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Old August 31st, 2010, 09:20 PM
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Default short cruises for 1st timers

These questions are for all Cruisemates, who chose a short cruise as their first cruise.

What was reason for choosing a short cruise, over a 7 dayer? What ship did you cruise on?

Did you find it more of a party ship, than you had thought?

How did you feel when you just figured out your way around the ship,and you had to leave? Did you wish,in hindsight you had booked a longer cruise?

As a 1st time cruiser,who booked a shorter cruise,due to the possibility you would hate it...did you hate it, and why? or, did you love it and book again as soon as you could?

Would you suggest a short cruise to first time cruisers? Or,never do that!!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 01:39 AM
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I'm new here, but I thought I would answer anyway. My first (and so far, only - though I'm preparing to book number 2) cruise was a 4-night cruise on Carnival.

At the time we booked, I had exactly one demand of the cruise we chose. I had a long-time fantasy of having a Christmas at sea. So, when we finally decided to actually take the plunge and try it, I was ONLY interested in cruises that were "at sea" or "cruising" on December 25.

The actual number of available cruises that met that very particular requirement was very small. We eliminated cruises that left from the other side of the country or other countries, and the number of potential cruises got even smaller. We eliminated a couple of other cruises for various reasons that I can't recall now. Finally, we were left with just two choices that we were seriously considering. One was the 4-night cruise on Carnival, and the other was a 7-night cruise on, um, I think it was Royal Caribbean (but I won't swear to that). It was a very tough choice between those two, though.

There were several factors in us deciding to take the shorter cruise. Some of them included:
- the shorter cruise was cheaper
- the Carnival ship had a WATERSLIDE!
- the Carnival ship stopped in Cozumel, where we could do a DOLPHIN SWIM on Christmas Eve!!!! (a dolphin swim was another one of my fantasies, something I had wanted to do since I was 4 or 5, and to be able to fulfill two fantasies for Christmas - one on the day, and one on the eve - made the vacation seem like it would be magical)

But the number one reason we opted for the shorter cruise was because my spouse worried that one of us might get terribly seasick. We reasoned together that 7 days of being seasick would be mighty miserable, but 4 days was actually bearable.

It never crossed either of our minds that this vacation could possibly be anything BUT magical and wonderful in every way - UNLESS we got seasick, of course.

Well, I can tell you without the slightest hesitation that the cruise WAS magical. The dolphin swim was incredible; I only wish I'd booked two *grin* The ship was great in every possible way. There was so much to do on board that we didn't get to do it all - in fact, one of the major draws, the waterslide, resided in a part of the ship that we never found because the thing was so big that we didn't have time to explore all of it. The entertainment was spectacular. The staff was excellent.

There were a lot of nice people on board; most of the other passengers were really great. We only ran into one unpleasant person; at one lunch, we got seated next to a horrible man who spent the entire lunch telling his daughter (who looked about 7 or 8 years old) what a stupid, worthless person she was. (I dunno; one hopes he was just having a bad day, but I felt sorry for the kid all the same.) Other than that one bad experience, though, the other passengers on board were just fabulous. We even made a few friends we still keep in touch with.

I suppose the ship had a "festive" atmosphere, but I did not think that the partying was excessive. (Of course, my mood as an enthusiastic first-time cruiser could have affected that.) There were people of ALL ages on the cruise, from young children to old people who remembered the world wars.

How did I feel when the cruise was over? Why, I most definitely did NOT want to leave the ship. I was NOT ready for the cruise to be over. I actually wondered what would happen if I hid somewhere until the ship left port again

On the OTHER hand, I had never been to Miami before. So, to extend the vacation, we started out by booking a room at a resort called Don Shula's for four days before the cruise. As a result, we got to tour Miami and experience the unique and truly wonderful Don Shula's as well, so we had a full vacation.

Would I recommend that anyone else do a shorter cruise? Why, certainly. Yes, it's true that 4 days seems way too short, and that's definitely a minus. But, at the same time, 4 days is plenty of time to enjoy the novelty - and not too much time if something goes wrong and you don't wind up liking your cruise. (You are, after all, pretty much a prisoner on the ship until you return to your port of call, unless you care to get off at some random port and figure out how to get back on your own.)

Of course, I would also recommend that you pair your first short cruise with something else either before or after, if you've got the vacation time and money to do so. And, if you haven't got the time or money to do so, then you probably can't do a longer cruise, anyway *Grin*


Hope that helped just a little.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 07:45 AM
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My first cruise was in 1973 ,a 7 day .My TA at the time suggested that duration in the belief that a short cruise would not show the benefits of a cruise over other forms of travel .
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:08 AM
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Whatie, fiirst of all,welcome to Cruisemates,and secondly, thank you for your insiteful post.

It sounds like your cruise was all that and more, and, how great is, your fantasies came true.

It's so nice to revist a 1st timers cruise, through their eyes. Thanks
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Old September 1st, 2010, 11:08 PM
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Oh boy am I in this predicament! I have never been on a cruise and, honestly, never cared to either. The punchline comes that I live in Miami (I can hear all of you in aghast lol) and I have seen every ship docked in the Port of Miami including the new NCL EPIC. I have also seen all the ships docked on Port Everglades and even saw the Oasis of the Seas first Caribbean departure (add to that the EPIC's too!
While all of you either despise me or think I am crazy - I have this fascination with ship design. If you ever want your jaw to drop, just get an opportunity to see the Oasis of the Seas leave dock out of Port Everglades and think man created this...well...this monstrous marvel of engineering!
OK, my friends think I am nuts but, now I want to travel on them!
You all are probably wondering why I never did...well its this rather irrational fear of being trapped in the middle of the ocean, bored out of my mine - like someone mentioned - a prisoner of the ship. I have been lurking on this board and other cruise boards absorbing cruise /first time cruiser information through LCD screen osmosis :-D
My fellow friend cruisers all recommended "short trips such as a 3-4 night ones" then if I like it - move up to the longer cruises. I am blessed to be in Miami and have access to all these ships - so now I am in the planning stages. Who knows where I will land but I am narrowing my choices based on my likes and dislikes and what the ship/cruise offers.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 03:53 AM
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My first was a 4 day cruise and its really a good way to get your feet wet and see if you even like it. I still suggest this, in most cases, no, its not long enough, but for the few that just didn't care for the whole expierence, its a good way to find out.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 07:42 PM
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My first cruise will be on Fascination December 2010; with my mother (her first cruise and 71st birthday) and my sister. Only 6 days since we havent lived together for 30yrs. Do you have any suggestions? We are small town folks that know everybody intown so a small ship is fine with us.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:28 AM
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the only suggestion i can make is just to relax and enjoy the cruise experience, and importantly don't try to do and see everything, you will end up being exhausted at the end of your cruise, try new foods, meet new people, take in a show, do an excursion- but only do one excursion per port, or just veg out by the pool, its totally your choice, and thats one of the beautiful things about cruising.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:30 AM
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my first cruise was a 7 day and that was great, my next cruise was a 10 day and well that totally spoiled me, and a 7 day cruise just doesn't seem to be long enough anymore
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Old September 11th, 2010, 10:56 PM
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My first cruise was seven days. Our shortest was six days. We have done two ten cruises and one eleven day.
Anything less than seven days is too short. Ten days is just about right.

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