I picked my first cruise for our 20th anniversary. I've always wanted to cruise on the big ships and I've always wanted to see the Southern Caribbean Islands. Next my DH didn't know if he would like cruising so he wanted as much land time as possible so very few days at sea. That narrowed it down some more. We ended up on Carnival Destiny and it was fantastic. My dream vacation come true.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011
Ever since watching the Love Boat I'd always wanted to take a cruise. When we were looking around for a family vacation our travel agent suggested a cruise. I'd always thought that it would be way too expensive for six people (we have four kids). She was able to present me with four different options within our budget. Now, we cruise at least once a year.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Our small town TA told us the best ship and since she is an agent for Carnival, recomended them as well. I knew nothing about cruising, and was very pleased that she was able to book what we needed. Our first was last June (05) on the Ecstasy out of Galveston.
We didn't "pick" our first cruise. DH's company was giving a free cruise to the salespersons (he was management, so wasn't eligible). Someone had to cancel and we were invited to go. It was a "freebie" and I wasn't even sure I wanted to go !
We had less than two weeks notice! We'd never cruised and it never occurred to me to look for a site like CM's. Wish it had!
I took all the wrong clothes (nearly burned up!), but we still had a good time, even though we had to be with the "company" people most of the time.
Our next cruise on our own was wonderful! We were hooked!
We'll be on our 5th in November,
P.S. I chose "advice from friends", but it really doesn't match!
"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
Sea Princess 2014
Because my first cruise was in 1982, alot of those responses simply do not apply! :-)
I always wanted to try a cruise, my dad always talked to me about being on a ship, how he liked it plus I liked the Love Boat TV Show.
I was 35, not alot of funds so I started looking at the available books, not nearly as many then as now. Fieldings was very helpful, my favorite and a certain person comes to mind. I still purchase and read cruise books. I have several. I generally write letters, receive responses always as everyone is interested in people that travel solo.
I chose the msSouthward because it had a few cabins with a single bed and no surcharge. Princess was operating a similar ship but put those cabins in a much higher category.
The following year I went on the ssNorway through Singleworld, which allowed me to have a single cabin at a reasonable fare. In 1984, I took the ssNorway from England to Miami NCL was trying to fill the ship so they did away with the single surcharge.
My early cruises were much easier to price in terms of single fares. Even in the middle 90's Royal Caribbean had a special category that was only 15% over and they'd assign the cabin. They stopped those fares.
Probably more info then required but single fares is always at the top of my list and I did want to mention that I still use travel books! For my 2007 Med trip, I currently have 3 books!
I voted "help from message boards" although the REAL answer is: tons of online research, which included help from not just any message board, but THIS one!
Carnival Elation March 11
Carnival Imagination Sept 07
Carniival Sensation Dec 06
RCI Sovereign of the Seas Sept 06
Carnival Miracle Sept 05
Carnival Glory Sept 04
Carnival Fantasy Jan 04
I voted advice from a friend but in real life it was my mothers dream to go on the Mississippi Queen riverboat so she and my dad took the whole family. DH and I had just been married about a year or so.
Our next cruise (13 years later!) was from HIS parents since we were celebrating their 50th anniversary!
Our 1st cruise was in 1982 on the Azure Seas out of San Pedro, Ca. I don't remember there being other ships in port to choose from at the time. Also because of Love Boat we were interested in it but thought it was for the "higher society" people until I spoke with a local travel agent. It was a surprise for my DH. At that time, we could go any Friday night and board for free and enjoy Happy Hour until they sounded the horn. DH was not too impressed, pointing out the worn wooded shuffle board decks and other things. Two months later we board for a 4 night to Ensenada only. He loved it. When we returned, we picked up the boys from my brother's house and barely walked in the door and he was already looking at the Carnival brochures and talking of another!! The rest is history. He promotes cruising at work and has "hooked" many of his friends who are now going on their 3rd and 4th cruises this year. Great vacation for the money!
