As I was walking this morning, it dawned on me that the ship's sail-a-way parities aren't what they use to be (IMHO) !!! We spend alot of time getting 1st time cruisers psyche up about cruising (favorite cruise songs to play when you are packing etc) and I always thought that the kick off party sets the tone (thanks to enviromental issues no longer can you throw stuff into the sea as you depart)
I was so disappointed on the Conquest last November because I treated my best friend and her mom on their first cruise. the lifeboat drill took longer then expected and we had early dinner seating and it got dark so when we were sailing away we were eating and it was dark..I felt they were cheated
It cause me to think about great sail-a-way parties..A few come to mind
-Any Carnival ship in the early 80's (I was on all 3 within their first 2 years of sailing - Mardi Gras, Festivale, Carnivale)...party music was playing and the staff encouraged everyone to wave and shout "party time" to the guest on the other cruise lines..I do recall free drinks also
-Disney Wonder-I think Disney does a great job on sail-a-way..the characters are out and everyone is dancing..smaller kids are so "free" and uninhibited..they know how to have fun and Disney knows how to bring that out in them..great send off
-NCL Starward out of San Juan late 80's....ship left at 10 pm at night..what made this so special is that Heinken beer had it's first year music festival right at the dock so we were able to spend the entire afternoon and early evening at the festival so when we sailed away every one was on deck and in a great party mood
-My favorite sail-a-way party was very different then the ones mentioned above..In Venice on the Olympic Explorer every one was on deck at 5 pm and it was total silence as we cruise out of the Grand Canal at Sunset in awe of the beauty of the city..the cruise director described over the p.a. system what we were seeing and each guest had a glass of Prosecco, and we toasted the beautiful city of Venice..Wow !!!
I can think of 2 gret sail-aways, most recently on Caribbean Princess, where all the staff shipped the passengers into a party frenzy with live music and dancing, contests and give-aways, a real fun time send-off! It was similar last year on Carnival's Valor, a real party atmosphere with the conga line and dancing. On the other hand, I was very disappointed with Carnival's Triumph where there was no sail-away party whatsoever...
I am sure hoping there will be a good one on the Cruise of theCentury!
We have experienced great sail away parties on Carnival's Valor and Glory, they had a live band on the Lido Deck and everyone was dancing and drinking. Out of all the Carnival ships I have sailed on, the Valor and Glory cranked it up all week long and drew crowds to all the Lido Deck events, watermelon eating contest, hairy chest contest, etc. The C.D. on the Glory was Wee Jimmy who was great...on two mornings he had an 8:00 a.m. talk show broadcast on T.V. He took people's calls and showed up in a bathrobe and hair curlers. He was always out and about mingling with the guests which added to the fun. On many cruises, I never see the C.D. on deck eating lunch, etc.
My favorite was on my first cruise. They tooted the horn, and started blaring "Anchors Away." I was so disappointed that it hasn't happened again. When we took my dad on the last cruise (which was his second one) he about threw a fight because there was no sail away party, and no "Anchors Away." I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get one heck of a party on the next cruise, because it's leaving at 10 pm! We shall see
A bad cruise is still better than a good week at work!!!
Fascination, My Birthday Cruise!
10-02-05 Valor My favorite yet!
10-23-04 Triumph (Honeymoon of my dreams)
We've had a lot of good times on many sail-away parties, but on this last cruise on the Carnival Elation, we spent more than an hour assembling in the theater (one of the "official" assembly points), then they made everyone walk up to the deck where the lifeboats were. All of the other cruises we've been on, we did one or the other, not both. As we trudged up on deck, we noticed the buildings along Miami beach moving by. A very disappointing moment. I've always looked forward to sailing out of port, and the accompanying festivities. We were treated to neither. Looks like Carnival is trying to change it's image to the no fun ship.
Fasteddie..I feel your pain..that was one of the points on my original post..I think Carnival should have everyone onboard by 3:30 pm, have the drill at 4:15..do the sail-a-way party between 4:30 and 5:00 then people with first seating have time to get dress and not miss anything
Venice was wonderful on Seven Seas Voyager. Going past St Marks drinking champagne was wonderful. It is a wonderful city to depart from. It didn't hurt that they had a barbeque with shrimp and lobster along with beef and lamb skewers.
Hong Kong at night on Seven Seas Mariner might even have been prettier. Again free drinks (it was late evening so no bbq) and the wonderful lights of Hong Kong and all the boats in the harbour.
My favorite Caribbean sailaway was on the Diamond out of Ft Lauderdale. Full bbq with the same shrimp, lobster, beef, and lamb; open bar; and a bit of music.
"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."
F Scott Fitzgerald
Seven Seas Voyager (30nts) - Dubai - Cape Town - Nov 14