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Old June 11th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Default Pre-Cruise Review - Yep, Pre-Cruise....

This might seem odd but here is my pre-cruise review. Yes that's correct, we've not even sailed yet and I'm trying to guesstimate what my review will be like. The cruise is July 21 on the Glory.

As you may recall, in the very beginning I had asked on the forum about cost comparisons between a 7 day cruise and a 7 day land based vacation. I had mentioned that for years we have traveled the States, Mexico and the Caribbean usually always renting a beach front condo, rental car, air tickets and food for a week to be right around 4 grand for four people. This cruise has already cost me $6000 with everything paid for in advance except the sign and sail bill which I figure will be easily another $1500. So to me it's $4000 vs $7500. That's what I will be wanting to compare the most once I get aboard ship.

Next will be the crowdedness. Will I feel herded? My initial thought is yes, I can't see how you can not feel that way. But then again I could very possibly be wrong.

Entertainment. Honestly this is the least of my concerns. To me, being entertained is a lounge chair in the sun with a bottomless drink in hand on a non-crowded deck day after day. I'm a simple person and do not need these "Vegas" type shows at all. Nor the Casino.

The food will be interesting as well. Yes we like to eat but not continuously as some have mentioned they do.

It might sound as though I'm not looking forward to the cruise at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have researched the cruise from head to toe for months. Matter of fact I have read about , viewed pictures and video's of the ship and researched the islands in so much detail that I honestly feel I've already been. I do not necessarily believe in reincarnation but if I did I truly deep down inside feel my former life would have had something to do with the Sea or Ocean. I have a very special tie to the Blue Water that is not easily explained.

So here's my marks in advance:
Ship - very nice, well laid out but crowded. Pools, very tiny and not nearly enough of them nor room to relax. Not enough nonsmoking areas and the areas that are designated nonsmoking are not enforced. Would love to see a full nonsmoking ship.

Food - Simply put, abundant. One should never go hungry. Loved the Chocolate melting cake.

Entertainment - Mediocre. Could have done without except for the steel pan music.

Ports of Call and Excursions - Wonderful. Love the islands, the island people, the food and the water.

Overall experience and grade - C plus. Just as I originally figured the cost is over inflated compared to what I have gotten in a land based vacation in the past. Other than the sea going. high seas experience of the ship it's self, I'll stick to the beach.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Hahahahahaha!!! You are soooooo funny!!!!

O.K. Cruise vs. Land Vacation. The cost effectiveness of either depends on what you do on vacation. If you are a drink and beach chair type of person that does not partake in the late night shows, clubs, bars, then a land vacation would probably suit you better. If you like to stay on the same island for a few days and just relax, again a cruise may be wasted on you.

I did the same cost analysis for myself and, based on my criteria, I can expect to spend at least 3 times as much on a land vacation for what I get on a cruise ship. I enjoy the shows, all the late night bars/clubs and would get bored after more than 2 days on any one island.

What ship are you on?

I could be wrong but I found that the food choices on a ship much better than what most all inclusive land resorts offer.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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I bet you're going to be surprised!!!
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Old June 11th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Pre-Cruise Review - Yep, Pre-Cruise....

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Originally Posted by dhornick
This might seem odd but here is my pre-cruise review. Yes that's correct, we've not even sailed yet and I'm trying to guesstimate what my review will be like. The cruise is July 21 on the Glory.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Congratulations....I hope you have fun! It sounds like you've done your research! Just returned from my first cruise in 30 years. I will give you some responses as it seems we have similar tastes and previous experiences.

As you may recall, in the very beginning I had asked on the forum about cost comparisons between a 7 day cruise and a 7 day land based vacation. I had mentioned that for years we have traveled the States, Mexico and the Caribbean usually always renting a beach front condo, rental car, air tickets and food for a week to be right around 4 grand for four people. This cruise has already cost me $6000 with everything paid for in advance except the sign and sail bill which I figure will be easily another $1500. So to me it's $4000 vs $7500. That's what I will be wanting to compare the most once I get aboard ship.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>There are so many "extras" on the ship that you might be lured to: Free jewelry, art auctions, Liquor tasting similar to activities you might see away from your rented vacation condo that would cost you extra. That is what brings the total upwards. What you pay for on the cruise ship is around the clock staff whether you see them or not, tending to your every need! They even TELL you to drop your towels on the floor!

Be careful and only purchase as many photos as you want, drink only as much as you can afford, gambler as much cash is in your pockets, and play as hard as you can!

Next will be the crowdedness. Will I feel herded? My initial thought is yes, I can't see how you can not feel that way. But then again I could very possibly be wrong.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The only thing resembling a herd would be embarking and disembarking/customs and that experience was better than any bumper to bump traffic I have been through. It is fast and well-organized and to tell you the truth....I didn't feel herded at all. With 2400 passengers on board it was amazingly effortless to find a private quiet space/table to myself. with two dining rooms and 3 dinner seatings in each (staggered) the only crowds I ran into were seating times other than my own heading towards the dining room. If you are patient and not leave group settings when everyone else does, in 3 mins it will clear out fast. There is no rush to get food or anything else...there is always plenty of seats, and plates for everyone!

