I'm looking for a bit of insight from many of you seasoned cruisers.
I am currently considering a retirement cruise, leaving anywhere from eastern U.S.,
My wife and I have never been on a cruise, I have heard and read fantastic things about a cruise, But I have also heard some negative.
1. We are 53 and 51 in decent condition, (health better than our physique)
2. A lenghty trip is a consideration.
3. What cruise ship is best (IYO)
4. Can I disembark in one location for an extended stay? and re-embark to continue our
5. Is there any cost to dismbark in any given port? is so, how much can this cost?
6. What is the average cost of beer? bar drinks? wine?
7. Although I have searched but haven't found the following, Is there a ship departing
Eastern U.S. bound for Hawaii or Asia?
I will try to answer your questions. I have been on 5 cruises and will be taking my 6th in
2 months. To start you retirement with a cruise is a wonderful way to ease into a new
lifestyle. There are numerous cruise ships of various sizes to choose from. First you
need to think about where you might like to cruise to, then the # of days, and then you
can look at the cruise lines that offer cruises to your choosen location, and finally choose
a ship. Questions # 4& 7: Cruise ships are usually only in port for a short period
of time before they set sail. So being able to disembark for an extended period of time
probably will not be possible. One thought is to take a repositioning cruise from say
a Florida port through the Panama Canal to California. These cruises are usually
10-15 days are are offered in the spring/fall. You could spend some time in California
and then take another cruise to Hawaii , cruise the islands, and either disembark in
Hawaii or cruise back to the west coast. Both are offered. Questions # 5 & 6: There is
not a cost to disembark while in port. You can however purchase shoretours which
range in cost from $20.00- $200.00 and up. Offered tours usually give cruisers a
chance to see the best the port as to offer. Snorkeling, beach day, Scuba, island tours,
shopping, sailing tours, party boats, and ATV/Jeep adventures top the list. The average
tour is $50-$100.00 per person. Each ship offers it's own list of tours and also, you can
search out independent tour companys that offer different tours. Just keep in mind that if
you purchase a tour through the cruise line, if the tour runs late, the ship must wait on you.
As far as the cost of beer, etc. : Depending on what you order $3.00-$7.00 per drink. You can purchase wine by the glass or by the bottle to enjoy at dinner or in your stateroom. Most cruise lines charge for soft drinks which runs $2.50.
Here are some cruise lines that you can research via the web.
Carnival, Holland America, Costa, Cunard, Silver Seas, Royal Caribbean,
Celebrity, Princess, Seaborn, Norwegian, Crystal, Disney, Oceania, and
Raddison Seven Seas, and Windstar. Good Luck. Feel free to email me
if I can be of any help.
You might find a good travel agent that deals with cruises most of the time.... They can give you some special insight as well as brochures from the different cruise lines.... We did this for our first cruise but in the end booked through Carnival...... Happy Cruising
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
As far as I know, you can't cruise to one place, get off, and then get back on another (or the same) ship to cruise again. I'd suggest you post this question on the "Ask the Staff" board.
As far as drinks go, there's usually a "drink of the day" for about $2.50, and I've often seen beer bucket specials, buy 6, pay for 5, or something similar. As far as wine goes, it really depends on what you want. Some are very inexpensive, others are very pricey.
IMO, Princess is a wonderful cruiseline (just my opinon so far!). It really depends on what you would be comfortable with. We are very easy going, go with the flow type people and would not be comfortable with the "upscale" lines.
Carnival is nice, but they really ARE the party ships. You'll also probably find more children on Carnival.
Please take all the "negative" posts you read with a grain of salt. I'd suggest that you read Anne Campbell's reviews on the Home Page for an unbiased view of each cruiseline.
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Wow, good questions! I will try my best to answer most of them.
I suggest that you first take a 5 or 7 day cruise to somewhere like the Caribbean to figure out if you will like this type of vacation. Most do but some don't.
We are the same age and like Carnival best overall but you might also enjoy any of the other mainstream like RCI, Princess, NCL, etc. If you want high end luxury and willing to pay more for it then you might look into RSSC.
After you figure out you like this you will have much more knowledge of cruising and can make other choices to improve your enjoyment.
You CANNOT just get off the ship and stay for awhile and rejoin later. Your cabin is sold to you for the week as are all of them. There is also the Passenger Service Act to consider which means that you cannot go from one US port to another and get off. In many cases on the round the world cruises you can buy a segment of the cruise to go somewhere but unless another ship happens to come around and has that also as a port of call, you can't just jump on anothe cruise ship. You CAN get off in any port and do whatever you wish until you have to reboard later that day and there is no fee for that.
Beer and bar drinks I don't really know but they are compatable to prices you find shoreside.
You CAN find a ship going from the east coast of the US to say Hawaii & Asia but that is on the more expensive round the world type cruises.
I hope that helps answer some of your questions.