 3000 other people. This was also our first vacation in over 10 years so the D/W and I had forgotten how to relax.

We finally started to relax and enjoy the cruise about the 4th day our of the 7 day cruise.

We actually took a second cruise just to see if we would really enjoy it. We did, needless to say and the rest is history.

Insider January 28th, 2011 11:57 AM

1978-Easter weekend. My fiancee' was killed in a sky diving accident. I was 20 years old. It was terrible for me. By the time of my 21st birthday in august my parents said I needed to get away. I went to AAA and they told me about cruising. I booked a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Carnivale for the 3rd week in December.

Took that cruise and it was in my blood. Never actually cruised again til 2003.

kmm44 February 2nd, 2011 04:53 PM

In early Nov. 2001, DH suggested we do something cool for our upcoming 35th anniv. (12/26/02). He said maybe a cruise or all-inclusive. At the word "cruise" my heart skipped a beat. I called my step-sis, our TA, and asked her what was the best deal. She said definitely cruising. Since 911 a few weeks before, the industry was depressed and prices were very good. She set us up with a 7-nighter on Explorer OS to the E. Carib. Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Labadee rd trip from Miami. We walked the length of the ship to the gangway with our jaws hanging open at the sheer size of it. The cruise was WONDERFUL and we were hooked. We did 8 cruises in 6 years before he passed away unexpectedly 8-13-08.
I am still cruising. We had booked 2 cruises ahead for '09. His sister went with me in Jan. and a new friend from my bereavement group went with me in June. Last month my SIL and I cruised again and another friend is going with me this June. Both cruising friends cruised with their husbands. I tell people not to put off the fun stuff. You never know what will happen tomorrow. For me, life is too short to stop cruising. I know he is smiling down at me and glad I am living life to the fullest.

1/02 Explorer E. Carib. 1/03 Explorer W. Carib. 8/03 Summit Alaska
1/04 Adventure S. Carib. 1/05 Galaxy PC 6/06 Jewel OS Br.Isles/Nor. Fj
1/07 Mercury Mex. Riv. 1/08 Mercury Aust/NZ 1/09 Galaxy S. Carib
6/09 Summit Classical Med. 1/11 Summit S.Carib. 6/11 Connie Scan/Russia

mlmalone3 February 5th, 2011 09:54 PM

First Cruise...only the beginning
My sweet hubby took me to Alaska on a cruisetour in 2007 on RCL. He booked through a local TA all by himself. Now, we have been camping, for years with 3 kids all across the USA. This first cruise and flights from Texas took all our $$$, so excursions were out of the question. We did hike in Skagway, rode Mt.Roberts Tram in Juneau, and visited Creek Street in Ketchikan. We absolutely loved it. My husband now tells our friends that he will never get me to camp again. We visited again in 2009 on the Diamond Princess...southbound visiting Glacier Bay. It was wonderful. This time we whitewater rafted in Denali, visited Mendenhall Glacier, rode the White Pass RailRoad...just had a grand time. We are visiting again in 2012 and plan on doing some fishing this time. We took our kids out of Galveston this summer on the Carnival Ecstasy and enjoyed what will probably be our last big family they are getting older. We are sold on cruising...they spoil you!

Cajungirl March 10th, 2011 11:28 AM

February 1998 - Our 25th Anniversary.
Carnival Celebration - Western Caribbean
When I first saw the ship, I freaked out - could not believe how big it was.
We had a wonderful time and was hooked.

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