Harry, you're right. We do need more cruises out of SoCal. I get so damned sick of flying across the country (or further) to get on a cruise ship. Most people on CruiseMates, from what I see, are more than happy to repeat ad nauseum trips to the Caribbean. The world is bigger than that. The problem is bigger than that.
First, CruiseMates needs to look at trips that are in other than the Carib or the Mexican Riv. There's a whole world out there.
Second, cruise lines such as Princess and Carnival and other lines need to get involved.
Third, I can't find where the new "posibilities" are posted.
When planning CruiseMates group cruises there's one thing I've learned for certain... the old adage holds true... you can't please all the people, all the time<G>
What we do try to do is pick a variety of itineraries, ships (as far as size etc), cruise lines, and lengths of cruises.
Last year many of our cruises happened to be longer cruises 10-14 days. In 2003 we offered an 8 day cruise on the Carnival Legend in the Caribbean, a 14 day transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Constellation, a 12 day cruise on Radisson Seven Seas Voyager to the Baltic, a 10 day cruise on RCI's Brilliance of the Seas, a 10 day cruise on Island Princess, and a 7 day cruise on NCL Sun.
Prior to that that we've had Panama Canal cruises on HAL, Thanksgiving and New Years Cruises on Golden Princess, and Carnival, an Alaska cruise on RCI, and a Celebrity Mediterranean cruise, as well as a Renaissance cruise to Tahiti, and two previous cruises to or from Hawaii.
And just last month the 7 day cruisemates group on the Carnival Pride, in the Mexican Riviera.
So.. over the last 3 years or so, we really have had groups all over the world! Though there's always lots of interesting places still to explore <G>
After many of last years cruises were of the longer variety, the people on our message boards have, in considerable numbers, expressed an interest in more 7 day cruises out Florida, so I've tried to address their desires in planning for the balance of 2004, and into 05... while still trying to venture forth to somewhere new.
We've never sailed out of NY for a fall foliage cruise to Canada... thus the Constellation, and we've never had a group sail out of Galveston... thus the Grand Princess cruise.
Certainly, if there's noticeable interest in another west coast sailing, we'll do our best to find a great deal to accomodate those folks.
Afterall the purpose of ALL these group cruises is to give the members of our CruiseMates community the opportunity to sail together at great prices. And to assist in making them GREAT Fun!!!!
To borrow another old saying.. the proof is in the pudding! On our upcoming Hawaii group cruise in May, of those booked to go already ,30 are people who have previously done a CruiseMates Group Cruise.... and quite a number of those are on their 5th or 6th trip with CruiseMates.
And I have to be honest... sometimes it doesn't matter what ship it is, or where it's going. Just being with all the good people who hang around at CruiseMates is what makes the trip so much fun!
Can you do a fall foliage when the colors are actually changing in October? September is way too early for a fall foliage trip. Sort of defeats the purpose of going on a fall foliage trip. Last year's Alaska cruise was at the very end of the season and only a few people went. It is like you always seem to miss the good sailing times- -maybe sail Alaska during June or July. Would have loved to do Panama Canal but am not going to do it during hurricane season--October is not a month most peopel want to do the canal during. And I agree about the West coast--with the Sappire and Diamond Princess out there and some great prices on these ships, you should do a West coast. Sort of tired of Celebrity always being picked. Have you thought about polling people and asking people for their sailing, ship and month preference. This doesn't seem to be done.
Well, I haven't been on CruiseMates long enough to know what the past sailing roster was like. But it sure looks like all people want is the Carib. If you live in a cold climate, I guess that's understandable.
Kuki, you're absolutely right: there is more to life than the Mexican Riviera. There is also more to travel life than the Caribbean. I wish there was more of a focus on Europe, Asia,and beyond. Cost more? You betcha. But the result is worth way more from a travel and cultural experience than the Caribbean or Mexican Riv. could ever be.
And finally, I think that if you ran that poll that SarahJ talks about, you would find that as Kuki says, they all want a 7-day trip to the Caribbean yet another time. To me, the Carib. and Mex. Riv. is been there, done that.
Incidentally, from the West Coast, you can also go to Hawaii, the Panama Canal and Costa Rica.
I agree 100% with Harry!! I know there are options but would prefer not to fly (no fear of flying, just don't want to pay the additional cost if I have other options). Since we were "just" on the Pride Cruisemates' cruise, I'm obligated to wait (no $$ and no vacation time)
Kuki, we VERY much appreciate what you're doing on getting cruises booked in the distant future. It was just disappointing to see that there were no future plans for the West coast in your list.
We'd be most interested in the Columbia riverboat type cruise or anything to Alaska. The R/T Princess cruise out of San Francisco to Alaska is great and we'd do that again in a heart-beat. The Panamaniac cruise would have been perfect, but the timing was bad for us. Maybe you could schedule another one of those in the future-like next March or? Anything that ends up on the West Coast would be super.
R/T Hawaii is wonderful (as shown by the participation in your Get Lei'd cruises).
April checking in a bit late-- add me to the list please--- San Francisco has some good sailing too--hint hint but LA/San Pedro isnt bad either---
I agree the longer the better or back to back shorties
Add my mom to the list too-----
I am an avid cruiser as well. I am booked on #16. I live about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. I too LOVE the Mexican Riviera! Would love to do a 7-12 day cruise out of CA. Count me & my hubby in on your adventures. BTW, I am booked on the Zuiderdam, 5/1 sailing.
Boy oh boy, it's a good thing there are so MANY different cruise lines, cruise ships, and itineraries in the world! Something for everybody, but maybe not everybody for something, or the "same thing".
Well, as a totally addicted "underseaholic" I must say that I always enjoy a Caribbean cruise. I would have to guess that I'm not in the minority, given the number of sailings scheduled to the Caribbean by the industry. I do look forward to visiting the four corners of the globe (or as close to it as money and time will allow), but those warm, clear waters of the Caribbean just keep drawing me back!
I'd be interested in a west coast sailing. I think I might prefer one of the newer itineraries that include Eastern Baja or Ixtapa and Acapulco, but I'd probably be open for most any cruise if the dates were right for my vacation schedule.
Carnival is doing an 8 night rd trip out of San Diego on the Spirit to Acapulco, that would be my choice. And can we keep Mike as our host? After all, the east coast has its Moose and the west coast has its Beaver.
You are all welcome to join Gram and Papa on Sept 17,2004 in Vancouver for 14 days on Summit. Starts in Vancouver, does the last Alaska of Summit's season then comes on back to Victoria, Seatle, San Francisco Catalina Island and ends in San Diego.
We can make it an "unofficial" cruisemates cruise.
Kuki, Gram has already got fall 2005 blocked in for a two island Hawaii trip, leaves only Spring 2005 open , and she wants that booked by June.
In keeping with the west coast spirit of this thread I'd love to travel on Mercury again.