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View Poll Results: Modern Cruise - how do you feel?
I love cruising more than ever 4 22.22%
It's different but I still want to cruise as much as ever 9 50.00%
The changes have dampened my enthusiasm 3 16.67%
I have decided, or I'm doubtful I want to cruise anymore 2 11.11%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 31st, 2012, 03:49 PM
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Default Has cruising changed too much for you - Other holidays?

You know cruising has changed... The traditional cruise is much rarer.

There are many more big ships out there, on average they are more "mainstream" than they used to be in the sense that there is not as much "fine dining" where you dress up and share a table with polite company. The shipboard experience is far less serene than it used to be. Plus, maybe you have cruised so much it just doesn't have the same charge as it once did, or you now cruise for different reasons.

Is that Okay for you, do you like cruising as much as ever? Or has it changed to the point where you don't enjoy being on a cruise ship as much as you used to?

Also - if you are cruising less, why? and what are you doing instead?

(I have done my best here to make sure it is OK for those who may feel disillusioned to say so).
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Old August 31st, 2012, 03:59 PM
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I like the less-formal aspect. I never liked dressing up for dinner.

On the other hand, the food quality has deteriorated to the point where I am considering other vacation options. Food quantity and variety hasnt changed (indeed it has improved), but, as an example, the meat cuts are just awful. I refuse to pay a surcharge just to get a decent steak (and Im not a very fussy person in that dept.)

Personally, the lack of polish in the wait staff is not an issue for me, although it was nice to have a trained waiter "back in the day".

I also dont like the idea of not getting a seat for the show (chronic nowadays) or having to get a ticket to get in.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Sounds like you have been NCL - I don't know of other lines giving tickets for shows - although I don't know everything.

I tend to agree with you on the food - although I think that if you pick the right dishes in the dining room you can still come up a winner - but I have also had some lackluster dinners in dining rooms lately.

But really, if you think about it, the price of a cruise these days pretty much justifies going to specialty dining for a number of meals - and I think those meals are better than ever.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:08 PM
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The last 3 cruises were Carnival, NCL and Carnival.

$25 per person per meal for a family of four = $100 per day x 7 days = $700 extra just to get good food????

I expect decent meals in the dining room, and stellar meals if I have to pay a surcharge. I think a certain cruise line is serving inferior quality on purpose, so we will go the surcharge route. I also think they make the dining rooms smaller on purpose (longer wait = more customers at the surcharge places). But thats just my personal opinion.

Last edited by ship2shore; August 31st, 2012 at 04:14 PM.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Well... when you put it that way....

No, I said "if you are careful about what you order in the dining" and "splurge sometimes".

But that does bring up the questionm how do you know what to order in the dining room?
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:18 PM
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They could set up a Psychic Friends Network to help us choose what might be good on the menu (for a fee of course)
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:21 PM
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That is a GOOD idea!
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:47 PM
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I have only cruised 5 times - and I think I may be cruised out.

I have decided no short hops around the Med or Caribbean for me. Next cruise booked is from South America back to UK and possibly my final cruise will be Trans-Pacific.

There are so many interesting land vacation alternatives and I just hate mass catering - reminds me of eating lunch at school.

So for long ocean voyages - that is OK - I will have a feel of travelling and I am prepared to accept the limitations of cruising i.e. no midnight walks or dawn walks through cities.

Interestingly enough on my only Caribbean cruise I met 2 couples from New York State who said after 6 cruises in the area - they felt cruised out - omg I felt that way after 1 Caribbean cruise.

Different horses for different courses.

Annie

To be honest if my 1st cruise was a Caribbean cruise - it would have been my last.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 06:24 PM
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Annie....

When I was a kid growing up in AZ I didn't even know where the Caribbean was located. We vacationed by car and only went as far as California or Mexico every year.

Being a US citizen I have now cruised the Caribbean and Mexico so many times it is no longer a destination of interest to me - although I have probably taken at least 75 Caribbean cruises - so I know what it means to have "done that"

But I have taken MANY European cruises and I have enjoyed all of them (except perhaps one) - so if I lived in the UK I would continue to cruise to the Med and I would take river cruises.

In the old days you could take a Caribbean cruise as a quiet respite. Today it is more of an amusement park, and that grows old, though not for everyone. I know adults who keep year-round passes to Disneyland and go every couple of months.