Entertainment. Honestly this is the least of my concerns. To me, being entertained is a lounge chair in the sun with a bottomless drink in hand on a non-crowded deck day after day. I'm a simple person and do not need these "Vegas" type shows at all. Nor the Casino.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Ditto here! I am the same and had no desire to see any shows. The show on deck of the blue skies and sea was great enough for me! Plenty of deck/lounge chairs!! Even when we looked for the family we could always find 4 together. Drink waiter$ abundant! They offered but knew when you wanted to be left alone. They were not a nag. Happy with my bottled water. I showed my 18 Year old daughter how to play the slot machine...after $1 she said "how boring!" so that was the extent of our gambling. She hated all the smoke in the casino as well. ditto.

The food will be interesting as well. Yes we like to eat but not continuously as some have mentioned they do.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I am diabetic and need to eat small meals every 4-5 hours while on the go. No problem with that and finding healthy foods/snacks to boot! I did not gain an ounce and enjoyed myself immensely as far as the selection of foods. I treated myself to a half serving of a decadent desserts each night...the trade off was no appetizer.

It might sound as though I'm not looking forward to the cruise at all. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have researched the cruise from head to toe for months. Matter of fact I have read about , viewed pictures and video's of the ship and researched the islands in so much detail that I honestly feel I've already been. I do not necessarily believe in reincarnation but if I did I truly deep down inside feel my former life would have had something to do with the Sea or Ocean. I have a very special tie to the Blue Water that is not easily explained.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>...then I think you will have a lovely time! You cannot get more connected than floating on top of the ocean! Day or night it is a sight to be seen! We hit a storm..Rocky ride! I exucsed myself early from the Formal Night dinner. (drat!) We had the wrist band thing-ys but did not pack Dramamine. Hit the first farmacia for it and that saved us!

So here's my marks in advance:
Ship - very nice, well laid out but crowded. Pools, very tiny and not nearly enough of them nor room to relax. Not enough nonsmoking areas and the areas that are designated nonsmoking are not enforced. Would love to see a full nonsmoking ship.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Allergic to smoke, the only trouble I had with smoking was near/in the casino. Otherwise I consider it a non-issue.

Food - Simply put, abundant. One should never go hungry. Loved the Chocolate melting cake.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Abundant and GOOD! I saw the pizza line out the door with plates of pepperoni and cheese pizzas going by. When I finally got to the pizza line days later, thinking a good slice of cheese pizza would be a tasty snack after our Cozumel Swim Day, I saw about a dozen gourmet pizzas offered! Those people were wasting their time with pepperoni when they could have had goat's cheese, spinach, and mushroom like I did! YESSS! Don't you dare MISS the Chocolate Melting Cake at least once! But the Baked Alaska, Grand Marnier Cake, and Orange-something Souffle and even the sugar free orange chocolate cake were right up there too. I wanted to taste the fruit and cheese platter but was too full to try some! PS we had the latest dinner seating. Less children and gave us plenty of time to watch the ship leave port, take a swim, shower and relax after our shore experience. There was even time for a 4:30 snack since dinner was a 8.

Entertainment - Mediocre. Could have done without except for the steel pan music.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Decent bands poolside...silly contests held there too...But again, easy to find a quiet place away from them if you want towards the aft of the ship upper deck.

Ports of Call and Excursions - Wonderful. Love the islands, the island people, the food and the water.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The experience off the ship was the best for me....not only for the destination activity but it breaks up the monotony of ship entertainment and gives you something different. You'll have a great time and then come back to the ship to relax..room clean a snack ready for you.

Overall experience and grade - C plus. Just as I originally figured the cost is over inflated compared to what I have gotten in a land based vacation in the past. Other than the sea going. high seas experience of the ship it's self, I'll stick to the beach.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>I think you will be pleasantly surprised...the traveling itself takes place on the ship and all it has to offer....no traveling by plane or car or train can be that relaxing in my book!
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Old June 12th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Don't forget to come back and give us your post cruise review.

Let us know what you think after the cruise....
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Old June 12th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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Hmmm, methinks someone already has a burr under his saddle.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Herding?....you will have that feeling when you are initially processed thru the embarkation system, debarkation (perhaps), and at times when you are exiting the ship at ports.

The ship is huge and not everyone is in one place at one time. Because there are so many diverse activities offered on your sea days, people are spread out at different venues all over the ship, not to mention people enjoying the spa, exercise equipment, quiet decks lounging in chairs reading (lobby deck, port and starboard), shows, casino, etc. The Lido deck is the focal point for games, music, etc. If you don't want to participate, there are lots of places on the ship to get away from all that hustle and bustle. As far as the pools are concerned, yes, they are small and there is no room, usually, to actually swim (except for small children). The pools are primarily used to get wet and cool off. I found the smoking rules pretty much adhered to and never had a problem. The one area that is horrible is the casino. If I gamble I go early in the morning as soon as the casino opens and leave as soon as the heavy smokers appear.

