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Trip December 17th, 2002 07:27 PM

Wasn't it magic?
Way back in the 70's..I can remember exactly how I felt watching the very 1st episode of
The Love Boat...It was love at first sight....but for me, at that time, unatainable...Boy they had fun on those cruises, and everyones problems were fixed in an hour..What a life...

Well lets fast forward to the late 80's.....Love boat was in reruns ,and every night i went to bed dreaming iv'e been living the dream ever since....Getting a stack of brochures and trying to decide where to go was so much fun, planning always is....And when we got to the ship, and craned our neck up the 10 stories, we were like from Podunk.......Finally we had made it......Looking back, I think that was one of our most expensive cruises..It amazes me where you can go now, and have such a fabulous vacation for such an incredible price....Do you remember how and why you decided to cruise? What it felt like? Share your memories.!.....Its fun to look back, and see how far we have come.......Trip/ Monday Chat host

Y2C December 17th, 2002 07:44 PM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
Hi Trip,

Our first cruise was in 1978. Affordable, not really.
It was on the Song of Norway (RCI), main deck outside and no balconies. Caribbean for 7 days and of course airfare, tips and other items to tack on.

We decided on a completely different life style vacation and how were we going to pay for this cruise.
Well we saved and saved, I cashed in savings bonds to make up the huge difference. It was worth every penny.
We relied on a TA to give us the information and how to go about all the in and outs. He was good. No internet to research, as if we knew what to look for.

It is a memory we will never forget. We still take out the photo album and wonder how we managed to cruise.

Have to admit the "Love Boat" was the inspiration. Boy were those cabins huge on the Love Boat, or it seemed that way. All suites I think .. ROFL

dezertcruzer December 17th, 2002 07:54 PM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
I don't know when I first wanted to try cruising, but it was many years before I finally got to do it. I had dreamed about going on a cruise for years after my divorce, but it just wasn't financially possible for me in those early years. You're right, Trip, it was a lot more expensive back then. Finally, however, when I could afford it, I found someone who wanted to go with me, and my cousin and I decided to do it. She lives in Virginia and I live in Arizona, and we don't get to see each other very often, so we decided to take a vacation together, and after considering many options, a cruise seemed like the best bang for our buck. We decided on Carnival, since she was a little hesitant at spending so much money and they were the most inexpensive. All of their 7 night cruises at that time were about the same price, no matter which ship you went on or the itinerary, so we decided to go as far away as possible, once again getting the biggest bang for our buck. At that time the the Fascination was doing a southern Caribbean itinerary out of San Juan, going all the way to Caracas, Venezuela, so off we went! It was love at first sight for me, and every cruise since then has been just as great as the one before. But I have yet to bring home as good a souvenir as I did from that first one, my husband!

salem December 17th, 2002 07:56 PM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
Well my first cruise was last year. At the ripe old age of 51 I finally gave in to my husbands request to cruise..and sure changed my life. We have next one in March and hope to do a cruise every year! I was just amazed at how large the boat was, I never imagined it could be so big and still float!
Mary Margaret

Kuki December 17th, 2002 10:09 PM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
1980, I met and married Mrs Kuki, and at the time promised her a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary (a bribe, to stick with me).
In 1990 she reminded me of my promise... In Dec. 95 I made good on my promise, and we cruised to celebrate our 10th anniversary <G> I found a 5 day cruise on the then Nordic Prince ( in DEEP steerage), so I wouldn't get sick of being stuck on a ship. Turned out I was sick to get off!

In '96 we went on one cruise. In '97 we did our first back to back cruises. In '98 I think we made it up to 3 cruises in the one year. I got it BAD!!!!!!

Then I also got lucky.