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Basically, Our first decision was just to do something special for our 10th anniversary. Second was where- DH has allways wanted to go to Alaska, so that was the destination. Third was to take a cruise in order to see it.
Forth was to decide which cruise line, and since I am the internet junkie so to speak I just started looking for info on the internet. From there, hooked up with my TA and told her what line, when, and cabin type. She took it from there.
Independance of the Seas
Monarch of the Seas, October, 2007
Serenade of the Seas June, 2006
So....after a few wines one night, on Expedia, I clicked a little, browsed and viola......we were going to Alaska in 2004. This site helped defray a lot of concerns I had for my impetiousness and the trip was a ton of fun. Great room and balcony. No TA.......just a few key strokes in Feb and we were off in August! Taking a cruise seemed like something I hadn't thot to do but ought to try one time.
Never had been on a cruise. But had vivid memories of my parents going off in the 50's to Europe on the QE2 and returning on the Queen Mary. It was the trip of a lifetime, and though I was very young, the packing was endless! Gowns, tuxedos, her jewels! Quite La Dee Dah as I think back on it. Better than playing with my dolls. 8 suitcases in all. Marty
Guess I was stupid! My husband and I decided to go on our first cruise for our 25th ann. Went to a travel agent in town and did what she told us. Just agreed with everything she said! Didn't do any research until after we were booked! It was the Imagination in 1999.
When we were first in our inside stateroom on the main deck we just looked at each other and said " Wow! Can you believe we are on a cruise ship!"
Fast forward to today and I am a widow who has been on 13 cruises and am booked on a WindJammer in June! So many changes. Thanks for having me remember my first cruise!
Our first cruise was on Carnival Celebration in 1994. It was a Star Trek cruise so my friends convinced me that we should go. I was afraid I would get sea sick, or the ship would sink. (being that it was so big).
So, dumb Well, after the first few days, I was hooked.
To relate an event that happened. My dh had to attended a wedding in Ohio, I drove on to Miami and started the cruise. He flew to Porta Rico after the wedding and almost missed the ship sailing at midnight. He arrived at the airport at 11:00pm, got the taxi to the ship just in time. Whhheeooo that was close. He spoke no spanish of course.
Luckly there was not the airport security of today and he RAN thru connecting airports. we travel out of Florida a lot by ship.
Being that we keep an odd schedule, I chose a ship from the myriad of brochures ("brochures" are not a choice in the survey BTW) which had the widest dining options available at the time..... so if I wanted to eat at 3am, I could.
I guess the choice came down to price vs. dining options, if you want to be specific.
Just 1 month to go until the "Cruise Cynic Mystery Cruise" ... January 2008
I wanted to cruise for years, but couldn't convince my hubby to go for it. So for my 40th birthday, he finally conceded. The minute he gave me the go-ahead I was ready to book. That Sunday in our local newspaper was an ad for Celebrity's Galaxy. It looked like a great price to me, so I made the phone call. I laugh now at how naive I was back then. I had no idea how many choices I truly had....just went with the one I saw in the ad. We have been hooked ever since.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Since "All of the Above" was not included I had to answer with Message Boards.
I decided that after years of land travel I would check out what a cruise vacation would entail. I began to do research. I personally found that travel agents were one of the least informative resources in doing cruise research.
Admittedly I had a number of questions and most agents were more interested in selling a "commodity" than selling me something I would be happy with so I turned to the Internet to do my research. This lead me to this board and many others.
Once I made my decision to book the the Celebrity Mercury for February 5th, 2000 I found an agency, online by comparing the cruiseline price, that had the price I wanted and called them. The funny thing was that as soon as I told the agent what ship, when and what category and she took my name and age she said that I wouldn't be happy with that and that I should book the Carnival Sensation. All that based on my name and age. I thought I was on the Psychic Friends Travel Hotline. I dismissed that and booked what I wanted and was not disappointed. I now know that I would have been miserable on the Sensation. I also know that this agent was not a very good agent but I won't go into that.
