We have taken a cruise and just loved the expierence and all the great people we got to know. Since we are rather new to this, we are wondering what are your favorite destinations? Have any of you long time cruisers ever repeated a destination and was it as good the second time around? People on the cruise said you got to see alaska, panama canal, europe, and the islands. What have been your favorites? We have traveled a lot on our own because my wife was always afraid to go on a cruise. After going on one, she said this is the only way she want to travel from now on. Thank you for your insights and suggestions.
There is always something special no matter what port you are in. Since there are so many places to see, we have been picking a cruise, with just a little different itinerary, every time we cruise. Half of the fun of cruising is meeting people, on the ship, from all over the world. Our last cruise was to Alaska doing the inside passage. At the same time we were on this cruise, Hurricane Isabel ravaged our hometown of Virginia Beach. One of the couples at our table, who lived in Vancouver, offered to let us stay at their home in case we could not fly back to Virginia Beach. This is what cruising is all about; making lifelong friendships with people that share the love of cruising and the spirit of adventure.
I agree that the cruise itself is the adventure. We have been to the Western Caribbean 3 times now, and the Eastern Caribbean once-and plan on going there again in October.
Since we haven't been to many different destinations, I'll say that Georgetown, Grand Cayman is my favorite so far. Our first cruise in 1998 with friends was West and Georgetown struck a chord with me because my father and step-mother used to go there for the Summer when she was assisting the Dr. for whom she worked, as his nurse in a medical clinic. This was way back in the 1960's and 70's. I could finally say I made it there, too, and they remembered the area. My dad would sit on the beach while Barbara was nursing. One of their souvenirs to me was a doll from Jamaica which I have sitting in a bookcase by my front door. When we visited Jamaica the first time I bought a doll and sent it to my step-mother and told her that now she had one of her own. The Island was still pretty well "undiscovered" back then and my dad got to know the local folks.
One of the things we do when we go to Georgetown is to go to the Post Office and send back a postcard to my dad and step-mother saying we wished they were there, and that we'd made there again!! He'll be 80 on Easter Sunday. She will be 73 in August-married since 1956! They were still nice and young when they enjoyed their cruise and their time on the island and we have some of those moments to share now. Lynne
After lots of cruises and lots of other kinds of travel too, we consciously plan for two entirely different types of cruises. The first is the "I just want to get away (mostly from the cold weather) cruise," and for these almost any warm part of the world will do. The ship is the destination, and chances are that we won't even get off the ship at most ports. The Caribbean and the Mexican Riviera fall into this category, although for us Caribbean cruises out of Florida tend to have additional undesirable aspects as well.
The second kind of cruise is the "destination cruise," where we look forward to the ports and adventures ashore. For these cruises we try to visit places we've never been, or haven't been back to in years. But we don't kid ourselves either. You simply can't do justice to a place that is historically and culturally important in a day or two, so we look at these kinds of cruises as "special introductory offers," a way of building a list of places we'd like to return to. We've often returned to previous cruise stops for an extended stay--sometimes several years later--and have always been pleased that our short cruise visits had turned us on to a wonderful place (Vancouver BC is one example).
Which leads me to mention my strong belief that there is NO "only way" to travel, and despite the passion for cruising found on these boards, it is still just one of many excellent ways to see the world. And, just like every other means of travel, it has its plusses and its minuses. I would argue that people who devote all their travel time to cruises are missing a great deal.
A balanced approach is a good recommendation for many parts of our lives, whether it's diet, finance, or travel.
You'll get alot of replies on this one, I think! I agree cruising is great, been on 17 myself but wouldn't go so far as to say the only way to go! Land trips give you an opportunity to see more and learn about the destination!
I've been back to the Caribbean many times but don't have a particular favorite place. I loved my Alaska cruise, but I'm going to do a land trip there. I enjoyed both of my canal cruises because they were 14 days and had alot of sea time.
I'm going to go back to the South Pacific because I did one that went from Tahiti to Hawaii as well and had no where near enough time in the islands. I think I've been to Hawaii too many times, too, just like the Caribbean.
Very high on my list is the Mediterranean, which I plan on doing next year. I was in Italy for 17 days last year and I'd really like to see the Greek islands, then I can decide if I want to do a land trip to Greece, like I did to Italy.
I know I haven't listed a favorite, but I don't have anywhere I'd go back to again, I want to see it all! I'm just not one of those to keep repeating ships/destinations!
We'd like to vary our itineraries too, but we have to pass the first hurdle of getting on an airplane, to,or from! Hubby's ideal cruising experience would be taking a repositioning cruise to the Med, hooking up with a land cruise, or do some sightseeing on our own and then meet another ship coming back to Ft. Lauderdale.In order to that, I'd have to have a lot of vacation time from work and we'd have to win the lottery! Lynne
I agree with you that you should have a variety in vacations. Although we take a cruise almost every year, we also own two weeks of timeshare. We have found out that dollar for dollar, cruising and timeshare are the most economical means to take a vacation. Cruising has its advantage of going to many ports and having your meals and entertainment included in the price of the cruise. Timesharing is great if you want to spend a week in a specific area. When we timeshare, we usually eat breakfast in our unit, go out for lunch while we are touring the different cities near the unit, and go back to our unit for dinner. With any vacation one should always have an open mind and a positive attitude!
I like going to the same ports because on each visit you don't feel like you have to see the whole thing. Like it's a once in a lifetime event. You can slow down and take shorter, less active excursions and get back to the ship when everyone else is still in port.
Dittos to almost everything above. As an overall cruise, I like the eastern Caribbean, sailing out of San Juan. Don't really know why, just do inspite of the lengthy flight to San Juan.
I love the flavor or Cozumel, it's where we spent our honeymoon many moons ago.
I do mission work in Honduras so I'm keen on Tabyana Beach in Roatan.
Loved the colorful Curacao.
Had a wonderful massage on a nearly deserted beach in Antigua.
Swimming with the sting rays in Grand Cayman was something I'll never forget.
There was the most fabulous Orthodox church in Estonia
But maybe the most grand was the two days we spent last summer in St. Petersburg.
However, the best place to be, is simply on the sea. I've had a couple great cruises to nowhere.