Along the way I found the Internet, and researched for information choosing our next trip. I found myself hanging around in cruise chat getting fixes, until I could cruise again.
Then I was hosting the chats so I could deceive myself to think I had a "better reason" to be there, than just getting my fix between cruises<G>

Then CruiseMates opened on the Net, and Anne and Paul (in their infinite wisdom) decided to offer me a "job". A part time job, that enables me to talk about my favorite subject, and to do my favorite What could be better? Not much!!
And to top it off, I get to write about my experiences, and share them with you guys.
I am ONE LUCKY guy, and I know it!! (And now that I've said it publicly I guess Anne and Paul will know why I don't bug them for raises all the time).
I guess, I'm lucky, but not all that bright . LOL

Ron December 18th, 2002 12:10 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
I too watched the Loveboat and dreamed of cruiseing to exotic places. First opportunity we had was on a fledgling line called "Carnival" on a ship called "Mardi-Gras".
We had a tiny cabin on Riveria deck with a tiny porthole and a bed that was propped up on a piece of 2x4.
Now, over 20 cruises later, and usually in balcony cabins, mini-suites and suites, I still very fondly remember the old Mardi-Gras and that little cabin.

debbieg December 18th, 2002 06:21 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
my first cruise on Home lines no longer and it cost $395.00 for 7 days dressed up in long gowns fancy and not to Bermuda Nassau had the time of my life, back then in NY you could purchase a 1.00 ticket to board th ships when they were in port to tour the ship have drinks and enjou the few hours before passengers started to board for their was my Saturday ritual what wonderful

Boomer December 18th, 2002 07:13 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
I was dead set against cruises....until I saw a rerun of a Love Boat my surprise, friends of ours expressed interest in going on a cruise. The husband did not want to go and I was not totally sure I wanted to go but the wives were sure they wanted to try it so we booked our first on the Dawn Princess.

We were stunned! The beauty of the ship and how she sailed. The deep navy blue waters of the carribean. The different islands we stopped on. The on-board ship activities. They all served to make the cruise experice the best vacation we have ever taken.

Before we went, I discoved Cruise Mates and asked lots of questions and when we finally boarded, I actually felt like I knew what I was doing...especially in port.

We have had only one other cruise since then as finacial resources have been put on hold due to a wedding this summer of 2003. time clock will be in years :(

dezertcruzer December 18th, 2002 07:14 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
During my husband's 15 years with Carnival, he spent somewhere around 8 years on the Mardi Gras. That was in the early years of Carnival, as you say, and the crew didn't rotate from ship to ship as they do now. He still talks fondly about those years and that ship. He says that was back when the people who cruised had class and knew how to dress and to behave. Now, they'll let anyone on board! LOL! Heck, they let us on, don't they! <VBG>

Mermaid December 18th, 2002 08:09 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one.

Mike wrote:
(before first cruise)
"I believed that all you would do is eat, lay in the sun and be part of a "herd".
(after first cruise)
"I had never experienced this feeling before. All worries, issues and pressures were gone. It was "Heaven".

This was similar to my experience. I was play hard-to-get to the lure of cruising. Even the Love Boat left me cold. Never, I said, never will you catch me on one of those huge monsters. I was on the beach, relaxing after a day of diving in Grand Cayman, listening to the beast blow it's mighty horn and watching the mass of humanity flood back to her like zombies. NOT for me I flatly stated.

The next year, my husband was awarded a FREE cruise through his business. It was a 3 day out of San Juan on the Nordic Empress, with a 2 day pre-cruise. Now, seeing as I love to travel, of course I pulled out the suitcase. After all, it was a freebie, surely a short cruise wouldn't be that hard to handle. The second day on the ship, my husband said, "Next time we're doing this for a week". I could only nod up and down vigorously as I enjoying yet another delicious mouthfull of food. Sure we visited different ports during the same trip, and you could still dive in those gorgeous blue waters, but it was the SHIP that I fell in love with. And boy did I fall hard.

That was 6 years ago and my heart still flutters over a stomach full of butterflies every time I step on a ship. Which is 7 times now. I'm like a junkie. I crave that feeling. And I could use a

LisaK December 18th, 2002 09:10 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
i was young, single, fresh out of college with my first "real" job. My girlfriend worked for a big hospital and they were sponsoring a group tour on Carnival. We booked an inside quad-cabin practically next to the bilge room, hey, we were young and didn't care! Had a great time! that was waaay back in the early 80's.

susancruzs December 18th, 2002 09:32 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
My first cruise was on the NCL Southward in 1982! Actually for a decent price because the ship had 6 single cabins, no extra charge and air was truly included for a modest charge! You didn't have all those extras!