Oh yes: I spent over a month researching and asking questions before I booked. It's why I now say there is no such thing as dumb question: Well, almost no such such thing.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
Our first cruise was for our honeymoon in 2000. We really did not think about a real honeymoon holiday before, we just thought a nice sunny place somewhere in the world to stay for at least a week, maybe 2.
Anyway, we could not decide and our travel agent suggested we go to Key West to a cabana somewhere, but we thought 2 weeks was too long. Finally the word 'cruise' came up, I wanted to cruise for a long time but DH was not very enthousiastic. Our TA did some research, came up with different cruiseliners and we picked the Sensation.
Little did we know about your all time going on kids holidays, we went at Thanksgiving.
Searching on the net? Believe it or not, we did not have internet at that time, so no way we could have done homework.
It was a good cruise:
1. it was our first cruise ever, that is always good, because you are a newbie, knew nothing about cruising and enjoyed every day.
2. it was our honeymoon cruise, so a second first time
3. we met our cruisefriends from Florida whom we cruise with since our 3rd cruise.
4. it was just a good cruise.
5. it got us hooked.
__________________ A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
I didn't pick my cruise! My best friend called and asked if we wanted to join them on a cruise, not even believeing we would go. I said SIGN ME UP!!!! They already had the cruise picked out so that's where we're going. This trip is for her 10th anniversary, maybe next one will be for mine!!
We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors. We have only borrowed it from our children.
Our first cruise wasn't picked by us so much as forced upon us. We were in Texas when 9/11 happened and wanted to get home (the UK) sooner than planned.
We found all flights were grounded and our tickets couldn't be changed for when flights resumed as our airline weren't exactly sure when or where they would be flying.
So we thought about it then went and checked on the internet for QE2 passages from NYC to Southampton. We found one, leaving the East Coast on the 16th. This was now the 13th. We found a local cruise agent, rang the creditcard and got all our remaining travel budget put onto the card, booked the passage and then DROVE. We arrived in Boston on the night of the 15th.
The ship had been moved due to the Cunard pier being used as a temporary morgue. We sat on the dockside in the September sun for 8hrs watching aircraft leave Boston Logan and bank over our heads, with tears streaming down our faces. The ship was held off the dock due to a "specified" threat. We finally left at midnight and already we had met and made new friends, as we sailed we all raised a glass of champagne and said a quiet prayer for those who we all felt we had left behind.
We were escorted by the US navy and picked up by the Irish air force and Royal Navy. The atmosphere was very bizzare, everybody and I do mean everybody felt that it was only right to have a good time because we had all seen what can strike out of a clear blue day. There were tears, laughter, sadness, friendship, comradeship and a vow to never, ever forget.
Location: Indiana in the middle of a farmer's former cornfield.
In our case it was our delayed honeymoon, eight months after the fact in 1997, on the Carnival Sensation. After typing in 'cruise' in CompuServe we ended up on a cruise bash with a group of about 75 folks from all over the US and Canada, and including one couple from Belgium. About half of us met each other for the first time in a hotel bar in Miami the night before the cruise. The party continued for seven more days!
Our first night on board we slept until 3:00 p.m. The rocking motion of the ship caused us to sleep like babies! We still get razed about that to this day!
__________________ "Sea" you,
Keith & Rita Ann
Fast dancing is the second best form of exercise, slow dancing leads to the first!
My first cruise was in 1995 on the Carnival Fascination, out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to the deep southern Caribbean, and to Caracas, Venezuela.
I had wanted to go on a cruise for a long time. I am very close to a cousin of mine, that is, as close as you can be when one of us lives in Arizona and the other in Virginia! We decided that we wanted to take a vacation together. After considering many options, beach hotel, trip to the mountains, theme park stay, etc, I was finally able to show her how much less it would all cost if we went on a cruise, and, for both of us, the cost of this vacation was a big factor in the planning.