After I pay for my cruise, the only charges that appear on my Sail & Sign are for tips, shore excursions (if I book any at all), and beverages. I just returned from an 8 night cruise on the Liberty and my total charges posted were $185.00. That's it. I'm not a big gambler or drinker, never purchase photos or souvenirs and only occasionally book a shore excursion. I know I'm probably the exception to the rule but have been on so many cruises that all those extraneous money makers no longer tempt me. Shows...the two large production shows that include all the dancers and singers are worth watching. There are other shows offered that appeal to various people but you may not find them entertaining.

If you love the water as much as I do, and you plan on booking excursions, stick with the beaches, snorkeling tours, etc. Some of the islands look great in photos but are actually filthy and the residents unfriendly and rude. We always bring our own snorkel equipment and do something water related at almost every port. You're on the Glory but don't say if it is the eastern or western itinerary. If you are going to St. Thomas and St. Martin, there are some beautiful beaches on both islands. We don't book shore excursions at either of these places, we just grab a taxi and head for the beach. Orient Beach in St. Martin is beautiful, Trunk Bay in St. Johns breathtaking!! There is a small island off Orient Beach called Pinel Island that is supposed to have great snorkeling.

When you sail away from Port Canaveral, if you look off the Port side, you can see the launch pads at Cape Kennedy.

The chocolate melting cake is good but if they have creme brulee on the menu, it is wonderful. The chocolate buffet has fresh fruit on sticks that they dunk in the chocolate fountain and some yummy donuts that you can dunk also.

Relax, enjoy your cruise, there is something for everyone to do on the ship. Everything isn't perfect on the ship but it is the quirky imperfections that are fun. It is magical being on the ship with nothing but water all around you...get up early on port days to watch the ship glide gracefully into the charming harbors, the water is a hundred different shades of green and blue and I can't wait to jump in.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Remember as with any vacation it is what you make of it. If you go into a cruise thinking that you will be disappointed then that is exactly what is going to happen. You will find every little thing that isn't perfect. If you go into the cruise expecting to have a fantastic time then that is exactly what you will have.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Pre-Cruise Review - Yep, Pre-Cruise....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhornick
As you may recall, in the very beginning I had asked on the forum about cost comparisons between a 7 day cruise and a 7 day land based vacation. I had mentioned that for years we have traveled the States, Mexico and the Caribbean usually always renting a beach front condo, rental car, air tickets and food for a week to be right around 4 grand for four people. This cruise has already cost me $6000 with everything paid for in advance except the sign and sail bill which I figure will be easily another $1500. So to me it's $4000 vs $7500. That's what I will be wanting to compare the most once I get aboard ship.
Sorry, but I can't figure this one out. We took our family of 8 on a cruise last January and spent TOTAL (including gas driving to the port, 2 hotel rooms for the night before the cruise, DIY shore excursions, a few photos, 2 DVD's and a few specialty drinks) - $3202! Granted it was a 5 day and not 7, and we don't gamble, but I felt it was the best value and the most fun all of us could have had on the same vacation!
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:22 AM
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I think a big difference may be time of year. The summer months are a lot more expensive than January. Plus I think that he may have airfare that would add a couple hundred dollars per person to the total as well.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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$6000 for a 7 day cruise and NO gambling ? Must be penthouse for sure. I don't get the 4k land vs 6k for a cruise. I can't find anywhere ON the beach IN the USA for 7 days cheaper than a cruise - nowhere. I lost $4000 on my last cruise gambling, (not complaining) and it still just cost $6000 including excursions and 8E balcony. Seems. to me, you need to recalculate some of your costs.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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I think the OP is taking generous liberties in making the comparison. If he is renting a condo on the beach, purchasing food and renting a car, his $4K land vacation includes: cooking his own meals, finding and paying for his own entertainment and probably making their own beds and cleaning up after themselves. There is a big difference between renting an "on your own" condo and going on an "everything is done for you" cruise. The two cannot be compared.

He also has included in his calculations all of his shore excursions. That alone is not included in his land vacation.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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My wife and I have done a lot of comparing along thes same lines and I have to admit that either a Cruise or an All Inclusive to the Carribean can be very expenxive, or done on a lower budget. There are several factors to consider, time of year, vacation provider, destination, and as far the cruises, what cabin you choose.

It is not really fair to compare one to the other, since one person's great vacation is just not the other person's cup of tea. We have done both and have enjoyed both just the same. I love setting on the beach day after day while my kids stay busy with hotel activities at the All inclusives, but I also enjoy the excitement of setting sail, waking up to different ports, and watching all the people around the deck.
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