I think there is still a wonderful smaller ship cruise industry in the lines like Oceania, Windstar, Azamara, smaller premium ships from Princess and Holland America. These ships cruise on interesting itineraries and are still classy enough to feel like an enriching experience.

I personally still enjoy a cruise on any ship, but I find myself being more of a spectator these days than a participant. I also look forward to the day when the food gets better again because they can raise cruise prices in a better economy.

And I will say that I would take a Mediterranean cruise on Princess' larger ships anytime. I have had great cruises on Princess. I also like Holland America in Europe (I have never tried Celebrity or NCL there). And absolutely for Oceania, Azamara, Windstar, etc.

But yeah - a Caribbean cruise on a Mainstream line. Great if you are with friends or family with kids, but alone or as a couple it is pretty old to me, too.

It's like if you lived in Barcelona or the UK - how many times could you cruise to the Canary Islands?
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Old August 31st, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Paul

I would not visit the Canaries - far less cruise to them
I do take your point on smaller ships - as we have discussed before I am a small ship girl.
But where we disagree, cruising is NOT the way to visit Europe IMO - take a train.

Annie
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Old August 31st, 2012, 06:41 PM
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I have visited Europe by train, and I found it to be chaotic and a hassle. I can't sleep on a train and wake up in a new place every day. And worrying about food and my luggage was not fun.

However if you said to rent a centrally located villa and see the surroundings by by train I would agree that is a great way to see Europe. But you have to understand that for Americans it is different, we don't have a "base" with which to see Europe as you do - that is why a cruise ship is so convenient for us. We need to bring a lot of stuff with us because we have to plan for a minimum of two weeks or more on average.

But a Med cruise on any ship for Americans is a great experience - because the see a wide cross section of new things in a short period of time conveniently. I imagine for you it's different because you have greater access and opportunity to do that any time.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 06:52 PM
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I take your point Paul.
I just think of all the great cities you cannot access from a cruise ship.
OK I am spoiled and I am viewing it from a European viewpoint.
The islands I saw in the Caribbean were the ones I wanted to see - except Cuba - enjoyed them but I do not envisage returning.

Annie
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Old August 31st, 2012, 07:43 PM
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That's what river cruises are for...

WE just took a river cruise from Vienna to Nuremburg with Budapest, and on the end we tacked on Salzburg for 3 days. Tacked on Prague on another river trip.

I once took a med cruise and we got off in Naples and rented a car and re-met the ship in Livorno three nights later. Of course any cruise that starts in Civitavecchia means a pre-cruise stay in Rome.

I have even cruised fron Moscow to St. Petersburg (an amazing trip).

We have also taken a river cruise from Paris to Normandy, and you can now cruise the Rhone from Paris to the Atlantic.

But also on regular cruise ships:


Oceania I have spent 3 days in Lyon, 3 days in St Petersburg.

Azamara spent 3 days in Rouen (from which you can see Paris and all of Normandy).

On the old Renaissance we spent three days in Israel and saw everything you can see.


Silversea just docked on the Thames during the Olympics.

From Silversea I also visited Cairo, Petra, Sharm al Sheik and Luxor - all on the same cruise.

You can see more than you might think on a cruise. And I don't mean to sound preachy, I am just saying it is possible.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 10:12 PM
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For me, my cruise to the Med on the Carnival Magic, was a dream come true. I hope one day I can visit these places of beauty again.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 10:38 PM
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Default Has Cruising Changed too Much for You-Other Holidays?

If you have visited CruiseMates as much as I have over the years, you know that people travel for pleasure for many different reasons. We have done fifteen cruises always for the combination of the ships' ambience and their rich itineraries, and never going to the same places twice.

I am sad to report that I believe we are cruised out. Why? Simply, it's become too expensive. Air fare is a killer. We don't like large ships. Neither of us think that a cruise passenger should have to pay a special premium to get a good meal.

I almost always enjoy my visits on CruiseMates, and since we do not cruise, I wonder if I should no longer visit this wonderful site. I very much enjoyed meeting many of you on the Century cruise and I enjoy Chat on Monday nights.

I will never forget the encouragement you gave me when Keith was so very ill.