I always loved listening to my dad's stories about being on a ship, how wonderful it was and I just had a hunch I'd like it. I enjoyed the "Love Boat" series but I didn't think that was totally realistic, just thought it was a fun show.

My main thing was to do a transatlantic like my dad but thought I could never afford it. In 1984 NCL brought the Norway from England to Miami and that is when I was really hooked. I'll never forget that trip, it was absolutely wonderful! The entertainment, plays, lectures, it was incredible and at that time, the Norway was truly a great way to travel!

Twenty years since my first cruise and in spite of some changes that are a little pesty, I love it as much now as I did the first time I heard that horn blow!!!


Kathie December 18th, 2002 09:41 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
Last year in Nov. we were approaching our 35th anniv. (12/26) and hubby decided it would be nice to go somewhere to celebrate. (He's the one that surprised me with a trip to Hawaii for our 20th.) I called my step-sis, our TA, and asked her about all-inclusive resorts vs cruises. She said the best deals were cruises and set us up with a Jan. 12-19 cruise to the E. Carib on EOS. I hadn't discovered this website yet, so had no real idea what to expect. What a wonderful week it was!! Next month we are going again on EOS to the W. Carib. Next time another Voyager-class to S. Carib. Someday to Alaska and on and on..... I'd love to more than one a year..we'll see.
I remember walking up to the ship before boarding and we both were starry-eyed with dropped jaws. It's sooo big! And inside sooooo gorgeous! We felt like movie stars or jet setters, not suburban middle-agers from the mid-west. The staff treated us and everyone else like royalty, the warm weather made us feel like we were on another planet, and it was really hard to go home to reality. But it's coming again in 31 days and I can't wait.

Seahunks December 18th, 2002 09:45 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
I think I'm more or less Kuki's age and I haven't been on my first cruise, yet. However, I have a four overnight boat/ship passages in my experience. I'll get back to those in a moment.

Twenty years before "Love Boat," there was the "Gale Storm Show, Oh Susannah." Gale
Storm is an Actress/Songstress. She played Susannah Pomeroy CD of the Ocean Queen through six years of TV production, and several in syndication. The Ocean Queen steamed everywhere: Scandanavia, Caribbean, South Pacific. Wherever the ship steamed, Susannah, the Chief Steward (Cedric) and the ship's hairdresser (Elvira Nugent) never failed to find new and improved ways to get Captain Huxley steamed.
I think "Love Boat" was a mix of it and "Love American Style."

A good portion of my childhood was spent watching that and other ocean themed movies and TV shows. I also read anything and everyhting having to do with the sea and with sea travel. And I remember watching news coverage of the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Since I lived in humble circumstances 350 miles from the nearest saltwater, the sea and ships were the stuff of adventures that just didn't apply to me.
They were remote, utopian, and almost mythical. It wasn't until an older sister, married and moved to Newport News that there was an economically justifiable reason to visit the coast. A side trip to VB resulted in my first ever view of the Atlantic. I was sixteen at the time.

Now about my passages...In college, I participated in a study-tour of Europe. That trip included four overnights aboard ferries and packets. The first and second trips were fairly uneventful, unless you include getting paced by Albanian gunboats along the Eastern shore of the Adriatic. The third trip from, Mallorca to Ibiza, is memorable because of the overnight accomodations.

I don't remember which class of passage we bought on the third trip. I remember that it only included a bunk, in a hospital type ward. The bunks were stacked 3 high by 10 of such steel racks in the cabin. Luggage shared the sleeping space with the passenger. And each bunk included its own big, brass, mouthtray mounted on a special bracket at the head of the bunk. I was one of the lucky ones--I got an upper bunk. It was a rainy, noisy, smelly crossing. I guess I have a strong stomach since I never had occasion to use the brass bowl.