I looked at many, many brochures, and, of course, Carnival was the least expensive. This was before the presence of the internet in most people's homes, so the internet didn't figure into the decision. In those days, all of the 7-day cruises were priced pretty much the same, and airfare was always in the quoted price. We decided that since the price was the same to go to the eastern or western Caribbean as it was to go to South America, we would go as far away as possible. After all, who knew when we'd get to go back to South America!
And that's how we came to choose the Fascination which left from Puerto Rico, went to St. Croix, Guadaloupe, Grenada, Venezuela and Aruba. It was also onboard that ship that I met my husband, Jose. Now I just collect mugs from the ships! Easier to take home with me! !
My uncle gave a cruise to my mother and her seven children/step-children and their spouses. He said he came across a photo of all of us taken at my father's funeral and thought it would be nice if we could all get together for a happy time (my step-siblings live in Indiana and the rest of us live in Texas.) So we didn't get to pick the cruise but it was a good one -- the Grand Princess out of Galveston to the Western Caribbean.
A cruise was the perfect way for us to spend some time together. We had our privacy but we also seemed to run into each other in small groups here and there during the day and even on shore. And we met for dinner every night. We're looking forward to the next cruise, just the two of us, but that cruise will always be special.
Grand Princess 11/05
Dawn Princess 8/06
There were so many factors involved--I think the first and foremost was price and location of port. I used to live in LA so we didn't really want to go there for first cruise--I wanted to go someplace different. I did a lot of internet research for pricing--mostly airline pricing--such as how much from my city to Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans etc. I then decided since NO was closer and mostlikely going to have lower airfare, I then decided on ship and since Conquest was only 7 day during summer that's what I chose--of course I'd also done research on various ships and cruiselines too when doing the airfare pricing. We'd thought seriously about Alaska but because pricing was more expensive, we choose Conquest out of New Orleans. For 2nd cruise it was easier--LA (Los Angeles) is within driving distance!
I'm going on my first cruise this june.I picked it by doing much research on the internet.I wanted something out of NYC,in my price range,and i only wanted to cruise for 4-5 days.i'm sort of going to test drive cruising before i book a longer cruise for my 10 year anniversary next year.Carnival was the one I picked.After I booked my cruise I learned about these boards.They have answered all my questions.The carnival cruise agent I have is about worthless.Thanks to everyone who posts on these boards.
1st cruise june 22nd on the victory
We didn't select our first cruise. Our former next door neighbors booked a cruise for them and us and told us "Merry Christmas!". Jorge was wearing a Santa hat when he presented the tickets. They acted as our hosts as they were seasoned cruisers. It was the Sun Princess in February, 1998.
I fell in love with cruising right away.
In the meantime, our neighbors moved back to Uruguay and it wasn't until Oct. 2001 that we could afford a cruise of our own. It was the Golden Princess to the Eastern Caribbean. It took me that long to convince Trevor that it was the best type of vacation for the money. We have been going once a year ever since.
My first cruise was with a travel agent - and have I learned a lot since then - I paid wayyyyyyy too much for the cruise - I was taken because I didn't know any better. I will not say what I paid for two people (inside cabin) - but will tell you that what I pay now for a balcony cabin is less than half of what I paid 9 cruises back. Live and learn.
I now know how to shop.
2001 Carnival Triumph
2002 Carnival Fantasy
2002 Carnival Fascination
2003 Carnival Triumph
2004 Carnival Conquest
2005 Carnival Valor
2005 Carnival Spirit
2006 Carnival Valor
2007 Carnival Liberty
2007 Carnival Freedom
2008 Carnival Freedom
Pure DUMB luck. This was 1991 when we first chose a cruise over all inclusives in Jamaica. Dolphin Cruise Line on the Sea Breeze. We still compare our cruises, now over 100, to that first cruise that had excellent service and absolutely fantastic food.