Judy
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Old August 31st, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Judy
As of this time you may be done with cruising but who knows what the future holds and even if you never cruise again your experience of cruising is valuable. On a personal level you would be sadly missed by many as you are part of this CM family. I vote you stay!
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Old September 1st, 2012, 02:03 AM
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I happen to think a LOT of people are feeling "_____ed out" of a lot of things these days. It's because we have a depressing economy that affects all of us and affects the quality of the cruises we want to take.

I personally know there are still cruises out there for every kind of cruise style, but I am not sure every one who wants to go on one of them can afford it right now - and that is the biggest shame.

I heard on TV that the "wealth" of every American (especially those of us close to retirement) is down about 39% since the economy blew out in 2008, and that is a serious drawback on our lifestyles.

You know, wealth begets wealth (its called the wealth effect). If we all felt richer we would all be spending more and the economy would be doing much better, but you cannot deny that most of us just plain feel poorer these days; our homes especially are worth much less because housing has not improved at all in over four years.

So don't feel bad if you feel cruised out now - but also please do not leave. We still value the experience of everyone, and I am sure any up and coming cruiser would definitely value the experience, of anyone who has been on 15 cruises.

I know I definitely appreciate you being here.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 02:35 AM
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Neil

I started with river cruising.

I was thinking of an analogy - you take a cruise starting in New York - even an overnight- sail to Boston - overnight and so on ending in Quebec.

Have you done NA - not in my book.

Yet many people think by sailimg from say from Barcelona to Venice
- they have done a chunk of Europe Not in my book.

Annie
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Old September 1st, 2012, 04:26 AM
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Judy, Even if you and Keith do not want to cruise any longer you still have many many good friends here. We would miss your presence on the boards. I know from CTC that whenever someone does not post for a day or two. I feelit and miss them.

Laura
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Old September 1st, 2012, 04:33 AM
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I miss the elegance of the formal dining room. This trend towards turning the main dining into Joe's Diner disturbs me. The Lido has all the junk food already so why offer it in the Dining room? I would love to see the dining room remain elegeant and the dress code enforced. If you want casual then the Lido is always available for that. The choice is already there so leave the fine dining there for us to enjoy. I do not eat at McDonalds on land and I expect better when I purchase a cruise.

Laura
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Old September 1st, 2012, 09:19 AM
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I cruise to see the world; and there is a lot of the world to see. I agree with Annie there is a lot of the world; especially Europe, that is better to see on land trips. When I lived in Belgium I had a reputation for seeing another Capital on each four day weekend; we did eight of them in a little over a year.

Still, I will occassionally sail the Caribbean if with a group of friends; otherwise, it is new destinations. Our cruise Bangkok to Bombay with three day post to Taj Mahal will give us three days in Sri Lanka and over a week in India; as much time as we want to allocate to that part of the world. I think cruising is the perfect way to see the South Asia we want to see. Sure, we might be back to India as part of land trip to Nepal and Bhutan but cruising is still the best introduction.

As for quality of food and service; there are a lot of options. It comes down to what matters most to you and what you are willing to pay for. Paul could probably find cruise rates from the 70s and inflate them to 2012 dollars and tell us what we would be paying today.

Marc
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Old September 1st, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Being realistic, as well, for older people who do not have the endurance, or for families with grade school age kids who want to travel but not leave the kids behind - cruises are perfect.

I want to see southeast Asia; Bali, Macau, Singapore, Hong Kong, Viet Nam. But I don't want to travel on old transportation and only have that ethnic food available to me (I am food adventurous, but I have my limits, I found authentic Chinese to be really unpalatable). So I think a cruise would be fine for me.

As far as sailing form Barcelona Venice - no doubt you have your points Annie - but for a person like Linda who had never seen Europe and may never get back on her own, it was an amzing jouney to sail from Venice to Barcelona - because she had never seen anything like it.

The point being that for Americans who have one shot at seeing Europe, limited mobility (possibly) or a fear of doing on their own (very common) a cruise in Europe is a wonderful regardless of what you think is "best" for you. You are not wrong, but neither are they.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 01:57 PM
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With 65+ cruises under our belts we will never be cruised out. Don't get off in some of the ports and always have dinner in the dining room (unless we do a special). Still love to get dressed up for dinner and enjoy the waitstaff and room stewards. Have many friends over the years of cruising (staff) and still hear from a lot of them. I can sit around home, cook and clean or cruise - what do you think I prefer.
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