The fourth overnight, from Ibiza to Valencia, provided the most adventursome crossing. A powerful storm blew over us, the kind only read about in "Acts," a couple hours out from Ibiza. The little packet (300 ft, or so) churned its way, cresting waves, pitching so deep that the propeller would actually lift out of the water. Down in the troughs, the little boat would briefly roll side to side in the cross currents before climbing the next wave. I guess I was too inexperienced to be scared. I stayed above deck for some of it. Such waves!

Since that night, the longest I've been at sea was during an offshore fishing trip in South Carolina. I'm sure it was the longest 6 hours in my wife's life. Her reaction to that is why we've delayed taking a cruise so long. We've spent enough on the upcoming trip that she won't back out, I'm sure. And she has been encouraged by both myself and friends who have cruised that ship technology has changed far beyond what I've experienced. Besides, most of my "cruises" were aboard recycled pre-WWII
refitted cargo conversions.

By the way, one of the best movies that led to my maritime obsession was "Last Voyage," starring Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, and Woody Strode. George Saunders played the captain of the ill-fated vessel. It's a quite good movie, right up there with the 1953 version of "Titanic" with Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwick. Some incidents in the "Last Voyage" appear to have been inspired by incidents aboard the Andrea Doria.


52 days 'til Sensation

Mgram December 18th, 2002 10:17 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
Wow sure awakened some of MY Gail Storm memories ..... thanks for making me smile!

Joyful December 18th, 2002 11:53 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
My first experience was on the Caribe I in 1986. My good friend, who had recently finished travel agent school and had her first job as a travel agent, wanted to cruise and made the arrangements (I think we were on stand-by, something like that..). We cruised for 7 days for $250 each, in an outside cabin. We had a wonderful time, soaking up the sun, eating good food, etc. We knew when we got off the ship that we wanted to cruise again. And we did, about a year later, on the VERY luxurious (HA!) Veracruz (Bermuda Star Line). I loved THAT ship even more than the first one, for many reasons.

One of the things that sticks out in my mind from that first cruise on the Caribe was when we first walked onto the ship there were staff all around the perimiter of the lobby area just waiting to start pampering us, and everyone practically falling all over each other to show us to our cabin. Another thing (it is a tiny thing, but I remember it so well, furthering pampering!) was at breakfast the first morning the banana I ordered came on a plate, sitting on part of the peel, sliced into bitesized pieces. I felt like royalty.

I cruised on that same ship again as the Regal Empress, many years later.

dezertcruzer December 18th, 2002 07:25 PM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
It's funny you should mention about the way you were served the banana. My waiter husband serves bananas to me just like that all the time. You're right, it really does make you feel pampered.

Happy Camper December 19th, 2002 09:59 AM

Re: Wasn't it magic?
I watched Love Boat too and dreamed of all the far off places - I so wanted to travel and the Love Boat seemed so romantic - girl thing... :) Well I met and married a guy who loved boats and had no money. We had a justice of the peace marriage with no money for a honeymoon so we saved all year and the next he said he'd buy me a big ring or take me on a honeymoon - I said Honeymoon (love travel and not much on jewelry) so he said how about a "Big Boat" so we finally found a travel agent in 1991 that would talk to us because we were in shorts and young they thought we didn't have enough money and finally one took us seriously and we booked a 5 night cruise to the Bahamas on the then new RCL Nordic Empress. It was incredible! You cold hear a pin drop in the bus when we all caught sight of the ship for the first time. It was about $1800 with air for two in an outside cabin. It is a little more than half that price now but you were right and back then it was so much more expensive. We looked to the back of the catalog at the 7 nighters and dreamed that one day we could afford it. It was so worth every penny and I'm glad we started when we did - it was more elegant and the food was incredible - it has changed as the price has come down but something must give and I love the cheaper prices. I looked at pictures from ten years ago and saw our fridgerator in the background with 3 magnets on it. Now you can't se my fridge for all the magnets! It's been 15 cruises and can't wait till we book our next one! :) Debbie

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